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What You Need to Know About North Carolina for September 11, 2015

What You Need to Know About North Carolina for September 11, 2015

Fourteen years ago today, I was in a high school choral class when word was sent down that the World Trade Center towers had been the scene of not just one but, two plane crashes. By the end of that day, I’d cried as I witnessed both towers crashing completely down, and heard of news of both a Pentagon crash and one in a field that was redirected from its target, thought to be the White House or the Capitol Building.

I really meditate on the fact that there are now teenagers who are the same age as I was then, who have no witnessed memory of this incident. Maybe there’s a parent, grandparent or other family member they didn’t meet because of their succumbing on that day. Others have seen family members struggle with memories. But, for them, it’s like when people tell me about Challenger exploding, or Pearl Harbor.

Yet, this day for my generation is when a lot of things changed, not unlike when we experienced the economic recession of the later decades.

My first few stories today are of ways 9/11 is still affecting our state.  First, a Charlotte man who was a first responder to the World Trade Center scene, reflects in the Charlotte Observer. In the Wilmington Star-News, a woman reflects about being at the Pentagon.There’s a new memorial near Charlotte that has a piece of one of the towers and if you want to do a service project, the News and Observer has a listing of a few that are going on today.

Let us all take a moment and reflect on what this day means, then let us continue on and honor the memory of those lost, by continuing to make this world a better place.  And now, other news:

The state DOT has adopted their Comprehensive State Rail Plan, which sets rail policy, planning and projects for the next 25 years. I’m very excited about this plan, as it will set the stage for more and faster trains through the state.

The former director of the Guilford and Davidson County animal shelters, along with a former employee, have been arrested on federal felony charges of animal cruelty. They had been removed from their jobs at both facilities. Meanwhile, a Winston-Salem man can no longer be a reptile wrangler, at least not at his home.

N.C. Court of Appeals judge Linda Stephens will run for re-election in 2016. She’s one of four judges of the 15 judge bench that’s up for re-election. The court hears cases in panels of three.

The coastal ferries will be switching to their fall schedules in the next couple of weeks, which means there will be less ferry trips to and from points on the Outer Banks to the mainland.

Four McDowell County magistrates are recusing themselves from performing same-sex marriages. By law, these folks will also be barred from performing any marriage ceremony for six months and magistrates from adjacent counties are filling in.

Several parts of Western North Carolina are now under a severe drought. Drought conditions are also increasing in the Charlotte area.

Five nonprofits with common missions of getting people back to work will be housed in a new campus just north of the Charlotte Douglas Airport.

Lidl has come to Charlotte and is giving people more options for low-cost groceries.

Cumberland County may bring back their driver’s ed classes next October.

State House and Senate leaders have agreed to put a state bond referendum on the ballot of next year’s presidential primaries. However, what the $2 billion bond will cover is still being debated between both houses and the governor.

And finally, Duke Energy has settled an EPA lawsuit that was filed against it in 2000 over issues at a power plant in Gaston County. It will direct $4.4 million to environmental sustainability projects and pay almost a million dollar fine.

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