Meet The Father of The “No-Kill” Movement

(GoodNews Network) Richard Avanzino was a bit of a wallflower as a kid. He didn’t have any friends to speak of—well, friends on two legs, anyway. His friends with four paws were his true pals, and because of them, he vowed to dedicate his life to helping dogs everywhere. And he did: millions of them, in fact. It all started back in 1976, when Avanzino arrived at the San Francisco SPCA. At the time, the primary discussion within the humane movement was how to best kill the animals, but that all changed after he encountered Sido. As its president, he revolutionized animal sheltering by housing dogs and cats awaiting adoption in cozy, home-like settings rather than cages, setting a new standard of sheltering practices—and not just the cute, young ones, either.

>> Click HERE to read how Sido changed everything.

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Pat McCrory steps up criticism of General Assembly

(Asheville Citizen-Times) Gov. Pat McCrory has taken issue with several actions by the state General Assembly and some inaction — including failure to stay in Raleigh to work on a state budget — in comments in recent weeks that seem to indicate a more negative view of legislators by the governor. Over the past couple of weeks, McCrory has complained about inclusion of policy decisions in a proposed budget bill, lack of action on his request that legislators replenish the state’s economic incentives funds and most recently, General Assembly passage of a bill that redistricts and restructures Greensboro City Council.

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Duke Energy CEO getting pay raise year after coal ash spill

(Charlotte Observer) Duke Energy Corp. CEO Lynn Good is getting a raise a year after the country’s largest electric company confronted a coal ash spill that coated 70 miles of a North Carolina river in sludge containing toxic heavy metals, the company said in a regulatory filing Monday. Duke Energy’s board of directors approved raising Good’s annual salary by $50,000 to more than $1.2 million, the only part of her pay package that’s guaranteed. Bigger boosts in incentives could push her potential annual compensation to $10.5 million a year, the company said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Good previously topped out at about $8 million a year if she met short- and long-term goals. “Her performance has been exemplary and the board is pleased with her leadership,” the company said in a prepared statement.

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NC schools suspend driver’s education

(Raleigh News & Observer) At least one-third of North Carolina’s school systems are suspending their driver’s education programs this summer until they learn whether they’ll receive any state money to help pay for the classes. Driver’s education classes typically run all day during the summer when school is out, but some school officials are deciding they can’t hold the program when they aren’t even sure they’ll still be required to offer the instruction. The House budget would continue state funding for the driver’s ed classes now taken by 120,000 high school students each year. The Senate budget eliminates all funding and moves driver’s ed to the state’s community colleges. The General Assembly approved a temporary budget Tuesday to run the state until Aug. 14, but the spending plan includes no state money for school districts to provide driver’s education.

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Obama sets rule change to expand overtime nationwide

(The State Newspaper) President Barack Obama announced Monday night a rule change that would make millions more Americans eligible for overtime pay. The rule would raise the salary threshold below which hourly workers automatically qualify for time-and-a-half overtime wages to $50,440 a year from $23,660, according to an op-ed by the president in The Huffington Post. “Right now, too many Americans are working long days for less pay than they deserve,” the president wrote. The administration has the power to issue the regulation, which would restore the overtime salary threshold to roughly where it stood in 1975 in terms of purchasing power, without congressional approval.

Advocates for the change immediately hailed the decision. “The president said he wanted to go big here and he did,” said Jared Bernstein, a former White House economist who co-wrote an influential report on the benefits of expanding overtime pay after leaving the administration in 2011. “I can’t think of any other rule change or executive order that would lift more middle-class workers.”

Read the full report HERE>