WNC schools tie parking on campus to random drug tests

(Asheville Citizen-Times) Jackson County high school students who want to drive to school and park on campus this year had to agree to submit their name for random drug testing. The school system expanded an existing drug testing policy to include not just athletes but students who participate in some extracurricular activities as well as those who drive and park on school campuses. “That does not mean every kid will get tested, but their name could be added into the testing pool,” said Superintendent Michael Murray. The Jackson County policy is similar to the one used by Haywood County Schools, which has been randomly drug testing its high school students for at least a dozen years.

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State Bill undercuts local move to temporarily halt fracking

(Winston-Salem Journal) The effects of Senate Bill 119 are becoming clearer now that the public has had time to review it — and it does not bode well for local governments that want to implement their own land-use regulations in the face of possible shale-gas exploration and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. A provision in the bill aims to pre-empt local governments from implementing regulations that go beyond state regulations. Meaning: If a County needs time to review state regulations to come up with its own land-use regulations, but such local land-use regulations are confined to state regulations, then there is no need for those local land-use regulations. “In general, I think the legislature has made it very clear that it intends to have only state-level regulation of oil and gas, and I think a court faced with a case challenging a local moratorium or anti-fracking ordinance will almost certainly find there is no more local power to focus particularly on those operations,” Richard Whisnant, a professor of public law and policy at the UNC School of Government said.

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Waking Life sold to Izzy’s Coffee Den owners

(Asheville Citizen-Times) A West Asheville coffee shop that has been the source of controversy and protests in recent weeks was quietly handed over Monday afternoon to new owners, who already run a successful downtown coffee house. Kristin and Ross Britton, owners for five years of Izzy’s Coffee Den on North Lexington, acquired the equipment and lease for Waking Life Espresso. “We have been looking for a location for a long time, and we have been interested in West Asheville for a long time,” Kristin Britton said Monday as a locksmith was changing locks on the former Waking Life business. “We envision a sweet neighborhood shop that reflects this neighborhood and that will be fun to come to every day.” Waking Life had been a source of fierce controversy after former owners Jared Rutledge and Jacob Owens were connected to misogynistic Internet posts that came to light last month.

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