Schools, Buncombe County work on housing for teachers

(Asheville Citizen-Times) Buncombe County is working with city and county schools on a project to provide affordable housing for teachers. “As we all know, Asheville is a very expensive place to live especially for beginning teachers,” said Asheville City Schools Superintendent Pamela Baldwin. Baldwin said one of things school officials hear most often from new teachers is “We aren’t able to find housing we can afford.” This project involves apartments to be built on county-owned land in the Erwin community near West Buncombe Elementary School, according to Buncombe County Manager Wanda Greene. The county and the two school systems plan to partner with Eblen Charities.

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Gun bill clears NC House after heated debate

(News Channel 5)  For a second straight day, House members engaged in a long, emotional debate Wednesday over legislation that loosens state restrictions on who can carry a concealed weapon and where those weapons can be carried. After close to six hours of debate over the two days, the House voted 78-37 in favor of House Bill 562, sending it to the Senate for further consideration. The House dismantled the most controversial provisions of the bill on Tuesday, including one that would have eliminated the requirement that handgun buyers obtain a pistol purchase permit from their local sheriff and another that would have allowed lawmakers and their staffers to carry concealed weapons at the legislature.

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Bill Would Require Teachers To Say Why They Are Leaving

(Carolina Journal) A bill that would allow the state to gather more detailed information on why teachers leave the state and the profession — a topic that has become a political football for both parties — is in conference committee as lawmakers attempt to resolve differences in the House and Senate versions. Senate Bill 333 directs the State Board of Education to “adopt standard procedures for each local board of education to use in requesting the information from teachers who are not continuing to work as teachers in the local school administrative unit.” It also requires the local school board to report the information to the State Board of Education in a standard format.

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NC Senate gives initial OK to moped insurance

(WRAL News) Moped operators would have to carry insurance in order to drive on state roads under a bill the Senate gave preliminary approval to on Monday. The debate over insuring moped riders has raged at the General Assembly for years. Proponents say that, if people are riding on state roads, they should have a way of taking responsibility for accidents in which they are involved. Opponents worry that the measure will drive up the cost of owning a moped and could make it hard for some riders, particularly those who have lost driver’s licenses and rely on mopeds, to legally operate the bikes. Sen. Stan Bingham, R-Davidson, said requiring insurance could be a hardship on employers whose workers can’t afford insurance and would have no other way to get to their jobs. “The men who have mopeds are not very high on the food chain,” Bingham said.

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Patriot Act provisions expire as Senate compromise comes late

(USA Today) The Senate on Sunday let key sections of the Patriot Act law expire at midnight, but voted to advance a bill that would eventually replace its most controversial provision. The drama on the Senate floor over the anti-terrorism law, passed in the wake of 9/11, highlighted sharp divisions within the GOP over privacy concerns and national security and carried immediate implications for government surveillance programs. The Senate voted 77-17 to advance a bill that would end the National Security Agency’s controversial bulk collection of the phone data of millions of Americans not suspected of any terrorist activity. “Tonight begins the end of bulk collection,” said Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky.

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