Calling all football fans – after their stunning win over #6 Texas A&M, Appalachian State University has the nation’s attention. So much so that ESPN Gameday will broadcast from Boone this Saturday, September 17.
NCDOT Federal Funding
Each August the USDOT reallocates funds unused by other states to those states which have used their funds and have additional projects planned and have state matching funds appropriated. As part of this, USDOT is appropriating $277 million to the NCDOT in 2023. NCDOT will use the additional money to accelerate FHWA billings on Advance Construction costs that result in increased cash for projects. This reallocation is the largest amount NCDOT has received during this process.
Bills and Legislation
NC Labor Commissioner Josh Dobson is planning his agenda for the 2023 Legislative Session and has made addressing workforce shortages a priority. At the Council of State meeting this week, Dobson said “I don’t need to tell anyone at this table, the workforce issue not just in the private sector but within our own agencies is at the top of my list.” As of this spring, NC had a 21% vacancy rate in state government jobs.
Numbers as of September 14, 2022:
3,162,491 total cases
1,100 people – 7 day average of those hospitalized
73% of the adult population fully vaccinated, 63% of the total population fully vaccinated – remains unchanged
The updated COVID boosters are now available for anyone over five years of age. You can read more about boosters and eligibility HERE. You can also find the nearest location to get your booster HERE. At many locations, you can also schedule a flu shot.
With the start of school, NC is seeing a rise in COVID cases and to combat this, NC colleges have received about 500,000 boosters to protect against the omicron variant.
While election day is not until November 8th, you can already start voting! Absentee ballots are now available and have been sent to those who requested them starting this week. You can request your absentee ballot HERE. According to Axios Raleigh, 53,000 North Carolinians have requested absentee ballots.
If you are not ready to request a ballot, or are an election day voter like me, you can still get a jumpstart on your research on candidates and bond referendums in your area but reviewing your sample ballot. You do this HERE by searching your name and clicking the link under “Your Sample Ballot(s).”
Key Election Dates:
Oct. 14: Voter registration deadline.
Oct. 20: One-stop, in-person early voting period begins. Find sites in your county here.
Nov. 1: Deadline to submit an absentee ballot request.
Nov. 5: Early voting ends.
Nov. 8: Election Day
NC House District 6
With Former-Representative Bobby Hanig being appointed to fill the unfinished term in NC Senate District 1 of Former-Senator Bob Steinberg, his seat is open through the end of the year. The Republican leaders in Currituck, Dare, Hyde and Pamlico have selected Paul O’Neal to serve NC HD 6 through the end of the year.
O’Neal is from Waterlily, NC and served on the Currituck Board of County Commissioners from 1994-2006 and 2008-2016. He is currently a member of the Board of Trustees for the College of the Albemarle. He is not running to maintain this seat in 2023.
Speaking of Bobby Hanig, due to redistricting, he is running for the NC SD3 seat and filed a complaint that his opponent, Valerie Jordan, did not live in the district. The local Board of Elections agreed with Hanig but the State Board of Elections ruled in Jordan’s favor and she will be on the ballot this fall.
Additional Election Articles
NCDOT Board Appointments
Last week, Governor Cooper appointed Marrie Jo Alcoke (Division 2) and Meagan C. Phillips (Division 11) on the board. Alcoke is a lawyer from New Bern who specializes in environmental issues and worked for the NC Attorney General in the Environmental Division for 9 years. Her most recent job was the Director of Governor Cooper’s eastern office.
Phillips is from Boone and works for a real estate management and development firm. Previously she was an admissions recruiter for Appalachian State University.
The Yadkin County Board of Commissioners denied a rezoning request for the proposed rock quarry, killing the project. Even though the company, Three Oaks Quarry, pledged to work with the community to address concerns, the Yadkin Concerned Citizens group were able to sway the Commissioners in their favor.