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7 quotes that sum up 2015 in N.C. politics

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PATRICK GANNON Syndicated Columnist As we look ahead to 2016, here are seven quotes to remind you about several of the top stories of 2015. “This is an age-old story of abuse of power and greed. It’s despicable.” Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman, on former State Employees Association of…

New Bookwatch season — off to a great start

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D.G. MARTIN Syndicated Columnist One thing about the New Year is for sure, and I am celebrating it. A new season of UNC-TV’s North Carolina Bookwatch begins January 10. The first six programs of the new season include three that feature North Carolina writers who were honored recently in Raleigh…

What if recession comes?

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JOHN HOOD Syndicated Columnist History tells us that we are overdue for an economic recession. Now, History with a capital “H” is not our infallible overlord. Its insights can be imprecise and confusing. Nevertheless, while there is debate about what causes the business cycle, few deny its continued existence. The…

Christmas at Bastogne

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CHARLES EUREY Guest Columnist As I grow older I am amazed at the trouble I have remembering current things, such as where I put my checkbook or car keys, but things that happened 60 or 70 years ago seem recent. Sometimes I can remember every little detail of things that…

The field is set for 2016

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The candidate filing period for the 2016 elections closed Monday, with nearly 2,000 hopefuls signing up to vie for election to various local and statewide offices. Here are five quick observations about the 2016 candidates and races: 1) Early winners. In the 120-seat N.C. House, 41 candidates don’t have primary…

All state workers deserve pay increase

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On first glance, the amounts of the raises are shocking. They range from $13,750 to $87,872 annually. On a percentage basis, they extend from 8 percent to 102 percent. They total $1.2 million. But no, the state isn’t finally compensating our hard-working teachers. The raises, the result of a new…

Reader’s Forum: Shelter can become no-kill

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Shelter can become no-kill Don’t be fooled. The high number of dogs and cats dying in their cages at Lincoln County Animal Services (LCAS) is not a one-time, isolated event. County leadership has known about these disturbing death rates for years. Based on LCAS’ own reports, so far 231 dogs…

Guest View: State will survive without death penalty

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It has been a bad year for the death penalty and thus a good year for North Carolina. The state has not had an execution since 2006, and for the second time since 2012, no one was sentenced to death in this state. Despite the protestations of opportunistic politicians who…

Where are all the candidates?

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PATRICK GANON Syndicated columnist When General Assembly Republicans moved the 2016 primaries up to March, Democrats complained that it wouldn’t leave potential candidates enough time to organize campaigns and, as a result, they would decide against running for election. And that would leave the state’s two main political parties without…

How to discourage migrants

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JOHN HOOD Syndicated columnist The U.S. Census Bureau just confirmed what everyone already suspected: North Carolina now has more than 10 million residents. We’ve been adding an average of 281 people each day. That’s one of the fastest rates of population growth in the United States. Gov. Pat McCrory and…