News

Drawing shows design for the W.S. Lee Nuclear Plant in Cherokee County, S.C.
Westinghouse Electric Co./Duke Energy

Duke Energy is another step closer to winning approval to build a new nuclear power plant in South Carolina. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission said Wednesday it has completed the final safety evaluation for the proposed William States Lee plant in Cherokee, near Gaffney.

U.S. Department of Agriculture

 A beetle known as the Emerald Ash Borer has killed hundreds of ash trees at two land preserves in Lincoln County. The beetles have been in North Carolina since 2013 and are spreading across the state. 

Lisa Worf / WFAE

The CMS board is trying to break up concentrations of poverty in schools with a new student assignment plan. The board's first task is doing that in the district's magnet schools. The board met for four hours Tuesday to discuss proposals to present at a series of community meetings that start next week. Board members weighed a lot of options, but before they could even discuss them they had to get their heads around how to measure a student's socioeconomic status.  

Modern-day nominating conventions have become nothing more than ‘infomercials’ for both political parties, and this year's Democratic and Republican national party conventions were indeed that. However, both presented stark contrasts in terms of the product they were selling to the American electorate for purchase this coming November.  

As is tradition, the party out of power of the White House went first, and the one word that seems to sum up the Republican’s nomination of Donald J. Trump was anger.

Illustration of Duke Energy's $1 billion project, which calls for two new gas-fired units in Asheville. The current coal-fired plant will be retired by 2020.
Duke Energy

 Updated 4:55 p.m.
Regulators have dismissed an appeal by two environmental groups that wanted to halt a Duke Energy power plant project in Asheville. The N.C. Utilities Commission says NC WARN and The Climate Times failed to post a $98 million bond required for the appeal.

But the battle may not be over. The environmental groups say they'll take the issue to the state Court of Appeals.  

Map shows high temperatures for the mid-Atlantic region. Bright yellow signals temperatures in the 90s.
National Weather Service

With temperatures soaring last week, Duke Energy customers in North and South Carolina set a record for summertime energy use. Duke says customers used 20,671 megawatt hours of electricity between 4 and 5 pm on Wednesday, July 27. That beat the previous record of 20,628 megawatts set in 2007.

Lisa Worf / WFAE

North Carolina’s once highly-acclaimed furniture industry is all but dead, if you believe conventional wisdom. That’s understandable. A lot of manufacturing has shut down and moved to China over the last 20 years.

But not all is lost, particularly in upholstery. In fact, demand for upholstery workers is so high in the Hickory area that Catawba Valley Community College reopened a training program and that program now has a large waiting list.

Charlotte Observer File

This next school year will be Ron Carter's last as president of Johnson C. Smith University. He plans to step down next June. The man hired to be a change agent says he's accomplished what he set out to with the school.

Michael Bitzer
WFAE

A federal appeals court had some strong language in last week’s decision that struck down North Carolina's 2013 voting law overhaul. The judges concluded that lawmakers had deliberately passed the law with the intent of curbing voter turnout among African-Americans. 

Sen. Bob Rucho, R-Mecklenburg, says the court should be "embarrassed" by that conclusion. He was one of the architects of the voting law.

Water flowed out of the whitewater center basin and into a nearby wetland.
Mecklenburg County

Contractors over the weekend finished treating and discharging water at the U.S. National Whitewater Center. The center's rafting channel closed after an Ohio woman died after being exposed to what's being called a "brain-eating ameba."

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