Memorial Day marks the start of boating and beach season. If you’re headed out on the water, watch out for a crackdown on drinking while boating. North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission offices are patrolling this weekend looking for people driving boats while impaired. The commission is in charge of law enforcement on the state’s lakes and waterways. Impaired boaters be jailed and fined at least $250 for the offense. Officers also will be making sure children 12 and younger are wearing life jackets, and checking to make sure boats have the proper equipment.
REPAIRS COMING ON NC 12
And here’s a bit of news for those whose destination is the Outer Banks. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is seeking bids for a project to nourish the beach north of Rodanthe, on Hatteras Island. Federal and state officials say the project is designed to protect a vulnerable stretch of NC Route 12 for several years, until a long-term project is completed. The Federal Highway Administration approved Hurricane Sandy emergency relief funds to pay for this project at the area known as the S-curves. Bids are due June 19, and a contract is expected to be awarded soon after.
IT'S RACE DAY - KURT BUSCH TRIES A DOUBLE
It’s time for the big spring auto race in Charlotte. NASCAR’s Sprint Cup Coca-Cola 600 starts just after 6 tonight at Charlotte Motor Speedway. It’s also race day in Indianapolis, with the Indy 500. NASCAR driver Kurt Busch is planning to attempt both races. Busch has never raced an Indy car and admits he’s still learning. Several other drivers have tried the one-day double – but only Tony Stewart has finished both races – all 1100 miles. In 2001 he finished sixth at Indy and 3rd at Charlotte. Busch’s effort comes with a fundraising campaign for soldiers with post traumatic stress disorder. He's got a website at http://www.kurtbuschdouble.com/ .
The Indy 500 goes off just after noon, and should wrap up by 3:30 or so. He'll then take a 90-minute flight to Charlotte, and should be here in time for the 6:18pm green flag. Jimmie Johnson has the pole position for today’s race.
KNIGHTS WIN - GAME TODAY
Uptown Charlotte is buzzing with activity this weekend for the racing-related Speed Street Festival, but it’s not the only game in town. Minor League baseball’s Charlotte Knights played last night, defeating the Indianapolis Indians 3 to 1 before a sellout crowd of 10,359. The two teams will be back at it at BB&T Ballpark this afternoon at 2:05.
NC TREASURER WANTS TO REVISE PENSION OVERSIGHT
North Carolina's treasurer is proposing to reduce the power of her office by replacing her sole authority for deciding how to invest the state's $87 billion pension fund. Janet Cowell says a commission of experts should take over the job. North Carolina's pension fund is one of the country's strongest and has assets enough to cover nearly all retirement promises to nearly 900,000 public employees and retirees. That strong position has helped make North Carolina one of a handful of states with the top credit rating from all three major rating agencies, saving all taxpayers money on borrowing costs. But said all that could be risked if a successor makes bad decisions or steers money toward favored financial firms that don't deliver needed returns.
HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS WEEK
Another hurricane season begins June 1. This year marks the 25th anniversary of Hurricane Hugo, and 15th anniversary of Hurricane Floyd in the Carolinas. This week is Hurricane Preparedness Week. North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory this weekend urged families, businesses and local governments to assemble emergency kits, then make and rehearse plans for what to do if a hurricane threatens. Public Safety Secretary Frank Perry said residents shouldn't focus on the storm's strength category because the most dangerous threats from storms are flooding and storm surge, not winds.