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 In The News, March 27, 2012 

ANNEXATION

Judge: annexation petition process unconstitutional. A Wake County Superior Court judge ruled Monday that the petition process that terminated the Monkey Junction annexation is unconstitutional.

INTERNET SWEEPSTAKES

Privilege fees on sweepstakes a tax boon. In Southeastern North Carolina, privilege fees from sweepstakes machines have been a boon to municipalities, but only when they have been able to collect.

Town raises fees for Internet parlors. The Hillsborough town board unanimously voted to drastically increase the privilege license fees for these businesses, jacking the price from the previous $500 flat fee to $2,500 for each machine on top of a $5,000 fee per location. The board also asked staff to begin drafting a change in the zoning ordinance to restrict sweepstakes parlors within Hillsborough’s jurisdiction.

ENVIRONMENT

Editorial: Fracking’s future. Natural gas, however, has emerged as a new opportunity. What will its future be? The release of a state agency’s draft report on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, the drilling technique used to unlock natural gas (and oil) in underground shale-rock formations, offers a hefty helping of answers.

Editorial: Don't rush decision on N.C. 'fracking.' Done properly, energy extraction can add jobs and remove dependence on unstable foreign energy sources. With a rush job, there’s a chance drinking water for North Carolinians could be fouled, not to mention a host of other dire consequences.

Davidson County objects to High Point. Davidson County residents are resolutely against High Point expanding its Westside Wastewater Treatment Plant in Davidson County – unusually, not primarily for environmental reasons, but because they just don't want more of High Point in their county.

TRANSPORTATION

Towns, county oppose I-95 tolls.  Elected leaders along Interstate 95 in Johnston County are lining up to oppose proposed tolls on the busy north-south highway.

GENERAL

N.C., S.C. state line isn't where folks thought it was. For decades, officials thought the land where a convenience store sits was in South Carolina, because maps said the boundary with North Carolina drawn back in the 1700s was just to the north.

N.C., other states need work on transparency. North Carolina received a grade of “A” in the area of lobbying disclosure, a “B” for internal auditing, and a “B-” for state pension fund management.