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 In the News, August 10, 2010 

ANNEXATION

Wilmington annexation plans put on hold again. Wilmington's plans to annex the Monkey Junction area have hit another road block. City leaders say residents who oppose the move appealed a recent judge's decision that supports annexation. Wilmington wants to annex more than 1,000 acres of land. Opponents say they won't be able to afford the tax increases. City leaders say Monkey Junction's close proximity to the city lets them benefit from services they aren't currently paying for.

 

OPEN GOVERNMENT

Opinion: New N.C. ‘sunshine’ law falls short on describing worker suspensions, demotions.The big Government Ethics and Campaign Reform Bill of 2010 that Gov. Beverly Perdue signed Monday makes more information available to the public about the state and municipal employees we pay to work for us. As The Associated Press reported, “The public and the media have been able to receive only a snapshot of a person’s employment, with limited information that makes it difficult to learn about misconduct by workers.” … Amanda Martin, counsel for the N.C. Press Association, feels like that’s a partial victory. It’s easier to get a salary history and record of past actions, and it certainly will be useful to have the written notice of the acts or omissions that prompted the decision to fire someone. But she noted that there wasn’t a lot of additional information being provided for suspensions and demotions.

 

INTERNET SWEEPSTAKES

Fayetteville among cities sued over Internet sweepstakes fees. Two companies that provide software for Internet sweepstakes businesses have filed a lawsuit attempting to overturn local licensing fees imposed on those operations. Lawyers for International Internet Technologies Inc. and Hest Technologies Inc. filed the lawsuit Friday in Burke County Superior Court. The cities of Fayetteville, Lumberton, Pembroke, Morganton and Wilmington are listed as defendants. Each of those municipalities has approved local privilege fees.

 

ENVIRONMENTAL

Hickory recycling is 20 years old. When Hickory's Recycling Advisory Board was formed 20 years ago, recycling was a concept, not an accepted practice. Today, recycling is an important function of city government, and the results are impressive. "In Hickory last year, we recycled enough metal to build 10 18-wheelers, enough glass to make 1.4 million drink bottles, enough plastic to make 4,700 canoes or kayaks, enough paper to make 79,076 cases of copy paper, and enough yard waste to fill N.C. 127 from downtown Hickory out to the Viewmont community," said Andrew Ballentine, the city's solid waste manager.