Everything you need to know about this week in our state, told to you in 2 minutes or less:
Fracking is an issue that could, literally and figuratively, tear our state apart: Oil and gas industry-backed fracking proponents in the NC legislature are gearing up to push this form of natural gas exploration as a way to create jobs and instant economic prosperity. But just a few states away in Pennsylvania, we've got a cautionary tale unfolding before our eyes, where fracking has spawned contaminated water, mysterious illnesses and some rural homesteads raking in millions from their wellheads even as their neighbors are forced to truck in water for personal and farming use because their wells have been poisoned by fracking next door.
Perhaps the most eloquent warning comes from retiree Paul Parker, quoted in an excellent N&O article as saying, "North Carolina, watch your step and look out. It turns neighbor against neighbor. A lot of friendships we had out here are lost because of the greed of the dollar." Read the whole article.
NC seeking military dollars: Gov. Bev Perdue met with military and other state leaders at Fort Bragg last week as part of a statewide summit convened to discuss how NC could adapt to changes in military funding and attract more dollars even as budgets shrink. One idea proposed was that NC take the lead in repairing and refurbishing war-worn military equipment. Learn more.
How are they doing? You tell us: GOP lawmakers were elected to a General Assembly majority for the first time in over 100 years on the strength of a 10-point plan they held out to citizens as promises they intended to keep. How are they doing? You tell us. The N&O reports a 50% success rate, but the one thing we're not seeing is JOBS AND THE ECONOMY. The other thing we're seeing? They deserve a big fat F for promising -- and failing miserably --to protect the classroom. Learn more here.
Redistricting maps challenged in court: Multiple lawsuits have been filed challenging the constitutionality of NC's legislative and congressional redistricting maps and asking that their use be prohibited. The maps were challenged on various grounds, including violation of voters' rights through racial segregation and excessive division of counties and precincts.
The legality of the maps will be determined by a 3-judge panel selected by Sarah Parker, Chief Justice of the NC Supreme Court. Once the panel reaches its decision, it could be appealed to the state Supreme Court. Learn more here.