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BCR's Daily Fishwrap Report for July 9, 2009

  • 35% of the non-exempt employees offered buyouts by Duke have preliminarily accepted early retirement, a figure above the 10-20% university HR officials were hoping for -- a good showing that reduces the likelihood of involuntary layoffs as the university seeks to close a $125 million budget gap in the coming years. A similar plan is being weighed for professional/administrative exempt employees whose age and years of service combined exceed 75. (H-S)
  • As expected, Pastor Sylvester Williams filed for City Council's Ward 2 seat, joining libertarian Matt Drew in challenging Howard Clement for re-election. His presence assures that a county-wide primary election will be held on October 6 to select only two finalists for the November 3 general election. (H-S)
  • Meanwhile, and also as expected, Mayor Bill Bell has filed for re-election for the mayor's job. (N&O)
  • The H-S' and N&O's coverage of the opening of downtown's new Amtrak station at West Village reminds us that a third Raleigh-Charlotte train is expected to start running by the end of the year, which will bring the number of daily Bull City stops up from four to six.
  • A new state law requiring comprehensive sex ed curricula in local schools won't impact Durham, one of the districts already providing such more-than-abstinence education as a local option for years. Of NC's 100 counties, Durham ranks 26th-highest for teen pregnancy rates per 1000 youth; Durham Co. has the 17th-highest rate of white teenager pregnancies and 64th-highest rate of minority teen pregnancies in the state. (H-S #1, #2)


John Thacker

Nice to know that the third Raleigh-Charlotte train is still being planned. It was announced a year and a month ago in June 2008, and when announced they said it would take six months to a year to get it ready. Nothing's been said since.

The other question is what sort of rail funds is the NCDOT Train Division applying for the HSR program. The Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor Tier 2 Environmental Impact Statement for restoring the S-line (think US-1) from Raleigh to Richmond isn't quite finished. That's more complicated because it's restoring a line that isn't used now. But the environmental work is finished for the Raleigh-Charlotte portion. So it seems like NCDOT could at least apply for some funds to speed up Raleigh-Charlotte travel, since it's useful for SEHSR, while waiting on the EIS.

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