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News State / Region

Read to Achieve initiative eliminates social promotion.

Monday night, Carol Waldroop spoke to members of the board of education regarding the districts plan to implement the state's new Read to Achieve law, which was passed by the General Assembly during the 2012 session.

North Carolina’s Read to Achieve program, which takes effect this school year, is an attempt by lawmakers to introduce mandates intended to ensure that all children who advance to fourth grade have the reading skills to succeed and test at proficient levels.

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Attorney General Roy Cooper has filed suit against an alarm system company that made illegal robocalls to numbers listed on the Do Not Call Registry. The case comes 10 years after the Registry first began protecting consumers from unwanted telemarketing calls.

Do Not Call complaints were the top source of consumer complaints to Cooper’s office last year, especially robocalls, which are automatically dialed, pre-recorded telemarketing calls. 6,126 consumers filed Do Not Call complaints with Cooper’s office in 2012, mostly about robocalls. So far in 2013, consumers have filed nearly 3,200 Do Not Call complaints with Cooper’s office and approximately 75 percent of those complaints were about robocalls.

Cooper has filed suit against ISI Alarms NC, Inc. and owner William Jason Waller of Iredell County, seeking civil penalties for illegal robocalls the company made to North Carolina consumers. ISI Alarms is no longer operating but Cooper wants to make sure it pays for violating telemarketing laws. State law allows penalties of up to $5,000 per Do Not Call violation.

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Both the Franklin Police Department and the Macon County Sheriff's Department have received funding from the North Carolina Governor's Highway Safety Program for the 2013 year. The Governor's Highway Safety Program is dedicated to promoting highway safety awareness with the intent of reducing the number of traffic crashes and fatalities in the state of North Carolina through the planning and execution of safety programs. Each year, the program prepares a Highway Safety Plan as a guide for the state's federally funded safety activities.

Last week, county commissioners approved a local matching grant in the amount of $19,328 based on a 70/30 split to allow the sheriff's office $45,099 in federal dollars for a Governor's Highway Safety grant renewal.

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Gov. Pat McCrory has requested a federal disaster declaration to help 16 counties and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians recover from this summer’s heavy rains, landslides and severe flooding.

The record-breaking rainfall damaged roads, bridges, culverts, public utilities, parks and even some schools in many western counties. If approved, the governor’s request would help these communities pay for the infrastructure repairs and debris removal and also cover the costs for emergency protective measures. Those areas that were most heavily impacted include: Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Buncombe, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians, Jackson, Lincoln, Macon, Madison, Mitchell, Polk, Watauga, Wilkes and Yancey counties.

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