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Federal legislation that would allow businesses such as debt collectors to make robocalls to consumers’ cell phones would interrupt people’s privacy and leave them stuck paying for unwanted calls, Attorney General Roy Cooper said recently.

“Robocalls are disruptive and annoying, and consumers shouldn’t have to listen to them if they don’t want to, much less pay for them,” Cooper said.


I didn’t realize how cold it was until I stepped out of my warm car into the parking lot outside Eblen Charities at Westgate Shopping Center in Asheville. A silvery, pre-dawn frost lay on the grass between cars parked by people hoping that Eblen would help them with their heating bills this winter by providing oil, natural gas or money for electricity. It was the first day of November.

Standing outside the door to the Eblen offices was 48-year-old Willie Montville. Montville lives with her 27-year-old daughter and five-yearold grandson in a $412-a-month mobile home in Candler in a place “so far out, it ain’t on the GPS.” Through the glass door, I could see a hallway packed with people. There were well over 200 people inside waiting to be interviewed.


Also sentencing for habitual felons in effect

Several provisions of a new law took effect Dec. 1 to strengthen the state’s probation and parole system, allowing the state to better control the prison population and reduce repeat offenders. The provisions are part of the Justice Reinvestment Act, the most significant change to North Carolina’s sentencing laws in 17 years.

The new law is the result of legislative efforts that Gov. Bev Perdue launched in early 2009, when she made strengthening the state’s criminal justice policies a priority. One of her first efforts resulted in a legislative package, passed with the help of legislative leaders that spring, that gave probation officers limited access to juvenile records providing crucial information to aid determining supervision strategies for offenders.


The USDA Forest Service National Forests in North Carolina has announced that it will host multiple workshops next year to address management of non-motorized recreation trails across the Nantahala, Pisgah, Uwharrie, and Croatan National Forests.

“Referred to as the Non-motorized Trails Strategy, this effort gives partners the opportunity to identify sustainable forest trail systems,” said Forest Supervisor Marisue Hilliard. “I believe this initiative will produce high-quality trail systems that will better serve our visitors and the land.”


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