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The UNC School of Government has announced that Michael Lemanski has been named director of the School’s new Development Finance Initiative. The initiative was funded with a $1 million grant from Local Government Federal Credit Union and will create opportunities for economically distressed communities in North Carolina by increasing their access to and use of innovative development finance instruments.

The School of Government will work intensively with local governments and nonprofit development entities to increase their capacity to take advantage of complicated development finance products and services including tax credit programs, self-financing bonds, secondary market and securitization programs, and others. The initiative will allow the School to test innovations in the field of development finance in partnership with social entrepreneurs across North Carolina.


State budget cuts reduce troopers available to enforce highway safety in WNC

North Carolina’s public sector is being scaled back significantly, attested by the 2011-2013 state budget, which imposed cuts to numerous programs and state agencies. One such agency, The North Carolina State Highway Patrol (NCHP), is facing large budget reductions that could potentially transform the way the agency operates.

Troopers across the state, including those in Macon and Jackson counties, will be forced to cope and adapt to declining resources, as it may represent the new permanent reality of the public sector environment.


...and the 2020 Commission

Western Carolina University Chancellor David O. Belcher has appointed a 36-member committee that will lead a strategic process designed to help guide the university’s direction and development over the next decade.

The group, called the 2020 Commission, includes representatives from the university community – faculty, staff and students – and from the broader external community – alumni, donors, friends, and business and community leaders. The committee is chaired by Melissa C. Wargo, WCU assistant vice chancellor for institutional planning and effectiveness.


With a crowd of voters rallying outside of the North Carolina General Assembly on Monday the House voted to approve a proposed amendment (Senate Bill 514) to the state constitution that would ban same-sex marriage as well as ban the recognition of any civil union.

Before sending the proposed amendment to the Senate, Republicans modified the bill to put the referendum on the ballot during the 2012 May primary instead of the November election.

The bill was then sent back to the Senate, where it was originally filed on April 5, and was approved by the majority after the third reading of the bill in the Senate.


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