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BPR Weekly News Round-Up

Morning Edition Host Helen Chickering and News Director Laura Lee talk about the top headlines this week from the BPR News Team.

  • One item from late last week is still top of mind: the Vance Monument decision by the North Carolina Supreme Court. The long-awaited decision said the 26th Regiment challenged failed, and it cleared the way for the city take down the monument base and move forward with Pack Square plans.
  • On Tuesday, the State Board of Elections officially certified the March primary results in the canvass process. The next election will be a second primary/runoff on May 14. The ballot will include the races for Republican nomination for lieutenant governor and the Republican nomination for state auditor.
  • City Council had a busy meeting. The members passed several fee increases: a $1 increase in hourly street parking. Street parking will rise from $1.50 to $2.50 per hour. Special event parking which previously ranged between $7 and $9 will become $9 across the board. Water and stormwater fees also went up, particularly for commercial entities who will see 11% to 30% increases. Residential users will have a slight increase of .5%.
  • Council also considered a proposal for a BID or Business Improvement which would focus on safety and cleanliness downtown. The BID is supported by the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce and the Asheville Downtown Association. The public can weigh in at the first public hearing on April 23.
  • A NC Court of Appeals case has municipalities considering how they spend tax dollars. The court ruled the $40 million of occupancy tax revenue spent by Currituck County on EMS, fire and police did not meet the statutory requirements of "tourism-related expenditures." The decision prompted the Buncombe County TDA to underscore the importance of their fiduciary duties at their annual planning meeting.
  • A Macon County company announced a $6.5 million investment that is set to create 95 new jobs. Duotech, a defense industry company, will expand its Franklin operation. The state announced a Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) that could provide the company with $845,000 over 12 years.
  • On the lighter side: Check out a sneak peak of the Chihuly exhibit at the Biltmore Estate.
  • And we remain on baby stingray watch. We'll let you know when Charlotte the stingray gives birth.