More home schools in N.C. but enrollment down

Published 5:37 pm Thursday, August 2, 2012

The number of home schools increased in North Carolina in the 2011-12 school year, although their combined enrollment was down, according to the N.C. Division of Non-Public Education.
North Carolina had nearly 48,000 home schools in operation in 2011-12, up from 45,524 in 2010-11. However, enrollment in the state’s home schools declined from 83,609 to 79,693. The number of students in home schools represents about 5 percent of the state’s total student population.
– source:, 8-1-12
A state education committee has suggested the state increase the number of charter schools by a third within the next year. The N.C. Board of Education will consider the proposal to allow 25 more charter schools to open in August 2013. The state had limited the number of charter schools to 100 until the limit was lifted last year.
Charter schools in the state receive funding based on their enrollment, but the state does not provide funding for the charter school buildings.
– source: Winston Salem-Journal, 8-2-12
Shelby will showcase a new $19 million conference center on the Cleveland Community College campus this month when the town hosts the American Legion World Series from Aug. 17-21.
The games in the senior baseball tournament known as the American Legion World Series will be held at Veteran’s Field in Keeter Stadium. Other activities associated with the World Series will be the first events held at the new LeGrand Center.
The conference center, which has a 1,700-guest capacity, is part of a new 89,000-square-foot building on the college campus. The LeGrand Center was financed by the community college, the Cleveland County School System and Cleveland County.
– source: Charlotte Business Journal, 7-27-12
While corn crops in other areas of the country are struggling because of drought, North Carolina is expected to see a bumper corn crop this year. Corn growers in the state likely will enjoy high yields at a time when corn prices are reaching record highs.
North Carolina corn growers are expecting a good crop this year thanks to steady rainfall throughout the growing season, which began in March. Although some areas of North Carolina around the Triangle and along the South Carolina border are abnormally dry, only Brunswick County is experiencing drought.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1,369 counties across 31 states have been designated disaster areas as a result of drought, and nearly half of the U.S. corn crop is in very poor to poor condition.
– source: Fayetteville
Observer, 7-25-12
Former Progress Energy shareholders have filed federal lawsuits claiming Duke Energy misled investors regarding the $32 billion merger of the two utility companies. The shareholder suits seek damages resulting from the surprise ouster of former Progress Energy CEO Bill Johnson.
Immediately following the merger, the Duke Energy board replaced Johnson with Jim Rogers, who had been CEO of Duke Energy prior to the merger. The lawsuits claim Duke Energy knew Progress Energy shareholders had concerns about Rogers becoming CEO of the merged company so Duke leaders misled Progress shareholders to believe Johnson would be CEO.
The lawsuits contend “approval of the merger would have been far more difficult, if not impossible, to obtain had Rogers been proposed as CEO” prior to the merger.
The N.C. Utilities Commission and the N.C. Attorney General are seeking internal documents and other related evidence by Aug. 7 to evaluate whether investors were misled. The utilities commission said it plans to hire an outside law firm to review the documents.
The commission approved the merger on June 29 and the companies officially completed the merger on July 2. About two hours later, Duke’s board voted to remove CEO Johnson.
The commission’s review is expected to take months to complete. The utilities commission will have the option of revoking its approval of the merger or setting new conditions, such as a new CEO to replace Rogers. Duke Energy has not stated whether it will seek a settlement.
– source: Charlotte Business Journal, 7-25-12; www2., 8-1-12
Duke Energy is seeking to pass on $89 million in first-year savings from its merger with Progress Energy, which would reduce rates for customers in North Carolina and South Carolina by close to $1 a month. Duke says the savings will come from combining the companies’ fleet of power plants and reduced fuel costs, mostly from coal.
The requested rate cuts, if approved by state regulators, would take effect Sept. 1. Progress customers would see a reduction of 85 cents a month in North Carolina and 80 cents in South Carolina, while Duke’s customers would see a reduction of 92 cents a month in North Carolina and 81 cents in South Carolina. The reductions may not stay in place long, however, if Duke follows through on plans to seek rate increases later to pay for investments in new power generation and transmission.
– source: Winston Salem-Journal, 8-2-12
American Titanium Works confirmed its intention to build a new manufacturing facility that could bring 850 jobs to the Upstate. The company’s CEO, Thomas Sax, visited the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (ICAR) in Greenville this week to accept $860,000 from local and state investors and reaffirm his company’s commitment to invest in a new facility in Laurens County.
American Titanium Works previously announced its plans for the new facility four years ago prior to the economic downturn. The company said it would invest $422 million to build the new manufacturing facility in Laurens County and a research-and-development center at ICAR.
The nonprofit South Carolina Research Authority and the Upstate Carolina Angel Network provided the $860,000 to the company this week.
The company, which produces titanium that can be used in the auto and aerospace industries, has not said when it will break ground on the new Upstate facility, but it’s expected to move forward on the project in the near future.
– source:, Anderson Independent Mail, 7-31-12

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