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News State / Region

Candidate to be chosen during May primary election

Elections are about choices and Jackson County Democrats will have a choice to make this May. The primary election for the state’s 119th House seat is featuring two notable Democratic contenders in former state Senator Joe Sam Queen and former District Court Judge Danny Davis. Running on the Republican ticket is Bryson-City native Mike Clampitt, who will take on Queen or Davis this November in the general election.

Joe Sam Queen is no stranger to the General Assembly and according to him, legislative experience is invaluable. It is also why he thinks he is the best choice for the Democratic Party. “I believe I have solid experience. It’s a big learning curve serving in Raleigh and I’ve done the internship,” said Queen about his three term tenure in the state Senate. Queen represented Senate District 47 for three terms before losing to Republican Ralph Hise in 2010. Now, after the legislature redistricted the state, Queen is seeking to replace current House Rep. Phil Haire, a Democrat from Sylva. Haire decided to call it quits last fall.

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Gov. Bev Perdue announced that that N.C. Division of Veterans Affairs (NCDVA) is leading a statewide effort to recognize North Carolina service members and their families on the 60th anniversary of the Korean War. The project is part of the U.S. Department of Defense 60th Anniversary of the Korean War Commemoration Committee, which in June will launch “The Year of the Korean War Veteran.”

“More than 177,000 North Carolina citizens served in Korea between June 27, 1950, and Jan. 31, 1955,” Gov. Perdue said. “We believe that more than 72,000 of these veterans are still living in North Carolina today, and many more have descendants who make their home here. I ask that everyone pitch in to help us provide formal appreciation of their service and sacrifice.”

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U.S. Senator Kay R. Hagan (NC) commented on the country’s employment situation. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the economy added 227,000 jobs in February with the national unemployment rate unchanged from January at 8.3 percent.

“We have seen gradual progress in our country’s employment picture over the past five months,” said Hagan. “But today’s jobs report is another reminder that in order to continue that positive trend, we can’t just rest on our laurels and wait for the economy to improve. That means that Congress must put partisanship aside and work together on commonsense solutions, like my America Works Act, to get unemployed Americans back on the job as quickly as possible,” she concluded.

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North Carolina Courts rule sweepstakes ban as unlawful

After a three judge panel on the NC Court of Appeals voted 2-1 to throw out North Carolina’s law banning video sweepstakes machines on March 5, saying the ban intruded on free speech rights of machine operators, Franklin’s Board of Alderman agreed to impose higher fees on sweepstakes machines operating within their jurisdiction. Town officials voted to increase their fee to local sweepstakes machines at their regular scheduled meeting in March. The town should get a significant amount of revenue from the policy move.

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