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News State / Region

Committee may validate Sen. Davis’ concerns.

North Carolina state Senator Jim Davis (D – 50 District) took a lot of heat after introducing SB 638, a potential law that aimed to modify the Certificate of Public Advantage (COPA) agreement granted to Asheville’s Mission Hospital in the mid ’90s. The bill was introduced in the General Assembly last spring in response to an economic analysis report that evaluated the COPA agreement, and later discerned that the agreement gave Mission Hospital an unfair advantage over competitors in the region.

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“There are not enough accolades to pay you for what you have done for Southwestern Community College,” Paul Holt, founding SCC Board of Trustees member, told Conrad Burrell, who stepped down as the college’s chairman of the board. Burrell has served as the board’s chair for 11 years.

“That’s a long time,” said Burrell, who has served longer than any other SCC chairman. Terry Bell of Otto, vice chairman and an SCC board member since 1995, will take over the leadership role.

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The N.C. Department of Transportation wants more input from the public as it develops the statewide transportation blueprint known as the 2040 Plan.

NCDOT is urging citizens to take part in a second survey, and will use the results to help determine the top priorities for transportation projects in the state. An earlier survey asked people to offer their thoughts on the future of transportation and how they use it. The new survey asks people to prioritize transportation programs and asks for suggestions on funding projects.

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United States Senator Kay R. Hagan (NC) announced that she is cosponsoring two key pieces of legislation to help expand and permanently protect North Carolina’s forests and public lands. In an effort to safeguard funding for the state’s national parks, recreational areas and waterways, Hagan cosponsored the Land and Water Conservation Authorization and Funding Act. Hagan joined 20 Senators Nov. 18 in introducing the Roadless Area Conservation Act of 2011 to shield some of America’s premier public lands from development, including 723 acres of roadless area in Southern Appalachia.

“From the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the west to the Cape Hatteras National Seashore in the east, North Carolina is home to a great diversity of parks, forests and refuges,” said Hagan.

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