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Last Wednesday, the North Carolina House of Representatives passed Senate Joint Resolution 865, honoring the late Sen. Bob Carpenter (R-Franklin), who represented Western North Carolina’s Senate District 50 for eight terms. Carpenter passed away at the age of 87 in August 2011. Rep. Roger West (R-Marble) served in the General Assembly with Carpenter for many years.

“Western North Carolina has had no better friend than Sen. Bob Carpenter,” said West. “He was a dedicated public servant, an honorable family man, a patriot, and a dear friend. He is sorely missed.”


Unemployment rates rose in 76 of North Carolina’s 100 counties in May, fell in 21 and were unchanged in three. When compared to the same month last year, unemployment rates declined in 88 counties, increased in eight, and remained the same in four.

“While rates were up in most counties for May, over-the-year, we see a positive downward trend,” said N.C. Department of Commerce Deputy Secretary Dale Carroll. “Rates were down in 88 counties across North Carolina since May of last year. Our focus remains on growing jobs across the state as several key job announcements have been made over the past several weeks. Our employment service offices are committed to working with employers to get job seekers back to work in North Carolina.”


Initiative to encourage investment in early childhood programs

On Tuesday, June 12, parents, business leaders, faith community leaders and Region A Partnership for Children board members traveled to the North Carolina General Assembly as part of Smart Start’s statewide “Tuesdays for Tots” initiative. The constituents met with the Region A legislative delegation and asked members to restore funding to Smart Start. In 2011, Smart Start funding was reduced by 20 percent ($37.6 million), disproportionately more than any other component of the education system. As a result, thousands of children are no longer benefiting from much-needed early childhood programs, according to Region A Partnership for Children.


North Carolina Governor Beverly Perdue has officially signed a 30-year agreement with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians to allow live dealers at the Harrah's Cherokee Casino minutes after the N.C. Senate approved the legislation in a 68-49 vote.

With both the N.C. House of Representatives and the N.C. Senate voting to approve the compact, the last hurdle will be for the agreement to be approved by the U.S. Department of the Interior before live games can be implemented. Chief of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Michell Hicks said he hopes that the U.S. Department of the Interior will approve the compact within the next four weeks to allow for the first wave of live tables to be operational by August 1.


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