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Macon County native Justin Conley was elected recently to the top spot in the state’s Young Democrat organization.

“It was a bit overwhelming,” Conley said of being elected to president of the North Carolina Young Democrat Organization. “It’s been a long road to get here. Over the last few years I have increasingly been involved statewide and nationally as the National Committeeman of YDNC. It’s given me the opportunity to travel across our country and from Murphy to Manteo, to advocate for a better vision for North Carolina and work with other young leaders across the nation. The fact that a guy who grew up on a dirt road here in the mountains of Macon County has the opportunity to lead YDNC is really exciting.”

As president, Conley said it is his main responsibility to lead the Democratic youth movement in North Carolina and work to advance the party’s platform. “The Young Democrats provides an outlet for young people who want to get involved in politics and advocate for what they believe, it’s my job to help facilitate that by working through our chapters across the state,” he said.

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The U.S. Census Bureau recently reported on where the heaviest population growth in North Carolina was concentrated last year.

The fastest-growing county in North Carolina between July 1, 2012, and July 1, 2013, was Brunswick County, whose population rose 2.8 percent over the period. Brunswick was followed by Mecklenburg County (2.4), Harnett County and Wake County (2.3 percent), Durham County and Pender County (2.1 percent).

With respect to numerical growth, Mecklenburg County added 23,006 people over the period, more than any other county in the state. It was followed by Wake County which grew by 22,146 people, Durham County (6,052), Guilford County (5,592) and Union County (4,258).

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The Judy Moore Memorial Scholarship Endowment Committee is accepting scholarship applications for the 2014 year. The endowment is an affiliate of the N.C. Community Foundation.

This scholarship program for nurses was established in 1997 as a memorial to Judy Moore, RN who was killed in a tragic accident in 1996. Since the first award in August 1998, the scholarship has been given to 28 individuals (some have been awarded funding more than one year) and almost $29,000 has been issued.

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The N.C. Department of Transportation has released the initial data for nearly 1,300 highway projects based on criteria contained in the new Strategic Mobility Formula. These projects are already in the department’s database and were either scheduled to begin construction after July 1, 2015 or not scheduled at all. The data does not include newly submitted highway projects or multi-modal projects, which will be analyzed in the coming months. Providing this initial data is the first step in the process to fully implement the new formula established in June 2013 by the Strategic Transportation Investments Law.

“While the data is just an initial snapshot of how the Strategic Mobility Formula would benefit our state, the process is achieving our primary goals of reducing travel time, minimizing congestion, increasing safety, growing jobs, and enhancing multi-modal connections and freight movement,” Transportation Secretary Tony Tata said.

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