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With just three weeks remaining before the deadline for the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction to establish a plan to reduce the nation’s budget deficit, Congressman Heath Shuler and Mike Simpson, Republican Representative of Idaho, led a bipartisan effort to send a letter to the committee urging members to consider all options when developing a plan.

Led by Shuler, the bipartisan letter was signed by 40 House Republicans and 60 House Democrats and encouraged the committee to consider additional revenue along with spending cuts as part of a deal to reduce deficits by $4 trillion over 10 years, instead of settling for the minimum requirement of $1.2 trillion.

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North Carolinians turned in 3.5 million dosage units of potentially dangerous old prescription and over-the-counter drugs during a single day as part of Operation Medicine Drop events held statewide on Oct. 29, Attorney General Roy Cooper announced.

“When used correctly, prescription drugs can improve and even save lives. But when abused, prescription drugs can be dangerous and even deadly,” Cooper said. “Getting these drugs out of homes where they can be easily stolen or taken by the wrong person can prevent prescription drug abuse and overdose deaths.”

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Transportation Secretary Gene Conti announced today that state and local law enforcement officers cited 758 motorists for driving while impaired during the “Booze It & Lose It” Halloween campaign, which ran Oct. 28-31. A total of 20,786 traffic and criminal citations were issued statewide.

“It is important to remove drivers under the influence from our roadways,” Secretary Conti said. “The Governor’s Highway Safety Program, along with state and local law enforcement officers, is dedicated to preventing crashes and making our roadways safer.”

During the Governor’s Highway Safety Program campaign, officers statewide conducted 1,664 sobriety checkpoints and dedicated patrols. Counties with the highest number of DWI citations were Mecklenburg (58), Wake (51), Robeson (51) and Guilford (46).

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Tickets are still available for the annual AdvantageWest Economic Summit, Monday, Nov. 14, at Diana Wortham Theatre in Asheville, NC. The event starts with a networking reception at 5:30 p.m., followed at 7:15 p.m. by a panel discussion on the role of public-private partnerships in economic development.

Panelists for the summit are: Darold Londo, senior vice-president and general manager of Harrah’s Cherokee Casino & Hotel, currently overseeing a $633 million expansion that is reported to be one of the biggest in the nation's hospitality industry; former Western Carolina University chancellor John Bardo, who guided WCU through a period of unprecedented growth in student enrollment, campus construction and academic stature during his tenure; State Sen. Tom Apodaca (R-Hendersonville), chair of the NC Senate Rules Committee; and State Sen. Martin Nesbitt (D-Asheville), the current minority leader of the NC Senate.

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