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News State / Region

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
The President today declared a major disaster exists in the State of North Carolina and ordered federal aid to supplement state and local recovery efforts in the area affected by Hurricane Irene beginning on August 25, 2011, and continuing.
 
The President's action makes federal funding available to affected individuals in the counties of Beaufort, Carteret, Craven, Dare, Hyde, Pamlico, and Tyrrell.

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Although Western North Carolina avoided falling victim to Hurricane Irene, the rest of the state is starting the week trying to recover from the devastating storm.

The death count for Hurricane Irene is an estimated 42 and rising, with six North Carolinians dead as a result of Hurricane Irene; two in Pitt County and one each in Nash, Onslow, Sampson and Wayne counties. Three of the six were killed in motor vehicle crashes, two were killed by falling trees and one suffered a heart attack while preparing for storm. The death toll has risen to a reported 40 on Wednesday, up from the estimated 25 causalities reported on Monday, as recovery efforts started to reveal bodies in flood waters in the counties affected by the storm.

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As families participate in the annual ritual of back-toschool preparedness, the N.C. Division of Veterans Affairs (NCDVA) reminds eligible students to apply for college scholarships available to children of North Carolina war veterans.

“In appreciation for the service and sacrifices of North Carolina’s war veterans, these scholarships are provided to help to defray the ever-increasing costs of higher education,” said NCDVA Director Tim Wipperman. “The express purpose of the funds is to provide scholastic support to help children of certain disabled, deceased, combat or POW/MIA veterans.”

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‘Right-sizing’ state government downsizes region’s economy

The recently enacted state budget will have severe negative impacts on Western North Carolina’s economy, according to a new report released by the North Carolina Budget & Tax Center.

“In a misguided effort to “right-size” state government during a jobs crisis, this budget’s $2.6 billion in spending cuts only serve to downsize the state’s economy, with especially negative consequences for the rural Western region of North Carolina,” said Allan Freyer, a policy analyst with BTC. “This report demonstrates that deep cuts to public sector investments will also damage private sector businesses and increase unemployment across the board.”

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