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The N.C. Department of Transportation wants to hear from North Carolinians about top-priority transportation projects that they think should be submitted to compete with other transportation improvements across the state for funding in the next State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP).

The STIP is NCDOT’s 10-year transportation plan, and it is updated every two years. The N.C. Board of Transportation approved the current STIP, for year 2016 to 2025, in June.

The Strategic Transportation Investments law established the Strategic Mobility Formula, which uses a data-driven approach to funding transportation improvements on the statewide, regional and local (division) levels. This allows NCDOT to meet the state’s top priorities while still addressing individualized local transportation needs.


Four new provisions under North Carolina’s motor vehicle laws that became effective Oct. 1.

The new laws, passed by the N.C. General Assembly, affect either vehicles or drivers in the state. They include:

– House Bill 6 (Session Law 2015-163) defines an autocycle. An autocycle is a three-wheeled motorcycle that has a steering wheel, pedals and seat safety belts for each occupant, antilock brakes, air bag protection, completely enclosed seating that does not require the operator to straddle or sit astride, does not require a motorcycle endorsement to operate and is otherwise manufactured to comply with federal safety requirements for motorcycles. A driver license is required to operate an autocycle. An autocycle has the same requirements for a vehicle inspection and vehicle registration as a motorcycle.


Gov. Pat McCrory has appointed Brian Ingraham, the CEO of Smoky Mountain LME/MCO, to a new state task force charged with making recommendations to improve the lives of N.C. residents with mental illness and substance use disorders.

The 24-member N.C. Mental Health and Substance Use Task Force will seek to reduce stigma and encourage people to seek help before their situation becomes a crisis. This special panel consists of experts from the justice system, private sector professionals, healthcare providers, county leaders and non-governmental organization entities to tackle mental health and substance use issues statewide.

Smoky Mountain, based in Asheville, manages services for mental illness, substance use disorder and intellectual/ developmental disabilities in 23 western N.C. counties. In the six years Ingraham has served as Smoky’s CEO, the organization has grown from its roots as an area program to a public managed care organization and expanded nearly eightfold.



In the days following the passing of the the State's budget, state agencies and departments are still working on the details and researching the impact the new budget will have. Regional mental health agencies quickly learned the new budget meant that an adjustment would be needed to brace for $110 million in funding cuts across the state.

North Carolina is comprised of eight regional mental health agencies, including Smoky Mountain LME/MCO, which oversees the 23 westernmost counties in the state. The $110 million funding cut will vary from regional agency to regional agency, based on that agency's fund balance.

Macon County Commissioner Ronnie Beale, who was appointed by Gov. Pat McCrory to the state's task force on Mental Health, explained that the funding cut was passed down by the state because of the amount of money being held in the mental health agency's respective fund balances.


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