Monday, January 11, 2010

Monday's Hot Topics

Here are some news topics generating local buzz this morning. Which gets you riled up? What would YOU say about them?

(For the complete stories, follow the links.)

From the Associated Press:
Road projects don't help unemployment

Ten months into President Barack Obama's first economic stimulus plan, a surge in spending on roads and bridges has had no effect on local unemployment and only barely helped the beleaguered construction industry, an Associated Press analysis has found.

Spend a lot or spend nothing at all, it didn't matter, the AP analysis showed: Local unemployment rates rose and fell regardless of how much stimulus money Washington poured out for transportation, raising questions about Obama's argument that more road money would address an "urgent need to accelerate job growth."

From The Meck Deck Blog:

The Marcus Jackson Cover Up

Let’s keep this simple. Either you support CMPD and the city of Charlotte releasing Marcus Jackson’s personnel file from his brief stint as a CMPD officer or you support a cover-up of the facts surrounding CMPD’s handling of Jackson’s tenure with the force.

. . . As it stands, the citizens of Charlotte do not know what to think. There have been multiple different accounts of how and when Jackson was suspended by CMPD prior to his December arrest on sexual assault charges. The truth is in the file.

There have been claims that Jackson’s suspension(s) was/were reduced by CMPD brass, possibly by Chief Rodney Monroe himself. The truth is in the file.

From The Charlotte Observer:

Tightening the reins on ABC boards

North Carolina's patchwork system for selling liquor grew out of the days after prohibition, when the powers that be worried about controlling who could buy liquor.

Today's state leaders, from Gov. Bev Perdue to top legislators, say that what's needed now is tighter control over who is selling booze.

Local Alcoholic Beverage Control boards, which run the liquor stores across North Carolina, find themselves under state officials' magnifying glass because of embarrassing episodes involving boards on opposite sides of the state: a lavish dinner for local ABC board members in Charlotte paid for by a liquor company and eye-popping salaries for top ABC administrators in Wilmington.

In the most immediate response, Perdue plans to ask the 163 local boards to agree to the ban on gifts and tighter ethics rules that she has imposed on state agencies under her control. She has also commissioned a special budget reform task force that is looking at more fundamental changes in the system and installed a new alcohol chief at the state level with directions to rein in the local boards.