Under the Dome

Dome: Fuquay-Varina man earns Presidential Medal

fordonez@mcclatchydc.comcjarvis@newsobserver.comFebruary 10, 2013 

President Barack Obama will award the Presidential Citizens Medal, the nation’s second-highest civilian honor, to a North Carolina man who helps veterans with disabilities live independently.

Michael Dorman, founder of the Fuquay-Varina nonprofit Military Missions in Action will travel to the White House on Friday for a special ceremony for award-winners.

“It is my distinguished honor to award these individuals the 2012 Citizens Medal for their commitment to public service,” Obama said in a statement. “Their selflessness and courage inspire us all to look for opportunities to better serve our communities and our country.”

Dorman was one of 13 award-winners selected from nearly 6,000 public nominations. Military Missions provides home modification, rehabilitation and family assistance. Since 2008, it has completed more than 100 home modification projects and shipped thousands care packages to soldiers.

Obama in Asheville

Speaking of Obama, he’s headed back to North Carolina. He will travel to Asheville on Wednesday, the day after his State of the Union speech.

Obama will use the visit to further agenda items that he discusses during his Tuesday night speech, said Emmet Carney, chair of the Buncombe County Democratic party.

Obama is expected Tuesday to call for an extensive overhaul of the nation’s immigration laws, push for greater controls to prevent gun violence and ways to boost the economy. The White House said no additional travel details were available.

SHP looking outside ranks?

One interesting item didn’t receive attention last week when SB10 was in the news. The bill would give Republicans immediate control over key state commissions. Unrelated to anything else in the bill, a provision would have allowed for the first time the commander of the State Highway Patrol to come from outside the ranks.

The patrol, with more than 1,800 troopers, has had problems over the years with individual troopers and even top-level supervisors involved in publicly embarrassing conduct. Reforms have been implemented, but the patrol has always been a highly political organization. One of the longstanding recommendations for improvement is to hire the top trooper from outside.

But that section was stripped out of the bill in the Senate on Thursday in an amendment by one of the bill’s co-sponsors, Sen. Tom Apodaca, a Republican from Hendersonville. With a new team running the Department of Public Safety, keep an eye out for it resurfacing later this session.

Donors appointed to ABC

Gov. Pat McCrory has made two more appointments to the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission.

He named Greensboro real estate agent Kevin Green and state Department of Agriculture police Chief Joel Keith of Wake Forest.

Green, who contributed $2,250 to McCrory’s campaign, has lived in Greensboro since the 1970s. He is a member of the executive committee of the N.C. Association of Realtors. He is a registered Republican.

Keith, who contributed $1,000 to McCrory’s campaign, has served as president of the N.C. Association of ABC Boards and as a member of the state ABC Officers Association. He is an unaffiliated voter.

Last month, McCrory appointed former Lt. Gov. Jim Gardner to be chairman of the commission. Gardner is a longtime restaurant executive. He served on McCrory’s transition team after the November election.

A time to streak?

Democratic State Sen. Ellie Kinnaird tackled Medicaid, gun control and climate change in her latest email to constituents in Orange and Chatham counties.

But Kinnaird likes to close on a lighter note when she can.

So in her Thursday missive she mentioned the recent bill that prohibits women from showing their nipples in public – breast feeding is exempted, and then says: “An 80-year-old friend suggests getting a group together to streak.

“For those of you not from the ’60s, that was the group activity of nude people running through public places in large numbers,” the spry 81-year-old wrote. “Chapel Hill was tied with one other college town for the most at one time – in the hundreds as I recall. ... Be on the lookout.”

Staff writers Franco Ordonez, Craig Jarvis and Mark Schultz

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