Under the Dome

Dome: Foxx nomination expected to move forward this week

From Staff ReportsJune 9, 2013 

Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx’s nomination to be U.S. transportation secretary will start to move forward this week, reports Curtis Tate of McClatchy’s Washington bureau.

The U.S. Senate’s Commerce, Transportation and Science Committee will begin work Monday on the nomination, U.S. Sen. John Thune of South Dakota told Tate. Thune is the ranking Republican on the committee.

Foxx’s nomination is expected to go smoothly. At a confirmation hearing last month, both Democrats and Republicans praised him.

Foxx would take over an agency that faces huge budgetary challenges, including mandatory spending cuts known as sequestration, as well as a diminishing fund to construct and maintain the country’s highways and transit systems.

Be patient, beer lovers

Two beer bills are sitting on Gov. Pat McCrory’s desk.

One lets grocers and bottle shops fill growlers (that’s 64 ounces of beer in a glass jug, for nonbeer drinkers) from a beer tap. The other allows for in-stand beer sales at professional sporting events that seat at least 3,000. (Previously the limit was 60,000, which limited sales to Carolina Panthers games.)

But even if the governor signs them first thing Monday morning, don’t expect to be ordering up a beer in the Bulls stands in July.

Both bills ask the N.C. Alcoholic Beverage Control Commission to put in place rules before they take effect. In the case of growlers, the commission has until Jan. 1 to adopt rules about the sanitation of the growlers being filled. For in-stand beer sales at games, the commission must approve rules about the “suspension of alcohol sales in the latter portion of professional sporting events in order to protect public safety at these events.”

How long will that take? The ABC Commission can create temporary rules in cases like this and later go through the formal rule-making process, which can take six to eight months, said Agnes Stevens, a spokeswoman.

DOI to the rescue

The N.C. Department of Insurance sent five fraud insurance investigators to Oklahoma to help victims of the tornadoes that have swept through the area.

Commissioner Wayne Goodwin said the investigators are there to try to help protect homeowners from scam artists who target disaster victims.

Change at Water Quality

Chuck Wakild will retire as director of the state Division of Water Quality.

Wakild worked for the Department of Environment and Natural Resources for more than two decades, serving as deputy director of the air, water and groundwater programs; as regional supervisor, and as chief of the water quality section. After serving in the private sector, Wakild returned to DENR in 2006 and became director of water quality in January 2012.

“Chuck’s vast knowledge of water quality engineering and regulations has served DENR and the state well,” said DENR Secretary John Skvarla in a statement. “I know that many inside and outside DENR will miss his expertise and direction.”

Tom Reeder, director of the state Division of Water Resources, will serve as acting director of the state Division of Water Quality.

Staff writers John Frank, Mary Cornatzer and Rob Christensen

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