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State Government
Governor Cooper Nominates Members To Major State Boards and Commissions PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Donna Martinez   
Friday, 24 May 2019 13:51
RALEIGH: Governor Roy Cooper  announced nominees to three state boards and commissions, the North Carolina Utilities Commission, the State Board of Education, and the North Carolina Employment Security Board of Review.
“These commissions make critical decisions that impact the everyday lives of people in our state, from keeping public utilities affordable and reliable to setting policies for our public schools,” Gov. Cooper said. “I’m appointing well-qualified members who will keep North Carolinians’ best interests in mind.”
Gov. Cooper nominated the following individuals to serve on the North Carolina Utilities Commission: 
* Senator Floyd McKissick of Durham. McKissick serves in the North Carolina Senate representing District 20 in Durham County. McKissick is also an attorney with McKissick and McKissick specializing in civil litigation. He serves on multiple Joint House and Senate Committees including the Revenue Laws Oversight, Government Operations Oversight, Economic Development and Global Engagement Oversight committees.  
* Kimberly Duffley of Raleigh. Duffley is a senior staff attorney at the North Carolina Utilities Commission. She serves on the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners and is an advisory member of the North Carolina State Bar Utilities Law Specialization Committee. 
* Jeff Hughes of Durham. Hughes is an associate professor and the Director of the Environmental Finance Center with the School of Government at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Previously, Hughes worked as a specialist on international utility finance at RTI International and as the Director of Public Works and Utilities for Chatham County. 
Gov. Cooper has nominated the following individual for reappointment as the Executive Director of the Public Staff of the North Carolina Utilities Commission: 
* Chris Ayers of Apex. Ayers has served as the Executive Director of the Public Staff of the North Carolina Utilities Commission since 2013. Previously, he was a partner at Poyner Spruill practicing land use, utilities, government, environment, and real estate law. 
Gov. Cooper has nominated the following individuals for reappointment to the State Board of Education:
* Jill Camnitz of Greenville as a representative of the 1st Education District. Camnitz is chair of the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Coastal Plain Board of Directors. Camnitz also serves on the Parents for Public Schools of Pitt County, Pitt County Educational Foundation and Brody Foundation. She previously served as a member and chair of the Pitt County Board of Education. 


* James E. Ford of Charlotte as a representative of the 6th Education District. Ford is the principal at Filling the Gap Education Consultants, LLC and serves as co-chair for the Leading on Opportunity Council in Charlotte. Ford previously served as the program director at the Public School Forum of North Carolina and was the North Carolina State Teacher of the Year during 2014-2015.  
* JB Buxton of Raleigh as a member at-large. Buxton is the founding principal of the Education Innovations Group and has also worked as the deputy state superintendent of the North Carolina Department for Public Instruction. Buxton has served as an appointed member of the Raleigh Planning Commission and as a soccer coach with the Capital Area Soccer League. 
Gov. Cooper has nominated the following individual to serve on the North Carolina Employment Security Board of Review: 
* Theresa Stephenson of Apex as a representative of the general public who shall be a licensed Attorney and serve as the chair. Stephenson is Special Deputy General Counsel at the North Carolina Department of Public Safety. Previously, she was deputy commissioner at the North Carolina Industrial Commission. 
Governor Cooper Announces Judicial Appointments PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Friday, 24 May 2019 13:41

Governor Cooper Announces Judicial Appointments


RALEIGH: Governor Roy Cooper has appointed three new judges to serve Duplin, Jones, Onslow, Sampson, Randolph, Hoke and Moore counties.

“District court judges play a critical role in our justice system and I believe these appointees will serve our state and its people with distinction,” said Gov. Cooper.

In Judicial District 4 serving Duplin, Jones, Onslow and Sampson counties, Gov. Cooper appointed Timothy Smith of Kenansville as District Court Judge. Smith will fill the vacant seat of the Honorable Henry L. Stevens upon his election to Superior Court Judge. Since 2000, Smith has been a partner at Smith & Blizzard, P.A., specializing in criminal defense and personal injury. Smith previously served as chair of the Duplin County Board of Commissioners and East Carolina Counsel. Smith obtained his Bachelor of Science at East Carolina University and his Juris Doctor at Campbell University.

In Judicial District 19B serving Randolph County, Gov. Cooper appointed J. Brooke Schmidly of Asheboro as District Court Judge. Schmidly will fill the vacancy created by the Honorable James P. Hill upon his election as Superior Court Judge. Since 2011, Schmidly has been a partner at Moser, Schmidly, Roose & Bennett practicing civil litigation. She served previously in the United States Air Force as an Active Duty Air Force Judge Advocate and then an Assistant Staff Judge Advocate. Schmidly received her Bachelor of Arts at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her Juris Doctor at the University of Houston Law Center.

In Judicial District 19D serving Hoke and Moore counties, Gov. Cooper appointed Tiffany Bartholomew of Pinehurst as District Court Judge. Bartholomew will fill the vacant seat created by the election of the Honorable Michael A. Stone as Superior Court Judge. Since 2009, Bartholomew has served as an Assistant District Attorney for Moore County, specializing in s ex crimes and domestic violence cases. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts at the University of Hawaii-West Oahu and received her Juris Doctor from the Georgia State University College of Law.


Last Updated on Friday, 24 May 2019 13:44
More Hurricane Florence Relief Made Available PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Thursday, 25 April 2019 13:48
More families will soon be able to return home while they work to rebuild from Hurricane Florence thanks to an extension of a program to provide partial housing repairs.
The original Sheltering and Temporary Essential Power (STEP) program implemented with funding from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) wrapped up in early April with repairs completed on more than 2,100 homes. Using state funds, North Carolina is extending the program to 202 additional single-family homes in 12 counties. The program provides partial repairs at no cost to homeowners so Hurricane Florence survivors can return to and remain in their homes while longer-term repairs continue. 
“People want to be able to live in their own homes while they work to recover from Hurricane Florence,” Gov. Roy Cooper said. “We’ve expanded this program to make it possible for more North Carolina families to get home faster.” 
The original STEP program provided repairs to homes with up to $17,000 in damage. The 202 homes included in the second phase of STEP applied for the original program but had slightly more damage. North Carolina Emergency Management stepped in using state funds to include these additional homes.
Work crews from Baptists on Mission, the North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church and four general contracting companies are currently making repairs to the 202 homes in Bladen, Brunswick, Carteret, Columbus, Craven, Cumberland, Duplin, Jones, New Hanover, Onslow, Pender and Robeson counties.
Hurricane Florence survivors who still face long-term housing issues are urged to participate in the Disaster Case Management program. The state has contracted with experienced case managers who will work in conjunction with faith-based and volunteer organizations to help meet survivors’ needs.
To connect with a disaster case manager, Hurricane Florence survivors can email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call one of two regional offices listed below:
•    Residents of Anson, Bladen, Brunswick, Chatham, Columbus, Cumberland, Durham, Guilford, Harnett, Hoke, Johnston, Lee, Moore, New Hanover, Orange, Richmond, Robeson, Sampson, Scotland and Union counties should call the Fayetteville office at 910-672-6175
•    Residents of Beaufort, Carteret, Craven, Duplin, Greene, Hyde, Jones, Lenoir, Onslow, Pamlico, Pender, Pitt, Wayne and Wilson counties should call the Jacksonville office at 910-378-4913
There are additional state and federal programs which are either underway or awaiting funding to assist Hurricane Florence survivors. FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant Program helps eligible homeowners and local governments to rebuild, elevate or buy out flooded properties.
North Carolina is waiting for notification from Washington on another major program that will help with Hurricane Florence housing recovery, the federal Community Development Block Grant−Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) program, funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. In October 2018, Congress passed legislation appropriating CDBG-DR funds for Florence and several other natural disasters, but North Carolina does not yet know what share of the funds it will receive or the rules for using those funds to help with long-term recovery.
The state Department of Health and Human Services is also assisting hurricane survivors with housing solutions through its Back@Home NC program. The initiative assists families who were not eligible for FEMA assistance to transition to safe and stable housing. To date, more than 200 families have moved to permanent housing through the program. 
Kelli R. Brown Named Chancellor Of Western Carolina PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Donna Martinez   
Thursday, 25 April 2019 08:59

The University of North Carolina Board of Governors elected Dr. Kelli R. Brown as the new chancellor of Western Carolina University during a special session of the Board held today. Dr. Brown will assume her new duties on July 1, 2019. 

“On behalf of the Board of Governors, I am thrilled to announce the selection of Dr. Kelli R. Brown to lead WCU into the future,” UNC Board of Governors Chair Harry L. Smith, Jr. said. “Western Carolina has seen tremendous growth, particularly now as an NC Promise institution. Now, under Dr. Brown’s leadership, it is poised to see even greater success.”

Brown was selected by UNC System Interim President Bill Roper for approval by the Board of Governors from among three final candidates for the position. These finalists were chosen by a 21-person search committeemade up of members from the WCU Board of Trustees along with various stakeholders from WCU, the community, and the region.

“Western Carolina deserves a chancellor with a keen focus on student and faculty success, and Dr. Brown has demonstrated that focus throughout her esteemed academic career,” said Dr. Roper. “I welcome her to the UNC System and look forward to working with Dr. Brown in her new role.”

Brown will succeed WCU’s Chancellor David O. Belcher, who passed away in June 2018 following a two-year battle with brain cancer. Alison Morrison-Shetlar, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, has been serving as interim chancellor.

Patricia B. Kaemmerling, chair of the WCU Board of Trustees and co-chair of the university’s chancellor search committee, said that Brown emerged as a finalist during a national search that included opportunity for public input from all of Western Carolina University’s various constituencies and fellow members of the Board of Trustees.

“Dr. Brown distinguished herself as a top candidate in what I would characterize as an extremely deep pool of exceptionally well-qualified potential leaders for our university,” Kaemmerling said. “In addition to her considerable senior leadership experience in academic affairs, Dr. Brown served as interim president of Valdosta State University for much of 2016. I am pleased at the decision by the Board of Governors, and we all look forward to working with our 12th chancellor – and our first permanent female CEO – to build upon the strong foundation in place at WCU.”

Brown most recently served as Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at Georgia College & State University, Georgia’s public liberal arts institution, and has more than 30 years of higher education experience.

“Being selected as the 12th chancellor of this incredible institution is the opportunity of a lifetime. I am impressed by the university’s passionate focus on student success and its ongoing commitment to access while also delivering the absolute highest quality education,” Brown said. “I am inspired by WCU’s efforts to prepare students for life through experiential education and career preparation – especially students from the western region that this university was founded to serve.”

AboutKelli R. Brown, Ph.D.

Kelli R. Brownwill become Western Carolina University’s 12th permanent chancellor on July 1, 2019, after having served as Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs at Georgia College & State University, Georgia’s public liberal arts institution.

At Georgia College, she has led faculty and student success initiatives, including revitalizing a Center for Student Success, centralizing academic advising and increasing the four-year graduation rate by 25 percent. She has supported numerous leadership development programs for faculty and departmental chairs and increased faculty recognition (including awards, and tenure and promotion). In July 2016, Dr. Brown was appointed interim president of Valdosta State University, a regional comprehensive university in southern Georgia. She served in that capacity until a permanent president took office in January 2017, and she then returned to her position at Georgia College. She joined the faculty at Georgia College as a professor in the School of Health and Human Performance in June 2013.

Dr. Brown was interim dean and professor in the College of Health and Human Performance at the University of Florida from 2012 until 2013 and was associate dean for academic affairs there from 2007 until 2012.  She was an ACE Fellow in 2011-12. From July 2003 through June 2006, she was interim dean of the Graduate School at the University of South Florida. Prior to that appointment, she was an active faculty member in the College of Public Health. Before joining the faculty at USF in 1996, she was chairperson of the Department of Health Sciences at Illinois State University for two years. During her seven years at Western Illinois University from 1987 until 1994, she rose through the ranks to become the graduate program coordinator in the Department of Health Sciences and, ultimately, assistant to the dean in the College of Health, Physical Education and Recreation.

Dr. Brown's research interests include school and community partnerships, prevention (social) marketing, and adolescent and youth health issues. While at USF, she was a co-principal investigator in the University of South Florida’s Prevention Research Center’s program in community-based prevention marketing, and was the Sarasota demonstration project director. She has worked on numerous funded projects in which social marketing has been used in community and school settings. She was the principal investigator for Florida's statewide social marketing campaign (Florida Cares for Women) to increase breast and cervical cancer screening utilization, and she worked with the Seminole women of Florida in developing culturally appropriate breast and cervical cancer materials.

Dr. Brown has been active in several professional health education organizations. She served as the president of the Society for Public Health Education from 2012 until 2014. SOPHE serves as an independent professional association represented by a diverse membership of nearly 4,000 health education professionals and students throughout the United States and 25 international countries. She was the first female president of Eta Sigma Gamma, health education’s national honorary society. She has been an active member of numerous professional organization boards, and was a board member of the Foundation for the Advancement of Health Education Inc. She was an editorial board member for the Social Marketing Quarterly journal, and was the first co-editor of the Health Promotion Practice’s social marketing and health communication column from 2006-2009. She was the editor of the Journal of School Health, a highly-esteemed peer-reviewed journal for adolescent and school health, from 2008 until 2011. She is an inaugural member of the Pedagogy in Health Promotion: The Scholarship of Teaching & Learning Editorial Board. 

She holds a doctorate in education from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale; a master of science and education in public health degree and bachelor of science degree, both from the University of Toledo; and an associate in applied sciences degree in dental hygiene from Michael J. Owens Technical College in Toledo, Ohio.

Dr. Brown has been married to Dennis M. Brown for 30 years. 


Last Updated on Thursday, 25 April 2019 09:17

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