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Commission Chair Says State - Not Local - Rules Should Govern Fracking

The head of a panel writing rules for natural gas fracking in North Carolina says state standards should prevail over local rules when it comes to regulating the practice.  The remarks by Jim Womack came as a study group of the North Carolina Mining and Energy Commission met Friday in Pittsboro.

Womack, the commission chair and a Lee County commissioner, said local governments should have to make a case for why their rules should be more stringent than any state standards,  The Fayetteville Observer reports.

Fracking is a type of horizontal drilling that uses chemicals, sand and water to release natural gas from rock formations. Fracking opponents are concerned about possible harm to people and the environment. Supporters say fracking would boost the economy.


More jobs are coming to North Carolina, after a couple of economic development announcements in recent days. Procter & Gamble says it will hire 200 more workers at its plant in Greensboro, and spend 100 million dollars to add a new skin-care product line at the plant. The announcement came about a week after Greensboro and Guilford County officials approved $2 million in incentives. The company has until the end of 2015 to meet its spending and job targets. Construction could start next month.

And a company that makes household, automotive and other cleaning products plans to hire 140 people at a former furniture plant in Mount Airy. Awesome Products owner L.D. Hardas hopes the plant will eventually employ at least 300 people.


The NASCAR season has started in Daytona Beach, Florida. Danica Patrick was fastest on the first day of Daytona 500 practice.  She had a lap of 196.220 mph in a practice session. Teammate and car owner Tony Stewart was second fastest with a lap at 195.363 mph.  The Daytona 500 is next Sunday, Feb. 24.

In college basketball, Scott Wood scored 22 points as North Carolina State beat Virginia Tech 90-86 in overtime.

P.J. Hairston scored a career-high 29 points to help North Carolina beat Virginia 93-81.

Charlotte lost at St. Louis, 76 to 58.

Davidson won its 10th straight, and clinched the Southern Conference South Division title with a 72-57 victory over the Citadel in Charleston.