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News In Brief
Here are some of the other stories catching our attention.

Construction On Bypass Pipeline Completed; Carolinas' Unemployment Rates Fall

A bypass pipeline has been completed. That’s the most recent update from the company working to repair a fuel leak in an Alabama pipeline that led to gas shortages and higher prices for drivers across the South. The company says it's testing the pipeline, and upon successful completion, it will restart the main gasoline line Wednesday, though a spokesperson tells the Associated Press it will still take a few days for everything to return to normal.

Earlier this week, North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory had urged state agencies to consider options to limit fuel usage, including curtailing non-essential travel for state employees. According to AAA Carolinas, average gas prices in North Carolina jumped from $2.05 to $2.16.

Duke Energy Offers Solar Panels As Part Of Settlement

Duke Energy will select 10 North Carolina schools to receive rooftop solar panels they can use to teach students about renewable energy. The country’s largest electric company said Tuesday it will spend $300,000 to install the solar panels and equipment, and give training to students and teachers. The panels would also generate some electricity for the school.

The spending is part of a settlement Duke Energy has made with the Obama administration ending a 15-year-old lawsuit over claims the utility violated federal clean air laws. In a statement, Duke maintains it complied fully with federal law, and it agreed to settle the case solely to avoid the costs and uncertainties of continued litigation. The solar-panels offer is available to any school served by Duke Energy that applies by December 2nd.

Unemployment Rate Drops in Both North And South Carolina

Unemployment rates continued to fall last month in both North and South Carolina. The South Carolina rate fell to 5.1 percent in August. That’s down a tenth of a percentage point from the month before. It’s also the fourth straight month the rate declined.

In North Carolina, the rate fell to 4.6 percent in August. That’s also down a tenth of a percentage point from the month before, and it’s a full 1.1 percent down from August of last year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that’s a significant decrease.