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Tribal advocates keep up legal pressure for fair political maps; 12-member jury sworn in for Trump's historic criminal trial; the importance of healthcare decision planning; and a debt dilemma: poll shows how many people wrestle with college costs.

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Civil rights activists say a court ruling could end the right to protest in three southern states, a federal judge lets January 6th lawsuits proceed against former President Trump, and police arrest dozens at a Columbia University Gaza protest.

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Wyoming needs more educators who can teach kids trade skills, a proposal to open 40-thousand acres of an Ohio forest to fracking has environmental advocates alarmed and rural communities lure bicyclists with state-of-the-art bike trail systems.

NC's Coastal Towns Rethink Development in Face of Changing Climate

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Thursday, September 19, 2019   

RALEIGH, N.C. – This month marks the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Florence, and experts are gathering in Raleigh to discuss how North Carolina's coastal communities and low-lying areas can prepare for the future.

Jay McLeod, senior planner for Municipal Planning & Mobility with Stewart Inc., helps local governments develop climate adaptation plans. He says rising sea levels and a warming atmosphere that holds more water are triggering more intense storms, so coastal areas need to have a game plan.

"Previous land-use development investment decisions, particularly on the coasts, were made prior to our current understanding of the challenges we're facing,” he points out. “And so, communities across the state are re-evaluating their previous planning efforts."

The Sept. 26 event is being hosted by The Nature Conservancy in North Carolina and the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC).

McLeod stresses that local governments need to start considering climate risk when it comes to making decisions about where to focus growth, investment and development.

"As storms hit and places need to rebuild and reinvest, they really need to have a plan in place that's been reviewed and vetted by the community, and that people can get behind, in order to make sure that future investments are not continuing to focus resources and value into places that are at risk," he states.

Andrew Huff, director of federal affairs for NAMIC, says the insurance industry is now taking a more proactive approach to assisting communities in preparing before disasters hit, and is advocating for stronger building codes.

"I think our number one concern is trying to end what we call the endless cycle of destruction, where basically as it stands right now, many homes are built after disasters to the came sub-par standards that led to their destruction in the first place," he states.

Last fall, President Donald Trump signed the Disaster Recovery Reform Act, which allows communities to use federal funding in order to boost infrastructure resilience in areas affected by a major disaster.


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