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Zipper, former first dog of NC, has died

Dome's condolences go out to former Gov. Bev Perdue and her husband Bob Eaves.

The couple's Tibetan terrier died this week in New Bern, reports the New Bern Sun Journal.

Zipper was 7 1/2 and died after suffering a stroke, the paper reports. She had been suffering from lymphoma.

Eaves told the Sun Journal, Zipper enjoyed one final visit to the Trent River the evening before she died.

Zipper is survived by her mother, Dosie. Both dogs lived the high life in the Executive Mansion during Perdue's term.

Ann McCrory won't host First Lady luncheon during inaugural

Ann McCrory, the wife of incoming Gov. Pat McCrory, won't host a First Lady's luncheon as part of the inaugural festivities next week.

The Junior League organizes the luncheon but Ann McCrory declined to attend and didn't offer a reason, organizers said.

Mary Easley, the wife of Gov. Mike Easley, started the tradition in 2000 and continued in 2004. But Bob Eaves, the husband of Gov. Bev Perdue, declined to do a first gentleman's lunch in 2008.

Ann McCrory has remained largely out of the spotlight during her husband's gubernatorial run, rarely appearing on the campaign trail.

What costume should Gov. Perdue wear for Halloween?

Gov. Bev Perdue and First Gentleman Bob Eaves are hosting trick-or-treaters this evening at the Executive Mansion but don't expect them to don a scary costume.

A governor's office spokeswoman says Perdue and Eaves will appear as themselves. (Insert your own punch line here.)

So don't expect anything like this costume (at right)  from former First Lady Mary Easley, submitted by reader Bob Wheeler who took his family by the mansion in 2007.

Maybe Perdue and Eaves just didn't have ideas for a costume.

Got an idea for them? Put it in the comments section and we'll update the list later today.

Michelle Obama and Jill Biden in the state

First Lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden, the wife of the vice president, are at Camp Lejeune this morning as part of an initiative to help improve the lives of military families.

With Obama and Biden are Sen. Kay Hagan and Bob Eaves, husband of Gov. Bev Perdue.

Hagan said Lejeune is an appropriate stop the Joining Forces Tour because North Carolina is a a military friendly state.

“Over one-third of North Carolina's population is in the military, is a veteran, or has an immediate family member in the military,” Hagan said, according to the pool report.

Biden started her talk with a hearty Oorah which was met with a deafening response, according to the pool report.

The First Lady praised the community for coming together to honor veterans of the 1983 Beirut tragedy and continuing to support the troops and the veterans.

We presume she pulled the Democratic lever

Gov. Bev Perdue and her husband Bob Eaves voted this morning in her hometown of New Bern, taking advantage of early voting.

They voted at the Craven Board of Elections. Early voting began Thursday.

UPDATE: Photographers were barred from shooting Perdue voting by election officials, because they said she was not a candidate, according to WITN.

Perdue visits with Graham

Gov. Bev Perdue has been trying a lot of things to try to get North Carolina's economy back on track, and now she is turning to prayer.

Perdue and her husband, Bob Eaves, met last week with the Rev. Billy Graham at his home at Montreat, Rob Christensen reports.

The First Couple and Graham prayed for North Carolina's recovery, and Graham prayed that Perdue would receive guidance to lead the state during these turbulent times, according to the governor's office.

"I'm thankful for our time together and his words of support," Perdue said. "I also want to thank Rev. Graham for his prayers for North Carolina's swift economic recovery."

Jawvohl, y'all! Perdue heads to Germany

Gov. Bev Perdue and First Gentleman Bob Eaves leave for a seven day trip to Germany Sunday for both business and pleasure.

Perdue and state Commerce Department officials will be meeting with German business executives to try and lure them to open up shop or expand in North Carolina. Commerce officials said 150 German companies maintain operations in the state, including Siemens Energy and Deutsche Bank.

While Perdue will hold meetings primarily in Munich, Commerce Department officials will touch base with businesses elsewhere, including: Hamburg, Berlin and -- it really does exist -- the great state of Mecklenburg, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, to be exact.

Germany typically is among North Carolina's top eight trading partners each year (Canada is always No. 1), according to Kathy Neal, assistant secretary of commerce. Germany ranks second behind the United Kingdom in foreign tourist visits to the state: 115,000 visitors switched from sauerkraut to sweet potatoes in 2008.

Perdue and Eaves will spend part of the trip as tourists themselves, visiting with some of Eaves' relatives. The first couple is paying for their own expenses for the entire trip, according to Perdue's office.

UPDATE: Germany's rank as trading partner updated, courtesy of NC Commerce Dept. Also corrects what Perdue is paying for. 

One less possibility

The tale of South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford leaving the state and not saying where he was going should have sounded a tiny bit familiar to Dome readers.

Gov. Beverly Perdue and First Gentleman Bob Eaves left for a few days vacation in February and refused to tell the pesky news media where she was going.

That may be about the only similarity. Unlike Sanford, Perdue: went on the trip with her spouse, told her staff where she actually was going, told her security detail and told Lt. Gov. Walter Dalton, who was officially in charge during Perdue's absence.

Perdue spokeswoman Chrissy Pearson still won't reveal the specific "somewhere warm" to which Perdue traveled but did on Thursday eliminate one possibility: "It wasn't Argentina."

Education rising as an issue

Here is one possible reason why Gov. Beverly Perdue is barn storming across North Carolina today pushing for a tax hike to avoid deep cuts in education.

A new survey shows that education is rising as an issue in North Carolina, Rob Christensen reports.

Since December, the number of North Carolinians who have named education as their top issue has risen from 8 percent to 17 percent, according to Public Policy Polling, a Democratic leaning firm in Raleigh.

Perdue is holding rallies in Wilmington this morning and Greenville at noon trying to rally support for a $1.5 billion tax increase to stave off deep cuts in public education.

Meanwhile, her husband, Bob Eaves, is reading to students this morning at the Heritage Park Community Learning Center in Southeast Raleigh.

More after the jump.

Governor spotted at the K&W

Even North Carolina's first family is watching their pennies during this recession.

Spotted having dinner at the K&W Cafeteria in Cameron Village Sunday night were Gov. Beverly Perdue and her husband Bob Eaves, Rob Christensen reports.

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