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Morning Roundup: A N.C. company touted by President Obama closes abrubtly

A North Carolina furniture company closed abruptly Thursday just one year after it was hailed by President Barack Obama as an example of the recovering U.S. economy. Lincolnton Furniture Company operations stopped indefinitely and only a few people will remain employed moving forward, company financial officer Ben Causey said. Full story here.

More political headlines:

--North Carolina's congressional delegation is now firmly Republican after GOP redistricting redrew the political favor. Here's a look at Raleigh Republican George Holding's outlook as a freshman. He has one priority: cutting spending.

--For Raleigh-based state government workers who endured four years without a pay raise, the free bus pass was a nice benefit while it lasted. The state ended its funding.

Morning Roundup: Little known law benefits UNC Health Care

A little-known law, the Set Off Debt Collection Act, allows state and local agencies to collect debts by seizing state tax returns and lottery winnings. The law has been good to UNC Health Care. Last year, UNC Hospitals collected $5.7 million, while UNC Physicians and Associates collected $2 million. Read more here.

More political headlines:

--Departing from this uber-optimism from the campaign trail, Pat McCrory gave a sobering assessment of the economy and the challenges ahead.

Morning Roundup: N.C. companies prepare for the fiscal cliff

Some North Carolina companies are joining a growing number of U.S. firms paying out early dividends before the end of the year, as tax increases on dividends are seen as likely in 2013.

Dividend tax rates were reduced to 15 percent under the Bush-era tax cuts. But that rate is scheduled to expire in January, and taxes would likely then rise – although no one knows exactly how much yet. Full story here.

More political headlines:

--Four hundred people are expected at a forum Friday in Charlotte about the gridlock in Washington.

Morning Roundup: Are you willing to you help payoff the nation's debt?

The nation's $16 trillion-plus debt has some Americans so worried that they've donated nearly $8 million outside of federal taxes - to help pay it off. Yes, it's less than a drop in the bucket, but every little bit helps, according to the Bureau of the Public Debt, which annually accepts such "gifts." Read the article here.

More political headlines you may have missed over the long weekend:

--State legislators say their upcoming proposal to deal with the unprecedented $2.8 billion unemployment insurance won’t eliminate the issue that has outraged the business community – the higher taxes being imposed on employers to pay down the debt.

Morning Roundup: Big money defined state races in 2012

In North Carolina, big money mattered. It fueled million-dollar legislative campaigns and lifted Republicans to record majorities in the state House and Senate. Political parties, especially Republicans, unleashed their firepower. And outside spending topped $14 million, according to the Institute for Southern Studies. More than $12 million was spent on just 10 races. Read more here.

More political headlines:

--The 2012 presidential election will be remembered as the year of the pollster. And Raleigh’s Public Policy Polling finished at the top of the list. Read a Q-and-A with pollster Tom Jensen about the firm's secrets.

Morning Roundup: N.C. Democrats lost in wilderness, Parker may seek to stay

For the first time in more than a century, the once-proud party of Jim Hunt and Terry Sanford, Luther Hodges and O. Max Gardner has been banished to the back benches of North Carolina state government.

The state Democratic Party also has been in turmoil since last spring, after allegations of sexual harassment. State Party chairman David Parker was criticized for his handling of the affair, but ignored pressure to resign. As a result, he became a liability as a spokesman and fundraiser.

Still, Parker has privately told some he may seek another term, and party leaders fear he may have the committee votes to keep the job. Read more here.

More political headlines:

Weekend Roundup: Can Pat McCrory keep his word? And more takeaways

Like all political candidates, Pat McCrory made many promises in his campaign. Now comes the hard part. Can his keep his promises? Read more here and check out a feasibility study for his top goals.

More political headlines:

--Read Rob Christensen's six takeaways from Tuesday's election. See a huge graphic breakdown of the vote. And geek out on a precinct-level analysis.

Morning Roundup: New fracking board raises ethical issues

Members of the new state board overseeing drilling and fracking in North Carolina is not required required to disclose whether they could potentially profit from the practice they oversee. The board chairman Ray Covington and his family own more than 1,000 acres of timberland in Lee County, considered to be a natural gas-rich pay zone and prime fracking territory.

Such issues are not specifically mentioned on the state’s ethics disclosure form, unforeseen by North Carolina’s ethics rules because for the simple reason that there is no history of oil and gas exploration here. Read more here.

More political headlines below.

Morning Roundup: In Charlotte, First Lady says it's all on the line today

First Lady Michelle Obama repeated Monday what her husband did four years ago – held an election eve rally in Charlotte and urged supporters to stay “fired up” for one more day.

“It’s all going to come down to what happens in a few key battleground states like North Carolina,” Obama told more than 4,000 people who jammed a hanger at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport. “… It’s all at stake tomorrow.” Full story here.

More political headlines:

--An Election Day primer: N.C. counties to watch, top battleground states and a TV guide. Weather won't be a problem statewide.

Morning Roundup: Sunday voting highlights key constituency this election

Sunday voting is a relatively recent electoral phenomenon that is increasingly embraced by African American churches, organizing get-out-the-vote caravans dubbed “Souls to the Polls.” Sunday voting also is increasingly targeted by critics in this state and elsewhere who want to see the practice banned.

Full story here. And read about how churchgoers are a key constituency this election.

More political headlines below.

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