* The State Bureau of Investigation is probing whether officials at the N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles accepted improper gifts and meals from employees of Verizon Business, which holds a lucrative no-bid contract to provide computers to state inspection stations.
Investigators also are seeking to determine whether the state paid Verizon for hundreds of computers that were never delivered, at a cost of more than $1,700 each. (N&O)
* When Beverly Perdue was sworn in as North Carolina's first female governor in January, many women cheered her historic achievement.
And though many of those same women give Perdue high marks for her first months in office, there has been some grumbling among Democratic women that Perdue has not done more to bring other women along with her.
Perdue has appointed fewer women to Cabinet posts than any North Carolina governor in a generation and has fewer females among her top policy advisers than her recent male predecessors in the Executive Mansion. (N&O)
* At first, some Latino advocates celebrated news that North Carolina community colleges would open their doors to illegal immigrants.
Last week, they lamented that the opening was no more than a crack. The Sept. 18 decision from the State Board of Community Colleges allows undocumented students to enroll in degree programs at all of the state's 58 campuses, but it won't take effect until at least next fall because of a slow-moving administrative rules review process. And if enough people object, the rule could face a vote by the General Assembly, which has the power to kill it.
If the rule is approved, undocumented students will get last priority for classes at a time when surging enrollments have filled classrooms to capacity. And out-of-state tuition of $7,700 per year will be out of reach for many of the children of low-wage workers. (N&O)