Perdue urges reform agenda: Democratic Gov. Bev Perdue on Wednesday urged the incoming Republican legislature to create an independent bipartisan redistricting commission, pass session time limits, and make the workings of the legislature more transparent. But the Republican lawmakers had their own message for the governor: Thanks for the advice, now start making some deeper budget cuts in preparation for next year's projected $3.7 billion shortfall. (N&O)
Lottery sales lose: The sour economy is slowing state lottery ticket sales for the first time since the lottery began nearly five years ago. If projections for weak sales hold, the North Carolina Education Lottery won't raise as much money in the current fiscal year as it did in the one that ended July 1, lottery officials said Wednesday. The amount that the lottery sends to the state education fund would fall by about $17 million from the previous year's record $419 million. (N&O)
State Muslims want to chat with Ellmers: The election of tea party favorite Renee Ellmers to Congress in November was a loss for Democrats and incumbent Bob Etheridge. But some area Muslims say it's more like a sharp blow for them.
The winner of North Carolina's 2nd Congressional District seat offended many Muslims with a TV campaign ad that claimed that a planned Muslim community center near ground zero in New York City was a "victory mosque," possibly funded by terrorists. Dismayed by the ad, individuals and groups within the Triangle's Muslim community say they are interested in pursuing a truce with Ellmers. They have been trying to reach out to her since the ad first aired in late September. (N&O)
House repeals gay ban: For the second time this year, the House voted to dismantle the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy, giving the Senate a final shot in the waning days of this Congress to change a law requiring thousands of uniformed gays to hide their sexual identity. (N&O)