First Drip (6/10/14): City Council passes budget, drones are flying over Alaska, more



Charlotte City Council passed the fiscal year 2015 budget during last night's meeting. The $2.1 billion plan requests a small water and sewer rate increase, that will amount to about $2 a month for the typical user, to cover increasing costs. The budget also proposes a storm-water fee increase of about .24 a month for a typical user to fund new and backlogged customer requests. CATS fare would also increase, by about .20.

The federal government will soon launch a campaign to reach out to poor Americans in rural parts of the country who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender - and its first stop is in Greensboro. "The Rural Pride Summit comes on the tail of a proposed rule that bans discrimination against transgender people who apply for Department of Agriculture programs, programs that include single-family housing and SNAP benefits. Tomorrow in Greensboro, USDA officials will meet with gay rights advocates and rural LGBT people to find out how the department can be more LGBT inclusive."

A maker of an unmanned aircraft - known to me and you as drones - has conducted the first commercial flight over land in compliance with FAA regulations. AeroVironment Inc.'s drones are flying over BP's Prudhoe Bay oil field, in Alaska.

An audit of the Department of Veteran Affairs shows the extent of its problems. The audit found that an estimated "57,000 veterans have been waiting more than 90 days for an appointment and that an additional 64,000 requested medical care but never made it onto VA waiting lists. 'This data shows the extent of the system problems we face,' acting VA secretary Sloan Gibson said, 'problems that demand immediate actions.'" Gibson replaced Eric K. Shinseki, who resigned after problems in the department came to light.

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