First Drip (6/13/14): County commissioners pass budget, Hornets basketball operations president steps down, more



It only took 20 minutes for county commissioners to unanimously approve a new $1.5 billion budget. "Thursday's vote was tantamount to the board adopting on Tuesday a budget that holds property taxes at the current rate and targets half its county money to education. It increases funding to CMS by $26.6 million over the current budget, giving the district all it requested - except for a supplemental 3-percent pay raise for all its employees."

Charlotte Hornets' president of basketball operations Rod Higgins has stepped down - oh, you know, only two weeks before the NBA draft.

A hearing is set for this morning on the legality of the new N.C. Legislative Building rules in Wake County Superior Court. Plaintiffs include leaders with the state NAACP and protesters who were arrested this year and last year. "The critics of the rules, which were adopted in early May, argue in the complaint that legislators crafted the measures to 'criminalize constitutionally protected conduct.'"

Water conservationists will find this interesting: There seems to be another ocean below Earth's surface. "The water is locked up in a mineral called ringwoodite about 660km (400 miles) beneath the crust of the Earth, researchers say. Geophysicist Steve Jacobsen from Northwestern University in the U.S. co-authored the study published in the journal Science and said the discovery suggested Earth's water may have come from within, driven to the surface by geological activity, rather than being deposited by icy comets hitting the forming planet as held by the prevailing theories."

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