For new smoking ban, the rules are basic

The proposed rules for implementing the state’s new ban on smoking in restaurants and bars are pretty simple. There are only two.

The first proposed rule is that cigar bars, which are exempt, must file an affidavit every quarter verifying that they meet the requirements for operating as a cigar bar.

The requirements in the law include that 60 percent of gross revenue comes from alcohol and 25 percent from cigar sales, and that a humidor is on the premises.

The second proposed rule says restaurants and bars must post no-smoking signs at each entrance, at a height and location easily seen.

The signs must be at least 24 square inches, such as a 4-by-6-inch sign, be legible and include three pieces of information: the Division of Public Health’s toll-free complaint line, the statute number for the law and the Web site

The law takes effect Jan. 2.

Follow Hagan online

Democratic U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan has launched both a YouTube channel and a Twitter account to chronicle her work in the Senate.

A recent tweet: “welcoming a great group of North Carolinians for this week’s Carolina Coffee.”

Hagan had a campaign Twitter account last year, posting about her platform, her daily travels and occasional jabs at the competition. (“This is what a Republican-run, special interest-based economy looks like,” she tweeted a year ago.)

Her YouTube channel has a pair of videos. One welcomes viewers; the other features her biography.

Others on Twitter include Sen. Richard Burr’s campaign and U.S. Reps. Virginia Foxx, Walter Jones, Sue Myrick and Patrick McHenry.

Poll gives Burr lead

Republican Sen. Richard Burr has at least a 10-point lead over his challengers, according to a new Rasmussen poll.

The Rasmussen Reports poll of 500 likely voters found Burr ahead of longtime Secretary of State Elaine Marshall 48 percent to 38 percent.

U.S. Rep. Bob Etheridge, who has been courted for the race, trails Burr 48 percent to 34 percent.

Burr leads Durham lawyer Kenneth Lewis, who like Marshall has declared for the race, by even more — 48 percent to 32 percent.

The news isn’t all great for Burr.

“Despite Burr’s early lead, however, incumbents who poll under 50 percent are generally considered vulnerable,” the pollster said.

The poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

Other Democrats looking at the Senate race include former state Sen. Cal Cunningham of Lexington, former Lt. Gov. Dennis Wicker of Sanford, and Chapel Hill Mayor Kevin Foy.

New SEANC officers

The State Employees Association of North Carolina elected officers at its annual convention recently.

The association has 55,000 members; 850 delegates voted on officers.

The one-year terms begin Oct. 1.

• President: Tony Smith of Morganton, a maintenance supervisor with the Department of Correction’s Foothills Correctional Institution, with 17 years of state service. (re-elected)

• First Vice President: Pat Reighard of Blowing Rock, professor emeritus of communication at Appalachian State University, retired with 30 years of state service. (re-elected)

• Second Vice President: Charles Johnson of Raleigh, a correctional captain with the Department of Correction’s Central Prison, with 17 years of state service.

• Treasurer: Cheryl Moon of Knightdale, a retired Division of Motor Vehicles hearings officer, with 30 years of state service. (re-elected)

By staff writers Mark Johnson and Benjamin Niolet, and Washington correspondent Barbara Barrett.
[email protected] or 919-829-4774

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