Legislators shift gears, back away from controversial pay plan for school principals, administrators

Weeks after a legislative plan to scrap North Carolina’s school principal pay schedule drew a swift rebuke from educators, top state Republicans are seemingly backing off on the controversial proposal while pushing forward with at least modest raises for the state’s underpaid administrators.

Sen. Jerry Tillman, an influential state Republican representing Moore and Randolph counties, told lawmakers in an administrator pay study group this week that district superintendents across the state were “scared” of a proposal floated by lawmakers last month that would have done away with the salary schedule—which sets a floor for pay based on experience and credentials.

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While the planet warms, North Carolina tries to unplug the Clean Power Plan

The drought in parts of the Blue Ridge Mountains is so deep that leaf-watching, an annual ritual for thousands of tourists, has become instead an exercise in branch-watching. There is some color, sure, but stressed by the extremely dry weather, poplar, birch and cherry trees prematurely lost their leaves in late September.

All of western North Carolina, an area including 1.3 million people, has earned its place in the record books as having one of the five driest falls on record. Cherokee, Clay, Macon and Transylvania counties are experiencing an extreme drought, and if a dry winter ensues, as forecast, it could be classified as exceptional.

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Advocates, lawyers try to prepare for unclear immigration future

The future of immigrants in America is uncertain, to say the least. As the fear of mass deportations grows, so does the likelihood that immigrant communities will be forced to shrink back into the shadows.

President-elect Donald Trump made his stance on immigration clear during the election: he threatened more deportations, touted a plan to build an extensive wall between America and Mexico, and said he would add U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers and end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

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Court ruling striking down Obama overtime rules leaves workers high and dry

December 1, 2016 was supposed to be a great day for an estimated 156,000 salaried workers in North Carolina. But thanks to a recent federal court order, the day instead brought disappointment and confusion for most of them.

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The Daredevil