Archives by: Billy Ball

Billy Ball

About the author

Billy Ball, Managing Editor, joined Policy Watch in January 2016. In his 15+ years as a North Carolina reporter, he’s covered public schools, state and local politics, courts, the environment, criminal justice and immigration for publications like The Independent Weekly, The Sanford Herald andThe Monroe Enquirer-Journal. During that time, he’s won more than 20 state, regional and national awards for his reporting, including first place awards for education reporting and news feature reporting in 2016. His 2014 reporting on the death of Michael Anthony Kerr, which earned him a national award for “media impact” from The Media Consortium, exposed the mistreatment of a North Carolina inmate with mental illness in solitary confinement. His reporting led to ongoing reforms in how the state handles prisoners with a mental illness.
billy@ncpolicywatch.com
919-861-1460

Billy Ball's articles and posts

Original Commentary Top Story

With the supermajority doomed, North Carolina should reconsider Medicaid expansion

Despite the manufactured panic of the migrant caravan, despite the midterm’s so-called “referendum on Trump,” despite the nation’s nonsensical gun laws, despite an election that often seemed a direct rebuke of misogynist GOP leaders and policies, the pollsters told us the 2018 election would begin and end with healthcare.

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Original Commentary Top Story

A requiem for the GOP supermajority, and other post-election thoughts

Ever been to a funeral where no one had anything nice to say about the dearly departed? That’s the feeling today, with North Carolina now weeks away from burying the Republican supermajority in the General Assembly. North Carolina voters handed down a good many split decisions in these elections, which like it or not, were always going to be skewed to the right by GOP gerrymandering.

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Education Top Story

Stymied by questions about process and community backlash, state takeover of Goldsboro school delayed

Supporters of a controversial takeover program in struggling North Carolina schools hoped for a speedy approval of their latest project Wednesday. Instead, dogged by questions about process and a fiery local backlash surrounding a Goldsboro elementary, they’ll have ...
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Original Commentary Other Voices Top Story

Call Trump’s migrant caravan panic what it is: Out-and-out racism.

One day, these figures – President Trump and his cohorts, the muck-brained minions of Fox News – will distance themselves from their own words and actions.

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Original Commentary Top Story

In Voter ID amendment, voter suppression lives on in North Carolina

When North Carolina elections chief Kim Westbrook Strach declared last week that polling places should dispense with “no photo ID required” signs this year, the Republican appointee explained that she didn’t want to confuse voters.

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Education Top Story

Battle looms as state officials propose takeover of Goldsboro elementary school

If North Carolina goes forward with the recommendation to allow a private charter operator to take control of a Goldsboro elementary school, they should expect a protracted resistance, the school’s principal told Policy Watch Wednesday.

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Education Original Commentary Top Story

For North Carolina schools, politicians must do more than talk about rebuilding post-Florence

Long after the presidents, and the governors, and the press conferences cease, and the swollen rivers of our state subside, will North Carolina be there for those students displaced by Hurricane Florence?

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Education Top Story

Superintendent Mark Johnson’s new website may have broken North Carolina law

A controversial website touting Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson may have broken North Carolina law, a Policy Watch investigation has found.

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Original Commentary Other Voices Top Story

A word to the General Assembly: This time, keep the politics out of hurricane relief

“Both the House and the Senate, our hearts go out to all the folks that were affected by Hurricane Florence,” Rep. Craig Horn, a Union County Republican, said Monday as a handful of GOP power-players toured a storm-wracked Wilmington.

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Original Commentary Other Voices Top Story

After sexual assault allegations, U.S. Senate’s speedy Kavanaugh confirmation must come to a screeching halt

To this point, everything about Brett Kavanaugh -- from his indoctrination in  Kenneth Starr's Clinton probe, to his efforts to quash the Florida recount in the 2000 Bush v. Gore presidential race, and his contentious appointment to the D.C. circuit Court of Appeals, in which Democrats derided the Maryland lawyer as little more than a GOP lackey, and finally to his raucous confirmation hearings before the Senate this summer -- has been mired in partisanship.

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