Archives by: Lynn Bonner

Lynn Bonner

About the author

Lynn Bonner, Investigative Reporter, joined Policy Watch in October 2020 after 26 years as a reporter at The News & Observer. She covered the state legislature and politics for 20 years, and wrote extensively about mental health, state Medicaid policies and spending, and public education. Before coming to North Carolina, she wrote for newspapers in New England.

Lynn Bonner's articles and posts

News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Fewer people voted illegally in 2020, but voting rights groups want the state to stop punishing people who say they voted by mistake.  

People on felony probation or parole can be prosecuted for voting illegally even if they don't know they're ineligible. Fewer people were suspected of illegally voting while on probation or parole for a felony in the 2020 general election compared with 2016, according to a state audit. However, the state Board of Elections found more possible cases of double voting.

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COVID-19 News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

NC legislature opens facing COVID-19 pandemic challenges 

Senate leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore were re-elected to the top positions in their chambers in the first day of the new legislative session, formally beginning another two years of divided government with Republicans in control of the legislative branch and Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper as the state’s chief executive. 

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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

N.C. tries to speed vaccine rollout as the federal government puts out new guidelines

North Carolina, which remains one of the slowest states in vaccinating people for COVID-19, is facing new federal recommendations on who should be among the first to get shots.   Questions about stumbling vaccine distribution consumed Raleigh on Tuesday: Two legislative health oversight committees spent more than two hours talking about vaccine distribution, and it was the major topic at Gov. Roy Cooper’s news conference.

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COVID-19 News Top Story

In inaugural address, Gov. Roy Cooper looks to North Carolina emerging stronger after the pandemic

Gov. Roy Cooper started his second term Saturday facing the challenges of a pandemic that is killing dozens of North Carolina residents each day, as well as political divisions in the state and the nation.  Dozens of North Carolinians ...
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Defending Democracy News Top Story

U.S. Capitol attack is another sign of the rise of domestic terrorism, a Duke expert says

After he leaves office, Trump will likely still have a platform for disinformation

Pro-Trump supporters’ attack on the U.S. Capitol Wednesday was more evidence of a growing domestic terrorist movement in the country that the next administration needs to address, a Duke University expert on national security and terrorism said. 

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COVID-19 Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Black Americans are reluctant to take a COVID-19 vaccine. Efforts to build trust are underway.

A history of unethical medical experimentation on Black people has raised vaccine concerns among communities of color. Coronavirus vaccines were a topic of the day for volunteers at Global Scholars Academy in Durham last Saturday. The church across the street, Union Baptist just north of downtown, was hosting a coronavirus testing site on one side of the school, and volunteers were distributing meals and Christmas gifts on the other side.

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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

More financial trouble is predicted for NC cities and counties. What’s the solution?

In a budget crisis, these entities can lose control of their finances to the state Janet Gerald, mayor pro tem of Kingstown, knew high sewer costs were a financial strain for the town when she was took office three years ago. Still, the realization that the town needed to relinquish control of its spending hit her hard.   “I was a little disappointed,” she said. “I was sad. I was heartbroken. I was embarrassed. I was crushed.”

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COVID-19 News Top Story

It’s a big effort with middling results, but health experts say contact tracing in the COVID-19 pandemic needs to continue

Recent CDC study in Mecklenburg, Randolph counties, showed difficulties in effective contact tracing North Carolina doesn’t make the details of contact tracing efforts public as some other states do. But the televised pleas by the state’s leading health official for people to answer contact tracers’ calls offer a clue to the obstacles.

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News Top Story

Experts to civil rights panel: NC must do more to lower maternal death rate

Women of color, in particular, would benefit if state expanded access to Medicaid The United States has the worst rate of maternal death of any industrialized nation, and the rate of pregnancy-related deaths in the U.S. is more than three times higher for Black women than it is for white women.

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Defending Democracy News Top Story

NC Democrats fall short in legislative races

Absent reform, GOP will once again control redistricting of congressional and legislative maps State Democrats failed to win enough legislative districts Tuesday to have greater influence in shaping laws and in drawing new Congressional and House and Senate district boundaries next year.  Instead of picking up seats in the state House, early results show that Democrats lost ground.

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