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Articles

Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Historical Commission members to grapple with Confederate monuments issue next week

Back in September, the N.C. Historical Commission put off a decision on removing three Confederate monuments from the State Capitol grounds. Instead, the commission formed a task force to study the politically fraught issue, which the North Carolina General Assembly dropped into their laps with a 2015 law that makes it more difficult to remove such statues. Next Monday at 3 p.m., that task force – the Confederate Monuments Study Committee – will have its first meeting via teleconference. The public can listen in via a livestream on the YouTube site of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

New report: For-profit colleges are almost always a risky investment for students

Mounting student debt is a nagging problem for most families these days. As the cost of higher education rises, borrowing to cover those costs often becomes a family concern across multiple generations including the student, parents, and even grandparents or other relatives.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

Is Trump finally approaching his McCarthy moment?

Latest racist attacks on immigrants could be an important tipping point As bleak as our national political landscape may seem right now, it’s worth remembering that it is far from the only time in American history in which a dangerous, dishonest and delusional con artist has held a position of great prominence. In the early 1950’s, Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin rode his paranoid and dishonest witch hunt against supposed “communist subversion” to become one of the most famous and powerful men in the nation.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Federal judges stand up for individual rights, nix gerrymandered GOP congressional map

Grand constitutional questions in this country aren’t settled until the Supreme Court has its say, either by affirming or reversing the rulings of lower-court judges or simply by declining to hear challenges to those rulings. So it’s too early to conclude definitively that North Carolina’s Republican-controlled General Assembly has set a sorry standard leading to a national crackdown on over-the-top partisan gerrymandering of election districts.

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Higher Ed Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at for-profit colleges

449,235 - Total undergrad enrollment in North Carolina

19,767 - Total for-profit undergrad enrollment in North Carolina

56.4% - NC Completion rate (in 6 years) at public 4-year colleges

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Bad news and good news in the Toyota-Mazda decision to pass on NC

This past week has been a good one for the state of Alabama. Not only did the Crimson Tide football team defeat their neighbors from Georgia in the national college football championship game; Alabama political leaders defeated their peers from North Carolina in the competition for the latest big auto plant. Happily, unlike the case with the Georgia gridiron defeat, there’s still some good news for North Carolina amidst the disappointment.

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Law and the Courts Top Story

Can North Carolina change the way district court judges are elected without a constitutional amendment?

There’s a new rumor afoot about judicial reform that lawmakers may try to pass a judicial appointment system that only affects district court judges. The plan is apparently premised on the notion that the state constitution allows such action without voter consent. The Senate has been floating “merit” selection for the better part of half a year and evaluating different forms of judicial reform since the latter part of last year. House Republicans prefer judicial redistricting.

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Education Top Story

Head of Innovative School District says he may choose neither of applicants seeking to run Robeson County school

The head of North Carolina’s controversial charter takeover program says there’s no guarantee he’ll tap either of the two groups seeking a state contract to overhaul a struggling Robeson County elementary. “If we don’t have the right match, I’m not just going to recommend anyone,” said Eric Hall, superintendent of the state’s Innovative School District.

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Higher Ed Top Story

Trove of emails provides a window into conflicts at UNC

UNC Board of Governors Chairman Louis Bissette began the new year by penning a column urging his own board to avoid internal conflicts, refrain from political partisanship and avoid micromanaging UNC leaders and administration.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

Haven’t read yesterday’s 205-page partisan gerrymandering ruling? We’ve got you covered

Three federal judges agree: North Carolina Republican lawmakers drew a congressional map that intentionally discriminated against voters and entrenched their party’s power.

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Defending Democracy Progressive Voices Top Story

Why North Carolinians are resisting the conservative assault on their courts

Conservative North Carolina lawmakers have pushed through a lot of radical laws and legislative proposals to dramatically remake our state in recent years. From suppressing the vote to gerrymandering legislative districts to privatizing our public schools to discriminating against LGBT citizens to altering the balance of power between the executive and legislative branches: the list is a long and troubling one.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

Five myth-busting truths about the North Carolina economy

Conservative happy talk doesn’t change several important basics The mantra from conservative North Carolina politicians and pundits these days is that North Carolina’s hard right policy turn of recent years somehow provides “a model for the nation.” If you spend any time on policy-oriented social media, you can hardly refresh your browser without being pummeled by the claim that North Carolina’s economic outlook is amazingly bright and that it’s all the result of conservative decisions to slash taxes and “get the state’s fiscal house in order.”

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

Special master’s maps focus in latest court battle over racial gerrymandering

The best defense is a good offense, and lawmakers are trying that strategy in federal court.

Their attorneys spent Friday attacking the job of special master Nathaniel Persily, who was tasked by a federal court with redrawing several legislative districts to correct unconstitutional racial gerrymanders.

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Environment Top Story

Monday numbers

After President Trump announced he would open the entire US coast to offshore drilling – including areas like North Carolina that have long been off-limits -- governors up and down the Eastern Seaboard, immediately condemned the proposal.

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