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Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Election officials still silent on Hise investigation at five-month mark

State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement refuses to disclose any details of probe into alleged campaign violations by powerful state senator

Five months after an initial complaint, the Bipartisan State Board of Elections & Ethics Enforcement is still investigating the campaign finance problems of State Sen. Ralph Hise (R-Mitchell) and refuses to make any material related to the investigation public under the Freedom of Information Act.

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Law and the Courts Top Story

Merit or maps? Judges’ futures could come down to clashing legislative proposals

Senate favors form of merit selection for judges as alternative to House judicial redistricting bill

The fate of judicial selection in North Carolina may come down to a clash between the House and Senate.

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Law and the Courts Top Story

Architect behind changes to NC judiciary late (again) in filing campaign finance report

North Carolinians hoping to find out who’s been funding Rep. Justin Burr’s crusade this legislative session to change the judiciary are in the dark.

The five-term Republican legislator from Stanly has not yet filed his mid-year semi-annual campaign finance report, according to the State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement. The report was due July 31.

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Environment Top Story

Company that benefited from secret budget provision refuses to disclose chemicals it proposes to introduce into Triangle’s Jordan Lake

The SePro Corporation is receiving as much as $1.3 million in taxpayer money to chemically kill the algae in Jordan Lake, but the company is keeping key details of its proposal — including a full ingredient list of the products — secret from the public.

The proposed chemical treatment of a drinking water source for 300,000 people is yet another questionable technique backed by some lawmakers and business interests, who have been reluctant to instead enforce rules limiting development in the Jordan Lake watershed.

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Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Hotly contested local races set to take the political stage in NC

Across the state, this year’s historically crowded municipal elections have drawn new types of candidates.

Young candidates. First time candidates. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender candidates.

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Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Harm reduction expert: NC can and must do better in attacking drug crisis

When reporting on the opioid crisis in North Carolina, a few names come up a lot. Robert Childs, executive director of the North Carolina Harm Reduction Coalition, is one of them.

With staff in Raleigh, Wilmington, Fayetteville, Durham, Greensboro and Greenville, the coalition is respected by active drug users, those in recovery, people working in rehabilitation, law enforcement and politicians on both sides of the aisle.

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Education Top Story

Parent of special needs child battles troubled Charlotte charter school

Case raises questions of whether charters are complying with state and federal law

Skye, a 10-year-old from Charlotte, was vomiting stomach bile when her mother decided something must change.

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Law and the Courts Top Story

State courts attempting to cope as number of emergency judges is slashed by more than two-thirds

The General Assembly’s recent budget decision to slash the state’s corps of emergency judges has started to take effect.

According to the latest lists released by the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC), there are now only 10 active emergency superior court judges and 25 emergency district court judges. Prior to the July 1 effective date of the Fiscal Year 2018 budget, there were 42 emergency superior court judges and 72 emergency district court judges. The new list reflects an overall reduction of 69.2%.

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Law and the Courts Top Story

Republicans silent in wake of court order to draw new maps in one month

Republican legislative leaders are staying mum about a federal court ruling that requires them to submit new maps by September 1.

The date is almost three months in advance of the deadline they asked for, though the three-judge panel did deny a request for a special election – a win for GOP lawmakers who argued against such a request after delaying drawing new maps until the 11th hour.

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Environment Top Story

Even after revisions, Atlantic Coast Pipeline plan still threatens NC rivers, drinking water

The temperature in Rocky Mount was tipping 100 degrees and the hallway of Nash Community College was hot, as it held hundreds of people lined up to speak on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Nothing sounded better than a cold glass of water.

But these days, with contaminants known and unknown flowing from their taps, North Carolinians can no longer take clean water for granted.

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Law and the Courts Top Story

Courtroom rundown: Democrats show political disadvantage as judges scold GOP map delay

Democratic candidates are paralyzed until Republican lawmakers redraw the State House and Senate districts that were found to have been unconstitutionally racially gerrymandered.

The GOP partisan advantage in the absence of constitutional districts is so great that it’s driven opponents into the shadows and all but halted their fundraising efforts for the 2018 election, according to testimony during a federal court hearing Thursday.

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Environment Top Story

SePro CEO and North Carolina native co-founded front group for chemical industry, with ties to DuPont

This is the first of a two-part story. Tomorrow, NCPW will report on the findings of UNC marine scientists who are studying pollution in Jordan Lake, funded by the NC Collaboratory in the 2016-17 budget. The legislature could use those findings to inform policy and rules regarding development in the watershed.

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Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

First time candidates, many progressives crowding local races

When filing for North Carolina municipal elections closed last week, one thing was obvious: this year, there won’t be many uncontested races.

“This year there are definitely more candidates than we’re used to seeing,” said Gary Simms, elections director for Wake County.

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Education Top Story

Teacher development, struggling schools on chopping block as State Board of Ed implements G.A.-mandated cuts

Members of North Carolina’s State Board of Education passed down $2.5 million in legislative cuts Tuesday, ordering layoffs and operations reductions that are most likely to impact professional development and support services for the state’s poor and low-performing districts.

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Law and the Courts Top Story

Attorney General Josh Stein scrambling to cover $10 million budget gap

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein’s most important job is to keep people safe.

For the Department of Justice, which he heads, that can mean helping to keep criminals behind bars, protecting residents’ drinking water...

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Environment Top Story

GenX, Chromium 6 and 1,4-dioxane: No federal, state regulations and less guidance about how to protect drinking water

When Gov. Roy Cooper visits Wilmington on Monday, it's unlikely that he will be greeted by the friendly faces he encountered during his campaign. Instead, the people of New Hanover, Pender and Brunswick counties want answers to questions about the safety of their drinking water...

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