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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

Judicial nominee Farr joins GOP defense team in redistricting litigation

It appears that Thomas Farr is back in the game – the North Carolina redistricting game, that is. The recent Trump nominee for a federal judgeship in North Carolina's Eastern District filed paperwork last week to appear in court on behalf of the GOP legislative defendants in Common Cause v. Lewis, a challenge to the 2017 legislative map on grounds that it violates the state constitution as an extreme partisan gerrymander.

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Higher Ed Top Story

Delay in ‘Silent Sam’ decision reflects divided UNC leadership while spurring suspicion, concern in community

At its meeting next week, the UNC Board of Governors was scheduled to unveil a new plan for the future of the Confederate monument known as “Silent Sam.” But late Tuesday afternoon, board Chairman Harry Smith released a statement saying the board has decided to again postpone it.

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Education Top Story

Republicans, education advocates square off again over expanding private school voucher program

You can hear the anger rising in Yevonne Brannon’s voice as she talks about the state’s controversial school voucher program. Brannon, a spokeswoman for Public Schools First N.C., a K-12 advocacy organization, thinks it’s outrageous that a family with an annual income of more than $71,000 could receive state tax dollars to help pay for private school tuition.

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News Top Story

GOP Rep. Patrick McHenry takes on ‘Auntie Maxine’ in Congress

WASHINGTON -- Rep. Patrick McHenry has been representing western North Carolina in the U.S. House since he was 29 years old. The 10th District Republican, now 43, has long been considered a rising star among House GOP lawmakers. He’s worked in leadership as Republicans’ chief deputy whip, and he’s often labeled as an aspiring Speaker of the House. He’s got a lifetime rating of 93 percent from the American Conservative Union. Now, he’s got a new platform...

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Environment Top Story

Monday numbers: 2,624 years and counting, a bald cypress tree in North Carolina has survived all manner of natural and human-made disasters

For 2,624 years, a bald cypress tree in southeastern North Carolina has endured the gamut of planetary upheavals, both natural and human-made: hurricanes and heat waves, floods and drought; the Little Ice Age, the Year Without a Summer — and now, global warming.

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Articles Must Reads News Top Story

New report: NC is not doing right by working people with disabilities

People with disabilities need full and inclusive access to meaningful employment opportunities. Many North Carolinians with disabilities are being left out of the economic mainstream. State policies continue to subject many people with disabilities to unfair wages, isolation, and limited work expectations and options. Employment services also continue to fail people with disabilities who aspire to obtain meaningful employment.

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News Top Story

Advocates call for fair portrayal of human trafficking survivors

The media’s portrayal of human trafficking has often perpetuated the wrong idea of how people are abused and what it means to be a survivor, say advocates and researchers close to the issue. Anne Johnston and Barbara Friedman of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill started researching media coverage of sex trafficking in 2009.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

‘Reform is the answer:’ Voters gather at legislature to lobby for an end to gerrymandering

Redistricting reform is around the corner, and when it happens, it could move quickly – North Carolinians just have to think about what they want that reform to look like. “We do have a voice; we do have an opportunity,” said Bob Phillips, Executive Director of Common Cause North Carolina, a voting rights organization that has pushed for redistricting reform for over a decade.

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Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Right and left find rare bit of common ground on “second chance” legislation

More than 1,000 people descended on the capitol Wednesday to lobby for the Second Chance Act -- a bill they say will profoundly change the lives of those with criminal charges or convictions on their record. Senate Bill 562 would automatically expunge criminal charges that have been dismissed or disposed...

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Higher Ed Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at the controversy surrounding “Silent Sam” and associated protests

At their May 21-22 meeting, the UNC Board of Governors is scheduled to hear a long-delayed plan for the future of the “Silent Sam” Confederate monument, which was toppled by protesters last August. As students, staff and faculty continue to oppose the statue’s return to campus of UNC-Chapel Hill and rally for changes in on-campus policing, we take a by-the-numbers look back at the “after action report” on the toppling commissioned by UNC and released early this year.

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Education Top Story

Teachers and their supporters flood downtown Raleigh for second consecutive year

Downtown Raleigh came alive Wednesday with thousands of North Carolina educators filling the streets to demand lawmakers increase funding for public schools.

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Law and the Courts Top Story

Gerrymandering lawsuit stunner: Daughter of deceased GOP mapmaker turns over his documents to Common Cause

The daughter of late GOP mapmaker Thomas Hofeller – the man is responsible for some of North Carolina’s most infamous gerrymanders – turned over four of his external hard drives and 18 thumb drives after his death to the plaintiffs suing North Carolina lawmakers. Stephanie Hofeller Lizon gave the documents to attorneys in March, a month after she was issued a subpoena...

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Education Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at some of the reasons NC teachers are rallying this week

On Wednesday more than two dozen North Carolina school systems will be closed for the day as thousands of teachers and other education supporters from across the state descend on Raleigh for the NCAE’s Day of Action. This week's Monday numbers column examines some of the factors that have helped to spur on this year's rally.

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Environment Top Story

PW special report (Part 2): Unregulated, untested, unknown

The DAK Americas plant consumes 50 acres of a sprawling 300-acre industrial complex on Cedar Creek Road in southeast Fayetteville, along the banks of the Cape Fear River. Trucks idle at the gate, awaiting approval from security. Stacks exhale steam into the air; a fluorescent orange windsock flutters in the breeze. Across from DAK is Belmont Park, a modest subdivision originally constructed in the early to mid-1970s whose streets are barely wide enough for two cars to pass. In front of the plant is a row of one-story brick homes...

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Law and the Courts Top Story

N.C. battles Trump administration in high-stakes census case

WASHINGTON — Census data shapes almost every corner of public life — from the amount of federal money funneled to school lunch programs, new bus routes and rural health clinics to the number of congressional seats allocated to a state.

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Environment Top Story

PW special report: Unregulated, untested and unknown

Investigation shows that dangerous chemical was included in materials received by NC composting facility This is the first of a two-part investigation into how the lack of federal regulations and state oversight allowed 1,4-Dioxane, a likely carcinogen and emerging contaminant, to be trucked in wastewater sludge to a North Carolina compost facility. Part 2 runs tomorrow morning.

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