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Isolation and marginalization in eastern North Carolina

Goldsboro, a mid-sized city in Wayne County in eastern North Carolina, faces poverty challenges both historical and contemporary that are too commonly seen across much of the region. Traditionally divided along black and white racial lines, the city is in the process of being transformed by demographic changes, even as it wrestles with the consequences of two recent recessions and the economic transitions that swept the state in the early 2000s.

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Higher Ed

Monday numbers: A closer look at UNC’s Equal Opportunity and Diversity & Inclusion Study

273 - Number of positions at the 17 University of North Carolina system schools that have responsibilities related to Equal Opportunity, Diversity and Inclusion (EO and D&I) work, according to a new report delivered to the UNC Board of Governors last week. The board is now considering whether to centralize this work rather than have it done at individual institutions.

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Higher Ed Top Story

UNC Board of Governors squares off over new healthcare partnership

A proposed partnership between Charlotte-based Carolinas HealthCare System and UNC Health Care is further dividing an already fractured UNC Board of Governors.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

The “double-bunkings” continue: An analysis of the G.A.’s latest proposed judicial maps

How many maps does it take to hit the sweet spot when it comes to judicial redistricting? Your guess is as good as anyone’s. Rep. Justin Burr (R-Stanly, Montgomery) unveiled another round of judicial and prosecutorial maps this ...
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Environment Top Story

Where to put NC’s coal ash? Court of Appeals asked to rule on legality of high-profile option

It has been nearly four years since Feb. 2, 2014, when 39,000 tons of coal ash and 27 million gallons of contaminated water spilled from a failed impoundment at Duke Energy’s Dan River plant in Eden. And on Wednesday — Day 1,453 since the disaster that forever changed the state’s environmental landscape — a flight of lawyers appeared before a three-judge panel of the North Carolina Court of Appeals.

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Education Top Story

Class size crisis, school inequities highlight top 10 education issues for 2018

An impending class size crisis and growing inequities between rich and poor districts are the most important issues facing North Carolina public schools in 2018, according to an annual list released Wednesday by the nonpartisan Public School Forum of N.C.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

Hopeful developments in the effort to rein in gerrymandering

Progress in rooting out North Carolina’s gerrymandered voting districts hasn’t always occurred in a straight line. But the trend – thanks to federal judges honoring their duty to uphold the Constitution – bodes well for giving all voters an equal chance to help choose their leaders.

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News Top Story

Monday numbers: A look at abortion, family planning on Roe v. Wade anniversary

The following information is gathered from the Guttmacher Institute:

90% — North Carolina counties in 2014 that had no clinics that provided abortions

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

Could judicial reform lead to Supreme Court packing? Former judge thinks so

Nothing is off the table when it comes to Republican judicial reform, and a former Wake County judge thinks court packing may still be an option. Donald Stephens has been using his newfound retirement to speak out against changes to the judiciary that could result in less independence for the coequal branch of government.

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Environment Top Story

Strange bedfellows? Polluters, environmental groups form new coalition to lobby state government

On a cozy autumn evening at the luxurious Umstead Hotel in Cary, a medley of corporate luminaries, state lawmakers and environmentalists made small talk and mingled over drinks. The occasion: the formation of a new “unconventional partnership” with a “bold mission.” North Carolina Forever, said Kathy Higgins, vice president of corporate affairs at Blue Cross Blue Shield, “will bring together diverse interests” to encourage “reasonable and necessary investments” in land conservation and water protection.

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Education Top Story

GOP senator’s email promises “relief” to class size crisis in March

A fix for North Carolina’s class size crisis in March? A GOP senator from Wake County tells his constituents that he believes state lawmakers will proffer “relief” when they return in March, according to an email obtained by Policy Watch.

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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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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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Defending Democracy 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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