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Law and the Courts Top Story

Court of Appeals ruling could lessen burden of court costs for criminal defendants

Reform advocates laud decision that could reduce phenomenon of "debtor's prison" Stacking criminal charges and levying court costs to make money off defendants is nothing new in North Carolina, but it could become more of a rarity in the future. The Court of Appeals published...

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Environment Top Story

PW exclusive: North Carolina energy magazine censors references to climate change

Publication of state electric cooperatives directs author to "steer clear" of "political topics" like climate change

Do you remember when October was chilly enough for a bonfire? When the streets of Wilmington didn’t flood on sunny days? And for the drought-stricken two-thirds of the state, do you remember when it used to rain?

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Higher Ed Top Story

Political turmoil continues to plague UNC system leadership

The already chaotic political environment of the UNC System and its Board of Governors has been further roiled by a new series of shock waves over the last two weeks that includes:

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Environment Top Story

North Carolina sends conflicting messages on burning wood as fuel

DEQ approves expansion of wood pellet facility a week after declaring industry fails to advance state's clean energy goals In a strongly worded passage in its Clean Energy Plan, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality has rejected the idea that burning trees for fuel qualifies as low-carbon...

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News Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at the facts surrounding Trump’s Ukraine-gate scandal

The lies and misdeeds of President Donald Trump appear, at long last, as if they could soon be catching up with the prevaricator-in-chief. As commentator John L. Micek of the Pennsylvania Capital-Star wrote last week in an excellent summary of the Ukraine-gate debacle...

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Education Top Story

Does NC adequately prepare and test its teachers?

Kate Walsh, the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ) has a reputation for being outspoken and provocative. She lived up to that billing this month during a visit to North Carolina to discuss strategies state education leaders can use to improve college and university programs that prepare teachers for the classroom.

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Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

National civil rights group calls on Forest to withdraw from event featuring anti-Muslim speakers

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is calling on North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest to withdraw from headlining an event featuring several controversial anti-Islamic speakers. Forest’s top-billing at such an event sends a dangerous message, said CAIR Government Affairs Director Robert McCaw.

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Law and the Courts Top Story

Ruth Bader Ginsburg reviews her remarkable life, battles for gender equality in Raleigh appearance

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, speaking to a crowd of mostly women Monday in Raleigh, recalled when so many opportunities were off limits for her gender. “What is the difference between a bookkeeper in New York's Garment District, which my mother was, and a Supreme Court justice?” she asked. “And my answer is, one generation.”

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Environment Top Story

How a Trump attack on the federal “Waters of the United States” rule imperils the waters of North Carolina

This is a place where the Atlantic Ocean begins: A yawning storm pipe draped by kudzu about a half-mile south of the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. Little more than a murky ditch, the shallow stream winds south, beneath the American Tobacco Trail bridge, behind a strip mall, and past two gas stations, to Forest Hills Park.  To illustrate the connections between Durham’s lowly downtown ditch to the coast, if you floated a paper boat from the headwaters in Forest Hills, its 150-mile journey would run south through Third Fork Creek, which in turn merges with New Hope Creek, which flows into Jordan Lake, a drinking water supply for hundreds of thousands of people. The boat would skim over the dam and into the Cape Fear River, which travels through southeastern North Carolina and spills into the Atlantic south of Wilmington.

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News Top Story

NC’s Mark Meadows out as head of Freedom Caucus

Future of once-powerful congressional group in question as "Trump whisperer" takes his leave WASHINGTON – Once called the “most powerful man in the House,” North Carolina Republican Mark Meadows is stepping down from his perch atop the conservative U.S. House Freedom Caucus after nearly three years as its chairman.

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Law and the Courts Top Story

‘A perfect synergy:’ Attorneys behind UNC Center for Civil Rights merge with national group

Civil rights litigation isn’t always about securing a win in court – sometimes there is a deeper reclamation that comes from fighting for what’s right alongside others who care about the cause. That was evident last week as racial and social justice advocates from across the state gathered to celebrate the work of Mark Dorosin and Elizabeth Haddix, who used to run the UNC Center for Civil Rights.

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Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

PW exclusive: Experts question business dealings of UNC Board of Governors member

Thom Goolsby, a former North Carolina state Senator now serving on the UNC Board of Governors, is running an “online financial education” company that might run afoul of a state order barring him from the financial services industry, a Policy Watch investigation has found. Two securities law experts who have examined the business’ offerings at Policy Watch’s request say Goolsby could be violating the spirit – and potentially the letter – of the order, issued in April 2014 by the office of the North Carolina Secretary of State.

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Environment Top Story

Doing the math on Duke Energy’s “climate strategy” — and its campaign contributions

Duke Energy calls its new net-zero carbon emissions plan a "directional beacon," but for critics of the utility, the proposal is blind to the drivers of climate change. Tuesday's announcement from the energy titan offered no hard-and-fast numbers in which to hold the utility accountable, stating only that by 2050, Duke will have phased out coal.

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News Top Story

Monday Numbers: How a Trump administration rule change threatens food stamp access in NC

If there is a strategy to President Trump’s administration – and really, who knows if there is? – it may be a kind of sleight of hand.  Take the immense stakes for North Carolina and many states in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s consideration of a rule change that threatens access to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, better known as “food stamps.” 

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Environment Top Story

DuPont tested Fayetteville workers’ blood, found elevated levels of PFAS

Congressional testimony this week by DuPont, Chemours and 3M was damning Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Democrat from Florida, glared with the intensity of a welder’s torch at top officials from three chemical titans — DuPont, Chemours and 3M — seated at a table in a congressional hearing room.

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Environment Top Story

Environmental Management Commission approves new compost rules; PW investigation spurs regulators

State environmental regulators will have the power to require most composting facilities to test for emerging contaminants, including perfluorinated compounds (PFAS) and 1,4-Dioxane, according to new rules approved today. The Environmental Management Commission this morning voted to amend and readopt state rules over the 50 composters regulated by the Division of Waste Management.

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