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Law and the Courts Top Story

Monday numbers: Kids in lockup

Last week, Policy Watch revealed that officials in North Carolina did not know how many children were currently in adult jails. Part of the reason they are in the dark is because North Carolina is the last state in the nation to consider anyone ages 16 or older an adult in the criminal justice system.

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Law and the Courts Top Story

NC law enforcement officials: We have no idea how many children are in adult jails

How many of North Carolina’s children are currently locked up with adults in a county detention facility? How many were housed with adults last year? And the year before? No one actually knows.

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Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

New UNC Board of Governors chairman holds his fire at first meeting in charge

As Harry Smith opened Thursday’s UNC Board of Governors meeting – the first since he took over as chairman – he struck a conciliatory tone even as he doubled down on conservative changes he’s championed for the system.

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Environment Top Story

PW exclusive: Beach nourishment bingo?

A North Carolina nonprofit with deep political connections received $5 million in the state budget for a beach nourishment study and design project, even though it has never done that type of work and is headquartered more than 250 miles from the coast.

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Environment Top Story

Duplin County official: Billy Houston hog lagoon matter prompts changes in outside employment policy

Billy Houston, who is under state investigation for allegedly falsified hog lagoon samples in Duplin and Sampson counties, has reportedly acknowledged wrongdoing, a county official told the state Soil and Water Conservation Commission this week. A technician with the Duplin County Soil and Water District since 1983, Houston had a side business...

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Environment Top Story

Powerful new hog trial testimony puts Smithfield back on the defensive

As a former police officer and firefighter, Wesley Sewell has encountered odors so putrid that they would make most people retch. He’s even ranked the smells.

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Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Plea deal offers glimpse into rampant bail industry fraud

When Sarah Jessenia Lopez plead guilty last month to attempted notary fraud related to bail bonding, it was not earth shattering. After all, fraud and criminality in North Carolina’s for-profit bail industry has been rampant for years.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

Fearing suppression, voting rights advocates make case for early voting sites in letters to county boards

Early voting in North Carolina is a big deal with a big turnout, but advocates are bracing for a negative impact this year after some last minute legislative wheeling and dealing.

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Environment Top Story

Monday numbers: The link between polluters and impoverished communities

Unless you’ve become lost or gone wandering, Hollister, N.C., population 674, in Halifax County is not a place that you merely happen upon. But the state Department of Environmental Quality intentionally chose a spot here among the tobacco ...
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Law and the Courts Top Story

Q&A with state Court of Appeals candidates – the Calabria seat

As part of an ongoing effort to inform North Carolinians about the upcoming judicial elections, Policy Watch is publishing a Q&A with each person running for a statewide judicial office. Each of the 11 candidates was asked the same six questions, and their answers will appear throughout the week alongside those of their challengers.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

Q&A with state Court of Appeals candidates – the Arrowood seat

As part of an ongoing effort to inform North Carolinians about the upcoming judicial elections, Policy Watch is publishing a Q&A with each person running for a statewide judicial office. Each of the 11 candidates was asked the same six questions, and their answers will appear throughout the week alongside those of their challengers.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

Q&A with state Court of Appeals candidates – the Elmore seat

As part of an ongoing effort to inform North Carolinians about the upcoming judicial elections, Policy Watch is publishing a Q&A with each person running for a statewide judicial office. Each of the 11 candidates was asked the same six questions, and their answers will appear throughout the week alongside those of their challengers.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

PW exclusive: A Q&A with all three NC Supreme Court candidates

As part of an ongoing effort to inform North Carolinians about the upcoming judicial elections, NC Policy Watch is publishing a Q&A with each person running for a statewide judicial office. Each of the 11 candidates was asked the same six questions, and their answers will appear throughout the week along with their challengers.

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Defending Democracy Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Not final yet: Trio of state officials must still agree on ballot language for proposed constitutional amendments

Lack of implementing language in amendment legislation raises additional concerns When the General Assembly’s legislative session closed last week, six amendments to the state constitution had been approved for November’s ballot.

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Environment Top Story

Despite legislative wins, North Carolina pork giant loses again in court

Murphy-Brown had in its pocket 111 lawmakers who voted last week to all but end nuisance lawsuits against industrialized hog farms. But what the world’s largest pork producer didn’t have turned out to be as important: 12 jurors.

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Environment Top Story

PW exclusive: 25 years before SBI investigation, Duplin County was warned about Billy Houston’s consulting work

Duplin County officials knew 25 years ago that Billy Houston’s side job as an animal waste system consultant could pose problems for the Soil and Water Conservation District, documents obtained under the Public Records Act show.

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