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Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Is NC’s cash bail system just? Advocates, reforms in other states raise serious doubts

David Clark works in the Guilford County Public Defender’s Office, representing clients charged with high level felonies. All of them are presumed innocent until proven guilty, but that doesn’t mean they receive equal treatment.

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Education Top Story

Charlotte-Meck split? School district “secession” idea draws heavy criticism from integration proponents

The head of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools—North Carolina’s second-largest school system—says state lawmakers’ brewing talk of dividing large districts is “bad public policy.”

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Environment Top Story

Carcinogens, other contaminants found near Roxboro and Sutton coal ash sites as EPA looks to weaken rules

Policy Watch recently reviewed more than 20,000 pages of data for a series of stories about groundwater contamination in wells around Duke Energy’s coal ash ponds: Marshall, Cliffside, Allen, Buck and Dan River. This is the final installment in the series, which covers Sutton and Roxboro in context of the recent announcement of proposed changes to coal ash rules by the EPA.

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Law and the Courts Top Story

Homeowners to homelessness: Siler City residents battle eviction after chicken processor purchases mobile home park

When Lucia Salmeron thinks about her trailer, she thinks about her family’s future – her children riding their bikes with their friends in a neighborhood they love; she and her husband working on their home renovations; everyone being surrounded by a close-knit community of which they’ve spent years becoming a part.

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Environment Top Story

Chemical contamination detected in Durham drinking water; new statewide monitoring system proposed

In early spring, Lake Michie stirs to life, with fishers and the Duke University women’s rowing team taking to the water at dawn. The 480-acre reservoir near Bahama is not only a source of largemouth bass, but it is also a boating destination, and it provides Durham with 30 million to 35 million gallons of drinking water each day.

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Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Arrests, convictions, predatory behavior plague North Carolina’s bail bond industry

By the time Phillip Armachain was arrested last year, the 50-year old man from Cherokee had for years built a reputation for being “creepy” and “a pervert” who made women in the town uncomfortable and afraid.

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Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Legislature takes first step to combat sexual harassment; advocates say it’s far from sufficient

When the N.C. General Assembly’s top staffer announced plans last week to roll out sexual harassment training for state lawmakers and legislative employees, some state lawmakers hailed the move as a good first step.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

Deadlocks, discord and compromise: Elections/Ethics Board makes nominations for ninth seat

It took five deadlocked votes along party lines and a failed suggestion to draw names from a hat for eight members of the State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement to finally agree on two nominees to serve in what could be a tie-breaking ninth seat.

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Environment Top Story

State officials struggle to keep up as GenX pollution issues spread, grow more complex

Late March is prime spring planting season in North Carolina, and this year, as part of his personal scientific experiment, Mike Watters is sowing not just one garden, but four. Some vegetables will be grown in a greenhouse, irrigated with bottled water and shielded from rain potentially contaminated with GenX.

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Must Reads News Top Story

Monday numbers – A closer look at the well-being of North Carolina’s children

The following collection of numbers comes from the 2018 North Carolina Child Health Report Card compiled by researchers at NC Child and the NC Institute of Medicine.

46 - percentage of North Carolina children who live in poor or low-income homes (<200% Federal Poverty Level)

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

The Board of Elections battle: Where things stand

One-stop early voting for North Carolina’s May 8 primary election is a little over a month away, but litigation over the structure of the agency overseeing all things voting remains very much unresolved. Gov. Roy Cooper filed a ...
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Environment Top Story

Landowners in the path of proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline look to federal judge for relief

A lone Southern yellow pine tree has stood in the middle of Marvin Winstead’s Nash County field for at least 100 years. It is the heart of Winstead’s 70-acre farm, which has been in his family for three generations. The tree has survived hurricanes and tornadoes, cold snaps and heat waves, droughts and floods. But it may not survive the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.

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Education Top Story

NC students take a stand against gun violence, express deep concerns about school safety

Tallulah Cloos, 18, sometimes ponders ideal hiding spots if an active shooter were ever to terrorize her Buncombe County high school. It’s not easy, she says. A.C. Reynolds High, located just southeast of Asheville, has a wide campus with an abundance of open spaces.

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Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Removal of state monuments back in the spotlight

Public hearing scheduled for next week This week the North Carolina Historical Commission’s Confederate Monuments Study Committee scheduled a forum to hear public comments on moving three monuments from the State Capitol grounds.

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News Top Story

New report: Simple school-based program could solve a big health problem for poor and rural kids

While tooth decay is sometimes perceived as a childhood rite of passage, elementary school-aged children missing school and causing parents to miss work due to painful toothaches are no laughing matter. Parents of children with poor oral health miss twice as much work as their counterparts, due to preventable, unnecessary tooth pain.

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Education Top Story

Monday numbers – A closer look at what teachers think about about guns

Last month, in response to the latest in a series of mass shootings in American schools, some lawmakers suggested arming North Carolina teachers. Last week, pollsters at Elon University released a poll in which they asked North Carolina teachers about the issue.

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