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Law and the Courts Top Story

A tale of two stories: price gouging in NC from consumers, business perspectives

For most, news of an impending hurricane means picking up some bread and an extra case of water, fueling up the gas tank and deciding whether to evacuate. For some businesses though, that same news means dollar signs – it creates an opportunity to take advantage of desperate people planning for the worst.

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Environment Top Story

Coal ash flowing like pudding in Neuse River near Duke’s Goldsboro power plant

Matthew Starr had paddled only a half mile of a stretch of Neuse River near Duke Energy’s HF Lee plant in Goldsboro when he saw initial signs that something had gone very wrong. “There was exposed coal ash on trees, floating in the river, on the road,” said Starr, the Upper Neuse Riverkeeper. “There was coal ash lying the ground. We scooped it up out of the water.”

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Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at the Florence relief effort

Last week Hurricane Florence crippled much of Southeast North Carolina. This week, as Governor Roy Cooper and the North Carolina General Assembly look at how best to help those whose lives were upended by the storm, we take a look at the relief effort so far by the numbers.

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Environment Top Story

Florence aftermath highlights grim reality of the people and places most vulnerable to climate change

Hurricane Florence has laid bare the environmental justice issues that are often masked by sunny news of a record-breaking stock market, low employment (but stagnant wage growth) and tax breaks for the über-wealthy. In Eastern North Carolina...

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

Election officials, advocates scramble to carry on in Florence’s aftermath

It’s still not clear exactly how much damage Hurricane Florence left in her wake, but "the show must go on" for election officials and organizations dedicated to getting out the vote in the November midterm elections.

“The impact of Hurricane Florence has made it even more pressing for the voices of AAPIs [Asian American and Pacific Islanders] and other communities of color to be heard in this election,” said Chavi Koneru, Executive Director at North Carolina Asian Americans Together.

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Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Silence on Silent Sam appears to violate open records laws

When the Silent Sam Confederate Statue was toppled at UNC-Chapel Hill last month, a flurry of text messages and e-mails began. The UNC Board of Governors. UNC-Chapel Hill Chancellor Carol Folt. UNC President Margaret Spellings. The University Police.

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Environment Top Story

Monday numbers: Potential Florence impacts in western NC

Having devastated the southeast coast of North Carolina, Hurricane Florence is now a tropical depression, making a beeline toward the mountains. Rain and wind could uproot trees and unleash land- and mudslides on steep terrain, including places where they occurred earlier this year.

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Law and the Courts Top Story

Civil Rights Commission report: Minority voting rights impacted by new laws, including strict voter ID

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights has finally released its report and recommendations on minority voting rights and access around the country after holding a public briefing in Raleigh earlier this year. The report found that new laws and voting procedures – particularly in many states previously covered under the preclearance requirements of the Voting Rights Act (which includes North Carolina) – are impacting voter access.

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Environment Top Story

Old and in the way: Hurricane Florence could barrel over landfills, waste lagoons, hazardous waste sites and more toxics

Thousands of animal waste lagoons, hazardous waste sites and other repositories of toxic material lie in and near the projected path of Hurricane Florence, increasing the risk of breaches or leaks of dangerous chemicals into the environment.

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Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Reform advocates voice optimism as Courts Commission prepares to tackle bail reform

When the North Carolina Courts Commission meets Friday, it will begin to take a look at an issue making national headlines: bail reform. Last month, California became the first state in the country to officially end cash bail. Republicans and Democrats in the state came together to end a system the Chief Justice of the California called “outdated, unsafe and unfair.”

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

Trump administration ‘fishing expedition’ could compromise privacy of millions of NC voters

If North Carolina election officials are forced to comply with federal subpoenas for election data, the government would have information about how more than two million people voted over the past eight years.

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Environment Top Story

Do you live near a coal ash disposal site?

The Family Dollar store on East Second Street in downtown Weldon is a convenient spot for kayakers to grab a bottle of water and a bag of snacks before heading to the Roanoke River just three blocks away. But in late 2009 and early 2010, state environmental inspectors learned that coal ash from Roanoke Valley Energy, whose material three years earlier had been used to build the parking lot, was seen on the west side of the property.

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Law and the Courts Top Story

Round and round we go: Ballot litigation updates

The clock has almost run out for ballot litigation, but in what seems to have become true North Carolina fashion, there will likely be more delay.

There were five pending lawsuits that could affect the November ballot — now there are three. Lawmakers had tried to address some court issues by rewriting two of the six proposed constitutional amendments in question but have just come under more legal fire.

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Environment Top Story

Pipeline fund battle continues: Lawmakers seek further review of Governor’s deal with Dominion

The $57.8 million carrot is wilting. The purpose of the voluntary fund, agreed to by Gov. Roy Cooper and Dominion Energy last January as part of a deal involving the controversial Atlantic Coast Pipeline, had already been derailed.

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Education Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

PW exclusive: Ethics questions raised on DPI’s $6 million iPad purchase

When N.C. Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson announced a $6.6 million purchase of iPads to support early grade literacy in August, it seemed welcome news for North Carolina school districts that have long complained of inadequate state resources.

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Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Silent Sam’s future still uncertain; UNC Board demands plan from Folt, trustees by Nov. 15

A week after protesters toppled the only Confederate monument on a UNC campus, the fate of Silent Sam is still uncertain. The UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees and the UNC Board of Governors held overlapping special meetings Tuesday, a week after protesters tore the statue down.

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