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Education Top Story

State Superintendent-elect Catherine Truitt: Where she stands on charters, the board and the NCAE

Truitt will have to rebuild trust with the state board, whose relationship with her predecessor was combative. Education in North Carolina has become “highly politicized” to the detriment of student achievement, says State Superintendent-elect Catherine Truitt.

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COVID-19 News Top Story

It’s a big effort with middling results, but health experts say contact tracing in the COVID-19 pandemic needs to continue

Recent CDC study in Mecklenburg, Randolph counties, showed difficulties in effective contact tracing North Carolina doesn’t make the details of contact tracing efforts public as some other states do. But the televised pleas by the state’s leading health official for people to answer contact tracers’ calls offer a clue to the obstacles.

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News Top Story

And so the 2022 campaign gets underway

An NC state senator is exploring a bid for a seat in Congress that doesn’t exist. Here’s what he’s betting. WASHINGTON — How do you run for the U.S. House in a district that doesn’t exist? Well, former Obama staffer and North Carolina state Sen. Wiley Nickel is about to find out. Nickel, a 44-year old Democratic lawyer heading into his second term representing western Wake County, filed paperwork last Friday forming an exploratory committee to run for Congress in 2022.

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COVID-19 Environment Top Story

COVID-19 quarantine creates record amounts of trash

Dan Parker wants to talk trash.  Actually, he’s been talking trash for more than six years. Parker’s job at Durham’s Solid Waste Management Department brings him up close to the discards and undesirables of the city’s residents. But the last seven months of the pandemic brought a load unlike any other for Parker and his team. 

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News Top Story

Experts to civil rights panel: NC must do more to lower maternal death rate

Women of color, in particular, would benefit if state expanded access to Medicaid The United States has the worst rate of maternal death of any industrialized nation, and the rate of pregnancy-related deaths in the U.S. is more than three times higher for Black women than it is for white women.

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Environment News Top Story

Smithfield, Dominion propose major swine gas project, but details are secret, troubling residents

Public hearing on Align RNG air permit set for this afternoon

Smithfield Foods and Dominion Energy plan to deploy 30 miles of underground pipeline in Sampson and Duplin counties, part of a controversial project to buy methane from area hog farms, then transport and sell the energy to major utilities.

In and of itself, decreasing methane emissions in the atmosphere isn’t controversial. Such reductions are key to curbing climate change because methane is even more potent in heating the planet than carbon dioxide. And the state’s Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard requires investor-owned utilities to generate or buy a minute amount — just 0.02% — of their power from swine and poultry waste.

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Environment Top Story

Mother Nature chimes in as officials ponder controversial landfill proposal

A day of dangerous flooding underscores concerns of local residents regarding proposed Vance County facility The rain, curtains of it, had fallen in North Carolina all of Thursday. Relentless and unforgiving, floodwaters filled rivers and creeks, which broke their banks. It swept mud from hillsides, buckled roads, swallowed cars. It killed people in several counties.

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Education Top Story

As charters siphon off students, Granville County’s public schools are struggling to stay afloat

Granville is a cautionary tale for rural school districts that must compete with charters

Granville County Schools is in what former school board member Rob Rivers describes as a graveyard spiral.

As evidence, the former NASA test pilot points to budget problems, declining enrollment and worsening academic performance, all of which Rivers believes will doom the district if steps aren’t taken to stop the free fall.

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News Top Story

Biden wants mask mandates nationwide: ‘We can save tens of thousands of lives’

As U.S. cases of COVID-19 surpass 10 million, some states could still resist requiring an important precaution to reduce the spread of the disease. WASHINGTON — President-elect Joe Biden’s coronavirus response plan would establish a national mask mandate by calling on all governors to require people to wear face coverings in public in their states.

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Law and the Courts News Top Story

The Supreme Court could strike down Obamacare. Here’s what’s at stake.

WASHINGTON— The fate of the sweeping 2010 health care law known as Obamacare is again in limbo, with the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday scheduled to hear arguments over whether the statute should be overturned. States are at the heart of the case; nearly every one has made an argument about why the Affordable Care Act, as it's officially titled, should be kept or struck down.

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Defending Democracy News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Kathy Manning looks at the road ahead as she heads to Congress

With President Donald Trump refusing to concede and many races still on a razor’s edge as record numbers of mail-in ballots are counted, the post-election period has been stressful for many Americans. But Kathy Manning, the Greensboro attorney and businesswoman who won the Sixth Congressional District race last week, is already thinking about next steps.

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Defending Democracy News Top Story

Monday numbers: Where the votes stand in key North Carolina races for US Senate, Attorney General and state Supreme Court

Celebration and consternation greeted the weekend announcement that former Vice President Joe Biden had secured the electoral votes to become President of the United States. President Donald Trump has so far refused to concede and continues to baselessly insist there was widespread fraud and election irregularities.

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Defending Democracy News Top Story

Biden elected nation’s 46th president

WASHINGTON — Democrat Joe Biden’s native state of Pennsylvania on Saturday secured his victory to become the next president of the United States when The Associated Press reported he had gained enough votes there to win the electoral college. The AP called Pennsylvania for Biden at 11:25 a.m., which gave the former vice president 284 electoral college votes to 214 for President Donald Trump.

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Environment Top Story

What the election results mean for environmental protection

Four experts reflect on what's likely to come next in Washington and Raleigh Not since before the Nixon administration, which created the EPA in 1970, have environmental protections been under such a sustained attack — an attack that threatens the planet's very habitability.

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News Top Story

Election update: Battleground states count mail ballots, with Biden just shy of votes to clinch presidency

WASHINGTON — Two days after Election Day, the nation waited for vote-counting to finish in several critical states, where the tallying of mail ballots has left Democrat Joe Biden just short of the votes needed to become the next president. Thursday’s updated totals could push Biden beyond the 270 electoral votes needed to secure victory if the trends in the remaining battleground states continue. Biden’s staffers have expressed confidence that he will soon be declared the winner.

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Defending Democracy News Top Story

NC Democrats fall short in legislative races

Absent reform, GOP will once again control redistricting of congressional and legislative maps State Democrats failed to win enough legislative districts Tuesday to have greater influence in shaping laws and in drawing new Congressional and House and Senate district boundaries next year.  Instead of picking up seats in the state House, early results show that Democrats lost ground.

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