Policy Watch Investigates

Policy Watch Investigates

News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Immigration advocates push Biden to not just bring back DACA but to expand it

Dreamers looking for bold action from a new administration President-elect Joe Biden said last week he would send to the U.S. Senate a bill that would lay out a path to citizenship for 11 million undocumented people living in the United States within his first 100 days in office. In the interview with NBC’s Lester Holt, Biden built on an early promise to reinstate an Obama-era program called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA...

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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

We’ve seen this movie before: Like Trump, former Gov. Pat McCrory blamed non-existent fraud for his 2016 loss

Donald Trump's baseless, nonstop public allegations of pervasive fraud, election meddling and disloyalty among his party members are unprecedented for a modern American president. But some observers of North Carolina politics have seen this kind of behavior before.

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Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Cherokee defending gains made possible by casinos

This week the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously approved the Lumbee Recognition Act, bringing the North Carolina tribe closer to the federal recognition it has sought for more than a century. Reaction from other tribes — particularly the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians  — was swift and negative. They said questions remain about the origins and authenticity of the Lumbee, who have at various points claimed descent from four different tribes.

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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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Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Catawba casino opponents: Don’t gamble with our lives for financial jackpot

Just off I-85, on the way into Kings Mountain, there’s a truck stop on Dixon School Road. Driving through on a weekday afternoon, you might think it’s abandoned. No one fueling up at the pumps. No cars in the lot. On the towering sign, tall enough to be seen from the highway, the old "Citgo" logo has been blacked out with spray paint.

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Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

SC-based GOP mega-donor with shady past and ties to Burr, Tillis is behind controversial Catawba casino

Wallace Cheves, whose previous legal troubles include millions in civil fines, used this money to clear legal obstacles for the project When the Catawba Indian Nation began a seven-year battle to open a new casino resort in Cleveland County, it faced long odds. The South Carolina tribe needed to change federal law and longstanding Indian gaming policy to move across the border, to a state friendlier to gaming.

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Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

PW investigation: Proposed Catawba Indian casino no sure bet for surrounding community

Land ownership records, experiences elsewhere raise big questions as to where benefits from controversial Cleveland County resort would flow Kings Mountain Mayor Scott Neisler is among several well-connected politicians, developers and major landowners who could financially benefit from the controversial $273 million Catawba Two Kings Casino Resort, a Policy Watch investigation has found.

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Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Proposed Catawba casino for NC has momentum, but many hurdles still to overcome

A proposed casino resort near Kings Mountain could be a jackpot for the Catawba Indian Nation, based just over the border in Rock Hill, SC. Consideration of the issue has already provided a boon to state and congressional Republicans connected to the project.

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Catawba, Cherokee tribes square off over proposed casino in congressional hearing

NC congressman raises questions about federal rules, potential conflicts of interest Competing tribal claims and cross-accusations over a proposed casino resort near Kings Mountain came to a head Thursday in a federal legislative committee meeting. At issue: the Catawba Two Kings Casino Resort, a proposed $273 million, 17-acre casino in Cleveland County.

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COVID-19 Defending Democracy Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

As new poll workers step up in pandemic, elections directors say they are ready for November

Even with an increase in absentee voting, election directors expect a large in-person turnout. Since March, when the COVID-19 pandemic began upending so many aspects of American life, elections directors across the state have worried about the impact on the November election.

Health concerns have led to an unprecedented number of absentee ballot requests. But a divisive presidential election and tumultuous political season could also lead to heavy in-person turnout. That’s a problem for the backbone of the election systems across the state: the more than 15,000 election workers, the majority of whom are older people for whom coronavirus infection is most dangerous.

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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

PW special report: Trump-linked effort to infiltrate progressive NC groups prompts investigation

Man who went by "James Fortune" was a gateway to network of far-right operatives Shortly after dawn on a recent steamy July morning, a man who said his name was James Fortune showed up off NC Highway 12 in Cape Hatteras. He had flown in from New York City and rented a car for a rendezvous with an employee of a North Carolina nonpartisan election education organization for a long day of deep-sea fishing.

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Higher Ed News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

In voting to change chancellor search policy, UNC Board of Governors could expand System president’s power

Trustees at Historically Black Colleges and Universities oppose the change over concerns that conservative white leadership is often at odds with HBCUs' mission UNC System President Peter Hans could further consolidate his power if the Board of Governors votes Thursday on a major and fundamental change to how chancellors are chosen for UNC system schools.

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COVID-19 Higher Ed Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

As the largest UNC System schools move online, who is next and who decides?

While the largest schools within the UNC System have moved to online learning after widespread COVID-19 outbreaks, at smaller institutions, disagreements over reopening plans are fraying relations to the breaking point. Students, faculty and administrators are debating whether to go online now — and avoid the same fate as their larger counterparts — or try to make it through the semester unless the number of infections makes it impossible.

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COVID-19 Higher Ed Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

As COVID clusters mount, university dashboards provide incomplete and outdated information

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is being rocked by a series of COVID-19 infection clusters  just one week after the start of classes. Four such clusters — defined by the state Department of Health and Human Services as five or more infections in a related area — have been identified in student housing since Friday.

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COVID-19 Higher Ed Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

UNC-Chapel Hill leaders come under fire at emergency faculty meeting

Chancellor's failure to share health department reopening recommendations called a "breach of trust" The Orange County Health Director has urged the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to move to online education for the fall semester and keep on-campus housing to an absolute minimum as the COVID-19 pandemic in the county worsens. The campus will be doing neither of those things, Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz said Wednesday.

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Higher Ed Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

UNC’s ‘worst-case scenario’ plans could be just the beginning

Enrollment drops. Employee furloughs and layoffs. Faculty cuts. Shuttered athletic programs. UNC System schools could see all of these things, according to a new report on campus plans to deal with the financial fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. And experts say this could be just the beginning.

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