Articles

Articles

Top Story Weekly Briefing

Perfecting corruption: Latest campaign news shows how far and fast our politics have fallen

As time goes by, it becomes increasingly difficult to believe that President Richard Nixon was forced to resign from office – ultimately by his fellow Republicans – because of his corrupt political acts and those of his aides. For instance, one of the key (and at the time shocking) revelations of the Watergate investigation was that the 1972 Nixon reelection campaign (which came to be known by the highly appropriate moniker of “CREEP”) had employed a “dirty tricks” unit.

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Environment Top Story

Duke Energy says it will fully excavate coal ash from unlined ponds, but that won’t fix the legacy of contamination

Tonight is the first public meeting on historic closure plans of Duke Energy's unlined coal ash basins. The modern history of Duke Energy in North Carolina pivots on a single day: Feb. 2, 2014. On that Sunday afternoon, a pipe collapsed at the utility's coal-fired power plant in Eden...

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News Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at North Carolina’s infant mortality rates

African American babies were nearly three times as likely to die in 2018 in North Carolina than white babies. The state can do better, but to address the issue, it must know the extent of the crisis. Below are just a few of the numbers to reflect how big the problem is in this state.  

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Leandro funding recommendations: Much lower than reported, readily affordable

Despite the alarm and denial with which they have been greeted in some circles, the recent recommendations of a national education research group to the presiding judge in North Carolina's 26-year-old Leandro education finance lawsuit are quite reasonable and within the state's capacity to readily implement. Indeed, according to national experts, North Carolina doesn’t have to break the bank in order to finally begin meeting its constitutional obligation to provide every child with a good education.

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Education Top Story

State legislative committee takes up teacher prep, but remains mostly silent on blockbuster Leandro report

Should North Carolina lawmakers explicitly address the recommendations contained in a detailed new report urging billions more in spending on public education? That's a question that seems sure to arise in the coming weeks and months, in light of that report's conclusion that the state is failing to meet its constitutional obligation to provide all North Carolina schoolchildren with the opportunity to receive a "sound, basic education." The report was prepared by the nonprofit research firm WestEd for the state Superior Court judge overseeing the landmark Leandro lawsuit.

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Billy Ball Commentary Top Story

On impeachment, N.C. deserved a Mitt Romney. We got Thom Tillis and Richard Burr instead.

Mitt Romney is, in this moment, the Republican that Americans and North Carolinians deserve. But he is not, of course, the Republican that most of us received.

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Higher Ed Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Trustees express concern at being “drafted” by UNC Board of Governors to support GOP state budget

Fear of political retribution drives some campus leaders to play ball, keep mum When the UNC Board of Governors weighed in on the state budget stalemate last month, it didn’t just take a side in a partisan political fight between a Democratic governor and the Republican majority in the legislature. It asked the individual boards of trustees of all 16 UNC universities and the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics to follow suit. This week a half-dozen trustees from those schools told Policy Watch they are uncomfortable wading into the partisan fight, but fear Republican legislative leaders will remove or fail to re-appoint them if they don’t follow orders.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Allegations of electronic eavesdropping at Department of Public Instruction deserve to be taken seriously

Allegations are swirling that unknown persons at the Department of Public Instruction intentionally monitored personal text messages of a retired director.  If true, the activity could constitute a violation of North Carolina’s statute governing interception of electronic communication.

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Law and the Courts Top Story

Attorneys to NC Supreme Court: Lead us in ending racial discrimination in jury selection

Imagine three people being interviewed in succession in Juror Seat #10 about their ability to serve in a felony drug trial involving a Black man considered to be a felon who allegedly also possessed a firearm. You’re the prosecutor, and you want the juror who can sympathize most with how you present the case. Juror A is a supervisor at a termite company. He says he's previously been a victim of crime, and that even though no one was arrested, charged or convicted, he still feels that law enforcement did everything it could.

You’re the prosecutor, and you want the juror who can sympathize most with how you present the case.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

Vote with your feet this Saturday

It’s hard to believe, but the 2020 presidential election process is in full swing. The Iowa caucuses kicked things off last night and four weeks from today is “Super Tuesday” – the day on which presidential primaries will be held in North Carolina and 15 other locations. Within six weeks, well over half the delegates to the two major political party conventions will have been selected and, amazingly, we could well know who the Democratic challenger to President Trump is likely to be before spring officially arrives.

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Environment Top Story

A federal appeals court judge’s remarkable speech is the latest surprise in NC’s hog nuisance lawsuits

Last Friday morning in Richmond, Va., midway through oral arguments in the hog nuisance case of McKiver v. Murphy-Brown, Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson III removed his glasses and briefly rested his cheek on his hand, as if burdened by the content of thousands of pages of case documents he had read.

“What troubled me...

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Education Top Story

Monday Numbers: A closer look at the slowdown in teacher attrition

The State Board of Education’s “Annual Report on the State of the Teaching Profession” shows a steady decline in teacher attrition.  The board will discuss the report this week at its monthly board meeting Feb. 5-6. 

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Progressive Voices Top Story

One in seven NC drivers has had their license suspended. Many of them don’t even know it.

In North Carolina, 1.25 million people – one in seven adults – has a suspended driver license. That alone is a massive public problem. After all, driving is “a virtual necessity for most Americans,” as the U.S. Supreme Court has noted, and there are few communities where a resident can get to work, school, or everyday errands without a car. But what is even more troubling is that many of these people may not know it.

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