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Education Featured Articles

Q & A with the new head of NC’s controversial Achievement School District

Eric Hall says he has education in his blood.

The soon-to-be superintendent of North Carolina’s controversial achievement school district says both of his parents were educators. His wife, meanwhile, is a public school social worker.

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Featured Articles Fitzsimon File

The Follies

An offensive call for a referendum on discrimination

Promoters of the latest so-called compromise on HB2 filed in the General Assembly this week apparently believe that discrimination in their communities should be up for a vote.

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Environment Featured Articles

The Atlantic Coast Pipeline will forever change forests, wetlands and rivers in North Carolina

It's nearly spring and the Neuse River Waterdogs are on the prowl, searching for mates. About 6 to 9 inches long, slimy and the color of mud, the salamanders are homely, yet lovable. They have dark spots, like a Dalmatian, and their neck sports two frilly gills the shade of magenta, which, when waterdogs want attention, rise like an Elizabethan collar.

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Featured Articles Policy Watch Investigates

Bills seek to end permits for concealed handguns

Two new North Carolina House bills aim to do away with permits for carrying concealed handguns and eliminate the state’s ability to regulate concealed weapons.

The moves, which have failed to get traction in previous sessions, have been denounced as dangerous by leaders in law enforcement and gun control advocates. But groups and lawmakers supporting the bill say it’s the next step in North Carolina’s recent history of gun deregulation.

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Featured Articles Weekly Briefing

About that economic “mess” Trump claims to have inherited

The data show that the President’s alternative facts about the economy are flat wrong

One month into the presidency of Donald Trump, it’s already common, even global, knowledge that the American commander-in-chief is a man who maintains only a passing familiarity with the truth. Hour after hour and day after day, the “alternative facts” emanating from the White House are so blatant and plentiful that it’s become difficult to keep track.

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Education Featured Articles

Unofficial DPI spokesman raises questions of accountability, transparency

When Jonathan Felts speaks for North Carolina’s superintendent of public instruction, he insists it’s a labor of love.

Felts, a former George W. Bush White House staffer, professional GOP consultant and senior advisor to former Gov. Pat McCrory, says he’s taking no pay for his work in the office of new Superintendent Mark Johnson.

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Featured Articles Progressive Voices

Getting to the bottom of NC’s gerrymandering crisis

Our gerrymandering crisis isn’t just philosophical – “politicians choosing voters instead of voters choosing politicians.” Rather, it’s practical – gerrymandering is election rigging; certain votes “count” more than others through gerrymandering. That’s because the value of a vote lies not in the mere ritual of casting it, but in the equal opportunity for each vote to confer political power. The principle “one person, one vote” encapsulates democracy’s central promise of equality at the polls.

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Featured Articles Law and the Courts

Republicans target non-surgical abortions in latest move to restrict reproductive rights

North Carolina Republican legislators appear to have found a new way to interfere with women’s reproductive rights – this time potentially eliminating the option of a non-invasive abortion for women during the first trimester of pregnancy.

House Bill 62 would require doctors to tell women seeking a non-invasive medical abortion that they could reverse the process halfway through – advice that is medically unproven.

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Featured Articles Fitzsimon File

Monday numbers

52---percentage of voters without a college degree who cast their ballot for Donald Trump in the November election (“Behind Trump’s victory: Divisions by race, gender, education, Pew Research Center, November 9, 2016)

44---percentage of voters without a college degree who cast their ballot for Hillary Clinton (Ibid)

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Featured Articles Fitzsimon File

The Follies (of the inaction on HB2)

More damage to come from HB2 while Republicans do nothing

The clock is ticking yet again on HB2 and the news from Raleigh is not encouraging. As the NCAA prepares to decide where championship events will be held for the next six years, North Carolina is on the verge of being locked out of hosting any of them because the anti-LGBTQ law remains on the books.

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Environment Featured Articles

Opponents of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline: “Nobody is saying what’s happening to the little people”

This is the first of a two-part story about the potential impacts of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline on people and the environment. The second story, dealing with the environmental ramifications, will run Monday. Belinda Joyner rode shotgun and stared out ...
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Education Featured Articles

NC DPI’s second-in-command offers pivotal advice, warning about partisan politics as she prepares to retire

It’ll be a matter of weeks, March 1 to be exact, before N.C. Department of Public Instruction Deputy Superintendent Rebecca Garland is expected to leave here for the last time.

Her Raleigh office in DPI headquarters, festooned with N.C. State sports apparel, still seems mostly in place. And Garland, an integral leader in various roles for this state agency for more than two decades, is amicable and reserved when she talks about her pending retirement.

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Featured Articles Policy Watch Investigates

Conservative NC legislators eye national constitutional convention

The flurry of bills in the current session of the North Carolina General Assembly include some real political firestorm issues - guns, abortion, public education.

But several new bills dealing with a much more esoteric issue deal with a growing national controversy: the movement to amend the U.S. constitution.

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Featured Articles Must Reads

Lawmakers obsess over “rainy day fund” while much of NC remains under water

The latest BTC Brief from the North Carolina Budget and Tax Center is out and it is a “must read” for anyone interested in what’s really going on with state budget debate. In “Saving for a rainy day when NC needs and umbrella today,” BTC analyst Cedric Johnson provides a powerful critique of recent proposals at the state Legislative Building to further bolster the state “rainy day fund” at the same time that a host of core public systems and structures remain destructively under-funded.

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Featured Articles Fitzsimon File

Berger rejects Cooper’s efforts to remove the dark stain of HB2

Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger and other Republican leaders have spent the last few days desperately distorting the facts and rewriting history to try to blame Governor Roy Cooper for the disaster of HB2 that was passed by the GOP supermajority in the House and Senate and signed into law by former Governor Pat McCrory last March.

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Featured Articles Law and the Courts

Cooper tries again to broker a deal to repeal HB2

Step 1: Repeal House Bill 2, North Carolina’s sweeping anti-LGBTQ legislation.

Step 2: Strengthen penalties for individuals who perpetrate crimes that violate the safety, security and privacy of people in public bathrooms or dressing rooms.

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