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Law and the Courts

Groundswell of support for “raise the age” proposal could push legislation forward in next session

This year could finally be the year North Carolina raises the age at which juveniles are prosecuted as adults. Officials and advocates acknowledge they’ve heard that line before, but they also claim this year really is different. Why? ...
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Education Featured Articles

Public school advocates welcome “champion” in the Executive Mansion, offer advice on the challenges Cooper will face

The N.C. Association of Educators was one of the first major political advocacy groups to side with Roy Cooper.

So when news spread over social media Monday that Gov. Pat McCrory had at last conceded a bitterly contested gubernatorial race to Cooper—three weeks and six days after Election Day—it’s fitting that the 70,000-member political arm of teachers across North Carolina was one of the first to trumpet the news.

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Environment Featured Articles

If you smell something, say something

Where state regulators fail, citizens step in to monitor the air

The view from the porch of a 1920s bungalow on East Pettigrew Street in Old East Durham is not of trees. Not of a grocery, a restaurant or a beauty salon. Not even another house or an empty lot. Instead, you can sit on your step with a cup of coffee and gaze upon the gates of a drywall supplier and the silos of a concrete plant.

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Featured Articles Policy Watch Investigates

McCrory sidesteps goodbyes, presses for sale of “crappy” historic buildings

Gov. Pat McCrory was jovial at his last Council of State meeting this morning, even cracking a few jokes, but he was also blunt and made no concessions about his feelings on developing dilapidated state buildings. What he ...
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Featured Articles Policy Watch Investigates

As Cooper gains votes, McCrory gains Durham recount from State Board of Elections

The State Board of elections Wednesday ordered a partial recount of ballots cast in Durham County in the Nov. 8 election.

The board voted 3-2 along party lines to recount more than 90,000 votes reported late on the night of the election because of a software problem.

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Iliana Santillán-Carrillo, of El Pueblo, works with members of Raleigh’s immigration community to teach the basics of North Carolina and federal law at a meeting Monday. (Photos by Melissa Boughton.)
Featured Articles Law and the Courts

Advocates, lawyers try to prepare for unclear immigration future

The future of immigrants in America is uncertain, to say the least. As the fear of mass deportations grows, so does the likelihood that immigrant communities will be forced to shrink back into the shadows.

President-elect Donald Trump made his stance on immigration clear during the election: he threatened more deportations, touted a plan to build an extensive wall between America and Mexico, and said he would add U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers and end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

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Education Featured Articles

Legislators shift gears, back away from controversial pay plan for school principals, administrators

Weeks after a legislative plan to scrap North Carolina’s school principal pay schedule drew a swift rebuke from educators, top state Republicans are seemingly backing off on the controversial proposal while pushing forward with at least modest raises for the state’s underpaid administrators.

Sen. Jerry Tillman, an influential state Republican representing Moore and Randolph counties, told lawmakers in an administrator pay study group this week that district superintendents across the state were “scared” of a proposal floated by lawmakers last month that would have done away with the salary schedule—which sets a floor for pay based on experience and credentials.

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Featured Articles Law and the Courts

McCrory protests incorrectly accuse nearly half of voters in filings of having felonies

Barron McCollum received an official letter at 10 a.m. last week asking him to appear at a Forsyth County Board of Elections hearing at 9 a.m. that same day to defend his vote in the general election.

The 66-year-old Winston-Salem man had to call the local elections office twice before he received any information about what was going on, and what he actually got was scant: “Your case has been dismissed.”

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Education

North Carolina school leaders, advocates work to address immigrants’ fears following caustic campaign season

The day after President-elect Trump’s triumph was a day to remember, says Pilar Rocha-Goldberg, president and CEO of El Centro Hispano, one of North Carolina’s largest Latino advocacy and support organizations.

Immigrant children, undocumented and documented, were afraid to return to school. They feared deportation or bullying by their peers, says Rocha-Goldberg, after a presidential election noted for its particularly caustic tone toward immigrants.

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Featured Articles Policy Watch Investigates

State Board of Election has confidence in the counties; McCrory digs in, demands a recount

County boards should go on counting ballots in from the Nov. 8 election, the State Board of Elections unanimously voted Tuesday - and the authority over how they deal with challenges should remain at the local level.

At issue: The hotly contested gubernatorial race between Republican Governor Pat McCrory and his Democratic challenger, Attorney General Roy Cooper.

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Featured Articles Policy Watch Investigates

Meet the people challenging the election and their fellow voters’ eligibility

The voters are felons. They’re dead. They voted in two states. They took advantage of same-day registration, which can’t be trusted. Election officials were tired and must have made an error. The tabulators may have malfunctioned. The memory cards were hinky.

The theories of why the 2016 election was allegedly botched, rigged and flubbed range from the believable – a felon still on parole unknowingly voted – to outlandish – someone might have broken in to a locked box in a locked room in a locked board of elections and entered ballots into a locked machine.

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Featured Articles Law and the Courts

Election protesters: NCGOP attorneys supplied complaint information in governor’s race

Attorneys identified as representing the North Carolina Republican Party supplied information about potential voter fraud to residents and then asked them to sign protests before filing the paperwork with local election boards, according to election protesters.

Protesters in Craven, Cumberland, Forsyth and Hoke counties said they would not have filed election protests had the attorneys, who identified themselves as being associated with the NC GOP, not contacted them with the names of voters accused of fraud.

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Protesters at the Durham Board of Elections hold signs reading "red card!"
Featured Articles News

Durham Board of Elections dismisses Republicans’ protest for lack of evidence

In Gov. Pat McCrory’s 52-county strategy to foment doubt in the election results, Durham would have been the Ace in the deck. Durham County is staunchly Democratic, predominantly urban and historically African-American, a trifecta hostile to North Carolina Republicans. If the state GOP’s election protest could win here, similar tantrums could prevail elsewhere — such as the other 51 counties where McCrory’s operatives have filed largely spurious voter challenges.

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Featured Articles Law and the Courts

Lawmakers differ on whether court-packing proposal is on the table

Veteran House member says matter explored in GOP caucus; others deny it

Republican legislative leaders have remained silent over the last week about whether or not a possible court-packing plan for the North Carolina Supreme Court could come to fruition at a special legislative session expected to be called early next month to deal with the impacts of Hurricane Matthew. Now, they’re making conflicting claims about where things stand.

House Republican Rep. Chuck McGrady from Henderson County said Thursday that expanding the state's highest court was discussed in House Republican caucus earlier this week, and while representatives were split on the issue, he didn't get a sense of momentum.

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Education Featured Articles

Virtual charters continue to be plagued by high dropout rates, low student performance

State education leaders may be reporting lackluster grades and soaring dropout rates in two new virtual charter schools in North Carolina, but customers, by and large, seem satisfied. That’s the synopsis of a draft report on North Carolina’s virtual charter pilot, which includes two schools, N.C. Virtual Academy and N.C. Connections Academy, run by for-profit companies K-12 Inc. and Pearson, respectively.

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Featured Articles Policy Watch Investigates

Durham Board of Elections grants NCGOP attorney evidentiary hearing over ballot count; social justice activists protest

His shoulders slumped and his head bowed, Bill Brian, the Republican chairman of the Durham County Board of Elections, seemed burdened by the vote he was about to cast. “I’m having a difficult time,” he told a standing-room only crowd that had gathered in the county commissioners chambers.

With a short break to call an ambulance for someone who had collapsed in the back of the room, the probable cause hearing entailed an hour of testimony, some of it fanciful, about the integrity of Durham’s election results.

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