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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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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 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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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 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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Featured Articles Law and the Courts Trump Administration

Fear of Trump immigration order in NC spreads as potential human costs emerge

President Donald Trump has paid a lot of lip service to rounding up the “bad hombres” but it turns out he wants to deport a much larger group of immigrants than he led America to believe.

Trump signed an executive order in January to enhance “public safety in the interior of the United States.” The order did away a previous deportation priority list promulgated former President Barack Obama’s administration and is expected to have dire consequences for a majority of unauthorized immigrants, not just individuals with criminal convictions.

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Featured Articles Policy Watch Investigates

Legislative leaders condemn Superior Court order placing confirmation of Cooper’s cabinet on hold

A N.C. Senate confirmation hearing was postponed Wednesday morning after a court order restraining the Senate from holding hearings to confirm Gov. Roy Cooper’s cabinet nominees.

Larry Hall, the former Democratic N.C. House member tapped by Cooper to head the Department of Military and Veteran Affairs, chose not attend the meeting at which he was to be vetted.

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Environment Featured Articles

In opposition to Amazon Wind farm, NC lawmakers cite #alternativefacts

Overlooking the all caps, italics, bolded passages and occasional exclamation marks, on its face the two-page letter sent by eight North Carolina lawmakers looked overblown but possibly informed.

Last month, the lawmakers — all Republicans — wrote to Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, asking him to permanently close the Desert Wind farm just west of Elizabeth City. The letter quoted impressive-sounding government-funded studies about the threat of wind turbines on military radar. It cited a meticulous set of facts and figures. It listed footnotes in superscript, just like the MLA academic style book instructs.

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Featured Articles Policy Watch Investigates Trump Administration

Five questions with Gunther Peck

Gunther Peck is an associate professor of History at Duke University specializing in 19th and 20th century American social and cultural history, comparative immigration and labor studies.

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Featured Articles Policy Watch Investigates Trump Administration

NC political, historical experts reflect on Trump presidency

In a tumultuous first two weeks in office, President Donald Trump has broken with norms and precedents of his office, spawned dozens of lawsuits, generated historically low public approval numbers and some of the largest protests in U.S. history.

Historians and political scientists in North Carolina agree the Trump presidency is, in many ways, without precedent. They are also expressing concern about Trump’s impact on the institution of the presidency, the functioning of the nation’s government and the standing of the U.S. in the world.

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Featured Articles Law and the Courts Trump Administration

The path forward: Debate over voting rights to remain contentious; “Raise the age,” technological advances face smoother sailing

North Carolina residents know well what happens when a politician throws around claims of voter fraud without actually verifying the validity of such notions.

When former Republican Gov. Pat McCrory was losing during the last election, his team took extreme measures and latched on to any allegation of voter fraud researchers could dig up.

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Featured Articles Law and the Courts Trump Administration

Conservative U.S. Supreme Court pick will face Democratic concern for the underrepresented, fallout over stolen seat

Conservative federal appeals court judge Neil Gorsuch was nominated Tuesday by President Donald Trump to fill the U.S. Supreme Court seat left vacant for almost a year after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. Trump made the announcement ...
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Education Featured Articles

New state superintendent may find it hard to keep pledge on school testing

N.C. Superintendent of Public Instruction Mark Johnson may have signaled his intent to reduce the testing load for North Carolina public school students, but education officials, past and present, say the new superintendent is going to need some ...
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