Policy Watch Investigates

Policy Watch Investigates

Secretary Donald van der Vaart
Environment Featured Articles Policy Watch Investigates

Dissecting the McCrory administration’s defense of the new state coal ash law

A detailed look at what DEQ officials claim and what they leave out in their new video

The state’s coal ash crisis is under control.

That’s what the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality wants viewers to believe, in a recently released a five-and-a-half minute video on the agency’s website and YouTube channel.

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UNC BOG
Featured Articles Policy Watch Investigates

The UNC system endures a tumultuous year

The past year was a whirlwind for the state’s acclaimed public university system, beginning with the surprise ouster of its much-respected president and ending with the selection of a successor whose career has been deeply steeped in national ...
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Western Governors University
Featured Articles Policy Watch Investigates

Out-of-state online college favored by legislature halts NC enrollment while waiting for approval

An online college granted money in the last state budget is facing snags enrolling North Carolina students. Western Governors University stopped accepting students from North Carolina this fall because it hasn’t yet gotten the required approval from the ...
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dhhs-400
Policy Watch Investigates

Federal criminal probe ongoing at North Carolina’s health agency

Aldona Wos may no longer be the Secretary of the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, but there’s still plenty of interest in how she ran the agency. In particular, a federal grand jury wants to know ...
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Dollar-on-Medicaid-922A
Featured Articles Policy Watch Investigates

Medicaid privatization on its way to North Carolina

North Carolina is on the verge of privatizing its Medicaid system, the $14 billion program that provides health care for 1.9 million of its most vulnerable residents — low-income elderly, children, pregnant women and disabled persons. The major ...
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Policy Watch Investigates

As UNC system looks for new leaders, more information coming out about Tom Ross dismissal

As a slate of appointed leaders get closer to appointing a new head of North Carolina’s higher education system, details continue to trickle out about the January decision to get rid of its current president, Tom Ross. John ...
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Policy Watch Investigates

Electricity rates to drop in Eastern North Carolina

Eastern North Carolina may finally get some relief from the high electricity bills that have long frustrated residents and hampered economic development. Electricity rates in communities belonging to the N.C. Eastern Municipal Power Agency can be a third ...
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Laroque-709
Policy Watch Investigates Public money, personal gain

Former state Rep. Stephen LaRoque headed to prison

Stephen LaRoque will spend the next two years in a federal prison, punishment for stealing from the federally-funded non-profit he ran. LaRoque, 51, a former Republican state representative from Kinston was given the 24-month sentence Wednesday morning. He ...
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Fair housing
Policy Watch Investigates

Senate budget also took aim at anti-discrimination law

North Carolina might scale back its efforts to fight unlawful discrimination, if a Senate budget provision to repeal the state’s fair housing act is adopted as law. The provision, which would repeal the State Fair Housing Act and ...
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so-college_story
Policy Watch Investigates

NC Senate and House differ on approach to funding higher education

The state’s higher education system saw its enrollment growth funded in the Senate budget proposal released this week, a cost of nearly $130 million over the next two years, but also saw another year of significant discretionary cuts ...
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johnson_terry
Policy Watch Investigates

Waiting for a decision in Alamance discrimination case

Alamance County Sheriff Terry Johnson sits in an unusual position. After running unopposed in last November’s election, he’s serving his fourth term as the top lawman in Alamance County, a largely rural county west of the Research Triangle ...
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Western Governors University
Policy Watch Investigates

Controversial online college on its way to North Carolina?

A controversial online university that credits students for their existing skills and knowledge could soon have a larger role in North Carolina, with a funding stream carved out in the state House’s version of the budget. The Utah-based ...
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Tom_Ross-2
Policy Watch Investigates

Emails between Tom Ross, UNC Board of Governors show concern about Ross’ dismissal

Several members of the University of North Carolina’s Board of Governors contacted UNC President Tom Ross in the days after he was pushed to resign, relaying their sorrow about what happened, according to emails recently obtained by N.C. ...
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ScottRalls
Policy Watch Investigates

Help wanted: North Carolina’s public higher education systems both in need of new leaders

Scott Ralls will be leaving his job as North Carolina’s community college president in a few months, leaving an opening at an institution that’s a central piece of the state’s educational and economic bedrock. Ralls says it was ...
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wood-and-wos400
Policy Watch Investigates

Audit found Medicaid owed $350 million, while DHHS officials said program had surplus

Lawmakers heard Monday that the state’s massive Medicaid program was in the hole at the end of last year’s fiscal year, despite prior statements by state health officials that the program finished that year with a surplus. The ...
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so-remediation
Policy Watch Investigates

UNC system heads look to Jones Street for help

Leaders of the state’s university system descended Wednesday on the General Assembly in Raleigh, hoping to convince lawmakers to send more money their way. “We need more money,” said John Fennebresque, a Charlotte attorney and chair of the ...
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