State tax policy adds confusion, costs, and complications for NC’s same-sex couples


Marie Baker and Amanda Niles received yet another reminder this tax season that their family isn’t recognized, much less embraced, by the state of North Carolina. When they began to consider how to file their taxes this year, the Durham couple realized that North Carolina’s ban on same-sex marriages meant the couple would be filling [Continue Reading...]

On Sunshine Week: Public records, diligence reveal problems in DENR/Duke Energy relationship


In fighting for the clean-up of coal ash ponds around the state, the Southern Environmental Law Center has depended on an unusual weapon, North Carolina’s public records law, to make its case about the dangers posed by the lagoons of toxic sludge that dot the state. The group has filed multiple requests for public documents [Continue Reading...]

New state economic development group outside of ethics laws


The new public-private group that will run North Carolina’s business recruiting and economic development efforts won’t be subject to North Carolina’s ethics laws,  the set of rules requiring public servants, elected officials and state board members to disclose financial interests and avoid conflicts of interest. The board members for the Economic Development Partnership [Continue Reading...]

Food stamps backlog nearly met, but some still facing hardship


State officials say they’re closing in on what was up until recently a massive backlog of thousands of low-income North Carolinian households waiting weeks or months for food stamps. At a legislative committee hearing Tuesday, N.C. Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos told lawmakers that a “herculean effort” from state and county [Continue Reading...]

State studies how virtual charters should work


High numbers of withdrawals, unchecked truancy and low graduation rates can thwart success at virtual high schools, two online school providers told a state study group developing recommendations for how the controversial schooling choice could operate in North Carolina. “High school is a nightmare,” said Mary Gifford, the senior vice-president of education policy [Continue Reading...]

For-profit online school company tries again to open N.C. school


A for-profit online school company has kept its eyes on North Carolina’s public education funding stream and recently renewed attempts to open a taxpayer-funded virtual charter school. If granted permission to open, K12, Inc., a Virginia-based education company traded on Wall Street (NYSE:LRN), would operate a school where students take [Continue Reading...]

Hungry, with no end in sight

Sylvia Cameron

Sylvia Cameron skips more meals each week than she wants to recall. The 51-year-old Orange County woman makes half-hearted jokes about the missed meals – telling herself she could stand to lose a few pounds – but knows it’s because her refrigerator is most often bare. The $16 she gets in food stamps each month [Continue Reading...]

Women’s crisis centers worried about state money


Directors for North Carolina’s domestic violence and sexual assault prevention programs are worried future funding may face restrictions under the McCrory Administration, leaving the non-profits with less ability to cover overhead costs. The N.C. Council for Women, housed under the N.C. Department of Administration, has traditionally been a steady source of flexible [Continue Reading...]