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Higher Ed News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

In voting to change chancellor search policy, UNC Board of Governors could expand System president’s power

Trustees at Historically Black Colleges and Universities oppose the change over concerns that conservative white leadership is often at odds with HBCUs' mission UNC System President Peter Hans could further consolidate his power if the Board of Governors votes Thursday on a major and fundamental change to how chancellors are chosen for UNC system schools.

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Law and the Courts Top Story

PW exclusive: Lucy Inman, Phil Berger, Jr. vie for NC Supreme Court seat

As part of our ongoing effort to inform North Carolinians about the state judiciary, Policy Watch is publishing a series of Q&A’s over the coming weeks with the candidates seeking statewide judicial office this fall. Each of the 14 candidates (six who are contesting three Supreme Court seats and eight who are contesting four seats on the Court of Appeals) was asked the same seven questions...

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Environment Top Story

Vance County residents speak out in force against proposed landfill

In testimony, the facts didn't always add up to the truth

Kenneth Harrison III slouched in a hard wooden bench in a Vance County meeting room, the posture of a man who might have spent the day in the cab of a dump truck. He wore a mask bearing a print of the American flag.  His lawyer, Tom Terrell of Greensboro, well-known in North Carolina for representing mining companies, landfill operators and other industrial pariahs, looked fresh and spiffy in a dark suit and red tie, his silver hair curled over the white collar at the nape of his neck.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

When it comes to the climate emergency, hope is not enough

In 2008, artist Shepard Fairey’s iconic image of then-Senator and presidential candidate Barack Obama with the word “hope” emblazoned below became one of the most popular and impactful campaign posters in modern American history. Its simple and powerful message – that there was a way out of what then seemed to be very dark times – helped inspire millions in a nation that had, for most of the preceding two-plus centuries, taken hope for a brighter future as more or less a given.

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Law and the Courts News Top Story

Transgender students score victories in landmark lawsuits

Fourth Circuit ruling should offer protection in North Carolina WASHINGTON — Transgender teen Andrew Adams used the boys bathroom, which aligned with his gender identity, when he enrolled as a freshman in 2015 at Allen D. Nease High School in Ponte Vedra, Fla. Then two girls lodged a complaint and school authorities ordered Adams to use a gender-neutral or girls restroom instead. In 2017, he filed suit against the St. Johns County School Board.

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Defending Democracy News Top Story

Monday numbers: NC requests for absentee ballots up 1,400% from 2016

More than 10% of all registered voters in North Carolina have already requested an absentee ballot for the November election, according to the State Board of Elections, a 1,400% increase compared with the same time in the 2016 election cycle. And the number will certainly increase before the Oct. 27 deadline to request an absentee ballot. The uptick in requests is attributed to concerns about voting in-person during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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News Top Story

‘We’re not through this’: Governors plead with Congress for emergency assistance

Republican congressman from NC calls hearing from governors a "waste of time" WASHINGTON — Democratic governors on Thursday begged Congress to come to the aid of ailing states, which face unexpected expenses as they attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19 as well as massive revenue shortfalls due to the pandemic. But Republicans at a House hearing rejected their pleas, arguing that states have yet to spend money provided by Congress earlier this year, and prospects appeared to dim for any kind of deal on additional emergency aid before the election.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

PW exclusive: Mark Davis, Tamara Barringer vie for NC Supreme Court seat

As part of our ongoing effort to inform North Carolinians about the state judiciary, Policy Watch is publishing a series of Q&A’s over the coming weeks with the candidates seeking statewide judicial office this fall. Each of the 14 candidates (six who are contesting three Supreme Court seats and eight who are contesting four seats on the Court of Appeals) was asked the same seven questions...

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Environment Top Story

How NC can tackle the climate crisis and address environmental justice

New, "must read" report details six ways to create safe, healthy communities and ensure access to clean, affordable energy A new report from the Center for American Progress (CAP) outlines how North Carolina can reduce the impact of climate change in a way that addresses systemic racism and environmental justice.

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COVID-19 News Top Story

Senate GOP emergency relief plan leaves out direct aid to state and local governments

WASHINGTON — Senate Republicans unveiled their latest coronavirus relief proposal Tuesday but were met with swift objections from Democrats. The GOP plan failed to include direct aid to cities and states, a priority for Democrats, or rental relief or nutrition assistance, and it appeared it wouldn’t go far enough to resolve a monthslong stalemate over providing additional emergency aid to Americans. The Senate plans a vote later this week.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

PW exclusive: Cheri Beasley, Paul Newby vie for top NC Supreme Court seat

Editor's note: As part of our ongoing effort to inform North Carolinians about the state judiciary, Policy Watch is publishing a series of Q&A's over the coming weeks with the candidates seeking statewide judicial office this fall. Each of the 14 candidates (six who are contesting three Supreme Court seats and eight who are contesting four seats on the Court of Appeals) was asked the same seven questions by former PW Courts, Law and Democracy Reporter Melissa Boughton.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

“Diaper need” and “period poverty” are among the hidden and destructive impacts of the COVID-19 recession

As unemployment has climbed and household budgets have been stretched thinner and thinner, more families and individuals have been forced to make impossible decisions about how to spend limited financial resources.

As unemployment has climbed and household budgets have been stretched thinner and thinner, more families and individuals have been forced to make impossible decisions about how to spend limited financial resources. Do I pay rent, or do I buy diapers? Do I get dinner, or do I buy tampons?

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

Americans may be badly divided, but few see the military as a place of ‘suckers’ and ‘losers’

In a time of stark political and ideological divisions in the United States, one somewhat surprising area of general accord and harmony in 2020 concerns the U.S. military. This is not to say that there aren’t many widely divergent views on the military – as to its purpose, history, funding, organization, traditions and many other aspects – but when it comes to the people who serve in the military, and the basic concept of individuals devoting themselves to protecting the nation and making it a safer place, Americans are an overwhelmingly united lot.

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Environment Top Story

Caswell County asked a mining attorney about its environmental ordinance. Now the commission could repeal it tomorrow.

Ordinance provides public with information on potential environmental impacts of polluting industries When Caswell County Commissioners were stumped on whether mining company Carolina Sunrock could legally sidestep a local moratorium on polluting industries, they decided to hire an ...
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Top Story

More flawed, “our way or the highway” governance at the General Assembly

Substance and process both sorely lacking in COVID relief bill The North Carolina General Assembly passed what its leaders described as a COVID-19 relief package yesterday. The legislation, which bears the short title “Coronavirus Relief Act 3.0” represents an attempt to address some of the problems resulting from the health pandemic, by among other things, allocating $1 billion in federal relief dollars that the state has been banking for several months.

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Education Top Story

Plagiarism, copyright infringement and “low rigor”: State Auditor gives lawmakers an earful about failings of NC Virtual Public School

A complaint lodged by John Scanlon and his family was the catalyst for a damning state audit that found courses offered by NCVirtual Public School lacked quality and rigor, and that educators hired to create content for an honor’s history course engaged in plagiarism and copyright infringement. The state Department of Public Instruction is the administrator for the school. State Auditor Beth Wood cited the family’s role in the investigation while presenting the findings to the Joint Legislative Education Oversight Committee on Tuesday.

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