Archives by: Joe Killian

Joe Killian

About the author

Joe Killian, Investigative Reporter, joined N.C. Policy Watch in August of 2016. His work takes a closer look at government, politics and policy in North Carolina and their impact on the lives of everyday people. Before joining Policy Watch, Joe spent a decade at the News & Record in Greensboro, reporting on everything from cops and courts to higher education. He covered the city councils of High Point and Greensboro and the Guilford County Board of Commissioners before becoming the paper’s full-time government and politics reporter. His work has also appeared in the Winston-Salem Journal, Go Triad, the Bristol Press in Bristol, Conn., and the Cape Cod Times in Hyannis, Mass.
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Joe Killian's articles and posts

Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

New local LGBTQ protections could set up a fight with the General Assembly

This week, three towns in Orange County passed LGBTQ-inclusive non-discrimination ordinances, the first since a state ban on such local protections expired last month. The move by the towns of Hillsborough, Carrboro and Chapel Hill signals the willingness of progressive communities to wade back into a civil rights fight that exploded in 2016 with the North Carolina General Assembly’s passage of House Bill 2.

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COVID-19 News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

NC legislature opens facing COVID-19 pandemic challenges 

Senate leader Phil Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore were re-elected to the top positions in their chambers in the first day of the new legislative session, formally beginning another two years of divided government with Republicans in control of the legislative branch and Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper as the state’s chief executive. 

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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

UNC experts discuss tensions in Washington, possible prosecutions and the future

On Tuesday night, as runoff elections in Georgia decided control of the U.S. Senate and Congress braced for a standoff over certifying the presidential election, legal and political experts from UNC-Chapel Hill gathered for a public discussion of a tumultuous first week of 2021.

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Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

The year in review: Five “PW investigates” stories to remember

Looking back on the pandemic, some of its many disturbing impacts, and one community's controversial plan to revive its economy In a year upended and dominated by the COVID-19 pandemic, Policy Watch covered the crisis with daily stories and investigative pieces from the institutional to the personal.

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News Top Story

Monday Numbers: For North Carolina, a devastating year for job losses

As 2020 draws to a close, the COVID-19 pandemic continues have a devastating economic impact on North Carolinians. Many businesses remain closed or are operating at limited capacity; some have closed permanently. More than 1.3 million North Carolinians applied for benefits between March 15 and Dec. 16, according to data released last week by the N.C. Department of Commerce’s Division of Employment Security. More than 40,000 people filed claims last week alone.

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COVID-19 News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Experts warn of pandemic-related “eviction tsunami”

With the first shipments of a COVID-19 vaccine arriving in the state, many North Carolinians are feeling a new kind of hope as the pandemic stretches into 2021. But without swift government action at the state and federal levels, the new year could usher in an “eviction tsunami” and economic devastation, according to experts who gathered to discuss the problem Tuesday.

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COVID-19 Higher Ed News Top Story

UNC students: Are you ready to return to campus? The administration says yes.

With UNC System schools looking ahead to the spring semester, tensions over COVID-19 planning and the question of returning more students to campus have have intensified between students, staff, faculty and administrators. While most of the system’s 17 universities kept students on campus for the fall semester, the largest schools — N.C. State University, UNC-Chapel Hill and East Carolina University — sent students home after just a week of classes.

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COVID-19 Higher Ed Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Faculty members revolt over UNC plans to triple number of students living on campus next semester

With clusters of campus COVID cases, the fall semester was a failure. In the spring, history could repeat itself. Faculty members and administrators in the UNC System are butting heads over pandemic planning for the spring semester, as some schools consider bringing more students back to campuses.

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Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

As a ban on new LGBTQ protections is lifted, advocates and local officials push for progress

After more than three years, the state’s ban on local governments offering new protections against LGBTQ discrimination expired Tuesday. Now, say advocates and elected officials from across the state, it’s time to make some long delayed progress on those protections.

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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

We’ve seen this movie before: Like Trump, former Gov. Pat McCrory blamed non-existent fraud for his 2016 loss

Donald Trump's baseless, nonstop public allegations of pervasive fraud, election meddling and disloyalty among his party members are unprecedented for a modern American president. But some observers of North Carolina politics have seen this kind of behavior before.

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