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

PW investigation: Proposed Catawba Indian casino no sure bet for surrounding community

Land ownership records, experiences elsewhere raise big questions as to where benefits from controversial Cleveland County resort would flow Kings Mountain Mayor Scott Neisler is among several well-connected politicians, developers and major landowners who could financially benefit from the controversial $273 million Catawba Two Kings Casino Resort, a Policy Watch investigation has found.

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Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Proposed Catawba casino for NC has momentum, but many hurdles still to overcome

A proposed casino resort near Kings Mountain could be a jackpot for the Catawba Indian Nation, based just over the border in Rock Hill, SC. Consideration of the issue has already provided a boon to state and congressional Republicans connected to the project.

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Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Catawba, Cherokee tribes square off over proposed casino in congressional hearing

NC congressman raises questions about federal rules, potential conflicts of interest Competing tribal claims and cross-accusations over a proposed casino resort near Kings Mountain came to a head Thursday in a federal legislative committee meeting. At issue: the Catawba Two Kings Casino Resort, a proposed $273 million, 17-acre casino in Cleveland County.

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COVID-19 Defending Democracy Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

As new poll workers step up in pandemic, elections directors say they are ready for November

Even with an increase in absentee voting, election directors expect a large in-person turnout. Since March, when the COVID-19 pandemic began upending so many aspects of American life, elections directors across the state have worried about the impact on the November election.

Health concerns have led to an unprecedented number of absentee ballot requests. But a divisive presidential election and tumultuous political season could also lead to heavy in-person turnout. That’s a problem for the backbone of the election systems across the state: the more than 15,000 election workers, the majority of whom are older people for whom coronavirus infection is most dangerous.

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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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COVID-19 Higher Ed Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

As the largest UNC System schools move online, who is next and who decides?

While the largest schools within the UNC System have moved to online learning after widespread COVID-19 outbreaks, at smaller institutions, disagreements over reopening plans are fraying relations to the breaking point. Students, faculty and administrators are debating whether to go online now — and avoid the same fate as their larger counterparts — or try to make it through the semester unless the number of infections makes it impossible.

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COVID-19 Higher Ed News Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at rising COVID cases on NC college campuses

Over the weekend East Carolina University and UNC-Charlotte became the latest UNC System schools to move their undergraduate courses online in the face of COVID-19. UNC-Charlotte says it intends to resume in-person classes Oct. 1. It is the first UNC System school to move classes online before they have actually begun.

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COVID-19 Higher Ed Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

As COVID clusters mount, university dashboards provide incomplete and outdated information

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is being rocked by a series of COVID-19 infection clusters  just one week after the start of classes. Four such clusters — defined by the state Department of Health and Human Services as five or more infections in a related area — have been identified in student housing since Friday.

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COVID-19 Higher Ed Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

UNC-Chapel Hill leaders come under fire at emergency faculty meeting

Chancellor's failure to share health department reopening recommendations called a "breach of trust" The Orange County Health Director has urged the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to move to online education for the fall semester and keep on-campus housing to an absolute minimum as the COVID-19 pandemic in the county worsens. The campus will be doing neither of those things, Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz said Wednesday.

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Higher Ed Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

UNC’s ‘worst-case scenario’ plans could be just the beginning

Enrollment drops. Employee furloughs and layoffs. Faculty cuts. Shuttered athletic programs. UNC System schools could see all of these things, according to a new report on campus plans to deal with the financial fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. And experts say this could be just the beginning.

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