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PW exclusive: A conversation with the first Chief Equity Officer at NC DHHS

Victor Armstrong will lead the Cooper administration's efforts to address racial and ethnic health disparities laid newly bare by the pandemic The disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people of color has further exposed racial disparities and inequities in health care, which residents with chronic illnesses have confronted for years.

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Defending Democracy News Top Story

State redistricting stumbles across the nation amid familiar partisan infighting

WASHINGTON—This year’s round of redistricting is already crumbling into partisanship and court challenges in multiple states, even as voters pay more attention than ever to new political maps that will shape elections for a decade. Hopes were high initially. Advocates in several states pushed measures over the last few years that they hoped would lessen some of the acrimony in the struggle for political power every 10 years.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

A key pandemic lesson: Throwing money at the problem of poverty actually works

If there’s one enduring myth in America, it’s that there’s nothing we can really do to end poverty. Most policy prescriptions during the last few decades — from setting up Byzantine barriers to programs like food stamps and Medicaid to doing nothing at all — are rooted in condescending lore that poor people deserve to suffer...

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Environment Top Story

EPA finally launches major effort to curb PFAS pollution, to mixed reviews about whether it’s enough

The Lake Raleigh fishing pier lies 80 miles north of Ground Zero for the toxic compound GenX, the Chemours chemical plant near the Bladen-Cumberland county line. Presumably, you could safely eat the fish caught from this lake, which is on the NC State University campus, but given the widespread PFAS contamination of North Carolina’s waterways, only testing could tell you for sure.

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Law and the Courts Top Story

Wake district attorney faces spirited challenge in March 2022 primary

Challenger says Democratic incumbent is behind the times on issues like the death penalty and marijuana For the first time since winning election in 2014, Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman is facing a challenger in the 2022 Democratic primary: Damon Chetson, a criminal defense attorney who focuses on death penalty cases and high-level felonies in state and federal courts.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

Congressman David Price’s retirement highlights the conundrum of public service in the modern era

Veteran Triangle-area Congressman David Price called it a career yesterday and revealed that he will not seek re-election in 2022. The announcement signals the impending conclusion of an outstanding political career for an honorable public official who has served various iterations of his Triangle-based Fourth Congressional District with distinction for more than three decades.

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Progressive Voices Top Story

Come rain, shine, sleet or snow, you could trust the U.S. Postal Service, but no more

Mail delivery under Louis DeJoy's USPS ain't what it used to be TALLAHASSEE, FL. – For more than 30 years we have forwarded some of our mail between Florida and the North Carolina mountains during the summers.

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Education Top Story

Monday Numbers: A closer look at deadline day for the Leandro public schools mandate

It’s now been nearly a quarter-century since the North Carolina Supreme Court ruled in the landmark Leandro lawsuit that state leaders were violating the constitutional rights of thousands of schoolchildren – particularly in the state’s poorest counties – by failing to provide them with access to a sound basic education.

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Higher Ed News Top Story

Walter Hussman returns as UNC’s journalism school faces crisis of values, diversity

The mega-donor's 'hush-hush homecoming' reignites concern among faculty When Walter Hussman returned to UNC-Chapel Hill this week, he hoped to begin mending relations with the journalism school that bears his name. But that proved to be difficult, given the mega-donor’s lobbying against the hiring of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones. 

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Other Voices Progressive Voices Top Story

The state’s new energy law explained

Why the onus is now on the state Utilities Commission to protect ratepayers and the environment North Carolina’s electricity sector is undergoing a generational change. Duke Energy will retire most of its remaining coal-fired power plants over the next decade, and a key question for the state is what energy resources will replace those retiring plants.

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Law and the Courts Must Reads News Top Story

‘Must read’ report: The deep racial and ethnic disparities in state prisons

When former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin killed George Floyd by kneeling on his neck in 2020, the world witnessed the most racist elements of the U.S. criminal legal system on broad display. The uprisings that followed Floyd’s death articulated a vision for transforming public safety practices and investments.

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COVID-19 Progressive Voices Top Story

Immunologist: Vaccination against COVID-19 supports a healthy pregnancy by protecting both mother and child

The CDC issued an urgent health advisory for those currently pregnant, planning a pregnancy or breastfeeding on Sept. 29, 2021. The statement reiterated the importance of vaccination in preventing severe illness and death resulting from COVID-19. It also highlighted the wide gap in vaccination rates with pregnant people who are less than half as likely to have been vaccinated than a member of the general public.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts News Top Story

Voting rights advocates express concerns over redistricting process at the General Assembly

As lawmakers began drawing voting district maps last week, voting rights advocates and Republican lawmakers differed sharply on the fairness and adequacy of the process. According to the advocates, the process is flawed and fails to deliver on the promise of transparency or to adequately consider community input.

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Higher Ed Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

PW exclusive: Journalism historian discusses role of American newspapers in abetting white supremacy

Prof. Kathy Roberts Forde previews upcoming talk at UNC-Chapel Hill and reflects on recent controversies that have roiled her alma mater Journalists like to think of themselves as part of a long lineage of truth seekers, a “fourth estate” in American life keeping government honest and shining light in dark places since the founding of the republic.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

Mark Robinson’s enablers and the actual filth that he and they ignore

Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson is officially the highest-ranking Republican official in state government. It’s expected that he will run for Governor in 2024.  But who’s kidding who? Robinson is certainly not the leader of the North Carolina GOP or even close to its most important or influential member.

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