Articles

Articles

Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Regulator, experts: State lawmaker’s explanation for incomplete ethics filing falls short

Law "is clear" Rep. Holly Grange should have reported on businesses owned by her husband even if they were inactive Last week, Policy Watch reported that State Rep. Holly Grange (R-New Hanover) had failed to disclose a business owned and operated by her husband on state Statement of Economic Interest (SEI) forms for several years.

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Billy Ball Commentary Top Story

Mark Johnson, state schools superintendent, finds comedy in one troubled school system’s tragedy

If North Carolina Republicans are confounded by the notion that every last one of them disdains public education—and, surely, not all of them do—they should tune into Mark Johnson’s bro huddle with right-wing talk show host KC O’Dea last Friday to see where a North Carolinian might get such a notion.

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Education Top Story

At long last, a plan to comply with Leandro education mandate takes shape

More than two decades after a landmark state Supreme Court ruling, NC moves a step closer to assuring every child access to a "sound, basic education" Superior Court Judge David Lee signed a consent order Monday in which the defendants and plaintiffs in the long running Leandro case agree to work “expeditiously and without delay” to create and implement a plan to provide North Carolina’s school children with a sound, basic education.

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Environment Top Story

Surveys, interviews: Responses of Chemours and DHHS to Gen X and PFAS pollution falling short

Last summer, Chemours sent contractors to the Cumberland County home of Katrina Rubiera and tested her drinking water. Shortly afterward, the first shipment of bottled water arrived. “Our well water tested positive for, well, I’m not sure, because I still don’t have my test results,” Rubiera told Policy Watch last week via email.

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Other Voices Progressive Voices Top Story

47th anniversary of Roe v. Wade – A tipping point away from reproductive freedom?

As we commemorated the 46th anniversary of the historic Supreme Court decision Roe v Wade last year, our thoughts were on what may happen at the U.S. Supreme Court. Two thousand nineteen was the first full year of a high court firmly stacked with justices ideologically opposed to abortion, two of whom were appointed by a president who sees overturning Roe v Wade as a key to his re-election.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

Five important reminders for a crucial year in American history

And just like that, another critical election year is upon us – maybe the most important election year in modern American history. For caring and thinking people who find themselves aghast at the greed, dishonesty, violence, phobias, and contempt for the common good and planetary wellbeing that are the hallmarks of the Trump cult, it sometimes feels as if the very soul and long-term prospects of the human species are on the line.

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News Top Story

Monday numbers: Martin Luther King Jr. Day edition

Today is Martin Luther King Jr. Day, a national holiday to honor and celebrate the life of the civil rights activist. King was a Baptist minister and activist who was considered one of the leaders of the civil rights movement until he was assassinated in 1968. The numbers below give more information about King and the life he led.  

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News Top Story Trump Administration

U.S. House votes to torpedo DeVos student loan rule over Virginia Foxx’s objections

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House passed a resolution Thursday that would overturn a Trump administration rule that critics say guts protections for defrauded student loan borrowers. The resolution expresses congressional disapproval of the so-called borrower defense rule, which was revised by Education Secretary

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News Top Story

North Carolina is projected to gain a seat in Congress. Here’s why that’s a huge deal.

North Carolina is projected to gain a U.S. House seat in the coming years, recent data show — a change that would increase the state’s influence in national politics and could lead to more money for federally funded projects and services like roads and health care facilities.

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Law and the Courts News Top Story

NC’s new “Raise the Age” law appears to be off to a promising start

New facilities and policies offer hope to 16 and 17 year-olds once consigned to the adult corrections system Tall trees and a rocky, woodsy landscape envelop the C.A. Dillon juvenile detention campus in Butner. Save for the tall metal fence that rings the confinement building, the area could be mistaken for a summer camp or private school grounds. The feeling that greets the visitor of wanting to go for a group hike or play flag football with old pals quickly diminishes inside, however...

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Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

State lawmaker’s failure to disclose business ties highlights broader ethics enforcement problem

State Rep. Holly Grange (R-New Hanover) failed to disclose a business owned and operated by her husband on state Statement of Economic Interest (SEI) forms for several years, according to documents reviewed by Policy Watch. In North Carolina, public officials are required to disclose connections to all non-publicly owned companies by which they or their immediate family members are employed or in which they have an interest.

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Billy Ball Commentary Top Story

Make no mistake. The budget failed because Republicans failed to compromise.

There is a temptation—and believe me, I understand it—to celebrate the fleeting nature of this week’s special session of the North Carolina state legislature as some sort of success.

Resist that temptation...

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Environment Top Story

Pipelines, roads and railways: This is why you should care about Trump’s rollback of NEPA, a key environmental law

By the time the new Interstate 885 opens in Durham later this year, some of the people who conceived of the original project will have been long dead. In the works for 60 years, the East End Connector, as Durhamites call it, funnels traffic over four miles from NC 147 to US 70 and onto I-85, to reduce congestion on surface streets.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

Legislature should seize rare opportunity for ideological common ground

The North Carolina General Assembly is back in Raleigh this week and, as noted in this space last Friday, there are some important reasons to be frustrated and concerned about this fact – not the least of which is the refusal of Senate and House leaders to tell the public what the heck is on the agenda.

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