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Monday numbers: NC hit by big spike in the number of children lacking health insurance

The number of uninsured children in America increased by 726,000 between 2016 and 2019, reversing a long-standing positive trend, according a new report released by the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families.   Coverage losses were widespread, with a majority of states showing statistically significant increases.

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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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Law and the Courts News Top Story

Special DC update: The Barrett confirmation hearings

Republicans, including Tillis, endorse controversial nomination while Democrats express deep concerns Day Two of the extraordinary U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett stretched into the evening hours yesterday, but the event generated few surprises and little new information as the nominee avoided taking controversial stances.

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Education Top Story

Pandemic, budget crisis combine to leave eastern NC school district reeling

Schools in Wayne County were already struggling before COVID-19 When Wayne County Public Schools reopened in August for a mix of in-person instruction and remote learning, Fran Smith, an officer in the local branch of the NAACP, began to receive daily calls from teachers worried about their safety.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

In open letter, more than 5,000 lawyers oppose Barrett Supreme Court nomination

[Editor’s note: On Friday, Lawyers for Good Government (L4GG), the nation’s largest network of attorneys committed to upholding human rights and equal justice for all, in partnership with Alliance for Justice, a national association of over 120 organizations that leads the fight for a fair America, submitted the following open letter, signed by more than 5,000 attorneys representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia, to the United States Senate objecting to the Supreme Court nomination of Amy Coney Barrett. It is the largest known lawyer opposition letter to a Supreme Court nominee. Click here to see explore the signatures]

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News Top Story

Monday Numbers: There’s still 100 million tons of coal ash to be excavated from Duke Energy ponds

Millions of tons of coal ash have been excavated from unlined ponds at Duke Energy power plants, but an enormous amount has yet to be dug up, according to the inventory listed in the NC Department of Environmental Quality's annual coal ash report to the General Assembly.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts News Top Story

Purges or list maintenance? How voter rolls have become so polarized

Inactive registered voters in North Carolina can cast ballots In the last decade, millions of registered voters across the county  have been removed from voter rolls. In 2019, Ohio removed more than 460,000 voter registration files from its list. Georgia removed 313,000 people from its rolls in October 2019 alone, and in Michigan, from 2011 to 2018, 1.2 million voters were removed from voter lists. 

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Law and the Courts News Top Story

Slavery, lynching and the era of public hangings

Capital punishment arrived in the colony of North Carolina as part of English common law. Even misdemeanors warranted harsh corporal punishment and a long list of felonies qualified for the death penalty. People were executed not only for murder but also rape, theft, arson, and assault.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts News Top Story

Supreme Court ruling on Voting Rights Act opened floodgates for new restrictions

North Carolina among the "biggest losers" in terms of voting rights It hadn’t even been a day since the U.S. Supreme Court dismantled one of the pillars of voting rights in America, and North Carolina lawmakers weren’t wasting any time.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts News Top Story

Battle for the ballot: Voter fraud myth persists despite constant failure to prove claims

Trump shifts focus of his accusations from illegal immigrants to advanced voting TOPEKA, Kansas — Scott Moore had never heard of the Interstate Voter Registration Crosscheck program before election officials in Kansas and Florida exposed his personal information, along with 944 other Kansas voters.

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Law and the Courts News Top Story

Racist Roots: Origins of North Carolina’s death penalty

Right now, our nation is in a moment of reckoning with our criminal punishment system. We are finally seeing clearly what should have been obvious long ago: The system has its knee on the necks of Black people. In North Carolina, as we begin a long-overdue conversation about the future of police and prisons, we must confront the punishment that sits at the top of that system, condoning all its other cruelties — the death penalty.

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Defending Democracy News Top Story

PW special report: Battle for the ballot

‘I just don’t trust the system anymore’: Voters on edge as election nears WASHINGTON—Widespread anxiety and confusion around voting, compounded by the pandemic that has spread to millions of Americans, including President Donald Trump. A vastly underfunded and decentralized electoral system that could take days and possibly weeks to certify results.

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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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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts News Top Story

Tillis embraces Trump’s Supreme Court pick as Senate Judiciary races toward hearings

WASHINGTON—Four years ago, Sen. Thom Tillis of North Carolina was among 11 Republicans on the GOP-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee who wrote a letter explaining why they would not be holding hearings on Merrick Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court. There were still eight months until Election Day in 2016...

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

PW exclusive: Incumbent Chris Dillon, challenger Gray Styers vie for Court of Appeals 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 with the candidates seeking statewide judicial office this fall. Each of the 16 candidates (six who are contesting three Supreme Court seats and ten who are contesting five 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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Defending Democracy News Top Story

Dissecting the debate: Biden, Trump differ sharply over election integrity, racism and the pandemic

Biden says he’ll support election outcome but Trump urges supporters to ‘watch very carefully’ Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden pledged Tuesday night to accept the outcome of the election, while President Donald Trump urged his supporters to “watch very carefully” what happens as voters cast their general-election ballots. Those comments were in response to a question at the first presidential debate from debate moderator and Fox News anchor Chris Wallace, who asked the two men if they would signal they trust the electoral process by urging supporters to calmly accept the election results and not declaring victory until the final tally is certified.

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