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Environment News Policy Watch Investigates

Una antigua planta de misile en Burlington: “un riesgo urgente para la salud pública”

Esta es la segunda entrega de un artículo de dos partes sobre el peligro de contaminación que supone una antigua fábrica de misiles en Burlington para una comunidad predominantemente negra y latina.   El artículo y los documentos ...
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Environment News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Clear and present danger: Former Army missile plant has polluted a Black, Latino neighborhood in Burlington for more than 30 years

Military, private owner have allowed toxic contaminants to fester, avoided penalties while residents bear environmental burden Tattooed in ivy, bound in chain-link fence, Building 16 casts an ominous three-story shadow over several homes along Hilton Road. The window blinds are torn, as if it were sleeping with one eye open.

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Environment Featured Articles

Peligro inminente: Una antigua planta de misiles del Ejército ha contaminado un vecindario negro y latino durante 30 años

El Ejército y los propietarios privados han permitido que los contaminantes tóxicos se enconen sin tener que pagar ninguna multa, mientras los residentes soportan las repercusiones medioambientales. Esta es la primera entrega de un artículo de dos partes ...
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Law and the Courts Top Story

NC just enacted ambitious criminal justice reform legislation. Here’s what it does.

Gov. Roy Cooper signed a comprehensive criminal justice reform package (Senate Bill 300) into law last Thursday. The law became effective immediately. The bill, originally sponsored by Republicans with input from Democrats, gained bipartisan support – though not universal acclaim.

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Education News Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at the state’s school facility needs

North Carolina has a nearly $13 billion backlog in new school construction and renovations, according to the 2020-21 Facility Needs Survey.  The backlog represents an increase of more than $4 billion over the $8 billion reported in the Facility Needs Survey five years ago. 

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COVID-19 Education News Top Story

Sobering test results confirm pandemic’s toll on state’s schoolchildren

State test results show that student learning suffered greatly last year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Fewer than half of students – 45.4% – in grades K-12 passed state reading, math and science exams during the 2020-21 school year.  The much-anticipated scores were released this week during the State Board of Education’s regular meeting.

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COVID-19 News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

PW special report: A treatment for COVID-19…and a giant information gap 

Many North Carolinians who could benefit from a COVID-19 therapy lack information and access Treatment with special proteins called monoclonal antibodies is keeping some COVID-19 patients out of hospitals and is likely saving some lives. But North Carolina has huge information and delivery gaps to fill before many people who might qualify for the therapy know about it and can get it.

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Environment Top Story

Pittsboro commissioners balk at route for North Chatham Park Way

A contentious state road project in Pittsboro hit a detour last week, after town leaders unanimously directed transportation officials to analyze yet another alternate route for the $30 million North Chatham Park Way, one that would avoid lopping off part of the bucolic North Woods neighborhood. 

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COVID-19 Higher Ed News Top Story

UNC System faculty push for more flexibility as pandemic semester unfolds

Two weeks into in-person instruction at UNC System campuses, faculty members at universities small and large are pushing for more flexibility to deal with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, including, in some cases, a temporary shift back to online classes. On Tuesday, Duke University announced new protocols as its campus deals with a spike in infections, largely among vaccinated students. These include giving professors the ability to shift to online-only classes for the next two weeks.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts Top Story

Advocates seek to make ‘communities of interest’ an important consideration in NC redistricting

For the first time, the North Carolina General Assembly is considering the characteristics of various communities as it redraws voting districts based on the latest census numbers. In so doing, lawmakers will examine geographic areas in which individuals have a commonality of shared interests that could affect legislation and should therefore be grouped together.

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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at rapidly climbing gun violence statistics

As Policy Watch reported earlier this month, the North Carolina Senate passed a bill (HB 398) that would repeal the state’s pistol purchase permit requirement. Though the bill is likely to see a veto from Gov. Roy Cooper, elimination of the state permit requirement has for years been a conservative goal that has at times divided Republicans and law enforcement in the state.

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Environment News Top Story

Methyl bromide, a neurotoxin that carves holes in the ozone layer, is up for permitting at the Port of Wilmington

The Port of Wilmington is a 284-acre maze of steel, cable and concrete where ships as long as three football fields maneuver through the channel. Cranes hoist shipping containers and stack them like Lego blocks. Inbound or outbound, they are crammed with goods — grains and wood, chemicals and clothes — and are headed for the railroad, the highway, or 26 miles down the river to the open sea.

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COVID-19 Education Top Story

As new school year gets underway, educators grapple with the COVID mask mandates

Tuesday morning was warm and muggy. Eyeglasses above tightly fitted masks fogged over with each breath.  At Bethesda Elementary School in Durham, students, teachers and staff members all complied with the district’s mandate to wear masks while indoors. It was the first day of classes for thousands of Durham Public Schools students who attend schools operating on a traditional calendar. Most of the state’s 1.5 million students started classes this week. 

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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

NC House Democrats hope they can shape the final state budget 

Gov. Cooper remains excluded from negotiations, but some members of his party are trying to change that  Rep. Garland Pierce said his support for the $25.7 billion budget written by House Republicans is rooted in a meeting between local elected officials from the Democrat’s rural district and House Speaker Tim Moore and his staff where the local leaders laid out their budget hopes.

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Education News Top Story

Republicans renew effort to limit what can be taught in public school classrooms

Lt. Gov. Robinson reports on complaints to oversight task force, while Senate committee approves controversial legislation White shaming, "sexualization" of children and Critical Race Theory are among six overarching themes Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson says emerged during his recently completed examination of North Carolina schools.

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Higher Ed News Top Story

How can a higher education scandal last for years? Money, power, and politics.

As a student reporter and editor at the Daily Tar Heel, Andy Thomason was at ground zero for the UNC-Chapel Hill “paper classes” athletics scandal that broke in 2010. He helped direct coverage at the independent student paper during the rest of his college career and followed it for the Chronicle of Higher Education after landing a reporting job there in 2014.

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