Policy Watch Investigates

Policy Watch Investigates

COVID-19 Higher Ed News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Parents struggle with question of return to UNC campuses

Last semester, as the COVID-19 pandemic closed all UNC System campuses, Samantha Pilot welcomed her son home early from his freshman year at UNC-Chapel Hill. At the time, she felt like the university was on her side. It was expensive and complicated to close the campuses and shift to online-only education for the balance of the spring semester. The fact that the UNC System did it anyway made her feel proud to be part of a Carolina family.

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Higher Ed Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

PW exclusive: Prof. Mike Adams’ wild ride finally comes to an end

Firebrand conservative academic opts for early retirement in light of latest controversies and provocations Combative, confrontational and litigious, UNC-Wilmington professor Mike Adams has long aggressively courted controversy, seeming to revel in contradictions.

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Defending Democracy Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Could this really be a watershed moment?

Black North Carolinians express hopes and fears about the struggle against racism in America “You are going to get your ass killed.” Those are the words Carl Kenney Sr. used when his son Durham minister and author Carl Kenney Jr., joined students at the University of Missouri to protest alleged racism at the state’s flagship school.

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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

“I knew this was coming”: Scholar who called for removal of Confederate monuments reflects on the latest developments

Last week, as Dr. Valerie Johnson watched TV footage of protesters pulling down Confederate statues that had stood on the State Capitol grounds for more than a century, she felt a rush of complicated emotions. “It wasn’t exactly joy,” she said. “It was more…’Finally.’ This was something that was much overdue. For me it was partially that, partially vindication of the stance that I took.”

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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at the past and future of NC’s Confederate monuments

Protesters pulled down two bronze soldier statues from the 75-foot North Carolina Confederate monument at the State Capitol in downtown Raleigh Friday, hanging one by its neck from a street light. This weekend Gov. Roy Cooper ordered the remainder of the monument dismantled and removed for public safety, along with the Henry Lewis Wyatt and North Carolina Women of the Confederacy monuments, the two other Confederate statues on the Capitol grounds.

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Higher Ed Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Momentum swells in NC to remove Confederate, white supremacist monuments and symbols

The UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees voted Wednesday to lift its self-imposed moratorium on the renaming of buildings and historic places on campus, setting the stage to remove the names of Confederate and white supremacist historic figures from places of honor there. The vote comes after the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, which sparked weeks of international protest against police violence against Black people and systemic racism in America.

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Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Vague reopening plans are forcing UNC staffers to choose between their jobs and their health

Until recently, Meg Miller was the “house mother” at the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity house on Columbia Street, just off the UNC-Chapel Hill campus across from the Carolina Inn. She started as a cook but over 25 years her duties expanded to managing the property, doing all the purchasing, and working with a staff of two to keep the house safe and clean for decades of “Dekes.”

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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

State transportation officials grilled at Senate hearing over damning audit

If the North Carolina Department of Transportation's financial practices were a highway, it would be a steep mountain road knotted by switchbacks and imperiled by landslides — and one with few guard rails. DOT overspent its budget by nearly three-quarters of a billion dollars in 2019, according to a performance audit of the department's expenditures released by the State Auditor this month.

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COVID-19 News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Monday numbers: Polling on Trump’s, Cooper’s response to the pandemic

As April turns to May, North Carolinians continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic as best they can. A new poll, released last week, gives some insight into how they believe their leaders are dealing with it. The poll, conducted by Meredith College includes approval ratings for President Donald Trump and Gov. Roy Cooper, opinions on the state’s general direction and peoples’ views on reopening schools and businesses.

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COVID-19 Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

COVID-19 crisis spawns another dangerous epidemic in NC: A spike in domestic violence

It was nearly 4 a.m. and Jennifer had been pretending to sleep for two hours. She tried to ignore the sound of her own heartbeat, which pounded faster and harder than seemed possible, so she could hear her husband next to her on the bed. Was he sleeping? Was he sound asleep? When she was sure he was, she quietly slipped out of the bedroom and down the hall to retrieve the garbage bag she had hidden behind the washing machine that afternoon.

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Higher Ed News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Fetzer courts controversy again with new effort to shape ECU Board of Trustees

Tom Fetzer had a problem — again. It involved East Carolina University — again. Fetzer, a member of the UNC Board of Governors, inserted himself into yet another hiring decision about the school. This time it was the question of Van Isley’s appointment to the ECU Board of Trustees.

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COVID-19 Higher Ed Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Pandemic bringing changes to higher education that could be long-lasting

Some say “new normal” at UNC could feature more faculty input, fewer applicants, depleted budgets and an expanded commitment to online instruction This week Eric Muller dialed in to a UNC-Chapel Hill faculty leadership video conference to wrestle ...
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COVID-19 Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

COVID-19 reignites dark memories for those who survived the AIDS epidemic

Twice a week, Brad Batch goes on a walk with some friends in Raleigh. The Wednesday and Sunday outings are about more than just getting some fresh air. They’re an important and communal part of his week — a chance to get out of the house, have a laugh, catch up with people over coffee. But last month Batch, who is 67, told the group he wasn’t going anymore — at least until the COVID-19 pandemic was over.

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COVID-19 News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

“Shockingly large numbers” of positive virus tests found at troubled Orange County nursing home

The man, known in federal documents as Resident No. 1, was wearing his hospital gown, underwear and socks, lying on top of some rocks in a drainage ditch. The ditch had a small amount of water in it, and part of his gown was wet. About three feet away sat his shoes.  On a March morning a year ago, the sun was just coming up, and the man, with his arms folded across his chest, was looking up at the sky.

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COVID-19 Higher Ed Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

College students, professors adjust to COVID-19 life

A disciplined collegiate rower, Lindsay York is used to a structured, yet social life. Last fall, the High Point native moved 1,100 miles away to attend Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, where she settled in well. “I have a rowing scholarship and that kept me busy from when I first got there,” York said. “I’m used to waking up at five in the morning, getting a workout done, going to classes, then getting another workout. I had a very tight schedule. But I also developed my own little Des Moines family, my friends and my team atmosphere.”

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COVID-19 Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

PW exclusive: What it’s like to get tested, wait, worry and adjust to the new normal of a COVID-19 world

“I’m not going to lie to you,” my doctor told me last week. “This is going to be unpleasant.” She then pulled the longest medical swab I’d ever seen from its sanitary seal, explaining she would need to insert it deep into my nasal passage, very nearly into my throat, to get a proper sample.

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