Policy Watch Investigates

Policy Watch Investigates

Higher Ed News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

UNC journalism faculty members: Wealthy donors should not define the school’s values

Members of the UNC-Chapel Hill journalism school faculty overwhelmingly reject the notion that a mega-donor's "core values" of journalism should be the official values of the school, according to a recent survey. Instead, the faculty members favor independently determining the school's values.

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Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Faculty members protest Board of Governors’ interference with UNC Press leadership

BOG member says refusal to reappoint law professor Eric Muller is a message to students, campus leaders and faculty that they "are not in charge of the system" The UNC-Chapel Hill faculty is opposing what they say is undue political influence on appointments to the UNC Press Board of Governors.

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Law and the Courts News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Former McCrory aide, Locke Foundation staffer to help lead new, partisan oversight staff at legislature

After top Republican state lawmakers eliminated the legislature’s in-house watchdog agency, the Program Evaluation Division, in February Joe Coletti, then a senior fellow at the John Locke Foundation lauded the decision. In a Feb. 22, 2021, article that appeared on the conservative think tank’s website, he opined that a partisan staff might be more nimble in performing the oversight function and making recommendations to increase government efficiency.

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COVID-19 News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Geography, politics loom large as COVID-19 vaccination momentum wanes

Lack of access, "Trump effect" both acting as roadblocks COVID-19 vaccines are hard to come by in Bladenboro, the small southeastern North Carolina town that was the center of a COVID-19 cluster that pushed its home county into the red zone on a virus alert map.

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Higher Ed Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Nikole Hannah-Jones declines UNC tenure offer, heads to Howard University

In an exclusive interview, Hannah-Jones reveals that she and fellow award-winning journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates will launch new Center for Democracy and Journalism at Washington, DC HBCU After months of public controversy and behind-the-scenes political struggles, acclaimed journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones has decided not to join the faculty at UNC-Chapel Hill.

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Higher Ed News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

As board prepares to vote on Hannah-Jones tenure, struggle continues over direction of UNC

Tenure supporters express optimism even as outside political pressure mounts After more than a month of headlines, revelations, petitions and protests, the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees will meet Wednesday to confront the issue of tenure for Nikole Hannah-Jones.

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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Monday numbers: A look at how the Senate’s and the Governor’s budgets compare in some key areas

Legislators spent last week deep in numbers as the Senate Republicans released their budget proposal, which the full Senate approved on Friday. The measure now heads to the state House, where significant revisions are expected. The two chambers will then create a compromise budget sometime this summer that will go to Gov. Roy Cooper.

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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

NC Senate on track to pass budget bill that includes controversial law changes

Special provisions target executive branch powers of Democratic officials Budget-writing season started with talk of hoped for cooperation and budget that would gain significant bipartisan support.   That’s all soured in the early stages of budget debates, with Senate Democrats questioning a Republican-written budget that’s pumped full of special provisions that would limit executive branch powers. 

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Higher Ed News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

UNC Press now in the crosshairs of Board of Governors, which is refusing to re-appoint professor who criticized handling of Silent Sam monument

Eric Muller served two five-year terms on the UNC Press Board. In an unprecedented move, the UNC Board of Governors is refusing to re-appoint a respected law professor to the University of North Carolina Press Board of Governors. ...
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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

NC failed to meet court-ordered deadlines for moving people with mental illnesses out of adult care homes. But it got another extension.

Service gaps, lack of central control over regional offices, COVID-19 pandemic contribute to "mission drift" North Carolina had eight years under a 2012 court order to move 2,000 people with mental illnesses out of adult care homes and into houses or apartments. A few years ago, the state received an extension to this July. It won’t make that deadline, either.

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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Class-action lawsuit claims that understaffing was part of Salisbury nursing home’s business model 

Plaintiffs claim they were not given their medicines, staff ignored calls for assistance A new class-action lawsuit brought against the Citadel Salisbury nursing home claims that chronic understaffing endangered the health and safety of its residents. The Citadel Salisbury was the site of the largest COVID-19 outbreak in a North Carolina congregant care facility early in the pandemic.

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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Changes in the NC cigar tax have a champion in a state senator who owns cigar shops 

An obscure provision of the state Senate tax package that would cap the excise tax on cigars has a supporter in Sen. Todd Johnson, a member of the chamber’s Finance Committee and a cigar store owner.

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COVID-19 News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

As vaccination rates decline, DHHS and health care providers trying to reach rural, underserved communities

The total number of vaccinations dropped by 23% over one week in April, an indication that North Carolina still faces challenges in achieving its vaccination goals. Now the state Department of Health and Human Services wants to direct vaccination efforts toward neighborhoods where few people have gotten shots.

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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Nonprofit efforts to support Black maternal health gain momentum – will state lawmakers help?

Ciera Baker, a pre-Kindergarten teacher in Raleigh, wanted to stay home for a few months with her newborn baby, but her job doesn’t provide paid maternity leave and she knew she couldn’t get by just on her savings.   Baker's mother had told her about Equity Before Birth, a nonprofit that helps Black women in the Triangle connect with doulas and lactation consultants, and provides financial support.

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COVID-19 Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

PW special report: Restaurants that opened in early 2020 excluded from key COVID relief program

When Tal Blevins first heard about the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, he hoped it would be the sort of help that he and his fellow restaurant owners had been anticipating for more than a year.

But it didn’t take Blevins long to realize someone hadn’t accounted for the real costs of opening a restaurant. When he analyzed the conditions of the revitalization fund, which was within the larger $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan Act, it quickly became apparent it wouldn’t significantly help his Greensboro restaurant, Machete.

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Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Murders highlight violence, inequality that transgender North Carolinians have long faced

April has been a cruel month for North Carolina’s transgender community.

As the General Assembly debates bills that would exclude them from sports teams, bar them from health care and protect discrimination against them by doctors, the community is also mourning the murder of two young, black trans women in Charlotte.

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