Policy Watch Investigates

Policy Watch Investigates

News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Bill targeting transgender athletes for exclusion receives a hearing in state House committee

Julie Katz came to Raleigh Wednesday to speak directly to the lawmakers who want to exclude her from women’s sports. A 16-year-old transgender girl from Greensboro, Katz has been a gynmast, played tennis and volleyball -- all, so far, without incident. But House Bill 358 would bar transgender women from playing women’s intramural, public school, university sports in North Carolina.

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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

To combat opioid overdose deaths, state officials try medication-assisted therapy with select NC inmates

Doctors who treat people with opioid addictions often hear of former patients who have to restart their treatment after leaving jail or prison. Or worse, their former patients die of drug overdoses soon after their release.

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Monday numbers: A closer look at the challenges faced by transgender youth and the consequences of alienating them

Last month Republicans in North Carolina joined a nationwide conservative push to file legislation targeting transgender youth. GOP lawmakers in the state House and Senate filed bills to bar transgender women from competing against other women at schools and universities, target transgender health care, force teachers and counselors to report children who exhibit “gender nonconformity,” and legally protect scientifically debunked “conversion therapy” that seeks to "cure" LGBTQ people.

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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Experts: Bills targeting trans people get the science wrong

Politics and ideology, not facts, drive claim that transgender women have an unfair athletic advantage When Republican lawmakers filed a bill last month to bar transgender women from competing against other women at schools and universities in North Carolina, LGBTQ advocates called it part of a new national wave of anti-transgender bills.

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Defending Democracy News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Special report: The GOP’s national effort to make voting more difficult

As strategy shifts from election lawsuits to laws, voting rights advocates warn of Tennessee As Republican-led legislatures continue a systematic push to pass laws they say are aimed at ratcheting up election security, voting rights advocates in Tennessee worry the entire nation could soon look a lot like the Volunteer State where voter turnout and voter registration figures are among the lowest in the country.

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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

PW special report – The battle for Alamance part 2: The modern day struggle for political representation

Decades after the enactment of civil rights laws, people of color remain largely excluded from the county's political power structure To go to Alamance County is to step back in time, to the days of the Civil Rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s.   More than a half-century later, law enforcement officers pepper-sprayed and arrested anti-racist protesters.

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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Bill seeks to prevent transgender women from competing on women’s athletic teams

A new bill introduced this week in the N.C. House would ban transgender women from competing on women’s athletic teams at public schools and universities, superseding policies that have existed in major sports organizations for at least a decade.

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PW special report – The battle for Alamance: A look at the past and present of one of North Carolina’s most divided counties

Part one: A troubled history of racism, violence and repression On a cold and drizzly February night in 1870 a mob of Klansmen came for Wyatt Outlaw, the first Black town commissioner of Graham. Wearing robes and hoods, and armed with torches, swords and pistols, some 20 men broke down the door of his home on Main Street.

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COVID infections and deaths shine a light of NC’s lax workplace safety oversight

When COVID-19 hit North Carolina in 2020, complaints about the safety of workers flooded the state agency charged with their protection. Yet, state Department of Labor officials didn’t have enforceable standards to widely issue citations and conduct inspections and then-Labor Commissioner Cherie Berry determined that no new standards for COVID were needed.

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COVID-19 News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

North Carolina has a plan to get COVID-19 vaccines to migrant farmworkers. Its success will be crucial to protecting workers’ health. 

This month, thousands of migrant workers will begin the hard work of planting, tending and harvesting crops in North Carolina farm fields. The state Department of Health and Human Services, farmworker health groups, employers, and medical clinics plan to make COVID-19 vaccines available to workers whose close living conditions make for the easy spread of the coronavirus.

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Higher Ed Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

PW special report: How did Darrell Allison cut in line to become the new chancellor at Fayetteville State? It’s a secret.

Allison's political connections and loyalty might have helped him get the job. Darrell Allison did not make the final cut in the search process for Fayetteville State University’s next chancellor, according to sources directly involved in the process. Instead, the former UNC Board of Governors member was added at the last-minute to the list of finalists submitted to the UNC System.

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COVID-19 News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

NC Native American tribes make headway in bringing vaccine to oft-neglected members

Dozens of tribal elders lined up outside the community building on Haliwa-Saponi land in Halifax County early Saturday morning to wait for the opening of the first COVID-19 vaccine clinic they could get to in this rural part of northeastern North Carolina. Jamie K. Oxendine, tribal administrator for the Haliwa-Saponi, pushed to bring a one-day vaccine clinic to the tribal grounds in tiny Hollister.

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Higher Ed News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

New ‘Silent Sam’ revelations contradict past public assurances offered by UNC Chancellor Guskiewicz

In December 2019, Kevin Guskiewicz, then the new UNC-Chapel Hill chancellor, appeared before a concerned and angry Faculty Council. The UNC System had just announced its Board of Governors had settled a lawsuit with the NC Sons of Confederate Veterans. The settlement would not only give the group the controversial Silent Sam Confederate monument but also $2.5 million in trust to care for it. 

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COVID-19 News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

When a hospital is overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients, deciding who gets critical care

New state plan guides doctors, nurses on difficult ethical questions It is a nearly impossible decision: Who would get life-saving treatment when hospitals are overwhelmed by critically ill patients and running out of equipment or space?

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Applicant errors, not fraud, main source of $70 million in unemployment benefit overpayments

Lawmakers indicated they would support waiving repayments for non-fraud overages

An unprecedented surge in applications for unemployment benefits overwhelmed the state Division of Employment Security, Assistant Secretary Pryor Gibson told state lawmakers this week. And nearly a year into the pandemic, it is still struggling. 

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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

A bitter Register of Deeds contest spurs allegations of racism in Wayne County

Dems joined with GOP to recruit write-in candidates to try to defeat disfavored Black candidates The path to victory in the 2020 Wayne County Register of Deeds contest looked as if it would be easy for Constance Coram. She had defeated incumbent and fellow Democrat Judy Harrison by a slim 145 votes in the March 3 primary.

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