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Federal court orders General Assembly to redraw legislative districts; voters head back to the polls in 2017

Tue, 11/29/2016 - 19:59

A federal court ruled Tuesday that North Carolina’s legislature must redraw more than two dozen state House and Senate districts by March 15, 2017  with a primary slated for late August or September. A general election for those districts would follow in November. Here are two key passages from the ruling: While  special  elections  have  ...

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Musicians discuss considerations behind cancelling, not cancelling shows in wake of House Bill 2

Tue, 11/29/2016 - 16:34

There was a swift response from the arts community, and particularly musicians, after the passing of House Bill 2. Some artists and bands cancelled performances to send a message that the state government had crossed a line, while others used their show as an opportunity to condemn the bill’s discrimination. Under the Radar published a story Tuesday about ...

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Governor blocks state elections board from hiring outside counsel

Tue, 11/29/2016 - 14:16

In the midst of a controversial challenge to his loss in the Nov. 8 election, Gov. Pat McCrory has rejected a request from State Board of Elections to hire outside counsel in a lawsuit related to the election itself. McCrory has for weeks refused to concede the election to his Democratic challenger, Attorney General Roy ...

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Roxboro residents: No coal ash in our holiday stocking

Tue, 11/29/2016 - 14:03

  A week before Thanksgiving, with the temperature in the mid-60s, David Farman bedecked his yard with dozens of Christmas decorations: A small herd of lighted reindeer, a parade of Nativity scenes, a smattering of gift boxes, and a flotilla of inflatable Santas and snowmen. For more than a decade, Farman has lived on this one acre lot in rural Person County, down Dunnaway ...

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New report: U.S. students trail their global peers in math, science

Tue, 11/29/2016 - 12:30

There’s some good news and some not-so-good news coming from a new report ranking countries’ K-12 education efforts in math and science. First, the good news: In math and science, United States students appear to be making strides, according to the Associated Press. Yet U.S. pupils continue to trail their peers, particularly children in East ...

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NC teacher pens open letter to Burr re: Trump nominee for Education Secretary

Tue, 11/29/2016 - 11:30

NC Policy Watch friend and occasional contributor, Forsyth County public schoolteacher Stuart Egan, has authored another one of his fine open letters to a powerful politician about our public schools. The latest is a passionate plea directed to Senator Richard Burr regarding Donald Trump’s troubling plan to nominate Michigan Amway queen Betsy Devos as Secretary ...

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State Board of Elections instructs local boards to dismiss McCrory protests challenging voter eligibility

Tue, 11/29/2016 - 10:35

The State Board of Elections has instructed all local boards to dismiss all protests filed by Gov. Pat McCrory’s campaign “that merely disputes the eligibility of a voter.” The announcement was made late Monday night and an order was published with further instructions. A protest alleging the occurrence of an election law violation that affected votes ...

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Uber drivers, airport workers join Fight for $15’s national day of strikes, action today

Tue, 11/29/2016 - 06:58

As national political events continue their dramatic and troubling shift in a reactionary direction (click here to read about one particularly disturbing possible Labor Secretary in a Trump administration), one gets the sense that today’s national Fight for $15 “day of disruption” may be a harbinger of things to come. This is from a story ...

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The last time the N.C. legislature decided a contested race…

Mon, 11/28/2016 - 15:26

If you’re confused about what’s going on in the never-ending race for governor in North Carolina, you’re in good company. If you’re worried that the race, one of the most hotly contested in the country, could end up being decided by the N.C. General Assembly…well, you’re not alone in that, either. There is some precedent ...

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Duke Energy settles lawsuit over Sutton plant; submits post-hurricane Plan of Action for Lee

Mon, 11/28/2016 - 12:52

Duke Energy has settled a lawsuit with three environmental groups by contributing $1 million to a fund that will be used to protect the Lower Cape Fear Basin at and below the Sutton plant in Wilmington. Under the terms of the agreement, the utility will also provide up to $250,000 in matching funds raised by ...

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Six events to have on your radar this week

Mon, 11/28/2016 - 12:43

1. What’s next for NC’s immigrant community? – With the 2016 election mostly concluded, concerns are arising as to the future of the immigrant community and the safety of current undocumented residents. El Pueblo is holding a post-election recap meeting this evening to analyze what has transpired and what it might mean for the Latinx ...

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Charlotte Observer: More than $10.5 million spent defending GOP laws

Mon, 11/28/2016 - 11:30

It’s costly to defend controversial laws. The Charlotte Observer reported late last week that North Carolina Republican lawmakers have spent more than $10.5 million defending laws about everything from redistricting and voter identification to House Bill 2. And that price tag will grow as cases work through the appeals process. Almost half the money – $4.9 million ...

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The best editorial of the weekend

Mon, 11/28/2016 - 07:09

If you missed it, be sure to check out the lead editorial in Sunday’s edition of Raleigh’s News & Observer. As it rightfully highlights, the state’s conservative powers that be are up to no good again (and a remarkable degree of hypocrisy) when it comes to voting and election laws. Not only are they wrongfully attempting ...

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State Board of elections could meet this week on Durham appeal

Sun, 11/27/2016 - 13:53

The N.C. State Board of Elections held an emergency teleconference meeting Sunday to consider Gov. Pat McCrory’s request that they look into thousands of Durham county ballots his campaign is questioning in the Nov. 8 election. The board said it couldn’t move forward with the request until it has a full transcript of the Durham ...

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Justice-elect Mike Morgan weighs in on Supreme Court win; rumors of court-packing

Wed, 11/23/2016 - 12:14

It’s been a little over two weeks since Justice-elect Mike Morgan won a place on the bench at the North Carolina Supreme Court, and he’s still just as excited as he was on election night. “It was an exhilarating and satisfying victory,” Morgan said during a phone interview Tuesday evening. “The voters gave us such a resounding ...

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Companies that endanger their workers could be prosecuted for environmental crimes

Wed, 11/23/2016 - 11:00

Since penalties for violating workplace standards are so weak, the U.S. Department of Justice now is urging federal prosecutors, in some cases, to charge companies with environmental crimes. The National Law Review posted a story Monday explaining the rationale for the change in strategy: …. violations of OSHA requirements were punishable only as misdemeanor, while violations of many environmental requirements ...

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Editorial: McCrory campaign the biggest threat to election integrity

Wed, 11/23/2016 - 08:11

Pat McCrory’s hometown newspaper is out with its latest scathing take on the actions of the man it once endorsed for governor. As the Charlotte Observer notes this morning, if there’s are threats to election integrity in our state, it’s McCrory who is the most visible and dangerous. After the lauding the state elections board ...

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Challengers of magistrate recusal bill file appeal

Tue, 11/22/2016 - 15:00

The plaintiffs challenging Senate Bill 2, an anti-LGBTQ law that allows magistrates to recuse themselves from performing marriages if they have a religious objection, filed an appeal Tuesday in the U.S. Fourth Circuit of Appeals. In September, Judge Max Coburn dismissed the lawsuit challenging SB2 on issues related to plaintiffs’ standing in the case. The ...

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Unemployment insurance fix is needed

Tue, 11/22/2016 - 14:51

The Election Day exit polling of North Carolina voters found many deeply concerned about the economy and the inability of people in communities across our state to secure a foothold in the middle class.  We shouldn’t be surprised by that. The recovery from the Great Recession has been slow and failed to deliver the kind ...

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Pat McCrory filing for a recount of governor’s race

Tue, 11/22/2016 - 13:57

In a move political pundits expected, Gov. Pat McCrory has called for a recount of the gubernatorial race. His campaign released the following: To protect the voters of North Carolina, Governor Pat McCrory joined Chuck Stuber, candidate for state auditor, in officially filing for a statewide recount Tuesday morning. This recount was filed to meet ...

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