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Updated: 1 hour 9 min ago

NC solar businesses endorse EPA Clean Power Plan

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 10:53
In case you missed it and could use bit of good news, the folks at Environment North Carolina have some. The group held a press event yesterday touting the support of 49 businesses from North Carolina’s booming solar industry for the Obama administration’s proposed Clean Power Plan. This is from the statement released yesterday: North ...

State tells Baker Mitchell’s charter to provide legally required info or face sanctions

Fri, 10/17/2014 - 08:04
As the Wilmington Star News reports this morning, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction has told Baker Mitchell’s Charter Day School, Inc. to turn over required salary information of face the possibility of sanctions. This is from a letter from DPI chief financial officer Phillip Price: We have reviewed your submission in response to ...

North Carolina’s new economic development group will release donors’ names, but may not say how much they gave

Thu, 10/16/2014 - 14:15
North Carolina’s new economic development partnership– a quasi-public group funded largely with public money – started up in earnest last week,  a significant move that privatized how employers are recruited to the state. The Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina has received $500,000 so far in private donations and $17.5 million in public dollars. Partnership ...

Richard Burr helps expose the lunacy of Dan Forest’s hateful marriage rant

Thu, 10/16/2014 - 14:07
In case you missed it, it’s worth noting that Senator Richard Burr uttered some eminently reasonable words yesterday when pressed for a comment on the judge who struck down North Carolina’s  unconstitutional ban on same-sex marriage, U.S. District Court Judge Max Cogburn of the state Western District. Burr, of course, voted for Cogburn’s confirmation which ...

The troubling experience with school vouchers in other states

Thu, 10/16/2014 - 11:35
ICYMI, be sure to check out education reporter Lindsay Wagner’s story this morning over on the main Policy Watch site: “School vouchers: A second look at fraud and abuse.” As Wagner reports, the disturbing stories from Arizona, Wisconsin and Louisiana — where standards for vouchers are actually tougher in many instances than North Carolina’s — ...

Catawba County school cancels play because two male characters “fall” in love

Thu, 10/16/2014 - 10:41
While same-sex couples finally won the right to marry last week in North Carolina, a Catawba County school decided to cancel a student theater club’s production of the romantic comedy Almost, Maine, which has a scene in which two male characters fall in love. Principal Rob Bliss of Maiden High School issued a statement on ...

North Carolina’s waning commitment to public education nothing to write home about

Thu, 10/16/2014 - 10:10
North Carolina is among 14 states that have cut per-student state funding by more than 10 percent for the current school year compared to before the Great Recession, a new report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP) highlights. This waning commitment to public education by state lawmakers in recent years has heightened ...

Seats still available for next week’s breakfast on women’s rights – RSVP today

Wed, 10/15/2014 - 15:14
Please join us for a very special Crucial Conversation — Breakfast with Judy Waxman, Vice President for Health and Reproductive Rights at the National Women’s Law Center Click here to register Why are Americans still fighting for basic freedoms like access to birth control? What is the latest on the effort to secure full implementation ...

Hendersonville teacher recalls long list of recent attacks on public education in North Carolina

Wed, 10/15/2014 - 10:58
In an opinion piece published this morning by the News and Observer, Hendersonville high school English teacher Chris Gilbert acknowledges the recent pay raise bestowed upon teachers by state lawmakers (significant for some and minuscule for others), but says he believes it is not demonstrative of politicians’ renewed commitment to public education. Now, certain politicians can ...

Charter profiteer Baker Mitchell caught in an apparent lie about lobbying for tax break

Wed, 10/15/2014 - 10:44
One of the most interesting parts of the Pro Publica report  in the News & Observer today about the huge profits from taxpayer money made by charter school operator Baker Mitchell is the story of how Mitchell lobbied the General Assembly for a tax break for himself and then denied it. Mitchell was intimately involved ...

Understanding the second marriage equality ruling: Old ban now “defunct”

Wed, 10/15/2014 - 09:30
Court decisions have been coming in a fast and furious fashion in recent days — so fast that many may be left scratching their heads by Judge Osteen’s ruling yesterday on marriage equality. If you’re one of the thousands who’s saying to him or herself this morning something like “What the heck? I though Judge ...

National story: Conservative NC politico profits at the public education trough

Wed, 10/15/2014 - 07:51
The national nonprofit news site Pro Publica has a lead story out of North Carolina this morning about Baker Mitchell — the arch-conservative political operative who runs a chain of charter schools. This is the lead from the story, which is also front-paged this morning on Raleigh’s News & Observer: “Baker Mitchell is a politically ...

North Carolina gets poor marks on women’s health

Tue, 10/14/2014 - 16:06
The Alliance for a Just Society along with Action NC released a report today titled “The Promise of Quality, Affordable Health Care for Women: Is North Carolina Delivering?” The answer, in a word, is no. Overall the report gives our state a C- on women’s health when looking at a range of measures from health outcomes ...

The crazy company they keep

Tue, 10/14/2014 - 12:17
The folks over on Right-wing Avenue — yeah, you know, the supposedly nonpartisan 501(c)(3) organizations that have been acting as a virtual auxiliaries of the campaign of one of the two main U.S. Senate candidates in recent weeks — have a lot of  troubling friends and allies on the fringe. Take, for instance the website ...

State Health Plan updates eligibility to cover same-sex spouses

Tue, 10/14/2014 - 10:30
New from the N.C. State Health Plan website’s “newsroom”: Eligibility Update Regarding Friday’s Ruling on Same Sex Marriages A federal court has overturned North Carolina’s law regarding same gender marriage, recognizing same sex marriages as legal in North Carolina. This ruling now makes same sex spouses of State Health Plan members eligible for State Health ...

Good reads on voting

Tue, 10/14/2014 - 09:45
Three posts this morning about the ongoing war on voters are worth your while, starting with yesterday’s opinion from Wake County Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens, ordering the state Board of Elections to reconfigure the voting plan out in Watauga County to locate a polling place at Appalachian State.  It’s a short opinion that packs a ...

Sanity prevails in one small corner of the gun debate

Tue, 10/14/2014 - 08:15
As has been reported in several places, North Carolina Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens upheld the common sense ban on hidden, loaded handguns at the State Fair yesterday. According to Judge Stephens: “It would be unwise and imprudent to allow firearms into the State Fair.” Amen to that. Stephens ruling makes eminent sense for a ...

On #DayOneNC, Wake County issues 37 same-sex marriage licenses

Mon, 10/13/2014 - 17:42
On the first full-day of marriage equality in North Carolina, the Wake County Register of Deeds issued 62 marriage licenses in all – 37 to same sex couples, 25 to opposite sex couples. Laura Riddick, who kept the Register of Deeds office open until after 9 p.m. Friday evening issuing marriage licenses after U.S. District ...

Guns, votes and airports: Court action today

Mon, 10/13/2014 - 16:26
Busy, busy day in state courts today. Here’s a quick recap: No guns at the state fair. Wake County Superior Court Donald Stephens upheld the determination of Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler banning handguns from the state fair. Court orders opening of Appalachian State polling place.  As reported here, Judge Stephens also ordered state election officials to reconfigure ...

You get a marriage, and you get a marriage, and you get a marriage

Mon, 10/13/2014 - 12:56
From Rockingham County to New Hanover, from Mecklenburg County to Jackson, Register of Deeds offices across North Carolina are issuing their first same-sex marriage licenses this morning. QNotes reports that as of this morning, all counties are issuing same-sex marriage licenses: As of Monday morning, all 100 counties in North Carolina were issuing licenses to ...

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