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Updated: 1 hour 58 min ago

Editorial: Hypocritical former DEQ chief should be fired

Thu, 01/05/2017 - 07:26

One of this morning’s best editorials comes from Capitol Broadcasting Company/WRAL.com and it concerns the outrageous actions of former state Department of Environmental Quality Secretary Donald van der Vaart. As you may recall from NC Policy Watch reporter Lisa Sorg’s story from last week, van der Vaart’s actions of late have been quite extraordinary. After ...

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State Board of Education hears report detailing declining count of low-income charter students

Wed, 01/04/2017 - 15:45

As we reported at Policy Watch Tuesday, a new state reports shows the percentage of North Carolina charter students classified as low-income is on the decline, exacerbating a significant gap between traditional public schools and their charter counterparts. According to the draft state report, more than 50 percent of the students served by traditional public ...

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NC’s new governor provides a welcome and long overdue initiative to close the Medicaid coverage gap

Wed, 01/04/2017 - 15:17

Since 2013, North Carolina law and policymakers have failed to recognize the health, economic, and social benefits of closing the Medicaid coverage gap for residents of the Tar Heel state. Today however, in a hopeful and inspiring speech, Governor Roy Cooper explained why, in order to achieve a true Carolina Comeback, the state needs to extend ...

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WATCH: Governor Cooper explain his plan for Medicaid expansion

Wed, 01/04/2017 - 14:57

Governor Roy Cooper will file the paperwork this week asking the federal government to amend the state’s Medicaid plan, opening door for expansion. While conservative legislators staunchly oppose Medicaid expansion, Cooper told business leaders Wednesday it makes sense fiscally. North Carolina’s new governor says expansion would bring $2-4 billion in new investment to the state ...

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BREAKING: Gov. Cooper announces he will expand Medicaid, calls for full repeal of HB2, raising teacher pay to national average

Wed, 01/04/2017 - 12:57

In a startlingly decisive step that took place on just the fourth day of his term in office, Governor Roy Cooper announced this morning that he will take immediate action to expand Medicaid coverage to hundreds of thousands of uninsured North Carolinians under the terms of the Affordable Care Act. Cooper’s action, which has long ...

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Coal ash leaks from Rogers plant landfill into nearby creek

Wed, 01/04/2017 - 12:34

About 1,000 gallons of stormwater leaked from a lined coal ash landfill at Duke Energy’s Rogers plant and reached a nearby creek, the utility announced. The leak, attributed to heavy rains in the area, was discovered during an inspection yesterday morning. However, Duke officials have said neither the creek nor the Broad River sustained significant contamination ...

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New law allows extended foster care support for young adults ages 18 to 21

Wed, 01/04/2017 - 11:28

A new law that went into effect Sunday will allow teens in the foster care system to receive support through the age of 21. “Many young adults in foster care are not prepared for self-sufficiency by age 18,” said Wayne Black, North Carolina Senior Director for Social Services and County Operations. “Their life experiences create additional ...

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First female infantry Marines join NC unit this week

Wed, 01/04/2017 - 09:55

The first three female infantry Marines will make history – again – this week. The three Marines, graduates of the corps’ School of Infantry, will join the 1st Battalion, 8th Marines at Camp Lejeune in Jacksonville, according to the Marine Corps Times. There’s some speculation that an incoming Trump administration will reverse course on women in ...

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National LGBT policy expert authors scathing takedown of Berger HB2 memo

Wed, 01/04/2017 - 07:36

Two weeks after reneging on a deal to fully repeal HB2 and being made to look foolish by Roy Cooper, who rightfully called out the attempted double-cross by Republican legislative leaders, Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger issued a lengthy and downright bizarre memo last Friday in an attempt to deflect some of then national ...

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Gov. Cooper names Michael Regan, former EPA, Environmental Defense Fund to lead NCDEQ

Tue, 01/03/2017 - 15:08

As soon as Michael Regan spoke at the governor’s mansion today, it became clear that he is the antithesis of Donald van der Vaart. Gov. Roy Cooper’s choice to lead the state Department of Environmental Quality, Regan was softspoken, yet confident. In contrast, as DEQ secretary, van der Vaart exerted his authority through a domineering, even defensive persona. Both men do have ...

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Bitzer on 2016 voter demographics in NC

Tue, 01/03/2017 - 14:52

If you want to get deep into voter demographics in North Carolina (and I know there are some nerds like me reading this and that you do), you need to be looking to Dr. Michael Bitzer, professor of political science and history at Catawba College. Now that all the numbers are well and truly in, ...

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State report: N.C. charter schools work with fewer low-income children

Tue, 01/03/2017 - 13:56

Charter school backers in North Carolina oft argue that charter students outperform their traditional school peers. Yet, critics of the schools—who argue charters in North Carolina tend to serve a very different, and altogether more affluent, population than traditional public schools—are likely to find fuel in a draft of an annual state report on charters set ...

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U.S. Supreme Court asks for response in North Carolina attempt to halt special elections

Tue, 01/03/2017 - 11:07

The state of North Carolina has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to halt a federal Court of Appeals opinion that would require legislators to hold a special election this year after legislative district maps were ruled unconstitutional racial gerrymanders. On Tuesday, Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts asked for a response in the case, due Monday. The ...

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Editorial: Time for GOP to put up or shut up on “voter fraud” claims

Tue, 01/03/2017 - 07:14

This morning’s editorial in the Fayetteville Observer gets it right in its assessment of the repeated and perpetually unsubstantiated claims of state GOP leaders that new laws are necessary to attack “voter fraud” in North Carolina elections. As the editorial points out, if there’s any area to look at in this regard, it’s absentee voting ...

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Governor Cooper announces major appointees

Mon, 01/02/2017 - 16:37

News from the Guv’s office: Governor Cooper Builds Team as Inauguration Approaches RALEIGH — Governor Roy Cooper today named new members to his senior staff after taking office January 1, 2017. To administer the state budget Cooper has appointed Charlie Perusse as State Budget Director. Perusse has experience administering state budgets and writing them to ...

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Unbalanced 2016 did little to even the economic score

Mon, 01/02/2017 - 13:08

You’re not imagining it, 2016 was an unbalanced economic year. The national economy had one of its best years in the last decade, and some parts of North Carolina significantly outpaced the nation, but many communities were left further behind.  (To view charts that summarize last year’s economic record, and to make commitments for the ...

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Predicting McCrory’s new job? The most amusing editorial of the weekend

Mon, 01/02/2017 - 08:05

The Greensboro News & Record had a fun lead editorial yesterday that offered several wild and wacky predictions for 2017. Consider the following: “The General Assembly, alarmed by the appearance of governing in the dark, convenes a special session today to review the constitutionality of Gov. Roy Cooper’s midnight swearing-in. The legislature remains in session ...

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As Cooper is sworn in, outgoing McCrory finds fault with HB2 opponents, ACC

Sun, 01/01/2017 - 08:33

Roy Cooper wasted no time with the start of the New Year in taking the oath of office to become the 75th governor of North Carolina. Gov. Cooper posting on social media just after midnight: “It is the honor of my life to be your governor, and to work for all of North Carolina. I ...

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DHHS Deputy Sec’y Randall Williams, involved in coal ash controversy, appointed to oil and gas commission

Fri, 12/30/2016 - 19:02

Now here’s a career move: Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Services Randall Williams, a gynecologist/obstetrician, has joined the state’s Oil and Gas Commission. Gov. Pat McCrory appointed 13 people to state boards and commissions today — with less than 30 hours left in office. This is the same Randall Williams who was a central figure in ...

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Endangered red wolf illegally shot, killed in eastern NC

Fri, 12/30/2016 - 16:48

Someone has illegally shot and killed an endangered red wolf on federal land in eastern North Carolina, the US Fish & Wildlife Service announced today. The wolf likely died Dec. 19; its body was found in the Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge on Dec. 21. The Virginian-Pilot reported the story today. It is illegal to kill ...

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