Archives by: Joe Killian

Joe Killian

About the author

Joe Killian, Investigative Reporter, joined N.C. Policy Watch in August of 2016. His work takes a closer look at government, politics and policy in North Carolina and their impact on the lives of everyday people. Before joining Policy Watch, Joe spent a decade at the News & Record in Greensboro, reporting on everything from cops and courts to higher education. He covered the city councils of High Point and Greensboro and the Guilford County Board of Commissioners before becoming the paper’s full-time government and politics reporter. His work has also appeared in the Winston-Salem Journal, Go Triad, the Bristol Press in Bristol, Conn., and the Cape Cod Times in Hyannis, Mass.
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Joe Killian's articles and posts

Health News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Fentanyl in NC: An epidemic within the opioid epidemic

A year ago this month, Barb Walsh was enjoying a feeling of pride for which every parent longs. Sophia, the second of her four daughters, had come through the COVID-19 pandemic, graduating from Appalachian State University’s business school in 2020 and getting a good job with Milwaukee Tool. Driven, competitive and self-sufficient, Sophia was never the sort of kid her mother had to worry about.

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Monday numbers: A closer look at social capital

For years it’s been clear one of the keys to economic, social success and even health outcomes in America is the old real estate mantra: location, location, location. Studies have long shown children raised in areas with higher incomes, better funded schools and less violence tend to have better adult outcomes. This month a new study  published in the journal Nature uses data from tens of billions of Facebook connections to examine three factors that seem to be drivers of that success -- economic connectedness, cohesiveness and civic engagement.

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Health News Top Story

Monday numbers: As U.S. states struggle with post-Roe abortion laws, a look at public opinion around the globe

A lot has happened since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in late June, eliminating the constitutional right to abortion. Republican-led states have made moves to revive previous abortion restrictions or enact new and sweeping ones. Democratic-led states have rushed to enshrine the right in state law.

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Health News Top Story

A community ravaged by opioids looks to heal with settlement funds

On Tuesday morning, Wake County held its first community meeting on how it will spend its share of a historic $26 billion National Opioid Settlement – more than $35 million over the next 18 years. But before the crowd of nearly 200 talked about solutions, Megan Peevey took them on a guided tour of the dark corners of opioid addiction most North Carolinians are lucky to never to see for themselves.

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COVID-19 News Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at COVID exhaustion and how it’s affecting our response to the pandemic

The latest poll results from the the Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index show that Americans are exhausted with COVID-19 and its variants, with a majority saying they don’t believe they will ever be rid of the virus in their lifetimes. The results, released last week, are the latest indication that while the current BA-5 variant continues to spike infection levels and spur new waves of hospitalizations...

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Higher Ed News Top Story

Weathering political controversies, UNC System president reaps incentive bonus

The UNC Board of Governors approved a bonus of $451,200 for UNC System President Peter Hans Wednesday, which board members said reflects the “exceptional job” Hans continues to do for the UNC System. The one-time payment to Hans’s Senior Administrative Officer Retirement Account is in line with an incentive scheme under which he was hired in June of 2020.

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Higher Ed News Top Story

UNC Board of Governors undermined in UNC System move to Raleigh, conservative members say

After six years on the UNC Board of Governors, Leo Daughtry is being moved to the North Carolina State Board of Transportation. It wasn’t a move he requested, Daughtry told Policy Watch last week. But the change, part of a political appointments bill passed at the end of the legislative session, was probably inevitable after Daughtry said aloud something a number of board members privately say they also believe: the plan to move the UNC System offices to downtown Raleigh is expensive, ill-considered and motivated primarily by politics.

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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Monday numbers: The military history and civilian tragedy of the AR-15

Why the weapon of choice for so many mass murderers is not what a lot of its defenders would have us believe Last month, after the horrific mass shootings at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, and a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, Monday Numbers took a look at the AR-15 style semi-automatic assault rifles favored by mass shooters in America.

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‘Queerolina’ exhibit explores LGBTQ history at UNC-Chapel Hill

As LGBTQ Pride month came to a close this past week, queer people in North Carolina are more visible than they’ve been in generations -- holding parades and celebrations in the state’s largest cities and its smaller towns, embraced by major corporations, and celebrated in government proclamations. June was also a tumultuous month for LGBTQ North Carolinians, however.

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Law and the Courts News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

“Alarmed, but not panicked”: NC experts look to what could be next for LGBTQ rights after the Dobbs ruling

When the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last week, eliminating a constitutional right to abortion after nearly 50 years, the justices also fueled speculation that other established rights could be next on the chopping block. “In future cases, we should reconsider all of this court’s substantive due process precedents, including Griswold, Lawrence, and Obergefell,” Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in his concurring opinion in the Roe decision.

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