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Education News Top Story

NC charter school managed by national for-profit firm cited for failure to serve students with disabilities

State says Cary’s Cardinal Charter Academy must offer compensatory education to children denied services required by federal law   Last August, Terri Schmitz’s ...
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Congress Defending Democracy News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Election officials can’t access federal funding for security as violent threats mount

Colorado’s election officials, like so many across the country, faced a surge of violent threats after the 2020 election.  Federal authorities are prosecuting a man who pled guilty to threatening a Colorado election official on Instagram, where he wrote: “Do you feel safe? You shouldn’t.” And Colorado police arrested a man accused of calling Secretary of State Jena Griswold and saying that “the angel of death is coming for her.”

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Environment Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Mountaire chicken slaughter plant overwhelming Siler City wastewater treatment facility, which has incurred 80 violations, $110K in fines

State has imposed a moratorium on the Siler City facility for chronic noncompliance, preventing new sewer connections for new industry, housing Downstream from the Siler City wastewater treatment plant, sickness had beset the Rocky River. At least 30 fish, including the Eastern shiner and some species of chub, "were observed with lesions and appeared stressed," Tim Savidge, an aquatic biologist wrote in his field notes to the NC Wildlife Resources Commission. "Gasping, irregular swimming, etc."

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News Top Story

Monday numbers: Our children are hurting and here’s why

As parents busy themselves gathering last minute back-to-school items for their children, North Carolina's educators are prepping for what could be one of the most challenging years on record. Masks and social-distancing will be less common this year, but the pandemic has left an indelible mark on our children. A new report by the Annie E. Casey Foun­da­tion documents that children are strug­gling with anx­i­ety and depres­sion at unprece­dent­ed lev­els.

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Education News Top Story

State subcommittee recommends reinstating higher salaries for teachers with advanced degrees

Low salaries for public school teachers continue to hurt recruitment North Carolina should return to paying teachers who hold advanced degrees extra, in order to help school districts struggling to fill classrooms with certified teachers, a subcommittee of the state Professional Educator Preparation and Standards Commission (PEPSC) agreed Wednesday.

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Congress News Top Story

Farm bill season arrives: What’s the outlook for 2023?

WASHINGTON — Over the course of the next year, lawmakers on the U.S. House and Senate Agriculture committees will draft a new federal farm bill that will shape food, farm, conservation and nutrition programs across the country for the next five years. The omnibus law that began 90 years ago as crop supports now has an impact far beyond the farm, with programs to create wildlife habitat, address climate change and run the nation’s largest federal nutrition program.

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Health News Top Story

Duke physicians express worry about the new abortion restrictions – and those to come

Duke Health physicians gathered Tuesday in an online round-table discussion of how new abortion restrictions - and those on the horizon - hurt their ability to treat pregnant patients and are likely to lead to more maternal deaths. When the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June, eliminating the constitutional right to abortion, North Carolina became a destination for women from surrounding states that quickly moved to strictly limit abortion access or impose total bans.

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Congress Environment News Top Story

Biden signs into law Democrats’ wide-ranging climate change, health care and tax bill

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden signed his party’s signature climate, health care and tax package into law Tuesday, capping off more than a year of tumultuous negotiations that saw his original proposal to Congress slimmed down considerably. Flanked by a handful of Democrats, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn and West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin III, Biden sharply contrasted his outlook for the country with that of Republicans, who unanimously voted against the package. 

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Congress Health News Top Story

Twenty states, D.C. join in opposing Texas lawsuit on emergency abortion care

North Carolina's Josh Stein is among the signatories WASHINGTON — Attorneys general from 20 states and the District of Columbia filed a brief in federal court on Tuesday, challenging Texas’ assertion that states shouldn’t have to comply with a federal law that protects doctors who end a pregnancy to save the patient’s life.  The brief argues the judge in the case shouldn’t grant Texas’ request for preliminary injunctive relief...

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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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News Top Story

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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Congress News Top Story

With “go everywhere” strategy, Beasley breaks with Democratic playbook for statewide races

In her attempt to break the Democratic Party’s streak of losses in U.S. Senate races, Cheri Beasley has billed herself as a different kind of Democrat. Over the past year, perhaps the most convincing case for that has been the stops on her itineraries.

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Congress Health News Top Story

Biden signs landmark bill aiding veterans exposed to burn pits overseas

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden signed legislation into law Wednesday that will provide health care and benefits to veterans exposed to burn pits in Afghanistan and Iraq, achieving a long-term, personal goal. “I was in and out of Iraq over 20 times,” Biden said of prior trips to the war zone he took as both a U.S. senator and as vice president.

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Environment Top Story

Moving the misery around: EPA approves plan to truck contaminated soil from one Black community to another

Contaminated soil from a Superfund site in Navassa will be shipped to one of three landfills outside Brunswick County, likely moving toxic pollution from one non-white or low-income community to another.  The proposed cleanup plan, approved by the EPA in late May, highlights the environmental injustices that occur when counties, regulators and polluters offload their problems to communities of color.

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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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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

PW special report: NC treasurer’s love for cash in the pension fund hobbled returns during the stock market boom  

State Treasurer Dale Folwell refers to himself as the “Keeper of the Public Purse.” And since he was elected to the job that includes managing pension funds for state and local government employees, Folwell has been stuffing that purse with cash.  Under Folwell’s direction, the pension fund holds more of its money in cash than the department’s own guidelines direct and has considerably higher cash holdings than similar public pension funds. North Carolina’s pension fund is among the 10 largest public pensions in the country. None of the other nine hold close to as great a proportion of their assets in cash as North Carolina does, according to their most recent financial reports.  

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