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Environment Top Story

EPA: GenX far more toxic that originally thought, could prompt NC to significantly reduce health advisory goal

GenX, a chemical compound found in the drinking water of more than 1 million North Carolinians, is far more toxic that scientists originally believed, according to the EPA. The agency yesterday released a final toxicology assessment for the compound, showing that even lower levels of GenX in drinking water could harm human health, particularly the liver.

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Environment Higher Ed

PW exclusive: NC State faculty, safety officer and graduate students sound alarm over potentially harmful air contamination in chemistry building

Students reported headaches, nausea, vomiting, but say their concerns about poor ventilation were dismissed On the morning of Oct. 7, NC State University chemistry professor Jim Martin arrived at Dabney Hall carrying boxes to pack up his office in Room 822A. In less than 10 minutes, an air sensor gave him some disturbing results.

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Law and the Courts Top Story

Monday numbers: Criminal justice reforms in two NC judicial districts show promise

Tool allows magistrates to make more effective decisions on when to impose bail requirements The UNC School of Government's Criminal Justice Innovation Lab released two reports last month detailing the results of  pretrial procedure reforms piloted in two judicial districts: Forsyth County...

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Environment Top Story

Offshore wind industry leaders ask Congress to back long-term plans to increase production

WASHINGTON — The Biden administration is making a significant push for new offshore wind development to meet ambitious climate goals, but industry leaders say they also need long-term commitments and support from Congress to reach their potential. Leaders of the burgeoning U.S. offshore wind industry called on Congress to invest in renewables at a hearing of a House Energy and Commerce Committee panel Thursday.

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News Top Story

PW exclusive: A conversation with the first Chief Equity Officer at NC DHHS

Victor Armstrong will lead the Cooper administration's efforts to address racial and ethnic health disparities laid newly bare by the pandemic The disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people of color has further exposed racial disparities and inequities in health care, which residents with chronic illnesses have confronted for years.

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Defending Democracy News Top Story

State redistricting stumbles across the nation amid familiar partisan infighting

WASHINGTON—This year’s round of redistricting is already crumbling into partisanship and court challenges in multiple states, even as voters pay more attention than ever to new political maps that will shape elections for a decade. Hopes were high initially. Advocates in several states pushed measures over the last few years that they hoped would lessen some of the acrimony in the struggle for political power every 10 years.

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Environment Top Story

EPA finally launches major effort to curb PFAS pollution, to mixed reviews about whether it’s enough

The Lake Raleigh fishing pier lies 80 miles north of Ground Zero for the toxic compound GenX, the Chemours chemical plant near the Bladen-Cumberland county line. Presumably, you could safely eat the fish caught from this lake, which is on the NC State University campus, but given the widespread PFAS contamination of North Carolina’s waterways, only testing could tell you for sure.

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Law and the Courts Top Story

Wake district attorney faces spirited challenge in March 2022 primary

Challenger says Democratic incumbent is behind the times on issues like the death penalty and marijuana For the first time since winning election in 2014, Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman is facing a challenger in the 2022 Democratic primary: Damon Chetson, a criminal defense attorney who focuses on death penalty cases and high-level felonies in state and federal courts.

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Education Top Story

Monday Numbers: A closer look at deadline day for the Leandro public schools mandate

It’s now been nearly a quarter-century since the North Carolina Supreme Court ruled in the landmark Leandro lawsuit that state leaders were violating the constitutional rights of thousands of schoolchildren – particularly in the state’s poorest counties – by failing to provide them with access to a sound basic education.

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Higher Ed News Top Story

Walter Hussman returns as UNC’s journalism school faces crisis of values, diversity

The mega-donor's 'hush-hush homecoming' reignites concern among faculty When Walter Hussman returned to UNC-Chapel Hill this week, he hoped to begin mending relations with the journalism school that bears his name. But that proved to be difficult, given the mega-donor’s lobbying against the hiring of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones. 

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Law and the Courts Must Reads News Top Story

‘Must read’ report: The deep racial and ethnic disparities in state prisons

When former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin killed George Floyd by kneeling on his neck in 2020, the world witnessed the most racist elements of the U.S. criminal legal system on broad display. The uprisings that followed Floyd’s death articulated a vision for transforming public safety practices and investments.

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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts News Top Story

Voting rights advocates express concerns over redistricting process at the General Assembly

As lawmakers began drawing voting district maps last week, voting rights advocates and Republican lawmakers differed sharply on the fairness and adequacy of the process. According to the advocates, the process is flawed and fails to deliver on the promise of transparency or to adequately consider community input.

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Higher Ed Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

PW exclusive: Journalism historian discusses role of American newspapers in abetting white supremacy

Prof. Kathy Roberts Forde previews upcoming talk at UNC-Chapel Hill and reflects on recent controversies that have roiled her alma mater Journalists like to think of themselves as part of a long lineage of truth seekers, a “fourth estate” in American life keeping government honest and shining light in dark places since the founding of the republic.

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Education Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at the effectiveness of TV learning during the pandemic

After schools closed to in-person instruction in March 2020, PBS North Carolina (then known as UNC-TV) provided students learning from home with broadcast and online educational content aligned as closely as possible to the NC Standard Course of Study.  Curated materials – content created by others – were used during what the NC Department of Public Instructions and PBS North Carolina officials called Phase 1 of the ambitious At Home Learning Initiative.

  The second phase began in August 2020 with North Carolina teacher-generated content supporte ...
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Defending Democracy Law and the Courts News Top Story

New revelations shed more light on efforts to question, undermine 2020 election results

U.S. attorney in Georgia quit under pressure from Trump to reject election results, new report confirms Former President Donald Trump forced a top federal prosecutor in Atlanta to step down because he wouldn’t help Trump overturn his loss of Georgia in the 2020 presidential election, a U.S. Senate report released Thursday said.

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Defending Democracy News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

GOP pols Robinson, Walker, Cawthorn align themselves with movement seeking to end to separation of church and state

Lt. Governor offers to pay for departure of those who deny the U.S. is a “Christian nation” The American Renewal Project – and ...
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