Policy Watch Investigates

Policy Watch Investigates

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Monday numbers: DOT budget includes $5 million for unmanned aircraft systems

The new state budget, signed into law by Gov. Cooper, the General Assembly included a raft of one-time appropriations of varying sizes that feature extremely vague descriptions and very few details as to the specific purpose for which the funds are to be used. For example, in the Department of Transportation budget, General Assembly allotted a $5 million grant to a Winston-Salem nonprofit known as AeroX for the "development of an urban advanced air mobility system."

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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

General Assembly sends new state budget to Cooper for final approval

Despite concerns, most Senate and House Democrats vote to approve $25.9 billion plan  The first complete state budget in nearly three years will give teachers and state employees raises retroactive to July 1, spend nearly $1 billion to expand broadband, and billions more on new buildings.

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Higher Ed Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

NC State officials say troubled chemistry building has been found safe, but scientists who work there question testing

After a series of tests at N.C. State’s Dabney Hall, home to the Chemistry Department, the school’s Environmental Health and Safety office is saying concerns expressed by staff, faculty and students about air quality are overblown. But chemistry and safety experts in the department say the methodology of the tests was faulty and still show concerning levels of chemical compounds in areas where they shouldn’t appear — including offices where no chemicals are used or stored.

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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Transgender prisoner fighting for gender-affirming surgery

When Kanautica Zayre-Brown was transferred to Anson Correctional Institution in 2019, she became the first incarcerated transgender person in North Carolina to move from a prison designated for one gender to one designated for another. But that hasn’t solved all the problems of navigating a state prison system that seems ill-prepared for the realities of incarcerating transgender people.

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Defending Democracy News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

In three-way GOP Senate battle, Walker courts evangelical vote by embracing Robinson

In wake of Lt. Guv's anti-LGBTQ remarks, former rep describes effort to promote conservative Christian agenda as a "street brawl" Looking to distinguish himself in a tough GOP Senate primary field, former U.S. Rep. Mark Walker is criticizing former Gov. Pat McCrory and U.S. Rep. Ted Budd for not defending Lt. Gov Mark Robinson’s recent characterization of LGBTQ people as “filth.”

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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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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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COVID-19 Education News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Increased demand for COVID-19 testing swamps NC pediatricians

The medical team at Goldsboro Pediatrics sees a steady stream of patients from 8 a.m. to 5:00 or 6:00 in the evening, their appointment schedules swelled by parents seeking COVID-19 tests for their children.   Slots for the walk-in hour of 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m. are usually filled by 8:30, said Dr. Teague Horton, a partner in the practice.

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Higher Ed News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Search for new UNC journalism school dean commences in aftermath of Hannah-Jones/Hussman controversy

The search committee charged with finding the next dean of UNC-Chapel Hill’s Hussman School of Journalism and Media set out its goals and a rough timeline this week. The search comes in the wake of this summer’s fight over the school’s failed attempt to hire Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones in a tenured position...

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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Video gambling legislation advances as GOP softens its stance

Sheriffs and advocates remain opposed, but the party of Donald Trump is no longer a roadblock Video gambling is a long-time target of laws and law enforcement in North Carolina. State legislators are now considering a bill that would make video lottery games legal and use some of the gamblers’ money for community college student loans.

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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

The expanded federal child tax credit is helping families. Congress is debating its future.

Like millions of women, Sarah Anderson saw her income drop during the pandemic when her two part-time jobs ended and caring for her four children and supervising online school consumed her days.   The federal child tax credit helped fill the gap left by that lost income. Parents started receiving monthly payments of $250 to $300 for each child on July 15 and will do so through December.

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Environment Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Former Army missile plant in Burlington poses “an urgent public health risk”

Private owners neglect the contaminated property, posing an environmental threat to a Black and Latinx neighborhood

This is the second of a two-part story about hazardous contamination at a former missile plant in Burlington that is threatening a predominantly Black and Latinx neighborhood.

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Environment News Policy Watch Investigates

Una antigua planta de misile en Burlington: “un riesgo urgente para la salud pública”

Esta es la segunda entrega de un artículo de dos partes sobre el peligro de contaminación que supone una antigua fábrica de misiles ...
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Environment News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Clear and present danger: Former Army missile plant has polluted a Black, Latino neighborhood in Burlington for more than 30 years

Military, private owner have allowed toxic contaminants to fester, avoided penalties while residents bear environmental burden Tattooed in ivy, bound in chain-link fence, Building 16 casts an ominous three-story shadow over several homes along Hilton Road. The window blinds are torn, as if it were sleeping with one eye open.

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COVID-19 News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

PW special report: A treatment for COVID-19…and a giant information gap 

Many North Carolinians who could benefit from a COVID-19 therapy lack information and access Treatment with special proteins called monoclonal antibodies is keeping some COVID-19 patients out of hospitals and is likely saving some lives. But North Carolina has huge information and delivery gaps to fill before many people who might qualify for the therapy know about it and can get it.

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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at rapidly climbing gun violence statistics

As Policy Watch reported earlier this month, the North Carolina Senate passed a bill (HB 398) that would repeal the state’s pistol purchase permit requirement. Though the bill is likely to see a veto from Gov. Roy Cooper, elimination of the state permit requirement has for years been a conservative goal that has at times divided Republicans and law enforcement in the state.

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