Policy Watch Investigates

Policy Watch Investigates

Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Will NC get swept up in the national rising tide of anti-LGBTQ legislation?

At Tuesday night’s Wake County Republican Party convention, John Amanchukwu, a youth pastor with Raleigh’s Upper Room Church of God in Christ, gave the opening prayer. “There is a war in our public schools,” Amanchukwu said. “Our children are being turned out at an alarming rate. Our public education system is in shambles and our children have now become expendable....

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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Monday numbers: New report documents “The Year in Hate and Extremism”

Last week, the Southern Poverty Law Center released its annual report, “The Year in Hate and Extremism 2021." The group, which trains and shares intelligence with law enforcement on hate and anti-government extremist groups, makes clear this year’s report is different.

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Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Raises for in-home care workers included in state budget turn out to be just a recommendation

In the state budget passed last fall, North Carolina lawmakers said they included raises for workers who provide direct care for the elderly or people with disabilities who live at home. The budget says that the rate increase is to “assist” in getting workers to $15 an hour. As it turns out those workers won’t get enough punch out of the budget provision to hit that $15 hourly minimum any time soon.

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Education Higher Ed Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

N.C. A&T conversation series examines redlining, racial history

When Yvonne Johnson was a young girl in east Greensboro, it was in many ways a different world. She split time between her parents’ house on Beech Street, about a block from N.C. A&T, and her aunt’s place on Market Street, where there were rows of corn on one side and faculty housing on the other.

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Higher Ed Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Experts examine the interaction of science and politics in UNC panel

Should scientists stand outside of politics or do they have an obligation to engage in political debates around science? Do evolving social rules and mores threaten the teaching of science? Does the politicization of science, particularly in a global pandemic, threaten the public’s trust in it? Those were some of the lofty topics tackled by a panel of experts at Tuesday’s night’s Abbey Speaker Series panel at UNC-Chapel Hill.

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Law and the Courts News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

State appeals court rules DHHS can be held liable for both lax and overzealous adult care home oversight

The owner of a McDowell County adult care home recently won an appeals court case against the state in which he argued that over-zealous inspectors reached conclusions that were so off-base they amounted to negligence. Because of the ruling, the owner can claim damages.  The three-judge appeals court panel split 2-1 in favor of owner Fred Leonard, who wants compensation for losses connected to sanctions against Cedarbrook Residential Center.

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Higher Ed News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Former university leaders lament GOP’s political push at UNC during online forum

Three former university leaders decried the politicization of the UNC System Wednesday in a discussion with an accreditation expert about university governance and ideological struggles in higher education. The livestreamed panel, organized by the Coalition or Carolina, brought together former UNC-Chapel Hill chancellors James Moeser and Holden Thorp, former UNC Board of Governors and UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees member Paul Fulton and Belle Wheelan...

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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at the rise in guns found at NC airports

It's been more than 50 years since the iconic slogan "Fly the Friendly Skies" was first used to advertise the appeal and allure of airline travel. But those skies seem a bit less friendly these days with the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) highlighting last week that its officers at North Carolina airports discovered a total of 254 firearms in travelers’ carry-on luggage last year.

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Law and the Courts News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Republican U.S. Senate contest among the races impacted by primary date battle

Another potential change in the date of North Carolina’s 2022 primary election, this one initiated by the Republican majorities in the state legislature, is reverberating through races statewide, including the battle for the GOP nomination in the race for Richard Burr's soon-to-be open U.S. Senate seat. On Wednesday, General Assembly leaders fast-tracked a bill through both chambers that shifts the current May 17 primary date to June 7.

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COVID-19 News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Legislatures across country back off pandemic protocols

Despite the explosive spread of the omicron variant, many statehouses are attempting to conduct business as usual As Dr. Jennifer Bacani McKenney walked the halls of the Kansas Statehouse on opening day of the legislative session this month, she was taken aback by what she saw. In the hallways, where "people are chatting and hugging and all that stuff, there were probably less than half of the people wearing masks...

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Defending Democracy Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Experts say Black lawmakers are sure to lose seats under new NC legislative maps

Two Black incumbent senators in eastern North Carolina have no chance of winning reelection in their newly drawn districts, according to an analysis by UCLA political scientist Jeffrey B. Lewis, who testified for Republicans in the Superior Court redistricting trial this month. 

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COVID-19 Higher Ed News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

COVID-19 infections could peak at 1,650 per day at UNC-Chapel Hill

Planning document written by UNC epidemiologists shows alarming numbers

UNC epidemiologists project there could be 1,400 to 2,900 positive COVID-19 tests within the first 30 days of classes at the Chapel Hill campus, according to a Jan. 4 brief obtained by Policy Watch.

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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at LGBTQ equality in NC’s cities and towns

This year the Human Rights Campaign, the national LGBTQ advocacy organization, is celebrating 10 years of its Municipal Equality Index. The group calls the annual report “the nation’s premier benchmarking tool for municipal officials, policy makers and business leaders to understand how well cities across the nation are embodying LGBTQ+ inclusion in their laws, policies, and services.”

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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

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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