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States are learning on the fly about sports betting addiction

As North Carolina moves closer to legalizing sports gambling, cautionary tales -- especially for young men -- emerge in other states    NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The states that have legalized sports betting are reporting record levels of wagering and revenues, but with that growth comes questions about gambling addiction and whether regulators and sportsbooks are doing enough to fight it.

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Law and the Courts News Top Story

Lawmakers mull letting cities, counties post public notices online, rather than in newspapers

The oft-debated subject pits the decline of local newspapers against the public’s access to information. The fourth generation of his family to publish a newspaper, Lockwood Phillips has a reporter's sensibility for offhandedly recalling moments when journalism served its local community.

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Education Top Story

GOP bill to limit topics of discussion in public schools wins state House approval

Parents, Democratic lawmakers decry censorship and "chilling effect on education" A controversial bill that would restrict how the state’s public school teachers discuss race, gender and sexuality was approved by the state House by a 68-49 party line vote on Wednesday, and is now headed to the state Senate.

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Original Commentary Progressive Voices Top Story

North Carolina physician: Proposed abortion restrictions threaten the practice of medicine

Bills that elevate politics over science, research and training are an attack on the integrity of the medical profession As a doctor about to finish residency after multiple years of training, I have never been so worried about the future of medical practice.

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Law and the Courts News Top Story

‘Kayla’s Law’ domestic violence bill clears committee with bipartisan vote

The proposal would allow survivors of domestic violence to testify remotely against their alleged abusers and increase the statute of limitations for prosecution of misdemeanor domestic violence. Kayla Hammonds was afraid to go to court. She couldn’t bear the thought of facing her ex-boyfriend in the courtroom alone, so she’d bring her sister for moral support.

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Environment Top Story

Key questions unanswered as Smithfield Foods unveils new plan to capture hog farm methane

Giant pork producer asks Northamption County officials to sign off on proposal that would transport gas to Virginia, but declines to disclose key details Smithfield Foods and its affiliate Cardinal Bio-Energy plan to build two large swine gas projects in Northampton County and inject the gas into the Transco Pipeline, which will carry it out of the state and into Virginia.

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Medical marijuana
Top Story Weekly Briefing

North Carolina should learn from other places and try to do marijuana right

Cannabis – aka marijuana. Most Americans already live in a state where it’s lawful to sell, obtain and possess – either for medical purposes, recreational purposes or both – and the genie is clearly not going back in the bottle.

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News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

‘Beyond anything that most of us could have imagined’: Health officials, lawmakers tackle youth mental health crisis

Marcella Middleton grew up in foster care in Colorado and North Carolina and was taken to therapists and put on medications at a young age. “A lot of people who really weren’t experienced were trying to diagnose me,” she told a town hall on the youth mental health crisis in Winston-Salem last week.

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Health News Top Story

Monday numbers: The youth mental health crisis

Last week, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services held its eighth in a series of state-wide town halls on mental health. Held in Winston-Salem, the discussion focused on the crisis in youth mental health apparent in North Carolina and across the nation.

“Behavioral health is essential to health,” DHHS Secretary Kody Kinsley told the standing-room-only crowd in the Forsyth County Board Commissioners chamber Thursday. “For far too long we have divided up physical and behavioral health. And for far too long we just didn’t fund and support behavioral health in a way that made it foundational. And we’re changing that - one conversation at a time, one strategy at a time.”

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Education Top Story

State House committee advances latest version of anti-Critical Race Theory legislation

Republicans defend bill as promoting equality, while Democrats forecast chilling impact on honest classroom discussions Rep. Ken Fontenot, a Wilson County Republican, vigorously defended House Bill 187 this week, contending that the bill restricting how educators teach about race, gender and sexuality, would prevent educators from teaching racially divisive doctrines.

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Electric transmission lines
Environment News Top Story

The nation’s biggest electric capacity market needs fixing, critics say

The nation’s largest grid operator is warning that it might not have enough electric generation in the future to guarantee reliability.  And it comes as the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission convenes a forum on the multibillion-dollar capacity market PJM operates to ensure there’s enough power to meet demand even during grid emergencies, such as during Winter Storm Elliott last year.

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Law and the Courts News Top Story

Déjà vu: NC Supreme Court rehears arguments in voter ID case 

For the second time in two days, the Republican-majority high court rehears arguments in a case decided by a Democratic majority just months ago The North Carolina Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday on whether a voter ID law passed in 2018 was intended to discriminate against prospective voters of color.

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Voters line up at a polling place
Other Voices Progressive Voices Top Story

NC Freedom to Vote Act would protect and improve our democracy

The freedom to vote has faced serious challenges in recent years. New voting restrictions, rampant disinformation, threats to voters and election officials, and even violent attempts to overturn election results have led to growing concern about the future of our democracy and election process.

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Law and the Courts News Top Story

State Supreme Court revisits redistricting rulings it issued in just months ago

A Democratic court majority struck down maps as unconstitutional partisan gerrymanders, but a new GOP majority has been asked to do an about-face. State Republican legislators Tuesday brought their argument that courts cannot bar partisan redistricting to a friendlier state Supreme Court than the one that ruled against them last year. 

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Higher Ed Top Story

‘Good, serious ideas’: Commission on university governance talks transparency, amplifying student voices

Should students and faculty have more prominent voices on boards of trustees at UNC System schools? Should the system’s board of governors elect members geographically, be more transparent and open to public input? And will any of these suggestions matter to a Republican dominated legislature resistant to such changes? These were a few of the questions members of the Governor’s Commission on the Governance of Public Universities in North Carolina tackled in its third public listening session on Monday. The session, held at the Charlotte Area Chamber of Commerce, drew a sparse but vocal crowd – typical of the listening sessions held so far.

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Top Story Weekly Briefing

A terrible bet: North Carolina should not cave in to the sports gambling onslaught

North Carolina elected leaders have enacted several ineffective and misleading laws over the years, but when it comes to undermining public confidence in government and taking advantage of vulnerable people, the badly misnamed “education lottery” has to be near the bottom of any “worst of” list.

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