About protests, pipes and power • NC Newsline

Ratepayers are asking the NC Utilities Commission to reject Duke Energy's carbon plan

A member of the Ragin' Grannies, an environmental group, sings “No Frackin' Way” outside the Durham County Courthouse, where the NC Utilities Commission held a public hearing on Duke Energy's carbon plan. (Photo: Lisa Sorg)

By Lisa Sorg

Bobby Jones, a founder of the Down East Coal Ash Environmental and Social Justice Coalition in Goldsboro, had been sitting for less than five minutes when he jumped off his bench.

“This hearing is a farce!” Jones said as a Durham County sheriff's deputy led him from the seventh-floor courtroom. “They are in cahoots with Duke Energy.”

Jones was among several people who walked out in protest at the NC Utilities Commission, which held its final public hearing yesterday in Durham on Duke Energy's updated carbon plan – a plan that few people other than Duke Energy like. [Read more...]

North Carolina will receive $76 million to replace lead-containing drinking water pipes

A black and white illustration from a 1923 advertisement extolling the benefits of lead in solder, pipes and paint.
A National Lead Company advertisement in National Geographic magazine in 1923. (Photo courtesy of the US National Library of Medicine)

By Lisa Sorg

North Carolina will receive an additional $76 million for utilities to remove and replace lead-containing service lines that could contaminate drinking water, the Biden administration announced today.

The money is part of a $9 billion package for all states and U.S. territories and tribal lands through 2026, with $3 billion available each year. [Read more…]

Eliminating DEI and pro-Palestinian camps are top of mind for UNC faculty

University of North Carolina South Building
The historic South Building of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Photo: Clayton Henkel)

By Clayton Henkel

In less than two weeks, the Class of 2024 will pick up their diplomas from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and head out into the real world.

But last week, UNC faculty members attending the Faculty Council's spring meeting expressed concern about the real world unfolding on their own campus. [Read more...]

Dan Bishop said the 2020 election was stolen. Now he wants to be North Carolina's attorney general.

Pictures of Dan Bishop and Jeff Jackson appear next to the NC Department of Justice Building
Republican Dan Bishop (above) and Democrat Jeff Jackson are running for attorney general, a position that plays an important role in interpreting and enforcing voting rights laws. (Photos: Bishop and Jackson campaign websites and Clayton Henkel for NC Newsline)

By Kelan Lyons

How North Carolina's next attorney general could impact voting rights

After the 2020 election, U.S. Rep. Dan Bishop of North Carolina became an outspoken proponent of the lie that Democrats rigged the results. He accused the rival party of waging a nationwide campaign to block the courts and disrupt election administration and announced he would run in the Electoral College votes in four states crucial to Joe Biden's victory .

“Democrats’ goals were to weaken election security, undermine positive voter identification and create opportunities for post-election ballot box stuffing,” Bishop said at the time. “This was a nationwide, partisan attack on the constitutional delegation of authority to regulate elections specifically to state legislatures.” [Read more…]

A new report says North Carolina doesn't pay dentists enough to treat Medicaid recipients

A dentist works with a young patient
Photo: Getty Images/Thomas Barwick

By Lynn Bonner

When it comes to health, dental care is sometimes secondary, but untreated tooth decay can lead not only to sore jaws, but also to poor physical health and loss of job opportunities.

A report released last week by the Oral Health Transformation Task Force envisioned a future in North Carolina in which oral health is “comprehensively and seamlessly integrated into overall health.” The task force report was prepared under the auspices of the NC Institute of Medicine and focuses on Medicaid recipients and other low-income individuals. [Read more…]

Bill to increase spending on private school vouchers scores decisive victory in North Carolina Senate

Sen. Michael Lee
Sen. Michael Lee said traditional public school isn't there for his youngest child. He wants all parents to have access to private school vouchers. (Photo: NCGA video stream)

By Greg Childress

A bill that would provide an additional $463 million over the next two years for the state's controversial private school voucher program gained momentum Thursday, gaining support in the state Senate. The bill passed by a vote of 28-15 and now heads to the House of Representatives for approval of changes in the Senate.

Republican supporters of House Bill 823 claim the additional money is needed to address a waiting list of more than 54,000 people for the state's Opportunity Scholarships. The means-tested program supports parents with private school tuition; Awards range from $3,000 to $7,000. [Read more…]

Bonus reading: Republican lawmakers support $463 million in additional spending for private school vouchers

The Senate approves a bill that would require sheriffs to comply with federal immigration requests and detain people in jail

ICE office sign
Image: Adobe Stock

By Lynn Bonner

The state Senate quickly passed a law requiring local sheriffs to detain people they arrest at the request of federal immigration authorities.

Republicans who support the bill say it would make communities safer if sheriffs had to detain the people they arrest and whose legal status they cannot determine so they can be picked up by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Opponents said such a requirement would make crime victims afraid to call police. [Read more.…]

Bonus reading: North Carolina Senate panel approves bill requiring sheriffs to cooperate with ICE

'This country has lost four heroes': North Carolina governor honors officers who died in Charlotte shooting

Governor Roy Cooper speaks at a press conference
Gov. Roy Cooper speaks to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department media following the April 29 shooting. (Screenshot from CMPD video stream)

By Clayton Henkel

Gov. Roy Cooper said North Carolina will never be able to close the gap or fully thank the families of the four police officers who lost their lives Monday in Charlotte while trying to serve an arrest warrant.

Authorities identified the slain officers on Tuesday as:[Read more...]

NC must remove barriers that prevent ex-offenders from finding work, advocates say

a stack of buttons, each with the following written on it: "I'm for a second chance"
“I'm for a second chance.” The bright yellow buttons have become a symbol of the annual advocacy day at the NC General Assembly. (Photo: Clayton Henkel)

By Lynn Bonner

A detention protocol can prevent people from getting housing or a job. People who were arrested but never convicted can have a hard time shaking that history when their mugshots appear online forever.

Advocates want previously incarcerated people to be able to get back on their feet without the millstones of past mistakes acting as a constant burden. [Read more…]

A new bill would give three North Carolina counties regulatory authority over crypto mining

the inside of a giant crypto mining computer
Image: Adobe Stock

By Ahmed Jallow

A new bill in the North Carolina legislature would allow Henderson, Polk and Rutherford counties to ban or regulate crypto mining. Republican Senator Tim Moffit, who represents the three districts, is the lead sponsor of Senate Bill 774.

If passed, the law would apply only to those three counties and their municipalities.

As NC Newsline previously reported in a series of reports about a proposed facility in Pitt County, crypto mining, the process that verifies Bitcoin transactions and creates new coins, relies on a vast network of powerful computers. [Read more…]

How Presidents Make a Real Difference (Commentary)

President Biden points to a person asking a question
President Joe Biden signed a foreign aid bill on Wednesday, April 24, 2024, that includes $60.84 billion in aid to Ukraine. (Photo taken February 8, 2024 by Nathan Howard/Getty Images)

By Rob Schofield

The Biden administration's new rules and regulations will dramatically improve the lives of millions of people

When most Americans think about what a president does every day, they tend to think about the things that grab headlines: big speeches, bill-signing events, the stance they take on high-profile controversies, the image they project Presidents convey to the rest of the world, and the gossip that surrounds their family and associates, and their own personality traits and tendencies.

Unfortunately, they rarely think about something that is arguably far more important and impactful to the daily lives of the country's more than 300 million residents: the work of the people the president chooses to run the day-to-day operations of the federal government.[Read more…]

Anna Harden

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