Commentary, Defending Democracy, Education, Environment, News

This week’s top stories on NC Policy Watch

Don’t get shut out — RSVP today for the upcoming March 28 Crucial Conversation luncheon with state Budget Director Charles Perusse and Senior Advisor to the Governor, Ken Eudyclick here to learn more!

1. Following an acrimonious start, state takeover program settling into North Carolina school

Southside Ashpole Elementary School in Robeson County looks like most elementary schools in rural North Carolina.

The 1950s-era school building — located along North Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., in Rowland — is showing its age, but is well-kept.

During a reporter’s visit in February, students, dressed in the school uniform of polo shirts and khakis, are quiet and orderly as they line up to change classes or go to lunch.

[Read more…]

** Bonus read: Senate bill would put brakes on charter school expansion
===

2. Facing resistance from some sheriffs, N.C. lawmakers seek to force cooperation with ICE

A “detainer” from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is a request for local law enforcement to hold individuals they believe are not lawful citizens in jail or prison for up to 48 hours until the federal agency can take custody and begin deportation proceedings.

Detainers are not judicial orders signed by any court official, and they are not arrest warrants that require any kind of finding of probable cause. The individuals targeted by detainer requests are typically otherwise eligible for release from jail or prison.

Some law enforcement entities honor ICE detainer requests, but, recently, some sheriffs across North Carolina have decided to end voluntary cooperation with the federal agency – in fact, they were elected on that platform, often over their more conservative counterparts. [Read more…]

** Bonus read: New ABA report: Immigration courts ‘irredeemably dysfunctional’ and on ‘brink of collapse’

===
3. After East Carolina chancellor’s ouster, a UNC Board of Governors on the brink

When Cecil Staton announced his resignation as chancellor of East Carolina University this week, it had an air of inevitability, but not because of Staton’s performance since his hiring in 2016.

While the UNC System will not release the results of his last “360 job review,” two members of the UNC Board of Governors confirmed to Policy Watch it was a positive one. The members spoke on the condition that their identities remain confidential because they were discussing personnel information the system deems privileged.

(Staton has asked the system to release the review, but it has thus far declined to do so.)  [Read more…]

** Bonus read: ECU Foundation Chair: Staton “was bullied from the beginning”
===
4. Duke U. scientists to focus on radon, coal ash, flame retardants in Iredell thyroid cancer cluster probe

Something is changing the genetic code in the cells of young girls in Iredell County.

Duke University scientists last night released preliminary findings of 18 months’ of study into potential causes of papillary thyroid cancer among teen girls, some as young as 13, in the ZIP codes of 28115 and 28117. Those areas include neighborhoods on or near Lake Norman.

Heather Stapleton and Kate Hoffman emphasized that more study is needed, but that radon gas in indoor air, which is naturally occurring, and radioactivity in soil, which could be the result of coal ash, deserve further scrutiny. Three homes in their study where people had been recently diagnosed with thyroid cancer also had significantly elevated levels of compounds used in flame retardants. [Read more…] ===
5. Change comes again to the UNC system, but not to the Board of Governors

Everyone’s taking a powder in the UNC system these days.

Everyone, it seems, but the powerful individuals on the UNC Board of Governors, an onerously large pack of political hell-raisers and right-wingers who’ve sullied the “crown jewel,” North Carolina’s decorated and bedeviled university system.

Whatever you think of Cecil Staton, an ex-Georgia lawmaker turned ECU chancellor whose tortured political history threatened to overshadow his academic pedigree, his departure this week is a disaster, an unofficial sacking that smells malodorously like some kind of coup. [Read more]

===

6. Getting real about the minimum wage

A new and promising push to raise North Carolina’s minimum wage gets underway today. Lawmakers and advocates will convene a press conference at the General Assembly this morning to announce the introduction of House Bill 366 – a proposal to raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 per hour over the next five years and index it to inflation thereafter. A Senate companion bill will be introduced shortly.

In a rational policy environment, such a move would be widely accepted as a long overdue “no brainer” – the kind of step that any healthy society would implement as a matter of course to keep its economy strong and balanced. The data in support of such a change are compelling and plentiful.

Among the findings in a new report from the North Carolina Justice Center’s Workers’ Rights Project…[Read more…]

** Bonus read: Report: Why raising the minimum wage is good for everyone
===

7. Editorial Cartoon:

 

Check Also

NY Times features powerful video highlighting NC Medicaid vigils

In case you missed it yesterday, the New ...

Top Stories from NCPW

  • News
  • Commentary

Groundwater near a coal ash repository in Chatham County has again tested high for contaminants, pro [...]

In 2016, Hurricane Florence moved so slowly – more like a mosey, instead of a sprint – that it empti [...]

State lawmakers allegedly violated the North Carolina constitution when they passed legislation that [...]

Don’t call them urban sheriffs. Don’t refer to them as sanctuary sheriffs. And don’t identify them a [...]

It’s back…and, tragically, worse than ever. After fading from view back in April upon winning approv [...]

The post Protecting NC’s hog industry from nuisance actions appeared first on NC Policy Watch. [...]

There’s a scene in “The West Wing” – liberals’ sweaty, Emmy-hording ode to progressivism – in which [...]

This simple graphic is proudly shown on the Sen. Phil Berger-enabled propaganda website www.ncteache [...]