NCDP Clips for Monday, January 11th, 2016
GOVERNOR HOPEFUL COOPER LOOKS FOR GASTON FRIENDS (Gaston Gazette) — Steve Hannon doesn’t consider himself political, so it might seem surprising to find out that the Gastonia orthodontist will bring in Attorney General Roy Cooper for a private get-together at his home this week. Cooper appears headed to win the Democratic nomination for governor, where he’ll likely take on Republican Gov. Pat McCrory. Most polling places the race as a toss-up at this point. Hannon doesn’t know Cooper well, and the two rarely talk. But over the years, Hannon said he has liked what he has seen from the state’s top law enforcement officer.
DEMOCRATS TARGET VULNERABLE SENATE REPUBLICANS OVER PARTY LOYALTY (Roll Call) — In some of the top competitive Senate races this year, Democrats on Monday planned a new line of attack against opponents they see as vulnerable: They are calling those Republican opponents reliable Republicans.
POLICY & POLITICS
STATE BAR BEGINS DISCIPLINARY HEARING FOR INNOCENCE ADVOCATE (AP) — When a disciplinary hearing begins for an innocence attorney, some of the men she helped release from prison plan to support her.
LAW ON ULTRASOUNDS REIGNITES ABORTION BATTLE IN N.C. (New York Times) — A state law requiring that doctors who perform an abortion after the 16th week of pregnancy supply an ultrasound to state officials has sparked a new and bitter front in the war over abortion here, with stakes that are both personal and political.
STATE CRACKS DOWN ON EMPLOYERS WITHOUT PROPER INSURANCE (AP) — The commission responsible for enforcing workers’ compensation laws has cracked down in the last year on employers who don’t carry proper insurance, collecting $1 million in civil fines from uninsured companies.
DUKE UNIVERSITY TO HONOR N.C. BLACK CONGRESSMAN GEORGE WHITE (AP) — Duke University is planning a banquet later this month to remember George Henry White, the last black U.S. representative in Congress at the turn of the 20th century.
Sheriff’s Office uses a system that helps solve gun crimes faster (Fayetteville Observer) — The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office says its purchase of state-of-the-art ballistic identification equipment.
BLUE CROSS: REFUNDS, FIXES COMING THIS WEEK (Raleigh News & Observer) — Thousands of North Carolina customers of Blue Cross and Blue Shield can expect refunds and other insurance fixes this week as the Chapel Hill insurer works through what company officials are acknowledging as their most serious system failure in recent decades. http://www.newsobserver.com/news/business/article54011040.html#storylink=mainstage
SCHOOLS & UNIVERSITIES
EXTENSIVE DISCUSSION ON CHARTERS AT STATE BOARD MEETING (EdNC) — Charter schools were a contentious portion of the State Board of Education during the first day of its two-day meeting last week. Board members expressed concerns over Charter School Advisory Board recommendations on a few charter schools, which the board will vote on in February. And Lt. Gov. Dan Forest stated his worry about the tone of a report to the General Assembly on charter schools, leading ultimately to a postponement of a vote and a decision to send the report to the Charter School Advisory Board for its perusal.
ECU CAMPUS BECOMES MORE ACCESSIBLE (Greenville Daily Reflector) — As East Carolina University students begin their spring semester today, their Student Government Association is working to make sure it fulfills its promises.
HOW EFFECTIVE ARE TEACHERS? (EdNC) — A presentation on teacher evaluations at the State Board of Education last week yielded both good and bad news. On the plus side, Thomas Tomberlin, director of District LEA Human Resources Support at the Department of Public Instruction, said that beginning teachers show a lot of growth in their first few years of practice.
LETTING STUDENTS SINK DOESN’T TEACH THEM TO SWIM (Washington Post) — A new book says that giving students failing grades does not make them better; helping them succeed does.
ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT
PIEDMONT LAND CONSERVANCY PARTNERS IN LARGEST ADDITION TO PARK (Mount Airy News) — Piedmont Land Conservancy has helped facilitate the largest land addition to Pilot Mountain State Park in more than 30 years, with a recent announcement of a 70-acre expansion there.
WORK BEGINS ON STORMWATER PONDS (Coastal Review) — Long-planned work on two eyesore ponds to improve stormwater drainage and protect nearby Deer Creek and Bogue Sound got underway last week in Cape Carteret.
ON CHARTER SCHOOL REPORT, FOREST OVERREACHES (Raleigh News & Observer) — N.C. Lt. Gov. Dan Forest has by law a seat on the State Board of Education. Last week, he had a solution for some bad news on charter schools scheduled to come to that board in a report: Ignore it.
A PLEASANT WAY TO FUND SCHOOLS? (Charlotte Observer) — Is there anyone who enjoys the annual building of budgets? Doesn’t matter which side of the ledger you’re on. It’s no fun having to make requests of those who hold the purse strings. It’s no fun (we assume) to say no to those requests.