Photo: Getty Images
By Kelan Lyons
Judge Murphy justifies decision because ‘life begins at conception’
The state Court of Appeals issued a ruling Tuesday that affirmed the termination of a mother’s parental rights — even though the child hadn’t yet been born at the time of the mother’s crimes — because “life begins at conception.”
The mother had pleaded guilty to felony child abuse of another child, which prompted a lower court to terminate her parental rights.
Appeals Court Judge Hunter Murphy wrote the 22-page opinion, referencing a North Carolina Supreme Court case from 1949 in which the court held that, “Biologically speaking, the life of a human being begins at the moment of conception in the mother’s womb.” [Read more…]
By Lisa Sorg
Hal Lowder, Whiteville’s emergency management director, is tangled in agency’s baffling bureaucracy
Hal Lowder’s office in Whiteville City Hall is crammed with a collection of silver vintage fire extinguishers, a stack of Justin’s cowboy hats, an array of family photos and a simple black prayer book. Small paper ghosts, fashioned by his 10-year-old daughter, adorn his computer monitor. A bundle of sleeping bags is stashed in the corner, because as Whiteville’s emergency service director, he has occasion to sleep here.
A combat veteran of the first Gulf War, Lowder, 63, is accustomed to sleeping in odd and uncomfortable places. But since 2021, when he applied to ReBuild NC, the Lowder family has lived like vagabonds: a year in a damaged, moldy house without heating or air conditioning, which exacerbated Lowder’s COPD. [Read more…]
By Lynn Bonner
A worker shortage limits the care available for people with disabilities.
Gwen Collman estimates that her 31-year-old son has had 150 paid caregivers since he was two years old, and that she has recruited about 100 of them.
David, one in a set of triplets and one of Collman’s four children, is deaf, has cerebral palsy, and cognitive impairments.
People who work with him are paid through a Medicaid program called the Innovations Waiver. The program pays for caregivers who provide the assistance to people with intellectual or developmental disabilities that allows them to live in community settings.
But it’s hardly a sure remedy. [Read more…]
The 2023 session of the North Carolina General Assembly could be rightfully categorized as one of the worst in modern state history based merely upon what lawmakers failed (or chose not) to accomplish.
Topping any list of such failures would be the destructive and blatantly lawless decision to ignore the state constitution and a state Supreme Court order by failing once again to even adequately fund the state’s public schools. At a time of desperate needs and massive state budget surpluses that would have made complying with the detailed recommendations of a court-appointed expert almost pain free, GOP legislative leaders chose instead to double down on their longstanding policy of disinvesting in traditional public schools and funneling cash to unaccountable and discriminatory private schools.
The negative reverberations from this cruel and shortsighted decision (and the chronic educator shortages and crumbling facilities to which it will give rise), will harm the lives and futures of tens of thousands of children – particularly in the state’s poorest counties – for years to come.
But there were many similar errors of omission. [Read more…]
By Lisa Sorg
4 million pounds could be shipped over the next year; DEQ says it was unaware
The Chemours Fayetteville Works plant can import up to 4 million pounds of GenX from the company’s Netherlands facility over the next year, according to an EPA letter authorizing the shipments — 220 times the amount exported in 2014.
The GenX will originate at the Chemours plant in Dordrecht. The facility could export as many as 100 shipments via the Port of Wilmington to Fayetteville during the authorization period, which expires Sept. 7, 2024.
The Fayetteville Works plant will recycle or reuse the GenX, according to EPA documents. However, it’s unclear if this process would still create waste and require treatment to keep it from entering the environment. [Read more...]
By Lynn Bonner
Proposals could also give the GOP a chance to expand its legislative supermajorities
North Carolina Republicans presented plans for congressional districts that would drastically change who voters elect to the US House and may help the GOP expand its veto-proof majorities in the state legislature.
North Carolina voters elected seven Republicans and seven Democrats to the US House last year. Changes to district lines would mean some of those Democrats won’t be in Congress after next year.
Senate Republicans presented two proposals for new congressional districts. One would create 11 strong Republican districts and three overwhelmingly Democratic districts. [Read more…]
Ruling comes a day after board approves application for school in Union County managed by large charter operator
The state’s new Charter Schools Review Board on Wednesday sided with a State Board of Education decision to deny Heritage Collegiate Leadership Academy a charter to operate a school in Wake County.
The review board’s unanimous vote to let the state board’s ruling stand was a stark contrast to the former Charter School Advisory Board’s decision. Last December, the now-defunct advisory board voted to recommend that the state board approve Heritage Collegiate’s charter application. The earlier recommendation was nearly unanimous.
Bazemore told the review board to prepare for a legal fight. [Read more…]
By Joe Killian
A petition to suspend an academic program review has more than 3,600 signatures
More than 250 students and faculty members demonstrated on the campus of UNC-Greensboro Thursday afternoon, marching from the Jackson Library to the school’s Mossman Administration Building to oppose tuition and fee increases and potential cuts to programs.
The university, which has faced several years of enrollment struggles and budget cuts, is undergoing a program review that could mean further reductions — including the possible elimination of programs and departments on the campus. [Read more…]
Role of NC’s Rep. Patrick McHenry remains a key sticking point
WASHINGTON — A resolution meant to temporarily allow U.S. House Speaker Pro Tempore Patrick McHenry of North Carolina to move critical legislation won’t be acted on and there is no new floor vote scheduled for speaker nominee Jim Jordan, House Republicans said following a tense, closed-door meeting on Thursday.
“We made the pitch to members on the resolution as a way to lower the temperature and get back to work,” Jordan, of Ohio, told reporters following the nearly four-hour meeting that stretched into mid-afternoon. “We decided that wasn’t where we’re going to go.” [Read more…]
Civil discourse in a democratic society must entail more than a polite exchange of views. It must also entail honesty, freedom from coercion, and commitment to rules that all participants understand and agree to, and which are not subject to unilateral change by one party seeking advantage.
Ironically, all of these characteristics have largely been absent from the process through which UNC-Chapel Hill’s new School of Civic Life and Leadership has been created. The very process through which the school has come about was both undemocratic and contrary to basic principles of civil discourse.
The new school was swathed in dishonesty from the start. [Read more…]
By John Cole
Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.