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Local News

Little Rock A.M.E. Zion Church Is Tackling Charlotte’s Housing Crisis

Little Rock A.M.E. Zion Church in Charlotte, North Carolina, is addressing the city’s affordable housing shortage by launching Varick on 7th, a mixed-use apartment complex developed in collaboration with the city and Laurel Street Residential. This initiative not only provides essential housing options but also sets a precedent for community-church partnerships to tackle major social issues.

NC Gov. Cooper presents his budget as the legislative “short session” begins

Governor Roy Cooper’s recent budget proposal emphasizes strengthening public education in North Carolina, featuring an average 8.5% raise for teachers and the restoration of master’s pay, amidst rising teacher turnover. In contrast to expanding Republican-backed private school vouchers, Cooper’s budget aims to refocus on public schooling by freezing voucher funding and increasing support for child care and preschool initiatives.

North Carolina’s Battle Against the Opioid Crisis

Attorney General Josh Stein has been instrumental in North Carolina’s response to the opioid crisis, obtaining over $1.4 billion in settlements from pharmaceutical companies and advocating for substantial legislative and technological measures to curb drug trafficking. His efforts have facilitated the establishment of a Fentanyl Control Unit and the implementation of border security technologies, underscoring a committed approach to tackling both the symptoms and root causes of opioid abuse in the state.

Polluters must pay to clean up areas contaminated with PFOA, PFOS

In a landmark move, the EPA has mandated that industries discharging harmful PFOA and PFOS compounds will be held accountable for cleanup costs under the Superfund law, reinforcing the polluter-pays principle. This ruling, which also imposes stringent reporting obligations, signifies a major shift towards proactive environmental protection and the safeguarding of public health.

Meet the volunteers trying to ‘FLIP’ North Carolina’s courts

In North Carolina, the grassroots organization FLIP NC, founded by Democrats Andrea Cash, Amy Cox, and Briana Brough after the 2016 election, has shifted its strategy towards judicial elections, focusing on the 2024 state Supreme Court and Court of Appeals races to combat gerrymandering. Despite challenges in achieving fair maps, FLIP NC is hopeful, engaging in “deep canvassing” that emphasizes meaningful voter interaction over scripted dialogues, underlining the crucial impact judicial decisions have on issues like education and reproductive rights.

NC Appeals Court rules Gov. Cooper erred in COVID-19 bar closures

The North Carolina Court of Appeals deemed Governor Roy Cooper’s selective closure of bars during the early COVID-19 pandemic as “irrational and arbitrary,” lacking solid scientific backing to differentiate between types of bars in terms of transmission risk. Despite claims of relying on science, the ruling criticized the absence of evidence supporting why certain bars could not comply with safety protocols that applied to others allowed to operate.

Podcast: NCAE president Tamika Walker Kelly on what’s causing our state’s high teacher attrition rate

Recent reports reveal a significant teacher attrition rate of 11.5% in North Carolina public schools, with over 10,000 educators leaving between March 2022 and March 2023, highlighting ongoing challenges in the state’s education system. Despite these setbacks and continuous disinvestment, dedicated teachers persist in their roles, hoping for positive legislative changes as leaders like Tamika Walker Kelly, President of the North Carolina Association of Educators, advocate for improvement.

Solar leases help NC farm owners up revenues, keep homestead

In the serene fields of Pendleton, North Carolina, Ajulo Othow, founder of EnerWealth Solutions, draws inspiration from her post-Katrina economic development work to establish solar installations that not only respect the landscape but offer sustainable income to local landowners. Her projects prioritize minimal disruption while maximizing benefits, reflecting a thoughtful approach to renewable energy in rural settings, and enhancing both economic and environmental resilience.

Could parental concerns dash hopes for medical marijuana in NC’s short session?

In a poignant testimony to the House Select Committee on Substance Abuse, Casey Temple shared how marijuana, once a coping mechanism for his depression, led him to a near-fatal decision at age 20. Temple’s story underscores the complexities surrounding marijuana use, sparking a crucial debate as North Carolina legislators consider the legalization of medical cannabis.

North Carolinians take Stock in the Housing Market

The housing market leans towards a seller’s advantage, driven by increased demand and higher property prices. However, a surge in available homes for sale introduces heightened competition among sellers, necessitating careful consideration and collaboration with real estate professionals.