Outside the Box


Opinion Roundup: When will the heel-dragging on fair voting districts end?

Posted June 14

North Carolina GOP calls for limited early voting

Wednesday, June 14, 2017 -- A roundup of opinion and commentary on the back-and-forth between state leaders over gerrymandered districts, two takeaways from Jeff Sessions' Russia hearing, changing U.S. attitudes toward interracial marriage and more.

Gerrymandering proceeds in an endless loop (Fayetteville Observer) -- We’ll give Gov. Roy Cooper credit for trying to do the right thing. But he had to know his mission would fail. He had as much chance of getting Senate leader Phil Berger to register as a Democrat as he did in getting Berger and House Speaker Tim Moore to go into a special session to create new legislative districts and call a special election to fill them before the General Assembly’s 2018 session.

Memory, spines lacking at Sessions hearing (Charlotte Observer) -- Attorney General Jeff Sessions couldn’t recall many things in his testimony to the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday. Richard Burr and other Republican senators let the public down as well.

SUSAN LADD: Miles traveled and miles yet to go on interracial marriage (Greensboro News & Record column) -- Fifty years after the Loving v. Virginia decision, interracial marriages are slowly changing attitudes across America.

A betrayal of trust (Greensboro News & Record) -- Information in a State Bureau of Investigation warrant should lead to criminal charges against two former prosecutors and perhaps others.

JOHN DOWNEY: Insurers say Duke Energy knowingly risked groundwater contamination from coal ash (Charlotte Business Journal column) -- Insurance companies sued by Duke Energy to recover more than $1 billion in coal-ash contamination costs say the utility company disposed of ash in ways it knew threatened groundwater.

ALEX GRANADOS: Charter advisory board tackles problem school (EdNC column) -- Much of the N.C. Charter School Advisory Board meeting was taken up by Heritage Collegiate Leadership Academy, a Bertie County charter school that has come before the board previously due to academic, financial, and governance issues.

The end of the ‘chain gang’ (Fayetteville Observer) - We were disappointed to learn this week that the state House and Senate have agreed on a budget item that does away with those roadside litter cleanups conducted by state prison inmates. The inmate cleaning crews have been a sort of landmark in the state for more than a century, and one of those too-rare examples of our tax dollars at work — real, useful work. But then we read a little deeper into the story and were surprised to find that the inmate crews are a lot less efficient than they might be — and a lot more expensive.

UNCP Increasingly Moore’s University (Southern Pines Pilot) -- We won’t ever be confused with college towns like Chapel Hill, Boone or Greenville, but Moore County’s fortunes are becoming ever more linked with the success of a state university.

ROSE HOBAN: Measure to Help Flag Deaf Drivers Advances (N.C. Health News column) -- After the death of a deaf driver in Charlotte, legislators want to ease communication between police officers and people who are hard of hearing.

LEAH ASMELASH: Education Bright Spot in Annual Ranking of Child Well-being (N.C. Health News column) -- In the annual KIDS COUNT survey, North Carolina children fared better in the classroom, even as they experienced more poverty at home.

Life expectancy gap in North Carolina reveals lack of trust (Kinston Free Press) -- If you are born and raised in North Carolina, chances are that you aren’t going to live as long as the average American. That fact — not the alternative kind, but the real deal — emerged in data reported in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine and was highlighted in a chart on the website fivethirtyeight.com. North Carolina joins virtually the entire South in lagging behind the national averages for life expectancy.

CATHERINE KOZAK: Agency Moves to Revamp Red Wolf Program (Coastal Review column) -- The Fish and Wildlife Service is considering public input as it overhauls its red wolf recovery program, a controversial effort to save an endangered species.

DUSTIN GEORGE: Governor visits Kinston to talk flooding and funding (Kinston Free Press column) -- Gov. Roy Cooper traveled to Kinston Tuesday to discuss flood recovery efforts and the challenges still faced in Eastern North Carolina. Cooper met with city and county officials at the Woodmen Community Center before leaving to tour different areas impacted by the flooding of the Neuse River in October 2016.

TODD WETHERINGTON: Cooper addresses educational goals (New Bern Sun Journal column) -- Gov. Roy Cooper detailed his goals for the state’s education system and recognized teachers for the roles they play in students’ lives during the Partners in Education Spring Luncheon. Cooper led off his comments by announcing that he had named Craven County native Merrie Jo Alcoke as the representative of the governor’s Eastern Office.


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