Daily dose

Daily dose: Training worker drones edition


Business Can Pay to Train Its Own Work Force (Chronicle of Higher Ed) -- This is how employment is supposed to work. Companies hire broadly educated workers, invest in appropriate training, and reap the profits of a specialized work force. Increasingly, however, employers have discovered a way to offload the nettlesome cost of worker training. The trick is to relabel it as education, then complain that your prospective employees aren’t getting the right kind. … Bemoaning the unpreparedness of undergraduates isn’t new. Today, however, those complaints are getting a more sympathetic hearing from the policy makers who govern public higher education. "We’ve got to adapt our education to what the marketplace needs," N.C. Gov. Pat McCrory said this year at a conference on innovation. "People are ready to get the work. Let’s teach them these skills as quick as possible."

Daily dose: Meadows defends bear poacher edition

Meadows hears bear poaching complaints (Asheville Citizen-Times) -- Among the many allegations of inappropriate conduct by law officers in a controversial bear poaching sting, a U.S. congressman said he was most concerned that federal charges had been "stacked" against one defendant. Rep. Mark Meadows told more than 100 people at the Haywood County Courthouse Friday morning that he would expect to be looking into that matter arising out of Operation Something Bruin, a four-year undercover investigation.

Daily dose: (Bad) policymaking in the Budget edition

Senate budget bill repeals state Fair Housing Act, abolished Human Relations Commission (Fairhousing) -- The North Carolina State Senate’s proposed budget repeals the State Fair Housing Act and eliminates the North Carolina Human Relations Commission, the state body that currently has authority to investigate and enforce the law. The provisions, which are contained in the Senate’s 508-page budget bill, also calls for the repeal of a state statute prohibiting the interference with another person’s civil rights.

Daily dose: Homegrown terrorism edition

Dylann Roof, Suspect in Charleston Shooting, Flew the Flags of White Power (New York Times) -- — The Facebook profile picture chosen by Dylann Storm Roof in May is thick with symbolism. It shows Mr. Roof, a scowling young white man, wearing a black jacket adorned with two flags — one from apartheid-era South Africa, the other from white-ruled Rhodesia — that have been adopted as emblems by modern-day white supremacists. Mr. Roof, 21, was arrested Thursday in North Carolina after law enforcement officers identified him as the suspect in the mass shooting at a black church in Charleston, S.C., on Wednesday night.

Friend says church shooting suspect ranted about race (AP) — In recent weeks, Dylann Storm Roof reconnected with a childhood buddy he hadn't seen in five years and started railing about the Trayvon Martin case, about black people "taking over the world" and about the need for someone to do something about it for the sake of "the white race," the friend said Thursday.

Daily dose: Fletcher's very bad day edition


Elections board: NC senator may have misspent campaign money (AP) — North Carolina elections officials decided Wednesday to send state prosecutors the findings of their two-year investigation into a powerful state senator's use of campaign contributions from political supporters on personal expenses from speeding tickets to shoe repairs.

Daily dose: Railroading the budget version


Democrats criticize haste, lack of transparency in NC Senate budget process (Raleigh News & Observer) -- The N.C. Senate’s budget proposal will likely get four days of debate before it gets a final vote – a speedy timetable that’s drawing fire from Democrats who worry the spending plan’s sweeping policy changes won’t be adequately vetted. Top Senate Republicans have spent weeks working in secret on the budget. Highlights of the plan were first announced in a news conference Monday afternoon, with detailed documents released and explained during appropriations subcommittee meetings a few hours later. Some of those Monday meetings took place in tiny committee rooms without audio feeds available online – meaning some attendees crowded the halls outside the rooms trying to hear the discussion. It’s due on the Senate floor Wednesday. Senate leader Phil Berger said the first vote is expected Wednesday, with a final vote on Thursday.

Daily dose: "Probe yourselves" edition


Women’s Bodies Safe from North Carolina Lawmakers, For Now (New York Times column) -- There is no shortage of absurdly creative (or creatively absurd?) attempts by lawmakers around the country to prevent women from controlling what happens inside their own bodies. Depending on where they live, those seeking to exercise their constitutional right to an abortion must endure, among other things, waiting periods of up to 3 days, medically inaccurate lectures , or trips of hundreds of miles to reach the closest operating clinic that hasn’t been shut down on false pretenses. But for the purest expression of paternalistic condescension, wrapped in a bow of bodily invasion and delivered via an unequivocal violation of the First Amendment, it is hard to match the transvaginal ultrasound laws that have proliferated in recent years. North Carolina’s version — which finally died Monday morning when the Supreme Court declined to consider the federal appeals court ruling that struck it down — forced doctors to subject a woman seeking an abortion to an ultrasound exam (generally via a wand inserted into her vagina), position the sonogram so she is able to see it and, even if she “averts her eyes” and “refuses to hear,” describe to her what it is depicting.

Daily dose: Falling into the gap edition


Michelle's story: Closing the health insurance coverage gap (Mountain Xpress) -- In 2013, Gov. Pat McCrory and the General Assembly chose not to expand Medicaid to those with incomes below 133 percent of the federal poverty line. Consequently, North Carolina is among a minority of 24 states not receiving federal Medicaid expansion funding. This decision has created a coverage gap for over 500,000 North Carolinians like Michelle whose income does not qualify for ACA coverage. Those in the coverage gap include workers in retail, tourism, food services and construction industries. “Because I am enrolled in school and don’t have any income, I was told by the ACA reps that I should enroll onto my husband’s coverage,” she says. “This would cost us $800 a month, and with only one income, we couldn’t live on what would be left over.” So Michelle decided to go without health insurance while she was pursuing her degree.

Daily dose: Picking losers and losers edition


NC school choice group may get OK to decide who gets money (AP) — A non-profit group that has lobbied to increase public charter schools and private education vouchers could soon be in charge of allocating taxpayer money to new and proposed charters to help get them started.

Daily dose: Carolina Fallback edition


DOING THE MATH: ‘Carolina Comeback’ coming up short (WRAL-TV) -- Numbers out this week from the U.S. Dept. of Commerce's Bureau of Economic Analysis paint a less rosy picture of North Carolina’s economic health. According to GDP figures for 2014, the state's economic growth last year was 1.4 percent –well below the national average and far short of the state's 2.3 percent growth in 2013. It's below the regional average for the Southeast, which is 1.7 percent. South Carolina, by comparison, posted a 2.2 percent growth rate. Georgia's GDP grew 2.3 percent, and Florida's grew 2.7 percent.


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