Daily Journal

An Argument Against Toll Lanes for I-77

In the second half of a pro/con exploration of new toll lanes for Interstate 77, a Mecklenburg County commissioner explains why he opposes the plan.

CJ Ticker

Other Opinions

Inmate death

Not treating mentally ill inmates properly is costly in human and financial terms. The state should fix these problems promptly says the Winston-Salem Journal.

State budget

The Charlotte Observer says that N.C. lawmakers need to finish their budget earlier. Other states, including our neighbor Virginia, do so.

Vouchers, now accountability

The Opportunity Scholarship program might be constitutional according to one court, but without accountability, the recent ruling isn’t worth the paper it’s written on says Patrick Gannon.

Local crime lab

The Triad Regional Forensic Laboratory is a sound idea in theory. Finding a way to make this happen is worth the time and effort to get the right answers says the Burlington Times-News.

Lethal-injection formula

The legislative urgency to get North Carolina back into executing murderers has reached a fever pitch that looks a lot like bloodlust. It’s an ugly spectacle says the Fayetteville Observer.

Liberal Commentator Powers Takes PC Censors To Task
Kirsten Powers makes a strong case that the illiberal left has abandoned debate and put in its place vilification of those who don't toe the PC line.

Media Mangle

We Must Value the First Amendment

The notion of "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it" has given way, even among journalists, to a multicultural fetish against offending anyone who is not Western, or who is among a media-anointed "victim class.

Telling Both Sides of the Story

Those who read, watch, and listen to the news lose when media outlets decide to ignore the “wrong” side.

Corrections Policies Say A Lot

A news outlet’s willingness to own up to its mistakes says a lot about its credibility.

Carolina Beat

Release the Records, Gov. McCrory

Lead Story

Meadows’ Move Against Boehner Splits N.C. Delegation

July 31, 2015, By Dan Way

photo-fpo-leadRALEIGH — U.S. Rep. Walter Jones, R-3rd District, is a staunch supporter of the efforts of fellow North Carolinian Mark Meadows (11th District) to unseat House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio. Jones says Boehner is out of touch with Republican Party principles. In contrast, Rep. Virginia Foxx, R-5th District, scolded Meadows for invoking a rare procedural move to oust Boehner.

07.31.15 - Audit: No Safeguards In Place Monitoring State-Run Snack Bars

photo-fpo-leadRALEIGH — Currently, 89 facilities are run by 70 operators across the state, located in state and federal government buildings. Gross sales total about $10.6 million a year. Since the program’s inception in 1978, 326 people have been licensed to operate food service and vending facilities at those locations. According to the report, 80 people have been trained and licensed to operate snack bars since 2000, and 53 of them have been placed in a food service or vending facility.

07.30.15 - Guilford Schools Deny Scholarship To Disabled Student

photo-fpo-leadRALEIGH — Lawmakers and advocates for special needs children are concerned that Guilford County Schools may be undermining a law providing tax-funded scholarships for students with disabilities. The school system recently denied recertification for a Special Education Scholarship Grant to rising seventh-grader Taylor Beason, a visually impaired student who had used the scholarship to help offset the cost of tuition at a private school.

Editorial Cartoon


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7.31.15 - Value of public schools: The great divide in N.C. GOP?

CHARLOTTE — About two years ago, the Republican-dominated southern suburbs of Mecklenburg County elected Paul Bailey to represent them on the school board. He was endorsed by a roster of GOP officials that included three state legislators. That made Bailey’s comments on the Republican-dominated General Assembly this week all the more striking.

Related Education Articles:
Growing interest in school vouchers in WNC
CMS: Delays in Raleigh could spark school hiring scramble
School voucher program expanding following court ruling
Sorting out the impacts of proposed teacher aide cuts
JLF: Rethinking Common Core state standards
NC Supreme Court says vouchers are constitutional

7.31.15 - Growing interest in school vouchers in WNC

ASHEVILLE — Even before the state Supreme Court ruled in favor of a school voucher program, interest in the taxpayer-funded scholarships to private schools seemed to be growing among Western North Carolina families. Families in the region submitted more new applications for the program for the upcoming school year compared to last year, and advocates predict interest will only increase now that the state’s highest court has upheld the program.

Related Education Articles:
Value of public schools: The great divide in N.C. GOP?
CMS: Delays in Raleigh could spark school hiring scramble
School voucher program expanding following court ruling
Sorting out the impacts of proposed teacher aide cuts
JLF: Rethinking Common Core state standards
NC Supreme Court says vouchers are constitutional

7.31.15 - N.C. attorneys rest their case in federal voting rights trial

WINSTON-SALEM — Attorneys representing North Carolina and Gov. Pat McCrory rested their case this morning after calling six witnesses in a federal trial over the state’s controversial election law. The last witness for the state was Brian Neesby, business systems analysis for the State Board of Election.

Related Elections Articles:
Closing arguments set in NC voting rights trial
State elections director discusses prevention of voter fraud
Foley hosted fundraiser for McCrory
Expert testifies that election law did not affect turnout
Plaintiffs rest case in federal voting rights trial
Rutgers professor: Voter fraud in N.C. rare
Races Take Shape as 2012 Primary Season Officially Gets Underway

7.31.15 - NC Auditor: Program that aids blind business operators fails 60 percent of oversight reviews

WINSTON-SALEM — A state Auditor’s Office report cited a lack of effective oversight of a program that has spent at least $29 million since 2000 assisting business operators who are legally blind. The audit, released Thursday, covers the Business Evaluation program of the N.C. Division of Services of the Blind, which is part of the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services.

Related Social Services Articles:
Senate unanimously approves ABLE Act; one step remains
Warning signs for group homes emerge
Senate postpones vote on ABLE bill
ABLE bill heading to Senate floor for vote
ABLE bill goes to key Senate panel Tuesday
Closed adult care center had high rating a year earlier

7.31.15 - Bill prohibiting local livestock rules sent to McCrory

RALEIGH — The House gave final approval Thursday to a bill preventing local governments from regulating the care of farm animals, leaving Gov. Pat McCrory’s signature the last step needed for the bill to become law. The bill sponsored by Rep. Chuck McGrady, R-Henderson, is a response to rules on the treatment of animals that the Buncombe County Board of Commissioners adopted in January.

Related Regulation Articles:
JLF: How sunset laws can improve North Carolina’s regulatory climate
Raleigh may limit sidewalk use by bars and restaurants
FYI: That snake’s not legal in Asheville
Senate votes to regulate Uber and other ride-hailing apps
House won’t sign off on Senate regulatory overhaul
Battle brews over unclaimed life-insurance cash

7.31.15 - Winston-Salem beltway timetable at state budget’s mercy

WINSTON-SALEM — Gov. Pat McCrory is calling for a bond vote to put road projects like the Winston-Salem Northern Beltway on a faster track. The N.C. Senate is considering a different proposal that backers say would make more road-building money available over the long haul, but wouldn’t include a bond issue.

Related Transportation Articles:
Tata takes sudden step away from helm of NCDOT
NCDOT workers on Senate hit list
JLF: Transportation priorities for North Carolina
NC leaders differ on which roads to build, how to pay
Uber plans major NC expansion, but how good are the jobs?
NC ports can count on cash from Raleigh

7.31.15 - To track thieves, Durham police pay pawn shops

DURHAM — Barry Brantley has worked as a manager at Affordable Jewelry & Pawn in Durham for 18 years and can tell when something is not right about a customer. Maybe a man is trying to sell a laptop but cannot remember the password. Or a woman has a nice acoustic guitar but no stories of playing it. “You get a feel for it after a while,” Brantley said.

Related Police/Public Safety Articles:
Storage space an issue for body-camera footage
‘Revenge porn’ bill advances, may change
Senate passes formerly controversial gun bill
Lawmakers pass bill to standardize state gun permit process
Can regional crime labs ease backlog of DNA tests?
Gun opponents resigned to firearms bill’s passage

7.31.15 - Officials mull downgrades to Greensboro’s Tanger Center

GREENSBORO — Officials overseeing plans for downtown’s new performing arts center are mulling downgrades to the design to save money. A scaled-back lobby. A cheaper sound system. Fewer architectural details. But even then, the cost of building the Steven Tanger Center for the Performing Arts still would go over budget.

Related Local Government Articles:
JLF: What government costs cities and counties
Legislators telling local governments what to do
Charlotte says only employee spouses can receive benefits
No one comes to defense of Greensboro redistricting
Greensboro redistricting: One battle down, war to come
Judge rules against Greensboro redistricting law
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