Two N.C. State University researchers say the university has silenced them because they’ve raised concerns about potential negative impacts from utility-scale solar energy projects in North Carolina. In a Carolina Journal exclusive, Associate Editor Dan Way has documented evidence of the university’s efforts to downplay the researchers’ work. North Carolina has attracted national attention in recent years because of the positive effects of its tax reforms. Joseph Henchman, executive vice president of the Tax Foundation, explains why North Carolina’s reforms offer a good example for other states across the country. Henchman also discusses other reforms state officials could pursue in the future. North Carolinians pay about $10 billion a year in property taxes. Julie Tisdale, the John Locke Foundation’s city and county policy analyst, has examined how local governments use that tax revenue across the state. She recently shared her findings during a presentation for the John Locke Foundation’s Shaftesbury Society. North Carolina’s unemployment rate has dropped by more than one full percentage point during the past year, dropping most recently to 4.2 percent. But that headline rate masks wide variations among the 100 counties. N.C. State University economist Michael Walden has examined county-by-county rates. He explains why some counties are seeing excellent employment news while others continue to struggle years after the Great Recession. Home schools educated more than 127,000 North Carolina students in the last academic year, while private school enrollment topped 100,000 for the first time. This growth prompted Terry Stoops, the John Locke Foundation’s vice president for research, to recommend that North Carolina adopt a new nickname: The School Choice State. Stoops examines the enrollment trends and explains why more parents are seeking alternatives to traditional public district schools.