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Courts, revenues could alter NC legislature's school agenda

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The public school agenda at the upcoming General Assembly session will almost certainly involve raising minimum salaries for teachers and considering what merit pay should look like in North Carolina. Otherwise, the K-12 education agenda before the Legislature is largely up in the air heading into Wednesday, when lawmakers reconvene for this year's work period. Full story...
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Judge probes if NC schools move weakens learning standard

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A top North Carolina school official says a change that describes children as on-track in their learning progress though they still need help is part of setting higher academic expectations. Superior Court Judge Howard Manning Jr. held a hearing Wednesday to look into whether state education officials are obeying their constitutional obligation to give every North Carolina child the opportunity to have a sound, basic education. Full story...
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NC legislator going unaffiliated, wants to caucus with GOP

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A state House member from the Outer Banks announced Wednesday he's switching his voter registration from Democrat to unaffiliated and hopes to caucus with the Republican majority beginning with the new legislative session starting this month. Second-term Rep. Paul Tine of Kitty Hawk disclosed his decision Wednesday, a week before lawmakers return to Raleigh to elect new chamber leaders. Full story...
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Mark Martin installed as NC chief justice for 8-year term

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North Carolina's top judge says he'll keep working for the next eight years to carry out his platform of court efficiency and timely justice as he did in leading the state court system the previous four months. A standing room-only crowd of judges, five former chief justices, Gov. Pat McCrory and well-wishers of Chief Justice Mark Martin attended his installation ceremony Monday in the courtroom of the Supreme Court. Others watched video feeds at two remote locations in Raleigh. Full story...
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Possum Drop's future again uncertain in NC

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The use of a wild opossum during an annual New Year's Eve celebration in the North Carolina mountains again is uncertain after a Wake County judge agreed to block a General Assembly law approved this year. Superior Court Judge Bryan Collins granted a preliminary injunction Friday related to the Possum Drop in Brasstown. WRAL-TV reports Collins found People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and other groups were likely to win their lawsuit, so he granted their motion. Full story...
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Protesters block Durham road in Ferguson rally

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Those protesting the decision against indicting a white police officer in the Ferguson, Missouri, shooting of a black teen briefly blocked a road in Durham. Hundreds of people attended various rallies in the Raleigh-Durham area Tuesday evening. Full story...
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NC lawmakers examine rules for Uber, Lyft, Airbnb

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North Carolina lawmakers have heard presentations on digital services that allow people to sell car rides through a smart phone app or rent out rooms to travelers. Car services such as Uber and Lyft and short-term rental sites including Airbnb represent a new business model that legislators are studying ahead of the session that begins in January. Full story...
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NC State Fair presents new fried food offerings

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The vendors at this year's N.C. State Fair have found something new to drop in a fryer. The News & Observer of Raleigh reports the Ragin' Cajun booth will be selling deep-fried bananas Foster, the classic New Orleans dessert where bananas are sauteed in rum and brown sugar and served with vanilla ice cream. Full story...
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Drug companies announce NC expansions, new jobs

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Two pharmaceutical companies already in North Carolina say adding several hundred jobs in the state through the rest of the decade. Gov. Pat McCrory announced Friday a business unit of DPx Holdings will create 488 more jobs at its Greenville location by the end of 2019 as part of a $159 million capital investment. The subsidiary is called Patheon and provides contract development and manufacturing assistance to the pharmaceutical industry. Full story...
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NC high school player dies after collapse

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A high school football player in North Carolina has died after he collapsed before a game last weekend. Wake County Schools announced Monday that Isaiah Langston of Rolesville High School died after collapsing on the field before Friday night's game with Southeast Raleigh Magnet High School. Full story...
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