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Budget fixes for the worse

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That’s a pretty deep hole for the county commissioners to fill. Finding $27 million to balance the budget won’t be easy. It doesn’t feel any less daunting when you do the math: $27 million is only 6 percent of the county’s $430 million budget for the fiscal year that ends…

North Carolina Democrats don’t need a Jeremy Corbyn

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D.G. MARTIN Syndicated Columnist What can North Carolina Democrats learn from British politics? There are comparisons to be made between their party and the British Labour Party. Labour and North Carolina Democrats had similar experiences in 2010 when elections wiped out the legislative majorities each had enjoyed. In North Carolina,…

North Carolina writers vie for Southern book prizes

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D.G. MARTIN Syndicated Columnist On July 4, SIBA (Southern Independent Booksellers Association) will announce the winners of its Southern Book Prizes. North Carolina connected nominees include Lee Smith for “Dime Store,” John Hart for “Redemption Road,” Kristy Woodson Harvey for “Lies and Other Acts of Love,” Robert Morgan for “Chasing…

Guest View— On juveniles being charged as adults

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North Carolina is now the last state in the Union that prosecutes 16- and 17-year-olds as adults. (New York, the only other holdout, is now phasing out the practice.) That could soon change, however, as a brave, bipartisan band of Tar Heel legislators seems on the verge of raising the…

GOP crafts a message to UNC, with a chain saw

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ROB CHRISTENSEN Syndicated Columnist The state Senate took a chain saw to the University of North Carolina law school this month, cutting nearly a third of the state appropriation for one of the nation’s oldest law schools. The official explanation from the Republican-controlled Senate is that we have too many…

Lessons from a North Carolina embarrassment

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FERREL GUILLORY Guest Columnist In image-conscious North Carolina, sometimes it takes an embarrassment to get the state in gear. Consider, for example, what happened in 1989 when North Carolina learned it ranked as the state with the worst infant mortality rate. Republican Gov. Jim Martin, in the first year of…

Guest View— Burr’s investigation in 2016 election

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The Watergate comparisons were dismissed at first – the attempts to draw similarities between the coverup scandal over a break-in that drove Richard Nixon from the presidency in 1974 and the probe of Donald Trump’s campaign and possible connections to Russians. But now, with Trump’s abrupt dismissal of James Comey…

Paris Agreement: Deep-six this deal

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ED FEULNER Guest Columnist You wouldn’t think Al Gore and Donald Trump would have much to talk about, given their political divisions. Yet that’s exactly why the former vice president recently got in touch with Trump: to urge him not to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. “Paris Agreement” is shorthand…

Firestorm averted with Tillis health scare

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PAUL T. O’CONNOR Syndicated Columnist Some might find this column tasteless, but there is no denying that the unexpected need to replace a U.S. senator last week would have set off a political firestorm in Raleigh. On Wednesday morning, Sen. Thom Tillis collapsed while running a 5K race in Washington.…

Party divides are no surprise in state, nation

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JOHN HOOD Syndicated Columnist Would it surprise you to learn that, depending on the poll and specific questions asked, between a quarter and a third of Democrats identify their views on abortion as “pro-life”? And that about a quarter of Republicans identify themselves as “pro-choice” on the issue? There is…