Jess Clark

Intro to Jess Clark

A bill is moving through the North Carolina legislature that could push the country a step closer towards rewriting its founding document.

More than one hundred protesters rallied outside Senator Thom Tillis' Raleigh office Tuesday afternoon calling for the Republican senator to reject his party's bill to replace Obamacare.

It's being called a political crisis: Partisanship is the worst it's been in decades. Now, a few North Carolina legislators think they might have a solution: Building a political coalition based on their shared youth. Charlotte Democratic Representative Chaz Beasley is 31 years old, and one of the chairs of the new North Carolina Future Caucus.

There could be term limits for the leaders of the state House and Senate under a bill moving through the legislature.

The bill could limit terms for the Speaker of the House and the Senate Leader to four consecutive two-year terms.

Republican legislators in North Carolina have refused to hold a special session demanded by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper to redraw General Assembly districts, saying his proclamation is faulty and unconstitutional.

Now that the state House has released its plan for teacher pay, there are three plans before lawmakers as they continue budget negotiations. Here are the basic differences:

The state House passed its budget just after midnight last night. The House plan would cut taxes, fund pay increases for some teachers, and give an across-the-board $1,000 raise to state employees. It would also add $260 million  to the state's 'rainy day' fund.

The General Assembly has completed the override of the governor's veto of a measure reducing the state Court of Appeals from 15 judges to 12.

Public-school officials are panicking ahead of state-mandated class-size reductions in kindergarten through third grade. School systems say lawmakers gave them an unfunded mandate when they demanded schools cut K-3 class sizes starting next school year.

Second of two stories. Click here for the first.

North Carolina is one of just two states that automatically charges 16- and 17-year-olds as adults in the criminal justice system. But in several counties, the court system is working with local law enforcement to give would-be young offenders a second chance.

First of two stories. Click here for the second.

When you turn 16 in North Carolina, you still can't vote, or drive on your own at night. You can't buy cigarettes or alcohol, or get a tattoo. But you can be charged, tried and convicted as an adult in the criminal justice system.

Corporal punishment is still a legal practice in North Carolina schools. But today there are just two districts in the state where educators still inflict pain on students as a form of discipline.

Activist groups in Wake County are urging the U.S. Department of Education to take action against what they say are discriminatory disciplinary practices in Wake County Schools. In their letter, the groups have cited a video of a school resource officer slamming a Rolesville High School student to the ground.

Coastal Carolina officials may not be willing to prepare for climate change until it's too late, according to a new study out of N.C. State and Appalachian State Universities.

Smithfield Foods, the world's largest pork producer, has promised to slash its carbon emissions.

Researchers at the UNC Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute have more evidence that children who attend pre-K see better outcomes down the road.

The General Assembly building on Jones Street in downtown Raleigh literally shook Friday as protesters reached a boiling point over bills Republican lawmakers had pushed through during a surprise special session.

Despite the protests, lawmakers concluded the session Friday afternoon, passing two bills that curb the powers of incoming Democratic governor Roy Cooper.

North Carolina's economy will grow another two percent next year - on par with growth in 2016, according to a UNC Charlotte economic forecast.

The ACT will soon offer special accommodations for students still learning the English language.

Nineteen of the state's lowest-performing schools are getting nearly $40 million in federal grants starting in January to improve student outcomes. Each school will receive between $690,000 and $3.7 million to put towards improvement plans over the next five years.

In the parking lot at East Cary Middle School, bus driver Auh-murel Wright walks down the aisle of her bus between rows of empty seats, checking the alarms and the emergency exits. She does this before each trip to make sure her ride is safe. And she knows the exact minute she can expect the first students to climb aboard—2:13 p.m.

Early voting is off to a fast start in many North Carolina counties. As of Sunday, 408,906 voters had cast a ballot in North Carolina, according to the State Board of Elections.

Outside Robeson County Schools central offices, Superintendent Tommy Lowry points to a large hole in the top of the chain-link fence. "Where that fence is cut there, that’s where I came across in a boat. That’s how high the water was," he said.

The Tar River cuts right through the city of Greenville, but it doesn’t usually cut through Steve Johnson’s backyard.

“I wasn’t prepared for flooding. You know, I don’t think anyone ever is,” said Johnson. “I was prepared for the hurricane. I was even prepared to leave if something happened during the hurricane...I wasn’t prepared for flooding, you just never know how that’s gonna turn.

Updated 3:15 p.m. October 17, 2016

Governor Pat McCrory was in New Bern this afternoon to survey damage from the floods left behind by Hurricane Matthew. 

The state Department of Transportation says many roads are still closed in eastern North Carolina, but I-95 has reopened from Fayetteville to Lumberton.  At least 25 people have died in North Carolina. Most were trapped in the vehicles in the flooding.

Officials estimate that flooding from Hurricane Matthew has caused $1.5 billion in damage to 100,000 homes, businesses and government buildings.

Officials say the death toll in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew has risen to 17.

Earlier in the day, officials in Robeson County said they found the body of a man who was in a car when it was washed away in the flooding. All but one of the victims were in vehicles when they died, according to authorities.

Update 2:15 p.m. Friday, 10/7/16

The eye of Hurricane Matthew is now expected to come closer to the North Carolina coast than forecasters predicted. In a press conference Friday, New Hanover County Director of Emergency Management Warren Lee warned the county's coastal residents to move inland.

One of the lesser known provisions of the sweeping 2013 voter ID law ended voter preregistration for 16 and 17-year-olds. Now that the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has struck down those 2013 restrictions, preregistration is back, and some North Carolina high schools are taking advantage. In Wake County Schools alone, 3,000 students have already preregistered or registered in school-based registration drives.

Charlotte police say 16 officers were injured last night in clashes with those protesting the fatal police shooting of a black man.

In two weeks, most of North Carolina's public school students will head back to the classroom. We talked to two Duke University researchers to get some tips for how parents can start the year off with their best foot forward.

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