What's Happening

2019 was the worst year for rural hospital closures this decade, a new report finds

By Alanna Joyner | February 21, 2020

According to a new report from the Chartis Center for Rural Health, 19 rural hospitals closed across America in 2019. Almost one out of every four open rural hospitals are at risk of closing in the near future. States like North Carolina, that have chosen not to expand Medicaid have experienced the most rural hospital…

Group says NC must take ‘immediate action’ to provide students a sound basic education

By Alanna Joyner | February 19, 2020

With the recent decision in the Leandro case, an advocate group says NC must take ‘immediate action’ to meet the state’s Constitutional obligation to provide students with a sound basic education. In January, Superior Court Judge David Lee signed a court order in the long-running Leandro school funding case ordering state leaders to provide enough…

WRAL: North Carolina Facebook page is ‘disinformation campaign,’ experts say

By Alanna Joyner | February 18, 2020

According to media experts, a Facebook page, called “North Carolina Breaking News”, that reportedly shares breaking news, is a hub for misinformation. The page includes racially insensitive terms towards minorities, and numerous instances of incorrect information in which news stories from other states are rewritten to have occurred in North Carolina. With over 50,000 followers,…

Duke Energy still seeks rate hikes even as profits are up

By Alanna Joyner | February 18, 2020

Duke Energy turned a profit of $660 million for the last three months of 2019, up 42% from a year ago. This comes after Duke Energy’s proposed rate hike request to raise over $123 MILLION on the backs of rate-payers to pay for their toxic coal ash clean up.  From WFAE: Duke CEO Lynn Good…

Judge voids UNC’s shady settlement over confederate statue

By Alanna Joyner | February 17, 2020

 Last week was a win for UNC students, faculty and alumni as a state judge vacated the UNC settlement over Silent Sam. Judge Allen Baddour held a hearing to reconsider his initial approval of the deal back in November, now ruling that the SCV did not have standing to bring the lawsuit in the first…

Staggering levels of forever chemicals found in Cape River Basin

By Alanna Joyner | February 6, 2020

A water sample taken from the Sanford sewage treatment plant that discharges into the Deep River, revealed a shocking concentration of forever chemicals.  Documents released from the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality uncovered high levels of potentially carcinogenic chemicals in rivers and streams throughout the Cape Fear River basin in North Carolina — from Reidsville to Wilmington.…

NC Health News: Mental health advocates use gathering to push for funding, priorities

By Alanna Joyner | February 5, 2020

On Saturday, hundreds of mental health advocates raised questions about the priorities and concerns of the mental health community in North Carolina.  The 42nd annual Mental Health Legislative Breakfast at UNC Chapel Hill, brought over 400 health providers, advocates and consumers into a discussion to make state lawmakers aware of the need for improved and…

NC Policy Watch: A federal appeals court judge’s remarkable speech is the latest surprise in NC’s hog nuisance lawsuits

By Alanna Joyner | February 5, 2020

Last Friday, attorneys for a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest pork producer, went before the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and asked three judges to overturn a $3.25 million jury award in a lawsuit filed by neighbors of a large North Carolina hog farm. The attorneys were met with surprise as a…

Rural Hospitals in Greater Jeopardy in Non-Medicaid Expansion States

By Alanna Joyner | February 4, 2020

According to the Center for Health Services Research at UNC Chapel Hill, over one hundred rural hospitals have closed across the United States since 2010. In a recent report by iVantage Health Analytics, almost 600 rural hospitals are at risk of closing.  In these studies, both closures and at-risk hospitals are in the 14 states that have not passed…