Education

NEWS & OBSERVER: More NC third graders retained for poor reading 

The second year of the state’s public school literacy law saw more third graders – about 1 in 7, in all – retained because they were not reading well.

NEWS & OBSERVER: Lots of talk by NC legislators, but not much movement on education 

Legislative Republicans met privately in a retreat last winter, in advance of this year’s long General Assembly session, to talk about their ideas on education. A key goal was to establish where the House and Senate could agree on significant policy changes.

Elections

WRAL: Earlier NC primary means quicker decisions but some confusion 

Moving North Carolina's primaries for hundreds of elected posts up by seven weeks to align with early presidential contests could save counties money, reduce voter confusion and boost overall turnout.

WRAL: Advisory letter could permit bigger role for outside groups in NC elections 

Recently published guidance will pave the way for advocacy groups to more closely work with official campaign committees of candidates running for office in North Carolina.

CHARLOTTE OBSERVER: NC Rep. Jacqueline Schaffer won’t run for third term; Tim Morgan will seek seat 

Republican Rep. Jacqueline Schaffer, a champion of socially conservative issues, said Friday she won’t run for a third term.

WRAL: Attorney general primed to begin run for NC governor 

Attorney General Roy Cooper is now prepared to tell North Carolina residents he's a candidate for governor next year.

Energy & Environment

FAYETTEVILLE OBSERVER: Law bars local fracking regulations 

Before adjourning their session last week, North Carolina lawmakers passed a law prohibiting towns, cities and counties from adopting any regulations or ordinances on natural gas drilling or the controversial practice commonly known as fracking.

STAR NEWS: Area residents concerned about wind turbines 

Five energy companies have voiced interest in putting wind turbines off the North Carolina coast.

Health Care

CHARLOTTE OBSERVER: Charlotte area among highest for some medical costs, survey shows

Charlotte ranks in the top four of 30 U.S. cities for the price consumers pay for four common medical procedures, according to the 2015 Castlight Health Costliest Cities Index. 

WNCN: Louisburg hospital closing is part of larger trend among rural hospitals 

Next week’s closure of Novant Health’s Franklin Medical Center is part of a larger trend among struggling rural hospitals that shows signs of accelerating, according to UNC’s Dr. Mark Holmes.

WINSTON-SALEM JOURNAL: Cardinal-CenterPoint merger could occur as early as Feb. 1 

CenterPoint Human Services could merge as early as Feb. 1 with the state’s largest behavioral health managed-care organization, according to its top executive.

Insurance

WRAL: Lawmakers weigh optional insurance overhaul 

State lawmakers are considering making big changes to optional insurance policies offered by state agencies next year, following a report by the Program Evaluation Division that shows little oversight of the policies.

Legislature

WCTI 12: Urologist to join N.C. House, succeed Brian Brown 

A Greenville urologist will serve out the term of a North Carolina House member who resigned this week to go work for U.S. Sen. Thom Tillis.

STAR NEWS: Lawmakers reflect on lengthy General Assembly session 

The area's representatives in the General Assembly agree on at least one thing: The most recent legislative session was too long.

NEWS & RECORD: Fall adjournment 1 unpredictable twist of 2015 session 

Some figured the 2015 General Assembly would be more subdued compared to recent years when Republicans who wrested control of state government from Democrats initially imprinted their conservative philosophy upon North Carolina.