Steph Beckett

BOG Chairman: “We Need More Diversity on Our Board”

The UNC Board of Governors currently houses 32 members, but that’s all about to change. A new law will shrink that number to 24 by mid-2019. The North Carolina Senate and House of Representatives appoint new board members every two years. In 2015 and before, they appointed 16 new members. But beginning later this year, they’ll appoint 12. “There are arguments, as you know, particularly in the private sector that smaller boards are better—they work more efficiently,” said BOG Chairman Lou Bissette. “And I think that’s true in most instances and probably true here in a lot of ways.”...

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Officials Unsure Sanctuary City Bill Impact Locally

North Carolina operates under a law that prohibits any county or municipality from restricting local law enforcement’s ability to cooperate with federal immigration officials. Therefore, there are no technical sanctuary cities in the state. However, that hasn’t stopped different local law enforcement from choosing what to prioritize in their respective towns. But now multiple proposals have been filed with varying penalties against sanctuary cities. “I think all of the communities in Orange County and Durham and other places that have adopted resolutions in support of the immigrant communities and adopted resolutions about not turning our local police department into...

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Civil Rights Attorney: Trump Rescinding Obama Regulations on Transgender Bathrooms “Nonsensical”

****UPDATE: The US Supreme Court sent the case back to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals on Monday morning without issuing a ruling.**** The question of whether sex includes gender identity is sweeping the nation as a case is prepared to go against the Supreme Court at the end of March. The Obama Administration had implemented a guidance in May that enforced rights by transgender students to use the bathrooms or locker rooms that aligned with their gender identities. The guidance cited federal law Title IX. But Trump rescinded that rule and said it was up to the states to...

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UNC Initiative Working to Combat Opioid Epidemic

Nearly 400 North Carolina citizens died from an opioid overdose last year. In 2014, 45 North Carolina counties had overdose death rates higher than the national average of 9 per 100,000. The state continues to exceed this national average, and has been steadily increasing over the past 10 years. There have been efforts to reverse the opioid epidemic in North Carolina. Naloxone is now widely available. It’s a drug that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose and works within minutes of injection. “Now it’s at a place where insurance companies will pay for it,” said Robyn Jordan, clinical...

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UNC Students, Organizations Help with Hurricane Matthew Relief

It’s a sunny, 75 degree day in Chapel Hill in the middle of February. But some UNC students and organizations aren’t enjoying the weather. “I mean, it’s nothing major. We’re cutting things out, putting little board games together: game pieces, dice, stuff like that,” said UNC sophomore and football player Mason Veal. “Just helping them get back on track for their end-of-year testing and helping them and giving them stuff so they can do extra.” He’s describing the volunteer event at the Loudermilk Center for Excellence on UNC’s campus Friday. Participants were invited to make study kits for third,...

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Local Organization Helps Refugees Become Self-Sufficient

Soni is a refugee from the Democratic Republic of Congo. He said he wanted to come to the United States as a refugee because of the violence in the DRC. He said it took him years to move because of the long bureaucratic process. He said everyone seeking asylum to go to a different country has a case file. And to add immediate family it takes a few years, to finish all the background checks it takes a few years, and to answer all the necessary questions—that takes time too. “They ask you all of the story,” he said....

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Local Coalition Updates Chapel Hill on Efforts to Reduce High-Risk Drinking

Alcohol and college towns are two things that often go hand-in-hand. But one local group is looking to make sure that high-risk drinking, or drinking that causes ill effects to someone’s health or safety, is a thing of the past. Elinor Landess is the director of the Chapel Hill Campus and Community Coalition to Reduce the Negative Impacts of High-Risk Drinking. She said it’s important that as many community members are involved as possible. “We’re talking about alcohol, but what we’re really talking about is a public health problem that affects many different parts of our community,” she said. “And...

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UNC Dentist: Science Supports Fluoride in Water

Southern Orange County residents are concerned about fluoride in the water after the Orange Water and Sewer Authority water treatment plant shut down earlier this month after an accidental release of too much fluoride into the water. However, fluoride in water isn’t so bad for you, if it’s a healthy level of it, according to Tim Wright. He’s the Director of Strategic Initiatives at the UNC School of Dentistry. He said in the mid-1900s, scientists tested populations that had low dental disease rates in the United States. “Through some detective work and snooping, they found out that it was...

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CVS-Owned Building in Carrboro Demolished

The CVS-owned building on the corner of South Greensboro and Weaver Streets in Carrboro is demolished. The building has been at the center of controversy after CVS bought the building but did nothing with it after the Board of Aldermen denied the company’s request to rezone the property around it in 2013. However, the town passed an ordinance concerning the state of abandoned buildings last fall to address the property. After a national representative from CVS then did a walk-through of the building, the company decided to demolish it. “I know it’s been kind of much discussion over the...

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Chapel Hill Man Fights for Insurance Coverage of Potentially Life-Saving Drug

Cameron Credle has been battling familial hypercholesterolemia (FH) for more than 25 years, after he found out he had the disorder when he was three years old. And while his day-to-day life is regular—he goes to work, exercises and spends time with family—his cholesterol isn’t. FH is a genetic cholesterol disorder that keeps his body from getting rid of low-density lipoproteins, also known as the bad cholesterol. There are treatments readily available, but the one Credle was using only reduced his cholesterol by 50 percent, and he needed the treatment to reduce it even more. So when a new...

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