Insider Spotlight

Broadband Availability a Challenge in Rural Areas

By Colin Campbell, NCInsider.com When Donnie Shumate moved to Hyde County several years ago, his wife had to quit her work-from-home job with Amazon because the internet speed was too slow for telecommuting. Shumate is the county’s information technology manager, and he hasn’t been able to persuade internet providers to serve Hyde, which is one of the state’s most rural…

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Hurricane Matthew’s victims still awaiting FEMA grants 18 months after storm

Nearly 18 months after Hurricane Matthew, recovery in the small Wayne County town of Seven Springs has been uneven. Several local businesses are back open and some residents have returned. But across the street from the bustling Mae’s Restaurant, another storefront looks like the Neuse River floodwaters just receded yesterday — the front wall is bashed in and office furniture…


Cooper faces criticism for issuing orders to elections agency amid lawsuit

While a three-judge panel hasn’t yet issued its order governing the future of the state’s elections and ethics agency, Gov. Roy Cooper’s administration has ordered the agency’s staff to “refrain from taking any substantive action” — a move that prompted the agency’s attorney to question whether “the administration believes the agency is dissolved.” It’s unusual for a governor’s administration to…


Legislature bans advocacy group events from indoor courtyards

By Lynn Bonner, The News & Observer The carnival atmosphere at the Legislative Building where visitors could get their blood pressure checked, grab a doughnut, and learn about state forests from displays in the indoor courtyards has ended. “Tabling” will no longer be allowed in the Legislative Building. People have been directed to use the legislative dining room instead. Legislative…


N.C. General Assembly not immune to sexual harassment concerns

By Lauren Horsch, NCInsider.com RALEIGH — Women who work in North Carolina politics have known for years that it’s still a boy’s club, even as nearly a quarter of the members of the General Assembly are women. They know this because they’re often dodging unwanted touches and brushing off or ignoring inappropriate comments about their appearance. Their stories are similar…


State Library to Issue Borrower Cards

Colin Campbell, THE INSIDER, 10/23/17 For the first time in its 200-year history, the Government & Heritage Library at the State Library of North Carolina is issuing library cards to state residents and letting them take home books and other items from its extensive historical collection. The new service began Sept. 1 after state librarians worked with the Office of…


Recovery Slow for Edgecombe County Town

By Colin Campbell, NCInsider.com Nearly a year after Hurricane Matthew, Princeville’s public housing complex sits deserted behind a chain-link fence. The elementary school is still gutted, with a sign out front listing events in October 2016 before the flood arrived. Even the town hall and fire station haven’t reopened and are using temporary facilities elsewhere. Recovery has been slow for…


Women are half of NC’s population, but only a quarter of NCGA

Lauren Horsch, NCInsider.com Bev Perdue was taking a walk with her husband past the Governor’s Mansion shortly before she was inaugurated in 2009 as the state’s first and only female governor, looking through the gates like “little baby tourists from another planet,” she said. Her husband then pointed out a plaque near the front gate that dedicates the mansion to…


Western N.C. Braces for Eclipse Tourism

Colin Campbell, NCInsider.com The solar eclipse on Aug. 21 will bring up to 30,000 visitors to the 300-resident town of Hayesville, shutting down schools and potentially creating the worst traffic jam the quiet mountain town has ever seen. Hayesville — in Clay County nearly two hours west of Asheville — is among the Western North Carolina towns in the center…


Corner Store Grants to Address ‘Food Deserts’

Lauren Horsch, NCInsider.com Soon six stores in areas of Eastern North Carolina that are considered food deserts will be able to provide fresh fruits and vegetables for customers thanks to a grant program through the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. In the past two state budgets, lawmakers have given $250,000 to the department to reimburse small food retailers…