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The University of North Carolina’s Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute has released findings that further enforce the value of high-quality preschool. In a recent report, the FPG said North Carolina’s pre-kindergarten program for at-risk 4-year-olds is having crucial impact on “dual-language learners.”

In the aftermath of the freeing last week of two wrongfully convicted North Carolina inmates, one from death row, the views of two Robeson County district attorneys who played central roles in the case are sobering.

Fifteen years ago this month, U.S. District Judge Robert Potter issued a ruling that thrust Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools squarely into the midst of a challenging education and civil rights issue: school resegregation.

On Monday, a day before Women’s Equality Day, a commemoration of the ratification of the 19th amendment that in 1920 gave women the right to vote, Ruth Gaddy died in Charlotte.

In this last month of the N.C. legislature’s short session, as lawmakers were lumbering toward adjournment, they approved a bill to require candidates seeking office to file their campaign finance reports electronically starting in 2017. That’s a good piece of legislation that will make election campaigns more transparent. But the way lawmakers got it done, late at night and out of the public eye, only highlights the troubling lack of transparency that’s a constant with this legislature.

As I sat in the audience Wednesday night at the Levine Museum of the New South, listening to an intriguing discussion about the bond between blacks and Jews, a friend leaned over to show me something on her smartphone. It was a story about 90-year-old Holocaust survivor Hedy Epstein. On Monday, Epstein was one of nine demonstrators arrested in St. Louis, MO, for failing to disperse after a protest of the shooting of an unarmed black man in nearby Ferguson.

Perhaps it’s only fitting that the N.C. legislature comes to the end of its long short session in a squabble over how and when to end it. It hasn’t mattered much that the Republicans are in charge of everything – the state House and Senate and the governor’s office. GOP infighting and House vs. Senate power plays – along with a little muscle-flexing or attempts at it by Gov. Pat McCrory and his staff – have been constant backdrops during the session that began May 14.

One sunny morning in 2006 I visited Daisy Stroud, and she took out photos and shared the story of her life. Every tale was an illumination of the times in which she lived, of the life she made with husband Gerson and the woman she came to be.

Sunday is the 61st anniversary of the end of the Korean War – sort of.

One spring day in 2008, while I was in Nashville, Tenn., to teach a class of aspiring editorial writers at the Freedom Forum’s First Amendment Center, John Seigenthaler drove up with a passenger. That passenger was Ethel Kennedy, Robert Kennedy’s widow.

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Jack Betts
Fannie Flono writes on news, politics and life in The Carolinas. Her column appears on the Editorial pages of The Charlotte Observer.
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