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The N.C. General Assembly reconvenes Wednesday for its 2015 long session with budget revenues running nearly $200 million below projections and an array of pressing issues to sort out. Here’s a quick look at some of the major topics the Republican-dominated legislature is expected to confront in the weeks ahead.

John Fennebresque, the UNC Board of Governors chairman, is the one who should be fired.

Just how far should religious freedom go in North Carolina? Should a state employee be able to ignore the law, citing his religious beliefs? Where would that end?

How to send a 'Letter to the Editor' of the Observer.

More recent editorials, letters to editor

THE OBSERVER'S EDITORIAL STAFF

Taylor Batten, Editorial Page Editor
Taylor Batten became editorial page editor in 2008, the day Bank of America bought Merrill Lynch. He grew up in Miami, went to Duke and Harvard and covered business and politics before holding a series of editing and management jobs. He and his staff have won first place for editorial writing and editorial pages in N.C. Press Association competitions. Reach him at tbatten@charlotteobserver.com.

Peter St. Onge, Associate Editor

Peter St. Onge has been a member of the editorial board since 2011. A New Hampshire native, Peter came to the Observer in 1999. He has been honored with national awards in news writing, investigations, business writing, sports writing and feature writing. He lives in south Charlotte with his wife and two sons. Reach him at pstonge@charlotteobserver.com.

Kevin Siers, Editorial Cartoonist

A native of Minnesota, Kevin Siers has been drawing editorial cartoons for the Observer since 1987. He began his cartooning career by drawing editorial cartoons for his hometown community newspaper between shifts working in the local iron ore mines north of Duluth. His Observer cartoons today are distributed nationwide by King Features Syndicate. Reach him at ksiers@charlotteobserver.com.

Eric Frazier, Associate Editor

Eric Frazier joined the editorial board in 2014. A South Carolina native, he graduated from the College of Charleston and Columbia University. He has been a reporter and editor at the Observer since 1998, and has won state and national awards for coverage of issues ranging from capital punishment to child welfare. Reach him at efrazier@charlotteobserver.com.

So I suppose you heard about the latest e-cigarette study, the one that said that the vapors e-cigarette users inhale contain multiple forms of formaldehyde. It was much in the news last week, after its authors, five scientists from Portland State University, published a peer-reviewed letter outlining their findings in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine.

Any Republican event convened by Rep. Steven King – he of “calves the size of cantaloupes” fame – could easily have degenerated into a festival of immigrant bashing. It is to the credit of the serious GOP presidential prospects in attendance that the Iowa Freedom Summit generally was not.

The parents who are against vaccines for measles, mumps, rubella and other childhood diseases have proved a point – and it’s a scary one. They are no longer just putting their own kids at risk. By taking their unvaccinated children to the happiest place on Earth and touching off a measles outbreak at Disneyland, the anti-vaxxers put hundreds of other children in jeopardy, too.

Historic hype hits New York City.

A set of chisels I bought at a sale on the East Coast came home to me a few months ago after they were sent “out West” someplace to be properly sharpened.

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Daily Views

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Kevin Siers

Editorial cartoonist Kevin Siers, who for the last quarter century has skewered political egos across the Carolinas with the tip of a paintbrush, was awarded the Pulitzer Prize on Monday.

McClatchy cartoons for the week of 1/18/15
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