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One of North Carolina's own could launch the state into the national spotlight come September, when the Republican National Convention is held in Saint Paul.
The party will choose its 2008 presidential and vice presidential nominees at the convention, and U.S. Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., could end up on the ticket as the vice presidential nominee.
Burr's name has been on political pundits' tongues since presidential candidate John McCain became the Republican frontrunner, although neither has publicly acknowledged intentions to share the ticket.
Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have both promised if elected to increase the Federal Pell Grant, an effort already addressed by congressional legislation they supported.
Pell Grants benefit low-income students, but diverting federal funds toward those grants could hurt students who don't qualify and instead rely on loans to finance college.
"Pell Grants combined with state need-based aid and other grant support really help students who are 200 percent of the poverty level and less," said Kimrey Rhinehardt, UNC-system vice president for federal relations.
The youth vote has the potential to play a pivotal role in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination, and in response the party's candidates are promising reforms to areas such as higher education.
Both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have been trumpeting their plans for increasing college affordability in an attempt to attract young voters.
Their plans have distinct similarities: Both would expand Federal Pell Grants, simplify the financial aid process, create a tax credit to help cover tuition costs and eliminate subsidies for private loan companies.
When Cuban leader Fidel Castro announced very early Tuesday morning that he would not seek re-election in next Sunday's contest, he ignited a flurry of discussion about how much the island nation and its global relations will change.
The general consensus: not much if his brother wins the election. Raul Castro has been acting as a figurehead since Fidel Castro became ill in July 2006 and is almost unequivocally expected to win.
CORRECTION: Due to a reporting error, Tuesday's pg. 3 article "Town weighs public finance" incorrectly identified qualifications for receiving public funding in local elections. In order to receive $3,000 in public funds, candidates for the Chapel Hill Town Council must raise at least $750 and no more than $2,250 in donations not exceeding $20 from residents eligible to vote in Chapel Hill. Mayoral candidates must raise a minimum of $1,500 but no more than $4,500 to receive public funds of $9,000. All candidates can also raise up to $750 from any source in unlimited amounts.
NIU's newspaper dedicates a page to the victims
A fatal shooting at Northern Illinois University last week has left some wondering whom to blame for school shootings and whether prevention is possible.
The gunman, a former NIU graduate student, opened fire in a campus building at about 3 p.m. Thursday, killing five students and injuring at least 18 others before killing himself.
The Chapel Hill Town Council gave Kidzu Children's Museum encouragement Monday night when it rejected the staff recommendation to prevent its expansion to the Franklin Street post office.
The council instead voted to form a committee that will work with Kidzu officials to assess relocation possibilities.
Many of the council members expressed support for bringing Kidzu to the post office, rejecting the idea that the space could be better utilized by town offices and facilities.
Let the race begin.
As of noon Monday, public office hopefuls could begin filing for state office in Orange County and throughout North Carolina.
All candidates have until Feb. 29 to file.
Filing is a formality, signaling that candidates have made a final commitment to run for office, said Ferrel Guillory, director of the UNC Program on Public Life.
"The filing process is the procedural moment when candidates put themselves on the ballot," he said.
"We've known for a good while who the major candidates will be."
Orange County contests
When Lincoln Arts Center's lease expired Dec. 31, studio manager Carmen Elliott wasn't sure whether the pottery studio it housed would relocate or close its doors.
However, the Chapel Hill Town Council granted Elliott some certainty last week when it voted to move the studio to the Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation administrative building at 200 Plant Road.
UNC-Chapel Hill's Scholars' Latino Initiative can help its high school participants get into college, but it can't help them pay their way.
Undocumented immigrants, who comprise 50 percent of the students mentored through SLI, currently are required to pay out-of-state tuition and are not eligible for financial aid.
According to UNC-system policy, undocumented immigrants are not eligible for merit- or need-based university, state or federal financial aid and must pay out-of-state tuition.
In South Carolina, where blacks constitute about 30 percent of the total population and more than 50 percent of the Democratic vote, Democratic presidential candidates are working hard to court a demographic that nationwide can fly under the political radar.
"You have Barack Obama, who could make history by being the first African-American president, and then there's Hillary Clinton, and there's still, across the South, a lot of loyalty for the Clinton administration," said Bobby Donaldson, professor of history and African-American studies at the University of South Carolina.
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COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina's "First in the South" primary has almost mythic importance for the Republican Party. Every Republican nominee for president since 1980 has won in the state.
Yet even the night before the big show some South Carolina residents remained blissfully unaware of the political battle being waged.
COLUMBIA, S.C. - In a race dominated by two candidates, the South Carolina Republican primary hinged on two central issues: conservative values and military experience.
Mike Huckabee and John McCain's strengths forced many voters to grapple with a difficult decision.
Huckabee, a former Baptist preacher, is known for championing conservative values, while McCain's veteran status gives him strong military credentials.
At a Huckabee rally in Columbia Friday night, Bobbie Brock was still undecided. She said she wasn't sure if strong conservative values are enough of a qualification.
CHARLESTON, S.C., Sunday - A little straight talk can take you down a long, convoluted road.
"What's eight years among friends?" Ariz. Sen. John McCain asked during his Saturday night victory celebration, relishing a win in the state that doomed his chances of gaining the Republican nomination for president eight years ago.
Although McCain touted the fact that every Republican nominee since 1980 has won South Carolina, Ark. Gov. Mike Huckabee's concession speech reminded supporters that the race is far from over.
North Carolina has received national recognition for its standardized testing programs, but the state is now reconsidering how best to make its exams more relevant and beneficial to students.
School officials have charged that N.C. exams should be more focused and in-depth rather than merely meeting the broad federal requirements set by No Child Left Behind.
Stephanie Knott, assistant to the superintendent for community relations for Chapel Hill-Carrborro City Schools, said she thinks streamlining the state's exams would be a step in the right direction.
David Price, Orange County's Democratic U.S. congressman, spoke with The Daily Tar Heel about his recent trip to the Mideast that focused on homeland security and diplomacy issues.
Price is the chairman of the Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee, responsible for allocating money toward national security.
During his trip, which ran from Jan. 4 to Jan. 13, he met with the foreign ministers of Egypt, Oman and Jordan, the prime ministers of Jordan and the Palestinian Authority and Israel's minister of public security.
The writing is on the wall at many N.C. factories, and it's no secret that the message scrawled amid the rust signals an end to the traditional manufacturing that is all many plant workers have ever known.
With the closure of many traditional manufacturing plants in once-strong N.C. industries such as textiles, some workers are facing a difficult transition.
But N.C. workers aren't left alone to face the whims of the global economy. The N.C. Commerce Department coordinates efforts to help employees even before the factory doors actually close.
Even his status as a presidential hopeful and the founder of a campus poverty think tank can't guarantee UNC sporting event tickets for alumnus and former faculty member John Edwards.
The former U.S. senator's desire for tickets, implied in an e-mail between his political adviser, Miles Lackey, and former law school dean Gene Nichol, now has him caught in a public records controversy as his camp and the University refuse to disclose the "ticket wish list."
More than six years after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks prompted a rash of legislation limiting access to government information, authors of a congressionally funded study on those restrictions hope their findings will restore transparency.
All states except South Dakota revised their open government laws after Sept. 11 because of fear that terrorists could use the information, said Jeffrey Addicott, director of the Center for Terrorism Law at St. Mary's University in Texas.
The latest Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation effort to improve N.C. education could put four state high schools on the fast track to model how schools can engage the state's students and encourage them to pursue higher education.
That effort is a $2.5 million donation that will target four undetermined foundation-funded schools for rapid development in hopes that they will set an accessible example for the other 82 to follow.