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The Daily Tar Heel

Cliff Nelson


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Bush Proposes Surprisingly Low Pell Grant Hike

The Bush administration has announced that it plans to increase maximum allowable Pell Grants by only $100 per student for fiscal year 2002-03, an amount that has disappointed financial aid officials.Top-end awards will increase from $3,750 to $3,850 -- a rise of less than .027 percent in payments from the government's primary undergraduate aid vehicle, which serves 4 million college students nationwide.Bush will increase Pell Grant funding by $1 billion -- but the funding will have to cover an increased number of applicants.

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Education Funding Cuts Likely, Legislators Say

Gov. Mike Easley continues insisting that legislators avoid dipping into the state's education funding, even as the state budget deficit grows.But state legislators, struggling to draw the balanced budget required by the state constitution, said it is unlikely that a financial alternative to education cuts will be found.Lawmakers on the Joint Appropriations Subcommittee on Education recently asked education officials to present a plan for cutting $290 million from the education budget -- $125 million from the UNC-system budget.

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Easley Releases Floyd Funds

Gov. Mike Easley said Friday he will not use $40 million targeted for Hurricane Floyd relief efforts to help remedy the state's budget shortfall as he had planned earlier this year.Easley indicated in February he would hold the funds in reserve for possible use against a state budget deficit that is nearly $800 million.But in a letter addressed Friday to leaders of the N.C.

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N.C. Senate Mulls Merits Of Character Education

A bill introduced Thursday in the N.C. Senate is being touted by supporters as a "character education" proposal -- but its provisions go beyond teaching good character.The Student Citizen Act, backed by 15 Democratic sponsors and publicly supported by Gov. Mike Easley, requires state schools to develop a character-education curriculum to teach students integrity, kindness and respect.

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Symposium Examines Changing Sex Laws

At a gathering billed as a "Privacy Rights Conference" held at the UNC School of Law on Friday, about 40 participants met in opposition to North Carolina's "crimes against nature" or CAN law -- often called the sodomy law.The law states, "If any person shall commit the crime against nature, with mankind or beast, he shall be punished as a Class I felon."In practice, the statute makes all oral and anal sex a felony between nonmarried partners, whether gay or straight.

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When a Tree Falls

The mountains of North Carolina have beckoned hikers, campers and touring motorists for generations with the promise of natural beauty unequaled east of the Rockies.In 1999 alone, nearly 20 million sightseers drove the Blue Ridge Parkway, North Carolina's most-visited tourist attraction and most scenic road.Each year, tourists from out of state decide to make the N.C.

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N.C. Politicos Rally for Patient Rights

RALEIGH -- Gov. Mike Easley and Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., held a news conference Monday at Wake Medical Center to highlight their plans for state and federal patient-protection laws.Both Easley and Edwards have vocally supported state and federal legislation, which would give patients and doctors more flexibility in choosing health care options.Edwards said he is co-sponsoring a bipartisan patients' bill of rights in the U.S. Senate with Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

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N.C. Senate Fills 9 BOG Positions

The N.C. Senate filled nine open seats on the Board of Governors on Thursday, re-electing five incumbents and selecting four new members.New members are Anne Cates, chairwoman of the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees; John Davis, an investment banker from Winston-Salem; Hannah Gage, a radio station executive in Wilmington; and Willie Gilchrist, who serves as superintendent of Halifax County Schools. Irvin Aldridge, Bert Collins, Ray Farris, Jim Phillips Jr.

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N.C. Looks to Polish Writing Exam Rules

North Carolina's writing test is in for substantial revision if the state Board of Education implements recommendations it received last month from its Writing Assessment Task Force.The 33-member panel, created by the board last June, was asked to determine how the writing skills of N.C. students could most effectively be assessed.Among the 20 recommendations the panel submitted in its report on Jan.

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