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Judge to review Belmont investigation records, determine what's public

May 17, 2016

Superior Court Judge Carla Archie told Belmont Tuesday to turn over to the court a copy of an independent investigative report into the city's police department that led to the firing of the chief and resignations of two other officers. The document is at the center of a public records lawsuit. The city contends it is protected as a personnel record. The siblings who asked for the file contend it is outside the scope of the personnel law. 

Legislative updates – 2016

April 28, 2016

With the General Assembly back in Raleigh for the biannual short session, the legislature is once again considering bills that would effect government transparency. So far they've  passed four new exemptions to the Public Records Law, including one for body-worn camera  and dash camera video collected by law enforcement. 

Transparency in Western North Carolina

March 15, 2016

Freelance writer and N.C. Open Government Coalition member Tom Bennett conducted a review of how easy it is to access basic information about county commissioners in 28 western counties. He found that some counties, such as Catawba, make it easy for citizens to keep tabs on their government, and others have a long way to go. 

2016 Sunshine Award Winners

March 15, 2016

The winners of the Second Annual N.C. Open Government Coalition Sunshine Award Contest were announced Monday in Hickory. They are Henderson County Attorney Charles Russell Burrell, reporter Tyler Dukes and Carolina Public Press Open Government Contributor Jon Elliston. 

Sunshine Day 2016

February 19, 2016

Charleston Post & Courier Executive Editor Mitch Pugh will deliver the Sunshine Day 2016 keynote on March 14 in Hickory. Join us for updates on the North Carolina Public Records Law, discussion of police use of video and our second annual awards program

Judge orders Alamance-Burlington schools to release one paragraph from closed session minutes

December 9, 2015

On Monday, Judge Mike O'Foghludha ordered the Alamance-Burlington School System to release one paragraph out of 40 pages of closed session minutes from a 2014 meeting during which Superintendent Lillie Cox resigned with a $200,000 severance package. The order was stayed to give the school system time to appeal the decision in the long-running open records case. 

Sunshine Awards 2016 – Nominations Open

December 4, 2015

The Sunshine Center of the N.C. Open Government Coalition is accepting nominations for its Sunshine Awards program. Winners will be honored at Sunshine Day 2016 in March. 

Hildebran group appeals decision over town's open meetings violation

October 5, 2015

The Hildebran Heritage & Development Association appealed a superior court judge's decision not to overturn the results of  a town of Hildebran meeting in violation of the Open Meetings Law. The town council voted at the end of January to demolish an old school after improperly discussing the matter in an October closed meeting. 

Budget bill includes expansion of terrorism  and school safety exemptions

September 15, 2015

Lawmakers added several new exemptions to the public records law related to school safety during the budget bill compromise discussions. The bill unveiled Monday night would exempt anonymous safety tips made to school systems and a new statewide database. The expansion of the terrorism exemption to include law enforcements response to organized criminal activity survived budget negotiations as well.