Hello! The Carolinas News Editor is Tim Rogers. The breaking news supervisor is Jonathan Drew.
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POLITICS OF PAIN-NORTH CAROLINA
RALEIGH, N.C. — Manufacturers of opioid painkillers and allied advocacy groups have donated more than $500,000 to state elected officials and political parties in North Carolina in the past decade, a relatively puny amount for the country’s ninth-largest state. One theory is that the pharmaceutical industry’s long and deep presence in North Carolina has meant politicians are pre-disposed to listen when companies come calling.
By Emery P. Dalesio.
POLITICS OF PAIN-STATE INFLUENCE
The makers of prescription painkillers have deployed a 50-state strategy that includes hundreds of lobbyists and millions in campaign contributions to kill or weaken measures aimed at stemming the tide of prescription opioids, the drugs at the heart of a crisis that has cost 165,000 Americans their lives and pushed countless more to crippling addiction. The drugmakers vow they’re combatting the addiction epidemic, but The Associated Press and the Center for Public Integrity found that they often employ a statehouse playbook of delay and defend that includes funding advocacy groups that fight limits on their drugs. Collectively, the AP and the Center for Public Integrity found, the drugmakers and allied advocacy groups employed an annual average of 1,350 lobbyists in state capitals during that span, when opioids’ addictive nature came under increasing scrutiny.
By Geoff Mulvihill, Liz Essley Whyte and Ben Wieder. With AP photos. With AP graphic With
— BC-US–Politics of Pain-Key Findings.
— BC-US–Politics of Pain-About this Project.
POLITICS OF PAIN-DOMINO EFFECT
A decade ago, when Washington state made one of the first major moves to place limits on opioid painkiller prescriptions, drugmakers fought back. Worried the guidelines would limit access to opioids and create a “domino effect” of other states adopting similar policies, the industry agreed to pay a public relations consultant to prep speakers, draft patient testimonials and coordinate an educational initiative focused on elected officials and the state medical board. The core of its message: Patients should have access to painkillers. By Liz Essley Whyte and Geoff Mulvihill. 600 words.
TRAIL OF TEARS-DESTRUCTION
The U.S. Forest Service has caused thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to the Trail of Tears with heavy equipment in eastern Tennessee, according to an internal document obtained by The Associated Press. A group that made the document available plans to go public with its complaint — and demands for accountability for destroying land regarded by many as sacred – on Monday. The site has not been repaired. The trail started in North Carolina. About 950 words. By Erik Schelzig and Travis Loller.
ATLANTA — Fuel supplies in at least five states are threatened by a gasoline pipeline spill in Alabama, and the U.S. Department of Transportation has ordered the company responsible to take corrective action before the fuel starts flowing again. SENT: 550 words.
— CAROLINAS GAS ORDERS, from COLUMBIA – The governors of both Carolinas have issued executive orders designed to ease the impact on gasoline supplies and prices following a pipeline spill earlier this month in Alabama. SENT: 130 words.
— COUNTY MANAGER COMPENSATION, from ASHEVILLE — The county manager of Buncombe County has relinquished more than $34,000 in benefits saying that the compensation has proved a distraction.
— PARTY SLAYING-GREENSBORO, from GREENSBORO — One man is dead and a second was wounded after gunfire erupted outside a home in Greensboro where a weekend party was being held.
— STREET SHOOTING-WINSTON-SALEM, from WINSTON-SALEM — Police in Winston-Salem are investigating after a man was shot and killed while he drove along a city street. SENT: 90 words.
— FESTIVAL CRASH, from CLAYTON — Authorities say three people were taken to a hospital after being struck by a vehicle that crashed through a barricade at a harvest festival. SENT: 130 words.
— OUNCE OF POT, from CHARLOTTE — A Charlotte man will spend the rest of his life in prison for a fatal shooting stemming from a drug deal over an ounce of marijuana. SENT: 130 words.
— WOMAN DEAD-RALEIGH, from RALEIGH — Police say that the death of a woman whose body was found behind a store in Raleigh is being treated as a homicide. SENT: 120 words.
— CHARLOTTE SLAYING, from CHARLOTTE – Police say that one man is dead and another has been charged with murder in a shooting in north Charlotte. SENT: 120 words.
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The AP, Raleigh