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The North Carolina Senate has given its tentative approval for the state’s budget. Tuesday's vote was along party lines, 33-16. But the debate didn’t focus on money.

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Polls open today for the 2015 municipal election primaries. Normally these are relatively low key affairs. But this year we’ve already seen three new records set.  

Gwendolyn Glenn/WFAE

Two years ago, 24-year-old Jonathan Ferrell was shot and killed by Charlotte police officer Randall Kerrick. For the first time, Ferrell’s family went to the site to place a wreath in the ditch where Ferrell died along Reedy Creek Road in northeast Mecklenburg County.

The number of people who choose hospice care in the U.S. has grown steadily in recent years.  But researchers have also noticed that among African-Americans, the use of hospice is disproportionately smaller. Recent federal statistics show that  while 47 percent of white Medicare recipients approaching end of life enrolled in a hospice program, only 35 percent of African-Americans did so. The National Hospice and Palliative Care Organization reports that in 2013, 8.4 percent of U.S. hospice patients were black.  

WFAE has been exploring end-of-life care this year. To continue the conversation, Mark Rumsey spoke with Duke University Geriatric Medicine Specialist and professor, Dr. Kimberly Johnson. She has studied the use of hospice care by  older African-Americans.

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Researchers in North Carolina and nationwide may have finally answered an important question in health care: for people with high blood pressure, how low should they aim for? Late last week, the National Institutes of Health released results from a landmark study early because it’s already been conclusive.

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CMS may offer more seats in magnet schools next year.  Several school board members say they’re in favor of that. 

Twenty-thousand CMS students attend magnet schools.  These are schools offering different curricula like Montessori or focusing on the arts or sciences.  That number has held steady for several years now as wait lists for them have grown.

More than 3,000 people were at Winthrop University in Rock Hill Saturday to hear Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.  The Vermont Senator is in the midst of a three-state weekend swing, hoping to draw the same kind of large crowds he's attracted across the country. Sanders holds another rally Sunday night at Greensboro Coliseum's special events center, which seats 5,000 people.

By Tuesday night, we should know the Democratic and Republican nominees in Charlotte’s mayoral race.

While some contend that personalities may be the dominant feature of local elections, party loyalty and attachment are more of a driver of local elections than some may realize.

First, a little background on the transition that Mecklenburg County has undergone in its voting pattern, especially due to the 800-pound gorilla that is the city of Charlotte.

NC General Assembly

House Speaker Tim Moore sent out an optimistic tweet Thursday morning: A budget deal was imminent and would be announced in the afternoon or Friday morning. Moore ended his day with another tweet: "Stay tuned."

North Carolina’s state budget is now 73 days overdue. And lawmakers have just seven more days to either pass a budget, or another temporary spending measure to keep state government running. Host Duncan McFadyen and WFAE's Tom Bullock discuss the latest on the budget negotiations.

Gabbi Santander

Democrat David Howard has raised more than $60,000 from African-American voters in North Carolina, far surpassing the amounts reportedly raised by his three Democratic rivals for mayor, Jennifer Roberts, Dan Clodfelter, and Michael Barnes.


African-Americans make up 64 percent of Charlotte democrats, and who they support will largely determine the winner of Tuesday’s primary.