May 29, 2024 6:59 am
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Local News

Clearing the Backlog of Rape Kits in North Carolina

Credit: iStock

Attorney General Josh Stein’s tenure has been marked by his concerted efforts to address the issue of untested rape kits in North Carolina, a problem that has plagued the state’s criminal justice system for decades. In a move hailed as a breakthrough, Stein’s office recently announced that the state had cleared its backlog of these kits, some of which had been shelved for years without testing.

This milestone was achieved through bipartisan legislative support and the enactment of the Survivor Act, which Stein championed. This legislation provided $6 million for testing old kits and established a system that mandates timely submission of new kits. The clearing of the backlog, which once stood at over 16,000 kits, has resulted in 114 arrests and numerous convictions, demonstrating a significant stride towards justice for survivors of sexual assault.

The impacts of this initiative are profound, with cases that had remained cold for years finally moving toward resolution. The commitment to maintaining this momentum is evident in the continued efforts to prevent future backlogs and implement a tracking system for newly collected kits. As North Carolina approaches another legislative session, the outcomes of these efforts stand as a testament to the state’s renewed focus on supporting survivors and holding perpetrators accountable.

Biden administration touts NC investments to kick off “Infrastructure Week”

The Biden administration’s significant infrastructure investments are transforming North Carolina, highlighted by projects such as the $110 million replacement of the Alligator River Bridge and the $1 billion high-speed rail line connecting Raleigh to Richmond. However, with only 17% of the allocated $1.1 trillion spent to date, the administration faces challenges in demonstrating these impacts to voters before the upcoming November election.

Raleigh City Council approves $5 million for new pilot program to address homelessness

The Raleigh City Council has approved a $5 million pilot program to provide direct rent assistance to unsheltered individuals. The “Unsheltered Homelessness Response Program” allocates $1.9 million for direct subsidies to help individuals move into permanent housing and $2 million to expand housing options, including repairs to city-owned rental units and affordable housing.

Development pressures, higher taxes threaten to displace Black homeowners in SE Raleigh

On a sunny spring afternoon, a predominantly Black crowd gathered at Martin Street Baptist Church in Raleigh to learn about appealing their property taxes, which have soared due to rising property values. With property values in Wake County increasing by 56% from 2020 to 2024, many long-time residents on fixed incomes are struggling to keep up with the higher taxes, leading to widespread concerns about systemic inequities and displacement in historically Black neighborhoods.