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Afternoon News Update, 2/23/21

By Jackie Park

In campus news, campus security fees are set to double across the UNC System beginning next academic year.

The Appalachian reported that the $30 campus security fee will double to $60 and provide an increase in salary and greater retention of App State Police officers.

The increase comes from a decision the UNC Board of Governors made last week. However, not all student leaders are happy with the increase, particularly after the rise in Black Lives Matter marches in 2020 due to killings of Black Americans.

In state news, an incoming bill in the North Carolina House of Representatives could bring kids back to school for six weeks this summer.

WFAE reported that House Bill 82 is designed to get children who’ve fallen behind in school because of the pandemic back on track.

The program would prioritize high-risk students and contract teachers separately from their normal contracts. It would be optional for students and teachers, but schools districts would be required to provide the program.

Superintendents across the state say they have more than enough money to fund the program, too.

In national news, more than 500,000 people have now died due to COVID-19 in the United States.

NPR reported that COVID-19 is now the leading cause of death in the U.S., and that the life expectancy in the U.S. dropped by one year because of the virus.

President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris and their spouses held a vigil Monday night in Washington, D.C. to remember the lives lost to COVID.

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