The General Assembly continues to raise questions about negotiations that led Atlantic Coast Pipeline developers to set up a $57.8 million fund that would be controlled by Gov. Roy Cooper. Leading legislators have labeled the money a “slush fund” that seems to violate constitutional rules about the use and oversight of state money. Carolina Journal Associate Editor Dan Way offers an update on the evolving controversy. Most of us wonder what’s going to happen tomorrow, next week, or next year. Some look ahead five or 10 years. N.C. State University economist Michael Walden focuses even further in the future. Walden’s latest book projects North Carolina top challenges and opportunities in 2050. Walden shares key themes from North Carolina Beyond the Connected Age. In the age of Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning, N.C. state government is taking a closer look at the threats posed by government insiders who compromise private data and information. Maria Thompson, the state’s chief information risk officer, recently offered lawmakers an update of her work. There’s no simple blueprint for advancing public policy goals. But John Locke Foundation Chairman John Hood recently offered some ideas during a presentation for the Leadership Institute in Washington, D.C. Hood’s advice boiled down to four basic messages: dream big, start small; yearn to learn; engage before you wed; and what’s right is rarely wrong. The rest of the speech explained the deeper meanings of those ideas. State education officials have released plenty of information in recent weeks about student performance in North Carolina’s public schools. Terry Stoops, the John Locke Foundation’s vice president for research, sifts through the data and highlights key findings. Stoops explains the significance of the numbers for efforts to improve public education in North Carolina.