Axios Raleigh

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Good morning. Welcome to Thursday and the first day of early voting.

🌬️ Weather: Sunny with a high near 67° and gusts up to 23 mph.

Today's Smart Brevityℒ️ count is 746 words β€” a 3-minute read.

1 big thing: Guide to voting in the March 5 primary

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Early voting for North Carolina's primary elections starts today, and the process may have changed since the last time you cast a ballot.

Why it matters: Your vote, especially in some of the lesser known races, could decide which candidate moves on to the general election.

  • And who ultimately wins in November could impact your daily life. The state insurance commissioner, for example, recently rejected a drastic rate hike on homeowners insurance across the state.

Driving the news: Your ballot might be long. In addition to 2024 being a presidential election year, all of the Council of State offices are up for grabs, including the governor's mansion and attorney general, plus every state legislative and congressional seat.

  • Some of the most important primary elections will be the races you haven't heard as much about, like the state treasurer, insurance commissioner, auditor, labor commissioner and supreme court justice elections.

Between the lines: To become a particular party's nominee, a candidate must win their primary by at least 30% of the vote plus one.

  • Some races, like the Republican primaries for North Carolina's 13th Congressional District or lieutenant governor, are packed with contenders, and each candidate will need every single vote they can get. That includes yours.
  • If no candidate reaches the 30% threshold, a runner-up can request a second primary.

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2. Full Frame festival is ready for a full return

A panel discussion at Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in downtown Durham. Photo: Courtesy of Full Frame

It's been five years since Duke University's documentary film festival Full Frame has gathered in person β€” both due to the pandemic and financial struggles at the Center for Documentary Studies.

  • But organizers say it's ready to make a big return to downtown Durham this April 4-7.

Why it matters: Full Frame has long been one of the Triangle's premier cultural events, and documentaries that made their debuts at the festival have gone on to win Academy Awards.

  • Last year's edition was canceled for the first time since 1998.

Driving the news: Full Frame began selling tickets to the festival on Tuesday. Festival co-director Emily Foster told Axios there was a line of people waiting at the box office that day.

State of play: After such a long layoff, the festival hopes to reintroduce itself to a larger audience, Foster said.

What they're saying: "What I'm focused on is the fact that the Triangle has changed so much in the last five years," she said.

  • "There's so many new people in the Triangle," she added, "so I see this not only as a reintroduction to our longtime attendees but also just an introduction to the thousands of people who may have never heard of Full Frame."

What's next: Organizers are in the process of going through more than 2,000 film submissions.

  • A final lineup of around 60 documentaries will be released in early March.

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3. The Tea: Saving historic cemeteries

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

πŸͺ¦ The NC Office of State Archaeology is surveying historic cemeteries to see what damage hurricanes Florence and Michael caused and find ways to protect them from the elements. (Star News)

🏫 North Carolina expects to see a record number of students using taxpayer-funded vouchers to attend private schools after new law lets any family apply for them regardless of income. (News & Observer πŸ”’)

🐷 Raleigh barbecue joint Clyde Cooper's is in discussions to move to a four-acre site four miles outside of downtown. (Triangle Business Journal πŸ”’)

πŸŽ“ Paychecks have been delayed for staff at Raleigh's Saint Augustine's University, which is currently financially precarious and fighting to keep its accreditation. (WRAL)

4. Credit Suisse cancels jobs agreement with NC

Photo: Stefan Wermuth/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Credit Suisse, one of the Triangle's largest employers, has canceled a jobs agreement with North Carolina less than a year after it was forced to sell itself to rival UBS to avoid insolvency.

Why it matters: Credit Suisse's decision means its ambitious plan to add 1,200 additional jobs in Research Triangle Park will not be completed.

  • However, the bank β€” which has around 1,700 local employees and a new office building in RTP β€” will not be leaving the area, it told the state's Commerce Department.

By the numbers: Credit Suisse had created around 800 jobs related to a 2017 Job Development Investment Grant it made with the state.

  • Before walking out of the agreement this week, it had received around $3 million in incentives.
  • The company had previously reported having around 2,300 jobs in the Triangle, meaning it has seen many jobs disappear since being acquired.

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πŸ‘€ Zachery is watching Reidsville sophomore Kendre Harrison β€” who he's heard some people compare to Julius Peppers β€” break a backboard while dunking. Harrison is being recruited both as a football and basketball player.

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This newsletter was edited by Jen Ashley and copy edited by Lucia Maher.