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Archive for August, 2009

UNC students will soon be required to have health insurance

Monday, August 31st, 2009

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Starting next fall, students at all 16 UNC schools, including UNCW, will be required to have health insurance. The plan has been in the works for years, but the UNC system’s Board of Governors only recently approved the mandate.

Students have a few options. They can either come to school with insurance from an employer or their parents. They can buy coverage through the school system, or have a combination of both.

School officials hope to offer a plan that costs about $700 a year. Right now, UNCW has a voluntary health insurance plan, which roughly 130 students sign up for each year. The director of UNCW’s Student Health Center said 10 to 15 percent of students there do not have health insurance at all. She wants to see each and every one covered, which this requirement will ensure.

“Too often you see somebody who doesn’t have health insurance, run into a situation where they have to make a choice whether to remain in school or leave in order to get the medical care they need,” said Katrin Wesner of UNCW Student Health Services.

Uninsured student Courtney Kim said, “iIt’s just really not worth it, I would say. I know that if anything major were to happen it would be pretty serious, but the premiums we would have to pay each month, if, say, I didn’t go to the hospital for two years, that amount of money would go towards nothing.”

Kim said her parents choose to pay out of pocket for her health expenses, and so far, that plan has worked out for them.

UNC officials said they will be able to offer a better plan at a cheaper cost with this requirement, because they will have the buying power of all 16 schools in the system.

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Starting next fall, students at all 16 UNC schools, including UNCW, will be required to have health insurance. The plan has been in the works for years, but the UNC system’s Board of Governors only recently approved the mandate.

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Associated poll

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Bill one step closer to rid area waters of sewage

Monday, August 31st, 2009

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The EPA has moved one step closer to passing a ban that would help rid area waters of sewage.

The bill would prohibit boaters from dumping any human waste in coastal waters within New Hanover County. Currently, there are no such bans within the state of North Carolina.

If passed, the bill would require waste be disposed of in one of several waste-pumping stations within the county.

Recurring swimming advisories in Wrightsville Beach raised questions about the bacteria levels in the water.

A UNCW study on the water quality found that human waste contributed to the high levels of bacteria. Officials at the Department of Water Quality said it’s a ban they would like to see up and down the Carolina coast.

Marina owners said they would support the ban, but raise questions about how it would be enforced.

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The EPA has moved one step closer to passing a ban that would help rid area waters of sewage.

The bill would prohibit boaters from dumping any human waste in coastal waters within New Hanover County.

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Associated poll

More: continued here

North Carolina sales tax increase Tuesday

Monday, August 31st, 2009

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One bill already on the books will affect our wallets starting Tuesday. The state’s sales tax goes up a full penny Tuesday, bringing the total rate charged in most counties to 7.75 percent.

At the same time, cigarettes, beer, wine and liquor will have higher excise taxes.

The higher taxes are part of $1billion in new revenues the legislature and governor agreed upon to balance the state budget.

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One bill already on the books will affect our wallets starting Tuesday. The state’s sales tax goes up a full penny Tuesday, bringing the total rate charged in most counties to 7.75 percent.

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Associated poll

More: continued here

My Reporter.com – Want to watch One Tree Hill being filmed?

Monday, August 31st, 2009

Want to see Sophia Bush or James Lafferty? Well, we can’t guarantee an autograph, but with a little dedication and luck, it is possible to see how “One Tree Hill” is made.

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Housing Authority CEO blew a .23 before his DWI charge

Monday, August 31st, 2009

By Patrick GannonPatrick.Gannon@StarNewsOnline.com

The Wilmington Housing Authority Board of Commissioners will meet this afternoon to discuss the arrest of authority CEO Michael Krause on suspicion of drunk driving.

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