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Archive for August, 2009

NC prison closings begin next month

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

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RALEIGH, N.C. — The shutdown of seven North Carolina prisons because of state budget cuts will begin next month.

Seven of the state’s 79 prisons are closing because of state budget cuts that will also eliminate nearly 1,000 jobs at the Department of Correction.

WRAL-TV reported that the prison closures beginning September 1 will affect about 1,000 inmates. Correction officials say the Wilmington Residential Facility for Women will be the first to close. Other facilities in Cleveland, Gates, Granville, Guilford and Union counties will close by December 1 and McCain Correctional Hospital will close April 1.

Some probation managers could also lose their jobs after the Department of Correction merges 14 of its judicial districts, bringing the total number of districts from 45 down to 31.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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The shutdown of seven North Carolina prisons because of state budget cuts will begin next month.

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Associated poll

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NC child hit, killed afer getting off school bus

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

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RALEIGH, N.C. — A six-year-old North Carolina girl has died after being struck by a sports utility vehicle driven by an 83-year-old woman.

Multiple media outlets reported that Ashley Ramos Hernand died when she was hit Wednesday afternoon crossing the street after getting off a school bus.

Geraldine Baron Deitz has been charged with misdemeanor death by motor vehicle and passing a stopped school bus.

A police report states that Deitz told police the school bus had not activated all its warning signals.

The bus was traveling from Green Elementary School.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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A six-year-old North Carolina girl has died after being struck by a sports utility vehicle driven by an 83-year-old woman.

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Associated poll

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Schools discuss response plans for H1N1 virus

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

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Seventeen. That is the average age of those who test positive for the H1N1 virus. That is part of the reason why schools were involved in Thursday’s meeting to discuss a swine flu response plan in Brunswick County.

Emergency management, health professionals, law enforcement, along with school and community leaders met to discuss a plan of attack if there is an H1N1 outbreak. The main mission: to detect and contain the virus.

Each agency learned what role they would play during a pandemic, while the school district laid out its response plan. One question that came up; how students would continue their education if they were sent home sick.

“Looking at some of the discussion that came out of today; from having temporary dialups to having out volunteer services computers for kids to have spare computers and actually send them to the homes that are effected,” said Randy Thompson of Brunswick County Emergency Services. “Those are ideas you only get in a brainstorming discussion like we had today.”

The group plans to meet again to go over the plan.

The health department is also recommending that you get your seasonal flu shot. Flu shots are available September 1st, which is earlier than usual.

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Seventeen. That is the average age of those who test positive for the H1N1 virus. That is part of the reason why schools were involved in Thursday’s meeting to discuss a swine flu response plan in Brunswick County<.

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Associated poll

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NC health plan audits 15 hospitals

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

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RALEIGH, N.C. — State health plan officials are auditing 15 North Carolina hospitals to investigate if they overcharged for outpatient medical services.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reported Thursday that the 15 hospitals, including the state’s three mental hospitals, might have failed to notify the health plan of rate changes as far back as 2003. The investigation focuses on whether the state health plan may have overpaid the hospitals if they increased rates beyond contract terms without notifying the plan.

The state health plan covers 670,000 state workers, teachers and retirees.

Officials say the hospitals may owe no money to the state if their health care contracts included anticipated increases in their rates.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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State health plan officials are auditing 15 North Carolina hospitals to investigate if they overcharged for outpatient medical services.

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Associated poll

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Back to School Buddy Program helps kids gear up for school

Thursday, August 20th, 2009

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Notebooks, pencils and binders will fill empty backpacks as school supplies will be given out to kids who live in Wilmington’s public and Section Eight housing.

“I’m going to use the crayons for coloring, and I’m going to use the notebook paper for a lot of story writing and everything,” said Snipes Academy 4th grader, Jessica Thomas.

It is a big day for not only the students; everyone from the Wilmington police chief, to the sheriff, to the mayor attended the event. This is the ninth year of the Back to School Buddy Program, sponsored by Elks Lodge 532.

Each year, the supplies multiply, and math is just what it’s all for – well that, plus drawing, writing and learning. “These kids are not only the future of our community and our nation, and we want to give them every opportunity in the world to succeed,” said Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo.

Along with donors from community, the Elks Lodge managed to collect about two thousand dollars worth of school supplies; stuff that can sometimes cost parents hundreds.

“When it stared nine years ago, I didn’t know how I was going to get book bags for both of my children and make sure that they had all of the supplies that they needed,” said Creekwood South president Veronica Murphy. “When we started this program it gave mothers that are young, like me, the opportunity to say well, I know that I’m going to get a book bag for each one of them.”

The hope is that, given the tools to succeed, these students will have a leg up – putting their best foot forward come the first day of school.

The free school supplies will be given out this Saturday from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the Creekwood South Learning Center at 714 1/2 Emory Street in Wilmington.

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videoNew school supplies can be expensive for families. The Wilmington Elks Lodge and other community partners are working to make sure underprivileged children have all the tools needed to start the school year off right; at no cost to their parents.

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Associated poll

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