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Archive for January, 2012

NC panel: Sterilization victims should get $50K

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — A task force is recommending that people who were sterilized against their will under an old North Carolina state program be paid $50,000 each in compensation.

About half a dozen states have apologized for similar 20th century practices, called eugenics. But North Carolina is the first to move toward paying damages to the surviving victims.

The Legislature must still approve any payments.

The panel recommended Tuesday that the money go to living victims, including those who are alive now but may die before the lawmakers approve any compensation.

The state sterilized more than 7,600 people between 1929 and 1974. A task force report last year said 1,500 to 2,000 of those victims are still alive, and the state has verified 72 victims.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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NC man pleads guilty to crop fraud

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — A Columbus County man has pleaded guilty to federal crop insurance fraud.

U.S. Attorney Thomas Walker says 53-year-old Steven M. Hardwick of Clarendon pleaded guilty Monday to conspiracy to make false statements, making false statements, committing mail fraud and wire fraud and aiding the making of false statements in connection with the crop insurance program.

Walker says Hardwick faces up to 35 years in prison when he is sentenced on April 16.

The prosecutor says Hardwick owned a tree spraying and planting business and obtained crop insurance policies for tobacco, soybean and peanut crops he never grew.

Walker says the fraud engaged in fraud between 2006 and 2010.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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NC judge delays Latin Kings gang rackets trial

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

GREENSBORO, NC (AP) — A federal judge is postponing a racketeering trial for six North Carolina gang members, including one who ran for Greensboro City Council.

The News & Record of Greensboro reports the trial for six Latin Kings gang members has been delayed until early March or later. The judge postponing the trial Monday cited the complexity of the case.

The defendants include Jorge Cornell, a leader of the Latin Kings in North Carolina and former Greensboro city council candidate.

Federal prosecutors have charged the men with crimes including conspiracy to commit murder, arson and kidnapping.

The six pleaded not guilty at a hearing last month but were denied bail by a federal magistrate who said he thought they posed a danger to the community.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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NC panel to recommend sterilization compensation

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

RALEIGH, NC (AP) – A North Carolina committee is scheduled to recommend financial compensation for the hundreds of living victims of the state’s eugenics-based sterilization program.

The Eugenics Compensation Task Force is set to meet Tuesday morning. Members of the panel have discussed possible payment amounts of between $20,000 and $50,000 per victim.

Any recommendation it makes would have to be approved by the General Assembly.

North Carolina is the first state in the country looking to provide financial compensation for victims of sterilization. State officials sterilized around 7,600 people between 1929 and 1974, and they believe between 1,500 and 2,000 are still alive.

Some of the 48 victims so far identified have said the figures being discussed are too low. But large payouts will be a hard sell in the Legislature.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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NC firefighters fired after stun gun incident

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

EAST SPENCER, NC (AP) — A Rowan County fire department’s chief and his assistant are out after investigators say they used a stun gun to repeatedly shock an 18-year-old junior firefighter at a Christmas party.

The Salisbury Post reports part-time Chief Shane Cranfield and East Spencer’s assistant chief and volunteer firefighter Allen Carlyle were dismissed last week.

Sheriff’s investigators say the two shocked the North Rowan High School student with a Taser last month and were charged with misdemeanor assault.

Investigators say the teen ran into another room to get away from the firefighters, who followed him and
shocked him as many as nine times.

Investigators say the firefighters had borrowed the Taser from an on-duty police officer.

Town Administrator Macon Sammons’s letter dismissing Cranfield said leaders must serve as role models and set standards. They need “the wisdom, the courage and the judgment” to guide others in the right direction, he said.

“Instead, as our fire chief, you were the ringleader of an incident which created community disdain toward the reputation of our fire department and a major source of embarrassment to the town,” Sammons wrote.

A similar letter to Carlyle is more frank.

“Your behavior in this incident was abusive and totally unacceptable,” Sammons wrote. “Further, we believe that you have become a negative influence within our fire department.”

Information from: Salisbury Post, http://www.salisburypost.com

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