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Archive for May, 2014

NC treasurer says health plan strong financially

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — State employees and retirees may avoid higher insurance premiums in 2015 because North Carolina’s public-employee health insurance plan is spending less on patients than expected.

State Treasurer Janet Cowell told legislative leaders Monday that the State Health Plan doesn’t need $23 million already set aside for next year to help pay for claims and remain in sound financial shape. That in turn means the health plan board won’t require a 2.1 percent premium increase on employees or retirees who cover dependents or who receive the most generous insurance offered.

Cowell said the plan is on pace to spend $250 less per member than budgeted. She says the $23 million could help supplement state employee and teacher pay. The legislature would have to decide to pull back plan funds.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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Full NC House considering omnibus tax bill

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — A wide-ranging tax bill is expected to be the first significant piece of legislation considered by the full North Carolina House this year.

The House scheduled debate and the first of two recorded votes Tuesday on a measure that in part tweaks the tax overhaul approved last year, caps municipal business privilege taxes and places an excise tax on electronic cigarettes.

The items were reviewed by a General Assembly study commission in recent months and passed the House Finance Committee last week. The $100 privilege tax limit is disliked by some lawmakers who represent cities that generate millions of dollars from the tax. Others believe colleagues are acting hastily to approve an e-cigarette tax.

The bill would still have to pass the House and Senate before reaching Gov. Pat McCrory.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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LIVE ONLINE: Officials to give update on missing marine

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

Crews have narrowed their search down to just Bladen County for a United States Marine who reportedly fell from an Osprey aircraft.

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Professor’s legal bills fighting UNCW: $1 million+

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

We now know the university is being asked to pay over a million dollars in legal fees a professor racked up fighting UNCW. The university has also filed notice of appeal, meaning legal fees for both sides will go even higher unless they withdraw their appeal.

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Search continues for missing Marine who fell from Osprey aircraft

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

BLADEN COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Search crews are using search and rescue dogs, ATV and radar tracks to find a missing Marine after he fell from an Osprey aircraft during a training flight last night.

A Marine Corps spokesman says it happened around 6:30 p.m. north of White Lake near the Bladen-Sampson County line. Bladen County dispatchers say the search is back on this morning after efforts were suspended around 2 a.m.

According to a USMC news release, crews are searching for a 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing Marine who fell from an MV-22B Osprey aircraft about 45 miles west of Marine Corps Air Station New River near Clear Run School Road.

During a news conference this morning, USMC Lt. Col. Christian Harshberger said that everyone on board the Osprey had a restraint system. He said the crew of the Osprey noticed while still in flight that the Marine was no longer on board. Harshberger said the search will continue until the missing Marine, whose name has not yet been released, is found.

Bladen County Fire Marshal Bradley Kinlaw said Bladen and Sampson County emergency units are helping military crews in the search.

Searchers started this morning at Turtle Cove on the west bank of White Lake and headed toward Autrytown Road. They say the search area includes several blueberry fields and Carolina Bays. That means crews will have to deal with thick, marshy areas, which could make the search difficult, Kinlaw said.

Kinlaw says the Osprey crew was doing touch and go training at the airport in Elizabethtown, when the crew noticed the Marine missing near Maple Bay about five miles from White Lake.

Stay with WWAY for more on this developing story.

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