Man Accused of Faking Water Damage for Insurance Money

NCDOIRALEIGH — Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin is asking for the public’s help in identifying potential victims of an alleged insurance fraud scheme.

Clarence Jackson, 46, was taken into custody in Virginia and extradited to North Carolina on Feb. 26, 2014, where he remains in custody and has been charged with insurance fraud, obtaining property by false pretense and common law forgery in Northhampton, Vance and Edgecombe counties.

National Air Quality Awareness Week Marks Start of Ozone Season

DENRRALEIGH, N.C. – The Division of Air Quality and local air programs across the state have scheduled a number of events marking the onset of ozone season and national Air Quality Awareness Week; the events started Monday and run through Friday.

DAQ and local air quality programs issue forecasts year-round for particle pollution and during the warmer months for ozone, which needs abundant sunlight and heat to form. Air quality has been good so far this year due to cool, wet weather but that could change quickly when the temperatures warm.

Dessert contest planned for Strawberry Day at State Farmers Market May 1

RALEIGH — Strawberry lovers are encouraged to take part in the Strawberry Dessert Contest at the State Farmers Market on Thursday, May 1. The contest is one of the many activities planned for the 2014 Strawberry Day at the market.

Dishes will be judged on flavor, appearance, quality and creative use of strawberries. Recipes should include at least two cups of N.C. strawberries, and strawberries must be a main ingredient. All entries must be in disposable containers and include the complete recipe with cooking instructions, along with contestant’s name, address and telephone number. Prize money will be awarded for the top three desserts: $100 for first place, $75 for second and $50 for third.

Federal Judge Approves Settlement Between Justice Department & Four Oaks Bank and Trust

RALEIGH, N.C. –U.S. District Court Judge Terrance Boyle signed a consent order late Friday, April 25th, approving the civil settlement between the holding company for Four Oaks Bank & Trust Company and the United States Department of Justice regarding the Bank’s contracts with third-party payment processors.

From a press release issued:

The Bank has agreed to pay a $1.2 million civil penalty and to abide by certain conditions relating to the provision of banking services for some categories of merchants.  The Bank did not admit any facts alleged in the accompanying complaint nor did the Bank admit to any liability. 

Opinion: Pay Teachers for Results, Not Degrees

John Hood

John Hood

by John Hood

While crafting the state budget last year, the North Carolina General Assembly applied the latest empirical research to the question of how best to improve teacher quality. In response, lawmakers have been roundly excoriated by the usual suspects — which only served to demonstrate that the public-policy acumen of the usual suspects is, uh, suspect.

For decades, North Carolina gave salary supplements to teachers who acquired graduate degrees. Our state wasn’t alone. The practice became increasingly common in the 1980s and 1990s as states created “career ladders” and other pay plans intended to enhance teaching quality and performance.

Bat-Killing Fungus Continues its Devastating Spread in North Carolina

NC WildlifeASHEVILLE, N.C. — White-nose syndrome (WNS), a fungal disease that has killed millions of bats in the eastern United States, continues its deadly toll on North Carolina bat populations.

The cold-weather disease, which can kill up to 100 percent of bats in a colony, was first detected in North Carolina in February 2011, in a bat from Avery County. Since that time, biologists with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have confirmed the disease in five bat species in eight counties in western North Carolina, with an additional two counties considered suspect for WNS.

Governor McCrory Unveils State Historical Marker Outside of the High Point Furniture Market

HIGH POINT, N.C. — Governor Pat McCrory, Department of Cultural Resources Secretary Susan Kluttz and Doug Bassett, chairman of the High Point Market Authority, dedicated a state historical marker Monday on South Main Street alongside the historical Furniture exposition hall building that was built in 1921. The marker recognizes the importance of the High Point Furniture Market and its value to North Carolina.

Governor McCrory Declares State of Emergency for Four Eastern Counties; Urges Preparation for More Severe Weather

PatMcCrory1RALEIGH, N.C. — Governor Pat McCrory declared a state of emergency for Beaufort, Chowan, Pasquotank and Perquimans counties in the wake of Friday’s severe thunderstorms and devastating tornadoes and warned that more rough weather is  headed our way.

“What I witnessed firsthand in Beaufort, Chowan and Perquimans counties is a stark reminder of how damaging tornadoes can be,” said Governor McCrory. “My heart goes out to the hundreds of people dealing with property damage, injuries, and even the loss of life. In times like these, we must stick together and help each other out, and we will do all that we can to help communities hit by these storms.”

NC Department of Insurance answers questions frequently asked after strong storms

NCDOIRALEIGH, N.C. —Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin reminds North Carolinians that the Department of Insurance is here to assist people as they deal with insurance-related concerns after last week’s storms and tornadoes.

“If you have questions or complaints about your insurance, call us at the Department of Insurance,” Goodwin said. “One of our top priorities is to help people navigate the insurance claims process in the aftermath of any severe weather.”

People with insurance-related questions or complaints can call NCDOI’s Consumer Services hotline at 800-546-5664 (toll free in N.C.) or 919-807-6750 during standard business hours. Visit us online at www.ncdoi.com.

Plastic Film Manufacturer to Expand in Martin County

NCCommerceRALEIGH, N.C. — Governor Pat McCrory and N.C. Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker announced today that Syfan Manufacturing, Inc. is expanding its North Carolina manufacturing operations in Martin County.  The company plans to create 24 new jobs and invest more than $6.5 million over the next three years in Everetts.

“This is great news for Martin County and Eastern North Carolina,”said Governor McCrory. “Our talented workforce, high-quality education system, and pro-jobs policies continue to signal to the private sector that North Carolina is a great place to do business. We would like to thank Syfan for its investment and we look forward to watching them grow and expand here in North Carolina.”