State Government News

Cooper’s permission slip does little to help this small town bowling alley

September 21, 2020

by Kari Travis Bowling alleys are finally allowed to reopen in North Carolina. But for small town operations like Fairwood Lanes in Roanoke Rapids, the governor’s permission slip may be too little, too late.  The financial strain is crippling, Fairwood Lanes owners Elizabeth and Timothy Robinson tell me Wednesday, Sept. 16, when I visit to watch their Superheroes league, a group for bowlers with special needs. The last time I dropped by Fairwood it was July, and the Robinsons were locked in a legal battle with Gov. Roy Cooper over his prolonged COVID-19 shutdowns. Fairwood Lanes, along with bowling alleys…

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N.C. Plant Conservation Scientific Committee to meet Tuesday, Sept. 22 via Microsoft Teams video conference

September 21, 2020

WHO/WHAT: The N.C. Plant Conservation Scientific Committee will discuss conservation programs updates, updates to the protected plant list, restitution costs for plant crimes and review a draft preserve management plan. WHEN: Tuesday, Sept. 22, 1 to 3 p.m. Meeting set-up will begin at 12:50 p.m. to log-in and establish connections. WHERE: In alignment with the Phase 2.5 COVID-19 guidelines, this meeting will be held virtually via Microsoft Teams video conference. The access link to join the meeting will be provided upon RSVP. BACKGROUND INFORMATION: The N.C. Plant Conservation Program develops regulations, voluntary programs and cooperative partnerships to help protect imperiled…

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Folwell waives insulin co-pays for State Health Plan, citing cost savings

September 21, 2020

by Julie Havlak, Carolina Journal News Service RALEIGH — Diabetic state employees soon won’t have to swallow the rising cost of insulin. State Treasurer Dale Folwell waived co-pays on insulin prescriptions for members of the State Health Plan, starting Jan. 1, 2021. Folwell hopes to save members $5 million. Insulin has become a flashpoint in the debate over drug pricing. The cost of the drug has nearly tripled since 2002, forcing patients to start rationing their insulin. Some have died. Others have gone blind. More than a million North Carolinians suffer from diabetes. Some 12,000 state employees use insulin, and…

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Troxler announces $2 million in funds for dairy assistance due to COVID-19 losses

September 21, 2020

RALEIGH – Grade A dairy fluid milk producers in North Carolina who suffered losses because of COVID-19 disruptions in the milk supply chain can soon apply for assistance through the COVID-19 Dairy Aid Program 2020. A total of $2 million will be available, with limits on the amount paid to producers. “The application period opens Sept. 28 and closes Oct. 12, which is a fairly quick turnaround time,” said Agriculture Commissioner Steve Troxler. “Grade A dairy fluid milk producers will want to gather their information together now, so they can submit their application easily when the period opens.” COVID-19 created…

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NCDOT: Election Campaign Sign Season Underway

September 18, 2020

Drivers traveling on North Carolina roadways are likely seeing what has become an election year tradition – a lot of campaign signs.  A state law passed in 2011 allows campaign signs to be placed in the state road right of way as early as 30 days before the start of early voting, which starts on Oct. 15. That means signs legally started going into place this week. There are restrictions regarding the signs. They include: Whoever places a sign is required to get the permission of any property owner of a residence, business or religious institution fronting the right of way…

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Cooper Makes Appointments to Boards and Commissions

September 18, 2020

RALEIGH, N.C. — On Thursday Governor Roy Cooper announced appointments for boards and commissions in North Carolina. Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individual to the Arboretum Board of Directors:  Dr. Darin J. Waters of Asheville as a member at-large. Waters is an Assistant Professor of History and Special Assistant to the Chancellor for Community Outreach and Engagement at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. Waters has organized three major conferences surrounding the history of African Americans in Western North Carolina and Southern Appalachia.  Gov. Cooper has appointed the following individual to the North Carolina Commission for the Blind:  Denise Lyons Puryear of…

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This Week at NCDOT: Litter Sweep Canceled, Ferry Schedule and Transportation Competition

September 18, 2020

RALEIGH – The following are highlights from this week at the N.C. Department of Transportation. The stories below are also featured in NCDOT Now, the department’s weekly newscast: Fall Litter Sweep Canceled NCDOT needs your help after ongoing impacts from COVID-19 have canceled the department’s Fall Litter Sweep. Traditionally scheduled for the last two weeks of April and September, the Litter Sweep is NCDOT’s statewide roadside litter removal initiative. Last year during a Litter Sweep, Adopt-A-Highway groups, NCDOT employees and other volunteers removed nearly 939,000 pounds of litter. Due to the second cancellation of the year, we need North Carolinians to step…

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Nurses union win in Asheville could be a loss for patients

September 18, 2020

by Julie Havlak, Carolina Journal News Service RALEIGH — Unions won a new stronghold in North Carolina. Patients will pay the price, some critics say. A national nurse’s union won a vote to organize 1,800 registered nurses across western North Carolina. The 965 votes to unionize Mission Health dwarfed 411 in opposition. The vote caps a long fight between HCA Healthcare, the country’s largest hospital system, and National Nurses Union, the nation’s largest union. Both sides say patient safety is at risk. Union critics warn that strikes could endanger patients and leave them suffering without care. They point to research…

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Cooper gives districts a chance to reopen classrooms to K-5 students

September 18, 2020

by Lindsay Marchello, Carolina Journal News Service RALEIGH — School districts can allow elementary grade students to return to the classroom next month, Gov. Roy Cooper announced during a Sept. 17 news conference, but middle and high school students won’t have the same opportunity. The announcement — allowing local school districts to provide in-person instruction full-time to younger students — comes a day after Republican leaders urged the governor to offer that option at all levels statewide and let parents decide. The move is a step in the right direction, Senate Leader Phil Berger, R-Rockingham, said in a Thursday news…

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NCDHSS

NCDHHS Receives Funding to Prevent Colorectal Cancer in NC

September 18, 2020

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) has received five years of funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to partner with Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) to increase colorectal cancer screenings, particularly among underserved communities in North Carolina.  “Colorectal cancer is the fourth leading cause of all cancer deaths in North Carolina, but it’s treatable and beatable if caught in early stages,” said Dr. Susan Kansagra, Section Chief for Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention in the Division of Public Health. “Our aim is to remove barriers to screening and treatment for people in…

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