AP-NC Newswatch

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March 16, 2021
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March 16, 2021
AP-NC Newswatch



Latest North Carolina News:



NC demonstrators demand lawmakers back agenda to aid poor
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina demonstrators want state legislators to protect voting rights and implement a dozen other liberal policy prescriptions they say will lift up low-income residents. The North Carolina chapter of the Poor People’s Campaign held a news conference outside the Legislative Building on Monday to promote the group’s agenda and later leave priority lists with legislators. The national campaign scheduled similar actions on Monday in about 30 other states and Washington. Goldsboro pastor the Rev. William Barber is a campaign co-chair. Campaign leaders are particularly worried about hundred of bills that they said would restrict voting in over 40 states.



South emerges as flashpoint of brewing redistricting battle
States across the South are the center of the upcoming, once-a-decade redistricting battle. The region is the fastest growing in the country and as a result will be adding an estimated half-a-dozen House seats. That population growth has also made it a political battleground as an influx from more liberal Northern states threatens Republicans’ control in the region. Finally, most Southern states will no longer need to run their redrawn legislative districts past the Justice Department to confirm they don’t discriminate against minorities. Civil rights group fear the loss of that safeguard could lead back to racial gerrymandering.



Patient enrollment begins for NC Medicaid managed care shift
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina’s Medicaid recipients now can decide which health plan they’ll use for medical services when a system overhaul goes online July 1. Open enrollment for Medicaid managed care began this week and ends May 14. About 1.8 million people covered by Medicaid or a related program should enroll and choose from one of several plans. People who don’t will be placed in a plan automatically. The state is switching from a traditional fee-for-service program to one in which health plans receive fixed monthly payments for every patient treated. Managed care supporters believe it will control expenses and result in healthier patients.



N Carolina man charged with insurance fraud in wreck scheme
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The North Carolina Department of Insurance has charged a man with insurance fraud in connection with a scheme involving roadside cleanup after a car crash. A news release from the agency says 26-year-old Garrett Scarlette of Thomasville was also charged with attempting to obtain property by false pretense. The department’s criminal investigators accused Scarlette of trying to collect money for an unauthorized cleanup of motor vehicle fluid from the driver of a car that wrecked in Guilford County last November. Investigators say Scarlette also tried to collect on am insurance claim for the same unauthorized roadside cleanup. It’s unclear whether Scarlette has an attorney.



Feds: Man sentenced for attempting to set police car on fire
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina man has been sentenced to more than two years in federal prison for attempting to set fire to a marked police car in Raleigh after a protest against the death of George Floyd. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina said in a news release on Monday that Jabari Devon Davis got a prison sentence of 30 months. Federal authorities said the vehicle was set ablaze in the early morning hours of May 31. Investigators found a charred sock and a bottle with the odor of gasoline on the sidewalk nearby. Authorities said that a fingerprint lifted from the bottle belonged to Davis. 



NC unemployment rate falls to 5.9%; pandemic peak now higher
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina’s unemployment rate fell below 6% during January. The state Commerce Department unveiled the rate and other data on Monday. January’s rate of 5.9% compares to 6.1% for December. Jobless figures remain well above those recorded before the COVID-19 pandemic contracted commerce and closed businesses last spring. The state rate peaked during the pandemic at 13.5%. last April and May. That’s higher than the previously announced top rate during the pandemic of 12.9% from last April. That’s because monthly rates in 2020 have undergone their usual annual revisions. Employed workers in the state labor force increased by close to 10,000 in January.



North Carolina officer charged in off-duty assault, break-in
ROCKWELL, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina police officer has been accused of breaking into a home, assaulting two people and attempting to prevent a woman from calling for help. Salisbury Police say officer Malik Byrd surrendered to authorities Sunday and has been placed on paid leave. A warrant alleges Byrd entered a Rockwell home late Saturday while he was off duty and attacked a woman inside. The documents say he also punched a man and tried to stop the woman from calling 911. He has been charged with breaking and entering, assault, assault on a female and interfering with an emergency call. It’s unclear whether he has an attorney who can comment for him.



North Carolina kayaker resuscitated after breathing stopped
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Officials with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission say a kayaker who stopped breathing was resuscitated after a state wildlife officer and a Stanly County sheriff’s deputy took turns performing CPR. The Charlotte Observer reports state officials said on a social media post that the incident happened Saturday at Falls Reservoir along the Yadkin River in eastern Stanly County. Wildlife commission Master Officer David Ritzheimer reports the kayaker had turned his vessel over on Falls Reservoir and had been underwater for several minutes when the rescue effort began. Ritzheimer and sheriff’s deputy Darnell Almond alternated performing CPR for multiple minutes before the kayaker was revived and able to breathe on their own.