AP-NC Newswatch

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January 27, 2022
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January 27, 2022
AP-NC Newswatch

 

Latest North Carolina News:

 

BOOM-JET PLANT
North Carolina chosen for supersonic passenger jet plant
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A Colorado-based aviation company has chosen North Carolina as the location for a new plant that will manufacture next-generation supersonic passenger jets. Boom Supersonic announced on Wednesday that Piedmont Triad International Airport in Greensboro will be the home for its first full-scale manufacturing facility. The company says it will create over 1,750 jobs by 2030, with a goal of reaching more than 2,400 jobs by 2032. Local and state boards approved hefty financial incentives for Boom Supersonic just before the announcement. Boom is one of several companies trying to revive supersonic passenger travel. The company says its Overture plane will be rolled out in 2025 and will travel at twice the speed of today’s passenger jets.

 

 

HOSPITALS-CHARITY CARE
NC treasurer’s report critical of how hospitals bill poor
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A report on North Carolina’s nonprofit hospitals is critical of how they bill the poor for medical care. Wednesday’s report from the State Health Plan and the National Academy of State Health Policy says that too often the poor are billed when those hospitals should write the expenses off. State Treasurer Dale Folwell and a bipartisan group of lawmakers want reforms. Calculations on fewer than 20% of the nonprofit hospitals in 2019 found $149 million in billings to patients who should have qualified for charity care. The state’s lobbying group for hospitals defended their charity care spending and community investment activity as “transparent and accountable.”

 

 

MEDICAID FRAUD SCHEME
Man pleads guilty to trying to defraud Medicaid program
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – A federal prosecutor says a North Carolina man has pleaded guilty to charges stemming from his role in a scheme to defraud North Carolina’s Medicaid program of more than $14 million. Dena J. King, U.S. attorney for the Western District of North Carolina, says Richard Graves of Greensboro pleaded guilty on Tuesday to conspiracy to commit health care fraud and money laundering. Court documents show that from January 2016 to July 2020, Graves and his co-conspirators planned to defraud the Medicaid program by paying illegal kickbacks to co-conspirators in exchange for urine samples from people who were recruited.

 

 

ROBOCALLS-LAWSUIT
North Carolina AG sues company over scam phone calls
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein is seeking hundreds of billions of dollars in a lawsuit filed against a Texas company which claims it helped scammers place robocalls inundating phones. According to The News & Observer of Raleigh, the lawsuit says Texas-based telecommunications business Articul8 helped facilitate scam calls across the country, including tens of millions of calls to North Carolinians, even though the company either knew or should’ve known that it was helping criminals try to defraud people. Articul8 didn’t respond to the newspaper’s email request for comment.

 

 

PLAYGROUND-CAR CRASH
Motorist charged after car crashes into school playground
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) – Police say three children were injured when an SUV crashed into a playground at a North Carolina elementary school. News outlets report police in Chapel Hill said 40-year-old Fiona Evans was charged with a safe-movement violation. According to police, Evans was parking her SUV in a lot next to the playground at Northside Elementary School on Tuesday when she hit the gas pedal instead of the brake pedal. The vehicle crashed through a fence, striking playground equipment. School officials said about 20 children were on the playground for the Community Schools afterschool program.

 

 

CAPITOL RIOT-QANON FOLLOWER
QAnon follower who attacked police at Capitol gets prison
A man who identified himself as a believer in the QAnon conspiracy theory has been sentenced to three years and eight months in prison for assaulting police officers at the Capitol during last year’s riot. Nicholas Languerand called himself a patriot, but the judge who sentenced him on Wednesday said the rioters who invaded the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, don’t deserve that description. Federal authorities explicitly have linked more than 30 riot defendants to QAnon, the pro-Trump conspiracy theory. Languerand is the fourth rioter to be sentenced for assaulting police.

 

 

JAIL OFFICER ASSAULTED
N. Carolina inmate gets over 10 years for assaulting officer
GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina jail inmate who assaulted a detention officer in 2021 will serve at least 10 years in prison after pleading guilty charges stemming from the attack. The News & Record of Greensboro reports Guilford County Assistant District Attorney Chris Parrish says a judge sentenced Elijah J. Evans to serve from 10 years and six months up to 15 years and five months months in prison. The Guilford County Sheriff’s Office says Evans approached a desk where 71-year-old Sheldon Kaminsky was seated while on duty on June 21. After a brief conversation, Evans struck Kaminsky with his fist, knocking him to the floor and leaving him unconscious.

 

 

JAIL DEATH-NORTH CAROLINA
Detainee at North Carolina jail dies; 6th death in 16 months
ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina sheriff’s office says a woman being detained at a county jail has died, the fifth such death at the jail within a year and the sixth within 16 months, officials said. The the Asheville Citizen Times reports the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release that 41-year-old Maria Christina Frisbee was jailed on Tuesday evening on multiple charges, including felony possession of a stolen motor vehicle and drug charges. The sheriff’s office says a detention saw a detainee acting erratically in a holding cell and called for medical help and supervisors. Frisbee died late Tuesday night.