North Carolina News – February 19

North Carolina News – February 19


Allison elected chancellor at Fayetteville State University.

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — Darrell T. Allison has been elected to be chancellor at Fayetteville State University. The Fayetteville Observer reported that Allison was elected Thursday.  He had resigned from the University of North Carolina System Board of Governors in September to seek the position. Allison was chosen from about 50 applicants. The selection process took the hiring committee nearly a year to complete because of the coronavirus pandemic. Allison said during a press conference Thursday that he could be a strong advocate for FSU and elevate the school’s brand and reputation. He also said he could fulfill another leadership role by establishing strategic partnerships to build a fundraising strategy.


Police: Couple wanted in fatal shooting still on the loose

HICKORY, N.C. (AP) — Investigators in North Carolina believe that a couple wanted in the shooting death at a Hickory furniture plant could still be in the western part of the state. The Hickory Daily Record reported Thursday that the search for the couple extends to the entire East Coast. But U.S. Marshal Deputy Commander Brian Alfano said it’s possible they’re still in the greater Hickory area. Authorities say that Tangela and Eric Parker have been on the run since the Jan. 14 shooting death of Phelifia Marlow. Alfano said they could be in the mountain area and possibly near the border between Tennessee or North Carolina side.


Lights come back on in Texas as water woes rise in the South

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Many Texans finally have electricity back after a deadly blast of winter this week overwhelmed the electrical grid and left millions shivering in the cold for days. But the crisis is far from over, with 7 million in the state ordered to boil their water before consuming it. And in Jackson, Mississippi, nearly everyone in the city of about 161,000 lost water service. More than 190,000 homes and businesses in Texas still had no electricity early Friday, down from about 3 million two days earlier. Utility officials say there could be more limited rolling blackouts. The extreme weather has been blamed for the deaths of at least 57 people.


The Latest: Most of a Mississippi city is without water

Mayor Chokwe Antar Lumumba says almost all of Jackson, a city of around 150,000 people, is now without water. Lumumba says public works crews are working to pump as much water as they can to refill the city’s tanks. He notes that the city is approaching a critical shortage in chemicals used to treat the city’s water. Road closures are making it difficult for distributors to make needed deliveries. Linda Weathersby, an administrative assistant for the mayor’s office in Jackson, lives in an apartment building for seniors in the city. She says there are 85 seniors who have been living in her building without water since Monday.


Audit: NC Medicaid failed to confirm provider qualifications

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s state auditor says the state’s Medicaid agency fell short on ensuring doctors and other medical providers met licensing and ownership qualifications to serve patients in the program. Thursday’s report from State Auditor Beth Wood’s office examined samples from among the state’s 90,000 Medicaid providers. The performance audit found the state Medicaid office often failed to identify and remove those whose professional licenses has been suspended or terminated. A contractor performs those duties. There are over $13 million in potential overpayments in the samples alone. Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy Cohen agrees with the audit findings and says changes already are implemented.


North Carolina faces COVID vaccine delays amid poor weather

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina public health officials say they’re experiencing shipping delays that could cause providers to have to reschedule COVID-19 vaccine appointments. The Department of Health and Human Services says few Pfizer doses have shipped this week. Doses of the Moderna vaccine have yet to arrive. The inclement weather is causing delays across the country as states work to vaccinate people. North Carolina was expected to receive over 163,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine and nearly 127,000 does from Pfizer. People living in rural communities are more likely to get Moderna shots because of shipping and packaging constraints.


NC judge keeps in place Medicaid managed care awards

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A trial court judge says he’ll leave in place another judge’s decision that rejected arguments from an unsuccessful bidder for North Carolina’s upcoming managed-care initiative for Medicaid. The Wake Superior Court judge said late Thursday he would uphold an administrative law judge’s previous decision affirming how the Department of Health and Human Services conducted the process that led to contract awards in 2019. Four conventional insurers and one physician partnership received the awards. But a group that missed out and called “My Health by Health Providers” says the process was flawed and biased. The managed-care program is supposed to go live in July.


Feds add charges for men accused of in 9-year-old’s death

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Federal prosecutors say two North Carolina men accused in the shooting death of a 9-year-old boy now face federal racketeering charges, specifically committing violent crimes to aid their Durham gang operation. The News & Observer of Raleigh reports an Oct. 27 indictment sealed until Friday says Antonio “Lil Tony” Davenport and Dival “Paco” Nygee Magwood and the Eight Trey Gangster Crips sold drugs, committed fraud, and engaged in other illegal activity and violent crimes to enrich the gang’s members. In August 2019, 9-year-old Z’Yon Person was shot in the head as he rode in an SUV.

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