North Carolina News – March 16

North Carolina News – March 16


Voter outreach led to big drop in rejected mail ballots

ATLANTA (AP) — A surge of absentee ballots during last year’s election led to concerns that a larger percentage of mailed ballots could be rejected for arriving past the deadline, not having a voter’s signature or some other reason. An analysis by The Associated Press shows that didn’t happen. AP found the rate of ballot rejections was actually lower in November than during last year’s primaries in several politically pivotal states despite an increase in the total number of mailed ballots cast. Voting rights groups attribute the success to widespread efforts to educate voters and following up on those that got rejected.


Law enforcement resuscitates kayaker who overturned in lake

ELDORADO, N.C. (AP) — A state wildlife officer and a county sheriff’s deputy have resuscitated a kayaker whose vessel overturned in a North Carolina lake. The Charlotte Observer reports that the incident occurred Saturday at Falls Reservoir in eastern Stanly County.  The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission said that master officer David Ritzheimer was patrolling by boat when he heard cries for help from a group on the shore. The kayaker had been underwater for several minutes. He had no pulse and was not breathing. Ritzheimer and sheriff’s deputy Darnell Almond took turns performing CPR until the kayaker was able to breathe. He remained hospitalized Monday.


Founder of Baltimore art collection backed Confederate cause

BALTIMORE (AP) — A founder of the Baltimore art collection that bears his name campaigned for the Confederate cause along with his son. The revelation comes from a museum whose spokesman says it’s trying to show its role in inequality over the years. The Baltimore Sun reports the disclosures come as institutions such as the Johns Hopkins University and art museums in the U.S. and Europe are exploring and sharing shameful parts of their pasts. But research conducted by the Walters Art Museum made public Monday revealed that William Walters helped organize a protest that led to the Pratt Street Riots of 1861, resulting in the Civil War’s first casualties.


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.


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.


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.

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