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North Carolina News – March 15, 2022

North Carolina News – March 15, 2022

SCHOOL-MOCK SLAVE AUCTION

NC superintendent apologizes after mock slave auction

PITTSBORO, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina schools superintendent apologized Monday for a mock “slave auction” in which white middle-schoolers pretended to sell their Black classmates. The school board also is reviewing the student code of conduct and discipline policies dealing with acts of racism. News outlets report that Chatham County Schools Superintendent Anthony Jackson apologized and said what happened at the J.S. Waters School in Goldston will not be tolerated. According to a Chatham racial equity group, the mock auction involving middle school students happened in the presence of staff and faculty and was recorded on video. Several students received a one-day suspension.

ELECTION 2022-HOUSE-HINES

Hines gets Trump endorsement in open NC Congress seat

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Former President Donald Trump has endorsed Bo Hines for an open U.S. House seat in central North Carolina that’s expected to be highly competitive in November. Trump gave Hines his support for the 13th District seat in a news release on Tuesday. Hines is a former N.C. State football player who is one of eight candidates seeking the 13th District’s GOP nomination. The new 13th District includes southern Wake County and all or portions of Johnston, Harnett and Wayne counties. The Republican primary field includes former Rep. Renee Ellmers. Five Democrats are running for their party’s 13th District nomination.

UNEMPLOYMENT RATE

North Carolina unemployment rate 3.9% for January

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina’s unemployment rate continued on a downward trek in January. The state Commerce Department announced on Monday the rate was 3.9%, compared to 4.1% in December. The December rate had been reported even lower earlier this year, but the department has since revised last year’s monthly totals, which is done annually. Regardless, North Carolina still hasn’t logged a month-over-month rising unemployment rate since September 2020. The department reported 25,100 additional people were employed in January, while the number of unemployed fell by 9,600. Another counting format saw employment growth in the construction and financial activities sectors, among others.

UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS-AUDIT

NC audit: $438M in benefits failed to reach workers quickly

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina State Auditor Beth Wood has quantified the unemployment benefits that failed to reach displaced workers quickly during a period that included hard times for the economy during the COVID-19 recession. A performance audit released Monday says the Division of Employment Security failed to distribute $438 million in initial claims during 2020 and the first quarter in 2021 within a 14- or 21-day window considered to be timely. That equated to a 60% success rate for the 3.6 million claims filed during that period. The audit in part blamed the claims process and poor monitoring for the delays.

NURSING HOME-TWO DEAD

Report: Nursing home put residents in jeopardy during storm

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A state report says a North Carolina nursing home put its residents in “immediate jeopardy” when it left just three people to take care of 98 residents during a January storm. The News & Observer account says the report from the state Department of Health and Human Services released Monday said police arrived at Pine Ridge Health & Rehabilitation Center on the night of Jan. 16 after receiving a 911 call from a resident who complained about not seeing staff members for a long time. Police found two residents dead and two others in critical condition inside the nursing home. The report said the nursing home acknowledged the problems and has taken steps to bring the facility back into compliance.

MAIL FACILITY-OSHA REPORT

USPS: Investigation still open after worker lost arm

GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — The U.S. Postal Service says it’s still investigating an accident at a North Carolina distribution center that caused an employee to lose an arm after touching a machine. USPS also said Monday that it’s reviewing a citation filed Friday by the U.S. Labor Department. The Labor Department said it found serious safety violations at the Greensboro Network Distribution Center. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration said it inspected the facility following the Sept. 27 injury. OSHA said that the arm of the mechanic working at the facility was amputated. The arm had come into contact with a machine that had a safety guard removed.

BIRTHDAY PARTY-FATAL SHOOTING

Sheriff’s office: 2 fatally shot at NC birthday party

PEMBROKE, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina sheriff’s office says two people are dead after a shooting at a birthday party over the weekend. Robeson County Sheriff’s Office says deputies were called to a Pembroke home early Sunday after two people were shot there while attending a birthday party. Officials say 20-year-old Randi Hunt of Rowland was found dead when deputies arrived and a 15-year-old boy who was taken to a hospital in critical condition later died. The sheriff’s office called on witnesses in the crowd on the scene to “come forward with the truth.”

MAIL FACILITY-OSHA REPORT

OSHA: Worker lost arm from injury at US mail facility in NC

GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) — The U.S. Labor Department says the arm of a mechanic working at a mail facility in North Carolina was amputated last year after coming into contact with a machine that had a safety guard removed. The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration said it inspected the facility in Greensboro following the injury in late September. The agency released its findings in a news release on Friday. The U.S. Postal Service operates the Greensboro Network Distribution Center. The federal inspection identified repeat and serious safety violations.

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