North Carolina News – May 27, 2022

North Carolina News – May 27, 2022

Decade since NC governor win, McCrory trounced in Senate bid

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Pat McCrory’s political career has taken quite a turn in the past decade. The Republican moderate won the 2012 gubernatorial election by a comfortable margin. But he was trounced by 34 percentage points in last week’s U.S. Senate primary by Rep. Ted Budd. Budd benefitted from former President Donald Trump’s endorsement and a pair of super PACs spending $12 million mostly to vilify McCrory as too liberal, citing his time as governor and Charlotte mayor. Those accusations occurred even though the former governor signed the 2016 “bathroom bill” and laws cutting taxes and prohibiting “sanctuary cities.” Now it appears McCrory’s electoral career is over.


For ‘lockdown generation’ school shootings are their reality

Students processing the attack in Uvalde, Texas, that killed 19 students and two teachers — yet another school shooting — returned to a common theme: They are the “lockdown generation.” Although mass shootings at schools are rare, gun violence among traumatized and stressed students has risen since the start of the pandemic — and many have become numb to the violence. Since the start of 2020, researchers at the Naval Postgraduate School have recorded 504 cases of gun violence at schools — a number that eclipses the previous eight years combined. The database includes students brandishing guns or opening fire in classrooms, bathrooms, cafeterias or gyms, and counts students who have used guns to take their own lives at school.


North Carolina woman sentenced to prison for Medicare fraud

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina woman has been sentenced to nearly two years in prison for conspiring with others to defraud North Carolina’s Medicaid system by turning in more than $4 million in fake claims for behavioral health services. U.S. Attorney Michael Easley says in a news release that Sharita Mathis Richardson of Greensboro was also sentenced on Wednesday to three years of supervised release for conspiracy to commit health care fraud. She pleaded guilty to the charge in March 2021. As part of sentencing, Richardson was also ordered to pay more than $2 million in restitution to the North Carolina Fund for Medical Assistance.


Former UNC Wilmington dean named school’s new chancellor

WILMINGTON, N.C. (AP) — A former dean at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington is returning to the school as its new chancellor. Aswani Volety, currently serving as provost and vice president for academic affairs at Elon University, was elected unanimously by the UNC Board of Governors during its meeting in Chapel Hill. Volety replaces Jose Sartarelli, who is retiring in June after seven years as UNCW’s chancellor. Volety is the former dean of UNCW’s College of Arts and Sciences and former executive director of UNCW’s Center for Marine Science. Since 2019, he has been the chief academic officer and chief operating officer at Elon University.


US education chief seeks action to prevent school shootings

WASHINGTON (AP) — Education Secretary Miguel Cardona says he’s ashamed the United States is “becoming desensitized to the murder of children” and he’s calling for action to prevent more lives from being lost in school shootings like the one in Uvalde, Texas. Cardona spoke at a House Education and Labor Committee hearing two days after a gunman stormed into an elementary school and killed 19 children and two teachers. The committee chairman, Rep. Bobby Scott of Virginia, opened the hearing Thursday by holding a moment of silence. The top Republican, Rep. Virginia Foxx of North Carolina, is cautioning against acting in haste to change federal law.


US Census Bureau: Big city losses early in COVID pandemic

Eight of the 10 largest cities in the U.S. lost population during the first year of the coronavirus pandemic. New estimates released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau show only Phoenix and San Antonio gained new residents from 2020 to 2021. New York led the way, losing more than 305,000 residents, or about 3.5% of its 2020 population. Among the nation’s 10 largest cities, it was followed by Chicago and Los Angeles. Smaller big cities primarily in the Sunbelt gained news residents. Those cities include Austin and Fort Worth in Texas; Jacksonville, Florida; Charlotte, North Carolina and Columbus, Ohio.


NC parents’ bill that bars K-3 LGBTQ curriculum clears panel

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A Republican measure that supporters say would empower North Carolina parents to better monitor their children’s public school education has cleared a state Senate committee. But the measure approved Wednesday also bars K-3 class curriculum from addressing LGBTQ matters and wades into other contentious issues around pronouns for children and their medical treatment. Bill critics point to the prohibition of instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity in lower grades as reminiscent of a new Florida law. Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper called the measure “another Republican political ploy” like the 2016 “bathroom bill.” Republicans say the curriculum provision differs from the Florida law.


Settlement awards $3M to family of man who died in custody

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. (AP) — The family of a Black man who yelled that he couldn’t breathe before he died in a North Carolina jail in 2019 has reached a $3 million settlement in its wrongful-death lawsuit. That’s according to court documents filed Wednesday. The Winston-Salem Journal reports John Neville’s family reached the settlement with all five former jailers who were initially charged with involuntary manslaughter in his death as well as with Forsyth County government and Forsyth County Sheriff Bobby Kimbrough Jr. The family said in the lawsuit that Neville’s civil rights were violated in December 2019 when detention officers and a nurse ignored his medical distress and pinned him on a mattress as he yelled that he couldn’t breathe.