NC expands quarantine rules for fire ants
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - North Carolina agriculture officials say Lincoln County and parts of Catawba County are now under state quarantine rules for the imported fire ant as efforts continue to monitor the spread and address control measures.
With the announcement by the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, the quarantine now includes 71 counties.
Effective Jan. 1, 2014, the revised quarantine includes all of Lincoln County and the area south of Interstate 40 from the Iredell County line to the Burke County line in Catawba County. Residents and business owners in the affected areas must obtain a permit before moving plants, sod and related equipment into or through non-infested areas.
The imported fire ant is considered to be a health concern to humans, livestock and wildlife due to its painful sting.
Scope of NC Medicaid overhaul proposal changes
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Gov. Pat McCrory's administration has rolled out a scaled-back model to Medicaid reform in North Carolina after an effort unveiled several months ago fell flat.
The governor has said repeatedly the health insurance program for mostly poor children, older adults and the disabled is broken. He says Medicaid's hemorrhaging of hundreds of millions of dollars annually is preventing spending on other initiatives such as teacher pay raises.
The first Medicaid overhaul proposal would have had up to four statewide managed-care companies or other entities deliver treatment. Medicaid would pay a set price to an organization for covering each patient they served. Many lawmakers and interest groups didn't like it. The state Medicaid office presented a more regional model last week.
The legislature is likely to have the final say.
Madoff fraud still stings ex-clients 5 years later
NEW YORK (AP) - Bernard Madoff's former clients are still struggling to move on five years after his massive Ponzi scheme was exposed.
World War II vet Morton Chalek says his last account statement with Madoff showed he had $2.3 million. He's still fighting in court to get some of it back.
On Dec. 11, 2008, Madoff told FBI agents that his multibillion-dollar investment advisory business was a fraud. He pleaded guilty and is serving a 150-year prison term in Butner, N.C.
The 90-year-old Chalek now gets by on Social Security, veterans' benefits and the companionship of retired educator Fran Reiss, a close friend who also lost her savings to Madoff.
Five former Madoff employees are on trial in federal court in Manhattan. Testimony resumes Monday.
NC National Guard schedules redeployment ceremony
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - The North Carolina National Guard is holding a redeployment ceremony for two units at its armory in Siler City.
The ceremony for the 112th Financial Management Detachment and 430th Ordnance Company was scheduled for Sunday.
The finance soldiers are returning from Camp Bondsteel, Kosovo. They provided finance support for all military and Department of Defense civilians. Missions included paying soldiers, other military personnel and civilian employees and contractors, budgeting, disbursing and accounting for government funds.
Soldiers from the 430th are returning from service across Southwest Asia with duty in Kuwait, Qatar and Jordan. They destroyed unexploded ordnance and eliminated the threat of hundreds of tons of explosives on more than 100 missions.
The units deployed in 2012.
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