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State officials delay rollout of specialty Medicaid plans — again

The repeatedly delayed rollout of specialized health care plans for tens of thousands of Medicaid beneficiaries — those with complex, often behavioral health needs — has been postponed indefinitely, the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services announced Tuesday. 

In March 2022, John called the police to his home in Mecklenburg County because his 16-year-old son, Paul, was experiencing a violent behavioral health episode. “We don’t feel safe. We don’t know what to do. We really need treatment for him. Please help us,” John remembers telling hospital staff as he explained the violent episodes at home.

Kids and adults with disabilities find community, fitness in workout class

On a warm summer evening, laughter fills a gym furnished with red and black fitness equipment as more than 20 people attempt to grab clothespins attached to each other’s shirts.  Participants range from young teenagers to those who are starting to gray around the temples. Some have cognitive and physical disabilities and join in with the families and other members of the CrossFit community.

People should celebrate and have fun this Fourth of July, but anyone who drinks alcohol should not operate an automobile or boat. That was the message from traffic safety officials and law enforcement officers at Wednesday’s launch in Raleigh of anti-drunken driving campaigns aimed at automobile drivers and boaters.

After the fall of Roe, physicians confronted toughest year in reproductive health care

After graduating from a medical school in the Northeast, Caledonia Buckheit came south to Duke University Hospital to complete her obstetrics and gynecology residency. She finished last June and found work in North Carolina — ready to provide comprehensive reproductive health care to patients, including abortion. Just weeks after finishing, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. The June 24 decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization  eliminated the constitutional right to abortion that had existed for nearly half a century.

HIGH POINT — Taylor Loyd, representing Statesville, was crowned Miss North Carolina 2023 at High Point Theater on Saturday evening. Janiya Pipkin, Miss Fayetteville Dogwood, placed in the top 15.

Proposed bill raises alarm over potential weakening of NC water quality regulations

Recently, state lawmakers discussed this year’s  regulatory reform bill  and, despite a bevy of amendments and question marks about its effects on the environment and potential conflicts with the Clean Water Act, the bill received a favorable report and is moving on in the state Senate. 

Lawsuit alleges patient overcharging at Asheville's Mission Hospital

Two longtime emergency room doctors have blown the whistle on what they say is fraudulent overcharging by HCA Healthcare, which owns Mission Health, and its medical staffing company, TeamHealth, according to a recently unsealed lawsuit filed last year.

BAMBERG, S.C. — Years before Bamberg County Hospital closed in 2012, and the next-closest hospital in neighboring Barnwell shut its doors in 2016, those facilities had stopped delivering babies. These days, there’s not even an ultrasound machine in this rural county 60 miles south of Columbia, much less an obstetrician. Pregnant women here are left with few options for care.

Disparate issues shape health care in state's rural communities

Many of North Carolina’s so-called rural counties bear little resemblance to the pastoral hamlets that people tend to picture when they think of rural living. In reality, the 78 counties that fall under the common statistical definition of “rural” are home to about 40% of the state’s population, and North Carolina’s rural population is — next to Texas — the largest in the U.S. 

Federal regulators have threatened to terminate Medicare funding for a psychiatric hospital in eastern North Carolina after a series of visits to the facility, which started with a complaint alleging mistreatment and sexual assault of an 11-year-old patient. 

Before Europeans came to North Carolina, the Skarure Woccon tribe (Cape Fear Indians) sustained themselves by hunting, fishing and harvesting herbs and other plants in the lower Cape Fear River Basin.  More popularly known as Tuscarora Indians, many tribal members continue to live spread across land, including Bladen, Columbus and Pender counties, where they still follow cultural traditions. Some tribal members fish in the Cape Fear River, hunt on adjacent land, and harvest wild plants for food, healing and rituals.  However, a chemical commercially known as GenX in the river may force members of the tribe to reconsider long-held cultural practices to protect their health.

Her health insurer delayed her MRI – as the cancer spread

Kathleen Valentini was 47 when she first noticed a nagging pain in her hip. The Waxhaw mom tried physical therapy, but her pain just got worse. Her doctor ordered an MRI to find out what was going on, according to court documents and Kathleen’s husband, Val Valentini. 

Bill offers expanded rights, better access to information for those under guardianship

People under guardianship in NC would have more rights and information, under proposed revamp of statutes Laws on guardianship in North Carolina have remained unchanged for decades, and advocates …

There’s a scene in the classic comedy film "Blazing Saddles" when the town pastor is begging town folk not to take rash action against the newly appointed and highly unpopular sheriff.

Bill gives UNC Health free rein to consolidate without antitrust concerns

Big changes could be ahead for the UNC Health system if a bill approved Monday by the state Senate wins support in the House.

Cherryville leaders delay lithium company’s zoning proposal

Gaston County residents will have to wait until May to voice their opinion about whether the city of Cherryville should relinquish zoning jurisdiction for five parcels to support Piedmont Lithium’s mining initiative.

RALEIGH – After reporting record-breaking ridership in 2022, the state’s intercity passenger rail service achieved record ridership for the first quarter of 2023, according to the N.C. Department of Transportation.

Bill makes it easier to call for help when there’s an overdose

At least 4,243 people in North Carolina died from overdoses in 2022. Mary O’Donnell knows the pain of having a loved one die in such a situation. She’s been fighting for years to get overdose numbers down.

Lawmakers debate changes to rules for young drivers

A bill in the General Assembly would shorten to nine months the amount of time a teen driver must hold a learner's permit.

Food waste composting gains traction in North Carolina

A  pilot program in Cary diverts food waste from the landfill to create compost used at a local farm.

North Carolina communities look to boost recycling efforts

Fast-growing cities like Durham are looking for methods to reduce the growing amount of garbage they produce.

Democratic lawmakers, undaunted by the political odds against them in North Carolina’s Republican-led General Assembly, have championed bills year after year to rein in gun violence over the past decade. Their Republican opponents, emboldened by better numbers in both legislative chambers this year, have adopted legislation that would put North Carolina on a very different route.

Gov. Cooper’s proposed budget includes raises for teachers, school staff

Local teachers and schools staff welcomed proposals to enhance funding for public education included in Gov. Roy Cooper’s state budget. Released Wednesday, the governor’s Fiscal 2023-25 …

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Tuesday that it plans to set the nation’s first public drinking water standards for “forever chemicals,” furthering its efforts to protect public health.

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