What people are talking about – 1/9
The continued embarrassment of management at the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services. Almost 49,000 Medicaid cards that contained personal information were sent to the wrong people. Overpaid Communications Director Ricky Diaz announced he was leaving for another job. He follows behind the footsteps of Medicaid Director Carol Steckel (eight months), Chief of Staff Thomas Adams (one month and a $37,000 severance package) and childhood director Diana Lightfoot who never even got to her desk. But Gov. Pat McCrory keeps trying to put a positive spin on things. He’ll find a way to blame the media.
The N.C. Rate Bureau is trying to hijack property owners with a proposed rate increase. If approved, property owners in Chatham and Orange counties, for example, would see an 18.2 percent increase in insurance rates; Wake and Durham counties a 24.4 percent increase. A public hearing is Jan. 24, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Jim Long Hearing room of the Dobbs Building, 430 N. Salisbury St. in Raleigh. Make your voices heard.
A plethora of new laws took effect on Jan. 1. Too many to name, but a couple that stick out for child safety are Kilah’s Law, which increases the penalties for convicted child abusers to a Class D felony. The law is named after Kilah Davenport, 4, whose stepfather so brutally abused her, she suffered brain damage, a fractured skull, a broken collarbone and other injuries. The second is Caylee’s Law, which requires parents to alert authorities when they can’t locate or contact their child after 24 hours. Age is for 16 and under.
The flu is turning out to be deadly so far. Twenty-one flu deaths have been reported by the DHHS – 19 of them young and middle-aged adults. Health Director Robin Gary Cummings is urging folks to get a flu shot. Remember, it takes about two weeks after the shot for antibodies to provide protection against the flu, so if you get a shot and still get the flu, the virus was already there.
And in the "yuck" department, a naked man in Australia who was playing a love game with his girlfriend, got stuck in some type of contraption and couldn't get out. Firefighters had to rub olive oil on him until he could squeeze out. NASTY!