NC Legislative building
NC General Assembly

A measure put forth by the state Senate to overhaul North Carolina's Medicaid program is headed for a vote in the chamber next week.

The proposal would allow both provider-led and managed care plans to serve patients who qualify for the health insurance program.

Senate leaders say their plan would help control costs. It would also create an entirely new department to oversee Medicaid in the state, headed by a corporate-like board. Republican Senator Louis Pate is a sponsor of the measure.

Gun Free Zone
NC-ACE

Back in 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention wanted to take on what some have called an "epidemic" of youth violence.

One of the initiatives was the Academic Centers of Excellence in Youth Violence Prevention, or NC-ACE. The program focused on Robeson County which, at the time, had the highest levels of youth violence in the state. NC-ACE is now entering the final year of its efforts, with some of the programs scheduled to wrap up at the end of the summer.

Photo: A drilling site in northeastern Louisiana.
Daniel Foster via Flickr

The North Carolina commission that is drafting rules for hydraulic fracturing will host public comment hearings next month.
 
Members of the Mining and Energy Commission have spent nearly two years writing more than 120 rules. They cover issues including where drilling companies can frack and whether they have to disclose the chemicals they use in the process.
 
Amy Pickle, the commission's rules chairwoman, says she expects plenty of comments on whether fracking should happen at all.
 

NC Legislative building
NC General Assembly

  

Despite sluggish negotiations over the past two weeks, state lawmakers are taking small steps toward a budget deal. 

The House and Senate are working on compromises for teacher raises and Medicaid spending. They are also considering ways to reform the Medicaid system, including treatment from managed care organizations. 

Meanwhile, lawmakers passed a bill to review and possibly replace Common Core standards.

Rick Dillwood

When filmmaker Rick Dillwood agreed to donate sperm to his neighbors, he hardly knew them. Mel and Carey Downey-Piper had been seeking a known donor but not a good friend. However, after many months of celebration and hardship, the three became very close. Dillwood recorded their journey in a documentary called "Between Friends & Family".

  

Kid Finance

Jul 17, 2014
makethedifference.org

Children learn a great deal about money from their parents. But which aspects are parents wont to teach and which do they often conceal? Researcher Lynsey Romo sought to answer that in her new study, "Money Matters: Children's Perceptions of Parent-Child Financial Disclosure".

Meanwhile, an exhibit at Marbles Kids Museum aims to facilitate money talk in kids as young as five and the North Carolina Bankers Association works with middle and high school students.

Love Motel for Insects: Eining Variation
Foto Mayer

There's a new establishment opening for one night only in Research Triangle Park. It's a Love Motel for Insects. Imagine several teepees lit up against the night sky - attracting area insects from far and wide.

It's a voyeuristic space. Once the ultraviolet light attracts the insects, people can look closely at them. Brandon Ballengée is the scientist/artist behind the project. An article in American Scientist Magazine provides some background:

A picture of an 'I Voted' sticker.
Vox Efx / Flickr

Voters in 37 counties headed to the polls Tuesday to vote in second-primary – or runoff – elections. In North Carolina, a second primary is necessary when no candidate claims more than 40-percent of the first primary votes.

Joshua Lawson of the State Board of Elections said a bit more than 6 percent of eligible voters turned out. He says that's actually not bad for a runoff.

Photo: A four-way highway intersection at sunset
Flickr user Tom

The North Carolina Senate has tentatively approved a bill that would allow police to use photo cameras on state roads to track license plates.

The idea is that the cameras would take pictures of license plates, and police could use them to, for example, find a fugitive. Sen. Gladys Robinson (D-Guilford) says that could have helped Guilford County investigators on a recent case.

"Had this technology been available, at a right of way, it would've been possible to track down the individual who had committed the crime," Robinson says.

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