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State Government
Veteran Capitol Reporter Moves To State Board of Elections PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Tuesday, 27 September 2016 12:53
The State Board of Elections named Patrick Gannon as its new spokesperson.
 
“Pat’s reputation for fair and impartial reporting over a long career make him an ideal spokesperson for our agency during an important time in elections,” State Board of Elections executive director Kim Westbrook Strach said in a news release.
 
Gannon was editor of the The Insider, a publication that centered on state government. He also wrote a weekly column for the for the Capitol Press Association which appears in newspapers across the state.
 
Gannon replaces Jackie Hyland, who recently left the agency to take a private sector job.
 
Paul T. O’Connor will be taking over Gannon’s Capitol Press Association column on an interim basis. O’Connor teaches at the School of Media and Journalism at UNC and wrote the column for 22 years.
 
 
 
Suspect In Murder of State Trooper Being Extradicted To North Carolina PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Tuesday, 20 September 2016 09:32
Raleigh, N.C. – Governor Pat McCrory has signed the extradition papers necessary to bring a suspect back to North Carolina following the arrest in the shooting death of Shelby Police Officer Timothy J. Brackeen. The Rhode Island State Police and the FBI arrested Irving Lucien Fenner Jr. last week in Providence, Rhode Island for the shooting death of Officer Brackeen.
 
"I have said all along that I was committed to pursuing extradition in this case using all legal means that are available. It is vital that this investigation moves forward as quickly as possible, and part of that involves returning this suspect to North Carolina," said Governor McCrory.
 
Prior to Fenner’s arrest, the Shelby Police Department and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) arrested Deitra Morris, Casey Fenner and Jolisa Peeler for Accessory to Murder, After the Fact. Ashley Hamrick of Shelby was also arrested for Harboring a Fugitive.
 
The investigation started on Saturday, September 10, 2016, after the Shelby Police Department attempted to locate Lucien Fenner to serve outstanding warrants. During an altercation, Officer Brackeen and Fenner exchanged gun shots and Officer Brackeen was wounded. He was transported to Carolinas Healthcare System Cleveland Hospital and then flown to Carolinas Healthcare System Main in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he later died of his injuries.
 
Following the encounter, Fenner fled the area. The Shelby Police Department, the SBI, law enforcement agencies in other states, and federal law enforcement agencies, including the FBI, U.S. Marshals Service, and the Secret Service have been working around the clock on the investigation and have been in consultation with the District Attorney’s Office throughout.
 
Last week Governor McCrory announced that the state was offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the shooting of Officer Brackeen.
 
This investigation is ongoing. The SBI will continue to work on this investigation and will provide the criminal investigative report to the District Attorney when complete.
 
 
State Unemployment Rate Drops To Pre-Reccesion Levels PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Tuesday, 20 September 2016 09:27

Raleigh, N.C. –North Carolina’s unemployment rate dropped 4.6 percent in August, the lowest since rate since April 2007.

 

“North Carolina has seen one of the largest decreases in unemployment in the nation since 2013 and we are home to one of the fastest growing economies in the nation,”said Governor McCrory. “With a declining unemployment rate and more than 300,000 new jobs added, it is clear that our pro-growth economic policies continue to make North Carolina one of the best places to live, work and visit.”  

 

Unemployment has decreased in all 100 counties since 2013. The last time North Carolina experienced an unemployment rate below 4.6 percent was in January 2001. The number of unemployed persons in North Carolina is 46.3 percent lower than January 2013.

 

These results have been supported by efforts to cut taxes for families and businesses by $4.7 billion, while assuming a $430 million revenue surplus. Additionally, the state paid off the $2.5 billion unemployment insurance debt to the federal government ahead of schedule saving employers more than $760 million in taxes since 2013.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 20 September 2016 09:30
 
State Awards $70 Million To Fight Gangs And Human Trafficking PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Monday, 19 September 2016 16:14
Governor Pat McCrory has announced close to $70 million in grant funding to address issues related to human trafficking, gangs, veterans rights and safer communities and schools through programs administered by the Governor’s Crime Commission (GCC). 
 
"Public safety is a top priority of my administration and I am proud to support the many initiatives funded through the Crime Commission," said Governor McCrory. "These programs the commission supports are helping to propel the continued downward trend of crime in North Carolina, and are also working to improve the way of life for many others in our communities."
 
During the past year, Governor's Crime Commission grants have funded domestic violence shelters, child advocacy centers, legal services, and other programs to assist crime victims and aid in their healing, most involving a sexual assault. Law enforcement funds were allocated for projects that address gang violence, substance use and prisoner reentry.  
 
"The Governor’s Crime Commission is a great cross section of the justice community and support organizations volunteering their time and administering close to $70 million in funding, and we see the results all across the state," said commission chairman Chris Schwecker. "Incubating good, innovative programs – that’s our main function."
 
The Governor’s Crime Commission serves as the chief advisory body to the governor and the secretary of Public Safety on crime and justice issues. The GCC has 44 members including leaders of criminal justice and human services agencies, representatives from the North Carolina Court System, law enforcement, local government, the General Assembly and private citizens.
 
Among the locations of programs funded through the commission include:
 
Criminal Justice Improvement and Juvenile Justice Committee
 
Alexander and Wilkes Counties – ($80,000) This project will bring at-risk students into multilevel, comprehensive mentoring and tutoring services. Called Mentoring Options, this seven component program matches carefully screened and trained adult volunteers with students from kindergarten through 12th grade.
 
Bladen/Brunswick/Columbus Counties – ($148,000) Provide an assistant district attorney to work with Substance Abuse and DWI Treatment Courts already in place in the 13th Judicial District. 
 
Bertie County – ($57,000) Conflict Resolution Teen Court will offer first-time offenders the opportunity to remain out of juvenile court while building stronger ties in the community, avoid inappropriate behaviors and seek to deter engagement in delinquent acts.
 
Buncombe/Haywood/Henderson/McDowell/Polk Counties – ($130,000) Kids at Work program serves 180 at-risk youth (ages 12 - 17) for 16 weeks each, teaching them culinary arts, job acquisition, customer service and interpersonal skills in an after-school setting.
 
Buncombe County – ($149,000) With 27 member organizations/agencies, the Buncombe County Re-entry Council is in a position to enhance and expand an evidence-based Transition Team reentry support model that targets those returning to our community from prison who are most likely to re-offend.
 
Beaufort – ($90,385) This project will focus on individuals who obtain prescription medication fraudulently by means of doctor shopping.
 
Durham – ($56,000) Communities In Schools of Durham will implement an evidence-based, one-on-one mentoring program to serve 100 youths at risk of dropping out, experiencing education failure, or are involved in delinquent activities by placing a graduation and success coach within one of Durham's highest need high schools.
 
Gastonia – ($105,000) This project will serve 300 minority students with a history of chronic absenteeism and other risk factors for delinquency and provide supportive services to the youth, their families, and their communities in an effort to reduce the potential for involvement in the juvenile justice system. 
 
Fayetteville – ($71,000) Provide alternatives to incarceration for veterans by the creation of a specialized court. The court will focus on crime control and lowering the recidivism rate for veterans charged with non-violent crimes. Court personnel will collaborate with community agencies to provide treatment.
 
Fayetteville – ($42,000) The EKG program teaches students about the legal, medical, and emotional consequences of gangs, youth gun possession and gun-related violence.  It encourages young people to consider options and choices available to them in situations involving guns.
 
Greensboro – ($47,000) The 2016 Gangs Across the Carolinas and Gang Free NC Statewide Training will focus on school and community safety issues regarding lone wolf attacks that first responders and school resource officers may encounter, as well as other critical issues, trends, tactics and safety concerns regarding gangs. 
 
Halifax County – ($134,000) The Halifax County Sheriff's Office has established a gang task force, that includes other county agencies. Funding will support a gang officer to head the task force and work with communities to address the serious county gang problem.
 
High Point – ($23,000) The Police Department will use funds to enhance their Gang Prevention and Intervention Program using the Offend Focused Deterrence Model to decrease gang violence.
 
Jones County – ($63,000) The Sheriff’s Office will use funds to assist with combating the gang/narcotics problem.
 
Trenton – ($63,000) The community will work with surrounding agencies to provide highway interdiction and street-level canvasing to work toward a zero tolerance on prescription pill abuse and the crimes associated with the abuse of prescription narcotics. 
 
Mecklenburg County – ($97,000) Minority youth are disproportionately represented in the juvenile justice system. This project will provide Mecklenburg County minority youth an alternative to arrest at initial contact while holding them accountable for their offense and provide support to redirect negative behavior. 
 
New Hanover County – ($65,000) This project is a continuation and expansion of a comprehensive community approach of an evidence-based program that reduces juvenile crime and gang involvement. The project will serve up to 75 youth ages 6-18, with a primary focus on youth ages 8-15. 
 
Wilmington – ($86,000) Expanding by 50 percent to serve more than 1,000 court-involved and at-risk youths, this expansion project will prevent delinquency and provide intervention services, vocational and job readiness training with outreach services and new targeted job placement pathways to ensure that all graduates go to college or to jobs.
 
Pitt County – ($112,000) The Pitt County Reentry Program is a non-residential program that provides an array of services to individuals recently released from incarceration in eastern North Carolina. One key aspect of this program is connecting participants with much-needed substance abuse treatment services.
 
Raeford – ($62,700) Teen Court provides an alternative program for youth ages 10-17 instead of juvenile court. The program allows first-time misdemeanor offenders to be on trial in front of their peers for sentencing purposes while providing a diversion opportunity. Volunteer opportunities are provided for other youth.
 
Raleigh – ($28, 000) This project seeks to provide school resource officers with specialized crisis intervention training for youths. This will equip SROs with skills to recognize mental health concerns, safely de-escalate a crisis and work with schools, parents and children’s mental health providers to link students with care.
 
Raleigh – ($76,000) This project will increase the number of youths who successfully enter the workforce and the community after being released from a Youth Development Center. Youths will obtain a comprehensive occupational set of employment and work readiness skills through apprenticeships and vocational training.
 
Raleigh – ($145,000) Using detention alternatives, this project will reduce the number of status offenders that are held in secure facilities that are in violation of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Act. Youth will be provided with case management and referrals to services that will help ensure success.
 
Raleigh – ($120,000) The State Crime Laboratory seeks to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Toxicology Unit through the purchase and implementation of a new system for immunoassay drug screening of blood samples from cases involving Driving While Impaired.
 
Raleigh – ($50,000) This project seeks to employ a substance abuse professional to work statewide with colleges and schools. Underage drinking leads to pregnancies, violent crime, and death. The average age for first time alcohol use is 13.9 years. Alcohol and substance abuse at an early age are critical risk factors.
 
Rolesville – ($100,000) This project provides an area resource that focuses on gang prevention. It aids in intervention and suppression of gang-related activities and supports youth who wish to disassociate from gangs.
 
Rocky Mount – ($150,000) This project will replicate Project Re-entry pre-release programming at Tillery Correctional Center and develop Project Re-entry's Successful Transition As Mothers Post-Prison, (STAMPP), pilot program for females at Eastern Correctional Center. 
 
Warsaw – ($15,000) Operation Blue Justice will provide increased law enforcement efforts through supplemental part-time funds that will target street-level, open-air drug markets. The project will provide essential life-saving and operational equipment.
 
Crime Victim Services Committee
 
Alamance County, Domestic Violence Crisis Services – ($187,000) This will provide one full-time and two part-time client advocates at the Family Justice Center and the emergency shelter. Advocates will provide safety planning, crisis counseling, legal advocacy and referral services to victims of domestic violence.
 
Ashe County – ($123,000) This project will provide services to all victims of domestic violence or sexual assault. Services will include safe shelter, a 24-hour crisis hotline, court advocacy, hospital advocacy, counseling, support group, safety planning, case management, and resource and referral.
 
Asheville – ($230,000) This project will sustain and expand free civil legal aid to low-income victims of domestic violence, child abuse and sexual assaults in 17 counties in western North Carolina, with a particular focus on improving access to legal aid for victims living in isolated, rural areas and immigrant victims.
 
Buncombe County – ($219,000) Buncombe County Family Justice Center will ensure provision of basic services to victims of domestic violence, including hotline response, emergency shelter, individual and group counseling, court advocacy, case management and outreach. Specifically, funds will be used to support shelter and court advocacy staff.
 
Beaufort – ($182,000) Ruth's House Domestic Violence Program will provide a comprehensive set of services for the victims of domestic violence to help them transform their lives and regain independence free from the fear of trauma and abuse.
 
Burke County – ($219,000) Options will provide domestic violence and sexual assault services to victims in Burke County. Services will include court advocacy, shelter, education, therapy, crisis line, hospital accompaniment, assistance with Victim Compensation applications and other support services.
 
Caldwell County – ($286,000) Robin's Nest, the Children's Advocacy Center of Caldwell County, Inc., will focus increased attention on services to child victims of sexual and severe physical abuse through advocacy services, trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy, and education for its multidisciplinary team.
 
Catawba, Alexander, Lincoln, and Gaston Counties – ($300,000) This project will provide sexual assault victims, including federal victims, 24-hour crisis services, crisis counseling, medical advocacy, legal advocacy, support groups and extensive advocacy services, including case management and individual counseling.
 
Craven, Jones, Pamlico Counties – ($230,000) This project will provide direct services to victims of domestic violence in rural Eastern North Carolina.  Services include safe house, support groups, victim and court advocacy, assistance obtaining victim compensation benefits, 24/7 crisis line, crisis counseling, and information and referral.
 
Cumberland County – ($237,000) The CARE Center is a domestic violence program that provides both emergency shelter and non-shelter services to victims and their children. Non-shelter services include women's and children's support groups, individual counseling, case management, crisis intervention, and legal advocacy.
 
Durham and Orange Counties – ($159,000) El Futuro will provide culturally competent treatment services for Spanish-speaking crime victims. El Futuro has a 10-year history of providing treatment and building strong relationships with the Latino community and allied service providers. 
 
Elizabeth City – ($138,000) This project will provide professional advocacy and evidence-based therapy to child witnesses of domestic violence, child victims of human sex trafficking, and survivors of homicide. Comprehensive services will take place in an accredited, family-friendly center with multi-disciplinary team support.
 
Elizabeth City – ($220,000) This project will provide comprehensive services (medical, evidence-based trauma treatment, family advocacy, multi-disciplinary team) to child victims of sexual, physical abuse and/or severe neglect in the rural, geographically isolated counties of the 1st Judicial District of northeastern North Carolina.
 
Fayetteville – ($48,000) Funds from GCC will be used to provide transitional housing to victims of human sex trafficking through the Dream Center in Fayetteville. The University of North Carolina at Greensboro will collect data to understand the human sex trafficking dynamic to improve victim services and inform deterrence, intervention and prevention strategies.
 
Greenville – ($343,000) Tedi Bear Child Advocacy Center will enhance advocacy and evaluation services for abused children, improving the lives of maltreated children and families in eastern North Carolina.
 
Guilford County – ($418,000) This project serves women and their children fleeing domestic violence situations. Basic needs are met through provisions of food, shelter, toiletries, clothing and emergency assistance. Additional needs are addressed through case management, advocacy, groups and life skills. 
 
Halifax County – ($215,000) Hannah's Place, Inc. will use funds to help serve the target population by providing basic domestic violence and sexual assault services. Funds will be used to continue to provide shelter services, 24/7 crisis line, group support, counseling and advocacy for clients.
 
Haywood County – ($216,000) This project will reduce the impact of trauma to child abuse victims through a nationally- accredited Child Advocacy Center, using a multidisciplinary team approach.
 
Henderson County – ($342,000) This project provides 24-hour crisis phone, emergency shelter, court advocacy, counseling, support groups to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in Henderson County. Medical exam support and advocacy are provided for sexual assault victims. The goal is to assist in achieving positive changes in their lives. 
 
Hertford County – ($324,000) This project will provide salaries, fringe benefits, health insurance, travel and a cellular telephone for one cross-trained domestic violence advocate and one cross-trained sexual assault advocate.
 
Macon County – ($250,000) KIDS Place, a nationally-accredited children's advocacy center, will provide victim's advocacy, coordination of services, medical evaluations and evidence-based therapy for child abuse victims in the county.
 
McDowell County – ($282,000) This project will sustain a child-friendly environment for child victims and non-offending caretakers, allowing them to receive services and support from an accredited child advocacy center and qualified personnel. The cases will be reviewed and handled effectively and rapidly by collaborating agencies.
 
Mecklenburg County – ($324,000) This project will fund the Family Advocate Program (two full-time family advocate positions and one Director of Victim Services position) and one part-time licensed therapist to provide evidence-based, trauma-informed mental health services for sexually abused children and their protective caregivers. 
 
Mecklenburg County – ($121,000) Mecklenburg County has more than 3,000 unsolved sexual assault cases which may not make it to trial due to prosecutors' large case load. To reduce backlog, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department will retain a retired assistant district attorney whose sole focus will be to prepare and prosecute sexual assault cold cases.
 
Nash/Edgecombe Counties – ($196,000) This project will provide shelter, 24-hour crisis line, hospital response, court services, support groups, referrals and information for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.
 
New Hanover County – ($310,000) Carousel Center will maintain an accredited Child Advocacy Center through comprehensive, in-house provision of expert child forensic and medical evaluations, family advocacy, and child trauma therapy direct services, as well as use standard community child abuse response protocols.
 
New Hanover County – ($199,000) Carousel Center will ensure that child victims of abuse and their caregivers heal through evidence-based child trauma therapy and comprehensive family advocacy services. The center will hold perpetrators accountable through child-serving partners who provide case reviews and ensure continuity of care.
 
N.C. Department of Justice – ($143,000) This project works with several parties to identify elderly repeat victims of fraud and then tries to prevent their re-victimization. Fraud against older citizens is different from other types of fraud because such victims tend to be victimized again and again.
 
Rockingham – ($140,000) Rockingham Residential Preservation Program for Children is a child-focused preservation unit that will be developed and operated in Help, Inc.'s residential program. The specialized preservation unit will provide intensive trauma-informed crisis intervention and advocacy for every child who comes into the shelter to enhance healing and reduce generational violence.
 
Sampson County – ($183,000) This project will assist with salary and daily operation cost for the recently developed Child Advocacy Center. 
 
Union County – ($285,000) Turning Point's Tree House Children's Advocacy Center is an accredited member of the National Children's Alliance that partners with community organizations that provides critical trauma-informed services for abused children and their non-offending caregivers. 
 
Raleigh – ($140,000) Kiran Inc. is the only service for South Asian immigrant victims of domestic violence in North Carolina. Kiran's core services include a 24-hour hotline, intensive client management, resource referrals, language assistance and translation, community outreach and education.
 
Wake County – ($226,000) This project will provide child medical evaluations in one location for 300 children and their non-offending caregivers who are living in Wake County for ages birth to 17 who are victims of sexual or physical abuse. Each child receives an interview, a medical exam, and child and family case management.
 
Wake County – ($431,000) This project supports InterAct of Wake County’s goals of assisting domestic violence victims and their children with immediate basic needs, while supporting them in their efforts to heal and live lives free from violence by providing clients safe shelter, food, skills training and access to economic resources.
 
Wake County – ($17,000) Victims of rape or sexual assault receive immediate assistance through InterAct’s 24-hour crisis lines, including individual counseling, on-going case management services and support groups. 
 
Wake County – ($136,000) El Pueblo’s Program for Assistance, Resources and Empowerment (PARE) provides resources for underserved Latino survivors of domestic violence or sexual assault in Wake County through empowerment of survivors, outreach to prevent domestic violence or sexual assault from occurring in the broader community, and advocacy to reduce barriers for Latino survivors.
 
Wake County – ($140,000) This will help in overcoming obstacles in identifying and connecting victims to services. The Human Trafficking Commission will create and implement a replicable cross-training for multi-disciplines to educate service providers to recognize and respond to human trafficking across North Carolina.
 
Wake County, Legal Services of North Carolina – ($600,000) This project will enhance the safety of victims of domestic violence, dating violence and stalking by providing high-quality civil legal services.
 
Wake County – ($119,000) This project will build capacity in American Indian communities for victim services and educate county agencies about cultural needs. Staff will earn advocate certification and build collaboration with law enforcement and service providers in 10 counties in the Piedmont and Coastal Plain regions.
 
Wayne County – ($159,000) This project will operate a safe shelter for county domestic violence and sexual assault victims and their dependent children. In addition, the project will provide victims with court advocacy, counseling, information and referral services, as well as operate 24-hour hotlines in English and Spanish.
 
Western North Carolina – ($112,000) This will help 140 immigrants victims of domestic violence, child abuse and sexual assault in 17 western North Carolina counties to pursue criminal prosecution of their abusers, and secure legal immigration status, employment authorization, and other resources to escape abuse.
 
Wilkes County – ($171,000) This project will improve care of Wilkes County victims of child sexual abuse and severe physical abuse. The Child Advocacy Center of Wilkes County (also known as SAFE Spot CAC) will coordinate care and provide direct services to victims and their non-offending caregivers.
 
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