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State Government
DHHS Warns About Mold As Residents Rebuild After Florence PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Monday, 24 September 2018 09:16

As North Carolinians begin to clean up debris and building interiors that may have been exposed to flooding or standing water caused by Hurricane Florence, state health officials are cautioning them to be mindful of the hazards associated with mold and other contaminants that may be present inside homes and other buildings.

Mold growth should be cleaned up as quickly as possible and any water problems, such as leaks in roofs, walls and plumbing, should be fixed to help control moisture inside a building.
To protect from health risks associated with mold, purchase N95 masks or respirators with a higher protection level at a local home supply store and wear one while in the building. Follow instructions to ensure a tight fit. Wear a long-sleeve shirt, long pants and gloves. If available, rubber boots and goggles should also be worn. Additionally, be sure to open windows and doors to provide fresh air during cleanup. 
To remove mold from hard surfaces, use commercial mold cleaning products, soap and water or a bleach solution of no more than one cup of household laundry bleach in one gallon of water. Always follow the manufacturer's instructions when using bleach or any other cleaning product. Never mix bleach with ammonia or other household cleaners as it may produce toxic fumes.
Thoroughly clean all hard surfaces with hot water and laundry or dish detergent. Remove and discard affected items that cannot be washed and disinfected, like furniture. Throw out wooden cutting boards, baby bottle nipples and pacifiers.
Remove all porous items that have been wet for more than 48 hours and that cannot be thoroughly cleaned and dried. These items can remain a source of mold growth and should be removed from the building. Porous, non-cleanable items include carpeting and carpet padding, upholstery, wallpaper, drywall, floor and ceiling tiles, insulation material, some clothing, leather, paper, wood and food.
After completing the cleanup, wash hands with soap and clean water and use fans to dry out the building. Position fans to blow air out doors or windows. Wash clothes that are worn for mold clean-up activities, or that are contaminated with flood or sewage water in hot water and detergent. These clothes should be washed separately from uncontaminated clothes and linens. 
People with breathing problems such as asthma, or those who have a weakened immune system, or are pregnant, should not enter buildings with mold damage. Children should not take part in disaster cleanup work. Individuals with a weakened immune system, such as people receiving treatment for cancer, those who have had an organ or stem cell transplant and people taking medicines that suppress the immune system, are more likely to get a serious illness from mold.
Those who are sensitive or allergic to mold may experience problems like asthma attacks, wheezing, stuffy nose and irritated eyes and skin. Anyone experiencing health problems after exposure to mold should seek treatment from a health care provider.
For more information about the health risks associated with mold and how to safely enter and clean up a property contaminated by mold, visit www.cdc.gov/disasters/mold/index.html.
Last Updated on Monday, 24 September 2018 09:21
NC Supreme Court Throws Out Challenge To Voter ID And Income Tax Cap Constitutional Amendments PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Tuesday, 04 September 2018 10:50
The North Carolina Supreme Court has rejected a civil rights group’s request to eliminate proposed constitutional amendmendts on a voter photo identification requirement and a cap on state and income taxes.
The justices denied a motion by the North Carolina NAACP which sought to block those amendments. 
The Supreme Court still has before it arguments from Governor Roy Cooper and legislative leaders regarding two constitutional amendments that would switch many judicial appointments from the govenor to the General Assembly and restructuring of the state elections board.
Two constitutional amendments addressing crime victims’ rights and hunting and fishing have not been challenged. 
Cooper Orders DHHS To Draft Early Childhood Action Plan By November 1 PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Tuesday, 04 September 2018 09:42
Governor Roy Cooper issued an executive order directing North Carolina to create an Early Childhood Action Plan. The plan to be developed by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services will be devoted to the health, safety, and developmental and academic readiness of young children across the state.
“We know that a foundation for future learning, health and well-being is built during early childhood,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “I want all North Carolina children to get off to a strong start in safe and nurturing families and communities, with access to high-quality opportunities to learn, and this plan can help us get there.”
The Early Childhood Action Plan will set targeted goals and strategies to ensure the state’s 1.1 million children from birth through age eight are healthy, safe and nurtured, learning and ready to succeed. Birth through eight is a critical period in children’s development and readiness for academic success. Quality early childhood education also strengthens North Carolina’s workforce, by helping prepare young people for future work and allowing parents and caretakers to join the workforce.
The order directs DHHS to publicly track annual metrics to show regular improvements in early childhood outcomes. Today, North Carolina has a high infant mortality rate compared to most states, nearly half of young children in the state live in low-income households, and almost one in four are food insecure. 
“We must do more to change outcomes for young children and their families across the state,” said DHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen, M.D. “The Early Childhood Action Plan will build on existing public and private efforts and develop new strategies to help us make smart, evidence-informed investments for North Carolina’s children.”
The action plan will be developed by DHHS in collaboration with the NC Early Childhood Advisory Council appointed by Governor Cooper and in extensive consultation with experts and stakeholders from across the state. The executive order calls for a draft Early Childhood Action Plan to be completed and available for public comment by Nov. 1, 2018.
Governor Spokesman Defends Hurricane Matthew Reponse PDF Print E-mail
State Government
By Administrator   
Tuesday, 04 September 2018 09:26
Ford Porter, spokesperson for the Office of Governor Cooper, shared the following statement on a legislative hearing on the administration's respopnse to Hurricane Matthew:
“This sham hearing was an embarrassing use of the legislature's time. 
Republican politicians decided that the way to help Matthew survivors is to create another bureaucratic committee while the Governor and his administration are focused on actually helping hurricane victims. More than $743 million has been spent on Matthew recovery already, and we are focused on getting more resources out to the people who are still in need. It's unfortunate that Republicans prefer political theater over working with Emergency Management to help people. 
Republican legislators raided a fund meant to help bring jobs to eastern North Carolina and it seems as though now, just a few weeks before the election, many of them are panicked about that poor decision and how it could cost them votes in November.”
Hurricane Matthew Recovery Background
In 2016, the legislature moved the disbursement of CDBG-DR funding to the North Carolina Emergency Management Agency. Mike Sprayberry, Director of NCEM, has testified at least 6 times before the legislature, including two weeks ago before the Select Committee on Disaster Relief. He is scheduled to testify again before the JPS oversight committee two weeks from now on September 13.
At the hearing two weeks ago, Republican House member Pat McElraft had this to say, “But, to see where you started, where other administrations had not, had not really planned for the future, and for this kind of CDBG-DR and the new regulations there. Having to build this whole program, I admire you and your group.”
According to NCEM, CDBG-DR funds represent 15% of the total recovery funds available.
More than $743 million in federal, state and local funding has gone to the ground in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. 
ACP Background
Earlier this year, the legislature raided a $58 million fund that was intended to help with economic development in the pipeline counties. 
A WRAL story clearly indicates that eastern North Carolina business and farming leaders had concerns about being able to access the pipeline for economic development and farming use. 
The ACP permit decision was made by experts at DEQ after a rigorous review process. It was completely separate and independent from the agreement on the rural jobs fund.
In a press conference on February 14, 2018, after having raided the economic development fund, Senator Phil Berger pledged that the legislature would look at public funding for economic development gas line extensions in the pipeline counties, but the committee did not indicate that any work has happened on that. 
After raiding the fund, the legislature has done nothing to acquire the funds that they have promised to school districts. The following amounts have been promised to school districts that have not yet received them:
                Cumberland – $15,115,607
                Halifax – $1,920,839
                Roanoke Rapids – $2,157,148
                Weldon City – $642,996
                Johnston – $11,998,658
                Nash – $7,547,838
                Northampton – $3,574,629
                Robeson – $7,544,754
                Sampson – $2,416,321
                Clinton City – $875,403
                Wilson – $4,005,807
Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 September 2018 09:28

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