Local News
11:20 am
Fri August 8, 2014

Headline Roundup: Charter School Salaries, Immigration, Insurance Fraud And More

Update 1:10 PM

South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson says insurance fraud complaints in the state have reached a historic high, with more than 1,200 last year. Wilson’s office last year prosecuted cases that resulted in 37 convictions and resulted in more than $700,000 being returned to the victims of insurance fraud. The report notes that in one Darlington County case, three defendants sought payment from a health insurance company claiming they each had all four limbs amputated. None of the defendants had lost their limbs and one was convicted and sent to prison for 18 months. The report notes that since 1995, almost 14,000 insurance fraud complaints have been received by the state Attorney General's office.

Governor Pat McCrory has signed a bill into law that makes clear charter schools must disclose teacher and employee salaries, just like traditional public schools. Critics of the bill were worried it wouldn't apply to administrators hired by for-profit companies that manage charter schools and receive taxpayer dollars.  McCrory said he's told the State Board of Education to make sure contracts with private groups to run charter schools allow for collecting personnel and salary information.

Civil rights leaders and immigrant advocates say they're calling out Governor Pat McCrory for negatively addressing an influx of children from Central America now in North Carolina. The state chapter of the NAACP, Latino advocacy groups and others have scheduled a news conference this afternoon in Hillsborough to respond to McCrory's comments this week criticizing the federal government's management of children who have crossed the border without an adult. The governor on Tuesday said the state has received little information about roughly 1,200 children who were relocated with a sponsor in North Carolina. He says the state doesn't know where they live or whether their sponsors passed true background checks. The NAACP says McCrory is trying to play off the fears of state residents and stereotypes about immigrant activities.

The Panthers play their first pre-season game this evening, taking on the Bills at 7:30 at Bank of America Stadium. Coach Ron Rivera says he’s unsure if quarterback Cam Newton will play. Newton had surgery on his left ankle in March. He did not take part in team drills during practice yesterday. Tonight’s game could reunite two players from Charlotte Latin. The Charlotte Observer reports Panthers wide receiver Brenton Bersin and Bills cornerback Ross Cockrell were both Hawks in 2007, the year the team went undefeated and won a state championship.

Homes sales in the Charlotte region were up 5.9 percent in July from the same month last year according to the Charlotte Regional Realtor Association.  The average sale price jumped 3.7% year over year, to $241,485.

A Veterans Administration inspector general report says errors were found in the way the Columbia VA Regional Office processes benefits and claims. The report found inadequate training and slow processing caused the mistakes. The regional office provides benefit payments and counseling services to veterans. The report found many errors cost the VA, rather than veterans. In one case, a veteran was overpaid nearly $69,000 over three years. Another veteran was underpaid nearly $89,000 over four years. The report recommended the office put more resources into clearing its backlog and add training for processors.