Mecklenburg County

To learn more about ransomware, WFAE's Mark Rumsey spoke to Dan Lorhmann. He’s the chief strategist and security officer at Security Mentor, a Michigan company that specializes in cybersecurity. He’s also a former chief security officer for Michigan’s state government.

Mark Rumsey:  First, how often is this kind of thing happening that we're dealing with in Mecklenburg County government right now?

Mecklenburg County Manager Dena Diorio talked to reporters Wednesday about this week's hacker attack on county servers.
David Boraks / WFAE

County Manager Dena Diorio says hackers from the Ukraine or Iran are likely behind this week's attack that shut down Mecklenburg County computer systems. County officials said Wednesday afternoon the county will not pay a $23,000 ransom in the electronic currency Bitcoins demanded by the attackers. They say the county will restore its systems from backups.

Pixabay

Mecklenburg County Manager Dena Diorio said Wednesday the county won't pay computer criminals $23,000 to unlock data scrambled in a "ransomware" attack this week. 

WFAE file photo

Many Mecklenburg County functions have come to a halt after a ransomware attack encrypted files on at least 30 county servers. The hackers have given the county a deadline of 1 pm Wednesday to pay a ransom of about $23,000.

The nurse who conducted an internal review of the Mecklenburg County Health Department suggested problems with patient care are worse than expected. The Charlotte Observer obtained e-mails from the nurse raising significant concerns about patient safety.


Charlotte Observer

The new interim health director for Mecklenburg County starts work Monday. Alma Harris takes over for Marcus Plescia. He resigned after his leadership was called into question when it was revealed that the agency had failed to timely notify nearly 200 women about abnormal Pap smear results. But the hiring of Harris to a $20,000 a month position is drawing scrutiny.

Jenna Eason / Charlotte Observer

Mecklenburg County Manager Dena Diorio has proposed a budget for 2018 that includes no property tax increases. It recommends a $15 million increase for CMS, but that's about $12 million short of the $440 million the district requested. 

“This will support the costs of opening new facilities, cost increases for health and retirement benefits, sustaining operations, and a portion of the request to expand student support services, including guidance counselors and social workers," says Diorio. 

Lisa Worf / WFAE

A bill that would divide Mecklenburg County into three separate judicial districts has drawn the ire of many judges. 

As dry conditions move east from North Carolina's mountains, five counties are now in an 'exceptional' drought - the highest level as determined by the U.S. Drought Monitor.

State officials say exceptional drought has now spread to Graham, Macon, and Swain counties, joining them with Cherokee and Clay counties. More than 40 percent of North Carolina is now in some stage of drought, up from 30 percent last week.

Dr. Marcus Plescia
Mecklenburg County Health Department

Mecklenburg County’s health director says one way to possibly curb childhood obesity is to prohibit fast food restaurants from opening near schools.  Dr. Marcus Plescia has received a lot of attention for the idea, which he mentioned last week during a presentation to county commissioners. But he says it was one small part of an overall plan. 


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