Friday News: God bless Canton


FLOODING IN NC MOUNTAIN AREAS CAUSED BY FRED IS HORRIFIC: The water that tore through Pressley’s home on Tuesday, caused by the remnants of Tropical Storm Fred, killed at least two people and has left 20 more missing as of Thursday, according to officials with Haywood County Emergency Services. The identities of the deceased have not yet been released. Emergency crews from around the state are on the ground to assist local personnel from the small towns that make up this part of the Blue Ridge Mountains region. The area is popular with tourists, campers and hikers, known for its scenic mountain views and beautiful rivers. But on Thursday, crews were searching for people who went missing shortly after the Pigeon River had crested its banks. Haywood County Emergency Services director Travis Donaldson said a search mission is underway by close to 200 personnel, along 47 miles of riverbank.

NC REPUBLICANS WANT 8 YEAR-OLDS TO GO TO COURT: And while both Republicans and Democrats generally agree that at least some change should be made, a lengthy debate erupted during Wednesday’s vote on Senate Bill 207 over whether North Carolina should set the new age limit at 8 or at 10. An early version of the bill set the age limit at 10. But then a group that lobbies for prosecutors said they wanted to put the limit at 8, said Republican Rep. Ted Davis of Wilmington on Wednesday. So lawmakers changed the language to say people as young as 8 could face accusations that are the equivalent of felonies, while only those 10 and up could be accused of the equivalent of misdemeanors and some low-level felonies. And while Democrats protested that decision, Republican Rep. Sarah Stevens of Mount Airy said her fellow GOP lawmakers listened to Democrats on other parts of the bill. “There were a couple of things we wanted that were even further than this,” she said. That's your justification? "It could have been worse"? Sheesh.

NO LIGHT FOR THIS DARKNESS: Legislation requiring charities and other non-profits to keep donors secret unless the donor gives written permission cleared the North Carolina House Thursday despite continued concerns that the measure will add another layer of secrecy to political advertising. Supporters of Senate Bill 636 say that's not the intent, and that's not what the bill does. The measure specifically says it won't apply to disclosures required by North Carolina's campaign finance laws, and a Politifact check earlier this year on the bill deemed claims from Democratic opponents "mostly false." But the Russian nesting-doll nature of some modern campaign finance operations leaves critics, who don't see much other reason for the bill, uneasy. “This bill protects wealthy special interest and dark money groups," NC Voters for Clean Elections Coalition Director Melissa Price Kromm said Thursday in a vain effort to stop the measure in committee. The bill passed the full House soon after that meeting, on a 58-34 party line vote, with quite a few members absent. It heads back to the Senate, which passed a slightly different version of the bill in May on its own party-line vote. 28 members absent, to be precise. That's almost 25%.

YES, BEING STUPID CAN COST YOU MONEY: Some Meredith College students are voicing opposition against a new policy that will could hit them in the wallet. Meredith will charge unvaccinated students $75 a week for COVID-19 testing. After 15 weeks, that equals $1,125 for the semester. The college is requiring students to test on campus, as opposed to a community testing site, to more quickly identify positive cases, begin contact tracing and initiate quarantines. “We are a private college and we expect each student to be responsible for whatever fees are associated with her attendance,” said Jean Jackson, Vice President of Meredith. “We have many students who live on campus and so we want contain the spread.” “Many families have been impacted by COVID-19 and I think this is just another financial burden that we have to face and they have to pick between their morals and their college education and that is really not fair,” said Taryn McKenrick, an unvaccinated student at Meredith. WTF do your "morals" have to do with it? If anything, your morals should drive you to better protect your cummunity.

NORTH CAROLINA MAN TAKEN INTO CUSTODY IN CAPITOL BOMB THREAT: For the third time in nine months, Washington was brought to a standstill Thursday as the seat of the U.S. government came under the threat of political violence, this time from a man who parked a truck near the Capitol, demanded to speak with President Biden about a range of grievances and threatened to destroy two blocks of the nation’s capital with an explosive device. Congressional office buildings and nearby homes were evacuated as authorities negotiated with the man, identified by law enforcement as Floyd Ray Roseberry, of North Carolina. Roseberry surrendered to authorities after about five hours and will face criminal charges, U.S. Capitol Police Chief J. Thomas Manger said. Before he was taken into custody, he delivered a tirade over a Facebook live video — watched by tens of thousands of people — in which he assailed President Biden and other Democrats, called for a revolt against the U.S. government and claimed there were other “patriots” waiting in vehicles elsewhere in D.C. “We didn’t know that he was going to do any of this. We didn’t know anything” Foster, 20, of Grover, N.C., said in a telephone interview. “He is just a good old farmin’ country man that has just kind of had enough, I guess, and you know, kind of reached his breaking point." Welp, his ass is going to jail now. Will definitely reach his "breaking point" in there.



More on the cost of COVID

Forbes reported yesterday that many insurers are passing along the costs of hospitalization back to patients who are not vaccinated.

I kept expecting this to happen since not getting vaccinated without any valid medical reason is simple and willful neglect, like drunk driving.

When word of this gets out, I fully expect the NC GOP to start making noise about "discrimination" and trying to push legislation to force insurance companies to pay these costs for people who are being consciously and willfully irresponsible.

Earlier in the pandemic, the vast majority of private health insurers voluntarily waived out-of-pocket costs for Covid-19 treatment, meaning some 88% of people with insurance coverage would have paid nothing if hospitalized.

With no federal mandate requiring insurers to waive these costs, few regulations requiring them to do so at the state level and the wide availability of effective vaccines, the majority have now passed these costs back to patients, according to research by the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Of the two largest health plans in each state and Washington, D.C., nearly three-quarters (72%) are now passing out-of-pocket costs—including copays and payments towards deductibles—for Covid-19 treatment back to patients, KFF found.

The 102 providers studied represent 62% of enrollment across fully insured individual and group markets, KFF said.

Almost half of the insurers studied had terminated waivers by April, roughly the time all adults in the country became eligible for a vaccine, and the majority of those still eating the costs—nearly a quarter of the the insurers studied—intend to stop by the end of the year.