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News State / Region

North Carolina National Guard (NCNG) aircrew and local highly trained rescue technicians rescued three stranded hikers from the Appalachian Trail in Swain County Friday, Jan 3. The North Carolina Helicopter and Aquatic Rescue Team (NCHART) found the hikers approximately half a mile from the Tennessee border.

The three hikers were stranded because they lacked proper equipment for rapid snow accumulation and sustained below-freezing temperatures. National Park Service Rangers reached the hikers Friday morning and confirmed the need for NCHART, as the subjects were severely hypothermic and land rescue was not possible.


New licenses will provide real time facial recognition capabilities

The North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles is moving forward with production of a new next generation, secure driver license that will reduce the risk of identity theft, better integrate new technology for customer service and comply with the federal Real ID Act of 2005.

N.C. Department of Transportation signed a $73,468,000 contract on Dec. 16, with MorphoTrust USA, Inc. of Billerica, Mass. to produce more than two million new driver licenses and ID cards per year, enabling NCDMV to achieve its modernization efforts. MorphoTrust is the company that currently produces North Carolina Driver licenses.


At its highest point, North Carolina owed the federal government over $2.8 billion (April 2012) after borrowing to pay regular state unemployment benefits. As 2013 drew to a close, the state had paid down almost $1 billion to a year end estimate of $1.87 billion.

“We are making sure that there are better processes in place for the determination of claims and we are introducing new tools to go after money that is owed to the division,” said DES Assistant Secretary Dale Folwell. “Fiscal Research at the General Assembly estimated that the debt would be around $1.98 billion at the end of 2013 and we anticipate being $100 million ahead of that projection.”


AG warns Misuse of Medicaid benefit cards a crime

Families whose Medicaid cards were sent to the wrong addresses can take steps to guard against possible identity theft and health care fraud, Attorney General Roy Cooper said Tuesday.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services recently announced that it mailed 48,752 Medicaid cards for North Carolina children to the wrong addresses. According to DHHS, the cards include children's names, Medicaid identification numbers, dates of birth and the names and addresses of their primary care physicians but do not contain Social Security Numbers.


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