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Federal Government
Bipartisan N.C. Congressional Coalition Pushing For Charlotte Doppler Radar Tower PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Tuesday, 05 April 2016 05:39

RALEIGH, (SGRToday.com) - A group of North Carolinia federal elected officials hope to convince the National Weather Service to build a Doppler Radar tower near Charlotte. U.S. Rep. Robert Pittenger is leading the effort on legislation, joined by fellow Republican Sen. Richard Burr and Democratic Reps. David Price and Alma Adams.

The $15 million tower is considered vital to areas with volatile weather. McClatchey reports the Weather Service has no plans to build a tower, saying Charlotte is covered by towers in South Carolina and Virginia.

Pittenger told McClatchey he is trying to get the job done as quickly as possible, calling Charlotte's lack of a tower "incredible."

 
National Public Health Week, April 4-10, 2016 PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Tuesday, 05 April 2016 05:27

RALEIGH, (SGRToday.com) - President Obama has proclaimed National Public Health Week as part of an effort to focus Americans' attention on ways to improve overall health and to acknowledge the contributions of public health professionals.

In a statement posted to whitehouse.gov, the president focuses on access to health insurance, the First Lady's push for exercise and healthy eating in school, mental health, gun control and more.

The president's proclamation reads:

"During National Public Health Week, we join together to enhance public health ‑‑ the foundation of our security and well-being ‑‑ here at home and around the world.  By supporting health professionals and embracing our obligations to promote public health and protect our planet, we can uphold our shared responsibility to preserve the promise of a happy and healthy life for our children and grandchildren.

Ensuring all Americans have access to quality, affordable health insurance is imperative for maintaining our public health, and I am proud that 6 years after I signed it, the Affordable Care Act has extended the peace of mind that comes with health coverage to 20 million Americans.  First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! initiative is encouraging more physical activity and nutritious food choices for our Nation's youth, engaging parents and kids in the work of building stronger, healthier communities.  To spare more American families heartbreak, I have proposed over 1 billion dollars in new funding to address prescription opioid abuse and heroin use, a public health issue that has taken a devastating toll on too many.  We are also striving to promote mental health as an essential component of overall health, helping ensure access to mental health care and services and working to prevent suicide.  And because public safety is a critical component of addressing public health, I announced new, commonsense steps this year to help address our country's epidemic of gun violence and keep our neighborhoods safe.

Just as we must sustain a healthy world today, we must do everything in our power to preserve it for those who will inherit it.  Climate change has a profound impact on our public health, contributing to intensified smog, an extended allergy season, the spread of diseases into new regions, and greater and more acute incidence of asthma.  Last year, the White House hosted a Summit on Climate Change and Health to expand awareness of the real threat a changing climate poses to our health and to focus on vulnerable groups who may face more serious challenges adapting to climate change.  No community is immune to this reality, nor can any nation cordon itself off from climate or the air we share.  That is why last year, along with nearly 200 countries from around the world, the United States negotiated the Paris Agreement ‑‑ the most ambitious climate change agreement in history that commits all participating parties to putting forward climate targets of growing stringency to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions.  Adopting this agreement for an international framework builds on domestic actions we have already taken to invest in clean energy, reduce our carbon emissions, and transition to a cleaner, healthier, and more sustainable future.

Like the threat of climate change, other public health challenges ‑‑ like infectious diseases ‑‑ cannot be addressed by any one nation alone.  In an increasingly interconnected world, we face new trials that demand international attention.  My Administration is working with our international partners to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria.  We also launched the Global Health Security Agenda, which aims to strengthen all countries' public health systems and stop the spread of disease outbreaks by ensuring nations from around the world have the capacity to prevent, detect, and respond to biological threats to our health and safety.  Already, this cooperation is helping us confront the spread of the Zika virus.

America is built on the notion that we are our brothers' and our sisters' keepers, and that we all have certain obligations to one another.  Never is that idea truer than when ensuring the health of the world our children will live in long after we are gone.  This week, let us treat every child as if they are our own by accepting our responsibilities to leave them with a healthier, cleaner planet than we have, and let us continue reaching for a brighter, more secure future for all the world's people.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim April 4 through April 10, 2016, as National Public Health Week.  I call on all citizens, government agencies, private businesses, non-profit organizations, and other groups to join in activities and take action to improve the health of our Nation.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of April, in the year of our Lord two thousand sixteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and fortieth."

 
NC Division of Public Health Signs On To Idea of EPA-Led Nationwide Safe Water Standards PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Monday, 04 April 2016 06:12

RALEIGH, (SGRToday.com) - North Carolina's Division of Public Health has endorsed a call for nationwide safe water standards from the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials.

“We hope the association’s policy will provide the impetus for adoption of uniform safe drinking water standards that can be applied in all states and territories,” said Danny Staley, Director of the Division of Public Health in a news release. “This decision by this national body reinforces the recent withdrawal of the ‘do not drink’ recommendations issued to a small set of well owners, and clearly demonstrates the need for consistent standards for all citizens.”

The statement reads:

"ASTHO believes that there should be one consistent set of drinking water standards for the protection of all Americans. In the past, proposals were considered that had the potential to create a two-tiered system of maximum contaminant levels for water systems based on affordability. However, a two-tier system would result in health disparities across communities and states. Uniform optimum public health protection standards for everyone in the United States and U.S. territories must remain the focus.

 The association represents the public health agencies of the United States, the U.S. territories and the District of Columbia, as well as more than 100,000 public health professionals employed by these agencies.

 
Three North Carolinians Among 61 Federal Prisoners Whose Sentences Commuted By President Obama PDF Print E-mail
Federal Government
By Administrator   
Friday, 01 April 2016 05:46

RALEIGH, (SGRToday.com) - President Barack Obama has communited the sentences of 61 prisoners. That brings to 248 the number of people he has released due to what the administration calls "outdated and unduly harsh sentences."

"Despite the progress we have made, it is important to remember that clemency is nearly always a tool of last resort that can help specific individuals, but does nothing to make our criminal justice system on the whole more fair and just," said White House Counsel to the President Neil Eggleston in a statement posted to whitehouse.gov.

"Clemency of individual cases alone cannot fix decades of overly punitive sentencing policies. So while we continue to work to resolve as many clemency applications as possible – and make no mistake, we are working hard at this – only broader criminal justice reform can truly bring justice to the many thousands of people behind bars serving unduly harsh and outdated sentences."

The Washington Post reports the list includes three North Carolinians:

-- Reginald Wendell Boyd of Greensboro

-- Christopher Tim Florence of Chapel Hill

-- Alohondra Rey Staton of Greenville

 
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