North Carolina unemployment rate drops 8.9%
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - North Carolina's unemployment rate fell to 8.9% in April - the lowest unemployment rate in the state in four years.
The state's unemployment rate was 9.2% in March.
The state Commerce Department said Friday the number of people unemployed fell by 15,000 between March and April. On the downside, nearly 4,200 fewer people held jobs than in March.
Leisure and hospitality service was the industry with the largest monthly increase, adding 6,100 jobs. It was followed by financial activities with 2,000 jobs, and the government with 1,300.
January 2009 is the last time the state's unemployment rate was at 8.9
The unemployment picture is improving on the national level. The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 7.5% in April from 7.6% the previous month.
NC Senate to direct DHHS to craft Medicaid reform
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - North Carolina General Assembly leaders want to direct state agencies to tame the growth of Medicaid in their upcoming budget proposal.
Gov. Pat McCrory's office said Friday the Senate will include an order in its upcoming budget for the Department of Health of Human Services to prepare a plan for Medicaid reform. That plan will require the approval of the legislature and the federal government, which pays for most of the program serving the poor.
McCrory wants to let private groups manage the delivery of services to better control yearly cost overruns in the hundreds of millions of dollars and improve patient care.
Critics point out the current system has won national awards and worry that a privately run model will shortchange patients in the name of profits.
BUDGET BATTLE-AIR SHOWS
Dark clouds hang over air shows after budget cuts
BRUNSWICK, Maine (AP) - The automatic budget cuts that grounded the Navy Blue Angels and Air Force Thunderbirds are taking a toll on performers, air show announcers, concessionaires, vendors and others who depend on air shows and the millions of spectators.
All told, the International Council of Air Shows says 64 air shows that depended on military participation have canceled this season.
Those included Wings over Wayne at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina and Skyfest 2013 at Fairchild Air Force Base in Washington state this weekend.
The council says air shows draw nearly three times more spectators than NASCAR events and pump about $1.5 billion into the economy and. Aerobatic pilot Sean Tucker describes the air shows as "the Indianapolis 500, the Fourth of July, and 'Top Gun' rolled into one."
GULLAH GEECHEE CORRIDOR
Plan approved, Gullah Geechee panel moves forward
CONWAY, S.C. (AP) - The commission working to preserve the culture of slave descendants on the Southeast coast will be hiring an executive director now that the federal government has approved its management plan.
Commissioners from the Carolinas, Florida and Georgia applauded warmly Friday when the letter approving the plan was read during the panel's meeting in Conway.
The 272-page management plan for the Gullah-Geechee Heritage Corridor was more than a dozen years in the making.
Chairman Ron Daise says the next step is to hire an executive director and seek partners to help educate people about the culture, documenting sites important to it and developing economic opportunities for those in the corridor.
The culture is known as Gullah in the Carolinas and Geechee in Georgia and Florida.
Busch will understand if Kahne retaliates soon
CONCORD, N.C. (AP) - Kyle Busch won't be surprised if Kasey Kahne intentionally wrecks him sometime soon.
In fact, Busch says he's already joked with Kahne about a potential payback and even asked him not to make if it happens.
The score is 3-0 in Busch's favor after an incident last Saturday night at Darlington led to Kahne spinning as the two raced for the lead with 30 laps remaining.
Busch on Friday shrugged it off as a product of hard racing, but admitted wrecking Kahne at Daytona and Talladega were mistakes on his part.
Now he waits to see if Kahne will exact his revenge in Saturday night's Sprint All-Star Race. Busch doesn't think Kahne is the kind of guy to intentionally wreck another competitor, but said he'll understand if it happens.
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