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News In Brief

185 Women Not Notified Of Abnormal Health Screenings; Rep. Pittenger Holds Town Hall Thursday

The Mecklenburg County Health Department is facing an independent review after county leaders say the department failed to notify 185 low-income women about their abnormal Pap smear results.

County Manager Dena Diorio said the neglect went unchecked for a period of eight months, even while many of the women should have been notified immediately.

Officials say the majority of women have been notified of their results since, but there are still 20 women who officials have not been able to reach. Diorio says four people involved in the negligence no longer work for the county.

In addition to the independent review, the health department is conducting its own internal review.

Congressman Robert Pittenger To Hold Tele-Town Hall Thursday

U.S. Representative Robert Pittenger (R-Charlotte) will host a 'tele-town hall' meeting Thursday, February 23rd, at 6:30 p.m. in which constituents can phone in their comments, questions, and concerns.

Pittenger represents North Carolina's 9th District, which includes southeast portions of Mecklenburg County, most of Cumberland and Bladen Counties, and parts of Union, Anson, Richmond, Scotland, and Robeson Counties.

Constituents who wish to participate or listen in are asked to register Pittenger.House.gov/townhall.

Cabinet Member No-Show Again Before Senate Panel

Another confirmation hearing in the North Carolina senate for a cabinet member picked by Governor Roy Cooper has ended abruptly when the governor's military and veterans' affairs secretary didn't show up.

A table for Secretary Larry Hall was empty again Wednesday. Hall didn't attend a similar committee meeting two weeks ago.

The Democratic governor and Republican legislative leaders are engaged in a legal fight over whether his Cabinet is subject to Senate confirmation. A three-judge panel last week refused to block the law until an expected trial on its constitutionality next month.

South Carolina Bills Aimed At Curbing Prescription Painkiller Abuse

Republicans in the state House are filing 10 proposals aimed at curbing South Carolina's rampant prescription painkiller problem. The bills sponsored by four Republicans are being introduced Wednesday.

One require doctors to consult a statewide database of patients' medical histories before writing long-term prescriptions for OxyContin and other opioids. A mandate was first recommended in 2013 by Inspector General Patrick Maley, whose report described high-prescribers as either motivated by money or naively helping "doctor shoppers."

The "Good Samaritan" proposal would provide limited immunity from prosecution for people trying to get medical help for someone who's overdosing.

Another bill would make it easier for people to return excess pills. It's designed to get unused drugs out of medicine cabinets and beyond the easy reach of people who shouldn't be taking them.