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ACA Enrollment Period Extended

North Carolinians who want to sign up for insurance through the federal exchange have a few more days to do so.

 The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced Monday that the deadline for open enrollment has been extended through 3:00 a.m. on December 18th.

A CMS spokesperson said this is due to issues that some experienced during the final hours of enrollment this weekend.

There are four insurance providers offering plans in the state for next year including Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, Cigna, Ambetter of North Carolina Inc., and Bright Health, which is a new provider for 2020.  

North Carolina Rep. Walker Won't Run In '20, Eyes Senate In '22

North Carolina Rep. Mark Walker isn't running at all in the 2020 election, as recent redistricting made his current U.S. House seat very difficult for him to win. The three-term House member and recent head of the conservative Republican Study Committee announced his decision late Monday.

He's the second North Carolina Republican congressman to stand aside next year because their districts have shifted to the left politically. Walker had considered mounting primary challenges to GOP colleagues in the state. Now Walker says he'll look at running in 2022 for the U.S. Senate seat that will be vacated by retiring Republican Richard Burr.

Greensboro Report Finds Continuing Barriers To Affordable Housing

A new report from Greensboro's Neighborhood Development Department details the barriers that people face when trying to find affordable housing.

While the report focused on housing, its 100-plus pages also provide a snapshot of Greensboro's current population trends, including historic issues such as segregation, which is on the decline. 

Some of the same housing impediments existed when an assessment was presented five years ago. There continues to be a lack of units available and some of what is out there are of poor quality.

Another ongoing problem: zoning ordinances, some of which were written to address other issues but ended up limiting affordable housing options.

The study's authors recommend that the city re-examine its zoning standards and requirements with an eye toward breaking some of those barriers.

Committee Explains Deal To Relocate Confederate Monument

Some board members of the University of North Carolina say an agreement they worked out means a controversial Confederate statue will never return to the college campus where it was toppled more than a year ago.

Five UNC Board of Governors members defended that plan in a column published Monday after the arrangement to move, preserve and protect the "Silent Sam" statue met with objections.

In November, UNC announced that Silent Sam would be given to the Sons of Confederate Veterans, which would be banned from placing it in any of the 14 counties where UNC campuses are located. 

The agreement calls for university officials to put $2.5 million in a private fund that would be used for expenses related to preserving the monument or potentially building a facility to house it. Officials have said no state money will be used for the fund.

Sheriff Fires School Resource Officer Who Slammed Student

A North Carolina deputy seen on surveillance video violently slamming a middle school student to the ground twice and then dragging the boy away has been fired.

Vance County Sheriff Curtis Brame said Monday that the deputy is no longer employed by the sheriff's office. The deputy hasn't been named and it wasn't clear if the fired officer would face charges. The sheriff says the student is under the age of 12.

The State Bureau of Investigation is probing what happened at Vance County Middle School, about 45 miles north of Raleigh.

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