The N.C. Justice for Sterilization Victims Foundation, which helps determine whether residents were sterilized under the state eugenics program, had stopped taking new requests for verification on June 20 when it ran out of money.
Before the temporary freeze, the foundation had verified 161 eugenics victims, 146 of them living.
The office is back working again, but no one knows for how long.
The state ran a eugenics program for about 40 years that lasted until 1974. A state board ordered sterilized residents who were mentally diseased, feeble-minded or epileptic. The board also ordered sterilized people who were poor or who were thought likely to have disabled children. About 7,600 people were sterilized under the auspices of the state board. The N.C. State Center for Health Statistics last month revised its projection of likely living victims from about 1,500 to 2,000 to about 1,350 to 1,800.
Legislators had talked for years about compensating victims, and the idea gained traction this year.
Gov. Bev Perdue and the state House had proposed giving victims $50,000 each in compensation, but Senate Republicans refused to go along. The verification work would have ended, but in the final days of the legislative session, the legislature directed the Department of Administration to find money to keep it going. The three-person staff is down to one executive director Charmaine Fuller Cooper.
The foundation had more than 140 requests for verification on June 20, and is again accepting new requests.
Were going to continue as usual as long as we can, Cooper said.
Burr wins on Haqqani network
Congress has passed a bill forcing the State Department to declare the Pakistani Haqqani network a terrorist organization or to provide a detailed explanation of why the label is not fitting.
Sen. Richard Burr, R-Winston-Salem, introduced S. 1959 last December the Senate then approved the bill unanimously; the House followed suit late Tuesday.
Burr is a member of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. He called the Haqqani a violent extremist group that uses murder as an intimidation tactic against the Afghan people.
The group claimed responsibility last June for an assault on the Intercontinental Hotel in Kabul that killed 18 and for a truck bombing last September in the Wardak province of Afghanistan that killed five and injured 77 U.S. soldiers.
Last summer, the U.S. met secretly with Haqqani leaders to figure out whether peace negotiations would be possible talks were unsuccessful, and a number of the organizations leaders have since been labeled terrorists by the State Department.
Taking the next step of labeling the entire group terrorist opens up a range of possibilities to ramp up pressure, Burr said: By designating the (Haqqani) as a terrorist organization, the United States can more actively pursue them, limit their financial, property and travel interests, and limit the ability of foreign governments to provide them with aid.
Wood to ALE: no
Well, shes thought about it and the answer is no.
Thats the response from the general counsel for State Auditor Beth Wood in answer to a cease-and-desist letter handed Wood on Wednesday as she was about to discuss an Alcohol Law Enforcement report with a legislative committee.
The letter, signed by two attorneys for ALE Director John Ledford, demanded Wood stop disseminating the investigative report, which said Ledford and Deputy Director Allen Page misused their state cars, and that division officials obstructed an auditors access to records and personnel. In June, the report was publicly released, as the auditors office typically does.
Ledfords attorneys demanded Wood take the report and accompanying video of her explaining the report down from the state auditors website. They contend libel and slander laws were broken, although the report and video dont include the ALE officials names, and that personnel matters are confidential.
Timothy J. Hoegemeyer, counsel for the auditors office, on Thursday wrote back saying the investigation, which originated with a hotline tip, and subsequent report were done in accordance with state law, and therefore we will not cease and desist the publication of this report.
Soon after an auditor began questioning the ALE officials last year, the division complained to Wood that he was incompetent and untruthful. Then Ledfords attorney, Stephen P. Lindsay of Fairview, filed a voluminous public record request for everything related to that auditor.
Hoegemeyers letter says the public records request is vague, overbroad and some of the records sought are confidential.
Staff writers Lynn Bonner, Franco Ordonez and Craig Jarvis
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