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Welcome to Monroe, NC

Monroe, North Carolina Photo submitted by Jack Smoluk


About Monroe:

Monroe is a city located in Union County, North Carolina. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 26,228. It is the county seat of Union County. (More Info and Source) Monroe Real Estate

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Monroe Area News

Steve’s Coats for Kids drive keeps families warm

Cold temperatures are coming this weekend but many families in the area can’t afford warm coats.

 LINK: More information on Steve's Coats for Kids

Chief Meteorologist Steve Udelson is about to kick off his annual Steve's Coats for Kids drive.

“It doesn't get much easier than that -- to help a child stay warm,” Udelson said. “For a full day, our friends at Piedmont Natural Gas set up their own collection, benefiting Steve's Coats for Kids."

Coats already began coming in Thursday.

“It's awesome, just to see that you're bringing smiles, you're bringing joy to somebody in the community. whether it's a kid or their mom,” Alicia Johnson, with PNG, said.

“There are kids out there that, it's a cold winter coming, and you can just go through your closet, pick out a coat that you pretty much don't wear anymore,” said Barbara Davis, PNG manager of philanthropy.

But the company is doing more than collecting coats.

For every coat donated to Steve's Coats for Kids, PNG will donate a dollar to Crisis Assistance Ministry.
“It'll help low-income families pay their heating bills,” said Tim Greenhouse with PNG. “There are people out there who are struggling, who are cold and anything that we can do to help them is going to be a plus.”
This is all part of PNG's annual Week of Giving and every coat means one more child who doesn't have to be cold.

“So easy just to clean out what you don't want, because (what) you think it is trash can always be someone else's treasure,” said Alva Hailey with PNG.

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Thu, 18 Dec 2014 17:10:27 -0500

Agencies deny responsibility after sinkhole forms in neighborhood

As soon as you enter Donna Lierz’s backyard, you see the problem.
“Everybody I’ve called says it’s not their problem,” she said.
A 6-foot-deep sinkhole formed around a stormdrain that runs from the street to a creek in her backyard, in the Bridgehampton neighborhood in Fort Mill, South Carolina.
It started as a small dent last year, and it has grown into an 8-foot-wide crater. It may still be growing, ready to swallow up her fence in the process.
Lierz worries about the people who rent the home from her and about children in the neighborhood.
“At best broken bones, at worst they get stuck in the middle of the night and freeze to death,” Lierz said.
She's been calling Lancaster County, the developer and her homeowners association for weeks now, trying to find out who's responsible for fixing it.
She and her neighbors have been frustrated by dead ends.
“It seems like everyone we talk to agrees we don’t need to do anything as homeowners. But every entity we have spoken with has pointed the finger at someone else, saying it’s definitely a problem, but it’s not our problem,” said Harriet Ollman.
Channel 9 spoke to the former developer, who said it finished the neighborhood years ago, and typically county stormwater service or the HOA is responsible after.
Lierz's says the county claims it’s not its responsibility.
A representative for the HOA said the board doesn't think it's responsible either, but it now has an attorney taking a closer look to see if it is.
Lierz wonders how much bigger the hole will get.
“We really don’t know what’s down there until they get out here and dig it up,” she said.

Thu, 18 Dec 2014 16:53:43 -0500

Officials: Another DSS worker accepted money for info on Medicaid clients

A senior social worker with the Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services was charged Thursday with receiving illegal kickbacks, according to U.S. Attorney Anne M. Tompkins.

Ryce Edward Hatchett Jr., 43, of Charlotte has reached a plea agreement with prosecutors, Tompkins said. He is expected to appear in federal court in the coming weeks to formally plead guilty.

In October, authorities said personal information for dozens of children was sold for cash and gifts by another DSS worker.

READ our past coverage:

 According to court documents, while working at DSS from November 2009 to October, Hatchett participated in an illegal kickback scheme with Ronnie Lorenzo Robinson, owner and operator of Peaceful Alternative Resources Inc., a nonprofit mental health and mentoring services provider with offices in Charlotte and surrounding areas.
Court records indicate that Hatchett solicited and received illegal kickbacks from Robinson and PAR in exchange for the referrals of individuals enrolled with the Medicaid program, some of whom were DSS clients.
Court records show that Robinson used the beneficiaries' information to file fraudulent reimbursement claims with Medicaid for services that were either not approved by Medicaid or were never provided.
According to court records, Hatchett received at least $12,000 in illegal kickbacks from Robinson in exchange for providing information about the Medicaid recipients.
At sentencing, he faces a maximum term of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for receiving the illegal kickbacks. In his plea agreement, Hatchett has agreed to pay full restitution to Medicaid for any losses resulting from his criminal conduct.
Robinson pleaded guilty in January 2014 to two counts of health care fraud in a separate case and is currently awaiting sentencing. He pleaded guilty after draining $3.4 million from Medicaid in fraudulent reimbursement payments.

FBI agents said Watkins used her access as a social worker to sell the names and information of 25 children to a man named Ronnie Robinson for $10,000.  According to court records, Robinson then used it to file $30,000 in false Medicaid claims for his non-profit mental health service. Watkins also pleaded guilty.

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Thu, 18 Dec 2014 15:42:50 -0500

News Source: MedleyStory More Local News Stories

Monroe Apartments

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