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Associated Press

Posted on January 26, 2014 at 4:01 AM

Updated Sunday, Jan 26 at 4:00 AM


Blue Cross cuts family policies for gay NC couples

(Information in the following story is from: The News & Observer,

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina's largest insurer is canceling family insurance policies sold to gay and lesbian couples under the federal overhaul law due to contract language Blue Cross plans to remove next year.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reports that Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina invalidated policies for 20 couples because of standard policy language that defines "spouse" as "opposite sex."

Gay-rights advocates point out the insurer offers domestic partner benefits to its own employees. Blue Cross insurance plans offered by large North Carolina companies also include health benefits for employees and their same-sex partners.

The only other insurer selling subsidized policies on North Carolina's federally run marketplace for private coverage is Coventry Health. Spokesman Walt Cherniak says Coventry doesn't bar same-sex couples from buying family policies.


Charlotte won't seek 2016 GOP convention

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina and Charlotte officials are passing up an effort to pursue landing a second presidential nominating convention in a row.

Gov. Pat McCrory and Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon say the Queen City won't submit a bid to host the Republican National Convention in 2016. The city isn't ruling out a bid to host the GOP convention in 2020.

Charlotte hosted the Democratic National Convention in 2012. The event hasn't led to a rush of new business for the city's convention center.


Never-exhibited battle flags shown at NC museum

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Battle flags that have never been exhibited haven't been on view for years are part of a Civil War exhibit at the N.C. Museum of History.

The exhibit, titled "North Carolina and the Civil War: The Bitter End, 1864-1865," is the final exhibit in a three-part series commemorating the 150th anniversary of the war.

The flags have been conserved through funding provided by Civil War re-enactment groups and organizations. Flags will be changed periodically to avoid prolonged exposure to light.

The exhibit begins in the spring of 1864, when heavy fighting in Virginia was thinning the ranks of Tar Heel troops. The exhibit concludes with the surrender of the CSS Shenandoah in Liverpool, England, on Nov. 6, 1865.

In addition to the flags, other artifacts include revolvers, swords and uniforms.


No. 18 Duke beats Florida State 78-56

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Duke didn't shoot the ball well nor did it have one of its big runs against Florida State.

Rather, the 18th-ranked Blue Devils gave their Hall of Fame coach a milestone win by aggressively crashing the glass, converting on turnovers and cashing in at the free-throw line.

Rodney Hood scored 18 points to help Duke beat Florida State 78-56 on Saturday, giving Mike Krzyzewski his 900th victory in his 34th season at the school.

Jabari Parker added 14 points for the Blue Devils (16-4, 5-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), who shot 31 percent but nearly doubled the Seminoles on the glass while scoring 29 points off both turnovers and offensive rebounds.

Krzyzewski is the all-time leader in career victories in men's Division I with 973. He joins Syracuse's Jim Boeheim as the only coaches with at least 900 wins at one program.

"That's a lot of wins," Krzyzewski said. "I thank Duke for keeping me. I've been blessed with being at one of the greatest schools in the world. Great schools don't necessarily always have great people in command. This school has. ... We have a good thing going here and I've been blessed to be here for over three decades and take advantage of that."

Duke used an 11-0 spurt late in the first half to build a 20-point lead on the Seminoles (13-6, 4-3), who didn't get the margin below double figures again. But Duke's shooting percentage and its 18 field goals were both season-lows.