Elizabeth City

North Carolina Town Accepts, Then Spurns Russian Gift

Bed-and-breakfast owner Rick Boyd stands in a downtown arts center looking at a model of a bronze monument that he hopes will soon grace the Elizabeth City, N.C., waterfront.

"It’s just one of the most beautiful pieces of art that I’ve ever seen," Boyd said.

In a heroic style that evokes Frederic Remington’s rough-hewn Western art, three pilots – American, Canadian and Soviet – look off into the distance.

"And then there’s the airplane, the military version of the Catalina, depicted coming out of the water," Boyd said.

A model of the proposed monument to Project Zebra. The monument is projected to be 13 feet tall and weigh 25 tons.

The monument would honor a World War II program called Project Zebra. Americans trained hundreds of Soviet fliers on amphibious bombers that they then flew home to fight German and Japanese submarines.

Almost a year ago, Elizabeth City agreed to accept the monument, valued at an estimated $1 million, as a gift from the Russian government. But in a surprise move, a city council with new members has torpedoed the deal, with some saying the city shouldn’t associate with Russia.

"I would caution this council that you, or this previous council, gave your word to another foreign government and I’d be embarrassed, to be honest with you, to go back on your word," City Manager Richard Olson said at a council meeting last month.

"You’re talking about the ‘hacking government?’ " asked council member and ex-pro football player Johnnie Walton, referring to Russia. "Some people say we’d be dumb not to do it. I’d say it would be dumber to do it."

During the same meeting, another council member asked why the city should accept a Russian monument when it doesn’t have statues honoring notable African-Americans.

The U.S. Navy identification card issued to Col. Maxim Chibisov, commanding officer of Soviet pilots training in North Carolina. Chibisov’s first name is misspelled.

Some locals back the council majority.

Hezekiah Brown, a professional arbitrator and mediator, questions the timing of the Russian offer, given U.S. intelligence agencies’ conclusion that Russia interfered in the U.S. presidential election.

"You can’t deny the fact that politics are involved somewhere," Brown said. "You know, you’ve got the 2018 election coming up."

A secret program in the American South

One reason the Russians didn’t propose the monument earlier could be that Project Zebra wasn’t declassified until six years ago.

The project began in 1944. The U.S. was making the amphibious bombers for Russia, and needed a place to train more than 300 Soviet pilots.

"We then went ahead and made 185 of these 11-crew planes in the Philadelphia Naval Yard and painted red stars on them and flew them down to Elizabeth City, N.C.," says M. G. Crisci, author of Project Zebra: Roosevelt and Stalin’s Top-Secret Mission to Train 300 Soviet Airmen in America.

‘It was both a Coast Guard base that had huge airfields that could take these planes, and it had the waterways nearby that they could practice and take off in the water.

"The town was remarkable in that it was essentially cheerleaders and provided these crews things that they wanted and needed and it was actually an amazing team effort," Crisci said.

"There was once a time in America where a bunch of people that didn’t know each other, who couldn’t speak each other’s language, came together through circumstances and built a monument to humanity. While at the same time completing a very successful military mission."

That’s what the Russians say they want to honor with the monument.

Saying no to a gift

Supporters say if Elizabeth City turns the Russians down, it could have an unexpected consequence: hampering international efforts to search for missing U.S. troops.

Soviet and American officers pose at the Wright Brothers National Memorial in Kill Devil Hills, N.C.

That’s because a joint U.S.- Russia commission that supports those searches helped broker the monument deal, in part because three Soviet fliers went missing during Project Zebra.

U.S. researchers hunt through Russian archives for clues about MIAs who went missing in the Soviet bloc during the the Cold War, or who were shot down in Vietnam, where some missile crews had Soviet advisers.

The commission’s U.S. chairman, retired Air Force Gen. Robert Foglesong, is concerned the Russians will be offended if Elizabeth City rejects the monument.

"Potentially, the Russians could deny us the opportunity to go in the archives," Foglesong said. "They could deny us the opportunity to come and do site work."

Foglesong said his counterpart in Russia is watching to see how the debate over the monument plays out.

"They have put considerable resources into this and time and effort and in a sense are out on their own limb," he said.

Boyd, the bed-and-breakfast owner, started a petition asking the city council to reverse its decision. Within days he and other monument supporters had collected more than 500 signatures.

And local tourism and VFW officials also are trying to get the city council to reconsider.

Foglesong said if they’re not successful, it’s unclear if the Russians would try to find another site, or ditch the monument idea entirely.

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North Carolina’s governor visited Japan in last-ditch bid for Mazda-Toyota plant

Less than a month before the Japanese auto giants opted to build their plant in Huntsville, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper and several officials spent more than $50,000 on a last-minute, four-day trip to Japan to swing the $1.6 billion Mazda-Toyota project in their direction.

That’s according to WRAL-TV in North Carolina. In fact, Cooper had to make a side trip to Washington to retrieve his passport just to make the trip.

But in early January, Alabama was picked as the plant’s site.

Mazda Toyota Manufacturing USA, Inc., or (MTMUS), says the full-scale construction of its $1.6 billion Huntsville plant will begin in 2019. When fully operational in 2021, the plant is expected to employ 4,000 people and produce about 300,000 vehicles a year.

The trip included the governor, the state’s commerce and transportation secretaries, a senior adviser and a two-man security detail to Tokyo Dec. 14 to 18, 2017.

Neither the press nor the public was notified of the governor’s absence during the trip, with his schedule saying he was in meetings. A few legislators were also alerted to the trip.

North Carolina reportedly offered $1.6 billion of incentives to attract the auto plant. Alabama offered more than $800 million in incentives.

Acting NASA Administrator Robert Lightfoot speaks to the Huntsville chapter of the National Space Club on March 20, 2018. (NASA/Emmett Given)
The Apartments at the Venue is a 618-unit apartment community located in Valley in Chambers County.

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Seton Hall beat

Seton Hall beats North Carolina State 94-83 in foul-filled matchup

Khadeen Carrington scored 26 points, Desi Rodriguez added 20 and eighth-seeded Seton Hall beat North Carolina State 94-83 in a foul-filled first-round matchup in the NCAA Tournament on Thursday.

Myles Powell added 19 points and Angel Delgado scored 13 for the Pirates (22-11), who led the entire way a year after a late meltdown cost them an early exit against Arkansas.

Seton Hall will play top-seeded Kansas on Saturday in the second round of the Midwest Regional.

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Virginia completes its ACC dominance with 71-63 win over North Carolina

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Virginia claimed its second ACC championship of 2017-18 with a wholly impressive 71-63 win over North Carolina in the league’s tournament championship game Saturday night at the Barclays Center.

The Cavaliers, who finished a full four games ahead of the next-closest team in the final ACC standings, now turn their attention to the NCAA Tournament. UVA is almost certain to be the No. 1 overall seed when the brackets are unveiled on Sunday, but Tony Bennett’s team will have more doubters than most squads that have carried that banner.

This will be the fourth time in five seasons that Virginia has been a No. 1 or No. 2 seed in the Big Dance, and the third time they’ve graced the top line. Despite that fact, UVA hasn’t been to a Final Four since 1984, and they’ve played in just one regional final since 1995.

Still, the evidence that this March could be different for the Cavaliers was on full display Saturday night.

Virginia’s defense gobbled up a North Carolina team that hadn’t been held below 74 points since Jan. 22. But that’s expected. Where the Cavaliers truly shined was on the other end of the floor. They drilled 9 of 17 three-point attempts, assisted on 15 of their 21 made shots, went a nearly perfect 20 for 22 from the free-throw line, and saw all three of their top scorers — Kyle Guy, Devon Hall and Ty Jerome — score 12 points or more.

Luke Maye scored 20 points in a losing effort for North Carolina, which was looking for its second ACC Tournament title in three years. Senior point guard Joel Berry chipped in 17 points for the Tar Heels.

The win gave Virginia its third ACC Tournament title ever, and its first since 2014. In that season, like this one, the Cavaliers also won the conference’s regular season championship and were the tournament’s No. 1 seed.

North Carolina, the No. 6 seed, had been vying to become just the second team ever (and the second straight) to claim the ACC Tournament title by winning four games in four days. Duke achieved the feat last year as the No. 5 seed.

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NCAA tournament

Bracket Watch: Duke, Kansas and North Carolina In Contention for Top Line

Less than one week from now, the NCAA tournament bracket will be set. Even though less than half of the field’s 68 teams will have their tickets punched before Selection Sunday, the truth is that the vast majority of squads already know they’re in. For example: Michigan may have won the Big Ten tournament but Purdue and Michigan State can be just as sure as the Wolverines that they, too, will be dancing.

The in-or-out intrigue is reserved for the Bubble Watch, which we will be updating daily during Championship Week. The Bracket Watch, which we’ll also be updating daily, is focused on the seeding discussion as that changes with each passing day as the conference tournament results roll in.

Last Four In

Kansas State

First Four Out

Oklahoma State

Next Four Out

Notre Dame

South Region

The Michigan Wolverines have done it again. For the second straight season, the Wolverines will enter the tournament as one of the hottest teams in the country after ripping through the Big Ten tournament. It wasn’t merely that the Wolverines claimed their second straight Big Ten tourney crown that was impressive. It was the way in which they did it. After needing overtime to get past Iowa in their first game, the Wolverines went on to beat Nebraska, Michigan State and Purdue by a combined 39 points. The wins over the Spartans and Boilermakers were both well in hand with five to seven minutes remaining. The final few minutes of the win over Purdue felt more like a coronation than a championship game between two Final Four contenders. That’s what it was, however, and few people thought we’d be able to say that about Michigan as recently as one month ago after it lost at Northwestern. The Wolverines haven’t lost since, stringing together nine straight wins including victories against every other team in the conference that is headed to the tournament. We have Michigan as a No. 3 seed, but even if they end up as a No. 4, or somehow a No. 5, they’re going to be a team no top seed will want to see in its region.

East Region

We’re down to three teams fighting for one spot on the top line. Virginia could lose its first ACC tournament game and still get a No. 1 seed. Villanova and Xavier are also near-locks for the top line. That leaves Kansas, North Carolina and Duke—our No. 2 seed in the East—fighting it out for the No. 1 seed in the West. Kansas has the inside track, with Duke close behind. Duke is a spot higher in RPI—fourth against fifth—but it will be hard for the committee to look beyond Kansas’s 10 Quadrant 1 victories, the second-most in the country. That same door is open for the Tar Heels, who actually lead the country with 11 Q1 wins. As the No. 6 seed in the ACC tournament, they have a much more challenging road to a conference title. If the chalk holds up, they’ll have to get through Syracuse, Miami, Duke and Virginia to cut down the nets in Brooklyn.

If Kansas goes on to take the Big 12 tournament title, it will likely add at least two more Q1 wins. Should the Jayhawks lose—even in the championship game—and Duke takes the ACC tournament title, the committee will likely give the fourth No. 1 seed to the Blue Devils. Thanks to the depth of the ACC, Duke would likely get three more Q1 victories if it wins the tournament this week. That, combined with a Kansas loss, should be enough to get the Blue Devils to the top line. That same door would be open for the Tar Heels, but they wouldn’t have the slam dunk case that Duke would in that scenario.

Midwest Region

Want to be the smart person in your pool who backs the double-digit seed that pulls off a couple of upsets to advance to the second weekend? Well, then it’s time for you to start falling in love with Loyola-Chicago. The Ramblers won the Missouri Valley tournament over the weekend, notching the program’s first trip to the dance since 1985. Featuring a dynamic offense that ranks 14th in the country in three-point percentage and eighth in kenpom.com’s effective field goal percentage, the Ramblers dominated what is routinely one of the best mid-major conferences. It’s almost easier to find someone on this team who didn’t earn some individual hardware than someone who did. The Larry Bird Player of the Year Award? That went to junior guard Cameron Custer, who put up 13.4 points, 4.3 assists and 1.5 steals per game. The Freshman of the Year? Forward Cameron Krutwig, who scored 10.5 points and pulled down 6.3 rebounds per game, took home that one. Senior guard Ben Richardson won the Valley’s Defensive Player of the year Award. And, of course, it should come as no surprise that head coach Porter Moser was named Coach of the Year, an award won in recent years by Gregg Marshall, Cuonzo Martin and Matt Painter.

Loyola can play with anyone, something it proved by going into Gainesville and knocking off the Gators back in December. With four players who shoot at least 40% from behind the arc, a second dynamic scorer in Donte Ingram, the 24th-ranked defense by kenpom.com’s adjusted efficiency to go with the offense, and the confidence that comes from winning 28 games in the regular season, the Ramblers are going to be a tough out in the dance.

West Region

Loyola wasn’t the only team to dominate a Valley conference and win a championship over the weekend. Murray State went 16-2 in the Ohio Valley Conference and took down Belmont in the championship game on Saturday, getting back to the dance for the first time since 2012. The Racers aren’t quite the threat the Ramblers are. Unlike their Valley counterparts, there isn’t any one thing they do exceptionally well on offense that makes them a dangerous team against any opponent. They do, however, have a tremendous leader in Jonathan Stark, who averaged 21.8 points per game this season. Stark shot 46% from the field, 41% from three and 88.8% from the free throw line. When they need a bucket, they’ve got someone who not only can get it, but relishes having the ball in his hands at those moments. That’s crucial for any No. 12 or 13 seed, which the Racers are sure to be. They may not have as high a ceiling as Loyola, but just like the Ramblers, they’re perfectly capable of pulling off a run to the Sweet 16, taking down a couple of No. 4 and 5 seeds along the way.

Bolded teams = won NCAA tournament auto-bid

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WATCH: Miami upsets North Carolina on a crazy buzzer-beater sequence



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North Carolina fans had horror flashbacks on Tuesday night when Miami senior Ja’Quan Newton hit a deep buzzer-beating 3 to upset the No. 9 Tar Heels 91-88 on UNC’s Senior Night.

Given that UNC senior Joel Berry cashed a 3-pointer to tie it seconds before, the final sequence was reminiscent of UNC’s loss in the 2016 title game to Villanova.

With no timeout stoppages involved, the final few seconds in Chapel Hill were a pendulum swing of emotions. UNC fans burst with joy after Berry tied the game with 4.1 seconds to go. And then Newton — who may have traveled on the play– hit the winner on a high-arcing prayer.

MIAMI UPSETS THE HEELS!The Hurricanes snap No. 9 North Carolina’s six-game win streak to get a huge win in Chapel Hill. pic.twitter.com/EJCt1V1XaN

— ESPN (@espn) February 28, 2018

Everybody else ready for March after that?

Watch that again and check the official who rules the 3-pointer good. He’s emphatic, and he almost gets caught up in Miami’s flee to an on-floor celebration.

The victory effectively locks up Miami (21-8, 10-7 ACC) for an NCAA Tournament bid. The Hurricanes were a No. 8 seed and on the bubble entering the night in Jerry Palm’s Bracketology. With a road win at UNC, Miami could bump to the No. 7 line, and in doing so, gives itself plenty of room for error the rest of the way.

Miami’s also turned its fortunes in the past few days. On Saturday, Miami barely won at home over Boston College, only doing so after freshman Lonnie Walker hit a 3-pointer with 2.3 seconds remaining. Had the Canes lost that game and gone on to lose in OT to UNC, they’d instead be 19-10 and very much flirting with being in the last-four-in category.

Instead, Jim Larranaga’s team is booming into March. Newton finished with 21 points.

For North Carolina (22-8, 11-6), check this quote from Berry, who had a game-high 31 points in his final game at the Dean Dome.

Sadly true. Even the spots on the floor where Berry hit his 3-pointer and Newton returned the favor are fairly close to Marcus Paige’s tying triple and Kris Jenkins’ winner from the 2016 national championship game.

UNC’s loss was its first and only defeat of February. On Saturday, the Heels head over to Durham, North Carolina to take on Duke in their regular-season finale.

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Louisville struggles to beat North Carolina 67-57

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If you had hoped today was the day Louisville started the game with a strong 1st quarter you were sorely disappointed. Despite losing their last 6 games and having a record of 14-12, North Carolina had a 16-13 lead going into the second quarter. Louisville missed at least 3 wide open layups. Every pass was an adventure. By halftime they had 9 of their 19 turnovers for the game. Unforced turnovers. Just throwing the ball to the ghost in the corner. According to Coach Walz, “it was definitely an ugly ball game.”

Speaking of ugly, I’m going on record as saying this is the worst foul call I’ve seen in 4 decades of watching the sport.

In the 4th quarter the Cards finally took the lead on an Asia Durr 3. However a couple of minutes later she came down on the foot of a UNC player and left the game.

Since it had been such a rock fight and so many players were in foul trouble it was a tense situation. Junior Arica Carter stepped up big though and made two 3s and from then on the Cards were in control.

After the game Coach Walz said that Asia had a sprained ankle but she’d get treatment and he’d be “shocked” if she didn’t play on Thursday. She left the game with a team-high 19 points. Arica Carter added 14 points. Coach Walz said, “She hit big time shots, and I was really proud of her.”

The Cards finally return home to Louisville on Thursday to play Virginia. The game is at 7PM and can be seen on ACC Network Extra. It is also the yearly Pink Game for breast cancer awareness.

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LGBTQ People Sue North Carolina Over New ‘Bathroom Bill’

Some of North Carolina’s transgender residents are speaking out against the state’s House Bill 142.

A group of LGBTQ people took action in a North Carolina court on Friday, filing a lawsuit in response to HB 142, a troubling piece of legislation passed by the state earlier this year.

The lawsuit, backed by a handful of plaintiffs, the American Civil Liberties Union and Lambda Legal, is an expansion of a similar suit filed against the state’s infamous House Bill 2, or HB 2, in 2016.

The plaintiffs include transgender Raleigh resident Madeline “Maddy” Goss, bisexual HIV activist Quinton Harper, UNC-Chapel Hill employee Joaquín Carcaño, UNC-Greensboro student Payton McGarry and North Carolina Central University law professor Angela Gilmore.

The expanded suit targets HB 142 ― HB2′s “discriminatory replacement” ― which, they claim, fails to address many of the harmful components of its predecessor.

Passed by former North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory, HB 2 institutionalized discrimination against transgender people by forcing them to use the public restroom that corresponds with the gender they were assigned at birth. It also set a precedent for a wave of similar pieces of legislation in other states across America.

McCroy’s successor, Gov. Roy Cooper, and other lawmakers passed House Bill 142 earlier this year, a move that essentially replaced discriminatory HB 2 with a different kind of anti-trans discrimination. According to Buzzfeed News, HB 142 did two different things: “It blocked cities and counties from banning LGBT discrimination until 2020, and it prevented those local jurisdictions from enacting ordinances that let transgender people use restrooms matching their gender identity.”

In other words, under HB 142, local government in North Carolina may not pass or amend LGBTQ anti-discrimination legislation for another three years.

“After publicly vilifying transgender people for more than a year, legislators can’t just abandon transgender people to fend for themselves in the toxic environment of fear and animosity that the legislature itself created. HB 142 doubles down on many of the worst harms of HB 2 and leaves transgender people in a legal limbo where they remain uniquely vulnerable to discrimination,” said Lambda Legal counsel Tara Borelli. “Transgender people face an impossible situation where no door leads to safety. Anyone would find that intolerable.”

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Types of Insurance That May Apply if You Are Injured in a Car Accident in North Carolina

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In 2015, there were over 250,000 reported car accidents in North Carolina. And, unfortunately, statistics suggest that nearly every driver will be involved in at least one car accident in their lifetime. Given these numbers, you should be aware of the types of car insurance coverage in North Carolina that might be available should you or a family member find yourself in this unfortunate situation.

Liability Insurance

North Carolina law requires that the owner of a registered motor vehicle maintain basic levels of liability insurance coverage. The purpose of liability coverage is to pay for claims when the owner or driver of that vehicle is “liable” for an accident—i.e., when an accident is that owner’s or driver’s fault. The minimum requirements for coverage in North Carolina are $30,000 for bodily injury to one person, $60,000 for bodily injury to two or more people, and $25,000 for property damage.

Many individuals carry additional coverage beyond these limits. And, doing so often is a good idea. If you cause a car wreck and someone is injured, the cost of even one trip to the emergency room or a few days in the hospital can easily exceed $30,000. If you caused the wreck, you can potentially be personally liable for any additional damages, and these bodily injury damages are not limited to medical bills. Such damages may include any future medical costs associated with ongoing care, lost wages, diminished future earning, pain and suffering, scarring or disfigurement, loss of use of part of your body, or the permanency associated with any continuing injuries.

In addition to bodily injury liability coverage, North Carolina requires car owners to have at least $25,000 in property damage liability coverage. Amounts under this type of coverage are available to repair or replace a vehicle damaged by the at-fault driver (i.e., to fix or replace the “innocent” driver’s vehicle). What about the at-fault driver’s vehicle? In order for the at-fault driver to receive any insurance funds to repair or replace his car, the at-fault driver will have to collect under the collision (property damage) coverage of his own policy. This same result applies if both drivers in an accident were at-fault—each proceeds through his own policy.

Underinsured Motorist (UIM) Coverage and Uninsured Motorist (UM) Coverage

Your liability insurance coverage protects your assets and also protects any driver you might injure by supplying funds to be paid toward their bodily injury or property damage. In some cases, however, another driver’s insurance could be absent or insufficient, so other import coverages you shouldn’t overlook are Underinsured Motorist Coverage (“UIM”) or Uninsured Motorist Coverage (“UM”).

UIM coverage applies when the insured owner or driver is injured by the driver of another motor vehicle without insurance coverage sufficient to fully compensate for all resulting injuries. UM coverage applies if the insured owner or driver is injured by a driver who was driving (illegally) without any insurance coverage at all. Thus, in these situations, as the injured party, you are compensated under your own personal insurance policy in addition to, or in lieu of, the at-fault driver’s insufficient or the nonexistent policy.

For example, suppose you have UIM coverage of $250,000 per person and you are injured due to someone else’s negligence. The at-fault driver has $30,000 in liability insurance coverage. If you have significant medical bills or other personal injury damages, the at-fault driver’s insurance would tender the full $30,000. Then, because your injuries exceed the $30,000 limits of the at-fault driver’s insurance, your own insurance company would pay up to an additional $220,000 (to get to $250,000 total) as part of your UIM coverage. The same general approach applies with UM coverage.

Medical Payments Coverage

Medical payments coverage (“med pay”) may be available under your insurance policy to help pay medical expenses for you, anyone else in your vehicle, or any other covered person who needs medical care because of an accident. The amounts are usually relatively small ($1,000 to $5,000). But, this money will be paid regardless of who is at fault and is generally paid soon after the accident. This can be very helpful early on after a car accident, before the covering insurance carrier determines the total amount to be paid, especially if there are medical expenses that require early payment or pre-payment.

Other Insurance

Other types of insurance coverage may provide funds if you are injured in a car accident. It is not uncommon, however, for injured individuals to “miss” the other potential sources of recovery. And, anyone who signs a broad settlement agreement or release in accepting one set of insurance proceeds may never be able to recover under other insurance policies. Thus, one of the most helpful benefits lawyers can provide after a car accident is exploring all possible sources of insurance coverage before settlement.

An important concept in automobile insurance coverage is that insurance policies do not just cover the actual driver. In fact, insurance policies “follow the car” in North Carolina. So, if a driver who borrowed a friend’s car causes an accident and hurts you, you would first pursue the liability policy of the car’s owner. However, if that policy does not provide sufficient coverage, you also could then proceed against the actual driver’s insurance policy. Also, most insurance policies apply to anyone living in the same household as the insured who is related to the insured by blood or marriage. So, if there is insufficient coverage under one policy, it is important to look for coverage of anyone else who lives in the same household and is related to the insured.

A party may also have additional types of insurance coverage. This can include an “umbrella” insurance policy that provides, in the event of significant damages, coverage beyond the automobile insurance limits.

Also, if the at-fault driver was traveling in the course and scope of his employment, then the driver’s employer’s liability policy may apply for additional coverage.

This list is not exhaustive, and there are numerous other insurance coverage issues that may arise. But, the variety of possible coverage underscores the necessity of performing a full investigation of potential insurance recovery sources if you are injured in a car accident (in addition to the potential personal liability of the at-fault driver if there is insufficient insurance coverage).

How Do You Determine Coverage if You Are in a Car Accident?

If you are in a car accident, review your insurance policy to see what types and amounts of coverage may be available to you. Then, consider the insurance of the other party or parties involved in the accident. Part of this analysis will depend on who was “at-fault” for the accident—you, the other driver, or both? Depending on who is liable, and how much coverage is available, you will need to fully examine the possibility of other insurance coverage.

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New Island Appears off North Carolina Coast, Tourists Rowing over Despite Warnings

A new island off the coast of North Carolina (not pictured) revealed itself over the past few months. (iStock)

There’s always a new place to be discovered on this little blue marble of ours.

A new island, just off the tip of Cape Point in Buxton, N.C., has practically crept up overnight. The island is approximately a mile long and three football fields wide.

“It was just a little bump in April,” said Janice Reagan to The Virginian-Pilot. Her son, Caleb, has named it “Shelly Island” for the scores of untouched seashells that are found nearby.

Dave Hallac, superintendent of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, which oversees the area of Cape Point, warns that getting to the island is dangerous and that people should not attempt to walk or swim across the current to get there.

Since the area is a popular fishing spot, there can be many discarded fishing hooks on the sea bottom. Bill Smith, president of the North Carolina Beach Buggy Association, also told The Virginian-Pilot that the five-foot-long sharks and stingrays “as large as a hood of a truck” like to hunt in those waters.

Still, some visitors have been rowing rafts across to the island.

According to Hallac, Cape Point is constantly changing. The sand moves and expands depending on currents and storms, which means the “Shelly Island” could easily disappear just as quickly as it came to be.

Or it can expand and even connect to Cape Point, making fishing even more of a draw in the area.

If you do happen to visit Cape Point, you’ll never know what to expect.

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