by Jordan Green

Items from across the Triad and beyond

Krawiec seated in NC Senate

Lt. Gov. Dan Forest administered the oath for NC Sen. Joyce Krawiec on Jan. 17. grassroots coordinator for the North Carolina chapter of Freedom Works, a tea party organization, and former vice chair of the NC Republican Party, the 73-year-old Krawiec was appointed to fill a vacancy in District 31 by Gov. Pat McCrory after Sen. Pete Brunstetter resigned to take a position at Novant Health. District 31 covers all of Yadkin County and the suburban doughnut of Forsyth County. The seat comes up for election, along with the rest of the NC General Assembly later this year, with a partisan primary held in May and general election in November.

Krawiec served briefly in the NC House when she filled the unexpired term of Rep. Larry Brown after his death in August 2012 until the new session began in January 2013.

VA outpatient clinic opens in Kernersville

The Kernersville Health Care Center, an outpatient clinic of the US Department of Veterans Affairs, will break ground at 1750 Kernersville Medical Parkway on Friday at 11 a.m. Florida-based Lend Lease Healthcare Development has been selected to build the four-story health center. Construction is scheduled for completion in spring 2016. The healthcare center will provide a variety of services, including dialysis, and access to a lab with diagnostic imaging equipment for heart work.

Social service agencies whittle down food-stamp backlogs

The backlog of food-stamp applications in Forsyth and Guilford counties dropped during the first two weeks of January, according to new numbers released by the NC Department of Health and Human Services.

Forsyth County ranks fourth for the number of total pending applications, with 2,233 on Jan. 14 — a 17.3 percent reduction from 2,700 reported on Dec. 31. The number of untimely delays, generally exceeding 30 days, has dropped from 2,017 to 1,494, while the number of applications pending for more than 120 days increased from 177 to 280. Only three counties — Wake, Mecklenburg and Cumberland — have a higher backlog of food-stamp applications. In comparison, the total number of pending applications in Guilford County was 1,394 as of Jan. 14 — down from 1,593 on Dec. 31, while the number of untimely delays slightly increased from 1,039 to 1,049.

The number of applications pending for more than 120 days also increased, from 287 to 520.

Reduction in the statewide backlog is more dramatic than in Forsyth and Guilford counties, with the number of pending applications dropping from 53,025 on Dec. 31 to 11,339, although the agency has said that the earlier figure included a significant number of duplicates.