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Plans to shut children's development offices in ENC in doubt

A plan to cut $10 million next fiscal year from a program serving disabled babies and toddlers is now in doubt. George Olsen has more.

The state legislature had mandated $10 million in cuts to the children’s development services agency next fiscal year. The state Department of Health and Human Services had planned to absorb those cuts by closing three agency offices for the program in New Bern, Rocky Mount and Wilmington in July, with the work shifting to the ECU Brody School of Medicine. But NC Policy Watch reports ECU says it will not be able to take on additional responsibilities, citing the fact the children’s development services the school currently provides is already facing a declining budget. That means the closure of the three offices is now in doubt. A spokesman for the Department of Health and Human Services would not say how the department would implement the mandated cuts other than to say cuts would be done in such a way as to “minimize its impact on infants, toddlers and families.” I’m George Olsen.

George Olsen is a 1977 Havelock High School graduate. He received his B.A. in Broadcast Journalism from the University of South Carolina in 1982 where he got his first taste of non-commercial radio working for their student station WUSC. After graduation he worked about five years in commercial radio before coming to work at Public Radio East where he has remained since outside of a nearly 3-year stint as jazz and operations coordinator at WUAL in Tuscaloosa, Alabama in the early 1990s. On his return to eastern North Carolina he hosted classical music for Public Radio East before moving into the Morning Edition host position and now can be heard on All Things Considered. He also hosts and produces The Sound, five hours of Americana, Roots Rock and Contemporary Folk weekday evenings on PRE Public Radio East News & Ideas, and is a news and feature producer for Public Radio East.