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Neighbors upset over new plans for former sex offender home

An east Charlotte home that used to house convicted sex offenders will now house homeless people with behavioral issues, according to the company that runs the home.

PAST ARTICLE: Last sex offender removed from controversial group home

The house drew the attention of neighbors in December after six offenders moved into the home in the middle of a residential neighborhood.
 
Residents scored a victory when all sex offenders moved out in January.
 
However, several neighbors told Eyewitness News they got a letter in their mailboxes Saturday afternoon that claimed it was from Bradley Reid Corporation, the name of the company that runs the home at 4952 McAlpine Lane.
 
"The nature of the letter does sound threatening," said Jody Watts, a neighbor.
 
The author of the letter writes in part that they don't want to be confronted or disrespected and writes, "This is my final warning and attempt at common peace."
 
"We just feel like this was more inflammatory than anything," Watts said.
 
The letter goes on to say that there will no more felons in the home.
 
Sandra Reid, the CEO for Bradley Reid Corporation, said the letter was doctored and not from her company.
 
She said it was not on official letter head and said the company never wrote any threats.
 
However, she said the letter is right that there won't be any more felons. She said the home will serve as transitional housing for homeless people with behavioral issues.
 
She said the first woman moved into the home on Monday. Reid expects the home will be filled by the end of March.
 
"That's disappointing as well," said Victoria Golba, a neighbor. "We just don't understand why they continue to make this a group home."
 
"I think they have good intentions, I think their approach is the wrong way," said Golba.
 
Reid said she wasn't sure why the letter that she said was doctored had correct information.  After heated debate, non-discrimination city ordinance passes

The city of Charlotte passed a non-discrimination ordinance with modifications eliminating bathroom choices.

Published: Mon, 02 Mar 2015 22:54:07 -0500

Vigil held for triple homicide victims

Mothers of Murdered Offspring used candlelight to remember the victims of a triple homicide and to try and put an end to the violence.

The group came together Monday night for a candlelight vigil at Marshall Park in uptown Charlotte.

Aspiring model Mirjana Puhar and two men were all shot to death last week at a home in north Charlotte, police said.

PAST ARTICLE: Questions surround killing of former ‘America’s Top Model’ contestant

“We have made a decision starting this year that every person murdered in this city will be remembered whether people come out or not,” organizer Judy Williams said. “We're going make sure that people understand that every life is important in this city.”

Police charged Emmanuel Rangel for the three murders as well as a fourth murder that happened days before in Matthews.

Mothers of Murdered Offspring is also planning another vigil this week in honor of all other homicides in Charlotte. It will be held Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., also at uptown's Marshall Park.

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Published: Mon, 02 Mar 2015 22:33:29 -0500

CMPD assists Highway Patrol after pursuit ends

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department officials assisted the North Carolina Highway Patrol Monday night after a pursuit ended at Freedom Drive and Walnut Avenue.

The chase started in Mooresville, officials said.

One person was taken to the hospital with minor injuries, officials said.

A suspect is in custody.

Return to www.wsoctv.com for more on this developing story.

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Published: Mon, 02 Mar 2015 22:25:04 -0500

Yankees fan, 65, walking from Tampa to NY for Wounded Warrior Project

A formal naval officer and teacher started an ambitious walk from Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, Fla., to Yankee Stadium in the Bronx Monday.

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Richard J. Albero is trying to raise $25,000 for the Wounded Warrior Project  to honor a nephew, Gary Albero, who was killed in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

http://twitter.com/Yankees/status/572565661521592320

Alberto hopes to average 20 miles a day and complete the trip in about three months. He’s updating supporters on his website  and on a Twitter page.

Published: Mon, 02 Mar 2015 21:01:52 -0500

Police: Man arrested after alleged rape in Kannapolis

Police said a man broke into a woman's Kannapolis home and raped her.

Vurnel Smith Jr. is an acquaintance of the accuser who went to Carolinas Medical Center- Kannapolis Sunday afternoon to report a sexual assault.

She told officers Smith broke in and attacked her physically and sexually.

Smith was arrested in Charlotte.

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Published: Mon, 02 Mar 2015 20:06:34 -0500

Catawba County teens pleads guilty in stabbing death

A Catawba County teen pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter Monday in connection with a stabbing death on Jan. 1 during Catawba County Superior Court, according to a news release.

Christopher Daniel Mackey, 18, of Hickory was sentenced to four to six years of prison time for the death of Phillip White.

Mackey was involved in a physical altercation at a New Year's gathering near Sulphur Springs Road in Catawba County, the news release stated.

The situation escalated and resulted in the stabbing of White, also from Hickory.

Chris White, brother of the victim, spoke on behalf of the family and indicated they did not wish to see Mackey spend the rest of his life in prison, though he should be required to serve time for the crime committed.

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Published: Mon, 02 Mar 2015 19:43:33 -0500

Cleveland County deputies seek man in connection with kidnapping

Deputies are hoping the public can help them track down a man wanted for questioning in a robbery and kidnapping case.

Cleveland County deputies are looking for a man who goes by Billy Cinco. They are not sure what his real name is.

He's associated with the bloods gang, authorities said.

Published: Mon, 02 Mar 2015 19:07:19 -0500

Man who confessed to 1985 murder wanted to be put to death

A Gastonia family left a courtroom Monday without justice, 30 years after they say their loved one was murdered.

Chris Farmer’s death was originally listed as suicide.

Jerry Case wrote a four-page confession a couple of years ago to the 1985 killing, titled “Confession to murder.” He backed out of a plea deal Monday afternoon.

In it, Case claimed he robbed the 17-year-old, shot and killed him and laid his body on the railroad tracks.

The confession ends with Case saying he would keep confessing until someone listened.

Case did not speak during Monday’s arraignment. When the district attorney offered to let Case plead guilty to second-degree murder with a strong chance of parole, Case’s attorney rejected the plea.

Case said he wanted to be put to death, but the plea removed that option.

The district attorney believed Case was playing games with the court, and worse, lying to Farmer’s family.

Case already logged prison time for one murder. He wrote the confession as he began a sentence in federal prison for kidnapping. He will be sent back to serve the sentence that will keep him in jail until he is 79.

The district attorney said he will not bring Case back to court for Farmer’s death.

Published: Mon, 02 Mar 2015 18:19:18 -0500

Mother, daughter sentenced after beating man with pry bar, running him over

A mother and daughter pleaded guilty to second-degree murder for a killing more than two years ago.

Officials said Jessica Cavanaugh and her mother, Darlene Butler, beat a man with a pry bar before running him over with his own car.

Prosecutors said Lendon Poteet was beaten and stripped of his clothes before he was run over by the two women. A 5-year-old child was in the car when it happened.

Prosecutors said Cavanaugh told investigators Poteet sexually abused her, starting when she was 14.

Prosecutors said Cavanaugh first struck Poteet with a flower pot. The violence escalated to beating him with a pry bar, where she enlisted Butler’s help. The two wanted to throw him off a bridge, but ran over him instead before setting his car on fire.

Both women spoke directly to the victim’s family, asking for forgiveness and mercy from the judge.

The judge sentenced Butler to 11 to 15 years in prison. Cavanaugh was sentenced to 13 to 17 years.

It is unclear of the women will be in the same prison.

Published: Mon, 02 Mar 2015 17:58:21 -0500

Man accused of stomping puppy to death

A Great Falls man was released from jail Monday after being charged with a disturbing crime.

Cory Smith, 27, deliberately stomped a puppy to death outside his girlfriend's home on Chester Avenue, police said.

Smith went over to the house to see his children after telling his girlfriend he'd been in a fight, according to police records.
 
During the visit, they argued and the girlfriend claims Smith assaulted her, though police did not charge him with domestic violence or assault.

Outside the house, the report states the Smith stomped on the dog several times behind his car, killing it.

Neighbor Lester McManus knows Smith and was appalled at the allegations against him.

"I really don't know what to say to be honest with you,” McManus said. “Somebody who would do something like that is not too bright."

Smith was charged with ill-treatment of animals including torture or mutilation. It's a felony that carries up to five years in prison.

Officers weren't called about the incident until the next day, Great Falls Police Chief Steven Rice said.

When they went out to the house, someone had tossed the dog's body into the woods behind the house.

"We found it about 20 yards into the wood line. It's just a small, maybe 10- to 12-week old puppy, about 12 inches long," Rice said.

He thought it looked like a poodle mix.

Smith told police he had accidentally stepped on the dog when it ran outside the house.  Rice said it didn't look that way to him, because the injuries appeared severe.

Police said several children live at the home, but they don't believe any of them witnessed the alleged incident.

Published: Mon, 02 Mar 2015 17:37:54 -0500

Developer looks to build on 7-acre plot in NoDa

Another large chunk of land near the light-rail extension could be in for a big makeover.
 
The 7-acre development would be adjacent to the future light rail station on 36th Street in North Davidson.
 
Crescent Communities is asking for a zoning change to transit-oriented development for a mixed-use project.

The developer doesn’t have to specify what will be built there under the transit-oriented development zoning code.

The prospect of more customers appeals to Jason Glunt, who runs the Saluda Beer Shop in NoDa.
 
“I love NoDa. It’s a funky, eclectic neighborhood,” Glunt said.
 
His store is surrounded by new apartment construction, but he wishes he had more details about what's planned for the massive lot across the street.
 
The rezoning application said only that what Crescent builds will fit with the city's master plan for the area.
 
That calls for a mix of transit-supportive uses like residential, office and retail and the adaptive reuse of existing structures to preserve the historic character of the area.

It also calls for the size of the project to be sensitive to the existing NoDa business district scale and character.
 
It's one of several possible zoning changes in the works for TOD.

The city also wants to rezone a 15-acre parcel on Matheson Avenue near the light-rail extension.
 
NoDa resident John de Saint Phalle sees growth is positive for the area.
 
“I think it’s good that more people will be able to live here,” de Saint Phalle said. “I don’t think it’s a bad thing right off the bat.” 

He said change is coming either way.
 
“Even if it’s not them building it up, someone will put stuff up there anyway,” he said.
 
Channel 9 requested more information from Crescent Communities on the plan, but has not heard back.

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Published: Mon, 02 Mar 2015 16:01:18 -0500

Neighbors cite traffic as main concern in petition against Concord Walmart

Sharon Hagee cringes at the possibility of a Walmart Neighborhood Market coming to Concord.

Her home is right behind where the store would be built at Corban Avenue and Branchview Drive.

"It's going to be horrible," Hagee said.  "I mean, you're talking about big dumpsters back there behind it, open 24 hours."

The main concern for residents is traffic along Corban Avenue, which they say is already backed up on a regular basis.

Residents are especially worried that drivers will only be able to make a right turn coming out of the store, which will impact traffic in their neighborhood.

"So what they're going to do is cut down Crestside to get back over Branchview," Hagee said.

The developer said the traffic patterns are not set in stone. The company notified residents of the conditional rezoning request by registered mail in December and then held a community meeting to answer any questions. Residents said that meeting wasn't well attended.

"People are out of town during December," Hagee said.  "To me it was a little bit sneaky the way they handled it."

The city tells Channel Nine it has advised the developer to hold another community meeting that could ease some fears.

Residents plan to hold their own meeting Wednesday to come up with a plan to fight.

"The neighborhood is going to be prepared. We have been going from door to door with our petition. We don't want it rezoned," Hagee said.

Concord planning and zoning officials have not set a date to review the rezoning request. They said they're waiting for the developer to submit a completed application.

Wednesday's community meeting will be at 7 p.m. at the Central Carolinas Association office on Branchview Drive.

Published: Mon, 02 Mar 2015 15:53:57 -0500

Action 9: UnitedHealthcare customers ask: ‘Do I have to pay more now?'

Many UnitedHealthcare customers are wondering if they need to find new doctors. The contract between Carolinas HealthCare System and UHC expired over the weekend. 
 
Both sides keep working to reach a deal. But, in the meantime, the 80,000 UHC customers in the Charlotte area, like Margie Willis, are caught in the middle.

"Health care is, you know, your life-and-death situation," she said. 

Read more past stories:

So she isn't taking chances. She lined up a backup doctor, just in case -- one who is not part of CHS.
 
"I'm very disappointed. I'm heartbroken. He knows me. I know him," she said.
 
In a few weeks, her daughter will need her own insurance. She's 26, works in health care and is in the same situation many of her patients might be in.
 
So who gets to keep paying "in network" prices, and who does not?
 
UHC customers who have emergencies or ongoing care, like women 12 weeks pregnant or more, will still pay "in network" for the next two months. Medicare Advantage patients will have to pay "out of network" rates. 
 
UHC executives tell Action 9 everyone else should ask each of their providers, not assume. UHC says to call the number on the back of the insurance card. Action 9 would provide that, but, the number apparently varies.
 
 "They need to check," said UHC's Garland Scott, who works in the Greensboro office.
 
Action 9's been asking CHS for more specifics. 
 
It stated in an email, "Every situation is unique and we want to have a conversation with our patients to determine how we can help. I don't want to try to get into when the waiver applies an doesn't apply...the best advice to offer patients is to call the Carolinas Healthcare System hotline at 1-855-355-8633."

Published: Mon, 02 Mar 2015 15:53:43 -0500

Neighbors petition Concord Walmart


Sharon Hagee cringes at the possibility of a Walmart Neighborhood Market coming to Concord.

Her home is right behind where the store would be built at Corban Avenue and Branchview Drive.

"It's going to be horrible," Hagee said.  "I mean you're talking about big dumpsters back there behind it, open 24 hours."

The main concern for residents is traffic along Corban Avenue, which they say is already backed up on a regular basis.

Residents are especially worried that drivers will only be able to make a right turn coming out of the store, which will impact traffic in their neighborhood.

"So what they're going to do is cut down Crestside to get back over Branchview," Hagee said.

The developer said the traffic patterns are not set in stone. They notified residents of the conditional rezoning request by registered mail in December and then held a community meeting to answer any questions. Residents said that meeting wasn't well attended.

"People are out of town during December," Hagee said.  "To me it was a little bit sneaky the way they handled it."

The city tells Channel Nine it has advised the developer to hold another community meeting that could ease some fears.

Residents plan to hold their own meeting Wednesday to come up with a plan to fight.

"The neighborhood is going to be prepared. We have been going from door to door with our petition. We don't want it rezoned," Hagee said.

Concord planning and zoning officials have not set a date to review the rezoning request. They said they're waiting for the developer to submit a completed application.

Wednesday's community meeting will be at 7 p.m. at the Central Carolinas Association office on Branchview Drive.

Published: Mon, 02 Mar 2015 15:49:14 -0500

City officials address violence during CIAA weekend

The Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association and the city of Charlotte are answering questions about violent incidents for the second year in a row during the CIAA tournament weekend.

Cellphone video from inside the club Label showed partiers scrambling for safety after someone fired a gun, hitting a man and woman inside.

PDF: Label incident report

The video is eerily similar to the scene during last year's CIAA weekend when gunshots rang out inside a party at an uptown hotel.


RELATED ARTICLE:


Mayor Pro Tem Michael Barnes said he's concerned the violence will impact the reputation of one of the city's biggest events.

"I worry about it attaching to the tournament and the weekend and to the city. So it's our job to figure out a way to put a stop to it," Barnes said.

The CIAA and local convention officials said they want to work with the city to look at promoters of non-sanctioned events since that's where the shooting incidents have taken place.

The manager at Label was arrested and charged with, among other things, ignoring marijuana use inside the club during Saturday's parties.

Now, Mecklenburg County ABC investigators are sending reports to Raleigh, which could lead to a suspension of Label's alcohol licenses.

"We're getting all the information together and will submit is all to the ABC Commission and then they will make a determination on the permits," said Mike Crowley, Mecklenburg County's ABC law enforcement director.

The promoter who Label allowed to use the club Saturday was listed on promotional fliers as AG Entertainment.  

Eyewitness News found the same name on fliers advertising the party during last year's CIAA weekend where gunfire erupted.

City Councilwoman Claire Fallon said the city of Charlotte needs to find a way to crack down before violence does more damage to image of the CIAA and the city.


Statement from the CIAA:

The CIAA does not believe that our tournament week will be associated with these violent occurences.  Our official events were very successful, and they are the only events that we avidly promote to our fans to be a part of when they arrive to the city. There were no reported incidents during any of our 16+ official events. We encourage our fans to support events that are officially affiliated with the CIAA and have confidence in the security measures that we take to ensure the safety of alumni, students and fans in attendance.

With any major event, there is always a chance of someone hosting events not affiliated with the official event organizers to capitalize on visitors traveling to the city. Things we can control are:

  • The security measures we put in place with our official events, and throughout key touch points identified by CMP within and surrounding Uptown to ensure safety and security parameters are in place to proactively mitigate any unforeseen incidents
  • Event spaces at hotels and Charlotte Convention Center that we have control over through our partnership with the city to prevent promoters from hosting non-sanctioned events in those areas targeted to our alumni, students and fans 
  • Continued aggressive policing of the misuse of the CIAA mark by those who are not affiliated with the conference. Although some event titles may have reflected association with the CIAA, it is not an official event affiliated with the conference if it’s not listed on our tournament website (www.theciaa.com).

Things that we are seeking to better understand and address are:

  • Independent promoters that produce their own events and create their own security protocols during the week and any unfortunate occurrences that may happen as a result, which are out of our control

We are continuing to work collectively with the city of charlotte to review and enhance protocols as the tournament continues to evolve each year.

Our goal is that future, non-sanctioned events concurrently running during Tournament week will re-evaluate their security measures for the safety of the events they produce.

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Published: Mon, 02 Mar 2015 15:37:34 -0500

Officials: Father, son injured in Conover business fire

A father and son were injured in a Monday afternoon garage fire in Conover, officials said.

The fire was near C&B Farm Road and the garage was used by a local grading business.

IMAGES: Serious fire at business in Conover

The father was flown by air ambulance to Wake Forest Medical Center after sustaining burns to 80 percent of his body.  His son was taken to the local hospital with injuries.

Billy Bumgarner got the call that his father Bill and brother Darryl were working inside.

"I'm real upset about because I don't know," Billy Bumgarner said.

He was at work in South Carolina when the fire started.

"I had people calling and asking me what was going on, that the place was burninh down and said, ‘I don't know,’" Bumgarner said.

He said he heard his dad and brother were cutting a barrel and it exploded.

"It just kind of reminded me of an earthquake,” neighbor Nisha Britt said. “It was just the boom and that was it."

The garage behind the business was the only building damaged.

"Knowing it was a business, we knew we had flammable liquids possibly that could, we had a couple more explosions, small explosions," said Chris Hicks, Conover Fire Department fire investigator.

Officials said Highway 16 was shut down and reopened around 5:30 p.m. Monday as hotspots and preliminary investigation of the accident went underway.

Two firefighters suffered from heat exhaustion. One was taken to the hospital as a precaution.

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Published: Mon, 02 Mar 2015 15:16:34 -0500

Georgia town featured on ‘Walking Dead’ for sale on eBay

Fans of the TV show “The Walking Dead” can now own a part of the show – the city of Grantville, Georgia.
 
The downtown portion of the city is up for sale on eBay for a bargain: $680,000. The area features several buildings that appeared in the popular zombie TV show, including loft apartments, a pizza restaurant and a pharmacy.

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The area for sale is approximately 20,000 to 25,000 square feet of usable space. The eBay page said the annual property tax is $4,524 and the city is currently receiving $6,500 a month in rentals with less than half occupancy.
 
The seller says several episodes of “The Walking Dead” have been filmed in the downtown area and three movie productions have signed on to film in the area, including a sequel to “The Ring.”
 
The area, just south of Newnan, and was established in the 1850s.

Published: Mon, 02 Mar 2015 14:37:32 -0500

Sheriff's Office seeks to identify man possibly involved in robbery

The Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office is searching for a man associated with the Bloods Gang.
 
The man goes by Billy Cinco and is often seen in the Shelby, Gastonia and Charlotte area, officials said.

Sherriff’s Office officials said they want to question the man about a robbery with a dangerous weapon, assault with a deadly weapon and first-degree kidnapping case.
 

Officials said he may reside in Gaston County.
 
If you know the man’s real name, contact the Cleveland Count Sheriff’s Office at 704-484-4787 or Crime Stoppers at 704-418-TIPS.

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Published: Mon, 02 Mar 2015 14:06:00 -0500

Durham Co. DA to seek death penalty in fatal Chapel Hill shootings

Durham County’s district attorney announced Monday he will seek the death penalty in the shooting deaths of three Muslim students in Chapel Hill.
 
Police said Craig Hicks killed his neighbors in a parking dispute in February.

Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23; his wife, Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, 21; and her sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19, were all found dead in their Chapel Hill condominium last week.
 
Federal authorities are also investigating the shooting as a possible hate crime.

Read our past coverage:

Published: Mon, 02 Mar 2015 12:15:11 -0500

Man accused in Mount Holly double homicide could face death penalty

A man charged with killing his girlfriend and her son asked a judge Monday for a court-appointed attorney.
 
Peter Rivers made his first court appearance three weeks after the bodies of Bridget and Treyvon Berry were found in a burning Mount Holly home.

Read our past coverage:

The judge warned Rivers that he could face the death penalty.
                              
Rivers' brother, Darrell Rivers, also had his first appearance Monday. He is charged with being an accessory to the murders.

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Published: Mon, 02 Mar 2015 12:10:58 -0500