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Parent says school bus stop not safe because no crosswalk

The parent of a student who attends Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools contacted Channel 9 about the bus stop where her daughter gets picked up for school each day. She says the stop on Idlewild Road at Chenango Drive is not safe because students have to cross where there is no crosswalk. She said is especially unsafe because of construction in the area.

Channel 9 was with Dorene Howland before 6:20 a.m. Tuesday to see how Howland walks her daughter and other students across Idlewild Road to catch the bus for school. The bus comes when it's still dark and Tuesday morning the fog made it even harder to see.

Parents with children who cross there called Channel 9 frustrated and wanting change.

"I mean, what are they waiting on? For somebody to get killed in order for them to make a change?" Charlotta Griffin, parent of a CMS student said.

Howland requested the stop be changed, but the transportation department denied it because, according to an email obtained by Channel 9, the district said the current stop is "within CMS guidelines," "parents are responsible for arranging the safe delivery" of their students and requests "will not be approved for personal convenience."

CMS told Channel 9 students are allowed to cross a street to catch the bus even if there is no crosswalk. A spokesman explained flashing lights and stop-arms force drivers to stop, making it safe for students to cross.

But Howland doesn't agree, especially with the current construction.

"This is very dangerous. I'm afraid for those girls' lives and my own life," Howland said.  

After we contacted CMS, the district got in touch with Howland and said because of construction, the district rearranged stops along Idlewild so students wouldn't have to cross.

Howland said she did not know that but is willing to walk farther down the road so her daughter doesn't have to cross.
The district has 1,020 buses that pick up thousands of students each day.

CMS said it gets hundreds of requests to change bus stops but said changes are rare and are made on a case-by-case basis.

Published: Tue, 30 Sep 2014 17:38:58 -0400

Officials: Man makes death threat in court

A man on trial on domestic abuse charges was arrested when police said he whispered a death threat to his accuser in the courtroom.
The victim said Tyrone Smith said he would kill her if she didn't walk out of court.
Eyewitness News reporter Ken Lemon was there for the arrest and heard from people who witnessed the whispered threat.
Smith protested his arrest as the judge charged him with threatening to kill a woman in court.
Smith was in court Tuesday in a domestic violence trial.
His accuser said Smith broke into her Gastonia home and assaulted her.
Victoria Hawkins said she saw Smith walk up to the woman in court.
“She kind of turned around and glanced at him,” she said. “You can tell her whole body jumped."
Hawkins said Smith leaned in and whispered in the accuser's ear.
"All I heard was, ‘I don't deserve to go to jail,’" she said.
The accuser said Smith told her he would kill her if she didn't leave the courtroom.
Hawkins’ brother also noticed the woman's reaction.
"She stood up and looked scared,” Avery Hawkins said. “Very scared."
He said Smith left the courtroom and the woman reported what happened to deputies who told her to find witnesses.
Both Hawkins said the woman asked several people if they would be a witness to Smith talking to her which is forbidden by a judge. He said some of the people refused to get involved.
The Hawkins siblings spoke up for her.
“If someone was sitting beside me and they heard it I would want them to help me out," Victoria Hawkins said.
Based on their testimonies, a deputy arrested Smith.
"We don't want to take it that anybody that's under a domestic violence situation gets injured or hurt," said Deputy Ron Thomas with the Gaston County Sheriff’s Office.
Smith now faces a felony charge of intimidating a witness.

Published: Tue, 30 Sep 2014 17:33:37 -0400

YMCA janitor sent to prison for videotaping women in shower

John Eddy, 60, was the first person many people saw when he unlocked the doors of the Lake Wylie YMCA and let them in at 4:30 a.m. None of them had any idea he was also filming them going to the bathroom and undressing to take a shower.
In court Tuesday, Eddy turned around and faced more than a dozen women who were there to see him go to prison.
"I’m sincerely sorry," he said. "I wish I could undo it."
Eddy was there to plead guilty to 36 counts of voyeurism. He admitted setting up hidden cameras in the women's locker room and bathroom areas of two YMCA branches in York County. He recorded women undressing there while he was the night janitor at the YMCA on Highway 49 in Lake Wylie and On Gold Hill Road in Tega Cay.

Read more:  Police: Man accused of 80 counts of filming women at local YMCAs
Prosecutors said Eddy was recording the women without their knowledge from March 18 until June 12 last year. One camera was mounted under a counter pointed at the shower stalls at the Lake Wylie YMCA. A second camera was hidden in the ceiling above a toilet and a third was placed in a toilet paper dispenser.
Prosecutors said Eddy would let the cameras run all day, then bring the videos home, watch them and decide which ones to save.
Sheriff's deputies identified 25 women who were seen either naked or partially unclothed on the video.

Read more:   YMCA employee under investigation for hidden camera
Some appeared more than once over several months.
Judge Lee Alford asked reporters and photographers not to identify any of the victims who showed up in court. Several spoke out against Eddy.
One woman said, "What you did was wrong, and like me you need to suffer the embarrassment and devastation of what I had to go through."
Another asked the judge to show no leniency.
"I think he should spend time in prison and should have counseling for what he did," she said.

Several of the victims said that what happened altered their lives forever.
"I won't go into a locker room anymore. I won't undress in a dressing room. I always feel like someone's watching," said one victim.
On Tuesday, the victims watched video of Eddy setting up his video cameras in front of showers and toilets. On each clip you can see his face clearly, along with his YMCA name tag and his fingers working to position the camera.
The camera under the counter was found when a woman accidentally kicked it, knocking it to the floor. That launched the police investigation, where deputies seized the videos and tried to identify the many victims.
Eddy is a retired insurance salesman with a master’s degree and no criminal record. He told the court he's been unable to work since his arrest.
His family is bankrupt, he's going to prison and he'll be a registered sex offender for life.
Alford said it appeared Eddy had lived a good life, and was a dependable father and husband. He then said he needed to send a message that this behavior can't be tolerated.
Voyeurism is a misdemeanor offense that carries up to three years in prison for each count. Eddy was sentenced to nine years in prison, followed by five years of probation.

Published: Tue, 30 Sep 2014 17:20:04 -0400

Officials confirm first Ebola case diagnosed in US

Federal health officials have confirmed that a patient being treated at a Dallas hospital has tested positive for Ebola.

The case announced Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control is the first Ebola case diagnosed in the United States.

Officials at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital say the unidentified patient is being kept in isolation. Presbyterian Hospital officials say they're following CDC recommendations to keep doctors, staff and patients safe.

The CDC is expected to provide more details on the case in a press conference at 5:30 p.m. ET

Published: Tue, 30 Sep 2014 16:57:03 -0400

Charlotte Ebola survivor hopes to raise awareness of disease

There's hope coming out of the Ebola hot zone: The Centers for Disease Control says the outbreak in Nigeria may be contained.
The deadly disease continues to spread in other countries, claiming thousands of lives.
Survivor Nancy Writebol and her husband said they want to go back and help with the crisis in Africa.

Read more:  Charlotte Ebola survivor hopes to raise awareness of disease
Nancy Writebol and David Writebol became known after Nancy Writebol contracted Ebola while working with Charlotte-based missionary group SIM in Liberia.
“I've read enough commentary on what people are saying (about what it’s like in Africa) that they don't really understand unless you've been there and been on the ground,” Nancy Writebol said.
In the month they were there, 39 of the 40 Ebola patients they saw died.
“It's very painful to watch people with Ebola die,” Nancy Writebol said.
The disease has so far taken the lives of 3,091 people, mostly in West Africa.

Read more:  Fmr. Ebola patient delivers testimony before Senate committee
Although the Writebols are home in Charlotte, their hearts are in Africa.
“You just can't turn it off. It's just something that is continually on our thoughts and in our minds, in our prayers,” Nancy Writebol said.
The couple is hopeful about the future, grateful to see the research that's being done on Ebola. 
Nancy Writebol said she is part of a study. 
“My study is more about how long immunity might be good. I mean, there's so much that's not known about Ebola,” she said.

WATCH: Dr. Richard Besser discusses concerns over Ebola 

The couple says Nancy Writebol’s Ebola diagnosis was the most trying experience in their 40 years of marriage.
In their faith, they believe it happened for a reason.
“If it raised a level of awareness for Africa, then I’m grateful for how God used that,” she said.
Nancy Writebol is still on medication and getting physically stronger each day, but her heart aches for the African people devastated by the disease.
A patient in Dallas is in strict isolation Tuesday night after showing signs of the deadly Ebola virus. CDC confirmed he had Ebola on Tuesday.                              

The Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas said the patient was admitted based on symptoms and recent travel history.

Read more:  Officials confirm first Ebola case diagnosed in US

Published: Tue, 30 Sep 2014 16:54:30 -0400

Judge to hear arguments in airport lawsuit

It now appears the next best chance for a resolution of the ongoing dispute over control at Charlotte's airport may rest with a Mecklenburg County judge.
Judge Robert Ervin is scheduled to hear arguments on Oct. 10 in the City of Charlotte's lawsuit against the State of North Carolina. The suit seeks to have the state-appointed Airport Commission declared unconstitutional.
It's the latest step in a dispute that has gone on for nearly two years after Republican legislators began pushing for an independent group to wrest control of airport operations away from the city.
Ervin declined to rule in the case, saying he's waiting for the Federal Aviation Administration to decide who should operate the airport. The FAA has said it's waiting for the court case to be resolved. 
This week, Republican Rep. Robert Pittenger received a letter from the FAA admitting it has yet to consider the case.
That seems to contradict statements made by U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, who told the Charlotte Observer that his staff has been "working on" the issue. 
But in a letter to Pittenger, the FAA said it "will refrain from evaluating" the dispute until the legal case is resolved.
"They can't seem to make a decision," said Pittenger. "We need leadership. We need a decision."
Pittenger said he believes the FAA is making excuses for avoiding action.
Others are even more critical, laying blame with Foxx. Sen. Bob Rucho, also a Republican, said he believes Foxx, who as Charlotte mayor vehemently opposed the city ceding control of the airport, is intentionally dragging out the process.
"I truly believe that former Mayor Foxx has interceded and asked them (FAA) not to take any action," Rucho said.
The FAA didn't respond to requests for comment.

Published: Tue, 30 Sep 2014 16:33:29 -0400

Police have persons of interest in 2008 Catawba Co. killing

Police in Long View in Catawba County said Tuesday they have persons of interest in the shooting death of Eddie Greene – a homicide that occurred in 2008.
“This is his business card," Wilma Yount said.
She still carries her son’s business card in her wallet.
He started a masonry business when he was a teenager and had just bought his first house when he was shot and killed in his work van.
"There's not a day that goes by that we don't think of Eddie,” she said. “We miss him. And someone out there has got to know something that happened that day."
Police believe the 26-year-old was robbed after being shot in his van.
The shooting happened about a half-mile from police headquarters.
His family said he was going to pay some of his workers that day.
When police found Greene, the van was still running and someone had shot him in the head.
Six years later, the lead investigator in the case revealed that police still have the work van at an undisclosed location in town.
"Our hopes are that one day when we hopefully bring this to trial, we'll be able to show this key piece of evidence to the jurors," said Sgt. Scott Pitts with the Long View Police Department.
Police said they do have persons of interest but not enough evidence to make an arrest. 
Yount, who has dispersed hundreds of reward fliers, hopes someone does the right thing and comes forward.
"I'm just begging that someone knows something that they will come out and let us know,” she said. “Let the Long View Police Department know."
There's a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction.

Published: Tue, 30 Sep 2014 15:45:38 -0400

Fate of Penguin Drive-In site remains unclear

The Penguin Drive-In, an iconic Plaza Midwood restaurant, is not serving customers while the owner goes through bankruptcy, but Channel 9 learned what could happen to the business.
The owner filed for bankruptcy in August to avoid eviction.
Owner Lisa Ballentine met with creditors who are owed hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to court documents.
Bankruptcy attorney Bryan Stone said that is a chance for creditors to demand answers.
"Sometimes creditors are furious that this person or this company would try to file bankruptcy and essentially get out of debt," said Stone.
Court records revealed The Penguin owners have suggested plan for paying the bills called a 363 sale.
"It appears based on this, that the debtor has at least suggested they are going to sell something of the business, whether it is the entire business or the assets of the business," said Stone.
Stone said because the documents mention a letter of intent and asset purchase agreement, someone is interested in buying the business.
But what could come to the location isn't clear yet.

The entity that may be interested in buying the Penguin won't be revealed until details are filed with federal bankruptcy court. Eyewitness News reached out to Ballentine and her attorney for comment on the bankruptcy process but calls were not returned.
It's possible that creditors could object to the sale plans.
Stone said if that happens, everyone could be back at square one dealing with a foreclosure or eviction, or The Penguin owner could liquidate the business.

Published: Tue, 30 Sep 2014 15:16:59 -0400

Student injured after Louisville school shooting

Louisville police confirmed to local media sources that a student suffered non life-threatening injuries in a shooting at a Louisville high school

According to the Louisville Courier-Journal, dispatchers confirmed the report of gunfire at Fern Creek High School just after 1 p.m. Central. Initially there was no word on a shooting suspect.

Authorities said parents had been been notified. WHAS-TV reported that some parents were told a student was shot inside the school.

Published: Tue, 30 Sep 2014 14:07:20 -0400

CMPD: Man dies in industrial accident in northeast Charlotte

A person died Tuesday in the 600 block of East Sugar Creek Road in an industrial accident, according to officials.

The incident happened around 1 p.m.

Police and emergency crews wrapped up an investigation in Source Recycling Company off Sugar Creek Road.
Investigators said something caused a forklift to turn on its side and the operator was crushed.
They couldn't say if the operator was hauling or moving something or what he was doing.
 Firefighters were not able to say who the operator is or how long they have worked here.
The North Carolina Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Division launched an investigation into the accident to see if there were any safety or health standards that were violated.
That investigation could take up to four months.
The manager of the company said the business is closing for the day but would not comment any further about what happened here this afternoon.

Published: Tue, 30 Sep 2014 13:16:07 -0400

Fishing line strung across Walmart toy aisle sends 1-year-old girl to ER

A 1-year-old girl suffered a neck injury at an Oklahoma Walmart after running into a fishing line that was strung across the toy aisle, presumably as part of a prank. 

Patricia Keeth said her daughter, Allison, was walking down the toy aisle at the Bristow Walmart when something bumped her backwards.

Fishing line that had been stretched across the aisle, perhaps to trip people. But since Allison is a small child, it clothes lined her neck.

“Children don’t deserve to go to Walmart to look at toys and end up in the ER,” Keeth told Tulsa TV station KOKI. “Even if it was a prank that was supposed to be funny or bad, I mean it could really hurt somebody. And I would like to know who did this and I want them to see my daughter’s neck."

She said Allison’s neck is bleeding in areas because it’s irritated. She’s certain it’ll leave a scar.

“Even if it was on purpose or supposed to be funny as a joke, haha it’s not. My daughter’s going to be damaged for life now,” she said.

Keeth said the store’s manager told her Saturday she would review the surveillance cameras to see if they can figure out who’s responsible. As of Monday evening, Keeth said she hadn’t heard back.

Keeth said she was told an investigation has begun and said she should know within 30 days if Walmart is found responsible. If so, Allison’s ER bill would be paid for.

Published: Tue, 30 Sep 2014 10:47:04 -0400

Instagram artist creates surreal photos using only his iPhone

Robert Jahns' Instagram account shows how technology and art can be combined to create breathtaking visuals. Mashable highlighted Jahns' work Tuesday morning and below is a look at some of his work.

"I love rooftop views and urban exploration. I really dig dance/people photography and landscapes as well," Jahns told Mashable. "Some edits require about 2 hours and other edits require several days."

Mashable reports Jahns uses ArtStudio, Filterstorm, PhotoForge2, VSCOcam and Snapseed  to edit his images. The photos are pictures taken by himself or collaborators.

See more of Jahn's work on his Instagram account.

Published: Tue, 30 Sep 2014 09:50:06 -0400

Social media updates: Police say 1 shot at Albemarle High School

Police in Albemarle were responding to a shooting at Albemarle High School early Tuesday morning.

Officers told Channel 9 that a student had been shot at the school and that another person was in custody.

Published: Tue, 30 Sep 2014 09:01:07 -0400

Police chief: Student shot in leg; Gunman turns himself in

Officials said a student at a North Carolina high school was shot in the leg Tuesday morning and the suspect is in custody.

Police in Albemarle responded to the shooting at Albemarle High School and told WSOC-TV and Police Chief William Halliburton said the suspected shooter has been identified as student Jalen Russell. Halliburton said the gunman immediately dropped the gun and surrendered.

The the shooting victim's condition was not immediately available and the school has been placed on lockdown.

Halliburton said two people were engaged in some type of argument or altercation that led to the incident.

The police chief told a newspaper reported with the Stanly News and Press told that at 7:40 a.m., police were called to the courtyard at the school.

When they arrived they found a male student with a gunshot wound to the leg and put the school on lockdown.

Officers put a search team together to find the gunman. They found the gunman, which was a male student, and took him into custody.

They met with administrators and started to evacuate students from the school.

Get the latest developments from WSOC-TV.

Published: Tue, 30 Sep 2014 07:46:03 -0400

Police chief: Student shot twice; Gunman turns himself in

Police in Albemarle said one student was shot at Albemarle High School Tuesday morning.

IMAGES: Police: 1 shot at Albemarle High School

Albemarle Police Chief William Halliburton said the suspected shooter has been identified as Jalen Russell.

Halliburton said the shooting victim is 16-year-old Bernard Miller. Authorities corrected an earlier report that the victim was 17 years old.

Channel 9 talked to several people devastated to hear Miller was shot at his own school.

Social media updates: Police say 1 shot at Albemarle High School
Friends describe Miller as an outgoing, athletic young man who plays high school football. A friend of the victim's family said he had emergency surgery Tuesday and is expected to be OK. 

Channel 9 talked to a friend of Miller's who said she is grateful he survived and that none of the other students was hurt. 

MUST SEE: Student says he witnessed Albemarle school shooting

"Life can change just that fast in the blink of an eye. That could have been anybody,” said Kayla Frick.

Halliburton said at 7:40 a.m., police received a call from the high school in reference to shots being fired.

: Shooting at Albemarle High School

They had officers on the scene within minutes.

When they arrived, they found one person had been shot, Halliburton said. The victim, who also was a student, was shot twice: once in the hip and once in the lower abdomen.

He said they had a suspect in custody immediately. The chief said the gunman immediately dropped the gun and surrendered.

Halliburton said the school resource officer, who is an Albemarle police officer, took the suspected gunman into custody. In a later press conference, Halliburton said the gunman dropped the gun, went inside the school and turned himself in to the principal.


Students describe terrifying scene

Witnesses and police describe the shooting as a chaotic scene when students were getting off buses, others were milling in the courtyard and the hallways inside.

All of that was disrupted when gunshots rang out.

Police said Jalen Russell fired two shots striking Bernard Miller, 16, in the stomach and the hip.

“I just turned around and see him got shot like twice and he fell down on the floor,” one student said.

After the bullets came the screams of panic.

“They were pushing everybody toward the buses and I heard someone yell they were shooting,” another student said.

Albemarle police said one of their own, the school’s resource officer, was only 30 yards away when Russell fired.

“When you hear that shots fired at a school it’s our worst nightmare,” Halliburton said.

Police said the officer rushed first to the victim, and then inside where they said Russell was surrendering to the school's principal after laying his gun down on the ground outside

“The whole thing, from the shooting to being in the school with the suspect, was seconds,” Halliburton said.
Students and teachers were locked down in their classrooms for just over an hour before they were evacuated to a nearby church where tearful parents waited

“I was scared out of my wits, I really was,” said another student.

Security teams of officers swept the entire school before declaring the threat was over, but for many the lingering memories and fear are not over.

“I don't want to come to school tomorrow, I really don't, I don't really want to be here today,” another student said.

Police interviewing witnesses 

They are interviewing witnesses to see if any other students were outside. They do believe there were other witnesses to the shooting, the chief said.

Halliburton said every officer from the city, county and Highway Patrol responded to the scene within minutes. There were about 20 officers at the school.

The chief said the first thing they did was form teams to start searching for any active shooting that may be occurring while rescue teams helped care for any injured.

Halliburton said it went very smoothly.

He said he is thankful for the quick response and glad it ended quickly. He said the gunman could have done more.

Halliburton said that the Sheriff’s Office, EMS and school personnel all participated in an active shooter situation in July, so they felt well prepared.

While he is pleased with how officers reacted, Halliburton said lessons can always be learned.

"We will sit down with the school, the other government agencies who study these kinds of things and parents and talk about it, what went right and what went wrong,” he said.

The school has been closed for the day.

Students are using the hashtag #PrayersForAlbemarle on Twitter to leave messages for other students at the school.

According to the school’s website, the warning bell, which is the last bell before classes start, rang at 7:55 a.m.

There are a total of 466 students at the school.

2 prayers services set for Tuesday evening

Officials said there are two community prayer services set for Tuesday night.

The first will be held at 5:30 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church on 126 West North Street in #Albemarle.

The second service is set for 7 p.m. at North Albemarle Baptist Church. This is the same church that was used as a staging area for parents to pick up their kids Tuesday morning.

Both services are open to the public.



Published: Tue, 30 Sep 2014 07:46:03 -0400

Raiders fire coach Dennis Allen after 4th consecutive loss

The Oakland Raiders fired coach Dennis Allen on Monday night – just four games into his third season.

The decision was announced soon after the Raiders (0-4) returned from London, where they lost their 10th straight game dating to last season, 34-14 to the Miami Dolphins on Sunday. The firing was first reported by Fox Sports.

Allen was the first head coach hired by Oakland after the death of longtime owner Al Davis. His 8-28 record is the worst for the franchise since before Davis arrived in 1963. His contract was set to run through next season.

An announcement on the interim coach will come Tuesday, with offensive line coach Tony Sparano and offensive coordinator Greg Olson the most likely options.

Allen is the third coach fired during the season by Oakland since Davis arrived. Mike Shanahan was fired after four games in 1989 and Lane Kiffin was let go four games into the 2008 season.

The Raiders have had 11 straight seasons without a winning record or a playoff berth. Oakland will now have its eighth coach since 2003.

>> Read more trending stories

Allen and general manager Reggie McKenzie were hired after the team finished 8-8 under coach Hue Jackson in 2011, falling one game short of a playoff bid.

They were expected to steady a franchise that ran into disrepair during Davis' final years as owner. Instead, the team has only gotten worse.

The two were hamstrung their first two seasons by a lack of premium draft picks and a difficult salary-cap situation due to bad contracts handed out by Davis.

But after spending their first two years tearing down the team, owner Mark Davis expected the Raiders to be much more competitive this season after having ample salary cap room in the offseason and a near full complement of draft picks.

Instead, the Raiders have looked overmatched at times. They fell behind 27-0 after three quarters of their only home game against Houston and trailed by 31 points after three quarters against the Dolphins.

In all, Allen had more losses by at least 20 points (nine) than wins. It was performances like those that Davis said he no longer wanted to see in Allen's third season and ultimately led to his downfall.

Allen was a former defensive coordinator in Denver who was expected to modernize a defense that ran what were considered outdated schemes under Al Davis' watch.

The defense, instead, has gotten worse. Allen has overseen two of the three highest-scoring seasons by opponents in franchise history. The Raiders have yielded 27.8 points per game since the start of the 2012 season, allowing opponents to complete 67.6 percent of their passes with a 101.6 passer rating.

With Allen out, the pressure now turns to McKenzie, who has two seasons left on his contract. McKenzie's first two draft classes have had almost no impact, with the biggest disappointment being 2013 first-round cornerback D.J. Hayden, who has struggled with injuries. Hayden was exposed in eight games as a rookie and has not played at all this season because of a foot injury.

This year's draft class appears to be much stronger, led by first-round linebacker Khalil Mack and second-round quarterback Derek Carr. But whether that will be enough for McKenzie to keep his job remains to be seen.

McKenzie also has botched two offseason trades for quarterbacks, with Matt Flynn in 2013 and Matt Schaub this year failing to win starting jobs after being acquired to start.

Published: Tue, 30 Sep 2014 06:56:10 -0400

Caffeine-laden underwear will not help you lose weight, FTC says

Does it sound believable that wearing undergarments infused with caffeine would help people lose weight?

While it may sound ridiculous to many, two companies actually marketed such products, and someone out there in consumer land bought them.

The Federal Trade Commission charged that Norm Thompson Outfitters Inc. and Wacoal America made false claims that their women’s “shapewear” undergarments would help people lose weight.

Now the companies have been ordered to pay more than $1.5 million in consumer refunds.

“Caffeine-infused shapewear is the latest ‘weight-loss’ brew concocted by marketers,” said Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “If someone says you can lose weight by wearing the clothes they are selling, steer clear. The best approach is tried and true: diet and exercise.”

>> Read more trending stories

The FTC’s complaint against Norm Thompson Outfitters alleges the company deceptively advertised, marketed, and sold women’s undergarments infused with microencapsulated caffeine, retinol, and other ingredients, claiming the “shapewear” would slim and reshape the wearer’s body and reduce cellulite. The products, made with Lytess brand fabrics, were sold via mail order and on the company’s Norm Thompson Outfitters, Sahalie, Body Solutions, and Body*Belle websites.

Specifically, the FTC alleges that the company made claims that wearing its shapewear would eliminate or substantially reduce cellulite; reduce the wearer’s hip measurements by up to two inches and their thigh measurements by one inch; and reduce thigh and hip measurements “without any effort.”

The complaint alleges that these claims are not true or substantiated by scientific evidence, and therefore violate the FTC Act.

The complaint against Wacoal contains similar allegations. It charges that the company’s iPants supposedly slimmed the body and reduced cellulite. Specifically, the company made false and unsubstantiated claims that wearing iPants would: substantially reduce cellulite; cause a substantial reduction in the wearer’s thigh measurements; and destroy fat cells, resulting in substantial slimming. The complaint alleges that these claims are not true or substantiated by scientific evidence, and therefore also violate the FTC Act.

The companies are barred  from claiming that any garment that contains any drug or cosmetic causes substantial weight or fat loss or a substantial reduction in body size. In addition, the companies are prohibited from making claims that any drug or cosmetic reduces or eliminates cellulite or reduces body fat, unless they are not misleading and can be substantiated by competent and reliable scientific evidence.

Published: Tue, 30 Sep 2014 05:55:14 -0400

Christian group wants NC marriage limit preserved

(AP) Christian conservatives who helped pass a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage in North Carolina are gathering again in Raleigh to try to keep the prohibition defended in court.

The group called Return America planned a rally Tuesday behind the Legislative Building.

Religious leaders involved in the "Take Your Stand" rally say the event was designed to tell judges and Attorney General Roy Cooper it's their job to preserve the 2012 amendment. Cooper has said his office will no longer defend the amendment because a similar Virginia ban has been struck down by an appeals court.

More than 60 percent of the voters approved the amendment.

Republican U.S. Senate primary candidate the Rev. Mark Harris of Charlotte was among the scheduled speakers. Return America has held similar rallies promoting traditional marriage.

Published: Tue, 30 Sep 2014 05:51:51 -0400

Bill Clinton headlining Hagan fundraiser in NC

(AP) Former President Bill Clinton is coming to North Carolina to help raise money for U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan's re-election campaign.

Clinton was slated to be in Chapel Hill on Tuesday to headline a fundraising luncheon for the first-term Democrat. Hagan's campaign said the event at The Carolina Inn was private and closed to the media.

Hagan is running against Republican Thom Tillis.

Bill and Hillary Clinton's daughter, Chelsea, gave birth to her first child last Friday. The girl named Charlotte was born at a New York hospital.

Bill Clinton was elected president in 1992 and 1996 but failed to carry North Carolina on either occasion. Hillary Clinton is now considering a 2016 presidential bid.

Published: Tue, 30 Sep 2014 05:35:26 -0400

Troopers: 1 killed when vehicle rear-ends tractor trailer on I-85

North Carolina state troopers were investigating a deadly crash late Monday night in Rowan County.

According to investigators, one person was killed when a vehicle crashed into the back of a tractor-trailer on Interstate 85 in the northbound lanes between Peeler Road and Peach Orchard Road around 11:30 p.m.

Troopers have not released the names of those involved or any further details surrounding the crash.

Check back with for updates on this story.

Published: Tue, 30 Sep 2014 04:41:29 -0400