Bookmark and Share

rss logo Top Charlotte Area Local News Stories

Source: MedleyStory

Facebook messenger app to be rolled out in U.S.

For mobile users who text with friends via Facebook, it's almost time to download the social-media giant's dedicated app for doing so -- or lose the ability to send messages.

Facebook says for the next few days it will notify people that if they want to continue sending mobile messages, they'll need to download the messenger app.

In April, Facebook announced the change was coming. It has been rolled out to Android and IOS users in parts of Europe and elsewhere since then, and is now coming to the United States.

Facebook says its messenger app is used by more than 200 million people every month.

Published: Wed, 30 Jul 2014 06:51:07 -0400

Restaurant's ban on 'noisy children' causes controversy

A popular California restaurant is defending a controversial policy that bans "noisy children," according to KTVU.

Many tourists complain that the policy is unfair, but the owner at the Old Fisherman’s Grotto in Monterey says that’s not hurting his bottom line.

Fisherman’s Wharf is one of the Monterey Peninsula’s biggest tourist attractions, and some say the sign at the restaurant is sending the wrong message.

>> Read more trending stories

The sign reads, “No Strollers. No High Chairs. No Booster Chairs. Children crying or making loud noises are a distraction to other diners, and as such are not allowed in the dining room.”

The owner of the restaurant says he doesn’t care if people are offended, and if people don’t like it, they are welcome to eat elsewhere.

“If a place has the rules, that's what the rules are. You go in and abide by the rules, or you find a place that's more suitable to your dining," Chris Shake said.

The owner says this policy has been in place for two years, and the restaurant has had two signs up since then. The restaurant recently added the third sign.

Published: Wed, 30 Jul 2014 06:44:12 -0400

Class aimed at getting rid of southern accents scrapped

School administrators have canceled a class aimed at teaching people how to get rid of their southern accent.

The Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee offered the course.

Instructors said the class would help people feel confident in meetings if someone needed to speak with a neutral accent. But some employees complained, saying they were offended.

Managers have since canceled the class altogether.

Published: Wed, 30 Jul 2014 05:25:09 -0400

CMPD: Man shot in stomach at east Charlotte motel

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police are investigating after an overnight shooting at an east Charlotte motel.

Police said a man was shot in the stomach at the Budget Inn on Independence Blvd. around 3:40 a.m.

Officers said that man then drove himself to the hospital.

The severity of his injuries was not immediately available.

Check back with for updates on this story.

Sign up for breaking news alerts, click here.

Published: Wed, 30 Jul 2014 04:43:15 -0400

Baby hospitalized after being left in hot car in Fla.

A 2-month-old baby is being treated after authorities said the baby was left in a minivan for about an hour outside a pediatrics clinic in Florida.

According to WFTV in Orlando, the child's mother told investigators she was inside the Avalon Park clinic with her 9-year-old Tuesday afternoon when she realized she left her baby daughter in her minivan.

>> RELATED: Mom accused of leaving 4 kids in hot SUV

The woman rushed the infant into the clinic, where doctors were able to stabilize the girl, deputies said.

"We saw the fire department and the ambulance," said witness Joyce Peacock.

>> RELATED: Mother accused of leaving kids alone in car while gambling

As of Tuesday night, the mother's minivan was still parked outside of the clinic. A sun visor placed behind the windshield was clearly visible.

"It's too hot to leave a baby in the car," Peacock said.

>> RELATED: Police: Dad caught having sex while twin babies were alone in car

"These people, they've got to pay attention to what they're doing," said resident Becky Holliman. "I mean, it's just, it's just devastating to me."

The child was taken to the hospital in unknown condition, but deputies said the 2-month-old is stable.

>> Read more trending stories

The baby's name has not been released, and there's no word on whether the mother will face any charges.

The child abuse unit of the Sheriff's Office is investigating.

Published: Wed, 30 Jul 2014 03:53:22 -0400

Police: Naked, knife-wielding woman stabs 2 in brawl over man

Police in Pennsylvania continued to search for a woman who they said was naked when she stabbed two other women in a fight over a man Monday.

On Tuesday night, police released the name of the woman they’re looking for. Police said La Keysh Collins, 41, is from the Pittsburgh area and may be in New Kensington. She does not live at the McKees Rocks apartment complex where the fight happened, police said.

Investigators said the knife-wielding woman was completely nude when she jumped into a fight.

>> Read more trending stories

WPXI-TV in Pittsburgh obtained cellphone video of the attack; however, it is too graphic to use on air and on the Web.

Officers said five women were involved in the brawl when Collins got involved.

One person involved in the fight was stabbed seven times in the face and back. Police said that woman’s injuries appear to be non-life threatening.

A warrant is out for Collins’ arrest.

Officials said if they determine who Collins was visiting at the apartment complex, that person will be evicted.

Officers said the other women involved will be facing charges, as well.

Published: Wed, 30 Jul 2014 03:20:35 -0400

Phony Navy SEAL buried with military honors

A man who claimed he was a decorated Navy SEAL was buried earlier this month will full honors at a cemetery reserved for military heroes.

But the man was a fake, KIRO-TV in Seattle reports.

The man never served a day in the Navy, and officials at Tahoma National Ceremony in Kent, Washington, were unaware of his bogus claims until KIRO-TV checked the man’s background and explained his phony documentation.

Now, outrage is growing among actual military veterans, and some are calling for his remains to exhumed.

John Marcus Alberti died in April and had no next of kin. A friend went through his belongings and found a military discharge paper called a DD 214. The paper detailed how Alberti served as a Navy SEAL in Vietnam, winning numerous medals for bravery.

>> Read more trending stories

The document even said he was honored by President John F. Kennedy.

The friend, who believed Alberti served because of the document, took the paper to American Legion Post 78 in Auburn, Washington. Officials there worked with the Tahoma National Cemetery. Click here to download a PDF of Alberti's bogus military document.

On July 24, Tahoma National Cemetery gave Alberti a ceremony with full military honors. Post 78 originally posted pictures of the ceremony on its Facebook page.

But the paper has some glaring mistakes.

Navy SEAL veteran Don Shipley is dedicated to exposing fake Navy SEALs. “Not to me. I saw it."

“The guy couldn't even spell Saigon,” Shipley said.

For true military heroes to be buried at Tahoma National Cemetery, the cemetery needs a certified military discharge paper. But Alberti's fake discharge paper was good enough to fool the American Legion and cemetery staff.

Alberti was first exposed in 2008 by the POW Network. Alberti was homeless at the time and staying with a couple in Kent.  They sought out the POW Network, saying he told them stories of being a prisoner of war.  

The POW Network did a check to confirm his service and found Alberti was a phony.  At one point, the network posted his name on its other site,

But in 2012, that site took down the names of those who’d been exposed as phonies.

KIRO-TV spoke to the director of Tahoma National Cemetery, who said the cemetery accepted Alberti, believing the fake military discharge paper was real.

In other cases, bodies have been removed from national cemeteries after officials determined the deceased were not eligible. A U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs spokesman said the agency is still investigating Alberti's case.

“He needs to get out of there,” Shipley said.  “He's buried among heroes.”

Statement from American Legion Post 78

Prior to the interment of John Marcus Alberti and the Auburn-Reporter's published op-ed - written by a friend of Alberti - a Google search of his name produced little information aside from innocuous items such as FaceBook and LinkedIn pages. It was not until we were contacted by Don Shipley on Saturday (7/26) that we became aware of the "stolen valor" issue. On Sunday (7/27), a search of Alberti's name on the website produced absolutely ZERO results.

Auburn Post 78 had no knowledge of, nor contact with, Alberti prior to his death in April 2014. Alberti died on 4/18/2014 and his body was turned over to the King County Medical Examiner's Office in Seattle. In late April, Alberti's girlfriend of about 7 years contacted our Post service officer for assistance as Alberti had no known family and she was not legally his next of kin. She provided the Post with a copy of a DD214, that she apparently found in his possessions with a VARO Seattle "true copy" stamp and signature on the back.  The DD214 was taken to Tahoma National Cemetery to schedule interment. A representative there researched him on their system and determined he was eligible to be interred at TNC.

At this time, all postings and pictures regarding Alberti have been removed from the websites and Facebook pages over which we have control. We at Auburn Post 78 are extremely distressed that we may have played a role in interring a "fake warrior" in our National cemetery; however the last we heard, the folks at TNC say he is an eligible Navy veteran (disclaimer: being eligible to be buried in the National Cemetery does not in any way imply that the service/training/awards listed on the DD214 are correct).

Carol Reed
Adjutant, Auburn Post 78

Published: Wed, 30 Jul 2014 02:48:50 -0400

Children discover active sewage spill behind their homes

Janoah Graham, 12, and his friends were looking for worms in a creek in their Rock Hill neighborhood Tuesday afternoon when they came across what looked like a fountain.
"It was leaking out everywhere and the top was falling off," Graham said.
The boys discovered a broken sewer line that firefighters said was leaking anywhere from 50 to 70 gallons of raw sewage into the ground every minute.
"We immediately called the Fire Department and told them we needed help," Graham said.
Rock Hill firefighters and city utility crews responded to the 911 call at Stone's Crossing Apartments on Riverview Road.
Behind the complex, they found a manhole with raw sewage pouring from it and down an embankment.
Utilities crews suited up and used shovels and dirt to create a barrier to contain the leak.
It was under control in about 90 minutes.
Officials believe it was most likely caused by some blockage in the line.
Some neighbors said it could possibly be vandals shoving debris into the pipe.
The Department of Health and Environmental Control was called in to monitor the cleanup and determined any risk to the environment.
The city was also taking water samples upstream and downstream from the spill.
Channel 9 was told that most of the sewage was not leaking directly into the creek but along the bank instead.
As of late Tuesday, it was not known how much sewage spilled or how long the manhole had been leaking before it was found.

Published: Tue, 29 Jul 2014 21:19:05 -0400

Samaritan's Purse calls for evacuation from Liberia

(AP) — Two North Carolina-based missionary groups have ordered the evacuation of their non-essential personnel from Liberia after a doctor and a missionary contracted Ebola.

SIM USA President Bruce Johnson announced Tuesday that his group and Samaritan's Purse decided on the evacuation following an upsurge in the number of Ebola cases in Liberia. Johnson said the logistics of the evacuation are being determined.

Spokesman Palmer Holt said approximately 60 employees will be evacuated. A statement from SIM says none of the evacuees is displaying any symptoms of Ebola, but all are being monitored continually.

A Texas-trained doctor and a missionary from Charlotte have contracted the disease.

Read more top trending stories on

Officials: 1 killed in Waxhaw construction accident

Family: Father arrested after defending daughter teased for having cancer

Samaritan's Purse doctor who contracted Ebola in grave condition

Rowan sheriff cancels media briefing in Erica Parsons case

NC attorney general won't defend gay marriage ban

Published: Tue, 29 Jul 2014 20:38:48 -0400

CMPD: Shooting in north Charlotte sends 1 to hospital

One person was shot in the 8200 block of Ainsworth Street, according to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.

That person was taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries, according to MEDIC.

The incident is under investigation.

Read more top trending stories on

Officials: 1 killed in Waxhaw construction accident

Family: Father arrested after defending daughter teased for having cancer

Samaritan's Purse doctor who contracted Ebola in grave condition

Rowan sheriff cancels media briefing in Erica Parsons case

NC attorney general won't defend gay marriage ban

Published: Tue, 29 Jul 2014 19:39:45 -0400

Watch: Two women escape death by diving under train

Dramatic surveillance video shows two women running for their lives on a railroad bridge, then dropping down on the tracks just before the train runs them over. Amazingly, both women survived.

"When the trains topped, the two women crawled out from under the engine, started running this way," Eric Powell, with Indiana Railroad, said. “(The conductor) yelled back and asked them, 'Are you okay?' One yelled she had stubbed her toe, (but was) otherwise fine. I'm sure their nerves were as shattered as his were." (

Watching the video, It’s hard to believe that a stubbed toe was the worst of their physical injuries.

The incident happened earlier this month on the Indiana Railroad bridge northeast of Bloomington at Lake Lemon. The bridge is 80 feet high. There are no walkways because pedestrians are not allowed.

The 100-car coal train braked hard, Powell said, but was across the bridge before it was able to stop.

Indiana Railroad plans to prosecute the two women for criminal trespass to send a message to others.

Published: Tue, 29 Jul 2014 19:15:33 -0400

How your face can leave a good or bad first impression

Researchers in England are saying your physical appearance largely impacts how others perceive your personality. 

"Facial features like the shape of a person's jaw, mouth and eyes can almost instantaneously contribute to what kind of personality we sum up someone with. ... A lot can ride on a single selfie." (Via ABC)

It's no wonder people are taking so many darn selfies right now — apparently, a lot rides on those photos. 

The study, which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, says, "Despite enormous variation in ambient images of faces, a substantial proportion of the variance in first impressions can be accounted for through linear changes in objectively defined features."

Yeah, that sounds like a bunch of scientific gibberish. So let's break it down. Researchers took 1,000 faces from the Internet and showed them to at least six people, who then rated their perceptions of the photo subjects' intelligence and other characteristics.

"They tracked 65 facial features, noting the subtle differences in the jaws, the eyes, the mouth and the cheekbones." (Via CBS)

Using that data, researchers built a model of how someone's face could quickly give impressions of three main characteristics: approachability, dominance and attractiveness. (Via Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences)

Once the cartoon faces were created, it was test time again.

As BBC notes, the researchers' cartoons evoked the appropriate responses from people.

"When the researchers quizzed more participants about their impressions of the artificial, cartoon faces, the ratings matched. People said that the computer's cartoon prediction of an approachable face was, indeed, approachable - and so on."

Medical Daily points out previous studies have found links between facial expressions and first impressions, and this one follows suit. 

"The researchers suggest that the study could have implications for people who have to provide photos of themselves to get jobs, such as actors, models, and the like. For these people, putting their best face forward could mean the difference."

OK, so they've figured out an approachable facial expression. Does that mean we should wax our eyebrows into a perfect arch for first impression's sake? (Via jon collier / CC BY SA 2.0)

Eh, not really. The BBC quoted a doctor from the study who said, "It's very difficult for us to pin down with certainty that a given feature of the face is contributing to a certain social impression."

Published: Tue, 29 Jul 2014 18:44:25 -0400

Woman says man tried to take 2-year-old niece out of yard

Terrifying moments for a north Charlotte woman, who came face to face and even spoke with a man who she said tried to snatch her 2-year-old niece out of her front yard.
The woman asked Channel 9 to not reveal her identity. 
She said it happened Sunday evening on Duncan Avenue.
Her niece ran after a ball that was sitting in the front yard close to the street. 
She said that's when a strange man drove up.
“He didn't turn the car off. He just got out the car with the door still open,” the woman said. “He gave her the ball but then he tried to pick her up.”
The woman ran to her niece and picked her up.
She noticed a dog barking in the back seat of the man's car.
“When I had her in my hands, he was trying to take her out my hands,” the woman said. “He was like, ‘Come see the dog. Come see the dog.’”
The woman told the man to get away. She ran inside the house and called police.
Channel 9 told her neighbors in Villa Heights what happened.
John Yasenchok said he's always cautious when his 7-year-old brother comes to visit.
“He doesn't play in the front by himself; we're always out here,” Yasenchok said.
“My mom tells me not to play out there in the yard. She's scared that a lot of kidnappers are out there,” said 7-year-old Christian Olsen.
The woman hopes police track down this man before he strikes again.

Published: Tue, 29 Jul 2014 17:42:42 -0400

Coach: Assault at softball game was a misunderstanding

The man police said was assaulted up by a parent at a softball game told Eyewitness news his family is being threatened.

Eyewitness News reported Monday that officers arrested James Roberts and charged him with assault.
Police said Roberts actually ran up and attacked a man who was a parent on the other team.
Roberts said he thought that some of the people on the team were making fun of his daughter Hannah, who has cancer.
But the victim, Carter York, said that he never made fun of the girl and neither did anyone else on the team.
York said because of the misinformation, he and his family are being threatened on social media.
York said it was a misunderstanding and may have had something to do with him questioning the umpire over what he thought were some bad calls.
Police also said that because the other team wasn't from the area, they're not sure how the players or the coach would have even known Hannah had cancer.

Published: Tue, 29 Jul 2014 17:41:22 -0400

Woman says man took photo up her skirt at Southpark Mall

Women who shop in Southpark are reacting to what happened in a parking deck at 4400 Sharon Road.

A 25-year-old woman was walking in the deck at Southpark Mall on Sunday when she said a man grabbed her by her hip and took a photograph up her skirt. He then ran off.

“It’s creepy,” Jackie Kirkman said.

Some women Channel 9 spoke with say they’ll be paying close attention to the people around them in parking decks. They hope police get the suspect off the streets.

“I think that's just horrible that he did that,” Mary Babcock said. “It is scary.”

So far, police have not made any arrests.

Published: Tue, 29 Jul 2014 17:21:39 -0400

New video released in Maggie Daniels murder investigation

New video has been released of police searching an apartment just a few doors from where a popular school counselor was found slain.

Channel 9 asked the police chief if the person who lives in the apartment is a person of interest in the case, but he declined to answer.
One police car after another arrived at the Windsor Apartments at Saturday morning to begin their search just a short walk from where Maggie Daniels was found dead.  

As Channel 9 went through the surveillance video from a nearby business, Eyewitness News could still see investigators there seven and a half hours later before they left.

Channel 9 has learned police initially got two search warrants for an apartment and phone records.  But investigators said they discovered something inside that required them to get a third search warrant in the case.  They are not revealing what that item was. 

People are still talking about Daniels four weeks after her death. 

"I really hope they figure out what's going on. We are all like on pins and needles hoping they find who did this. She was really a sweet girl," said resident Christine White.

Prosecutors have also been busy in the case filing these three motions during the last 24 hours, asking a judge to seal the most recent search warrants and keep three others from becoming public this Friday.  

Those searches involved Daniels’ apartment and car and were conducted in the days after her killing and were supposed to be unsealed this Friday. Linda McSwain remembers seeing the 31-year-old jogging through Newton and said very little information has come out about the case.

"Everything is very hush hush.  Nobody is saying anything at all about it.  There's no information leaking out about it whatsoever and I’m ready for it to be over with,” McSwain said.

Read our past coverage:

June 28:Police investigating death of Newton teacher

July 7: Newton high school counselor will be laid to rest Monday

July 9:Police release surveillance photo of Maggie Daniels

July 10: Friends, family remember beloved teacher Maggie Daniels

July 15:Police seek more information in slaying of Maggie Daniels

Published: Tue, 29 Jul 2014 17:15:48 -0400

Friend: Woman who drowned in Lake Norman couldn't swim

Crews recovered a woman's body from Lake Norman Tuesday night, according to officials.

Late in the afternoon, Denver Fire Department officials confirmed they were looking for a woman who went underwater in Lake Norman.

The drowning occurred off Mitchell Lane in Denver.

At 4:15 p.m., a man called 911 and said he and a female were swimming when he went inside a home, authorities said in a news release. When he returned, the woman was missing.

The victim was identified as Elisabeth Anna Burford, 36, of Lincolnton.

The friend said Burford was in the water not wearing a life jacket but had a flotation device.

She did not know how to swim.

Crews searched two-and-a-half hours before recovering her body.

Published: Tue, 29 Jul 2014 17:09:25 -0400

Officials: 2 inmates who attacked detective arrested in Georgia

Officials with the McDowell County Sheriff's Department have confirmed that two inmates who escaped custody in Avery County have been arrested.

Officials said the two escapees -- cousins Calvin and Phillip Metcalf -- were arrested in Georgia. They could not say exactly where in Georgia.

On Tuesday, an Avery County sheriff's detective had the Metcalfs -- who were serving their sentences at the McDowell County Jail -- assisting him on some unsolved cases west of Newland.

Calvin, 20, and his cousin Phillip, 25, overpowered the deputy, taking his service gun and his patrol vehicle.
Authorities were searching for a gray four-door Dodge with a camper cover with tinted windows, and black running boards and license plate AEW-7350.

Sign up for breaking news alerts, click here.

Published: Tue, 29 Jul 2014 17:08:05 -0400

Gay marriage supporters push for quick NC ruling

Lawyers challenging North Carolina's same-sex marriage ban say they will press for quick legal action after a federal appeals court found a similar law in Virginia is unconstitutional.

American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina legal director Chris Brook said Tuesday the group will file motions within days asking a U.S. District Court judge in Greensboro to rule based on Monday's decision by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Virginia. The ACLU represents same-sex couples in two of the four cases challenging the ban that are currently pending in the state.

The 4th Circuit includes North Carolina. Attorney General Roy Cooper says it would be futile for his office to continue defending the law following the Virginia ruling. Supporters of the ban are vowing to continue the fight.

Michael Bitzer with Catawba College said Cooper is trying to draw political lines between himself and Gov. Pat McCrory who he may challenge in 2016 -- aligning himself with public opinion that increasingly supports gay marriage.

“He very quickly made that announcement and I think that’s what caught a lot of people off guard,” Bitzer said. “And were already starting to see the campaign themes line up for 2016.”

Bitzer said Cooper can look at higher authority and state officials said it’s the U.S. Constitution and its interpretation.

In addition, judges said the bans violate the Constitution.

Published: Tue, 29 Jul 2014 16:27:20 -0400

Man accused of posing as pastor, SBI agent to steal money

A South Carolina man who posed as a Charlotte-area pastor and State Bureau of Investigation agent to steal victims’ money was arrested following an investigation by the SBI, Attorney General Roy Cooper said Tuesday.

Justin DeWayne Moore, 23, of Greenwood, South Carolina, was arrested Monday afternoon by the Greenwood County Sheriff’s Office and taken into custody based on North Carolina arrest warrants on charges of extortion and impersonating a law enforcement officer. 

He faces extradition to Mecklenburg County.

The SBI said Moore ran the scheme along with two family members, including one who is currently incarcerated in a South Carolina prison. Additional arrests may be forthcoming.

The scheme allegedly started on social media, according to reports from victims.  Each victim was friended by someone he thought was a woman on social media website, where they chatted and exchanged telephone numbers. 
The woman then exchanged nude photos with her new online friends, according to SBI.
Victims said they soon got a call from someone who identified himself as the woman’s father. 

The man, who claimed to be a pastor, allegedly said that he had discovered the photos on his underage daughter’s phone and confronted her, and that she then threw her phone through a window of his church. The man followed up by telling the victim to delete the photos and then asking for help paying to fix the broken window and replace the phone. He also told victims that if they didn’t pay, he would report the matter to the SBI.

According to victims, they next received a call from someone claiming to be an agent with the SBI and using the name of the actual SBI special agent in charge for the Charlotte field office of the SBI. 

The person posing as the SBI agent told them to pay between $200 and $400 each via Green Dot MoneyPak cards, a type of reloadable debit card, or face arrest on criminal charges, according to the SBI.

The SBI first learned of the scam when victims began to contact the real SBI agent whose name the scammers used.  SBI agents worked with their counterparts in South Carolina to unravel the scheme and make the arrest. 

Victims are urged to contact the SBI at 1-800-334-3000.

Published: Tue, 29 Jul 2014 16:25:47 -0400