The Charlotte Premium Outlets are a little more than a week away from opening in Steele Creek -- and it's expected to create a traffic nightmare.
Channel 9 spoke with neighbors who are excited for the economic impact the outlets will have, but not the traffic problems that will come with it.
Some homeowners who live along Highway 160 for more than 30 years said they never imagined this type of progress would ever come to the Steele Creek area. But not everyone was excited about it.
North Carolina Department of Transportation crews are building a median on Highway 160 right in front of the outlet mall. They're hoping the work will be complete ahead of next week's big grand opening.
Most people living along Highway 160 described the traffic woes on a normal day as unbearable. Adding to that the thousands of new travelers the mall is expected to bring in and some homeowners feel like it will take them hours just to get out of their neighborhood and get to work.
“Ooh, bumper to bumper. It's hard to get out and when you do get out you're taking your life in your hands because traffic is so heavy that people come so fast through there,” said Delores Sosebee.
Channel 9 reached out to NCDOT officials about the traffic woes. Tune into Eyewitness News at 5 p.m. to hear what they said about possible ways to avoid this mess.
Published: Tue, 22 Jul 2014 12:16:30 -0400
A thief caused hundreds of dollars in damage to a business during an early morning break-in Tuesday in Hickory.
The break-in happened at the Hickory Home Garden Center on Highway 321 around 3 a.m.
Employees said someone damaged a fence and then cut through a metal wall of the business to get inside.
The thief stole money from a cash drawer but took off when an alarm went off in the business.
If you know anything about this crime you're asked to call Hickory police.
Published: Tue, 22 Jul 2014 11:41:17 -0400
Take a look at some star-studded, hilarious and downright cool hammock-related social media in celebration of National Hammock Day.
Published: Tue, 22 Jul 2014 10:53:56 -0400
When Liam Blair was accepted into Dundee University he decided not to inform his mother. For four years he kept his secret with the intention of surprising her on his graduation day. As can be seen in this video Liam’s mother is completely in shock and believes she is being pranked when Liam approaches her dressed in his graduation gown.
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Published: Tue, 22 Jul 2014 10:42:11 -0400
Trader Joe’s has issued a recall for products in the stone fruit line. Through a release on their website, the company said they have been alerted by their supplier that there is a possibility that some products may be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes.
The following possibly contaminated products were sold individually between June 2 and July 18:
Organic White Nectarine
Organic Yellow Nectarine
Organic Yellow Peach
Organic Dapple Dandy Plumcot
These products were sold in four-pound boxes between June 2 and July 19, they have Julian date codes of 153 through 193:
Trader Joe's Peaches 4LB Box
Trader Joe's Nectarines 4LB Box
To date, the company said it has not received reports of illness related to these products. In accordance with health and safety standards, and as extreme precaution, all of the potentially affected product has been removed from sale and destroyed.
The company urges customers who have purchased any of these items to not eat them, and to dispose of them or return them to any Trader Joe’s for a full refund.
Customers with questions may contact Trader Joe’s Customer Relations at 626-599-3817 between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. Eastern Time.
Published: Tue, 22 Jul 2014 10:03:56 -0400
On Monday, President Barack Obama signed an executive order that prohibits federal contractors from discriminating based on gender identity or sexual orientation. The White House touted the order as a step toward equality. (Via The White House)
But Obama ignored pleas to include a religious exemption for faith-based groups in his order, re-igniting the gay rights versus religious freedom debate once again. (Via Getty Images)
News that Obama was working on just such an executive order broke last month and it had a great deal of support — provided it had language giving religious groups a pass.
Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch said he would support such an order as long as the exemption was included. (Via Getty Images)
The Salt Lake Tribune quotes Hatch saying: "In seeking to curtail unjust discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, we must ensure that legal protections do not trample upon basic religious liberties."
So why did that language not make it into the order? There are a couple of theories on that.
Americans United for Separation of Church and State said it boils down to how taxpayer money is spent. "Faith-based groups that tap the public purse should play by the same rules as everyone else and not expect special treatment.”
But conservative columnist Todd Starnes, writing in Fox News, says the whole point of the order is to bully religious groups. "This administration believes gay rights trump everyone else's rights — including religious rights."
The debate comes just weeks after the Supreme Court's ruling in the Hobby Lobby contraception case, which pushed the religious freedom argument to the forefront. (Via WTTG)
But while the right accuses the president of bullying and curtailing religious freedom, some on the left argue the order doesn't go far enough.
The president of Interfaith Alliance criticized Obama for choosing not to "undo the provisions that President George W. Bush signed allowing for religious organizations to discriminate against people of other religions in their hiring."
A former faith adviser to Obama says he's grateful the president kept that Bush policy. Though he also tells The Washington Post the executive order on LGBT discrimination leaves room for interpretation and will lead to litigation.
Eighteen states and the District of Columbia already have laws that protect LGBT workers from discrimination but this order provides that security to the entire nation, but only for federal workers.
Published: Tue, 22 Jul 2014 08:52:21 -0400
A 7-year-old Pennsylvania boy who reportedly was nearly starved to death, suffered regular beatings and resorted to eating insects has been released from the hospital and is now in foster care, WPXI-TV – Pittsburgh reports.
Child welfare workers, responding to a complaint, found the child looking like a human skeleton in a home in Greenville last month, police said.
The boy’s mother, 28-year-old Mary C. Rader, and the boy’s grandparents who lived with them, 58-year-old Dennis C. Beighley and 47-year-old Deana Beighley, were charged with assault, unlawful restraint of a minor, false imprisonment, endangering a child's welfare and conspiracy.
“He looked like a Holocaust victim,” said Mercer County Detective John J. Piatek, who specializes in child abuse cases. “He had been beaten with a belt every time he tried to get food. He had three abscessed teeth and weighed 20 pounds when he was taken to Children's Hospital. The starvation could have killed him. The abscessed teeth could have killed him.”
Their sole motive, Piatek said, seems to have been that they disliked the child.
"The most important medicine used to treat him at the hospital was food. He was within a month of having a major cardiac event that he probably would not have recovered from," said Dr. Jennifer Wolford of the child-advocacy center of University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Children's Hospital. "It is impossible to me that this severe neglect and active abuse was not visible. He was being starved in his own home around others of normal weight.”
The boy’s paternal grandmother, Debra Rader, said her grandson is out of the hospital and in foster care.
“I went to see him,” Debra Rader said. “It was horrible. I'm sorry, but you wouldn't do to a dog what they did to that beautiful boy. They should starve them and see if they like it.”
During a week's stay, he gained a pound a day and has since gained 24 pounds.
Debra Rader's son, Jimmy Rader, is divorced from Mary Rader. Debra Rader said she twice reported her ex-daughter-in-law to Mercer County authorities.
“She acted strange all the time,” said Debra Rader, 56. “We would go over there to check on the boy, but we were never allowed to see him, so we weren't sure what was going on.”
Debra Rader said she and her son are hoping to get custody of the boy.
The boy's two sisters, ages 4 and 11, and a 9-year-old brother are also in foster care.
The older brother was underweight “but not nearly as bad” as his sibling, who was rushed last month to Greenville's UPMC Horizon Hospital and transferred to Children's Hospital in Lawrenceville, Piatek said.
According to police, Mary Rader decided to homeschool the 7-year-old last year, and he was not allowed outside the house except to the back porch, where he would sometimes eat the bugs he caught. He was fed small amounts of tuna and eggs, and suffered beatings with a belt –particularly when he sneaked food, usually peanut butter and bread, police said.
He was forced to take ice-cold showers – the only showers he was allowed – as punishment and had abscessed teeth that had to be removed, police said.
Wolford described it as the worst case of medical neglect that the hospital's doctors have encountered.
Mary Rader and the Beighleys were released on bond, with a preliminary hearing scheduled for July 30.
– The Associated Press and WPXI-TV’s news exchange partners at TribLIVE contributed to this report.
Published: Tue, 22 Jul 2014 08:44:11 -0400
The parents of the Wisconsin 12-year-old girl who was stabbed repeatedly by two classmates have provided an update about the girl, including details about the girl receiving a Purple Heart medal from an anonymous donor.
The statement reads as follows:
“Our family continues to be so moved by the prayers, well wishes, packages, financial support and purple hearts from around the world. Our little girl has received thousands of purple hearts from numerous countries and from every state in the United States.”
Recently she received a very heartfelt and special gift—a military Purple Heart, given anonymously. With it was a card that read, “The Only Heart I Could Find – Be Strong.”
According to Milwaukee TV station WITI, the family contacted Wisconsin Secretary of Veterans Affairs John Scocos, who stated:
“Those who receive this military recognition do so because they have been wounded or killed in an action against an enemy of the United States or as a result of an act of any such enemy or opposing armed forces. American service men and women are also moms and dads, uncles and aunts – brothers and sisters. It does not surprise me that a decorated veteran unselfishly gave this amazingly brave and courageous little girl something from his or her heart.”
The family of the stabbing victim, who has not been identified, wanted to personally thank the individual for the gift and for their sacrifice for our country, WTTI reported.
According to authorities, the girl was lured into a park and stabbed 19 times in late May in Waukesha, a suburb of Milwaukee, by two classmates after a sleepover the night before.
The girl spent six days in a Milwaukee-area hospital and is recovering at home.
Reuters reported the alleged attackers, Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier, both 12, are facing adult attempted homicide charges that could result in 60 years in prison if they are convicted. If convicted under juvenile state law, however, the suspects could be incarcerated to age 25.
According to official reports, Weier and Geyser told authorities they attacked the girl to please Slender Man, a fictional bogeyman popular on the Internet that they insisted was real.
The family of the victim said supporters have donated over $50,000 to assist the family in their goal of $250,000 to help with mounting medical expenses.
You can make donations online at (http://www.gofundme.com/HeartsForHealingWI).
Published: Tue, 22 Jul 2014 08:29:40 -0400
(AP) Gov. Pat McCrory has met with Senate Republicans to try to look at ways to narrow their differences over budget adjustments that were supposed to be in place three weeks ago.
McCrory's office and a top budget negotiator confirmed the governor visited the Senate Republican Caucus on Tuesday morning for about 90 minutes.
Sen. Harry Brown says McCrory and senators didn't have a breakthrough in the closed-door gathering. The Jacksonville Republican says the governor and lawmakers proposed potential compromises to end the delays preventing the budget's completion.
The governor and Senate Republicans don't see eye-to-eye on the size of teacher pay raises, the future of teacher assistants and Medicaid. McCrory prefers the House's ideas on these issues and previously threatened to veto any budget with the Senate's proposals inside.
Published: Tue, 22 Jul 2014 08:24:07 -0400
A Georgia woman who carried around a 30-pound tumor says she is overjoyed to finally have her life back after doctors removed the benign mass from her stomach.
“It was either me or the tumor and it was the tumor that had to go,” said 59-year-old Doris Lewis of Newton County.
The beach ball-sized growth was threatening her life.
“I feel grateful, thankful, happy,” she told WSB-TV – Atlanta.
Monday marked her first interview since the surgery.
Lewis now walks around her neighborhood with a pep in her step, speaking to everyone in sight.
“I probably would not be alive if that tumor had stayed in me. It would have taken my life,” Lewis said.
She didn’t have insurance and was having trouble finding a hospital to remove it. Then, doctors at Emory University Hospital Midtown stepped in and performed the eight-hour surgery.
“No one had any idea how it was going to turn out. Everything was like up in the air,” she said.
It was delicate because the growth was wrapped around her internal organs.
Lewis has a message for people without insurance who need medical care.
“If you ever have something that's going wrong with you, be strong and know that something can be worked out. Something can be done. Don’t give up hope,” she said.
Lewis wanted to thank the doctors and staff who helped her, along with the many people who prayed for her throughout the ordeal. Doctors say she’s healing well.
Published: Tue, 22 Jul 2014 07:49:34 -0400
(AP) South Carolina still ranks better than only five states in the overall wellbeing of its children, according to the release of a national report.
The latest Kids Count survey, released Tuesday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, shows that South Carolina's children rank 45th in the nation overall in the ability of children to succeed. That's the same as last year's report.
The annual findings use a variety of indicators to come up with a state's ranking, like economics, education and health.
The report also shows that poverty among South Carolina's children has gotten worse, rising from 23 percent in 2005 to 27 percent in 2012. That's about 288,000 children, according to the most recent data available.
Thirty-six percent of the state's children lived in homes where the parents lacked secure employment, an increase from 30 percent in 2008.
Nationally, the report shows that 23 percent, or 16.4 million U.S. children, are living in poverty. That's up from about 19 percent in 2005.
South Carolina children improved in some education-related areas, although officials said the growth wasn't enough. Seventy-two percent of the state's children were not proficient in reading last year, a drop from 74 percent in 2005. Sixty-nine percent of South Carolina eighth-graders weren't proficient in math, down slightly from 70 percent in 2005.
"Most alarming are the education and poverty measures," said Sue Williams of the Children's Trust of South Carolina. "With education, families can lift themselves out of poverty and greatly reduce the stressors that can lead to child abuse and neglect."
Published: Tue, 22 Jul 2014 07:12:26 -0400
Police in Concord are trying to figure out who vandalized a church home meant to save families from homelessness.
Windows were smashed and graffiti covered the door of a mobile home owned by Pitts Baptist Church.
The neighbor who noticed the damage told Channel 9 he used to stay at the home. He said it's troubling to know someone targeted a home meant to help people.
"It makes you feel pretty bad. Someone might need the home and you can't get that one anymore,” said Caleb McDaniel.
Neighbors told police the vandals painted a gang sign on the door, but it's not clear if a gang is responsible.
Published: Tue, 22 Jul 2014 07:05:07 -0400
A cellphone video of an apparent shoplifting spree at a Wal-Mart in Coweta, Oklahoma, has gone viral on social media.
A man named Anthony Smith posted the video on his Facebook page Sunday evening. Early Tuesday, it had more than 2,900 shares.
The video shows a man throwing a shopping cart full of groceries into a brown SUV, from which the license plates had been removed.
The videographer is heard accusing the man of stealing the items from Wal-Mart.
The man he's taping denies he stole anything and says he paid for the items.
However, the person shooting the video makes sure the viewer knows that the shopper is in a hurry to load the items into the SUV. The shopper then jumps into the back seat and yells "go!" to the driver, a woman.
None of the items were bagged.
Coweta police told KRMG that they're aware of the incident.
Published: Tue, 22 Jul 2014 07:00:24 -0400
Police and neighbors are looking for whoever stole a Veterans’ Memorial statue in Waxhaw.
The picture of the statue has been posted on the Waxhaw Alive Facebook page.
The soldier statue is part of the Waxhaw Military Wall of Honor on Main Street.
Police hope the social media site will help them find the thief.
Published: Tue, 22 Jul 2014 06:53:16 -0400
A new rule will allow Charlotte breweries to expand in some of the city's most popular neighborhoods.
Channel 9 has been following this debate for three years -- since it first began as a debate about noise.
Monday night, city council approved a rule allowing restaurants, bars and brewers to be 100 feet away from houses, instead of 400 feet away.
Channel 9 spoke to the owner of the NoDa Brewing Company who said that Monday’s vote gives him more options of where to open a new site.
Right now he's considering three possible locations.
Published: Tue, 22 Jul 2014 06:44:00 -0400
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said speed and alcohol were factors in a southwest Charlotte crash that left one person dead and another in the hospital early Tuesday morning.
Officers said the crash happened in the 13800 block of Brown Grier Road around 1:30 a.m.
Two people were in a 2007 BMW that wrecked and police said the passenger died at the scene. He was identified as 43-year-old Christopher Turner.
The female driver, 22-year-old Lola Viola Patrice Porter, was taken to Carolinas Medical Center with serious injuries.
Investigators said Porter was driving westbound on Brown Grier Rd. when she lost control of the car on a curve and ran off the roadway. The car then went airborne and smashed into a tree.
Investigators said both speed and alcohol were factors in the crash and Porter was charged with DWI and driving while license revoked. Police said further charges are pending.
Published: Tue, 22 Jul 2014 04:42:59 -0400
The death of 7-month-old Indianapolis boy who was mauled by a dog in Ohio on Sunday was ruled an accident even as family and investigators searched for answers Monday.
Johnathan Quarles Jr. died from multiple blunt force injuries, according to preliminary autopsy findings from the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office, which declared the death an accident.
Johnathan Jr. came with family who were here for the weekend to visit relatives, and he was with a step-grandmother at a Dayton home, police said.
The Rev. Victor Lee, associate pastor at Mount Moriah Missionary Baptist Church, has talked with the family.
“Grandma is very numb,” Lee said. “This is a tragedy when you have an infant … who is taken away unexpectedly — when you come here on a vacation and not be able to take your child back home with you.”
It is still unclear why the 4-year-old American Staffordshire terrier attacked the infant. The tan and white terrier is registered to Kimiko Hardy, according to dog license records.
Family visit turns to tragedy
The infant’s father, Johnathan Quarles Sr., told WTHR in Indianapolis that his son was “joyful and playful. He liked to laugh and smile.”
“It’s just disbelief,” he said. “I still can’t believe it.”
Johnathan Jr.’s grandmother, Nicole Quarles, said a “dog, no matter what kind of dog it is, shouldn’t be left around a baby.”
“Whoever was watching was irresponsible,” Quarles said to WTHR.
Lee said the family is trying to cope with the tragedy as best as they can.
Lee said the possibility that the step-grandmother could face criminal charges weighs heavily on her.
“It’s one thing when you lose your grandbaby to some unfortunate incident and then to have some stipulations hanging over your head, I know it’s terrifying for her,” Lee said.
Cathy Petersen, Montgomery County spokeswoman, said the dog is alive and being held at the Montgomery County Animal Resource Center. Petersen deferred all other comment to the Dayton Police Department because it is an ongoing investigation. Dayton Police Department Lt. Wendy Stiver said the investigation is ongoing and offered no updates, but officers returned to the house Monday.
The final coroner’s report will be completed in six to eight weeks, officials said. The final report will include the number of bites and locations.
Hardy did not return a call seeking comment.
Hardy’s neighbor, Lamas Crowders, made the 911 call to dispatchers just after noon Sunday.
Crowders, who said he’s been Kano and Kimiko Hardy’s neighbor for six years, said he has never had any issues with the dog and described him as a “family pet.” His dog, a terrier, even has spent time with their dog, he said.
“I don’t want anyone to think he’s a vicious dog, because he wasn’t,” he said. “I honestly think he got jealous. It’s just tragic and terrible.”
The dog has a recent history of attacks on people and animals, according to records obtained by the Dayton Daily News from the Montgomery County Animal Resource Center.
The dog had not been designated as nuisance, dangerous or vicious, Petersen said.
On April 25, ARC officers responded to a complaint from the Northridge Post Office that one of its carriers was attacked by a dog.
“…A large dog came from around the right side of the house and charged the letter carrier,” USPS spokesman David Van Allen said in an email. “The dog tried to bite the carrier’s leg, but the carrier was able to get his mail satchel between his leg and the dog, preventing being bitten.”
The carrier declined an interview, Van Allen said.
Hardy was cited for failing to have the dog licensed and was given education. Hardy bought a license for the dog five days later.
In a June 3 report, Isabelle Crickmore said she was walking her 8-year-old beagle when the terrier ran out and attacked her dog. Hardy received a warning from ARC. A Dayton Police Department report said the beagle was bitten “3-4 times in the rear leg area.”
Hardy exchanged information with Crickmore when she returned to handle vet bills, according to the report. Crickmore did not want to press charges, but wanted the incident documented, the report said.
Crickmore said her dog needed 11 staples. Hardy called to check on the dog, but Crickmore’s follow-up attempt to let Hardy know the vet bill was $173 failed, Crickmore said.
“It could’ve all been avoided,” Crickmore said. “Something needs to be done. That dog definitely needs to go for sure now.”
Children at risk
Dayton Children’s saw almost 300 kids for dog bites in 2013 and in the first quarter of this year saw 55 bites, said Lisa Schwing, trauma program manager at the hospital.
Typically, she said, the number of bites picks up during the summer months when kids and dogs are outside playing.
Kids most often are the victims of dog bites, she said. “Because kids are short and they are right at the dog’s face level, we see a lot of facial injuries.”
The injuries generally are lacerations but can be very serious. Between January and the end of June of this year, 10 children had to be hospitalized because of the severity of the dog bites they received, she said. In 2013, 21 kids had to be hospitalized because of serious dog injuries.
“These can be multiple, massive lacerations,” she said. "Dogs tend to bite around the mouth and around the eyes.”
Schwing said children can be threatening to dogs.
“The baby’s crying and the dog’s irritated by it,” she said, as an example. “People can’t be careful enough when they’ve got a child around a dog that’s not particularly used to a child being around.
“You really need to keep them separated.”
Sunday’s attack was the second dog mauling death in Dayton since February, which has prompted officials to call for tougher laws related to dangerous dogs.
On Feb. 7, 57-year-old Klonda Richey was attacked and killed by two mixed-mastiff dogs outside of her home in Dayton. The dogs, which were killed by police after the attack, were owned by Richey’s neighbors, Andrew Nason and Julie Custer.
Since Richey’s death, Representatives Roland Winburn and Terry Blair have introduced legislation to increase penalties for dog owners, when their pets attack. Sen. Bill Beagle also is working on legislation for the Senate.
Published: Tue, 22 Jul 2014 03:38:11 -0400
Federal documents obtained by Channel 9 said that a man with a history of mental health problems tried to purchase a 12-gauge shotgun at a gun shop on Wilkinson Boulevard. The affidavit goes on to say that James McLean "attempted to purchase body armor and approximately 100 rounds" of ammunition.
“The vest, he tried to get somewhere else,” Larry Hyatt, with Hyatt Guns, said. “But the shotgun, he was trying to buy here. And those are very lethal weapons and we certainly don't want those in the wrong hands.”
An employee said "McLean told him that he wanted the shotgun and body armor for home defense,” but when McLean was asked to fill out the paperwork, he listed a motel as his home even though the address on his ID card was the men's homeless shelter on College Street, according to the affidavit. An employee ran McLean’s background check and he was immediately denied.
“Denial of a gun purchase is pretty rare,” Hyatt said. “It's one-third of 1 percent, according to our records in our store.”
But the affidavit said McLean didn't give up on the gun, offering the employee "$100 to sell him the firearm anyway." When the employee refused, the documents say he offered $200. The employee refused again.
“That's a first,” Hyatt said about the alleged bribery.
The employee didn't feel right about McLean and soon investigators got involved.
McLean was committed for mental health problems 11 times and he has a domestic violence conviction out of South Carolina.
Hyatt said the background check system worked perfectly. McLean is now facing federal charges for lying to try to get that gun.
Published: Mon, 21 Jul 2014 21:47:27 -0400
Officials said there was no foul play in the death of a Kings Mountain machine operator
Larry Baxter, 54, fell against a crossbeam of a machine at Crypton Fabrics and died.
Crypton officials said it is fully cooperating with investigators as they continue to assess the situation.
Baxter will be laid to rest Tuesday.
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Published: Mon, 21 Jul 2014 21:33:22 -0400
Police are investigating two armed robberies that happened only a few hours and miles apart.
Two men robbed the Concord Business Center on Concord Parkway South Monday morning at gunpoint and stole nearly a thousand dollars.
The Exxon Express was robbed earlier in the night on Highway 73.
One robber armed with a gun left with $250.
Police haven't said if the two robberies are connected.
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Published: Mon, 21 Jul 2014 21:21:56 -0400