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Source: MedleyStory

Police search for missing north Charlotte woman

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police are searching for Crystal Ruth, 23.

Ruth’s family and friends last saw her Friday near Beatties Ford and Mt. Holly-Huntersville roads.

Ruth is a 5 foot 7 black woman, weighing 130 pounds. She has brown eyes and shoulder-length black hair.

Her friends texted her Friday night and she responded, but they have not spoken or seen her since that time.

Ruth did not come home Friday night and her family and friends are extremely concerned about her, police said.

Anyone who sees Ruth or has information about her case should call 911 immediately. In addition, you may also call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600 or lead Detective J. L. Tuttle at 704-336-7495.

Published: Sat, 25 Apr 2015 08:53:50 -0400

Stanly County soldier given Purple Heart after Fort Hood shooting

A soldier from Stanly County who was hurt in the mass shooting at Fort Hood will receive a Purple Heart Saturday.
Spc. Matthew Cooke was shot five times while trying to save another soldier when Nidal Hasan opened fire.
Thirteen people were killed and 30 others hurt in the 2009 attack.
Other victims were honored and given Purple Hearts two weeks ago in Texas.

The Purple Heart medal presentation will be at 2 p.m. at the Salisbury VA hospital.

Published: Sat, 25 Apr 2015 08:23:39 -0400

Officials: 1 dead after south Charlotte car crash

Medic said one person died in a car accident in south Charlotte.

The accident happened around 7:30 a.m. Saturday at Carmel and Kingswood Roads, Charlotte Fire Department said.

Two people were taken to the hospital with minor injuries, Medic said.

The accident involved a car and a box truck.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police are investigating the accident.

A Channel 9 crew is on the way to the scene and will bring you more details soon.

Published: Sat, 25 Apr 2015 07:29:28 -0400

Dr. Oz responds to critics

A group of physicians have recently criticized Dr. Oz for his alleged shortcuts around medical issues. Specifically their claim says Dr. Oz exhibts "an egregious lack of integrity by promoting quack treatments and cures in the interest of personal financial gain."

The group of physicians sought to have Oz, whose first name is Mehmet, removed as the vice chair of Columbia University's Department of Surgery.

In an exclusive to Time, Oz fired back over what appears to be a difference in philosophies. 

Oz says that he has been working for years to get GMO labeling on foods that fit the category. He notes that the lead author of the letter asking for his ouster, Dr. Henry Miller, is on the pro-GMO side and has led efforts to block GMO labeling in California.

>> Read more trending stories

"As a scientist, I am not that concerned about GMOs themselves, but I am worried about why they were created," Oz writes in Time. He believes the gratuitous chemicals could be harmful to humans and believes consumers should be informed about the products they buy.

A handful of the letter's authors are also linked to big tobacco industries as potential allies, according to Oz.

The letter's authors, as well as the British Medical Journal, have said Oz has made medical claims that are not backed by evidence.

Oz, who is a cardiothoracic surgeon, addressed the critics on his Thursday show and because of it will inevitably reach more people than the 10 physicians who wrote the letter.

A communications official at Columbia University told the New York Times the school "is committed to the principle of academic freedom, which means our faculty are encouraged to participate in public discussion."

Published: Sat, 25 Apr 2015 06:25:11 -0400

Social media reaction to Bruce Jenner interview

Bruce Jenner's extraordinary interview about his decision to transition to a woman began trending worldwide on social media worldwide almost instantly as soon as the two-hour sitdown, conducted by Diane Sawyer, began. See what members of the Kardashian family and more had to say.

> 10 Things to Know about Bruce Jenner

> Photos: Bruce Jenner through the years

Published: Sat, 25 Apr 2015 02:21:14 -0400

Bruce Jenner tells all in revealing interview

Before Friday night, Bruce Jenner was best known for two things: once being considered "the greatest athlete in the world" and for being the patriarch of the Kardashian clan portrayed on reality TV. Then, in a candid and gripping two-hour interview, the people watched as Jenner revealed he is in the process of transitioning into a woman.

"I look at it this way, Bruce (was) always telling a lie. He's lived a lie his whole life about who he is. I can't do that any longer," he said.

Jenner then symbolically takes "the damn ponytail out" and lets his hair flow for the remainder of the interview with Diane Sawyer.

"For all intents and purposes, I am a woman," he said. (The broadcast, however, referred to Jenner with the male pronouns, which was done by request.)

"I've been very confused with my gender identity" since childhood. He used to try on dresses in his mother's and sister's closets.

He told the interviewer his "brain is more female than it is male."

"I'm stuck here in the middle," he said, referencing being a man but not comfortable in his skin. He has felt like a woman the whole time and feels more comfortable identifying as one.

Jenner immediately shot down any contention the interview was a publicity stunt to promote "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" and instead showed conviction about its purpose: "I really firmly believe that we're going to make a difference in the world with what we're doing" by announcing his decision to re-emerge as a woman after being born a man.

The topic of the interview then turned to Jenner's sexual orientation.

"I am, as far as I know, heterosexual" and not gay, he said. Sexuality is "who you're personally attracted to," and gender identity is in the soul and who you identify with inside, he said.

>> Read more trending stories

Jenner suggested he ran to win his 1976 Olympics gold medal because fear propelled him to run away from the truth. After the win, Jenner took estrogen hormones for five years in the 1980s. He said he stopped to protect the quality of life of the two children he had before marrying Kris Jenner.

"Those are the only ones I'm concerned with. I can't let myself hurt them," he said about his son and daughter.

Jenner said as he got older, he knew he had to go through with the transition.

"Bruce lives a lie. She is not a lie. I can't do it anymore," he said.

Four of Jenner's six biological children appeared on camera during the broadcast. All of them are supportive of their father's decision.

The two who did not appear on camera, Kendall and Kylie Jenner, said in a statement, "If he's happy, we're happy."

Khloe Kardashian took it the hardest because her relationship with her biological father was cut short and her romance with Lamar Odom ended badly, Bruce Jenner said.

Kim Kardashian came around to the transition after talking about it with her husband, Kanye West. "I can be married to the most beautiful woman in the world, and I am. I can have the most beautiful little daughter in the world, I have that, but I'm nothing if I can't be me," West said.

"Since then, Kimberly has been, by far, the most accepting," Jenner said.

As part of the exclusive interview, Jenner took Sawyer and a camera operator to a "glam room" preview, and pulled out a little black dress from a closet, then cracked a joke: "...and the good news, Diane, you won't be the tallest girl in the room. Isn't that wonderful?"

The Kardashians will appear on "Good Morning America" on Monday to follow up Friday's interview.

The E! Network also announced Jenner's transition will be broadcast in a documentary series debuting on July 26.

Published: Sat, 25 Apr 2015 00:42:37 -0400

Woman finds 7-foot bear trying to escape garage

A Georgia woman says she was startled when she walked into her garage to find a 7-foot bear trying to claw its way out. Teresa Ariail told Channel 2 the bear was able to bust through her garage door window and climb out Tuesday night.

He just tore the inside up. He climbed up and crawled out that door,” Ariail said. Ariail said she didn't wait to watch the bear escape.

>> Read more trending stories

"I didn't really feel like I was in danger but he was so big and making so much noise and doing so much damage I was scared to death,” Ariail said.

But with her shotgun in one hand and cellphone in the other she took a four-second video.

Ariail said the bear got in through a side door. “He had come inside after my garbage and turned the garbage cans over and in doing so he shut the garage door and locked himself inside,” Ariail said.

The Department of Natural Resources says this isn't typical bear behavior but that a wild bear will do just about anything to get out if it feels trapped.

That apparently includes breaking a window, nearly 7 feet off the ground.

“His head was all the way to the top,” Ariail said.

State officials said spring rouses bears from hibernation and that's why it's imperative to keep food and garbage locked away. Ariail said she thought both her garbage and garage door were safe but has learned her lesson.

With all the damage left to her door, the only damage to the bear was just a little blood left behind. Ariail said she watched the bear run away and run back to its home just fine.

Published: Fri, 24 Apr 2015 23:43:01 -0400

TSA: 3 batarangs confiscated at Charlotte airport

Three bat-shaped weapons known as batarangs were confiscated at Charlotte Douglas International Airport this week, according to the Transportation Security Administration.
A batarang is a throwing weapon used by comic book vigilante Batman. It gets its name from looking like it's half bat and half boomerang.
In addition to the batarangs, the TSA seized nationally 57 firearms and other contraband at airports.

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Published: Fri, 24 Apr 2015 22:49:01 -0400

TSA: Batman gadgets confiscated at Charlotte airport

Three bat-shaped weapons known as batarangs were confiscated at Charlotte Douglas International Airport this week, according to the Transportation Security Administration.
A batarang is a throwing weapon used by comic book vigilante Batman. It gets its name from looking like it's half bat and half boomerang.
In addition to the batarangs, the TSA seized nationally 57 firearms and other contraband at airports.

>> Read more trending stories

In other Batman news, "Suicide Squad" director David Ayer used his Twitter account to reveal what Jared Leto's Joker looks like for the upcoming film. Take a look below.

Published: Fri, 24 Apr 2015 22:49:01 -0400

Money stolen from nonprofit honoring young cancer victim

Someone took everything a nonprofit has raised to honor the life of a girl who lost her battle with leukemia.
Her mother, Melissa Carmichael, can't understand why someone would take from the account.
Mercede was 9 years old when she died three years ago. While she was in the hospital, she wanted to help others. 
So she started Mercede's Hat Shop. 
At first, it was a small nonprofit that Mercede used to raise money to help childhood cancer research. Then it grew into a cause, raising $3,000.
“She would give hats away to the other kids who were fighting cancer,” Carmichael said.
Mercede's mother found Friday morning that the account had been drained, even overdrawn by $100.
The money was stolen on Mercede’s birthday, which was Wednesday.
“That just really made me angry,” Carmichael said. “She's gone and we did this for her legacy to carry on what she was doing in the hospital.”
The family notified the bank and plans to investigate, but in the meantime, friends set up a GoFundMe account that has already raised hundreds of dollars.
“I feel really angry that someone would do that,” Carmichael said. “Somebody would steal from something like this." 
The nonprofit has donated hundreds of hats to kids fighting cancer and its leaders hope they find out how this fraud happened.

LINK: Mercede's Hat Shop GoFundMe

Published: Fri, 24 Apr 2015 22:13:34 -0400

State transportation says ‘No’ to crosswalk where boy died

The North Carolina Department of Transportation said it won’t allow a Gaston County asphalt company to install a crosswalk where a Cramerton Middle School student was hit and killed by a car six months ago.

Teen hit, killed walking to school remembered 

The community has been pushing for safety changes to South New Hope Road since 14-year-old Steven Canipe’s death in October.

Sources: 14-year-old boy dies after being hit by car
“We understand the community’s input and appreciate the effort, but typically we don’t place crosswalks in areas where there are no pedestrian facilities,” said North Carolina Department of Transportation communications officer Jordan-Ashley Baker over the phone Friday.
Baker said that a lack of sidewalks on South New Hope Road would make a crosswalk less than ideal.

Death of student prompts community to push for crosswalk
“We don’t want to encourage people to cross where there are no sidewalks,” said Baker. 
Furthermore, the Department of Transportation cited location concerns. Baker said if a crosswalk were added it would likely be at the intersection of South New Hope and Crammer Mountain roads. The state said this location is not in close proximity to either entrance of the school and wouldn’t be convenient for pedestrians, thus rarely utilized.
Eyewitness News reporter Alexa Ashwell asked if this decision had anything to do with cost. 
“No,” said Baker. “We have funds, safety funds set up to make those improvements following investigations. This is not an issue of cost.”
Baker added the North Carolina Highway Patrol, Gaston County School District and Cramerton Middle School contributed to this investigation and weighed in on recommendations.  
The superintendent has vowed to work with any student and their parents to provide bus transportation to anyone along New Hope Road.
Officials did agree to extend the school zone leading to Cramerton Middle School, which would require drivers to obey a lower speed limit. When asked when that would be completed, Baker said in early April the department set a timeline of about four weeks. Officials told Channel 9 that is the time it takes to get the ordinance approved and to install signage.
The community is still not satisfied with the final decision and has enlisted the help of state Sen. Kathy Harrington.
Channel 9 reached out to Harrington’s office, which said she is calling on the state to reconsider its decision and investigate further. 

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Published: Fri, 24 Apr 2015 21:33:50 -0400

Police warn students of suspicious man near UNCC

 Charlotte-Mecklenberg police are warning young women to be on the lookout for a suspicious man lurking near an apartment complex. He's following them and even assaulted one woman at the Circle Apartments in University City.
The complex is filled with students and sits right across the street from UNC Charlotte.
"I'm a girl, I live in the first floor,” said student resident Jessica Parker. “I don't want anyone lurking outside my window."
Channel 9 obtained the police report that shows a 20-year-old victim told police a "suspect walked beside her and placed his hand on her buttocks."
Other women accuse a man with the same description of following them around the area, police said.
The suspect is described as an Asian or Latino male around 20 years old, 5 feet 6 inches to 5 feet 8 inches tall, with tribal tattoos on his right bicep.
Student and resident Brooke McGrath said she hasn't seen a man fitting that description but this isn't the first time she's heard these concerns.
"Just hear about people all the time following other people and random people lurking," she said.
Within an hour of reaching out to Circle managers for a comment, Channel 9 was there when Parker received what she said was her first alert about the situation.
"It makes me feel a little more worried that they're actually reaching out to everybody, a little anxious," said Parker.
Both women agree it's a reminder to be more aware of their surroundings.
"You have to be; you never know who is following you," McGrath said.
The victim filed the assault report at the end of March but police have received multiple complaints that this man is following women in this area.
A spokesperson from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department told Channel 9 officers are working with apartment managers to make sure students are aware of the suspect's description.

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Published: Fri, 24 Apr 2015 21:16:55 -0400

Escaped herd of buffalo shot dead after crossing NY highway

Authorities gave the order to fire after 15 buffaloes that escaped from a farm crossed a major highway and approached schools.

Three men hired by the farm killed the animals in the town of Coeymans, about 10 miles south of Albany, N.Y.

Experts told authorities tranquilizers would not work and there was no way to transport the animals.

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The buffaloes escaped from the farm Thursday, then apparently swam across a river to the town of Bethlehem, then wandered across a busy part of Interstate 87 and into Coeymans.

A police helicopter followed the herd.

The buffaloes escaped from GEM Farms, which raises the animals for their meat. However, the animals that were destroyed Friday cannot by law be sold for meat.

AP contributed to this report.

Published: Fri, 24 Apr 2015 20:47:08 -0400

Starbucks resolves computer glitch

A internal computer glitch that allowed some customers at various Starbucks locations in the United States and Canada to get free coffee on Friday has been resolved.

The glitch affected 7,000 company-operated stores in the U.S. and 1,000 in Canada, according to the Associated Press.

All the affected stories will be open for business as usual on Saturday, according to a company statement.

Reports of the glitch started on social media shortly after 4 p.m. on the west coast and early Friday evening on the east.

KIRO-TV  reporter Alison Grande went into a North Seattle Starbucks to check it out.  The baristas saw her red KIRO coat and were reluctant to comment. When she ordered a latte, Grande was told, "it's on us" when trying to pay.  Customers going through the drive-thru were told there was a computer glitch. One woman held up a Frappucino and a Venti iced tea—both free.

In Los Angeles, BuzzFeed deputy news director Jon Passantino tweeted that all drinks were free to those in line because of a computer issue. 

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Starbucks issued this statement about an hour 45 minutes after the outage:

"We are aware of the point of sale register outage at company-operated Starbucks stores in the U.S. and Canada. We are actively working to resolve the outage and our stores will remain open and continue to serve our customers. The outage was caused by a failure during a daily system refresh. We apologize to our customers for any inconvenience or confusion and will update this statement once systems are back online. This outage also effects our Evolution Fresh and Teavana stores."

Published: Fri, 24 Apr 2015 20:43:11 -0400

Official: Carowinds resets Fury 325 due to safety mechanism

Carowinds had to reset its newest thrill ride Fury 325 Friday afternoon due to a safety mechanism, park officials said.
Channel 9 received a tip that the ride was stuck and Channel 9 dispatched Chopper 9 to the amusement park.
From Chopper 9, empty cars could be seen running the track.

Chopper 9 Video: Empty cars running on Fury 325 

Carowinds officials did not confirm if the ride stopped or that it failed and stopped.
They run empty car cycles as part of a reset, officials said.

PAST ARTICLE: Problems plague several rides at Carowinds 

It is like when a vehicle’s check engine light turns on, officials said.
They run hundreds of rides a day on each coaster.
Park employees also run empty car cycles randomly as routine maintenance to make sure the ride runs properly.

Carowinds Special Section
On Saturday, a faulty switch in the tunnel where Fury 325 goes under a park entrance caused a shutdown, a state labor inspector said. 

PAST ARTICLE: Riders stuck on Fury 325 at Carowinds for nearly 20 minutes

“In case water would build up, they don't want the coaster coming through with water in it. So one of the float switches malfunctioned,” the inspector said.
Carowinds reported five incidents prior to last week’s Fury 325 shutdown this year. 

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Published: Fri, 24 Apr 2015 20:08:19 -0400

3 found guilty of manslaughter in FAMU hazing trial

Jurors have convicted the last three defendants of manslaughter and hazing in the death of Florida A&M University drum major Robert Champion, ending a three-year-old case that shined a light on ritualized hazing within the school's famed band

The six-member jury deliberated for 2-1/2 hours Friday before reaching a verdict.

Jurors left the courtroom around 3:50 p.m. to being deliberating, following closing arguments and jury instructions Friday.

In his closings, a prosecutor said the three remaining defendants on trial for the hazing death of a Florida A&M drum major didn't beat him because they disliked him but because it was tradition.

A total of 15 defendants were charged originally, but most took plea deals.

State Attorney Jeff Ashton said Friday during closing arguments that Robert Champion's death was the result of a hazing tradition that was ingrained in the school's famed band.

Closing arguments were delayed after Ashton wanted to find out if jurors were influenced by the sight of two defendants praying outside the courtroom.

Five of the six jurors said they saw Aaron Golson and Benjamin McNamee praying.

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Judge Renee Roche questioned the jurors but no one said it would influence them.

McNamee, Golson and Darryl Cearnel are the final three defendants charged with manslaughter and hazing in Champion's death.

Champion's beating death aboard a band bus parked outside an Orlando hotel after a football game exposed a culture of hazing within the school's famed band.

The medical examiner testified Thursday morning. She told the court how the hazing ritual killed FAMU drum major Robert Champion.

Published: Fri, 24 Apr 2015 18:34:16 -0400

Deep fryers in Texas schools: 'It's not about French fries, it's about freedom'

The top official in the Texas Department of Agriculture says yes, deep fat fryers should return to Texas school districts. (Source:

Commissioner Sid Miller says “it isn't about french fries, it's about freedom.”

Miller wants to see a state policy banning deep fat fryers and soda machines from schools repealed.

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Miller also wants schools to be allowed more days (six instead of one per week) to sell cupcakes and other high-fat, high-sugar foods during the school day.

To make his point about local control, Millers’s first official act as commissioner was to grant “full amnesty to  cupcakes.” 

“This is not about force-feeding cupcakes to our children,”Miller said. “It is about local control.” 

Miller’s critics say the restrictions on fatty, sugar-laden foods came in response to an increase in child obesity in Texas, and repealing them is a step backward.

Published: Fri, 24 Apr 2015 17:45:05 -0400

School resource officers to be replaced by private firm

There's major controversy over sudden changes made to safety at Chester County schools.

The School Board decided to remove deputies that serve as school resource officers and hire a private company.

Reporter Greg Suskin spoke to the sheriff about why he believes this was an unsafe move.

Sheriff Alex Underwood was extremely upset when we talked to him about this.

Since the Sandy Hook shootings the school district felt that it wasn't enough to have only four resource officers, but they wanted an officer on all nine campuses.

They felt the way to do that was to hire a private security company and the contract with that company was signed Friday.

The sheriff reacted angrily to the board's decision saying he couldn’t understand why they would replace law enforcement with security guards, saying his animal control officers have more training than these people will, even though they will carry guns and have arrest powers.

"For people that are supposed to have such a high quality education and be so educated, I think it's the stupidest idea I’ve heard in my life," Underwood said.

Underwood also said he will take his own son out of Chester County schools feeling that he would no longer be safe.

The schools pay half of the SRO’s salaries and the Sheriff's Office pays the other half.  It's possible there won't be money in the budget now so those deputies could be lost.

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Published: Fri, 24 Apr 2015 17:41:04 -0400

Gastonia house set on fire three times in several weeks

A Gastonia family woke up to fires set on each side of their house Thursday. They told Channel 9 it's the third time it's happened in several weeks.
Police charged a man with setting one of the three fires at the family of four’s home.
Charles Vann was expected in court Friday, facing trespassing charges. But before his hearing Channel 9 watched as Gastonia police arrested him on charges of first-degree arson.
The family said all of the fires were set while the family was sleeping in the home.
Herbert James, one of the family members, said that he thinks Vann set all three fires at his home even though police have only tied him to one fire.
The fires began after his future stepdaughter ended her relationship with Vann.
"He is trying to kill us," James said.
Family members said they actually saw Vann driving away as the first fire was lit about a month and a half ago.
Thursday morning they said they awoke and found the front door kicked open. They realized someone set fire on both sides of their home.
After the fires, the family installed cameras with sensors that pinged as someone walks near the house.
Police said they haven't charged Charles Vann with the other fires, because arson is difficult to prove without a witness.

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Published: Fri, 24 Apr 2015 17:26:54 -0400

Photo: Woman says this worm was in McDonald’s sandwich

It's certainly enough to turn your stomach.

Joyce Fedd said she didn’t find just one purple worm inside her McDonald’s McChicken sandwich; she found two.

“I went to the drive-through and ordered two chicken sandwiches for my kids. When I bit into this one. something...” Fedd said. “I tasted something. Took it out my mouth and [it had] a worm in it.”’

The owner of the McDonald’s quickly issued a response to the incident.

“Food safety is a top priority and we take incidents such as this very seriously, as it is highly unusual,” Jim Van Laere, the McDonald’s owner/operator, said. “When the customer returned to the restaurant and brought it to our attention, we refunded her money and replaced her sandwich, and quickly reviewed our entire kitchen to ensure this type of occurrence could not happen.”

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Action News reporter Alyana Gomez was at the McDonald’s covering a triple shooting that happened the night before when Fedd approached her and showed her the worm in the sandwich.

Action News reached out to the McDonald’s location, but they said the chicken didn't come from them — it came from wherever the meat was shipped from.

Fedd said she wasn't satisfied with how the McDonald’s location handled the situation. She said they asked her if she wanted another McChicken.

“They asked ‘Did I want another one’?” Fedd said. “I said ‘No, I don't want anything else.’”

Fedd did receive a refund for two sandwiches she bought. It added up to $3.

“There's no telling what else is in those sandwiches,” Fedd said. “If it came from the shipping, I am pretty sure it's not just one chicken sandwich.”

Fedd said she was hiring an attorney to find out -- so no one else takes a bite like that.

(Source: ActionNewsJax)

Published: Fri, 24 Apr 2015 16:58:46 -0400