(AP) A Wellford mother who left her baby daughter unattended in a bath tub has been sentenced to four years in prison in the girl's death.
The Herald-Journal of Spartanburg reports that 22-year-old Mary Ann Williams was sentenced this week after pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter and child neglect.
Williams was originally charged with homicide by child abuse after her 10-month-old daughter, Aaliyah, was found unresponsive in a Spartanburg motel room in August 2012.
Emergency workers revived the girl, but she died in a hospital about a week later when she was taken off life support. Prosecutors say Williams left Aaliyah and another baby unattended in a bathtub while she watched television in another room.
Published: Fri, 07 Mar 2014 10:14:43 -0500
It appears that the pregnant South Carolina woman who drove her minivan with her three young children into the surf at Daytona Beach has some tragic ties to Florida.
The Charleston, S.C. paper The Post and Courier reports Ebony Wilkerson, 32, was cited in a fatal car wreck in Delray Beach on Feb. 23, 2007.
That day, an Ebony Wilkerson of Delray Beach was northbound on Interstate 95 when she switched lanes and hit the rear of a Nissan driven by a Fort Lauderdale man, Douglas Krane. Krane lost control of the car as it traveled across several lanes and slammed into a concrete barrier. Krane was not harmed, but his 35-year-old wife Jennifer Krane was taken to Delray Medical Center with critical injuries, The Palm Beach Post reported that day.
Jennifer Krane died several days later.
Details about any citation in the case were not immediately available.
A Volusia County Sheriff’s Office spokesman said Thursday that Ebony Wilkerson was still being evaluated under the Baker Act, according to The Associated Press. The law that allows authorities to involuntarily take people into custody if they seem to be a threat to themselves.
No one was injured in Wilkerson’s drive into the ocean Tuesday.
Bystanders and officers helped pull her and her children — ages 3, 9 and 10 — from their minivan as it was almost submerged.
Wilkerson was stopped in her vehicle by police officers two hours before she drove into the ocean. Her sister called police worried since Wilkerson had been talking about demons.
The officers found her lucid and let her go.
Published: Fri, 07 Mar 2014 09:26:53 -0500
It could have been an entirely different story. A blind man fell onto the tracks of a moving metro train Thursday in Los Angeles, and he will live to tell the tale. KCBS has cell phone video from the scene.
The unidentified man was injured, but it was from the fall — not the train.
â€‹The man had fallen directly between the rail and platform. The train had come to a screeching halt, and the doors were manually opened to let off the passengers before emergency personnel arrived on the scene.
The LA fire department was able to get the man out from under the second car of the six-car train. He is listed as in fair condition at a local hospital. (Via KNBC)
Paul Gonzalez is a spokesperson for LA's transportation authority. He told the Los Angeles Times, "It really is a miracle. It's something you only see on TV."
This is the third time since 2012 that a Redline train has passed over a person, but this is the first time a person wasn't seriously injured. (Via KABC)
See more at newsy.com.
Published: Fri, 07 Mar 2014 09:22:37 -0500
Bernard Marsonek’s neighbors called police when they saw him attempting to be intimate with the animal.
"When officers arrived on the scene, they were greeted by a small crowd of residents who were disturbed by their neighbor's activity with the dog," cops said.
They continued, “several of the witnesses stated that they yelled at the suspect to stop, but he ignored their commands."
Fox13 in Tampa reports a search of the house turned up a weapon and ammunition.
That added to the trouble for Marsonek because he’s a felon, and not allowed to own a gun.
The Raw Story says eight other large pit bulls were found and taken from the house by animal services.
Marsonek will now face two charges of a felon in possession of a firearm, animal cruelty, and sexual activity involving animals.
Marsonek is already out of jail after posting bond of $17,500.
Published: Fri, 07 Mar 2014 08:51:00 -0500
If you're a Netflix subscriber, you're on the hit list of cyber-criminals who want into your wallet!
Huffington Post reports some subscribers are being hit with a pop-up phony webpage that looks exactly like Netflix.
When you enter your account info to sign in, you get a message that says, "We have detected unusual activity on this account. To Protect your account for unauthorized use, we have temporarily suspended this username. To regain access to your account please contact Member Services at 1-800-947-6570."
I should note that the real Netflix customer service number is 1-866-579-7172.
If you call the fake customer service number, you're told to download special software that is a Trojan virus. It allows the criminals to take over your computer and look for sensitive financial info on it.
Netflix has become so popular that it's now a big target for crooks. Be very careful out there! If you ever need to call Netflix, make sure you call the right number. Do not respond to anything in any pop up!
For further reading:
Published: Fri, 07 Mar 2014 08:48:15 -0500
Emergency crews told Channel 9 that slick roads may be to blame after a Rowan County school bus slid off the road and down an embankment early Friday morning.
Officials said there were three students on the bus but neither they, nor the driver, were hurt. The accident happened just after 6 a.m. at Majolica Road and Sherrils Ford Road.
The bus hit a gas line and the gas company was on scene working to cap it.
Rowan Schools was operating on a normal bus schedule when the accident happened. School transportation officials checked the roads earlier in the morning and determined the weather to be a rain event, according to a school district spokesperson.
Published: Fri, 07 Mar 2014 08:34:53 -0500
The stars dazzled Sunday at the Oscars, but one tiny superhero was absent from the festivities.
Miles Scott, a.k.a. the 5-year-old Batkid who battled leukemia then "saved" San Francisco, was scheduled to appear alongside on-screen Spiderman Andrew Garfield during a segment for the Academy Awards. (Via Make-A-Wish Foundation) But sometime before the show, the Academy axed the segment.
E! obtained a statement which read in part, "Due to the nature of a live show, hard decisions sometimes must be made which require the Academy to cut segments due to the logistics of production." What's worse is that the Scott family didn't find out until the morning of the awards show.
Natalie Scott, Miles' mother, told International Business Times the family had driven to Los Angeles and attended a Saturday rehearsal. Miles even had his tux ready to go. She said, "It got pulled so quickly that we didn’t have a lot of insight into what was going on."
It was originally believed that Garfield backed out of the segment leaving Miles hanging. (Via Us Weekly)
But more recent reports say Garfield was just as upset when their bit was omitted from the show. In a statement released by his reps, Garfield made it up to Miles by accompanying the Scott family to Disneyland Monday and gave his crime-fighting friend, Batkid, a personal gift. (Via Vanity Fair)
Garfield is set to reprise his role as Spiderman in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 which will hit theaters May 2.
Published: Fri, 07 Mar 2014 08:00:37 -0500
A school bus crashed as it was headed to Myers Park High School Friday morning.
There were no kids on the bus when it crashed and knocked down power lines on Southlancer Drive and Providence Lane West.
The power lines fell on the bus and trapped the driver inside.
The driver was rescued and the crash has been cleared.
Stay with wsoctv.com for more on this story.
Follow our minute-by-minute updates on the winter weather here.
Published: Fri, 07 Mar 2014 07:47:47 -0500
Later sunsets and delayed sunrises are just days away as we prepare to spring an hour forward Sunday, March 9. Daylight Saving Time is upon us.
The twice-a-year time jump will begin at 2 a.m. and last until Nov. 2, when clocks will fall back an hour.
If you use a smartphone and it is set to "set automatically" you won't have to do anything. But older clocks, microwaves and other appliances will need their clocks reset before you go to bed Saturday.
There's a national petition to end Daylight Savings Time here.
Published: Fri, 07 Mar 2014 06:26:00 -0500
MEDIC responded to an ill passenger on an airplane Thursday night at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport.
It was initially reported that several passengers were sick but once emergency crews arrived on the scene, they found only one person showing minor symptoms.
The flight was a U.S. Airways plane that was heading from Charlotte to Sacramento, according to U.S. Airways.
The flight took off but had to turn around and land at the airport.
Published: Thu, 06 Mar 2014 22:01:59 -0500
One person had to go to the hospital after a car crashed into a building Thursday at Carmel Commons in south Charlotte.
Paramedics said the driver of the car had to go to the hospital and should be OK.
Published: Thu, 06 Mar 2014 21:50:24 -0500
(AP) — State Sen. Martin Nesbitt, who this week stepped down as minority leader because of illness, died Thursday. He was 67.
Senate Democratic Caucus Director Ford Porter said family members contacted Nesbitt's legislative staff to inform them of his death. Porter said Nesbitt was diagnosed last week with stomach cancer.
"Tonight, North Carolina lost a great leader, and I mourn a valued friend," said State Sen. Dan Blue, who replaced Nesbitt as Senate leader.
"Martin always believed in the people of our great state and strove to make North Carolina a better place. I have known and served with Martin for over thirty years and I will greatly miss his friendship, counsel, and candor," Blue said.
A statement from the state Democratic Party said North Carolina has lost a leader and champion of exemplary and distinguished public service.
Republican Senate President Phil Berger said Nesbitt "cared deeply about people and spent a lifetime fighting for what he believed would make North Carolina a better place. His passing leaves a deep void in our Senate family."
It was on Wednesday that a group of well-wishers lined a road near Interstate 40 to welcome the Asheville Democrat home. He arrived there in an ambulance.
Nesbitt, a Buncombe County native, was appointed to the House in 1979 to succeed his late mother, Rep. Mary Nesbitt.
Under the mentorship of four-term House Speaker Liston Ramsey, Nesbitt became a member of the so-called "Gang of Eight," a de facto committee of House and Senate Democrats that controlled the budget negotiations. He later became a chairman of the House Appropriations Committee under then-Speaker Dan Blue.
After being swept out of office in the 1994 Republican surge, Nesbitt returned to the House two years later and was appointed to the Senate in 2004. He became majority leader in 2009.
Nesbitt became minority leader in 2011 when Republicans took over the chamber.
Funeral arrangements are pending.
Published: Thu, 06 Mar 2014 20:56:49 -0500
When you think of early rock music, you probably think of Led Zeppelin and the Rolling Stones. But researchers now think they have found rock music that predates them by thousands of years.
Stonehenge. Yes, the famous monument may have been used to make actual "rock" music. (Via National Geographic)
"It's not the sound you'd expect from rock on rock, no." (Via BBC)
Researchers out of London's Royal College of Art say some bluestones, one of the rock types found in Stonehenge, make a sort of musical sound. (Via BBC)
And they can actually make a range of sounds. To find this out, researchers spent months tapping more than 1,000 types of rock.
The lead researcher said, "We have had percussionists up here who have been able to actually get proper tunes out of the rocks. This is real rock music." (Via ITV)
Perhaps this was the reason these rocks were transported 200 miles when there were local rocks that could have been used to build Stonehenge. (Via PBS)
More proof the rocks could have been a giant musical instrument: "Large chunks of rock missing from the stones would also suggest they they have been hit throughout their lifetime." (Via Daily Mail)
Thanks to the study, music can now be added to a long list of possible reasons why Stonehenge was built — to serve as a calendar, a religious area or even an alien landing zone.
Published: Thu, 06 Mar 2014 20:51:41 -0500
(AP) — Three people died of the flu in North Carolina last week, down from the previous week and a sign that the illness is in decline.
In all, the state Department of Health and Human Services says 85 people have died from the flu since the season began in November.
Deaths from the flu peaked in late January, when 12 were reported in one week. A year ago, 59 people died from flu-related symptoms during the six-month season that concludes in mid-May.
Of the 85 deaths, 61 were among people between the ages of 24 and 65. Statistics show 19 people aged 65 or older died from flu-like symptoms and five were under age 18.
Published: Thu, 06 Mar 2014 20:26:36 -0500
A 51-year-old woman was killed in a hit-and-run shortly after 7 p.m. Thursday at the 5500 block of North Tryon Street, according to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.
Police are searching for a white Chevrolet Express cargo van with no windows on the side.
The van was traveling northbound in the left lane when Margaret Rutledge crossed near the intersection of Old Concord Road. The section of North Tryon Street is not a marked pedestrian crosswalk.
The vehicle failed to stop at the scene after hitting Rutledge and was last seen traveling northbound on North Tryon Street.
Rutledge was pronounced dead at the scene from the injuries she sustained from being struck by the van.
The Chevrolet Express Van should have damage to the grill, missing the Chevrolet “Bowtie” emblem and black plastic grill, according to police.
Any witnesses are asked to call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600 or Detective Steve Williams at 704-336-8862.
Published: Thu, 06 Mar 2014 20:00:38 -0500
(AP) - Staples will close up to 225 stores in North America by the end of next year as it seeks to trim about $500 million in costs annually by 2015.
The nation's largest office-supply retailer said Thursday that nearly half of its sales are now generated online, so it will aggressively cut costs to become more efficient.
Company shares dropped more than 10 percent before markets opened.
The recession did heavy damage to the industry, which is now under increasing pressure from online retailers as well as discount stores.
There is rapid consolidation under way and rivals Office Depot and OfficeMax just completed a $1.2 billion merger.
But the overhead costs of running 'big box" stores has put companies like Staples under stress.
The closings amount to 10 percent of all Staples locations. The company has 2,200 stores worldwide, 1,500 of them in the United States.
It is unclear how many jobs will be lost or what locations will be shuttered.
The company did not immediately return a call from The Associated Press early Thursday.
Staples also posted fourth-quarter earnings and sales fell sharply.
The company's earnings nearly tripled, but that is compared to a period when it booked $176.6 million in restructuring charges as it closed stores.
Staples earned $212.4 million, or 33 cents per share, in the quarter that ended Feb. 1. That compares with earnings of $78.1 million, or 12 cents per share, the previous year.
Revenue slumped nearly 11 percent to $5.87 billion.
Both revenue and profit fell short of Wall Street expectations, as did the company's outlook for this quarter.
Staples expects sales to fall again and it projected earnings of between 17 and 22 cents per share. Analysts that follow the company had been looking for something closer to 27 cents per share.
Staples shares fell $1.35 to $12.05 in premarket trading. That price would set a new 52-week low during regular trading.
© 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.
Published: Thu, 06 Mar 2014 19:13:44 -0500
The battle over redistricting in Union County schools has reached a state level.
Thursday, North Carolina Board of Education members adopted a resolution that recognized the authority of local boards of education in making redistricting decisions, but resolved that the boards "deliberate with extensive input from parents and other citizens."
Union County BOE Vice-Chair Marce Savage is a state BOE member, and during discussion of the resolution, broke down in tears.
"The problem here was there was no transparency, the problem here there was no parental input..." Savage told her fellow board members.
"How can parents trust their local board, when they're entrusting us with their most precious possession, when something like this is happening?" Savage asked.
Representative Craig Horn said he has also received an extensive amount of emails and messages asking him to intervene.
Horn told Channel 9 that until Thursday, he had not taken an official stance on the issue, but decided to speak out to Eyewitness News to let parents know they had a voice.
"I would ask that the board reconsider their actions and involve the parents that are affected," Horn said in a phone interview.
When asked if the board members ignored parents' concerns, Horn replied, "It appears so. I don't want to say that they were, I say it appears so."
Horn said in the week before the board's surprise wrote, he wrote personal letters to each member and had them hand-delivered to the members' mailboxes, encouraging them to slow down the redistricting process.
"I asked them to be diligent and inclusive in their deliberations. I may have gone a little further than that, but that's the substance of what I asked them to do," Horn said.
A petition on change.org to recall the sitting Board of Education had reached nearly 1,500 signatures by Thursday afternoon. Horn said he was responding to requests to sponsor a bill to allow a recall election in Union County by reminding parents that it was not a quick process.
"Just because of how long it takes to write laws and get them distributed, it wouldn't be effective til at least the end of the year," Horn said.
Read our past coverage:
Published: Thu, 06 Mar 2014 16:04:40 -0500
It has been two years since a powerful tornado tore through eastern Mecklenburg County into Cabarrus County.
“I could hear a big roaring and I could hear things hitting the side of the house,” said Marvin White, whose house was destroyed. “Next thing I know, there was a big crash from where the tree came through.”
The tornado happened in the early morning hours of March 3, 2012. It carved a four-mile path of destruction. The National Weather Service determined it was an EF-2 with winds up to 130 mph.
The damage at White’s house is not visible on the outside anymore, but he said the scars from that night are still there.
“Now when we have a storm, I don’t sleep,” he said.
White recalls the community coming together and helping to rebuild after the storm.
“Trees were everywhere,” he said. “The fire department was tremendous. They cut their way down the street to get over here.”
White said he has a different outlook after the storm.
“I don’t take a lot of things for granted that I used to,” he said. “It makes you appreciate things a lot more.”
Eyewitness News caught up with the Stevens family, who were shaken from the tornado. The children were sucked from their home and thrown in different directions.
Two years later, the Stevens family have settled into a new home.
The National Weather Service never issued a tornado warning for the storm because its radar is so far away. The tornado actually flew under the radar.
The storm is why Channel 9 invested in the local dual-pol radar to warn people whenever a storm is in their neighborhood.
Published: Thu, 06 Mar 2014 15:10:11 -0500
A lost message from more than 60 years ago may finally finish its long journey.
Sheila Polk bought a book from a Plant City, Florida Goodwill but when she flipped to the back page she got a lot more than she bargained for, a little piece of history still unopened. (Via ABC)
"Her life could have been changed from this one letter. They do movies about lost love letters, you know? Who knows what's in here that's she's never seen." (Via WTVT)
A lost letter written and sent in 1945 from Sgt. Albert C. Alm Jr. to Private First Class Helen Rothurmel, who was stationed in Dallas, Texas. The post office attempted to deliver the letter three different times. (ViaTwitter / @ABC)
According to the envelope, Rothuermel was a member of the 555th Women Army Corps at Love Field in Dallas, Texas. The 555th squadron was an all Black, female unit. (Via U.S. Army)
And notice we say "according to the envelope." Even though her friends begged her to, Polk has decided to leave the letter unopened and try to return in to its rightful owner if she is still alive, or find surviving family. She has more willpower than we would.
See more at newsy.com.
Published: Thu, 06 Mar 2014 14:41:36 -0500
The FDA approved the research by Dr. Peter Gasser, involving 12 terminal patients, most with cancer.
The subjects were all described as suffering "deep anxiety," over their condition and the coming end of their lives.
The Seattle Times reports the patients first had “talk therapy,” and then divided into two groups.
Eight were given LSD while the others took a placebo. The goal of the LSD was to "produce the full spectrum of a typical LSD experience."
The Verge reports the reasoning is it would allow doctors to "facilitate discussions about the patients' fears of dying."
Gasser says it worked. "Their anxiety went down and stayed down," he reported.
However, those involved say it wasn’t an easy trip. "The major part was pure distress at all these memories I had successfully forgotten for decades, a man named Peter said. “These painful feelings, regrets, this fear of death."
Peter was shocked at how the drug helped him open up. “It surprised me,” he began. “I didn’t know I was talking away until Dr. Gasser made me notice.”
Scientists say there were no adverse effects from the use of the drug.
Published: Thu, 06 Mar 2014 14:31:45 -0500