Seventeen blocks in Charlotte's South End neighborhood were home to three gold mines in the 1800s.
Developers want to transform the area with retail, housing and restaurants calling it the Gold District.
"It is under-developed here but we can walk 10 minutes be at a baseball game,” architect Stephen Overcash said.
Because most of the area is zoned industrial, there are strict building requirements.
"If someone wanted to build apartments they couldn't do it without getting it rezoned," said Overcash. "When you are in an industrial area, you have to push the building back off the street."
Supports are working with Charlotte Zoning to lighten up on the zoning rules for 79 acres so more types of businesses can build in the area, making it easy for residents and visitors to walk, eat and shop there.
"There will be some structured parking and parking on all of the streets," Overcash said.
Jeff Albanese owns a car repair shop in the area. He knows all about the abandoned mines.
"It is sort of intriguing," said Albanese. "I like old stuff like that. I'd like to see some of the old mines uncovered."
Albanese hopes the grass-roots effort makes this area as valuable as the gold still buried under these streets.
Another community meeting about the gold district is scheduled for next month.
Overcash hopes to have zoning changes in place by early 2015.
Supports even hope to create a gold museum housing pieces of Charlotte's mining history.
Published: Thu, 17 Apr 2014 14:15:29 -0400
The Million Youth March of Charlotte will be pushed back for a few months as organizers work to raise more money.
The march and rally was scheduled to happen at the end of May, but organizers said it's now scheduled for August.
The group said it's still trying to raise the funds to cover the Mecklenburg County Parks and Recreation fees to use Marshall Park as well as the insurance they will also have to get due to the large crowd expected at the event.
The march was created last year in response to deadly violence claiming the lives young people in Charlotte.
If you'd like more information about the march or would like to donate, click here.
Published: Thu, 17 Apr 2014 14:10:24 -0400
Batkid took over San Franciso, now Iron Max is protecting Colorado.
Max Vertin has Duchenne muscular dystrophy, which causes progressively worse muscular degneration.
His dream with Make-A-Wish Foundation was to fly like his favorite superhero, Iron Man.
Huffington Post reported Max turned into his alter ego Iron Max as he put on the costume and flew, or rather floated, in an indoor skydiving facility in Colorado. He floated in 100 mph winds.
Vertin's brothers also have the condition. The Muscular Dystrophy Association said until recently, the condition was fatal by the teenaged years in most cases. Health advances now push survival into the 30s, while some patients have lived into their 40s and 50s.
According to the New York Daily News, doctors said Max will be in a wheelchair by the time he turns 9. He is 8 years old and has been measured for his first wheelchair.
Published: Thu, 17 Apr 2014 13:05:29 -0400
Facebook will open two new data storage centers in western North Carolina.
In a few months, Facebook will build the facilities next to those already in Rutherford County.
Facebook says it wants the new facilities to be greener, faster, and more efficient than anywhere else.
The data centers store users' photos behind walls of tough security.
Published: Thu, 17 Apr 2014 13:05:07 -0400
A Matthews church will give away free gas on Good Friday.
Members will hand out $40 gas cards to 250 cars Friday as part of ‘Fuel for the Soul’ at New Beginnings Church -– amounting to $10,000.
The gas giveaway starts at noon at the church on Stillwell Road.
Published: Thu, 17 Apr 2014 12:59:28 -0400
A Rowan County woman is behind bars after police said she assaulted her handicapped grandmother.
Police said Christel House hurt her 73-year-old grandmother because she wouldn't let House use her car.
They said the grandmother has cuts and bruises after the attack Wednesday on Joy Street in Salisbury.
House is charged with assault and trespassing.
Published: Thu, 17 Apr 2014 12:55:01 -0400
A remodeling project that turned into a rediscovery — an Indiana couple found love letters dating back to World War I tucked away in their attic.
"While renovating their house in Jasper, the couple found the letters in their attic insulation. The letters were written by a soldier preparing to fight in World War I." (Via WISH)
The contractor Phil Mathies, hired to begin work upstairs, had pulled the letters out of the couple's attic while he rewired the room. WFIE reports the letters peeked Phil, his wife, and his sister's interest and, of course, they started reading them.
â€‹"â€‹Clement Berger he had a sweetheart, Mary Borho, and he was writing her letters ... how he felt about her and he wanted to be with her."
Phil and his sister Barbara decided they had to find Clements' relatives. Since he was from Jasper, there was a small chance some of his family could still be living there.
The couple published some of the letters in their local paper. One read, "... you are closer than ever to me, for every day, I long for you more and more. Well darling it’s no use to write you of this for this is what I want and it’s you and you only and that thought will remain with me till the last." (Via The Herald)
And that small chance soon became a reality. Sisters Mary McCune and Nancy Teder are the soldier's nieces. They still live in Jasper and were extremely surprised to see the letters published in the paper.
"It was just an amazing find ... Those letters really convey what he lived in his life and how he felt about our aunt Mary." (Via WFIE)
No one knows how the letters wound up in the attic in the first place. McCune and Teder plan on passing them down to their grandchildren.
See more at newsy.com.
Published: Thu, 17 Apr 2014 12:50:29 -0400
The trial of former Chesterfield County Sheriff Sam Parker is expected to wrap up Thursday.
Parker's attorneys have defended him against a long list of charges, including embezzlement and furnishing contraband to inmates.
The jury has heard from 50 witnesses in seven days -- including some inmates who say Parker let them spend Christmas with his family and wear street clothes instead of prison clothes.
Just before noon Thursday, Parker's attorney finished closing statements by saying Parker was not criminal in his intentions and was always transparent.
Channel 9 reporter Greg Suskin is in the courtroom and will have a full report on Eyewitness News at 5.
Published: Thu, 17 Apr 2014 12:08:51 -0400
The FBI said they are still searching for two men wanted in connection with a kidnapping of a prosecutor’s father in Wake Forest.
Detectives said they believe gang leader Kelvin Melton used a phone in prison to order the abduction of Frank Janssen.
Melton was locked up after receiving a life sentence for ordering a hit on a Raleigh man in 2011.
Eyewitness News went to Raleigh to speak to the victim and his mother. They said they are afraid for their lives.
The victim said he remembers the day he was shot repeatedly.
“One went through my hand, hit my teeth, ricocheted, went through my tongue, into my mouth,” he said. “That’s how I got hit in the throat.”
Tonight on Eyewitness News at 5 p.m., reporter Catherine Bilkey spoke to the family on why it doesn’t think the violence will end and what it wants done for protection.
Published: Thu, 17 Apr 2014 11:58:29 -0400
A man was arrested Wednesday for walking naked through a Walmart in Tega Cay, according to a police report.
Officers said Kevin Patrick, 36, of Fort Mill, was seen walking in the health and beauty section of the store. They said he had no clothes on except for a pair of black tennis shoes.
Police said the man was found in the electronics section of the store and then escorted out.
According to the police report, Patrick told officers he remembers being in bed asleep at his sister’s house and then remembers waking up naked in his truck at Walmart.
He told police that he thought it would be a good idea to go inside the store and buy some clothes.
Officers found the man a pair of shorts from his truck, had him put them on and then arrested him for public disorderly conduct.
The store manager of Walmart allowed Patrick’s truck to stay in the parking lot overnight.
Published: Thu, 17 Apr 2014 10:36:00 -0400
A crook got much more than he bargained for when he tried to rob a CVS Pharmacy in Sarasota.
Surveillance video captured the crook walking into the store with his face covered and threatening the clerk.
The man then demanded pain pills from the pharmacist.
But, one customer, Janus Jurisoo, sneaked up on the crook, put him in a choke hold and tackled him.
That's not all.
Jurisoo held Freddie Johnson down until the police arrived and arrested him.
"Then, I see he is threatening the ladies at the pharmacy and the girls are all scared. He was begging me to let the choke go because he can't breathe," said Jurisoo.
Jurisoo said Johnson threatened to pull out a knife, but never did.
Jurisoo also said he has a background in self-defense.
Published: Thu, 17 Apr 2014 10:20:11 -0400
Amani Abdul issued a statement to Eyewitness News Thursday, wanting to make several things clear. She said she hasn't done anything wrong or illegal and said she wasn't involved in the investigation into former Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon.
She also said she was not romantically involved with Cannon.
Abdul is the unnamed campaign aide in the federal complaint against Cannon. Cannon was arrested after a three year investigation, accused of taking bribes in exchange for political favors.
In a statement first released to Channel 9, Abdul said, "I had no involvement with the FBI's investigation or arrest of Mr. Cannon."
Undercover agents posing as real estate developers said Cannon told them to reach out to Abdul regarding possible development in the city. They believed Cannon wanted them to hire her, although she was not yet a licensed real estate broker.
The complaint also said last fall Abdul sent a text on behalf of Cannon, asking an undercover agent for a key to the luxury apartment they were leasing in South Park.
READ MORE on the investigation into Cannon.
Abdul addressed that and rumors about her relationship with Cannon. She said, "I was never in the South Park apartment mentioned in the FBI affidavit or any other South Park apartment for that matter, nor was I romantically involved with Mr. Cannon."
Abdul's name recently surfaced in a search warrant after agents raided the mayor's office.
They seized an email Abdul sent to Peggy Huffman, the mayor's scheduler, on February 19.
WATCH the latest videos on the Cannon investigation.
The search warrant does not detail what the email said, but February 19 was the same day Cannon set up a meeting, by phone, to have the undercover agent meet him at the mayor's office.
Abdul said the email is now FBI property, but she would be willing to talk about it once their investigation is over.
This investigation has impacted Abdul's personal life. She's a real estate agent and was the development director at a firm in Charlotte. She was let go after the charges against Cannon were announced.
Abdul’s full statement can be read below:
I, Amani Abdul, am the former campaign aide to former Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon.
Over the last several days I have received numerous emails, social media messages, calls, etc. relative to the former mayor’s FBI affidavit and search warrant list released to the public associated with the current FBI investigation.
I worked as an aide to Mr. Cannon in his recent campaign for mayor. However, I had no involvement with the FBI’s investigation or arrest of Mr. Cannon. Additionally, I was never in the South Park apartment mentioned in the FBI affidavit or any other South Park apartment for that matter nor was I romantically involved with Mr. Cannon. The email in question was listed as part of a search warrant list of items retrieved by the FBI and is the property of the FBI. I will respect their investigation but will be available to discuss once the investigation is concluded.
I have done nothing wrong or illegal and have not been contacted by the FBI or any other law enforcement agency with regards to this matter. However, if approached by the FBI or The United States Attorney’s office I will cooperate fully and completely.
Due to the fact that this is an ongoing investigation, I will not make any further statements or respond to any further inquiry regarding this matter from the media.
I ask that you please respect my personal and professional life and privacy.
Published: Thu, 17 Apr 2014 08:57:11 -0400
The 2014 New York Auto Show is one of the industry’s biggest opportunities to show off, and judging by Tuesday’s press preview, automakers definitely put their eye candy on display
Ford made a bold move in redesigning the top-selling car in the world with the 2015 Focus and celebrated a half-century of Mustangs by putting one on top of the Empire State Building
And Land Rover went all Batman and made its Discovery Vision Concept SUV remote-controlled.
Yep, there was a lot of enthusiasm on display, especially from gearheads.
And why not? The auto industry is still celebrating from last month’s sales numbers, so morale has got to be pretty high right now.
"Car buyers are really coming out in droves. March was actually a record month, with the bad weather." (Via CNBC)
"Luxury is alive and well. It’s recovered since the recession." (Via Fox Business)
More than 60 new designs are set to be unveiled throughout the event.
Call it rooting for the home team, but New York Daily News says that makes their city's auto show an even bigger deal than Detroit’s — despite the fact New Yorkers aren’t exactly a prime car-buying demographic.
It’s estimated more than a million people will swing by to get a look at the auto industry’s latest toys. The show opens to the public on Friday.
See more at newsy.com.
Published: Thu, 17 Apr 2014 08:53:53 -0400
Headlines this week beg the question: how do we define terrorism? And why isn’t anyone calling the Kansas City shooting suspect a terrorist? (Via KSHB)
“The avowed anti-semite.” (Via CNN)
“Extremist, lone-wolf.” (Via MSNBC)
“Federal authorities now classifying this as a hate crime.” (Via Fox News)
Frazier Glenn Cross is a former KKK leader with political ambitions accused of killing three people outside Jewish centers. The shooting seems to fit the Justice Department’s definition of terrorism: 1) premeditated, 2) political, 3) aimed at civilians, 4) and not carried out by another nation. And yet, this has been classified as a hate crime.
Looking at mainstream press, even including the search term “terrorist” along with the suspect’s name, you’d be hard-pressed to find the word used anywhere across the World Wide Web. (Via Google)
And it’s difficult to see why Cross is not a terrorist — in the eyes of we the media or the government — when you start making comparisons.
Like the Kansas City shooter, the Boston Marathon bombers were also American residents, also killed three people and also had political motives. They did not have any ties to extremist groups, be it the KKK or Al Qaeda, but they were labeled terrorists. (Via RT)
When a man named Joseph Stack flew a private plane into an IRS building, killing one person, in 2010, the term for him was “suicide pilot” or even “tax protester.” (Via Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal)
When Nidal Hasan killed 13 soldiers at Fort Hood in 2009, the Army classified it as at workplace shooting, but a Senate report called it “the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil since September 11.” (Via ABC)
NYU’s Remi Brulin is writing a book on this issue — America’s use of the word “terrorism.” He spoke to us by phone about the Kansas City suspect.
BRULIN: “The murders that took place Sunday were politically and ideologically motivated. They were obviously extremely violent acts … It seems pretty obvious that if that person had been Muslim or an Arab American, many more people would be calling that an act of terrorism.” (Via CBS)
And the Southern Poverty Law Center agrees.
“This incident would be described as domestic terrorism if it had been Islamic extremism … This was a political act just like an Al Qaeda attack would be.” (Via CNN)
And, race and religion aside, there’s likely another kind of bias at play: the media’s penchant for sensationalism. (Via The Boston Globe)
The Boston bombing was, by far, the most heavily covered story of 2013 among the network newscasts. It was certainly a huge story, worthy of coverage. But it also had narrative elements that lent themselves to TV news: a manhunt, a police shootout and an explosion captured on camera. (Via PBS,ABC, The Tyndall Report)
The many mass shootings that claim a similar casualty count — like in Kansas Sunday — just don’t get the same attention and usually don’t stoke fear of terrorist connections.
But why does it matter that the actual word “terrorism” is used? Well, to weigh the importance of the word terrorism, consider all the things the U.S. government does to fight terror that it doesn’t do to fight hate crimes.
There is, of course, the War on Terror. Then there’s drone warfare against those accused of terror, detainment in Guantanamo without trial justified by concerns over terror. (Via The Guardian, U.S. Department of Defense)
So for now there doesn’t seem to be a clear answer for why officials and the media only refer to some mass killers as terrorists — even though the question isn’t new.
See more at newsy.com.
Published: Thu, 17 Apr 2014 08:43:50 -0400
A Nebraska man who claims an Egyptian god told him to kill four people last year has been found guilty of first-degree murder.
Twenty-seven-year-old Nikko Jenkins was convicted of shooting and killing four people over a 10-day span last August. He represented himself in court.
Jenkins had originally entered a guilty plea, but Wednesday he changed his mind, pleading no contest and offering a bizarre defense. The World-Herald writes, "At times, he spoke in what he said was the language of his serpent god, Opophis. Prosecutors say he is faking the purported voices — that his real reason for the killings was robbery."
The killings took the lives of Juan Pena and Jorge Ruiz, along with Curtis Bradford, a former fellow inmate with Jenkins. Also dead: Andrea Kruger, a mother of three. (Via KHAS)
Speaking to press after the guilty verdict, Bradford's family expressed relief.
"I'm ready for all families to have closure. We need closure now." (Via WOWT)
Jenkins was also found guilty on eight weapons counts and two counts of being a felon with a gun. A panel of three judges will now decide Jenkins' sentence — either life in prison or the death penalty.
See more at newsy.com.
Published: Thu, 17 Apr 2014 08:34:18 -0400
A 17-acre island in Italy with a petrifying past is up for sale and the government hopes a creepy abandoned hospital will be turned into a luxury hotel.
The island of Poveglia, or "the island of madness" in the Venetian lagoon is known as one of the most haunted places on Earth.
According to Time, Italy is auctioning off the island, which is located near Venice and has been deserted for the past fifty years, to pay off its public debt and appease European Union budget guidelines.
The island's reputation for being haunted is based on the historical events that took place there.
The trouble started back in the late 19th century when Poveglia served as a checkpoint for ships going to Venice. After a pair of ships carrying plague victims arrived in 1793, the island was sealed off and turned into a quarantine zone for people with infectious diseases, a role it served for over a century. It goes without saying that many of these people died on the island during this time, leading to the widespread belief that Poveglia is haunted.
In 1922, the island became the location of a mental institution and rumor has it that one of the doctors performed crude lobotomies on patients after going crazy because of the ghosts.
As MentalFloss reports, according to island legend, "a psychiatrist who ran the mental hospital was a butcher and torturer who went mad from guilt and threw himself from the island's bell tower, only to survive the fall and be strangled by a 'ghostly mist' that emerged from the ground."
Although it is closed to visitors, the spooky status of the island makes it is a popular destination for ghost hunters. One report states an American TV host who visited the island and entered the abandoned hospital for the Travel Channel series Ghost Adventures claimed to have been briefly possessed by a ghost.
As reported by The Daily Telegraph, a spokeswoman for Italy’s state sales agency declined to put a possible price on Poveglia but Aol Money reports the island could fetch the Italian government around $841 million. The auction is to start May 7 with no guide prices.
Published: Thu, 17 Apr 2014 08:20:10 -0400
Sources have told Channel 9 that police have made two more arrests in a series of robberies in east Charlotte.
According to sources, CMPD arrested Jabril Forth-Ward and Jaried Mozee.
They face charges including robbery and conspiracy.
Both are due to make their first court appearance Monday.
Another suspect in the crime spree that police arrested Tuesday night is due in court Thursday. Israel Williams is charged with robbery and conspiracy.
Police arrested two other suspects earlier this week.
Officers said the group's most recent crimes include a beating in a parking lot on Independence Boulevard Saturday night, a robbery minutes earlier on Idlewild Road and another crime the day before on Independence.
Published: Thu, 17 Apr 2014 07:07:40 -0400
A third person will be in court Thursday after police said he helped dump a body in west Charlotte.
Officers charged Mark Huntley Wednesday with accessory after the fact to first degree murder.
They said he helped Avery Lail move and then dump Brian Jones' body on Old Dowd road last month.
Lail is charged with the murder.
Police also charged Lail's girlfriend, Delia Rick, who they said helped wash Lail's bloody clothes.
Published: Thu, 17 Apr 2014 06:40:28 -0400
Researchers at North Carolina State University predict 2014 will be a relatively quiet hurricane season.
They predict there will be eight to 11 named storms -- four to six reaching hurricane status.
Experts are also predicting one to three of those will reach major hurricane status: Category 3 or higher.
The Atlantic hurricane season starts June 1.
Published: Thu, 17 Apr 2014 06:33:19 -0400
Charlotte will be the backdrop of a new family movie called 'Max.'
Filming is expected to begin next month and the movie is due to hit theaters in 2015.
Boaz Yakin, who is best known for his work on ‘Remember the Titans,’ will direct the movie.
Published: Thu, 17 Apr 2014 05:10:09 -0400