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Friday, August 19, 2016

Lunch Break (8/19/16): SLIDESHOW: Peaceful protesters gather for street action outside Trump/McCrory fundraiser, march outside of convention center

Posted By on Fri, Aug 19, 2016 at 11:59 AM

Protesters sweep coal under Gov. McCrory's rug outside of the Westin on Thursday afternoon. - RYAN PITKIN
  • Ryan Pitkin
  • Protesters sweep coal under Gov. McCrory's rug outside of the Westin on Thursday afternoon.

Trump supporters were met with a relatively tame group of protesters outside of his Charlotte appearances yesterday. A group of protesters, a mixture of environmentalist organizers with Greenpeace and the Durham-based NC United Front Against Racism and Fascism, gathered in front of The Westin, where Trump was enjoying a fundraiser dinner with state leaders like Gov. Pat McCrory, Sen. Thom Thillis and Sen. Richard Burr. The protesters, some of which wearing hazmat suits, poured out buckets of coal on the sidewalk in front of the hotel, then swept it under the rugs, symbolizing McCrory's continuous cover-ups regarding coal ash and the health risks it poses. 

After the coal clean-up, protesters marched next door to the Charlotte Convention Center, where Trump was scheduled to speak at 7:30 p.m. A small group of protesters gathered at the entrance and chanted slogans like "Black Lives Matter" and "Let's be clear, immigrants are welcome here" for an hour or so, with not much engagement coming from Trump supporters. The group disbanded before Trump's speech with promises of meeting Trump supporters to protest his policies at any appearance he makes in Charlotte. 

The following photos were taken at The Westin and Charlotte Convention Center between 4:30 and about 6:30 p.m.
Trump Rally 8/18/16
Trump Rally 8/18/16 Trump Rally 8/18/16 Trump Rally 8/18/16 Trump Rally 8/18/16 Trump Rally 8/18/16 Trump Rally 8/18/16 Trump Rally 8/18/16 Trump Rally 8/18/16

Trump Rally 8/18/16

By Ryan Pitkin

Click to View 12 slides

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Today's Top 5: Friday

Posted By on Fri, Aug 19, 2016 at 11:19 AM

Here are the five best events going down in Charlotte and the surrounding area today, Aug. 19, 2016 as selected by the folks at Creative Loafing.

• Jaggermouth w/ Elonzo Wesley, Sinners & Saints at Visulite Theatre

Science on the Rocks at Discovery Place

• Laugh your Tails Off w/ Kenny Zimlinghaus at UpStage

• Bolllywood Dreams f. Akbar Sami at Label

SlamCharlotte Poetry Slam at McGlohon Theater

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Lunch Break (8/18/16): NC United Front Against Racism and Fascism have plans for Trump Charlotte appearance

Posted By on Thu, Aug 18, 2016 at 11:37 AM

A group called the NC United Front Against Racism & Fascism will be gathering in The Green to protest a fundraiser dinner being held in Uptown that will feature such GOP names as presidential candidate Donald Trump, RNC Chair Reince Priebus, NC Gov. Pat McCrory, NC Sen. Thom Thillis and NC Sen. Richard Burr. The $50,000-per-ticket fundraiser at The Westin will precede an appearance by Trump at the Charlotte Convention Center next door beginning at 7:30 p.m. Around 200 people have already shown interest in a Facebook event asking anyone and everyone to attend to "Shut down racist billionaire Donald Trump — and his friends…" 

"The rise of Donald Trump reflects a desperate and dangerous effort to destroy working-class unity by trying to turn the anger of white workers away from billionaires like himself and against their immigrant, Mexican, Arab, Muslim, African, Asian, Indigenous sisters and brothers in this country and across the world," the event's hosts wrote. "He doesn't simply travel the country giving speeches — he is creating a toxic climate to give rise to violence against immigrants, Muslims and Arabs, LGBTQ people and women, and all oppressed people." 


Sandy Le
  • Sandy Le
The investigation into the disappearance of Truc Quan "Sandy" Le led police into the Cabarrus County woods yesterday, where they say they found a deceased body. It is unclear yet whether it is Le's body, but the CMPD report specifically states that tips during this specific investigation led detectives, the Charlotte Fire Department, the Robinson Volunteer Fire Department and Medics to that area of the woods. 

Le disappeared along with two coworkers last week and police announced during a press conference earlier this week that her car was found in Phoenix, Arizona. The investigation was then handed over the CMPD's Homicide Unit. It is believed that her two coworkers, Alexandro Castillo and Ahmia Feaster, drove her car across the country and are now in Mexico. 


A 22-year-old man was killed in a single-vehicle wreck near Charlotte Douglas International Airport this morning. Police responded to the crash just after midnight on Wilkinson Boulevard near Rosemont Street and found a Dodge Ram pickup truck that had struck two utility poles and overturned before striking a metal box and metal pole. The driver, Zachary Eubanks, was partially ejected and pronounced dead on the scene. His two passengers, 23-year-old Reed Camp and 22-year-old Ian Stanley, were both transported to CMC-Main with non-life-threatening injuries. Police believe speed and alcohol played a role in the crash.


Local police are searching for a man they believe to be involved with a Monday
Daniel Moore
  • Daniel Moore
 shooting on LaSalle Street in west Charlotte. Daniel Marquise Moore is wanted on nine counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to cause serious injury and seven counts of shooting into an occupied dwelling. Detectives say he has family and friends in the Beatties Ford Road area and was last seen driving an older model box-style silver Grand Marquis. He is considered armed and dangerous and has a lengthy arrest history involving violence.  Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Moore is asked to immediately contact the Violent Criminal Apprehension Team at 704-336-VCAT or call 911.


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Today's Top 5: Thursday

Posted By on Thu, Aug 18, 2016 at 10:36 AM

Here are the five best events going down in Charlotte and the surrounding area today, Aug. 18, 2016 as selected by the folks at Creative Loafing.

• Packway Handle Band w/ Caleb Caudle at Double Door Inn

Cocktails & Gardens at The Duke Mansion

• Beach volleyball pro Emily Day meet and greet at The Sandbox at VBGB

Keith Urban at PNC Music Pavilion

Vanessa Silberman at Petra's

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Today's Top 5: Wednesday

Posted By on Wed, Aug 17, 2016 at 5:18 PM

Here are the five best events going down in Charlotte and the surrounding area today, Aug. 17, 2016 as selected by the folks at Creative Loafing.

• T. Hardy Morris & The Hardknocks, Dust & Ashes, Landless at Snug Harbor

The Women Behind the Beer at Sugar Creek Brewing Co.

Beyond the Rubik's Cube exhibit at Discovery Place

Justin Moore at Coyote Joe's

Trivia at Ed's Tavern

Lunch Break (8/17/16): Erin Brockovich weighs in on NC coal ash contamination

Posted By on Wed, Aug 17, 2016 at 11:31 AM

Famed lawyer and environmental health advocate Erin Brockovich has cited the continuing coal ash crisis in North Carolina as a reason federal regulators must set a nationwide "maximum contaminant level" for hexavalent chromiums found in residents' drinking water. 

In a joint letter to Environmental Protection Agency administrator Gina McCarthy, Brockovich and Environmental Working Group President Tim Cook wrote: "We write with deep concern about this continued delay. It is clear that the delay is sowing confusion among state and local regulators, utilities and the public about how much hexavalent chromium is safe in drinking water. This confusion is resulting in many Americans’ exposure to unregulated levels of hexavalent chromium that federal, state and independent scientists agree pose health hazards." 

The letter went on to name North Carolina as an example for why these regulations are needed following a controversy regarding Gov. Pat McCrory and his staff seeking to retract “do-not-drink” warnings directed at some residents whose tap water comes from wells likely tainted by hexavalent chromium from nearby Duke Energy coal-burning facilities.

"States like North Carolina, where industrial byproducts like coal ash increase the risk of hexavalent chromium contamination, need a federal mandate to set strong, health-protective standards for levels of the contaminant in drinking water," Brockovich and Cook wrote. "Without it, states will continue to use inconsistent and potentially unsafe guidelines, and leave citizens confused about whether their drinking water is safe."


Detectives with CMPD's Armed Robbery Unit are asking for the public's help in identifying a man who attempted to rob a gas station near the Noda neighborhood last week. Police say the man pictured below walked into Sam's Mart on The Plaza on August 12 and attempted to rob the business at gunpoint. He left before receiving any property. Anyone with information concerning this case or the suspects is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600. 



CMPD has charged James Leaks, 51, with the murder of Darrell Cureton, 49, in southwest Charlotte. Police responded to an assault call on Plymouth Drive and found Cureton suffering from a stab wound. He was later pronounced dead at the hospital. The initial investigation indicates that Cureton and Leaks knew each other and no other suspects are being sought. 


Two men are facing a slew of charges for their involvement in a series of armed robberies in late July and early August. Trey Lindsay and Derrick Pettus, both 30 years old, were arrested yesterday and later charged for the series of armed robberies.

Derrick Pettus
  • Derrick Pettus
On July 27, the two men allegedly tried to rob a Jack in the Box on Westinghouse Boulevard, but were unsuccessful. An hour later, they allegedly robbed a Domino's on W. W.T. Harris Boulevard. The two men allegedly picked up where they left off at the beginning of the new month, robbing a Steak and Shake on N. Sardis Road and the hitting a Justice store on Rea Road the following day. In each of the robberies, the suspects either brandished or threatened the use of firearms. 

Yesterday, Lindsay was charged with four counts of conspiracy to commit
Trey Lindsay
  • Trey Lindsay
 robbery with a dangerous weapon, two counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon and attempted  robbery with a dangerous weapon. Pettus was charged with four counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon, four counts of second-degree kidnapping, three counts of conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon and served an unrelated warrant for embezzlement. Both suspects were then transferred to the custody of the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Today's Top 5: Tuesday

Posted By on Tue, Aug 16, 2016 at 3:37 PM

Here are the five best events going down in Charlotte and the surrounding area today, Aug. 16, 2016 as selected by the folks at Creative Loafing.

• Faye w/ Sinai Vessel and Yeesh at Snug Harbor
Faye (Photo by Becca Bellamy)
  • Faye (Photo by Becca Bellamy)

Trivia at Big Ben British Pub & Restaurant

• Charlotte Knights vs. Gwinnett Braves at BB&T Ballpark

Fight Night Comedy Competition at The Comedy Zone

Bingo at Killington's

CMPD now treating case of missing coworkers as homicide investigation

Posted By on Tue, Aug 16, 2016 at 2:47 PM

Friends and family of three missing coworkers gathered in Charlotte on Sunday in an effort to post flyers asking of their whereabouts. The effort was organized by Sandy Le's uncle, Bobby Le. - GRANT BALDWIN
  • Grant Baldwin
  • Friends and family of three missing coworkers gathered in Charlotte on Sunday in an effort to post flyers asking of their whereabouts. The effort was organized by Sandy Le's uncle, Bobby Le.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department released new details in the case of three missing Charlotte coworkers today, stating that a car belonging to Sandy Le has been found in Phoenix, Arizona, and that her two coworkers are now wanted for possession of a stolen car and for questioning in Le's disappearance. 
Alexandro Castillo.
  • Alexandro Castillo.

Ahmia Feaster.
  • Ahmia Feaster.
Tru Quan "Sandy" Le, 23; Alexandro Castillo, 17; and Ahmia Feaster, 19, were all reported missing within a three-day period last week and investigators quickly made connections in the case. All three work at the same Charlotte restaurant, and it's believed that Le and Castillo were once in a relationship. 

Feaster's car was found in Charlotte on Saturday, and now police say Le's car has been found in Phoenix. At a press conference held this afternoon, Maj. Cameron Selvey with the CMPD's Criminal Investigations Bureau told reporters that evidence gathered during the investigation shows that Castillo and Feaster drove the car cross-country and are believed to have crossed into Mexico. The CMPD is now treating the case as a homicide investigation, although there is no evidence that Le has been killed. 

"We feel that due to the nature of [Le's] disappearance — the fact that no one has heard from her — we are very concerned for her safety and our goal is to find her and ideally to reunite her with her family. This is one of those situations where I say that we hope for the best but plan for the worst," Selvey said.

Tru Quan "Sandy" Le is still missing. Her car was found in Phoenix, Arizona yesterday.
  • Tru Quan "Sandy" Le is still missing. Her car was found in Phoenix, Arizona yesterday.
"We are investigating it as a homicide, but I am hoping for the best. I would love nothing more than to come back in front of you and say we found Ms. Le safe and sound and we could reunite her with her family," he said. "That’s my hope for the best. My plan for the worst is that we’re going to investigate it as seriously and as vigorously as we do any investigation, but especially with an eye on, if it were to go towards a homicide, that we have done all we can do to bring some closure and justice to her family, if we go down that path." 

The change in status allows CMPD to put more detectives on the case, but they are also already in contact with FBI offices both in Charlotte and Phoenix. 

"It’s one thing if I’m reaching across the border to Fort Mill, it’s a lot different if we’re reaching across international borders. Our federal partners will be assisting with that," Selvey said.

Anyone with any information on this case is asked to call 911 immediately. 

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Monday, August 15, 2016

Today's Top 5: Monday

Posted By on Mon, Aug 15, 2016 at 1:05 PM

Here are the five best events going down in Charlotte and the surrounding area today, Aug. 15, 2016 as selected by the folks at Creative Loafing.

Cherishing the Craft at Sugar Creek Brewing Co.

• Joyce Manor w/ Diet Cig, Dollar Signs at Neighborhood Theatre

Yoga on the Roof at Rooftop 210

• Matthews Summer Movie Series, screening Big Hero 6 at Stumptown Park

The Monday Night Allstars at Double Door Inn

Lunch Break (8/15/16): Third member of NC 6 released from custody; reward offered in case of missing trio

Posted By on Mon, Aug 15, 2016 at 11:30 AM

Wildin Acosta, one of the North Carolina Six that Creative Loafing reported on in March, was released late on Friday and brought by his family from the detention center in Georgia where he had been held for over six months to his home in Durham. "This is a big win for our community," Ivan Almonte, member of advocacy group Alerta Migratoria, said in a press release. "None of this would have been possible without all the people who stood by Wildin in his time of need. But this fight is not over. We still have more youths who are still detained or could very well be in detention soon."

Three of the NC 6 have now been released, while three remain in custody of immigration officials. Yefri Sorto-Hernandez of Charlotte was released on $30,000 bond in late June, while Pedro Salmeron, also of Charlotte, remains in Stewart Detention Facility in rural Georgia. It is feared that Salmeron and Bilmer Juarez of Greenville are facing imminent deportation, with action being taken possible this week. 


There is now a $10,000 reward being offered for information in the case of three missing people whose cases appear to be connected. Truc Quan (Sandy) Le, 23; Alexandro Castillo, 17; and Ahmia Feaster, 19, all went missing last week, and Feaster's car was found abandoned in east Charlotte on Saturday morning. All three of the missing people work together and are believed to be together. Castillo, for example, was last seen being picked up by Feaster outside of his home. It's been reported that at least one of the missing people contacted family on Saturday evening and said they are safe but don't know where they are. Family members believe they are being held against their will. CMPD asks that anyone with info on the missing trio call 911 immediately. 
Alejandro Castillo
  • Alejandro Castillo

Ahmia Feaster
  • Ahmia Feaster
Truc Quan (Sandy) Le
  • Truc Quan (Sandy) Le


A 30-year-old man was killed Sunday morning in Steele Creek after overcorrecting on a curve on Steele Creek Road and losing control of his vehicle. Police said Bufford ran off the road and struck tree near Hamilton Place Drive. Speed is believed to be a factor in this wreck, although it's unclear whether alcohol was a factor. 


Police have arrested Gary Austin, 52, for the murder of Donnelle McDonald, 31, in east Charlotte on Saturday morning. Police responded to a domestic-related assault call on Olde Savannah Road at 12:34 a.m. on Saturday and found McDonald suffering from a gunshot wound. He was pronounced dead on the scene by Medic. By 7:30 a.m., police had already interviewed and arrested Austin, charging him with murder. 

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