Flocked by news cameras, Patrick Cannon walked into the federal courthouse in Uptown Tuesday morning to receive his sentencing. Prosecutors recommended 37 months, according to the Charlotte Observer, but the judge decided to make an example out of the youngest city councilman in Charlotte history and the only public figure to be sentenced to prison.
The former mayor will spend about three and a half years in federal prison.
Cannon's crimes are practically local lore at this point. An affidavit that reads more like a movie script laid out his sins. Cannon accepted nearly $50,000 in bribes from undercover federal agents - even a briefcase full of cash in his mayoral office. Though he seemed remorseful in court today - he said he was sorry for his "sins" and even admitted apologizing to a former teacher - it's hard to imagine Cannon as anything but another scuzzy politician.
He'll spend 44 months in prison, or just enough time to write a best-selling memoir. Look forward to the book tour in 2018.
We at Creative Loafing are ecstatic for our friends in the LGBT community who were finally — FINALLY — allowed to get married after Amendment One was repealed on Friday. According to QNotes, more than 25 marriage licenses were issued to same-sex couples this morning at the Mecklenburg County Register of Deeds. Many couldn't wait any longer and tied the knot on the spot.
A student at Albemarle High School is in police custody after he allegedly shot another student in the lower extremities Tuesday morning as class was beginning. All Albemarle Police Chief William Halliburton would reveal at a press conference shortly after the incident was that the two - he wasn't sure what grade they were in or if they were minors - had been in a brief altercation leading up to the shooting, which occurred in a courtyard in front of the school.
The suspected shooter surrendered quickly after the incident, and the victim is in a nearby hospital. His condition is unknown. As of 10 a.m. the school was still on lockdown.
"He could have done more, so the reaction is we're thankful that he gave himself up," Halliburton said.
About 20 officers from the city, county and surrounding townships responded to the incident within minutes and sent teams inside the school to look for any other active shooters.
Halliburton said multiple police forces, including his own, and the school had practiced how to respond to a large-scale active shooting with multiple victims over the summer. "I felt we were as prepared as we could be," he said of today's reaction.
He did not say when the department would release the condition of the victim or his or the suspected shooter's identity.
He said Albemarle PD will follow up this incident with community meetings to gather reactions - what went right, what went wrong - from parents and community leaders. "The community is very interested and very concerned when something like this happens. You always read about it and hear about it somewhere else, but when it happens here … I'm sure we'll get a lot of reaction."
To Halliburton's knowledge this is the first such shooting in Albemarle.
The biggest buzzkill nowadays in NoDa is the lack of parking. If you've ever maneuvered through the vehicles parked (sometimes illegally) on the side streets of North Davidson on Friday or Saturday nights, you feel my pain. (If you're a resident in the thick of the 'hood, I truly feel for you.)
Unless you're going out after 9 p.m., it's about to get a little harder to find a spot to stow your car. Last week, the Johnston YMCA notified its members of a new parking policy in which permits will soon be required. Without one, you might get towed if you leave your car in one of the lot's 145 marked spots.
From the Johnston Y's website:
We feel fortunate to live, work and play in the NoDa community. More and more, adults and kids are making our neighborhood a destination of choice. While we are proud of the positive development happening here, we recognize the growth is creating parking lot access challenges for our members.We hope to alleviate this by implementing a parking permit program beginning October 1, 2014. Vehicles without a proper permit will be subject to towing at the owner's expense.
All active Johnston YMCA members, with a valid driver's license, will be issued an annual parking permit for access to the YMCA parking lot at no cost.
According to Molly Thompson, the Y's senior director of public relations and communication, the lot is available to the public after the Y is closed.
The Johnston Y is open Monday — Friday 5:30 a.m.-9 p.m.; Saturday 8 a.m.—5 p.m.; Sunday, noon-5 p.m.
Much as it pains our Queen City-bleeding hearts to say this, if the world relied on lists to determine the best cities in North Carolina, Charlotte wouldn't even be a contender.
Raleigh, Asheville and Durham beat us again, this time in a ranking of the most-educated metropolitans in the U.S. Using nine metrics, including the level of education of workers in a city and the kinds and qualities of universities in the near vicinity, WalletHub deemed Raleigh and Durham the second- and third-most educated cities of 150. Asheville wasn't far behind.
Sitting proudly at No. 73? Charlotte.
The site lists two reports as inspiration: the Economic Policy Institute's on the effects of education on state finances and a recent one from the Treasury and Education departments that links accessible high-quality education to expanding job opportunities. Charlotte ranked high in cities with the lowest average quality of top universities.
The good news? We're smarter than Hickory!
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police have arrested officer Jason Van Aken and charged him with assault inflicting serious injury and simple assault, both of which are misdemeanors.
The charges stem from a criminal investigation into an incident in which Van Aken used excessive force on Terance G. Malachi, who was in custody for carrying a concealed weapon.
On Aug. 14, the victim was in handcuffs and leg shackles in CMPD's Metro Division interview room when Van Aken allegedly pushed the victim into the wall. Malachi was transported to the hospital and diagnosed with a broken collarbone.
Van Aken has been placed on administrative leave and has had his gun and badge removed while internal investigations continue, including into whether Van Aken is responsible for other incidents involving excessive force.
A godless church. It’s OK to say out loud. A church with no (G)(g)od, religion or faith.
Two comedians in London were on their way to a gig when they started talking about God — or, rather, how they didn’t believe in God. From that conversation came the Sunday Assembly, a gathering space created last year for nonbelievers that has spread to cities everywhere, becoming the fastest-growing church in the world, so says the Daily Beast. Charlotte’s first Sunday Assembly is scheduled for Sept. 28 from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. For more information — and to find out whether the phenomena will catch on in this holy city — we turned to the event’s co-organizer, Richard Fortuna. The interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.
If you’re lucky, you possess somewhere in that vast, gelatinous lock box countless memories of your family eating around a dinner table every night. Some of your most memorable conversations - or arguments - might have happened in that space. Or, you guys laugh now about the persistent awkward silence, punctuated by the sound of forks scraping plates.
Depending on how much interest you had in the preparation of the meal, your memories probably begin and end at the dinner table. You don’t remember watching mom knead meat into a loaf or mash potatoes.
In a new study, researchers at N.C. State University say apathy or disinterest from family members in the process of cooking (or in the end result) is one of the many reasons home-cooked meals are more strenuous than they’re worth.
Fast food workers in Charlotte gathered in front of the McDonald’s on the corner of Reagan and Sugar Creek Road to protest at 7 a.m. this morning. They were part of a nationwide strike to raise the minimum wage to $15 in more than 150 cities. One brave worker, Brittany, walked off the job at Bojangles' to join in. Honks were heard throughout the hour showing support for the cause.
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