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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Lunch Break (11/25/15): Thanksgiving parade to be an 'extraordinary event'

Posted By on Wed, Nov 25, 2015 at 11:30 AM

City manager Ron Carlee has announced that tomorrow's Novant Health Thanksgiving Day Parade will be an "extraordinary event," which places restrictions on what can be brought within the boundaries of the parade. CMPD Chief Kerr Putney said that recent international terrorist attacks are behind the decision. The "extraordinary event" ordinance was adopted by the city during a time when Occupy Charlotte was active and police expected lots of protests at the Democratic National Convention, among other events, such as shareholder meetings for Duke Energy and Bank of America. There's a long list of items banned during an extraordinary event, and police are also allowed to decide on other items on site. There are about 100,000 people expected to attend the event tomorrow. (Fox46 Staff) 

Police are looking for the man they say shot two people at a north Charlotte restaurant last night while trying to rob it. The man reportedly shot one person in the arm and another in the leg at about 8:30 p.m. at U.S. Fried Chicken on W. Sugar Creek Road in the Derita neighborhood. The victims are expected to recover fully and the suspect did not get away with any money. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600. (WBTV Web Staff) 

Police are currently looking for 33-year-old Quavis Clyde, who was identified by a witness as the shooter in a homicide in Cleveland County last night. The witness told police Clyde shot his neighbor, 43-year-old Shawn Borders, during an argument the two were having. Borders was found dead on the scene when police arrived. (WSOC Staff) 

This list, compiled by Karen Sullivan of the Charlotte Observer, shows all the closings of government buildings in the area during the rest of the week. Important note for Mecklenburgers: hit your local ABC Store today if you want to drink through the anxiety of a family get-together tomorrow. 

Protesters marched through the streets of Chicago last night after police released the dash cam video of the October 2014 shooting of Laquan McDonald by a Chicago police officer. More than 500 people took part in protests that are expected continue today. In the video, officer Jason Van Dyke can be seen exiting his vehicle and opening fire on McDonald, who was walking down the street away from police, just seconds later. Van Dyke was arrested and charged with murder yesterday just hours before the video was released to the public. The police department's first accounts of the shooting said McDonald was lunging at officers, which is clearly proven wrong on the video. (NBC Chicago) 

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Monday, November 23, 2015

Lunch Break (11/23/15): Packed house for I-77 toll lane summit in Cornelius this morning

Posted By on Mon, Nov 23, 2015 at 11:31 AM

A large group of north Mecklenburg residents showed up to a summit held in Cornelius this morning to discuss the I-77 toll roads project and possible alternatives to it, despite the fact that construction on the new roads has already begun. The summit was organized by Rep. Charles Jeter of Huntersville, who has been an outspoken critic of the project recently. A new billboard from Progress NC Action, however, calls Jeter out for "flip-flopping" on the issue after voting for the toll lanes. (Charlotte Observer Staff) 

Police said a pedestrian was struck and killed by a Norfolk Southern train this morning on Archdale Drive near South Boulevard. Although the accident happened just below a light rail bridge, earlier reports that the light rail struck the pedestrian were false. Details including the name of the victim have not yet been released, but according to witnesses, the victim was a female. (WSOC Staff)

A Kannapolis man living in a detached garage was seriously injured and medevaced to a Winston-Salem burn unit after the garage caught fire overnight. Fire officials said the call came in from Moose Road in Kannapolis at about 2 a.m. Heat from the fire reportedly did minor damage to two nearby homes. The victim is believed to be homeless. (WBTV Staff) 

Police arrested an 18-year-old man in the sexual assault and murder of a pastor's wife in Indianapolis that made national headlines. Police said Larry Taylor was arrested yesterday and charged with the murder of Amanda Blackburn. The arrest came about two weeks after the Nov. 10 shooting. Police have not yet said if Taylor is the man caught on surveillance video walking through Blackburn's neighborhood. 

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Friday, November 20, 2015

Residents plan to mourn transgender murder victims to commemorate Transgender Remembrance Day

Posted By on Fri, Nov 20, 2015 at 2:52 PM

Elisha Walker of Rowan County was found dead in a "crude grave" in Johnston County, more than 100 miles from her home, in August. - COURTESY OF TIME OUT YOUTH
  • Courtesy of Time Out Youth
  • Elisha Walker of Rowan County was found dead in a "crude grave" in Johnston County, more than 100 miles from her home, in August.
While the city’s residents prepare to remember all they're thankful for in the coming week, members of the LGBTQ community and allies will be gathering in Uptown tonight to remember all those who won’t get the chance to celebrate the coming holidays because they've been lost to violence.

The Transgender Day of Remembrance has been celebrated throughout the country since 1999, when activist Gwendolyn Ann Smith created the day to memorialize Rita Hester, a transgender woman murdered in Allston, Massachusetts.

In recent years, organizers have commemorated the day with events in Charlotte, and will gather outside of city hall (the corner of North Davidson and 4th streets) to mourn the transgender people killed over the last year with a candlelit vigil tonight beginning at 6 p.m. 

Well-known genderqueer activist Jacob Tobia arrived in Charlotte this morning and will be the keynote speaker at the event. Tobia was recently featured as a subject in MTV’s reality docuseries True Life: I’m Genderqueer, and just this week Jezebel published a long-form Q&A with them.

For Parker Smith, transgender youth outreach organizer with Time Out Youth, tonight’s event will serve multiple purposes.

“To me, it is a time of mourning for us and at the same time it’s a call to action,” Smith said. “It’s a way to remind us that we have a very long way to go and still need to fight for those of us who are still alive.”

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Lunch Break (11/20/15): Five teens arrested for violent sexual assault of young girl in Mint Hill

Posted By on Fri, Nov 20, 2015 at 11:30 AM

Five teenagers have been arrested for allegedly raping a girl found naked on the side of a Mint Hill street yesterday, police announced this morning. Jhovany Roman, 17; Felix Reyes, 16; Eduardo Garcis, 16; and two 15-year-old boys were arrested for the sexual assault. The 15-year-old suspects' names were not released because they are underage, while the victim's name is not being released due to the nature of the crime. All the suspects except Garcis have been charged with first degree rape, first degree sex offense and one count of assault by strangulation inflicting physical injury. Police said others may be charged in connection with the case. (James Brierton, Fox46) 

The Panthers organization has announced that security will be tightened for Sunday's game at Bank of America Stadium. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department has declared the game an "extraordinary event," based on an ordinance passed during the Occupy Charlotte and Democratic National Convention days that lets police restrict what items are allowed into a certain area. Police are beefing up security as a precaution following last Friday's Paris terrorist attacks. (Brody O'Connell, WBTV) 

Police and officials at Harding University High School are investigating after a video involving a police officer trying to break up a brawl between students yesterday has gone viral. According to CMPD, the school resource officer, J. Flowers, was trying to de-escalate the situation during a class change after six students got into a fight. As seen on the video, Flowers was knocked to the ground. Police said Flowers was attacked by a student, reportedly named Davione Robinson, who was then charged with multiple charges including assault on a police officer. Davione's mother, Merissa, said it has been all "he said, she said," but that she has been hearing that he was trying to break the fight up. The CMPD Internal Affairs division is investigating to make sure proper protocol was followed. (WSOC Staff) 

A 61-year-old man believed to be responsible for a string of robberies
at pharmacies in south Charlotte and Union County is in custody. Police said Scott Alton Hill voluntarily came to CMPD headquarters to be interviewed yesterday and later confessed to the crimes. He's been charged with three counts of robbery with a dangerous weapon. A man looking like Hill can be seen on surveillance videos from robberies at the CVS on Rea Road, a Harris Teeter on Lancaster Highway, a Walgreens on Providence Road and a Walgreens in Waxhaw. All those robberies occurred within one month. (Sarah Hagen, WCNC) 

Event times and related road closures and public transit changes have been released for next week's holiday events, including the Carolina Panthers Christmas tree lighting on Tuesday night and Thursday's Novant Health Thanksgiving Day Parade. For info about road closures, parade routes, parking, bus routes and more, see this article from the Observer. (Karen Sullivan, Charlotte Observer) 

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Thursday, November 19, 2015

Lunch Break (11/18/15): Overnight rains lead to road closures south of Charlotte

Posted By on Thu, Nov 19, 2015 at 12:38 PM

Heavy rains overnight have led to flooding in the greater Charlotte area. Most of the rain is reportedly done coming down for the day, with the exception of moderate showers in localized spots, and the sun is expected to return by this afternoon. The rain led to some flooding, especially in Union County. For a long list of the roads closed today in that area, see this story from WSOC. (Keith Monday & Christine Rapp, WSOC) Fallen trees associated with the storm also took out power in different areas of Charlotte this morning. Check here for Duke Energy's power outage map. 

Lupie's Cafe on Monroe Road is currently closed after the building looks to have suffered extensive damage from a hit-and-run car accident overnight. The driver smashed into the building's front porch and entrance at about 2:30 a.m. this morning. Police said 26-year-old Zakariya Azizy was cited for the hit-and-run. (April Bethea, Charlotte Observer) 

Officials confirmed this morning that the man suspected of planning the Paris attacks last Friday night was killed during a raid on an apartment in Saint-Denis, a Paris suburb. Paris police said the body of 27-year-old Abdelhamid Abaaoud was found in the apartment following the raid, along with a second body, a female who was possibly Abaaoud's cousin who reportedly detonated a suicide vest during the raid. Abaaoud is believed to be connected with at least six of four terrorist plots foiled in France this year. Several people were arrested in the raid. (USA Today)

A video obtained and released by the Daily Mail shows one of the attacks in Paris last Friday, in which three men attack a cafe full of people. The video shows two men calmly firing on the cafe while a third maneuvers a car behind them. The men then enter the vehicle and drive off. In the first video, one attacker is seen approaching a woman just out of a view and attempting to kill her execution style, but his gun jams. She then stands up, entering the view of the camera, and runs off. 

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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Ta-Nehisi Coates speaks to large crowd at Davidson College as part of book tour

Posted By on Tue, Nov 17, 2015 at 3:23 PM

In seven weeks touring with his new book, Between the World and Me, critically acclaimed journalist and best-selling author Ta-Nehisi Coates said he has yet to see a crowd as big as the one that attended his lecture at Davidson College last night.

  • Photo by Bill Giduz

Organizers distributed 4,000 tickets to see the 2015 MacArthur Fellow speak on issues including what inspired him to write the new book, the death of his friend Prince Jones at the hands of police in 2000 and broader issues like the criminalization of black bodies.

“It’s easy, as a writer, to tell stories that confirm what is already known,” said Davidson College President Carol Quillen while introducing Coates to the crowd. “It’s much harder to see through familiar narratives to stories untold; stories that are hidden, occluded, rendered unspeakable by what is taken for granted. TNC is such a rare writer.”

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Lunch Break (11/17/15): McCrory wants to shut doors on Syrian refugees

Posted By on Tue, Nov 17, 2015 at 11:30 AM

Yesterday afternoon, Governor Pat McCrory joined other Republican governors in asking that the federal government does not resettle refugees from Syria in their respective states. McCrory questioned the screening process done by the State Department, but officials with the Catholic Diocese, which works directly with the State Department to resettle refugee families, including one that settled in Charlotte last week, said they are pleased with the vetting process and don't see any need for change. 

Officers in Cayce, South Carolina shot and killed a man who allegedly fired on them while they tried to arrest him for a drug-related offense early this morning. Both officers were reportedly injured during the struggle, which took place at about 1:30 a.m., with one being shot. Both officers were hospitalized and are expected to recover fully. 

Troubled TV star Charlie Sheen appeared on NBC's "Today" this morning and announced that he is HIV positive. Sheen was a well-known client of infamous "Hollywood Madam" Heidi Fleiss. He stated that he has paid up to $10 million to people who have blackmailed him by threatening to make his infection public. 

A woman was killed in a car accident on I-85 in Belmont last night. The wreck reportedly happened just before 10:30 p.m. in the southbound lanes of I-85 between the Catawba River Bridge and Exit 27. Police believe the woman was in a car that was slowed or stopped on the roadway near an exit ramp before being struck by a car trying to use that ramp. The names of those involved have not been released and it is unclear whether charges will be filed. 

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Thursday, November 12, 2015

Lunch Break (11/12/15): Overturned truck, water main break cause road closures through Charlotte this morning

Posted By on Thu, Nov 12, 2015 at 11:30 AM

All inbound lanes of South Boulevard were shut down this morning due to an overturned dump truck on the roadway near Westinghouse Boulevard. An inbound lane was also reportedly shut down. In other traffic news, a water main break on North Brevard Street near NoDa closed that road down at about 5 a.m. this morning. It is still unclear whether either road will be re-opened before noon. 

Two victims were found shot in a parking lot in east Charlotte this morning, in what police say was not a random crime. The two victims were found in the parking lot of Mine-Super El Novado at Central Avenue and Sharon Amity Road about 2:30 a.m. Police said they believe the actual shooting took place on Rosehaven Drive, about a quarter-mile away. The victims were rushed to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Police said the victims are not cooperating in the investigation. 

Police said a worker was killed by a piece of falling equipment at a stone fabricator plant in southwest Charlotte last night. According to officials, the worker was crushed at World Stone Fabricators, on the 2300 block of Distribution Drive, at around 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Investigators have not released the name of the victim, nor have they released details about how the accident happened. 

An Elon University football player from Cornelius fell to his death from a UNC Chapel Hill dorm hall yesterday, according to Elon officials. Demitri Allison, who attended high school at Southlake Christian Academy, reportedly fell from a 10-story building. He had left Elon campus on Tuesday, and friends and teammates became concerned shortly thereafter. Friends and loved ones will gather this afternoon at Rhodes Stadium on the Elon campus. 

Police are investigating a series of incidents in which vandals are throwing large rocks at cars as they drive down Old Concord Road in the University area. People have been reporting the incidents for at least two weeks, and some have had their windshields smashed out completely. CMPD says the investigation is ongoing. 

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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Lunch Break (11/11/15): Two months later, CMPD makes arrest in one of many Labor Day shootings

Posted By on Wed, Nov 11, 2015 at 11:30 AM

CMPD has made the first arrest in connection with a slew of shootings that took place on Labor Day weekend, more than two months ago. Overnight, investigators charged Quincy McWaine with the murder of Elias Perez in front of an apartment complex on Glenfiddich Drive that weekend. McWaine was reportedly already in jail on unrelated charges when police began questioning him about the Perez murder. Twelve people were shot in Charlotte on over Labor Day weekend, and five of them died, including a seven-year-old boy. No arrest has been made in that case. 

A group of South End residents gathered at a community meeting with Cousins Properties representatives last night to discuss concerns about a new development that will sit on a 2.3 acre site that currently hosts Common Market and Food Truck Friday. Residents feel the seven-story office building to be placed at the corner of South Tryon Street and Camden Road will take away from the historic and unique vibes cultivated by neighborhood spots like Common Market or events like Food Truck Friday. In August, Creative Loafing reported that Common Market was in jeopardy of losing their location, as well as other locally owned businesses in the area. 

The Charlotte Nature Museum is planning a large expansion of its facilities near Freedom Park, but first will need to raise the $28 million needed to implement those upgrades. Museum officials unveiled a plan to county commissioners yesterday to renovate and expand the facilities, building a new 29,000-square-foot museum and adding a woodland garden, canopied walkway and otter display. Discovery Place, which runs the museum, will seek public funding to cover construction costs and private funding to cover exhibits, laboratories and classrooms. Discovery Place officials said they hope to start construction of a new museum in 2018 and open by 2020. 

Residents gathered at a city council meeting in Newton last night to protest the potential removal of the Confederate flag from the town's annual Soldier Reunion Parade. Hundreds showed up to the meeting to speak to the council, some times getting heated about the topic. The council chair said the reunion committee would have to decide on the matter. The parade is held on the third Thursday in August. 

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Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Lunch Break (11/10/15): Bank robbery leads to police chase, arrest

Posted By on Tue, Nov 10, 2015 at 11:30 AM

An attempted robbery of a Wells Fargo branch on Park Road this morning led to a police chase, ending in the arrest of two men. The men allegedly tried to rob the bank at around 10 a.m. The car chase reportedly ended in west Charlotte near the intersection of LaSalle Street and Beatties Ford Road. 

A woman was pulled to safety through a second-story window during a condo fire in the Elizabeth neighborhood this morning. All residents in the condo are expected to be OK. One cat in the building was killed during the fire, while two others were rescued and given oxygen. The fire reportedly happened around 8:15 a.m. on Vail Avenue, and more than 30 firefighters responded to the scene. 

A plane carrying 98 passengers and five crew members made an emergency landing in Charlotte this morning after an indicator light alerted pilots to a possible mechanical issue. The flight was reportedly traveling from Raleigh to Dallas. Officials said American Airlines Flight 2428 landed safely and crews are currently working on fixing the issue. 

CMPD Chief Kerr Putney addressed city council and other city leaders last night before the council's meeting to discuss a recent spike in violent crime (17% increase) and homicides (47% increase). Putney said the priority should be to recruit more officers, with an emphasis on recruiting native-born men and women. Putney said the department's analysis will be ready by the end of the year. 

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