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Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Lunch Break (8/23/16): Friends and family gather to remember Daniel Harris, killed by state trooper

Posted By on Tue, Aug 23, 2016 at 11:30 AM

RYAN PITKIN
  • Ryan Pitkin
Family and friends of Daniel Harris held a candlelight vigil last night on the street near his home in northeast Charlotte where the 29-year-old man was killed by a North Carolina State Trooper last Thursday. 

Harris' brother, Sam (right, red shirt) addressed the crowd before asking for a moment of silence. - RYAN PITKIN
  • Ryan Pitkin
  • Harris' brother, Sam (right, red shirt) addressed the crowd before asking for a moment of silence.
The circumstances of Harris' death are still unclear, but the incident began as an attempted traffic stop for speeding on I-485. Family members say Harris, who is deaf, may not have known the police were following him. It has been reported that the state trooper's vehicle was involved in some sort of accident before Harris finally stopped on Seven Oaks Drive, where he lived. Police have said there was an "encounter" between Harris and the trooper trying to take him into custody, but haven't explained any other details. 

At last night's vigil, Daniel's brother, Sam Harris, spoke about how things could have been different
RYAN PITKIN
  • Ryan Pitkin
 had police known his brother was deaf. He also said there will be a memorial for Daniel at First Baptist Church in Uptown this evening at 5 p.m. The family is raising money to pay for the memorial and cremation expenses on a YouCaring page. 

"Any monies left over will be used to set up a foundation in his name to educate and provide law enforcement proper training on how to confront Deaf people," the family wrote on the page. "Subsequently, we hope to change the DMV registration system by requiring states to set up a 'DEAF' alert to appear when law enforcement look up a car's license plate. With this change, Daniel will be a hero in our Deaf community." 

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Police have arrested a man for the murder of a 20-year-old woman in south Charlotte yesterday morning. Police have charged 23-year-old Jalen Anderson with murder, attempted murder and shooting into an occupied property causing serious injury. The victim, Mary Tarr, was shot in a home on Baybrook Lane and Pineville-Matthews Road at around 3 a.m. yesterday. A second female victim was transported to the hospital with serious injuries, but it's unclear what condition she is now in. 

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Sandy Le
  • Sandy Le
Police yesterday confirmed that a body found in the Cabarrus County woods last Wednesday during the search for Truc Quan "Sandy" Le was, in fact, Le's body. Police are still searching for Alexandro Castillo and Ahmia Feaster, Le's coworkers who are believed to be involved in her murder. Castillo and Feaster are believed to have driven Le's car across the country, dumping it in Phoenix, Arizona, and crossing the border into Mexico. 

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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.
Slideshow
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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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." 

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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. 

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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.

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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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Tuesday, August 16, 2016

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

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. 

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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














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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. 

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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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Friday, August 12, 2016

Lunch Break (8/12/16): Man killed during suspected break-in; free 'Sausage Party in Your Mouth'

Posted By on Fri, Aug 12, 2016 at 11:45 AM


A man was killed in west Charlotte last night after he may have attempted to break into an apartment where someone was home. Police say the man, 26-year-old Stan Wilson, Jr., entered an apartment on Park Fairfax Drive at around 7:40 p.m. last night. A struggle ensued, and Wilson was stabbed. He was later pronounced dead at the hospital. Police are currently investigating whether Wilson knew the occupants of the apartment. 

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CMPD released pictures of three men who are all wanted for cutting off and discarding electronic monitoring bracelets they had been ordered to wear as a condition of their pre-trial release. Police ask that anyone who sees the men pictured below call 704-432-8888, option 3, or call 911. 
Kenneth Earl Sumpter is wanted for second-degree kidnapping, attempted second-degree rape and attempted second-degree sex offense. He was last known to be in the area of Equipment Drive.
  • Kenneth Earl Sumpter is wanted for second-degree kidnapping, attempted second-degree rape and attempted second-degree sex offense. He was last known to be in the area of Equipment Drive.
Alexander Garris is wanted for robbery with a dangerous weapon, possession of a firearm by a felon and altering/removing a gun's serial number. He was last known to be in the area of 2300 W. Sugar Creek Road.
  • Alexander Garris is wanted for robbery with a dangerous weapon, possession of a firearm by a felon and altering/removing a gun's serial number. He was last known to be in the area of 2300 W. Sugar Creek Road.
Devine Logan is wanted for robbery with a dangerous weapon. He was last known to be in the parking lot of New Hope Baptist Church on Hawthorne Lane, where his electronic monitor was found.
  • Devine Logan is wanted for robbery with a dangerous weapon. He was last known to be in the parking lot of New Hope Baptist Church on Hawthorne Lane, where his electronic monitor was found.




















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JJ's Red Hots, a perennial winner for Best Hot Dog in Charlotte's annual Best of Charlotte issue (2016 voting open now) will be offering free sausages to customers returning from the film Sausage Party, which opens today. The promotion, which is being called "A Sausage Party in Your Mouth," begins today and will last through Sunday. 

“This sounds like our type of movie so we decided to go all in. This promotion falls squarely in the ‘We don’t take ourselves too seriously’ camp.” said JJ’s proprietor and founder Jonathan Luther in a press release. “We treat our sausages a little better than they did in the movie so go have some laughs then grab some great eats on the house during opening weekend.”

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Photo of Valle Landing fire submitted to Watauga Online. - PHOTO SUBMITTED BY BALD GUY BREW COFFEE ROASTING COMPANY
  • Photo submitted by Bald Guy Brew Coffee Roasting Company
  • Photo of Valle Landing fire submitted to Watauga Online.

Watauga Online
has been updating readers all morning on a massive fire at Valle Landing strip mall, next door to Valle Crucis School. There were reportedly six people in the apartment complex above the strip mall when the fire started. Three were treated on scene, one was transported to a local hospital, another was flown out with life-threatening injuries and yet another is still unaccounted for. At its peak, the fire reached seven alarm status. (Kenneth Reece, Watauga Online

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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Lunch Break (8/10/16): Charlotte shooting suspect shot by officers following chase to Catawba County

Posted By on Wed, Aug 10, 2016 at 11:51 AM


A suspect was shot by police multiple times today in Catawba County following his alleged involvement in a shooting in southeast Charlotte and a long chase with responding officers. CMPD says that officers responded to a call for service at Brook Canyon Drive and W.T. Harris Boulevard, where two victims were reportedly shot. The officers engaged in a pursuit with two suspects in the shooting, and the pursuit came to an end when the suspects struck a utility pole on Highway 16 in Catawba County. According to a statement from police, "Officers attempted to arrest the suspects. One suspect displayed a gun and refused to comply with the officers' commands and made movements with the weapon that threatened the safety of the officers." The suspect was shot multiple times by officers. He was transported to Catawba Regional Hospital with life-threatening injuries. The second suspect was taken into custody without incident. 

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Beginning today, Uber riders in Charlotte will be able to pre-schedule rides, compared to the "come pick me up right this very second" style the app usually offers. "Even though we pride ourselves on providing on-demand rides, we totally get it. When you've got somewhere to be at a very specific time, it’s nice to have extra assurance that a ride will be available when you need it," said Billy Warden in a statement announcing the arrival of scheduled rides in Charlotte. The global rollout of this feature was announced in June. Riders will be able to schedule rides for as little as 15 minutes in the future to as many as 30 days. 

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Tenisha Wells
  • Tenisha Wells
Patrick Chambers
  • Patrick Chambers
CMPD is taking advantage of a lull in homicides so far this month to go back and wrap-up investigations on some of July's unsolved murders. Yesterday, police announced the arrest of two suspects in the death of a two-year-old child in east Charlotte on July 25. The child had been found unresponsive at a home on Farm Pond Lane and investigators later found that the toddler had been assaulted. Following the  child's death, police said there were "several adults who were in the position to provide care to the child in the days leading up to his death." Yesterday, detectives arrested the child's mother, 25-year-old Tenisha Wells, and her boyfriend, 28-year-old Patrick Chambers. Both suspects have been charged with murder.
Ricco McHam, Jr.
  • Ricco McHam, Jr.
 

Police also arrested a man this morning for the Independence Day slaying of 19-year-old Markas Vereen. Vereen was one of two people suffering from gunshot  wounds inside a car that struck the emergency room entrance at Novant Presbyterian Hospital on July 4. This morning, police wrapped up an interview with their suspect in the case, Ricco McHam, Jr., 18, and charged him with murder and possession of a firearm by a felon. 

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Monday, August 8, 2016

Lunch Break (8/8/16): Phil Berger's birthday cake is somewhat disturbing

Posted By on Mon, Aug 8, 2016 at 11:55 AM


Briana Richard
  • Briana Richard
CMPD investigators announced early this morning that they have located a woman who went missing on Saturday and charged a man in her disappearance. Police released a missing person alert on Saturday stating that 21-year-old Briana Richard had gone missing under suspicious circumstances. This morning, they announced that Richard has been located and that police have arrested and charged Allan Spencer with breaking and entering with the intent to terrorize. CMPD also said additional warrants have been signed in this case but did not identify what those charges were. 

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A staff member for N.C. Sen. Phil Berger tweeted out a picture of the state senator's birthday cake this morning and it looks like something out of The Colbert Report's graphics department. We present the following tweet without further comment: 

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Investigators with CMPD, North Carolina Department of Labor and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are looking into a fatal accident that occurred in north Charlotte on Sunday evening. Police say 46-year-old Dexter Marion was operating a "yard hopper" at Howell Motor Freight on Metromont Industrial Boulevard when he exited the vehicle and it rolled back from the dock and struck him. 

A yard hopper is an unregistered tractor trailer cab that  is used solely to move trailers around a business property. Marion was pronounced dead by MEDIC on the scene at 6:50 p.m., just four minutes after the call came in. 

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Concord firefighters rescued a man from a burning building early this morning. Crews responded to reports of a house fire on Arbington Drive at around 3 a.m. and entered the home to see if anyone was trapped inside. That’s when they found the man, who was unresponsive. The man was transported to the hospital for treatment, but fire officials expect that he’ll recover. While the man was taken away for treatment, an estimated 33 firefighters were on-scene fighting the fire. Officials haven’t determined what caused the fire or the extent of damage. (WBTV Web Staff) 

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Friday, August 5, 2016

Lunch Break (8/5/16): Environmentalists file FOIA request to make McCrory prove perjury accusations

Posted By on Fri, Aug 5, 2016 at 12:16 PM

Michael Zytkow and Debra Baker, a neighbor of the Allen Steam Station who's been living off of bottled water supplied by Duke Energy for over a year, speak at a press conference in Charlotte this morning. - PHOTO BY LEYSHA CARABALLO
  • Photo by Leysha Caraballo
  • Michael Zytkow and Debra Baker, a neighbor of the Allen Steam Station who's been living off of bottled water supplied by Duke Energy for over a year, speak at a press conference in Charlotte this morning.

Residents and organizers with groups like Greenpeace held a press conference at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center after delivering an official public records request to Gov. Pat McCrory's local office there.

The request asks for any correspondence from McCrory, his communications director Josh Ellis, and a number of other state employees on April 2, 2015, the day Dr. Kenneth Rudo testified he was called to McCrory's office and asked to rescind or revise a do-not-drink advisory he had helped draft for those living near Duke Energy's coal ash ponds. McCrory has denied being involved with any such meeting with Rudo. Yesterday, Creative Loafing reported on the reactions of some residents affected by the toxic leakage from coal ash ponds to the Rudo testimony. 

"We would hope that the government will fulfill its duty to provide this information," said Michael Zytkow, who delivered the request this morning. "I think the public has a right to know, especially when we have McCrory's staff directly calling Rudo a liar. We have two different stories floating out there and I think the public has a right to now which is true and how the government acted in response to this crisis." 

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Amy Chiou
  • Amy Chiou
Queen City Forward (QCF), a Charlotte-based hub for social entrepreneurs, announced the appointment of Amy Chiou as its next executive director yesterday. Chiou is co-founder and CEO of Ballot, a free mobile app that makes voting easier. She's been living in Philadelphia for much of 2016, working with the Democratic National Convention. She has served on QCF's Advisory COuncil since November 2015. 

"I have watched Queen City Forward blossom over the years, by creating opportunity and fostering innovation in our community," Chiou said in a press release. "I see incredible potential and look forward to helping Queen City Forward find its voice as a place where great ideas grow." 

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Rain or shine, it's safe to say thousands of fans will turn out for a much anticipated Carolina Panthers Fan Fest at Bank of America tonight. It's the first Panthers football action in Charlotte since the team's disappointing Super Bowl loss in February. This year marks the first time tickets are needed to enter the event, which is basically a glorified practice.

The tickets were given out free by the Panthers organization, although some people are selling them for as much as $100 online, according to this story from Alex Giles with WBTV. Either way, the event will surely be full of fans who have been starving for some football during the dog days of summer. 

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Thursday, August 4, 2016

Neighbors weigh in on recently unveiled coal ash testimony

Posted By on Thu, Aug 4, 2016 at 2:57 PM

A yard sign in Gaston County near the Allen Steam Station calls for clean tap water. Many in the area are still living off bottled water provided by Duke Energy, as they have for about a year and a half now. - PHOTO COURTESY OF AMY BROWN
  • Photo courtesy of Amy Brown
  • A yard sign in Gaston County near the Allen Steam Station calls for clean tap water. Many in the area are still living off bottled water provided by Duke Energy, as they have for about a year and a half now.


Local residents and organizations are calling for answers after the release of testimony from toxicologist Ken Rudo that highlights the way he says Gov. Pat McCrory tried to cover up the dangers involved with drinking well water near Duke Energy's coal ash ponds.

In his testimony, Rudo stated that he was called to McCrory's office in 2015 and challenged by a staff member about an advisory he had helped draft warning residents near Duke's coal ash pits not to drink their water. The do-not-drink advisory was eventually reversed by the Department of Health and Human Services in early 2016 in a move that Rudo called "highly unethical" and "possibly illegal."

Following the release of Rudo's testimony, McCrory called a late-night press conference denying that he was part of any such meeting, accusing Rudo of perjury. 

This morning, Creative Loafing received a statement from Amy Brown, a resident who lives with her children near Duke Energy's Allen Steam Station in Gaston County. Brown explained why she trusts Rudo's testimony.

"Dr. Rudo has been consistent in this nightmare of over a year that Duke Energy's neighbors have been forced to live," Brown said. "So many times we asked, 'Who is protecting us?' while our neighbor Duke Energy continues to deny contaminating our well with their unlined, leaking, toxic coal ash ponds that sit in the groundwater. As our governor ignored our cries for help for over a year, Dr. Rudo was consistent."

Debra Baker speaks at a previous coal ash press conference in front of the Allen Steam Station. - PHOTO COURTESY OF DEBRA BAKER
  • Photo courtesy of Debra Baker
  • Debra Baker speaks at a previous coal ash press conference in front of the Allen Steam Station.
We also heard from Brown's neighbor, Debra Baker, who agreed. 

"Dr. Rudo wasn't laying the blame on anyone," Baker wrote in an email. "He is a true medical professional that cared for his fellow human beings' safety! Who else makes 200 personal calls to inform us about our water results and to not drink, ingest, or cook with it? I trust Dr. Rudo and no one else!"

Both Brown and Baker are still living on bottled water provided by Duke Energy and have been for well over a year. 

In a statement released yesterday, Progress NC Action executive director Gerrick Brenner called on McCrory to prove his claims that he did not participate in the meeting with Rudo by releasing records of his whereabouts on April 2, 2015.

“Gov. McCrory’s latest desperate attempt to cover up Duke Energy’s coal ash pollution is a new low,” Brenner wrote. “If you’re going to accuse a 30-year state employee of lying under oath, you’d better be able to show some evidence — which the governor’s office has failed to do. If Gov. McCrory was not phoning into this meeting, then where was he? What was he doing? We know he was not meeting with any of the hundreds of families across North Carolina who are struggling with contaminated well water near coal ash waste pits. The well water families have been calling for a meeting with the governor to plead their case for last year. Pat McCrory, the former Duke Energy employee, has completely ignored them.”

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