CMPD has announced that Randolph Road will be entirely shut down near the Cotswold Harris Teeter following a serious car crash there. This news is still developing and it's unclear what caused the accident at this point. (Ryan Pitkin) UPDATE: At 11:47 a.m., CMPD announced that Randolph Road was already re-opened, well ahead of schedule.
The Union County Sheriff's Office is increasing security at a local high school in response to a threat written on a bathroom wall more than two weeks ago. School officials say the threat, written on the wall of a Sun Valley High School bathroom on February 10, is not credible and has been unsubstantiated thus far. Deputies, however, are stepping up patrols today, as the threat is believed to have specified Leap Day in some way. (WBTV Web Staff)
Police have arrested three men in connection with a drive-by shooting in Uptown Charlotte early Sunday morning during which as many as 50 shots were fired from an assault rifle. According to CMPD, nearby security guards heard multiple gunshots at about 4:45 a.m. on Sunday on S. Caldwell Street and saw one suspect fleeing the scene towards a Nissan Altima. The suspect vehicle was pulled over on W. 5th Street and a man fled from the backseat holding an AK-47. That man, identified as Howard Wright, was arrested in a nearby parking deck with the AK-47 and a handgun. The two men in the car with him, Demetrius Bolton and Dereke Bolton, were also taken into custody. All three suspects were charged with three counts of shooting into an occupied dwelling and discharging a firearm in city limits. Thompson and Wright were also charged with carrying a concealed weapon. (Ryan Pitkin)
CMS officials have announced that Metro School in Uptown will close today due to a possible outbreak of the norovirus. Several teachers and students displayed symptoms of the virus yesterday, and school officials sent a letter home on Wednesday to inform parents of the potential for an outbreak. There have not yet been any confirmed cases of the highly contagious but relatively common virus at Metro School, a school for disabled students. (Fox46 Staff)
About 750 Mecklenburg County residents are reportedly still without power this morning following heavy storms on Wednesday. The storms sent trees falling into power lines throughout the county. Charlotte got off relatively well, however, as multiple tornadoes were reported throughout the state, with one confirmed in Granville County and two in Duplin County. (Joe Marusak)
Two years after an elderly woman was found dead in her home off Carmel Road in south Charlotte, CMPD has arrested her son for her murder. Investigators interviewed 58-year-old Irwin Feldman yesterday about his role in the killing of 84-year-old Ina Feldman, his mother, in February 2014. After the interview, they took him into custody. (Ryan Pitkin)
A tractor trailer overturned on an I-485 ramp from Brookshire Boulevard this morning, spilling gypsum alongside the road and closing the ramp for the morning. The accident happened at about 7:45 a.m. The driver was reportedly OK following the accident. It's unclear when the ramp will reopen as crews work to clean the gypsum, which is a nonhazardous material used in home construction. (WSOC Staff)
Police announced yesterday that they have arrested a man they believe to be behind a string of car break-ins at local fire departments. CMPD officers arrested 26-year-old Johnny Bing in connection with the break-ins after locating him in a vehicle that had been identified as a possible suspect vehicle near Northlake Mall yesterday. Bing was found in possession of a firearm that had been stolen from a vehicle during a car break-in in Greensboro on Tuesday. In recent weeks, Bing is suspected to have been involved in targeting the vehicles of firefighters in Charlotte, Huntersville, Cornelius and other surrounding areas while they were out on calls. (Ryan Pitkin)
I’m not sure what the guidelines are on picture-taking at the new Children’s Theatre production of Journey to Oz, written and directed by Christopher Parks. Three or four kids in the audience read the pre-show announcements, and I must confess that I was so focused on how well they managed to talk into the microphones planted on the ears of various adult cast members that I didn’t pay much attention to what they were saying.
Whether or not photos are actually banned, I can report that, at last Saturday afternoon’s performance, there was a photo- and movie-taking orgy as the 75-minute fantasy unfolded. And I can’t say that I heard even one discouraging word from the staffers who were ushering. Children and parents were invited onstage to play a wide assortment of characters from L. Frank Baum’s Wizard of Oz: the Cowardly Lion, the Tin Man, the Scarecrow, and even the Mayor of Munchkinland.
And of course, multiple adorable Dorothys paraded down the aisles of the McColl Family Theatre. Considering that the contours of Tom Burch’s scenic design are the book stacks we might find at a public library – not Baum’s Kansas plains or his rainbow realm of Oz – I’d say that the iPhones gleefully chronicling the misadventures of children, husbands and moms onstage added to the giddy mix of make-believe.
Oz erudition isn’t what it once was when Judy Garland sang “Over the Rainbow” every year on TV without ever aging. So the kids and parents fetched from the audience are far more likely to wander off script than they would have a couple of decades ago. Cast members eschew the subtle discrimination of asking for volunteers, so shyness and stage fright can also come into play.
Charlotte activist Ashley Williams disrupted a private event for Hillary Clinton donors last night, confronting Clinton about a comment made in 1996 during a discussion about a rise in crime rates, saying "we need to bring [at-risk youth] to heel."
Williams and another Charlotte activist who will remain unnamed paid $500 each to get into the fundraiser, held at the private residence of an attorney in Charleston. Williams said some in attendance had paid as much as $10,000 to get in.
Once there, Williams waited until Clinton began addressing the small crowd about her record on race relations and then stood in front of her with a banner depicting the infamous quote. Clinton addressed Williams, stating that she had never been asked about the quote before, while Williams told her, "I am not a super predator," referencing a Clinton quote from the same 1996 speech.
Williams was then escorted out of the building by Secret Service, which she said treated her respectfully and made a point of doing so, while donors in the house yelled for her to leave and cheered Clinton’s response.
Thanks to coverage from Huffington Post and an active response from Black Lives Matters supporters on Twitter and other social media, however, Williams got her message heard loud and clear.
“I’m happy with how the action went,” Williams said this morning over the phone from Charleston before heading back to Charlotte. “I’m happy that people are pressing Hillary on her record. She’s had 20 years to answer the questions I asked her last night.”
She was not impressed with Clinton’s reaction, stammering that she had never been confronted on this issue.
“I think that’s BS,” Williams said of Clinton’s response. “I’m not the first person to ask her. Black people and people affected by mass incarceration have been asking for a long time and it’s also interesting to see who hasn’t been asking. Media – not even left-wing media – nobody wants to go toe to toe with her. Last night was about making her go toe to toe with her own words and making her accountable to black people. I hope people will look into her record more closely and press her and all the other candidates on things that affect people of color; mostly mass incarceration.”
A look at Duke Energy's power outage map (left) showed more than 200 people still without power in Charlotte late this morning, with many more in the greater Charlotte area affected. Heavy storms yesterday knocked down trees and closed roads, sometimes for hours. Multiple trees down on Wilkinson Boulevard forced the city to close that road just before evening rush hour. A large tree also came crashing down on Queen Road just after 7 p.m., closing that road in both directions for hours. The southbound lane was still closed this morning. (Ryan Pitkin)
Five people were arrested at an alleged meth lab just off I-485 in west Charlotte yesterday. A 32-year-old woman and four men, ages ranging from 44 to 60, were found at the residence on Mount Holly Road when a search warrant was served by multiple CMPD units, including SWAT and VICE, along with help from the Charlotte Fire Department and MEDIC, according to a CMPD report. Only two of the men, Robert Grice and Christopher Conner, were arrested on charges related to the meth lab. The other three faced unrelated charges such as possession of marijuana, drug paraphernalia and outstanding warrants. (Ryan Pitkin)
Local government leaders in Matthews and Mint Hill are expressing interest in removing local schools from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school district and creating their own over fears that CMS will try to redistribute students in an attempt to address the growing income gap within CMS. The CMS Board of Education is currently working on a new student assignment plan to help counter the resegregation and growing inequity that's been taking place in the district over the last decade. The mayors of both towns have expressed interest in exploring the option of creating a new district. Any such action would take legislative support from Raleigh. (John Paul, WSOC)
Meteorologists tracking heavy storms through the Carolinas warn that heavy rain and strong winds are on the forecast for Charlotte today, bringing the risk of severe flooding and even the possibility of tornadoes. Reports indicate that the severe weather and tornado threat is shifting towards Raleigh, but Charlotte can still expect winds reaching up to 40 miles per hour and heavy showers that could cause flooding throughout Wednesday. Fallen trees have already left thousands without power around Charlotte. A flash flood watch has been issued in Mecklenburg County until 6 p.m., and a wind advisory has been issued until midnight. At 11 a.m., WSOC meteorologists reported that a tornado watch for the Charlotte area would be issued soon. The hyperlink above provides minute-by-minute updates. (WSOC Staff)
Suspect in kidnapping of Papa John's delivery man.
CMPD is calling on Charlotte residents to help identify two suspects involved in robbing and kidnapping a pizza delivery driver at gunpoint late Monday night. The incident was initially reported at 2:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning, when employees at the Papa John’s restaurant on East 4th Street reported that a delivery driver had not returned from a scheduled delivery. The Archdale Police Department notified CMPD that they had located the victim, and detectives learned that the delivery driver, not identified in reports, was forced out of his vehicle at gunpoint by two suspects. The suspects then drove the man to an ATM, where they withdrew funds from his account. The suspects released him and fled the scene. CMPD has released a photo of the male suspect, who is described as a black male in his mid-20s, and approximately 5’9”. The second suspect is described as a black female. (Madeline Lemieux)
Police have resorted to manually directing traffic through a northeast Charlotte intersection after losing power early Wednesday morning. Electricity powering the stoplights at North Graham Street and Atando Avenue was cut when a power line went down at around 6:30 a.m. Facing severe weather, officers continue to direct traffic as Duke Energy workers attempt to fix the downed lines. A worker working to restore power at the intersection was reportedly shocked and sent to the hospital but is expected to be OK. (WBTV Web Staff)
Ryan Tucker, a 31-year-old Charlotte resident charged with drug trafficking, was sentenced Tuesday to more than 24 years in federal prison, followed by 10 years of supervised release. As the leader of a drug trafficking ring, Tucker brought over a ton of marijuana to Charlotte. Authorities now know that in addition to using commercial freight vehicles to transport drugs from California, Tucker also used a private jet, piloted by his father, Fredrick Elwood Tucker, a former narcotics agent and licensed pilot. The operation profited Tucker over $1.7 million of laundered income. (Fox46 Staff)