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Police: Man shot multiple times in Chester

Police are investigating after a man was shot multiple times overnight in Chester.

Officers found the victim in his car along the railroad tracks on Lancaster Street near Clack's convenience store around 1:30 a.m. They said he was shot three times.

Paramedics took the man to Chester Regional Hospital in critical condition. His name has not been released.

Check back with for updates on this story.

Published: Fri, 01 Aug 2014 08:54:56 -0400

CMPD: Man shot in the leg in southwest Charlotte

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police are trying to determine who shot a man in southwest Charlotte Friday morning.

Officers responded to the 400 block of Huntsmoor Drive around 8 a.m. and found a man with a gunshot wound to the leg.

Paramedics rushed him to Carolinas Medical Center with life-threatening injuries.

No arrests have been made.

Check back with for updates on this developing story.

Published: Fri, 01 Aug 2014 08:26:29 -0400

Bill Clinton: 'I could have killed' Bin Laden

Sky News Australia has just uncovered chilling audio of former president Bill Clinton admitting he passed up an opportunity to attack Osama bin Laden. Clinton's remarks came on Sept. 10, 2001 — one day before the horrific 9/11 attacks.

"I could have killed him, but I would have had to destroy a little town called Kandahar in northern Afghanistan, and kill 300 innocent women and children. And then I would have been no better than him."

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Sky News Australia obtained that audio clip from former Australian politician Michael Kroger, who said Clinton made those remarks during a fundraiser. Hours later, the September 11 terrorist attacks orchestrated by bin Laden killed almost 3,000 people. (Via Getty Images)

Now, the fact that Clinton had a shot at bin Laden isn't news; as these surveillance tapes aired in 2004 byNBC show, the CIA had been able to pin down bin Laden's location at least once in the past.

And the 2004 report from the 9/11 Commission concluded the Clinton administration had at least two good chances to kill bin Laden, but didn't take either over concerns of collateral damage.

But it's the eerie timing of Clinton's remarks which grabbed headlines, mostly from conservative outlets. But instead of simply condemning the former Democratic president for not taking action, the right's response is a bit more complex.

Eric Bolling, from Fox News said, "We lost 3,000 Americans the very next morning. Things might have been different."

When Bolling tried to use Clinton's remarks to stir up some outrage, Mediaite notes​ "The rest of the Five hosts honestly didn’t really find anything too outrageous, and there were even some defensive words spoken in favor of Clinton."

And Clinton seems to have been spared the wrath of some other conservative media sites as well. A writer for Hot Air, while still critical of Clinton's decision, points out 9/11 fundamentally changed how America views the fight against terrorism.

"​Post-9/11, when you’ve got a big fish on the hook, you reel him in come what may. ... There’s a reason why the term 'September 10th mentality' exists, and Bill Clinton’s not the only one who was guilty of it."

Bin Laden was ultimately killed in May 2011 during a raid on his hideout in Abbottabad, Pakistan.

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Published: Fri, 01 Aug 2014 08:02:11 -0400

Police: Former employee shoots CEO, takes own life

A former employee of the Chicago tech company ArrowStream critically wounded the company's CEO after he demanded a one-on-one meeting with him on Thursday, according to multiple reports.

59-year-old Anthony DeFrances was one of several employees who was demoted during the company's downsizing, Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said.

Upset over the move, DeFrances demanded a one-on-one meeting with 54-year-old Steven LaVoie, the company's CEO, on Thursday morning.

Shortly after enterting LaVoie's office, located in a high-rise building in the city's financial district, a scuffle ensued, and LaVoie suffered two shots, one in the head and one in the stomach. Reports say DeFrances then turned the weapon on himself and took his own life. 

"Apparently [DeFrances] was despondent over the fact that he got demoted," McCarthy told media outlets. 

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McCarthy then said while there is security in the building, there was no reason to suspect DeFrances of any suspicious activity on the morning of. He was a long-time employee with a personal grudge that ended unfortunately, McCarthy said.

Another building employee told one outlet that there are no metal detectors in the building, however. 

LaVoie was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, pronounced in critical condition and underwent surgery. 

There were about 10 people in the ArrowStream office at the time of the shooting, but no other injuries were reported.

Building employees were alerted via email and intercom a few minutes after the incident and were instructed to stay at their desks. 

The incident happened in the Bank of America building, which is walking distance from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and two blocks from Willis Tower, one of the country's tallest skyscrapers. 

Published: Fri, 01 Aug 2014 07:36:23 -0400

Jack-knifed tractor trailer closes busy uptown road

Crews were working to clear a busy road near uptown after a tractor trailer crash early Friday morning.

Emergency crews said the tractor trailer jack-knifed around 6 a.m. on the inbound Independence Blvd. ramp to the Brookshire Freeway.

Nobody was hurt in the crash but crews had to close the ramp while they tried to remove the big rig.

The tractor trailer was towed away before 9 a.m. but the ramp was still shut down as crews clean up spilled diesel fuel. Officials have not said when they hope to reopen it.

Check back with for updates on this story.

Published: Fri, 01 Aug 2014 05:54:47 -0400

TSA offering cash for ideas to speed up screening lines

(AP) If you have a better idea for moving people through airport queues, the Transportation Security Administration wants to hear it.

In fact, the TSA is offering rewards totaling up to $15,000 for the best ideas for a queuing system.

The TSA has long relied on the age-old first-come, first-served system that uses retractable belts and barriers to guide waiting travelers through checkpoints.

But the TSA has several categories of travelers to screen, including premium travelers, passengers in wheelchairs, pilots and crew members, as well as fliers using TSA’s PreCheck program, which offers faster screening for those who voluntarily submit background information.

Putting all of these travelers in the same lines creates confusion and delays.

The challenge, said TSA spokesman Ross Feinstein, “is about leveraging innovation and out-of-the-box thinking to find solutions to TSA’s most challenging issues.”

The TSA will award one prize of at least $5,000 and others of at least $2,500 for the best ideas.

The deadline is Aug. 15, with submissions being accepted online.

Published: Fri, 01 Aug 2014 05:32:33 -0400

US warns against traveling to Ebola-hit countries

(AP) U.S. health officials on Thursday warned Americans not to travel to the three West African countries hit by an outbreak of Ebola.

The travel advisory applies to nonessential travel to Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, where the deadly disease has killed more than 700 people this year.

"The bottom line is Ebola is worsening in West Africa," said Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who announced the travel warning.

He called Ebola "a tragic, dreadful and merciless virus."

The purpose of the travel warning is to not only protect U.S. travelers, but limit their use of overburdened clinics and hospitals for injuries or other illnesses, he said.

Also Thursday, the White House said it is looking into options for bringing back two American aid workers sick with Ebola in Liberia. It would be the first time the disease was brought into the country.

For more than a month, CDC has advised travelers to simply take precautions when in the outbreak region. Thursday's alert is the highest-level. The World Health Organization, however, has not issued a similar travel warning for the West Africa region. The last time the CDC issued a high-level warning was in 2003 because of a SARS outbreak in Asia.

The current outbreak is the largest since the disease first emerged in Africa nearly 40 years ago. The virus is contagious and is spread by direct contact with blood or bodily fluids from a sick person. Ebola can't be spread like flu through casual contact or breathing in the same air.

Experts estimate that in this outbreak, about 60 percent of the people who have gotten sick with Ebola have died — a frightening fatality rate that is among the highest of any disease. There is no vaccine and no specific treatment for it.

The two American aid workers in Liberia diagnosed with Ebola are Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, who work for North Carolina-based groups. Writebol was getting an experimental treatment, the mission groups said Thursday.

"I remain hopeful and believing that Kent will be healed from this dreadful disease," Brantly's wife, Amber, said in a statement released by the aid group he works with, Samaritan's Purse. She and the couple's two young children left Liberia for Texas before her husband was infected, and she said they are fine.

Late Thursday afternoon, officials at Atlanta's Emory University Hospital said they expected one of the Americans to be transferred there "within the next several days." The hospital declined to identify which aid worker, citing privacy laws.

The hospital, which is near the CDC's main campus, has a special isolation unit built in collaboration with the CDC. It is one of only four facilities of its kind in the United States.

At the White House, press secretary Josh Earnest said that while the U.S. government would facilitate any transfer to the U.S., private companies would be used to transport them.

The CDC has about two dozen staffers in West Africa to help try to control the outbreak. Frieden on Thursday said the CDC will send 50 more in the next month. CDC workers in Africa also are helping at airports to help screen passengers, he said.

The CDC has said that the risk of a traveler bringing the Ebola virus to the United States remains small. On Monday, the agency sent a health alert to U.S. doctors, updating them about the outbreak. The alert stressed they should ask about foreign travel in patients who come down with Ebola-like symptoms, including fever, headache, vomiting and diarrhea.

Even if a traveler infected with Ebola came to the U.S., the risk of an outbreak is considered very low, Frieden said. Patients are contagious only when they show symptoms and U.S. hospitals are well equipped to isolate cases and control spread of the virus.

Frieden also noted that relatively few people travel from West Africa to the United States. He said about 10,000 travelers from those countries come to the United States in an average three- or four-month period, and most do not arrive on direct flights.

The CDC has staff at 20 U.S. airports and border crossings. They evaluate any travelers with signs of dangerous infectious diseases, and isolate them when necessary. The agency is prepared to increase that staffing if needed, he said.

Frieden said a widespread Ebola outbreak in the United States "is not in the cards."

Published: Fri, 01 Aug 2014 05:04:40 -0400

NC Senate gives OK to $21.1 billion state budget

(AP) Senate lawmakers passed a $21.1 billion budget early Friday which gives teachers raises and funnels $113 million to kindergarten and college classrooms statewide.

The Senate voted 33-10 to pass the budget shortly before 1 a.m. Friday with no discussion. The vote follows a marathon week of crafting and debating the spending deal.

The House is scheduled to take preliminary votes on the budget Friday, with a final vote likely early Saturday morning. Both chambers have Republican supermajorities and the spending plan negotiated over several weeks with House members is expected to pass easily.

The budget also includes vouchers allowing children to attend private and religious schools with taxpayer money and maintains current spending on the state's public university system. Most state employees get a $1,000 annual raise and five extra vacation days. Medicaid provider rates were cut. Child care subsidies were reduced.

Senate leader Phil Berger said the budget reflects a state still righting itself from the Great Recession. He credited tough choices by Republican lawmakers since winning legislative majorities in 2010.

"We've been digging out of a hole for four years now, and we're just about out," said Berger, R-Rockingham.

The losers in the 2014-15 spending plan for the year that started a month ago include Attorney General Roy Cooper, a Democrat looking ahead to challenging Republican Gov. Pat McCrory in two years. His agency is losing $33 million and nearly 450 full-time positions — about 40 percent of his agency — as lawmakers move the State Bureau of Investigation to an agency headed by a McCrory appointee. Critics in both major political parties said they were concerned the SBI could lose the independence needed for an agency that investigates public corruption and other crimes.

McCrory must veto the entire budget or allow it to become law. He has not indicated his intent but said his initial impression was "positive."

The plan uses $620 million in savings from the previous year. Lawmakers this year needed to cover the $282 million cost of higher salaries for public school teachers and tax collections that are hundreds of millions of dollars below expectations. Legislative staffers last week estimated the effect of income tax cuts approved last year will be $680 million this year, greater than the $475 million previously estimated.

Nearly $42 million more will be spent this year to reduce class sizes in kindergarten to 18 children per teacher and to 17 students per teacher in first grade, an increase of 760 positions. Teaching assistants, whose jobs were threatened, are preserved. Funding for the Teaching Fellows program, which gives college scholarships to students in exchange for working as educators, is eliminated.

Teachers, now among the lowest paid nationally, get raises ranging from 0.3 percent for the most senior educators to nearly 19 percent for those in their fifth year. School administrators will receive about $800 more while office workers and other non-certified staff receive $500.

Critics like Ed Bermudez of Pittsboro and Susan Cummings of Cary said they were unimpressed by Republican lawmakers who they blame for cutting education funding last year and restoring some of it ahead of this year's elections.

"The raise is just a political ploy to make people think that they care, but teachers are still exiting and going to other states" where they can get better pay, Cummings said.

The budget restores $11.8 million cut last year to account for lower public school enrollment as about 2,500 students used a new voucher program to move to private or religious schools. Attorneys trying to block the voucher plan argued the cut was evidence that lawmakers were transferring public funds to private schools.

Weeks before the $10 million program launches this academic year, lawmakers also provided included $840,000 in the budget to expand it.

Other provisions:

— Set up an education endowment fund which can collect donations from corporations and people who want to increase teacher pay.

— Create a second choice in standard license plates. The slogan "First in Flight" has been on North Carolina plates for three decades. Vehicle owners could also choose one that says "First in Freedom," honoring the early demands of North Carolina leaders for American independence in 1775 and 1776.

— Set aside $186 million for Medicaid contingencies. The state spends $3.5 billion annually to treat 1.7 million Medicaid recipients, and the program has had almost annual cost overruns for years.

— Establish a $10 million grant fund to attract films, TV shows and commercials, replacing a tax credit that last year cost the state $61 million.

— Ban individuals or state agencies from use of a drone to conduct surveillance without permission. There are exceptions for media covering news or public events. Police could use drones to respond to the high risk of a terrorist attack, to prevent "imminent danger" to life, or to search for missing persons.

Published: Fri, 01 Aug 2014 05:00:08 -0400

NC Senate approves county sales tax changes

(AP) North Carolina's Senate has agreed to a new omnibus tax bill allowing some urban counties to levy an additional sales-and-use tax as long as they put it to a vote by November.

A new version of the tax bill surfaced on the Senate floor Thursday just before midnight and was voted on early Friday.

The bill increases the cap on the county sales tax rate to 2.75 percent but allows Wake, Guilford, Forsyth Mecklenburg counties to put a sales tax on the ballot.

Guilford and Mecklenburg counties already have a quarter cent sales tax on the ballot, and Wake County is considering it. Under the bill, Wake County would have 90 days to decide whether to put the tax to a vote. Counties could use money from the tax for education and public transportation.

"They now will have the opportunity to have a 2.75 and therefore you should be thrilled and happy that you achieved your goal," said Sen. Bob Rucho, R-Mecklenburg.

Wake County officials would have to scramble to organize and get the initiative on the ballot, said Sen. Dan Blue, D-Wake. The measure meddles into things Wake County people should be deciding for themselves, he said.

"I don't know why you're singling Wake County out for this treatment," he said. "It's unfair to keep heaping on Wake County these extra burdens you're putting on us."

The bill is another case of the state exerting power over local governments, said Sen. Josh Stein, D-Wake.

"This is an example of you telling the people of Wake County that you know better than we what our priorities are and you don't," he said.

Democrats were satisfied with the economic development portions of the tax bill, which includes a job development grant program, and a job catalyst fund to help local governments create jobs. It also orders a study of historic rehabilitation incentives.

A previous version of the bill limited nearly all of the state's 100 counties to a local sales- and use-tax of 2.5 percent, including the six urban counties currently allowed to raise the sales tax to 2.75 percent.

Consumers in more than 70 counties currently pay a combined state and local sales tax of 6.75 percent. Other counties have slightly higher rates.

The bill now goes to the House for approval.

Published: Fri, 01 Aug 2014 04:43:37 -0400

Wife of former coach accused of sex assault takes stand in trial

The wife of former wrestling coach Scott Goins took the stand Thursday in his defense. Goins was accused of sexually assaulting three of the wrestlers he coached at East Gaston High School.
Angela Goins told the jury her husband was like a father figure to wrestlers.
"They were very tight. They were brothers toward each other," she told the jury.
The defense also called two of Goins' former wrestlers to the stand. They described him as a tough coach.
"He would push us. He had a 'don't stop' mentality that pushed us to the brink," said Michael Bedard. 
When asked if he noticed any physical abuse by Goins, he said, “No.” 
His brother Mark Bedard said he never noticed anything unusual while the team was away on trips.
Their father Ed Bedard told the jury that in 2011 he heard rumors Goins had abused one of his athletes.

He said he asked one of the accusers about it directly. 
"I said, 'I'm hearing some rumors,'” said Edward Bedard, parent. “'Do I need to worry about anything with my boys?' He said, ‘No.’”

Goins' wife will likely take the stand again Friday for cross examination.

Published: Thu, 31 Jul 2014 22:31:43 -0400

Pharmacy on Freedom Drive robbed

Police are still searching for the person who robbed a pharmacy Thursday in northwest Charlotte.
Officials said an armed person robbed Doc’s Pharmacy off Freedom Drive.
Chopper 9 Skyzoom saw one police car outside the business around 2:30 p.m.
Police said they also had K-9 units and their helicopter searching for the person.

Read more top trending stories on

Official: Preliminary test of CMC patient shows malaria

Charlotte Premium Outlets open to thousands of shoppers

Police search for gunman after man killed in northwest Charlotte

Adoptive parents of Erica Parsons arrested on federal fraud charges

Heat stays away but showers return Thursday

Published: Thu, 31 Jul 2014 22:25:36 -0400

Woman trapped in car for 8 days shares her story

In June, 62-year-old Kay Springer disappeared and was later found trapped in her car in a ditch.

Her rescue came after eight long days without much food and or water. Her inhaler also ran out on the first day. She said she hallucinated and saw movie stars, rescue workers and her own children.

On Thursday she spoke about how she survived.

Springer's miraculous story begins when became disoriented in the middle of running errands. She ended up along the Arkansas River below a local Oklahoma highway. Her car was stuck in the mud and the only way out was up steep embankments. There was no way she would be able to climb out.

“People ask me if I was afraid," Springer sead. "Well, I didn’t have the brain capacity to be afraid.”

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After Springer was rescued, doctors were able to figure out how she had gotten lost. She was once again fighting cancer.

“The tumor came back and swelled up and just knocked me out,” Springer said. “I begged and I pleaded for someone to help me and no one would,” she said.

The days dragged on and Springer drifted in and out of a present state of mind. Even when she understood her situation, her COPD prevented her from getting to help.

“I could see the exit. I could see the road. I could see the trucks going by,” Springer said.

She knew she needed to find a way to get water, which is when she remembered the shopping bags from the errands she’d run. They made perfect rain catchers.

“I’d tie them up and hang them on the car doors,” Springer said.

Finally a fisherman saw Springer from the river. “And I thought OK, is this guy real? Is he my miracle?” Springer said.

He was her miracle and Springer got to go home to her family.

“I was not going to die down there. I’d have sat there forever. I was not going to die,” Springer said.

Springer had the tumor removed in the last few weeks. Doctors were able to get all of it and now she’s getting radiation and spending time at home with her four grandchildren. 

Published: Thu, 31 Jul 2014 22:00:24 -0400

Man wearing bright yellow shirt robs Mount Holly bank

A man wearing a bright yellow shirt and hiding his face behind sunglasses robbed a bank Thursday in Mount Holly.
He was also wearing a white and black baseball cap.
Officials say he held up the Park Sterling Bank off South Main Street just before 5 p.m.

No injuries were reported.
If you have any information, call Mount Holly police.     

Read more top trending stories on

Official: Preliminary test of CMC patient shows malaria

Charlotte Premium Outlets open to thousands of shoppers

Police search for gunman after man killed in northwest Charlotte

Adoptive parents of Erica Parsons arrested on federal fraud charges

Heat stays away but showers return Thursday

Published: Thu, 31 Jul 2014 21:54:31 -0400

VIDEO: Sisters reunited after 67 years

A Washington woman had a dream come true Thursday morning: She got to speak to her sister whom she had not seen in nearly 70 years.

The sisters talked online via Skype, in the presence of a news crew.

"There she is!" Mandy Eklund said. "Hi, Ann!”

"Doing well,” her sister responded. “You look great!"

For Mandy Eklund, "great" is an understatement.  She said seeing her sister Ann was beyond words.

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Mandy was adopted as an infant and taken across the country to Washington State.  She always knew she had a sister, but she never had the details.

Mandy Eklund's daughter, Marjorie Lyon, spent many years searching records and working the Internet before she finally found what appeared to be her mother's biological family in Texas. That led to an initial phone call to Texas, and finally on Thursday, the two sisters saw each other for the first time in 67 years.

The sisters said they’ll continue Skype chats, but hope for a face-to-face visit. Ann lives in west Texas and is eager to see the lush greenery of the Pacific Northwest. Ann's relatives own the old family farm in the northeast corner of the Lone Star State, and they're hoping Mandy and her family can make it to a grand family reunion sometime in the future.

Published: Thu, 31 Jul 2014 21:09:32 -0400

Report finds immigrant children in federal custody aren't getting adequate care

Unaccompanied immigrant children who are being held in federal custody are not getting adequate food or emergency medical care, and are suffering from chicken pox, scabies, and lice, according to an investigative report released Thursday by the Department of Homeland Security.

The report from the Office of Inspector General outlines conditions found by inspectors who arrived unannounced at five temporary housing facilities between July 1 and July 16. The facilities are located in Tucson, Ariz., El Paso and Houston in Texas, and El Centro and San Diego in California.

According to the report, federal investigators “used the checklist, along with observations and interviews” to evaluate how unaccompanied children who have been taken into custody in the United States are being treated.

“When feasible, we ensured that immediate action was taken to correct deficiencies noted during site visits,” the report summary continues.

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Among the problems discovered, children and their families often need treatment for diseases, “including respiratory illnesses, tuberculosis, chicken pox, and scabies.”

Bathroom facilities were found to be unsanitary, water is not potable, sinks and toilets are not “operable and sanitary.”

“In one location, we observed that contractors did not provide an adequate amount of food,” according to investigators. In some housing facilities, employees report that they’re buying food with their own money to supplement what is given to the children. They are also reportedly “donating clothing, toys and games.”

Additionally, the report states that “temperatures in DHS facilities were inconsistent. In some facilities, DHS employees cannot adjust the thermostats.”

All five of the facilities named in the report are located in Southwestern states that are experiencing extreme summer heat in July. On Thursday, the temperature in El Centro, Calif., where one of the inspected facilities is located, reached a high of 113 degrees.

Investigators outlined a list of recommendations for the facilities, but did not specify which exact location was non-compliant with which issues.

The report shines some light on the bureaucratic difficulties that federal agencies are dealing with in trying to accommodate the large influx of children into the U.S.

The Department of Homeland Security is keeping unaccompanied children in federal custody “longer than 72 hours because no permanent shelter is available,” according to the report.

Some facilities are also struggling to maintain an adequate ratio of staff-to-child, with certain locations only having one employee for every 25 children.

Tens of thousands of unaccompanied children have been flooding the U.S. border from Central America, without parents or documentation, causing the Department of Homeland Security to declare a crisis and open temporary shelters in multiple states.

A $3.5 billion bill to address the crisis failed to pass in the U.S. Senate on Thursday on a procedural vote, falling short of the 60 votes needed. The vote came just hours before the Senate adjourns for a five-week recess.

Published: Thu, 31 Jul 2014 20:17:36 -0400

21-year-old presumed drowned in Mountain Island Lake

After sunrise Friday morning, rescue crews plan to resume their search for a young man believed to have drowned in Mountain Island Lake.

Officials said the man and his friends were jumping off the bridge on Brookshire Blvd. into the water Thursday evening.

Witnesses told Channel 9 that the 21-year-old was at the bridge with his sister and that he jumped off the bridge into the water around 7:30 p.m., resurfaced for a moment, and then went back under.

Emergency crews were stationed at the Riverbend boat landing in Gaston County near Highway 16 Thursday night as the ramp was closed to the public.

“It got choppy. I mean it was calm for a while and right when it started raining it picked up. It got a little worse,” said boater Brandon Downing.

Authorities said the man’s sister was the one who called 911. His name has not been released.

The search and recovery effort is expected to continue Friday around 8:30 a.m.

Check back with for updates on this story.

Published: Thu, 31 Jul 2014 20:05:10 -0400

Infant locked in a vehicle saved by man with ball bat

An infant locked in a vehicle Thursday afternoon was saved by a bystander who used a ball bat to break one of the windows.

Kettering police Lt. William Karolyi said the mom inadvertently locked her keys in her vehicle in a parking lot after loading groceries and her 2-month-old.

She called police, who arrived within 4 minutes, he said.

A Kettering officer went to the police cruiser to get a tool used to break vehicle windows. But before the officer returned, a bystander who had parked nearby got a baseball bat from his vehicle and used it to bust up one of the windows.

Karolyi said the baby, having been in the car about 10 minutes, was unresponsive but began crying when some water was used to rouse the child.

The mom won't be charged. Karolyi said. The child was taken to Dayton Children's Hospital as a precaution.

Published: Thu, 31 Jul 2014 19:28:00 -0400

Expert: Feds to closely monitor adoptive parents of Erica Parsons

Criminal defense experts said federal authorities will be closely monitoring the parents of a missing Rowan County teenager while they await trial on 76 counts of fraud and theft.
Casey and Sandy Parsons were fitted with electronic monitoring systems Thursday at the federal Probation & Pre-Trial Services Office in their hometown of Fayetteville.
The Parsons also turned over a firearm that remained in their home following a search on Wednesday by FBI agents, per orders of a federal judge in court on Wednesday.
No one was inside the Parsons' home when a Channel 9 crew went there Thursday but experts said they are free to come and go as they please pending trial.
"Traditionally, in fraud sorts of cases, where it's not an act of violence, the presumption is an unsecured bond and that's how the person has been released," said criminal defense expert Brad Smith.
Smith, an attorney who defends his clients in federal court, said the case of the Parsons' adopted daughter Erica Parsons who is missing has no bearing on whether a judge would decide to keep them behind bars.
“As outraged as the public may be, the judge's hands are tied,” Smith said. “He has to treat every single person that comes in front of him the same."
Smith said federal judges set bond based on two conditions; whether the defendants are a flight risk and if they are considered a danger to society.
"Do they have a private jet? No. Do they have a home in a non-extradition country? No. Are they felons? There's no prior criminal history in this case that I'm aware of," Smith said.
As part of the conditions of their release, the Parsons will have to remain in the eastern part of North Carolina and must abide by all local and state laws.
The Parsons must also wear the electronic monitor bracelets and meet periodically with the pre-trial officer assigned to their case.
"Those conditions are almost like a contract. You're going stay out of jail, pending trial, as long as you (abide) by these conditions," Smith said.

Published: Thu, 31 Jul 2014 17:30:00 -0400

CMPD chief: Officer dragged, run over, saved by helmet

Charlotte’s police chief said an officer dragged and then run over by a car he was trying to stop Tuesday may have been saved by his helmet.
Officer Richard “Brad” Starnes, a motorcycle officer, had road rash and a broken leg after he managed to free himself from that car on Reagan Drive in north Charlotte. 
“He's very fortunate. He knows that and we know that,” Chief Rodney Monroe told Eyewitness News Thursday.
Monroe said Starnes had pulled the car on West Sugar Creek Road and then tried to reach into the car to keep it from taking off again.
“He made a motion to either put the car in park or retrieve the keys, and that's when the individual grabbed him and more or less pulled him into the vehicle,” Monroe said.
Monroe said he has seen video from a patrol car’s dash camera that shows Starnes’ helmet hitting the pavement after he is freed from the car.
“He was at grave risk -- based on the speed and the way that he came off of that vehicle, it could've killed him,” Monroe said.
The two suspects in the case, Clay and Maurice Cash, said nothing as they made their court appearances on Thursday afternoon.
Family members also declined to comment on the case.

Read past coverage: 2 charged with attempted murder after CMPD officer injured

Published: Thu, 31 Jul 2014 17:26:56 -0400

Police: Driver in chase, standoff stole dump truck from work

Authorities took a man into custody Thursday night following a chase that led to a three-hour standoff in Iredell County near a rest stop on Interstate 77.

The man surrendered peacefully.
About 3:30 p.m., James Keith Call of Hiddenite robbed an individual at the intersection of Old Mountain Road and Hickory Highway, according to authorities.
He got away in a dump truck he stole from his employeer earlier after being fired.

The officers who were on the scene of the robbery saw the dump truck and chased him through Statesville down Interstate 77.
Stop sticks were deployed and blew out the right front tire of the truck.
He pulled into a rest area near mile marker 39 on I-77 north, hit a guard rail and crashed. 
Call was charged with possession of a stolen vehicle, armed robbery and numerous traffic violations.

“Anytime you're dealing with an individual that's held up, whether in a house or vehicle and he's armed -- naturally it's going to be tense,” said Major Marty Byers with the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office.

He had a weapon but never pointed it at deputies.
Authorities said they were in a similar situation with Call more than 15 years ago.


Published: Thu, 31 Jul 2014 16:34:54 -0400