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Source: MedleyStory

Officials: Concrete truck overturns on SB I-77

A concrete truck was on its side Wednesday morning, according to Iredell County communications.

The accident happened around mile marker 34 on southbound Interstate 77 near Mooresville.

Both directions of I-77 were closed around 12:30 p.m. near Brawley School Road. One lane reopened around 12:45 p.m. southbound.

Chopper 9 Skyzoom was on the scene. Check back to wsoctv.com for updates or follow WSOC-TV on Twitter.

Published: Wed, 23 Apr 2014 12:26:56 -0400

Nuclear-level asteroids might be more common than we realize

Space rocks big enough to do some serious damage to Mother Earth strike much more often than previously thought.

"Between 2000 and 2013, 16 massive explosions over the earth, many over the oceans. And astronomers calculate an asteroid big enough to destroy a city hits the earth roughly every 100 years."

Space experts and former astronauts have now warned it could only be a matter of time before one of the massive rocks hits land, and the fact we've made it this long has been blind luck.

Yeah, anyone remember the story of the dinosaurs? An asteroid the size of San Francisco is believed to have entered our atmosphere and finished them off 65 million years ago. (Via Discovery)

"In 2018, the B612 foundation plans to launch an infrared space telescope to detect potentially deadly asteroids ... The group says it believes if a threat is discovered, the world will unite to find a way to deflect it." (Via WNEM)

But maybe not all hope is lost for us, the B612 Foundation is a group of astronauts and scientists united, to protect Earth and research asteroid impacts.

"An early warning infrared space telescope for tracking asteroids would give us many years to deflect an asteroid when it's still millions of miles away. The next great space mission is protecting the planet."

USA Today reports a decent-size city could be reduced to ruins by a big enough space rock. Before this once-every-hundred-years estimate, asteroid strike rates were believed to hit once every 3,000 years. 

Scientists in the B612 Foundation counter once outside scientists come to agree it's plausible, that number could be too large.

Published: Wed, 23 Apr 2014 12:18:48 -0400

Pedestrian hit, killed Tuesday night in Concord

A woman died Tuesday night after a crash on Old Charlotte Road SW near Park Drive SW in Concord, according to Concord police.

Carmelita Little Cook, 62, of Concord, was hit around 8:30 p.m. as she attempted to cross the road, according to police.

Blair Melissa Arledge, 41, of Cornelius, was driving a 2012GMC Acadia. Police said there was no indication excessive speed or other violation contributed to the accident.

Cook was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police said the investigation is ongoing.

Published: Wed, 23 Apr 2014 12:09:35 -0400

Feds subpoena documents in Cannon investigation

Channel 9 has learned that the criminal investigation into former Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon has expanded.

The U.S. Attorney's Office has requested thousands of documents from Mecklenburg County, according to the county attorney, Marvin Bethune.


Special section on the Patrick Cannon investigation


Bethune said his law firm received the federal subpoena on Friday afternoon, when county offices were closed for the holiday weekend.

Bethune said county staff met Monday to discuss the subpoena. He would not reveal specifics but said it included a request for a broad range of documents.

On Tuesday, county staff began the process of gathering all of those documents, but they haven't yet given a timeline for when that process will be complete.

Several county and city officials have been questioned by FBI agents since Patrick Cannon's arrest March 26 on charges he accepted bribes.

Cannon remains free on a $25,000 bond. The next step in his case would be a grand jury hearing.

Published: Wed, 23 Apr 2014 10:22:05 -0400

3 banks that rip you off with reorder fees


Three giant monster mega-banks have been singled out for gaming the system when it comes to NSF fees. Are you banking with any of these bad boys?

Pew Charitable Trust has identified Bank of AmericaChase, and Wells Fargo as the 3 banks that play dirty pool with your money.

What exactly are they doing? Well, they approve transactions when you have insufficient funds, and then use software to recalculate your transactions and reorder the way they clear your checks. Their goal is to figure out the exact order in which checks should be processed so they can generate the most bounced checks or bounced debit charges.

Here's how this plays out in real life: Let's say you had 6 items clear over a weekend. They could go chronologically and maybe only the last transaction would bounce. But instead they use their software and generally process the largest transactions first -- instead of in the order they came in. And just like that, they could generate as many as 5 overdraft charges! 

It's despicable, disgusting, and reprehensible. What in the world happened to old timey decency in business? Capitalists who look at their customers' best interests first typically do the best.

Fortunately, I have some good news to report too. Several big banks do a good job cutting you a break on non-sufficient funds (NSF) fees, according to Pew. They include Ally Bank,Charles SchwabOneWest Bank, and USAA Federal Savings Bank.

When it comes to banking, why not go with someone who wants to respect you rather than cheat you? 

Meanwhile, I have 2 assignments for you.

  1. Keep good records. Track your balance at all times. They can't rip you off at $35 a pop if you do your part and know you're good for the dough *before* making a purchase.    
  2. Know that it is not a matter of if, but when, a big bank will take advantage of you. Go find another place while the getting is good. Look at small local community banks or credit union as your best option.


For further reading:

Published: Wed, 23 Apr 2014 09:27:44 -0400

9 indicted in kidnapping of NC prosecutor's father

(AP) As the kidnappers pulled into a quiet, upscale golf course community, they thought they were about to abduct an assistant district attorney who sent a high-ranking gang member to prison for life, authorities said.

But they had the wrong address and when the prosecutor's father answered the door, they took him instead.

For five days, authorities said the kidnappers held 63-year-old Frank Janssen captive in an Atlanta apartment, tormenting his family by sending text messages threatening to cut him into pieces if police were called or their demands weren't met. They even sent a photo of him tied up in a chair.

On Tuesday, an indictment charged nine people in Janssen's abduction, including 49-year-old Bloods member Kelvin Melton, who authorities said was calling the shots by cellphone from his North Carolina prison cell. Janssen's daughter, Wake Forest assistant district attorney Colleen Janssen, prosecuted Melton in 2012 for his role in the shooting of his ex-girlfriend's new boyfriend.

Court records show Melton has a long record of felony convictions in New York, the first being a 1979 robbery committed when he was 14. He pleaded guilty to manslaughter and robbery in 1998 and served more than 13 years in New York prisons before being released in August 2011.

His conviction in North Carolina sent him to prison for life. Authorities said he wanted revenge.

At first, Melton wanted the kidnappers to travel to Louisiana to abduct a family member of his court-appointed attorney from his 2012 trial. He arranged in March for each member of that kidnapping team to receive about $10,000, according to the indictment, but at some point, for reasons not explained in court documents, they called it off.

In late March or early April, Melton called again. This time he wanted a team assembled to "kidnap the ADA," who was identified in the indictment as a "Wake County Assistant District Attorney."

One of the team members used the Internet to look up Colleen Janssen's address but actually found her father's home in Wake Forest, about 15 miles north of Raleigh.

Early on April 5, four of the kidnappers left the Atlanta area for North Carolina. Melton called them several times while they were on the road, at one point asking to be put on speaker phone to give them specific instructions. He told them to wear khakis and collared shirts, so they stopped at a Wal-Mart to buy clothes.

When they got to Janssen's home, three of the kidnappers went to the door while another waited in the car, according to the indictment. When Frank Janssen cracked the door, the kidnappers forced their way in, hit him with a stun gun several times and pistol-whipped him.

As they drove back to Atlanta, Janssen was forced to lie on the floorboard of the back seat of a rental car. They put handcuffs on him and used the stun gun on him dozens of times.

The indictment doesn't say what happened when Melton discovered they kidnapped Janssen's father instead of the prosecutor, but two days after he was taken, Janssen's wife started receiving the threatening text messages.

Each one seemed to grow more urgent. On April 9, Janssen's wife received a photo of him tied up in a chair along with a message: "Tomorrow we call you again an (sic) if you can not tell me where my things are at tomorrow i will start torchering."

The indictment said that while Janssen was in the Atlanta apartment, he was taped to a chair in a closet, and some of the kidnappers stood watch. Melton sent instructions to one member to assist in the killing and disposal of Janssen if Melton's demands weren't met or if the team lost contact with Melton for three days. The specific demands have not been released by authorities.

Around 8 p.m. April 9, Melton received a text saying, "We got car, spot, and shovel." A few minutes later, Melton called the kidnappers and told them to kill Janssen and gave specific instructions not to leave any DNA behind, court documents said.

By that night, authorities had determined Melton had orchestrated the scheme and was still calling the shots behind bars. When corrections officers tried entering his cell, he smashed the phone.

Authorities pinpointed Janssen's location and stormed the apartment just before midnight April 9. A short while later, three of the nine people charged were caught in a Chevy Tahoe that had two shovels, a pick and a gun inside.

Melton was indicted along with Quantavious Thompson, Jakym Tibbs, Tianna Maynard, Clifton Roberts, Jenna Martin, Jevante Price, Michael Gooden and Patricia Kramer. All face a federal conspiracy charge related to the abduction, and all but Kramer are charged with kidnapping. Some of the defendants face additional charges. All but Kramer were in custody Tuesday.

___

Associated Press Writer Kate Brumback in Atlanta contributed to this report.

Published: Wed, 23 Apr 2014 08:36:26 -0400

Former army sergeant to receive Medal of Honor

North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory honored a Medal of Honor nominee who lives in Charlotte on Wednesday.

Sgt. Kyle White will receive the Medal of Honor from President Barack Obama in May for his actions in Afghanistan in 2007.

He will become just the seventh living person to receive the award for combat in Iraq or Afghanistan.

White said the honor gives him the opportunity to raise awareness about what is still going on overseas.

White is no longer in the Army and now works as an investment analyst.

Published: Wed, 23 Apr 2014 08:21:42 -0400

2 CMS high schools ranked among 10 best in NC

Two CMS high schools are among the ten best schools in the state.

U.S. News World and Report ranked the schools based on test scores and the percentage of students in advanced classes.

Butler High School, in Matthews, ranked fifth in the state and South Mecklenburg High School came in seventh.

Cox Mill High School in Concord was ranked ninth.

Published: Wed, 23 Apr 2014 08:16:42 -0400

Police: Woman drove drunk with 8-year-old in car

A Morganton woman is facing charges after police said she drove drunk with her 8-year-old daughter in the car.

An officer said he noticed Hannah Shorthouse driving all over the road Saturday night and said he smelled alcohol when he pulled her over.

The officer took Shorthouse into custody after he said she failed several field sobriety tests.

Authorities placed her daughter in the grandmother's custody.

Published: Wed, 23 Apr 2014 08:09:41 -0400

Study claims CMS faculty disciplines minorities most

A new study shows faculty at Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools disciplined minority students more often.

The report found African-American students are disciplined the most.

It looked at incidents involving assaults, weapons on campus and behavioral problems.

Experts blame cultural gaps between students and teachers.

Published: Wed, 23 Apr 2014 08:03:45 -0400

Second Publix store in NC opens in Matthews

A new Publix opened in Matthews Wednesday morning.

The store is on Fincher Farm Road and it's the second one to open in North Carolina.

The doors opened at 7 a.m. Wednesday.

Charlotte's first Publix opened in Ballantyne in February.

Published: Wed, 23 Apr 2014 07:51:12 -0400

Study: Stallings is safest town in Charlotte area

A new study claims Stallings is the safest town in the Charlotte area.

SafeWise used FBI crime data to rank North Carolina towns and cities.

Stallings came in seventh, with .7 violent crimes per thousand people.

The study noted the town's newsletter has an entire page dedicated to police information.

Matthews came in as the 11th safest, with a violent crime rate of 1.7 per thousand.

Also in ranked the teens were Huntersville, Mint Hill and Cornelius.

Check out the complete list here.

Published: Wed, 23 Apr 2014 07:44:39 -0400

Police charge woman with murder in husband's death

Police in Hudson have charged a woman with murdering her husband Monday.

Officers said they were called to 302 Kristin Lane after receiving a stabbing call. When they arrived at the home they found 58-year-old William Harris outside with a stab wound to his chest.

He was pronounced dead.

Police arrested his wife, 54-year-old Donna Harris, and charged her with murder. She is being held at the Caldwell County Detention Center under no bond and will appear in court Wednesday.

The North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation is assisting the Hudson Police Department with investigating the case.

Published: Wed, 23 Apr 2014 07:42:05 -0400

Car parts company to bring more than 200 jobs to Catawba Co.

A car parts company expects to bring almost 230 new jobs to Catawba County.

County commissioners passed an economic development deal with GKN Driveline Monday night.

The company plans to invest $122 million in its facility in Newton.

Workers can expect to make an average of more than $36,000.

Published: Wed, 23 Apr 2014 07:30:13 -0400

Republican NC Senate candidates meet in debate

(AP) The front runner in the race for North Carolina's Republican U.S. Senate nomination is trying to keep his message on his own record and working to defeat Democratic incumbent Kay Hagan in November, rather than attacking his leading GOP rivals.

Thom Tillis, the state House speaker, largely shrugged off criticism about aspects of his legislative record from one of the three other candidates participating in their first television debate held two weeks before the May 6 primary. Tillis focused instead Tuesday night on what Republicans in Raleigh had accomplished since becoming the majority party under his leadership, and how he wanted to do the same in a U.S. Senate majority.

"I led a conservative revolution in Raleigh that the liberals don't like but conservatives like a lot," Tillis said at the close of the hour-long debate at Davidson College, adding that Hagan is out of touch by voting too similarly with Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid: "She needs to be sent home."

The debate was the first of three in less than a week. A half-hour debate by the same four candidates — Tillis, obstetrician Greg Brannon, Baptist minister Mark Harris and family nurse practitioner Heather Grant — was scheduled for Wednesday evening at a Raleigh TV studio. In-person early voting begins Thursday.

On Tuesday, Brannon criticized Tillis for his record on the health care overhaul and national education standards. But Tillis defended himself and later criticized Brannon on a gun rights question.

Grant and Harris stayed clear of harsh words and generally agreed with the other two on supporting repeal of the health care overhaul, questioning the wisdom of raising the federal minimum wage and eliminating federal agencies. Brannon, a tea party favorite who counts U.S. Sen. Rand Paul among his endorsements, added the Federal Reserve and Internal Revenue Service to the list, citing portions of the U.S. Constitution that leave power to the states.

"That's what we've got to get back to ... individual sovereignty, state sovereignty," Brannon said.

Harris, the former president of the North Carolina Baptist State Convention, suggested ethical principles should stand tallest for voters when picking a nominee.

"You can have all the money, you can have all the experience, you can have all the knowledge of the Constitution and whatever," Harris said. "But if you don't have character, what do you really have?"

Grant, who served as an Army nurse until 2012, said she's running to encourage other like-minded leaders in the future. "We need to work with those who come behind us and grow our conservative so that we never wind up exactly where we are now," she said.

Eight candidates in all are running in the GOP primary. Tillis is the favorite of GOP congressional leaders and leading fundraiser in the primary, which requires the leading vote-getter to receive more than 40 percent to avoid a mid-July runoff.

Hagan and national Democrats have criticized Tillis in recent commercials. Tillis has accused them of trying to meddle in the GOP primary by attempting to weaken his candidacy.

Hagan faces her own primary next month against two little-known opponents. Her campaign spent Tuesday night sending out emails, mostly criticizing Tillis. In a release, the campaign said the debate showed "they all support a fringe agenda that is bad for middle class families and out of touch with North Carolina's commonsense values."

Published: Wed, 23 Apr 2014 06:46:34 -0400

Oops! NYPD Twitter hashtag backfires

The New York Police Department dealt with a social media emergency Tuesday after a well-intentioned hashtag backfired in an epic way. 

It's simple enough: This tweet from the NYPD's official Twitter account encouraged users to tweet photos of themselves with New York's finest using #myNYPD.

What followed was a day-long coup d'Twitter as users hijacked the hashtag and posted unflattering photos of New York police. 

Some pictures were more ironic, like this photo of officers standing next to an ad that reads, "We're not for everyone. Just the 1% that matters." (Via Twitter / @TheRealKeori)

Other pictures were more comedic, like this officer frisking a suspicious looking pup. (Via Twitter / @BananaKarenina)

>> Read more trending stories

But the tone was mostly grim as Twitter users tweeted picture after picture of police brutality, some more graphic than others. (Via Twitter / @Scizyr@OLAASM@OccupyWallStNYC)

Nearly 10 hours after the NYPD launched its doomed Twitter campaign, #myNYPD was still trending in the U.S. 

A writer at Gawker called the hashtag fail "predictable" while a Quartz headline read, "The NYPD just figured out the perfect way to publicize its own worst moments." 

So, what went wrong? How did this whole share-your-NYPD-photos thing turn on its head so quickly? 

According to CNN, the NYPD said in a statement it was "creating new ways to communicate effectively with the community.  Twitter provides an open forum for an uncensored exchange and this is an open dialogue good for our city."

The New York Times reports the NYPD enjoyed some success in 2012 with a viral image of an officer giving a homeless man a pair of boots, but adds that today's lesson is "Be Careful What You Tweet For." 

At least one user offered up a simple explanation for the failure, saying "Like, seriously guys. It's the Internet." (Via Twitter / @MattMarkiewicz)

The New York Times added that the department is not deterred, despite today's #myNYPD offerings. Spokesman Stephen Davis told The Times, "You take the good with the bad." 

Published: Wed, 23 Apr 2014 06:43:06 -0400

Michaels: Charlotte area stores affected by data breach

Channel 9 has discovered that most Michaels stores in and around the Charlotte area were affected by the latest data breach.

The company says three million customers nationwide are involved, saying their credit and debit card numbers were stolen.

Names and personal identification numbers and addresses were not affected.

The biggest impact is in the Charlotte area, as hackers stole from all ten local stores.

Michaels says the incident is under control and the malware no longer exists in its systems.

The company says it has received only a few reports of fraudulent activity and are offering customers free credit monitoring for a year.

Check out the complete list of affected stores and dates of exposure here.

Published: Wed, 23 Apr 2014 05:19:06 -0400

You won't believe what America's funniest city is

Chicago.

That’s right, the home of the Cubs, Da Bears, and the place where Second City was born is at the top of the charts.

The criterion was put together by the University of Colorado. Let’s be honest: Since the legalization of marijuana, they probably laugh at anything, but stick with me and we’ll see how they came to the conclusion.

The school's Humor Research Lab developed a formula that considered the following:

  • number of famous comedians born there
  • number of comedy clubs and comedy radio stations
  • number of "funny tweeters" living there
  • ratings of local audiences by traveling comedians
  • frequency of visits to comedy websites and comedy-related Web searches by residents

"We found humor often has a local flavor," lead researcher Peter McGraw told The Chicago Tribune.

>> Read more trending stories

The work says it’s that local flavor that leads those who live in the Windy City to poke fun at themselves.

"The jokes that Chicagoans do tend to tell often feature deadpan and quick-witted humor, much of it directed at the foibles and frustrations of living in Chicago," the study states.

"They prefer to mine observational humor from the situations in which they find themselves. Such remarks seem to fit with the city’s professional comedy scene, since the city is known as a mecca for improv and stand-up."

Finishing out the top five were Boston; Atlanta; Washington, D.C.; and Portland.

More here, including the rest of the Top 10. 

Published: Wed, 23 Apr 2014 02:59:36 -0400

Fire breaks out inside west Charlotte home

Firefighters are working to find out what started a fire at home in west Charlotte late Tuesday night.

The flames broke out at the home on Morton Street just after 10 p.m., damaging the inside of the house.

Firefighters told Channel 9 that nobody was home when the fire started.

Published: Tue, 22 Apr 2014 23:18:11 -0400

Man hit by suspected drunk driver describes crash

A man hit by a suspected drunk driver talked to Eyewitness News Tuesday night hours after leaving the hospital.
 
Troopers said a suspected drunk driver crossed the center line on St. Paul Church Road causing the crash.
 
Chris Brown detailed every second that he can remember about that terrifying crash and why he believes it could happen to someone else.

“When the truck was on fire, that's where it burned me there,” Brown said.
 
Doctors said he will have a long recovery.

"They said it'd be up to a year before I'd be able to do anything normal," he said.
 
Brown said he was heading home from bowling with his brother Saturday afternoon in Salisbury when he saw a truck headed right for them.
 
"We ended up off into the ditch, and the first thing I said after that, was I asked if my brother was OK and then I realized that I was pinned," he said.
 
Brown remembers being stuck in this wreckage and troopers said Mark Carter was driving drunk when he crossed the center line.
 
Crews had to use the Jaws of Life to rescue him.
 
Investigators later revealed Carter should have never been behind the wheel on weekends because troopers said his license was suspended due to a prior DWI conviction.

"It makes me very angry to start with, but then also, makes me think there should be a lot harsher punishments for DUIs," he said.
 
Brown had to undergo emergency surgery on his hip and now he is worried about being out of work and supporting his family.
 
"Now, they have to be the ones to help me and I've always been the one to help them. Now I can't do that because of this guy," he said.
 
Carter remains in the hospital Tuesday night.
 
Investigators said the state may seize his truck because it marks his second DWI offense.
 
Troopers also said he faces jail time and his license could be suspended for an additional four years.

Published: Tue, 22 Apr 2014 23:06:13 -0400