Charlotte Mecklenburg Police have shut down a major dog fighting ring in East Charlotte. On Friday, officers raided a house on Carelock Circle off Albemarle Road after neighbors complained about barking. They found pit bulls on chains as well as items used to train fighting dogs.
While police were investigating, two men arrived at the home, and agreed to cooperate. The later were charged with training dogs for fighting. Police found 27 dogs at the house, which they said made it the largest dog-fighting operation they have investigated. The two men, ages 42 and 46, were released on $25,000 bond each.
OBAMA TO VISIT ASHEVILLE
President Obama is planning another visit to North Carolina this week, after his State of the Union address. The president will travel to Asheville on Wednesday. Details of the trip haven’t been released, but Obama is expected to push the themes he raises in Tuesday night’s speech. The White House says the president will go to Atlanta on Thursday.
CITY OFFERS PLAN TO UPGRADE STADIUM
Charlotte city officials have come up with a plan to help pay for improvements at Bank of America stadium – and keep the National Football League’s Carolina Panthers in town for another 15 years. In a closed door meeting Friday, the Charlotte City Council gave preliminary approval for raising the prepared food and beverage tax by 1 percentage point, which would raise $144 million. That money would help pay for what officials describe as “fan friendly” improvements at the stadium. The city also would agree to spend $1 million a year for stadium maintenance and pay for traffic control on game days. The Panthers also would contribute to the work - about $96 million. And the Panthers and the city are seeking another $62.5 million from the state. A final vote on the plan could come this spring. The financial support would help meet the team’s demand for financial help. In exchange, the team would agree to stay in Charlotte at least through the 2027 season. See more in our Friday report, "Council, Panthers Strike Deal That Calls For $143 Million From City"
HEARING TO EXAMINE FATAL VOYAGE OF THE BOUNTY
A federal safety panel will opening a hearing Tuesday into how a replica 18th-century tall ship was allowed to make a deadly trip into the path of Hurricane Sandy. The HMS Bounty sank 90 miles off Cape Hatteras during the October storm. Fatalities from the incident included a crew member and likely the ship's captain. He was never found despite days of searching. Testimony begins Tuesday in Portsmouth, Va. Investigators with the Coast Guard and the National Transportation Safety Board expect it to last more than a week.