The Charlotte Knights’ move from Fort Mill to a new baseball stadium in downtown Charlotte is continuing to pay off – at least when it comes to attendance. It was a record breaking weekend at the new BB&T Ballpark.
Last year, the Knights had the worst attendance in their league. This year, they’re leading all of Minor League baseball in both total fans, and average per game.
The Knights set a new full-season attendance record Saturday night in a game where they beat the Norfolk Tides 6-3. The game put attendance for the year over the previous mark of 429,132, set in 1993 in Fort Mill. And that’s with 26 games remaining.
Saturday’s game was the team’s 22nd sell-out of 2014. The Knights also set a single-game attendance record Friday night, when 10,539 fans watch them fall to the Tides.
SLAVE DESCENDANTS REUNITE IN MT. HOLLY
Descendants of a freed slave are gathering in Gaston County this weekend for a family reunion and to dedicate a new large marble monument at his grave. The Charlotte Observer reports the family of Ransom Hunter hasn't gathered in 30 years. Hunter's owner gave him a small piece of land a year before the Civil War began. Hunter became a farmer and was eventually able to open two stables, a general store and buy more land he sold to freed slaves in South Carolina. Hunter's relatives are having a family reunion over the holiday weekend, and today they’ll visit Hunter's grave in Mount Holly for a ceremony to replace his crumbling gravestone with a new marker. Hunter died in 1918 at age 93.
Town commissioners in Cornelius will get a briefing from a state Department of Transportation official Monday night about the DOT’s plans to widen I-77 north of Charlotte with toll lanes. Our news partner CorneliusNews.net reports that some Cornelius officials have raised questions about potentially high charges for using the optional toll lanes. The NCDOT is negotiating a $665 million contract to build and manage the high-occupancy toll lanes on a 26-mile stretch of I-77 from Charlotte to Mooresville. The DOT’s technical services administrator and the head of the Lake Norman Transportation Commission will address the board. The meeting begins at 7 o’clock at Cornelius Town Hall.
BRIDGE TO HATTERAS REOPENS AFTER STORM
Residents and visitors have been allowed to return to Hatteras Island at the North Carolina Outer Banks after Hurricane Arthur. Transportation officials opened the Bonner Bridge on North Carolina Highway 12 to all traffic around 4 o’clock Saturday afternoon. Permanent residents and employees of businesses had been allowed back earlier. The highway had been closed since early Thursday as the Category 2 hurricane approached. Churning waters from the storm buckled a section of the road. Officials also tested the two-mile-long Bonner Bridge to make sure it was safe. Visitors are still being steered away from the smaller Ocracoke Island, where crews hope to restore power today.
MOPED DEATHS RISE IN SC
Deaths on South Carolina roads in 2014 are similar to last year's totals, but state troopers say they’re seeing a significant increase in deaths of people on mopeds. Highway Patrol Lt. Kelley Hughes told The Greenville News 18 people died on mopeds in the state in the first six months of 2014. Troopers reported seven moped deaths in the first half of 2013. Overall, the Highway Patrol says 357 people died on South Carolina roads from January through June, one more than the first six months of 2013. Troopers continue to be concerned with pedestrian deaths. The same number of pedestrians - 42 - have been killed in the first half of 2014 as were killed in the first six months of 2013.
PRO-BOWL RECEIVER CHARGED WITH DWI
Cleveland Browns wide receiver Josh Gordon was arrested Saturday and charged with driving while intoxicated after police stopped him for speeding in Raleigh. Police said Gordon was pulled after going 50 miles an hour in a 35 zone on U.S. 70 in northwest Raleigh. He was released on bail. The 23-year-old Pro Bowl wide receiver has been in trouble before off the field. He missed two games last season for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy and reportedly failed another drug test during the offseason, which could lead to a season-long ban. Browns General Manager Ray Farmer said the team is aware of the arrest and is disappointed.