Charlotte Area Transit System bus drivers will remain on the job this week as negotiations continue over a new contract. CATS and the drivers, members of the United Transportation Union, have agreed to extend for at least another week their deadline for working out a new deal. A previous extension was set to expire on Monday at midnight. In a statement, CATS officials said: "CATS management and the Metropolitan Transit Commission are appreciative of UTU's commitment to continue to operate the bus system while both management and labor work to find common ground anda workable agreement through an avenue of continued discussions and negotiation that provides for a fair compensation package while balancing operating costs." Contract discussions began last spring.
FEDS WANT $864M FROM BANK OF AMERICA
Federal prosecutors want Bank of America pay about 864 million dollars over losses incurred by the government after it bought thousands of home loans made by Countrywide Financial during the housing boom. Bank of America acquired Countrywide in 2008, and a judge last month found the company liable for knowingly selling Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac thousands of bad home loans in 2007 and 2008. Prosecutors at federal court in Manhattan have asked the court to penalize BofA an amount equal to the maximum losses racked up by the government-run mortgage buyers. Charlotte-based Bank of America says the U.S. is overstating the volume of loans and damages.
PONZI SCHEME VICTIMS COULD GET SOME MONEY BACK
It’s been five years, but victims of a North Carolina Ponzi schemer who bilked investors out of about 25 million dollars might soon get some of their money back. A court-appointed receiver, Attorney Walt Pettit, says the victims of J.V. Huffman could get back between 10 and 15 percent of their money as early as January. Pettit told the Hickory Daily Record that 2.3 million dollars will be divided among 340 victims whose losses totaled 22 million dollars. Huffman is in jail, and victims have waited five years while lawyers recovered and liquidated his possessions. He spent investors' money on luxuries including a red 1939 Cadillac, memorabilia from the "I Love Lucy" TV show, and artwork by Picasso, Salvador Dali and Rembrandt.
DEPUTY FIRES AT DRIVER WHO STRUCK HIM
A Mecklenburg County Sheriff's deputy fired several shots at a motorist who fled a traffic stop after reversing his car to ram the motorcycle the officer was riding. The sheriff's office says the 47-year-old suspect appeared to stop his car as directed Friday by Deputy Billy Allen, then put the car in reverse and backed into Allen's motorcycle. The impact pushed the deputy and his bike about 8 to 10 feet. The officer fired three shots into the car, but the motorist drove away uninjured. He was stopped after a short pursuit. The motorist was not immediately charged Friday. Allen suffered injuries that were not life-threatening.
LAWSUIT OVER YORK MUSEUMS CONTINUES
York County officials are trying to force a non-profit foundation to stick with its original mission of supporting York County's public museums. The Herald of Rock Hill reports it's the third time the Culture and Heritage Foundation has failed to win dismissal of the lawsuit by the York County Council. The county is suing for control of hundreds of acres along the Catawba River near Interstate 77. The land was donated to the foundation in 1998 by Jane Spratt McColl. County officials say McColl intended for the foundation and proceeds from any land sales only to benefit the county's museums. Foundation leaders say the organization should support a range of cultural and historical causes, and that they have an affidavit signed by McColl supporting their position.