Probe Of Pittenger Ends Without Charges; Funeral For Prison Guard Attacked By Inmate

May 4, 2017

The Justice Department has closed a two-year investigation into U.S. Rep. Robert Pittenger without filing charges. The department had been looking into whether Pittenger improperly transferred money to his 2012 campaign from his former real estate business.

The third-term congressman from Charlotte says he's grateful the probe is over. The congressman has said that FBI agents spoke to employees at Pittenger Land investments and requested information in 2015. He also said that he cut ties with the company right after he was elected to Congress in 2012, with his wife continuing to run it before it was eventually taken over by another firm.

At Pittenger's request, the House Ethics Committee launched a probe into whether the company compensated Pittenger in violation of ethics rules. But the committee said at the time that it was delaying any action at the Justice Department's request. A committee spokesman didn't immediately return a message seeking comment Thursday.

Funeral Held For Prison Guard Attacked By Inmate

A funeral was held Wednesday afternoon for the prison guard who died from an attack by an inmate at an eastern North Carolina prison. The service for Sgt. Meggan Callahan was held at Edenton United Methodist Church in Edenton.

The Department of Public Safety says 29-year-old Callahan was responding to a trash can fire in a dormitory at Bertie Correctional Institution on April 26. Officials say Callahan grabbed a fire extinguisher to put out the fire before inmate Craig Wissink attacked. DPS says Wissink, a convicted murderer in prison since 2004, took the extinguisher and used it in the assault.

Police have charged Wissink in Callahan's death.

Duke Energy Holds First 'Virtual' Shareholder Meeting

For the first time, Duke Energy held its annual shareholder meeting entirely by phone and internet.

Company officials trumpeted the move as a way to include more of the company's more than 1 million shareholders, but a group of environmental and social justice protesters who often accompany Duke's annual meeting decried the move as anti-democratic.

Outside Duke's uptown Charlotte headquarters, dozens protesters congregated under a banner that read "Duke Energy: Stop Hiding! Fracked Gas Blocks Solar." The demonstrators called on the utility to halt the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline and coal ash pollution near Duke power plants. They also called on Duke to create more solar energy.

1-Year-Old Drowns in Creek In East Charlotte

A 1-year-old boy has died after being found in a creek in east Charlotte. Police tell local media outlets that officers were called to a home on Terrybrook Lane shortly after 5 p.m. Wendesday.

The boy was found unresponsive in the creek behind the home. He was taken to Carolinas Medical Center where he died. Police are still investigating how the child ended up in the water.

Charlotte Couple's Death Under Investigation As Murder Suicide

Police believe the deaths of a Charlotte man and woman are the result of a murder-suicide. Officers were called to an apartment complex in southeast Charlotte around 1:40 p.m. Wednesday, where they found the bodies of Tiara Clark, 29, and Byron Howington, 31. Both were dead with apparent gunshot wounds.

A preliminary investigation suggests Howington shot and killed Clark before turning the gun on himself. The two are believed to have been living together and in a relationship.