Charlotte Observer

Charlotte Observer
3:28 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Mecklenburg Social Worker Pleads Guilty To Selling Clients' Information

A social worker with the Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court to charges that she sold the identities of Medicaid patients in a fraudulent claims scheme, prosecutors said.

Ieshia Hicks Watkins, 33, of Charlotte, pleaded guilty to one count of health care fraud conspiracy and one count of receiving illegal kickbacks.

Watkins faces a maximum of 10 years in prison for the health care fraud charge and five years for the kickback plea. She also faces a maximum fine of $500,000 for the two charges.

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Charlotte Observer
3:21 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

FBI Probes Embezzlement Claims At SouthLake Christian Academy

The FBI is now investigating embezzlement claims at a Huntersville private school, the agency’s Charlotte office said Wednesday.

The investigation follows news that the chief financial officer of SouthLake Christian Academy and the pastor who helped found the school 20 years ago had resigned amid a probe into financial mismanagement. The FBI will be joined by the Huntersville Police Department.

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Charlotte Observer
8:53 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Council Members Vow To Get Answers About CMPD Cell Phone Tracking

The StingRay tracking device is one of several ways the police can track your phone - without a warrant in some states - by using phony tower signals.
Credit Harris Corp.

Three Charlotte City Council members said Monday they want to know how CMPD uses a secret surveillance technology that gathers data from cellphones and other wireless devices belonging to crime suspects and innocent residents alike.

Two officials – council members Claire Fallon and John Autry – said they question whether it is legal for officers to collect information from citizens who are not suspected of committing crimes.

“You can’t make a move without someone watching you,” Fallon said. “It’s not American.”

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Charlotte Observer
12:36 pm
Fri September 12, 2014

Lake Norman Hotel Plans Should Be Rejected, Board Votes

The Mooresville Planning Board on Thursday night recommended that town commissioners reject a development on Alcove Road that would include a four-story, 108-room hotel.

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Charlotte Observer
6:06 pm
Wed September 3, 2014

NC Half Brothers Freed After Three Decades In Prison

Henry McCollum sits stunned as applause rings out in a Robeson County courtroom in Lumberton, N.C. Tuesday, September 2, 2014 after a judge has declared McCollum and his brother Leon Brown innocent of a brutal rape murder for which they have spent 30 years in prison.
Credit Chuck Liddy / Charlotte Observer

North Carolina's longest-serving death row inmate and his younger half brother walked out as free men Wednesday, three decades after they were convicted of raping and murdering an 11-year-old girl who DNA evidence shows may have been killed by another man.

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Charlotte Observer
9:46 am
Wed August 27, 2014

Former Mayor Patrick Cannon Could Be Sentenced As Soon As Next Week

Patrick Cannon
Credit Tasnim Shamma / WFAE

Former Charlotte Mayor Patrick Cannon could be sentenced on a public corruption charge as early as next week, according to new documents in his case.

Federal probation officials filed their final presentencing report Tuesday afternoon. That document remains sealed, but its title reveals that U.S. District Judge Frank Whitney will sentence the longtime Democratic officeholder “on or after” next Wednesday.

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Charlotte Observer
11:58 am
Tue August 26, 2014

Charlotte: Spend $33.5 Million On Arena For Hornets

Relocating the ticket office is one of the changes proposed for the Time Warner Cable Arena in order to comply with the Hornet's bid to host a future NBA All-Star game.
Credit Davie Hinshaw / Charlotte Observer

The city of Charlotte is prepared to spend $27.5 

million in capital improvements for Time Warner Cable Arena, as well as 10 years’ worth of annual payments of $600,000 for ongoing maintenance.

The Charlotte Hornets and the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority asked the city earlier this year for nearly $48 

million in arena improvements, many of which the city and the team said are part of a 2003 operating agreement that requires the 9-year-old building to be among the National Basketball Association’s most modern.

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Charlotte Observer
12:45 pm
Mon August 4, 2014

UNCC Team Nabs Bass Fishing Title

Andrew Helms and Jake Whitaker of UNC Charlotte won the 2014 Carhartt Bassmaster College Series National Championship on Chatuge Reservoir. They edged the second-place finishers by 8 ounces.
Credit Shane Baker / B.A.S.S.

A two-man team of anglers from UNC Charlotte won the national championship of college bass fishing on Saturday.

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Charlotte Observer
10:06 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Levine Museum Makes History With LGBT Exhibit

Barbara Lau, foreground, curator of the Pauli Murray exhibit, along with Rebekah Miel, designer of the Pauli Murray exhibit, arrange placards that date the life of Pauli Murray, a North Carolina gay activist who was the nation’s first female African-American Episcopal priest. Levine Museum of the New South’s staff and exhibitors are preparing items for the “LGBTQ Perspectives on Equality” exhibit that opens to the public July 25.
Credit T. Ortega Gains / Charlotte Observer

The Levine Museum of the New South is unveiling a historical exhibit Friday that is in itself historic.

Called “LGBTQ Perspectives on Equality,” the show is a combination of exhibits that tell the history of Charlotte’s gay and transgender community, including the largely forgotten stories of average Charlotteans who made that history happen. The show then puts their stories in context of the national gay civil rights movement.

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Charlotte Observer
10:14 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Senate Drops Plan To Kill Teacher Tenure

N.C. Sen. Jerry W. Tillman, R-Randolph
Credit N.C. General Assembly

North Carolina’s teachers will no longer face the choice of getting a pay raise or keeping their tenure.

Senate budget negotiators Tuesday abandoned their proposal to eliminate tenure in exchange for an 11 

percent pay raise.

Though major issues remain, the offer removes another obstacle toward adoption of a state spending plan and adjournment of the legislative session.

Tenure allows public school teachers due-process hearings but does not prevent low-performing teachers from being fired. As many as 75 

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