Charlotte Observer

Charlotte Observer
10:09 am
Mon November 18, 2013

Sheriff's Office: Boy, 11, Was Routinely Bound In Union County Home

The 11-year-old boy found handcuffed to a porch with a dead chicken around his neck Friday appears to have been routinely handcuffed to a piece of steel inside the Union County home, the county Sheriff’s Office said Sunday.

Capt. Cody Luke confirmed Sunday night that Sheriff Eddie Cathey also said feces were found on the floor of the Austin Road house: “The smell would take your breath,” Cathey said, calling it “terrible.”

Two neighbors on Sunday also described interactions with a boy they believed to be from that home, who approached their houses and begged for food.

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Charlotte Observer
10:28 am
Fri November 15, 2013

After 34 Years, Charlotte Rape Victim Thankful For Peace And Closure

Mindy Sypher, one of Jerry Lee Brooks' victims, looks at old clippings about the event as she is interviewed at her Charlotte area home this week.
Credit Diedra Laird / Charlotte Observer

  Thirty-four years later, Mindy Sypher can speak calmly about the worst day of her life.

That’s in part because so much time has passed, but mostly because the man who raped her is finally behind bars.

“It’s come full circle, with an end date,” said Sypher, who was 20 when she was attacked inside her home off Carmel Road. “I know that this person is going to pay for his crimes. I’m just glad he’s going away.”

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Charlotte Observer
3:14 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

Davidson Basketball: 'Underrated' For A Quarter Of A Century

Bob McKillop will begin his 25th season as Davidson basketball coach.
Credit Jeff Willhelm / Charlotte Observer

DAVIDSON Bob McKillop will begin his 25th season as basketball coach at Davidson on Friday night when his Wildcats play at Duke.

Most of those seasons McKillop, 63, works outside the spotlight, which is unfortunate because he loves the spotlight and looks good in it. If a white hair on his head is out of place, he probably makes it run a lap. One of the biggest surprises at a Davidson practice in Belk Arena last week was that McKillop didn’t wear a suit.

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Charlotte Observer
4:29 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

UNC To Be Without P.J. Hairston, Leslie McDonald In Season-Opener

UNC players Leslie McDonald, P.J. Hairston and J.P. Tokoto watch their teammates warm up for Friday's exhibition basketball game against UNC Pembroke at the Smith Center in Chapel Hill. Hairston and McDonald are sitting out as UNC works with the NCAA to resolve eligibility issues. Tokoto is sitting out for not filing the proper paperwork after playing in a summer league.
Credit Robert Willett / News and Observer

CHAPEL HILL North Carolina will start the season without P.J. Hairston and Leslie McDonald, the school announced on Thursday before coach Roy Williams’ first regularly-scheduled press conference of the season.

It’s not a surprise that Hairston and McDonald, a pair of guards, will miss the season-opener on Friday night against Oakland. The NCAA is investigating both players in separate cases that likely involve impermissible benefits.

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Charlotte Observer
11:39 am
Wed October 30, 2013

Forum Draws Differences Among At-Large Candidates

Amanda Raymond, executive director for the League of Women Voters Debate, instructs at-large candidates on how the forum will be run.
Credit T. Ortega Gaines / Charlotte Observer

  A forum featuring eight Charlotte City Council candidates Tuesday found little support for a streetcar, grudging support for business incentives and lingering resentment over the state’s effort to transfer control of the airport.

Eight contenders for four at-large seats met for a forum at WTVI sponsored by the League of Women Voters. Taking part were four Democrats, a Libertarian and three of four Republicans. Republican Vanessa Faura did not attend.

Candidates divided over the streetcar, which advocates see as an east-west connector.

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Charlotte Observer
9:53 am
Mon October 28, 2013

Elevation Church Pastor Responds To His Critics

Steven Furtick

Elevation Church Pastor Steven Furtick told his congregation Sunday that he was sorry for any uncomfortable conversations they may have been forced to have about his controversial new Waxhaw home.

But Furtick didn’t apologize for the 16,000-square-foot home, which drew national media attention last week because of its size and cost. Instead, he described it as a gift from God.

Furtick also emphasized Sunday that he is committed to making worshipers proud of their church. And he added that the media should not be viewed as the enemy.

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Charlotte Observer
10:15 am
Fri October 25, 2013

Belmont Standoff Ends Without Injury, SWAT Team Takes Gunman Into Custody

Belmont police have arrested a 46-year-old man after an attempted robbery turned standoff at the CVS in the 6700 block of Wilkinson Boulevard.
Credit T. Ortega Gaines / Charlotte Observer

BELMONT The standoff between law enforcement and a gunman at a Belmont CVS has ended without injury and all lanes of Wilkinson Boulevard have been reopened.

Edward Scott Russ, 46, of the Gastonia area, was taken into custody without incident shortly after 7 a.m., according to Police Chief Charlie Franklin.

Specific charges are still pending, but Franklin said Russ does have a prior criminal record.

Law enforcement agencies from Gaston and Charlotte-Mecklenburg were on the scene in Belmont Friday morning “and came together as one,” Franklin said.

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Charlotte Observer
11:36 am
Wed October 23, 2013

Elevation Pastor Building Big Home In Waxhaw

Construction of the Rev. Steven Furtick's home is underway in Waxhaw. Furtick is the founder and lead pastor of Elevation Church based in Charlotte.
Credit Davie Hinshaw / Charlotte Observer

Pastor Steven Furtick, who has propelled Elevation Church into one of the fastest growing congregations in America, is building a 16,000 square foot gated estate on a large wooded lot in Waxhaw.

Tax value on the 19-acre property is $1.6 million, though Chunks Corbett, Elevation’s chief financial officer, pointed out that Furtick paid $325,000 for it – a figure confirmed by Union County tax records.

Corbett also said the 16,000 square foot figure was misleading – 8,400 square feet of the house will be heated; the rest will be basement, attic, garage and porch space.

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Charlotte Observer
10:32 am
Wed October 16, 2013

Grier's Morning: National TV, Meeting With Stallone

Nash Grier, a 15-year-old Davidson Day School student, made an appearance Wednesday morning on ABC's "Good Morning America."
Credit Robert Lahser / Charlotte Observer

  By 9 a.m. Wednesday, Nash Grier had appeared on national television, made more Vine videos on the streets of New York City, reached 1.5 million followers and met Sylvester Stallone.

Not a bad start to the day for the video-producing sensation who also happens to be a sophomore at Davidson Day School.

Nash, 15, appeared shortly after 8:30 a.m. on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” The show’s Josh Elliott interviewed the teen about his growing fame as a producer of the 6-second Vine videos that are part of YouTube.

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Charlotte Observer
9:51 am
Thu October 10, 2013

Charlotte Foreclosure Activity Drops 46% In September

Charlotte-area foreclosure activity dropped 46 percent in September from a year ago, for a decline larger than the national rate, a report released Thursday shows.

According to Irvine, Calif.-based RealtyTrac, default notices, auctions and bank repossessions were reported on 708 properties in the metropolitan area, a 28 percent decrease from August. Nationally, foreclosure filings were reported on 131,232 properties, down 27 percent from a year ago but up 2 percent from August.

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