Charlotte Observer

Charlotte Observer
12:55 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

Charlotte Rejects Airport Compromise

US Airways jets are parked at the terminal at Charlotte Douglas International Airport Tuesday, May 7, 2013.
Credit Todd Sumlin / Charlotte Observer aboard NBC Charlotte's AirStar

RALEIGH A leading House Republican said Monday night that lawmakers will introduce a new proposal for the Charlotte airport this week after city leaders essentially rejected their proposal for a joint study commission.

The new proposal could make creation of a new airport authority more likely.

“I’m astounded,” Rep. Ruth Samuelson said of the city’s reaction. “I’m deeply, deeply disappointed. We made a good faith, unprecedented (offer). We’re done offering a study.”

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Charlotte Observer
3:18 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

Former Cherryville Police Chief Charged In Federal Court With Embezzlement

Former Cherryville Police Chief Woodrow Paul Burgess, who retired last year, has been charged in federal court with embezzlement, according to court documents filed Monday.

The United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina says that Burgess, 60, obtained by false pretense more than $11,000 from the city of Cherryville.

According to court documents, Burgess instructed then Finance Director Bonny Alexander to make several checks payable to the Great Outdoors so that Burgess could purchase firearms for his personal use.

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Charlotte Observer
10:15 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Mecklenburg Commissioners Approve 2.35-Cent Tax Increase

Mecklenburg commissioners formally approved a $1.7 billion budget with a 2.35-cent tax rate increase Tuesday night, but not without great theater – and rhetoric.

During the pre-vote debate, commissioners evoked the names of Caesar, Jesus and LBJ. Democrats chided Republicans for their inclination to “cut, cut, cut” to avoid tax hikes.

Republicans sniped at Democrats for going on a spending spree to fund their favorite programs.

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Charlotte Observer
10:09 am
Wed June 19, 2013

DNC: Nearly $500,000 Of Equipment Was Lost Or Stolen In Charlotte

To stage last year’s Democratic National Convention, the local host committee raised millions of dollars, much of it for computers, phones and other communication devices.

Now it appears a sizable amount of that equipment was lost, stolen – or perhaps kept by the staffers it had been assigned to.

The Democratic National Committee said it recently sent the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department a spreadsheet detailing $496,000 worth of missing equipment. CMPD created an incident report in May.

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Charlotte Observer
9:36 am
Tue June 4, 2013

Bold Visions Compete For Eastland Mall Redevelopment

Studio Charlotte Development's Gateway and Cinema Theater on Central Avenue rendering.
Credit City of Charlotte

Two developers have offered bold visions for what the closed Eastland Mall could become.

One proposal focuses on building movie studios while another would create an entertainment complex with a ski slope, ice skating rink and skateboard park.

Both developers, who submitted formal proposals to the city of Charlotte on Friday, also envision residential and retail construction in later phases.

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Charlotte Observer
10:41 am
Mon June 3, 2013

Where Is Queen Charlotte? Holding Court In Yard Between Parking Decks

The Queen Charlotte statue’s future location has not yet been chosen, but its sculptor, Raymond Kaskey, said he hopes the statue will be in a place where it will be noticed. Nicole Bartlett, program director of public art for the Arts & Science Council, said it will be a collaborative decision made by the airport and ASC.
Credit Diedra Laird / Charlotte Observer

Queen Charlotte isn’t greeting visitors to the Charlotte Douglas International Airport terminal these days. But she’s not hiding – she’s just keeping watch from a new location.

The airport’s iconic statue of the city’s royal namesake has been temporarily relocated. It has been moved from its home of more than 20 years in front of the terminal while the airport undertakes several long-term construction projects.

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Charlotte Observer
9:57 am
Wed May 29, 2013

NC Files Second Ash Suit Against Duke Energy

Coal ash is shown in settling ponds at Duke Energy's Riverbend power plant on Mountain Island Lake.
Credit Jeff Willhelm / 2008 Observer File Photo

North Carolina has filed a second lawsuit against Duke Energy in a move that puts the state’s claim that coal ash poses a threat to Charlotte’s water supply before a Mecklenburg County court.

Last week the N.C. Division of Water Quality amended an existing complaint, about ash stored at Duke Energy Progress’ Asheville power plant, to include the Riverbend plant near Charlotte.

On Friday, the division filed a separate lawsuit in Mecklenburg County Superior Court solely about Riverbend, which is operated by Duke Energy Carolinas.

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Charlotte Observer
11:11 am
Thu May 16, 2013

CPCC Grad's Journey Was Arduous

Riyam Al Ghrary, who's graduating from CPCC and will be transferring to Chapel Hill, in front of the Overcash Building on the CPCC campus. Al Ghrary was born in Iraq and moved to the U.S. at 14 speaking little English.
Credit Diedra Laird / Charlotte Observer

Students attend Central Piedmont Community College for many reasons, but the story of 20-year-old Riyam Al Ghrary’s journey to CPCC surely ranks among the most harrowing.

It began in Iraq, about six years ago, on the day she was kidnapped. It will culminate Thursday evening, as she accepts her diploma at Bojangles’ Coliseum, one of about 1,900 graduates, the largest number in CPCC’s 50-year history. She was student body vice president and a scholarship winner. She’s graduating with a 4.0 average.

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Charlotte Observer
10:16 am
Tue May 14, 2013

State Bar Claims Former Judge Bill Belk Lied About Health Insurance

Bill Belk

  Former Mecklenburg County District Judge Bill Belk, already banned from holding judicial office, now faces possible punishment from the North Carolina State Bar.

On Aug. 23, Belk will appear before the bar’s Disciplinary Hearing Commission on charges he lied during a 2009 investigation into his possible misconduct while he sat on the bench.

Margaret Cloutier, the bar’s deputy counsel, said Monday that Belk faces disciplinary action ranging from warnings, reprimands and censure, to suspension of his law license and disbarment.

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Charlotte Observer
10:43 am
Thu May 9, 2013

Unsealed Documents Shine Light On NASCAR Leader's Holdings

Newly unsealed documents in the divorce case of NASCAR Chairman Brian France provide a rare glimpse into how much money the privately held racing organization has generated for the France family.

France’s assets totaled more than $550 million in 2005, according to a financial statement included in the 1,500 pages of documents.

Owned and controlled by the France family, NASCAR paid Brian France more than $9 million in 2004, the documents show.

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