Charlotte Observer

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.

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.

Forum Draws Differences Among At-Large Candidates

Oct 30, 2013
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.

Elevation Church Pastor Responds To His Critics

Oct 28, 2013

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.

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

Oct 25, 2013
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.

Elevation Pastor Building Big Home In Waxhaw

Oct 23, 2013
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.

Grier's Morning: National TV, Meeting With Stallone

Oct 16, 2013
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.

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.

NC Returns EPA Grant For Fracking Study

Sep 25, 2013

North Carolina’s environment agency has taken the unusual step of returning a federal grant to study streams and wetlands that could be harmed by hydraulic fracturing for natural gas.

The N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources had itself recommended last year that baseline water-quality data be collected where drilling might occur. The information would help document any problems linked to drilling.

Judy Treible, Melina Yinglin - MCT

North Carolina’s Republican U.S. Senate candidates are taking a hard line on federal budget negotiations – a position that puts them at odds with the state’s lone GOP senator, Richard Burr.

Four Republican candidates said Monday they support efforts to defund the federal health care act, apparently even if those efforts lead to a government shutdown.

Their comments came the same day state Senate President Pro Tem Phil Berger announced he won’t join those running for the U.S. Senate seat held by Democrat Kay Hagan.