Charlotte Observer

Adoptive Mom To Dr. Phil: Erica Parsons Is Alive

Aug 20, 2013

Erica Parsons’ adoptive mother says that Erica is alive, and the mystery of her disappearance could be cleared up with a phone call.

“Erica is not missing. Erica is with her grandmother,” a woman known as Nan, Casey Parsons said on the “Dr. Phil” show today. “This would all be over if Nan or Erica would just pick the phone up and call.”

McCrory Administration Explores Casino Deal With Catawba Tribe

Aug 16, 2013
Charlotte Observer

Gov. Pat McCrory’s administration is considering a potential deal to allow a South Carolina-based Indian tribe to open a casino just across the border in North Carolina in a move that is generating swift and fierce opposition from top Republican lawmakers.

McCrory’s senior economic adviser Tony Almeida met with Cleveland County officials about a month ago to discuss a potential casino operated by the Catawba Indian Nation, said Ronnie Hawkins, chairman of the Cleveland County Commission.

T. Ortega Gaines / Charlotte Observer

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police are asking for an injunction to place restrictions on suspected members of the Hidden Valley Kings – a new tactic for battling one of the city’s oldest gangs. It’s the first time a North Carolina law enforcement agency has taken civil action against a gang, police said Tuesday.

Other cities have used injunctions for decades because it gives police more leeway to limit gangs and approach their members. But civil libertarians say the tactic can amount to racial profiling and ends up targeting people who aren’t gang members.

Hospital Settles Suit Over Kenny Chapman Murders

Aug 8, 2013

A lawsuit stemming from the 2010 Kenny Chapman killings – which ignited a Charlotte-area debate on emergency mental health care that continues today – apparently has been settled by Carolinas HealthCare System and the victims’ family, reportedly for $11.5 million.

In the case file at the Mecklenburg County Courthouse, details of the settlement are hidden under a confidentiality clause.

File Photo / Charlotte Observer

Two Charlotte-area golf courses in the troubled Carolina Trail golf group owe millions of dollars in unpaid loans and have been placed under control of a court-appointed third party, according to documents.

Foreclosure is a possible next step for Skybrook Golf Club in Huntersville and Charlotte Golf Links on Providence Road, as lender Hunting Dog Capital tries to retrieve nearly $7 million lent to the courses.

Lawsuits Prompt Pause For Some Sectarian Prayers

Aug 6, 2013

The longstanding practice of opening Charlotte-area government meetings with a Christian prayer has come under increasing attack by residents and outside groups.

It’s a battle that is also unfolding from California to New York, and the issue is now before the U.S. Supreme Court.

The First Amendment’s Establishment Clause prohibits the government from favoring one religion over another. When government prayers invoke Jesus, civil liberties groups and other critics say it violates constitutional rights.

Gun Suppressors Are Now Legal For Hunting In North Carolina

Jul 31, 2013

For decades, the closest most people got to a gun suppressor – those metal cylinders that reduce a gun’s bang – was seeing one on a movie screen in the hands of an assassin or gangster.

But sweeping gun legislation has made suppressors, also known as silencers, legal for hunting in North Carolina. Law enforcement authorities are now trying to figure out how to shape polices to implement the new law.

Community Battles Flood Waters In Cramerton

Jul 29, 2013
Davie Hinshaw / Charlotte Observer

The worst flooding in 40 years sent water from the South Fork Catawba River to the edge of homes and businesses in the Gaston County town of Cramerton early Monday, but a a community-wide sandbagging effort by volunteers appeared to prevent serious damage.

  Water levels began dropping around sunrise, but authorities say they expect the river to remain above flood level for the rest of the day.

N.C. Legislators Give Final OK To Charlotte Airport Bill

Jul 26, 2013
Nicola since 1972 / Flickr

RALEIGH The North Carolina legislature, plowing into the wee hours and past the objections of Democrats, gave final approval early Friday to a measure creating a Charlotte airport commission.

Lawmaker Rejects City Airport Offer

Jul 16, 2013
Todd Sumlin / Charlotte Observer aboard NBC Charlotte's AirStar

RALEIGH A leading Republican lawmaker on Tuesday dismissed the city of Charlotte’s latest proposal on the airport, as she and other House members appear poised to give final approval to a bill creating a new authority.

In an impromptu meeting in a legislative hallway, a clearly frustrated Rep. Ruth Samuelson told city lobbyist Dana Fenton the city’s Monday night proposal falls short.

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