Union County

The Monroe couple charged with child abuse for allegedly handcuffing an 11-year-old boy to their front porch with a dead chicken tied around his neck are not the foster parents of that child, as previously reported. DHHS says the foster care license for Wanda Larson and Dorian Harper expired in 2010.


$500K Bond For Couple Accused Of Handcuffing Child

Nov 18, 2013
Union County Sheriff's Office

 Bond was set for about $500,000 each for the Monroe couple charged with child abuse for allegedly handcuffing an 11-year-old boy by the ankle to their front porch. Dorian Harper and Wanda Larson -- a supervisor in the county's department of social services -- had their first court appearance in front of a Union County judge Monday morning. On Friday, an animal control officer found the child while responding to a complaint about a loose animal. While looking for the animal, he followed a trail that led to the child's secluded home.

Rowan County

Prayers in government meetings have received a lot of attention in North Carolina. The ACLU has sued the Rowan County Commission, and another group has threatened to sue the Union County Commission for what they say are “sectarian prayers.”

As the U.S. Supreme Court is taking up a similar case from New York next week, we explore what the case could mean for North Carolina.


Jimmy Wayne / Flickr

The dispute between Union County and its schools is not finished.  Union County commissioners have decided to appeal the jury’s verdict that the county owes the district $91 million. 


Jimmy Wayne / Flickr

Union County Public Schools has scored a victory.  After a two-month long trial, a jury has decided Union County owes the district a whopping $91 million. 

“To be perfectly honest, I’m in awe and humbled at the number,” says school board chairman Richard Yercheck. 

“I think whoever tells you they’re not surprised at a verdict of $91 million would be lying to you,” says attorney Richard Schwartz who represented the district.

pengrin / Flickr

In Cabarrus County, low-income families are having to wait more than two months on average to get food stamps. The delays are tied to a new system the state has made all counties use since March. Cabarrus, Mecklenburg and Union are among nine counties the state says have struggled the most with it.


Jimmy Wayne / Flickr

Union County Schools and Union County are having their day in court due to a budget dispute.  It’s actually been much more than a day.  To be exact, the two sides have been going at it in court for 23 days now and the legal fees are mounting.     


School districts often complain that counties don’t give them enough money.  But Union County School officials are doing more than griping.  They’re taking the Union County commission to court.  

Union County commissioners approved a budget for this year about $8 million short of what the school board says the district needs.  The school board pushed back and the negotiations ended up in mediation.  After a five hour session today, school board chairman Richard Yercheck says the two sides are at an impasse.

Relations between school districts and counties can get tense during budget season.  But it’s way beyond that in Union County.  The school board has brought in a mediator and the county has sued the school district for financial information. 


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