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Source: MedleyStory

Border crisis leaves local undocumented children in limbo

The nation's border crisis is now reaching Charlotte.
Hundreds of unaccompanied children are traveling thousands of miles and ending up in the Queen City, but many of them are sitting in limbo while judges decide their futures.
Recently, a city-initiated Immigrant Integration Task Force discussed the issue of unaccompanied minors reaching the U.S. borders and making their way to Charlotte.
A change in policy in Charlotte has undocumented children now going through Charlotte's Immigration Court where they can fill out an application, seeking asylum or face deportation.
A judge decides whether they can stay or if they have to go.
Charlotte's immigration court has had 1,011 new juvenile cases this year. In 2013, there were 716 cases and in 2012, there were 410 cases. Because of the influx in cases, it is taking longer for them to be heard. Some children have had to wait up to a year before their first hearing.
In the meantime, they are released to legal guardians and try to blend in to society.
"They are becoming members of our community. They are being enrolled in school and they are making friends, going to the doctor," said immigration attorney Benjamin Synder.
Snyder said most children go unrepresented in immigration court, which does not say a child is entitled to representation like a public defender.
"It's almost inconceivable to navigate this whole legal process as a minor from another country," said Snyder.
The plan to slow the stream of unaccompanied children into the United States is coming together in Washington.
After a closed-door meeting on Friday morning, Republican House members said the new plan is a scaled-back version of earlier proposals. It would provide the president with less than $1 billion to send more resources to the border. President Barack Obama requested $3.7 billion.
The plan includes changes to a 2008 anti-trafficking law that would make it easier to deport children coming from Central America.

The federal government is tracking how many unaccompanied children end up with sponsors in each state. This list will be updated monthly:

Published: Fri, 25 Jul 2014 18:32:03 -0400

New DNA crime lab promises faster results

Cases involving burglary, sexual assault and even murder are already under review at a new DNA crime lab in York County.
The lab was three years in the making and its two analysts are working full time helping law enforcement solve cases.
One of the biggest assets of the new DNA lab is speed. Until now, all DNA test samples were sent to South Carolina Law Enforcement Division in Columbia.
Cristy Kissel, who runs the new lab, says that was a problem.
"Not only do they send all their evidence down there, but every other county in South Carolina sends their stuff there too," Kissel said.
That often meant long waits for results -- sometimes months, sometimes a year. 
That's a big disadvantage for law enforcement looking to get a criminal off the streets.
York County Sheriff Bruce Bryant said having this technology will make a difference.
"Sometimes we're waiting close to a year to get those results back and during that year, that same perpetrator may be breaking into more houses, or may be committing a lot more crimes," Bryant said.
On Friday, Channel 9 saw a demonstration of how analysts can test an item for traces of blood or uncover DNA in saliva left on a ski mask used in a crime.
The lab can also test for touch DNA, which has only been in use for the last five to 10 years.  
When someone briefly touches something, they leave skin cells behind. A test can lead to a DNA match and the identity of a potential suspect.
Kissel said the lab will take law enforcement to a new level here.
'"This is going to make their investigations go so much smoother, so much faster," she said.
In fact, 100 cases that were sitting in Columbia have been sent back to York County where they will be processed much sooner.

Lab workers are already working 20 cases this week and also helped in a high-profile murder case.   
Well-known lawyer Melvin Roberts was killed outside his home in York in 2010.

His girlfriend Julia Phillips is in prison for convicted of the murder but York police are still looking for the actual killer.

One of Roberts' sons discovered a metal file in his driveway just last month. It was analyzed at the new lab, but no DNA was found.
The lab will be very busy, very soon.

Lab workers expect to have 200 cases or more waiting for results in just weeks.
Those cases are accepted only from law enforcement agencies in York County.

Published: Fri, 25 Jul 2014 17:40:20 -0400

Developer considers 95-unit apartment complex in Elizabeth

A developer wants to build nearly 100 new apartments in the middle of the Elizabeth neighborhood, but some say the area is already too crowded.
The company is asking the city to rezone more than an acre of land on Seventh Street between Clement and Pecan avenues.
The portion of land that developer is interested in is mostly full of trees and bushes.
Many neighbors really want to see it developed, but others want to make sure this project is the right fit.
The application states after rezoning 1.5 acres of land on Seventh near Pecan Avenue, the developer would build “a multi-family apartment building with a maximum of 95 units.”
“That's too many people here. That's another 200 people right here.  Why do we need 200 people right here look at all this now,” said resident Mitch Cooper/
Cooper is concerned the project would add even more cars to an already congested Seventh Street.
 Some neighbors -- who've been waiting for development here for years --- are very open to the idea. 
Off camera, some said they're not concerned about the size of the project, but just want to make sure the developer addresses concerns such as parking and traffic congestion. 
They also want to know how tall the building will be and how surrounding homes will be affected.
Ed White stands to benefit from the project. His family currently owns the property, but he said he also wants what's best for this community and this project could deliver what it needs.
“We're looking at limited multifamily housing that will bring additional patrons to the businesses,” he said.
The president of the neighborhood association said the developer has been meeting with neighbors for months now --- keeping them informed about the project.
The developer didn't want to give any details Friday about the project. A public hearing is scheduled for Sept. 15.

Published: Fri, 25 Jul 2014 17:34:33 -0400

Accuser said he tried to kill coach charged with sex abuse

Prosecutors wrapped up their case Friday against former high school wrestling coach Scott Goins, who is accused of molesting several students.
An accuser said Friday in court he tried to kill Goins because Goins was wracked with guilt and asked for his help to commit suicide.
But on Friday, a witness testified the accuser actually had his own plan to kill Goins.
Ronny Huitt said three years ago, one of the accusers came to him and said he was molested by Goins, his high school wrestling coach.
"He was very upset. He started crying," Huitt said.
Huitt also said he told the man to go to police.

"He said, ‘I will not. I can't,’” Huitt said. “I said, ‘Why?' He said, 'This will ruin my life.'"
Huitt then said the man asked what happens if someone else is abused.


"He said, 'If it happens to someone else, I will kill Scott (Goins) myself,'" Huitt said.
Huitt said the accuser determined he needed to carefully watch Goins and step in if he did the same thing to anyone else.
Huitt said the accuser said, “I'm keeping my eyes on him. I got to watch him. I got to make sure I protect everybody else from Scott.”


Huitt went to police but the accuser refused to admit to what he told Huitt.
Last year, the accuser took Goins into the woods at Posten Park and choked him until he thought he was dead.
Under cross-examination, the accuser admitted he wasn't in his right mind.
“The one thing that you did not admit to that was on the video is that you were high on coffee medicine,” said defense attorney Brent Ratchford.

“When you are in high-stress situations you tend to lean back to those type crutches,” the accuser said.
The defense said Goins never abused his wrestlers.
"You said he was tough but a very good coach," Ratchford said.

"What does that have to do with what happened to me?" the accuser said.
There are still more than two dozen people on the witness list.  
The defense said it could take a week to present their evidence in this case.

Published: Fri, 25 Jul 2014 16:44:49 -0400

Teacher accused of additional indecent liberties with child

A China Grove Middle School teacher accused of taking indecent liberties with children received an additional charge Friday, according to the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office.
Authorities said James Paul Barringer of Salisbury had indecent liberties with multiple victims in their preteens over a two-year period.
CLICK HERE to read past coverage of this story.
Investigators said they spoke to an additional witness and victim.
Officials said this charge is the result of an incident that occurred in 1995 at an overnight church activity in China Grove.
The victim, who was underage in 1995, told deputies he or she was assaulted with inappropriate sexual touching by Barringer. As a result, Barringer was additionally charged with felony indecent liberties with a child.
Barringer was served with new charges Friday and received a bond of $25,000. He was placed in the Rowan County Detention Center.
The investigation continues and anyone with information should contact Detective Sara Benfield 704-216-8739, or Lt. Chad Moose at 704-216-8687.

Read more: Former China Grove teacher faces another child sex charge

Published: Fri, 25 Jul 2014 16:29:12 -0400

Businesses entice shoppers in absence of tax-free weekend

North Carolina parents and students have taken advantage of the sales tax-free weekend for clothing and school supplies since 2002.
But state lawmakers put a halt to the holiday last year.
"I took it for granted. It's something we get every year," shopper Shannon Britt said.
North Carolina lawmakers eliminated the holiday in the tax reform bill, saying it cost the state more than $13 million in lost revenue.
"It's normally a really big weekend for us, so it'll be interesting to see the first year there isn't a tax-free weekend how it affects us," Julie's Boutique manager Daisy Carpenter said.
The North Carolina Retail Merchant Association is now hoping to convince lawmakers to reinstate the sales-tax holiday, especially since it generated sales second only to Black Friday for many businesses. The association is looking at conducting a study to prove the state still makes money overall, since shoppers spend on gas and other non-taxable goods.
Many stores are now getting creative to entice shoppers: This weekend, Concord Mills is promising shoppers "better than tax-free savings" with an additional 10 percent off. Julie's Boutique also plans on offering deep discounts to customers.
"They'll still spend their time with us shopping and enjoy their weekend," Carpenter said.
Bargain hunters can still head out of state to South Carolina, where the tax-free weekend will be taking place next weekend.

Published: Fri, 25 Jul 2014 16:14:56 -0400

Critics raise concerns on information collected by toll cameras

Critics raise privacy concerns over your personal information and toll cameras that track where you go and when.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation explained Friday why their contract with Cintra talks about driver's medical records.
The NCDOT contract with Cintra  stated the Spanish company must not make public driver's Social Security number, medical and criminal records.
NCDOT said that's not something Cintra will even collect.
The North Carolina Turnpike Authority will handle toll collections and they won’t ask for any of that.
The DOT needed to have protective language in the contract if that information ended up in Cintra's hands.
What's more disturbing to some drivers is that toll road sensors and license plate cameras will track their every move.
In the past, courts and law enforcement have used that data for criminal cases and even civil matters like divorce.
For years, the North Carolina ACLU has been trying to pass legislation to limit law enforcements' use of this data. They said there's no law that says police need a warrant to get it or who they can share it with.
“These are things that are perfectly legal. But none of the government's business,” said Mike Meno with North Carolina ACLU. “Whoever is controlling these cameras, can paint a vivid picture of your life and where you go. Even folks who have nothing to hide are entitled to their privacy.”
Terri and Jim O'Connor said it took months to clear their son of a car crash he wasn't involved in.
The license plate camera evidence implied he was at fault.
“The DMV sent him a letter saying he owed money because he ran a light and hit a car and criminal history and a civil rights group is raising concerns about a different type of history,” they said.
Another concern with tolls is the Turnpike Authority website has a warning right now about a phishing scam.
Some of its users are getting fake emails asking them to pay an overdue bill.
If you click the link, it downloads a virus that could steal your financial data.­­­

Published: Fri, 25 Jul 2014 16:00:51 -0400

Report: More informed customers purchase generic brands

Do you purchase the less expensive store brands?
According to a report from CNN Money, the most informed consumers usually buy generic products.
A new paper from economists from Tilburg University in the Netherlands and the University of Chicago found Americans waste about $44 billion a year on name brands.
The report stated Americans could buy the same products if they switched to the less expensive store brands.
CNN Money provided the following example. A 100-tablet package of 325 mg Bayer Aspirin costs $6.29 at CVS. The CVS brand is $2.28 when at regular price and drops to $1.14 on sale.
Read more on the CNN Money report.

Published: Fri, 25 Jul 2014 15:31:30 -0400

University quiz implies atheists are smarter than Christians

Ohio State University has come under some fire after a quiz in a required course implied atheists are inherently smarter than Christians. 

An OSU student shared screen shots of this quiz from the school's core psychology class with Campus Reform

"Theo has an IQ of 100 and Aine has an IQ of 125. Which of the following statements do you expect to be true? Well, the correct answer is: Aine is an atheist, while Theo is a Christian."(Via Fox News)

The student, who wished to remain anonymous, told Campus Reform: "It didn't surprise me to see the question, which is a sad thing. ... But how can you really measure which religion has a higher IQ?"

The quiz appears to be in violation of OSU's discrimination policy, which prohibits bias on campus based on things such as race, gender, sexual orientation and religion.  

A professor at OSU says quizzes for that psychology course are primarily created by undergraduate teaching assistants but that the material is based on textbook information.  

University Herald adds that professors say the university is "very open" to discussing course material with students.

But Dr. Mike Adams, â€‹a conservative Christian professor at the University of North Carolina, called the question offensive and said it would be taboo to apply this sort of principle to any other group. 

"Would it be permissible to force blacks to take a class teaching that blacks would have a lower IQ than white people?" (Via Campus Reform)

OSU officials declined to comment on the quiz. 

Published: Fri, 25 Jul 2014 14:58:29 -0400

Bartender lights customer's face on fire with flaming shot

A bartender in Lithuania accidently set a customer's face on fire while making a flaming drink called the Flaming Lamborghini. This happened on July 11 at Naktinis Tbilisis club in Panevezys.

The video shows the bartender mixing the drink when a flame explodes and shoots out at the man, who then catches on fire. Bar patrons appear to help put out the flame by smothering his head.

The man was taken into surgery, but no other information on the man's condition has been made available. According to an article in the Lithuanian news portal Lrytas, the victim's sister says the bar owner and the bartender visited her brother in the hospital.

Warning: This video contains graphic material. 


Published: Fri, 25 Jul 2014 14:48:03 -0400

Crews fix misspelled sign for I-485 flyover bridge

A new traffic sign unveiled Thursday in Charlotte had a pretty noticeable misspelling, but officials quickly fixed the mistake by Friday afternoon.

The sign, which is on Johnston Road heading towards the new flyover bridge for Interstate 485, had the town of Pineville spelled as “Pinevllie.”

Chopper 9 Skyzoom flew over the misspelled sign Friday morning, before DOT crews corrected it.

This story has been generating a lot of interest on social media. You can add your comments about this story to our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter for updates.

Published: Fri, 25 Jul 2014 11:03:39 -0400

Truck splits power pole in half on Providence Road

A section of Providence Road was closed Friday morning after an accident knocked down power lines.

The wreck occurred near the intersection of Providence and Cherokee roads.

Police said a truck was traveling down Providence Road toward the intersection when it struck a power pole.

The pole then hit a blue car. The driver of the car was not injured.

The power pole damaged the windshield and the pole was left resting on the street.

Chopper 9 flew over the scene around 10:30 a.m.

The driver of the truck told police he never left the road when he hit the pole.

Duke Energy officials restored power to the area by 4 p.m.

Published: Fri, 25 Jul 2014 11:00:21 -0400

Woman uses social media to alert neighbors of coyote sightings

A Gaston County woman said that in the last few weeks, coyotes have been spotted in her subdivision near a busy community hangout.

Lisa Wells took to social media to spread the word after one of her neighbors recently spotted coyotes in the Willow Creek subdivision.

She said on two different occasions coyotes were spotted just off a walking trail that runs through the neighborhood. It's right behind the community club house and pool and is also a few feet away from playground.

Wells said her neighbor saw the coyotes around the same time of day on both occassions.

"He most often sees them on Mondays before garbage pick-up. He says it's like Golden Corral for coyotes out here," she said.

She is encouraging neighbors to roll their trash cans out for pick up Tuesday mornings instead.
Channel 9 asked about the coyote presence in the area. The Gaston County Department of Natural Resources said most of the calls about coyotes are from rural areas of the county, and farmers concerned about their livestock.

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission said the first reported sighting of a coyote in the state was in Gaston County in 1938. Now, coyotes are in all 100 counties in the state, so it's possible they are starting to venture out into more developed, urban areas of Gaston County like has been the case in Charlotte.

Wells said, "We're taking away their habitats to build our own so they're becoming desperate."

RESOURCES: Additional coyote information

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Published: Fri, 25 Jul 2014 09:59:24 -0400

Wanted man spotted in pond arrested after 2-week manhunt

A Richmond County man will face a federal judge after his capture on federal drug charges, ending a two week manhunt across two counties.
Investigators said a 911 call from a Montgomery County resident Thursday afternoon led to them John Rillo's location, where an North Carolina Highway Patrol helicopter pilot spotted him swimming across a pond.
"There's somebody who's laying down, well not laying down, but like ducking in the woods," the caller told dispatchers. "I'm not sure if it's the guy you've been looking for."
Authorities first notified residents in Richmond and Montgomery counties to be on the lookout for Rillo through a reverse 911 call.
The Richmond County Sheriff said the chaos ensued on July 11, when one of his deputies, who also serves on the ATF Task Force, went to Rillo's parents' home in Montgomery County to serve an arrest warrant for federal drugs and weapons charges.
During the arrest, Sheriff James Clemmons said Rillo, while still handcuffed, managed to escape and run away from the deputy and disappeared into the woods.
"Anyone that's on the run from federal warrants you to consider them to have the propensity to be dangerous," Sheriff Clemmons said.
Clemmons said Rillo broke into a nearby church and managed to break off his handcuffs before disappearing in the area for nearly two weeks, crisscrossing between Richmond and Montgomerycounties in an area which authorities said was very familiar to him.
"I think he's pretty much a hunter, a country style survivalist. This was his home neighborhood," said Montgomery County Sheriff Dempsey Owens.
Owens said Rillo stole an ATV during his time on the run and would break into homes to steal food and survival tools.
"We would find food sitting on the table like it's thawing out, coming from the freezer. We had one house that was broken into that had a bunch of military knives and stuff," Owens said.
Authorities said residents were frightened during the two-week manhunt and were an important part of the eventual arrest.
"We had people calling on a daily basis and asking if we had caught him. They were worried about their houses getting broken into, their property getting stolen," said Candor Police Chief Randy White.
After the 911 call that alerted authorities to Rillo's location, a state trooper pulled Rillo from the pond and arrested him, according to investigators.
Rillo is now in federal custody and will face a judge in Greensboro on Aug. 1.
Rillo's parents had no comment when reached by Channel 9.

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Published: Fri, 25 Jul 2014 09:54:31 -0400

Minor league GM gets public prostate exam during 7th inning stretch

A minor league baseball general manager took Prostate Cancer Awareness Night seriously, showing the standing room only crowd how fast one can undergo a prostate exam.

Myrtle Beach Pelicans general manager and vice president Andy Milovich sang his rendition of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” Thursday night while getting his exam bent over with his head out the press box window.

The exam was broadcast via live feed to the crowd of 6,599 at field. Thursday night was Prostate Cancer Awareness Night.

Milovich had the exam as part of a challenge with a 10-year-old girl suffering from brain cancer who has a Facebook page about her fight. Milovich agreed to the exam if the page got 10,000 "likes," a number reached Monday.

Milovich said it was an odd night in minor league baseball but also was one of the most important.


—The Associated Press and WPXI-TV contributed

Published: Fri, 25 Jul 2014 09:50:21 -0400

Child’s deathbed thoughts focused on helping others

The parents of 11-year-old Liang Yaoyi were stunned by his request.

As cancer ravaged his body, the fifth grader from the Chinese city of Shenzhen focused on how he could save others if he could not survive his own battle.

"There are many people doing great things in the world," he said from his sickbed according to "They are great, and I want to be a great kid too."

He told his parents he wanted to donate his organs so others could live.

On Friday, the brave young boy who dreamed of becoming a doctor lost his battle with brain cancer. Immediately, doctors went to work removing his organs for transplant.

As his body was wheeled for the surgery room, the medical team stopped and formed an honor guard, bowing to the gurney carrying Yoayi’s remains in honor of the brave boy.

The photo triggered social media responses from around the world.

Hospital officials said his kidney and liver were transplanted into other patients who were suffering from life-threatening ailments.

Published: Fri, 25 Jul 2014 09:27:22 -0400

Minor league GM gets public prostate exam

(AP) There was as much attention on the press box as on the field at the Myrtle Beach Pelicans minor league baseball game as team's general manager had a public prostate exam.

During the seventh inning stretch of Thursday's game, Andy Milovich bent over with his head out the press box window singing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" as the exam was performed as part of Prostate Awareness Night.

Milovich had the exam as part of a challenge with a 10-year-old boy suffering from brain cancer who has a Facebook page about his fight. Milovich agreed to have the exam if the page got 10,000 "likes," a number reached Monday.

Milovich said it was an odd night in minor league baseball but also was one of the most important.

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Published: Fri, 25 Jul 2014 09:15:55 -0400

Boy with brain tumor receives thousands of birthday cards

A Massachusetts boy with an inoperable brain tumor has had a wish granted thanks to national attention generated on social media

Danny Nickerson, of Foxboro, simply wanted cards for his sixth birthday Friday. And well-wishers came through in a big way.

According to the Sun-Chronicle newspaper, the support so far has been overwhelming. He has already received more than 30,000 cards, 1,000 packages and more than 24,000 'likes' ...  and he can expect many more as well-wishers have taken to social media to share his story and wish.

Danny's birthday is July 25, and all cards can be sent to the Nickerson's home addressed to Danny himself: Danny Nickerson, P.O. Box 212, Foxboro, MA 02035. More information is available on the Danny's Warriors Facebook page.

Here is a look at just some of the  social media posts around Danny's wish, compiled by the Sun-Chronicle:

Published: Fri, 25 Jul 2014 09:09:30 -0400

Investigators: Discarded cigarette sparked deadly motel fire

Officials said a 53-year-old man has died after he was rushed to the hospital after a fire broke out at a Burke County motel early Friday morning.

Guests at Lowman’s Motor Court on U.S. Highway 70 in Hildebran woke up to smoke just before 7 a.m. and tried to use a hose to put out the flames that were coming from one room.

Firefighters arrived a short time later and were able to pull a man from that room.

He was then rushed to Frye Regional Medical Center where he died, according to the fire chief. His name has not been released.

"I was asleep and when I came out I saw the smoke. First thing I thought was grab the garden hose," said Joshua Morton, a motel guest. "He's the type of person who would give his shirt to somebody to help them. And he has a lot of wisdom and he taught me a few things."

Investigators believe a discarded cigarette sparked the fire and estimated damage to the motel at a few thousand dollars. The SBI is assisting in the investigation.

Check back wth for updates on this developing story.

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Published: Fri, 25 Jul 2014 07:01:23 -0400

Troopers need help identifying moped rider killed in Rowan Co.

North Carolina state troopers were investigating a deadly crash overnight in Rowan County.

Troopers said the accident happened on U.S. 70 eastbound near Salisbury around 10:30 p.m.

A moped traveling the wrong way on U.S. 70 crashed into a car, according to troopers. The driver of that moped died and officials are having trouble identifying him.

He is described as a Hispanic man in his 40s or 50s.

Investigators closed the road for more than two hours while they cleared the scene.

If you have any information, please call the Highway Patrol at 704-639-7574.

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Published: Fri, 25 Jul 2014 06:47:46 -0400