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Source: MedleyStory

Speedway Christmas kicks off at Charlotte Motor Speedway

Speedway Christmas kicks off at Charlotte Motor Speedway

Saturday was opening night for Speedway Christmas at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

This is the fifth year the track is hosting the holiday event.

There are more than 3 million lights in 800 displays and a Christmas Village in the infield.

Speedway Christmas will also host movie nights on the world’s largest HDTV every Friday and Saturday night during the show.

Below is the movie night schedule:

  • 11/22: "Elf"
  • 11/28 - 11/29: "Elf"
  • 12/5 - 12/6: " The Polar Express"
  • 12/12 - 12/13: "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation"
  • 12/19 - 12/20: "Cars 2"
  • 12/21 - 12/24: "Frozen"
  • 12/26 - 12/27: "Frozen"

The speedway also hosted its second annual Eggnog Jog 5K on Friday night.

Click here for additional details.

Published: Sat, 22 Nov 2014 21:39:47 -0500

Rain, chance of thunderstorms Sunday

The weather will change Sunday, as clouds and rain move into the area. Rain will be heavy at times. There will also be areas that could have the potential for thunderstorms.

Skies will stay clear over Charlotte Saturday night. The storm will move into the southern part of South Carolina Saturday night. After midnight, fog and mist will move into our area. From there, steady rain will move in.

Temperatures will be slow to warm, with the high reaching near 50 degrees.

Warm air will try to push in Sunday. As the warm air gets close, thunderstorms could become possible. Southeast Charlotte has the best chance for storms.

The weather will be quiet Monday through Wednesday. The system that will bring rain to our area Sunday will bring rain again Wednesday.

Published: Sat, 22 Nov 2014 17:53:05 -0500

Police: Man found shot, dead in the woods Saturday

Detectives with the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department are investigating after the body of a man was found in a park of a west Charlotte neighborhood.

Officers were dispatched to Westerly Hills Neighborhood Park off Bristol Drive around 11:15 a.m. Saturday after a neighbor noticed the body in the woods and called 911.

Investigators quickly determined the man had been fatally shot.

“It would be interesting to know what happened,” said Jaimie Chester, who lives near the park.

Chester brought her daughter to the playground Saturday and was unaware a body had been found just yards away from them.

“My daughter has been begging for me to bring her here and we were wondering what happened after we noticed the police cruisers,” said Chester.

Westerly Hills Neighborhood Park is surrounded by homes.  The park is a place for families to play basketball, baseball and even picnic.

Police went door to door to see if any neighbors heard any gunshots.   Chester told Channel 9 she didn’t hear any type of shots fired.

Investigators haven’t ruled out the possibility the man was shot in a different location and the shooter later dumped his body in the park.

Detectives are waiting on results from a medical examiner to determine how long the man had been dead, as well as where he was shot and how many times he was shot.

Investigators have not yet released the man’s identity.

Anyone with information on this case is asked to call police.

Published: Sat, 22 Nov 2014 16:12:40 -0500

Police: 5-year-old boy dies after being hit with aluminum bat

A boy died Friday night in an accident at a Fort Mill home.

According to our news partners the Rock Hill Herald, the boy was taken to Carolinas Medical Center. York County Coroner Sabrina Gast and an official with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Medical Examiner’s Office said he died from his injuries.

A Fort Mill police report said the boy was hit with an aluminum bat and went into cardiac arrest.

The boy’s body was being transported to York County on Saturday afternoon.

Fort Mill police responded to the scene, but determined the incident was an accident.

Published: Sat, 22 Nov 2014 15:50:24 -0500

Person shot in the jaw after argument, police say

Police said one person was shot in the jaw in the 1000 block of North Tryon Street Saturday afternoon.

Officers said the shooting may have started as an argument at a nearby barbershop then moved into the street.

About a block away from a shooting there is a church outside serving food to the homeless.

Kids in the area heard the gunshot and took off running.

Police said a lot of people in the area ran when the shooting happened.

The patient was taken to Carolinas Medical Center.

Police have not named a suspect.

Published: Sat, 22 Nov 2014 14:30:46 -0500

Hundreds gather to honor the life of beloved Union Co. deputy

Family, friends and hundreds of law enforcement officers attended the funeral of Union County Sgt. Jeffrey Greene on Saturday.

Greene was killed in a traffic accident on Highway 74 Wednesday morning.

The American flag draped over his casket is the same one that was placed over his body at the crash scene Wednesday morning as fellow law enforcement officers prayed over his body.

Those who spoke were full of emotion as they remembered the sergeant who they said was dedicated to serving his community and nation.

Saturday’s service focused on Greene’s life, and the joy he brought to his family and the Union County Sheriff’s Office.

IMAGES: Hundreds remember Sgt. Greene

“He was such a good person, such a good employee,” said Sheriff Eddie Cathey. “And if you look across the audience to the people who have stood over him, those are the people he trained. He had a part of their life, in their career. They’re here to support you.”

Cathey said he had received hundreds of letters from law enforcement agencies across the country. He also received a letter from Gov. Pat McCrory. Cathey said Greene was a hard worker and a good man.

"Whatever job God had for him, if he hasn't already done it he's well on his way," Green said.

Dr. Steve Jirgal said after Hurricane Katrina hit, Greene led a mission trip to New Orleans. He recalled Greene’s giving nature, saying he often paid for others' meals at his favorite restaurant.

Hundreds of police cars lined the streets for the 8.3 mile procession from the church to Lakeland Memorial Park.

CHOPPER IMAGES: Procession for Sgt. Greene

Greene was in a motorcycle club, The Renegade Pigs. That group, along with another group called The Patriot Guard Riders, led the procession.

“We want to see them honor and respect for a hero, someone who signed their name on that dotted line and was willing to sacrifice their life for ours, and to protect their freedoms,” said Jo Warren with the Patriot Guard Riders.

Greene had been married to his wife, April, for 29 years.


Published: Sat, 22 Nov 2014 13:20:37 -0500

NYPD's 'accidental' shooting fuels police violence debate

A New York City rookie police officer has fatally shot an unarmed black man in a Brooklyn housing project in what the police are calling a tragic accident, and some observers are calling part of a grim pattern.

"At this point, all indications are that this was an accidental discharge. This discharge, we believe, struck and killed the deceased in this incident," NYPD Commissioner Bill Bratton told reporters.

Twenty-eight-year-old Akai Gurley was shot once in the chest by NYPD Officer Peter Liang during his patrol of a Brooklyn housing complex Thursday night. Police sources told WCBS Liang's gun discharged while he was trying to open a door.

The shooting took place on a darkened stairwell inside the Lewis H. Pink Houses. Gurley's girlfriend, Melissa Butler, who was with Gurley at the time of the shooting, says there was no warning before Liang opened fire. (Video via WPIX)

Butler told a local media outlet, "They didn't present themselves or nothing and shot him. They didn't identify themselves at all. They just shot.​"

Multiple outlets have suggested Liang's inexperience and "nervous" demeanor led to the shooting, along with the poor lighting inside the stairwell.

But others noted this case fits the pattern of police violence against black men, a problem that has dogged the NYPD and other police forces around the country for years.

New York Magazine brought up the case of Timothy Stansbury, a 19-year-old kid who was shot and killed by police in 2004 as he was making his way up a stairwell.

More recent is the case of Eric Garner, who died after being put into a chokehold by an NYPD officer in July. A grand jury is still deciding whether to indict the officer involved. (Video via Time)

And, of course, tensions are still high in Ferguson, Missouri, where a grand jury decision about indicting the officer who fatally shot Michael Brown is expected to be handed down any day now. (Video viaKMOV)

In a speech in front of the building where Gurley was killed, Charles Barron of the State Assembly fought back against the police claim that the killing was accidental, calling on Bratton and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to offer more than an apology.

The New York Times reports Barron said, "People are outraged, this is happening all over the country, people have no respect for black life. ... I want to hear the justification for this one. We're going to fight for justice with this one just like they are in Ferguson."

Liang has been stripped of his badge and gun and placed on modified assignment. The official investigation into the shooting is ongoing.

This video includes images from Getty Images.

Published: Sat, 22 Nov 2014 12:09:49 -0500

Passenger bus that runs on human waste now in operation

While it may earn the nickname of the “No. 2” bus, the official name of the bus that is powered by human excrement and food waste is the Bio-Bus.

Designed by GENeco, the bus seats up to 40 passengers and can go 168 miles on a single tank of gas, according to a CNET report.

According to the company, it takes the annual waste output of approximately five people to create one tank of biomethane gas.  The environmentally-friendly biomethane gas helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions by almost 90 percent compared with gasoline, according to the BBC.

As for the big question, impurities are removed to make the fuel almost odor-free.

The Bio-Bus made its debut in England this month.

Published: Sat, 22 Nov 2014 09:17:24 -0500

Sgt. Greene remembered at visitation Friday night

Family, friends and fellow officers are remembering Union County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Jeff Greene this weekend with a funeral on Saturday. They held a visitation Friday at Lakeview Baptist Church. Greene was killed Wednesday in a traffic accident on U.S. Highway 74.

ARTICLE: Beloved Union Co. deputy will be laid to rest Saturday

The family released a statement Friday night that was read by a fellow officer and longtime friend.

“The family would like to express our appreciation for the outpouring of sympathy we have received from the local community, as well as from across the nation,” Greene family spokesman Capt. Jeffrey Outen said.

Community members poured into Lakeview Baptist to also say thank you and pay their respects.

“Jeff, he loved to help people,” Capt. Ronnie Whitaker with the Union County Sheriff’s Office said. “He loved serving.”
Before Greene joined the Sheriff’s Office, he served in two Armed Forces as a U.S. Marine and as an Airman in the U.S. Air Force for a decade. In the community, he was also part of the Baptist Men's Association and the Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club doing charity work.

“Jeff wanted to make life better for the citizens of Union County through what he did,” Chief Deputy Sheriff Ben Bailey said.
It has been an incredibly tough week for the Union County Sheriff’s Office, an agency where everyone knew Greene. Friday, fellow officers from Stallings, Monroe and all over the region came by to support their law enforcement family.
“We deal with death and things like this on a daily basis,” Sheriff Eddie Cathey said. “And I guess now it’s come home to our own family.”

Published: Fri, 21 Nov 2014 22:17:56 -0500

Federal officials: Prison release date for Cannon set for 2018

Former Mayor Patrick Cannon who is in prison after being convicted of corruption and bribe charges has a release date of Jan. 25, 2018, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

That is 38 months and one week in prison.

Past Coverage: Patrick Cannon reports to federal prison in West Virginia

Cannon reported to FCI Morgantown in West Virginia on Tuesday.
Prior to reporting into prison, he was put on house arrest for voting illegally in the election. He had already been convicted of taking bribes as mayor and was sentenced to 44 months in prison.  

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Published: Fri, 21 Nov 2014 22:03:19 -0500

Father wanted for alleged abuse of 2-month-old child

Authorities are looking for Dustin Aaron Wilson, 23, who has warrants out for his arrest on felony child abuse after his 2-month-old child was treated for injuries.  
Rowan County Sheriff's Office and Rowan County Department of Social Services began investigating a possible child abuse in late October that was reported by the Rowan Regional Medical Center.
The injuries were consistent with a physical assault.
Wilson is thought to be in the Swannanoa area of western North Carolina and he has been added to the Rowan County sheriff's Most Wanted list.
Anyone with information about Wilson is asked to contact Lt. C. Moose, 704-216-8687 or Detective Sara Benfield, 704-216-8739.

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Published: Fri, 21 Nov 2014 21:19:49 -0500

CMPD: 1 hit by train near Music Factory

One person was taken to the hospital Friday night after being “grazed” by a train near the Music Factory in north Charlotte, officials with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said.

The man was sitting on the tracks when he was struck, police said. He suffered serious injuries and is expected to survive.

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Published: Fri, 21 Nov 2014 20:50:09 -0500

Man convicted of killing paralegal gets life in prison

A man found guilty of killing of a well-known paralegal visiting Charlotte, will spend the rest of his life in prison.

PAST COVERAGE: Suspect in Beatties Ford Road shooting to appear in court 

Arthur Givens was sentenced Friday after a jury found him guilty for the murder of Donald Gist Jr.
Gist's shooting death was caught on surveillance video outside a convenience store on Beatties Ford Road in December 2013.
The judge sentenced Givens to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

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Published: Fri, 21 Nov 2014 20:38:33 -0500

9 Investigate: Recovering stolen identities

Her identity was stolen when she was 11 years old and then sold for $25.

“He's not even legal to be here and he's using my Social Security number,” she said.

He got a job racked up debt and got away with it for 12 years.

Channel 9’s Scott Wickersham investigates uncovering the road blocks to reclaiming your identity if this were to ever happen to you.

He asks when this happens, how hard is it to get your life back. See his full report at 5 p.m. Monday.

Read our past 9 Investigates:

Published: Fri, 21 Nov 2014 17:47:08 -0500

CFD: Family of 5 displaced after fire

One person was injured in a fire on Oak Arbor Lane, according to the Charlotte Fire Department.

The fire broke out Friday evening at the Grier Heights apartment complex. The fire that started in an upstairs bedroom was under control at 5:40 p.m.

Officials said one person was taken to the hospital to be treated for minor burns. The family of five was displaced as a result of the fire, officials said.

The fire department said the family did not have a working smoke detector nor did two neighboring apartments.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

Check back to and watch Eyewitness News at 10 & 11 p.m. for updates.

Published: Fri, 21 Nov 2014 17:43:55 -0500

Future of coal ash use could be determined next week

How toxic coal ash is used around the state of North Carolina will be before a state environmental panel on Monday at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte.

The Environmental Management Commission appointed by Gov. Pat McCrory will take up coal ash reuse in an effort to determine whether the by-product is safe.

Coal ash is waste produced during the conversion of coal into electricity. It is produced at 14 major power plants across the state.

While most coal ash is sent to landfills or stored, it has also been used in road construction, concrete and other products. The state put a moratorium on such use while environmental leaders take a second look at possible risks to people and the environment.

Earlier this week, citizens in Lee County said no to Duke Energy's plan move tons of coal ash out of Charlotte's Riverbend plant and store it there.

Up to 130 trucks a day would haul the waste out of the Charlotte area and send it to Sanford and Moncure, North Carolina.

North Carolina Department of Environmental and Natural Resources officials told Channel 9 it has not received a permit request yet from Duke Energy for the move. At a public meeting in Sanford this week, residents were strongly against the idea of shipping the waste there and storing it in mines.

"Are we going to stand aside and let Duke Power or any other company undermine our local government and disrespect our residents?" said Lucas Cranford. "We know the ethics these big companies operate under."

While people in Charlotte are glad to see the coal ash go, there is concern about air pollution during transport. Some environmentalists and neighbors are worried about dust and ash getting blown from trucks into neighborhoods.

Jamie Kritzer, a spokesman for DENR, said that backlash from the Sanford community could have a major impact on the permit process.

"We would certainly take the public's comments into consideration when we decide whether or not to issue a permit," Kritzer said.

It's also likely that future public hearings will be held in those communities where the coal ash could be headed.

The environmental committee that meets Monday at UNCC must present its findings to state lawmakers by mid-January.

However, the EPA is expected to revamp its rules concerning coal ash in December. Any new federal rules could impact the direction the state takes on coal ash.

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Published: Fri, 21 Nov 2014 17:41:47 -0500

75-year-old grandmother chases off would-be robbers

When Nancy Stowe saw robbers beat her grandson and son, she jumped into action.

“I said ‘Leave and I mean right now,’” Nancy told Channel 9.

The 75-year-old woman is being credited for scaring the robbers off before they could do additional damage.

The attempted robbery happened Thursday night outside a gas station off Highway 321 in south Gastonia.

Two men asked Nancy Stowe’s grandson for money. He told them he didn’t have any money. One of the men saw his wallet and attacked him.

“It dawned on me, ‘They are trying to actually rob him,’” Nancy said.

The men forced her 22-year-old grandson to the ground. His father also witnessed the incident.

Doug Stowe jumped in the save his son, but the robbers turned the tables on him.

“I think it was a natural instinct,” Nancy said.

She was one of the few female officers to patrol the streets of Belmont in the 1970s. She also worked with the Gaston County Sheriff’s Department and the Police Department in Coats, North Carolina. Instructors taught her to stand tall and speak with authority.

“I didn’t have a weapon at all,” Nancy said. “I just got in between them. I said ‘Oh, no you don’t.’ I said ‘That’s enough of this.’”

She had left her cellphone in the car, but she told reporter Ken Lemon she cupped her hand and pretended she still had it.

“I pointed at it and said, ‘I’ve already called 911,’” Nancy said.

The robbers ran and she shouted at them as they left.

“I said, ‘And don’t try it no more tonight!’” Nancy said.

The two victims are nursing their injuries. Both said they are glad she was there. Police are investigating and hope surveillance video will help them identify the two men.

Published: Fri, 21 Nov 2014 17:12:26 -0500

75-year-old grandmother thwarts would-be robbers

When Nancy Stowe saw robbers beating her grandson and son at the gas station, she jumped into action, just as she had many times before.

The 75-year-old woman is being credited for scaring the robbers off before they could do additional damage during an attempted robbery Thursday night.

Two men asked Stowe’s grandson for money. He told them he didn’t have any. One of the men saw his wallet and attacked him, forcing him to the ground.

“It dawned on me, ‘They are trying to actually rob him,’” Stowe said.

Doug Stowe jumped in the save his son, but the robbers turned the tables on him.

That's when Nancy Stowe spoke up.

“I said ‘Leave, and I mean right now.’ I think it was a natural instinct,” she said.

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And she would know the feeling: Nancy Stowe was one of the few female officers to patrol the streets of Belmont, North Carolina, in the 1970s. She also worked with the county Sheriff’s Department and the Police Department in Coats, North Carolina. Instructors taught her to stand tall and speak with authority.

“I didn’t have a weapon at all,” Nancy Stowe said. “I just got in between them. I said, ‘Oh, no you don’t.’ I said, ‘That’s enough of this.’”

She had left her cellphone in the car, but she told reporter Ken Lemon she cupped her hand and pretended she still had it.

“I pointed at it and said, ‘I’ve already called 911,’” Nancy Stowe said.

The robbers ran and she shouted at them as they left.

“I said, ‘And don’t try it no more tonight!’” Nancy said.

Her son and grandson are nursing their injuries. Both said they are glad she was there. Police are investigating and hope surveillance video will help them identify the two men.

Published: Fri, 21 Nov 2014 17:12:26 -0500

Authorities arrest 3 in connection with Stanly Co. meth lab

Stanly County Sheriff's Office deputies arrested and charged three people Thursday for running a meth lab at a home on Pauls Crossing Road in Richfield.
Gregory Allen Sanders and Tara Morton Poplin were charged with controlled substance offenses related to the manufacture of methamphetamine.
Bethany Leigh Horne, who was wanted by police, was at the home and arrested.
They are in the Stanly County Jail.
The Stanly County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation, Albemarle Police Department and the Rowan County Sheriff's Office.

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Published: Fri, 21 Nov 2014 16:56:50 -0500

Records unsealed on CMPD eavesdropping on some cellphones

It's impossible to go anywhere in Charlotte without being in the electronic shadow of a cellphone tower.

For years, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department has quietly been using a device that acted like a portable cell tower to track suspects and even eavesdrop on their conversations.

Police said they've done so only after getting a judge to sign off on it, but now some are raising serious questions about what that will mean for cases in court.

“Yes, I can see a certain number of cases that might be reopened and the result entirely changed,” said legal expert Tony Scheer.

Scheer is a former prosecutor who is now a defense attorney and he said even with a judge's blessing, the cellphone surveillance raises potentially serious legal issues.

“This piece of the investigation was kept from hundreds of defendants over a period of years and we don't have any idea if there was information that was important to their cases,” he said.

The Mecklenburg County District Attorney's office said Friday in a statement they would be reviewing the records of all of CMPD’s cellphone searches to see if that information was shared with defendants.

“If prosecutors find that the information was not shared, the office will then work to determine whether the information should have been included,” the statement reads.

What it doesn't say is they may have to dismiss some of those cases.

CMPD isn't commenting Friday, but in a letter to the judge earlier this month Chief Rodney Monroe said he had no objection to those records going public now and, in a statement with it, CMPD added: "...we ensure that the rights of all citizens are protected and that we apply any use of technology within the parameters of the law."

Follow Channel 9 on Twitter for the latest.

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Published: Fri, 21 Nov 2014 16:55:21 -0500