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Club 935 owner gets 9 months in prison for money laundering

The owner of Club 935, Adolph Shiver, was silent after he walked out of the federal courthouse where a judge sentenced him to nine months in prison for his conviction on tax and money laundering charges.

“He's got no further comment than what he's said in court,” Shiver’s attorney said.

During sentencing, Shiver apologized to the judge.

READ our past coverage here: 

“I made some mistakes,” he said. “I thought I could run my nightclub but it was overwhelming. I did take the money. I was wrong."

Shiver was charged after officials said he agreed to launder $50,000 from a drug trafficker, who was also a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration source, in 2013.

Agents said Shiver also filed a false tax return.

His attorney pushed for nine months prison time, stressing Shiver immediately returned the money and has agreed to shut down Club 935, a venue that residents  of Wesley Heights say brings violence.

Neighbors, who also were in court, remain concerned about the fate of the property itself.

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Published: Thu, 27 Aug 2015 17:32:28 -0400

Surveillance photos released after Dilworth bank robbery

Police are investigating a bank robbery in Dilworth Thursday afternoon.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police are asking for the public's help to identify the man captured in surveillance photographs.

The PNC bank on East Boulevard in Dilworth was robbed around 3 p.m., police said.

A man entered in the bank and demanded money from a clerk, indicating he had a weapon, officials said. 

The man then fled the scene in a vehicle. The man is described as 38 to 40 years old, 5 feet 8 inches to 5 feet 9 inches tall and 150 pounds with black afro-style hair.

Anyone with information concerning this case and or the suspect is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.

Published: Thu, 27 Aug 2015 17:16:08 -0400

Operator dies after motor grader overturns, Highway Patrol says

North Carolina Highway Patrol is investigating a fatal crash involving a motor grader that overturned Thursday in Ashe County.

It happened around 3:45 p.m. in the Crumpler community.

The sheriff said part of a bank gave way causing the motor grader to overturn down a hillside pinning the operator.

The Highway Patrol has not released the name of the operator.

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Published: Thu, 27 Aug 2015 16:57:45 -0400

Rubio talks immigration during campaign in South Carolina

Communities in South Carolina continue to be a big stumping ground for presidential hopefuls.

Sen. Marco Rubio told residents Thursday why he deserves their vote.

He addressed a very hot-button issue that he says he knows a lot about.

Rubio told the crowd gathered at Sun City about the story of his parents, born in Cuba, who came to live the American dream.

Despite that link to legal immigrants, Rubio isn't shying away from the topic of illegal immigration

“It’s a problem we have to control. We need an e-verify system, more security at the southern border, and entry-exit tracking system to prevent visa overstays,” Rubio said.

Rubio said legal immigration needs reform too, and he would repeal the Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare.

Rubio faces an uphill battle for the nomination in South Carolina.

A recent poll puts Donald Trump solidly in the lead in this critical, early primary state with 30 percent support. Ben Carson has 15 percent, and Rubio is in the single digits.

However, Rubio found some supporters.

“He supports Israel and wants to enhance our military,” Sue Harmon, from Lake Wylie, said.

Even voters admit it’s a long road to Election Day with plenty of talk between now and then.

“We look forward to more candidates coming through. We need to be informed for this next election,” voter Debbie Drabic said.

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Published: Thu, 27 Aug 2015 16:40:56 -0400

Adam Ward’s fiancée shares heartbreaking message: ‘You were the one’

“Today, my entire world was flipped upside down.”

Those words start a heartbreaking Facebook post written by Melissa Ott, the fiancée of photographer Adam Ward who was gunned down on live TV Wednesday morning as Ott watched from the control room.

Ott, the morning show producer at WDBJ, was celebrating her final day at the station before moving to a new job in Charlotte. Ward planned to join her soon after.

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It started out, by all accounts, as a perfect morning. Her friends brought balloons and a cake to the station to celebrate.

The station sent this tweet just 40 minutes before her life changed forever.

Less than an hour later, Ott sat in the control room as reporter Alison Parker did a live shot about tourism at a lake near Roanoke, Virginia, with Ward behind the camera. Just one minute into the report, shots rang out and the camera fell to the ground as Parker screamed.

The station cut back to the anchor, unaware of what was going on at the time.

Later, the world would learn that a former disgruntled employee deliberately shot and killed Ward and Parker and injured a third woman. The gunman, Vester Flanagan, later shot and killed himself.

It’s a tragedy many are still struggling to comprehend. WDBJ’s General Manager described Ott as “devastated” saying she is surrounded by her family.

According to a colleague at her station, Ott’s wedding dress arrived the same day as the shooting.

“Adam Ward's fiancee's wedding dress arrived today. Sending her love. #heartbreaking #WDBJshooting,” Jean Jadhon tweeted Wednesday.

Later that afternoon Ott posted a tribute to her fiancé on Facebook that will bring tears to your eyes.

“Today, my entire world was flipped upside down. Starting new adventures with my fiance, new jobs, a new city. Getting married, having a family, buying a home. Thats now taken. Im not ok. And I wont be for a long time. But the enormous outpour of love and support from so many of you near and far is so much appreciated. Adam, I will never find a man so happy, selfless, protective, funny, or charming like you. You were the one. You understood me. My soulmate. I will always love you. Please watch over me and keep me strong. Enjoy the endless tech games in your heaven. I love you so much.”

Published: Thu, 27 Aug 2015 16:30:45 -0400

Boone residents say race track is too noisy

Complaints over a race track in Boone have some neighbors asking county leaders to shut it down.
The track reopened earlier this year after it was closed for more than a decade.
Eyewitness News reporter Dave Faherty spoke with nearby residents fed up with the noise.
They race on the dirt track nearly every weekend since getting the town's approval earlier this year.
But some of the homeowners said they didn't know about the old track after it closed 17 years ago.
On average, nearly 500 people come to the Mountain View Speedway in Boone for Saturday night racing.
Jill Hoekstra knows when the races start because she can hear it from her front porch and recorded it with her cellphone.
"When it affects a neighborhood to this intensity, that we can't even go outside and have a conversation, that we can't even relax at our own homes," Hoekstra said.
The track's operator, Mike Budka, wanted to bring affordable family entertainment back to Boone by reopening the old track.
They don't sell beer here or violate the county's noise ordinance by operating past 11 p.m. and he got approval first from town leaders, Budka said. 
"We actually went above and beyond and extended our hands to the neighbors and said that we would work on quieting the cars down with turndowns and mufflers," he said.
Jane Butler is a retiree from the Raleigh-Durham area to enjoy the mountains and never knew a track was there. She said she doesn't have friends over on the weekend.
"If you and I were standing on a deck this close, we would be yelling at each other," Butler said.
Budka said he's going to keep the track there and appreciates the support by others in the community. 

"A lot of the supervisors for the town use to come here back in the day and some of them even raced here," Budka said.
He's going to require drivers have mufflers and other equipment to quiet the cars more by Labor Day.  

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Published: Thu, 27 Aug 2015 16:10:13 -0400

Malcolm Graham speaks about journalists shot, killed

Former state Sen. Malcolm Graham spoke to Channel 9’s Ken Lemon by phone from Charleston.

He went to attend another event for his sister Cynthia Hurd, who was one of nine people killed when Dylann Roof walked into Emmanuel AME with a gun.

Friends said he wanted to start a race war.

Read our past coverage:

Two days later, it is reported Vester Lee Flanagan put a deposit down on a gun used to killed two former coworkers as they broadcast live.

He called it a reaction to the Charleston shooting.

"Charleston had nothing to do with what he did to those two innocent citizens,” Graham said.

Graham said the only message that clearly comes from both shootings is guns are getting into the wrong hands.

"It's a lot easier to get a gun than it is to register a car,” Graham said.

Graham said it's time to take on gun lobbyists and demand a registration process that requires more evaluations of owners before they get guns.

"The gun is not what killed anyone,” gun owner Tim Wright said.

Wright owns American Tactical Pawn in Shelby. He said changing laws won't change the problem.

"We can't legislate common sense and legislate decency,” Wright said.

He said people who misuse guns are targeting people who are unarmed.

The shootings illustrate the need for access to guns.

"We have the second amendment right to protect ourselves and our families and I think that's what needs to happen,” Wright said.

Published: Thu, 27 Aug 2015 16:02:41 -0400

Con artists can pose as officials with NC Department of Revenue

Scammers don't just pose as Internal Revenue Service officials. Action 9 found they also pretend to be with the North Carolina Department of Revenue.

Officials said they can seem even more believable because the real IRS will never threaten you by phone, so people know the call is bogus.

The state does call people who owe taxes. The phone call could be legitimate.

Call 877-252-3052 to check with the Department of Revenue to see if the call is real.


Published: Thu, 27 Aug 2015 15:25:17 -0400

Drone spots man sunbathing on wind turbine

There's no such thing as privacy in a world filled with drones.

Not even if you're on top of a 200-foot tall wind turbine.

>> Read more trending stories 

Kevin Miller, a drone pilot, was getting some video footage of a wind turbine in Rhode Island and was surprised to see a man catching some rays on the precarious perch.

The man operating the drone says he and the white bearded man had a "cool interaction," with the man curious about the flying object observing him. The man did not seem concerned about being caught in such a secluded place.

That's because, according to the nearby Portsmouth Abbey School, the man is a monk, and often sunbathes in the sky-high location.

>>Click here to see the drone video

Published: Thu, 27 Aug 2015 15:00:00 -0400

Family claims father robbed bank to pay for daughter’s cancer treatment

The family of a man who is accused of robbing a bank says the criminal act was a father’s desperate attempt to pay for his baby daughter’s chemotherapy.

Brian Randolph, 23, is accused of robbing a credit union in his neighborhood on Aug. 12, according to WXYZ. Randolph was arrested two days later. Surveillance video showed Randolph handing the teller a note that said he had a gun, but he never used one during the robbery.

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Randolph’s girlfriend told the news station that while she couldn’t be sure what he was thinking during the robbery, that “the only thing I can think about is him trying to take care of his child."

The suspect’s aunt told WXYZ that Randolph said, “I want to provide for my child.”

On the family’s GoFundMe page, the baby’s mother, Asia Dupree, said that Randolph robbed a bank to “be able to provide chemo and anything else for his daughter and provide for his family.”

However, police told WXYZ  that Randolph had in his possession expensive merchandise, like Nike Lebron shoes, a Gucci bag and other clothing accessories.

Randolph’s daughter, Brailynn Randolph, is undergoing treatment for retinoblastoma, a form of eye cancer.

The child lost health insurance because Brailynn’s mother didn’t renew the policy when the child turned 1. The mother claims she didn’t know that a renewal was necessary. The family recently learned that Brailynn will require additional chemotherapy treatments as a new tumor was discovered during follow-up tests.

Published: Thu, 27 Aug 2015 13:45:55 -0400

Documents: MS-13 gang operations resurge

New documents unsealed Thursday offer chilling details in the case against alleged MS-13 gang members operating in Charlotte.

Federal law enforcement applied for search warrants on phones and addresses tied to the suspects.

During the search of one of the suspect’s homes, officers found “the names of officers, victims, and witness, as well as phone numbers and addresses had been crossed out.”

The documents also details meetings among gang leaders. During one of those occasions, investigators said suspects “discussed gang structure and expansion, the need to identify individuals cooperating with law enforcement, using an apartment for individuals they kidnap, and collecting rent from or taxing drug dealers.”

The documents also offer new information on the size and scope of the gang’s operation in North Carolina.

Channel 9 was with investigators as they rounded up more than 30 suspected members in May.

PHOTOS: Feds indict 37 suspected MS-13 gang members in roundup

Twenty-two of those defendants were charged variously with additional offenses including murder, attempted murder, assault, and firearms violations.

Channel 9 learned that feds unsealed a bill of indictment against those alleged gang members which allege a pattern of violence and conspiracy dating back to 2009. 


Published: Thu, 27 Aug 2015 13:33:49 -0400

SURVEILLANCE VIDEO: SUV collides with CMPD cruiser

A Charlotte-Mecklenburg officer was involved in a wreck on Independence Boulevard at Sharon Amity Road.

It happened just after 1 p.m. Thursday.

The crash involved a marked CMPD cruiser and an SUV.

CMPD said an initial investigation showed the officer was driving inbound on Independence when the driver of the SUV, who was traveling outbound, attempted to make an illegal left turn onto North Sharon Amity Road.

EXCLUSIVE RAW VIDEO: SUV slams into CMPD cruiser

The SUV was t-boned by the officer’s car.

The driver of the SUV was pinned inside. Paramedics freed the driver, who was then transported to the hospital with unknown injuries.

Four people in the SUV were taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Officials said the officer was shaken, but not injured.

The driver of the SUV was cited for illegal left turn.

Two other people in the SUV were issued citations. One was cited for possession of drug paraphernalia and one for open container.

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Published: Thu, 27 Aug 2015 13:19:38 -0400

Meet Buddie, the pro-marijuana mascot

ResponsibleOhio is using Buddie - a superhero with a green head shaped like a marijuana bud - to visit college campuses and attract voters over 21 to vote to legalize marijuana in Ohio.

On Nov. 3, Ohio voters will decide on Issue 3 which would legalize marijuana for medical and recreational use.

>> Read more trending stories 

Buddie has visited some college campuses already, including the University of Toledo.

ResponsibleOhio is also expected soon to challenge the official ballot language for Issue 3 in the Ohio Supreme Court.

Husted announced Tuesday that State Issue 3’s title is, “Grants a monopoly for the commercial production and sale of marijuana for recreational and medicinal purposes.”

ResponsibleOhio Executive Director Ian James, who is the mastermind behind Issue 3, is promising to contest the titles, along with ballot summary language approved last week.

Issue 3 is a constitutional amendment to legalize and regulate marijuana for recreational and medical purposes, allow limited home grow, and designate 10 parcels controlled by ResponsibleOhio investors as the only commercial marijuana growing sites.

Published: Thu, 27 Aug 2015 12:36:25 -0400

Drought affects lake levels at Cowan's Ford Dam

Charlotte is now out of a severe drought. Duke Energy says we're not out of the clear yet.

Our cameras got a firsthand look at how the lack of rain has impacted area dams and why there is still concern for the coming months.

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The Cowans Ford hydro station in Lincoln County sits on Lake Norman. Right now it's still operating as it's going through a $75 million renovations.

"This facility affects many people in this area," station manager, Mike Williams said. "Not only with power generation but also with recreation facilities."

This station alone provides energy for more than 240,000 homes and Duke Energy relies on it heavily in extreme conditions -- like the record heat we've had this summer.

  • Read more about drought conditions in the Carolinas 

Nick Keener, a meteorologist with Duke Energy says there hasn't been enough rain this year so the company hasn't been able to use their hydro stations as much.

"We've had a rainfall deficiency that started in January," Keener explained. "We are running about seven to eight inches deficient in rain."

Eight out of the 31 boat ramps on Lake Norman are closed because of the low water levels and until Thursday our area was in a severe drought. Those conditions have improved but the energy company continues to monitor the lake levels and for good reason.

Keener explains our driest months are in the fall, usually around September, October and November.

Duke Energy has had to cut hydro electricity production by 26 percent this year and it's their cheapest, most efficient and cleanest energy product. So they want to see their turbines working at full capacity again.

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Published: Thu, 27 Aug 2015 11:38:58 -0400

Carowinds announces major water park expansion

Carowinds theme park shows no signs of slowing down during its multi-year, $50 million expansion. 

In mid-August, the theme park bulldozed its classic Thunder Road roller coaster to make room for expansion. On Thursday, reporters watched Carowinds executives unveil a plan to revamp the entire water park.

The former Boomerang Bay will be redone as Carolina Harbor and include some big upgrades.

  • PRESS PLAY: Watch the waterpark announcement at Carowinds:


Several Carowinds fans were invited to the announcement as VIP guests. Sandra Bennett said she was impressed with the future of the park.

"It’s going to be wonderful.  We bring our grandkids all the time, and they can enjoy it too," she said.

The expansion features a new wave pool, a much bigger area for young children, and the centerpiece, something called Blackbeard's Revenge, which features a six-story tower with big slides, and one where the floor drops out from under you.

The park will also add a Starbucks, more restaurants and a new acrobatics show.

Some local business leaders on hand said the expansion is about more than just adding more thrills.

Rob Youngblood is with the York County Chamber of Commerce.

"It’s investment in the community and investment in jobs and economic development. That's what's happening here," he said.

Carowinds doesn't release attendance figures, but business leaders told Channel 9  those numbers were up significantly since the launch of the Fury 325 coaster this season.

Carowinds General Manager Mike Fehnel said the coaster has given more than a million rides since its debut in March.

Jeff Edge with the Charlotte Chamber said an announcement like the water park expansion means he can pitch Charlotte to outsiders with even more enthusiasm. 

"For people like me who try to sell Charlotte, try to recruit new companies to Charlotte, this is gone be a huge enhancement to our ability to sell Charlotte," Edge said.

Carowinds officials ended the announcement with a tease, promoting another new attraction, that won't be unveiled until October.

List of new attractions:

  • Pirate’s Plank: Nearly vertical free fall slide where the floor drops out from underneath the guest
  • Cannonball Drop: An enclosed chute with four intense 360-degree turns
  • Captain’s Curse: A series of intense drops and turns
  • Seaside Splashworks: A multilevel children’s water spray ground, which includes a giant 423-gallon tipping bucket
  • Kiddy Hawk Cove, Myrtle Turtle Beach: Toddler water playgrounds with spraying water jets
  • Surf Club Harbor will be the newest wave pool, creating up to 6-foot waves in 12 different wave patterns, mimicking the high surf of the Atlantic Ocean
  • Sand volleyball courts
  • Over 40 new cabanas and 1,100 lounging chairs will be added
  • Current family changing areas will be upgraded, as well as new restroom facilities and a bath house

Published: Thu, 27 Aug 2015 11:29:27 -0400

CMPD chief says building trust is essential in department

Less than two months into his tenure, Charlotte’s new police chief said there is healing to be done and trust to be rebuilt after the manslaughter trial of one of his officers ended with a deadlocked jury.

“The department is a reflection of Charlotte as a whole and Charlotte is divided,” Chief Kerr Putney told Eyewitness News reporter Mark Becker on Thursday. “There are divided opinions in the organization as well, sure.”

  • PRESS PLAY to watch Chief Putney address the divide within CMPD:


Those divisions became apparent almost as soon as police charged Officer Randall “Wes” Kerrick with manslaughter in the shooting death of Jonathan Ferrell in September of 2013.

Within days, police held briefings at their training academy to explain to other officers why they had Kerrick arrested within hours of the shooting.

Officers said the department had rushed to judgment too quickly in the trial when evidence including dash cam video was made public.

On Thursday, Putney said he still stands by the decision to charge Kerrick.

  • PRESS PLAY to hear Chief Putney say he stands by the decision to charge Officer Kerrick:


“Yes, I do,” Putney said. “We established probable cause based on the facts. I'm not going to try and rewrite the narrative.”

He did say that he has to rebuild trust within the department and the community.

After years of steady declines, crime has edged back up in the first half of 2015.

“I was here over the last decade as crime numbers plummeted.  Now we're fighting our own success and I think we're up to the challenge,” Putney said.

He said he wants to reverse that trend by focusing on crimes against Hispanic victims and what he called crime sprees by a few violent criminals.

He said he still needs to listen and learn but is more convinced than ever that he is where he needs to be.

“This is what I was built for,” Putney said. “This is why I exist, this is what I do. This is part of who I am and to do it for the city and (the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department) family that I love. It's a dream come true.”

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Published: Thu, 27 Aug 2015 11:18:40 -0400

No charges filed against man who stabbed stepfather to death

A Hickory man will not face criminal charges in the stabbing death of his stepfather, police announced Thursday morning.

After reviewing the evidence, District Attorney David Learner determined that 33-year-old Derek McAdams acted in self-defense when he fatally stabbed his stepfather, 50-year-old Tony Johnson, during a domestic dispute on Aug. 4.

Johnson died at Frye Regional Medical Center in Hickory about an hour after the altercation.

Learner said McAdams defended himself and his mother Teresa Johnson when Tony Johnson physically and verbally assaulted them.

“It’s tragic, very unfortunate,” Learner said. “But it was, in fact, a situation of very intense domestic violence that unfortunately resulted in the death of Mr. Johnson. There was no criminal intent, and this was not a criminal act.”

According to Hickory police, Johnson returned to the home on Cloninger Mill Road on Aug. 4 and attacked McAdams in his room. When the fight broke up, Johnson turned his anger toward his wife Teresa and began shouting at her in their bedroom, investigators said.

Police then said McAdams stepped into the room with a knife in an attempt to defend his mother when Johnson attacked him again and pushed him against a bookshelf. McAdams stabbed his stepfather in the neck and went out of the house until officers arrived on scene.

“This was a meticulous investigation that all points to Mr. McAdams defending himself and his mother,” Learner said. “Hickory Police Department did a very thorough job investigating this case.”

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Published: Thu, 27 Aug 2015 08:32:20 -0400

McDonald's to Burger King: Thanks, but no thanks to McWhopper proposal

Wednesday, Burger King did the unthinkable, proposing to join forces with its biggest competitor McDonald's for one day only.

Burger King suggested on social media that the two companies should partner on the McWhopper to celebrate Peace Day on Sept. 21.

>> Read more trending stories  

The burger combination would be sold at a single pop-up restaurant halfway between the two companies' headquarters, The Verge reported.

McDonald's responded on its Facebook page, that it was a great idea but decided not to combine forces like Burger King proposed.

Dear Burger King, Inspiration for a good cause... great idea. We love the intention but think our two brands could...

Posted by McDonald's on Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Published: Thu, 27 Aug 2015 08:14:57 -0400

Neighbors rescue 3-year-old reportedly locked in day care van for hours

The mother of a 3-year-old boy in Jacksonville, Florida, is furious.

She told ActionNewsJax that her son was abandoned this week inside a van that takes children to and from the All About God’s Children Academy.

According to a heavily redacted police report, the incident happened Tuesday evening. The mother called police panicked that her son "had not been dropped off from day care" and had been missing for nearly four hours.

The mother told police she was working and unable to access her phone when the caretaker called to say the boy was never dropped off at home.

It wasn't until 8 p.m. when the mother learned that her other three children had been out searching for the toddler with no results.

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Police say the mother was visibly shaking, crying and panicked. She said "she just wanted to find her 'baby.'"

As officers searched the area, another call came into police, this time from neighbors of the van's driver, who said they found the boy "inside the van crying and pressing his hands up against the window."

The driver, they said, wasn't home. Neighbors told police they instructed the 3-year-old to unlock the van door. After being checked, the boy was determined to be OK.

ActionNewsJax went to the day care for answers Wednesday. Police said the owner of the day care and the suspect were crying and pacing Tuesday.

But on Wednesday, the woman who said she was in charge declined to answer questions and asked a news crew to leave.

Many of the details of the report have been redacted. Police say that’s because the incident is still under investigation.  At this point, they do not suspect foul play, but two teams from the Florida Department of Children and Families are now investigating.

According to DCF, day cares that provide transportation are required by law to keep a log of children getting on and off their vans. They are also required to have a second person make sure all children are out of the vehicles to help prevent incidents like this.

Published: Thu, 27 Aug 2015 07:58:38 -0400

Scholarships created in memory of slain journalist Alison Parker; here's how to help

Two scholarships have been created in memory of slain WDBJ reporter Alison Parker, one of two journalists slain on live TV early Wednesday.

>> RELATED: Father of slain journalist speaks out about gun laws in emotional interview

According to WDBJ, James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, where Parker graduated in 2012, is accepting donations for the Alison Parker Memorial Scholarship. Those who wish to contribute can send a check to JMU Advancement Gifts and Records, ATTN: Alison Parker Memorial Scholarship, MSC 3603, Harrisonburg, VA 22807. Checks should be written to the JMU Foundation.

>> RELATED: Gunman’s family speaks out after journalists slain on live TV

In addition, Patrick Henry Community College in Martinsville, Virginia, where Parker, 24, received an associate's degree in 2009, is accepting contributions for the Alison Bailey Parker Memorial Scholarship. Donations can be made online or by mailing cash or checks to the Patrick Henry Community College Foundation, 645 Patriot Ave., Martinsville, VA 24112. 

>> PHOTOS: Community pays tribute to slain WDBJ journalists

WDBJ reports that a scholarship in memory of cameraman Adam Ward, who also was fatally shot Wednesday, is in the works, as well. Ward, 27, graduated from Virginia Tech in 2011.

Read more here.

>> Read more trending stories

Published: Thu, 27 Aug 2015 07:57:56 -0400