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Maiden police: Razor blade found in Halloween candy

Police in Maiden were investigating after parents of a trick-or-treater said they found a razor blade partially embedded in a small candy bar Friday night.

The child was no hurt but police said they were taking the matter very seriously.

Officers said the parents were checking their children's Halloween candy when they found a small metallic blade inside the wrapper of a Twix Mini candy bar. The child had been trick-or-treating in the Maiden area.

Police want to make sure that parents check their children's Halloween candy and are continuing to investigate the incident.

Published: Sat, 01 Nov 2014 00:30:31 -0400

Officials: Duplex fire may have started in kitchen

Officials believe food left unattended on a stove caused a fire Friday night at a duplex in northwest Charlotte.

Multiple fire crews responded to the home on Faraday Street.

They removed the refrigerator and stove and put them in the front lawn.

The family got out of the home safely and no one was injured, officials said.

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Published: Fri, 31 Oct 2014 22:57:08 -0400

Death of student prompts community to push for crosswalk

There's a new push to protect other children days after a middle school student was hit and killed outside his Gastonia school.

ARTICLE: 14-year-old boy dies after being hit by car

Community members created a petition to build a crosswalk at New Hope Road and North Avenue.      
 
The death of Cramerton Middle School student Steven Canipe is prompting the community to put pen to paper and sign the petition.

The push is for crosswalks, crossing guards and a lower speed limit on the stretch of New Hope Road where the 14-year-old was hit and killed while trying to cross the road to get to school last week.
 
The petition requests the Department of Transportation reduce the speed limit near the school from 45 mph to 35 mph and to 25 mph in the school zone.
 
A representative said the change is possible but the DOT must first launch its own investigation into the crash.
 
 “We look at traffic volumes on the road. We look at speed limit and other contributing factors that make that road unique,” said Jordan Ashley, DOT.
 
Community members hope their voices are heard in honor of Canipe.

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Published: Fri, 31 Oct 2014 22:49:02 -0400

POLICE: Teen hit by car expected to be OK

A teen was sent to the hospital after he was hit by a car at a busy north Charlotte intersection, according to police.
 
The accident happened at about 6:30 p.m. Friday at the intersection of Beatties Ford and Sunset roads.
 
The 13-year old was hit in the leg and is expected to be OK.
 
Police said no charges will be filed against the driver.

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Published: Fri, 31 Oct 2014 21:08:42 -0400

Forensics lead to arrest of Monroe man

Indian Trail police said they have linked a Monroe man to several break-ins using fingerprints, blood and shoe impressions left at the scene.

Police said Jeffrey Bird broke into four businesses Monday.

Authorities tracked him down Friday using evidence at the scene.

He was hiding inside his closet, police said.

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Published: Fri, 31 Oct 2014 20:07:53 -0400

TSA agents confiscate passenger’s cane sword

Transportation Security Administration agents at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport said a passenger was carrying a cane sword.

Authorities confiscated the 13-inch sword earlier this week.

No one has been charged, according to records.

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Published: Fri, 31 Oct 2014 19:40:28 -0400

Texas woman accused of sexually assaulting husband’s friend

A Texas woman has been charged with burglary with intent to cause sexual assault after police said she broke into the home of her husband’s friend and tried to perform sexual acts on him on Monday.

Megan Rae Davis, 31, also known as Megan Hoelting, told police she entered the man’s home through an unlocked gate and entered the house through the back door, according to the affidavit. She got into the bed, kissed the man and wrapped her legs around him, the affidavit said.

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The man told police he woke up when he felt someone on top of him trying to perform a sexual act on him. According to the affidavit, the man said he recognized the woman, who was naked except for her panties, as his friend’s wife and told her to get off him and leave the house.

When she refused, the man called the police. Officers arrested her while she was still in his room, according to the affidavit.

Davis posted bail and was released on Thursday.

Published: Fri, 31 Oct 2014 19:37:13 -0400

Videographer says he caught illegal activity at polls

A firestorm is erupting over several videos taken at Charlotte polling sites. A national videographer claims the videos show campaign workers breaking the law by encouraging undocumented immigrants to vote.

One video shows a worker with Project Veritas talking to Greg Amick, former campaign manager for sheriff candidate Irwin Carmichael. A woman who said she was registered to vote, but claimed to be undocumented, asked him if she was allowed to vote.

Carmichael said undocumented immigrants should not be voting. He said Amick made that clear to the woman who approached him.

“That's edited out where he says, 'You need to go inside and talk to the board of elections,'” said Carmichael.

He said the video is misleading, but James O’Keefe, founder of the nonprofit, said North Carolina election officials should take it seriously.

“Now that they have the information they can make the decision, decide on their own whether these are people should be prosecuted or they're just ignorant,” he said.

O’Keefe said a recent study published in the Washington Post spurred his investigation. The study suggested undocumented immigrants who voted in North Carolina in 2008 may have caused President Barack Obama to win the state.

State Rep. Carla Cunningham said O’Keefe should be investigated. The Democrat said actors from Project Veritas targeted her campaign workers. She said they tried to trick her into committing a crime.

“He told her he had an envelope he wanted to give her, and it had names of people with dementia and he wanted me to get it to help these people vote,” said Cunningham.

The envelope contained a jump drive. She said she never looked at it, but planned to turn it over to state election officials.

“It makes me feel that people will go to any length to get the results that they want,” she said.

O’Keefe said Friday that he doesn’t know anything about that jump drive.

Michael Dickerson, who is the Board of Elections chairman in Mecklenburg County, said people seen in that video work for individual campaigns. He said they are not election workers and are not in charge of instructing voters. For that reason his office is not investigating.

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Published: Fri, 31 Oct 2014 19:11:51 -0400

Mom can't visit children she drove into ocean

(AP) A judge says the South Carolina woman accused of trying to kill her three children by driving her minivan into the Atlantic Ocean off Daytona Beach can send them pre-printed cards.

But Circuit Judge Leah Case ruled Friday that Ebony Wilkerson still can't see the children who were with her on March 4. They remain in the custody of the Florida Department of Children and Families. Her husband has custody of a baby born in May.

The Daytona Beach News-Journal reports the Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, woman was also barred from contacting the kids through Facebook or by phone.

The children told investigators Wilkerson was trying to kill them.

Wilkerson is out of jail while awaiting trial on $90,000 bail. She's charged with three counts each of attempted second-degree murder and child abuse.

Published: Fri, 31 Oct 2014 18:56:42 -0400

Gastonia man needed stitches after hit with neighbor's machete

A Gastonia man has gashes in his head and needed stitches after he said his next door neighbor attacked him with a machete two days ago.

Chad Morgan said the man, Walter Preslar, grabbed him, pulled him into his apartment then attacked him.

"I believe he was dragging me in there to kill me. I really believe that," said Morgan. He said he's still shocked his neighbor attacked him with a machete Wednesday night.

“This was just totally unprovoked," said Morgan.

Morgan said his aunt died and he was on the phone Wednesday making arrangements with relatives. He said he was pacing in front of Preslar's apartment right next door.

"[He] started raising cane because he thought I was looking through his window," Morgan told Channel 9.

The two men then had an argument at Preslar's front door and witnesses told police that Preslar pulled Morgan inside.

"When he originally hit me, I went to my knees. When I realized he was dragging me into his house, I got up," said Morgan.

Preslar told Channel 9 that Morgan came into his apartment and he needed the machete for self-defense.

“I grabbed this and said, ‘Get out of here,’" said Preslar.

Preslar said he hit Morgan in the head with the handle.

"I just took the hatchet like this and bopped him on the head, made him leave me alone," Preslar said.

Both men fought until neighbors broke it up and Morgan needed four stitches in his head.

Police charged Preslar with assault inflicting serious injury. He is out on bond and the two men are living next door to each other again.

"I am moving out as soon as I can," Morgan told Channel 9.

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Published: Fri, 31 Oct 2014 17:17:24 -0400

Teacher accused of using hot sauce to discipline autistic student

A mother is calling for a teacher to be fired after the way she said her son was disciplined.
 
The mother told Channel 9 a teacher used hot sauce on her son to prevent him from touching his nose in class.
 
The accused teacher used to work at Weddington Hills Elementary in Concord but is now at another school.
 
The boy's mom is angry over what happened to her son and she wants more action taken.

"She took advantage of him, and she needs to be held accountable," Cindy Joseph said.
 
She calls the incident that happened earlier this month as outrageous behavior.
 
Her 11-year-old son DJ has autism and can't speak so while Joseph said he couldn't tell her about what happened in class on Oct. 7.
 
But the principal caught the teacher putting hot sauce on DJ.
 
"She was reported of putting hot sauce on DJ's fingers because he kept digging in his nose," Joseph said.
 
She didn’t believe it at first but the principal told her they found the bottle of hot sauce in the classroom.

"I don't think she should be allowed to be teaching period, with any kids, whether they have a disability or no disability and she should not be allowed to have a license," Joseph said.

School officials wouldn't talk about any specific incident but confirmed the teacher now works at Royal Oaks Elementary.
 
They also confirmed the teacher was suspended on Oct. 8 -- the day after the alleged incident.
 
Joseph is glad her son is OK but said the school district shouldn't take any more chances.

"I feel in my heart she doesn't need to teach period,” Joseph said. “She needs to be held accountable for her actions."

Now, she wants to file abuse charges against the teacher.

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Published: Fri, 31 Oct 2014 17:16:48 -0400

Rivera: Hardy should be allowed to play if trial pushed back

Carolina Panthers Head Coach Ron Rivera addressed reports Friday that defensive end Greg Hardy's appeal won't be heard until after the season.

Hardy appealed for a jury trial after a judge convicted him of assaulting his girlfriend.

That trial is set for Nov. 17, but Channel 9 reported in September there is a good chance it would be pushed back because of the backlog in the courts.

After a series of domestic violence cases in the NFL, Hardy put himself on the commissioner's exempt list after playing in Week 1. That decision removed him from the team's active roster.

Rivera was asked Friday if Hardy should play if his trial is pushed back.

Past coverage:


He explained that based on the NFL’s new domestic violence rules, Hardy would have already served the 6-game suspension by Nov. 17.

“Do you think he should be allowed back at that point?” a reporter asked Rivera.

“My personal opinion, yes I would like to, but you know again I don't set policy,” Rivera said.

“Why do you think he should be allowed to?” a reporter asked.

“Well just because he's been out and you know if things would have transpired and gone a certain way then his availability might be now so we'll see. Again I don't set the policy,” Rivera said.

Channel 9 checked with the DA’s office and they said they haven't made an official decision on whether to postpone Hardy's trial.

Signup for breaking news alert to get the news if Hardy’s trial is pushed back.

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Published: Fri, 31 Oct 2014 17:16:35 -0400

West Charlotte HS remembers coach Collins

As West Charlotte High School took the field Friday there was an empty spot on the sidelines. But everywhere else you looked, the late former head coach Mo Collins was there.

ARTCILE: Students, teachers remember West Charlotte head coach
 
Fans did the Gator-Chomp hand motion in honor of Collins' alma mater, Florida.
 
Players had stickers and tape with his name on their helmets.
 
"He meant so much as a father figure, a big brother, a leader especially," said Chris Satterfield, West Charlotte's athletic director.
 
Collins passed away Sunday after an unexpected illness. The former West Charlotte player and student has become a legend in the community.
 
Collins won an NCAA national championship while playing at the University of Florida. He went on to the NFL and started in a Super Bowl game for the Oakland Raiders.
 
But those who knew him said even at the top, he never forgot where he came from.
 
"This is his community, this is his school, he took ownership," said Satterfield.
 
Collins became head coach at West Charlotte in February.
 
He would never see the team finish a full season.
 
Friday at a special halftime ceremony, his family saw the impact he had as the school announced on the field that it will rename the fieldhouse and field after Collins.
 
"He chose to come back to West Charlotte, he's always given back to West Charlotte," said West Charlotte Principal John Wall. "Even when no one knew he was giving back to West Charlotte. He's just that type of person."

Collins funeral services will be held Nov. 1 at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, 3400 Beatties Ford Road. Visitation starts at 10 a.m. and service at noon.

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Published: Fri, 31 Oct 2014 16:53:54 -0400

4th Meck Co. sheriff in past 30 years to be elected next week

There’s about to be a new sheriff in town.

Since 1982 Mecklenburg County has had only three sheriffs. This year, with Chipp Bailey retiring from office, either Democrat Irwin Carmichael or Republican Chris Hailey will become the fourth.

Hailey is a former North Carolina state trooper who also headed CPCC's continuing education training programs for law enforcement officers. Carmichael owns a string of martial arts schools and said his 28 years as an unpaid reserve officer with the Sheriff’s office gives him an advantage.

"I've been able to work in the different areas. I've been able to work in arrest processing. I've been able to work in the courthouse," Carmichael said.

Carmichael has the endorsement of the current sheriff and said he wants to keep most of the programs of Chipp Bailey in place. His opponent, Hailey, has a different take.

"There's change that needs to be made here in Mecklenburg County," Hailey said. He's campaigning on a plan to create new satellite sheriff's offices with facilities for temporarily housing arrestees. Hailey said it will speed up arrest processing which ties up officers for too long.

"If it's gonna take anywhere from two to four to six hours to process an arrestee and to get back into your community, that's a problem," Hailey said.

Carmichael disagrees with Hailey's plan.

"His vision is going to decentralize the Sheriff's office. It's not the right time for that," Carmichael said.

Neither candidate has ever led an organization the size of the Sheriff's office -- with more than 1,000 employees and a $100 million budget. Both are trying to convince voters they can.

"For the last 28 years I've been accumulating the skills to hold this office," Carmichael said.

Asked if he can win as a Republican in a county dominated by Democratic voters, Hailey said, "Absolutely. We're going to win this race."

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Published: Fri, 31 Oct 2014 16:50:58 -0400

Experts say women voters could decide NC Senate battle

The Senate race between Kay Hagan and Thom Tillis has been one of the most heated in the country this election season.

With just four days left, some political analysts believe its women voters who could decide the winner.

Channel 9 anchor Blair Miller broke down what’s at stake and why women are key to the candidates.

Hagan brought Hillary Clinton to Charlotte last weekend. Thom Tillis’ wife Susan is also busy on the campaign trail.

A new poll this week shows women voters support Hagan over Tillis -- an 18 percent lead.

SPECIAL SECTION: VOTE 2014

Not much change from a poll two months ago where Hagan had a 19 percent lead with women.

Stephanie Schriock is the president of Emily's List, a D.C.-based political action committee focused on getting women elected.

“It is clear that women will decide who wins this election,” said Schriock.

Schriock said some women voters are frustrated with Tillis because of his work on education or equal pay.

“Campaigns are about records and his particularly when it relates to the families of North Carolina has not been good,” Schriock said.

WSOC-TV Senate Showdown - Part 1


WSOC-TV Senate Showdown - Part 2


But on the Republican side, national party leaders said they are gaining ground.

“I think people of North Carolina know how important their state is,” said Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus.

Priebus said Tillis is gaining momentum with women voters and that it’s Hagan who is struggling.

“I think Kay Hagan's problem is that she's supported policies that women aren't excited about and we're doing better with women. I think it's obviously important that we do that,” Priebus said.

But in a race that's been full of harsh TV ads many voters are just ready for it all to be over.

This week's poll also shows this race still very tight, but the advantage goes to Hagan with a lead of 4 percentage points.  

Despite that, national GOP leaders are predicting Tillis will come out on top by 2 points.

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Published: Fri, 31 Oct 2014 16:39:17 -0400

Monroe man accused of stealing $32K in food stamp benefits

A Union County man is facing fraud charges after investigators said he stole tens of thousands of dollars in food stamp benefits.

Deputies arrested Victor Ramos Thursday after they said DSS workers tipped them off to possible criminal activity. Investigators said Ramos first applied for food and nutrition services at Union County DSS in 2010, and made several false statements on his application.

"He didn't inform DSS that his wife was actually employed, and the number of children that were living in the home," said Capt. Ronnie Whitaker.

Whitaker said Ramos also claimed he was unemployed when he actually ran a denture and veneer business, Art Ceramic Dental Clinic, out of his Monroe home.

"You have someone that's kind of double dipping, so to speak. He's earning an income and there's money coming into his home, and yet he's still getting these benefits from social services. That's taxpayers' dollars," Whitaker said.

Investigators said Ramos collected more than $32,000 in food stamp benefits before anonymous tips to DSS resulted in employees there asking for new documentation.

Detectives said Ramos then suddenly canceled his application, which raised a red flag and launched a criminal investigation.

Channel 9 went to Ramos' home Friday seeking comment, but no one answered the door. Neighbors said they were shocked by news of his arrest, calling Ramos a family man.

"They're good people. His daughter and my little sister play together, and his wife just had a baby," said Kione Lyles.

Ramos was released from the Union County Jail on a $10,000 bond.

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Published: Fri, 31 Oct 2014 16:25:34 -0400

Retailers, websites declare ‘Black Friday’ a month early

Stores and websites are declaring a new Black Friday moving up the traditional kickoff to holiday shopping a month early.
 
Competition is driving Walmart, Amazon and a handful of others to drop their prices Saturday.
 
Eyewitness News reporter Ken Lemon talked to some excited shoppers, while others aren't ready to give in this early.
 
Economists said Walmart can increase its holiday sales by $600 billion by offering Black Friday deals a month early.

Operators of the nation’s largest retailer said as soon and they put away the Halloween items, they will roll back prices on more than 20,000 items.

They are trying to stay ahead of the growing holiday competition.

"They got to make money somehow,” said Robert Jenkins, a shopper. “I guess they are starting early."

Some shoppers are happy about big price breaks on TVs and video gaming systems.

"Everybody wants to get everything done before the holidays get here,” Jenkins said. “I guess they will have a little extra time."

"Everybody's money is tight,” said Elizabeth Messer, a shopper. “To offer discount prices from here on out to Christmas, it's wonderful.

Other shoppers said they are familiar with the Black Friday crunch and they won't miss the scores of shoppers fighting for door buster deals.

"I'm a fan of the deals,” Leticha Chandler said. “I'm not a fan of the long lines."

The owner of Jenn's Sugarlicious Bakery said it should drive more traffic into her store near the Walmart.

Her business increases by 50 percent when Walmart has special discounts.

"I think when you are shopping you want to eat something sweet and it will put you in the spirit," said owner Jennifer Barnes.

The deals are not just in the store. Walmart has also extended discounts online and so has Amazon and that is why Walmart is starting early this year.

Office Max and Office Depot are also offering deals starting Saturday.

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Published: Fri, 31 Oct 2014 16:19:56 -0400

Latest social media reports on the Virgin Galactic SpaceShipTwo crash

A Virgin Galactic space tourism rocket exploded after taking off on a test flight in Southern California's Mojave Desert, a witness said Friday.

At least one was dead and another was injured, California Highway Patrol said. The SpaceShipTwo rocket is typically flown by a crew of two pilots and has been under development at Mojave Air and Space Port in the desert northeast of Los Angeles.

>>Photos: Crash of SpaceShipTwo

Below are the latest updates on the crash from social media. Check back frequently for updates.

Published: Fri, 31 Oct 2014 15:16:12 -0400

Gas falling under $3 nationwide: What to know

For the first time in nearly four years, the national average for a gallon of gas is at $3.
 
AAA expects prices to fall below the benchmark soon.
 
It hasn’t been there since December 2010.
 
Prices fell 33 cents this month, thanks to falling oil prices.
 
Channel 9 just checked on prices in the Charlotte area.
 
Charlotte drivers are paying about $2.85 per gallon of regular gas.
                  
Statewide, drivers are paying $2.92 per gallon.
 
South Carolina drivers are paying one of the lowest averages in the nation at $2.74.
 
You can find the cheapest gas prices in your neighborhood by clicking here.

Here are a few things to know about cheap gas:

  • Crude prices came off the boil. Oil fell from $107 a barrel in June to near $81 because there's a lot of supply and weak demand. U.S. output has increased 70 percent since 2008, and supplies from Iraq and Canada have also increased. At the same time, demand is weaker than expected because of a sluggish global economy.

  • In the past, a stronger economy in the U.S., the world's biggest consumer of oil and gasoline, typically meant rising fuel demand. No longer. Americans are driving more efficient vehicles and our driving habits are changing. Michael Sivak of the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute calculates that the number of miles travelled per household and gallons of fuel consumed per household peaked in 2004.

  • The drop from last year's average of $3.51 per gallon will save the typical U.S. household about $50 a month.

  • The drop will save the U.S. economy $187 million a day, and also boost the profits of shippers, airlines, and any company that sends employees out on sales calls or for deliveries.

  • It will take an extra 1.5 years to make purchasing a higher-priced, better-mileage Toyota Prius instead of a Toyota Corolla pay off.

  • New York's average of $3.37 is the highest in the continental U.S. South Carolina and Tennessee are the lowest, with an average of $2.75.

  • Politicians are either going to take the credit for lower gasoline prices or blame the other party for not helping them fall further. Don't listen. There are small things politicians can do over long time horizons, like implement fuel economy standards or ease drilling regulations, but the decline in prices is mainly due to market forces.
  • Gasoline is cheaper than milk again. In September the national average price of milk was $3.73 per gallon. The annual average for milk is on track to be more expensive than the annual average for gasoline for the first time since 2011. The gap is even bigger for some bottled water lovers. A case of a dozen 1.5 liter bottles of Evian on Amazon.com costs $38.99, which makes for a price per gallon of $8.20.


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Published: Fri, 31 Oct 2014 12:46:16 -0400

MONDAY: 9 Investigates: Texas schools targeting NC teachers

Your child's favorite teacher may be on his or her way out of Charlotte.

“I’m doing the same job I was doing in Carolina. I'm just being appreciated here more in Texas,” on teacher told Eyewitness News.

Teachers are leaving North Carolina over something you may be taking for granted.

“(I’m) 38-years-old. I shouldn't have to call my mom asking for grocery money,” said another teacher.

Channel Nine's Paige Hansen traveled to Texas to investigate the job offers our teachers couldn't turn down.

She uncovers why our school system may soon lose even more quality teachers.

See her full report at 5 p.m. Monday on WSOC-TV.

Read our past 9 Investigates:

Published: Fri, 31 Oct 2014 12:37:42 -0400