Family sues troubled facility
The family of a woman missing from a troubled adult care home since Sept. 3 has sued the facility.
Details of the lawsuit, filed Friday afternoon, were not immediately available. State officials shut down the home – Unique Living in Cleveland County – after 46-year-old Muoy Tang went missing. The family has been searching for Tang since early September and has offered a $15,000 reward for information about her location.
But Tang, who has schizophrenia and requires insulin to control diabetes, remains missing. Her family members fear she may be dead and told the Observer they blame state officials for failing to act sooner.
“They've failed us and our family,” SueLee Waller of Raleigh, Tang's niece, told the Observer. “The problems run much deeper than losing my aunt. It's a reflection on the health system and how people view and treat the disabled.”
Trader Joe's is scheduled to open its third Charlotte location Friday in the Metropolitan development, bringing a long-awaited new grocery store to the center city.
If the store's first two Charlotte openings are any indication, the Metropolitan Trader Joe's will likely welcome large crowds of eager shoppers, observers say. Located at Kings Drive and Baxter Street, the store is scheduled to open at 9 a.m.
The opening brings another large, popular retailer to residents who say they have grown weary of driving miles to reach their favorite stores. Over the last year, Home Depot, Best Buy, Target, Staples and Marshalls have all brought stores to Metropolitan. Also, Lowe's will soon open a new home improvement store in South End.
Gaston County Belmont
Belmont City Manager Barry Webb, after being charged with driving while impaired Friday morning, told colleagues he had made a mistake.
Troopers arrested Webb when he crashed his car at N.C. 273 and R.L. Stowe Road in Belmont. A report says he had a blood alcohol level of 0.15, almost twice the legal limit.
“This is a sad day for Barry Webb and for the city of Belmont,” Mayor Richard Boyce told WCNC-TV, the Observer's news partner. “But it doesn't change the fact that Barry is a very valued member of this community and member on our staff.”
Boyce called Webb a talented city leader but wants to make it clear that the DWI arrest is a serious issue. The mayor said Webb was at a civic function in his capacity as city manager just prior to the crash.
“He made clear that he would be willing to submit a resignation,” Boyce added. “We agreed that we would deal with this as a personnel matter at our upcoming City Council meeting.”
The council meets Monday.
Lincoln County Denver
The investigation into a boat explosion at the Westport Marina will continue for at least another month, and one official said the true cause may never be known.
More than 70 officials convened at the marina Monday and Tuesday to investigate the explosion of the Champion II charter boat, which killed a 19-year-old Denver man in June.
Lincoln County Fire Marshal Mike Futrell said the investigation is still waiting for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to release its findings from the surveillance video of the explosion. That could take another month, Futrell said.
U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham says he will serve his full six-year term if he is re-elected next month.
The S.C. Republican has been a longtime friend and confidant of GOP presidential nominee John McCain.
But Graham told The Post and Courier of Charleston that he won't follow McCain to the White House if the Arizona senator is elected president.
Graham is running for a second term against Democrat Bob Conley, a little known engineer and flight instructor in North Myrtle Beach. The two will debate Oct. 11. In 2003, Graham took over the seat held for more than 47 years by Strom Thurmond.
Macon County Franklin
A man convicted of molesting a 14-year-old girl after serving her pie spiked with drugs has been sentenced to at least 27 years in prison.
District Attorney Michael Bonfoey told the Asheville Citizen-Times that 52-year-old Douglas LePage was convicted Friday of several crimes including first-degree sexual offense of a child.
Prosecutors say LePage invited the girl over in January 2007 and baked her and his wife a banana cream pie laced with a prescription sedative.