Citing Charlotte's economic crisis, a public radio station suspended its seasonal fund drive late Tuesday and returned to 24-hour broadcasts of soothing classical music.
Whether Beethoven and Brahms can medicate anxiety over the fate of Wachovia and tumbling stock markets is unknown, but the station's director said it was an inappropriate time to be asking the community for money.
“People were calling with pledges and saying, ‘You're a great calming influence to us right now,' and others calling to say, ‘Can you go back to the music?'” said Benjamin K. Roe, general manager of WDAV-FM (89.9).
Although Tuesday was the station's best day in the current fundraising drive with about $30,000 pledged, Roe said most of the money was coming from Winston-Salem and other cities on the rim of its coverage area rather than Charlotte.
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“We have older listeners watching their pensions disappear. I watched the Dow drop 500 points and said, ‘We can't do this.' It didn't feel right.”
WDAV suspended the fund drive at 7 p.m. Tuesday and planned to announce the decision on air at 5a.m. today, carrying normal programming rather than extended appeals for money, said station spokeswoman Lisa Gray.
WDAV's fall fund drive launched Thursday and was to end this Friday. By Tuesday, the station had raised about half of its $200,000 goal, Gray said. It will resume later.
The Charlotte Civil Service Board has upheld the 30-day suspension of a police major accused of excessive force during Food Lion Speed Street in May – but did not demote him, as the police chief had recommended.
The board on Tuesday concluded a two-day hearing on Charlotte-Mecklenburg police Maj. Chuck Johnson, who was reassigned from Internal Affairs to the watch commander's office after the incident.
Johnson already has served his suspension without pay, said Capt. Chuck Adkins, the Internal Affairs commander. Chief Rodney Monroe recommended Johnson also be demoted, but Johnson will retain his rank, Adkins said.
A former teacher who was unmarried and pregnant has settled her discrimination lawsuit against the county school system.
Heather Zampogna received $99,500 in a settlement, The Gaston Gazette reported Tuesday.
Zampogna filed the federal discrimination lawsuit in March 2007, claiming she was demoted a year earlier from a high-performing class at Tryon Elementary School to an at-risk class at Rhyne Elementary.
At the time she was dating a fellow teacher and discovered she was pregnant with his child. In her lawsuit, Zampogna claimed an assistant school superintendent accused her of “immorality” and asked when she and the baby's father were going to get married.
Belmont City Manager Barry Webb, who was recently charged with driving while impaired, read a statement of apology to City Council and the public on Monday.
Leaders said Webb must face the legal consequences, but that he's doing a good job and will stay in the position without any disciplinary action from the city.
“Barry knows this was a serious offense,” said City Council member Ron Foulk. “He's willing to take the ramifications and do what he needs to make things right.”
Troopers arrested Webb last Friday morning 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.
An autopsy report says a Florida man who jumped 70 feet off a water fall in the N.C. mountains died in an accident and not a suicide.
Ronald Conrad Brown's death on Aug. 31 was caused by a “non-suicidal jump into a natural pool,” said the report, which was released Monday by the State Medical Examiner's Office.
The 49-year-old died when he jumped from the top of Looking Glass Falls into a shallow pool. The report said he had a blood-alcohol level of 0.29 percent – more than three times the legal limit for driving.
A Mexican man in the country illegally pleaded guilty Tuesday to the sex trafficking of two underage girls and a woman he transported to and from Charlotte and Washington.
Jorge Flores-Rojas, 44, entered his pleas – transporting an adult female for the purpose of commercial sex and two counts of sex trafficking of minor females – Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Charlotte. Flores-Rojas faces a minimum of 10 years and a maximum of life in prison, plus up to $250,000 fines for each of the three counts.
The victims were undocumented nationals from Mexico and Honduras, federal prosecutors said.
Gastonia authorities are searching for a 74-year-old man who may suffer from dementia.
Nokomos Franklin “Nick” Haigler was last seen Thursday or Friday walking south on Linwood Road near his home. He had left his pickup truck at the A&P Food Mart at 1322 Linwood.
Haigler is 5 feet 9 inches tall and about 130 pounds. He has blue eyes, brown hair, wears glasses and has a scar on the right side of his face. Anyone with information can call Gastonia police at 704-866-6702.