5th suit filed against land deal
Charlotte real estate attorney Jerry Reese has filed another lawsuit against a proposed minor-league baseball stadium in uptown.
Mecklenburg County and Brooklyn Village LLC are named as defendants in the latest suit, which Reese filed notice of on Friday.
Reese wants a judge to throw out decisions by county leaders to sell public land in Second Ward to Brooklyn Village for a mixed-use development. He also plans to seek a permanent injunction barring the county from conveying the land to the private developers.
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The land deal is part of a complicated transaction that would also add a new stadium for the Charlotte Knights and a county park.
Reese, who wants a major-league baseball team in Charlotte, has previously filed four lawsuits to stop the land deal. All have been dismissed, though Reese has appealed all those decisions.
Reese said Sunday he has been holding the new lawsuit in abeyance for close to a year and said now is an “appropriate time strategically” to file the suit.
He said the county did not hold a competitive bidding process for the Second Ward land, as it has with other transactions. “This is a transaction between the county and a private entity to the exclusion of everyone else in the area … who may have been interested.”
Two of Reese's other suits have challenged the Second Ward property, which previously was a mix of land owned by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and the city of Charlotte.
Federal authorities are considering charges that could mean a death sentence for a man accused of killing UNC Chapel Hill student leader Eve Carson.
A committee in the U.S. Justice Department met Sept. 29 to review the case, a spokesman confirmed. However, the spokesman, Erik Ablin, declined to comment further. The committee's recommendation will go to U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey.
Demario Atwater, 22, and Laurence Lovette, 17, are accused of shooting Carson on a residential street after a robbery and kidnapping near the campus March 5. Their trials are expected to take place next summer at the earliest.
Orange County District Attorney Jim Woodall has said he will seek the death penalty in state court for Atwater. Lovette is not subject to capital punishment because of his age.
It was not immediately clear what federal charges could be involved, and Ablin declined to explain why the U.S. attorney has jurisdiction in the Carson case, saying, “The internal deliberations on a particular case are confidential.”
No Orange County jury has sent a man to death row since 1973. A federal charge could increase the chances of a death sentence for Atwater if he is convicted in a separate trial in federal court.
N.C. coast Nags Head
Revenue from saltwater fishing licenses should go toward projects that include a data collection system and youth fishing programs, according to one committee's recommendations.
The N.C. Coastal Recreational Fishing License Advisory Committee has agreed that 12 of 19 programs requesting should get a grant. Its recommendation goes to the state Marine Fisheries Commission, which meets in November.
The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk, Va., reported that the state Wildlife Resources Commission also must sign off on the projects.
The advisory committee has collected about $7.9 million since the licenses were required as of Jan. 1, 2007. After deducting costs for other obligations and fisheries projects, the fund has about $4.3 million.
Mecklenburg County Charlotte
Police have arrested a 37-year-old man accused of fatally shooting another man at a house party in east Charlotte this weekend.
Police said Marty Tarrell Gaston turned himself in to homicide detectives Sunday morning at police headquarters in uptown.
Police had been searching for Gaston since Saturday in connection with the shooting death of 20-year-old Larry Antonio Gaither.
The shooting happened around 2:30 a.m. Saturday on Montezuma Trail.
According to police, Gaston went to the party and got into a disagreement with a resident. Gaither attempted to intervene, police said in a news release. Police said Gaston shot Gaither at least once, and then fled the scene with a man who was driving a dark-colored vehicle.
The homicide was the 62nd Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police have investigated this year.
A 71-year-old man has been charged with taking indecent liberties with a child.
Howard Edwin Knauf Sr. was arrested by Iredell County authorities Thursday and placed under a $5,000 secured bond. Records show he was released that same day.
In a news release, the Iredell County Sheriff's Office said it received a report from the county's Department of Social Services about a child who said she had been sexually assaulted by a family member. The child was taken to Dove House Child Advocacy Center, where she was interviewed.
After additional interviews with witnesses and Knauf, police arrested the 71-year-old.
In the release, the sheriff's office said investigators have learned that other crimes allegedly happened in Mecklenburg County with the same victim. Authorities planned to contact Mecklenburg officials to assist with any local investigation.
A 27-year-old man died Sunday afternoon when his motorcycle struck a utility pole.
The wreck occurred around 12:20 Sunday in Statesville.
Trooper A.C. Gwaltney with the N.C. Highway Patrol said Stephen Goodman was one of three motorcyclists traveling north on Monte Vista Drive when he went off the road to the right. Goodman then drove back onto the road, but struck the motorcycle ahead of him and went off the left side of the road. Gwaltney said the motorcycle then struck mailboxes, bushes and finally a utility pole.
No one else was injured.
Gwaltney said troopers believe Goodman was driving in a reckless manner and speed may have been a factor. Alcohol was not involved in the wreck, he said.
Brunswick County Wilmington
Former Brunswick County Sheriff Ronald Hewett now faces state charges, in addition to the federal charges he was found guilty of and sentenced on last week.
The Star-News of Wilmington reported that District Attorney Rex Gore said Hewett has a court appearance scheduled for today in Superior Court. Hewett is charged with three counts of embezzlement and one count of obstruction of justice.
Last week, Hewett was sentenced to 16 months in prison on a federal charge of obstructing justice. The federal investigation found the former sheriff had tried to obstruct a federal grand jury investigation of him and his office.
Hewett was suspended from office March 27 and was indicted four days later on the state charges. He resigned April 15.