Chief: Little need for ‘crime czar'
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Rodney Monroe said last week there's little need for the “crime czar” job proposed by the Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners' special crime task force.
“I was hired here to do a job,” he said. “I don't need someone to tell me how to do it, where to do it, when to do it or what have you. … If they wanted someone else to tell me how to do the job, then they could have hired someone else.”
The county's justice and safety task force, created to address rising crime and residents' concerns, made 16 recommendations to commissioners Nov. 5. Commissioners agreed to create the county staff position, the only recommendation they voted to act on immediately.
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On Wednesday, former Mecklenburg County sheriff Jim Pendergraph said he looked at but wasn't interested in the crime czar job because it offers no way to hold public safety leaders accountable and because the crime czar would be in the awkward position of policing elected officials, who in essence report directly to voters.
Guilford County High Point
Scarlett Howell of Polkton was crowned Miss North Carolina Teen USA on Saturday, and Kristen Dalton of Wilmington won the Miss North Carolina USA crown.
Howell will get a four-year academic scholarship to High Point University.
Iredell County Mooresville
A Mooresville girl was reunited with her dog this weekend after six months of waiting and thousands of dollars' worth of help.
Lilah Payne's dog, Emily, was taken away after a rabies scare. Emily never showed symptoms but was quarantined just in case. Lilah made “girl and her dog” cards to raise money to pay for the $2,000 quarantine stay.
Now Emily is back home. “She's like this magical creature that's really special to me,” Lilah said. “I've never really had a friend as close as her.”
Mecklenburg County Charlotte
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said an intoxicated driver rear-ended an officer's car about 9:40 p.m. Saturday.
Police said an officer was stopped at a red light at North Tryon Street and W.T. Harris Boulevard in the University City area when a driver ran into the back of the officer's car, pushing it into a third vehicle.
The officer reported arm pain and went to a local hospital to be checked out. The driver, who police said was intoxicated, was not injured.
Police said the third car sustained the least damage, and a passenger was taken by ambulance to a local hospital. April Bethea
South Carolina Greenville
A priest told his congregation Saturday he was too hasty when he told parishioners who voted for President-elect Barack Obama to refrain from taking Holy Communion because of Obama's stance in support of abortion rights.
During a Mass at his church Saturday, the Rev. Jay Scott Newman received a standing ovation, the Greenville News reported. When the applause stopped, Newman said he had written his column in haste and would have done a better job of explaining his position had he taken his time.
In a letter to parishioners at St. Mary's Catholic Church, Newman had said they were putting their souls at risk if they took Holy Communion without doing penance because of Obama's position on abortion.
Voice mailboxes for Newman and the church were full when The Associated Press tried to contact Newman Sunday. Associated Press