Employees at the Albert J. Ellis Airport in Jacksonville are trying to rescue a dog that has lived near the airport for more than a year. But they can't catch him.
The Daily News of Jacksonville reports that security guard Dolly Ramires first saw the malnourished hound about 14 months ago. Employees named him Buddy.
He is often in the airport parking lot or a nearby field, but he won't get close to humans. Workers are worried because his collar appears to be embedded in his skin.
Airport employees and the Carolina Animal Protection Agency haven't been able to lure Buddy into a cage, but they hope a new camouflaged cage may do the trick. Someone has already offered to adopt Buddy once he is treated by a veterinarian.
Woman held in child abuse case
A Catawba County woman is being held without bond by Mecklenburg County authorities in connection with that Charlotte-Mecklenburg police are calling a child abuse case.
Police say detectives with the department's Youth Crime/Domestic Violence Unit arrested Meredith Bambick Stillwell, 21, on Wednesday. She has been charged with attempted first-degree murder and felony child abuse.
According to police, members of the medical staff at Carolinas Medical Center's Levine Children's Hospital called police Tuesday after examining Stillwell's 11-month-old daughter. Detectives say medical staff members determined the baby had been the victim of child abuse.
Police say the baby remains hospitalized at the Levine center, but they have not disclosed the daughter's condition or the nature of her injuries.
Keep Charlotte Beautiful has won a President's Circle Award for its work to reduce litter, cut waste and beautify the community.
The Charlotte affiliate of Keep America Beautiful was recognized for conducting an annual “litter index,” calculating the affiliate's cost/benefit ratio and mobilizing volunteers. Charlotte's litter index improved in 2008 to 1.63, compared to 1.85 in 2007 (lower is better).
Founded in 1974, Charlotte is one of Keep America Beautiful's oldest affiliates. Among its annual projects are the Great American Cleanup, neighborhood-recognition program and adopt-a-street programs.
Union County officials have decided to reduce the staff of the sheriff's department without eliminating current positions.
Union County Commissioners and Sheriff Eddie Cathey met this week and decided to eliminate 11 positions as a way of helping the county make up for the current budget shortfall. The sheriff's department will keep 11 positions vacant and has until June 30 to meet that goal. The cuts will be made through retirements and not filling some positions. There also will be some reassignments.
Last week Union County officials announced that 40 members of its 1,066-person staff had to be laid off. During that announcement, county officials said they delayed talks with the sheriff's department because they wanted to assess how staff cuts in that department would impact public safety. Cathey and the commissioners met Tuesday morning for that discussion.
Gaston County Gastonia
A Gastonia man who was injured in a Monday morning wreck has died of his injuries. Authorities at Carolinas Medical Center say James Gerden Crisp, 53, died Tuesday.
Crisp had been taken to CMC after a single-vehicle wreck about 5:30 a.m. Monday on Archie Whitesides Road in Gastonia. Police say he lost control of his 1996 Ford Taurus, went off the road, and then hit a power pole and a tree. Crisp was thrown from the vehicle.
Chester County, S.C. Great Falls
Several hundred people packed the Chester County School Board meeting Tuesday night, protesting a plan floated by school officials to close Great Falls Middle and High schools next year.
The topic was not even on the agenda of the meeting, but several hundred people from the Great Falls area came anyway to argue against the suggestion.
Some Chester County schools officials have discussed the possibility of merging the two Great Falls schools with middle and high schools in Lewisville, as part of a plan to cut up to $5 million in spending next year.
North Carolina Chapel Hill
The president of North Carolina's university system says the 16 state campuses must keep the lid on tuition and fee increases for resident undergraduate students because parents can't pay more.
University of North Carolina President Erskine Bowles made his recommendation in a memo to the system's Board of Governors. Bowles said the university system faced “the worst economic environment of our lives – the worst since the Great Depression.”
Bowles wants the board to cut each tuition and fee hike proposal from the 16 campuses by a third.
The board's budget and finance committee plans to discuss Bowles' recommendations Friday morning. A final decision on tuition won't be made by the full board until Feb. 13.
If Bowles' proposal is approved, the average systemwide tuition and fee increase for 2009-10 would be 2.8 percent instead of 3.8 percent. The state has ordered the university system to make 6-percent cuts to its spending for a total of about $150 million.
A North Carolina congressman who tried to block strict new rules for driving on Outer Banks beaches last year is trying again.
Republican Rep. Walter Jones said Wednesday that small businesses on Hatteras and Ocracoke islands are being hit by the economic downturn, but also by federal rules that bar or restrict access to some beaches. The businesses heavily rely on beach fishermen.
Jones said he introduced a bill that would require the National Park Service to loosen the restrictions.
The park service adopted strict rules under a settlement with environmentalists to protect endangered birds and sea turtles while they nest. Vehicles and pedestrians are now barred from some fishing spots along Cape Hatteras National Seashore during spring and summer months.
A Clover man is in the Gaston County Jail under a $5 million bond on 190 sex-related crimes.
According to the Gaston County Police, Charles Reid Early Sr. was charged with 22 counts of first-degree sex offense; 45 counts of second-degree sex offense; and 123 counts of indecent liberties with a child. Police said the crimes occurred from 1982 through 2008 at two addresses in Gaston County where the suspect previously lived.
Authorities started the investigation with one victim, but said they expanded it when two other victims came forward and reported similar allegations against the suspect.
Lincoln County Lincolnton
A Cramerton woman has been charged with a sexual offense two years ago in Lincoln County.
According to the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office, Ashley Beal Braddy, 24, was charged with statutory sexual offense of a child over 6 years of age and taking indecent liberties with a minor.
Authorities said the incident took place between July and September 2006 and involved a then 15-year-old female who was a family acquaintance. Braddy was released from the Harven A. Crouse Detention Center under a $9,500 secured bond.
Last week, authorities charged Adam Lee Braddy, 22, of Iron Station in connection with the same case. He remains in the Harven A. Crouse Detention Center under a $40,000 secured bond. Adam and Ashley Braddy lived in the Vale area at the time, authorities said.
North Carolina Raleigh
A South Carolina man has been sentenced to 14 years in prison for defrauding customers out of millions of dollars with a fake online furniture business based in North Carolina.
Prosecutors in Raleigh say 55-year-old Henry Rayford Privette of Johns Island, S.C., was doing business as Carolina Furniture in Calabash between 2000 and late 2003.
The U.S. attorney's office says Privette took telephone orders, required deposits and promised to order furniture. Prosecutors say he failed to deliver the furniture or offer refunds.
He also was ordered to pay $1.1 million in restitution. It's unclear if any of the estimated 600 victims will get their money.