Charlotte's role in a two-state water war over the Catawba River is expected to cost the city more than $1.3 million in legal expenses by midyear, officials say.
South Carolina sued North Carolina before the U.S. Supreme Court in 2007. The dispute began after N.C. regulators allowed Concord and Kannapolis to pipe water from the Catawba into their own river basin.
South Carolina now wants the high court to settle how much water can be withdrawn from the Catawba. It also wants the N.C. law allowing basin-to-basin transfers declared invalid.
Charlotte wants to become part of the lawsuit because the Catawba is its water supply. Duke Energy wants in because it manages the Catawba under federal license. A South Carolina water district also petitioned to intervene in the case.
Charlotte has paid $833,000 in legal bills so far, city attorney Mac McCarley wrote City Council last month, and it is expected to spend another $500,000 by the end of this fiscal year in June.
The outcome, McCarley wrote, “is of paramount importance to Charlotte, our region and to the future of both.”
Thomasboro Elementary is inviting grandparents to the launch of a new club designed to get them more involved in school.
Thomasboro's new “grandparents club” is modeled after one at Walter G. Byers Elementary, says Ella Norman, a monitor at Thomasboro
The kickoff starts at 11:30 a.m. today, Norman said. Grandparents will visit classes and join the children for lunch. Ann Doss Helms
Rowan County Salisbury
Trustees from Rowan-Cabarrus Community College and Rowan County commissioners conducted groundbreaking ceremonies Monday in Salisbury for the first new classroom building at the college's North Campus in more than 30 years.
The new building will be a two-story, 38,000-square-foot facility that will include a three-story lobby and a number of “green” characteristics, including energy-efficient lighting and systems to recycle water. The building will house the college's Continuing Education Department, with rooms for art, computer and law enforcement classes.
Construction is expected to be finished in time for the fall 2010 semester, at a cost of $5.6 million. Steve Lyttle
York County Fort Mill
Celebrating its 125th anniversary, the Cole Bros. Circus of the Stars set up this morning at the Charlotte Knights Stadium parking lot in Fort Mill. Shows are at 4:30 and 7:30 tonight and Tuesday.
The event is hosted by the Fort Mill school district band boosters.
Tickets are $17 for adults and $12 for children. Free tickets for kids are available at www.freekidstickets.com. (Rock Hill) Herald
Wake County Raleigh
A Web site that allows searches of N.C. government contracts and grant awards is up and running. Gov. Bev Perdue announced that the first phase of the Web site www.ncopenbook.gov went online Monday, with a database of about 2,500 contracts and 5,000 grants.
Perdue said during last fall's gubernatorial campaign that she would create such a site to improve transparency in government. She signed an executive order to order its creation two days after she was sworn in. Associated Press
Democratic National Committee chairman and Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine will give the keynote address at N.C. Democrats' annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner May 2 in Durham. Kaine was national co-chairman of Barack Obama's presidential campaign. Associated Press
South Carolina Myrtle Beach
A federal bankruptcy judge on Monday refused to finalize the sale of Myrtle Beach's Hard Rock Park to new owners, saying its founders retain rights to some of the creative touches originally built into the theme park.
The park's buyers said the decision by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Carey in Delaware won't stop them from reopening Memorial Day, but that some attractions might get different names.
“If anything, this provides us more of an opportunity to totally rebrand many areas in the park we felt needed to be more family friendly and better represent everything we have to offer,” Steve Baker, president of FPI MB Entertainment, said in a statement.
Built for $400 million, the park opened last year featuring a Led Zeppelin roller coaster throbbing “Whole Lotta Love” and the Eagles' “Life in the Fast Lane” roller coaster.
The 55-acre park closed in September when its owner, HRP Myrtle Beach Holdings, filed for bankruptcy protection. Carey approved the sale of the park last month for $25 million. Associated Press
York County Rock Hill
Phillip Watts Jr., 21, the man accused in a series of York County shootings, was sentenced in court Monday to life without parole.
The sentencing stems from a shooting at the Saltwater Seafood Market in Rock Hill. Watts also was served in court today with papers asking for life without parole on two remaining cases.
Police say Watts was involved in at least five other robberies in early 2008, including an incident at John Boy's Valero on Spratt Street in downtown Fort Mill, where he was charged with shooting former Fort Mill Mayor Charlie Powers in the face.
Powers and Saltwater Seafood's Ping Chen were among victims in court today. Chen was shot twice during a robbery at Saltwater Seafood Market.
After court, Watts' father, Phillip Watts Sr., apologized to victims for his son's actions. (Rock Hill) Herald
Bond was denied again Monday for Richard Blow Sr., a Rock Hill man accused in the shooting earlier this month at Coldwell Banker United Realtors.
This is the second time Blow, 88, has been denied bond.
He is charged with assault and battery with intent to kill and possession of a firearm during a violent crime. The charges stem from a March 11 incident in which Jerry O'Neill was shot in the lower abdomen. (Rock Hill) Herald
A Kannapolis woman was killed overnight in a single-vehicle wreck that injured five other people on Interstate 77 in South Carolina.
Suyapa Cano died in the wreck, which happened shortly after 1 a.m. on northbound I-77 near mile marker 60, in Chester County.
The S.C. Highway Patrol says her husband, Ramon Cano, was driving the Ford Explorer when it went off the road, slid into the median and flipped. His wife was thrown from the vehicle, troopers say.
Lance Cpl. Jeff Gaskin of the S.C. Highway Patrol said, “The cause of the collision is believed to be that he (Ramon Cano) fell asleep at the wheel.” Steve Lyttle
Wake County Raleigh
A former assistant district attorney and five others are facing charges of illegally dismissing North Carolina criminal cases, including impaired driving cases.
A Johnston County grand jury on Monday indicted Cindy Jaeger, four local attorneys and a court clerk on charges including conspiracy and altering official case records. Associated Press