Across the Region

CPCC celebrates wildlife habitat

The Harris campus of Central Piedmont Community College celebrated the transformation of about 500 square feet of land into wildlife habitat Wednesday.

The Harris campus site is the fifth of the six CPCC campuses to achieve certification by the National Wildlife Federation as part of the college system's ongoing program to encourage wildlife education and preservation. All six campuses are slated to achieve certification by fall.

Earlier this year, CPCC awarded a $2,000 grant to each of its six campuses. That allowed project coordinators to hire habitat planners to identify prime areas for wildlife development and to buy indigenous plants and other materials.

The six campuses have each chosen a different habitat focus. The Harris site is an urban habitat; others, such as the North campus site, focus on accommodating specific inhabitants such as bluebirds and hummingbirds. Nancy Wang

Meck briefs


More than 100 people on a Charlotte-bound flight were evacuated because someone called in a bomb threat to a plane.

US Airways Flight 1285 from Baltimore was not allowed to pull up to the gate and was taken to a secure location while the FBI searched the plane, said a Charlotte/Douglas International Airport spokeswoman.

The Boeing 737 landed just after 10 p.m. Wednesday. The flight normally leaves Baltimore at 8:51 p.m. on weekday nights and arrives in Charlotte at 9:18.

It was unclear who made the threat or whether the threat was made in Charlotte or Baltimore. Cleve R. Wootson Jr.

Regional briefs

Gaston County Gastonia

Two emergency services personnel were deployed to Hyde County last week to assist firefighters battling a large wildfire.

Gaston County Emergency Services operations supervisor Robert Sneed and EMT-paramedic George Ross were based out of the Eastern North Carolina town of Belhaven.

State and local firefighters from across the nation have been fighting the lightning-caused blaze since June 1. Forestry officials said the fire in Hyde, Tyrrell and Washington counties is 75 percent contained and has grown very little in recent weeks from a size of 41,534 acres. Joe DePriest

N.C. capital Raleigh

The Libertarian candidate for N.C. governor will release his personal financial and health records if he is included in any gubernatorial debates.

The Charlotte Observer and the (Raleigh) News & Observer asked the three candidates for governor to release those records. Republican Pat McCrory and Democrat Bev Perdue have not responded.

Mike Munger, a Duke University professor, said Wednesday he would prepare the information, anticipating that he would eventually be invited to one of the forums already agreed upon by McCrory and Perdue. Staff reports

S.C. Upstate Gaffney

The Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League has asked federal regulators for permission to intervene in Duke Energy's planned construction of a new nuclear power plant near Gaffney, S.C., which the group opposes.

Intervention would allow Blue Ridge to challenge the plant's construction before a Nuclear Regulatory Commission licensing board, calling expert witnesses in a trial-like setting. The group criticizes the reactor design, water use, construction costs and radioactive waste disposal, among other issues.

Blue Ridge filed intervention papers on June 27. Duke is allowed to respond to the challenge before the Nuclear Regulatory Commission makes a decision. Bruce Henderson

Police digest

Gaston County Gastonia

A woman faces charges after not reporting a sexual encounter last week between her 12-year-old daughter and a 21-year-old man, police say.

Initial reports, including those at Charlotte.com, said the woman had allowed the encounter to take place. But police said Tuesday that the mother was charged with failing to report the incident after she learned it happened.

The encounter took place at the home of the Gastonia woman, whose first court hearing was Tuesday.

Timothy Bell Jr., 21, a family friend, was charged with first-degree statutory rape, first-degree sexual offense, and indecent liberty with a child. Police say the incident happened Friday.

Police say they learned of the incident after the girl told a friend, who took her to a hospital Saturday. The Observer is not identifying the mother, because that also could help identify the 12-year-old in the case. Steve Lyttle

Lincoln County Lincolnton

A Lincolnton man out on bond on charges of running a meth lab was back in jail Tuesday on the same charges, authorities said.

Operating on a tip, investigators found evidence a meth lab had been operating at the same garage on Otis Dellinger Road where they had shut down a lab two months ago, according to the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office.

On May 5, Frank Edward Whitlock, 32, was charged with manufacturing a controlled substance and possession of methamphetamine precursors. He was released at that time on a $9,500 secured bond.

On Tuesday, Whitlock was arrested on the same two charges: possession of methamphetamine precursors and manufacturing a controlled substance. He was being held in the Harven A. Crouse Detention Center under a $125,000 secured bond. His first court appearance is Wednesday. Joe DePriest