Groups celebrating breastfeeding week

Local groups are planning to recognize World Breastfeeding Week this week with several events.

Nursing mothers are invited to gather at 10 a.m. Friday at Mahlon Adams Pavilion at Freedom Park to breastfeed together for one minute. The “Latch-On and Smile” event is designed to raise awareness said lactation consultant Jan Ellen Brown.

In addition, local groups including La Leche League, WIC, BELLAS (Breastfeeding Encouragement Learning Liaison and Support), Carolinas Medical Center and Mocha Moms will host a free baby fair and fashion show Saturday at Freedom Parkfrom 1-4:30 p.m.

For information, go to bellasbreastingfeeding.org.

Staff Reports

Police digest

Mecklenburg County


A man wanted for a double homicide in Kannapolis may be in Charlotte, Kannapolis Police said.

Kannapolis investigators believe Joaquin Alvarez Rios, 35, shot and killed two people during a domestic dispute Saturday night at a Kannapolis home at 702 West 8th St.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Cabarrus Area Crime Stoppers at 704-93-CRIME.

Franco Ordoñez

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said homicide detectives have identified two suspects involved in a fatal shooting of a man during an overnight robbery.

Detectives arrested Terrance Maurice Oxner, 25, for the murder of Roderiquez Laquez Simmons and were questioning the second suspect. Police said Oxner, the other suspect, and Simmons had an ongoing dispute that led to the shooting on Allen Street. Roderiquez Laquez Simmons, 21, died Sunday at Carolinas Medical Center.

Police were called to the 1800 block of Allen Street in the Eastway division at 2:07 a.m. for a reported robbery and assault with a deadly weapon with injury.

Witnesses told officers that they saw Simmons and two other men arguing, and then fighting. At one point, witnesses said the men held Simmons while they went through his pockets. One of the men then produced a handgun and shot Simmons once in the groin area before fleeing the scene on foot, police said in a news release.

Simmons was taken to the hospital, where he died.

Oxner has a number of previous arrests on charges ranging from Assault on a Female and Possession of a Firearm by a Felon to Driving While License is Revoked and Possession With Intent To Sell/Distribute Within 300 feet of a school.

Police said it was unclear what the men were arguing about.

April Bethea, Franco Ordoñez

A 20-year-old woman has been charged with driving while impaired after authorities said she hit the parked car of a N.C. Highway Patrol trooper on the scene of a wreck.

Rachel Evitts also was charged with reckless driving and provisional DWI, the latter charge because she is under 21 and was driving after consuming alcohol, said Sgt. Ben Miller of the N.C. Highway Patrol.

The wreck occurred around 2:30 a.m. Saturday on Interstate 485 near the Lawyers Road exit.

Miller said Trooper Clay Amaral and another trooper were investigating a wreck and had parked their vehicles in the left lane of the highway. Amaral was in a fully-marked car and had turned on his lights, including a directional arrow to alert drivers to move to the right side of the highway.

The troopers had been on the highway for about an hour when Evitts drove into the back of Amaral's car, Miller said. Miller said Evitts didn't slow down before hitting Amaral's car. The wreck shoved his car forward about 40 feet.

Miller said Evitts lost control of her car, which spun out and stopped on the right shoulder of the highway. He said a field test showed Evitts had a blood alcohol level of 0.21 – more than twice the legal limit. Amaral was treated at Carolinas Medical Center and released.

April Bethea

Iredell County Statesville

A 17-year-old was killed early Saturday morning in a hit and run crash near a popular camping area north of Statesville, authorities said.

The N.C. Highway Patrol said James Michael Lutz of Stanley was struck and killed by a driver who lost control of his vehicle on Love Valley Road. James Dean Harmon, 40, was arrested on charges of DWI, driving without an operator's license, felony hit and run and second degree murder. He was being held in the Iredell County Jail on $500,000 bond.

N.C. Highway Patrol Trooper Chad Crouse said he was at another accident site when he saw a speeding vehicle with a damaged windshield go by. Crouse said he pursued the vehicle and stopped Harmon for questioning about the window. Harmon said he had hit a deer, Crouse said.

While questioning Harmon, Crouse said Iredell authorities announced a hit and run accident involving a pedestrian. Crouse then placed Harmon in custody. Crouse said Lutz was in the area camping with friends and family.

Franco Ordoñez