CMS seeks new deputy

CMS seeks deputy

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools

Superintendent Peter Gorman wants a new deputy in place by mid-September, and he's looking outside as well as in-house.

Deputy Superintendent Maurice Green, Gorman's second-in-command since Gorman started in 2006, is leaving to become superintendent of Guilford County Schools.

Gorman said there are qualified candidates working in CMS, but he also has advertised the job through The Broad Foundation, a Los Angeles-based organization that trains school-district leaders. Gorman is a graduate of the Broad Superintendents Academy, and the CMS board has done extensive Broad training in how to govern.

Gorman said he has also asked Mecklenburg Citizens for Public Education, an alliance of business, civic and education leaders, to spread the word in the business community.

Ann Doss Helms

Meck briefsCharlotte

A former Mecklenburg County employee has been charged with embezzlement after officials said she stole about $54,477 while working in the Tax Collector's Office, the county announced Tuesday.

Michele Coble, 39, of Gastonia was arrested Tuesday and charged with one count of felony embezzlement, records show.

Coble was fired in April after county officials said they noticed discrepancies in cash receipts. An internal investigation revealed 77 discrepancies between July 31, 2006, and April 3, 2008, the county said in a news release.

The news release said Coble had worked for the county for 12 years, and last served as a fiscal support specialist for the tax office.

The alleged thefts neither “prevented (nor) resulted in improper crediting to taxpayer accounts,” said Kimberly Brown, deputy director of the Tax Collector's Office, in a news release.

April Bethea

A 5-year-old boy who was seriously injured last week after falling from an apartment window in east Charlotte has died. Luis Hernandez died of his injuries Monday night at Carolinas Medical Center.

The boy's relatives had told WCNC-TV, the Observer's news partner, that Luis had suffered a brain injury and had not been expected to survive.

The boy was injured nearly a week earlier when he climbed onto a chair and fell over a balcony railing at the family's third-floor apartment at the Woodscape Apartments, on Farm Pond Lane.

His mother told police that she had opened a sliding glass door to let fresh air into the apartment, and her son climbed out when her attention was diverted.

Steve Lyttle

The 5-year-old girl who was rescued from a swimming pool last week by a 9-year-old boy has died, family members say.

Relatives of Ameia Lampkin told WCNC-TV that the girl died Friday at Presbyterian Hospital, two days after she nearly died in a southeast Charlotte pool.

The young girl was among several children playing in the pool at the Covington-at-Providence townhouses, on McKee Road. Jordan Alhassan, 9, told WCNC that he noticed the girl at the bottom of the pool in about 4 feet of water. He helped pull her to safety, and she was rushed by Medic to a hospital.


Regional briefsCabarrus County Concord

Concord and Cabarrus County officials met Tuesday to work on details of their $80 million incentives package for Lowe's Motor Speedway owner Bruton Smith.

But there's a little more work to do, Concord Mayor Scott Padgett said shortly after the 11/2-hour closed-door meeting.

“It continues to evolve,” he said of the package. “It will get done, but I won't say when.”

City and county leaders are to meet again on Aug.14, and eventually will present the deal to Smith and lawyers for his company, Speedway Motorsports. After both sides agree on the wording, the deal must be presented to the City Council and the county Board of Commissioners, which would hold public hearings.

Last November, the city and county agreed to provide incentives in an effort to persuade Smith to keep his speedway in Concord. Smith threatened to move after a dispute with Concord about building a drag strip. But he agreed to push ahead with the $60 million drag strip and another $200 million in speedway upgrades, after receiving the promise of incentives, mostly covering roadwork around the track.

Gail Smith-Arrants

York County, S.C.

A 7-year-old boy was killed Monday afternoon when the four-wheeler he was driving collided with a tractor-trailer in York County.

Robert Keith Harris died about 4 p.m. when the vehicle struck a truck on Scenic View Road, in the southwest part of the county. Keith, as he was known, died at the scene.

The S.C. Highway Patrol said the boy was driving the four-wheeler in the driveway at the house of relatives he was visiting. They say the truck's driver stopped at the scene, and no charges have been filed.

Dietrich Long, principal at Sharon/Hickory Grove Elementary School, where Keith attended, told the Herald of Rock Hill that “we just saw good things in him. We're gonna miss him.”

Steve Lyttle

Police digest

Mecklenburg County Charlotte

A 13-year-old girl was sexually assaulted after being abducted in an east Charlotte park, according to a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police report.

The girl's grandmother reported her missing on Sunday. She called police when the teen returned about 5 p.m. Monday She said her granddaughter was in Sheffield Neighborhood Park on Sunday afternoon when she was abducted by two men in a white van. She told police the girl was taken to an unknown location and was sexually assaulted, the report said.

The girl, who had a welt on her head, was taken to Carolinas Medical Center, the report said. Anyone with information should call Crimestoppers at 704-334-1600 or Detective Major Kay at 704-336-2790.

Victoria Cherrie

A Charlotte man who was shot in June died Tuesday morning, and police are investigating the case as a homicide.

Darrel Christopher Berringer, 33, was found unresponsive by family members early Tuesday and died a short time later at Carolinas Medical Center-University. Doctors say complications from his gunshot wounds were responsible for the death.

Berringer was shot on the night of June 25 while walking in the 6000 block of Elgywood Lane in north Charlotte. Police say a masked man jumped from a wooded area and started shooting.

Berringer was hospitalized in serious condition, but recovered and was allowed to go home.

Anyone with information in the case is asked to call 704-432-8477 to speak with a homicide detective. Or people can call Crime Stoppers, 704-334-1600, to leave a tip anonymously.

Steve Lyttle

Union County Monroe

Accused serial killer Scott Wilson Williams has requested an appeal, his attorney said.

Williams, 44, entered Alford pleas last month in the mutilation deaths of three women in Union County between 1997 and 2006. In such pleas, a defendant admits there's enough evidence for a conviction, does not admit guilt, yet is sentenced as if he had. Williams was sentenced to three consecutive life terms in prison without parole.

On Monday, Williams filed a notice of appeal in a brief hearing in Monroe, said Frank Wells, Williams' Asheboro-based attorney.

It's not unusual for a defendant to ask for an appeal after entering a plea, said Staples Hughes, the state appellate defender.

Williams was sentenced in the death of Sharon House Pressley in 1997, Christina Outz Parker in 2004 and Sharon Tucker Stone in 2006. Their mutilated bodies were found off rural roads in Union County and Chesterfield County, S.C.

Mike Torralba