Across the Region

City promotes ‘Park! Center City' program


A city-sponsored program may help cover parking or transportation costs uptown.

Park It – a division of the Charlotte Department of Transportation – has recently started more actively promoting its “Park! Center City” program, which offers uptown businesses discounted tokens to help draw people to the city. Businesses distribute the tokens to customers to use for parking meters, parking decks, Charlotte Area Transit System buses and the light rail.

Park It recently put banners around the city that read, “We validate parking here,” with the “Park! Center City” logo.

“We are trying to make this more visible,” said CDOT spokeswoman Linda Durrett.

Currently, 73 businesses and 21 parking decks participate, but more are being actively solicited. Most businesses are bars and restaurants, Durrett said, but dentists, jewelers and other business owners have also joined the program.

Dan Tierney

Meck briefs


A controversial ordinance to ban front-yard parking in Huntersville has been delayed to give the town board more time to study the issue.

The controversy started because of hearses parked in the front yard of a property off Pine Knoll Lane in northwest Huntersville. Residents in the vicinity have complained, and the town has also cited the property owners for violating nuisance laws.

But the hearses remain, so the town board Monday night considered the idea of banning all front-yard parking.

Some homeowners already face such a ban, thanks to homeowner association rules in some subdivisions. But many older subdivisions, including some approved by the county before Huntersville became incorporated, don't have such guidelines.

Town board member Ron Julian recommended and the board approved a 60-day delay to allow town leaders to get feedback from residents about the idea.

Kevin Cary


Mecklenburg County commissioners have given the go-ahead for an athletic complex off Westmoreland Road that town officials expect will generate significant money for local restaurants, hotels and other businesses.

Commissioners unanimously approved a 40-year lease to the town last week on 19 county-owned acres. The town will build and run what it's calling the Westmoreland Athletic Complex at Robbins Park.

The complex and its multiple baseball/softball fields are expected to lure tournaments and out-of-town teams that will boost the local economy with their spending at local businesses.

The county is charging the town a $1 a year for the lease on the acreage.

Joe Marusak

Regional briefs

Cabarrus County Harrisburg

After a four-month search, Harrisburg has a new town administrator. He's wasting no time, starting Monday.

The town council voted unanimously last week to hire Joel Davis, who'd spent four years as North Myrtle Beach's assistant city manager until April, when he says he took a leave of absence with pay and then resigned.

In a telephone interview, Davis said he left that job because he wanted to get closer to his parents in Burlington, north of Greensboro. His mother is not well, he said, and he'd been splitting time between North Myrtle Beach and Burlington getting her to doctor appointments at Duke Medical Center.

David Perlmutt

Union County Weddington

The Town Council will hold a public hearing Monday to decide the fate of The Woods, a proposed subdivision that has drawn the ire of some town residents.

At issue is a proposal by developer IB Development and its parent company, Infinity Partners, to install a private sewer treatment system on the 200-plus acre property near N.C. 84 and Providence Road in western Union County.

Mayor Nancy Anderson has said the hearing could stretch over several evenings. The site has been moved to Weddington High School's auditorium to accommodate the crowd.

Esther Robards-Forbes

Union County Indian Trail

An Indian Trail accountant faces charges of threatening to kill Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.

According to court documents, Jerry Blanchard called Sen. Obama the anti-Christ and said, “If he gets elected, we have a problem.”

Then according to the federal affidavit, Blanchard spelled out his plan at the Pineville-Matthews Road Waffle House.

Secret Service agents say Blanchard told two others eating at the restaurant on July 15 he planned to buy a handgun from Hyatt's Gunshop on Wilkinson Boulevard. He also planned to buy a rifle and a laser scope.

Two weeks later, a third person reportedly called Secret Service agents, saying Blanchard made similar threats at uptown's Crowne Plaza Hotel.

Blanchard's attorney says his client denies ever making any of those statements. His attorney also confirmed his client suffered a concussion from a fall and a judge has ordered him to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.

Michelle Boudin, WCNC-TV

Iredell County Mooresville

A Mooresville resident was killed on U.S. 21 in Mooresville on Thursday morning when a car and tractor-trailer collided.

Authorities said Ines Beatriz Garcia Rolzan died after her car was struck by a tractor-trailer at 10 a.m. A police report said she had attempted to make a left turn from Abberly Green Boulevard onto U.S. 21. Officials said the driver of the tractor-trailer was transported to Lake Norman Regional Medical Center with minor injuries. The accident is still under investigation.

Kevin Cary

Charleston County, S.C. Folly Beach

With the Olympics under way in China, an Amnesty International group in South Carolina held its own Olympic events to protest Chinese human rights policies.

The Charleston chapter of the human rights group says about 100 people attended Saturday's events in Folly Beach.

The events included running the 100-yard shackled dash and racing against competitors while dragging protesters across the finish line.

The group wanted to remind people of China's human rights record as they watch the Olympics, while encouraging them to pressure the Chinese government to change its polices.

Associated Press

Police digest

Mecklenburg County Charlotte

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police wrote 78 tickets Friday as part of a DWI checkpoint at South Boulevard and Interstate 277.

Police conducted the checkpoint to commemorate the state's 0.08 percent alcohol limit on 08-08-08.

The tickets:

DWI: 12.

Open Container Violations: 7.

Driving While License revoked charges: 6.

No operator's license: 17.

Other traffic charges: 32.

Criminal charges: 4.

Staff Reports