2-year-old found dead in pool

Cabarrus County


A 2-year-old Midland girl who was reported missing Wednesday was found in a neighbor's pool and has died, the Cabarrus County Sheriff's Office said.

The sheriff's office provided these details in a news release:

At 10:33 a.m., deputies were sent to 11850 Jim Mossman Road after a parent of Bethany Baltimore reported her missing. A neighbor found the girl in a nearby pool.

The neighbor, a certified emergency medical technician, pulled the girl from the pool and began CPR. Bethany was taken to Carolinas Medical Center-NorthEast in Concord where she was later pronounced dead.

Adam Bell

Trail project wins $8 million grant

A state environmental agency has awarded more than $8 million to create a network of trails in the Charlotte region and protect nationally-recognized Wilson Creek in Caldwell County.

The Clean Water Management Trust Fund said Wednesday it has granted $3 million to the Carolina Thread Trail, an ambitious project to link greenways, trails and open space across 15 counties in the region.

The grant to the Catawba Lands Conservancy, which administers the initiative, will be used to buy land in Mecklenburg and Gaston counties.

More than 800 acres along Wilson Creek, a National Wild and Scenic River in Caldwell County, will be protected with $5.5 million in trust-fund grants to Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina. The creek has been threatened by development.

One $4.8 million grant will buy 649 acres that is the largest privately-owned but unprotected tract within the creek's watershed. A second $693,000 grant will buy an easement protecting 170 acres along the creek.

Bruce Henderson

Meck briefs


Three new stores will be coming to SouthPark mall, including one store that's new to the market, the center has announced.

Aeropostale and American Apparel will open later this month, and a Michael Kors store will open in November. The SouthPark Michael Kors store will be Charlotte's first.

Aeropostale will occupy more than 3,600 square feet in the Macy's wing. The retailer specializes in casual apparel and accessories primarily targeting teens ages 14-17. It replaces Bombay Co. and will open Aug. 29.

American Apparel will be in the main entrance near Wolf Camera and occupy 3,500 square feet. The Los Angeles-based chain focuses on T-shirts and other casual wear. It replaces Sharper Image and will open by the end of August.

Michael Kors will occupy nearly 2,000 square feet in the Nordstrom wing. Kors is a leading fashion designer who focuses on luxury “jet-setting” accessories and sportswear. The store replaces Sigrid Olsen and is scheduled to open in mid-November.

Nichole Monroe Bell

Former Air Force Col. Quincy Collins, who shared a prison cell with John McCain in Vietnam, will speak at the Mecklenburg Evening Republican Women's Club on Tuesday. Collins, of Charlotte, will speak to the group at Captain Steve's Seafood Restaurant, 8517 Monroe Road. Dinner is at 6 p.m., the program at 6:30 p.m.

Jim Morrill

Regional briefs

Chester County, S.C.


One person was killed in a single-vehicle wreck Tuesday night in Chester County.

The S.C. Highway Patrol said a man died when he apparently lost control of the vehicle on Hunter Road, about two miles south of Richburg.

The wreck happened about 8:20 p.m. The victim, whose name was not released by troopers, was not wearing a seat belt and was thrown from the vehicle.

Steve Lyttle

Police digest

Catawba County


A Hickory man has been charged with trafficking fake IDs, Lincoln County authorities said Wednesday.

Emilio Camarena Guzman, 33, was charged on Friday with one count of trafficking in stolen identities and three counts of financial identity theft, the Sheriff's Office said. He was being held under a $40,000 secured bond.

Authorities said Guzman was arrested after arranging to make false identification for an unidentified illegal immigrant. Authorities said Guzman met with the person one day to take a picture and returned the next day with an N.C. Driver's License and a Social Security card for of $150.

Joe DePriest

Cleveland County


A sheriff's deputy shot and wounded a suspect early Wednesday during a confrontation near Shelby, authorities say.

The incident happened at an East Green Street home, the Cleveland County Sheriff's Office says. Authorities say the shooting resulted from a confrontation between deputies and multiple suspects.

The deputies questioned two suspects separately. One suspect pulled a gun on a deputy, Observer news partner NewsChannel36 reported, and the deputy fired, wounding him in the chest. The suspect was taken to Cleveland Regional Medical Center in Shelby and is expected to survive.

An investigation is under way.

Steve Lyttle

Lincoln County


A Vale couple faces charges in connection with the sexual assault of a 14-year-old girl, authorities said Wednesday.

According to the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office, Jimmy Dean Black, 34, was charged with statutory rape and taking indecent liberties with a minor. Patricia Ann Black, 36, was charged with accessory after the fact.

Authorities said Jimmy Dean Black is accused of having sex with the girl and showing her sexually explicit movies. Patricia Black is charged with knowing about the incidents and not reporting them to law enforcement.

Joe DePriest

Mecklenburg County


A Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department unit that tracks and arrests violent criminals has made its 1,000th arrest – a woman wanted for armed robbery.

Octavia Clipper, 19, was arrested around 2:50 p.m. Wednesday, police said. Police say Clipper fled to New York City with another suspect and had recently returned to Charlotte.

The unit was started in 2005 to apprehend robbery suspects.

Cleve Wootson Jr.

Police are still looking for a man they believe shot five people Saturday night, including a 2-year-old boy who was hit in the foot.

The shooting happened just after 10:30 p.m. at the Thomasboro apartment complex on Thomasboro Avenue in northwest Charlotte. The gunman, described as a light-skinned black man with dreadlocks and dark clothes, came around the corner of the building, yelled at the group sitting on the patio and fired.

When firefighters arrived, they saw the man running through the complex. No arrest had been made as of late Wednesday.

Anyone with information can speak directly to a homicide detective by calling 704-432-TIPS. Or call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.

Cleve R. Wootson Jr.