Local

Police give UNCC street racing probe

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police have turned over findings from their investigation into possible connections between illegal street races and a UNC Charlotte car club, detectives said.

Investigators said it's up to UNCC to determine whether any university or club rules were violated. UNCC's student affairs division is expected to complete its own probe in about a week, a spokeswoman said.

A CMPD undercover investigation led to the arrests of four people who face numerous traffic-related charges. Police say they were involved in an arranged street race along 13 miles of Interstate 485.

The investigation led authorities to members of UNCC's Horsepower Addicts, a club formed three years ago by students who like to hang out and talk about fast cars.

Club members told the Observer that their organization, which prohibits racing, was not involved in the weekend races. They typically only meet during the spring and fall semesters at a parking lot on campus.

On Saturday night about 300 cars and drivers met on a parking deck at the university before parading to the highway. They had a dozen races before authorities caught up to them at more than 100 mph, police said.

CMPD Detective Louis Rango told the Observer at least one of the people at the race Saturday has ties to the club. Whether the person – who was taped by undercover officers at a previous event on the deck – is a club member or a UNCC student isn't clear, Rango said.

None of the drivers arrested Saturday were UNCC students.

Victoria Cherrie

Meck briefs

Charlotte

Tyler Ream, who has been chief of staff to Charlotte- Mecklenburg Schools Superintendent Peter Gorman for the past year, was named Wednesday by Gorman as the school system's interim chief operating officer.

Ream will fill part of the role left vacant when Maurice “Mo” Green resigned as chief operating officer and deputy superintendent to become superintendent of the Guilford County Schools. Gorman said Ream – and the person eventually picked for the permanent chief operating officer position – will not get the deputy superintendent's title.

“Tyler is not a candidate for the permanent position,” Gorman said, adding, “We are not looking to replace Mo. We are looking for a chief operating officer.” Gorman also said he hopes to select a permanent choice for the job, which entails day-to-day management of the school system, by September.

Ream, a Los Angeles area native, was an elementary school teacher and principal in California before being hired as Gorman's chief of staff in July 2007.

Steve Lyttle

Remount Road will be closed between Interstate 77 and West Boulevard for the next five days, city transportation officials said Wednesday afternoon.

Officials said they are closing all lanes of the road in that area to deal with emergency repairs needed in connection with the West Water Main Project. The closing is expected to last through the evening commute next Monday.

This closure will affect Charlotte Area Transit System bus routes, but changes have not been finalized.

Motorists can expect delays.

Steve Lyttle

Regional briefs

Catawba County

Hickory

City of Hickory officials are considering a moratorium on new or expanded bars, nightclubs and discos to give them time to study possible new limits on such establishments.

The Hickory City Council last week set a Sept. 2 public hearing on the proposal for a 120-day moratorium.

The council is expected to consider that same night whether to approve the freeze on new businesses that get most of their revenue from alcohol sales. Then city staff would draft a proposal to change the approval process for the enterprises.

The changes could include reducing the number of zoning districts where the city allows bars and clubs.

The proposed moratorium wouldn't include bars that sell significant amounts of food.

City officials have expressed concern about a rising number of police calls to the 14 bars and nightclubs across the city, Assistant City Manager Andrea Surratt said.

The city could consider requiring new businesses of this type to get special-use permits, which require public hearings and site plans detailing owners' intentions for the establishments. “That would give neighbors more of a voice,” Surratt said.

Hannah Mitchell

South Carolina

Columbia

Several attorneys involved in the legal battle over James Brown's estate say they're nearing a settlement.

Meanwhile, a man who claims to be Brown's half brother says he'll undergo a DNA test this week to prove his link to Brown.

Associated Press

Police digest

Cabarrus County

Kannapolis

A 36-year-old Kannapolis man has been charged with multiple sex offenses involving two girls, ages 10 and 11, Kannapolis police said.

Billy Joe Tysinger of Easy Street turned himself in and was being held in the Cabarrus County Jail Wednesday under a $250,000 bond.

Kannapolis officers began their investigation on July 31, after the mother of one of the girls filed a report.

Tysinger was charged with six counts of first-degree sex offense on a child and two counts of taking indecent liberties with a child. Gail Smith-Arrants

Catawba County

The son of NASCAR driver Morgan Shepherd pleaded guilty in a Catawba County court to five counts of felony indecent liberties with a minor.

A grand jury indicted Clay Morgan Shepherd Jr., 40, on one of the charges in 2006. On Tuesday, Superior Court Judge Robert Bell sentenced Shepherd Jr. to six months in prison, to be followed by three years' probation. He will also have to register as a sex offender and undergo sex offender evaluation and treatment. He lives in Hickory. According to the district attorney's office, the charges involved multiple female victims under age 16 between 2005 and 2008. Hannah Mitchell

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