Solar-powered mid-rise in SouthPark?

SouthPark could become home to the city's first fully eco-friendly mid-rise if one Charlotte man gets his way.

David Thompson has filed a rezoning request to build SolarPark, an 80-foot residential building that would run entirely on solar power and electricity. The building would sit on one acre near Park and Sharon roads.

Residential buildings in the SouthPark area generally must be capped at 40 feet without city permission. A community meeting is scheduled for September, with a public hearing in October.

The pyramid-shaped SolarPark would use solar panels extensively to collect energy from the sun. That energy would be used along with electricity to run appliances and heat the building's air and water. -- Nichole Monroe Bell

Cabarrus County

Cabarrus County commissioners last week gave their approval for a $58 million construction contract for the controversial jail in downtown Concord.

The vote was 3-1, with commissioner Coy Privette the no vote; commissioner Grace Mynatt was absent.

In June, the state Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal by Concord residents trying to stop the jail. The court's move ended several years' worth of work to thwart the project by residents who objected to the size of the plan and the proximity to their historic neighborhoods.

The 480-bed jail will be built behind the new sheriff's headquarters on Corban Avenue. It would take the place of the 142-bed jail and would leave room for expansion.

Adam Bell

Catawba County Plans for a new ABC store in Terrell have ended after a bitter dispute between some residents, and the Catawba County ABC board helped kill the idea.

Randy Isenhower, the chairman of the Catawba County ABC board, told the Observer that the developer who had contracted to sell the land at N.C. 150 and Sherrills Ford Road for the store asked to withdraw from the contract with the ABC board earlier this month.

The ABC board voted to grant that withdrawal Tuesday night, and must now consider whether to look for another site.

Residents had long fought the proposed store, gathering as many as 1,000 signatures in petitions. -- Kevin Cary

Union County

A judge is expected to rule soon on whether Union County can require residential developers to share the cost of building new schools in the rapidly growing suburban county.

A group of developers is suing the county for adopting an “adequate public facilities” ordinance in 2006.

Superior Court Judge Chris Collier said Thursday he intends to hand down his ruling in the next seven to 10 days. -- Mike Torralba

South Carolina

A veteran Corrections Department employee is seeking $5 million in a federal lawsuit that claims agency officials retaliated against her for reporting corruption to state senators.

Linda Dunlap is suing prisons director Jon Ozmint and the agency's director of health services, Russell Campbell, claiming they violated her free-speech rights, The State of Columbia reported Saturday.

A spokesman for the agency did not immediately return a message from The Associated Press seeking comment Saturday. Dunlap's attorney has declined to comment.

Dunlap's lawsuit accuses the officials of ruthless retaliation that left her with “no hope of advancement in rank or pay.”

According to the lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Columbia, Dunlap told state senators about deficient health-care services, discriminatory hiring and employment practices, employees breaking the law and cover-ups of unethical actions.

The lawsuit said Dunlap initially told agency officials, including Ozmint and Campbell, of her concerns, then went to senators when nothing was done.

Associated Press


Charlotte-Mecklenburg police charged a 29-year-old man late Friday in connection with the slaying of a man whose body was found in a south Charlotte hotel in April.

Desmond Deraile Glenn was in the county jail, charged with murder. Officers from the South Division and Violent Criminal Apprehension Team took him into custody without incident about 11:30 a.m. Friday.

On April 6, an employee at the InTown Suites off South Tryon Street near Billy Graham Parkway found the body of Keith Dwayne Butler, 23, in Room 312. Witnesses reported that the door had been cracked open all day.

Glenn and Butler knew each other and had a fight before Butler was killed, police say. Police have not released information about how Butler died. -- Greg Lacour