Across the Region |

Record turnout expected at job fair

Nonprofit job readiness center Jacob's Ladder Job Center Inc. is expecting record turnout at its public job fair to be held Thursday at Little Rock AME Zion Church.

When the event first launched three years ago, it attracted about 75 job-seekers, program coordinator Kimberly Dawson-Munn said. Last year, it drew about 150 participants. This year, the numbers are expected to swell to more than 200.

Dawson-Munn attributed much of the increase to the organization's shifting focus. When it was first founded 10 years ago, the program primarily targeted residents in Belmont and surrounding neighborhoods.

Today, Jacob's Ladder helps job-seekers across the Charlotte region develop job-hunting skills.

“The other (reason for the increased participation), unfortunately, is because of the economy,” she said.

The job fair is open to the public and will be 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Little Rock AME Zion Church, 401 N. McDowell St.

About 25 employers are participating, including the Presbyterian and Carolinas health care systems, as well as multiple staffing agencies and hotel chains.

Details: 704-332-5822

. Nichole Monroe Bell

Meck briefs

Aides to U.S. Rep. Robin Hayes, a Republican from Concord, will hold office hours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday at the Grier Heights Community Center, 3100 Leroy St.

Hayes said his staff would help 8th Congressional District residents with questions about Social Security, workers' compensation, financial aid, home loans and other federal issues. Lisa Zagaroli

Regional briefs

Cabarrus County

The Cabarrus County Sheriff's Office said Tuesday it is investigating whether carbon monoxide poisoning killed a 5-year-old boy and left his mother in critical condition Monday.

Authorities have not ruled anything out as a cause of death, Chief Deputy Paul Hunt said. He said there were no signs of foul play at the mobile home at 4121 Lower Stone Church Road north of Mount Pleasant.

“It's a very puzzling and frustrating deal right now,” Hunt said.

The victim's 13-year-old brother also was in the home at the time, and called for help a little after 2 p.m. Monday when he found his mother to be unresponsive. The 13-year-old has been released from Carolinas Medical Center-NorthEast in Concord although his mother remains hospitalized. Her age and condition were not available, Hunt said.

He declined to release the family's name. The two brothers and their mother were the only ones who lived in the home.

Adam Bell

Preliminary damage estimates to public infrastructure in Cabarrus County from last week's flooding has now topped $4 million, the county said Tuesday afternoon.

Damages cover parks, bridges, roads and buildings.

The county expects to get a better picture of public and private losses in a couple of weeks after the federal government reviews disaster assistance claims. Owners of homes and businesses with flood damage will be able to apply for aid from the state and federal Small Business Administration this week, although contact information is not complete.

The county had significant flooding from Tropical Storm Fay. Here are the preliminary damage estimates for public infrastructure: Concord, $2.2 million; Kannapolis, $1.7 million; Mount Pleasant, $74,480; Cabarrus County, $40,000; Cabarrus County Schools, $40,000.

Adam Bell

Gaston County Gastonia

Gastonia police said Tuesday they believe a man found dead inside a car that had crashed into a home had likely killed himself.

Police said the 22-year-old man was driving a car that crashed into the side of a house on Huntsmoor Drive after 11 p.m. Monday. A police report said the car apparently went airborne shortly before hitting the house.

When police arrived, they found no injuries among anyone in the house. But they found the driver inside the car with a bullet wound to his head. He was pronounced dead.

On Tuesday, police said it appeared the driver likely committed suicide. April Bethea and Steve Lyttle

New Hanover County Wilmington

At least one N.C. beach town is keeping its lifeguards on duty as Tropical Storm Hanna brings in swells, winds and strong rip currents.

The Star-News of Wilmington reported Tuesday that Carolina Beach will have lifeguards on duty through Saturday and Sunday, past the Labor Day cutoff.

One man drowned at Fort Fisher on Sunday, while more than 40 rescues were made at Wrightsville Beach and Carolina Beach. Conditions were rough Monday, but only about 15 swimmers had to be rescued at the towns. No rescues were reported at Kure Beach. Associated Press

Scotland County Laurinburg

Authorities said a technician at a medical clinic in southern North Carolina may have caused seven patients to become infected with hepatitis C.

State Health Director Dr. Leah Devlin said Tuesday state officials are contacting 1,200 patients who underwent cardiac stress tests within the last 14 months at Scotland Cardiology in Laurinburg. Health officials are recommending patients be tested for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and the HIV virus.

Devlin said officials determined the cases may be linked to the only technician conducting the test, which involves injecting a dye into a patient's vein.

The clinic is run by Laurinburg's mayor, Dr. Matthew Block, who is being investigated by the state Medical Board over allegations he issued more than 100 prescriptions to a family member. Associated Press

Transylvania County Brevard

Authorities say a Florida man has died after jumping from Looking Glass Falls in the Pisgah National Forest.

Transylvania County Sheriff's Lt. Brian Kreigsman told the Asheville Citizen-Times that Ronald Conrad Brown died during surgery Sunday after he was airlifted to an Asheville hospital.

Officials think Brown suffered head and spinal injuries, as well as broken bones. Witnesses said Brown had climbed to the top of the falls and jumped about 70 feet into six feet or less of water.

Brown's relatives said the 49-year-old Navarre, Fla., man had enjoyed jumping from waterfalls. Kreigsman says he has requested a toxicology report. Associated Press

Police digest

Aiken County, S.C. Aiken

Authorities say $1,000 worth of American Indian artifacts stolen from the Beech Island Historical Society have been recovered.

Aiken County Sheriff's Lt. Michael Frank said Tuesday that an elderly man turned in the collection after buying it for $500 at a flea market in Augusta, Ga.

Frank says the items were bought Saturday from two men selling from a car trunk, and he's hoping other shoppers at the Old 56 Flea Market can provide more information.

The recovered items include arrowheads, English coins and metal buttons from the 18th century.

Deputies said someone walked into the historical society two weeks ago through a back door, smashed a glass case and took the items. Associated Press

Mecklenburg County Charlotte

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police are investigating the death of a woman found inside a north Charlotte home Tuesday evening.

Police said they are not sure how Shirley Miller died, but said in a news release it may be domestic related. A man who also lived at the house, whom police identified as Anthony Hamilton, was taken to a Huntersville hospital where he was in stable condition, according to a news release.

Officers were responding to an alarm at the home on Pimilico Trace Lane shortly after 5 p.m. Once there, they had to force their way inside the home.

Officers found Hamilton alive, but said he was unresponsive. They then discovered Miller's body in a bedroom at the home. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Detectives from the crime scene investigation and homicide units were on the scene Tuesday night.

Anyone with information is asked to call 704-432-TIPS and speak to a homicide unit detective. You also can call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600. April Bethea

Rowan County Salisbury

A woman has been charged with murder after police say she deliberately ran over another woman with a car.

Salisbury police arrested 22-year-old Davina Miller on Monday.

Officers say she ran over 28-year-old Sharmay Perry after the two got into an argument on the way home from a party.

When officers arrived at the scene on Lafayette Street, they found Perry underneath a 2001 Toyota Camry. She was pronounced dead at the scene. WCNC-TV

York County

A 17-year-old Lancaster man was killed late Monday in a five-vehicle crash that closed Interstate 77 in York County for several hours.

York County Coroner Sabrina Gast said Jorge Lopez was killed in the crash, which the highway patrol said happened about 9:20 p.m. near mile marker 83 on I-77. That is a short distance north of Rock Hill. Troopers said Lopez was not wearing a seat belt.

An investigation is continuing. But the S.C. Highway Patrol said early reports indicate that Lopez had attempted to exit his vehicle after an initial collision and was possibly struck by one or two other vehicles.

April Bethea and Steve Lyttle