Across the Region |

Seized animals are all in foster care

Lincoln County Animal Services placed all animals recently seized from a Denver residence in foster care with approved area rescue groups, authorities said Monday.

Animal Services Director Jack Kerley said most of the animals were placed in small groups at foster facilities in Lincoln and Mecklenburg counties. Lincoln County will continue to provide food and medical services and ensure the animals are cared for until the case comes to trial, authorities said.

Animal Services is in the process of closing down the old R-Anell Homes facilities, where the 393 animals seized from 3453 Petite Lane on Aug. 26 have been kept. Kerley said it would take about a week to remove equipment and clean the temporary rescue shelter.

Authorities said there is still a need for financial donations to help feed and care for the animals. An account is set up at First Federal Savings Bank in the name of “Operation Noah's Ark.” Donations can be made to any First Federal bank in Lincoln County.

A woman, her husband and son were charged with nine counts each of felony cruelty to animals. Vickie Rauch, 40, and Michael William Rauch, 47, remain in the Harven A. Crouse Detention Center under a $72,000 secured bond each. Their son, Brandon Olsen, 19, was released on bond last week.

Joe DePriest

Meck briefs


Duke Energy has sent about 600 Carolinas-based workers, including about 75 from the Charlotte area, to help restore power to the hundreds of thousands of Duke customers affected by high winds Sunday in the Midwest.

Winds – caused by a combination of the remnants of Hurricane Ike and a strong cold front – gusted above 70 mph in parts of Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio. At one point late Sunday, more than 1.3 million Duke Energy customers in the three states were without power.

By Monday evening, that number had been reduced to about 600,000 in Duke's coverage area across Ohio and Kentucky, and another 100,000 in Indiana. Company officials say they hope to have much of the power restored by today. Steve Lyttle

Regional briefs

Gaston County Mount Holly

A husband and wife were killed in a house fire near Mount Holly on Monday afternoon, according to neighbors and emergency officials.

Dispatchers said several Gaston County units responded to the blaze on 201 Pine Road, between Mount Holly and Belmont, reported Observer news partner NewsChannel 36.

It happened around 4 p.m. Neighbors say a husband and wife lived at the home, and the wife was on oxygen, which they suspect may have caused an explosion.

The woman was pronounced dead at the scene, and her husband was taken to Gaston Memorial Hospital and pronounced dead. NewsChannel 36

Union County

Two people were killed in separate single-car accidents Sunday in Union County, according to state troopers.

The first happened around 3 a.m. Sunday near Unionville. James Alan Price, 45, of Monroe, was headed south on Love Mill Road when his 1999 Ford pickup truck struck a bridge rail and ran off the right side of the road, according to an N.C. State Highway Patrol report. The vehicle overturned and struck a tree before catching fire. The truck was going about 70 mph in a 55 mph zone, the report said.

Around noon Sunday, Amanda Marie Wooten, 25, of Waxhaw, was killed in a one-car wreck near Monroe. She was heading south on Griffith Road when her 2007 Hyundai passenger car ran off the right side as it was rounding a curve. The driver overcorrected, the car overturned and the driver was ejected. The car was going about 70 mph in a 45 mph zone, the report said. Mike Torralba and Maria David


Alfred Regnery, publisher of “The American Spectator,” a conservative magazine, and author of “Upstream: The Ascendance of American Conservatism” will speak in Wingate at the Jesse Helms Center on Sept. 25.

He will host a book signing at 7 p.m. and will talk about the book. The event is free and open to the public. RSVP by calling 704-233-1776 ext. 8, or visit www.jessehelmscenter.org/programs/forum.asp. Esther Robards-Forbes

Yadkin County Jonesville

The brother of the skydiving instructor killed in North Carolina says the man was an experienced skydiver who also was an Air Force veteran.

Steven Preglar of Dubuque, Iowa, told the Winston-Salem Journal that his brother, 38-year-old James Preglar of Salisbury, died in the accident Saturday. He says his family doesn't understand what went wrong because his brother was “real cool under pressure.”

Preglar and a student died while making a tandem jump shortly after noon at Swan Creek Airport in Jonesville with Carolina Skydiving.

Family members identified the other victim as Adam Ryan Howard, 21, of the Lenoir County town of Deep Run. Associated Press, The (Kinston) Free Press

Police digest

Mecklenburg County Pineville

Pineville police say an anonymous tip helped them arrest a suspect Friday on drug and other charges.

Sgt. Corey Copley said Pineville's vice/narcotics squad was waiting for the suspect, Brittain John Ammons, when he arrived at his apartment Friday. After interviewing Ammons, police searched his apartment.

Copley said officers then charged Ammons with felony possession of marijuana, possession of cocaine, possession with intent to sell cocaine, and three firearms that police say were stolen. Copley said Ammons, already a convicted felon, had two outstanding warrants for theft of firearms and felony breaking-and-entering.

Ammons, 21, was being held in the Mecklenburg County jail Monday. Staff Reports