Region | Stations to make refunds for gouging

Attorney General Roy Cooper's office says two gas stations will repay consumers for gas bought when prices jumped as Hurricane Ike hit the Gulf Coast.

Cooper's office said Friday that owners of The Corner Market gas station in Jefferson and Old Fort Citgo in Old Fort agreed to repay customers who purchased overpriced gas from them on Sept. 12 and 13. At The Corner Market, a gallon of regular unleaded fuel topped out at $5.29. At Old Fort Citgo, prices reached $4.99. They also will pay $5,000 in civil penalties, which will go to N.C. schools.

Consumers will get refunds of up to $1.69 per gallon by credit card or in person for those who paid cash and have proof.

Cooper has subpoenaed 36 gas stations, and two others have agreed to make refunds.

Associated Press

Regional briefs

Iredell County Statesville

Iredell County will keep its early voting hours the same today after the state Board of Elections ordered counties to extend their hours, unless local boards found no reason to do so.

The Iredell County Board of Elections voted unanimously Friday to keep today's hours the same – 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Mooresville Public Library and the board of elections office in Statesville. Joe Marusak.

Catawba County Hickory

Hickory received a proposal this week for a new Lowe's Foods grocery store on N.C. 127 North in the city's Viewmont section.

The 55,000-square-foot store would be included in a project with a new 4,000-square-foot Backstreets Bar & Grill.

The area has been without a grocery store since a Fresh Air Galaxy closed in 2004 to make way for a Lowe's Home Improvement development. The project would be between 13th and 14th avenues next to Viewmont Baptist Church.

The city has scheduled a public hearing on the proposal for Dec. 3.

Hannah Mitchell

Eastern N.C. Fayetteville

Construction halted when workers found anti-tank mines used in the Korean War and other explosives at a construction site.

A box containing three live mines and 10 training charges was unearthed during construction at an apartment complex near Fort Bragg, The Fayetteville Observer reported.

The mines were taken to Fort Bragg by explosives experts and would be destroyed, said Joe Lenczyk, local agent in charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Lenczyk said the live mines contained 12 pounds each of explosives. The live mines didn't have fuses, but the age of the mines and heavy machinery at the site could have been a dangerous combination.

“They are designed to destroy an armored vehicle,” Lenczyk said. “That quantity of high explosives would be devastating.”

The mines were found in an area being developed a distance away from occupied apartments. No residences were evacuated.

Associated Press

Kill Devil Hills

Security concerns after a demonstration have prompted officials to move future meetings of a committee negotiating beach driving rules to a national park building on the Outer Banks.

The committee of 30 officials and residents working on permanent rules to allow beach access and protect endangered species will meet at the Wright Brothers National Memorial.

Meetings have been held at alternating locations on the Outer Banks, The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk reported Friday. But some committee members felt uncomfortable after a demonstration by beach driving advocates at the September meeting.

Officials canceled the October meeting. Mike Murray, superintendent of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore, decided to move the November meeting.

National Park Service spokeswoman Cyndy Holda said the Wright Brothers site is more secure. Meetings had been alternating between the locations at the southern end of the Outer Banks and the northern end to make it convenient for local citizens to attend.

Associated Press


An N.C. state senator faces more real estate foreclosures because of late mortgage payments.

The Star-News of Wilmington reported Friday that court records indicate state Sen. Julia Boseman has a foreclosure hearing scheduled in November on an office condominium in New Hanover County and a mobile home in Brunswick County.

She owes $360,000 on the condo and $78,320 on the mobile home.

A home she had shared with her domestic partner was auctioned in June after they defaulted on a loan.

Boseman is running for re-election, and her campaign manager said she has been upfront about the financial trouble, much of it from the depressed real estate market.

Her Republican opponent, Michael Lee, said the problems reflect Boseman's effectiveness as a legislator.

Associated Press

N.C. Mountains Marshall

Lawyers for an N.C. woman and a mountain town council still are at odds over whether her lawsuit has been settled over her ouster from a community gathering spot.

Lawyer Jon Sasser of Cary said Friday that there has been no settlement but that the sides are talking.

But the attorney for the town of Marshall, Larry Leake, told the Board of Aldermen on Thursday that the lawsuit was over because the town's insurance company would settle for $275,000.

The lawsuit was filed after Rebecca Willis was thrown out of a regular Friday night dance eight years ago, when she was 56, after officials said she was being lewd.

The case has bounced around courts since then, including a federal appeals court.

Associated Press

Police digest

York County Fort Mill

The owner of two Fort Mill lottery stores faces multiple charges after authorities said he sold illegal lottery tickets and pocketed the money. Authorities this week issued arrest warrants against 31-year-old Jayson Carl Parker, 31, of Fort Mill in connection with illegal scratch-off tickets sold at Lotto World and Lottery Super Store, both stores in the Carowinds area.

Toya Graham, (Rock Hill) Herald

Alexander County Taylorsville

A woman and her boyfriend, neither of whom has been seen for two months, are wanted in connection with the death of the woman's 4-year-old daughter.

The Alexander County Sheriff's Office has issued murder warrants against Olga Mendez, 25, and Kevin Eduardo Videa, 21.

Mendez and Videa were last seen Aug. 27, when the Alexander County Department of Social Services came to Mendez's home to check on 4-year-old Brilly Mendez.

DSS officials said Brilly was not at the home, on J.H. Ingle Drive, in a rural area northwest of Taylorsville. Last weekend, detectives brought a dog to search the grounds near the mobile home, and the dog found skeletal remains of a child, later identified as Brilly Mendez.

Anyone with information in the case – or information on the whereabouts of Mendez or Videa – is asked to call authorities at 828-632-4658.

Steve Lyttle

Catawba County Claremont

One man was killed and two other people were hurt Thursday night in a one-vehicle wreck in Catawba County.

The N.C. Highway Patrol has identified the victim of the wreck as Joshua Wayne Potter, 21.

He was a passenger in a car being driven north on Lee Cline Road near the town of Claremont.

Troopers say the driver of the vehicle apparently went off the right side of the road, over-corrected, then drove off the left side. The vehicle struck a mailbox and then a tree.

The driver and another passenger in the car were injured and hospitalized.

Steve Lyttle

Cleveland County Shelby

Cleveland County authorities have arrested a woman in connection with the shooting death of her father Thursday night.

The sheriff's office said Gary Clark, 51, was found shot to death about 7:30 p.m. inside his home on East Sanders Road, about 3 miles north of Shelby. Clark's daughter, Tracy Jenkins, 31, was taken into custody.

Steve Lyttle


Volunteers from Texas EquuSearch will be in Cleveland County today to search for Mouy Tang, the woman who disappeared in September from an adult care home near Fallston.

They'll meet at 8 a.m. at Burns High School in Lawndale.

The Kristen Foundation for missing adults, which is organizing the search, is soliciting more people older than 18 to search or donate food and drinks. To volunteer, call Joan Scanlon-Petruski at 704-996-5066.

The foundation also placed a billboard in Shelby this week advertising a $15,000 reward from Tang's family for her location and safe return.

Tang, 46, has schizophrenia and requires insulin to control her diabetes. She wandered from Unique Living on Sept. 3. State officials later shut down the troubled home.

Tang is 5 feet, 2 inches tall and weighs 148 pounds. She has medium-length black hair and brown eyes.

If you have information, call the Cleveland County Sheriff's Office at 704-484-4822.

Pam Kelley