WCNC.com to Livestream Procession for Fallen Charlotte, NC Officer

From http://www.ten8.wordpress.com

By News Channel 36 Staff / www.wcnc.com; February 28, 2011

NewsChannel 36 and WCNC.com will have live coverage of the tributes to Officer Fred Thornton starting with today’s procession.By NewsChannel 36

WCNC.com will livestream the procession, which is tentatively set to begin around 3:45 this afternoon. 

It will start at the McEwen funeral home on Matthews-Mint Hill Road.  The procession will lead to First Baptist Church in uptown.  Visitation will be held from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Published in: on February 28, 2011 at 9:19 am  Leave a Comment  

Uptown Charlotte, NC Church Will Hold Funeral for Fallen Officer

From www.ten8.wordpress.com

by Diana Rugg / NewsChannel 36 / www.wcnc.com; February 28, 2011

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Plans are in place for a hero’s farewell today to a Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer who died on Friday after an accident at his home when an explosive device went off.

Visitation for officer Fred Thornton is planned for 6-9 p.m. Monday at First Baptist Church in uptown Charlotte, while the funeral will take place at the same church Tuesday at 11 a.m.

Before both events, a procession will carry Thornton’s casket from McEwan Funeral Service in Mint Hill to the church on South Davidson Street. 

“It’s going to be one of those ‘all hands on deck’ kind of events,” said Jonathan Rebsamen, the associate pastor for administration at First Baptist Church. 

The church’s sanctuary holds 1,700 people, and Rebsamen is expecting an overflow crowd. First Baptist has held services for fallen police officers before, and hosts the police memorial service every year.

“We do have a relationship, so we do want to reach out,” said Rebsamen. “Especially to the family, but to all the police officers, and let them know that we do care.”

Streets around the church will be blocked off for several hours Tuesday morning for the procession before and after the funeral. Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said Sunday parts of Martin Luther King, Third Street, Davidson Street, Fourth Street and Trade Street around the church will be closed starting at 9 a.m.

McEwan Funeral Service said it will take a route to uptown that follows Matthews-Mint Hill Road, Lawyers Road, Albemarle Road, Independence Boulevard and I-277.   The uptown routes for Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning are still being finalized.  Tuesday morning’s route will stop in front of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg police headquarters on Trade Street, where Thornton’s casket will be transferred to a horse-drawn caisson for its final three blocks to the church.

The procession for the viewing Monday afternoon starts between 3:45 and 4 p.m., and for the funeral Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. in Mint Hill.   

Burial will follow the funeral at Sharon Memorial Park on Monroe Road. That procession will leave the church and follow 3rd Street, McDowell Street, and 7th Street/ Monroe Road.

Published in: on February 28, 2011 at 9:15 am  Leave a Comment  

Contact Information for Charlotte, NC SWAT Officer Killed After Device Exploded at His Home

Contact Information For the CMPD is Listed Below This Article

From www.ten8.wordpress.com

By Meghan Cooke / Charlotte Observer

Police stood at attention outside Carolinas Medical Center on Friday night, saluting as an ambulance bearing the body of a fellow officer was escorted away by dozens of police cruisers.

They came to pay their respects to veteran Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Officer Fred Thornton. The SWAT officer and father of four died Friday night after a distraction device used in SWAT situations discharged at his Mint Hill home.

Officer Fred Thornton

Paramedics responded to a call for help at Thornton’s home about 5:30 p.m. A Mint Hill ambulance escorted by a convoy of police cruisers transported the officer to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte.

After a preliminary investigation, police believe the distraction device – also known as a stun grenade or “flash-bang” – discharged as Thornton was “attempting to render his equipment safe.”

In the hours after the accident, Chief Rodney Monroe and fellow officers streamed to the hospital.

Thornton, a 28-year police veteran, underwent emergency surgery, but later died as a result of his injuries. He was 50.

“Members of CMPD … are heartbroken over the loss of a veteran member of their family,” CMPD spokeswoman Officer Rosalyn Harrington said in a statement.

After word spread of Thornton’s death, more officers congregated at the hospital. Some stood together in groups, some talking in low voices and others shaking their heads.

On Morehead Street near the hospital and later through uptown on Tryon Street, dozens of patrol cars drove with lights and sirens on in a show of respect. Traffic came to a halt as firefighters, paramedics and police stood outside their vehicles and watched the procession pass by.

Earlier in the day, around 3:45 p.m., Thornton was on assignment as a search warrant was served.

The warrant service was conducted without incident and SWAT officers cleared the scene about 4:45 p.m., police said. Thornton then drove his SWAT vehicle to his home, where the distraction device later exploded.

“The device exploded, causing very massive injuries internally,” Monroe said.

A distraction device is standard-issued equipment to SWAT officers, police said. It is used to startle suspects during raids.

Mint Hill and Charlotte-Mecklenburg police are investigating the incident.

Thornton was assigned to the department’s North Tryon Division.

In 2006, he was among four CMPD SWAT officers deployed to the Gulf coast after Hurricane Katrina.

He spent seven weeks in Waveland, Miss., providing help with security, transportation and labor in support of a medical team from CMC.

Monroe said the day’s tragedy reminds people of the risks of serving as an officer: “It’s a risk that all too often costs our members their lives.”

– Observer Staff writer Ely Portillo contributed.

Sympathy Cards Should Be Sent To:

Sgt. Eric Peterson, Supervisor

Special Weapons and Tactics Team

Charlotte–Mecklenburg Police Dept.

601 East Trade Street

Charlotte, NC 28202-9999

CMPD Web-Site: http://www.cmpd.org

Published in: on February 26, 2011 at 1:34 pm  Leave a Comment  

CMPD SWAT Officer Dies After Accident at Home

February 25, 2011 From www.ten8.wordpress.com

By Meghan Cooke / Charlotte Observer

A Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officer has died after an accident at his Mint Hill home.

Paramedics responded to a call for help at the home of Officer Fred Thornton on Tinkerton Court in Mint Hill around 5:30 p.m.

Thornton was transported to Carolinas Medical Center with life-threatening injuries. He underwent emergency surgery, police said, but later died as a result of his injuries.

Police believe Thornton’s injuries were the result of a distraction device that discharged as he was attempting to render his equipment safe, police said.

Thornton was a SWAT officer, and police said a distraction device is standard-issued equipment to SWAT officers during tactical operations.

Published in: on February 25, 2011 at 9:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

Shocking Mug Shots Reveal Toll of Drug Abuse

In-your-face photos aim to scare teens straight by striking their vanity

By Linda Carroll / msnbc.com contributor via www.ten8.wordpress.com February 25, 2011

 With disturbing before and after photos of drug users’ faces, a new anti-drug campaign may succeed where others have failed, grabbing teens’ attentions by appealing to their vanity.

The pairs of mug shots, which graphically display the damage drugs can do to the face, were collected by the sheriff’s office in Multnomah County, Ore.

Faces that were normal — even attractive — in initial photos, shot when addicts were first arrested, metamorphose over years, and sometimes just months, into gaunt, pitted, even toothless wrecks.

The photos are part of a 48-minute documentary called “From Drugs to Mugs,” created by Deputy Bret King. King hopes that the documentary, which is available on a DVD along with a CD of mug shots, will help scare kids straight by showing them concrete evidence of damage that can occur within months from using meth, heroin or cocaine.

“The thinking is that this will give kids a tangible image of what can happen if they get involved in using hard drugs,” King says. “We did want to appeal to their sense of vanity.”

King understands the power of that teen vanity. “I remember in high school you had to have the right clothes, the right shoes, the right look,” he says.

Perhaps the most stunning feature of the photos is how quickly the face is damaged.

That speed isn’t surprising to addiction experts.

Meth, for example, can cause small blood vessels around the face to constrict, says A. Thomas McLellan, director of the Center for Substance Abuse Solutions at the University of Pennsylvania.

“So consequently, the gums shrink as they do in old age,” says McLellan, also former deputy director of the United States Office of National Drug Control Policy. “The teeth that remain can become discolored and black.”

Both meth and heroin are often cut with sugar, McLellan explains. “And you get acne from oily or sweet things, so if you’re injecting the sugar into your veins it’s even more direct,” he adds.

Other impurities can cause lumpy cysts on the face and other areas of the body, such as the armpits and groin, McLellan says.

The gaunt look on many of the addicts can be the result of poor nutrition and lack of sleep , says Dr. Larissa Mooney, an addiction psychiatrist and an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of California, Los Angeles.

As for the facial sores: Sometimes meth users will hallucinate and get the sensation that there are bugs crawling under their skin, Mooney says. Trying to get relief, they’ll sometimes pick at their skin until there are open sores.

Experts can’t say whether the program will work, but Mooney and McLellan are hopeful.

“The video is trying to tap into something that is important to young people,” Mooney says. “It’s less abstract than telling someone they’ll get lung cancer many years down the line. This is something you can actually see right now.”

McLellan agrees that the short time to facial devastation may have a big impact on kids. “Some of these photos show changes in less than six months,” he says. “This is the kind of time frame kids understand.”

Published in: on February 25, 2011 at 9:32 pm  Leave a Comment  

12 DWI arrests in East Charlotte Checkpoint

By Steve Lyttle / Charlotte Observer February 25, 2011

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say 12 arrests were made on DWI charges overnight during a checkpoint in east Charlotte.

Sgt. David Sloan said another 15 motorists were cited for driving with revoked licenses or no licenses at all, and six other alcohol- or drug-related charges were filed.

The checkpoint took place from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. in the 1700 block of The Plaza. Sloan said 13 motorists were arrested — those charged with DWI, and another person who had an outstanding warrant.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say they were helped by the Matthews, Mint Hill and Pineville police, the Highway Patrol, and Mecklenburg County’s ABC law enforcement.

Here is a list of citations and arrests:

DWI — 12

Driving with a revoked license — 4

No operator’s license — 3

Under-age possession of alcohol — 2

Open container law — 3

Drug charges — 1

Other citations (tags, insurance, etc.) — 17

Seat belt law — 1

Larceny warrant arrest — 1

Published in: on February 25, 2011 at 10:10 am  Leave a Comment  

Internet Site Links Charlotte To Gay Sex

By Steve Crump / www.wbtv.com / February 23, 2011

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) – Officers with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department are looking into a troubling new hot spot for anonymous sex.

Police say men are meeting up for intimate encounters at a neighborhood park popular with children.

James Boyce Community Park is located at 300 Boyce Road in southeast Charlotte.  It has the appearance of any park until you read the fine print found on a website called cruisinggays.com.

One visitor on the website claims people have sex on many of the trails and warns people that men have been seen having sex in the open.

We shared the contents of the site with some local parents at the park.

“That’s real surprising as a parent that it’s being advertised in a park like that,” said Amanda Childress.

Police have been notified, but one person, in particular, is fighting back.

Brian Lutes leads the Stonehaven community patrol just blocks away, and he’s hoping extra patrols can make a difference.

“In this instance, we’re stepping it up, and trying to get down there several times a week,” Lutes said.

Park patrons plan to be extra careful and people like Becca Dressler are hoping that police can put a stop to what’s going on.

“I don’t want my park being on a place for recommended sexual activity,” Dressler said.

In recent years, the CMPD has conducted sex stings at various other parks in the Charlotte area and they have arrested numerous people soliciting or engaging in sex acts.

Amanda Childress says she will return with a different state of mind.

“We hike all through here, and to read that makes me a little uncomfortable,” she said.

Officers in CMPD’s Independence division have also been notified about what’s going on and they plan to work with neighbors in the Stonehaven community to increase patrols.

To watch the video of the WBTV news report of this story that aired on the 11:00 pm news Tuesday, March 22, 2011 click the link below:

http://www.wbtv.com/Global/story.asp?S=14080924

Published in: on February 24, 2011 at 12:23 pm  Leave a Comment  

Man Arrested For Soliciting Sex With Undercover Officer

By Jeff Rivenbark / www.wbtv.com / February 23, 2011

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) – Police charged a man who they say tried to solicit sex from an undercover detective.

The incident happened Friday, Feb. 18, at 6700 Old Dowd Road at the overlook at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport. 

Police say Clinton Feemster was arrested for Soliciting Crimes Against Nature.

According to the police report, Feemster was “soliciting an undercover detective for oral sex.”

Police say the incident occurred in a public area where families were present.

The CMPD has received numerous complaints from people who have observed lewd sexual activity taking place at this location.

Published in: on February 24, 2011 at 12:08 pm  Leave a Comment  

When the Cashier Asks for Your Zip Code

By Kate Rogers | FOXBusiness / February 17, 2011

In California the cashier can no longer ask for your zip code during a purchase. But even if this isn’t the law in your state, you should know if they do ask, you don’t have to answer.

Last week California’s Supreme Court ruled that asking for a zip code infringes upon consumer rights. The Song-Beverly Credit Card Act of 1971 prohibits stores from recording a consumer’s “personal identification information” during credit transactions – and the ruling labeled a zip code as personal information. Since the ruling, consumers have filed class action suits against major retailers in California, including Target, Wal-Mart and Victoria’s Secret. The penalty for requesting such information can be anywhere between a penny and $1,000.

Matt Valdes, senior associate attorney at Kaufmann Englett & Lynd Attorneys in Orlando, Fla., said nearly a dozen states already have laws in place against recording consumers’ personal information, like zip codes, and the ruling may prompt these states to reevaluate their own policies. Credit card companies like MasterCard and Visa also have their own rules about such information.

“This will open up the door for similar actions in those states,” Valdes said. “This allows zip codes to be considered personal identification information.”

Many consumers have no idea that there is no law stating stores need the zip code to complete credit transactions and they are not obligated to comply with such requests, he said. A retailer can request an ID to complete a credit purchase, but it is illegal to record any information from the ID.

“People just do it uniformly,” Valdes said of giving their zip codes to stores. “People think that they are doing it to confirm it’s their card and protect you, but in reality they are doing it for their own marketing.”

Retailers often run a reverse check on the shopper to obtain their address information, and then proceed to send them marketing information, according to Valdes. These mailing lists are often duplicated and sold to other retailers.

Published in: on February 23, 2011 at 9:25 am  Leave a Comment  

Charlotte Prepares for New Dog-Tethering Law

By Doug Miller / Charlotte Observer

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Starting Tuesday, March 1, 2011 Charlotte dog owners must comply with the city’s new tethering law – or face citations and even loss of ownership rights.

City Council in September passed an ordinance that forbids tethering dogs 4 months or younger, and another provision to prohibit the practice of using heavy chains to tie up dogs.

The law, effective March 1, doesn’t go as far as some wanted.

A ban on tethering was supported by the Coalition to Unchain Dogs, a group founded four years ago by a Durham woman. The organization, which has chapters across the country, holds fund raising events to build fences in yards, so dogs won’t have to be tethered.

Other provisions of the new ordinance:

Tethers must be at least 10 feet long and must be made of either metal chain or coated steel cable.

Tethers must be attached to the dog’s collar or harness and in no way can be placed directly around the dog’s neck.

Tethers must have swivels on both ends.

Tethers must allow dogs a reasonable and unobstructed range of motion, without the possibility of entanglement.

No tether may be attached to a stationary object that allows dogs to come within 5 feet of any property line.

Residents of townhomes, apartments, condominiums or similar multi-family housing may tether dogs only for temporary exercise or relief.

The city says owners who have been warned prior to Tuesday may be cited immediately. Others will be given time to comply, or they will be cited and fined.

“If there is still lack of compliance by the 5th citation, an officer may seize the animal and take the owner to court, at which time they could lose their dog and ownership rights,” the city says in materials explaining the law.

Published in: on February 23, 2011 at 9:12 am  Leave a Comment