NC Lawmakers Approve Drug Testing for Welfare Recipients

From, July 25, 2013

Lawmakers want suspicious applicants for North Carolina’s worker-training and welfare program to be drug-tested or fingerprinted.

The state Senate gave the bill final legislative approval Thursday. It now goes to Gov. Pat McCrory for his signature.

The measure would allow county social services departments that suspect a recipient is using drugs to require a test before receiving benefits through the Work First program. Applicants would have to pay for the test, but could be repaid if they test negative.

Welfare and food stamps applicants also would see expanded background criminal history checks as agencies search for people with outstanding felony warrants, or probation or parole violations. Counties could collect fingerprints to check applicants

Lawmakers in nearly 30 states have introduced such bills.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Published in: on July 25, 2013 at 8:53 pm  Leave a Comment  

Man Charged in Veterinary Hospital Robbery, Kidnapping

From, July 25, 2013

CMPD Officers have caught the man they said terrorized workers at a Charlotte animal hospital.

Investigators arrested Robert Rhinehardt, 54, Thursday after he was on the run.


Robert Rhinehardt  photo
Robert Rhinehardt

They said Rhinehadt robbed the Freedom Animal Hospital in northwest Charlotte and kidnapped a doctor.

Police said the man forced the doctor to go to an ATM and withdraw cash.

Authorities said Rhinehardt was involved in a similar crime the week before.

Investigators said he kidnapped an AT&T employee with a knife and forced to him to withdraw cash.

Sarah Phares had the day off during the robbery at the animal clinic, but she said she remembered Rhinehardt coming in earlier that week.

She said she believes he wanted to try to rob the place then.

“He had a hammer in his pocket and I remember thinking that was kind of odd,” said Phares.

She and other employees said they’re being more vigilant.

“It’s been a few days of trying to keep employees calm and put things in place so if this happens again we’re prepared or better prepared than we were,” said employee Janine.

Channel 9 looked into Rhinehardt’s background and learned over the past six years he has been arrested on charges of felony breaking and entering and robbery with a dangerous weapon.

He was released from jail last Thanksgiving.

Published in: on July 25, 2013 at 5:28 pm  Leave a Comment  

Jacksonville, NC Police Kill Gator After It Ate Dog

From, July 25, 2013

A Jacksonville public safety officer shot and killed an alligator after it ate an 80-pound Husky that was walking with its owner.

Alligator killed

Photo Courtesy of City of Jacksonville

City officials said a woman was walking the dog at dusk Tuesday when it ran to the edge of the water near a local shopping center. Alligators usually feed around dusk.

Public safety and N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission officers searched for the alligator Wednesday morning. Department of Public Safety spokeswoman Beth Purcell said after discussions about capturing and relocating the alligator, officials decided that in the interest of public safety, the alligator had to be killed. A public safety officer shot the alligator, which disappeared below the surface of the water.

The alligator’s body was recovered later in the afternoon.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Published in: on July 25, 2013 at 5:23 pm  Leave a Comment  

Charlotte Church Hosting Security Conference to Educate Other Groups

From by Torie Wells, July 25, 2013

When visitors walk into Calvary Church in south Charlotte, they are greeted by security.

Some of it is visible, like security officers and cameras, but most of it is not.

Security Director Donald Sanchez said he wants members to know safety plans are in place.

“They come to church, they want to pray, worship, they want to hear a message of encouragement, they want fellowship. The last thing on their mind is a guy walking through the door with a gun,” said Sanchez.

But Sanchez points out that violence and other crimes have happened at religious organizations across the country.

In February, Eyewitness News told you about one security expert that tracks these crimes nationwide, including some in the Charlotte area.

On New Year’s Eve in Monroe, police said an armed robbery happened at a church during mass.

Just this month, Eyewitness News reported on two church arsons, one in south Charlotte, and the other in the Hemphill Heights neighborhood.

“I want to get the word out that these dangers are real, there’s a possibility,” said Sanchez.

That is why he decided to open security training in August for his church and to other religious organizations.

“We’re not here to spread a spirit of fear, that’s not what we are doing. We’re trying to spread of message of preparing,” said Mike Clumpner, a security expert and president and CEO of Threat Suppression.

Clumpner’s security company will be teaching the conference.

He said it will be focused on concerns churches and other religious organizations could face during services and throughout the week, like violence, medical emergencies, weather and domestic issues.

The course will look at ways to create a plan to deal with possible issues.

Clumpner said having a plan doesn’t have to cost a lot of money.

“We want churches to forward think, to look at what could happen, plan and prepare and react,” he said.

During Eyewitness News’ investigation in February, some churches said they didn’t have a set plan because it’s against their faith to shut anyone out.

Sanchez agrees it’s a difficult balance to strike.

He said his church works hard to make sure people are able to feel comfortable and welcome, but he also wants to them feel safe.

The conference is Aug. 7 Channel 9 was told it’s free to religious organizations in the area of any faith.

Published in: on July 25, 2013 at 5:16 pm  Comments (2)  

Man Shot in Charlotte on 4th of July Dies of Injuries

By staff, July 25, 2013

An early July shooting has turned into a homicide investigation for Charlotte Mecklenburg police.

Officers first responded to the 2200 block of The Plaza Road around 1:15 a.m. on July 4 for the shooting.

They arrived to find a man suffering from a gunshot wound. The victim, 29-year-old Che Cadfi Matoorah, died this Wednesday from his injuries.

Jeremy Rossco Bishop, 23, was arrested July 5. He will now be charged with murder.

Man shot in Charlotte dies of injuries

Police believe the shooting was the result of an argument, and both men knew each other.

Anyone with information is asked to call police.

Published in: on July 25, 2013 at 5:12 pm  Leave a Comment  

Right to Keep and Bear Arms Strengthened in North Carolina

NC Lawmakers Pass Sweeping Changes to Gun Laws

From The Associated Press, July 24, 2013

North Carolina lawmakers have approved a bill greatly expanding where concealed handguns are legally allowed.

The bill approved by both the House and Senate on Tuesday allows concealed-carry permit holders to take firearms into bars and restaurants and other places where alcohol is served as long as the owner doesn’t expressly forbid it.

The measure will also allow concealed-carry permit holders to store weapons in locked cars on the campus of any public school or university. Guns will also now be allowed on greenways, playgrounds and other public recreation areas.

The final bill dropped a controversial provision that would have repealed the long-standing law requiring a background check and permit issued by county sheriffs for handgun purchases.

The measure now heads to Gov. Pat McCrory’s desk.

Published in: on July 24, 2013 at 10:45 am  Leave a Comment  

CMPD Says Thieves on the Hunt for Guns and Motorcycles

From By Brigida Mack, July 23, 2013

A stern warning from Charlotte Mecklenburg Police. Thieves are breaking into cars, on the hunt for guns to steal.

It’s happening in the Eastway Division off Central Avenue. Thieves hit two different streets in one neighborhood.

That’s the last thing Raymond Youngblood wanted to hear.

“I’m very concerned,” he said. “Not just for myself but the seniors in the neighborhood.”

Police are just as concerned and so determined to get the word out, the disturbing trend got top billing in a July online newsletter.

“This is serious as now there are three more guns in the hands of bad folks,” wrote Officer Dave Artieri. “I can go on about this for an entire newsletter, but I’ll refrain.”

“That’s a dangerous thing because guns in the hands of a criminal means more crime,” said Youngblood.

Across town in the University city division, police there are dealing with a different problem: auto theft. Specifically motorcycles and mopeds stolen from apartment complexes.

Carson Woodell, a UNCC student, lives in apartment community and didn’t think thieves would be so bold.

“It’s pretty gutsy,” he said.

Police agree and say thieves are cutting locks off the motorcycles and mopeds and loading them onto a truck to haul them away.

It’s why they’re trying to get the word out, something Woodell is glad to hear.

“I could imagine some people that this happened to would, you know, be very upset about it so I think it’s good that they’re stepping that up,” he said.

Published in: on July 24, 2013 at 10:33 am  Leave a Comment  

4 Men Arrested in String of Charlotte Cell Phone Store Burglaries

From By Sarah Batista, July 23, 2013

Police have arrested four people in connection with a string of cell phone burglaries spanning 4 weeks.

Jay Hardy showed us where the thieves broke into this independently owned T-Mobile store on Albemarle Road.

The store has been hit three times this year.

“Basically they went through the window, ran to the back, busted down the window, half the wall,” he said.

Hardy says the thieves made off with dozens of cell phones.  Just across the parking lot, a Cricket store was also broken into.

“For people just to come in and take what’s yours, that’s just one of the rudest things somebody could ever do,”said the owner who declined to give her name.

Investigators believe the three men burglarized at least 6 cell phone stores  between early June to early July. Most were located in East Charlotte. A fourth person was arrested for possession of stolen goods. Police say they first noticed a trend in the burglaries about month ago.

The suspects are looking for a quick intro, they get their product in another 30 and they’re out in less than a minute,” said Lt. Brian Sanders of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department.

An investigation led them to recover some of the stolen items in one suspect’s car. Police say cell phone stores have become an attractive target to thieves and the cell phones are often sold to other stores or in an underground market.

“The products inside the store, the phones, tablets whatever them in the store,” said Lt. Sanders.

Police believe the suspects might also be behind two cell phone store burglaries in York County.

Those are still under investigation.

Published in: on July 24, 2013 at 10:30 am  Leave a Comment  

Man Accused of Burning Items in Charlotte Hardware Store

From, July 24, 2013

A man remains in jail after he was arrested for allegedly burning items in a hardware store.

Joseph Carter

Officers arrested Joseph Carter after they said he set fire to the property in Blackhawk Hardware on Park Road on Saturday.

Carter faces shoplifting and burning personal property charges.

Published in: on July 24, 2013 at 10:24 am  Leave a Comment  

City Council Accepts $76,000 Grant to Help Juvenile Offenders

From, July 22, 2013

Charlotte City Council accepted a $76,000 grant to help juvenile offenders avoid hard time.

Juvenile rehabilitation program receives $76,000 grant

Juvenile rehabilitation program receives $76,000 grant

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Juvenile Offender Diversion Program helps young offenders develop better communication and decision-making skills.

It is available for juvenile offenders who have committed a first offense such as a simple assault, larceny or trespassing.

Published in: on July 23, 2013 at 10:02 am  Leave a Comment  
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