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tv   Eyewitness News at 530  ABC  February 16, 2016 5:30pm-6:00pm EST

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>> he did the right thing. i would have did the same thing. it's dangerous. people break into your house like that. >> right now there are no charges against tony pits or the man accused of breaking into his home. police telling me tonight they're going to finish their investigation, forward it to the district attorney and let him decide on charges. reporting from hickory, dave faherty, channel 9 eyewitness news. now we'll go back to the breaking news out of rowan county where a home is roped off now with crime scene tape. chopper 9 sky zoom has been over the scene for the past 30 minutes. we've seen several deputies on the ground in front of this home on belmont place. still at this hour, investigators haven't said what happened here. we'll continue to stay on top of this story throughout the next hour. we will bring you every new development as soon as we learn more. we're also following breaking news out of mecklenburg and iredell counties where both counties
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they say the cases are connected. since the health department reached out to channel 9 with the information, we looked up some more about this virus. it's extremely rare in north carolinament getting an average of only six cases per year. since 2008 north carolina requires all school age children to get a vaccine for the mumps. we'll continue to dig up more information about this and keep you updated. a man accused of shooting his girlfriend in hickory appeared before a judge the afternoon. james thacker asked for his pond to be reduced. police say he shot his girlfriend tammy in the stomach at her home yesterday. night. a motive. but they say it started over a domestic dispute. bond. new this hour, police inappropriately touched a three-year-old in a gastonia store. officers say charles hill hit the child's rear end and
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hobby lobby last month. police used surveillance pictures to track him down. he faces indecent liberties charges. happening in just one hour, families will be able to speak one on one with charlotte mecklenburg school board members about a controversial plan to ship thousands of students to different schools across the district. elsa gillis is live tonight in matthews with the story. elsa? >> reporter: controversy and confusion surrounding student assignment has really picked up in the last week. that's partly the reason behind the forum. last week's cms board meeting was heating quickly as residents shared concerns and support in moving forward with the plan. many concerns and criticism focused on busing. and whether or not any student assignment plan would include moving their kids from their neighborhood schools. tonight, board member paul bailey told me the point is to address any questions and rumors out there as the board looks ahead in creating a plan.
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line for student assignment. the community survey closed february 22nd. that's next monday. then the board will vote on a set of goals to guide any plan at their meeting on tuesday. next, they plan to hire a consultant to help with the process. and later this spring, they'll determine whether or not implementing a plan by the 2017-2018 school year is doable. the meeting starts here at caramel baptist church at 6:30. be sure to follow me on twitter for live updates. reporting live in matthews, elsa gillis channel 9 eyewitness news. thank you elsa. the charlotte mecklenburg school district is collecting surveys about this proposal through next monday, february 22nd. we posted a link to the cms survey. if you haven't taken it go to look for it inside elsa's story on the home page. you'll also find the latest on tonight's forum. ua airlines will soon offer regular scheduled flights to cuba.
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off on the deal today in havana. airlines have 15 days to submit an application for one of the 20 daily road trip flights that will be available. delta, southwest, and american plan to apply for those routes. this is going to mean lower prices, increased competition. it'll be a lot easier for americans to get down there. that's a big thing. >> even with regular flights, the average american tourist still can't travel to cuba unless they fall into one of twelve approved categories. we checked and american airlines says it's all ready submitted a proposal to get a flight from miami to cuba. we asked if charlotte could be getting a flight to cuba as well. the company says right now it's not naming other cities at this time where it's looking to add the flights. all new this hour, governor pat mccrory was in caldwell county today celebrating a company that's investing $21 million there. you can see in this shot, he's at the crystal engineering event in lenoir this morning.
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open a production facility and hire 82 new workers over the next five years. the governor says that the pay and benefits would be nearly double the county average annual wage. the unemployment rate in caldwell county has dropped to a 25-year low. according to the state department of commerce, in december, the number of people looking for jobs but could not find one femme below 1900 for the first time in 15 years. over the past half hour, we've been monitoring president obama's news conference out of california. when he said that he will pick a new supreme court justice after the death of antonin skalia. >> the constitution is pretty clear about what is supposed to happen now. when there's a vacancy on the supreme court. the president of the united states is to nominate someone. >> now the president rejected calls from republicans who say
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predecessor to pick a replacement. the threat of the zika virus brought some of the countries best doctors to washington dc today. experts met at the national academy of sciences to talk about tackling what is now considered a global health crisis. doctors confirm there is a link between the infection in pregnant women and babies born with birth defects. we're told the virus is not expected to spread in the u.s. the world health organization said today that stopping the virus may take some controversial methods like genetically modifying mosquitoes. the agency is alts considering sterilizing male mosquitoes using radiation or using a bacteria that does not infect humans to prevent the eggs from hatching. environmentalists warn against wiping out an entire species. tonight police are working to help two charlotte neighborhoods merge. >> yes, there's the booming south end filled with apartments and development in
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it's a community transitioning away from past issues with drugs and crime. eyewitness news reporter angela hong saw firsthand what police are doing now to try to keep the problems out. >> all of the restaurants, bars in the area, it's very social. >> sara works in the south end but lives in nearby will more. >> any development of any area that's older will be interesting. >> this morning officers with cmpd's central division met at the corner of kingston and south trion where the will more and south end communities converge. >> we are basically taking the corner back. >> officer sean franklin organized cmpd's first ever cops on the corner event. the divisionest regularly scheduled role call at the office was held at the stop and go convenient store instead to meet people in the community. >> they feel more comfortable to come ask a question they may not have asked if we were not out in the public. >> with the new apartments in the south end and the transformation of the will moore neighborhood. they're getting calls from
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existing drug activity and loitering. we looked at crime mapping software and learned there have been 19 burglaries and eight car break-ins within a half mile radius of the corner over the past six months. police say some of the crimes from the older neighborhoods are bleeding over into the blooming south end. in the past when the area was split into two police divisions, it was harder to connect the crimes. now police hope their efforts to be visible in both communities will keep keep crime out. >> one way to really curve it is take over the corner and show we're not going to give this corner up to the people loitering, the people asking for money and the drug dealers. >> in will moore, angela hong, channel 9 eyewitness news. the central division will hold a similar event at the transit center in uptown next week. officers say they have a large call volume there and there are issues with drugs and prosecution. we're covering the carolinas county by county tonight. in york county, the council wants to stop building new houses in some of the fastest
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ordinance would freeze construction in the lake wiley area and between the catawba river and state line. it applies only to unincorporated areas and only until leaders can study the impacts of the new construction. in mecklenburg county, davidson leaders are looking for a new talent attorney. the board of commissioners announced they're looking for interested candidates to submit proposals. we've posted aligning with more information on just scroll over news and click on latest links. in catawba county, one newton police officer is getting a lot of attention on facebook after he spent sometime playing football with neighborhood children. a neighbor along thomas avenue snapped this photo of officer caleb. he was called out to a home yesterday afternoon after a neighbor complained. but rather than punishing the children or chasing them off, he spent time playing with them, throwing the football around. >> when it's like oh my gosh,
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going to play ball with us. this is cool. >> he told channel 9 he wanted to show the kids that police officers can be their friends. we posted the pictures on our wsoc-tv facebook page so you can share it too. >> it looks like a good game. another snow day for students this week means another make-up day is in the works. channel 9 reached out to every district in the area to find out when the days off could eat into the breaks. our next storm is knocking on the western doorstep. i have a future cast to show you which neighborhoods will see snow and how much. registered sex offenders using facebook with potential access to your children. >> you have to make the assumption that they're lurking. >> but our investigation shut them down.
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c wealth management team. new information on breaking news we're following out of rowan county. in the last ten minutes, we watched from chopper 9 sky zoom as deputies took crime scene tape down and left this home in rock well. the scene is about two miles away from highway 52 in rowan count. right knower asking what happened.
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as soon as we learn more. >> more registered sex offenders live in mecklenburg north carolina. every one of them is banned from social media. but a channel 9 investigation found the sheriff's office has trouble keeping track. >> eyewitness news reporter joe bruno asked why more isn't being done and he tracked down one offender with an active facebook account. >> there are more than 1,000 sex offenders living in mecklenburg county. and the sheriff's office is responsible for keeping track of them all. >> it's an enormous job but it's something that we embrace. >> but it's more than keeping track of where sex offenders live. north carolina law bans sex offenders from social media and it's the sheriff's offices job to make sure they stay off. the law faced legal challenges since it was enacted in 2008. struck down by the court of appeals in 2013. and reenacted by the state supreme court. >> what's being done to monitor these sex offenders ?
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rely on is information coming from outside. >> channel 9 has learned the sheriff's office doesn't actively check to make sure sex offenders are off social media websites like facebook, twitter, and instagram. major dan johnson says there are too many websites and too many offenders to keep track of. >> there's just no way to be able to look at each and every one of these offenders or cross all those mediums and make sure there's sites not being operated. >> channel 9 searched the names of random sex offenders. among our findings, this man. he was convicted of aggravated criminal sexual contact while working at a psychiatric hospital. he went by the name carl at the time. i went to his house to ask him about his account. his most recent public post was last month. >> why did you have a facebook account? >> social networking, so forth and so on, you know, no harm. >> he deleted his facebook
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investigating and he said he wasn't aware north carolina law prohibited him for having one. if it was easy for us to find an offender online, are there more out there? >> he developed software that allows parents to track their kid's communication online. it monitors what kids are saying and to whom. flagging conversations that may be concerning. he says with social media websites gaining popularity everyday, keeping sex offenders off social media is going to get more difficult. >> you have to make the assumption they're out there. you have to make the assumption they're lurking. and you have to make the assumption they're trying to approach kids. >> it's a major problem with no solution other than for parents to be engaged and warn kids to use good judgment by not talking to strangers online. joe bruno, channel 9 eyewitness news. the sheriff's office says just because an offender has a facebook account doesn't mean
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deputies review violations on a case by case basis. we put a link to north carolina's sex offender registry on look inside joe's story under the 9 investigates tab. right now we turn to our chief meteorologist steve udelson looking at this video and also keeping your eye on the next storm, right steve? >> that's a nice sunset. you don't have to go too far to the west to run into rain. on live early warning doppler 9, shelby, up toward morganton, radar here looks a little bit deceptive. while it's showing rain, the air has dried out nicely behind last night's system. so it's going to be a while before something falls from the sky. but it will. and this time it's safely rain. mid 50s everywhere from charlotte, gastonia, rock hill and lancaster, east to wadesboro and rockingham. it's 27 now banner elk. mid 30s out in boone and jefferson and even lenoir now, the forecast for the charlott area, patches of rain through
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part are going to be in the 40s. here's a look at the future cast, there's that rain, here's the mountain snow that's forecast over night tonight for at least several hours. charlotte area really is more of a grazing blow as far as rainfall goes. and it's long history by the time you get up tomorrow morning. as keith monday takes you through the morning drive tomorrow orion daybreak, i don't anticipate anything falling from the sky in the charlotte area. as far as the high country goes, we're talking about an inch to two to three inches in ski country. that's more of a nuisance snow than anything else and shouldn't have a major impact on travel up in the mountains, bus stop forecast early on, upper 30s. lingering clouds are gone by 8:00 a.m. check out the future cast, clouds early. the clouds dissipate through late morning, lunch time, even from the mountains, it looks like we'll see plenty of afternoon sunshine, and temperatures should warm nicely. here's a look at the hour by hour forecast, upper 50s the average high this time of year. where we should be. and where we will be tomorrow
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not a bad afternoon for lunch outside out toward lincolnton, around 50 by lunch time. on our way to the 50s after the morning clouds. the neighborhood forecast out in chesterfield, a little more clouds early on. it may take until 8:00 or 9:00 to clear out. but a very nice afternoon with highs in the upper 50s. and the good news is, after tonightings we're done, right through the weekend, no more chances for rain or snow. the five-day forecast, we keep the sunshine around through the weekend. and how about this for a warm up. 50s for friday. mid to upper 60s over the weekend. that's more my liking. >> now you're talking my language. 9 investigates utility lines severed by google fire leaving homes without heat. plus a local voting district resumed racially biased and unconstitutional. new at 6:00, we investigate the
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n! do... at school districts like charlotte mecklenburg return to class today following another snow day. >> but the winter weather still forced some delays and closures for others. today eyewitness news reporter joe bruno contacted every district in our area to find out when students will have to make up those days. the weather kept charlotte mecklenburg students home again on monday. a decision that surprised parents. >> it's a little crazy. >> it seems to me they were using a lot of caution. >> some schools didn't have a choice. students in the mountains have been out for days. the snow so bad in avery county students haven't been to class since february 5th. charlotte mecklenburg schools have closed four times this year due to weather. >> the metropolitan area is not
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so better safe than sorry. >> we reached out to all low tall districts. right now cms students will attend school on april 25th and may 27th to make up the snow days. there are four days left before spring or summer break is cut. in union county, the make-up day is also april 25th. the decision hasn't been made in lincoln and gaston counties. several districts including cabarrus and iredell statesville haven't responded yet. parents we spoke with today say they don't envy the decisions school leaders have to make when deciding whether or not to cancel school. >> looking back now it seems ridiculous but in good faith i think it's best to make a decision where everyone's safe. >> joe bruno, channel 9 eyewitness news. >> we just heard back from alexander county schools. they still have about 35 hours built in for any more delays or cancellations. we're still waiting on calls back from several others. as soon as we learn more information from those other
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joe's story at you can always check on our website for the status of your child's school. >> veterans desperate for help are instead getting long wait times even voice mails when they called the veterans crisis hot line. a new inspector general report said some vets who called were never put through to a responder. they told channel 9 its hiring more staff to handle those calls and it's increasing staffing during the peek hours. progress has been slow for military veterans waiting to see a doctor in our area. we've done several investigations into the care that our local veterans receive. in 2014, we found that local veterans had to wait months to receive their disability benefits. stocks rallied for a second straight day.
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the nasdaq closed up 98 points. now, from the news team that's covering the carolinas, this is channel 9 eyewitness news at 6:00. contractors for google fiber accused of slicing into utility lines leaving homeowners in the cold. >> is it happening often these days ? >> pretty frequently in this area. >> eyewitness news investigated asking how many times it's happened across the city after contractors severed a natural gas line to hundreds of homes on friday. i'm erica bryant. >> i'm allison latos. firefighters were called out to yet another cut utility line. tina?
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we started noticing a pike in contractors cutting utility lines since at&t and google fiber started installing fiber lines in neighborhoods like this one across charlotte. now, on friday, a crew cut a natural gas line in this neighborhood impacting nearly 300 homes. so we started investigating to find out how many times it's happened since last year and who's responsible for it. around 11:00 today, officials say a contractor doing work for google fiber struck yet another natural gas line. >> this one only effected one residence. the other one, the other night was like a main. friday night gas service was cut to nearly 300 homes in the highland creek neighborhood during extremely cold temperatures. >> it was frustrating. >> is it happening often. >> pretty frequently in this area. out in this area there's a lot of construction going on.
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least one line break every month between july and october. most by contractors for at&t and google fiber. we asked piedmont natural gas how many line breaks have been caused by those contractors since last years but they haven't yet answered that question. >> it can be very dangerous. i mean it's electrical lines. >> ruby is with blithe construction company. it's not responsible for the recent fiber work but she knows how important it is to have utility lines marked before digging. even then she says it doesn't always prevent accidents. >> there can be a chance errors happen and utilities don't get located. >> she says that's why companies have to be extremely careful. >> we do a lot of soft digging as well to make sure we know exactly where they're at. >> piedmont natural gas says that the lines in this neighborhood were marked before that line break took place on friday. we did reach out to google


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