2 possible arson fires investigated in Middletown

Published: Thursday, October 05, 2017 @ 11:56 AM
Updated: Thursday, October 05, 2017 @ 2:08 PM


            Middletown fire officials are investigating two possible arson fires in the city. FILE PHOTO
Middletown fire officials are investigating two possible arson fires in the city. FILE PHOTO

UPDATE @ 2 p.m.: Deputy Fire Chief Jeff Spaulding said he believes the home fire in the 1700 block of Church Avenue was “intentionally set,” though no arrests have been made.

He estimated damages to the second floor at between $60,000 to $70,000.

INITIAL REPORT:

Middletown fire and police investigators are determining whether people who allegedly started a house fire and poured lighter fluid on a car should be charged, according to police reports.

Police and fire were called Sunday morning to a residence in the 1700 block of Church Avenue on a report of a house fire. There were numerous people standing outside the residence, and two juveniles told police they saw a man enter the residence with a red gas can.

RELATED: Middletown increasing public safety budget in 2018

The same man was seen leaving the residence with the can and he ran eastbound down Church toward Grimes Street, the juveniles told police. Then they saw smoke coming from the residence, the report said.

The description the juveniles gave police matched the description of a man who lives in the house, according to the report.

The property owners told police they were in the process of evicting the man and his girlfriend.

MORE: Georgia man wanted for murder arrested in Middletown

On Tuesday, police and fire officials responded to a residence in the 2000 block of Hill Avenue and a female told police that her husband was trying to light her car on fire.

The man was seen standing on the hood of his wife’s 2002 Ford pouring what appeared to be lighter fluid, the report said.

When the woman called police, her husband ran toward Roosevelt Avenue, the report said.

Fire investigators smelled some type of accelerant coming from inside the vehicle, according to the report. The vehicle’s seats and carpet were wet, the report said.

Report: CDC given list of 'forbidden' words for budget

Published: Saturday, December 16, 2017 @ 12:47 PM

WATCH: CDC Given List of ‘Forbidden’ Words

The Trump administration has issued a list of seven words and phrases that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are "forbidden" from using in documents related to next year's budget, The Washington Post reported Friday.

The list of banned words includes: vulnerable, entitlement, diversity, transgender, fetus, evidence-based and science-based, according to The Washington Post report. In certain cases, alternative phrasing was offered. CDC employees were encouraged to use the phrase, “the CDC bases its recommendations on science in consideration with community standards and wishes," in place of “science-based” or “evidence-based” according to a source cited in The Washington Post report.

 >> Read more trending news 

It is not clear why the Trump administration issued such a directive, but The Washington Post notes that other federal agencies, like Health and Human Services, have altered language addressing sexual orientation in its documentation since Trump took office.

The directive was met with an "incredulous" reaction when it was announced at a meeting Thursday with CDC employees, The Washington Post reported.

The White House has not released a response to The Washington Post report.

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Panthers' Thomas Davis donates $15K for high school state championship rings

Published: Friday, December 15, 2017 @ 10:41 AM

Panther’s Thomas Davis Donates $15K to High School for State Championship Rings

Carolina Panthers defensive linebacker Thomas Davis has made a huge donation to help the Harding University High School football team get its players and coaches championship rings.

>> Read more trending news

Davis confirmed he donated $15,000 to the team in a tweet to WSOC-TV anchor John Paul.

The football team finished its 14-1 season with a 30-22 win over Scotland County in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 4A State Championship game in Winston-Salem. It’s the first state championship for the team since 1953.

Head football coach Sam Greiner was on the radio Friday morning when Davis called in and said he would help. The football program was trying to figure out ways to purchase rings for its players who couldn't afford them.

The rings cost about $400 apiece, so the school was trying to raise about $20,000. A GoFundMe page was set up to help the team buy rings, which had raised nearly $7,000 by Friday morning.

When Greiner accepted the head coach position two years ago, the football program was one of the worst in the state -- winning just one game in both 2014 and 2015. The players didn't have uniforms until the coach’s church bought them. They still practice on a beat-up baseball field and have to dress behind the stands.

"If someone wrote a movie script about everything that's happened, they would think it's a fairy tale,” Greiner said. “They wouldn't think it's real life.”

WSOC-TV asked what expenses Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools cover and was told it provides for game officials, security and coaching stipends.

Everything else is up to the school, families or a booster club.

Harding doesn't have a booster club, and a majority of the students’ families don't have the money.

"We have kids on our rosters that don't really have homes,” Greiner said. “They really don't know what they're going to eat (from) day to day.”

Greiner and his church created a family before building a state championship-caliber team. The church provides meals before games and Greiner let his quarterback, Braheam Murphy, who was homeless, live with him.

"I have two daughters because I think the good Lord knew I had enough sons, coaching football," Greiner said.

Sandra Bernhard and Estelle Parsons to appear in 'Roseanne' reboot

Published: Friday, December 08, 2017 @ 7:02 PM

Roseanne Barr and Sandra Bernhard (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival)
Cindy Ord/Getty Images for the 2015 Tribec
Roseanne Barr and Sandra Bernhard (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival)(Cindy Ord/Getty Images for the 2015 Tribec)

Two fan-favorite characters from “Roseanne” have officially signed on for the upcoming reboot, and fans couldn’t be more thrilled.

>> Read more trending news

Nancy Bartlette (Sandra Bernhard) and Beverly Harris (Estelle Parsons) will be making a return to the fictional town of Lanford, Illinois, according to E! News.

Bernhard shared her excitement on Twitter for fans in a photo with Roseanne Barr and Laurie Metcalf.

“Look who I bumped into today! #Roseanne & #laurie it’s all happening kids!” she wrote.

Fans will remember Nancy as Roseanne and Jackie’s lesbian friend while Beverly was the sisters’ mother. The publication reports that Bernhard will appear in at least one episode of the upcoming ABC revival, and Parsons has signed on for two of the episodes.

The news comes just a week after “Big Bang Theory” star Johnny Galecki revealed he was also reprising his role as Darlene’s (Sara Gilbert) boyfriend, David. The status of their relationship is unknown at this time, but “Shameless” star Emma Rose Kinney has reportedly signed on to play their daughter.

John Goodman (Dan) will also make an appearance on the highly-anticipated reboot of the series, though it is unclear in what capacity. Fans will remember that his character died in the finale of the original series.

The reboot of “Roseanne” is set to air in the spring of 2018.

Ex-wife of NBA star Lorenzen Wright charged in connection to his murder

Published: Saturday, December 16, 2017 @ 2:59 AM
Updated: Saturday, December 16, 2017 @ 10:50 AM

NBA Star Lorenzen Wright’s Ex-Wife Arrested in Connection to His Murder

The ex-wife of former NBA player Lorenzen Wright was arrested in California and charged with first-degree murder Friday night.

>> Read more trending news

Sherra Wright-Robinson was arrested in her Riverside, California, home Friday. Jail records show she was booked into the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside at 9:28 p.m. PT. No charges are listed.

Wright-Robinson was indicted and arrested for conspiracy, criminal attempted first degree & first degree urder in the death of Wright, police said.

Deborah Marion, Wright's mother, said authorities told her Wright-Robinson would be charged with first-degree murder, the same charge that was filed against Billy Ray Turner, who was arrested on Dec. 5.

Wright starred at the University of Memphis and was drafted by the Los Angeles Clippers as the seventh overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft. He played 13 seasons in the NBA with the Clippers, Memphis Grizzlies, Atlanta Hawks, Sacramento Kings and Cleveland Cavaliers before retiring in 2009.

The former NBA star was last seen alive on July 18, 2010 when he left Wright-Robinson’s home. The next day, police received a phone call from Wright's cell phone, but it was interrupted by gunfire, according to Shelby County District Attorney's Office.

Wright's body was later discovered on July 28, 2010, in a field near Hacks Cross and Winchester. The then 34-year-old was shot multiple times. 

Investigators found the alleged murder weapon in a lake near Walnut, Mississippi, on Nov. 9, 2017.