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Coming in 2014: Public swimming at a county park on Lake Norman

no swimming sign at Ramsey Creek

After a longtime ban, public swimming will return to a Mecklenburg County park on Lake Norman next year. Our news partner CorneliusNews.net reports that a new public swimming area at Ramsey Creek Park in Cornelius could open as early as a year from now, in Summer 2014. 

The county budget approved Tuesday includes $430,000 to design and build a swimming beach at the park off Nantz Road. Mecklenburg County Commissioner Karen Bentley, whose District 1 includes north Mecklenburg, said the project could be finished next summer, depending on how soon the county can obtain federal approval.

The Ramsey Creek project will give Mecklenburg County residents something they haven’t had for several decades: a public-access beach on Lake Norman. A series of drownings in the 1970s prompted a county swimming ban.  It would be only the second public beach on the lake, and the only one in Mecklenburg. Lake Norman State Park in Troutman allows swimming during the summer season.


Speakers called for stricter gun laws during a rally in Raleigh Saturday. The gathering was part of a national bus tour called No More Names: National Drive to Reduce Gun Violence. It was organized by Mayors Against Illegal Guns after last year’s deadly school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. Participants included Neil Heslin, whose six-year-old son Jesse was killed in the Sandy Hook shooting, and Joslin Simms of Durham, whose son Raymond was shot to death eight years ago. Congressman David Price from North Carolina also spoke, calling gun violence “an everyday reality” in America. He applauded the passage of stiffer gun laws in Connecticut and other states, but said other states are moving in the wrong direction, working to relax restrictions.  


A man died on I-77 near the North Carolina-South Carolina line early Saturday after his car was struck by another man driving in the wrong direction.  26-year-old Robert Goulding died at the scene, after his Honda Civic collided with an Acura driven by 21-year-old Austin Cason around 3 a.m. The North Carolina Highway Patrol said Cason turned down an exit ramp onto I-77 northbound, and headed south. Cason was taken to a hospital and was listed in serious condition.   Authorities are still investigating the crash but said alcohol may have been involved.


Charlotte Mecklenburg Police are investigating a fatal shooting overnight in the parking lot of a club called Skandalo’s off East Independence Boulevard. Detectives say several people got into a dispute led to the shooting of 22 year old Alejandro Alvarez around 2 o’clcok this morning.  Police are looking for a dark colored Honda that may be linked to the shooting. Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call  Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600. 

It's been almost four years since the South Carolina Ports Authority announced plans to build a new $35 million cruise terminal in downtown Charleston.  Under the original schedule, the terminal would have been open by now. Instead, questions about the terminal and the city's year-round cruise industry have ended up in court. Lawsuits are in federal court and before the state Supreme Court, and a state administrative law judge will hear arguments in January in a challenge of a permit for the project. Jim Newsome is the authority's president and CEO, and he says the agency is in no rush. He says the existing terminal is being used and that resolving the issues in the cases is not only important to the cruise industry, but to port operations in general.