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Sun. Headlines: 2 Die In Shootings; Bill Would Let Charters Run Public Schools

Two men died and three others were hurt Saturday night in a shootout at a home in Gastonia.  The Gaston Gazette reports police were called to Greenwood Drive, south of the city, at 9:18pm after a 911 caller reported that his father had been shot by another man. Police found a man standing outside with a shotgun and a pistol. They exchanged gunfire, and killed the man. Two officers also were shot, along with a woman, though none of those injuries were life-threatening. Police are still investigating what led to the initial shooting, which killed a man in the home.  

MECK LAWMAKER WANTS TO LET CHARTERS RUN PUBLIC SCHOOLS

A Republican state legislator is putting together a plan that would let charter schools take over low-performing public schools in North Carolina. The Charlotte Observer reports that Rep. Bob Bryan of Mecklenburg County has been drafting the bill, which he plans to substitute for another already under consideration. Bryan, chair of the House Education Appropriations Committee, says he’s modeling his proposal after charter takeovers in Tennessee and New Orleans.  He hopes that if it passes, it eventually will expand.  Critics worry it could undermine public education, the newspaper reported.

SOME GUARD ARMORIES COULD CLOSE

The North Carolina National Guard is considering consolidating some older armories while moving more operations to larger regional hubs, under a nationwide move to streamline the service. Last year, officials said two-thirds of the nations' guard facilities are in poor or failing conditions, and proposed closing 600 of its more than 2000 facilities. Officials in North Carolina have said the state Guard is short 2 million square feet of space, and have proposed building eight Regional Readiness Centers that could support thousands of troops. The plan and its funding have not been approved, and officials have yet to say how many of the states' 91 armories might be closed.

MAN CHARGED IN JULY MURDER

Charlotte Mecklenburg police have charged a 28-year-old Charlotte man with murder after an investigation into the death of another man July 20 in southwest Charlotte.  Peter Jay Gould Jr. had been identified as a suspect in the death of 64-year-old David Albert Doyle on Plantation Woods Drive, near Lake Wylie. He was arrested on unrelated charges in Union County Friday, and then interviewed by CMPD detectives. Gould also is charged with assault with a deadly weapon, robbery, and kidnapping.   

In other police news:

  • A 39-year-old driver is facing involuntary manslaughter charges after a wreck early Saturday on Park Road, that killed a pedestrian. The incident happened at 2:10 AM in the 8600 block of Park Road, near Hamlin Park Drive. The driver, who stopped at the scene, also is charged with driving while impaired.
  • And Charlotte Mecklenburg police are investigating an apparent murder Sunday morning in northeast Charlotte. Police and Medic were called to Mallard Oaks Drive, off Mallard Creek Church Road around 7:30, where they found a man dead of gunshot wounds. Police haven’t released the man’s name.  Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call 704-432-TIPS or Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600 or visit the Crime Stoppers website, http://charlottecrimestoppers.com/.

PISGAH WILDFIRE COULD EXPAND

A wildfire burning in Pisgah National Forest is expected to grow beyond its current 900 acres as dry weather returns to the area in the days ahead.  The U.S. Forest Service said yesterday rain slowed but didn’t stop the blaze burning in McDowell County, north of Marion.  The Bald Knob fire was reported July 17th in a remote area north of Lake James and was likely sparked by lightning. Communities near the fire including Marion, Nebo, Lake James and Glen Alpine may see some smoke in the mornings and evenings.

NASCAR'S STEWART FACES WRONGFUL DEATH LAWSUIT

The family of a young driver struck and killed on an upstate New York dirt track a year ago has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against NASCAR driver Tony Stewart .  The suit filed Friday in Lewis County, New York, accuses Stewart of gross negligence, saying he gunned his engine and put his car into a skid as Kevin Ward Jr. walked onto the track after a crash. The car struck and killed Ward.  The suit seeks unspecified monetary damages.  A grand jury last year declined to indict Stewart, who called it "100 percent an accident."  

Stewart will be racing in upstate New York today, the anniversary of Ward’s death, starting in the No. 3 position in the Sprint Cup race at Watkins Glen.   AJ Allmendinger has the pole position for today’s race, which begins at 2 o’clock.  He won the race a year ago.