Gaston County

SARAH DELIA

In 2011, Mark Carver was convicted of the death of a UNC Charlotte student found dead on the banks of the Catawba River.

But in June, Superior Court Judge Christopher Bragg overturned Carver’s conviction. It’s been almost three months since he posted bond and walked out of the Gaston County jail.

But to say that Carver is a free man, would be an overstatement. Although his conviction was overturned, Carver’s charges still stand. 

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One person was injured in an officer-involved shooting Tuesday night outside a restaurant in Gastonia.

nccourts.gov

Last week a judge overturned Mark Carver’s 2011 first degree murder conviction for the death of a UNC Charlotte student. On Tuesday Carver was transferred and released from the Gaston County jailhouse. 

Belmont has seen a lot of growth as more people move there and commute to Charlotte. It's one of many communities in Gaston County that's seen property values and rents rise in recent years.
Erin Keever / WFAE

Charlotte’s lack of affordable housing has some far-reaching ripples. Communities surrounding Mecklenburg County are growing faster, as people look farther out for homes that fit their budgets. That’s created some of the same problems Charlotte is grappling with – and some different ones too.

Contractors for Piedmont Lithium drill for core samples in a farm field in northern Gaston County.
David Boraks / WFAE

Piedmont North Carolina's gold-mining history is well known. Not so well known is that mines west of Charlotte once produced most of the world's supply of another important element - lithium. Those mines in Gaston County shut down nearly three decades ago. But a company called Piedmont Lithium wants to open a new surface mine next year to supply lithium for batteries to power electric vehicles.

Gaston County DA Locke Bell speaks to reporters after closing arguments in Mark Carver hearing.
Sarah Delia / WFAE

Mark Carver was convicted of the murder of UNC Charlotte student Ira Yarmolenko eight years ago. But for the past 2 weeks, his defense has been arguing in court that his conviction should be overturned.

On Friday both the state and defense made their closing arguments and the decision is now in the hands of Superior Court Judge Christopher Bragg who is expected to rule in June. 

NC Courts

Mark Carver, a Gaston County man currently serving a life sentence for the murder of a UNC Charlotte student, is expected to take the stand after his former attorney finishes testifying, which could be today. This current hearing will determine whether Carver’s conviction will stand.

Carver was convicted for the 2008 murder of Ira Yarmolenko whose body was found on the banks of the Catawba River.

Sarah Delia / WFAE

Throughout the course of WFAE's Finding Home series, we’ve spent a lot of time discussing gentrification and the people who are displaced from their homes and neighborhoods as a result of it. On this installment of the series, we head to a little city west of Charlotte known for its quintessential Americana downtown and Mayberry feel. 

Era Polymers

Australian plastics manufacturer Era Polymer Corporation plans to open its first U.S. industrial facility in Gaston County, creating 20 new jobs in the area and promising to invest $9.2 million in the town of Stanley.

Kaiden Lee-Welch was swept away in floodwaters from Florence in Union County. His mother is being charged in connection with his death.
Union County Sheriff's Office

The Union County Sheriff's Office says it has recovered the body of a missing 1-year-old boy who was swept away in flood waters last night. 

GoFundMe for the Self family

A town hall meeting on ending the stigma about mental illness will be held Thursday evening in Gastonia. The event follows the tragedy last month in Bessemer City, where Roger Self drove his car into a restaurant, killing his daughter Katelyn Self and daughter-in-law Amanda Self. Other family members including Roger Self's wife were injured.

Sarah Delia

In May of 2008, a UNCC student was found dead in Mount Holly on the banks of the Catawba River. Twenty-year-old Ira Yarmolenko was found lying beside her car with three bindings around her neck. Mark Carver was convicted of her murder. Although he wasn't present at the Gaston County Courthouse Thursday, his lawyers were there to argue his case. 

Michael Tomsic

Federal health leaders are promoting a form of contraception that's effective for years and essentially forget-proof.

They're encouraging state Medicaid programs to increase access to intrauterine devices and arm implants, both of which are more effective than the birth control pill. South Carolina as a whole and one North Carolina county are ahead of the curve on this.

McLean family

A new exhibit at the Gaston County Museum of Art and History is guaranteed to send a chill up your spine. Hallowed Ground: How We Remember Our Dead explores how society mourns and memorializes the deceased—and how those rituals have evolved over time. One Gaston County native has a personal connection to the exhibit.


A federal judge ruled that state and national transportation officials violated federal laws in the planning of the proposed controversial Garden Parkway toll road in Gaston and Mecklenburg counties.

Jeff Jackson Replaces Clodfelter In The State Senate

May 5, 2014
Tasnim Shamma

Democratic Party leaders gathered at the Little Rock AME Zion Church in Charlotte on Saturday to elect the newest state senator: Jeff Jackson.

Jackson will replace Dan Clodfelter, who resigned from his state senate seat on April 8 to become mayor of Charlotte.

The Monroe couple charged with child abuse for allegedly handcuffing an 11-year-old boy to their front porch with a dead chicken tied around his neck are not the foster parents of that child, as previously reported. DHHS says the foster care license for Wanda Larson and Dorian Harper expired in 2010.


NC Department Of Transportation

The Gastonia City Council Tuesday night unanimously approved, with two members absent, a resolution in support of widening a 16-mile stretch of I-85 in Gaston County. But, the I-85 project could end up competing for funding with the proposed Garden Parkway.


Gaston College

Like the rest of the state, Gaston County is facing a shortage of people with the skills required to work in 

today's high tech factories. Gaston College hopes to address the issue with a training center for students and local residents. This week, the college received a one-and-a half million dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce.


Duke Energy Closing Two Coal Plants Ahead Of Schedule

Feb 1, 2013
Buck Steam Station closed in 2013. Coal ash is stored in basins around the retired plant.
Duke Energy

Duke Energy is shutting down two coal-fired power plants this spring. The plants are in Rowan and Gaston counties, and they're closing two years ahead of schedule.


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