Friday, July 25 2014 4:45 PM EDT2014-07-25 20:45:50 GMT
President Barack Obama is summoning Central American leaders to the White House to discuss the influx of young immigrants from their countries to the U.S., hoping to show presidential action even as Congress...Full Story >
Pressing for action on Friday, President Barack Obama urged Central American presidents and congressional Republicans at home to help ease the influx of minors and migrant families crossing the southwest border of the U.S.Full Story >
Friday, July 25 2014 4:33 PM EDT2014-07-25 20:33:36 GMT
French officials say that the wreckage of an Air Algeria plane which crashed with 116 people aboard has been found in Mali.Full Story >
Aviation experts, criminal investigators and soldiers began converging Friday on an isolated patch of restive Mali to search for clues that might explain why an Air Algerie jetliner fell from the sky in a storm and...Full Story >
Friday, July 25 2014 4:23 PM EDT2014-07-25 20:23:27 GMT
An Israeli defense official says the Security Cabinet is meeting to discuss international cease-fire efforts, but also the option of expanding its eight-day-old ground operation in Gaza.Full Story >
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday that more work was needed to reach a deal between Israel and Hamas for a seven-day truce in the Gaza war. Israel's defense minister warned that the military may soon...Full Story >
Friday, July 25 2014 4:09 PM EDT2014-07-25 20:09:20 GMT
The Ukrainian army has reported rebel attacks overnight throughout the restive east, claiming that at one border crossing the rebels were supported by artillery fire from the Russian side.Full Story >
Russia is launching artillery attacks from its soil on Ukrainian troops and preparing to move heavier weaponry across the border, the U.S. and Ukraine charged Friday in what appeared to be an ominous escalation of the crisis.Full Story >
Morgan Rodden lives in a cute, well-manicured house in west Charlotte. She calls it a transitional area.
"I haven't had any problems in this neighborhood," Rodden says. "It's probably gotten a bad rap it doesn't deserve."
Westover Hills is conveniently located near the interstates and West Boulevard. It's five minutes from Uptown. Rodden walks to Panthers games. She loves where she lives.
She also considers herself conscientious and somewhat of a community watchdog. So she signed up for email alerts from Mecklenburg County's Sex Offender Registry. Anyone can sign up for them – they let neighbors know when registered sex offenders move in or out of a home nearby.
You can imagine Rodden's surprise when within four months, she got eleven email alerts… all about sex offenders moving in and out of one particular house down the street.
"It's a block and a half from me on Barringer Drive," she says. "But even more importantly, it's right next to a playground and right next to First Tee program dealing with youth."
First Tee, as it's called, is a golf program for kids in Charlotte. It's so respected, participating kids were asked to help a couple weeks ago at the Wells Fargo Championship.
"I just didn't know why so many sex offenders would be in one place," Rodden said. "That's when I reached out to you."
Rodden emailed Anchor Molly Grantham.
Molly looked into it. She found state law says nothing about whether sex offenders have to reside a certain distance away from youth programs like First Tee. Meaning it might have raised Rodden's eyebrows, but legally, it's not an issue. However, law does require registered sex offenders to live more than 300 feet from a playground. The public playground near this home, on Remount Road, seemed really close.
So Molly measured.
She found it to be 337 feet away. Close. Really close, actually. But legal.
Rodden said she felt comfort in knowing no laws were being broken, but was still concerned as to why so many registered sex offenders would be under one roof.
"It seems, on paper, like it's a crash pad for them," she said.
Property records list a corporation in Florida as homeowner, but it turns out the lease-holder is a woman in Charlotte.
"It's getting them off the streets," says Pastor Lewis. "It's making sure they don't return to the same behavior, the same habits, that got them in the same position they were in the start. The program itself is a second chance program, where individuals who are unemployed and coming home from prison with felony convictions are able to live. We start a comprehensive back-to-work program to help them."
Part of Pastor Lewis's "back-to-work" program is to employ people in her ministry at a Freedom Drive thrift store. The store is filled with donations. Money raised goes towards her charity.
Why she would help registered sex offenders?
"The reality is there is nowhere designated for them to go," she says. "No one wants to do it. No one wants to help. The shelters in Charlotte no longer accept sex offenders. So where are they supposed to go? We had one person we took in – he was told to go stand under a bridge. When we rolled by to check and see if he was there, that was his home. Under a bridge."
That's one reason Pastor Lewis says she's involved with trying to rehabilitate these offenders. The other reason is more personal. She says she was raped as a young girl, and is now called to help those who hurt her most.
"My healing took place as a part of doing this work," she says. "I wasn't able to go to therapy, but somehow God took a situation and was able to heal me from the inside out. To help those who hurt me the most."
To access the sex offender registry and sign up to get alerts like Rodden did, so you can be your own community watchdog, click here. It's a free service offered by the Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office.
Friday, July 25 2014 11:13 AM EDT2014-07-25 15:13:25 GMT
Police planned Friday to present their case to prosecutors on whether charges should be filed against an 80-year-old man who fatally shot of one of two burglars who attacked him when he found them ransacking his home.Full Story >
Police planned Friday to give prosecutors the results of their investigation into an 80-year-old man's fatal shooting of one of two burglars who attacked him when he found them ransacking his home.Full Story >
Friday, July 25 2014 10:38 AM EDT2014-07-25 14:38:42 GMT
Two teenagers accused of torturing a 16-year-old boy inside a shed were sentenced to prison Thursday. Jenna Montgomery and Jess Taylor both pleaded guilty to kidnapping, robbery and assault charges. MontgomeryFull Story >
Two teenagers accused of torturing a 16-year-old boy inside a shed were sentenced to prison Thursday.Full Story >
Thursday, July 24 2014 8:05 PM EDT2014-07-25 00:05:21 GMT
The Eastville volunteer fire department confirms a tornado touched down at a campground on the Chesapeake Bay on Thursday morning, killing three people. The volunteer fire department confirms three peopleFull Story >
A New Jersey couple was identified as the victims of a tornado that hit the Cherrystone Family Camping & RV Resort in Northampton. Full Story >