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Officials: Pedestrian struck in South End

Officials are investigating after a pedestrian was struck by a vehicle Sunday night in South End in south Charlotte.

The accident happened at the intersection of South Tryon and East Bland Street.

One person was transported from the scene with life-threatening injuries.

Tryon was shut down while officials investigated the scene.  

We will continue updating this story as new information becomes available. 

Published: Sun, 31 Jan 2016 21:14:00 -0500

Officer goes on routine call, ends up falling in love

A routine call for a Florida police officer ended with him finding his new best friend.

Ft. Walton Beach police Officer Marcus Montgomery responded to the Panhandle Animal Welfare Society for a call about a threat from an ex-employee, he wrote on

As he was wrapping up the call, a shelter supervisor introduced him to a puppy that was left with nine others in a box in near-freezing temperatures at the back doorstep of the shelter.

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“She brings me this lil guy, chill, no whining, no barking, just chill,” Montgomery wrote.

Now Vader, a pit bull terrier mix Montgomery previously adopted from the shelter, is going to have company.

 Montgomery, not straying from the "Star Wars" theme, already had a name in mind - Kylo.

Officer Montgomery giving his new potential family member some lovin'. Thank you for all you do for our community and for adopting from PAWS!

Posted by Panhandle Animal Welfare Society on Thursday, January 28, 2016

Published: Sun, 31 Jan 2016 20:50:39 -0500

Donald Trump says he wants Supreme Court to overturn same-sex marriage

Donald Trump says he isn't a fan of the way the Supreme Court ruled on same-sex marriage. 

"I would have much preferred that they ruled at a state level and let the states make those rulings themselves," Trump told Fox News

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Trump told Fox News' Chris Wallace he would consider appointing judges to the Supreme Court that would be willing to overturn the ruling if he was elected president. (Video via Donald J. Trump for President, Inc.)

Last year, Trump told The Hollywood Reporter that the fight against same-sex marriage was a "dead issue" after the Supreme Court had its say. But he's also consistently said he's a believer in "traditional marriage." (Video via CNN

This video includes an image from Getty Images. 

Published: Sun, 31 Jan 2016 19:33:06 -0500

50,000 years ago, humans ate a 500-pound bird into extinction

Roughly 50,000 years ago, an Australian bird species went extinct, not because of competition for space or resources but because its eggs were simply too delicious.

According to a study published Friday in the journal Nature Communications, humans helped wipe out the 500-pound species of flightless bird called Genyornis newtoni. 

Researchers at the University of Colorado at Boulder figured this out by looking at eggshell fragments in 10 regions of Australia, which they discovered had been partially charred.

The charred shell fragments were usually found in "a tight cluster" near other fragments that weren't burnt at all, meaning it's unlikely something like a wildfire burned the eggs. 

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Rather, the researchers said "these characteristics are most consistent with humans harvesting one or more eggs from a nest, making a fire and presumably cooking the egg."

Fast forward a few thousand years, and the bird is extinct, though humans weren’t the only factor at play. The Australian climate was drying out at the time, putting more stress on bird populations.

Still, the study says that sort of shift in climate had happened before and says human activity was "more likely to have been the decisive factor" in the extinction of Genyornis newtoni. 

The bird is yet another animal we now know met its demise due in part to human actions, which isn't exactly uncommon. Scientists say human activity is wiping out enough species that we’re on the verge of a mass extinction for the sixth time in our planet’s history. 

This video includes images from Gifford Miller et al. / CC BY 4.0 and Nobu Tamura / CC BY 3.0.

Published: Sun, 31 Jan 2016 19:32:35 -0500

Wind tosses vehicles in Florida

A tornado tossed cars and flipped trucks when it touched down in Coconut Creek, Florida, Wednesday.

The storm, with winds up to 100 mph, traveled about two miles, damaging vehicles along the highway and at Broward College, according to WPTV.

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There were no serious injuries, according to fire rescue officials.

Published: Sun, 31 Jan 2016 17:54:03 -0500

Charlotte fire crews respond to house fire

Charlotte fire department responded to a house fire Sunday.

One patient was treated for injuries by Medic.

The house off Caldwell Ridge Parkway sustained minor damages.

The grass behind the house also caught fire.

Channel 9 is asking what caused the fire and we will continue updating as new information becomes available.  

Published: Sun, 31 Jan 2016 17:41:29 -0500

CDC confirms 6 cases of Zika virus in Texas

There are six confirmed cases of the Zika virus in Texas, according to the Department of Health Services.

Those infected contracted the virus while traveling abroad. There still are no locally transmitted cases in the U.S.

Zika is a mosquito-borne virus that is especially dangerous for pregnant women. The most common symptoms are fever, rash, joint pain and headache.

>>Read more about the Zika virus here

The little-known virus re-emerged in Brazil in 2015. Cases have been confirmed throughout South and Central America as well as Puerto Rico.

In the U.S., cases have been confirmed in 11 states including three women in Florida; two women in Illinois and a woman in Hawaii who gave birth to a child who contracted the virus and was born with an unusually small head.

Published: Sun, 31 Jan 2016 17:13:13 -0500

Officials: Two motorcycles involved in wreck in Iredell County

Iredell officials are responding to a traffic accident Saturday.

Officials said one person was transported to Wake Forest Baptist Hospital after two motorcycles collided head-on.

The accident was off Salisbury Highway, just outside of Statesville city limits.

We have a crew heading to the scene and will continue updating the story as new information becomes available. 

Published: Sun, 31 Jan 2016 16:29:47 -0500

Texas police investigate incident involving Johnny Manziel

Once again, the legal spotlight is on Cleveland Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel. 

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Police were called to investigate an incident involving the NFL star in Fort Worth, Texas on Saturday.

Authorities said in a statement that officers were called to an apartment building early that morning about a possible assault. Officers spoke with a 23-year-old woman who said she had been involved in an incident with her ex-boyfriend in Dallas hours prior. That ex-boyfriend was later identified as Manziel.

A preliminary investigation determined that a possible assault had occurred, but the woman, who wasn't the person that had made the 911 call, refused to cooperate with officers, and there was no evidence of a crime scene.

However, the woman told officers she was concerned about Manziel's welfare. Fort Worth police said they are working with Dallas police to determine if any criminal offenses occurred.

NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told ESPN the league was aware of the incident and "looking into it.''

In January 2015, Manziel voluntarily entered a rehabilitation facility for undisclosed reasons. Nine months later, he was pulled over by police, and his then-girlfriend said the 23-year-old had pushed her head into a window. He was not charged or disciplined by the league. In November, footage surfaced of Manziel partying with an alcoholic beverage, which resulted in his demotion to third-string. Soon after, he suffered a concussion and did not attend the team's season final game. 

According to ESPN, sources have discussed the potential for new Browns coach Hue Jackson to consider parting ways with Manziel if he becomes head coach.

Read more here.

Published: Sun, 31 Jan 2016 14:09:19 -0500

'Where's dad bod Ken?:' Men react to new Barbie body shapes

Soon after Mattel announced Barbie dolls would come in new skin tones, heights and body sizes, an unlikely group thinks the company should do more to diversify the brand's products. 

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Fifty-seven years after the iconic tall, blond doll debuted, Mattel issued the biggest changes in the children's toy yet. The company announced it'd sell Barbies with seven skin tones, 22 eye colors and 24 different hairstyles in tall, petite and curvy body shapes. 

Many women applauded the move, saying Mattel's action was an appropriate effort to reflect today's youth.

Others said the offering came too late.

But another group -- adult men -- hope Mattel will offer even more diverse models: varied versions of the Ken doll.

Mattel is among many companies that have aimed to decrease promotion of "gendered toys," but Barbie is still marketed almost exclusively toward young girls.

Even still, many men have taken to social media to suggest the company create more realistic-looking male companions for Barbie.

It's unclear whether most of those commenting on the body types of the male toys genuinely wish to see more varied versions of the Ken doll or if their complaints serve the purpose of criticizing the company's action, gender equality and other political topics. 

Published: Sun, 31 Jan 2016 10:13:27 -0500

Think Iowa is all cornfields and caucuses? Think again.

When Newsy asked an Iowa resident how many overalls he owned, the answer was surprising.

"Rough estimate would be zero," the local man responded.

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So, it turns out not all Iowans are farmers — just many of the ones you see interviewed on TV.

In fact, fewer than 5 percent of Iowans farm.

Manufacturing and financial services contribute more to the state's economy than farming.

So there's obviously more to Iowa than its reputation as the state with the most pigs in captivity.

But at first glance, Iowa doesn't exactly look like America.

"It doesn't represent the rest of the country," said Andrea Mitchell of MSNBC. "Too white. Too evangelical. Too rural." 

That's the thing people are criticizing most about the state: It's a poor representation of the country, and yet its caucuses get to go first.

Compare Iowa's demographics to the rest of the country's: Non-Hispanic whites make up 87 percent of the state, blacks just over 3 percent and Hispanics 5 percent. Those numbers are significantly lower than the national average.

It may not be racially representative of the country, but consider a few facts:

The oldest mosque in North America is in Cedar Rapids. 

Iowa has the nation's highest literacy rate.

Plus, the state has had a significant growth in diversity. Iowa's Hispanic population grew by 100 percent in the past 15 years. The state's Asian and black populations are slow-growing — but still growing.

And when it comes to politics, it's tough to criticize Iowa's "representative-ness." It's current two U.S. senators are Republicans, but the state voted for President Barack Obama in the past two elections. It's competitive for both parties, and that's more than a lot of states on the coasts or in the Deep South can say.

Perhaps there's more to Iowa than some would have you think.

Published: Sun, 31 Jan 2016 09:45:40 -0500

CMPD searching for man connected to gas station robbery

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police officers are investigating a robbery Sunday morning in north Charlotte.

Police said a man robbed a Kangaroo Express gas station on West Sugar Creek near West W.T. Harris Boulevard.

They said the man then took off on foot.

Officers are still searching for the man.

Check back for more on this developing story.

Published: Sun, 31 Jan 2016 07:52:09 -0500

The Zika virus might interrupt the 2016 Rio Olympics

Researchers are seeing if major sporting events could contribute to the rapid spread of the Zika virus.

Brazil is one of the main areas of concern, where local transmission was first reported in May of 2015.

>> Read more trending stories

In June 2015 a study was published in a Brazilian medical journal suggesting the 2014 World Cup could have been when the virus arrived in the country.

The speculation has raised concern about the Rio Olympics scheduled for this summer. (Video via Rio 2016)

Zika is transmitted through mosquito bites. Once a mosquito bites a person who has the virus, the mosquito can then pass the virus on to the next person it bites.

Most symptoms of the virus are mild and most people infected don't actually become ill.

The concern centers around the possible link between pregnant mothers infected with the virus and a birth defect that affects brain development in newborns.

The World Health Organization told The New York Times it would be very unlikely that it would urge people not to go to Brazil for the Olympics.

Published: Sun, 31 Jan 2016 07:39:15 -0500

California coyotes may be attacking cars because they're high, officials say

Motorists in California's Marin County have recently reported regular attacks on cars by coyotes who officials believe may be urged on by the effects of magic mushrooms.

For more than three weeks, a coyote -- or coyotes -- have been staring down cars driving on the state's scenic Highway 1. They attack the cars before leaving, according to a report from Pacific Sun.

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So what's causing the unusual interactions?

It's unlikely the strange behavior could be caused by rabies, the Marin Humane Society told Pacific Sun. The coyotes would likely have died already if they suffered from rabies.

Another possibility that officials have not been able to completely rule out: the animals could be inadvertently eating the fly agaric mushrooms that grow in the area.

The fungus has hallucinogenic properties. 

"The cars would therefore be some sort of coyote vision, a dark vision of human interlopers, who must be stopped before the rents get any higher in West Marin," Pacific Sun reported. "That would be kind of cool."

Lisa Bloch, director for marketing and communications for the Marin Humane Society, told the newspaper the organization hadn't ruled out the mushroom theory, but it does have a more likely explanation for the coyotes' regular appearances.

"One possibility is that the coyote has been fed, and this is a real problem for us in Marin," she told Pacific Sun. "It's possible that someone was feeding him and thinking that it's cool, and magical and mystical to have a coyote eating out of his hand."

California law prohibits the feeding of wild animals.

Published: Sun, 31 Jan 2016 06:39:19 -0500

CATS bus routes to change in February

The Charlotte Area Transit System will change several bus routes starting Monday.

Route 1 Mount Holly Road
The existing detour to Todd Park on outbound Paw Creek trips will be stopped.

Route 30 Woodlawn Scaleybark Crosstown
Service on Route 60 will replace the current service along Old Steele Creek Road. Route 30 will run via Remount Road in both directions between Wilkinson Boulevard and West Boulevard. 

Route 43 Ballantyne
New outbound service will be added via North Community House Road.  The current route on Brixham Hill Avenue and Ballantyne Medical Place will be stopped. Ballantyne Corporate Place bus stop near the Aloft Hotel will now be the end of the line.

Route 45X Carmel Road Express
A new service will be added to serve the new County offices on Suttle Avenue via West Morehead Street. The current inbound routing via South Church Street will be replaced with new routing from 4th Street to West Trade Street via Poplar Street. 

Route 60 Tyvola Road
Service will be extended to Westerly Hills via West Tyovla Road, Old Steele Creek Road and Ashley Road. A new Saturday service will also be added. Two new weekday trips will serve Marion Diehl Park, arriving at 8:38 a.m. and departing at 3:15 p.m. Existing service to New Renaissance, West Blvd and Yorkmount Road will be discontinued. 

Bus routes 2, 7, 11 and 2 will all experience small time changes.

Learn more about the route changes here.

Published: Sun, 31 Jan 2016 05:37:59 -0500

Obama will visit an American mosque for his first time as president

For the first time in his presidency, President Obama will visit an American mosque next week. The president will deliver a speech at the Islamic Society of Baltimore on religious freedom and acceptance.

During the visit the president will "celebrate the contributions Muslim Americans make to our nation and reaffirm the importance of religious freedom to our way of life," the White House said.

>> Read more trending stories

President Obama has been criticizing increasing anti-Islamic sentiment in the United States.

"When politicians insult Muslims, whether abroad or our fellow citizens, when a mosque is vandalized, or a kid is called names, that doesn't make us safer," the president said during the 2016 State of the Union.

Fear of terrorist attacks on American soil has risen after attacks in San Bernardino, California, and Paris. And according to a study by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, attacks on mosques in 2015 were at the highest point since the group began keeping track in 2009.

But presidents visiting mosques is obviously nothing new. President George W. Bush famously visited one just 6 days after the attacks on September 11, in another attempt to quell intolerance.

"The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam," President Bush said when he visited the Islamic Center at Washington D.C. "That's not what Islam is all about. Islam is peace."

There's been no official word yet why the Baltimore mosque was chosen but according to WJZ-TV, police have had to add more security surrounding it after phone threats were made last year.

Published: Sun, 31 Jan 2016 01:36:53 -0500

Ted Cruz gets called out for misleading 'voting violation' mailer

Sen. Ted Cruz's campaign is facing backlash for sending out mailers that appeared to be public documents, saying Iowan's would basically be publicly shamed if they chose not to participate in the caucus. The document showed people with voter scores and grades assigned to how often they voted.

The documents were titled "Voting Violation," and read "You are receiving this election notice because of low expected voter turnout in your area. Your individual voting history as well as your neighbors' are public record.  Their scores are published below, and many of them will see your score as well. Caucus on Monday to improve your score."

>> Read more trending stories

Here's the problem: a voting violation for not participating in caucus doesn't exist. And it didn't take long for a state official to set the record straight. 

Iowa's Secretary of State, Paul Pate, said in a statement "Accusing citizens of Iowa of a 'voting violation' based on Iowa caucus participation, or lack thereof, is false representation of an official act."

Cruz's fellow presidential candidates were not thrilled at his tactics either. Rand Paul tweeted Pate's statement saying the mailers were "tactics of a career politician."

According to Pate, whether or not someone votes is public record but are only "available for purchase for political purposes only." But caucuses are a bit different; they're organized by state political parties and in Iowa, caucus participation isn't recorded or made public.

Cruz's campaign was probably aware of this, since former Iowa Secretary of State Matt Schultz is chairman of his Iowa campaign. Schultz said in a statement "Our mailer was modeled after the very successful 2014 mailers that the Republican Party of Iowa distributed to motivate Republican voters to vote."

This isn't just a Republican tactic. In 2014 New York residents received a similar letter from the New York State Democratic Committee. Those letters weren't for a caucus and didn't claim to assign grades to voters.

Published: Sun, 31 Jan 2016 01:26:13 -0500

Former Ole Miss football player dies in car crash

A former Ole Miss football player was killed in a car crash on Highway 78 near Holly Springs, Mississippi Saturday.

Maikhail Miller, 23, who played quarterback, died in the accident, according to the Marshall County Coroner's Office.

The cause of the crash is unknown at this time.

>> Read more trending stories

Hugh Freeze, coach at Ole Miss, shared his condolences on Twitter. 

"Reminded how short life can be tonight," he posted. "So sorry to hear of Maikhail Miller's death. Prayers to his family. What are we doing with our dash?"

Miller also played for Murray State.

Stay with on this developing story.

Published: Sat, 30 Jan 2016 23:44:16 -0500

Need a ride? Facebook could add ride-sharing feature to events

Facebook has filed a patent application for a carpooling feature that would accompany the social network's event pages. (Video via Facebook)

Say, for example, you've decided to attend an extra-curricular work function, and you've got a car. With the new feature, you'd be able to indicate you're willing to offer rides. You could also use the feature to find transportation.

The company even lays out a scenario where a driver can generate a map of passenger pick-up locations.

>> Read more trending stories

It's an interesting move for the company, given it recently announced a partnership with the popular ride-hailing service Uber. (Video via Uber)

Facebook's Messenger app was updated in December to give users the option to hail rides from car services within the app, and Uber was the first service available to users.

But if we're being reasonable, there's a pretty big difference between simplifying carpooling logistics and running a full-on transportation service.

So headlines claiming Facebook is taking on Uber by adding some functionality to its event pages haven't convinced us just yet.

So, Uber. Maybe, maybe don't watch your back.

Published: Sat, 30 Jan 2016 23:17:46 -0500

Fans share well wishes ahead of Panthers' Super Bowl departure

Bring the trophy home.
That's been the goal for the Carolina Panthers all season long, but was also the message shared most by fans, on the eve of the team's departure for Super Bowl 50.
Susan Pearson, who stopped by the Official Team Store Saturday at Bank of America Stadium, said her family has been Panthers fans since day one, which includes the team's playing days at Clemson.
Pearson, and husband Ken, were undecided if they would return to the stadium Sunday, but shared a message wishing the team good luck.
"I just want them to be themselves," she said, "and Keep Pounding."
Panthers fan Dwight Montgomery gleamed over quarterback Cam Newton.  Montgomery started following the Panthers  five seasons ago, which happens to be the same time the Heisman trophy winner came to town.
"He can throw that ball sideways, he can throw it falling down, and can throw it any kind of way," Montgomery said.
"Bring that trophy back home because we need it and deserve it."
Charlotte city officials estimate as many as 30,000 people showed up to Romare Bearden Park for the team's pep rally Friday.  The Panthers organization released few details on its departure Sunday.
A source told Channel 9, police will escort a few of the  Panthers' team buses to the airport, and officials with CDOT said while no road closures were reported, police could still impose them, if necessary.

Published: Sat, 30 Jan 2016 21:47:09 -0500