TRUE CRIME: Local scandals, murder mysteries. INSIDE
July 29, 2010 127th year No. 210
HEADS TOGETHER: Local, state officials meet on Alcoa issue. 1B
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WHAT A RIDE: Bobby Labonte confirms plans for 2011. 1D
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Cory Newton is a new partner owner with Senn Dunn Insurance. Newton is one of seven new partner owners, bringing the ownership group to 23. Newton is an employee benefits consultant. DON DAVIS JR. | HPE
The N.C. Department of Transportation has conducted a feasibility study of possible improvements to N.C. 109 through downtown Thomasville.
N.C. 109 under review BY DARRICK IGNASIAK ENTERPRISE STAFF WRITER
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The study evaluated the area south of I-85 near Lambeth Road, passing through the Thomasville Central Business District and ending at I-85 Business Loop.
THOMASVILLE – Thomasville officials are reviewing a feasibility study that shows six possible alternatives for reconstructing and improving areas of N.C. 109 to mitigate current and future traffic congestion through the city. The study, conducted by the N.C. Department of Transportation, was done at the request of Thomasville officials who are concerned about future traffic patterns
A look at the six alternatives. 3A “through and around the downtown area,” said Pat Ivey, a DOT division engineer based in WinstonSalem. “Obviously, the existing (N.C. 109) as it goes through downtown crossing the railroad on the two-lane section is very congested at times,” Ivey said. “The biggest concern of course is that you
really can’t do any improvements to the existing corridor ... (The city of Thomasville) wanted us to look at the possibility of what the alternatives could be for rerouting N.C. 109 traffic around the downtown area.” Thomasville City Manager Kelly Craver said the city received the study last week. The study evaluated reasonable improvements in the area beginning south of Interstate 85 near Lambeth Road, passing
STOLEN GOODS: Police recover property, link suspects. 1B
ABC worker fails to regain job BY PAT KIMBROUGH ENTERPRISE STAFF WRITER
HIGH POINT – A former employee of High Point’s Alcoholic Beverage Control system said his request to be reinstated to his job has been denied. Bill Lyle said he received a letter Monday notifying him that the ABC board was not going to overturn the decision to fire him last month. Lyle has raised questions about the system’s business practices while he worked there as an assistant manager for about two years. He said he believes he was
fired because he spoke out about the methods used to account for breakages of liquor shipments. Lyle said he asked board members to reinstate him and told them about his concerns that the method for handling damage claims might have constituted fraud. The board addressed the matter at a meeting last week. ABC officials said they investigated Lyle’s allegations and have uncovered no evidence of wrongdoing. The circumstances of his employment and departure from his job were handled at the meeting in closed session as a personnel mat-
ter that can’t be publicly commented on, according to ABC leaders. Lyle maintains that he was dismissed without justification and said he is looking into possible legal action to try to regain his position. He has alleged that his superiors used a minor incident as a pretext to fire him after he took a few dollars out of his own pocket and placed them in one of the store’s registers to reconcile a cash shortage involving three minibottles of liquor. Lyle said he did this so the store where he worked at the time wouldn’t fall out of contention for
monthly recognition as the most profitable of the six ABC retail outlets in the city. “I’m an assistant manager. I’m trained by a manager. I didn’t think that thing up. Someone had to teach me how to do that because I’d never thought about it,” Lyle said. Board Chairman David Wall said previously that no evidence of fraud or other malfeasance has been uncovered based on available information but if additional information develops, the board will investigate it.
HIGH POINT – Several bidders are seeking to buy the High Point Market showroom holdings of Merchandise Mart Properties Inc. in the wake of its parent company’s default on its loan for the properties, sources say. At least three independent sources confirmed Wednesday that potential new owners are making bids for the showroom buildings that include the Market Square complex. The High Point Enterprise has reported since March that the parent company of Merchandise Mart Properties, Vornado Realty Trust, ceased making debt service payments on the loan for its 2.1 million square feet of showrooms. Merchandise Mart, which purchased its first showrooms in High Point in 1998, has become the secondlargest showroom owner and operator behind the International Home Furnishings Center. The Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday that Vornado will forfeit its showroom properties to the holders of its $191 million securitized mortgage.
“Vornado is offering to forfeit the property to the special servicer overseeing the mortgage, J.E. Roberts Cos., in a deed in lieu of foreclosure transaction,” the Wall Street Journal reports. Merchandise Mart Properties President Chris Kennedy told The High Point Enterprise Wednesday that his company remains confident in the High Point Market and “enthusiasm for the properties has increased”
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SHOWROOMS Merchandise Mart Properties Inc. owns and manages 2.1 million square feet of permanent showroom and traditional exhibit space in High Point. Its High Point Market showrooms include: Market Square, Suites at Market Square, Hamilton Market, Plaza Suites, Furniture Plaza and National Furniture Mart. Merchandise Mart Properties entered the High Point Market in 1998 when it bought the Market Square complex from a group of local businessmen.
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Sources: Bidders seeking Merchandise Mart properties BY PAUL B. JOHNSON ENTERPRISE STAFF WRITER
Robert Barnes, 76 William Beard Jr., 83 Anthony Blackburn, 50 Jesse Byerly, 41 Leah Gray, 79 Johnnie Hendrick, 79 Peggy Johnson, 62 Chester Raymer, 96 Norman Richardson, 47 Lula Tate, 81 Norman Vestal Jr., 73 Obituaries, 2B
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Market Square is one of the properties owned by Merchandise Mart. in the past year. In a statement late Wednesday afternoon, Merchandise Mart Properties indicated that “there has been no change in our best-inclass management team, our staff or our operations. There is no residual impact from the financial activities of Vornado on how we manage our business (and) the way we market our events ...” The anonymous sources on the potential sale of Merchandise Mart Properties’ holdings indicate that any new owner would continue to operate the buildings for use at the High Point Market,
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the world’s largest home furnishings trade show. High Point Market Authority President Brian Casey said in the 100 years of the market’s history, landlords of showroom buildings have come and gone with regularity. “It hasn’t impacted the performance of the market,” Casey said. Casey said he’s confident that showrooms of Merchandise Mart Properties won’t close as part of any possible transition with ownership. email@example.com | 888-3528
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CAROLINAS 2A www.hpe.com THURSDAY, JULY 29, 2010 THE HIGH POINT ENTERPRISE
New Mexico police: NC teen forced into prostitution
Burial of Fort Bragg soldier A caisson carries the coffin during a burial service for Staff Sgt. Edwardo Loredo, at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va., Tuesday. Loredo, 34, of Houston, died June 24 at Jelewar, Afghanistan, when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, Fort Bragg.
4-month-old found alive in SC after being snatched in NC COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – A 4-month-old baby boy snatched from his mother’s car in North Carolina was found Wednesday morning wet and crying after surviving seven hours in the South Carolina woods with a man police say took the child. “I held the baby. He was alert, but wet and crying. He seemed fine, but we transferred him to the emergency room to have him checked out,” Chesterfield County Sheriff’s Lt. Briana Davis said in a telephone interview. “He was a little dirty after being in the woods so long.” The baby was returned to his mother later Wednesday. Davis said Jalleel Xamir Howard was
found around 2 a.m. Wednesday, about 15 hours after he was taken from his mother’s car in a Monroe, N.C., doctor’s office parking lot. Lonnie Cecil Buchanan, 41, of Monroe has been charged with kidnapping and is being held in the Union County, N.C., jail under a $250,000 bond, said Capt. Bryan Gilliard of the Monroe Police Department. Beulah Marie Steen, 23, also of Monroe, is charged with kidnapping and is being held
on a $50,000 bond, Gilliard said. There was no information about whether either has an attorney. Gilliard praised the South Carolina police for sighting Buchanan and Steen’s vehicle, then keeping bloodhounds in a wooded area to track down him until he emerged from the woods with the baby. “Those guys just wouldn’t stop until they found that child,” Gilliard said. South Carolina police stopped a car being driven by Steen around 7 p.m. Tuesday evening on state Highway 207 near Pageland. Davis said Buchanan ran into the woods with the baby after seeing officers in the area. About
seven hours later, she said, Buchanan came out of the woods with the child and was arrested. Gilliard said Buchanan and the baby’s mother were involved in some sort of domestic dispute and Buchanan told police he is the child’s father. But he is not listed on the birth certificate. Witnesses told police Buchanan and Steen were waiting in the parking lot for the mother. “They had it all planned out what they were going to do,” Gilliard said. “They grabbed that child and jumped in the car.” Davis said Buchanan may have driven to South Carolina looking for a friend who lives in the area.
The High Point Enterprise strives for accuracy. Readers who think a factual error has been made are encouraged to call the newsroom at 888-3500. When a factual error has been found a correction will be published.
ter authorities say she suffered head trauma, bites and had signs of sexual assault. Richardson told Johnston County authorities he’s bipolar and “lost it” before whipping Teghan with an extension cord. He has been charged with firstdegree murder.
Is your hearing current? 211 W. Lexington Avenue, Suite 104, High Point, NC
edly tried to push over two of the 4-foot-tall sculptures after a night of drinking May 18. Newton, whose foot was broken when one of the 150-pound cows fell on him, was charged with felony unlawful mischief. On Wednesday, he started a two-day jail
through the Thomasville Central Business District and ending at Interstate 85 Business Loop. “There’s six different alternatives – all of which one gets more costlier than the next,” Craver said. “We are talking things that are running from (more than) $20 million to (more than) $100 million.” Under current traffic conditions, the study states that most intersections in the study area operate at an acceptable level of service. Exceptions include Main Street-South, Liberty Drive and Lambeth Road, where the intersections reach or exceed their capacity. By the year 2035, traffic conditions at most intersections are expected to reach or exceed the traffic carrying capacity. Crash rates along N.C. 109 in the study area are nearly 2.5 times the
term under an agreement with prosecutors that also calls for him to pay $1,000 or more in restitution. Organizers of the “Cows Come Home” project are now asking bartenders and store owners to serve as “cow tenders” and keep an eye out for the sculptures.
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statewide average rates for similar routes. Ivey said there is no N.C. 109 project in the DOT’s transportation program. He said the DOT will not be doing any additional studies until there money set up to fund a N.C. 109 project. According to the study, N.C. 109 serves as a major thoroughfare in the High Point-Thomasville urbanized area. It is a strategic northsouth corridor linking Asheboro, Ablemarle, Denton and the rural areas of western Randolph, southeast Davidson and Montgomery counties. It’s considered a vital ink for commerce between those urban areas and supports job opportunities for the rural communities served by the thoroughfare to the employment centers in the Piedmont Triad and Lexington areas, the study states.
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Man jailed in vandalization of cow sculptures BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) – A Vermont man is going to jail for his part in a vandalism spree that damaged six fiberglass cows installed around downtown Burlington as part of a public art project. Twenty-one-year-old Christopher Newton and another man alleg-
Traffic at intersections expected to reach capacity
Warren Ludwig says Helen Reyes failed to make sure her daughter was safe before leaving for military training in New Mexico. Reyes left Teghan Alyssa Skiba with 21-year-old Jonathan Douglas Richardson on July 6. The girl died two weeks later af-
while she was living in North Carolina, and he offered to fly her to New Mexico on July 17. Once there, she told officers the man forced her into prostitution and would lock her in a closet whenever he left the home. A police SWAT team raided the home late Tuesday, but the man wasn’t there. They did arrest a woman on charges of kidnapping, false imprisonment and promoting prostitution.
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No abuse reports received before death of NC 4-year-old SMITHFIELD (AP) – Child welfare officials in North Carolina say they received no reports of abuse before the death of a 4year-old girl who died after days of torture. Multiple media outlets report Wednesday that Wake County child welfare administrator
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) – Police in Albuquerque, N.M., say they’re looking for a man who allegedly forced a young North Carolina woman into prostitution while holding her captive in his home. Albuquerque Police spokesman Robert Gibbs says the 18year-old woman fled the home on Tuesday and ran to a neighbor’s house asking for help. She told officers she had met the man online
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DOT study lists alternatives to NC 109 traffic Elsewhere...
Thomasville officials review plans. 1A
BY DARRICK IGNASIAK ENTERPRISE STAFF WRITER
THOMASVILLE â€“ The N.C. 109 feasibility study, released recently by the N.C. Department of Transportation, lists six alternatives to mitigate current and future traffic congestion through Thomasville. â€˘ Alternative One, which would cost $37.8 million, addresses congestion along the commercialized area of N.C. 109 from south of Interstate 85 to the Julian Avenue intersection with Cloniger Street, a length of about 1.5 miles. The study, which implements the northern end of future N.C. 109 improvements, includes intersection improvements and reconstruction of the Interstate 85 interchange. Improvements to N.C. 109 north of Julian Avenue through downtown Thomasville were considered to be not feasible as widening N.C. 109 and bridging over the railroad near Main Street would involve substantial property damages and community impacts. Alternative one would relocate 29 residences and businesses. â€˘ Alternative Two, which would cost $70.7 million, is a parallel route to N.C. 109 around the west side of Thomasville. It starts at N.C. 109 south of Lambeth Road and travels west on a new location to join Lake Road. It continues
north along Baptist Childrenâ€™s Home Road, Peace Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive to Interstate 85 Business Loop, a length of about 5 miles. Alternative two provides interchanges with Interstate 85 and Interstate 85 Business Loop, and it implements part of the future Thomasville Southern Loop. The study states that benefits associated with alternative two include wide traffic lanes, an alignment that may not require substantial reconstruction, compatible posted speed limits, and the use of an existing bridge over the railroad near Main Street. There is the potential for impacts to minority and lowincome neighborhoods along Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, according to the study. Alternative two would relocate 152 residences and businesses. â€˘ Alternative Three was considered early in the projectâ€™s development. It follows Alternative Two from N.C. 109 to Lake Road at Fisher Ferry Road to Winston Street and joins N.C. 109 at Interstate 85 Business Loop, a length of 5.2 miles. There is not enough space between existing interchanges on Interstate 85 to allow a new interchange with Fisher Ferry Road on Alternative Three, the study states. A new bridge over the railroad near Main Street would be disruptive to development in the downtown area. There are numerous low-income houses and historic properties located along the alternative, the alignment is poor and the existing lane widths are inadequate, according to the study. The study states for these reasons, this alternative was
not considered feasible and was eliminated from further consideration. â€˘ Alternative Four, which would cost $97.4 million, includes Alternative One and the closest parallel route to N.C. 109 along the east side of downtown Thomasville that follows Julian Avenue, continues to Maple Avenue, and extends on a new location to join Unity Street. It continues along Unity Street to N.C. 109 and then north on N.C. 109 to Interstate 85 Business Loop, a length of about 4.5 miles. The alternative provides a multilane route with interchanges at Interstate 85 and Interstate 85 Business Loop. It implements part of the High Point Metropolitan Planning Organization Thoroughfare plan with the extension of Julian Avenue from Main Street to Unity Street. Benefits of Alternative Four include maintaining the existing railroad bridge near Main Street; the N.C. 109 route designation could be shifted to the new route; wide traffic lanes and compatible posted speed limits south of Main Street. Substantial community impact, however, would occur along the northern part of Main Street to N.C. 109. Alternative Four would relocate 178 residences and businesses. â€˘ Alternative Five, which would cost $99.9 million, is a parallel route to N.C. 109 along the east side of Thomasville. It follows N.C. 109 from south of Lambeth Road and joins N.C. 62 (Cloniger Drive), Liberty Drive, Turner Street, and National Highway to Interstate 85 Business Loop, a length of about 4.7 miles. Benefits include the extension of
a multi-lane facility from N.C. 109 south of Thomasville to National Highway for improved access between the two interstate facilities. It also includes a new bridge over the railroad near Main Street. The disadvantage is that it does not have a direct interchange with Interstate 85. It joins National Highway north of Thomasville instead of N.C. 109 to provide access to Interstate 85 Business Loop. Construction costs are highest from Blair Street to National Highway at Interstate 85 Business Loop due to the extensive widening and the railroad grade separation. Substantial community impacts occur along Liberty Drive between Cloniger Street and Blair Street. Alternative five would relocate 250 residences and businesses. â€˘ Alternative Six, which would cost $262.7 million, combines links from the High Point Metropolitan Planning Organization Thoroughfare Plan to determine their overall benefit to traffic operations within the Thomasville area roadway network. It examines the combined roadway system improvements from Alternatives One, Two, Four and Five to implement links in the High Point MPO Thoroughfare plan. With Alternative Six, there is some improvement in traffic operations at N.C. 109 intersections as compared with other alternatives alone. Alternative Six would relocate 578 residences and businesses. Future traffic projections indicate that Alternatives Two, Four, Five and Six divert less than 20 percent of the traffic from N.C. 109. email@example.com | 888-3657
Fort Bragg General: NC post supports military widows FORT BRAGG (AP) â€“ The Army has drastically increased its outreach and support for surviving spouses since the start of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the post commander said. Lt. Gen. Frank Helmick, commander of the 18th Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg, told reporters on Wednesday that he still remembers the first time he served as a casualty assistance of-
ficer in 1994. One of his men was killed in a training accident in Italy, and they didnâ€™t know how long the surviving spouseâ€™s benefits would last or how long they could stay in military housing. All that has changed with the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Since 2001, the military has drastically increased benefits and allow widows to keep military housing for one year and
health care for three years. They also receive almost a half-million dollars in benefits. More than a dozen North Carolina-based soldiers have died in combat in July, continuing what is becoming a deadly summer for coalition forces in Afghanistan. Military officials say 57 American service members have died in Afghanistan in July, including at least 13 Fort Bragg sol-
diers. The soldiers were from the 82nd Airborne Divisionâ€™s 4th Brigade Combat Team and the 20th Engineer Brigadeâ€™s 27th Engineer Battalion. Helmick said July has been a hard month. He or one of his generals attends the funeral of every soldier killed on Fort Bragg. He said each one is hard and each one he will remember forever. But, he said, the fam-
ily always thanks him. â€œThey say, â€™General, my son died doing what he loved to do. He died being a soldier,â€™ â€œ Helmick said. â€œAnd that gives me a little bit of comfort.â€? The Defense Department says June was the deadliest month for coalition troops in Afghanistan since the war started in 2001. Of the 104 coalition troops killed, 60 were from the U.S..
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