The surest way to mingle with Charlotte’s homeless is to stand outside uptown’s Main library just before the doors open at 10 a.m.
Odds are, many of the people in line ahead of you are homeless, and their numbers only grow as the day gets hotter.
It’s a fact that has caused some conflict in the past, including complaints of homeless people stripping naked to bathe in the restroom sinks.
More from the Observer here and a short film by Dwayne Royall, below.
At Thursday’s press conference, the department highlighted its three-year average, which Putney said provides a better view of crime trends in Charlotte. Over that period, most crimes declined, though aggravated assaults were up more than 12 percent.
Cedar's Take: On the eve of the largest public event in Charlotte's history CMPD reports that 2012 has started off with some ugly crime numbers. Is anyone surprised? As the saying goes, live by the sword, die by the sword, which after three years of bragging about how crime was down year over last, seems to ring true.
Cleve Wootson's report on Thursday's CMPD presser is here.
Matthew Hawkins Shooting now a Murder - Hawkins was shot during an apparent robbery attempt in Charlotte’s Belmont neighborhood on Tuesday. Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said 39-year-old Matthew Hawkins succumbed to his injuries on Thursday evening.
Hawkins was shot Tuesday as police said he and his girlfriend were renovating a home on East 17th Street near the intersection with North McDowell Street. Police said a man entered the home and demanded money. Hawkins walked outside to get his wallet, police said, but at some point, the suspect shot him. He was rushed to Carolinas Medical Center for surgery. His girlfriend was not injured.
The suspect was described only as a dark-skinned black male who was wearing a dark t-shirt and long dark shorts. The man was last seen walking toward North McDowell, police said.
They continue to ask that anyone with information about the shooting to call 704-432-TIPS and speak with a homicide detective or Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.
Luke Bryant National Anthem Dust Up - Seems some folks are upset the Country Music star Luke Bryan needed a little help remembering the words to our National Anthem.
"Oh say can you see" ... my cheat sheet? was CNN's Jeanne Moos take on the performance.
"Some keywords to the National Anthem ended up on the hand of Luke Bryan, the star who performed at Tuesday night's Major League Baseball All Star game. Jeanne Moos added that video of the had the performer caught red, white and blue-handed.
Moos' report when on to show clips of Sarah Palin with notes written on her and and then Christina Aguilera and Roseanne Barr butchering the song.
Luke Bryan later tweeted that he only wanted to do his best, and that he really did sing the song from his heart.
Interesting to note that CNN's own little darling Robin Meade sang the National Anthem as well this past weekend, all the while holding her iPhone. Which no doubt had the words to the song just a click away.
Cam's Scam - According to Scott Fowler Panther's Quarterback Cam Newton will be signing autographs Saturday at SouthPark Mall. There's just one catch, an autograph will cost you.
Fowler says the going price is $125 if he’s signing a photo, $150 if he’s signing a football and $175 if he’s signing a jersey. If you want an inscription like “To John, Best Wishes” added to the signature, that costs an extra $50. Geeeze.
Cedar's Take: I've never been a picture or autograph hound. I've been around plenty of celebs, sports stars and politicians. All nice folks, but I never wanted their signature, unless it was on a credit card receipt or check.
I admit I have a small golf ball collection with Master's Champions while Arnold Palmer is most notable and Tiger's signature is missing I think Bob Goalby is the one I like the most, never paid a dime for any of them.
I'm sure they will line up to hand over the cash for a Cam Newton signature, but what if he bombs this season? Maybe Cam can donate some of the loot to help Charlotte's Homeless?
More from Scott on Cam Newton here, and Cedar's Bonus on Bob at the end of this post.
Kate Upton - Cedar Posts had to laugh when I noticed the July cover of GQ.
The subject of Miss Upton's affection is of course a "Bomb Pop" the Cherry, Lime, and Blue Raspberry original flavor that has been around for more than fifty years. At just 35 calories Kate can wipe out an entire box and have nothing to worry about. Bomb Pops a summer staple that reside in Cedar's freezer,
CMPD DNC Spending - Thanks to the Charlotte Observer for doing all the FOIA filings, CMPD released Thursday a summary of what it has purchased, though much of the information was redacted. CMPD had previously said it wouldn’t disclose its DNC purchases until after the convention.
Here are some of the expenses released by CMPD:
• $1.03 million: Additional workers compensation insurance.
• $937,852: Lodging for visiting police.
• $704,795: CMPD Command Center upfit.
• $473,611: Helicopter enhancements. Rest of information redacted.
• $305,994: Lodging for visiting police. Number of hotel rooms redacted.
• $303,596: “Mobile Field Force” (bicycles and equipment).
• $157,348: Motorcycle emergency equipment; communications and rider equipment.
• $60,915: Software. “Provide CMPD ability ... to identify safety and security threats.” Rest of information redacted.
• $53,676: 2012 Chevy Tahoe.
• $43,895: DNC-related travel, to Chicago, Oakland, Calif., Washington D.C., Alabama.
• $40,481: Public Address Systems. “... to provide clear communications in a large crowd ...” Steve Harrison
Cedar's Take: Why does none of this surprise me? $40,000 for a PA System? Sure why not? But nearly $500k for "Helicopter Enhancements"? This being on top of last year's helo upgrades, makes me wonder what kind of weapons does $500k buy. Also looks like CMPD paid top dollar to have those new Harley's. Makes you wonder if there is a relocation of homeless item in the CMPD DNC 2012 budget?
Pittenger vs Pendergraph - Cedar Post's is so repulsed by these two jackasses that I'll probably vote for Jennifer Roberts in November. While Pittenger now has the endorsement of former Republican Governor and Davidson Grad Jim Martin, and Mike Huckabee, Pendergraph doesn't have the money connection, nor the land deal baggage.
A 2003 vote and promise made by Prittenger is at issue:
Republican Robert Pittenger’s vote on a bill that involved property he owned, and his separate promise to donate other land to the town of Waxhaw for a park.
Pittenger voted for a bill that annexed into Waxhaw some Union County land in which he had an ownership interest. Looser zoning regulations in Waxhaw helped increase the land’s value.
The bill passed overwhelmingly. Pittenger’s partnership sold the land in stages, the last portion in 2005.
What really should make people ask is why has Pittenger spent more than 2 million dollars of this own money to win this election? The salary for the two year gig is only $174k per year. Clearly he is expecting a big payoff. Pengergraph on the other hand claims he is nearly homeless, and spending about 10% of Pittenger's 2 million.
On Bob Goalby - At the 1968 Masters Tournament, Goalby tied Roberto DeVicenzo at the end of 72 holes of regulation play, and would have had to face an 18-hole playoff the next day, had there not been a mistake on DeVicenzo's scorecard.
In the final round, DeVicenzo's playing partner Tommy Aaron marked a par-4 on the 17th hole, when DeVicenzo had in fact made a birdie-3. DeVicenzo failed to catch the mistake and signed the scorecard.
The rules of golf state that the higher written score signed by a golfer on his card must stand. As such, the error gave Goalby his one and only major championship. Goalby, playing in the group behind DeVicenzo, was not personally at fault for anything in the incident.
The story received overwhelming attention at the time, and has remained high in public consciousness since. It was recounted in great detail in the 2005 book "The Lost Masters: Grace and Disgrace in '68" by Curt Sampson. The personal relationship between Goalby and DeVicenzo was unaffected by the difficult situation, and the two players formed a partnership years later, for a team event on the Champions Tour.