News Roundup

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department held a press conference this week saying that the department is increasing its efforts to prevent groups of people from riding bicycles, dirt bikes, and ATVs recklessly and aggressively in the Uptown area.  Officers have arrested nearly 30 people over the past two years for crimes associated with the reckless riding and Captain Bret Balamucki said that there has been a recent increase in violence by the groups.  Keep reading for more news. 

Ponzi Pleas.  The Charlotte Observer reports that two men from the Charlotte area pleaded guilty this week in federal court to running a Ponzi scheme disguised as a hedge fund.  Austin Page and Brandon Teague were accused of using new client funds to pay fictitious returns to their older clients while generally squandering the assets they were entrusted to manage on exorbitant salaries for family members , luxury goods, and travel.  They were arrested by the FBI in January after spending a month in Italy as their firm D&T Investment Group crumbled.

Chief Retires.  As WFMY reports, Greensboro Police Chief Brian James recently announced that he plans to retire at the end of next month.  James was sworn in as chief just prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and previously held several leadership roles in the department.  Teresa Biffle, a 27-year veteran of the GPD, will be Interim Police Chief while the city conducts a search for a replacement for Chief James.

K9 Education.  WNCT reports that the Greenville Police Department Community Relations Committee is hosting members of the public for a K-9 program and demonstration early next month.  The session is intended to give people a chance to learn about how the dogs locate drugs, their training, and what they do when off-duty.  More information about the event is available at the WNCT link.

K9 Sworn.  Speaking of K-9 officers, WLOS reports that the Buncombe County Sheriff’s Office recently welcomed a labradoodle named Kora to the force.  Kora will serve as a therapy and emotional support dog in a wide range of settings, including at the Buncombe County Detention Facility.

BBQ Wager.  There were complementary news reports this week regarding a BBQ wager between Orange County Sheriff Charles Blackwood and Jay Armbrister, the sheriff of Douglas County, Kansas.  Blackwood and Armbrister bet some local BBQ on the outcome of the men’s NCAA Tournament championship game between UNC and Kansas.  Since Kansas won, Sheriff Blackwood shipped brisket and pulled pork from Hillsborough BBQ Company over to Douglas County.  CBS 17 has our local story and WIBW has the story from Kansas.