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Across the Region The latest from Mecklenburg, the region and the state

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A CATS Lynx train pulls into Carson Station on Thursday with one of the new exterior advertisements on it. The ads were created and sold by CATS staff, according to Jean Leir, CATS manager of public and community relations. Ads sold by Titan Outdoor will appear on trains and buses later this year. David T. Foster III - dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com

More Information

  • Here's how the following institutions will observe the Easter weekend:

    Mecklenburg ABC stores : Open today, Saturday, Monday.

    S.C. liquor stores: Open today, Saturday, Monday.

    Banks: Open today.

    Central Piedmont Community College: No classes today, Saturday, Monday.

    CATS buses and light rail: Regular schedule.

    Charlotte city offices: Closed Friday.

    Mecklenburg County offices: Closed Friday.

    FedEx: Open today.

    Federal offices: Open today.

    Charlotte garbage: Regular schedule.

    Charlotte libraries: Closed Sunday.

    Post offices: Open.

    Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools: Classes resume Monday.

    N.C. state offices: Closed today.

    S.C. state offices: Open today.

    Stock market: Closed today.

    UNCC: No classes today, Saturday.

    United Parcel Service: Open today.


Postal employee indicted, accused of converting money for own use

A U.S. Postal Service employee has been indicted, accused of misappropriating postal money.

Leslie McCready of Concord is accused of recording fraudulent refund transactions resulting in cash overages of tens of thousands of dollars that she converted to her own use.

The indictment says McCready was the lead sales and service associate at the post office at 30th Street Station in Charlotte. It alleges that McCready manipulated the retail sales system from March 2008 to July 2009 by recording fraudulent refund transactions.

McCready had been an employee of the postal service since 1990, according to the indictment. Gary L. Wright

Meck briefs

Charlotte

Charlotte-Raleigh trains back on normal schedule

Amtrak service between Charlotte and Raleigh will resume normal schedules today, the N.C. Department of Transportation announced.

The Amtrak Piedmont service during the midday runs was suspended temporarily Feb. 14, and other schedules were adjusted, so Norfolk Southern Railway could make track improvements.

Trains 74 and 75 have not been running the midday schedule Monday through Thursday since then. And the morning and evening trains - 73, 76, 79 and 80 - had amended schedules.

The improvement project included reconditioned tracks, signals and bridges. DOT officials say those changes will mean a smoother ride and better on-time record.

Information about the trains and their schedules, check www.bytrain .org . Staff reports

Some CMS school names will live on, others won't

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools has come up with a plan for which school names will survive and which will disappear with the closings and consolidations coming up next year. The proposed new names are up for a vote at Tuesday's meeting, which will be dominated by a hearing on the 2011-12 budget.

The names of Spaugh, Wilson and J.T. Williams middle schools will be gone when their students disperse to eight preK-8 schools, which will keep the names of the existing schools but change the label from "elementary" to "academy" or "school." Smith Language Academy will become E.E. Waddell Language Academy when the K-8 foreign language magnet moves into the current Waddell High, which is named for the late husband of school board member Joyce Waddell.

The Irwin Avenue building will keep its name when the magnet program now located at Villa Heights Elementary moves in. Lincoln Heights Elementary is closing and will be renamed Lincoln Heights Academy. CMS hasn't decided how the building will be used but is holding onto it for some future school-district use, said spokeswoman Lauren Bell. Ann Doss Helms

Providence Day students win National Merit scholarships

Two Providence Day School students have won corporate-sponsored scholarships from the National Merit Scholarship Corp.

It is the first in a series of scholarship awards to be announced by the National Merit Scholarship Competition. In early May, the organization will name winners of $2,500 scholarships. And winners of college-sponsored National Merit scholarships will be named in late May and again in early July.

By the end of the cycle, about 7,800 high school seniors will have won awards that total nearly $35 million.

Winning corporate-sponsored scholarships are Nathaniel Bruns and Zachary Rubin.

Bruns won the Parker Hannifin Scholarship, which is given to outstanding scholars whose parents work for the company. He is considering a career in law.

Rubin won the Amerisource/Berger Corporation award, sponsored by a leading pharmaceutical firm. Rubin is considering a career in law.

No other students from the Charlotte region won corporation-sponsored scholarships from the National Merit organization. Steve Lyttle

Regional briefs

York County, S.C. Lake Wylie

River Hills residents could face big water big hikes

Residents of River Hills in Lake Wylie might see their water rates rise by as much as 80 percent.

Carolina Water Service has submitted a rate increase for its S.C. customers to the state's Public Service Commission.

The utility wants to raise rates from an average of $36 a month for full-service water customers to more than $65. Typical full-service sewer customers would see a smaller increase of about $5 a month to $44.

The proposed increase would not affect customers of Tega Cay Water Service. Don Worthington, (Rock Hill) Herald

Lancaster County, S.C. Lancaster

Personal info accessed in schools computer breach

After a computer breach jeopardized thousands of students' personal information, the Lancaster County school district is looking at new ways to secure records.

Earlier this month, school officials learned that hackers infiltrated a database of student and employee information and stole passwords that can access names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, addresses and phone numbers for some 25,000 current and former students and 2,500 employees.

Families and employees are advised to closely monitor financial statements and report any suspicious activity to the financial institution involved and contact the Federal Trade Commission.

State and federal investigators believe the hackers were working out of Russia, said Lydia Quinn, the district's director of planning and accountability. Shawn Cetrone, (Rock Hill) Herald

Police digest

Mecklenburg County Charlotte

CMPD: Convicted felon wanted on multiple charges

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police are asking for help finding a 43-year-old who's wanted on multiple charges.

Authorities said they have 13 warrants for the arrest of Darryl Bruce Cordell of Charlotte. He's wanted on charges of felony larceny, financial transaction card theft and breaking and entering a motor vehicle.

According to the N.C. Department of Correction, Cordell is a convicted felon with convictions including felony breaking and entering and drug possession.

Arrest records show Charlotte-Mecklenburg police arrested Cordell in February on charges of misdemeanor breaking and entering.

Anyone with information about Cordell's whereabouts is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600. Meghan Cooke

Brick or rock tossed through bus window; no injuries

No injuries were reported overnight when someone apparently tossed a large rock or brick into a Charlotte Area Transit System bus, police say.

The incident happened about 1 a.m. on Nevin Road, near Spring Terrace Lane. Police say the driver and passengers on an eastbound bus were startled when a window suddenly shattered.

Police originally thought someone had shot the window, but officers determined a thrown object caused the damage.

No arrests have been made in the case. Steve Lyttle

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