First Drip (8/5/15): Mecklenburg commissioners vote to control CRTPO delegate vote

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Mecklenburg County commissioners voted last night to force its Charlotte Regional Transportation Planning Organization delegate to oppose the I-77 toll lanes in an upcoming vote. The commissioners vote came after a heated debate about the ethics of ordering the delegate to vote one way or the other in any decision. Following two hours of debate, the board of commissioners voted 7-2 in favor of a new policy allowing them to tell their representative on the CRTPO how to vote on future projects. They then voted 5-2 to order Dumont Clarke, the current CRTPO representative, to vote "No" during next month's I-77 toll lane project vote. 

CATS will hold the first in a series of public input meetings at Matthews Town Hall next Tuesday to discuss its hopes to begin expanding the Lynx Silver Line eastward from Uptown to the Union County line. The Southeast Corridor Transit Study will look at several rail options, including light rail, commuter rail and streetcars, for a 13-mile stretch. There are reportedly no estimates yet available for the costs or completion targets of such projects. 

A Confederate monument near the Grady Cole Center was found to be vandalized for a second time Tuesday morning. Someone spray-painted the names of eight of the nine Charleston church shooting victims on the monument, sending it to a private cleaning company for the second time in three weeks. The monument was unveiled in 1929 during the 39th reunion of the United Confederate Veterans. Vandals smeared the monument with liquid cement about three weeks ago, and the cleaning for that incident reportedly cost $379.

Authorities were forced to reroute ambulances at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte this morning after a suspicious package was found near a parked ambulance. It was the second suspicious item found at the hospital since Friday. After the Charlotte Fire Department's Hazmat team cleared the item, police said they were treating the incident as a vehicle break-in. The suspicious item from Friday's incident was found to be an epinephrine autoinjector.

NFL star and University of South Carolina alum Jadeveon Clowney's father was arrested and charged with attempted murder after firing shots outside of a Rock Hill, South Carolina strip club on Tuesday morning. David Morgan, nicknamed “Chilli Bean,” spent several years in prison while Clowney was a teen football star in Rock Hill. Police say he fired multiple shots at a Crazy Horse employee after being kicked out for sitting on the stage. The employee reportedly fired back and hit Morgan, who was found by police in a local hospital. He has been denied bail. 

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