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Pursuing justice for Malaya Heun

Laurel to the Kannapolis Police Department, which made two arrests this week in the death of 15-month-old Malaya Heun. The toddler died in January, two days after being taken to the hospital but weeks, authorities say, after she began suffering physical abuse including broken bones. Outraged family and community members called for a swift resolution the case, and many became impatient when that did not come. After arresting Alisha Nicole Carlisle and John Travis Turner — Malaya’s aunt and her boyfriend — on first-degree murder charges this week, Kannapolis Police Chief Woody Chavis said building  a criminal case is much like building a house, “you have to make sure that you have a solid foundation that will support the structure as it goes up.” If Carlisle and Turner are guilty of this heinous crime, the family and community will be glad investigators — who kept pictures of Malaya at their desks — took the time to build that solid foundation.

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Dart to the driver of a car who kept going after a motorcyclist traveling at high speeds alongside the car on N.C. 801 Thursday evening crashed and lost his life. N.C. State Highway patrol investigators are looking for a black, older model convertible Ford Mustang. Another driver said the Mustang and motorcycle passed her, but when the Mustang merged back into her lane, the motorcyclist stayed in the opposite lane, keeping pace with the car. The rider, a 31-year-old Mocksville man, lost control of his bike and crashed into grave stones in a church cemetery. He died at the scene. The Mustang driver, whether he knew the rider or not, should have stopped.

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Laurel to the agencies and businesses that partnered to provide a new home in Kannapolis’ Kellswater Bridge community for disabled veteran Sgt. Andrew Mullee and his family. Helping a Hero, a Houston nonprofit that provides specially adapted homes to severely wounded veterans and their families, joined forces on this project with Charlotte-based Patriot Charities to build a home on land donated by Mountain Real Estate Capital. Ryan Homes built the house, which came fully furnished and stocked. The accessibility features in the home are important. Mullee lost his leg two years ago in Afghanistan when an improvised explosive device went off as he was clearing a house suspected of sheltering an enemy bomb-making operation. Just as important is the fact that after two years of living in hospitals, hotel rooms and apartments, Mullee, wife Jennifer and 19-month-old son Easton finally have a place to call home.

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