VACANT APARTMENT INTENTIONALLY SET ON FIRE, AUTHORITIES SAY

HIGH POINT- A vacant apartment unit in the Clara Cox public housing facility was intentionally set on fire Wednesday night, according to fire officials.The fire was started in the apartment's kitchen, causing about $2,500 in damage, said Denita Lynch, spokeswoman for the High Point Fire Department.

Firefighters responded to a call at 623 E. Russell Ave. at about 7:30 p.m. Wednesday and quickly extinguished the fire.

The High Point Housing Authority is planning to demolish the 140 apartments at Clara Cox, which have deteriorated with crumbling concrete walls, wobbly stairwell rails and outdated heating and air conditioning systems.

\ MAN CHARGED AFTER DRUG EVIDENCE FOUND AT HOME

DAVIDSON COUNTY- Brian Keith Chambers of 776 Lands End Road was charged Wednesday with maintaining a dwelling for distributing drugs after deputies discovered evidence that the 44-year-old was manufacturing methamphetamines out of his home, the Davidson County Sheriff's Office reported.

Deputies discovered the evidence while attempting to serve a probation violation warrant on Chambers, who also was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, resisting arrest and possessing precursor chemicals.

Chambers is being held on $505,000 secured bond.

\ CITIZENS' POLICE ACADEMY CLASSES BEGIN IN JANUARY

HIGH POINT- The High Point Police Department Citizens' Academy will run Jan. 25 through April 26.

The 15-week program will give citizens and the officers an opportunity to interact and learn something from each other.

Classes will meet every Tuesday from 7-10 p.m. The program includes a blend of classroom time and hands-on exercises

Participants must be at least 21 years old and must not have been convicted of a felony or Class B misdemeanor. The deadline for submission of applications is Jan. 15. For more information, call Capt. Roger Thompson at 887-7936.

\ WHOOPING CRANES MAKE WAY HOME FROM MICHIGAN

DETROIT - Four rare whooping cranes who accidentally ended up in Michigan last summer have left the state and started their journey back to Florida.

Three of the cranes, which spent the summer in Mason County, left Michigan on Nov. 7 and have been staying in North Carolina's Jones County for at least the last week, the Detroit Free Press reported Thursday.

The fourth, which spent most of the summer and fall in Kalamazoo County, left the state on Nov. 2 and arrived in Sumter County, Fla., earlier this month.

The cranes are being monitored by Operation Migration, a group dedicated to conserving and expanding the population of whooping cranes in North America.

The four cranes were among seven who apparently lost their way during the migration from Florida to Wisconsin. Three of the birds found their way back to Wisconsin.

There's no way to tell if the birds will return to Michigan next summer, said Heather Ray of Operation Migration.

"It's up to them now," she said. "They're left to their own devices."

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