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Reward offered for arson information

READ MORE: Reward offered for arson information
The Columbus County fire marshal is offering a reward of up to a thousand dollars for information leading to an arrest in the arson case surrounding Senator Soles and Allen Strickland. If you have any information, you're asked to call the fire marshal or the SBI branch located in the Columbus County Sheriff's Office. The house that burned belonged to a 17-year-old named Allen Strickland, who claims that house was paid for by Senator R.C. Soles. The story has raised a lot of questions about the nature of their relationship. It's also raised some legal questions, like is a 17-year-old allowed to live by himself? Seventeen-year-old Allen Strickland holds the deed to the house in Tabor City which is part of an arson investigation. Strickland's father passed away years ago, and his mother lives in another part of the state. Strickland doesn't have a job, and tells us that his attorney, Senator Soles, paid for, among other things, his house, his corvette, and his generous allowance. "R.C. said ‘I'll make you a deal… if you go to school, I’ll put a roof over your head, and put food in the refrigerator’ and I said that sounds like a deal to me,” Strickland said. Strickland moved into the house a few months ago, and tells us that Senator Soles has been paying for him to have his own apartment since he was 15. While it's not illegal for a minor to own property in North Carolina, Department of Social Services officials tell us it is illegal for a minor to live alone. "There are all sorts of issues that come up for juveniles, and that's why there's a specific age limit, not that 18 is the magic age by which they become adults and know everything, but by law, a parent or caretaker is responsible for a juvenile until they are 18,” said Wanda Marino of the Department of Social Services. You might be wondering who Strickland's legal guardian is. So are we. Strickland tells us he was raised by his aunt, and he lives across the street from his grandmother, but we're told neither one of them is his legal guardian. We've received reports that a woman in South Carolina is legally responsible for Strickland, but we're still trying to get that confirmed. If it's true, is hard to imagine that she could be keeping a very close eye on him from so many miles away. "It's important for a juvenile to receive supervision because they are still learning, and developing into an adult, and there are many things that a juvenile can encounter, such as, when you are becoming an adult, you are learning what is proper and what is not, and that's why we have caretakers to give us that direction and that guidance in making decisions,” Marino said. Allen Strickland said he actually did have a parental figure living with him in his house until recently. Vicky Jordan helped raise Strickland, but the teen says Senator Soles told Allen she had to leave. "She stayed with me about five weeks, and I talked to Mr. Soles on a Sunday, and he told me if I didn't have her out on Sunday night, on Monday, he wasn't going to give me no money before he went to Raleigh,” Strickland said. Vicky Jordan said about the situation, "My concern is why would a senator want a 17-year-old kid living by himself and not having a mother figure in the house with him?" We've been trying to reach the Columbus County Department of Social Services to find out if they've received reports about Strickland’s living situation, and to see if they're investigating. So far, our calls haven't been returned. We've also been trying to reach Senator Soles for weeks. He's failed to return about a dozen phone calls, and yesterday, when we paid a visit to his office in Tabor City, we were asked to leave the property.

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isnt that strange? maybe

isnt that strange? maybe the senator should be a foster parent siince he likes helping those youths who are not fortunate. it must be nice to be 17 and be able to be grown before his time........and look at this... he likes to help young boys and it is funny that when the newscaster tried to interview him his phone went dead.........what he should be doing is giving that boy some hush hush money because he is going to tell it for DSS investigating this, it wont happen because the senator has too much pull in that county and DSS is not going to get involved...............i should know,,,i am a resident..........

It seems

there are 2 seperate issues here. This piece should have remained focused on the arson issue and the decision by the Fire Marshal to offer a reward. What prompted that decision? What have the SBI and the arson investigators as well as the insurance claims adjuster determined so far? Is the claim being paid? The issues of Senator Soles and his relationship with young Strickland, Strickland's living arrangements; the lady who said she helped raise Strickland; and all those other tawdry issues should remain the focus of a seperate agenda. Of course, if WWAY wants to really do this right, start at the beginning. Look at the details of the death of Mr Strickland's older brother. Why was he in Raleigh? What prompted him to apparently jump to his death? Why, at that point, did Senator Soles step forward and begin to financially provide for the younger Strickland at apparently the age of 14. Who was Strickland's gaurdian at that point? Why did the gaurdian or Strickland's mother not step in and take charge of him? Guess that's issue 3. In the meantime, Republican Party, step up to the plate and get a credible candidate to run against Senator Soles. Now is the time to begin promoting an alternative candidate. Guess that's the fourth issue, vote Senator Soles out of office.


and...where is Frog in school. Evidently, he has been doing a bang up job of keeping his end of the bargain.

Reward for Arson

After reading this article, I want to know why if Senator Soles is so concerned about Allen Strickland why he hasn't been appointed his legal guardian? If Senator Soles is in the sense raising Strickland why wouldn't he be appointed his legal guardian? I want to know why Senator Soles didn't want the lady named Vicky living with Allen Strickland. There seems to be more to this story than is being told. Why won't Senator Soles answer your phone calls?