Archives for August 2023

Local News Roundup: CMS complies with NC Parents’ Bill of Rights; Fentanyl overdoses are up; Mark Robinson speaks in Charlotte; Panthers prepare to host Detroit

This week, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools became one of the first North Carolina school systems to comply with the new North Carolina Parents’ Bill of Rights. We’ll hear parent reactions and get an update on “back to school” since CMS starts classes on Monday.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department says overdose deaths in Mecklenburg County have gone up 20% so far this year, and the fentanyl crisis continues to grow.

North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, a Republican candidate for governor, visited Charlotte this week to speak to the Charlotte Rotary.

Might Charlotte finally be home to a social district? Smaller cities around the area have already made the move to social districts, but none have happened yet in Charlotte — but that soon could change. We’ll discuss Plaza Midwood’s efforts to form a social district and when the city might decide on approval.

Amid the vetoes, overrides, the lack of an approved budget and other issues, North Carolina Republicans are currently divided as lawmakers consider allowing casinos in the state.

The Carolina Panthers play the Detroit Lions in the preseason finale at Bank of America Stadium on Friday. Will we see a different outcome?

Mike Collins and our roundtable of reporters delve into those stories and more.


Mary C. Curtis, columnist for, host of the Rollcall podcast “Equal Time”

Erik Spanberg, managing editor for the Charlotte Business Journal

Ann Doss Helms, WFAE education reporter

Ely Portillo, WFAE senior editor

WFAE All Things Considered NEXT UP: 6:30 PM Marketplace All Things Considered WFAE All Streams Charlotte Talks Charlotte Talks With Mike Collins Local News Roundup: Mark Meadows indicted; No Labels recognized in NC; Legislature overrides Gov. Cooper vetoes; Lyles endorses council candidate

Mark Meadows, former North Carolina representative and White House chief of staff, is one of 19 people indicted by a grand jury in Georgia for allegedly attempting to overturn the results of the 2020 election. Meadows is facing charges of racketeering and solicitation of violation of oath of a public officer. Others facing charges include former President Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani and North Carolina native and Trump lawyer Sidney Powell.

Elsewhere in politics, a group that may offer an alternative candidate in next year’s presidential election is officially on the ballot in North Carolina. No Labels is cochaired by former Charlotte mayor and North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory and may put forth a candidate of their own if Joe Biden and Donald Trump each win their party’s nomination. Critics worry this will help Trump win another term.

The North Carolina legislature has overridden several key gubernatorial vetoes.

A hot summer got even hotter this week with temperatures in the mid-90s and a heat index that topped 100 at times. Officials around Charlotte took steps to limit heat-related issues, including setting up cooling stations and assisting the unhoused.

UNC Charlotte football will be the subject of a documentary this fall on ESPN+. The 12-episode series will follow the team throughout the season. This is the first year the 49ers are playing in the American Athletic Conference.

And in a rare move, Mayor Vi Lyles endorses a candidate for city council.

Mike Collins and our roundtable of reporters dive into those stories and more on the next Charlotte Talks local news roundup.


David Boraks, climate reporter at WFAE
Joe Bruno, reporter at WSOC-TV
Mary C. Curtis, columnist for, host of the Rollcall podcast “Equal Time”
Nick Ochsner, WBTV’s executive producer for investigations & chief investigative reporter

Fani Willis Takes on Trump: How bluster became a criminal conspiracy to disenfranchise Black voters

The fourth shoe dropped this week, when Fulton County DA Fani Willis announced Donald Trump’s latest indictment, charging the former president, along with 18 others, for engaging in a sprawling criminal conspiracy to disenfranchise Georgia voters. Trump has been responding by lashing out against Willis and voters in Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Milwaukee.

Guest: Rick Hasan, professor of law at UCLA and director of the Safeguarding Democracy Project.

Local News Roundup: COVID-19 numbers rise; City Council recommends esports venue for Eastland Yards; CATS Gold Line changes; Beyoncé in Charlotte

COVID-19 numbers are on the rise in the area as cases and hospitalization numbers in the county are on a slight uptick.

Charlotte City Council’s Economic Development Committee votes to back a proposal for a new proposal at the Eastland Mall site that would bring esports, a concert venue and soccer fields.

We’ll bring you a Charlotte Area Transit System update as the city will soon have a new management system to run the bus system (currently the city contracts with RATP Dev.). CATS is also cutting back on its Gold Line service as the agency struggles to fill vacancies on its staff.

A 900-pound longhorn bull captivated our attention this week by evading authorities in West Charlotte. Will it be caught by show time?

Aaron Rodgers and the Jets are in town this week, first for joint practices with the Panthers, and this weekend, for a pre-season game. How do we look?

And Beyoncé, otherwise known as “Queen Bey,” takes on the Queen City. We’ll give highlights of her Wednesday night concert.

Mike Collins and our roundtable of reporters delve into those stories and more, on the Charlotte Talks local news roundup.


Mary C. Curtis, columnist for, host of the Rollcall podcast “Equal Time”
Steve Harrison, WFAE’s political reporter
Shamarria Morrison, WCNC reporter
David Boraks, WFAE’s climate reporter

Florida Public Schools’ New Anti-Woke Partner

In July, Florida approved the use of Prager U materials in its classrooms. The organization claims its videos offer an alternative to the prevailing left-wing ideology in the classroom. Its founder told a sympathetic audience that what they offer is indoctrination. What impact could these videos have in public schools? And where could they be heading next?

Guest: John Knefel, senior writer for Media Matters for America.

It’s Hot as Hell. Why Are Pools Closed?

The temperature is going up, but the number of open, public pools isn’t. It’s not just a summer bummer; it’s turning into a public health crisis.

Guest: Mara Gay, member of the New York Times editorial board, focused on New York State and local affairs.

U.S. vs Trump

We’re eight months into the year—and former president Donald Trump has now been indicted three times. On Tuesday, a federal grand jury charged Trump with three counts of conspiracy and one count of obstruction. But what exactly does that mean? And can someone really run for president…while juggling three different trials?

Guest: David Graham, staff writer for “The Atlantic”