Local News Roundup: Charlotte weighs housing initiatives; COVID cases could rise again

A local expert says that cases of COVID-19 in North Carolina will increase in the next few weeks. We talk about the prediction and what doctors are saying.

The Charlotte City Council is working on plans to provide more affordable housing in the city. We take a look at several projects on the table, and what kind of dent they’d make in Charlotte’s affordable housing deficit.

The stalled construction of the Rock Hill, South Carolina, headquarters for the Carolina Panthers drew heated criticism from South Carolina state Sen. Wes Climer this week. We discuss what was said and have an update on the plans in Rock Hill.

And the Hornets’ positioning for the NBA playoffs has been on a rollercoaster the last couple of weeks. We look at how the next couple of games could define their season.

Mike Collins and our roundtable of reporters delve into those stories and all the week’s top local and regional news on the Charlotte Talks local news roundup.

GUESTS:

Erik Spanberg, managing editor for the Charlotte Business Journal

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

Claire Donnelly, WFAE health reporter

Joe Bruno, WSOC-TV reporter

EQUALibrium: A public conversation on race and equity in Charlotte

Eight years ago in 2014, Charlotte ranked 50 out of 50 of the nation’s largest metro areas in an upward mobility study from Harvard and the University of California-Berkeley.
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The “Land of Opportunity” study painted a bleak outlook for Charlotte’s poorest residents, but served as a wake up call for city officials and community members.

Leaders took action to address and correct the trends in mobility. Money was raised, programs were launched and attention was paid to areas like pre-K education, affordable housing and transportation.

So, where is Charlotte now?

In this special conversation, host Mary C. Curtis is joined by local leaders and experts at Project 658 in Charlotte to look at how far the city has come, and what still needs to happen to improve upward mobility in Charlotte.

GUESTS

  • Ely Portillo, assistant director of outreach & strategic partnerships at UNC Charlotte’s Urban Institute
  • Sherri Chisholm, executive director of Leading on Opportunity
  • Vi Lyles, mayor of Charlotte
  • Charis Blackmon, executive director of West Side Community Land Trust
  • Daniel Valdez, senior director of external affairs at Welcoming America

Local News Roundup: New voter maps; CMS to drop mask mandate; CATS bus shooting brings to light fear among drivers

On the next Charlotte Talks Local News Roundup:

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg School Board voted this week to end its indoor mask mandate effective March 7We’ll talk about what school board members and superintendent Earnest Winston had to say.

Redistricting is once again in the news as a three-judge panel decided the fate of the newly proposed political maps this week. We’ll discuss what the changes will mean for Charlotte and beyond.

Charlotte City council okays a pair of rezoning petitions that were the subject of debate earlier in the year.

Authorities have identified a suspect in the shooting death of Charlotte Area Transit System bus driver Ethan Rivera on Feb. 11. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police said the incident involved road rage and has sparked conversation about safety for bus drivers. We’ll give an update.

And three Charlotte area-athletes make a splash at the NBA All-Star Game and in the Daytona 500.

Mike Collins and our roundtable of reporters delve into those stories and all the week’s top local and regional news on the Charlotte Talks local news roundup.

Guests:

  • Ann Doss Helms, WFAE Education Reporter
  • Erik Spanberg, managing editor for the Charlotte Business Journal
  • Nick Ochsner, WBTV’s Executive Producer for Investigations & Chief Investigative Reporter
  • Mary C. Curtis, columnist for Rollcall.com, host of the Rollcall podcast “Equal Time”

Local news Roundup: Controversy over Mayor’s Racial Equity Initiative hire; Scarborough medical leave; mask rule changes possible; CMPD plans to reduce crime

A controversy continues this week in the hire of the new Racial Equity Initiative Executive Director. The person chosen to take the role is the target of a fraud investigation in her previous organization. There’s plenty of finger pointing about who is responsible for making the decision — we’ll discuss that and comments the mayor made about whether or not public funding is involved in the initiative.

Mecklenburg County cCommissioners voted to place Commissioner Ella Scarborough, who has been absent from commission meetings for several months, on medical leave. She’ll continue to receive pay, and someone will be named to take her place. We’ll talk about what led to the action by the commission.

Mask rules are beginning to change around the country, and those changes may be coming soon to Mecklenburg County. Our mask mandate could end as soon as next week. We’ll discuss what might be on the way for the lifting of restrictions.

Charlotte Mecklenburg Police laid out its plan to reduce crime in 2022 this week. We’ll talk about its priorities.

And, LaMelo Ball is an All Star. We congratulate the 20 year old Hornet player on being the fourth youngest ever to be selected for the NBA All-Star Game.

Mike Collins and our roundtable of reporters delve into those stories and all the week’s top local and regional news on the Charlotte Talks local news roundup.

Guests:

Hunter Saenz, WCNC Reporter
Mary C. Curtis, columnist for Rollcall.com, host of the Rollcall podcast “Equal Time”
Katie Peralta Soloff, reporter for Axios Charlotte
Steve Harrison, WFAE’s Political Reporte

Local News Roundup: 2022 primary delayed, CMS and county meet, pedestrian bridge planned

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board called an emergency meeting to discuss retention bonuses for employees this week in the hopes that it will help in the effort to keep area schools staffed. The bonuses could be up to $2,500 for full-time staff and up to $1,250 for part-time staff.

CMS board members had a joint meeting with the Mecklenburg County Commission this week, where some members on each side showed a willingness to work together better after contentious relations in the past. And some were not so willing. We’ll about what happened at the meeting.

North Carolina’s top court delayed the March 2022 primary due to remapping lawsuits.

Mecklenburg County has approved $38.5 million in incentives for Atrium Health’s planned “innovation district” in Dilworth. That’s after Charlotte City Council approved $36 million in incentives for that project in November. We’ll talk about the 6-2 vote and the discussion about the importance of the project.

And a new connection between uptown Charlotte and South End that will help make the city more walkable is in the works. A pedestrian bridge over Interstate 277 will solve a major connectivity problem in the city, but the project will take much longer than previously thought.

Guests:

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

Katie Peralta Soloff, reporter for Axios Charlotte

Joe Bruno, WSOC-TV reporter

Ann Doss Helms, WFAE education reporter

Local News Roundup: Election recap; mask mandate update; children’s vaccines; guns found at Hopewell High

On the next Charlotte Talks Local News Roundup:

Election Day was Tuesday with many local offices on the ballot around Mecklenburg County. We’ll go over some of the key wins in the region and the impact those wins may have.

Guns found at Huntersville’s Hopewell High School prompt conversations about safety at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.

Mecklenburg County Commissioners discuss the future of the county’s mask mandate, as questions are raised about the metrics being used to calculate COVID-19 positivity rates in the county.

Vaccines have been approved for children ages 5-11 and are already available in the Charlotte region.

CMS is weathering news of another sexual assault allegation — this time, one that resulted in a suspension for the student reporting the assault.

And the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality filed a lawsuit against Colonial Pipeline for the largest gasoline spill in state history, which happened in Huntersville last year.

Mike Collins and our roundtable of reporters delve into those stories and all the week’s top news on the Charlotte Talks Local News Roundup.

Guests:

  • Nick OchsnerWBTV’s executive producer for investigations & chief investigative reporter
  • Mary C. Curtis, columnist for Rollcall.com, host of the Rollcall podcast “Equal Time”
  • Claire DonnellyWFAE health reporter
  • Joe BrunoWSOC-TV reporter

Local News Roundup: ‘Historic’ water main break, COVID-19 vaccines for kids on the way, redistricting work continues

On the Local News Roundup: a water main break disrupts service to much of Charlotte, creating a geyser taller than the trees. We were told to boil water before drinking, but that order has now been rescinded.

Voting districts are being redrawn at all levels and, this week, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board got to work drawing its new districts.

COVID-19 vaccines for children 5 to 11 are just over the horizon, perhaps just weeks away. We look at what that rollout may be like.

And CMS continues to experience staffing woes with teachers quitting and subs in short supply because of the pandemic.

Our roundtable of reporters fills us in on those stories and more.

Guests

Ann Doss Helms, education reporter for WFAE

Katie Peralta Soloff, reporter for Axios Charlotte

Mary C. Curtis, columnist for Rollcall.com and host of their “Equal Time” podcast

Joe Bruno, reporter for WSOC-TV

Local News Roundup: redistricting continues, another high school lockdown, new nondiscrimination ordinance for Mecklenburg

On the Local News Roundup, the redistricting process continues for state and local elections. Legislators get into the nitty-gritty of drawing state Senate and House districts while Mecklenburg County Commission reviews three possible maps for local districts.

A local Charlotte high school goes on lockdown after a gun is found on campus. One student is arrested and charged following a shooting near the school.

Volleyball players at Olympic High are benched for participating in a protest over sexual assault.

And, Mecklenburg County passes its own LGBTQ nondiscrimination ordinance.

Our roundtable of reporters fills us in on those stories and more.

Guests

Steve Harrison, WFAE’s political reporter

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

Joe Bruno, WSOC-TV reporter

Nick Ochsner, WBTV’s executive producer for investigations & chief investigative reporter

Local News Roundup: Charlotte’s Redistricting Maps Unveiled; COVID-19 Update; Streetcar’s Low Ridership

Charlotte’s redistricting process progresses this week as City Council’s committee on redistricting releases three possible maps for public review. We’ll talk about what the maps look like and what council members said.

North Carolina, as a state, is also preparing for redistricting. We’ll hear what people had to say at a recent public meeting on the topic.

After Latta Plantation closed earlier this year following concerns about an event planned around the Juneteenth holiday, the county is discussing the future of the historic site. We’ll talk about the group that has been assembled to figure it out.

This week, 375 employees from Novant Health were suspended for not following the company’s COVID-19 vaccine policy. We’ll talk about what will happen to those workers and give an overall update on the virus, the vaccine and compliance in our region.

Charlotte’s new, free streetcar’s ridership is low, so will they start charging people to ride? The city holds a public hearing to get consensus.

Mike Collins and our roundtable of reporters delve into those stories and all the week’s top news on the Charlotte Talks Local News Roundup.

GUESTS:

Erik Spanberg, managing editor for the Charlotte Business Journal

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

Steve Harrison, WFAE’s political reporter

Joe Bruno, WSOC-TV reporter

Local News Roundup: COVID-19 Cases Rise In Schools, 3-Year-Old Killed By Gun Violence, Redistricting Begins In Charlotte

On the Local News Roundup: COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the community and area schools. Where this is happening and what are officials doing about it?

In Union County, not much. Their school board votes to keep mask-wearing optional for students and teachers — one of only three systems in the state to reach that decision.

Mecklenburg County releases data on its employees’ vaccination rates as organizations representing police and fire prepare to push back on possible vaccine mandates.

And a Charlotte City Council committee starts drawing new election maps based on 2020 U.S. Census Bureau data.

Our roundtable of reporters fills us in on those stories and more.

Guests

Ann Doss Helms, WFAE Education Reporter

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

Hunter Saenz, WCNC Reporter

Nick Ochsner, WBTV’s Executive Producer for Investigations & Chief Investigative Reporter