Local News Roundup: Budget Spat Between CMS, County Resolved; Hannah-Jones Turns Down UNC, Delta Variant Becomes Dominant

On the Local News Roundup: the budget impasse between Mecklenburg County and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools has been resolved. CMS will get the $56 million in retained funds — and more.

Journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones rejects UNC Chapel Hill’s delayed offer of tenure after a weekslong debate. The Chapel Hill alum opts to teach at Howard University, instead.

Just when we start reopening from the COVID-19 pandemic, the highly contagious delta variant emerges as the dominant strain in the nation. Meanwhile, COVID-related hospitalization in Mecklenburg County are at all-time lows.

And Mecklenburg County health director Gibbie Harris announces she’s retiring at the end of the year.

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

Guests

Claire Donnelly, WFAE health reporter

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

Mary C. Curtis, columnist for CQ Roll Call and host of its podcast “Equal Time with Mary C. Curtis,” and a senior leader with The OpEd Project.

Hunter Saenz, WCNC reporter

Local News Roundup: Gas Shortages In Charlotte; 2040 Plan Splits City Council; Fireworks Over County Budget

Charlotte drivers are feeling the effects of the gas shortage due to a cyberattack on the pipeline that delivers gas to our region, even after the pipeline resumes operation. North Carolina was one of the hardest-hit states in the shortage.

A long City Council meeting showed members lacked consensus over how to move forward on the proposed Charlotte Future 2040 Plan. We’ll hear what council members and the mayor had to say.

It’s budget time. The city and county budgets are in process. We’ll talk about arts funding and hikes in your water and solid waste bills outlined in the city budget. We’ll also talk about fireworks at the County Commission meeting as Commissioner Susan Rodriguez- McDowell clashed with County Manager Dena Diorio over a proposal to withhold money from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools over long-standing achievement gaps. We’ll go over what happened.

Plus, we’ll have an update on COVID-19 vaccines for kids 12 and up in North Carolina.

Guests:

Mary C. Curtis, columnist for Rollcall.com, host of the Rollcall podcast “Equal Time” and contributor at WCCB-TV

Joe BrunoWSOC-TV reporter

Ann Doss HelmsWFAE education reporter

Hunter SaenzWCNC reporter

Local News Roundup: Pat McCrory Runs For Senate; Barringer Gets A New Name; Update On COVID-19 Vaccinations

On the next Charlotte Talks Local News Roundup:

The list of candidates for Richard Burr’s U.S. Senate seat is growing, now including former mayor and local radio talk show host Pat McCrory. We’ll talk about the field of candidates that has assembled.

This week, City Council provided details about how it plans to fund the arts in Charlotte after it announced earlier this year that it would no longer send money to the Arts & Science Council.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is spending nearly $900,0000 on air quality improvements for several schools in the district. That news came in the same week that it was announced that commencement ceremonies would be in person this year. Also, a new name for Barringer Academic Center, and no more taking temperatures upon entry at CMS schools.

And we’ll have an update on COVID-19 vaccinations in Mecklenburg County.

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

Guests:

Mary C. Curtis, columnist for RollCall.com, host of the RollCall podcast “Equal Time” and contributor at WCCB-TV

Jonathan Lowe, anchor/ reporter for Spectrum News

Steve Harrison, WFAE’s political reporter

Joe Bruno, WSOC-TV reporter

Local News Roundup: Vaccine Eligibility Increases But Finding Appointments A Challenge; Atlanta Killings Reaction; Arrests In Capitol Riot

This week, more people are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, and more appointments are being made available throughout the county to help people get their first dose of the vaccine. We’ll talk about who is eligible.

Once you’re eligible for the vaccine, some finesse and persistence may still be required to find a place to get vaccinated. We’ll talk about some mass vaccination events and where to look for appointments.

This week’s killing of six Asian American women in Atlanta brings the rise in violence against Asian Americans to the forefront in the Southeast. We’ll hear local reaction.

GOP lawmakers in the North Carolina General Assembly are working to put a limit on the governor’s emergency power during long-term emergency events. We’ll talk about what they’re trying to do and how that will affect Gov. Roy Cooper’s ability to manage the pandemic in the state.

And two York County, South Carolina, men are arrested for their alleged role in the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol. We discuss how they were identified and their role in the violence.

Mike Collins and our roundtable of reporters delve into 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” and contributor at WCCB-TV

Katie Peralta Soloff, reporter for Axios Charlotte

David Boraks, reporter for WFAE

A Conversation on Race, Reconciliation and “The Other Side of the Coin”

In this conversation, moderator Mary C. Curtis, an award-winning journalist, talks to Charlotte filmmaker Frederick Murphy and other panelists from his film “The Other Side of the Coin” about the history of race in this country and how their experiences provide lessons and hope for how our country can move toward a better future.

Panelists: Frederick Murphy, documentarian of “The Other Side of the Coin” and founder of “History Before Us”

Todd “Speech” Thomas, two-time Grammy Award-winning artist, known for his group Arrested Development

Alvin C. Jacobs, Jr., photographer and image activist

Susan Y. Marshall, picketer at Women’s College in Greensboro, NC, in 1963

Rev. Ray McKinnon, pastor and activist

Bill Sizemore, author and journalist

See the full film at https://bit.ly/cltfilm.

Local News Roundup: CMS Prepares For In-Person Class; Transit Plan Gets Movement; New Names For Charlotte Streets

City Council okays a recommendation to rename Charlotte streets with white supremacist ties, but what those new names might be is up in the air. We’ll talk about the council discussion.

Charlotte’s transit plan will need some tweaks if City Council wants to get the regional support it’s hoping for. We’ll update you about what’s being said in council and in northern Mecklenburg County.

This week, Gov. Roy Cooper signed a COVID-19 relief bill — the first of 2021. The bill is designed to help schools reopen, extend a deadline for parents coping with remote learning and fund vaccine distribution. We’ll discuss.

And Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools students return to the classroom. The youngest students begin in-person learning on Monday, keeping the plan that was approved in February. We’ll talk about what this will mean for each age group as well as continued concerns for risk to teachers and students.

Mike Collins and our roundtable of reporters delve into 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, host of the Rollcall podcast “Equal Time” and contributor at WCCB-TV

Claire Donnelly, WFAE health reporter

Hunter Saenz, reporter for WCNC

Local News Roundup: NC Delegation Reacts To Biden Inauguration; Trump Pardons Hayes; Search For Council Member Mitchell Replacement

Friday, Jan. 22, 2021

On the next Charlotte Talks Local News Roundup …

Former President Donald Trump issued dozens of pardons on his last full day in office Tuesday. North Carolinians were included in that number, like Robin Hayes, the former chair of North Carolina’s Republican Party and former congressman from North Carolina’s 8th District, who pleaded guilty last year to lying to the FBI. Trump also pardoned Waxhaw’s Carl Andrews Boggs and Charlotte’s Patrick Lee Swisher. We’ll discuss.

Last week, we talked about the resignation of longtime City Councilman James “Smuggie” Mitchell, who left his post on council because of a conflict with his new job as a part owner of a Charlotte construction company. This week, City Council began accepting applications to replace the at-large council member. The process is scheduled to be completed Feb. 1 with the announcement of Mitchell’s replacement.

The months-long look into North Carolina Sen. Richard Burr’s insider trading allegations has been dropped by the Department of Justice. Burr has consistently denied the allegations. We’ll catch you up on what’s happened.

As the U.S. surpasses 400,000 deaths to the coronavirus, vaccines in North Carolina are ramping up. Dr. Mandy Cohen, the NC DHHS Secretary, said this week that 450,000 people have been vaccinated in North Carolina so far. What’s ahead on vaccinations in North Carolina and in Mecklenburg County (where this week we had our first pediatric death at the hands of the virus)? We’ll have an update.

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

Guests:
Steve Harrison, WFAE’s political reporter
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” and contributor at WCCB-TV
Claire Donnelly, WFAE health reporter

Inauguration Day And The Days Ahead For Biden, Trump And America

The American tradition of a peaceful transfer of power from president to another will take place after undergoing a violent test of its strength.

The nation’s capital is a fortress after the deadly events of two weeks ago by a crowd that was whipped up by the outgoing President Trump, who – true to form – is breaking with norms and snubbing the incoming President Biden.

Awaiting Biden in the Oval Office are some of the heaviest challenges to face a new president: a pandemic that has killed hundreds of thousands of Americans, economic headwinds and balancing unity with the reckoning Trump is bound to face as an ex-president.

GUESTS

Mary C. Curtis, Roll Call columnist and host of the “Equal Time” podcast (@mcurtisnc3)

Michael Kruse, POLITICO, senior staff writer (@michaelkruse)

Local News Roundup: Insurrection At Capitol, The Coronavirus Surges As Vaccine Rolls Out, Transit Proposal Moves Along

On the Local News Roundup, protesters angered by what they perceive to be a “stolen election,” engage in an act of insurrection, storming the Capitol in Washington. Four people die. The president continues to spread the lies that led to that event and some Republicans begin to distance themselves while others persist in cynical opportunism.

The rate of the coronavirus infection continues to rise to alarming levels. As a result, Gov. Roy Cooper extends Stage 3 restrictions in North Carolina.

And Charlotte City Council takes up the one-cent sales tax for transit.

Our roundtable of reporters fills us in.

Guests

David Boraks, reporter for WFAE (@davidboraks)

Claire Donnelly, health reporter for WFAE (@donnellyclairee)

Joe Bruno, reporter for WSOC-TV (@JoeBrunoWSOC9)

Nick Ochsner, executive producer for investigations & chief investigative reporter for WBTV (@NickOchsnerWBTV)

Mary C. Curtis, columnist for Rollcall.com, host of the Rollcall podcast “Equal Time” and contributor at WCCB-TV (@mcurtisnc3)

Chaos At The Capitol: What’s Next For Democracy?

On Wednesday, the U.S. Capitol was breached by pro-Trump supporters while Congress was in session. The business at hand was to count the votes of the Electoral College. The mission of the protesters was to stop the count in efforts to overturn an election they believe – incorrectly – was illegitimate.

It was set to be a history-making day because a group of Republican lawmakers was planning on objecting to the electoral votes of certain states. It turned out to be history-making for a different reason: an insurrection.

Understanding what happened Wednesday and what must happen now is paramount — we take a first crack at that as we sit down with analysts and experts and get your reaction.