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

Local News Roundup: Census Data; City Council Approves NDO; CMS Discusses Title IX; Mask Mandates In Charlotte-Mecklenburg?

Title IX training and discussions of how students should report sexual assaults and harassment at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools were part of a latenight board meeting for the district this week. And as the new school year begins later this month, school leaders are hoping to meet the academic and health challenges caused by the pandemic.

Charlotte City Council approved a new nondiscrimination ordinance that leaders call “historic” and “the right thing to do.”

Mayor Vi Lyles made waves this week during her weekly press conference about mask mandates and who has the power to make them.

We provide an update on COVID-19, as numbers of cases and hospitalizations in our region return to high levels, and as some schools who are already in session reverse masking policies after having outbreaks of the illness. We’ll also discuss how Gov. Roy Cooper’s $100 incentive to get the vaccine has sparked a new surge of vaccinations.

Guest host Erik Spanberg from the Charlotte Business Journal and our roundtable of reporters delve into those stories and all 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

Katie Peralta Soloff, reporter for Axios Charlotte

Claire DonnellyWFAE health reporter

Joe BrunoWSOC-TV reporter

Local News Roundup: School Districts Buck CDC Mask Guidance; Charlotte Unveils Nondiscrimination Ordinance

It was only a few weeks ago that North Carolina’s rate for positive COVID-19 tests was below 2%. But the spread of the delta variant sent the positivity rate above 10% this week — the first time since February it crossed that threshold.

Gov. Roy Cooper and others said the worsening metrics were the result of COVID-19 spreading among those who have not been vaccinated.

“This virus is now much more contagious and spreading fast, and it’ll find you if you’re unvaccinated,” Cooper said Thursday.

Join our roundtable of reporters for more on those and other stories from the week’s news.

GUESTS

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

Claire Donnelly, WFAE health care reporter (@donnellyclairee)

Hunter Saenz, WCNC local government reporter (@Hunt_Saenz)

Erik Spanberg, Charlotte Business Journal managing editor (@CBJspanberg)

‘The flag would still be flying today’

Six years ago, Malcolm Graham lost his big sister, Cynthia Graham Hurd, in the Charleston shooting that took nine Black churchgoers’ lives. Now a city councilman in Charlotte, N.C., Graham reflects on the work he did to remove the Confederate flag from its prominent place on the South Carolina statehouse grounds, the future of racial matters in our country and his sister’s legacy.

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