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

Mary C. Curtis: Charlotte City Council Approves $2.7 Billion Budget

At its Monday meeting, Charlotte leaders approved next year’s $2.7 billion budget. Included are efforts to cut down on crime and funding for the arts as the city tries to come back after a year of COVID lockdown. Also, pay raises bring up salaries that had ranked low among comparable cities in the country.

WCCB Political Contributor, Mary C. Curtis is breaking down the budget for 2022 fiscal year and why you should care.

The racial history of housing in Charlotte. Has much changed?

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — In the last several months city leaders have been discussing a big policy document. It’s their 2040 comprehensive plan, which could impact housing density and what neighborhoods look like. It also talks about the racial inequities that have happened in Charlotte’s housing history.

Well-known Writer Mary Curtis hosts her own podcast. She says it looks at policy and politics through the lens of social justice. It is a topic she has covered extensively in her 30-year career. She has held jobs with the Washington Post, New York Times and others.

“In order to understand what is going on today we have to understand our history,” Curtis said.

Mary C. Curtis: School Funding Fight

CHARLOTTE, NC — It is a dispute that does not fall along party, neighborhood or racial lines.

In the latest county budget proposal, Mecklenburg County Manager Dena Diorio has proposed a recommendation that calls for putting $56 million of the money for CMS in the next fiscal year aside, intended to close those gaps and strengthen college readiness for Black and brown students.

WCCB Political Contributor Mary C. Curtis discusses the ongoing battle.

You can catch Mary C. Curtis on Sunday nights at 6:30 PM on WCCB Charlotte’s CW discussing the biggest issues in local and national politics and also giving us a look at what’s ahead for the week.

You can also check out Mary’s podcast ‘Equal Time.’

Mary C. Curtis: Relaxing the Mask Mandate

CHARLOTTE, NC — With the summer ahead, and more than a year into the COVID pandemic, many are celebrating the CDC announcement relaxing mask mandates.

People want to travel and socialize and businesses want to fully open.

But since the new rules apply to the vaccinated, there are still questions about who is and is not safe and if relying on an honor system is dependable.

WCCB Charlotte Political Contributor Mary C. Curtis is weighing in on the new rules.

You can catch Mary C. Curtis on Sunday nights at 6:30 PM on WCCB Charlotte’s CW discussing the biggest issues in local and national politics and also giving us a look at what’s ahead for the week.

POLITICAL WRAP: COVID Restrictions Scaled Back

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The CDC says vaccinated people can go out and about and leave their mask at home.

But health officials strongly recommend unvaccinated people keep wearing their masks.

Our political contributor, Mary C. Curtis, gives us her take in the video above.

Mary C. Curtis: Breaking Down Charlotte Proposed Budget

CHARLOTTE, NC — The latest budget proposal for Charlotte includes no plans for a property tax increase, a new way to fund the arts, and more money for the Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department.

WCCB Political Contributor Mary. C. Curtis is breaking down the $2.7 billion plan.

You can catch Mary C. Curtis on Sunday nights at 6:30 PM on WCCB Charlotte’s CW discussing the biggest issues in local and national politics and also giving us a look at what’s ahead for the week.

You can also check out Mary’s podcast ‘Equal Time.’

Black History Month Profile: Chatty Hattie

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — When radio ruled the airwaves “Chatty Hattie” Leeper became a prominent voice in Charlotte.

She broke ground as the first black announcer in North Carolina in the 1950s.

When Hattie Leeper was a young girl wondering, ‘How did they get inside that radio,’ as she listened to WGIV, 1600 on the dial, could she have imagined where her dreams would lead?

WCCB Charlotte contributor Mary C. Curtis shows us how Chatty Hattie is making a mark on Charlotte to this day.

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: 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)