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

Voting Rights, Student Loans, and FDA Approved COVID Vax

Panelists Mary C. Curtis, Jessica Holmes, and Dawn Blagrove weigh in on the recent rule of NC judges to eliminate the waiting period and give formerly convicted individuals the right to vote, effective immediately, and the impact of Biden’s moves to reduce student debt. Dr. C. Nicole Swiner offers her take on the FDA-approved Pfizer vaccine, booster shots, and family politics of COVID.

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

Mary C. Curtis: Donald Trump Jumps Into 2022 NC Senate Race, Endorses Rep. Ted Budd

CHARLOTTE, N.C. —

Three-term Republican U.S. Senator Richard Burr’s plans to retire from the Senate has left an opening that several North Carolina Republicans hope to fill. During his weekend speech at the state GOP convention, Donald Trump made clear that he is still the party’s leader and intends to play a part in the primary process. Now that his daughter-in-law, North Carolina’s own Lara Trump has said she is not running – for now — Trump has endorsed U.S. Rep. Ted Budd.

While others running aren’t that happy, count former Gov. Pat McCrory among them, others in the GOP establishment wonder if Trump is a help or hindrance as he continues to focus not on the future but on the past. That past is the 2020 presidential contest and Trump’s continued false insistence that he won and that there was widespread fraud.

POLITICAL WRAP: Former President Trump Returns to Political Stage

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Former President Donald Trump is back on the political stage.

He was the keynote speaker at the North Carolina Republican State Convention on Saturday.

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: 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.

Mary C. Curtis: NC Gains Seat in Congress After 2020 Census

CHARLOTTE, NC — North Carolina has gained another seat in congress based on new census data.

The state will get a 14th seat in the house, which means North Carolina is also gaining an electoral vote.

WCCB Political Contributor Mary C. Curtis is breaking it all down.

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.’

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