Charlotte Talks Local News Roundup: Cooper’s ‘Last Call’ Rule; Has Charlotte Reached COVID Peak?G

On this week’s Charlotte Talks local news roundup …

Gov. Roy Cooper announced Tuesday that there would be a “last call” order throughout North Carolina beginning on Friday, banning alcohol sales in restaurants after 11 p.m. Charlotte has a similar order already in place, but it’s more restrictive. We’ll give details on that, as well as a general update on Coronavirus — has Charlotte reached its peak?

President Trump announced this week that he will accept the GOP nomination for president in North Carolina, leaving many wondering if he means Charlotte, or somewhere else in the state. We’ll hear reaction from Charlotte officials.

There were talks of a conflict of interest — or the appearance of one — at city council this week. We’ll talk about what transpired regarding COVID-19 Relief Funds, council member Tariq Bokhari and his company Carolina Fintech Hub.

For the first time since World War II, the North Carolina State Fair (which was scheduled for Oct. 15-25 in Raleigh) has been canceled.

We’ll have those stories and much more with our roundtable of local reporters on the local news roundup.

Guests:

Erik Spanberg, managing editor for the Charlotte Business Journal

Mary C. Curtis, columnist for Rollcall.com and WCCB 

David Boraks, reporter for WFAE

Joe BrunoWSOC-TV Reporter

Charlotte Talks Local News Roundup: Schools Draw Up COVID Plans; Business Reopenings Delayed Again

Parents, students and teachers got the word they had been waiting on for weeks: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools will begin the upcoming school year in the classroom then switch to all-remote learning.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper said the state’s public school systems can reopen with a hybrid of in-person and remote teaching, while South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster and the state’s public school teachers are at odds over McMaster’s reopening plan for schools.

The reopening of North Carolina’s economy will stay in Phase 2 for the time being as coronavirus hospitalizations continue to set records. The head of the CDC, Robert Redfield, came to Charlotte to make the case for mask-wearing, saying that masks could “drive this epidemic to the ground” within two months.

For the first time since the financial crisis, Wells Fargo ended a quarter in the red, and said deep cuts – including layoffs – were on the table as a result.

The Local News Roundup has more on those and other stories.

GUEST HOST

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

GUESTS

David Boraks, WFAE reporter (@davidboraks)

Mary C. Curtis, Roll Call columnist, WCCB News analyst (@mcurtisnc3)

Jonathan Lowe, Spectrum News 1 anchor and reporter (@JonathanUpdates)

Annie Ma, Charlotte Observer education reporter (@anniema15)

Special Program – Black Charlotteans: A Candid Conversation On Race

The death of George Floyd and the unrest that exploded across the country has forced a conversation on the table. It’s a wake-up call for America to examine the impact of racism and reckon with injustices people of color face daily. Every Black American has a story to tell. Is the country ready to listen? Award-winning columnist Mary C. Curtis sits down with fellow Charlotteans of color to share some of those stories and reflect on this moment.

Host:

Mary C. Curtis, journalist, speaker, columnist at CQ Roll Call, and contributor to WFAE, WCCB-TV and a variety of national outlets. She is senior facilitator with The OpEd Project.

Panelists:

Tracey Benson, assistant professor of educational leadership at UNC Charlotte and author of “Unconscious Bias in Schools: A Developmental Approach to Exploring Race and Racism.”

Justin Perry, owner and therapist at Perry Counseling Healing and Recovery. He is a partner with the group Charlotte for Black Futures

Tonya Jameson, political consultant, former Charlotte Observer reporter

Leondra Garrett, native Charlottean and longtime community advocate who works with the groups Block Love Charlotte and United Neighborhoods of Charlotte to build community and feed our homeless neighbors.

Charlotte Talks Local News Roundup: Charlotte Protests, CMPD Response; RNC May Leave Charlotte

Charlotte has faced several days of protests, both peaceful and violent, after the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis last week. The protests have involved clashes with CMPD and many complaints about how the police have handled the protesters, but several police officers hope to have constructive conversation with the protesters. Thousands have hit the streets of Charlotte to protest, from Beatties Ford Road to uptown to Myers Park. We’ll talk through the demonstrations, the protesters, the chaos and the police response.

President Trump and the Republican National Committee are exploring other cities to hold the RNC this year, after Trump said this week that he’d move the convention out of Charlotte. We’ll talk about Gov. Roy Cooper’s negotiations with the RNC about having a safe convention in the midst of the pandemic and what options there still are to hold a part of the convention in the city.

We’ll give the latest on the coronavirus, as officials worry that the protests in Charlotte and the recent Phase 2 opening will result in a spike in COVID-19 cases.

Plus, we’ll have an update on the Mecklenburg County budget, which was approved this week, forcing Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools to raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour. We’ll have more on the discussions at that meeting as well.

Guests:

Erik Spanberg, managing editor at the Charlotte Business Journal

Glenn Burkins, founder and publisher of QCityMetro.com 

Mary C. Curtis, columnist for Rollcall.com and WCCB 

Ann Doss HelmsWFAE education reporter

Charlotte Talks Local News Roundup: Phase 1 Begins; NC Behind On Testing; Proposed City Budget

On the next Charlotte Talks local news roundup …

We take a look at the latest on the coronavirus outbreak and its impact in Mecklenburg County and beyond.

Today is May 8, the day Gov. Roy Cooper has declared an end to North Carolina’s stay-at-home order as we currently know it. Stay-at-home is still in effect, but with fewer restrictions. At 5 p.m., we begin Phase 1 of the governor’s plan to reopen the state. We’ll talk about what that means here in Mecklenburg County and beyond, and how local businesses are preparing to get back to work.

And while we’re making moves to open up the state again, a COVID-19 tracking project shows that North Carolina does not rank well when it comes to testing for the virus — and experts say testing is the key to stopping the spread. So what does the state say about our 45 out of 50 ranking? We’ll discuss.

Charlotte City Manager Marcus Jones recommended the city budget for next year, and included no tax increases or furloughs or layoffs for city workers. The plan also includes no losses in city services. We’ll go over the details.

Although the announcement was made in recent weeks that schools in North Carolina were closed due to the coronavirus, distance learning has continued across the state — for some. How are educators and school officials reaching those students who may otherwise fall through the cracks?

Schools in North Carolina will open a week earlier next year, on August 17. That announcement was part of a COVID-19 response plan signed by the governor this week. What will that mean for educators and families here and around the state?

Host Mike Collins brings those stories and much more along with area journalists.

Guests:

Mary C. Curtis, columnist for Rollcall.com and WCCB 

Jonathan Lowe, anchor/ reporter for Spectrum News

Joe BrunoWSOC-TV Reporter

Ann Doss HelmsWFAE Education Reporter

Charlotte Talks Local News Roundup: Coronavirus In Mecklenburg County; RNC Full Speed Ahead

On the Charlotte Talks Local News Roundup …

We take a look at the latest on the coronavirus outbreak and its impact in Mecklenburg County and beyond. We’ll have the latest on the number of cases and deaths in our area and whether those numbers are beginning to decline.

Earnings are in and Charlotte-based Bank of America’s profits were cut in half this quarter because the bank is setting aside money in preparation for defaults that are likely because of the effects of the coronavirus. We’ll look into that and how other financial institutions are faring.

Small businesses can now apply for a low-interest loan in Mecklenburg County, under a new program  that began on Tuesday. The program would help small businesses hurt by the impact of the coronavirus, and $6 million was approved by county commissioners to fund it. But the money is going fast. We’ll discuss.

Planners for the upcoming Republican National Convention in Charlotte say the convention is still running “full speed ahead” but plans are being made to achieve social distancing and the possibility that everyone might wear a mask.

And the Carolina Panthers’ Christian McCaffrey is now the NFL’s highest paid running back.

Mike Collins will go through those stories and more with area journalists coming up on the next Charlotte Talks local news roundup.

Guests:

Glenn Burkins, founder and publisher of www.qcitymetro.com

Mary C. Curtis, columnist for Rollcall.com and WCCB 

Katie Peralta, senior editor for Charlotte Agenda

David Boraks, reporter for WFAE

Charlotte Talks Local News Roundup: Coronavirus Now Present In Mecklenburg; Mass Cancellations

There are more diagnosed cases of the coronavirus (which has now been officially named a pandemic by the World Health Organization) this week, including two so far here in Mecklenburg County.

President Trump has halted travel from most European countries. Gov. Roy Cooper has declared a state of emergency for North Carolina, and the Mecklenburg County Health Department is making preparations. Airlines are slashing the number of flights, and several entities are talking about intensifying their cleaning efforts (including Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools, Charlotte Area Transit System and Charlotte Douglas International Airport).

Universities in North Carolina and around the country are suspending classes or moving them online, and CMS has stopped all field trips. We’ll give you the latest.

The Hawthorne Lane Bridge has an estimated completion date for later this month, but the project looks months away from being ready. What are officials saying?

And we’ll have local reaction to this week’s primaries.

A panel of local journalists will discuss these stories and more on the local news roundup.

Guests:

Glenn Burkins, founder and publisher of Qcitymetro.com

Mary C. Curtis, columnist for Rollcall.com and WCCB

Joe BrunoWSOC-TV reporter

Ann Doss HelmsWFAE education reporter

Claire Donnelly, WFAE health care reporter

Charlotte Talks: After Biden’s Comeback, 2020 Race Faces Super Tuesday Lightning Round

While the voting was still underway in South Carolina on Saturday, the former vice president made a quick side trip to Raleigh.

“Put me in coach, I’m ready to play,” Biden said at a rally at St. Augustine’s University.

If North Carolina voters on Tuesday give him back-to-back Carolina victories, Biden said “it’s a straight path to a nomination for president of the United States of America.”

But recent polls indicated a close race in North Carolina between Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders. Biden also appeared to be out-organized and lacking resources in many Super Tuesday states, particularly delegate-rich California.

What will the South Carolina results do to the Democratic landscape with so little time before Tuesday’s vote?

GUESTS

Mary C. Curtis, Roll Call columnist, WCCB News contributor (@mcurtisnc3)

Jim Morrill, the Charlotte Observer, political reporter (@jimmorrill)

Gibbs Knotts, College of Charleston, professor of political science; co-author of “First in the South: Why South Carolina’s Presidential Primary Matters” (@GibbsKnotts)

Charlotte Talks Local News Roundup: Biden Seeks Comeback In SC Primary; CMS Irks Parents With Survey

The caucus results in Nevada had barely been tallied before the Democratic candidates for president packed their bags for South Carolina and Saturday’s “first in the South” primary. So Charlotte Talks has set up shop, too, at Amelie’s French Bakery in Rock Hill.

Former Vice President Joe Biden put all his chips on South Carolina in an attempt to retake frontrunner status from Sen. Bernie Sanders. The tide might be in Biden’s favor as polls show him with a commanding lead, and the state’s top African American official, Rep. Jim Clyburn, endorsed Biden.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools found itself having to explain why students in grades 6-12 were given a survey about their gender identity and sexual orientation. The school board, meanwhile, had to scale back the size of three high schools that were part of a bond package voters approved in 2017.

Also, the will-he-stay, won’t-he-stay question about Cam Newton seemed to be resolved this week, and the CIAA tipped off it’s last (for now?) tournament in Charlotte.

GUESTS

Mary C. Curtis, Roll Call columnist and WCCB News contributor (@mcurtisnc3)

Cailyn Derickson, The Herald, reporter (@cailynderickson)

Steve Harrison, WFAE political reporter, co-host of the “Inside Politics” podcast (@Sharrison_WFAE)

Jonathan Lowe, Spectrum News, reporter and anchor (@JonathanUpdates)

Ann Doss Helms, WFAE education reporter (@anndosshelms)

Charlotte Talks Local News Roundup: Severe Weather in CLT; Trump To Visit; CMS Update

On this week’s “Charlotte Talks” local news roundup…

President Trump is on his way to the Queen City. His Friday visit, along with HUD Secretary Ben Carson, is for the North Carolina Opportunity Now Summit at CPCC. We’ll share what we know.

CMPD is putting more resources into de-escalation training for officers. A new training facility dedicated to de-escalation broke ground this week in Charlotte. What this investment will mean for officers and the commitment by CMPD to increase efforts in providing this kind of training.

Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools’ retreat this week included a lot of “team building” exercises…. And much discussion—but no decision—on a new compliance officer to oversee the superintendent and other key school officials. We also take a look at the school system’s effort to pair schools in Charlotte with the goal of increasing diversity AND a report that the system changed bond funded projects without alerting the public OR the board.

After November’s “no” vote for the Arts and Science Council tax, some arts organizations in the region have announced cutbacks and critical financial problems. The latest include longtime mainstays Opera Carolina and Actors Theatre.

And Wells-Fargo scandal appears to have been even worse than we previously knew. Our roundtable of reporters details these stories and more with Mike Collins on the local news roundup.

Guests:

Ann Doss HelmsWFAE Education Reporter

Mary C. Curtis, columnist for Rollcall.com and WCCB

David Boraks, reporter for WFAE

Jonathan Lowe, anchor/ reporter for Spectrum News

Joe BrunoWSOC-TV Reporter