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 We were told to boil water before drinking, but that order has now been rescinded.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: 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: 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)

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: CMS Pushes Back on County Budget Allocation

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Mecklenburg County Commissioners, on Tuesday, adopted a $2 billion budget that includes a controversial $56 million cut to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. CMS promises to fight back by initiating the “dispute resolution process,” which calls for the two boards to meet within seven days.

In dispute is the plan to cut the CMS budget until it comes up with a plan to close the racial achievement gap. CMS says it already has a strategic plan, that the cut will harm students and that the commissioners are overstepping their legal authority. County Commissioners say it’s about accountability, and that the trim won’t affect student services.

WCCB Political Contributor, Mary C. Curtis is breaking down the funding feud and other key issues in the county’s budget that you should know about.

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: The Challenges of Reopening Schools Safely

CHARLOTTE, NC — President Joe Biden says his goal is to open the majority of K-8 schools five days a week by the end of his first 100 days in office.

It comes as schools in North Carolina are slowly reopening with rotated schedules while teachers are next in line to get the vaccine.

WCCB Political Contributor Mary C. Curtis has more on the debate to reopen schools.

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.

Charlotte Talks Local News Roundup: Phase 3 Reopening, CMS Adjusts Return Plan, CMPD Officers Resign

On the local news roundup, North Carolina moves into Phase 3 of reopening. With the state’s coronavirus metrics stable, Gov. Roy Cooper is easing restrictions to allow bars and other entertainment venues to open with reduced capacity. We find out what that means and check in our COVID-19 numbers.

The first CMS students began returning to the classroom this week, with more on the way. And the school board holds an emergency meeting to adjust their return to school plan for elementary students.

Five CMPD officers connected to the in-custody death of Harold Easter resign ahead of video release.

And county elections boards across the state have begun to process tens of thousands of absentee ballots.

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

Guests

Steve Harrison, WFAE’s Political Reporter

Claire Donnelly, WFAE’s health reporter

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

Nick Ochsner, Chief Investigative Reporter at WBTV

Ann Doss Helms, WFAE’s education reporter