Local News Roundup: New voter maps; CMS to drop mask mandate; CATS bus shooting brings to light fear among drivers

On the next Charlotte Talks Local News Roundup:

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg School Board voted this week to end its indoor mask mandate effective March 7We’ll talk about what school board members and superintendent Earnest Winston had to say.

Redistricting is once again in the news as a three-judge panel decided the fate of the newly proposed political maps this week. We’ll discuss what the changes will mean for Charlotte and beyond.

Charlotte City council okays a pair of rezoning petitions that were the subject of debate earlier in the year.

Authorities have identified a suspect in the shooting death of Charlotte Area Transit System bus driver Ethan Rivera on Feb. 11. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police said the incident involved road rage and has sparked conversation about safety for bus drivers. We’ll give an update.

And three Charlotte area-athletes make a splash at the NBA All-Star Game and in the Daytona 500.

Mike Collins and our roundtable of reporters delve into those stories and all the week’s top local and regional news on the Charlotte Talks local news roundup.

Guests:

  • Ann Doss Helms, WFAE Education Reporter
  • Erik Spanberg, managing editor for the Charlotte Business Journal
  • Nick Ochsner, WBTV’s Executive Producer for Investigations & Chief Investigative Reporter
  • Mary C. Curtis, columnist for Rollcall.com, host of the Rollcall podcast “Equal Time”

What do the census, voting rights and democracy have in common?

Emails made public by the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University Law School recently showed that officials under President Donald Trump tried whatever they could to rig the system for redistricting purposes. It and other government documents detailed clashes between the administration and the bureau’s experts in areas that had the potential of affecting the count and who gets elected. Mary C. Curtis sits down with Kelly Percival, with the Brennan Center’s Democracy to discuss what this all means.

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: Mecklenburg mask mandate continues; Gov. Cooper will sign NC budget into law; Cam Newton’s return a roaring success

On the next Charlotte Talks Local News Roundup:

Mecklenburg County has not managed to keep its COVID-19 positivity rate low enough for long enough to remove the county mask mandate. We’ll get an update on where the county stands on COVID-19 trends and hospitalizations.

Gov. Roy Cooper says he’ll sign the North Carolina legislature’s budget bill into law, noting that it’s a compromise, but that the good “outweighs the bad.”

Hundreds of parents from Hopewell High School gathered at a Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools town hall this week in Huntersville after an incident where guns were found at the school. We’ll discuss what they had to say about how they wanted to see the school district address safety for students.

And Cam Newton is BAAACK. His first game back in a Carolina Panthers uniform last week was a roaring success, and he helped the team put a W on the board. Can he do it again, and will he be the starting QB this week?

Mike Collins and our roundtable of reporters delve into those stories, updates on county commission and city council, 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”
Katie Peralta Soloff, reporter for Axios Charlotte
Steve HarrisonWFAE’s political reporter
Joe BrunoWSOC-TV 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

POLITICAL WRAP: North Carolina Congressional Redistricting; Louisiana Governor’s Race

 

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – This week, the fight over North Carolina’s congressional redistricting continues. There’s a lawsuit challenging the replacement map approved by the Republican-controlled General Assembly.

The new map would threaten the re-election hopes of two current Republican house members. But Democrats say the re-draw still isn’t fair.

A three-judge panel blocked the current map from being used again in 2020, saying it favors the GOP.

Meantime, John Bel Edwards will be Louisiana’s Governor for four more years. The Democrat narrowly won Saturday’s runoff election against Republican challenger Eddie Rispone, who was heavily backed by President Donald Trump.

Clock above more with WCCB Charlotte Political Contributor Mary C. Curtis.

N.C. Congressional Districts, Impeachment Inquiry

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — It has been a busy week in politics, both in the state and nationally.

In North Carolina, a three-judge panel of state judges said the state cannot use the current congressional districts as drawn for the 2020 elections while the lawsuit against them proceeds. This may mean the state’s March 3 congressional primaries could be moved in a competitive primary season with crucial contests up and down the ballot.

And in Washington, a decorated Army officer’s testimony drew attention and partisan attacks, while House Democrats plan a vote to formalize the impeachment inquiry.