The Party Line
1:54 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Republican Legislators Can Afford To Be Stubborn

I recently spoke to WFAE’s Tom Bullock for a story about the state budget impasse and its likely culprits - political safe districts.

As a political scientist, I always have to think of different factors that may explain what happens in politics, which makes my job that much more fun, or frustrating, depending on what we’re trying to understand and explain.

Read more
Arts & Life
1:18 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

There And Back: Reed Gold Mine

A Pan-O-lympics participant at The Reed Gold Mine finishes the speed panning event in style.
Tasnim Shamma

(Originally aired 6/22/13) Our summer travel series takes us to a local treasure: a state historic site in Midland that marks the first documented discovery of gold in the United States.

Read more
Local News
9:13 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Asbestos Claimants Fire Back As Charlotte Bankruptcy Case Draws National Attention

Federal courthouse in uptown Charlotte.
Credit www.ncwd.uscourts.gov

Back in January, a federal judge in Charlotte issued what some have called a watershed decision in the murky world of asbestos litigation. The judge laid out how lawyers for asbestos plaintiffs withheld evidence and misled courts in old cases against a gasket manufacturer called Garlock. Since that decision, Garlock's bankruptcy case has drawn the attention of federal lawmakers, large auto companies, and health insurers.

Read more
9:46 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Are Safe Political Seats Behind The Budget Impasse?

North Carolina counties by party representation in state Senate.

Imagine the nasty notes you’d receive if you were four weeks late on your rent or mortgage.

If a pregnancy went four weeks long doctors would induce labor.

But if you’re a lawmaker, or a whole group of them in Raleigh, and your budget is four weeks late as of today, well…

So what is taking the pressure off lawmakers to get a budget deal done?

Unless you’ve spent your summer on a desert island with a volleyball named Wilson you know the issues holding up the budget are teacher pay, teaching assistants and Medicaid payments.

Read more
Local News
9:35 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Senate Changes County Sales Tax Bill; Still Kills Meck County Vote

On Monday night the Senate Finance Committee debated county sales taxes again.

That bill was changed but not in a way that would keep a planned Mecklenburg county vote alive.

Generally, if you buy something in Mecklenburg county, you currently pay 7.25 percent in sales tax. The majority of that tax goes to the state, but 2.5 percent goes to the county.

The original senate proposal capped the sales tax rate every county could charge at 2.5 percent. That original senate plan passed the finance committee unanimously last Wednesday.

So what was the big change?  It comes down to two words: either, or.

Read more
9:24 am
Mon July 21, 2014

CMPD Considers Renewing Gang Injunction In Hidden Valley

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department named Wendell McCain (in red) and Cordell Blair (far right) as defendants in their injunction against the Hidden Valley Kings that prohibit them from being next to each other.
Credit Tasnim Shamma

Last summer, a judge issued an injunction against the Hidden Valley Kings in north Charlotte.

That made Mecklenburg the first county in the state to implement a new law that allows judges to order suspected gang members not to associate with each other in public, possess a gun or be near anyone carrying drugs or firearms.

Charlotte Mecklenburg police say the injunction has reduced crime in Hidden Valley and it will soon expire. But, they're not sure if they're going to ask for an extension.

Read more
Sunday Headlines
9:47 am
Sun July 20, 2014

4 Charged In June Murder Case

Police have arrested four people in the past two days on charges stemming from a fatal shooting last month in North Charlotte. The three men and one woman, aged from 23 to 29, are suspects in the June 22nd shooting death of Terrance Johnson.  He died after he was shot during an afternoon argument at a house on Wynbrook Way, off Graham Street near I-85.  The four people face murder, robbery and other charges.

Read more
Local News
5:38 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Camps No Longer Mandatory For Struggling 3rd-Graders

North Carolina’s third grade reading law gave parents, teachers and students a lot of anxiety this year about the requirements to move on to fourth grade. Summer reading camps for struggling readers were a requirement. But those reading camps are no longer mandatory. 

Thousands of third graders across the state are spending summer days in school getting extra help on reading. A new state law required them to do that because they weren’t reading at grade-level. 

Read more
WFAE Talks
5:00 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

WFAE Talks: Poet Controversy, Sales Tax Legislation, Signage Morass

WFAE Talks, recorded 07/18/14

Heading into the week, we knew that topics like the budget, Common Core and teacher pay raises would be Statehouse news. We didn't expect a controversy to emerge over Governor McCrory's choice for poet laureate, who resigned Thursday. Greg, Lisa and Ben will discuss.

They will also discuss Senate legislation to cap the local sales tax in all counties. The bill would effectively kill a referendum on November's ballot that asks Mecklenburg County voters to approve a quarter-cent sales tax hike that would go toward CMS pay raises, arts groups, CPCC and the library system.

Plus, Ben explains what's he's learned about Charlotte's sign ordinance. Signs are no simple matter.

Charlotte Observer
1:14 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

NC's Controversial Poet Laureate Resigns

Valerie Macon

RALEIGH Valerie Macon, whose appointment as North Carolina poet laureate sparked outrage among the state’s writerly class, has resigned from the post less than a week after Gov. Pat McCrory appointed her.

Macon could not be reached for comment Thursday night. But she released a statement thanking McCrory and “the many individuals” she said supported her.

“I do not want the negative attention that this appointment has generated to discourage or distract attention from the Office of the Poet Laureate,” she wrote.

Read more