News

Gwendolyn Glenn/WFAE

Nationwide, residents in high-crime areas often complain that police are slow to respond to their calls and do not have a relationship with the people in the community. Police have heard similar criticism from some Beatties Ford Road residents, one of Charlotte’s high-crime neighborhoods. To help improve relationships between police and residents there, officers are being assigned to foot patrols.

State regulators wrapped up a two-day public hearing in Raleigh Tuesday afternoon on the proposed merger of Duke Energy and Piedmont Natural Gas. The two-day hearing included testimony from company leaders and a protest by merger opponents.

Executives including CEOs Lynn Good of Duke and Thomas Skains of Piedmont argued the $6.7 billion deal would create a stronger company and speed Duke's shift toward cleaner-burning natural gas.

Exit 23 on I-77 toll lane construction
David Boraks / WFAE

The debate over optional toll lanes on I-77 from Charlotte to Mooresville has played out in court, in local elections, and at the Statehouse over the past few years. Now, the lanes are taking shape.

A public hearing starts Monday in Raleigh on Duke Energy's planned acquisition of Piedmont Natural Gas. Approval by the North Carolina Utilities Commission is the deal's final hurdle. 

Duke announced last October it was buying Piedmont for $6.7 billion. That includes $4.9 billion in cash and taking over $1.8 billion in Piedmont debt. Piedmont has two things Duke wants:  

David Boraks / WFAE

Updated 11 p.m.
Governor Pat McCrory has signed a bill that will allow Duke Energy to store coal ash in place permanently at as many as half its plants in North Carolina. The bill also provides a permanent water supply to neighbors of Duke's coal ash ponds. 

Brian Gersten

In the days before the internet or phones, one of the ways some people communicated with neighbors in rural areas was hollerin.' It's a form of communication that has become obsolete. For nearly 50 years, though, the tradition was kept alive with the annual National Hollerin' Contest in Sampson County in eastern North Carolina. But now the hollerin' has come to an end. Organizers this summer ended the contest, citing a lack of interest among younger generations. To find out more about the art of hollerin, we reached out to arguably its biggest star, Iris Turner of Fayetteville. Tuner won the Ladies Hollerin' Competition in 1977 and appeared on Johnny Carson and the Gong Show.

Michael Tomsic

It's been a strange and tragic summer at the U.S. National Whitewater Center. In mid-June, a young woman died from an extremely rare brain infection after rafting at the Charlotte facility. Within a week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed the presence of the type of microorganism that likely caused the infection. Since then, the whitewater channel has been closed, regulatory questions have been raised, and fear and misinformation have spread.

Michael Bitzer
WFAE

Heading into the general election, I'm analyzing the voter registration pool for North Carolina at the beginning of each month, watching for key trends and development of certain voting groups.

N.C. Department of Environmental Quality


  Follow-up tests last week found no arsenic in Mountain Island Lake, according to a report from the state Department of Environmental Quality.  

Tests last month had found arsenic at nearly 10 times federal limits, near where Duke Energy was draining water from coal ash ponds at the Riverbend plant in Mount Holly.  

David Boraks / WFAE

  The recent fatal police shootings of African-American men and the killing of five Dallas police officers have revived discussions aimed at easing tensions between CMPD officers and those Charlotte residents who are wary of them.  At a forum hosted by the NAACP in uptown last night, several hundred people questioned and criticized CMPD. There was also some praise.  

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