Tasnim Shamma

Reporter

Tasnim Shamma joined WFAE as a reporter in August 2012. Before that, she spent a year as a Kroc fellow reporting, writing, editing, blogging and producing for NPR’s Digital News Desk, Weekends on All Things Considered and the National Desk in Washington, D.C. She also spent three months at NPR member station WLRN, based in The Miami Herald newsroom. She graduated from Princeton's Class of 2011, where she was executive editor for multimedia for The Daily Princetonian. She worked as a video intern, copy editor and reporter at The Star Tribune in Minneapolis, Sports Illustrated and Newsweek in New York City and The Star-Ledger in Newark, N.J. She grew up in Queens, New York and looks forward to new adventures in Charlotte.

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Crime
9:13 am
Thu February 21, 2013

Learning How To Expunge A Criminal Record

Legal Aid's Cindy Patton delivers a talk on how to get an expunction.
Tasnim Shamma

We’ve all done things we wish we could take back and start over. It’s harder for some than others – especially if that mistake involves a criminal conviction. But some people with a criminal past can wipe the slate clean if enough time has passed. Melange Health Solutions held a seminar on Tuesday to teach locals how to expunge their records in hopes of increasing their chances at employment.

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Immigration
12:03 am
Tue February 19, 2013

NC Driver's Licenses To Have Different Look For Immigrants On Deferred Status

Credit Wake Forest University

The North Carolina Department of Transportation announced last week that it would be issuing driver's licenses and identification cards to young illegal immigrants who are granted deferred action status by the Obama administration. But local immigration activists are not happy with how the licenses look.  

Deferred Action allows young people who came to the U.S. before they turned 16 to get work permits. But states have struggled with what that means in terms of granting drivers' licenses.

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A Trifling Place
9:41 am
Mon February 18, 2013

A Trifling Place, Episode 6: When Cankerworms Attack

Up close view of cankerworms stuck on Tanglefoot on a willow oak tree outside the city's Landscape Management office.
Tasnim Shamma

Welcome to "A Trifling Place," a podcast dedicated to exploring the ins-and-outs of Charlotte.  

In our last episode (Charlotte's Tree Obsession), we ended with this sound bite: "Die, cankerworm, die!" 

That's city arborist Donald McSween back in 2008 when WFAE's Lisa Miller followed him on his war against the cankerworms.

He also had some help: citizen soldiers like Sophia Hollingsworth. 

"We picked them off and didn’t feel bad at all about mooshing them because we felt it was one less cankerworm," Hollingsworth says. "And I don’t feel bad about any of them dying. It’s the canopy that Charlotte is known for and the trees are more important than the caterpillars. Hate the green monster."

Five years later, the fight against the inch-long creatures continues.

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State Politics
5:00 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Stop The 'Power Grab,' Activists Urge McCrory

Beth Henry of NC WARN spoke about the conflicts of interest Senate Bill 10 might cause in front of the Mecklenburg County Court House.
Credit Tasnim Shamma

Several environmental activists were in front of the Mecklenburg County Government Center Thursday to speak out on Senate Bill 10. The legislation would fire all current members of many regulatory boards – including the Utilities Commission – and give the governor and lawmakers the power to appoint new members. Gerrick Brenner of Progress North Carolina calls the bill a power grab.   

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Solar Energy
2:29 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Solar-Powered House Under Construction At UNC Charlotte

Jacob Wittmer shows off the solar house to Paul Camuti, senior vice president of innovation and chief technology officer at Ingersoll Rand.
Tasnim Shamma

For almost a year, students at UNC Charlotte have been hard at work designing a solar house that is both affordable and energy-efficient. That hard work has paid off. Their design qualified for the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon's biannual competition.  

For the next eight months, UNC Charlotte engineering and architecture students will be busy building the house. UNC Charlotte is one of only 20 teams to qualify for the competition.   

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Religion
5:53 pm
Mon February 11, 2013

Local Catholics Surprised By Pope's Resignation

Saint Peter's in uptown is the oldest Catholic church in Charlotte.
Credit Tasnim Shamma

Catholics reacted to the surprising news that Pope Benedict announced his resignation Monday morning. We spoke to a few of them after the noon mass on Monday at St. Peter's Catholic Church.

Kevin Barto says his coworkers and friends have been asking him all morning about what this means for the Catholic Church. He says it's not easy to say what Pope Benedict's legacy will be because he was in the role for such a relatively short amount of time.  

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Research
4:23 pm
Thu February 7, 2013

UNC Charlotte And Levine Team Up For Pancreatic Cancer Research

Bob Wilhelm is vice chancellor for research and economic development at UNC Charlotte.
Credit Courtesy of UNC Charlotte

The Levine Cancer Institute and UNC Charlotte are teaming up for a new project they hope will make a difference in the world of cancer research. It's called the Charlotte Pancreatic Cancer Project.

UNC Charlotte and the Levine Cancer Institute will be making $400,000 in grants available to scientists and doctors at both institutions. 

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A Trifling Place
8:48 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Charlotte: "A Very Trifling Place" (But Not The Only One)

Credit Library of Congress

WFAE listeners have e-mailed me about how we should probably change the title of this podcast. They find it offensive. One listener says it reminds him of  "small, off-the-beaten path, lonely, dismal, dark places" and surely, surely, it's not Charlotte that President George Washington was talking about. 

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A Trifling Place
10:06 am
Tue February 5, 2013

By The Numbers: Charlotte's Trees

A poem dedicated to trees by Joyce Kilmer at the Carillon building in uptown Charlotte.
Credit Tasnim Shamma
  • 49: Percent of tree canopy lost between 1995 and 2008
  • One: Public tree for every seven residents
  • $11.83: Amount spent per person on its street trees
  • 215: Tree species in the city's inventory. Predominant tree species are willow oak and crapemyrtle
  • $166: Total benefits of an average street tree
  • 28: Million cubic feet of stormwater intercepted annually 
  • $2.1: Million dollars in stormwater management savings
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A Trifling Place
9:45 am
Tue February 5, 2013

Episode 5: Charlotte's Tree Obsession

Trees shade the uptown area of Charlotte in the summer.
Flickr/Erik Cleves Kristensen

Welcome to "A Trifling Place," a podcast dedicated to exploring the ins-and-outs of Charlotte.

Of the seven cities I've lived and worked in, Charlotte has got to be most green. When you're getting ready for an airplane landing, it's like you're descending into a forest. Once you're on the ground, you quickly learn trees are a big part of the city's identity.

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