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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Debt
5:14 pm
Fri February 1, 2013

DNC Host Committee Still $10 Million Short

The Charlotte host committee is still $10 million short of its fundraising goal for the convention and has had to tap a line of credit guaranteed by Duke Energy.

A new report shows the committee made little progress – barely a drop in the bucket -- with only half-a-dozen contributions in the past few months. So Duke Energy may just have to foot the bill after all.

Two years ago, DNC organizers were confident they wouldn't need to use Duke Energy's $10 million line of credit.

Here's the host committee's interim director Will Miller at the time.

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Banks
9:31 am
Wed January 30, 2013

Regions Bank Ends Payday Loans In NC

Regions Bank, based in Birmingham, Alabama has been using a federal banking law to provide payday lending services, even though these types of loans are illegal in North Carolina.

But the bank recently announced that it will no longer offer its payday lending service to North Carolina residents because of the small number of eligible customers for the product in the state.

Since 2001, payday lending shops have been illegal in North Carolina. But that law doesn't apply to banks that are based outside the state.

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Gaston County
9:29 am
Wed January 30, 2013

Bessemer City Will Form Its Own Police Force

The Gaston County Police Department has provided services to Bessemer since 1998. On Monday night, Mayor Becky Smith broke a tie that created a new police force as a cost-saving measure.
Credit Courtesy of Gaston County Police

Bessemer City council members were divided Monday night in Gaston County over whether to form its own police department, separate from the county. Mayor Becky Smith broke the tie on Monday night by voting in favor of a local police department.  

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A Trifling Place
7:47 am
Mon January 28, 2013

Episode 4: The Legend Of Concord Mills Mall

Concord Mills mall features a carousel in its food court. It once claimed to be the state's top visitor attraction. It may soon add a 30,000 square foot aquarium to the mall.
Tasnim Shamma

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

So when I first arrived in Charlotte, I was handed the latest edition of a book called the Insider's Guide to Charlotte. It had the usual highlights you would expect, but then I saw something really strange. It says Concord Mills Mall is the state's top tourist destination.

What?

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Public Records
6:01 pm
Sat January 26, 2013

Gaston Commissioners Want Gun Permit Records Secret; Approve Resolution

Gaston County Commissioners voted 6-0 Thursday night in support of a resolution that calls for the General Assembly to make gun permit records secret. Commissioner Tracy Philbeck says the resolution was in response to news outlets publishing gun permit information after the shootings at Sandy Hook elementary in Connecticut.

"I'm a strong proponent of government transparency," Philbeck says. "At the same time, I think the press, in a lot of cases, have used the freedom of information act to bring forth an anti-gun agenda to criminalize those that own a gun."

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Crime
4:55 pm
Wed January 23, 2013

Charlotte Sees Spike In Violent Crime, Decrease In Burglaries

The Freedom Division recorded the largest crime reduction of all 13 CMPD divisions in 2012 with a 3.5% decrease.
Tasnim Shamma

It was a busy year for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.  The city's crime rate increased by nearly three percent – in large part because of jumps in robberies and domestic violence. But there was some good news in the numbers released Wednesday. 

First there was a significant decrease in burglaries. For example, west Charlotte saw a 20 percent decrease in residential burglaries compared to 2011. Captain Greg Collins credits its partnership with the community and new technology for helping bring that down.

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Health
9:36 am
Tue January 22, 2013

Epidemiologist Explains Response To Fungal Meningitis Outbreak

The total case count of infections and number of deaths from the steroid injection that originated in a Farmington, Mass. pharmacy. North Carolina currently has 17 cases and one death.
Credit Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

  The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services waited five days before it notified the public about the threat of a deadly fungal meningitis outbreak in the fall. Records obtained by the Associated Press provide a glimpse of how state officials deal with emerging health crises.

WFAE's Tasnim Shamma talks to the state's epidemiologist for this follow-up report.  

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A Trifling Place
5:13 am
Mon January 21, 2013

Episode 3: Where Do You Live?

Henry Chirinos is the owner of El Purgarcito, a Salvadorean restaurant on Central Avenue.
Tanner Latham

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

Just last year, more than 20,000 people moved to Charlotte. Many come from colder climates in the North and Midwest and a growing number of people are also moving to Charlotte from states farther South, like Florida.  

Deciding where to live is a big decision, so I'll share with you my first impressions of Charlotte: Immigrants on Central, artists live in NoDA, hipsters occupy Plaza Midwood, Myers Park is old money, Dilworth has some high-profile mistresses, Ballyntyne is new money, college students live in University City and West Charlotte's got the airport. 

So where are all these new people to Charlotte settling?

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Budget
5:09 pm
Thu January 17, 2013

Charlotte Ranks Third In Nation For Funding Pensions

Charlotte ranks third in the nation for the funding of its pension system of the nation's 61 most populous cities, according to a new Pew report.
Credit Briana Duggan

Charlotte is ranked third in the nation for paying its bills on time. Not just any bills – pension bills. That's according to a new report by The Pew Charitable Trusts. They found that the country's largest cities have an unpaid tab of more than $200 billion when it comes to retirement benefits promised to employees. And it turns out Charlotte has been preparing for retirement relatively well when it comes to pension plans.  

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A Trifling Place
11:31 am
Wed January 16, 2013

Who Are Charlotte's Celebrities?

Evangelist Billy Graham was honored by President Richard Nixon on Friday, Oct. 15, 1971 in Charlotte, North Carolina. Today, he has a plaque on the north side of the 6900 block of Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles.
Credit flickr/lorenabuena

One indicator of how well you've settled into a place is gaining a sense of the city's "celebrity" culture. Admittedly, I'm nowhere close. So I need your help ... 

I'm working on a list of local celebrities that newcomers to Charlotte should be familiar with (in case you run into them on the street!). Here's what I have so far:  

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