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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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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A Trifling Place
10:01 am
Mon January 14, 2013

Episode 2: Uptown Vs. Downtown

Angela Haigler stands on the corner of East 6th Street and North Tryon Street in Charlotte.
Tasnim Shamma

President George Washington called Charlotte a "Trifling Place." That’s how our first president described the city during a visit in 1791.

But it’s certainly changed since then. Welcome to "A Trifling Place," a podcast dedicated to exploring the ins-and-outs of Charlotte.  


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Transportation
5:00 am
Mon January 14, 2013

Uptown Loop Study Identifies Safety Risks

Landscapers planted flowers in the media of I-277 to welcome DNC attendees entering the city center.Researchers will issue recommendations to City Council for improving the Uptown interstate loop system.
Julie Rose

A year-long study of the Uptown loop has been completed and will be presented to City Council Monday night. It's the first step to get funding for improvements to target safety.

Cheryl Myers is the senior vice president for planning and development for Charlotte Center City Partners. In 2011, her group unveiled a set of recommendations to City Council including doing a study of the city's interstate highway system. The city-commissioned Uptown Loop Study is the first comprehensive study of the loop since it was completed in 1981. 

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Racing
4:21 pm
Wed January 9, 2013

Jeremy Mayfield Makes Surprise Call To NASCAR CEO

Jeremy Mayfield's first win was the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Pocono Race in 1998.
Credit flickr/Darryl W. Moran

Suspended NASCAR driver Jeremy Mayfield has been out of racing since 2009, when he tested positive for methamphetamine. Mayfield wants to return to the track, and this week called in to a radio show to ask NASCAR CEO Brian France to give him a chance. 

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A Trifling Place
3:41 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

A Trifling Place, Episode 1: Where Are You From?

Credit Tasnim Shamma

President George Washington called Charlotte a "trifling place." That's how our founding father described the city during a visit in 1791. But it's certainly changed since then. Welcome to "A Trifling Place," a podcast dedicated to exploring the ins-and-outs of Charlotte.


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Crime
4:49 pm
Mon December 24, 2012

Guns For Gift Cards At Charlotte Church

This year, the New Life Fellowship Center received 93 guns which it turned over to CMPD
Courtesy of John Kee

A Charlotte church invited folks to exchange their guns for gifts over the weekend. The New Life Fellowship Center has been doing that around the holidays for the past six years. This year, the pastor says some of the people turning in their guns had the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut on their minds.

John Kee has been the pastor at New Life Fellowship Center for more than 17 years. He says during his time as pastor of the Double Oaks community, he's learned a lot. Especially about violence in his community.

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Local Politics
7:01 pm
Fri December 21, 2012

Cabarrus Co. Register Of Deeds Controversy Appears Near Resolution

Ben Small was elected Register of Deeds but has been unable to hold the position because he has not been able to obtain a $50,000 bond required by state law to hold the position.
Credit Courtesy of Independent Tribune

After more than a month of controversy, Cabarrus County will finally have a new Register of Deeds. The county's Republican Party announced a new nominee for Register of Deeds on Friday. 

The Register of Deeds keeps the records of births, deaths, marriages -- all kinds of important public records. The man who was elected to that office in Cabarrus County, Ben Small, had a shortcoming.

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State Politics
4:30 pm
Wed December 19, 2012

High Voter Turnout For Republicans And African-Americans

Voter turnout data analyzed by Democracy North Carolina for the 2012 election shows the state had a 68.3% turnout rate compared to 69.6% in 2008.
Credit Tasnim Shamma

Republicans increased their numbers at the poll by more than 60,000 this year, while the number of Democrats decreased by 53,000. And the four groups with the highest voter turnout in the state were Republicans, African Americans, women and senior citizens. That's according to Democracy North Carolina, a voting rights group that analyzed the voter turnout data released by the State Board of Elections last week. 

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Education
4:10 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

Mountain State Closes Hickory, Mooresville Campuses

Mountain State University will be closing its doors at the end of the year, including its Hickory and Mooresville campuses in North Carolina.
Credit Courtesy of Mountain State University

A university based in West Virginia with branches in Hickory and Mooresville is closing. Mountain State University will have its final graduation ceremony of its almost-80-year history on Wednesday evening at the school's main campus in Beckley, West Virginia. The school has been fighting to keep its accreditation since June. That’s when the Higher Learning Commission found the school was focused on increasing enrollment rather than providing students with academic support. Andrew Wessels is the public relations manager for the school.

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Higher Education
11:28 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

Is It Win-GATE Or Win-Get? Wingate University Settles On...

Courtesy of Wingate University

Back in the mid-1800s, settlers arrived in an area of what was then called Ames Turnout to build a church. Eventually, a school was established. A community grew and Ames Turnout became a town. That town was named after a Baptist minister Washington Manley Wingate. Or maybe it was Wingate, we'll get to that shortly.

Here's how Mayor Bill Braswell describes his town, population 3,500:

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