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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Courts
5:00 am
Tue March 5, 2013

Citizen's Court: Talking It Out With Your Neighbor

Assistant District Attorney Bruce Lillie, center, discusses a case with others on the misdemenaor team in citizen's court on December 10.
Tasnim Shamma

The Mecklenburg County Courthouse processes up to 1,600 misdemeanor cases a day. And administrators are always looking for ways to bring that number down so that judges have more manageable caseloads. One of the newest initiatives is mediation. Also known as Citizen's Court.

WFAE's Tasnim Shamma spent a day at Citizen's Court to see how well mediation was working … or not.

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DACA
1:18 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

A 'Modern Day Scarlet Letter': Protesting Pink Licenses

Alfredo Esparza, 19, is a DACA applicant and member of United 4 The Dream. He holds a mock license in uptown Charlotte.
Tasnim Shamma

Dozens of immigrants stood on the corner of Trade and Tryon Street yesterday afternoon in Uptown Charlotte to protest the design of North Carolina's driver's license for young illegal immigrants.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation announced earlier this month that it would be issuing driver's licenses and identification cards to immigrants who are granted deferred action status by the Obama administration.

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A Trifling Place
4:11 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Charlotte 2024? A Checklist For The Olympics

Charlotte has expressed interest in hosting the Olympics ... but does it even meet the requirements?
Credit flickr/Atos International

Last week, the U.S. Olympic Committee sent a letter to the mayors of the 25 largest cities (Charlotte ranks 19th) and ten other cities that expressed interest in hosting in the past. But as The New York Times notes, many of the cities on the list don't even meet the requirements the USOC demands.

Let's take a look at Charlotte:

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Crime
3:58 pm
Fri February 22, 2013

Family Of Dead Pastor Asks Judge To Show Mercy

Twenty-two year old Mary Reames began a one-year prison sentence last week. She was convicted of hitting and killing a 71-year-old man while driving under the influence.
Credit South Carolina Department of Corrections

A woman who killed a pastor while drunk and high on drugs will only serve a one year prison sentence – in part because the pastor's family asked the judge to show mercy.

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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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