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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Transportation
9:32 am
Mon December 9, 2013

CATS Bus Drivers Avoid Strike, Win Pay Raise

CATS says they were very happy a strike was avoided with a tentative three-year contract deal.
Credit City of Charlotte

After threatening a potential strike, the union representing CATS bus drivers has reached a tentative agreement with Transit Management of Charlotte on a new three-year labor contract. Both parties have been in negotiations since July. CATS CEO Carolyn Flowers says drivers will receive a 2.3 percent pay raise, an additional day off, bonuses based on performance and attendance.

The two sides were able to find a compromise on scheduling issues and seniority. 

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Local News
9:08 am
Fri December 6, 2013

Cabarrus Looks To Arm Social Workers With iPads

Todd Shanley, Cabarrus County Information Technology Services manager and Derrick Heath, director of Child Protective Services advocate for the pilot program during a Cabarrus County Commissioners work session on Monday.
Credit Tasnim Shamma

Social workers across the country are trading in their notepads for tablets. A handful of the state's counties have gone digital and now Cabarrus County is looking to join their ranks.  

The Cabarrus County Board of Commissioners is considering a proposal to give county social workers iPads so that they can quickly access case and client information from the field.


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Science & Environment
10:11 am
Thu November 28, 2013

City Makes First Land Purchase From Tree Mitigation Fund

In 2011, Charlotte city council members set a goal of having 50 percent tree cover by the year 2050. The tree ordinance mitigation fund is another way for developers to help reach that goal.
Credit Flickr/Erik Cleves Kristensen

 For the last two years, as part of its ordinance, the city of Charlotte has given some developers the option of saving a portion of the trees on their property or to pay. The fund they pay into now has more than half-a-million dollars. And the city just made its first land purchase using some of that money.


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Local News
5:47 pm
Wed November 27, 2013

Inflating The Thanksgiving Day Parade

Aaron Randall, right, helps a coworker fix a ribbon for the Charlotte Knights snow globe on Wednesday.
Tasnim Shamma WFAE

There was a chance this year, that for the first time in 67 years, Charlotte would not have a Thanksgiving Day Parade. Once Belk stepped down as the main sponsor, organizers said they were unable to raise the money to keep the parade afloat. But a few weeks later, Novant Health stepped in and committed to be the title sponsor for three years and the parade was back on.

WFAE's Tasnim Shamma joined workers as they put last minute touches on the floats before the big day.

At a parking lot in uptown, there's a row of white tents where a 15-foot turkey will be inflated.

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Local News
9:10 am
Wed November 27, 2013

Union County To Dissolve Health Board After Child Abuse Case

Union County commissioners will move to dissolve the board that oversees the county’s Division of Social Services, according to one commissioner in a series of Youtube videos the county released today. The change would come as part of the county's response to the high-profile child-abuse case earlier this month, where an 11-year-old boy was found handcuffed by the ankle to his front porch. One of the guardians of the child, Wanda Larson, was a supervisor for Child Protective Services, which is part of the division.

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Arts & Life
10:50 am
Tue November 26, 2013

Making Art 'Pop' On Highway Billboards

Monique Luck used pieces of paper, lace, glass beads and acrylic paint to create this piece called, 'I see my daughters'. Luck says she spent about 50 hours over the last few months working on this piece. It's inspired by a photo of one of her sisters. When her mother saw the photo she said, 'I see my daughters'.
Credit Monique Luck

Sometimes highway billboards are an eyesore. But the Arts and Science Council and a group called ArtPop are trying to change that by placing the work of 20 local artists on billboards. Fifteen have already been chosen. And this week, the public can vote on the last five artists. 


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Local News
10:20 am
Fri November 22, 2013

Seniors At AARP Summit: We Want To 'Age In Place'

Dan Gallagher, the transportation planning manager with the Charlotte Department of Transportation.
Tasnim Shamma

There's a long list of things that senior citizens in Charlotte want:  affordable housing, better building standards, more transportation options, sidewalks and greenways.

AARP sponsored a conference today at Queens University that included top city leaders, city planners and residents to discuss ideas for improving Charlotte's quality of life.

If there was one message AARP and community members wanted to send the city, it was that they wanted to be able to age in place. As in, retire in Charlotte and not see their quality of life deteriorate.

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Energy
5:17 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

Duke Energy's Store Sells Sort-Of-Free Lightbulbs

The Duke Energy Savings Store is selling highly discounted LED and CFL lightbulbs.
Credit Duke Energy website

Duke Energy is offering free lightbulbs when you order them online. Well, almost free. You can order lightbulbs for up to 92 percent off the retail price. The company's efforts to promote energy efficiency helps their bottom line.


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Crime
9:45 am
Wed November 20, 2013

Monroe Couple Were Guardians, Not Foster Parents Of Handcuffed Child

The Monroe couple charged with child abuse for allegedly handcuffing an 11-year-old boy to their front porch with a dead chicken tied around his neck are not the foster parents of that child, as previously reported. DHHS says the foster care license for Wanda Larson and Dorian Harper expired in 2010.


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Crime
3:55 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

$500K Bond For Couple Accused Of Handcuffing Child

Bond was set for $500,000 for Dorian Lee Harper, left and $520,000 Wanda Sue Larson, both 57, of Monroe.
Credit Union County Sheriff's Office

 Bond was set for about $500,000 each for the Monroe couple charged with child abuse for allegedly handcuffing an 11-year-old boy by the ankle to their front porch. Dorian Harper and Wanda Larson -- a supervisor in the county's department of social services -- had their first court appearance in front of a Union County judge Monday morning. On Friday, an animal control officer found the child while responding to a complaint about a loose animal. While looking for the animal, he followed a trail that led to the child's secluded home.

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