Charlotte Talks on WFAE

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North Carolina Voting Laws On Trial

Jul 22, 2015
Flickr/Vox Efx

Changes in North Carolina’s voting laws have resulted in a court case – a federal trial in Winston-Salem which is drawing national attention because the outcome could potentially affect voting laws in other states. The plaintiffs say North Carolina’s voting law changes violate the Voting Rights Act of 1965. We look at the arguments in the case, the history of voting rights here and the possible outcomes of the trial. 

Cross Charlotte Trail

Jul 21, 2015
Tasnim Shamma

Charlotte and other municipalities have been developing greenways for years and now, the city and county are working to connect them. If they’re successful, there will be one interconnected greenway stretching from Pineville, through uptown, to UNC Charlotte and out to the Cabarrus County line. It will be a seamless 26 mile stretch of trails with great potential for economic development.

Stories From A Speech Writer

Jul 20, 2015

It is said that Abraham Lincoln wrote the Gettysburg Address on the back of an envelope.  He wrote it himself.  But today, it is common for politicians to turn to speechwriters for that task.  Barton Swaim handled speech writing for South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford at a time of political scandal.  He’s written a funny and eye-opening book about his experiences and shares them with us.

Arts For Activism

Jul 17, 2015
Marcus Kiser and Jason Woodberry

The Harvey B. Gantt Center becomes the nexus of art and activism when two exhibitions open there this weekend. The group AfriCOBRA dates back to 1968 Chicago and the exhibit, AfriCOBRA Now, reveals their shifting aesthetic over 40 years. Meanwhile, Intergalactic Soul was created by a local duo and although vastly different, their works are also infused with social and political undertones.

Ben Bradford / WFAE

Charlotte has a new police chief and you’ll meet Kerr Putney in the first part of this show. A CMPD veteran who rose through the ranks, we talk about his time with the department and how he intends to lead the force during a period when police departments around the country are under increased public scrutiny. Then, we meet a man who is part of a growing movement of photojournalism and exploration called Urban Exploration or “Urbex.” 

Growth In Belmont

Jul 15, 2015
Erin Keever / WFAE

For years, those in the know have referred to Belmont as a hidden gem. Just down I-85 from Charlotte, Belmont started as a railroad and textile hub in the late 1880s and today is thriving with a burgeoning Main Street with restaurants and antique shops, a nearby college and the Daniel Stowe Botanical garden. There’s even talk of bringing trolley service back to town. Belmont is benefiting from the region’s growth and we look into how they’re handling it.

The Co-Housing Trend

Jul 14, 2015

Historically, Charlotte has been a city of suburban neighborhoods. In recent years, a more urban profile has developed with apartments and condominiums cropping up like weeds and now, something new is coming to town: Co-housing. These communities have individual homes but also extensive shared open spaces, playgrounds, courtyards and a common house. Co-housing is about design and a community culture state of mind. 

Gov. Pat McCrory

Jul 13, 2015
Courtesy of the Governor's Office

Start the week with Governor Pat McCrory’s take on a variety of topics, among them the state’s budget which has yet to be approved, his proposed infrastructure bonds, on-going disagreements between him and GOP legislators, the controversial plan by the legislature to control redistricting in Greensboro’s local elections, removal of the Confederate Flag from our license plates and more. And we’ll give you the chance to speak with Governor Pat McCrory.

What's The Big Deal With Tiny Houses?

Jul 10, 2015
Photo courtesy of

After years of building McMansions, American home buyers appear to want to downsize, some of them, significantly so. Some are gravitating toward Tiny Houses – homes that are less than 500 square feet.  In fact, last year, Charlotte was the site of the first-ever Tiny House conference where folks learned about how living in a matchbox can significantly reduce their expenses and simplify their lives. 

Tom Bullock / WFAE News


The recent shootings at a Charleston church that appear to have been racially motivated along with a series of African-Americans who have lost their lives at the hands of police have re-opened this country’s on-again, off-again conversation on race. Have we ever acknowledged the true nature of the racial tension that seems to grip the country? Can we hold an open, honest conversation on the topic? Is the South’s relationship with race any different from that of the rest of the country?