Charlotte City Council

Moderator Jeff Sonnier of WTVI (center) and mayoral candidates Vi Lyles and Kenny Smith watched a video clip during the debate taping Thursday. The debate airs Tuesday night on WTVI.
David Boraks / WFAE

In a half-hour debate Thursday organized by the League of Women Voters, Charlotte's two mayoral candidates went head-to-head on a variety of city issues. Democrat Vi Lyles and Republican Kenny Smith differed on taxes, tolls and city priorities. But they started by agreeing on one thing - the need for new leadership as they compete to replace current Democratic mayor Jennifer Roberts. 

Sarah Delia

Attorneys representing the family of Rueben Galindo say they’ll conduct their own investigation into his shooting. Police video released last week shows the 29-year old Hispanic man had his arms raised above his head as CMPD officers shot and killed him September 6.  The lawyers spoke to reporters before last night’s city council meeting. 

Frank Straub of the Police Foundation of Washington, D.C., talked to Charlotte City Council Monday.
David Boraks / WFAE

A consultant with the Police Foundation told Charlotte City Council Monday night that CMPD properly followed its own policies last year as it responded to violence following the police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott. But he said CMPD and city officials weren't fully prepared for the protests.

Rowan County Commission Chair Greg Edds gave a lengthy argument for appealing the case.
Rowan County Commission

Rowan County Commissioners voted Monday to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on whether they should be allowed to say Christian prayers before meetings. The 5-0 vote came at a special session that lasted an hour and 45 minutes.

[Meanwhile, prayer returned at the start of the Charlotte City Council meeting last night. More below.]

Nick de la Canal / WFAE

Updated at 5:56 p.m.

Charlotte City Attorney Bob Hagemann says he never advised the mayor or city council to halt the practice of praying before council meetings. That's despite the mayor saying the decision was made on the "expert advice of our attorney."

In an interview with WFAE, Hagemann clarified that while he told city council that not praying before meetings is "100 percent constitutionally defensible," he did not expressly recommend that council cease the practice.

A main building on the site once was a Ford Model T factory and Army missile plant. More recently, it was a Rite-Aid distribution center.
David Boraks / WFAE

The Charlotte City Council on Monday approved a rezoning for the 72-acre Camp North End development off Statesville Avenue, north of uptown.  

A long-running tradition was missing from the beginning of last night’s Charlotte City Council meeting:  an opening prayer.  As the meeting started, Mayor Jennifer Roberts said:

"We are not going to have an invocation this evening. We are going to change the way that we conduct it, on the expert advice of our attorney, with the concern over freedom of religion and separation of church and state and some other recent court rulings."

Two incumbents and two newcomers won Democratic nominations for Charlotte City Council at-large seats in Tuesday's primary. 

Updated at 9:55 p.m.
With most of the vote counted, two incumbents and two newcomers were leading Tuesday's Democratic primary for Charlotte City Council at-large seats. 

Incumbent James Mitchell (19.4 percent) was leading the race for four slots. Activist and political newcomer Braxton Winston and incumbent Julie Eiselt both had about 17 percent, and current 5th District council member Dimple Ajmera was leading in the race for the fourth slot, with 13.3 percent. Ryan McGill (12.1 percent) and incumbent Claire Fallon (11.2 percent) followed. 

The four nominees will face three Republicans in November. 

Audio Pending...

Updated 10:36 p.m.

Mayor Jennifer Roberts conceded victory to Mayor Pro Tem Vi Lyles Tuesday in Charlotte's Democratic mayoral primary. With 98 percent of precincts reporting, Lyles had about 46.2 percent to Roberts's 36.2 percent. Joel Ford was a distant third with about 15.9 percent.

Once the results are certified, Lyles will face Republican Kenny Smith in the general election on Nov. 7. 

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