Charlotte Observer

Tasnim Shamma

For three years, taxi companies that lost access to Charlotte Douglas International Airport have said the public selection process was rigged. 

Now, in the wake of former Mayor Patrick Cannon’s arrest last week on corruption charges, two owners of cab companies have told the Observer they were offered a chance to buy their way back into the airport.One cab company owner said he was approached in 2011 by a man who called himself an associate of Cannon with a proposition: Give me $10,000 in cash for Cannon’s campaign and reclaim your business at Charlotte Douglas. A second taxicab owner recounted a similar story about being approached by the man, who solicited $10,000 for City Council members, including Cannon, in exchange for airport business.

Can NC Charter School Pay Stay Secret?

Mar 20, 2014
David T. Foster, III / Charlotte Observer

North Carolina charter schools don’t have to disclose employee salaries like other public schools do, even though they receive hundreds of millions of dollars in public money, state education officials said this week.

But a lawyer for the General Assembly says charter schools are required to reveal what employees earn. In fact, they have less legal privacy than school districts, said special counsel Gerry Cohen.

Carolina Panthers Release Steve Smith

Mar 13, 2014

The Panthers made it official Thursday, parting ways with the best player in franchise history when they released longtime receiver Steve Smith.

The Panthers made the announcement in a press release and are not expected to hold a press conference.

Lawmakers Grilled On Response To Coal Ash Spill

Mar 11, 2014
Jeff Wilhelm / Charlotte Observer

A community meeting on coal ash stored at Mountain Island Lake turned into a grilling Monday of state legislators over their response to Duke Energy’s spill on the Dan River last month.

The group We Love Mountain Island Lake hosted the panel discussion including environmental advocates, Catawba Riverkeeper Sam Perkins, Gaston County Republican Rep. John Torbett and Mecklenburg Democrat Rep. Rodney Moore. About 75 people attended.

But as a line formed to ask questions, most were aimed at the two lawmakers. Their responses grew more pointed as the questions did.

Mary Sonis / Audubon NC

Human progress has not been kind to either the Eastern bluebird or the brown-headed nuthatch.

NC Regulators Defend Their Policing Of Duke Energy

Feb 20, 2014
Duke Energy

North Carolina’s top environmental regulator defended his oversight of Duke Energy Wednesday as a criminal probe of the Dan River ash spill sought answers from his staff.

Forecasters: Nearly 1 Foot Coming; CMS, Other Area Schools Closed Wednesday

Feb 11, 2014

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and other systems announced Wednesday closings while road and utilities crews rushed final preparations for the expected arrival of a major winter storm around daybreak in the Charlotte region.

Washington Republicans Help Fill Tillis' War Chest

Feb 11, 2014

Cornelius Republican Thom Tillis has added 10 more U.S. senators and more than a dozen state lawmakers to the list of donors to his Senate campaign, according to a new campaign report.

Tillis has raised $1.8 million, more than three times any GOP opponent. However, he trails Sen. Kay Hagan, who raised $9.9 million last year.

Tillis’ nearest Republican competitor financially is Greg Brannon, a Cary physician who raised $524,500.

Union County might be spared a controversial countywide school redistricting plan after all.

School board chair Richard Yercheck said Tuesday morning he expects his group will accept the county commissioners’ surprise $3 million offer to buy 49 mobile units. Commissioners on Monday said they made the offer to eliminate the need for countywide redistricting, and solve an issue that has been tearing the community apart

Duke Energy Plant Reports Coal-Ash Spill

Feb 4, 2014
John D. Simmons / Charlotte Observer

Duke Energy said Monday that 50,000 to 82,000 tons of coal ash and up to 27 million gallons of water were released from a pond at its retired power plant in Eden into the Dan River, and were still flowing.

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