Charlotte Observer

North Carolina’s top charter official warned schools Thursday that they could lose their charters, which authorize them to get public money, if they refuse to comply with public records requests for salaries.

North Carolina’s top education officials now say charter schools must publicly reveal salaries, reversing a March announcement that the independent public schools are exempt from that requirement.

Davie Hinshaw / Charlotte Observer

Readers of the Charlotte Observer know cartoonist Kevin Siers has the art of the skewer down.  Monday he was recognized with a Pulitzer Prize.

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.