Charlotte Observer

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.

North Carolina NAACP President William Barber is standing by his characterization of the U.S. Senate’s only African-American Republican as a ventriloquist’s “dummy.”

Barber made the comment Sunday night in Columbia. In a talk about what he called “right-wing extremism,” he criticized African Americans who he said aren’t following the spirit of Martin Luther King. He singled out Republican U.S. Sen. Tim Scott.

Obama Focuses On Economy In NC State Speech

Jan 15, 2014

RALEIGH President Barack Obama is embracing a do-it-yourself approach to reviving the nation’s economy, saying Wednesday at N.C. State University that he wants to see the recovery accelerate.

“This has to be a year of action,” Obama told a crowd of students, Democratic Party officials and invited guests. “Where I can act on my own without Congress I’m going to do so. And today I’m here to act.”