Charlotte

Local News
5:42 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

Foxx Won't Seek A 3rd Term

Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx is not running for a third term.

Foxx announced his decision during this interview with WSOC-TV. Foxx says reports that President Obama is considering him as the next Secretary of Transportation has nothing to do with his decision. He said he's been discussing it with his wife for a few months. Foxx said the big reason he’s leaving because he feels he’s accomplished much of what he came into office to do.

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A Trifling Place
3:27 pm
Wed March 20, 2013

A Trifling Place, Episode 7: Turn Green Already!

Nine TV displays and several computers are used to monitor the traffic in control room in the old city hall.
Tasnim Shamma

Welcome to “A Trifling Place,” a podcast dedicated to exploring the ins-and-outs of Charlotte.

Find out how Charlotte's traffic signals work

Every city has its share of traffic issues. In Charlotte, for example, there are a lot of complaints about rush hour near Ballantyne on I-485. (Relief is coming. That section of the road is scheduled to be expanded to three lanes by December 2014.)

But today we're not talking about the quality of the Charlotte region’s roads. We’ll focus on an issue the Charlotte Department of Transportation has a little more control over: traffic lights.

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Local News
5:00 am
Tue March 5, 2013

Charlotte Raps About RAP (Reverse Angle Parking)

Jason Lane, a Charlotte native, was commissioned to write a rap song about RAP (reverse angle parking). He now lives in Washington, D.C.
Tasnim Shamma WFAE

There are some new backward parking spaces in Charlotte’s Plaza Midwood neighborhood. The city’s put in reverse angle parking along three blocks of Commonwealth Ave – spaces that are angled against the direction of traffic, designed to be backed into. It’s part of a $4 million project to make the area more pedestrian and bike friendly. 

The reverse spaces also serve to narrow the street and slow down traffic. But, the concept of backing into these spaces goes against what we’re used to. And the result is a lot of confusion. 

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Courts
5:00 am
Tue March 5, 2013

Citizen's Court: Talking It Out With Your Neighbor

Assistant District Attorney Bruce Lillie, center, discusses a case with others on the misdemenaor team in citizen's court on December 10.
Tasnim Shamma

The Mecklenburg County Courthouse processes up to 1,600 misdemeanor cases a day. And administrators are always looking for ways to bring that number down so that judges have more manageable caseloads. One of the newest initiatives is mediation. Also known as Citizen's Court.

WFAE's Tasnim Shamma spent a day at Citizen's Court to see how well mediation was working … or not.

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Local News
2:53 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

Bill Allows City To Pay For Stadium Upgrades, But Not With New Taxes

State lawmakers have introduced a bill that would allow the city of Charlotte to pay for renovations to Bank of America stadium, but not the way the city wants to.  The bill sponsored by four Mecklenburg County lawmakers gives the city flexibility to redirect tax money earmarked for the convention center. 

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DACA
1:18 pm
Fri March 1, 2013

A 'Modern Day Scarlet Letter': Protesting Pink Licenses

Alfredo Esparza, 19, is a DACA applicant and member of United 4 The Dream. He holds a mock license in uptown Charlotte.
Tasnim Shamma

Dozens of immigrants stood on the corner of Trade and Tryon Street yesterday afternoon in Uptown Charlotte to protest the design of North Carolina's driver's license for young illegal immigrants.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation announced earlier this month that it would be issuing driver's licenses and identification cards to immigrants who are granted deferred action status by the Obama administration.

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A Trifling Place
4:11 pm
Thu February 28, 2013

Charlotte 2024? A Checklist For The Olympics

Charlotte has expressed interest in hosting the Olympics ... but does it even meet the requirements?
Credit flickr/Atos International

Last week, the U.S. Olympic Committee sent a letter to the mayors of the 25 largest cities (Charlotte ranks 19th) and ten other cities that expressed interest in hosting in the past. But as The New York Times notes, many of the cities on the list don't even meet the requirements the USOC demands.

Let's take a look at Charlotte:

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Crime
9:13 am
Thu February 21, 2013

Learning How To Expunge A Criminal Record

Legal Aid's Cindy Patton delivers a talk on how to get an expunction.
Tasnim Shamma

We’ve all done things we wish we could take back and start over. It’s harder for some than others – especially if that mistake involves a criminal conviction. But some people with a criminal past can wipe the slate clean if enough time has passed. Melange Health Solutions held a seminar on Tuesday to teach locals how to expunge their records in hopes of increasing their chances at employment.

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A Trifling Place
9:41 am
Mon February 18, 2013

A Trifling Place, Episode 6: When Cankerworms Attack

Up close view of cankerworms stuck on Tanglefoot on a willow oak tree outside the city's Landscape Management office.
Tasnim Shamma

Welcome to "A Trifling Place," a podcast dedicated to exploring the ins-and-outs of Charlotte.  

In our last episode (Charlotte's Tree Obsession), we ended with this sound bite: "Die, cankerworm, die!" 

That's city arborist Donald McSween back in 2008 when WFAE's Lisa Miller followed him on his war against the cankerworms.

He also had some help: citizen soldiers like Sophia Hollingsworth. 

"We picked them off and didn’t feel bad at all about mooshing them because we felt it was one less cankerworm," Hollingsworth says. "And I don’t feel bad about any of them dying. It’s the canopy that Charlotte is known for and the trees are more important than the caterpillars. Hate the green monster."

Five years later, the fight against the inch-long creatures continues.

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Solar Energy
2:29 pm
Tue February 12, 2013

Solar-Powered House Under Construction At UNC Charlotte

Jacob Wittmer shows off the solar house to Paul Camuti, senior vice president of innovation and chief technology officer at Ingersoll Rand.
Tasnim Shamma

For almost a year, students at UNC Charlotte have been hard at work designing a solar house that is both affordable and energy-efficient. That hard work has paid off. Their design qualified for the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon's biannual competition.  

For the next eight months, UNC Charlotte engineering and architecture students will be busy building the house. UNC Charlotte is one of only 20 teams to qualify for the competition.   

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