Charlotte

Learning How To Expunge A Criminal Record

Feb 21, 2013
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.

A Trifling Place, Episode 6: When Cankerworms Attack

Feb 18, 2013
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.

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.   

Local Catholics Surprised By Pope's Resignation

Feb 11, 2013
Tasnim Shamma

Catholics reacted to the surprising news that Pope Benedict announced his resignation Monday morning. We spoke to a few of them after the noon mass on Monday at St. Peter's Catholic Church.

Kevin Barto says his coworkers and friends have been asking him all morning about what this means for the Catholic Church. He says it's not easy to say what Pope Benedict's legacy will be because he was in the role for such a relatively short amount of time.  

Library of Congress

WFAE listeners have e-mailed me about how we should probably change the title of this podcast. They find it offensive. One listener says it reminds him of  "small, off-the-beaten path, lonely, dismal, dark places" and surely, surely, it's not Charlotte that President George Washington was talking about. 

By The Numbers: Charlotte's Trees

Feb 5, 2013
Tasnim Shamma
  • 49: Percent of tree canopy lost between 1995 and 2008
  • One: Public tree for every seven residents
  • $11.83: Amount spent per person on its street trees
  • 215: Tree species in the city's inventory. Predominant tree species are willow oak and crapemyrtle
  • $166: Total benefits of an average street tree
  • 28: Million cubic feet of stormwater intercepted annually 
  • $2.1: Million dollars in stormwater management savings

Episode 5: Charlotte's Tree Obsession

Feb 5, 2013
Flickr/Erik Cleves Kristensen

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

Of the seven cities I've lived and worked in, Charlotte has got to be most green. When you're getting ready for an airplane landing, it's like you're descending into a forest. Once you're on the ground, you quickly learn trees are a big part of the city's identity.

In State Of City Address, Foxx Pushes For Streetcar

Feb 4, 2013
Tasnim Shamma

Mayor Anthony Foxx says the city needs to focus on getting the streetcar and nearly $1 billion capital budget plan approved in order to create more economic opportunities and see Charlotte grow in the future. He spoke at the City Council chamber on Monday morning in an annual state of the city address.

DNC An Economic Boon Or Bust? Answer Comes Today

Jan 28, 2013

Original estimates placed the economic impact of the DNC in Charlotte between $150 million and $200 million.  We'll know today if it came close. WFAE's Julie Rose reports:

Charlotte tourism officials have been known to over blow predictions of economic impact for various conventions, so they hired an outside firm to come up with a credible number for the DNC. 

Charlotte Ranks Third In Nation For Funding Pensions

Jan 17, 2013
Briana Duggan

Charlotte is ranked third in the nation for paying its bills on time. Not just any bills – pension bills. That's according to a new report by The Pew Charitable Trusts. They found that the country's largest cities have an unpaid tab of more than $200 billion when it comes to retirement benefits promised to employees. And it turns out Charlotte has been preparing for retirement relatively well when it comes to pension plans.  

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