Public Conversations

Public Conversations is an ongoing series of community forums designed to convene Charlotte-area residents for discussion of timely and relevant topics.  Our goal is to create comfortable settings that encourage a stimulating and enlightening exchange of ideas.  By organizing these Public Conversations, WFAE intends to serve as a catalyst for community dialogue.  Participants are encouraged to engage in conversation with a cross-section of community representatives, expert panelists, and with each other.

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Service
5:27 pm
Thu November 15, 2012

Local Teens Will Serve In Senegal Through YMCA

Four students were selected for the Charlotte YMCA Global Learning Service Project. From left, Deonte Howard and Teal Green of West Mecklenburg High School, Anjelica Pendergrass of West Charlotte High School and Alan Lee of Butler High School.
Tasnim Shamma

Deonte Howard is a sophomore at West Mecklenburg High School. His mom had some good news to share with him a few months ago.

"When my mom called me about the interview, said that I passed, I can tell she was crying," Howard says. "I was like, 'Wow, I'm actually going to Africa.'"

Howard, 16, is one of four high school students from Charlotte selected for the nine-day trip to West Africa through the YMCA of Greater Charlotte's Global Service Learning Project. This will be his first time outside of North America. 

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Business
4:43 pm
Mon November 12, 2012

LCD Manufacturers To Pay $1.1 Billion In Price-Fixing Settlement

Residents of 24 states and the District of Columbia who purchased an LCD flat screen TV or computer are eligible to file a claim to get money from a $1.1 billion class-action settlement.
Credit flickr/Todd Austin

In the late 1990s, there were what were called "Crystal Meetings". Top executives from ten Asian-based tech companies met in hotels and bars in Taiwan to set the price of LCD screens.  In other words, price-fixing.

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Local News
9:51 am
Thu November 8, 2012

Impact Of Latino Vote Spurs Optimism For Immigration Legislation

Mary Espinosa is one of two speakers waiting to talk about the importance of voting at a Latin American Coalition briefing
Credit Michael Tomsic

In Charlotte, the Latin American Coalition is aiming to put its mark on the policies that follow the election. That's after Latino voters played a key role in reelecting President Obama, accounting for about one out of every 10 ballots cast nationwide and voting overwhelmingly for the president.

Mary Espinosa is a U.S. citizen, but some of her family members are not. That was the biggest thing on the 18-year-old’s mind as she walked into the polls this year to vote for the first time.

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Public Conversations
12:03 pm
Fri October 26, 2012

Respect And Disrespect: What's Up In Our Society?

Panelists Cyndi Shaw, school psychologist, Jerry McGee, president of Wingate University, Judge Rickye McCoy Mitchell, WFAE News Director Greg Collard
Jennifer Lang

This community forum explored what many people see as a widespread culture of disrespect permeating our society and communities today.  Panelists and audience members discussed the causes and effects of this apparent breakdown in common respect.   The forum also examined the roles of parents, schools, public figures, the media and other groups in fostering an atmosphere of respect, or disrespect, in the local community.  

 

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Local News
2:01 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

How New Tanger Outlet In Charlotte Could Benefit Non-Shoppers

Artist rendering of the new shopping center
Tanger Outlets

Tanger Outlets is building a big, new shopping center in southwest Charlotte. The Greensboro-based retail company said the outlet will bring hundreds of jobs and new tax revenue to the area.

If you’re a shopper, the draw of a new outlet center with about 90 stores is pretty obvious. But what about if you’re not?

Tanger Outlets’ Vice President of Development Charles Worsham said it’ll also bring benefits to southwest Charlotte that go beyond finding that perfect dress, jacket or pair of shoes.

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DNC 2012
6:02 am
Thu October 18, 2012

DNC Fundraisers Came Up $12.5M Short

Bobcats EVP Bill Duffy hands TWC Arena keys to DNCC CEO Steve Kerrigan. Photo: Julie Rose

The Charlotte host committee of the DNC has revealed it came up $12.5 million short of its fundraising goal for the convention and was forced to tap a line of credit guaranteed by Duke Energy. 

WFAE's Julie Rose has been pouring through documents filed with the Federal Election Commission late last night and joins All Things Considered Host Mark Rumsey to share some analysis.

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Local News
12:03 pm
Wed October 17, 2012

Light Rail To UNC Charlotte Gets $580 Million Federal Boost

Charlotte Mayor Foxx and FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff shake hands after signing a "Full Funding Grant Agreement" for the Blue Line Extension.
Julie Rose

Charlotte officials say this gift from the Federal Transit Administration is the single largest federal grant the city's ever received: $580 million.

FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff traveled from D.C. to bring news of what city leaders have expected for several months now.

That hasn't always been the case, though.

"This project was on life support back in 2009," says Mayor Anthony Foxx.

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Local News
9:30 am
Mon October 15, 2012

Farrakhan Speech Full Of Race-Based Rhetoric

The line for Louis Farrakhan's speech stretches around the parking lot of the Bojangles' Coliseum
Michael Tomsic

Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan was in Charlotte on Sunday to help commemorate the 17th anniversary of the Million Man March. He was scheduled to address poverty. He ended up delivering a speech filled with race-based rhetoric.

Louis Farrakhan let people know up front he was going to veer off topic. He had other things to say because of the election and the recent Democratic National Convention in Charlotte.

For example, here’s his theory on why the Republican Party opposes President Obama:

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Local News
9:53 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Why Did The Deer Cross The Road?

The deer can be seen to the right of the lane barrier. CMPD vehicles are blocking traffic beyond the deer.
Gail Gillies

A portion of I-277 was closed Thursday morning by Charlotte Mecklenburg Police when a deer was stranded in the middle of the roadway.

Business
4:29 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

Teams Pull 50-Ton Airplane For Charity

U.S. Airways employees compete in the seventh annual Jet Pull event. The Dual Lane Demons finished with a time of 7.410.
Tasnim Shamma

Fifteen feet doesn’t sound like a lot, unless you’re pulling a 50-ton airplane. And that’s exactly what teams lined up to do at the U.S. airways hangar in Charlotte this morning. They weren’t there just to show off which team had the largest biceps. The goal was to raise money for United Way of Central Carolinas.

There were 26 teams of 20 employees, but Freight Flyers was the most anticipated team. After all, they’re the defending champs.

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