Jessa O'Connor

Assistant Digital News Editor

Jessa O’Connor is the Assistant Digital News Editor and Sunday reporter for WFAE. She joined the team in 2018 after graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she earned a degree in broadcast journalism and worked for her college radio news station. Jessa won national awards for her college news coverage, including “First Place in Radio” from the Hearst Journalism Awards Program and “Best Radio News Reporting” from the Society of Professional Journalists.

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Charlotte Fire Department building
Nick de la Canal/ WFAE

The City of Charlotte has named Reginald Johnson as the city's new fire chief.

Jessa O'Connor/ WFAE

As more parents are looking for ways to protect their children while they’re at school, some are resorting to putting bulletproof panels into their children’s backpacks. A North Carolina-based company is one of many manufacturers of these panels and it has seen an uptick in sales following the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, that killed 17 people in February.

twbuckner/ Flickr

Police arrested a student for falsely reporting mass violence on the UNC Charlotte campus Tuesday. Twenty-year-old Matthew Saavedra was taken into custody by the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Department, according to inmate records.

Wikimedia Commons

UNC Charlotte has hired Ron Sanchez as the new men’s basketball coach, the athletic department announced Monday. 

The owner of a Charlotte summer camp has been accused of sexually assaulting a 6-year-old girl while she attended his camp in the summer of 2017. 


A pedestrian bridge collapsed Thursday at Florida International University in the Miami area, trapping an unknown number of people underneath and injuring multiple people, according to Miami-Dade Fire and Rescue.

UNCC live-streamed a safety panel that included UNCC campus Police Chief Jeff Baker, Dean of Students Christine Reed Davis and Student Body President Tracey Allsbrook.
Inside UNC Charlotte

UNC Charlotte hosted a live-streamed panel this afternoon to discuss campus safety and highlight resources available to students. The discussion followed a sexual assault that occurred Friday night near campus and the removal of a 20-year-old student who had expressed a desire to commit gun violence.

Wikimedia Commons

Myers Park High School will be among many schools around the nation participating in events to honor the 17 victims who died in the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, last month. Unlike some schools, Myers Park is billing it as a vigil, not a walkout. In order to participate, students had to submit permission slips signed by their parents.

twbuckner/ Flickr

A 20-year-old UNC Charlotte student has been removed from school grounds after expressing a desire to commit gun violence on campus.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department

CMPD says Charlotte man sexually assaulted a woman Friday night as she was walking near UNC Charlotte’s campus. Police say the assault occurred shortly before David Keith Kenney, 29, was arrested Friday on sexual battery charges related to incidents at Central Piedmont Community College last Wednesday night. Police say he groped two women.