Lisa Worf

Assistant News Director

Lisa Worf traded the Midwest for Charlotte in 2006 to take a job at WFAE. She worked with public TV in Detroit and taught English in Austria before making her way to radio. Lisa graduated from University of Chicago with a bachelor’s degree in English. She covers several different areas with a focus on education. 

Ways to Connect

CMS Superintendent Heath Morrison wants to halt plans to merge two creative arts magnet schools.  Students at University Park and First Ward elementaries have been in limbo the past two years.  In 2010, the school board voted to close University Park along with ten other schools to save money and, then, merge it with First Ward. 

Some child advocates are unhappy with Governor Bev Perdue’s decision to add thousands of pre-kindergarten slots because it’s at the expense of other programs that impact children like foster care.  It also transfers money from the AIDS Drug Assistance Program.

A couple weeks ago, Perdue announced the state was restoring some of the cuts to its pre-kindergarten program.  She planned to shuffle money around to add an extra 6,300 spots.  Groups that work with children applauded the move. 

Charlotte Mecklenburg School parents will be getting their first glimpse at a new report card this week for kindergarten through second grades.  There are some big changes. 

The old report cards were one page.  They focused on reading, writing and math. For example, a section under math graded if a student applies measurement concepts.  But the new report cards go much further. 

Schools across the country perpetually struggle to find qualified math and science teachers.  North Carolina is doubling one of its programs aimed at luring engineers and scientists into the teaching profession.  

Greg Stolve has been an industrial engineer for the past fifteen years.  But that’s not the career he planned on in college.  He wanted to be a teacher, until an academic advisor told him engineers make more money and finish school faster.  So that’s what he did.  

“Well, honestly, my work in industry has gotten to be not very rewarding,” says Stolve.  

Lisa Miller

The two major candidates for governor both stress linking businesses and schools to make sure students graduate with the skills they need to land a job.  Republican Pat McCrory and Democrat Walter Dalton also want to strengthen education in the early years.  But they favor different paths to get there.

Campaign season is full of promises even to the smallest constituents.  These Charlotte pre-schoolers have big plans for their futures.  Dalton sits cross-legged among them.  A few of them tell him they want to be Batman and Spiderman.  

The Gaston County District Attorney says he’ll dismiss all pending cases that hinge on the testimony of four law enforcement officers who were indicted in a federal stolen goods investigation.  Locke Bell says his office is reviewing 83 cases to see whether they depend on those officers’ testimonies.  Speeding tickets and DWIs would fall into that category. 

If the officer’s testimony is necessary, then I will dismiss the case because I will not call any of these officers and have them put their hand on the Bible and swear to tell the truth,” says Bell. 

The Mecklenburg Republican Party had to do some quick revisions to its 2012 Voter Guide last week.  The group sent out a press release, saying it received some "troubling information" regarding a candidate for the Soil and Water Conservation Supervisor and "disavowed" any connection with the candidate.

The release doesn't mention the name of the candidate, but it was likely Doug Hanks.  Hanks is a private conservation officer who says he created a privately-managed redwood reforestation project in the Blue Ridge Mountains.

A Duke University study has found high levels of coal ash contaminants in rivers and lakes downstream from coal-fired power plants. Mountain Island Lake, which provides drinking water to the Charlotte area, is one of the lakes tested that show the highest amounts of arsenic.  

The study tested 11 North Carolina lakes and rivers, and it found smaller ones like Mountain Island had the highest levels of coal ash toxins. 

Two CMS creative art magnets could combine next year and become a school open to students year-round.  The board was expected to launch that effort Tuesday night.  But Superintendent Heath Morrison decided the district needed more time to study it and get input from parents. 

Actor's Theatre of Charlotte is the first theater in the city in almost eight years that will pay its actors a professional fee.  The theater company has signed a contract with the actors' union called Actors' Equity Association. The move is good news for other local theater companies.

Actor's Theatre has long wanted to be what's called an equity theatre.  The theater's executive director Dan Shoemaker says this year the company finally has enough money in the budget to do that. 

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