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LIVE UPDATES

NEWS UPDATES FOR FEBRUARY 2024

Published February 7, 2024 at 2:18 PM EST

Latest news headlines updated throughout the day by WFAE journalists.

Trump endorses Tim Moore in congressional bid

Posted February 20, 2024 at 7:51 PM EST

Former President Donald Trump on Tuesday endorsed North Carolina Republican House Speaker Tim Moore in his bid to win the redrawn 14th Congressional District.

The heavily Republican district includes western and northern parts of Mecklenburg County and stretches west to Rutherford and Polk counties.

Moore is facing two Republicans in the March 5 primary: Jeffrey Gregory and Lilian Joseph.

Trump wrote on Truth Social that Moore is a proven conservative and has his "complete and total endorsement."

Trump has also endorsed two Republican congressional incumbents, Virginia Foxx and Richard Hudson, and newcomer Addison McDowell in the 6th District.

Donald Trump Jr. is in North Carolina this week to stump for McDowell.

Wooden Robot brewery co-founder dies in fall at South End location

Posted February 20, 2024 at 7:29 PM EST

One of Charlotte's most popular breweries, Wooden Robot, said Tuesday that its co-founder died in an accidental fall at its South End location.

Dan Wade died at the building on West Summit Avenue near South Tryon Street. MEDIC, Mecklenburg's paramedic agency, confirmed that one person died in a fall.

Wade was one of Wooden Robot's co-founders and its director of operations. Wooden Robot said Tuesday that its South End and NoDa taprooms are closed until further notice.

"It is with an extremely sad and heavy heart that we share this news. Due to an accident that occurred today, we lost one of our founders, co-owners, and friend, Dan. We ask that you respect the privacy of his loved ones in this incredibly difficult time. We are all still in shock and need time to process everything, but we will do our best to keep everyone in the loop for when we open up our taprooms again. Your thoughts and prayers for Dan’s family, his wife, and his son are much appreciated at this time," co-founder Josh Patton wrote in a statement.

American Airlines raises checked baggage fees

Posted February 20, 2024 at 11:05 AM EST

If you’re booking a flight on American Airlines, you may notice a fee increase.

The airline says it’s upping checked bag fees by up to $10.

American will now charge $35 for the first checked bag if you book it online and $40 if you pay at the airport. A second checked bag now costs $45 online or at the airport. The company says it’s the first baggage fee increase since 2018.

American Airlines is Charlotte Douglas International Airport's largest carrier, accounting for about 90% of daily flights.

York County inmate dies in custody

Posted February 20, 2024 at 10:59 AM EST

The York County Sheriff’s Office said a 40-year-old male inmate died Monday night at the county detention center.

In a press release, the sheriff’s office said staff members observed an inmate in medical distress and had him transferred to a local hospital, where he died just after 9 p.m.

The inmate had been at the York County Detention Center since Dec. 27, charged with possession of a stolen vehicle and being a fugitive from justice on a charge from Virginia.

The man’s identity has not yet been released.

The state Law Enforcement Division is investigating.

Charlotte native wins Daytona 500

Posted February 20, 2024 at 10:18 AM EST

Charlotte native William Byron won the Daytona 500 for the first time Monday night, surviving a big crash with eight laps to go and another just as the white flag for the final lap came out.

"I just thought to myself, man, I know what just happened, like huge wreck ... I just had to block that out and then think about, man, this might be my only shot to ever win this race. Like, literally. There's a lot of people that never get a chance to line up on the front row with two laps to go. So I feel like that motivated me," he said.

The NASCAR Cup Series heads to Atlanta Motor Speedway this weekend.

City Council votes to allow large Wells Fargo sign on uptown tower

Posted February 20, 2024 at 7:30 AM EST

The Charlotte City Council voted Monday to approve a rezoning request to allow Wells Fargo to place its name on top of the old Duke Energy building in uptown, which is now the bank’s headquarters.

The bank’s sign will have 14-foot letters. That’s similar to the size of the Truist letters that that bank placed on the old Hearst Tower. The Wells Fargo sign will be 1,800 square feet in size and will be placed on top of the “handlebar” of the skyscraper.

Union County bans fluoride from county's water supply

Posted February 19, 2024 at 11:57 PM EST

Union County commissioners voted 3-2 Monday night to ban the use of fluoride in the county's water system.

Commissioners Brian Helms, David Williams and Melissa Merrell voted for the motion, while Commission Chair J.R. Rowel and Commissioner Richard Helms voted against it.

Fluoride has been safely added to public water systems in the U.S. since the 1940s, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention find no risk to humans when it is added to drinking water in controlled levels.

The vote Monday came after a group of concerned citizens, who call themselves the "Fluoride Fighters," said they worried about fluoride's potential harms such as lowering children's IQ, and said the county was violating their medical freedoms by fluoridating its water.

Speaking before the vote, Williams said he agreed people should have the right to choose what goes in their water.

"Let's stop putting something in the water that's meant to treat us, and give people the freedom to choose. What an extraordinary idea, you know?" he said.

Brian Helms, who also voted for the measure, said he didn't believe the board should overrule the medical wishes of residents.

"Should this board ignore consent by putting a substance in the water that is for dental or medicinal benefit? Are we not at least in a sense mandating medication for the public?" he asked.

Before the vote, the commission heard from dentists and other supporters of fluoridation who pointed out that other chemicals like chlorine are often added to water to keep people healthy.

Richard Helms, who voted against the measure said he grew up on well water and had a history of dental issues, but that his children avoided that by growing up with fluoridated water.

"My children had the blessing of growing up with fluoride in their water and it has done that. They have very little dental issues," he said.

Only a very small number of U.S. cities don't fluoridate their water, including Wichita, Kansas; Portland, Oregon; and Honolulu, Hawaii.

The vote Monday night affects the Yadkin Water Treatment Plant, which opened in December 2023.

SC Republicans 'condemn' efforts to get Democrats to vote in GOP primary

Posted February 19, 2024 at 6:01 PM EST

The South Carolina Republican Party is condemning what it says are attempts to get Democrats to vote in Saturday’s GOP primary between former president Trump and former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley.

In South Carolina, voters do not register by political party.

That means that anyone can vote in Saturday’s Republican primary — so long as they didn't already vote in the Democratic primary earlier this month.

Haley is down by about 30 percentage points, polls show. Her best chance is for Democrats to back her in a longshot bid to stop Trump.

The state Republican Party said there have been “several outrageous calls by a third-party organization” to encourage Democrats to vote Saturday.

South Carolina Republican Party chair Drew McKissick said he “won’t sit back and let Democrats tarnish our reputation,” and he called on the state to enact official party registration and closed primaries.

No charges warranted in domestic incident involving former Charlotte city planner, police say

Posted February 19, 2024 at 4:11 PM EST

No charges will be filed in a domestic incident involving the Greensboro city manager last December and members of his family, according to WFDD.

In a statement, the Greensboro Police Department also said there’s no evidence that City Manager Taiwo Jaiyeoba received preferential treatment when officers were called to his home Dec. 28 for a domestic disturbance.

Jaiyeoba formerly worked for the city of Charlotte as an assistant city manager and planning director, overseeing the new Unified Development Ordinance and plans driving Charlotte's growth.

In a statement, he said, “Parents often have disagreements with their adult kids.” He was later seen wearing a sling.

Greensboro City Council reviewed body-camera footage of the Dec. 28 police response and concluded the incident was thoroughly investigated.

Charlotte native, former NFL player advances in 'American Idol'

Posted February 19, 2024 at 2:58 PM EST

A Charlotte native and former NFL player is advancing in this season of the reality singing competition "American Idol."

Blake Proehl, 24, impressed judges in his audition broadcast Sunday night in which he played piano and sang a cover of "In Case You Didn't Know" by Brett Young — all while his grandmother, "Nana," stood by his side.

Proehl was a standout football player at Providence High School and later played wide receiver at East Carolina University.

He signed with the Minnesota Vikings before suffering a torn ACL, causing him to miss his entire rookie season.

His father, Ricky Proehl, played 17 years in the NFL, including three for the Carolina Panthers.

The younger Proehl will advance to the next round of "American Idol," known as "Hollywood Week." The ABC reality series airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET.

Union County to vote on prohibiting fluoride in water supply

Posted February 18, 2024 at 8:33 PM EST

Union County commissioners are set to take a final vote Monday night on whether to prohibit fluoride from the county's water supply.

At a meeting last month, some residents said they didn't want the chemical in their water, because they hadn't consented and feared its health effects. Dental professionals spoke at the same meeting and said fluoridation has safely and dramatically lowered the incidence of cavities in recent decades.

Commissioners voted 3-2 to prohibit fluoride. Under the county commission's rules, a vote that isn't unanimous must be brought back for a second vote. The fluoride ban can pass with a simple majority Monday.

Trump to visit Rock Hill before Feb. 24 primary

Posted February 18, 2024 at 8:17 PM EST

Former President Donald Trump will visit Rock Hill and speak at Winthrop University the day before the South Carolina Republican primary, his campaign said this weekend.

Trump will speak at 4 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 23, at the Winthrop Coliseum. It's a venue that seats about 6,000. His campaign said the event will be a get-out-the-vote rally.

Trump is heavily favored to win the South Carolina GOP primary, with polls consistently showing him leading former S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley — his only remaining rival — by about 30 percentage points.

Haley spoke in Rock Hill Sunday night, holding a rally at the Magnolia Room event venue. She vowed not to drop out of the race, according to media reports.

Eight people arrested over protests in east Charlotte

Posted February 18, 2024 at 8:12 PM EST

Eight people were arrested after a protest Saturday afternoon that shut down Monroe Road and led to a 10-hour standoff with police. Charges include impeding traffic and failure to disperse.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg officers said the protest near McAlway Road occurred outside an Eritrean cultural festival, between supporters and opponents of Eritrea’s authoritarian government. That’s from a video of the protest posted on X, formerly Twitter.

Police said the protesters were on private property, blocked part of the road and refused to disperse. Officers used pepper spray on the crowd and said they were hit with sticks and rocks. Police said they also confiscated two guns, and a truck was set on fire.

The protest started about 11:30 a.m. Riot police were called in nearly eight hours later.

CMPD’s Civil Emergency Unit arrived a little after 7 p.m. and helped attendees leave the event, police said. Protesters dispersed shortly after 9 p.m.

Charlotte wasn't the only city to see Eritrea-linked clashes on Saturday; in The Hague, Netherlands, rival groups of Eritreans torched cars and injured several people.

Nikki Haley to visit Rock Hill in bid to save her candidacy

Posted February 16, 2024 at 8:50 AM EST

Nikki Haley has scheduled a Sunday night campaign stop in Rock Hill in her attempt to overcome former President Donald Trump’s lead in the polls just a week before South Carolina’s GOP presidential primary. The Rock Hill Herald reports Haley, the former South Carolina governor and United Nations ambassador, is set to speak at 7 p.m. at the Magnolia Room on Laurel Creek Drive, according to her campaign staff and candidate website.

Representative Ralph Norman, the Republican congressman from Rock Hill who’s become a prominent Haley campaign surrogate, will introduce her, his office confirmed. The event is open to the public. Details are at the Haley campaign website.

Biden administration lifts some Wells Fargo restrictions

Posted February 16, 2024 at 8:49 AM EST

The Biden administration eased some of the restrictions on Wells Fargo as of Thursday, saying the bank has sufficiently repaired its culture after years of scandals.

The Washington Post reports that news sent Wells Fargo’s stock up sharply yesterday as investors speculated that the bank, which has been kept on a tight leash by regulators for years, can rebuild its reputation and start growing again. The bank’s shares closed up more than 7% yesterday to its highest level since March 2022. Wells Fargo has about 25,000 employees in Charlotte.

CLT awarded $27m grant from Biden administration

Posted February 15, 2024 at 3:27 PM EST

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg visited Charlotte Douglas Airport Thursday, where he announced the airport is receiving a $27 million grant.

The money will help the airport pay for 16 new jetways, which are the bridges that bring passengers from the terminal to their planes. The money will also pay for new equipment to power and air condition the jetways.

The Federal Aviation Administration is awarding $970 million to airports across the country. That money is part of President Biden’s 2021 infrastructure law that passed with bipartisan support..

North Carolina is expected to be a swing state in November and administration officials are starting to visit regularly. In addition to Buttigieg’s visit Thursday, vice president Kamala Harris and Biden were in North Carolina last month.

Falling lithium prices pinch Charlotte company

Posted February 15, 2024 at 2:54 PM EST

Charlotte-based lithium supplier and chemical company Albemarle Corporation said Thursday that its profits fell even as sales rose, and that it plans to slow-walk some major new projects until lithium prices increase.

Albemarle has been working for years to reopen a major lithium mine in Kings Mountain, as well as create a huge lithium processing plant in South Carolina. But company officials say lithium prices are too low to complete those projects as of now. CEO Kent Masters told investors on an earnings call that Albemarle will keep moving forward with preliminary steps like permitting, with the expectation that prices for the metal used in rechargeable batteries will rebound.

"We have access to a great resource in Kings Mountain, but where prices are today the economics aren’t there for those projects," he said.

Albemarle said its profits for the full year fell 41%, to just under $1.7 billion. The company previously said that it is trying to cut costs by $750 million over the next few years.

AG Stein challenges Duke Energy rate increase

Posted February 15, 2024 at 9:58 AM EST

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein is appealing a decision that allows Duke Energy to raise electricity rates in central and western North Carolina.

The decision by the North Carolina Utilities Commission allows Duke to raise rates by about 15% over three years. The utility estimates that could work out to around $18 more a month for a typical consumer.  In a statement, Stein says the rate increase is too high, and he’s asking a court to reject the increase.

A spokesperson for Duke Energy says the decision was issued after extensive evaluation and public input, and the increase will help fund critical investments in the state’s power grid. Stein is running for the Democratic nomination for North Carolina governor, and is considered the frontrunner in the Democratic primary.

Charlotte Hornets win three in a row

Posted February 15, 2024 at 9:56 AM EST

The Charlotte Hornets have their first three-game winning streak of the season after blowing out the Atlanta Hawks Wednesday night 122-99. Rookie Brandon Miller led Charlotte with 26 points and said after the game the Spectrum Center was rocking.

"I loved it tonight. You know, I heard that the fans, you know, the let's go Hornets chant. I've heard that three games in a row, so I think that's, you know, kind of a big key for us because just going in, you know, having our home fans cheering us on. I think that can bring us a lot of energy and momentum," he said.

The Hornets don’t play again until next Thursday as the league takes a break for the NBA All Star game.

Poll shows Trump holds a commanding lead in SC primary

Posted February 14, 2024 at 9:50 AM EST

The latest poll of South Carolina voters from Winthrop University shows 65% of likely primary voters in the state support the nomination of former president Donald Trump.

He has a 36-point lead over his opponent, former South Carolina governor and U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley, according to the new poll.

Trump is the top pick for the Republican presidential nomination among all likely voters in South Carolina, but independents are more evenly split between the two candidates. Among independents who are likely to vote in the upcoming primary, 42.3% support Haley while 42.6% support Trump.

Among GOP voters only, Trump maintains a stronghold at 72%. Early voting for the Feb. 24 South Carolina primary is underway.

Valentine's Day marks 24 years since Asha Degree disappeared

Posted February 14, 2024 at 7:52 AM EST

Feb. 14 marks 24 years since a 9-year-old girl went missing from Cleveland County.

Asha Degree’s disappearance remains one of the biggest unsolved mysteries in the Charlotte region.

Cleveland County Sheriff Alan Norman said despite it being nearly a quarter century since anyone saw Asha, investigators are still searching.

"No one’s forgotten about Asha. Not myself, not the sheriff’s office, not the community," he said.

Asha was last seen walking along Highway 18 near her home in Shelby in the early morning hours on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, 2000.

Police have received more than 700 tips, but despite finding some of her belongings nearby, Asha was never located.

Anyone with information is asked to call the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office at 704-484-2822, or contact the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI or online at tips.fbi.gov.

There’s a $45,000 reward for information on the case.

Charges dropped against Hornets star Miles Bridges

Posted February 14, 2024 at 7:50 AM EST

Domestic violence charges against Charlotte Hornets forward Miles Bridges have been dropped.

Documents from Mecklenburg Superior Court show the case was dismissed due to insufficient evidence.

Prosecutors say the victim, Bridges' ex-girlfriend, initially told investigators another female at her home had caused damage to her windshield during a custody exchange in October, but told police a few days later that Bridges had broken her windshield.

In preparation for trial, prosecutors said she told them she was unsure how the damage was caused.

Siemens bringing major power transformer manufacturing to Charlotte

Posted February 13, 2024 at 4:07 PM EST

Gov. Roy Cooper said Tuesday that Siemens Energy will invest $150 million in North Carolina, in part to expand its manufacturing operations and build electrical transformers in Charlotte.

The company said the project will create up to 475 direct operating and 285 construction jobs in Charlotte.

In addition, Siemens' Raleigh facility will add an additional 84 jobs. This will be the first Siemens Energy Transformer production facility in the U.S. and will help address a national shortage of transformers.

The Charlotte jobs will pay an average wage of about $87,000, slightly over Mecklenburg County's average wage.

The company is eligible to receive almost $7 million in state tax breaks over the next 12 years.

Charlotte City Council might need to raise property taxes, budget presentation suggests

Posted February 13, 2024 at 12:08 PM EST

Charlotte City Council heard Monday that rapidly rising costs for salaries and materials could require a tax increase to cover the bill. The city’s lowest-paid hourly employees have seen their wages rise nearly 40% since 2021 to about $22 an hour, while firefighter and police salaries are up 17% and 21% respectively.

City staff said they had to raise salaries to attract more applicants and deal with high vacancy rates. Meanwhile, the costs for key building materials have also jumped — for example, concrete pipe is now $138 a linear foot, up from $100 in 2020.

"So a 38% increase over that time period — we use a lot of concrete pipe in our projects," said City of Charlotte engineer Jennifer Smith.

Hannah Bromberger, with the city’s strategy and budget department, said the rate of inflation has eased, but prices are stuck at higher points.

"Even though inflation in the construction industry has normalized to those traditional levels of growth, prices are not returning to those prior year prices," she said.

All of that means the city is facing higher costs across the board. Charlotte City Council will work on its budget over the next few months and vote on a final budget, with a new property tax rate, before the next fiscal year starts July 1.

City Council member Tariq Bokhari said the costs are starting to pile up.

"We're being teed up for an M. Night Shyamalan twist at the end of this, which is we have to raise taxes," he said.

Trump endorses NC GOP chairman to lead RNC

Posted February 13, 2024 at 10:16 AM EST

Donald Trump has endorsed North Carolina Republican Party chairman Michael Whatley to be the new head of the Republican National Committee.

Trump named his daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, co-chair of the RNC.

The former president is the front-runner for the Republican nomination this year.

Early voting is underway in the Feb. 24 South Carolina primary, where Trump is squaring off against the state’s former Gov. Nikki Haley.

Charlotte Hornets win — again

Posted February 13, 2024 at 7:42 AM EST

The Charlotte Hornets did something last night they haven’t done since before Thanksgiving. They won back-to-back games by downing the Indiana Pacers, 111-102.

Newcomer Grant Williams led the team with 21 points. Miles Bridges had 20 points and 10 rebounds. Charlotte hosts the Atlanta Hawks Wednesday night at the Spectrum Center.

The team is meshing five new players into the lineup after making several moves before the NBA trade deadline last week. Charlotte native Seth Curry is one of them. He scored 18 points last night.

"I felt good. Gotta give coach some credit, he put me in good situations. Kind of switched up the sets he ran for me early in the game and got me a little bit more of ... a rhythm tonight touching the ball, being aggressive, moving the ball," Curry said.

Greensboro council to view bodycam footage of former Charlotte assistant city manager

Posted February 13, 2024 at 7:40 AM EST

The Greensboro City Council will be able to view body camera footage taken by police during a family disorder call to Greensboro City Manager Taiwo Jaiyeoba’s home. He’s also a former Charlotte assistant city manager and planning director.

On Monday, a superior court judge gave a consent order to release the video footage to council members only. Officials say their request was made to verify that best practices were followed by the four police officers who responded to multiple domestic disturbance 911 calls on the evening of Dec. 28 made from Jaiyeoba’s home.

The police report from the incident stated that three family members — Jaiyeoba included — were victims of physical assault. Monday’s body cam release is to the city council only.

Amiel Rossabi is a lawyer representing the Greensboro Police Officers Association. He says he feels the city manager may have been treated differently than other citizens. Rossabi says he’s joining in a legal effort to obtain a full and unedited release of the body cam footage that could be made available to the public. That hearing will be held on Feb. 19.

Charlotte Hornets search for new head of basketball operations

Posted February 12, 2024 at 2:42 PM EST

The Charlotte Hornets said Monday that the team will search for a new head of basketball operations as general manager Mitch Kupchak shifts to an advisory role.

Kupchak joined the Hornets in 2018 after 17 years as the Los Angeles Lakers lead basketball executive, where he tallied four NBA championships. His first organizational move with the team was during the 2018 NBA draft where he selected point guard Shai-Gilgeous Alexander who was traded to the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for current forward Miles Bridges.

Kupchak’s contract is set to expire at the end of the year.

The Hornets have a new ownership group led by Gabe Plotkin and Rich Schnall, and they're expected to shake up the front office and coaching staff.

Charlotte Hornets pick up a win

Posted February 12, 2024 at 7:23 AM EST

The Charlotte Hornets notched their eleventh win of the season this weekend. They beat the Memphis Grizzlies, 115-106, on Saturday.

Miles Bridges led the team with 25 points. The win comes after the Hornets traded Gordon Hayward and PJ Washington last week, as well as sending veteran Terry Rozier to Miami last month.

The Hornets are now 11-41.

Man killed in south Charlotte shooting

Posted February 12, 2024 at 7:14 AM EST

A man was killed in a shooting early Sunday morning in south Charlotte. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police found 26-year-old Anthony Smith along South Boulevard not far from the intersection with Woodlawn Road around 1 am. WSOC reports it happened outside the Bowlero bowling alley. No arrests have been reported as of Monday morning.

First lady Jill Biden visits Charlotte

Posted February 9, 2024 at 4:50 PM EST

First lady Jill Biden was in Charlotte Friday to highlight the administration’s efforts regarding cancer treatment, as election season is already in full swing.

She visited Atrium Health’s Levine Cancer Institute to hear how the hospital uses navigators to guide people through their treatment — and panels aimed at reducing costs for individual patients.

Biden said steps like those help make treatment more affordable and reliable.

"It’s so that we find a way to help families afford their cancer treatments and everything else that is involved," said Biden.

 She did not take any questions or remark on Thursday's special counsel report on President Joe Biden’s mishandling of classified documents.

Concord approves social district

Posted February 9, 2024 at 9:47 AM EST

Concord approved a new social district at its city council meeting last night. Social districts allow customers to consume alcohol on sidewalks in the designated areas.

The move comes as the city’s downtown area is undergoing extensive renovations that have hampered local businesses during construction. City leaders say businesses will have to register if they want to participate.

The downtown construction is scheduled to be complete by July and the social district is set to open in August.

Julius Peppers inducted into NFL Hall of Fame

Posted February 9, 2024 at 9:46 AM EST

The NFL announced Thursday night that former Carolina Panthers star defensive lineman Julius Peppers will be inducted into the league’s 2024 class for the hall of fame. He's the second Panthers legend in three years to be inducted, after Sam Mills was honored in 2022 and the first player drafted by the Panthers to be inducted into the Hall.

In his 17 years, he had 159.5 sacks -fourth all-time - 52 forced fumbles (second all-time). He's also the only player in league history with more than 100 sacks and also 10 interceptions. When he was inducted into the Panthers Hall of Honor last Summer, he said even though he played for other team’s late in his career, he always wanted to come back to Carolina.

"Everything worked out. So, I was happy to be back here. I was happy to come home and I was happy to finish it out here where I should have been the whole time," he said.

Peppers rejoined the Panthers in 2017 as a 37-year-old. He played two more seasons and racked up 16 more sacks.

Charlotte Black Political Caucus declines to endorse Cotham, Leake

Posted February 8, 2024 at 3:31 PM EST

The Black Political Caucus of Charlotte-Mecklenburg, which is considered the most influential endorsing organization in Mecklenburg County, has released its endorsements ahead of the March 5 primary on Super Tuesday.

The BPC often works to promote African-American candidates.

But in two of the state’s biggest races, the BPC backed Attorney General Josh Stein over former state Supreme Court justice Michael Morgan in the Democratic primary for governor.

In the Democratic primary for attorney general, it backed Charlotte Congressman Jeff Jackson over Durham County District Attorney Satana Deberry.

Stein and Jackson are white. They’re favored to win. Morgan and Deberry are Black.

In Mecklenburg County Commission races, the BPC declined to endorse two longtime incumbents: at-large member Pat Cotham and District 2 representative Vilma Leake.

The group is backing Charles Obsborne over Leake. Its picks for the three at-large seats are incumbents Leigh Altman and Arthur Griffin, and challenger Yvette Townsend Ingram.

Mecklenburg County has the most African-American voters of any North Carolina county.

Police officer shoots man on Beatties Ford Road

Posted February 8, 2024 at 2:15 PM EST

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police are investigating an officer involved shooting Thursday morning on Beatties Ford Road. CMPD said officers noticed "potential drug activity" involving two people in a parking lot. When officers approached them, one of the men ran away. The person who ran showed that he had a gun while he was running away from officers.

One officer shot at the person, who was hit and transported to a nearby hospital with non-life threatening injuries. No officers were injured in the shooting. Both officers involved will be placed under paid administrative leave during the internal investigation.

Charlotte Hornets trade Gordon Hayward

Posted February 8, 2024 at 12:27 PM EST

The Charlotte Hornets have traded veteran forward Gordon Hayward to the Oklahoma City Thunder. According to ESPN the Hornets will receive forward Davis Bertans and guards Tre Mann and

Hayward joined the Hornets with a sign-and-trade with the Boston Celtics in 2020. In his four years with the Hornets, Hayward played in 168 games and averaged 16.3 points per game.

The Hornets take on the the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday at 8pm.

Charlotte Hornets' losing streak nears double digits

Posted February 8, 2024 at 8:03 AM EST

The Charlotte Hornets losing streak now stands at nine games after a fourth quarter collapse Wednesday night sunk them against the Toronto Raptors, 123-117. Cody Martin, who started at point guard again last night, said it was a tale of two halves.

"I think just not having carry-over from the first half. I think we did a pretty good job of just taking away their strengths, getting back in transition, knowing that they want to find gaps and get easy buckets, quick buckets, get to the rim. And I think we did a pretty good job of that in the first half," he said. "I think we kind of took our foot, foot off the gas when it came to that. I think we didn't put ourselves in a position, you know, at the beginning of the third quarter to take away from some of those easy baskets. So they took advantage of those."

The Hornets go on the road to face the Milwaukee Bucks Friday night.

CATS ridership grows nearly 11% in 2023 over last year

Posted February 7, 2024 at 8:06 PM EST

Charlotte Area Transit System ridership grew by nearly 11% in 2023 compared to 2022 as more people returned to the office.

CATS carried 14.7 million passenger trips for the year.

While more people are riding trains and buses, ridership is only 60% of what it was in 2019, the year before the pandemic.

And CATS is only carrying half as many passengers as it did in 2013, its peak year for ridership.

First lady Jill Biden to visit Charlotte on Friday

Posted February 7, 2024 at 8:06 PM EST

First lady Jill Biden will travel to Charlotte on Friday to visit the Atrium Health Levine Cancer Institute.

She’ll highlight the Biden administration's efforts to expand access to patient navigation services and address the financial burden of cancer care.

Jill Biden is expected to arrive at Charlotte Douglas International Airport at 1:30 p.m.

Gaston County seeks help identifying body

Posted February 7, 2024 at 9:39 AM EST

Gaston County Police are asking for help in identifying the body of a man found along Highway 321 just north of Dallas on Tuesday. In a press release, police say the man was found on the northbound side of the highway near Ratchford Drive just after 4 pm. He’s estimated to be in his mid-50s, about 5 feet 6 inches tall with graying hair and a small mustache and goatee with a pre-existing injury to his lower left leg. Anyone with information is asked to call Gaston County Crime Stoppers at 704-861-8000.

Union County moves to ban fluoride in water

Posted February 6, 2024 at 8:29 PM EST

Union County commissioners are set to prohibit fluoride in the county’s water system.

WSOC-TV reports the move would only apply to water treatment plants and systems that Union County owns and operates, like the Yadkin River Water Treatment plant, which is expected to come online in the next few months. It would not apply to systems Union County doesn’t have complete control over, including the Catawba River Water Supply Project, which is used by two-thirds of county residents.

Despite the testimony of medical professionals, a group of concerned residents asked county commissioners to go against the science.

Since Monday night’s vote wasn’t unanimous, commissioners will have to vote again at the next meeting in two weeks.

Mecklenburg County gets the go-ahead to issue $2.5 billion in CMS bonds

Posted February 6, 2024 at 8:11 PM EST

The N.C. Local Government Commission voted Tuesday afternoon to approve Mecklenburg County issuing $2.5 billion worth of bonds for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools projects.

The Commission gives the final go-ahead for local governments to sell bonds. Mecklenburg voters approved the school bonds last year. It's the largest bond issue in state history.

CMS plans to use the bonds to fund 30 school facility renovation, expansion, and replacement projects.

To repay the bonds, Mecklenburg County will have to increase property taxes in the coming years.

Charlotte Hornets' losing streak rolls on

Posted February 6, 2024 at 7:46 AM EST

The Charlotte Hornets losing streak moved to eight games Monday night after a 124-118 loss to the L.A. Lakers. Charlotte battled back from 21 points down in the second half but came up short despite a career-high 41 points from Miles Bridges, who’s been the subject of trade rumors for weeks. The NBA trade deadline is Thursday.

"Just worry about our next game," Bridges said after the game. "If you’re worried about outside noise, it’s going cloud our game, you know, and we're doing our best to, to, to get a win, you know, we're trying to be competitive and everybody's locked in, man. It's just like coach said, we're just kind of underhanded right now, but that's no excuse, you know, everybody's coming in, coming in ready to play. We're all NBA players so we've got to come and compete every night."

The Hornets will wrap up their homestand Wednesday night against Toronto. The team is 10-39.