Bingeworthy: WFAE's Staff Picks Its Favorite Stories Of 2019
We all have them: Those moments when we are so glued to the story we’re listening to that we can’t peel ourselves away from our headphones or our radio in our car, and we just sit and savor the storytelling.
We call them “bingeworthy” moments, and WFAE’s staff picked some of its favorite stories for listeners to lose themselves in from 2019.
1. 'The List'
It’s difficult to think of a more compelling audio experience than Sarah Delia’s four-part podcast series looking at the Charlotte Catholic Diocese’s promise to produce a list of credibly accused clergy by the end of 2019. Delia focused on all the big questions: The Who And The What, The How, The Why and The When with emotional interviews with survivors Anthony and Robby Price, and why having “The List” is so important.
Not all stories have to be weighty. Nick de la Canal’s "FAQ City" episode examining the very important question of why there are seagulls in Charlotte – a city that is not by any major bodies of water – is a fun look at something we’ve probably all wondered.
In 2011, Mark Carver was convicted of the death of a UNC Charlotte student found dead on the banks of the Catawba River. But in June, Superior Court Judge Christopher Bragg overturned Carver’s conviction. He posted bond in September and walked out of the Gaston County jail. But to say that Carver is a free man would be an overstatement. Although his conviction was overturned, Carver’s charges still stand.
In the month after a gunman killed two students at UNC Charlotte, university archivist Katie Howell worked to memorialize and preserve the letters and objects left at the Kennedy building to remember Riley Howell, Reed Parlier and everyone who was affected by the shooting.
A son testified against his father, and it was like a Greek tragedy come to life. It played out in the 9th U.S. House District when Republican candidate Mark Harris’ son, John, testified to the North Carolina Board of Elections that he believed Bladen County political operative McCrae Dowless was illegally harvesting absentee mail ballots – and warned his father not to hire him.
Dwayne Bacon was back and forth from the Hornets to the G-League developmental team, the Greensboro Swarm, so many times last season that he lost count. “I’m a guy that, you know, I listen to what I’m told to do,” Bacon told WFAE. “If it’s going up to play, if it’s being up here, I’m more than happy to compete.”
Charlotte likes to associate itself with artist Romare Bearden. He was born in the city in 1911, though only lived here three years. Bearden was considered one of the nation’s preeminent artists when he died in 1988. Bearden’s life is chronicled in the book "Romare Bearden: An American Odyssey," which was published last year. Its author, Spelman College President Mary Schmidt Campbell, joined WFAE "Morning Edition" host Marshall Terry.
His electric blue wig, elaborate Panthers inspired outfits and dance moves garnered him local and national attention. In 2015, he got inducted into the NFL hall of fame as a superfan. His name was Greg Good, but everyone knew him as Catman. He died this fall, and the Panthers lost their biggest fan.
Ed Williams spent 25 years at the Charlotte Observer before retiring in 2008. He’s also served as chairman of WFAE’s Board of Directors. WFAE’s Lisa Worf had a fascinating conversation with him about his career, including his days as a student journalist at the University of Mississippi.
In every school district across America, people like Barbara Konadu-Ford at Hidden Valley Elementary School are charged with supporting students who are homeless or in transition. It’s part of the federal McKinney-Vento Act, which requires public schools to provide such supports as free meals, tutoring and transportation to ensure students aren’t forced to leave their schools.
Henry Louis Gates Jr., a renowned and award-winning filmmaker, author of two dozen books, a professor and director of African American studies at Harvard University, spoke to Gwendolyn Glenn about a variety of weighty topics.
Charlotte’s Durag Festival is a “uniquely African American experience” according to the founder, Dammit Wesley. He set out to prove that Charlotte has a lot of culture, not just condos.