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Charlotte Area News
Our roundup of the week's top stories in the Charlotte area and across North Carolina. Sign up here to get it sent straight to your inbox.

The Fourth Of July, WFAE's 40th — A Week Of Birthdays

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Jeff Cravotta
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Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles made a surprise appearance during a special Charlotte Talks celebrating WFAE's 40th anniversary on Tuesday in Sprit Square.

We’re celebrating a couple of big birthdays this week. First, of course, Happy Fourth of July! America is 245 years old, but sure doesn’t look it.

But was also WFAE’s birthday this past week. We celebrated our 40th birthday on Tuesday, June 29.

But as we celebrated, our staff was also reporting. Here are some of the biggest stories we covered this past week.

First, education reporter Ann Doss Helms has been reporting on a speech author Ibram X. Kendi gave to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools’ Summer Leadership Conference last month. Two top state Republicans called the speech divisive, even though they admitted they hadn’t read Kendi’s book “How to Be an Antiracist” or listened to his speech.

Helms did listen to Kendi’s speech, though, as one of just a handful of people given a private YouTube link this week. Through a public records request, she gained access and reported on what was said, but because of an agreement between CMS and Kendi, the video has not been widely distributed.

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Gracyn Doctor
There are about 2,000 Black farmers in North Carolina. Wisdom Jzar is working to raise that number.

Meanwhile, WFAE’s Race and Equity Team reporters, Gracyn Doctor and Maria Ramirez Uribe, had two important stories. Doctor reported on Black farmers who are still waiting for debt relief as part of the American Rescue Plan. Two court rulings have put those funds on hold. North Carolina has about 2,000 Black farmers, Doctor reports, compared to 70,500 white farmers.

Uribe reported on how the COVID-19 vaccination rate for Latinos in Mecklenburg County has doubled since March, in part because of the county’s attempts to meet unvaccinated people where they are in the community. At a pop-up clinic off Central Avenue last week, 39 people were vaccinated – less than the goal of 50, but it’s a start.

And David Boraks worked with the Charlotte Journalism Collaborative to report on the eviction moratorium amid the coronavirus pandemic – and what might happen in Mecklenburg County when it ends. Some rental assistance organizations are seeing renters who are far behind on rent and in need of help.

“Normally we've seen one or two months, whatever, $1,500 to $2,000. We're seeing ledgers now at $20,000 and $25,000,” said one Charlotte lawyer, who says some tenants who qualified for the eviction protections don’t realize the moratorium does not write off that debt.

Those are just a handful of WFAE's top stories of the week and show that we're not slowing down at 40 years old.

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Nell Redmond
Hattie Howie, 68, works with staff at Crisis Assistance Ministry to apply for rental assistance.

ICYMI: MORE LOCAL NEWS

Rock Hill Police, NAACP Leader Call For Patience Amid Investigation

The president of the Rock Hill NAACP in South Carolina joined with local leaders Wednesday to urge patience as an investigation continues into the arrests of two Black men at a Rock Hill gas station last week.

Mecklenburg DA: No Charges Against Deputy U.S. Marshal

No charges will be filed against the deputy U.S. marshal who shot and killed Frankie Jennings in east Charlotte in March, Mecklenburg County’s district attorney said Tuesday.

Big Change To NC Medicaid System Took Effect Thursday

North Carolina on Thursday officially switched to a new Medicaid system called a "managed care" model. But many of the 1.6 million people the change affects don't even know it's happening.

Charlotte Elections Officially Postponed Until 2022

Charlotte City Council voted Monday to wait until 2022 to hold municipal elections because of delays in census data needed to redraw districts. Charlotte would have been able to hold some elections in 2021 but council decided to have them all at the same time.

Charlotte's Newest Food And Wine Fest Building Steam

Charlotte's BayHaven Food & Wine Festival in October is already starting to draw a crowd — four months before it opens. The inaugural festival at Camp North End celebrates Black foodways.

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Courtesy of Rachel Sutherland Communications
Subrina Collier, left, and Gregory Collier are launching BayHaven Food & Wine Festival this fall in Charlotte.

REBUILDING CHARLOTTE

If you're a first-time homebuyer or looking for a small, single-family house in Charlotte, it's probably especially tough for you. That's partly because corporate landlords have significantly increased their share of the market.

FAQ CITY

Have you ever wondered where all of Charlotte's neighborhood names came from? For example, who is Elizabeth? Or Cherry? What about Dilworth? One WFAE listener had that very question, and on this special archived episode of FAQ City, we have answers.

AMPLIFIER

Charlotte hip-hop artist (and self-described creator of "folk rap") Nige Hood shares his thoughts on life's unique rhythm, from sharing a stage with Kendrick Lamar to rapping in the woods with Afroman in the latest episode of Amplifier.

COMMENTARY

A Charlotte institution, Price's Chicken Coop, closed its doors last month, and customers stood in long lines for one last visit. WFAE’s Tommy Tomlinson, in his On My Mind commentary, has been thinking about what’s worth standing in line for.

BEST OF CHARLOTTE TALKS

Forty years ago this past week, WFAE signed on for the first time. To help celebrate our anniversary, we revisited the most impactful events, ideas and people who have shaped our town with some of the folks who have covered or been part of it all, and we did it from the center of it all – Spirit Square Plaza.

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