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.

Ways to Connect

Jessa O'Connor / WFAE

As the Charlotte population steadily grows and becomes more diverse, so do the students that attend Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. The achievement gap that exists for English language learners, minority students and low-income students has also grown and has become apparent within the school system. To address the gap, some CMS schools have turned to dual language programs and have found success.

Winds from Florence sent a tree crashing down on Nichole Sanchez's rental home on the night of Sept 14.
Nichole Sanchez

After devastating storms like Florence, financial assistance from traditional organizations like the Red Cross and the Federal Emergency Management Agency can take awhile. The process can also be complicated — and that’s if you’re even eligible.

ECU officials announced a mandatory evacuation notice for students. Residence halls are closing starting 10 a.m. Wednesday.
East Carolina University

Updated 2 p.m. on Sept. 13

Universities around North Carolina have been making preparations ahead of Hurricane Florence, which has been upgraded to a Category 4 major hurricane with maximum possible wind speeds of up to 130 miles per hour.  

FILE: Rakeyia Scott addressed reporters at the north Charlotte apartment complex where her husband was shot in September 2016.
Nick de la Canal / WFAE

The widow of Keith Scott has filed a lawsuit against the city and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officer involved in the 2016 shooting that set off a string of protests and riots.

Arizona Senator John McCain is escorted to his seat during the weekly Marine Corps Sunset parade at the Marine Corps War Memorial Aug. 3, 2009.
United States Marine Corps

Arizona Senator and former presidential candidate John McCain died Saturday night at the age of 81.

McCain was diagnosed with an aggressive type of brain cancer more than a year ago. His office had announced Friday that he would discontinue his medical treatment.

After news broke of his death, a swell of support arose – a number of statements coming in from local leaders.

Jess Clark / WUNC

All of the living former state Supreme Court Chief Justices have voiced their opposition to two of the six proposed amendments to the state constitution. The opposition comes as Republican leaders in the General Assembly are gearing up to re-write the amendments, after this week’s ruling to keep them off of the November ballot.

Justin Bamberg
Gwendolyn Glenn / WFAE News

The attorney for the family of Keith Lamont Scott, a black man who was fatally shot by police in Charlotte in 2016, says he is finalizing the paperwork to sue the city and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department by the end of the month.

Jessa O'Connor / WFAE

The streets of uptown filled with music and color as the annual Charlotte Pride Festival took place this past weekend. Two days of celebration wrapped up with a parade Sunday afternoon, with 170 parade entries and well over 6,000 marchers — a record high.

Moses Apostaticus / Flickr

A small group of white supremacist demonstrators and hundreds of counter protesters marched in the nation’s capital Sunday on the one-year anniversary of the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that left one person dead. There were no organized movements in Charlotte this past weekend, but the reverberations of the events last year are still felt locally. We spoke with people in Charlotte’s University area on their reflections a year later. 

Shreya Mantha

On Youth Day this Sunday, a Charlotte teen will be recognized as the first-ever North Carolina recipient of the Diana Award. Named after the Princess of Wales, the award acknowledges the social activism or humanitarian efforts of outstanding young people world-wide.