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

RestaurantHER/ Grubhub

Grubhub, one of the nation’s largest online and mobile food ordering companies, has launched a campaign to highlight and promote restaurants led by women nationwide, including in Charlotte, for Women's History Month.

South Carolina House of Representatives/

In South Carolina, the three branches of government operate under a state constitution that was last amended in 1895, in the post-Reconstruction era. The document was designed at a constitutional convention called by then-U.S. Senator and avowed white supremacist, Ben “Pitchfork” Tillman. 

123-years later, a group of South Carolina legislators said it’s time to rewrite the constitution again.  Leading that effort is Rep. Micah Caskey, a Republican from west Columbia and chairman of the house freshman caucus. 

Union County Sheriff's Office

A Union County Public Schools bus driver has been charged with posting threatening messages to Facebook targeting a local middle school. 

The bus driver, 32-year-old Lashauna Hooker Beachum of Charlotte, was arrested Sunday and is in the Union County jail facing two felony charges of "making false reports concerning mass violence on educational property."

Billy Graham Evangelistic Association

More than 39,000 people have signed an online petition asking for a national holiday to be created in honor of the late Rev. Billy Graham. Graham passed away at 99 on Feb. 21 in his family home in Montreat, North Carolina.

Billy Graham Evangelical Association/ DeMoss

The Rev. Billy Graham, a Charlotte native who transformed Evangelism and touched the lives of hundreds of millions of people through his ministry, died on Feb. 21, 2018 at the age of 99. 

This interactive timeline goes through the life of 'America's Pastor.'

Wikimedia Commons

UNC Charlotte has appointed Mike Hill, the Executive Associate Athletics Director for External Affairs at the University of Florida, as the school’s next director of athletics. Hill will succeed Judy Rose, who’s retiring after a 43-year career with the program. 

The food court at the Concord Mills mall.
Jessa O'Connor / WFAE

Police responded to calls about possible shooters at two Charlotte-area malls Saturday night. No one was hurt in either of the incidents, but these events follow in the wake of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, and have people feeling unsafe – and even fearful – in public places.

Jessa O'Connor/ WFAE

A Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools report released Friday shows that not all students are receiving the same quality education. It quantified the disparities in terms of school attendance, access to effective teachers and participation in academically rigorous courses.

A federal jury convicted 59-year-old Charlotte resident Jose Antonio Hendricks of possession, receipt and transportation of child pornography, following a two-day trial. The charges for transportation and receipt of child pornography carry a sentence of five to 20 years, and the charges for possessing and accessing child pornography carry a maximum sentence of 20 years. A sentencing date has not yet been set.

Secretary of Education Betsy Devos.
Gage Skidmore

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein joined 19 other Attorneys General in urging the Department of Education and Secretary Betsy DeVos to deny the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools’ petition to regain its status as a nationally-recognized accrediting agency. This joint letter follows the department’s solicitation for written comments regarding ACICS’ request for initial recognition after being denied a renewal in 2016.