Jodie Valade

Editor, Digital News and Engagement

Jodie Valade is a Digital News and Engagement Editor for WFAE. Since moving to Charlotte in 2015, she has worked as a digital content producer for and a freelance writer for publications ranging from Charlotte magazine to The Washington Post and New York Times. Before that, Jodie was an award-winning sports features and enterprise reporter at The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, Ohio. She also worked at The Dallas Morning News covering the Dallas Mavericks -- where she became Mark Cuban's lifelong email pen pal -- and at The Kansas City Star.

She has a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from Northwestern University and a Master of Education from John Carroll University. She is originally from Rochester Hills, Michigan.

Ways to Connect

Hawthorne Lane bridge
David Boraks / WFAE

The opening of the Hawthorne Lane bridge over Independence Boulevard to vehicle traffic has been delayed -- again.

N.C. Department of Public Safety / FLICKR

North Carolina will remain in Phase 2 of its coronavirus restrictions for at least five more weeks, Gov. Roy Cooper said Wednesday, as numbers related to the spread of the virus have shown signs of stabilization but not significant improvement.

ballet class
Kelsey Kline / Courtesy Charlotte Ballet

The other day, Kati Mayo was gazing across the parking lot next to Charlotte Ballet on North Tryon Street. It was early morning. A slight breeze was blowing through the air.

“And it took my breath away, how beautiful it was,” said the Charlotte Ballet Academy artistic coordinator.

drive-in movie
Jodie Valade / WFAE

When Preston Brown opened Hound’s Drive-In four years ago in Kings Mountain, he was taking a leap of faith. He was in the rental property and electronics business, but he longed for a life that revolved around movies. His father owned a movie theater when he was a child, and Brown missed it.

Bechtler Museum of Art

The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art announced a new executive director Friday. Todd DeShields Smith comes to the Charlotte museum from Orange County Museum of Art in California, where he served as CEO and director for the past six years.

Photo © 2020 James Lane Imagery

Fourteen years ago, Wendy Abrams was worried about what she saw as the greatest looming danger of our lifetime.

This was 2006, just before the Al Gore movie “An Inconvenient Truth” alerted huge swaths of the American population to the growing concern that human activity was fueling climate change that could drastically affect life in the not-too-distant future.


South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster and the state’s top health official pleaded with residents to wear masks and practice social distancing in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The governor also warned residents they could face continued restrictions as the number of deaths and people hospitalized for COVID-19 symptoms reached new highs Wednesday.

Vi Lyles
Ken Brown / City of Charlotte

Charlotte Mayor Vi Lyles tweeted Tuesday that she has asked Gov. Roy Cooper to require North Carolina residents to wear a face mask to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

Jodie Valade / WFAE

The next time you go out for a walk in your neighborhood, take a look down. You might be strolling alongside a new visual masterpiece.

Jesse Steinmetz / WFAE

A State Bureau of Investigation review of tactics used to disperse protesters in uptown Charlotte on June 2 shows that Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police gave one order for dispersal about 25 minutes before deploying tear gas five blocks away – and another a minute after tear gas already had been fired. The SBI also concluded through video footage that protesters had two avenues of escape from officers -- that would have required traveling through smoke.

University of Southern California

Gaston County health officials say they’re concerned about a 312% increase in coronavirus cases in the county over the last two weeks – and especially alarmed by a sharp increase in the test positivity rate and hospitalizations for COVID-19 in that same stretch.

Alex DeLarge
Jodie Valade / WFAE

On a black wall on North Davidson Street just outside uptown Charlotte, artist Alex DeLarge has painted 25 names in huge, white letters. Many are ones we’ve all heard: Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, George Floyd.

David Boraks / WFAE

Two weeks after nightly protests against systemic racism and police brutality first began in Charlotte, the demonstrations were still going strong Friday night. What started out as a small gathering of about 50 marching from First Ward Park early in the evening grew to about 100 as onlookers began joining the cause.

Camp North End
Jodie Valade / WFAE

For nearly three months, we have watched live-streamed music performances, seen a zillion movies and TV shows on streaming services, taken work meetings and connected with old friends over Zoom.

It has been nice to still find ways to be connected digitally while the coronavirus pandemic has kept us physically separated.

But it also leaves us all craving something more.

David Boraks / WFAE

Updated 11:15 p.m.

A forecast of thunderstorms Friday evening led Charlotte city leaders to cancel a planned Community Conversations meeting at the Mecklenburg County Government Center. But that didn't stop demonstrators from marching through the streets of uptown -- and to South End, for the first time -- for an eighth straight night to protest systemic racism and police brutality.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster
U.S. Army

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster defended comments he made in a phone call this week with President Trump, in which leaked audio revealed him saying protesters were paid and law enforcement should "dominate" protesters.

City of Charlotte

The city of Charlotte is asking for a State Bureau of Investigations review of tactics used by Charlotte-Mecklenburg police Tuesday evening to subdue protesters after a video appeared to show a crowd blocked off at both ends of a city block as tear gas was released.

Jennifer Lang / WFAE

President Donald Trump tweeted Tuesday evening that the RNC will be "forced to seek another state to host" the event that is slated to be held in Charlotte's Spectrum Center in August. The GOP, however, clarified that the "celebration of the president's acceptance" of the nomination will take place in another city, but the business side of the convention could remain in Charlotte.

Nick de la Canal / WFAE

Charlotte City Council declared a state of emergency Saturday for the city and Mecklenburg County after protests over police brutality sparked by the killing of a black man named George Floyd by a white Minneapolis police officer turned violent in Charlotte on Friday evening.

Braxton Winston
City of Charlotte

Charlotte City Council member Braxton Winston's campaign says "he is now in a legal process" after he was arrested and charged with failure to disperse upon command at a protest outside a west Charlotte police station precinct Friday night.

Charlotte Mecklenburg Library

If you’ve been eager to go to the library to check out books or movies or simply escape, there is some somewhat good news: Charlotte Mecklenburg Library reopens Monday.

Courtesy Carla Garrison-Mattos

Carla Garrison-Mattos keeps a map, now, in her home where she marks off all the places she has shipped one of her painting kits. The other day was a big one for the Charlotte artist: She sent sketched canvas, paints and brushes to Saudi Arabia.

University of Southern California

North Carolina's Department of Health and Human Services has identified its first case of a rare inflammatory condition linked to the coronavirus, known as Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C).

Gov. Roy Cooper
NC Department of Public Safety

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper announced Wednesday that the state will transition to a modified version of Phase 2 of his three-phase reopening plan from the coronavirus pandemic shutdown.


The North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association on Tuesday evening released a document providing "interim guidance" from the NC Department of Health and Human Services that indicates the state will begin Phase 2 of its reopening Friday -- and allow dine-in service for 50% of the building capacity.

Courtesy Alvin C. Jacobs Jr.

Two months ago, Alvin C. Jacobs Jr. was still recovering from a devastating car accident in November that left the Charlotte photographer with lasting physical injuries and plenty of bills.

South Carolina will allow dine-in service at restaurants beginning Monday, limiting the number of people to 50% of the building capacity and still enforcing social distancing measures that require tables to be spaced 6-8 feet apart.

South Carolina will begin a four-part coronavirus testing program that focuses on identifying how much of the state’s population has been infected by the virus, starting with testing all residents and staff members of nursing homes in the state.

Henry McMaster
South Carolina ETV

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster announced on Friday that he will lift the state “work-or-home” order and will allow outdoor dining at restaurants that practice social distancing, effective Monday.

Erin Keever / WFAE

Mecklenburg County, the city of Charlotte and six county towns agreed Tuesday to transition from the county stay-at-home order to the statewide order issued by Gov. Roy Cooper that now extends to May 8.

The slightly more lenient North Carolina order deems more businesses as "essential."