Lucy Perkins

hud.gov

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro visited Charlotte Thursday. He visited a public housing site called Southside Homes to announce a $2.2 million grant for a program that trains public housing residents for good job opportunities.

It’s called the Jobs Plus Pilot Program. Castro says a five-year pilot testing phase shows the program works.

"In the study that was done, the demonstration project, participants had a 14 percent income gain than folks who didn’t go through the pilot project," says Castro. 

Stephanie Dohmlo / TPG Sports Group

On the ABC show Shark Tank, entrepreneurs pitch their business ideas to potential investors. The investors, or sharks as they’re called, either sink the propositions, or get on board and invest. A Charlotte sports company called TPG Sports Group held their own version of the event last week called Sports Tank. Fourteen entrepreneurs from around the country pitched their ideas. 

Jason Kristufek flew to Charlotte from Lincoln, Nebraska. He’s seeking a $500,000 investment in his company.

"You’re always nervous. You’re in front of a crowd presenting. You never know what kind of questions they’re going to ask," he says.   

He’s the founder of Fanstreamm. It’s an app for groups of people to buy tickets to minor league games. It also collects data from users which they can use to market strategically and get users to buy more tickets. 

Lucy Perkins / WFAE

A new energy project in Charlotte will use food scraps to power 3,000 homes in the Charlotte area. A Nevada company called Bluesphere will convert organic waste into electricity. 

Think banana peels. That’s basically what organic waste is, along with other food we throw out. The bio-gas plant will take the leftovers we don’t use, and accelerate the fermentation process.

"What happens normally in six months we concentrate in 30 days," says Alex Massone, the CEO of Austep -- an Italian company behind the technology.

Ludovic Bertron / Flickr

A small portion of a magistrate’s job in North Carolina is performing civil marriage ceremonies. A bill that’s already passed the Senate would allow state magistrates and register of deeds employees to “opt out” of this part of their job if it contradicts their religious beliefs. This is all part of a debate over same-sex marriage. The legislation could have other effects if it becomes law.

Several magistrates in North Carolina resigned last fall. They didn’t want to marry gay couples, so they quit, citing religious beliefs. That’s why Senate leader Phil Berger introduced this bill.


United States Supreme Court

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor visited Davidson College Thursday. Justice Sotomayor answered questions from students and faculty about the court and other justices – and she didn’t shy away from expressing concern that the court’s lack of diversity in several areas keeps it out of touch.

While Justice Sotomayor encouraged Davidson students to take a wide variety of classes, she criticized the educational diversity of another group of people – the justices on the Supreme Court. All have Ivy League educations, which, in her opinion doesn’t provide a sufficient range of experiences. And she went on:

"We don’t have religious diversity, we have just Catholic and Jews. We have no protestants, no Muslims obviously," says Sotomayor.

After more than 20 years of construction, I-485 is expected to be completed within three months. The final link is a five-mile section in northern Mecklenberg County. 

Nat Hunter, the resident engineer overseeing the project says that it will be completed between late May and mid-June. The section will be an eight-lane highway that connects I-77 to I-85. 

According to Hunter, the road's completion date depends on the weather. The cold temperatures and precipitation have made it difficult to grade and pave the road. 

Lucy Perkins/WFAE

By a 6-5 vote, the Charlotte City Council rejected an expansion of Charlotte's non-discrimination ordinance. WFAE's Tom Bullock and Gwendolyn Glenn  covered Monday's meeting and protests. Both will have stories on Morning Edition.

Update: 10:00 pm

In 2008, Lauren Beth Czekala-Chatham traveled with her then-partner from their home in Mississippi to San Francisco, a few months after gay marriage became legal in California. They'd been together for about a year and a half before they decided to get married.

After the ceremony, they went back to Mississippi, where they lived together. Then a year later, they decided to split up. The state of Mississippi doesn't recognize same-sex marriage, however, so they couldn't get a divorce there.

Pages