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Charlotte Talks: Why Charlotte Lost Amazon; Check Up On This Year's Nasty Flu Season

Flickr/Robert Scoble

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

The Queen City loses out on what has been described as the economic development project of the decade. We look at what we might have done wrong and then get an update on the flu season. Just how bad is it here?

Part One: What knocked Charlotte out of the running for Amazon's HQ2?

Charlotte's Amazon dreams are dead. Last week, the online retail giant announced its shortlist of cities for its second North American headquarters and Charlotte wasn’t on it.

It's being called the economic development project of the decade - a potential $5 billion investment and 50,000 jobs. While Charlotte didn’t make the cut, Raleigh is on the list of 20 metro areas being considered.

Details of Charlotte's bid - including how much taxpayer money the region was offering - haven't been made public, but some officials are calling for more transparency. Amazon expects to make a final decision later this year.

We'll talk about why Charlotte didn’t make Amazon’s list for HQ2, evaluate Raleigh's chances, and discuss what Charlotte needs to do to remain competitive and attract other top companies - like Apple.


Ashley Fahey - real estate reporter for the Charlotte Business Journal

Tariq Bokhari - Republican City Council member, representing Charlotte's district 6

Fred Smith - Professor, Economics Department, Davidson College

Highlights from today's show:

Ashley Fahey on why Charlotte might not have made the cut:


Tariq Bokhari on what we should have focused on with the pitch:


Fred Smith on how us not being selected might not be such a bad thing:


Mike and guests discuss some of the possible reasons Charlotte didn't make Amazon's shortlist for their second headquarters.
Credit Flickr/NIAID
Despite the fact, the vaccine is only 39 percent effective this year, officials are still urging the public to get the flu shot.

Part Two: This year's flu season looks like a nasty one - what you should do to avoid it.

This year's flu season is shaping up to be a bad one. Already 42 people in North Carolina have died as a result of the flu. The season started early and officials don't think it's peaked yet.

Some area hospitals are restricting access to protect their most vulnerable patients from the growing number of cases in the state. One reason it's so severe is due to the prevalence of a particular nasty strain of flu known as H3N2. While the flu vaccine is only 39 percent effective this year, officials still recommend getting the shot.

We'll talk about why it's an unusually severe flu season, discuss the effectiveness of the flu vaccine, and find out what you can do to avoid getting the flu.


Alma ‘Gibbie’ Harris - Mecklenburg County Health Director

Dr. Daniel Janies - Professor of Bioinformatics and Genomics at UNC Charlotte

Mike and guests talk about why this year's flu season is unusually severe and we find out what you can do to protect yourself.

Highlights from today's show:

Alma Harris on Charlotte's current flu situation:


Dr. Daniel Janies on the science behind vaccines:


Erin Keever is Senior Producer of WFAE's Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. She has been with the show since joining the station in 2006. She's a native Charlottean.