FAQ City

WFAE’s FAQ City is an online, broadcast and podcast series that invites the community to help shape our news coverage. Community members pose a question, the WFAE staff narrows those questions down for voting, then the entire community is allowed to vote on which question get answered next. FAQ City is hosted by Nick de la Canal.

Send us your question, and we might just answer it on an upcoming FAQ City:

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Nick de la Canal / WFAE

Waking up is hard. Even harder when you're a teenager who has to be at the bus stop at 6 a.m.

One WFAE listener, Jennifer Morell, wrote in to "FAQ City" wondering why our high schools start so early in the morning, and if our kids might be better served if we pushed back the opening bell.

NICK DE LA CANAL / WFAE

Native Charlotteans are sometimes described as unicorns — so rare they also seem mystical. Transplants, on the other hand, seem far more common, and one WFAE listener says it feels like their numbers have grown considerably in the last decade.

Courtesy of PLCMC, Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room, Charlotte Observer Collection.

Editor's note: A version of this story was originally published in October 2018.

Few Charlotteans may remember Earle Village, the public housing community built in First Ward just outside uptown. It was a bustling community that stretched from Sixth Street to 10th Street, roughly bordered by Myers Street and Caldwell Street. It was the place where 400 of the city's poorest families resided — until the village was condemned to demolition in the 1990s.

Nick de la Canal / WFAE

The 60th floor of the Bank of America Corporate Center is a mysterious, mythical place. At nearly 776 feet above the ground, it's one of the highest spots a person can visit in Charlotte. It's situated higher than the top of the Space Needle and the Washington Mounument, and it presumably offers unparralleled views of not just the city, but the entire region.

And it's strictly closed off to the public.

Lake Norman Mike - Real Estate / Wikimedia Commons

Editor's note: This story was originally published in December 2018.

Mooresville resident Lauren Sullivan has a boat she takes out on Lake Norman from time to time. She and her husband will cruise across the water, sometimes towing a wakeboard from behind. Like most people, she knew the lake was man-made, and that got her wondering: what might have been swallowed up by all the water, and what happened to the people who once called the area home?

Nick de la Canal / WFAE

Sharon Road, Sharon Lane, Sharon Amity, Sharon Woods Lane, Sharon Township Lane, Sharon Avenue, Sharon Chase Drive, and ... well you get the point. With so many roads named after her, it's no wonder Charlotteans are curious to know who Sharon is.

Open Grid Scheduler / Flickr

We all know the feeling. You're in a rush on your way to work or to drop the kids off, and you end up hitting back-to-back-to-back red lights. Your blood pressure kicks up, your body tenses, and your brain screams LET'S GO! Turn green already!

seagulls
Alan Schmierer / Flickr

It's summer, and lots of us are headed to the beach to play in the sand and see the marine wildlife. But some of our listeners say they've seen coastal creatures right here at home.

City of Concord. NC

Editor's note: A version of this story was originally published in June 2018.

Does it seem like something's missing around Charlotte? Something small, green, or brown? Listener Hope Nicholls thinks so. She wrote in to FAQ City wondering about what seemed to be a total absence of cankerworms this spring.

NC Department of Cultural Resources

How do you respond to tragedies? We all face them periodically over the course of our lives. Sometimes there's little we can do to remedy the situation. Other times, we're given the opportunity to fight back.

Nick de la Canal / WFAE

There's something awfully suspicious about that pine tree off the side of Interstate 485. You know, the one with the perfectly smooth trunk and the oddly sparse branches. Seems strange that it would grow so much taller than the other trees. Oh, and the giant panels on the top are interesting. Perhaps they're a type of fruit?

Nick de la Canal / WFAE

So you've finally binged all of "The Great British Baking Show" on Netflix and now you're left wondering how to get some of those scrumptious-looking baked goods. But what bakery in Charlotte carries hazelnut dacquoise or kouign-amann?

Nick de la Canal / WFAE

Many Charlotte residents have long heard tales of abandoned gold mines left buried beneath uptown Charlotte. Aaron Hopping, a WFAE listener, wanted to know more. Like, where are they? What happened to them? And are any still accessible?

Charlotte banking
Nick de la Canal / WFAE

A version of this story was originally published on May 8, 2018.

Orlando has tourism, Nashville has music — it seems like Charlotte has always been defined by its banks. But have you ever wondered why?

Nick de la Canal / WFAE

Google Fiber's internet speed may be lightning fast, but its rollout has been painfully slow around the United States, including in Charlotte – where the company has requested no new construction permits so far in 2019.

Nick de la Canal / WFAE

A version of this story was originally published Feb. 13, 2018.

Imagine two roads in Charlotte — one in the north, one in the south. Both have four lanes and plenty of rush hour traffic, but one has streetlights while the other doesn't. Seem weird?

Erik (HASH) Hersman / Flickr

Twelve weeks after the 2018 election, residents of North Carolina's 9th Congressional District still don't know who officially won their race for Congress.

Nick de la Canal / WFAE

Maybe you've seen one in a parking lot at Wal-Mart, or outside the mall during the holidays. A keen-eyed television viewer might spot them among the crowd at the Superbowl, or in Times Square on New Year's Eve.

Nick de la Canal / WFAE

Editor's note: A version of this story was originally published March 27, 2018.

It's the end of the workday in Charlotte, and a crowd of bankers and business people is heading home for the day, striding down a plain, ordinary sidewalk next to a nondescript brown building on Trade Street.

What these business people perhaps don't know is that just below their feet, about a story or two down, is a bustling underground operation and a steel-encased vault containing billions of dollars in cash.

Compiled by Nick de la Canal / WFAE

Curiosity reigns supreme in Charlotte. Since launching the FAQ City podcast in January 2018, we’ve received more than 340 questions from the Charlotte community, with queries about people, places and mysterious things in the region.

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