FAQ City

Calling all WFAE listeners - help us investigate stories that matter to you!

We're accepting listener questions about anything and everything in the Charlotte region. No question is too broad, or too narrow; too silly, or too unusual. The only requirement is it is must relate in some way to Charlotte or the surrounding area.

Submissions can be made at any time. Every other week (with some exceptions), WFAE editors will select their favorite three or four questions and put them to an online vote. The winning question will get a full investigation that's featured both on air and on the podcast.

New FAQ City episodes are released every other Tuesday, and are typically heard on air during Here and Now in the 12 p.m. hour.

Which listener-submitted question should we answer next on the podcast? Vote for your favorite question in our latest FAQ City voting round!

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Wait - where do I enter my own submission? Good question! Write your question in the box below, and we may be in touch.

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Ways to Connect

DAVID BORAKS / WFAE

When was the last time you booked a flight out of Charlotte Douglas International Airport? How much did you pay? It's great to have a busy airport, where you can get a direct flight to just about anywhere. But sometimes it can be tough on your pocketbook.

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.

This week on the FAQ City podcast, we examine the story of how one small North Carolina town faced the threat of a polio epidemic in the 1940s, and turned the moment into a story of small town solidarity.

Nick de la Canal / WFAE

It’s wild to think "FAQ City" is approaching its two-year birthday in January. To date, we’ve received more than 600 listener questions and produced full-fledged answers to about 40 of those listener queries. I’m constantly impressed with all the creative and curious questions people are coming up with, and I only wish we had time to answer more.

Nick de la Canal / WFAE

If you do a lot of walking in Charlotte, perhaps you've had this experience before: You're strolling along the side of the road, the kids are in the stroller or perhaps Fido is tugging on the leash, and suddenly, the pavement beneath your feet comes to an abrupt stop. Where did the sidewalk go?

Nick de la Canal / WFAE

We get it: Recycling can be confusing. Do you keep the bottle caps on plastic water bottles or take them off? Should you break down cardboard boxes before putting them in the bin? What about office paper with staples? Do you have to take the staples out?

Spokeswoman Jean LeierChief Operating Officer David Hannon of I-77 Mobility Partners, on the ramp from I-77 S to I-277 inner loop.
DAVID BORAKS / WFAE

The Interstate 77 Express Lanes have been under construction for four years north of Charlotte. The toll lanes are now open on all 26 miles between Interstate 277 and Exit 36 in Mooresville, and drivers have all kinds of questions about how they work. 

Nick de la Canal / WFAE

Editor's note: A version of this story was originally published in April 2019.

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

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

Not long ago, two of our listeners wrote in wondering about paranormal hotspots in the Charlotte area. Does Charlotte have local ghosts? Is the city haunted by the supernatural? According to some students and longtime faculty at Queens University, the answer might be yes.

Nick de la Canal / WFAE

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

WFAE listener Chappy Garner has been mountain biking for about five years, and one of his favorite spots in Charlotte is the Backyard Trails — a 12-mile network of twisty, turvey paths winding through 140 acres of woods in south Charlotte.

NICK DE LA CANAL / WFAE

Editor's note: A version of this story was originally published in March 2019.

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

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.

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