Charlotte

Governor Pat McCrory
Hal Goodtree / Flickr Creative Commons

The NBA announced that the 2017 All-Star Game will not be held in Charlotte as planned.

The decision comes after state lawmakers did not make enough changes to the law known as House Bill 2 to satisfy the league. It could cost the state more than $100 million in economic impact and the decision will be a factor in the gubernatorial race between incumbent Gov. Pat McCrory and Democratic challenger Roy Cooper.

photo of Greg Humphreys Electric Trio
Mike Benson

After more than 15 years touring as a musician, Greg Humphreys decided it was time to slow things down. He took a break from his career as a solo artist to focus on other things he'd put on the sidelines. He eventually moved to New York City, got married and had a kid.

Cities, counties and states across America are contemplating non-discrimination protections for transgender people. It would allow them to use the bathroom of their choice, but that has caused controversy.
Rusty Clark / Flickr Creative Commons

The transgender community has received greater visibility in pop culture with the stories of Laverne Cox and Caitlyn Jenner in recent years. And in North Carolina, the Charlotte City Council recently passed an ordinance to include non-discrimination protections for LGBT individuals.

But despite the progress, 2015 also saw a record number of murders of transgender people, specifically women of color.

Image of bathroom sign
The LEAF Project / Flickr Creative Commons

The Charlotte City Council passed an ordinance to include non-discrimination protections for the LGBT community.

Although the expanded protection includes a variety of changes, the most controversial measure allows transgender people to use the bathroom of their choice.

The city council voted 7-4 in favor of the ordinance expansion, but Governor Pat McCrory and other Republican legislators have indicated the state may intervene.

Mary Kratt in rhododendron at age 6
Mary Kratt

Historian and author Mary Kratt grew up in the countryside surrounded by trees, the occasional quail hunter and not much else. As a little girl she spent a lot of time on her own and became a keen observer of her surroundings and other people, and she says that’s exactly why she is a successful poet today. 

Kratt has authored six poetry books and a number of books and essays on Charlotte history.

Image of Golden on the campaign trail for Robert F. Kennedy's successful run for US Senate. The inscription reads: "To Harry...and afterwards I put on my coat, did what you told me, and won the election. My thanks, Bob Kennedy"
Harry Golden Papers, J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Charlotte

Harry Golden is no longer a household name in North Carolina, but at one point he was likely the most famous North Carolinian in the country. Golden was a Jewish-American writer who grew up in New York City’s Lower East Side in the early 1900s.

The North Carolina School for Science and Math was a finalist for Spaces for Innovation Challenge at the Emerging Issues Forum.
Ildar Sagdejev

Innovation is thriving across the state of North Carolina and communities are becoming more intentional about providing spaces that nurture creative thinking.

He started out in golf as a caddy, earning handfuls of change as a boy. Decades later, Charlie Sifford was named to the World Golf Hall of Fame, after a career marked by talent, character and the drive to change his sport. Sifford, the first black golfer to hold a PGA Tour card, has died at age 92.

View from the hilltop at Carver Pond Apartments on Meriwether Drive in Durham, North Carolina
Ildar Sagdejev

  In North Carolina, two million families live without adequate housing. 

Tommy Rieman in his office at Charlotte Bridge Home, with the action figure that bears his likeness.
Carol Jackson

Under different circumstances, Tommy Rieman could have been charged with a DUI when he got drunk and drove into a tree. But because he's a veteran he was enrolled in the state's first Veterans Treatment Court, a program designed to give support rather than punishment.

This chapter of Rieman's story starts in Iraq, 2003.

"Before the war started we were in Iraq, calling in air strikes you know?" he remembers. "I was 21, 22 years old. You're on top of the world."

Fury
carowinds.com

Parts of the Fury-325 rollercoaster stand 20-feet taller than the Statue of Liberty. It took 400 trucks to haul the pieces to Carowinds in Charlotte, NC, and the critical "hill" was completed this week.

When the coaster opens this spring it will be the tallest and fastest of its kind in the world, reaching speeds of an astonishing 95 mph. What will the ride be like? Take a look:

Charlotte native Charlie Sifford was the first African-American to earn a PGA tour card. On Monday, President Obama honored Sifford with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. Obama said Sifford is one of the country’s “trailblazers who bent the arc of our nation toward justice.”

QNotes

The Levine Museum of the New South recently unveiled a historic exhibit that spotlights the LGBTQ community of Charlotte. 

Promotional trailers: Homeland, Ironman 3, Hunger Games
Showtime, Marvel Studios, Lionsgate

North Carolina could see fewer hits like Iron Man 3 or Homeland filmed in the state. That’s because tax incentives that encourage the film industry to make movies here are set to expire in January. Some lawmakers are trying to pass a measure that would give grants to the film industry to keep production companies here. But while budget negotiations are underway, time is running out to pass legislation.

Former Charlotte, N.C., Mayor Patrick Cannon is expected to plead guilty to a corruption charge in federal court on Tuesday.

Cannon, who was elected to the post last November, resigned in March hours after being arrested.

Zachary De Pue, concertmaster for the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and member, Time for Three
Still from YouTube video

Two classical musicians tried to board a US Airways flight on Memorial Day. They were told that they were welcome, but their violins were not.

Nicolas Kendall and Zachary De Pue are frequent flyers. They perform as part of the group Time for Three (Tf3.)  In recent weeks the trio has performed in New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Indianapolis. They've always been able to bring their violins with them, in the cabin of the plane.

http://farm5.staticflickr.com/4088/4945979824_1da08997f6.jpg

  

Bank of America discriminated against more than 1,000 black job applicants, a U.S. Department of Labor Judge held Monday.

The ruling ordered the bank to pay $2.2 million dollars to applicants who were turned down for positions in Charlotte. Host Frank Stasio talks to Charlotte Observer banking reporter Andrew Dunn about the case.

Cover of Lee Ann Brown's book of poetry, 'In The Laurels, Caught' (Fence Modern Poets Series/2013).
Fence Books / fenceportal.org

Lee Ann Brown splits her time between New York City and Marshall, North Carolina, but she has a special love for her southern home.

Promotional poster for Homeland TV series' first season.
Homeland

The critically-acclaimed TV series “Homeland” heads to Downtown Raleigh June 3-4 to film scenes for season three. The Showtime series normally shoots in and around Charlotte. Earlier this week, the show filmed a scene in The Charlotte Observer newsroom. (The News & Observer created a slideshow of the newsroom filming.)

Anthony Foxx
Bz3rk, Creative Commons

President Obama has nominated Charlotte mayor Anthony Foxx to be the nation's next secretary of transportation. He would replace outgoing secretary Ray LaHood if confirmed by the U.S. Senate.  Foxx -- who turns 42 years old today -- is considered a "rising star" among Democrats. 

MetLife says it will move 2,600 jobs from six other states to North Carolina by 2015.
Daniel Smith / Wikimedia Commons

The insurance giant MetLife will move 2600 jobs from six states to North Carolina as it seeks to consolidate its operations.

The company plans to make Charlotte its national headquarters for its retail business. Cary will become the company's global technology and operations hub.

"The campuses in Mecklenburg and Wake Counties will be multifaceted, bringing functions together to provide a rich work environment, as well as increased career opportunities for our associates from both wide and far," says executive vice president Marty Lippert.

First lady Michelle Obama was in Charlotte this afternoon to help get out the vote for her husband. She reminded supporters waiting in a hangar at Charlotte-Douglas International Airport that President Obama won North Carolina in 2008 by only 14 thousand votes. Mrs. Obama said that's why every vote matters.

Michelle Obama: And it is all going to come down to what happens in just a few key battleground states like right here in North Carolina. Right here. When we win this state with your help and we'll be on our way.

Pat McCrory
PatMcCrory.com

Republican Gubernatorial candidate Pat McCrory has been here before. Four years ago he lost the closest Governors race in the country to Bev Perdue. Now, the former seven-term mayor of Charlotte is leading in the polls and hoping a second bid for the state house yields a different result. Jeff Tiberii reports on the man trying to become just the third Republican governor North Carolina has elected since 1900.

Gov. Bev Perdue addressing the DN
Dave DeWitt

The Democratic National Convention concluded in Charlotte last night. The three “official” days of the Convention took years of planning and millions of dollars to organize and stage. Its long-term effects on North Carolina's image and politics remain to be seen. But by almost all accounts, the Convention was a success for North Carolina’s largest city. Dave DeWitt spent the week at the Convention and produced this audio montage of the week’s “Carolina” moments.

The Democratic National Convention is in Queen City. And the streets of uptown Charlotte are crowded with delegates, politicians, reporters, police, and protesters. Tonight President Obama will take the stage and formally accept his party’s nomination. Host Frank Stasio will be joined by WUNC reporter Dave DeWitt to talk about the buzz at the DNC.

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