November 27, 2021
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After 20 years, Manifest Discs in Charlotte announces store will be closing

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — It is the end of an era, Manifest Discs has announced its closing after nearly 20 years in Charlotte. 
On a Facebook post, the business announced its plans by stating the following:
We are announcing that Manifest Charlotte will be closing. We will begin our liquidation sale on Black Friday at 10 a.m.  We would like to thank all of our loyal customers who have supported our store for so many years. Be sure to stop by and pick up some great deals! Everything Must Go! Nothing Held Back! Everything will be on sale from 30%-75% off ( limited few exceptions).
All of WCNC Charlotte’s podcasts are free and available for both streaming and download. You can listen now on Android, iPhone, Amazon, and other internet-connected devices. Join us from North Carolina, South Carolina, or on the go anywhere.  […]

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Small businesses bounce back through pandemic, hopeful for successful Small Business Saturday

The City of York has been booming recently, revitalizing its downtown and drawing more visitors in, according to business owners and the city manager.

YORK, S.C. — On Small Business Saturday, the things you buy won’t be what matters most. For small business owners, your support is crucial and meaningful after a tough year and a half. 

Charlotte has seen businesses flourish, many bouncing back despite some permanent closures through the pandemic. 

It’s one thing to try to fight through a pandemic in a large city, but in smaller and more rural areas, being a small business owner can be tough, too. 

In York, South Carolina, with a population of roughly 8,000 people, business owners were unsure how they’d make it out of pandemic restrictions that put limitations on business.

However, by pivoting and perseverance, many pushed through while others opened their shops during unstable times.  

“It’s quaint, elegant, kind, friendly,” Amy Lynch, co-owner of Farm Chicks Vintage in York, said as she described the city. 

She’s in love with the small town that seems to be growing by the week. She’s also thankful for the locals who, in large part, helped keep her business alive. 

For the latest breaking news, weather and traffic alerts, download the WCNC Charlotte mobile app.   

“It’s mind-blowing, to be honest with you,” she said. “It’s amazing.”  

Her shop sells handcrafted items and hand-painted furniture. From home decorations to seasonal treasures, there’s something in the store for every occasion. 

“The locals that live here have made it a point before they go shop the big box stores, or even go to Amazon, they will come to us,” she explained. 

They opened the store three years ago, and they’ve seen downtown York grow ever since then. 

“The downtown was pretty dead, about 70% empty,” Amy Lynch said. 

However, the city manager says that’s changed, in part, by a city council that’s invested $100,000 this past year to revitalize downtown York.

“Creating new economic development incentive to attract even more businesses in the downtown area,” York city manager Seth Duncan said.  

Click here to sign up for the daily Wake Up Charlotte newsletter   

Sean Lynch’s new bookstore is a prime example of that growth. He opened Books 4 Ewe during the pandemic. 

“I saw a need that York didn’t have — didn’t have any bookstores really,” he explained. 

It’s a bookstore for everyday readers and collectors, with some books being sold online as well. 

“I was worried hey, I could open this store and I could just end up with a really big library,” he said. 

Jokes aside, his new chapter is growing. 

“We’ve been profitable since we’ve opened,” Sean Lynch said. “I also have the online business that helps supplement what we actually make in the store.”

Both Sean and Amy lynch hope their successes continue. 

“A lot of us are really looking for York to become a destination,” Amy Lynch said.  

Contact Hunter Sáenz at hsaenz@wcnc.com and follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Wake Up Charlotte To Go is a daily news and weather podcast you can listen to so you can start your day with the team at Wake Up Charlotte.  SUBSCRIBE: Apple Podcasts || Spotify || Stitcher || TuneIn || Google Podcasts  

All of WCNC Charlotte’s podcasts are free and available for both streaming and download. You can listen now on Android, iPhone, Amazon, and other internet-connected devices. Join us from North Carolina, South Carolina, or on the go anywhere.  

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Charlotte police search for missing woman

21-year-old Denee Rawls was last seen leaving her home on Robur Court on Nov. 22, which police said she left voluntarily. Her family told CMPD they’re concerned about her well-being.
She stands at 5 feet 2 inches tall and weighs about 115 pounds. She has black shoulder-length hair as well. Rawls was last seen wearing a black jacket and beige leggings.
Anyone who knows where she is should call 911 immediately. […]

home

No end in sight for drought conditions across the Carolinas

Dry weather is expected to persist over the next week.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Every Thursday, the U.S. Drought Monitor issues an update on drought status across the United States. Unfortunately, the trend over the past few weeks and months has felt grim for the Carolinas.

North Carolina drought

Right now, over 80% of the state of North Carolina is under “drier than normal” conditions. The biggest expansion lately, however, has been the moderate drought — sitting at 47%. That means almost half the state needs multiple inches of rain to be back to normal.

NOTE: D0 (Abnormally Dry), which is currently listed as 81.1% for North Carolina, is not technically a level of drought. This is only the precursor to drought.

We get the updated drought monitor every week. Unfortunately, it continues to expand for both Carolinas!Looking at our local forecast, there is no end in sight. Please be cautious if burning outdoors this weekend. @wcnc pic.twitter.com/qgpuGqIi46— Brittany Van Voorhees (@WeatherBrittany) November 27, 2021

South Carolina drought

Our neighbor to the south isn’t much better. Almost three-quarters of the state — 73.11% specifically — is also under a dry designation or D0. But just like North Carolina, the moderate drought has extended to 36% of South Carolina.

Charlotte drought

The Charlotte area had a dry, drought designation starting in September. In a typical year, you get abundant moisture during the spring and summer months, which can hold you over throughout the dry season.

The last month in which there was above-normal rainfall in the Queen City was July. The drought was more notable after October, which had the largest departure from the normal rainfall of any month. But, November isn’t too far behind with the end of the month rapidly approaching.

 🌩️ If you like weather, join Brad Panovich and the WCNC Charlotte First Warn Weather Team on their YouTube channel, Weather IQ. 🎥

Impacts

When under a dry status, the worst impact can be felt when it is during the growing season when people will see a brown or browning lawn. Once an area is upgraded to moderate drought, this will stress plants, trees and crops.

The above impacts could have a long-term effect on trees and even future fall foliage. And while you may be thinking, ‘It’s winter, who cares!’ — lake and stream levels can be lower during a drought and it impacts the local forecast too.

This is a time of year where we are cold and dry often. The Carolinas will also receive a lot of cold fronts which won’t bring much rain, but they will bring wind.

Drier than normal conditions, dry brush and leaves, low humidity, and elevated wind can often lead to elevated fire danger. Which you don’t want during the season of hot cocoa and bonfires!

How much rain is needed?

Going forward to fix this, the areas under a moderate drought will need 4 to 6 inches of rain above normal over the next three months to catch back up.

Realistically, we would need more than that to also curb the drought from getting worse since we’re only beginning the drier season.

The pattern throughout the winter months doesn’t favor above-average rainfall, quite the opposite with mild and dry conditions to persist for the winter and early into the next Spring.

There is nothing in our local forecast to curb the drought anytime soon. The Charlotte area will likely be dry over the next week with models hinting at some rain in the 10-day forecast.

Contact Brittany Van Voorhees at bvanvoorhe@wcnc.com and follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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holidays

'We don't have any shortages here' | Charlotte Christmas tree lot says supply chain issues haven't impacted tree supply

If you’re a real Christmas tree person, now is the time to find that perfect tree. Is the supply chain affecting local Christmas Trees?

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — ‘Tis the season! The day after Thanksgiving is not only a busy time for shopping but a busy time for many to start decorating.

If you’re a real Christmas tree person, now is the time to find that perfect tree. With supply chain issues affecting almost everything, WCNC Charlotte went to see if it’s impacting real Christmas tree lots in Charlotte.

The search for the perfect Christmas tree can be hard enough. Millions of families across the country are now starting to do their real Christmas tree shopping.

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, live tree price tags have nearly doubled compared to prices in 2015. The National Christmas Trees Association said artificial Christmas tree retailers report having to raise prices 20-30% this season, citing increases due to supply chain and COVID-19.

“We didn’t want to miss out,” customer Brian Franklin said. 

Franklin said he came out to the lot Friday because he heard there could be a shortage of Christmas trees.

RELATED: Yes, Cyber Monday got its start because people shopped online at work

“I think it’s a phenomenal amount of trees — it’s wonderful, we were actually surprised to see so many trees,” Franklin said.

“If you come out to Simpson’s Christmas Trees lot you will be able to get yourself a Christmas tree we don’t have any shortages here,” employee James Fowler said.

For the latest breaking news, weather and traffic alerts, download the WCNC Charlotte mobile app.    

Fowler said because they get their trees in North Carolina, they don’t have any issue with supply.

“We haven’t really been affected like I said, this is easier when it’s local economy we just head to the mountains load the trailers, and head home,” Fowler said.

According to Fowler, they have seen prices go up a few dollars — but not by much.

“Inflation the economy, COVID, I think every year they go up just a touch, you’re not getting a $100 tree last year and its $200 this year, it’s dollars [different],” Fowler said.

One thing that has stayed the same is the experience of buying a real tree.The lot is located on Pineville-Matthews Road and is open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday through Friday, and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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Wake Up Charlotte To Go is a daily news and weather podcast you can listen to so you can start your day with the team at Wake Up Charlotte.  SUBSCRIBE: Apple Podcasts || Spotify || Stitcher || TuneIn || Google Podcasts  

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Charlotte's Black Friday shoppers queue up at outlets, stores, and more

Even with retailers offering weeklong specials online, Charlotte shoppers still braced the crowds Friday at physical store locations.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Shoppers in Charlotte woke up early on Black Friday searching for some good deals this year.

The doors at Best Buy opened up at 5 a.m. Friday morning and people were lined up, though the line was dramatically shorter than previous years when the sidewalk has been lined with tents. With inventory scarcities for computers, video game consoles, and more, combined with deals through online storefronts, shoppers queued up outside the Best Buy in Charlotte’s Steele Creek numbered only in the dozens.

For the latest breaking news, weather and traffic alerts, download the WCNC Charlotte mobile app. 

The first person in line, Usha Kami, said she got in line at 3:30 a.m., only an hour and a half before doors opened. 

“I was expecting a long line. Like a really long line,” Kami said. “But this is not that bad.”

Scott Luczywo, a long-time Black Friday shopper, said it’s become a tradition to get out early on Black Friday to score some deals, but the crowds have been smaller this year and last year. 

“Last year wasn’t too bonkers either so I kind of thought we might be the only one or two,” Luczywo said. “But so, I guess the 10 or so that are in front of me, I guess that was kind of my expectation.”

RELATED: Why are there fewer Black Friday bargains this year?

By the early afternoon hours, WCNC Charlotte’s found more shoppers lined up at the Charlotte Premium Outlets.

The sweet smell of Black Friday Deals. I’m outside of Charlotte Premium Outlets and lines are long and parking is scarce. @wcnc pic.twitter.com/Vs6rCjafqO— Shamarria Morrison (@SMorrisonTV) November 26, 2021

The National Retail Federation estimates 64% of people will likely shop in stores this Black Friday, which is up from 51% last year. The federation says more people started shopping earlier this year than they usually do.

RELATED: Yes, Cyber Monday got its start because people shopped online at work

“I think everyone’s just doing online, especially after COVID,” Luczywo said. “Everyone just got so used to doing everything online. I think people are like, ‘Well, I did my Christmas shopping three months ago with Amazon, and I’ll keep doing it.'”

Like many stores, Best Buy changed up the way it does Black Friday, offering deals in the last week both in-store and online. 

Several stores are offering multiple options for shoppers to get their items, including buying online with in-store pick-up or curbside pick-up. 

WCNC Charlotte is always asking “where’s the money?” If you need help, reach out to the Defenders team by emailing money@wcnc.com.

Doors opened at Best Buy in Steele Creek at 5 a.m. for Black Friday shopping. The first person in line only got in line by 3:30 a.m. This is a store where I’ve seen people camp out days in advance in previous years to score a deal. pic.twitter.com/lUTIJmLolk— Kendall Morris (@KendallMorrisTV) November 26, 2021

Shoppers filled lines all day at Charlotte Premium Outlets. Parking was scarce and lined snaked outside the door for most stores. 

And it wouldn’t be Black Friday without a parking lot argument. pic.twitter.com/anyqdcFAlO— Shamarria Morrison (@SMorrisonTV) November 26, 2021

Kathy Bradford spent time with her family hunting for a deal.

Every year, she and the family go out shopping. This year they landed at the Charlotte Premium Outlets. Bradford said they had their eyes on Vera Bradley, Levi’s, and Nike among other stores.

The volume of the shoppers felt pre-pandemic Friday — with the exception of the mask — and talks of supply chain issues didn’t stop people from coming out.

RELATED: ‘We don’t have any shortages here’ | Charlotte Christmas tree lot says supply chain issues haven’t impacted tree supply

Bradford found everything she needed for Black Friday, except a new car.

“I’ve had a deposit on a car since labor day weekend they keep saying it’s coming,” Bradford said. “It will be next month, next month. We’re waiting on a chip.”

For now, she’s satisfied with her bags from Friday.

Meanwhile, in South End Charlotte, small businesses like OMJ Clothing are preparing for small business Saturday. 

The men’s clothing store opened in 2020.

“It’s great for us the increased food traffic, the sales, even the eyeballs that are maybe just discovering us for the first time,” Bradley Rhyne, co-owner of OMJ Clothing, said.

Tomorrow he’s hoping the square will be full of people discovering his and other small businesses for the first or second time.

“It’s a great day for us and any small business that’s participating,” Rhyne said. 

It’s especially important after slow sales due to the pandemic.

Fifth Third Bank is sponsoring a small business Saturday event, including shopping with local vendors at the South End Market from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Across the street on Camden Road, around 80 local vendors will line the streets from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

In addition to the shops to support, attendees can hear live music at the Groove Ailment from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Santa will also be at Lilbelle Clothing from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. 

Contact Kendall Morris at kmorris2@wcnc.com and follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Contact Shamarria Morrison at smorrison@wcnc.com and follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  

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Wake Up Charlotte To Go is a daily news and weather podcast you can listen to so you can start your day with the team at Wake Up Charlotte.SUBSCRIBE: Apple Podcasts || Spotify || Stitcher || TuneIn || Google Podcasts

All of WCNC Charlotte’s podcasts are free and available for both streaming and download. You can listen now on Android, iPhone, Amazon, and other internet-connected devices. Join us from North Carolina, South Carolina, or on the go anywhere. […]

heartwarming

Group raising money to give quilts to veterans this holiday season

Over the years, hundreds of veterans in the Rock Hill, South Carolina area were awarded Quilts of Valor.

ROCK HILL, S.C. — A group that has awarded hundreds of quilts to veterans in the Rock Hill, South Carolina area has run into a stumbling block — funding. 

So far in 2021, more than 21,918 quilts were awarded to veterans nationally by Quilts of Valor. The Old Glory Quilters, the organization’s chapter in Rock Hill, South Carolina, has awarded 3,000 quilts to veterans since the group started a decade ago. 

In an effort to raise money for material costs to make the quilts, the Old Glory Quilters are holding a fundraiser and open house at a residence in Rock Hill all weekend.

“The Quilts of Valor, that’s something special,” Harvey Mayhill, who founded the Old Glory Quilters, the Rock Hill chapter of the Quilts of Valor Foundation, said. “Some veterans have even taken them to the grave with them.” 

The fundraiser will be held at 2873 Forest Hills Circle in Rock Hill on Saturday and Sunday from 1-4 p.m. Mayhill is organizing the fundraiser to help with material costs. 

Now Mayhill and his team at the Old Glory Quilters are raising money for materials to make more quilts this holiday season. Right now, they have close to 200 veterans nominated for a quilt who have yet to receive one.

Making the quilts is a true labor of love.  

It takes up to 100 hours and $350 to make a single quilt – and all that work is done by volunteers. But you can’t put a price tag for the meaning of the quilts, and how much they touch the veterans who receive them. 

“Yes, it is a lot of money and it’s a lot of work – but it’s a lot of reward,” Mayhill said. “I have relieved a lot of veterans from PTSD. In this area we know for sure we stopped three suicides.” 

For the latest breaking news, weather and traffic alerts, download the WCNC Charlotte mobile app. 

At the beginning of the pandemic, the Old Glory Quilters used their sewing machines to support veterans in a new way — by making masks that were then handed out to veterans free of charge. Now it needs more funds to purchase materials. 

Click here to sign up for the daily Wake Up Charlotte newsletter 

The group is always looking for donations. Donated funds are used to purchase fabric and thread. Information on how to donate is posted on the group’s Facebook page.  Additionally, you can donate through the Quilts of Valor website, by designating that the money is for Group #13471. Mayhill says 100% of the funds that the chapter receives are used for fabric and other materials. 

Contact Indira Eskieva at ieskieva@wcnc.com and follow her on Facebook and Twitter and Instagram.

MORE STORIES ON WCNC 

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animals

Security cameras capture tense moments as Charlotte dog attacked by deer in backyard

Finn, a 3-year-old Goldendoodle, is recovering from a collapsed lung and multiple punctures to his body after a buck attacked him.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A south Charlotte family is warning other pet owners after their dog was seriously hurt when a deer attacked him in their backyard.

Finn, the family’s 3-year-old Goldendoodle, usually plays in the backyard. He’ll get spurts of energy and play fetch with balls and toys from time to time, his owner, Roger Hunter, said. 

The Hunters live in a neighborhood between SouthPark and Pineville. They are used to seeing deer in their backyard, but they were stunned when Finn was attacked by a buck on Monday. 

“We didn’t expect it,” Roger Hunter said. “This all happened so fast.” 

One of their security cameras captured the moment. 

Editor’s Note: The video contains content that some may find disturbing.

At first, Hunter said Finn scared off a doe from the yard. But as he turned around a buck met him head-on. 

In the video, you can see a buck dart across the backyard towards Finn. Then, the deer pummels the dog over and over again with his antlers. 

“[The deer] hit him about four different times — pinning him against the fence each time,” Hunter said. 

For the latest breaking news, weather and traffic alerts, download the WCNC Charlotte mobile app.  

Seconds later, Hunter’s wife can be seen running into the video waving a towel to scare the deer away. Veterinarians credited Mrs. Hunter’s quick actions with saving Finn’s life. 

Still, the damage had been done to Finn. 

“It is very traumatic for her and the dog,” Mr. Hunter said. 

Tonight at 11 on @wcnc — how this #Charlotte dog is doing after he was severely attacked by a buck in his own backyard. We have the video… plus, what the owner believes led the buck to being so aggressive. pic.twitter.com/CooLjPioVS— Hunter Sáenz (@Hunt_Saenz) November 24, 2021

Hunter’s wife and a neighbor rushed Finn to Sharon Lakes Animal Hospital.

Veterinarians there told the family Finn suffered a collapsed lung and multiple puncture wounds. 

“About seven or so, which were pretty deep,” Hunter explained. 

Hunter said he believes the buck got defensive after the dog tried to scare his doe away. 

Deer are in the middle of their rut, or mating season, where bucks pursue does for mating.

“It is very surprising actually,” Moriah Bogges, a deer biologist with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, said. 

However, he said with the ongoing rut, if something like this was going to happen, it would happen during this season. 

“Even though deer are particularly bold this time of year, and some might be a little aggressive, we very rarely ever get reports of a deer coming after a dog,” he said. 

Bogges said any pet owner should be sure to not feed wild animals or nurture them to where they want to routinely come onto your property. Instead, respect their space so they don’t become territorial. 

RELATED: End of daylight saving time means more deer danger for South Carolina drivers

The Hunters hope their story will make people aware so no other pet owner has to go through Finn’s experience. 

Finn’s family provided an update on his condition Friday afternoon, saying Finn is doing much better and may be able to go home Saturday if all continues to improve.

Contact Hunter Sáenz at hsaenz@wcnc.com and follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

A Pupdate! Good news! Finn is doing much better and may be going home Saturday if all continues to improve, his family tells me. @wcnc They sent me these pictures. One of him smiling and the other one showing his healing battle wounds. https://t.co/tM8valrgMA pic.twitter.com/crbLZZsDwS— Hunter Sáenz (@Hunt_Saenz) November 26, 2021

RELATED: ‘To me, it’s social injustice’ | Lyft repeatedly denying ride to Charlotte woman who is blind

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'Our hearts are heavy hearing the news of losing such beautiful people' | Beloved Charlotte couple killed in collision

The Gay Men’s Chorus of Charlotte shared a statement saying every room Luke and Restin entered was brightened by their presence.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A beloved Charlotte couple has died after a collision Tuesday night involving an impaired driver. 

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police responded to the 9700 block of North Tryon Street, which is near the intersection with East Mallard Creek Church Road, just before 9:15 p.m. on Tuesday. When they arrived, officers found a 2011 Audi SUV with heavy damage and a 2017 Volkswagen nearby.

The driver and passenger of the Audi, 32-year-old Luke Drawdy and 35-year-old Restin Drawdy were pronounced dead at the scene. The Gay Men’s Chorus of Charlotte and QnotesCarolinas confirm the couple was married, and were well-known and active within Charlotte’s LGBTQ community.

“There was not a room that they entered that was not brightened by their smiles and laughter,” the Gay Men’s Chorus of Charlotte said, in part, in a post on Facebook, adding Luke Drawdy was a member of the chorus. “Their love for one another was obvious to all who knew them. Their generosity and hospitality were legend. Two beautiful, young lights have gone out of the universe.”

We are devastated by the news of the tragic death of one of our members, Luke William Drawdy, and his husband, Restin…Posted by Gay Men’s Chorus of Charlotte on Wednesday, November 24, 2021

The driver of the Volkswagen, 22-year-old Thomas Nix, was taken to a nearby hospital with minor injuries. During the investigation, CMPD determined that Nix was impaired and speeding during the collision. 

Based on the initial investigation, CMPD believes the Drawdys were attempting to turn left on North Tryon Street from a side exit of the Terraces at University Place Shopping Center while Nix was driving in the left lane, traveling southbound on North Tryon Street. Police said as the Drawdys were attempting to turn left, their vehicle was struck on the driver’s side by Nix’s vehicle.

CMPD said speed was a factor for Nix only, and both Luke Drawdy and Restin Drawdy were wearing seatbelts. Nix has since been charged with driving while impaired, and additional warrants were obtained for two counts of felony death by motor vehicle and reckless driving.

Stonewall Sports Charlotte, an LGBTQ and ally not-for-profit sports league, shared a post on Instagram in memory of the couple. 

“Our hearts are heavy hearing the news of losing such beautiful people in our community,” the post reads in part. “Take a moment to tell your teammates, friends, family, and loved ones that you are here for them and love them. Lift one another when it feels like we cannot lift ourselves. Luke and Restin, may you Rest In Peace together.”

Anyone with information on the crash is urged to contact CMPD and speak with Detective Crum at 704-432-2169, extension 4 or contact Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.

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local

Durham mall closed after at least 1 person shot, reports say

Reports said police responded to a shots fired call at The Streets at Southpoint Mall.
According to reports, the mall was placed on lockdown as law enforcement responded to the situation. The mall has been closed until further notice.
Police were seen escorting remaining shoppers out of the mall.
“The situation is still fluid, but of course we’re all deeply, deeply concerned,” Councilman Mark-Anthony Middleton told WRAL. “This is Black Friday. This is a huge shopping day. We know a lot of people are out after the holiday trying to do shopping.”
Previously, police were called to the mall on Oct. 24 for a reports of shots fired after a large fight broke out in the mall’s food court.
Check back with WCNC Charlotte as this story develops. […]

Business

After 20 years, Manifest Discs in Charlotte announces store will be closing

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — It is the end of an era, Manifest Discs has announced its closing after nearly 20 years in Charlotte. 
On a Facebook post, the business announced its plans by stating the following:
We are announcing that Manifest Charlotte will be closing. We will begin our liquidation sale on Black Friday at 10 a.m.  We would like to thank all of our loyal customers who have supported our store for so many years. Be sure to stop by and pick up some great deals! Everything Must Go! Nothing Held Back! Everything will be on sale from 30%-75% off ( limited few exceptions).
All of WCNC Charlotte’s podcasts are free and available for both streaming and download. You can listen now on Android, iPhone, Amazon, and other internet-connected devices. Join us from North Carolina, South Carolina, or on the go anywhere.  […]

connect-the-dots

Why are there fewer Black Friday bargains this year?

Black Friday has become less of a shopping day, and more of a shopping season.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Where did all the doorbusters go, and why are there fewer Black Friday bargains this year?

Let’s connect the dots. 

Black Friday crowds have been thinning out for years, as more people shop online and stores offer their deals earlier and earlier.  Now current supply chain issues are speeding up those trends. 

Stores are also working with low inventory and high inflation costs this year, which means they aren’t likely to give their goods away for cheap. 

For the latest breaking news, weather and traffic alerts, download the WCNC Charlotte mobile app. 

On top of that, economists also say consumer spending is surging right now.  Companies are betting on the fact that you’ll buy their products whether they discount them or not.  

And now Black Friday has become less of a shopping day, and more of a shopping season. Many stores are stretching out their sales to last days, or even weeks. 

Walmart is holding a month-long sales event, and Target’s holiday deals began back on Halloween. That means the discounts are spread out, and not as impressive on actual Black Friday. 

Click here to sign up for the daily Wake Up Charlotte newsletter 

All of this doesn’t mean Black Friday will be a total bust. Experts say the most dedicated shoppers will still find some good deals.  Just expect the discounts to be a little smaller. 

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Wake Up Charlotte To Go is a daily news and weather podcast you can listen to so you can start your day with the team at Wake Up Charlotte.SUBSCRIBE: Apple Podcasts || Spotify || Stitcher || TuneIn || Google Podcasts

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crime

Woman hit and killed Thanksgiving night, CMPD searching for the driver

Police said the suspect vehicle is a 1995-2001 Ford Explorer and should have damage on the front-end of the vehicle.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department is searching for a vehicle that was involved in a fatal accident late Thanksgiving night.

According to police, the incident happened near the intersection of Sunset Road and Beatties Ford Road.

Police said shortly before 10:00 p.m. on Thanksgiving, their officers responded to reports of someone lying in the roadway and in need of medical attention near the intersection of Sunset Road and Beatties Ford Road.  When they arrived, officers found a woman in the roadway. The woman was pronounced dead on the scene by MEDIC.

For the latest breaking news, weather and traffic alerts, download the WCNC Charlotte mobile app.  

Detectives Seeking Information about Last Night’s Deadly Crash https://t.co/UnjmtCqF5S— CMPD News (@CMPD) November 26, 2021

Detectives with the CMPD’s Major Crash Investigation Unit, DWI Task Force and Crime Scene Search responded to the scene to conduct an investigation. Their preliminary investigation indicates the pedestrian was in a crosswalk and crossing Sunset Road when she was struck by a fire-red, two-door Ford Explorer.  

Police report that the driver of the Explorer immediately fled the scene and was last seen traveling west on Sunset Road toward Peachtree Road. Detectives are actively searching for the suspect vehicle and are asking the public for any information that may assist with the investigation.  

Anyone who has information or knows the whereabouts of the suspect vehicle or its driver is asked to call 911 and report it, immediately.  The suspect vehicle is a 1995-2001 Ford Explorer and should have damage on the front-end of the vehicle.

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features

Dragon helps put out fire: Charlotte Knights mascot seen helping put out uptown Charlotte fire

This time, the dragon helped extinguish a fire.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Charlotte Knights mascot Homer the Dragon flipped the script Tuesday: he helped put out a fire. 

When a small brush fire broke out in a flower bed near Truist Field and Romare Bearden Park, the Charlotte Fire Department said, “Homer was in the neighborhood and assisted Charlotte Fire Engine 4 with putting the fire out.”

Walter Hawkins, who shared photos of the event with WCNC Charlotte, said he was at Romare Bearden park Tuesday around noon when he noticed the fire. Hawkins said while waiting for a fire engine to arrive, multiple people stopped to help — among them, Charlotte’s favorite dragon. 

Homer the Dragon told WCNC Charlotte he was shooting a video in the team store when the team store manager noticed a fire across the street. Homer ran over, and when he noticed an extinguisher in use had emptied, he said he knew it was time to step up.

At that point, Homer said they pulled the pin on their extinguisher, working to get the fire out. When Engine 4 pulled up, Homer said the firefighters had big smiles and let Homer use the fire hose to cover the fire in water. 

“I’m so thankful for the brave citizen that started putting the fire out, those that called 911, and the Engine 4 crew!” Homer said in a statement. “It was an honor to protect and serve the neighborhood and city that I love.” 

RELATED: Charlotte Knights announce season delayed until May 4

RELATED: Long lines at Spectrum Center COVID-19 vaccine clinic […]

gastonia

Gaston County leaders confront homelessness crisis

Gaston County Commissioners voted Tuesday to create an intergovernmental agency task force on homelessness.

GASTONIA, N.C. — Gaston County commissioners met Tuesday and voted unanimously to create a homelessness task force. The task force will review how many people are homeless, what barriers people face seeking help, and review potential solutions.

John Mills, the director of social services for The Salvation Army in Gastonia, is optimistic about the possible changes resulting from a task force.

“Just more collaboration and communication as far as our services because really no one agency can do it all,” Mills said. “I think it’d be much more stronger focus as far as our clientele and just trying to help them more.”

Dwayne Burks is the director and chaplain of The Gateway, which connects people with chronic crises to relief programs to lift themselves out of homelessness.

He said there are two challenges with Gaston County’s homelessness issue: affordable housing, and government services and non-profits in the county that are siloed in their efforts yet have overlapping responsibilities.

Gaston County commissioners will be meeting tonight to discuss forming a homelessness taskforce. Today at 5:30 p.m. @wcnc, the unique challenges to solving Gaston County’s homelessness, and how the promise of big projects could exacerbate the issue. pic.twitter.com/8MzhpLSNze
— Brandon Goldner (@BrandonWCNC) March 9, 2021

Burks said in The Gateway’s last count, they had 5,600 people receiving Supplemental Security Income from the federal government, which is under $900 a month.

But he said, at any given time, the county only has about 2,200 rental units total, with a median price of $800 a month.

“It’s wonderful to see the growth that we’re seeing in our community,” Burks said. “But we’re also gentrifying because we’re not planning ahead for that.”

He said Gaston County has a unique challenge because outside of Gastonia, there are few options for people seeking help.

“We need a pathway for those folks that’s clearly delineated, ‘This is how you get yourself out of homelessness,'” Burks said.

The number of people in Gaston County on the verge of homelessness is also on the rise.

Crisis Assistance Ministry in Gastonia helps people facing an emergency crisis situation by providing food, financial assistance, or limited medications.

Kim Wheeler, the nonprofit’s director, said the pandemic’s placed more people on the brink of homelessness.

“Most of the people we’re seeing are new applicants who have never been in this position,” Wheeler said.

From March 2020 to February 2021, the non-profit distributed $365,000 in emergency rent and utility payments, which was more than double the amount during the same period in 2019 to 2020.

Here’s a breakdown of who will be on the task force: 

A member of the board of commissioners who will chair that task force
A representative of the elected board or council of each of the cities or towns
A local faith community representative that geographically represents the county
A county health department representative appointed by the county manager as well as a social service representative
A Gaston County police department representative 
A United Way county representative 
Aston County Salvation Army representative 
Gaston/Lincoln/Cleveland Continuum of Care planning committee 
A Catherine’s House Sisters of Mercy representative

Commissioner Tracy Philbeck was approved as the chairman of the task force. […]

home

Several coyote attacks recently reported in the Carolinas

The attacks happened in Greensboro but several Charlotte-area neighborhoods report recently spotting coyotes too.

NORTH CAROLINA, USA — The start of spring signals the middle of the mating season for coyotes. They’ve recently been spotted all across the Carolinas from Greensboro and Charlotte to Fort Mill.

Guilford County Animal Control reports six coyote attacks in just two days at Lake Brandt Park in Greensboro. Four people were bitten.

Biker Derik Broach says he was riding the trails when he noticed a coyote start to charge at him.

“He started running towards me and that was terrifying,” Broach said.

He used his bike as a shield and fortunately was not hurt in the attack, but he said he certainly felt the coyote’s threat and strength.

“He had very strong teeth and jaws because he just popped my tire like nothing.”

Neighbors in Charlotte and Fort Mill have recently taken to the NextDoor app to share their warnings about coyote sightings in the area too. In one case, Rachael Hudson says she came in contact with two coyotes while taking her dog out at night.

“First they looked like dogs because it was kind of hard to see, but she was very guarded — she was barking and growling,” Hudson said.

Thankfully she and her dog were not hurt. But wildlife experts say now during the breeding season you should not be surprised to see a coyote at any time — day or night. 

It’s important you keep an eye specifically on your small pets. If you’re approached by a coyote, yell, wave your arms, or throw something.

For more tips on how to protect yourself in a coyote attack, click here.

RELATED: A bird rescue wants you to take down bird baths and feeders to keep birds from getting salmonella

RELATED: Prepare to Spring Forward: Daylight saving time starts Sunday

RELATED: Cat that vanished 15 years ago reunited with owner […]

hornets

Hornets fan shares special moments with the team

A limited number of fans will be allowed to return to Spectrum Center for the second half of the season

The Charlotte Hornets are set to return to Spectrum Center later this week to begin the second half of the season and when they do, they’ll be able to host a limited number of fans.

However, prior to this announcement, 13-year-old Preston Pruitt missed interacting with the team so much that he and his other Janelle made their way to Spectrum Center so that Preston could possibly get an autograph or at least a wave from some of his favorite players as they were leaving the arena postgame.

Due to COVID-19 protocols, the autographs didn’t happen, but he did have some special moments that evening.

“I just really miss being able to have the experience to be able to see the players up close like I was able to do at games and stuff. It was cool to see all of the players being able to wave at me, even though they weren’t able to sign autographs just that interaction with people I feel like is pretty cool,” Preston Pruitt explained.

Preston has been a lifelong Charlotte Hornets Fan, from attending games to the team’s summer ball camps and his first NBA autograph was from the one and only Kemba Walker.

“I’m kind of a Kemba fan. I love Kemba,” Preston said as he showed a large stack of Kemba Walker cards he’s collected.

Since then collecting autographs has become a passion of his and it’s led to some pretty cool experiences with players and coaches, including Hornets guard Devonte Graham who gave him a pair of shoes at a game.

“I was almost in tears. I looked up to my mom like ‘Mama, I got the shoes!'”

Preston’s support for the Hornets has already gotten the attention of rookie LaMelo Ball and his team, who sent him a hoodie after they heard about Preston’s efforts to still show his support even though he couldn’t attend a game.

“I was ecstatic. I was so excited,” Pruitt said. “Watching him at Chino Hills and whatnot and being able to see him and seeing him getting drafted I was very excited. When I got the hoodie I was like wow this is so crazy.”

Preston, like many other fans, can’t wait to be back at Spectrum cheering the Hornets on to hopefully many more victories and possibly even the playoffs this season. For those looking to get an autograph from their favorite player, Pruitt says the biggest key to having success is simple, just be kind to the players. […]