May 23, 2022
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Over 1000 remain without power due to tree damage in east Charlotte, Duke Energy says

Power is expected to be restored to the area around 6 p.m. Sunday, Duke Energy said.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Thousands of people are without power in east Charlotte Sunday, according to Duke Energy’s power outage map.

The outage was first reported around 4:19 a.m., indicating over 2000 customers were impacted in Charlotte’s Commonwealth neighborhood.

RELATED: FORECAST: Scattered storms this evening.

Duke Energy said that the outage was caused by fallen trees or limbs that damaged equipment.

Power is expected to be restored to the area at 6 p.m. Sunday, Duke Energy said.

You can monitor outages by visiting the Duke Energy website.

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

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Locked On is the leading podcast network for local sports and is owned by WCNC Charlotte’s parent company TEGNA. Listen to Locked On here. 

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. 

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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family

Super G Mart expansion will feature international food hall and cultural hub

The North Carolina grocery retailer getting ready to open third location in Pineville which is seeing growth in local Asian community

PINEVILLE, N.C. — While Charlotte has become one of the fastest-growing cities in the country, a North Carolina grocery retailer is also expanding.

The Korean-owned Super G Mart on Independence Blvd. has already seen its customer base increase, and the owners believe now is the time to go big.

Peter Han, one of the owners of the family-owned business, said many excited customers drive by the soon-to-be third location, in what was once a Big K Mart in Pineville.

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

Han said, “I think right now is a good time for people who are interested in stepping outside of their comfort zone a little bit, and trying some other flavors.”

A 25,000-square-foot food hall will serve authentic Thai, Korean, Vietnamese, Indian and Japanese cuisines, to name a few.

Han said, “We’re trying to create a cultural hub. We’re building this community center which is an 800-square-foot room. There’s going to be language classes, cooking classes for customers that might not be familiar with some of our ingredients.”

The 108,000 square foot space will also allow for a roomier layout with wider aisles. Han said, “We’re an international grocery store, so we want customers to feel like they’re traveling through different regions at every aisle that they go to.”

You can stream WCNC Charlotte on Roku and Amazon Fire TV, just download the free app. 

The “G” stands for global, so Super G Mart will carry Caribbean and Latin foods, in addition to plenty of hard to find Asian ingredients. Fish will be sourced locally, as well as flown in. There will also be a 16-foot double-decker live fish tank.

Han said, “Generally, in South Charlotte and around this area, there is a pretty heavily dominance Asian community.” He also said easy access from I-485 and Pineville Matthews Road was a factor when selecting a site. He said, “I don’t think we were expecting to go this big, but I think it turned out to be a good idea so we can differentiate ourselves.”

Han said the opening has been pushed back to August due to supply chain issues holding up some of the necessary equipment for the store and tenants.

Once things are up and running, Han said another goal is to partner with local organizations to host international events and festivals in their parking lot.

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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.  […]

family

'How do you feed your child, when there's nothing available to feed them?' | Family in need for particular formula for their baby

NORTH CAROLINA, USA — More than 76,000 pounds of infant formula arrived in Indianapolis from Europe Sunday afternoon. This comes after the Biden administration invoked the “Operation Fly Formula”.

Folks, I’m excited to tell you that the first flight from Operation Fly Formula is loaded up with more than 70,000 pounds of infant formula and about to land in Indiana. Our team is working around the clock to get safe formula to everyone who needs it. pic.twitter.com/cX4KU0eDtZ— President Biden (@POTUS) May 22, 2022

The administration authorized the use of military planes to bring in shipments from abroad to address the current shortage.

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

A shortage that has impacted families across the country.

“How do you feed your child, when there’s nothing available to feed them?” said LaShonda Harris, a new mom.

Her 5-month-old, Kaidence has health conditions that only allow him to eat certain infant formulas.

“With the formula, he has to be on a feeding tube for 24 hours a day,” she explained. “Because his heart works so much that he burns calories all the time. And he is struggling to maintain his weight.”

Kaidence is on a high-calorie diet and breast milk is not enough.

“He needs to gain weight so he can get his next open heart surgery. And he can have a better life a healthier life,” she said.

You can stream WCNC Charlotte on Roku and Amazon Fire TV, just download the free app. 

Tracking down the formula is a mission Charlotte resident Suzanne Young is taking on.

“My heart just sank at times when I walked around the corner and saw what some of these shelves looked like,” said Young. “I can’t imagine what it means for a parent to need that formula and there’s nothing there.”

Although her kids are grown now she felt the need to help. That’s when she started her Twitter page CLT Baby Formula Watch.

“ Through my work, I’m in store all over Charlotte all week long,” she said, “so I thought I could just take a picture and show them what’s on the shelves.”

She also has a Gmail babyformulaclt@gmail.com for people to send her photos so she can share. She just asks that you include the store name, location, date, and time the photo was taken.

Young said this is her way to support Charlotte families in their time of need.

“Hopefully this is going to help people get what they need and hopefully it won’t be long,” said Young.

Meanwhile, the Biden administration’s operation fly formula is underway bringing tons of baby formula in from other countries. It is also working to ramp up production in the country.

“When we start seeing these pictures showing more items in stock I think that is going to put a lot more people at ease to know there is an end in sight,” expressed Young.

Though they’re still worried  LaShonda and Eric find comfort in Kaidence‘s resilience.

“He gives us any type of reassurance we need to know everything’s gonna be okay,” said Eric McCluney, Kaidence’s father. “Because he’s never known a bad day. He’s always smiling. He’s always happy. He’s just, he’s the greatest kid ever.”

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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crime

Charlotte man accused of operating $7 million Ponzi scheme to fund 'lavish' lifestyle

The federal government alleges at least 75 North Carolina residents were defrauded by Wynn Charlebois, from Charlotte.
Charlebois’ “lavish lifestyle [was] almost entirely dependent on obtaining new investor funds,” the complaint read.
The SEC seeks to freeze Charlebois’ assets ahead of his day in court. […]

home

Over 1000 remain without power due to tree damage in east Charlotte, Duke Energy says

Power is expected to be restored to the area around 6 p.m. Sunday, Duke Energy said.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Thousands of people are without power in east Charlotte Sunday, according to Duke Energy’s power outage map.

The outage was first reported around 4:19 a.m., indicating over 2000 customers were impacted in Charlotte’s Commonwealth neighborhood.

RELATED: FORECAST: Scattered storms this evening.

Duke Energy said that the outage was caused by fallen trees or limbs that damaged equipment.

Power is expected to be restored to the area at 6 p.m. Sunday, Duke Energy said.

You can monitor outages by visiting the Duke Energy website.

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

FREE PODCASTS

Flashpoint is a weekly in-depth look at politics in Charlotte, North Carolina, South Carolina, and beyond with host Ben Thompson. Listen to the podcast weekly. SUBSCRIBE: Apple Podcasts || Spotify || Stitcher || 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. 

Locked On is the leading podcast network for local sports and is owned by WCNC Charlotte’s parent company TEGNA. Listen to Locked On here. 

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. 

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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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. […]