‘I literally almost had a heart attack,’ man says of bear sighting near Charlotte

‘I literally almost had a heart attack,’ man says of bear sighting near Charlotte

Subdivisions west of Charlotte in the Denver community are being told to lookout for a black bear seen searching for food amid the homes.

“I just saw a black bear at my house in Denver! I literally almost had a heart attack!” posted Steve Conley of Denver on Facebook.

To prove it, he posted photos and a video of the young bear and noted it was seen walking in the Maple Leaf and Rock Springs subdivisions. His brief video had been viewed 16,000 times since Saturday.

“Listen buddy, they are everywhere these days AND looking for something to eat. Keep your distance,” posted Sabrina Wells in response to the video.

The video comes at a time when bear sightings are up in the Charlotte area, including reports earlier this summer that a young bear was struck by a vehicle on Interstate 485, near the Providence Road exit.

There have also been reports that North Carolina bears have learned how to open car doors and at least two accidentally got locked in cars while searching for food: One in Sylva and one near Asheville.

Fifty years ago, black bears were restricted to remote areas, but today can be found in 60 percent of North Carolina, wildlife officials say.

Mark Price: 704-358-5245, @markprice_obs

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NC GOP calls Charlotte council member ‘unhinged’ after ‘dangerous rhetoric’

NC GOP calls Charlotte council member ‘unhinged’ after ‘dangerous rhetoric’

Fallout continued Thursday over comments critical of President Donald Trump by a Charlotte City Council member, with the North Carolina Republican Party calling Dimple Ajmera “unhinged.”

Appearing on WCNC’s “Flashpoint” Sunday, Ajmera said, “Republicans that are supporting Trump … should have no place on city council whatsoever or in the mayor’s race.”

Ajmera, appointed to a district council seat last year, is running at-large.

A state GOP news release was headlined: “Charlotte Democrat Goes Unhinged with Dangerous and Unacceptable Trump Rhetoric.”

“It is highly offensive that a member of the Charlotte City Council, not yet even elected to the position, would state that anybody who voted for the Republican nominee for President should be disqualified and should not even seek a role in public service in Charlotte,” state GOP Chairman Robin Hayes said in a statement.

“Nearly 100,000 Charlotte residents, Republican, Democrat, and unaffiliated voted for President Trump. Are Councilwoman Ajmera’s positions so radical she thinks NONE of these people have something to contribute to make the Queen city better?”

Mecklenburg County Republicans also have criticized the comments.

Ajmera could not be immediately reached.

Jim Morrill: 704-358-5059, @jimmorrill

Related stories from The Charlotte Observer

City Council member says Trump supporters ‘have no place’ leading Charlotte government
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Tips For Traveling To Charlotte NC

Tips For Traveling To Charlotte NC

Traveling to anywhere in the country is going to require lodging and transportation costs. Therefore, you will need to do the necessary legwork in order to keep these costs down. The best way to minimize the traveling expenses is going to be through careful planning. By planning ahead of time, you should be able to save a significant amount of money on your entire trip. Below, we will be going over some of the biggest tips for traveling to Charlotte NC.

Tips For Traveling:

1. Plan Ahead.

The most important thing that you are going to want to do when it comes to traveling is to plan ahead. By planning ahead of time, you will be able to minimize the chances of getting price gouged. Along with this, you will be able to get the discount fares that you wouldn’t be able to get if you were to wait until last minute. Planning ahead is one of the best ways to minimize the amount of money you have to spend on any part of your travels.

2. Comparison Shop.

Another major thing that you should be doing when it comes to planning your travels is sure to do some comparison shopping. Instead of going for the first possible deal that you find, you will want to do a lot of comparison shopping to ensure that you are able to find the best possible deal. This is going to maximize the amount of money you are able to save in the long run because you will be able to get the best possible deal on your travels by doing this.

3. Consider Traveling During Low Times.

Instead of traveling when everyone else is, you are going to want to try to plan your travels for low times.

Moment Of Truth For Charlotte & Raleigh MLS Bids

Moment Of Truth For Charlotte & Raleigh MLS Bids

A drawing of what a new Charlotte soccer stadium would look like, on the site of the current Memorial Stadium.

Major League Soccer officials will be in Charlotte and Raleigh this week as they try to decide where to put two expansion teams later this year. A dozen cities are competing for new franchises. WFAE’s David Boraks has been covering the two North Carolina bids and talked with "Morning Edition" host Marshall Terry.

TERRY – David, why are MLS executives coming to town?

BORAKS – MLS President Mark Abbott and other executives have been visiting all 12 cities that submitted bids by a deadline in January. Abbott is the league’s business guy, and he’s be trying to get a feel for what Major League Soccer would look like here. The sport is in the middle of an expansion from the current 22 teams eventually to 28.

They’ll be in Charlotte Tuesday, and Raleigh on Wednesday, and they’ve got some pretty high standards for new teams. They want modern, state-of-the-art stadiums and signs that Charlotte is a soccer town.

Mike Burch, the chief strategy officer for the local bid – called MLS4CLT, says they’ll meet local government and business leaders and tour a local soccer academy.

Mike Burch of Speedway Motor Sports talked to reporters in Januar about the local MLS bid.

BURCH – And then maybe the most important part is … to let them see the support from the fan base itself. We have a public rally scheduled at 5 o’clock down at First Ward Park.

TERRY – And remind us, who’s behind the Charlotte bid and what they’re proposing?

BORAKS – It’s an ownership group led by Bruton and Marcus Smith – the people behind NASCAR track owner Speedway Motorsports in Concord. NASCAR is a sport that’s not growing like it once did. Marcus Smith is a big soccer fan and sees a lot of potential in bringing the sport here.

Charlotte is the 22nd largest media market in the U.S. and has a big soccer community, with lots of youth and adult soccer clubs. In recent years, fans have packed Bank of America Stadium for international matches. And the list of big corporations here offers lots of sponsorship possibilities.

Burch works for the Smiths. He thinks the stadium plan is the group’s biggest advantage. The plan is to tear down the existing Memorial Stadium near uptown and replace it with a stadium built specifically for soccer – something the MLS is requiring for new teams.

BURCH – You walk down there and you see the Charlotte skyline, and you’re right there and you have the streetcar, and at Central Piedmont Community College on the site itself, there’s significant parking. You see access to Elizabeth Avenue and the opportunities for development there.

TERRY – The stadium has been controversial, though, right, because they’ve asked for public money?

BORAKS – That’s right, Marshall. It’s expected to cost about $175 million. The Smiths and MLS4CLT would put in half of that – some of it in the form of a loan from the county. They’re asking the city and the county to put a quarter each – about $44 million.

The county commission voted in January to support the idea, though several commissioners have spoken out against the plan. They’ve put off a final vote until at least August 2.

The city council hasn’t taken any votes yet, and support has been lukewarm at best. At one point, mayor Jennifer Roberts said she didn’t see the council supporting "this structure and deal."

But it’s finally coming up next week at the council’s Economic Development Committee. The city would use money from tourism-related taxes – money that can’t be used for things like streets, sidewalks or police. I talked to city council member and committee chair James Mitchell. And he told me that if the council decides to join the project, it won’t be at the full $44 million. He says the city can afford no more than $30 million. And he says the council has a long list of questions – mainly about jobs and other economic impacts.

MITCHELL – It has to be more than just a soccer stadium. So we want to see the community impact. We always talk about the community benefits. What is the work force development goal, and what is our minority participation goal to get some contracts?

So city officials will meet with the MLS group Tuesday. Mitchell says his committee will probably take two meetings to discuss it – next week and in August. That means it wouldn’t have a public hearing until late August, with a vote in September, at the earliest. It’s not clear how that fits with the MLS timeline. They’ve said they hope to pick two new cities by the end of the year.

TERRY – So what are the chances for these two bids then? I mean is it possible both Charlotte and Raleigh could wind up getting in?

BORAKS – It’s going to come down to – does the stadium plan meet the MLS’s requirements – a dedicated soccer stadium in or near a downtown with state of the art facilities. Is the financing in place, and is the market big enough to support a team?

And then there’s geography. It’s unlikely the MLS will pick two teams from North Carolina, I think. And given the state of stadium plans we know about so far, both seem to be a longshot for the next two franchises to be awarded by the end of the year.

But that may not be the end of it: I’d expect both groups to keep their bids alive for the next two expansion teams, to be awarded later.

RELATED LINKS

Promotional video created by the MLS4CLT group, YouTube.com

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Gymboree to close 350 stores, including three in the Charlotte region

Gymboree to close 350 stores, including three in the Charlotte region

The children’s clothing retailer Gymboree announced this week it is closing 350 stores nationwide as part of a massive, previously announced restructuring. Six North Carolina Gymboree stores will close, including the one at Charlotte’s Northlake Mall and at Hickory’s Valley Hills Mall.

The company also owns the children’s apparel store Crazy 8, and will be closing three North Carolina stores, including in Hickory’s Valley Hills Mall. Gymboree’s Janie and Jack brand is closing seven stores, although none are in North Carolina.

Gymboree did not say when the individual store closings would take place, but closing sales at the affected stores are scheduled to begin July 18, the San Francisco-based retailer said in a statement.

“With the right size store base, the company will be able to focus resources on locations with the greatest potential and improve the profitability of the overall business,” Gymboree said.

Gymboree filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy last month. As part of an agreement with lenders and stakeholders, the retailer agreed at the time on a restructuring.

A full listing of the affected stores can be found on the company’s website.

From Macy’s to Hhgregg to The Limited, national retailers, pressured by e-commerce and changing shopper habits, have closed dozens of stores in the Charlotte area as they consolidate their overall brick-and-mortar footprint to cut costs.

Katherine Peralta: 704-358-5079, @katieperalta

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ASK US: Why Charlotte Pride Takes Place In August, And Not June

ASK US: Why Charlotte Pride Takes Place In August, And Not June

Attendees line the streets of uptown at NC Pride, which Charlotte hosted in 1994.

WFAE has a new initiative to connect with our audience and get story suggestions. On our website, we ask you to tell us what you wonder about the Charlotte region, its life, and culture. We recently put three questions to a vote – letting you decide the story you wanted us to cover. The overwhelming winner was a question that came to us from Jennifer Lange, a resident of Charlotte’s Steele Creek area.

My question is: why does Charlotte celebrate pride during August, and not during June, like the rest of the world?

Hi all! This is Nick de la Canal with WFAE here. This is a really good question and it’s one I’ve often wondered myself. I mean – not only is the temperature through the roof during August in Charlotte, but June is traditionally celebrated as ‘Gay Pride Month,’ and it’s the month in which the Stonewall Riots happened.

That’s why many major cities – New York, Boston, Washington D.C., Chicago… etc. – all celebrate pride during June. So what’s up with Charlotte?

Well, to find out, we reached out to Joshua Burford with UNC Charlotte’s multicultural resource center, who has spent years documenting the history of Charlotte’s LGBT population and Charlotte Pride itself.

1981 – Charlotte’s first ‘Gay Pride Day’

He says that actually, the first Charlotte Pride Day did, in fact, take place in June. That was June of 1981, way out in the University area, which was considered way out of town, far away from uptown.

Charlotte’s first ‘Gay Pride Day’ held in 1981

"There was a hundred people at the first pride, which is a lot of people," Burford says, "I mean, University City might as well have been Florida. To have that many people show up to be public is really interesting."

Even more interesting to me was the first pride day’s corporate sponsor: Budweiser. I mean – who would have guessed?

Burford says that first pride was more like a field day, less like what we think of as pride today. They had outdoor games and a stage with live music and a few speakers. It was all underground – you had to hear about it from a friend.

Gay pride in Charlotte continued this way for the next couple of years – always in June, though sometimes at different locations.

1994 – Charlotte hosts NC state pride

Burford says a turning point came in 1994, when Charlotte was picked to host the North Carolina State Pride. The event drew nearly 4,000 people to Marshall Park. Again, the event was held in June. The year was notable because it was the first time Charlotte had a pride march.

"And it wasn’t a pride parade," Burford says, "It was a march. And the distinction in the record is that a march is held for a political purpose. It wasn’t just a celebration."

It was also notable because after that year, with the exception of a gay-oriented arts and culture festival, Charlotte didn’t really have another pride event until after the millennium.

2001 – Charlotte PRIDE is launched

This was the year that the modern Charlotte Pride, as we know it today, was founded. At first, they held their events in May, until 2006, when the switch was made to August. And – why exactly?

Well, Burford says it’s partly because they moved from Marshall Park to uptown, and it really just came down to plain old scheduling.

"You can imagine, right – like, trying to organize an entire festival around people’s schedules and trying to make it historically connected, but also, like, just the plain logistics of – if you’re going to shut down uptown, then the city dictates when you have these festivals," Burford says.

Since then, the festival was held a few times in July, once in October, and for the last six years, it’s settled comfortably into August.

Matt Comer, a spokesperson for Charlotte Pride, confirms this. We wrote me saying August "is just a good time with the city’s calendar. And organizers are actually glad Charlotte Pride doesn’t conflict with other major prides, that way, people can attend more than one.

So, it’s kind of a simple answer, but there it is – plain old scheduling.

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Charlotte’s Hourly July 4 Forecast: Possible Showers

Charlotte’s Hourly July 4 Forecast: Possible Showers

CHARLOTTE, NC — If you’re headed out to watch fireworks tonight in the Queen City region, you should keep an umbrella handy. Passing rain showers and thunderstorms are a possibility, according to the National Weather Service.

Here is an hourly forecast for the Charlotte region:

Light rain starting later this evening.

6pm – Light Rain, 84°

Chance of rain: 11%. Wind 6 mph from the SW.

7pm – Mostly Cloudy, 84°

Chance of rain: 1%. Wind 4 mph from the SSW.

8pm – Drizzle, 83°

Chance of rain: 9%. Wind 3 mph from the S.

9pm – Light Rain, 82°

Chance of rain: 11%. Wind 3 mph from the SSW.

10pm – Light Rain, 81°

Chance of rain: 12%. Wind 4 mph from the SSW.

11pm – Light Rain, 80°

Chance of rain: 12%. Wind 4 mph from the SW.

12am – Drizzle, 79°

Chance of rain: 8%. Wind 5 mph from the SW.

1am – Partly Cloudy, 78°

Chance of precipitation: 0%. Wind 5 mph from the SW.

2am – Partly Cloudy, 77°

Chance of rain: 1%. Wind 5 mph from the SW.

3am – Clear, 77°

Chance of precipitation: 0%. Wind 5 mph from the SW.

4am – Partly Cloudy, 76°

Chance of precipitation: 0%. Wind 5 mph from the SW.

5am – Partly Cloudy, 75°

Chance of precipitation: 0%. Wind 4 mph from the SW.

6am – Partly Cloudy, 75°

Chance of precipitation: 0%. Wind 5 mph from the WSW.

7am – Partly Cloudy, 75°

Chance of precipitation: 0%. Wind 5 mph from the WSW.

8am – Partly Cloudy, 77°

Chance of rain: 1%. Wind 5 mph from the WSW.

9am – Partly Cloudy, 80°

Chance of precipitation: 0%. Wind 5 mph from the SW.

10am – Clear, 83°

Chance of precipitation: 0%. Wind 6 mph from the W.

11am – Clear, 86°

Chance of precipitation: 0%. Wind 6 mph from the W.

12pm – Clear, 88°

Chance of precipitation: 0%. Wind 7 mph from the W.

1pm – Clear, 89°

Chance of precipitation: 0%. Wind 8 mph from the WSW.

2pm – Clear, 90°

Chance of precipitation: 0%. Wind 8 mph from the WSW.

3pm – Clear, 91°

Chance of precipitation: 0%. Wind 9 mph from the WSW.

4pm – Drizzle, 91°

Chance of rain: 3%. Wind 9 mph from the WSW.

5pm – Light Rain, 90°

Chance of rain: 6%. Wind 9 mph from the WSW.

Data provided by darksky.net.

Photo via Patch

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Democrats hail Cooper budget veto, question GOP Civil War Center funding

Democrats hail Cooper budget veto, question GOP Civil War Center funding

Tuesday, the NC Senate voted to override Cooper’s veto, followed by the NC House Wednesday morning. The budget is now law, but Cooper threatens to file suit to stop it.. …
Tuesday, the NC Senate voted to override Cooper’s veto, followed by the NC House Wednesday morning. The budget is now law, but Cooper threatens to file suit to stop it.. …

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Charlotte, North Carolina Teen Missing Found Safe Over A year in Georgia

Charlotte, North Carolina Teen Missing Found Safe Over A year in Georgia

The FBI says a North Carolina teenager who went missing more than a year ago has been found alive in Georgia, and a 31-year-old man faces charges.

FBI spokeswoman Shelley Lynch said Sunday the 17-year-old girl is reunited with her parents after being found overnight at a home in Duluth, about 30 miles (48 kilometers) northeast of Atlanta.

Agents arrested Michael Wysolovski on charges that include sex offenses, cruelty to children and false imprisonment.

The girl was 16 when she left home near Charlotte, North Carolina, in May 2016.

WBTV reported last year her parents found a diary detailing plans to run off with an older man she met online. Her father said the man “gradually wormed his way into her good graces.”

It’s unknown if Wysolovski has a lawyer.

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These Stunning Charlotte Homes Will Make You Want To Take Up Golf

These Stunning Charlotte Homes Will Make You Want To Take Up Golf

Real Estate

The PGA Championship comes to Charlotte in August, but you could hit the links all year round if you lived in one of these gorgeous homes.

CHARLOTTE, NC — Golf fans are eagerly awaiting the PGA Championship at Charlotte’s Quail Hollow Country Club in August. But why wait? With the help of Patch’s partner site Realtor.com, we’ve put together a list of fabulous properties on some of Charlotte’s most gorgeous golf courses.

Here are five of Charlotte’s most stunning homes on golf courses currently on the market:

9136 Winged Bourne, Charlotte
7330 Baltusrol Lane, Charlotte
4522 N. Parview Drive, Charlotte
7117 Fairway Vista Drive, Charlotte

Photos courtesy of MRIS/Realtor.com

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