Charlotte, NC

QC Roundup 10/29: CMS teachers riled, Panthers' costume contest at children's hospital, NC's favorite Halloween candy

Collin Cunningham
Players from the Carolina Panthers donned Halloween costumes to visit kids at a Charlotte children's hospital this week.(Courtesy of Carolina Panthers)

By Collin Cunningham

(CHARLOTTE, NC) Good morning Charlotte! As the wind whips through the trees and settles the Queen City into a Sleepy Halloween weekend, the Queen City Roundup is here to take your hand and guide you through the dark. Oh, and that wind you're hearing? That's just the weather. Hopefully, today's rain showers don't show their faces, with a low chance of moisture between 1 and 4 p.m. Temperatures are expected to stick around in the mid-60s and 50s, reaching a peak of 65 around 2 p.m. before steadily declining to the 50s moving into tomorrow morning.

Saturday looks to be partly cloudy, with temperatures expected to be a bit lower but still topping out in the 60s. All Hallows' Eve will bring the warmest highs of the weekend, with early morning 50s turning into 68 by 3 p.m.

Today's roundup brings you headlines about Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, which may be breaking state law by docking teachers' pay for substitute costs on days when subs weren't hired. In keeping with the Halloween spirit, we also have the story of rookie Panthers' players surprising kids with a costume contest at a local children's hospital and see what the data says about North Carolina's favorite candy. Then we'll close the week off with two more events to jump-start your Halloweekend.

1. CMS teachers say district took money out of their pay for subs that weren't hired

What happened: Teachers at Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools have reported that the district has been taking money out of their paychecks to pay for substitutes, even on days when they weren't hired. An official from the Charlotte Mecklenburg Association of Educators said $50 is docked from CMS teachers' checks each time they need to call upon a sub. But middle school social studies teacher Sam Swire said his check was docked when he took a personal day, even though no sub was called in to replace him.

WCNC reports there are only 365 subs serving CMS' roughly 150,000-strong student body this year, compared to 1,123 subs in the 2020-21 school year and 1,643 fill-ins for 2019-20.

Why it matters: CMS is currently facing a litany of issues, from teachers leaving and a bus driver shortage to students' family members assaulting teachers and the district's approach to investigating sexual assault cases. In a school year when most districts are already stretched thin, a lack of substitutes can be dire, and the school may face legal trouble if Swire or another affected teacher brings their complaints to court.

2. Panthers players bring the runway to Charlotte children's hospital for Halloween fashion show

What happened: Several rookie players on the Carolina Panthers went to see what costumes the patients at the Atrium Health Levine Children's Hospital in Charlotte are wearing for Halloween. The visit and costume contest was part of the 17th annual Halloween Rookie Spooktacular, which brought first-year players out to the hospital wearing costumes of their own on Tuesday.

Why it matters: The event has been a staple at Levine's for years and helps give the pediatric patients a festive Halloween experience even if they can't leave their beds. Kids are also able to show off their costumes by walking a runway at a frightful fashion show, which was broadcast virtually from the Panthers' television studio this year due to the pandemic. Patients tuned in via the hospital's
The Carolina Panthers might be all serious on the field this season, but rookie players had a little fun dressing up on Tuesday.(Courtesy of the Carolina Panthers)

3. What's your favorite candy? Data shows NC residents have a popular go-to

What's happening: recently combed through 14 years of sales data to determine what type of candy residents in each U.S. state like the most. It turns out North Carolina shares its top sweet with the rest of the country, as Tar Heel State residents like to indulge in everyone's favorite ridged candy: Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. The website shipped over 83,000 pounds of the peanut butter and chocolate snacks to North Carolina between 2007 and 2021.

Why it matters: Candy is delicious and Halloween is this weekend, so it's fun. If you go trick-or-treating, maybe keep an eye out to see if this breakdown proves true in your area. Coming closely behind Reese's cups in North Carolina's treat ranking are Snickers and M&M's, which were bulk-sold to residents in quantities of 78,625 and 75,262 pounds over the same time frame.

4. Halloweekend event planning: Best neighborhoods for trick-or-treating and where to watch a scary movie

The weekend is almost upon us, Charlotte. Each day this week we’ve provided events to help you take advantage of a festive, post-pandemic weekend, and now we’re almost ready to celebrate. Check out some picks from Charlotte Five’s best neighborhoods to trick-or-treat below, or learn where you can curl up to watch a frightening film from the comfort of your own vehicle.

A Charlotte Five reader survey identified the five best neighborhoods to go trick-or-treating in the Queen City. According to readers, none of the residents of Charlotte’s Plaza Midwood, Dilworth, Myers Park, NoDA and Cotswold neighborhoods are unlikely to hand out rocks. Costumed candy collectors may even be likely to get the coveted big bars. And those aren’t the only ones; Ballantyne, Chantilly, Huntersville and others received honorable mentions.

NoDA is of particular note because police shut down 35th Street between Spencer and Alexander streets to make the event safer for children.

Looking to take a day off of partying and have a more relaxed night this weekend? Hound’s Drive-In Theater in Kings Mountain is showing a lineup of two new scary movies today and tomorrow. Charlotte residents willing to make a 40-minute drive will be able to kick back and watch Edward Norton’s new horror romp “Last Night in Soho” — his first movie since 2017’s “Baby Driver” — and Michael Myers's latest slaughter fest, “Halloween Kills.”

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I cover the city of Charlotte, North Carolina for NewsBreak's Creator Program. Check back often for daily headline roundups to learn what's happening in the Queen City!

Charlotte, NC

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