Charlotte, NC

QC Roundup 11/24: CMS bus crash, previewing NC State vs. UNC, free Thanksgiving, how to celebrate Native Americans in NC

Collin Cunningham

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Today's roundup shares Charlotte locations with free Thanksgiving meals tomorrow, as well as info on the history of Native Americans in NC.(Davies Design Studio/Unsplash)

By Collin Cunningham

(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) Top of the morning, Queen City Roundup readers! With Thanksgiving tomorrow, there won't be any updates on Thursday, so today we're letting you know about a few Charlotte restaurants and organizations that are giving out free turkeys and other meal accouterments to hungry residents. Friday is also Native American Heritage Day, so this roundup also includes a few ways for readers celebrate and educate themselves on the culture and history of the first people to call North Carolina home.

Before that, we have the news of a crash involving two CMS school buses that injured six people yesterday in south Charlotte and we preview Friday's football game pitting two North Carolina colleges against each other.

It is Wednesday, Nov. 24, and here's what every Queen City resident needs to know.

1. 6 injured in 2-bus crash near CMS middle school

What happened: Two Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools buses collided near Jay M. Robinson Middle School around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, as students were leaving school. WBTV reports six people walked away from the accident with injuries, but other details are unknown, including how many of the injured people were students and how full the buses were at the time.

Why it matters: This is the second time a CMS bus has met with an accident in the past month, though nobody was injured in the previous incident on Oct. 25. Like other school systems, the district is also grappling with a shortage of bus drivers and bumped drivers' hourly wages from $15.75 to $17.75 starting in November. New CMS drivers are also eligible for a $1,000 starting bonus.

2. UNC vs. NC State: Who will win the Tar Heel State turf war?

What's happening: The University of North Carolina Tar Heels are scheduled to play against the North Carolina State University Wolfpack in a battle of the Atlantic Coastal Conference at 7 p.m. on Friday. According to Yahoo! Sports, the contest is a toss-up, with each team having its share of victories and duds this season. UNC has averaged more points and moved the ball for more yards on average since Week 1, but they've also allowed more points and yards per game, per Sports Illustrated.

NC State has an 8-3 overall record heading into Friday's game, but they've also fared best at home, winning six and losing none. That may present an issue to UNC as the teams are set to square off at Carter-Finley Stadium in Raleigh, the Wolfpack's home turf. The Tar Heels, meanwhile, have a less-impressive 6-5 spread overall and losing all three of its games on the road this year.

The game will air live on ESPN.

Why it matters: If NC State wins, the Wolfpack is heading to the ACC Championship Game on Dec. 4, where they'll face either the Wake Forest Demon Deacons or the Clemson Tigers, depending on how the Deacons fare against the Boston College Eagles in their matchup on Saturday. The 'pack previously lost to Wake Forest, 45-42, on Nov. 13.

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Wolfpack cornerback Tyler Baker-Williams intercepts a pass meant for Wake Forest's Taylor Morin on Nov. 13. Wake Forest won, 45-42.(Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

3. Where to get free Thanksgiving meals in Charlotte

What's happening: Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and Charlotteans who have difficulty affording the meal have several options for finding free alternatives. WCNC reports Da Lucky Spot Barbershop on Wilkinson Boulevard was able to continue an 11-year tradition and buy 2,000 turkeys for community members. The birds were bought using donations from local benefactors like the Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office and Steele Creek Presbyterian Church.

Charlotteans will also be able to grab free meals by stopping at Mama's Caribbean Grill in Plaza Midwood on Thursday, where freshly prepared food will be available to carry home.

Why it matters: While the haircutters were able to hand out free food, Skyland Family Restaurant on South Boulevard in Charlotte had to cancel its annual tradition of supplying families with thousands of meals for the first time since 2007. Skyland owner Jimmy Kakavitsas told WSOC he was "very disappointed" that the restaurant will be closed on Thursday and chalked the reasoning up to supply chain shortages.

"It's a little depressing not to do it, but this pressed me too much and I don’t want to start something I cannot complete," Kakavitsas added.

Some local food pantries are looking for additional assistance due to supply issues, including the Hickory Grove Baptist Church Food Bank.

If you're planning on attending the Novant Health Thanksgiving Parade tonight, yesterday's roundup will tell you everything you need to see the whole procession, and Monday's piece has a few Queen City spots that are serving Thanksgiving takeout.

4. Native American Heritage Day: Learn more about the first settlers of NC

What's Happening: Friday is Native American Heritage Day, a national holiday that honors and recognizes not only the history of American Indians but also the trials they've endured from outside influence. Most of the local events to commemorate the day and month of the same name have already passed, including a heritage celebration at the North Carolina Museum of History, but there are still plenty of materials to peruse to learn about local Native American nations.

The Charlotte Museum of History has an informative video on the Catawba Nation in Charlotte as well as a series of webinars dealing with Catawba traditions and culture and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library has a write-up on the history of tribes in the Old North State.

Why it matters: Per NCpedia, the Tar Heel State is home to a diverse array of Indigenous tribes and peoples, with the 2000 U.S. Census reporting 99,551 American Indians called North Carolina home. The state officially recognizes eight tribes: the Cherokee, Coharie, Lumbee, Haliwa-Saponi, Sappony, Meherrin, the Occaneechi Band of Saponi Nation and the Waccamaw-Siouan.

The state also legally recognizes the Guilford Native American Association, Cumberland County Association for Indian People, Triangle Native American Society and, closest to Charlotte, the Metrolina Native American Association.

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A member of the Catawba Nation coils clay into pottery.(Courtesy of Charlotte Mecklenburg Library)

The holiday also comes the same month local advocacy group Retire the Red Raider renewed their calls for the Gaston County school board to change the name and mascot associated with sports teams at South Point High School in Belmont. Per FOX 46, members of the group protested at a Nov. 15 school board meeting in hopes of having the district ditch the Red Raider name and image.

"Would the Gaston County school board have the same resistance against removing a mascot called the Black raiders, what about white raiders?” asked a demonstrator named Hayley Bezeale.

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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!

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