Charlotte, NC

Queen City Roundup 12/17: CMS sex assault report, man charged in kidnapping, 2040 plan ordinances

Collin Cunningham

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Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Superintendent Earnest Winston has headed the district since August of 2019.(Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools)

By Collin Cunningham

(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) Happy Friday, Charlotteans! We've made it to the end of the week, and what a week it's been. We've covered the latest Panthers win and a message from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Superintendent Earnest Winston, discussed the first cases of the omicron variant found in North and South Carolina and informed you about the name of Charlotte's first medical school.

And today we continue. The Title IX task force investigating reports of sexual assaults at CMS handed the district its final report, which includes over 60 recommendations to help the schools prevent sex-related violence. Charlotte police arrested a man who was seen kidnapping and assaulting a woman on video and the city is accepting public comments for proposed ordinances that could affect residents' property values, among others. Lastly, our Charlotte Gift Guide highlights local breweries to find hop-laden presents.

It is Friday, Dec. 17, and here's what every Queen City resident needs to know. The weekend reading list can be found at the bottom.

1. Over 60 recommendations: Title IX task force releases report on CMS' handling of sexual assaults

What happened: The task force CMS assembled to investigate reports of sexual assaults on district campuses has completed its final, 30-page report outlining past reports of rape at schools and what the district can do to prevent them.

Students on the task force want the district to revise its language pertaining to CMS' Title IX training curriculum, perceived barriors to reporting assaults. Adults on the team want to see better due process when it comes to investigations, among others. And the document has plenty of other ideas to improve the process.

Why it matters: We reported in November that CMS had hired more Title IX investigators to investigate sexual assault claims made by students, but the announcement came after the group had been meeting in secret over a 10-week period, starting Sept. 22, per WSOC. Title IX is a federal law intended to protect students from discrimination "on the basis of sex."

During their six meetings, the group — which consists of 11 students and five adults picked by Winston — met to review the district's response to sexual assault repots at Hawthorne Academy, Myers Park and Olympic high schools.

Conflicting reports: A story by WSOC states the task force came up with 67 recommendations, while WBTV's piece says the report contains 63 guidelines.

What else: Between guns found on campus and sexual assault reports, CMS has been busy. Check out our new "Below the Fold" section at the end of the Roundup to read more about the district's history of dealing with guns and Winston's latest appeal to parents.

2. Man arrested for assault, kidnapping caught on doorbell camera

Detectives with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department arrested Louis Lamontrez Meadows, 32, around 11:30 a.m. on Thursday for kidnapping and assaulting a woman in east Charlotte. The incident occured around 3 a.m. on Wednesday along Driftwood Drive in Charlotte's Sheffield Park neighborhood, where Meadows was filmed hitting the victim and telling her to "get in the car" on a neighbor's Ring doorbell camera.

Cops eventually caught up to Meadows and the victim after receiving a tip from the North Carolina DMV. After an interview, police transpotrted the woman Meadows kidnapped to a safe location and arrested the subject. He will be charged with first-degree kidnapping and assault on a female. Video of the incident can be seen below, but readers should be advised that it includes domestic violence imagery that may be upsetting.

3. Proposed ordinances set new standards for rentals, renovations, duplexes/triplexes and more in Charlotte. Here's how you can respond

What's happening: In order to realize the Charlotte Future 2040 Comprehensive Plan, city leaders have created a 608-page Unified Development Ordinance docment outlining hundreds of proposed ordinances dealing with zoning, uses and overall building in the city. Residents are able to isue public comments on the document here and the video below walks users trhough the process.

Why it matters: The UDO document will go through four revisions before City Council votes on it next summer, and the city is allowing public comment on the initial draft through Jan. 14. Further public comment periods will likely take place for the following three drafts, and we'll let you know when they do.

The news comes after a new state law hamstrung CMPD officers from being able to issue criminal charges on "many" of the city's existing ordinances until the city reviews the code's language.

4. Timely Queen City Holiday Preview: Charlotte Gift Guide, Part 8

With the gift guide nearing double digits, maybe it's time to let it have a drink. Not a full drink (it's only eight!) but maybe just a sip? Craft beers can make great presents for people on your list, and plenty of Queen City breweries concoct holiday craft beers for the season.

This NoDA brewerly is offeirng 16-ounce four-packs of all its holiday releases including a decadent-sounding Night Moves Raspberry Chocolate Stout and another heavy brew, the coffee-and-spice-laden MexiCali Stout. The brewery also has plenty of merchandise on sale to celebrate its 10th anniversary.

Over in South End, Sycamore brewing's taproom features a decent selection of year-round beers, but the rela store of the show for gift buyers will be the draft house's yearly Christmas Cookie Winter Ale. If you're last on Santa's route, maybe leave one of these out for him instead? The brewer's online shop features colorful shirts that gives most other beer producers a run for their merch money. And, while youre there, Sycamore is also giving away a branded "Mountain Candy" airstream trailer, complete with hammock, longboard and minifridge.

The COVID-19 pandmeic has organizerfs of htis event playing it safe until February of 2023, but tickets for the event could make a great gift for any beer enthusiast on your list when they go on sale next winter. It's certainly something to keep in your pocket, especially if you have deep ones.

Below the Fold

CMS, continued: The Charlotte Observer published a list of all 23 guns that have been found on CMS campuses this year. District officials have tried to reach out to parents thorugh a video message and town hall discussion, according to WBTV. Most recently, CMS Superintendent Earnest Winston published an op-ed in The Observer telling community members "what it's going to take to keep guns out of schools."

And WCNC published a story detailing the account of a woman whose gun appeared at West Charlotte High School after it was stolen from the backseat of her locked car in 2018. Students at West Charlotte learned from home on Tuesday after the school was shut down due to a gun being fired on campus on Monday.

And that's not all for the district. Per WCNC, parents are criticizing the district for providing a poor education to parents of color after grades were released from Camp CMS, showing that only 19,575 out of over 62,000 of the district's "at-risk" students were enrolled in the summer camp when it ended.

Weekend Reading List

Catch up on some of the stories we didn't get to and enjoy a few new ones to carry you through the weekend. Monday brings another Queen City Roundup.

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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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