By Collin Cunningham
(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) Good morning, Charlotteans, and hopefully you're ready to meet your mayo. That's right, the Duke's Mayo Bowl is happening Thursday, pitting the North Carolina Tar Heels against the South Carolina Gamecocks for the football teams' first appearances at the game in several years. Today's Roundup also shares the story of a 14-year-old who will face an attempted murder charge after shooting a Charlotte police officer.
Several local colleges are requiring students and staff to submit proof of a COVID-19 booster shot or negative tests to start the spring semester, so keep reading for a list of those. And today's NYE in the CLT preview will help you brainstorm New Year's resolutions, with a few general ideas to become a better Charlottean in 2022.
It is Tuesday, Dec. 28, and here's what every resident of the Queen City needs to know until tomorrow.
What happened: The Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department says a 14-year-old shot one of its officers during an attempted car break-in in the eastern region of the city on Monday. A phone call led officers to the area of the Woodland Estates Apartment Homes near Winged Elm Court around 7:20 a.m., where the department says the suspect pointed a firearm at an area resident. The juvenile fired a gunshot, hitting one of the officers in the upper body.
Why it matters: The unnamed officer went to Atrium's Carolinas Medical Center for treatment soon after the incident and remains there with non-life-threatening injuries. Charlotte police arrested the suspect and they will soon face charges as the department continues to investigate the incident. Learn what community activists had to say about the shooting "Below the Fold."
2. Papers, please: Metrolina colleges requiring COVID-19 boosters, negative tests for students, staff ahead of spring semester
In an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 and the expected "record number" of cases North Carolina health officials said to anticipate from the omicron variant, several local colleges and universities are requiring all students and staff to hand in coronavirus-related documentation. Listed below are all of the schools requiring students to prove they've received a COVID-19 vaccine booster shot or negative test before the spring semester starts.
- UNC Charlotte — All students and staff who have not received a booster will be required to test weekly for the virus, per WCNC.
- Johnson & Wales University Charlotte Campus — Students, faculty and staff need to get boosters to return to JWU's Charlotte branch in the spring or participate in randomly selected sentinel testing.
- Queens University — All students, faculty and staff will need to have their booster shots by Feb. 15. If they're unable to get a booster because of time constraints, the school is advising students to get the shot as soon as they can.
- Davidson College — Students need to get boosted either before classes start on Jan. 20 if they're eligible for the dose, or as soon as they can get one if they are ineligible, but staff members are exempt.
3. Duke's Mayo Bowl preview: Which team will win and which coach will take the mayo bath?
What's happening: The Duke's Mayo Bowl, an annual bowl game that's brought college football teams to Bank of America Stadium since 2002. This year's matchup features two Carolina favorites: the University of North Carolina Tar Heels and the University of South Carolina Gamecocks at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday. Stadium seating is still available starting at $60.60, and the game will also air live on ESPN and other streaming services.
Who will win? DraftKings Sportsbook favors the North Carolina school over its neighbor to the south by nine points. Both teams are 6-6 heading into the bowl but the scales might be tipped against South Carolina coach Shane Beamer, who left three players behind when he traveled to Charlotte without three of his players. None of the absences are due to COVID-19; two unnamed players are under suspension and the other is visiting with his ailing grandmother, per 247 Sports.
If UNC does come out on top, Beamer will be taking a bath, and not in water. In the spirit of the emulsified egg yolk product that names the game, FanSided reported that both Beamer and UNC coach Mack Brown agreed to take a bath in Duke's mayonnaise if the opposing team wins. Check back in with Friday's newsletter for footage of the foul shower.
4. Safe NYE in the CLT, part 2: New Year's resolution suggestions
Face it: Most New Year's resolutions are trite. Everyone wants to lose weight, start a new hobby or get better at paying credit card bills, but those are things you can strive towards any year. Here are a few nontraditional ideas for yearlong goals to help get your New Year's Eve Ball rolling.
- Spend either less or more time in Uptown — This suggestion is a two-way street, with your options depending on your current behaviors. If you already spend a lot of time in Charlotte's downtown district, maybe consider trying another neighborhood like North Davidson, Dilworth and Myers Park. And if you don't frequent Uptown, perhaps try changing that. The NASCAR Hall of Fame has made its pit stop in Uptown, as have five prominent parks.
- Visit the lakes around Charlotte
Charlotteans are able to reach a few waterfront destinations in less than an hour's drive, so intrepid resolution-makers who haven't experienced the local lakes should consider making that their 2022 priority. Lake Norman, roughly 45 minutes from the center of Charlotte, is the Tar Heel State's largest human-built lake and offers year-round activities, events and dining options. Lake Lure, the town where 1987 dance drama "Dirty Dancing" was filmed, is less than two hours from Charlotte. Lure's hillier terrain is ideal for rock climbing and zip lining, and the clear blue water looks great from a boat.
- Solve your first escape room
If you've heard about the escape room phenomenon but have never gone due to money or timeliness constraints, it might be time to change that. Charlotte has eight escape rooms to explore and untangle as groups of adults or kids collect clues and solve puzzles. A standout is Exit Strategy, which is offering expanded holiday hours through Jan. 2 at its north and south Charlotte locations.
Below the Fold
CMPD officer shooting, continued: Per a WBTV broadcast, some Charlotte activists believe lessons can be learned from Monday's shooting. "This, today, is another wake-up call for our community, for our parents, for our leaders, for everybody that is grieving right now," former Charlotte mayoral candidate Lucille Puckett told the station. "And how do we come together as a community to solve those issues?"
Colleges requiring boosters, continued: North Carolina State University announced on Monday that students and faculty at its Raleigh campus will have to submit one negative PCR test or a pair of negative antigen tests if they wish to return to the school on Jan 10.
Mayo Bowl, continued: South Carolina last appeared in the Dec. 30 game in 2018, when it was known as the Belk Bowl. And the Tar Heels haven't set foot in Bank of Aerica Stadium since beating the Cincinnati Bearcats at the 2013 Belk Bowl.