By Collin Cunningham
(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) Good morning, Charlotte! It is Thursday, Feb. 10, and Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools students protested sexual assaults this week as the district considers a $17 million request to county commissioners. CMS is also planning on testing out those clear backpacks they spent almost $500,000 on back in December.
In non-school news, a Charlotte police officer fired their weapon at a driver who attempted to run them over on Wednesday and the police department released a report detailing the nearly 500 guns confiscated in 2022.
Charlotte's St. Patrick's Day Parade is canceled, but today's edition lists other Leprechaun-leaning events this weekend. For Music Month, we take readers on an interstellar voyage to The Wormholes, a Charlotte-based band playing in the Queen City tomorrow.
1. CMS roundup: Students air more sexual assault grievances, district may ask for $17M to up teacher pay, breaking out the clear backpacks
CMS sexual assault victims appeal to school board: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools students who have been victimized by sexual assaults at the district expressed frustration over being locked out of the district's investigative Title IX task force during the district's board meeting on Tuesday. The task force outlined 60 recommendations for the district to improve its responses to sexual assault cases following reports of assaults at Myers Park and Olympic high schools and Hawthorne Academy of Health Sciences.
Serena Evans, a former Myers Park student who said she was raped at the school in 2016, formed an advocacy group called Amplify Survivors in response to CMS' mishandling of sexual assault reports in 2021. The group seeks to prevent sexual violence by providing resources and sharing survivors' experiences. In late February, police hit a former JROTC instructor from the district's Hopewell High School with a trio of sexual assault charges, per The Charlotte Observer.
District's potential $17M ask: In the hopes of paying its teachers the highest supplemental salaries in North Carolina, CMS Superintendent Earnest Winston announced at Tuesday's meeting that the district is thinking about asking Mecklenburg County for $11 million.
That would boost the district's teacher pay scale, which currently awards $40,500 in annual state pay to educators alongside a $6,800 supplement from CMS. Winston said he would submit his proposal to the school board at its March 24 meeting, after which they will make a request to Mecklenburg commissioners in May. Another request, for $6 million, would bump teacher assistants from $15 to $16.50 per hour.
In the clear: Over three months after CMS put in a nearly $500,000 order for translucent backpacks for all students, WBTV reported on Wednesday that the school system plans to start testing the backpacks at Cochrane Collegiate Academy and Hopewell HS. The district purchased 46,000 see-through satchels in the hopes of convincing students not to bring guns to school.
2. Vehicular violence: CMPD officer fires gun at driver who attempted to run them over after department reports increase in confiscated guns
Vehicular violence: A Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department officer aimed and fired a gunshot but did not hit the driver accused of running them over on Wednesday afternoon. Police said that a group of officers located a stolen vehicle at the City Inn motel off Farmhurst Drive in the southwest corner of the city around 6:30 p.m.
When officers approached the grey Ford Fusion, a passenger fled the vehicle and the driver allegedly attempted to hit the cop with his car and the officer responded by firing a shot at the appropriated automobile. The suspect is not in custody and nobody was injured during the incident.
Gauging guns: The same day as the driver-directed discharge, CMPD revealed at a news conference that officers have seized almost 500 firearms in Charlotte, a 14% increase over teh amount of guns police had confiscated in March of 2021, per WCNC.
3. Charlotte Celtic Celebrations: St. Patrick's Day festivities in the Queen City
Charlotte's annual St. Patrick's Day Parade may be canceled indefinitely due to organizers' health concerns, but bar craws and other events abound in the Queen City. Here are a few events to celebrate the Celtic tradition in Charlotte this weekend and on the holiday itself, March 17.
- Green River Revival St. Patrick's Day Festival 2022 — Saturday, March 12, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at U.S. National Whitewater Center
From 9 a.. to 5 p.m., the U.S. National Whitewater Center may have to consider altering its name to the Greenwater Center as the Charlotte facility dyes the nearby Catawba River a moss-colored hue. Music and a 5K run may help readers feel like St. Patrick during his 200-mile escape from Ireland.
- Rich & Bennett's St. Patrick's Day Pub Crawl — Saturday, March 12, noon in Uptown
Readers who attend this seasonal slosh fest should prepare to see a lot of "Kiss Me, I'm Irish" shirts as they canvas bars with drink specials throughout the Queen City. Some are authentic Irish — The Belfast Mill Irish Pub near Romare Bearden Park wouldn't be caught dead without Guinness on tap and 30 whiskey blends — while the French Quarter Restaurant is just looking for a kiss.
- St. Patrick's Pop Up Market — Saturday, March 19, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Merino Mill in Mooresville
Even greener than The Emerald Isle itself is money, and the showrunners at Time To Shine Pop Up Market are looking to feel the luck when they host their first shopping event of the year in Mooresville. The event is looking to pass some of that serendipity on to shoppers, too, offering a Florida vacation giveaway.
- Old Town St. Patrick's Day Festival — Saturday, March 19, noon to 9 p.m. in Rock Hill
Rock Hill is busting out the bagpipes for this event the weekend following St. Patrick's Day, with musical performances from Stirling Bridge, Greg Parrish, Trip Rogers and the Queen City Juvenile Pipes & Drums ensemble.
4. Music Month: Find yourself in a dreamy dimension with The Wormholes, performing tomorrow
Reminder: Tomorrow at 8 p.m. is the Queens of the City Concert at Knight Theater on South Tryon Street, which will see performances from our first Music Month pick, Reecee Raps, and 10 other female musicians out of Charlotte. Tickets cost $20 right here.
Who's up: Using an actual bedroom as their workshop, The Wormholes embody the platonic ideal of a bedroom pop band. Across an extended play and two full-length albums, Charlotte-based synthesizer slammers Ben Verner and Chris Walters both play multiple instruments in a buffer zone that sits somewhere between lo-fi and indie pop.
What to stream: Released in September, "Light in the Dark" is the band's newest release and sounds like a soundtrack to an '80s sci-fi movie that never saw the break of day. Last year, the band put out the music video above for "Temporary Vessel," a track which may be best described as a cross between the atmosphere-heavy The Chromatics and the early work of Twenty One Pilots.
Where to see them perform: During their first stop on a 15-leg national tour, The Wormholes will take the stage at Charlotte's Snug Harbor at 10 p.m. on Friday. Readers can get tickets to the gig with Nashville jazz ensemble Cosmic Collective and Charlotte indie rockers Knowne Ghost for $10 at this page.