Axios Charlotte

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May 15, 2024

Hello, Wednesday. It's Ashley, who will be watching Charlotte FC at Chicago Fire tonight at 8:30pm on MLS Season Pass.

  • Let's see if Charlotte can snag three straight wins.

โ›ˆ Weather: High 80ยฐ. Scattered thunderstorms.

๐Ÿฐ Happy birthday to Axios Charlotte member Karin Davies!

Today's Smart Brevityโ„ข๏ธ count is 887 words โ€” a 3-minute read.

1 big thing: ๐Ÿš˜ Road rage shootings increase across North Carolina

Data: The Trace via Gun Violence Archive; Chart: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Road rage shooting incidents have skyrocketed over the past decade, a new analysis finds, increasing from 83 nationally in 2014 to 456 in 2023 โ€” a nearly 450% jump.

The big picture: The findings, from an analysis of Gun Violence Archive (GVA) data by gun violence newsroom The Trace, mirror a broader increase in gun-related violence.

By the numbers: Road rage incidents in North Carolina have risen significantly since 2014, when the state averaged zero shooting incidents per one million people.

  • Between 2014 and 2023, N.C. has averaged 1.6 shooting incidents per one million people.

Zoom in: Earlier this month, the man accused of murdering a CATS bus driver in February 2022 pleaded guilty in a Mecklenburg County courtroom, our news partners at WBTV report. Darian Dru Thavychith shot and killed Ethan Rivera in what is believed to have been a fit of road rage.

  • But that incident isn't an anomaly.ย In March, a road rage shootout in northwest Charlotte left one hospitalized and another seriously injured, per WSOC.
  • Police later confirmed that one of the victims was involved in a separate road rage incident earlier that day.

See how N.C. compares to the rest of the country

2. ๐Ÿ˜ท Rising whooping cough cases

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

Whooping cough cases are rising in Mecklenburg County, local health officials said in a press release Tuesday.

Why it matters: Pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough, is a highly contagious respiratory illness. The disease can be life-threatening for babies who aren't old enough to be fully vaccinated, immunocompromised people and pregnant women.

By the numbers: Nine confirmed cases and one suspected case have been reported to Mecklenburg County Public Health. All have been in people under the age of 17.

  • There have not been any reported hospitalizations or deaths.

Zoom in: Symptoms may include severe coughing fits, plus:

  • Whooping sound after a cough
  • Vomiting after coughing
  • Runny/stuffy nose
  • A low-grade fever

What they're saying: "The increase in cases is an important reminder that vaccination is the single most effective way to prevent pertussis and reduce the severity of the disease," Mecklenburg County Public Health director Raynard Washington said in a statement.

  • "Unvaccinated people in the community create the opportunity for the disease to spread, even to vaccinated individuals."
  • The DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, and acellular pertussis) vaccine is the best way to help prevent pertussis, according to the county.
Sponsored job listings

Is a new job in your future?

๐Ÿ’ผ Check out who's hiring around the city.

  1. Marketing Intern at Grandfather Homes.
  2. Marketing Manager & Content Creator at Party Reflections.
  3. Operations Manager, Gambrell Center for the Arts at Queens University of Charlotte.

Want more opportunities? Check out our Job Board.

Hiring? Post a job.

3. ๐Ÿ—บ Ballantyne takes shape

The Bowl at Ballantyne will see the opening of its first tenants this month. Photo: McKenzie Rankin/Axios

Drive 30 minutes south of Uptown and you'll reach Ballantyne, a swanky neighborhood that practically borders South Carolina.

Why it matters: Ballantyne is in the midst of a transformation. The biggest draw to the area is arguably what's yet to come.

Driving the news: The grand vision, called Ballantyne Reimagined, is a redevelopment project to turn the south Charlotte corporate office park and golf course into a family-friendly campus with restaurants, bars and entertainment.

Catch up quick: A focal point of the Ballantyne rebrand is the creation of a mixed-use district called The Bowl at Ballantyne, which will see its first tenants open this month.

Check out what's happening in Ballantyne

4. School schedule conundrum and other news

Photo: Alexandria Sands/Axios

๐Ÿซ Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools board members are considering a year-round school or four-day weeks as options if the N.C. General Assembly won't permit the district to start classes earlier in August. (WFAE)

๐ŸฅŽ The Charlotte 49ers women's softball team is heading to the NCAA tournament after winning the American Athletic Conference championship. They play Liberty on Friday, May 17, in Athens, Georgia. (Charlotte 49ers)

๐Ÿƒโ€โ™€๏ธThe Charlotte Marathon will introduce corrals at the start of this year's race, meaning you'll start alongside runners aiming to keep a similar pace. (Axios)

๐Ÿ North Italia is opening its second Charlotte location in Ballantyne on May 29, per a press release.

โšฝ๏ธ "Men in Blazers," a popular soccer media platform, will be at Valhalla Pub in Uptown on May 17. (X)

An off-duty Pineville Police sergeant shot and killed a person suspected of shoplifting from a Food Lion in south Charlotte Tuesday. Police say the shooting happened during a fight between the two. (WBTV)

Sponsored messages

๐ŸŒ€ The loop (we're keeping you in it)

News you can use from our partners.

  • Ready to be pampered? Criswell & Criswell is offering complementary dermaplaning with the purchase of a hydrafacial all May long. Learn more.
  • ๐ŸŒˆ Weekend plans: Camden Commons is taking over Camden Road this Sunday in South End. Swing

5. โœ๏ธ Signed, sealed, delivered

Carolina Ascent players signing from left to right: Taylor Porter, Rylee Baisden, Kelly Ann Livingstone and Jill Aguilera. Photos: Courtesy of Carolina Ascent

Charlotte's new professional women's soccer team is taking shape.

State of play: Carolina Ascent announced four more players Tuesday, bringing the roster up to five players.

Catch up quick: Carolina Ascent kicks off the inaugural USL Super League season this August. They'll play at American Legion Memorial Stadium.

Here are the new players:

Jill Aguilera

  • Position: Midfielder
  • Last club: Chicago Red Stars

Rylee Baisden

  • Position: Forward
  • Last club: Perth Glory FC

Kelly Ann Livingstone

  • Position: Defender
  • Last club: Seattle Reign

Taylor Porter

  • Position: Midfielder
  • Last club: Portland Thorns
Sponsored event listings

New events to check out

๐Ÿ“… See what's going on around the city.

  • Memorial Day Patio Sale at VIRIDIEN Patio + Fireplace now through May 27: Shop their sensational sale with up to 50% off, plus an additional $100 off every $1000 You spend. Shop early for delivery by Memorial Day. Elevate your summer with the perfect outdoor living space.
  • Charlotte Roller Derby's Throwdown Thursday at Grady Cole Center tomorrow: Kick off the weekend early and get your adrenaline fix with Charlotte Roller Derby. Grab your squad and roll out for an epic night of cold brews and hard-hitting derby action. $17.
  • Summer Concert Series at Comporium Amphitheater at the Anne Springs Close Greenway: Summer Concert Series returns every Thursday evening, May through July. Enjoy live music in the great outdoors. Food and beverages will be available for purchase. Bring lawn chairs and blankets.
  • Charlotte Independence Military Appreciation Night at American Legion Memorial Stadium on Fri: Patriotic celebrations, free giveaways, special jerseys and post-game fireworks. Charlotte Independence host Union Omaha. First kick is at 7:30 p.m. $12.
  • Big Tent Sale at Cotswold Marketplace Fri-Sat: Shop tent clearance and storewide discounts on furniture, home decor, art, rugs lighting and gifts. Parking is available across street in Sonic Deck.
  • Mega Rosรฉ Wine Tasting at Foxcroft Wine Co. on Sat: Taste your way through over 40 rosรฉ wine selections from around the world paired with a spread of Mediterranean light bites. Taste at your own pace at stations throughout the restaurant and patio. $35.
  • Blue Star Blitz at Anne Springs Close Greenway Sat: Join them for a day of joy and jubilation as they gather for the annual recreation celebration. If you run, bike, or hike (or enjoy the energy of an outdoor festival), you belong at Blue Star Blitz. $11-$47.
  • ONE Fest | Charlotte's Annual Yoga + Music + Arts Festival at Lenny Boy Brewing Co. on Sat: A celebration of yoga, arts, & commUNITY healing. Bringing over 80+ classes & workshops, vendors, opening ceremony, free energy healings, giveaways, live music, food, Glow Dance party & so much more.
  • Carolina Voices presents: Songs from the Emerald City at CPCC Parr Center Theater Sat: Join them for a night of WICKED fun as the Carolina Voices MainStage ensemble presents Songs From the Emerald City, the music that continues to inspire generations of movie watchers and theatergoers. $30.
  • Reptile and Amphibian Day at The Schiele Museum of Natural History Sat: Learn about all things Scales and Tails with exciting presentations, games, and hands-on activities for all ages. Talk to herpetology experts and interact with reptiles and amphibians of all kinds. $15.
  • Nodahood Spring Market at Divine Barrel Brewing Sat: Shop small with 80+ local vendors at the Nodahood Spring Market from 12-5 pm, and hosted by Divine Barrel Brewing, Great Wagon Road Distilling, Crown Station and Halo Lounge.
  • Secret Gardens of Fourth Ward at Historic Fourth Ward Sat-Sun: Explore unique gardens and rooftop terraces with complimentary food and cocktail tastings, live music and more. Self-guided and walkable in the heart of Fourth Ward, with cocktails in each garden. $30.
  • Spring and Summer Free Concert Series - The Charlotte Singers at multiple locations May 19 - June 2: Enjoy broadway hits from 1904-2021 with 81 voices and musicians. Guys and Dolls, South Pacific, Les Miserables and Cindarella will all be featured.
  • The Allman Betts Band at Knight Theater on May 20: Individually, they're Devon Allman and Duane Betts, two solo artists and modern-day guitar heroes who've both spent years creating their own version of American roots music. $35-$70.
  • An Evening with Dacher Keltner at Sandra Levine Theatre in the Sarah Belk Gambrell Center for the Arts and Civic Engagement at Queens University of Charlotte on May 22: Special Presentation and Moderated Q&A with Dacher Keltner, Author of Awe: The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How It Can Transform Your Life.

Want more things to do? Check out our Event Board.

Hosting? Purchase an Event Listing.

6. ๐Ÿน An Uptown speakeasy

Photo: Alexis Clinton/Axios

The Punch Room is a 19th century-themed speakeasy inside The Ritz-Carlton in Uptown.

Context: The popular cocktail bar closed during the pandemic and reopened in late 2023. It's known for its wide selection of cocktails and large cocktail bowls for bigger groups.

We tried: The Singapore Sling ($18), Street Side ($18), Rye Tai ($20) and the signature Fukuoka Punch that comes with 10-12 glasses ($120).

Stop by: The Punch Room is at 201 E. Trade St. It's open 5pm-12am Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

7. ๐Ÿฉ Dolly Parton's doughnuts

The Dolly Southern Sweets Doughnut Collection is available for a limited time. Photo: Courtesy of Krispy Kreme

Krispy Kreme, which is headquartered in Charlotte, teamed up with the Queen of Country on its first celebrity doughnut line.

State of play: The recently launched Dolly Southern Sweets Doughnut Collection includes four Dolly Parton-inspired limited-time doughnuts sold at Krispy Kreme shops and select grocery stores.

Check out Dolly's doughnuts and find out how to get free doughnuts this Saturday

๐Ÿ“š Carolina Ascent's Taylor Porter also has an Instagram dedicated to what she's reading. We both read "The Women" by Kristin Hannah this year.

๐Ÿ’Œ Tell your soccer besties and fellow bookworms to subscribe to our newsletter.

Thanks to Katie Peralta Soloff for editing and Lucia Maher for copy editing this newsletter.