Friday, November 17, 2017

CMPD Launches Exchange Zones for Online Sales

Zach Finch murder inspires safer meet-up spots

Posted By on Fri, Nov 17, 2017 at 10:53 AM

CMPD officially implemented 14 "exchange zones" at local QuikTrip gas stations today, hoping to provide safe spots for people meeting up to carry out online transactions made on websites and apps like Letgo.

Zachary Finch was killed while carrying out an online transaction in June.
  • Zachary Finch was killed while carrying out an online transaction in June.

Zachary Finch, 21, was murdered this summer in broad daylight while trying to sell a cellphone using the Letgo app, which connects sellers with buyers, leaving them to work out a meeting spot. Finch was killed on the afternoon of June 18 in front of an apartment complex on Farmer Street in west Charlotte. Another murder would occur on the same block during a drug deal gone wrong in October.

According to a CMPD release, two parking spots will be painted red to designate the exchange zones at the 14 locations (listed below), and those spots will be monitored by video 24 hours a day. CMPD officers will also do periodic zone checks of each location, although they will not oversee or broker transactions.

"The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department partnered with Quick Trip and coordinated exchange zones to offer community members a safer alternative while conducting online transactions," the release read. "It’s critical for community members to understand that there is always a potential threat to safety whenever unknown parties meet to conduct financial transactions, regardless of the location."

CMPD officials will meet routinely with QuikTrip representatives to evaluate the effectiveness of the exchange zones, and hope to expand the program by partnering with other private companies around the city in the future, according to the release.

Look for the red-painted parking spots at any of the following QuikTrip locations to meet for potentially safer online transactions:

-127 E. Woodlawn Road, Charlotte, NC 28217

-6721 Albemarle Road, Charlotte, NC 28212

-7205 The Plaza, Charlotte, NC 28216

-2326 Sandy Porter Road, Charlotte, NC 28273

-11230 N. Tryon St., Charlotte, NC 28262

-7115 S. Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28273

-3025 Wilkinson Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28208

-116 Clanton Road, Charlotte, NC 28217

-3206 Eastway Drive, Charlotte, NC 28205

-5209 Central Ave., Charlotte, NC 28212

-4937 Sunset Road, Charlotte, NC 28269

-4200 Brookshire Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28216

-5708 N. Tryon St., Charlotte, NC 28213

-10910 Golf Links Drive, Charlotte, NC 28213

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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Listen Up: Pickin' and Chattin' with Sinners and Saints on 'Local Vibes'

Episode 17

Posted By and on Thu, Nov 16, 2017 at 10:30 AM

For the first time since LeAnna Eden in episode 4, we enjoyed some live music in the Hygge West podcast studio with Charlotte-based Americana duo Sinners & Saints.

Mark Baran and Perry Fowler talked to us about life on the road, showing up for the Charlotte scene and who in the band is the diva (Hint: it's an instrument).

As always, catch up with all our past Local Vibes episodes on iTunes and Stitcher.

Perry Fowler [left] and Mark Baran of Sinners & Saints play "Mama" in the Hygge West podcast studio.
  • Perry Fowler [left] and Mark Baran of Sinners & Saints play "Mama" in the Hygge West podcast studio.

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Thursday, November 9, 2017

Listen Up: Yung Citizen and Modest Jon Spread the Love on 'Local Vibes'

Episode 16

Posted By and on Thu, Nov 9, 2017 at 12:10 PM

With his latest album, Alive Sessions, Yung Citizen was able not only to showcase his own ability as a rapper/producer, but he brought some friends along. So it's only right that he brought Modest Jon with him to the studio to talk about recording together and why it's important to shine a light on the Charlotte scene.

Don't forget to catch up on all past episodes on iTunes or Stitcher.

[From left] Yung Citizen, Mark Kemp and Modest Jon.
  • [From left] Yung Citizen, Mark Kemp and Modest Jon.

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Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Young, Progressive Wave Rolls Over Charlotte City Council Elections

Vi Lyles becomes first African-American woman elected mayor of Charlotte

Posted By on Wed, Nov 8, 2017 at 10:59 AM

It's official. Braxton Winston, Larken Egleston, Matt Newton and Justin Harlow, all Democrats under the age of 40, will join Dimple Ajmera on the city council to make it one of the youngest, most progressive councils the city has seen in decades.

Braxton Winston speaks to media after his at-large victory on Tuesday night. (Photo by Ryan Pitkin)
  • Braxton Winston speaks to media after his at-large victory on Tuesday night. (Photo by Ryan Pitkin)

While Ajmera has already been serving on council as a District 5 representative, she was one of four top vote getters for an at-large seat alongside Winston in last night's local elections. With 37-year-old Republican Tariq Scott Bokhari winning Kenny Smith's vacated seat in District 6, there will be six council members under 40 serving come January.

"As a group we’ll be able to collectively get more done than if just Braxton or just me or just Dimple got tossed on council," said Egleston last night from an election watch party celebrating Winston's campaign.

"We're not necessarily all going to always be of the same mindset — we certainly aren’t — but I think collectively we’re going to be looking at stuff from a generational perspective that hasn’t really been there before. So, yeah, I’m excited."

A group of about 35 people celebrated with Winston Tuesday night at VBGB, where he once bused tables. Winston ran a grassroots campaign that stemmed from his work during the Charlotte Uprising in September 2016, when his live-streams from the front lines of the protests gained him thousands of followers.

"The amount of support that I have personally received from my community over these last 14 months has really been indescribable," Winston said Tuesday night. "Every time we’ve taken a chance to step out there and be vulnerable and speak to what we see as the truth, even when it’s inconvenient, so many people are willing to carry on that conversation and continue to do that work, and that’s really humbling because so many people who are around me in this room don’t have to. But we are surrounded by people who just want to do the right thing for their city, their families and ultimately for the country."

Vi Lyles in her campaign office a week before the election.
  • Vi Lyles in her campaign office a week before the election.

History was also made in the mayoral election, as Democrat Vi Lyles won in a landslide against Republican Kenny Smith, making her the first African-American woman mayor elect in the city's history. The vote count never got close, and Lyles started her acceptance speech well before 9:30 p.m. Tuesday night, less than two hours since polls had closed.

Last night's winners, district by district: Larken Egleston (D), District 1; Justin Harlow (D), District 2; incumbent LaWana Mayfield (D), District 3; incumbent Gregg Phipps (D), District 4; Matt Newton (D), District 5; Tariq Scott Bokahri (R), District 6; and incumbent Ed Driggs (R), District 7.

At-large winners, in order of votes received: incumbent Julie Eiselt, Braxton Winston, incumbent James "Smuggie" Mitchell and Dimple Ajmera. All at-large winners are Democrats.

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Monday, November 6, 2017

Bojangles' to Roll Out Trial Delivery Period in Charlotte

Your hangover just got a little easier

Posted By on Mon, Nov 6, 2017 at 3:12 PM

Bojangles' plans to test a new delivery service in 10 Charlotte locations by the end of this year or early next year as a way to fight back against downward trending sales in the fast food industry, according to a recent report by Charlotte Business Journal.

The company will roll out this trial period in its hometown as a way to thank all the hungover Queen City chicken lovers who have kept the business afloat here for 40 years.

Photo by Tate Roberts.
  • Photo by Tate Roberts.

Although Bojangles' is already being delivered by third parties such as DoorDash, UberEats and GrubHub, ordering directly from the restaurant cuts out the middleman, saving time for those more impatients folks who want that Cajun Filet biscuit sandwich (you better add cheese) delivered directly to their door.

But high college students aren’t the only ones that will be getting use out of the delivery service, as the company’s goal is to also reach workers with limited lunch breaks or folks without access to transportation, without taking away from in-store sales.

But in all honesty, if adding drive thrus to an already fast and cheap way to get food wasn’t effortless enough, Bojangles' should expect lazy, drunk, and/or stoned college students in need of their famous sweet tea and seasoned fries to be their primary delivery audience.

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Thursday, November 2, 2017

WATCH: Charlotte Catcalls Amazon

New video showcases city with spoken word and stunning visuals

Posted By on Thu, Nov 2, 2017 at 4:08 PM

Ok, let's just put it out there. Charlotte's Amazon HQ2 bid is a lost cause. The city is in full-on Brad mode from Fast Times at Ridgemont High, staring out the window convinced of a reality in which Amazon is coming our way and removing their top. And now we're touching ourselves.

OK, so what? Why shouldn't our fine city go after someone that's out of its league? They have that right, and they've been exercising it with the #CLTisPrime hashtag, which is more often than not used for tongue-in-cheek references to the Queen City's more laughable history.

But today, the city truly put its cards on the table with a five-minute love letter to Amazon in the form of a YouTube video that features three Charlotte-based poets and great video shot all around the greater Charlotte area. And we can't lie: we do not hate it.

The hip, poetic angle looks to take head-on the claims of The New York Times, which published an article in early September saying that Charlotte wasn't in the running to host Amazon's second headquarters because it "ranks lower on the cultural edginess that attracts young, educated workers." Ouch.

[From left] Boris "Bluz" Rogers, Carlos Robson and Jacinda Jacobs.
  • [From left] Boris "Bluz" Rogers, Carlos Robson and Jacinda Jacobs.

For the new video, the city brought in three heavy hitters in Boris "Bluz" Rogers, CLT's guide for all things spoken word; Carlos Robson, a slam poet who also co-wrote and appeared in the amazing Miles & Coltrane: Blue (.); and Jacinda Jacobs, who we honestly didn't know as a spoken word poet but whose work we've enjoyed in all arenas, from morning radio to Hornets host.

It's doubtful the video will put Charlotte up and above frontrunners like New York City or San Francisco — or even put us on the radar — but it's a cool little depiction of our hometown, and we can always fantasize, right?

Listen Up: Terrence Richard of Junior Astronomers Blasts Off on 'Local Vibes'

Episode 15

Posted By and on Thu, Nov 2, 2017 at 11:07 AM

Whether singing or chatting, Terrence Richards is not shy around a mic. From the moment he stopped in the 'Local Vibes' studio this week, he was a chatterbox, discussing his thoughts about Charlotte neighborhoods, how his band grew between their two full-length albums and why he was inspired to recently get Amy Winehouse tatted on his arm.

As always, catch up on our old episodes with our Stitcher or iTunes pages.

[From left] Ryan Pitkin, Terrence Richard and Mark Kemp.
  • [From left] Ryan Pitkin, Terrence Richard and Mark Kemp.

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