Dan DiMicco Sells Majority Stake in Independence
The United Soccer League announced Tuesday that the Charlotte Independence are in the process of selling several ownership stakes in the team, including that of majority owner Dan DiMicco, a vocal supporter of Donald Trump, conspiracy theories and altogether awful opinions.
According to a statement from the league, the day-to-day management of the club — with which DiMicco and other owners are not directly involved — will continue to be overseen by club president and managing partner Jim McPhilliamy. “As such, the Club remains fully committed to all players, staff and community members as we move forward with the 2021 season and beyond,” the statement reads.
DiMicco was a Hall of Shame honoree in the 2020 Queen City Nerve Best in the Nest issue due to his stance against Black Lives Matter, his support of election fraud conspiracies, and his refusal to support his own team’s players in their push for equity and justice in the community, among other things.
Ben Goshorn, president of Independence support club Jack’s Militia, has been a vocal critic of DiMicco for years. He called the announcement “a step in the right direction.”
“The day that the club is finally rid of his anti-Black Lives Matter, transphobic, and anti-Asian beliefs will be a major positive for the Charlotte soccer scene,” Goshorn told Queen City Nerve. “I look forward to seeing how the club will live by their mission statement ‘to make Charlotte better through sport’ this year and hopefully in the future.”
Robinhood to Open New Center in Charlotte
Stock-trading fintech company Robinhood announced Tuesday it will open a customer experience and account operations center in Charlotte, investing $11.8 million in new office space and bringing nearly 400 new jobs to the city.
Robinhood is a mobile-first investing platform known for pioneering commission-free trading with no account minimums, lowering the barriers for millions of investors to participate in the financial markets.
Tuesday’s announcement was made as the dust still settles from a February congressional hearing regarding the now-infamous GameStop incident, during which Robinhood provoked outrage by locking its clients out of Gamestop stock during a run by Redditors and other amateur investors meant to flip the tables on hedge-fund investors who had shorted the increasingly obsolete company’s stock.
The Charlotte operations office will hire analysts, operations personnel, and customer experience and account operations professionals who will assist Robinhood customers with financial advice, according to a press release from the city. The average salary for these new positions exceeds Charlotte’s overall average annual wage.
“Charlotte is known for its talented and diverse workforce, making it an easy choice as we looked to expand our operations,” said Alex Mesa, head of customer experience at Robinhood, in the release. “We’re confident that Charlotte’s workforce will further contribute to our mission and lower the barriers to investing for all. We’re thrilled to join the Charlotte community.”
Test-Positivity Rate Increases While Other COVID-19 Metrics Fall
According to the most recent data released by Mecklenburg County Public Health on Thursday, there had been 102,455 total cases of COVID-19 and 913 deaths related to the coronavirus in the county to that point, an increase of 1,486 cases and three deaths since the last release on previous Friday.
According to more in-depth data for cases that had occurred through Wednesday, the county had seen a 6.7% test-positivity rate over the previous week, a slightly increasing trend. An average of 109 people were hospitalized on any given day COVID-19 over the past week, a slight decrease over the previous 14 days.
According to MCPH, 205,019 Mecklenburg County residents (18.5%) had been at least partially vaccinated as of Wednesday while 136,014 residents (12.2%) were fully vaccinated. MCPH is currently providing the Pfizer BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines to individuals in Groups 1, 2, 3 and 4.
Vaccines are currently being offered at Bojangles Coliseum through a partnership between Mecklenburg County and StarMed, as well as through private health-care providers, various mass vaccination sites, and at participating Walgreens and CVS locations.
Advocates Dispel Marijuana Myths at NCGA
Organizers with NC NORML delivered research to state lawmakers in Raleigh this week that shows states with legal medical cannabis experience a reduction in opioid overdoses and quotes the CDC saying it’s highly unlikely for someone to overdose on cannabis.
The new push for education and advocacy around marijuana legalization comes as North Carolina’s neighbors to the north, Virginia, seek to fast-track the legalization in their own state.
“Evidence shows cannabis is the opposite of a gateway drug. Rather, it’s an off-ramp,” stated NC NORML board chair Zach Lentz in a release on Thursday. “In states where cannabis is legal, the use of other drugs including prescribed drugs is less.”
He went on to point out that North Carolina suffered more that 12,000 opioid overdoses in 2019.
States with legalized medical cannabis experience reductions in opioid and cocaine use and overdoses, according to the Journal of American Medical Association Internal Medicine, the RAND Corporation and other medical journals. Health Affairs reported that states with legal cannabis experience a significant reduction in a variety of prescription drugs with harmful side-effects.
Human Remains Found, Added to Growing List of Homicides
The discovery of human remains along the Beatties Ford Road corridor were among the five homicides that CMPD investigated this week, making 22 illegal killings in Charlotte this year. At around 10:30 a.m. on Sunday morning, the skeletal remains of a human body were discovered in a wooded area on Friendship Village Place East near Friendship Missionary Baptist Church in northwest Charlotte. It’s unclear how long the remains were there, but CMPD is investigating the case as a homicide.
Just after 6:45 p.m. on Monday, police responded to a shooting call in the parking lot of the Cheshire Commons shopping center on West Sugar Creek Road in north Charlotte and found 29-year-old Ryan Autry dead of a gunshot wound. A 28-year-old man has been arrested and charged with Autry’s murder. Around 10 p.m. on Wednesday, police responded to a shooting call on Oak Meadow Court in southwest Charlotte and found 29-year-old Selvin Lara-Reyes dead of a gunshot wound. A 19-year-old man has been arrested and charged with Lara-Reyes’ murder.
Shortly after 11:15 a.m. on Thursday, police responded to a shooting call on McArthur Avenue in north Charlotte and found 43-year-old William Alexander dead of a gunshot wound. No arrests have been made in the case. Just after 6:30 p.m. on Friday evening, police responded to a shooting call on Washburn Avenue in southeast Charlotte and found a man dead of a gunshot wound. His name has not yet been released.
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