News & Opinion

5 Things to Know: Jeff Jackson Challenges Opponent’s Residency

...and four more stories from Oct. 2-8, 2022

Jeff Jackson speaks into a microphone during a podcast recording
NC Sen. Jeff Jackson appeared on an episode of Queen City Nerve’s Nooze Hounds podcast in 2020. (Photo by Grant Baldwin)

Jeff Jackson Challenges Opponent’s Residency

Democratic N.C. Sen. and congressional hopeful Jeff Jackson filed a residency challenge against his opponent, Republican Pat Harrigan, this week, alleging that Harrigan does not actually live in the 14th congressional district for which he is running and in which he voted during the May primaries. The former is not against the rules for members of Congress, but the latter is. 

“My opponent appears to have voted in this district despite not actually living here,” Jackson wrote in a tweet that kicked off a thread announcing the filing on Thursday. “That’s a serious problem. Voting in a district you don’t actually live in can be a crime. And he says his top issue is ‘election integrity.'”

Jeff Jackson went on to allege that, though Harrigan rented out an apartment in Charlotte and registered to vote there before the primary, he is still living in his family home in Catawba County, outside of the 14th Congressional district in which they both are running.

Jackson pointed out that state election law distinguishes between people who actually live somewhere vs. people whose residence is only “temporary.” 

“Under North Carolina law, a person does not gain ‘a residence in any county… into which that person comes for temporary purposes only, without the intention of making that county… a permanent place of abode,’ Jackson wrote, citing N.C.G.A. § 163-57(3).

A Harrigan spokesperson dismissed the claims as a distraction, stating that Harrigan lives in the Charlotte apartment full-time now. Jeff Jackson cited a WFAE article from May that he said claimed “[Harrigan will] only fully move here if he wins,” though the exact wording from that report states, “[Harrigan] said he’s been spending most of his time during the campaign at a South Park [sic] apartment. He said he will move his family to the 14th if he wins.”

The Mecklenburg County Board of Elections will review Jackson’s claim and issue a ruling at a later date. 

CMPD Animal Care & Control In Crisis

CMPD’s Animal Care & Control (AC&C) department asked the community for help this week as their shelter overflowed with dogs in need of homes. As of Tuesday afternoon, there were 220 dogs physically in the shelter — including 40 dogs in holding areas waiting for kennels to open — and 70 in foster care. By Wednesday, they had gotten the number down to 188 dogs in the shelter (28 in the holding areas) and 92 in foster care.

“Thanks to the community’s support and help from the media in getting the word out we did not have to euthanize any dogs for space [on Tuesday],” an AC&C spokesperson wrote on Wednesday. “The important point: this helped yesterday and it gives us some wiggle room but that doesn’t mean we are out of crisis mode. We are still desperate for adopters and fosters as more dogs will keep coming in daily.”

As of Friday, there were 166 in the AC&C shelter. (Photo courtesy of AC&C)

Things began to look up by the end of the week, however, as AC&C staff were able to find positive outcomes for 114 dogs over four days between Tuesday-Friday, according to stats shared with Queen City Nerve on Friday afternoon. However, the work continues; a majority of those outcomes were foster situations, or temporary homes, and more dogs were showing up at the shelter as they got others out (the shelter took in 84 more dogs during those same four days). 

As of Friday afternoon, there were still 166 dogs in the shelter, leaving 25 kennels open, which brings AC&C’s capacity status from “Alert!” to “Manageable.” Visit the AC&C website to learn how you can help

AC&C will offer free clinic services including free pet exams with rabies and other core vaccinations, free microchips, free pet IDs, and free COVID-19 vaccinations (for humans) from 8-10:45 a.m. today at the shelter on 8315 Byrum Drive as part of its For the Love of Pets Day. All adoption fees will also be waived today from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. 

New Round of ARPA Funding Application to Open

Mecklenburg County announced Friday that proposal applications for a second round of funding to address the impacts of COVID-19 from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) will be accepted between Monday, Oct. 10 and Nov. 27. Organizations interested in submitting proposals for ARPA funds can visit the application portal when it opens on Monday at 9 a.m.

ARPA provides relief funds to eligible state, local and tribal governments that have been negatively affected by the coronavirus. The purpose of the funding is to support communities hardest hit by COVID-19. Mecklenburg County received its second round of funding from the U.S. Department of the Treasury in 2022. The minimum amount for which an applicant can request is $250,000 and Round One recipients are eligible to submit a second application, according to a release from the county on Friday. 

In 2021, the Treasury Department allocated $215 million in ARPA funds to Mecklenburg County. Applications for funding resulted in 36 local projects recommended to receive a total of $59.4 million. That amount included $26.9 million for projects that align with behavioral health and health equity; $14.6 million for parks, environment, and infrastructure; $8 million for affordable housing and homelessness; $6.7 million for workforce and economic development; and $3 million for childcare and early childhood development.

Coaltrane’s Closes in Plaza Midwood

Coaltrane’s Char Grill became the latest business to leave the main drag of the Plaza Midwood neighborhood this week, announcing in an Instagram post on Tuesday that they would be shutting their doors for good following dinner service that night. 

Coaltrane’s is the latest in a slew of Plaza Midwood businesses that have had to close their doors recently, including Reggae Central and Soul Gastrolounge, Kiki Bistro and Sister in the same building as Coaltrane’s, which was open for about five years after filling the space formerly occupied by John’s Country Kitchen. 

“Thank you for supporting our restaurant through the highs and lows over the past 5 years,” the Instagram post read. “Thank you for the constant reminders of how cool our staff is and how damn good our food is!”

Duke Requests Three-Year Rate Hike

Duke Energy Progress requested of North Carolina regulators Thursday to implement a 16% rate hike over the next three years. If approved by the North Carolina Utilities Commission, the net increase in retail revenues in year one is about $326 million, or 8.5%; followed by $151 million (3.9%) in year two; and $138 million (3.6%) in year three – a total 16% increase by late 2025.

Beginning Oct. 1, 2023, the monthly impact for a typical residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per month would be an increase of $14.72, from $126.43 to $141.15 per month, followed by an additional $5.62 increase in October 2024 and yet another $5.21 increase in October 2025.

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