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5 Things to Know: Miles Bridges Arrested on New Charges

...and four more new stories from Oct. 8-14, 2023

Miles Bridges smiles in a mugshot
Miles Bridges faces new charges of domestic violence and child abuse after an incident that occurred on Oct. 6. (Photo courtesy if Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office)

Miles Bridges Arrested on New Domestic Violence Charges

Charlotte Hornets star Miles Bridges turned himself in to police in Lincoln County on Friday after new charges were filed against him related to an incident that occurred on Oct. 6. Bridges missed the entire 2022-’23 season after he was arrested on domestic violence charges against his then-girlfriend in May 2022.

According to reporting by WSOC, Bridges has also had a warrant out against him by the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) dating back to January 2023 for “continually” violating a restraining order by contacting his now ex-girlfriend and children’s mother.

On Oct. 6, Bridges allegedly threw billiards balls at the windshield of a car that his children were in, resulting in child abuse charges, while also telling his ex-girlfriend that he would withhold child support and “take everything from her.” Court documents also show that Bridges “allowed his current girlfriend to yell, scream, and kick the victims [sic] car while the children were in the car.”

Bridges’ first court date for the new charges is scheduled for November.

The Hornets resigned Miles Bridges, then a restricted free agent, after a league investigation into the 2022 incident ended with a 10-game suspension that was set to start at the beginning of the upcoming season. It’s unclear why MCSO refused to serve the warrant against Bridges dating back to January, or how much the team knew about this year’s charges.

Mecklenburg County Offering New Boosters for Uninsured

Mecklenburg County Public Health (MCPH) on Thursday began offering the new COVID-19 vaccine boosters and flu shots free of charge for the uninsured and underinsured at its clinic locations.

No appointment is necessary; residents can walk into the Northwest Public Health Clinic at 2845 Beatties Ford Road or Southeast Public Health Clinic at 249 Billingsley Road to get one or both shots.

Mecklenburg County is now offering free vaccine boosters to the uninsured. (Photo by Dan Fogleman/Atrium Health)

The updated COVID-19 booster is available at no cost to those who are uninsured or underinsured via the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Bridge Access Program. Residents with private insurance are encouraged to go to their primary care provider or local retail pharmacies like CVS or Walgreens to avoid any potential cost sharing.

“The end of the Public Health Emergency made this fall’s rollout a bit more layered,” said MCPH Director Dr. Raynard Washington in a release. “But the timing is perfect as we are experiencing cooler weather and many activities are moving indoors. I urge residents to make sure you and your family are protected with the COVID-19 booster as well as the flu vaccine. When each of us takes responsibility, the most vulnerable among us will be safer.”

Mecklenburg County is seeing high levels of transmission of the COVID-19 virus in our community, as evidenced by wastewater testing sites, according to MCPH. Treatments available for COVID-19 and flu can reduce the risk of severe illness, hospitalization, and death. Everyday actions of covering coughs, frequent hand washing, wearing masks, and staying home if you are sick can help reduce the spread of respiratory viruses.

The CDC recommends the COVID-19 booster and the flu vaccine for all persons six months of age and older.

Project Break Point Dead in the River

News broke on Tuesday that Cincinnati will continue to host the Western & Southern Open, a top-tier tennis tournament that was sold as the anchor for Project Break Point, a $400-million tennis center proposed for the fledgling River District in west Charlotte. Tuesday’s announcement effectively killed any future for the project.

A rendering of Project Break Point. (All renderings courtesy of City of Charlotte)

Developers had asked the city and county to pitch in $132 million, or a third of the projected cost of the proposed project, but decided to pull out due to rising costs and an unclear timeline for construction. The newly passed state budget also included $20 million earmarked for the project.

In June, Charlotte City Council voted unanimously to approve $65 million in funding to assist with construction costs associated with Project Break Point. That money will go back into the city’s Hospitality & Tourism Fund.

NC GOP Overrides More Governor Vetoes

The NC GOP overrode five more of Gov. Cooper’s vetoes on Tuesday, changing election laws and loosening environmental regulations, among other things. Tuesday’s votes made for a milestone, as the Republican Party has now overrode more gubernatorial vetoes this year than any group of lawmakers has in North Carolina history.

One of the new laws establishes bipartisan election boards that will be in charge of running elections, including early voting and certification. Some experts have said that the boards will likely deadlock on key issues, creating instability around state elections.

State and county election boards are currently controlled by the party of the governor.

Within minutes of the GOP supermajority overriding Cooper’s vetoes, plaintiffs filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of two new election administration reform bills.

NCRLA Launches Recruitment Campaign for Restaurant Workers

The North Carolina Restaurant and Lodging Association (NCRLA) launched a new recruitment campaign called Serving Careers this week, aiming to help attract and retain hospitality industry employees. Funded by a $5-million grant from American Rescue Plan Act, the plan highlights the valuable skills that can be learned working in the hospitality industry and the diverse career paths available.

Rí Rá Irish Pub, restaurant workers
Rí Rá Irish Pub. (Photo by Grant Baldwin)

The campaign features a dedicated website that connects job seekers to pre-filtered job postings and includes resources provided by NCRLA, including more than 60 free industry-specific training and certification courses.

“Job seekers can depend on to guide them through the search process and locate compatible open positions in their area,” read a release on Wednesday.

According to the NCRLA, there were more than 65,000 active job listings for the hospitality industry in North Carolina from January to August this year. The campaign aims to reinvigorate the industries still recovering from pandemic shutdowns.

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