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Queen City Nerve’s Most Read Stories of 2021

What Charlotte cared about most this year from the Nerve

Near the end of each year, we provide a listing of the stories we’ve published over the past 12 months that our readers have most engaged with. It gives a glimpse at where folks’ minds have been and what they’ve been most interested in as of late, and there are some disturbing trends in such an analysis, as could be expected in a year like we’ve seen. Stay tuned for a coming list of our staff picks for most impactful stories, because it’s not all about the clicks. 

Charlotte woman yells racial slurs at Asian Uber driver

Charlotte Woman Yells Slurs at Asian Uber Driver in Viral Video

By Justin LaFrancois

A viral video posted to TikTok and then Instagram shows a white woman in Charlotte yelling racial slurs at an Asian-American Uber driver in a gas station parking lot at East Woodlawn and Park roads. In addition to telling the man to “go back to Asia,” she uses the n-word and yells obscenities throughout the process.

Charlotte road rage

Charlotte Road Rage Incident Caught on Tape, Leading to Arrest

By Ryan Pitkin

A video shot on April 7 showing two cars weaving through traffic at high speeds on I-85 northbound, with one closely following another, appears at first glance to possibly depict illegal street racing, but what Mark Reilly* saw beforehand convinced him something more sinister was happening. What he then caught on video was a terrifying instance of road rage in Charlotte.

legalize marijuana in North Carolina, medical marijuana n.c.
Senate Bill 711 is causing a stir around medical marijuana in the N.C. Senate (Photo by Melissa Rustemov)

5 Things To Know: New Bill Aims to Legalize Marijuana in North Carolina

By Ryan Pitkin

N.C. Rep. John Autry of Charlotte was one of four North Carolina legislators to introduce HB 617 — a bill to legalize and regulate the sale, possession, and use of cannabis in North Carolina — in the General Assembly in April of this year.

The Goodyear House
The Goodyear House photographed just before its January 2020 opening. (Photo by Grant Baldwin)

The Goodyear House Accused of Illegally Misappropriating Tips

By Dion Beary & Patrick Moran

NoDa restaurant The Goodyear House had illegally misappropriated tips from its service staff and began using intimidation tactics to avoid repaying the lost wages, employees had alleged.

According to multiple employees who spoke with Queen City Nerve, Goodyear House management appropriated the tips from the time the restaurant opened in January 2020 to mid-May of 2021, and could owe staff members between $60,000 and $70,000.

Funky Geezer

Charlotte Music Icon Funky Geezer Finds New Wind on TikTok

By Patrick Moran

With a smile and a friendly wave, the eccentric 72-year-old man greets his 2.7 million followers. A longtime staple of the Charlotte music scene, the man they call Funky Geezer has become the subject of a newfound fame by way of an app often associated with folks just a fraction of his age: TikTok.

tent city deadline
Tent City (Photo by Grant Baldwin)

County Issues Imminent Hazard Eviction Order for Tent City Residents

By Ryan Pitkin

Questions Remain Over Enforcement of Tent City Evictions

By Ryan Pitkin

In February, the Mecklenburg County Public Health (MCPH) department issued an Order of Abatement of Imminent Hazard to the owners of seven properties that make up what had become known as Tent City, a sprawling encampment where around 100 unsheltered residents had made their homes.

The order stated that the property owners had 72 hours to clear out anyone living at the site due to an apparent rodent infestation that had occurred there. Property owners had been ordered to clean their respective lots so that rodent eradication could begin.

Empty shelves at a Mecklenburg ABC store
A look at the shelves at a Mecklenburg ABC store on Oct. 28. (Photo by Dion Beary)

ABC Struggles With Liquor Shortage in Mecklenburg County

By Ryan Pitkin

In a public Facebook post on Oct. 20, the owner of a popular cocktail bar in Charlotte posted a screenshot of a North Carolina Alcoholic Beverage Control (NC ABC) liquor order he was attempting to fill out online. In the picture, 15 of the 16 available brands in the frame came with a warning: “Item has low stock.” This means a bar owner can order that brand, but they may not get the order filled.

Old Settlers' Cemetery
Old Settlers’ Cemetery (Photo by Grant Baldwin)

10 Haunted Spots in Charlotte Where Paranormal Activity Is Rumored

By Jason Tapp

Everyone always complains about how Charlotte gets rid of its history, but there’s some history that you just can’t shake. For this year’s Halloween issue, we tapped Jason Tapp of SpookyCLT to tell us about 10 of the most haunted spots in Uptown. You may think Uptown is dead due to the pandemic, but based on rumored paranormal activity, maybe the dead have never left Uptown.

U.S. National Whitewater Center
U.S. National Whitewater Center (Photo by Jayme Johnson)

Yoga Instructors Call for Monetary Payments at Whitewater Center

By Charlie Leonard

Each year, the U.S. National Whitewater Center’s Flow Fest draws hundreds of wellness enthusiasts for a day of meditation, yoga and healing against the calming backdrop of nature. The event, packed with free classes and workshops, aims to invigorate both the curious first timer and the seasoned yogi, bringing all types of people together. Instead, for some participating instructors, it has become shrouded in controversy.

Enslaved people working on the railroad in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. (Photo courtesy of Library of Congress)

Black History of Charlotte: Slavery and Revolution

By Pamela Grundy

Black History of Charlotte: Slavery & Revolution Part 2

By Pamela Grundy

On October 21, 1852, the first passenger train of the Charlotte & South Carolina Railroad embarked upon the hundred-mile stretch of 5-foot-gauge iron rails that led from Columbia, South Carolina, to the heart of Charlotte. It steamed to a stop at Charlotte’s newly built depot, on Second Street between College and Brevard. Onlookers erupted in celebration.

Cabarrus County arrest
A bystander recorded the arrest of Davion Pringle in Cabarrus County on Aug. 27.

Charlotte Man Retains Lawyer After Viral, Violent Cabarrus County Arrest

By Ryan Pitkin

A man whose arrest by the Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office and Concord Police Department went viral has retained legal representation after many who viewed video of the incident said police violently overreacted. 

The video depicts the Aug. 27 arrest of Davion Pringle at a Cabarrus County gas station, during which officers shattered Pringle’s driver’s side window and placed him in handcuffs. His passenger, Imani Grier, was also placed in cuffs. Pringle maintains his only offense was improperly displaying a license plate. Grier and Pringle both reside in Charlotte.

missing persons
Signs hang at Davis Flohr Neighborhood Park in NoDa during an April 4 vigil for Mary Collins. (Photo by Grant Baldwin)

A Grieving Family Calls for Missing Persons Reform After Pleas Ignored

By Liz Logan

Doubts and Delays Hindered Mary Collins Murder Investigation

By Liz Logan

According to CMPD, more than 3,500 people are reported missing in Charlotte annually. On the department’s website, the protocol for missing persons reports is laid out relatively clearly, with stats that emphasize how rarely a missing persons report is the result of violent crime: 70% are teenagers, mostly runaways, while the other 30% are adults, and on average, less than 10 per year end up being the result of foul play.

Home Again Foundation affordable housing
Home Again Foundation’s component-built cottage-style homes on Cochrane Drive. (Photo by Justin LaFrancois)

Home Again Foundation Is Putting Its Affordable Housing Plan Into Action

By Justin LaFrancois

On Cochrane Drive in the Nevin area of north Charlotte, a small plot of previously unused land serves as the foundation for what grassroots organization Home Again Foundation (HAF) believes can be the solution to Mecklenburg County’s affordable housing crisis. 

In partnership with Kris Axhoj of Axhoj Enterprises, HAF has constructed and signed leases at eight “true” affordable housing units on two parcels of property that would have otherwise been used for one or two single-family homes. The homes are just the beginning point in a larger mission for HAF, which aims to find a 30-acre plot of land where they can build an affordable housing community housing 560 residents.

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