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Queen City Nerve’s Most-Read Stories of 2020

What Charlotte cared most about this year

A look back at Queen City Nerve’s most-read online stories of 2020.


Top read story of 2020 in Charlotte
FBI had refused to identify the N.C. pastor who allegedly urinated on a woman during an Oct. 12 flight. (AdobeStock)

North Carolina Pastor Who Peed on Woman Identified

By Ryan Pitkin

Thanks to a FOIA request filed with the Wayne County Airport Authority, Queen City Nerve learned that the “well-known North Carolina pastor” accused of peeing on a woman during a flight in October was Daniel Chalmers, co-founder and president of Love Wins Ministries. The Love Wins website lists Chalmers’ home church as Catch the Fire Raleigh-Durham.


One of the top stories in Charlotte from 2020
Activist Andrew Woods stares down a Gaston County Sheriff in front the Confederate monument at the Gaston County Courthouse. (Photo by Grant Baldwin)

Anti-Racists in Gastonia Clash With Counterprotesters After Days of Unrest

By Jeff Taylor

Two arrests of Charlotte activists in front of the Gaston County courthouse in late July ratcheted up tensions during a week of protests and unrest in the usually quiet town of Gastonia. After weeks of peaceful protests centered around a Confederate monument that sits in front of the courthouse, allegations of racism at a popular ice cream parlor near the middle of town set off protests by anti-racists and Confederate supporters over two nights, ending in police deploying tear gas and arresting more than dozen people.


Davis Genera Store in 2020
Davis General Store (Photo by JP Photography)

30 Charlotte Staples We Must Protect at All Costs in 2020

By Q.C. Nerve Staff

This time of year, you’re apt to see any number of lists detailing the shiny, new places that opened over the last year or the ones that everyone’s looking forward to opening in the new year to come. We thought now would be as good a time as ever to shine a light on a few of our favorite longtime establishments that have kept things fresh.


Ink and Ivy building in Uptown Charlotte in 2020
Ink N Ivy took action against an employee who was heard making racist remarks, but then ownership took action against people they didn’t even employ. (Photo by Ryan Pitkin)

Bottle Cap Group Retaliates Against Woman for Calling Out Racism

By Pat Moran

When Ink N Ivy, an Uptown Charlotte restaurant owned by the culinary conglomerate Bottle Cap Group, was notified about a staff member’s racist behavior, the establishment’s management acted swiftly and terminated the offender. That should have been the end of the story, except that Ink N Ivy’s ownership reportedly undercut their socially responsible decision, and subsequently started retaliating against people who called out the ugly incident in the first place.


hate crime Union County
Bernard Singleton on his property at Nebedaye Farms, where repeated harassment has led to hate crime charges against his neighbor. (Photo by Ryan Pitkin)

Man Arrested for Hate Crime Against Black Farmer in Union County

By Ryan Pitkin

Since launching Nebedaye Farms in Union County in 2018, Bernard Singleton of Charlotte’s Bennu Gardens has experienced lots of harassment. This summer, his neighbor was arrested for ‘ethnic intimidation’ after escalating such behavior in the preceding months.


View of June 2 tear gas incident from CMPD helicopter
View of June 2 tear gas incident from CMPD helicopter. (Still from CMPD footage)

CMPD Footage Shows June 2 Ambush Was Planned Attack

By Ryan Pitkin

In August, CMPD released 57 videos taken from the body cameras of police officers working in Uptown during protests on June 2, during which the department implemented tactics against protesters that have led to calls for action from local, state and national leaders.


RNC
Pres. Donald Trump (left) consults with Gov. Roy Cooper during a Hurricane Dorian briefing in September 2019. (Photo by Shealah Craighead/White House)

RNC in Question as Local Leaders Respond to Trump Threats

By Lillian Taylor

As Gov. Roy Cooper’s administration continued rolling out phases of a plan to reopen North Carolina, the World Health Organization warned of a “second peak” in areas where safety protocols are being rolled back. Nevertheless, President Donald Trump kicked off Memorial Day by calling on Cooper to make a nearly impossible promise that full attendance would be allowed at the Republican National Convention (RNC), then scheduled for Charlotte from August 24-27.


Beatties Ford Road
Investigators were at the scene of a mass shooting on Beatties Ford Road well into the afternoon on a Monday in June. (Photo by Ryan Pitkin)

Beatties Ford Road Shooting Raises More Questions Than Answers

By Ryan Pitkin

Local organizers and officials marched silently down Beatties Ford Road on June 22 to memorialize victims of a mass shooting that occurred there in the early morning hours of that day during the third night of Juneteenth celebrations.

At least three people were killed and 11 others injured after shots rang out at the intersection of Beatties Ford Road and Catherine Simmons Avenue just after midnight that Monday morning, surpassing the violence seen in the mass shooting on UNC Charlotte’s campus in 2019.


Jonathan Young and a friend march alongside protesters on Beatties Ford Road on May 29. (Photo by Grant Baldwin)

Boogaloo Boys Dispute Bad Rap Amid Growing Notoriety

By Pat Moran

On May 29, Jonathan Young posted two pictures to his Facebook page.

“Y’all think I should wear the AR w/the high tops, the AK w/the low tops, or the Shockwave with the turtle slippys?” Young asked above a three-way split photo showing his footwear choices accessorized with body armor, a pair of assault rifles and a shotgun.

“The people have spoken!” he captioned a later post with a picture depicting Young brandishing the Shockwave pump-action shotgun, while sporting an incongruous pair of fluffy Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles slippers. In the end though, he went with the AK-47.


A homeless in encampment in Charlotte
Charlotteans Tony and Nancy share lunch in an encampment where they’ve lived since March. (Photo by Grant Baldwin)

Charlotte’s Homeless Search for Help as Services Dry Up

By Ryan Pitkin

On March 13, UMC put an early end to its annual Room In the Inn program, which partners with churches and colleges to provide housing for the homeless throughout the winter months. Men’s Shelter of Charlotte also scaled down operations at its two shelters to help with social distancing, going from 410 beds and 50 mats to about 365 beds between them. Some people were moved from the shelters to hotels, others ended up on the street.


George Floyd protests
Protesters gathered in front of CMPD’s Metro Division Station and then marched north on Beatties Ford Road in response to the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. (Photo by Grant Baldwin)

George Floyd Protest Raises Suspicions From Local Organizers

By Ryan Pitkin

More than 500 people gathered in front of the CMPD Metro Division office in west Charlotte before marching up and down Beatties Ford Road to protest the murder of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis on Monday, resulting in several arrests and some property damage at the police station and a nearby Food Lion.


(Photo courtesy of Keysha Walker Taylor/Twitter)

Anti-Panhandling Street Signs Stir Controversy in Uptown

By Ryan Pitkin

Last November, Keysha Walker Taylor was walking in Uptown when a red-and-white sign caught her eye. The sign had a graphic depicting a hand giving a coin to another hand with a red circle and slash on top of it, the general prohibition symbol meant to express that something is not permitted. The sign read, “It’s OK to say no to panhandlers. Handouts don’t help. Contribute to the solution. Give to local charities. RealChangeCLT.org.” She did the only thing she could think to do: took the sign down. 


Joe Cicerone knows all the things. (Photo courtesy of Sugar Creek Brewing Co.)

Charlotte Brewmaster Becomes One of World’s Only Master Cicerones

By Justin LaFrancois

You may not believe that a test on your beer knowledge could be as difficult as a five-day exam on steam, diesel and gas turbine ships for the U.S. Coast Guard, but according to Joe Vogelbacher, the two are right on par with each other. He’s the one to ask, as Sugar Creek Brewing announced in January that cofounder and brewmaster Vogelbacher has been awarded the title of Master Cicerone, making him only the 19th person in the world and the first from North Carolina to earn the designation.


Habekah Cannon has launched Charlotte’s first abolitionist, community-based law firm. (Photo courtesy of Habekah Cannon)

Habekah Cannon Launches Abolitionist Law Firm After Being Fired

By Ryan Pitkin

When the courts began to shut down in March, Habekah Cannon, then with the Mecklenburg County Public Defenders’ Office (MCPDO), knew she would have to pivot in the ways she served the community. She didn’t know that work would lead to multiple arrests and her being fired. Now she’s taken those lessons and launched her own law firm, which she calls the first “wholeheartedly abolitionist” law firm in Charlotte.


Charlotte abortion clinic
Clinic defenders react as Love Life Charlotte protesters march by the clinic on a recent Saturday. (Photo by Grant Baldwin)

A Movement Grows Outside of East Charlotte Abortion Clinic

By Ryan Pitkin

Last year’s noise ordinance had little effect on prayer marches and harassment at A Preferred Women’s Health Center on Latrobe Drive. Now a new wave of young defenders are shaking things up alongside Charlotte For Choice. Their biggest weapon: TikTok.


Protesters dodge tear gas in Uptown. (Photo by Joshua Galloway)

Use of Tear Gas Will Continue, Says CMPD Chief Kerr Putney

By Ryan Pitkin

CMPD Chief Kerr Putney held a virtual press conference on June 5, stating that the federal Domestic Preparedness Office will investigate an incident that occurred on Tuesday night and was filmed by Queen City Nerve publisher Justin LaFrancois, sparking outrage among residents. The video shows Civil Emergency Unit (CEU) officers in riot gear using tear gas and flashbang grenades to trap hundreds of protesters between two buildings on East Fourth Street, while other CEU officers shot pepper balls down at the crowd from the second floor of a parking garage.


Kim with her son, Elliot.

On 30th Anniversary of the Murder of Kim Thomas, Loved Ones Still Have No Closure

By Nancy Verruto, Lynn Thomas, Emily Trask

On the 30th anniversary of the day Kim Thomas was found brutally murdered in her Charlotte home, her loved ones were no closer to finding justice. Three of those closest to her wrote this harrowing account of that tragic day and what has followed.


The rezoning sign sits in Missy Eppes’ front yard. (Photo by Ryan Pitkin)

Neighbors Oppose Massive Industrial Development in West Meck

By Ryan Pitkin

In the lead-up to a Charlotte City Council vote on a rezoning petition that would allow for a 1.5-million-square-foot industrial development on 156 acres in a relatively rural part of the county we spoke to folks who supported it and stood strongly against it. Planners called it a sweet spot. Neighbors called it a tipping point for their community.


Notables:

The Black History of Charlotte series

Charlotte Protest Video Archives (Currently updating)

Best in the Nest 2020 Awards

Weekly News Roundup (Published every Saturday)


Staff Picks:

‘Hanging Tree’ Book and Exhibit Celebrate the Genius of Freeman Vines

Jason Jet Opens GrindHaus, a Music Studio Patterned After Coworking Spaces

– Pat Moran, staff writer

Restaurant Workers Rally Amid Mass Layoffs and Community Disconnect

Jah-Monte Rethinks His Place In the Local Hip-Hop Scene

– Lea Bekele, digital editor

Sugar Creek Brewing Internship Aims to Diversify Craft Beer Scene

Skateboarders Face Redevelopment at Popular Eastland D.I.Y. Park

– Justin LaFrancois, publisher

Charlotte’s Homeless Population Prepares for the Coldest Months

Four 1965 Attacks Made Racial Realities in Charlotte Impossible to Ignore

– Jayme Johnson, art director

Georgie Nakima Connects People, Places and Plants

Black Diamond Caters to Growing Population of Black Gun Owners

– Ryan Pitkin, editor-in-chief

Mecklenburg County Issues Stay-at-Home Order Beginning Thursday

Charlotte Jail Support Serves as Supply Hub for Protesters and Community

– Renn Wilson, sales executive


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