News & OpinionWeekly News Roundup

5 Things to Know: Teen Murdered at Work in Targeted Attack

...and four more stories from March 24-30, 2024

The storefront of a Jack in the Box where a teen was murdered on Friday
A teen was murdered as he got off work at this Jack in the Box on Friday afternoon. (Via Google Images)

Teen Murdered at Work in Targeted Attack

A teen was murdered as he got off work at a Jack in the Box on Brookshire Boulevard on Friday afternoon. Police said two masked gunmen attacked the 17-year-old victim inside the restaurant after he had finished his shift at around 2:30 p.m. on Friday. 

“A 17-year-old’s life was stolen from him,” Maj. Ryan Butler with CMPD told members of the media on the scene. “Not a 17-year-old on the street, breaking into cars, but a 17-year-old just trying to work and go home for Easter weekend.”

It should be noted that teenagers breaking into cars also do not deserve to be murdered. 

In the above map, black markers signify deaths by gun violence, green markers signify killings that may be deemed justified, red markers signify stabbings, yellow markers signify murder by vehicle, purple markers signify deaths by trauma or unknown cause, and blue markers signify police killings.

Friday’s killing was the third in a 24-hour period in Charlotte, following two homicides on Thursday night. Anti-violence advocate Lucille Puckett was on the scene live-streaming on Friday afternoon, calling on residents to stand up in the face of community violence

“What is happening, Charlotte?” she asked. “We are too immune to what is happening. The numbers are increasing, the age of our victims and assailants is getting younger, and we sit back and get on Facebook and we watch and we listen but we’re not getting out here in the community, we’re not being involved, we’re not talking to our young people about conflict resolution.” 

Friday’s killing was the 38th homicide recorded by Queen City Nerve in Charlotte this year, compared to 24 at the same point last year


Fifty Incarcerated People Affected by Gastrointestinal Outbreak

The Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) on Wednesday provided an update to a situation it had first reported earlier in the week in which a mysterious stomach illness seemed to be spreading among people incarcerated in Uptown’s Mecklenburg County Detention Center-Central. 

According to Wednesday’s release, around 50 people were affected by the illness, which was first reported in a release on Sunday, the day after symptoms were first reported around the jail. 

MCSO announced Sunday that they were monitoring a situation involving “a reported increase in illness among a limited number of residents” at the Uptown jail. 

The Pretrial Integrity Act will allow judges to make decisions regarding bail rather than magistrates.
About 50 people incarcerated at the Uptown jail came down with a mysterious gastrointestinal illness this week. (Photo by Ryan Pitkin)

The Mecklenburg County Health Department visited the facility on Monday and determined the facility had experienced a “gastrointestinal outbreak,” according to the news release, and advised MCSO on precautionary measures. 

By Wednesday, all those experiencing symptoms were reported to have been responding well to treatment and “most were feeling better within 24 hours of the onset of symptoms,” according to the MCSO release. 

“Staff along with our medical provider, Wellpath, are monitoring the situation closely and have provided appropriate care to those who felt unwell,” the MCSO release read. “Operations are continuing as usual, but staff are maintaining a heightened level of awareness, with a particular focus on those who have reported being ill.”

MCSO separately announced the death of a man incarcerated at the jail on Wednesday. A release on Wednesday night stated that 42-year-old Renny Mobley had passed away while in custody at Mecklenburg County Detention Center-Central earlier that day.

According to MCSO, a detention officer called a medical emergency in the housing unit where Mobley was assigned after he was discovered to be unresponsive at 4:56 a.m. Charlotte Fire Department responded within 16 minutes of the call, with Medic arriving seven minutes later. Mobley was pronounced dead later that evening in the hospital. 

Mobley’s cause of death is unknown at this time, though it is not believed to be connected to the gastrointestinal outbreak spreading through the jail at the time. 


Longtime County Manager Jerry Fox Passes Away at 91

Former Mecklenburg County Manager Gerald G. “Jerry” Fox passed away on Wednesday at the age of 91, according to a release from the county. 

Fox served as Mecklenburg County manager from 1980 to 2000. Over a public service career spanning more than 50 years, he earned local, state and national recognition as an effective public leader, according to the release. Fox was also a key figure in the transformation of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, the release stated, especially in building the county’s workforce. 

Gerald “Jerry” Fox during his time as Mecklenburg County manager. (Photo courtesy of Mecklenburg County)

“Jerry Fox was a driving force for progress in Mecklenburg County during his 20-year tenure as manager,” stated current Mecklenburg County Manager Dena R. Diorio in the release. “It was a period of dramatic change in our community, from the rapid growth in population and evolution into a world-class community, to the many technological advances that Mecklenburg County came to embrace. He was a source of encouragement to me as County manager. I am continually inspired by his dedication to the betterment of our community and by the passion with which he led Mecklenburg County’s growing force of talented employees.”   

Throughout his tenure, Fox was praised by some local leaders for his management of the immense growth seen by the county at the time — which saw an influx of 300,000 residents during the time he was county manager — while others scrutinized him for steep tax increases and jail overcrowding. 

In 2012, the Master of Public Administration (MPA) program at UNC Charlotte was named in Fox’s honor, as was Mecklenburg County’s Foxhole Disposal and Recycling Center, which was planned during his tenure. 

At an MPA alumni event in 2019, Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners Chair George Dunlap presented a proclamation declaring Aug. 1, 2019, “Jerry Fox Day” in Mecklenburg County. 

Following his retirement from Mecklenburg County, Fox served as an instructor at UNC Charlotte, interim county manager for Gaston County, interim executive director of the North Carolina Dance Theatre and interim executive director of the Community School of the Arts. 

Fox was preceded in death by his wife of 57 years, Dolores “Dee” Condon Fox, who died in 2015. The two shared three children and multiple grandchildren. 


CATS Launches Red Line Community Engagement Sessions

The Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) this week announced a slate of virtual and in-person April meetings for the Red Line Commuter Rail project, which would bring rapid-transit rail connections from northern Mecklenburg County and southern Iredell County to Uptown Charlotte via 10 stations in five municipalities.

The project aims to connect the northern towns of Mecklenburg County — including Mooresville, Davidson, Cornelius, Huntersville and north Charlotte — to Uptown via a direct route. The 25-mile commuter rail would bring supplementary rapid transit, helping move passengers and drive economic development, according to the release. 

The investment in the North Corridor is built on more than 15 years of planning. Designers will now aim to update the design of the Red Line based on changes in planned development and land use, public input and technical considerations. 

“This project will provide reliable transportation through the establishment of a rapid-transit corridor, supporting traffic reduction along I-77 while driving economic development through the creation of transit-oriented hubs and their surrounding communities from Charlotte to Mooresville,” read a release from CATS on Monday. 

“It will also create connections to the Charlotte Gateway Station with its additional transit options and the surrounding entertainment district on one end while providing the opportunity for future expansion into Iredell County to serve key destinations.” 

The Red Line is anticipated to have 10 stations and 25 miles of track, serving five municipalities and two counties. Stations will offer park-and-ride lots and mobility hubs, plus first- and last-mile connections. The Red Line will also use the existing Norfolk Southern (O Line) rail line, which is to be upgraded to accommodate the commuter line. 

Meetings are planned for April 10, 16, 18, and 20. Check the CATS website to learn more about the locations and times.


County to Announce Tax Delinquents

Approximately 40,350 Mecklenburg County property owners who have delinquent 2023 real and personal property tax bills will have their names and the principal amount they owe published, as required by state law, in The Charlotte Observer, on Sunday, April 7, according to a release from the county on Thursday. 

Bills paid after Feb. 29, 2024, may be included in the advertisement. 

The purpose of the advertisement is to notify taxpayers of their 2023 tax obligation. Delinquent taxpayers are subject to having their North Carolina income tax refund and/or lottery winnings seized to pay off their County property taxes. 

Visit the Tax Bill Lookup site to determine if you owe any delinquent real estate or personal tax bill. You can pay online if you are delinquent so as to prevent the tax collector from garnishing funds, levying personal property, or foreclosing on property.


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