Publicity stunt sends stark message to the unvaccinated + What will change in Union County Schools

·4 min read

Happy Monday, Queen City! This is Mike, substituting for Kristen. It was an exciting morning for the Observer as we welcomed veteran NBA reporter Rod Boone to our team. He’ll continue to cover to Hornets for us. Follow Rod on Twitter and read his first byline with us.

Alas, today’s headlines:

1. Publicity stunt near Carolina Panthers’ stadium gave stark message to the unvaccinated

Many who caught the Panthers’ 26-7 win over New Orleans also noticed a truck circling Bank of America stadium emblazoned with a blunt message : “Don’t get vaccinated.”

It remains unclear who might be behind the scare tactic urging people to finally get vaccinated against COVID-19.

As the Observer’s Alison Kuznitz reports, the website for the “Wilmore Funeral Home” on the truck takes people to a site that simply says, “Get vaccinated now. If not, see you soon.”

2. After threat from NC officials, here’s what will change in Union County schools

Union County school board members voted today on changes to COVID-19 rules, including reducing quarantine times for students who haven’t tested positive and saying those students must wear a mask for a short period of time if they return in less than 14 days.

What else happened?

  • Union County Public Schools “will remain mask optional for all students and staff, except for those individuals returning for quarantine.”

  • Students and staff who are exposed to COVID-19 at school will no longer be required to quarantine for two weeks. Instead, a 10-day standard quarantine will apply and that period can be shortened to seven days, if the person tests negative for COVID-19.

  • The test must be taken no earlier than Day 5 of quarantine.

The change came in response to North Carolina’s top health official threatening legal action to address what she called a public health hazard.

Find the rest of the details here from the Observer’s Anna Maria Della Costa.

3. COVID case rate dips in some Charlotte ZIP codes, county average up slightly

Mecklenburg County’s average rate of new COVID-19 infections is up again.

Case rates saw a one-week decrease earlier this month. Based on Mecklenburg’s tracking of COVID-19 cases, the county saw an average over the last week of 517 new positive tests daily.

The Observer’s Devna Bose also analyzed new data from the county health department. By ZIP code, there was slight improvement in the number of new cases in about half of the ZIP codes and in the other half, the case rate went up.

Dive more into the latest data.

Exclusive: Ally bank is on a hiring kick. Here’s how it’s making changes to stand out in Charlotte

Earlier this summer, Ally moved in as the anchor tenant of a 26-story tower on Tryon Street. It’s one of multiple ways the bank is working to grow its Charlotte presence.
Earlier this summer, Ally moved in as the anchor tenant of a 26-story tower on Tryon Street. It’s one of multiple ways the bank is working to grow its Charlotte presence.

Ally Financial looks a little different from some of Charlotte’s biggest banks: It has auto lending roots, a younger customer base and no physical branches.

That hasn’t stopped them from growing in the city. The Observer’s Hannah Lang has more on the digital-only bank that’s added hundreds of local employees and moved into a 26-story tower in the past year. Her subscriber-exclusive story examines broader shifts in Charlotte’s banking industry, with a number of smaller players working to expand their footprint, and includes her interview with Chief Information, Data and Digital Officer Sathish Muthukrishnan.

Fall Arts Guide: COVID closed Charlotte’s arts museums for awhile, but employees found ways to adapt

During the pandemic, “everyone had to pivot in their roles to be more malleable to encompass this new digital age,” said Carla Jarrett, the Gantt Center’s visitor experience and museum store manager.
During the pandemic, “everyone had to pivot in their roles to be more malleable to encompass this new digital age,” said Carla Jarrett, the Gantt Center’s visitor experience and museum store manager.

The third week of our Fall Arts Guide begins with a look inside local museums.

  • Carla Jarrett showed us a tech run-through for a new virtual program at the Harvey B. Gannt Center for African-American Arts + Culture.

  • If you see someone carrying a handbag made out of old Prince vinyl records, it’s probably the work of Charlotte artist Jaianna McCants. She left her part-time job in guest services at the McColl Center for Art + Innovation to pursue her art.

Just good to know:

New clothing stores to make NC debut this fall at SouthPark mall in Charlotte by Catherine Muccigrosso

  • One of the stores with Amsterdam-style influences for men, women and children opens this month.

Winless Charlotte area football teams will play in their own kind of ‘Super Bowl’ by Langston Wertz Jr.

  • Neither Garinger High School or East Mecklenburg has won a game this season.

  • Friday they play each other, with a chance to earn an elusive first victory.

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