TikTok convinces woman to drive hours to Gastonia + CMS pitches apartments with 2 new schools

·4 min read

Happy Monday, everybody. This is Kristen.

In case you missed this slice of Internet hilarity, here’s a good laugh (yes, at someone else’s expense). A Durham, NC resident made a TikTok showing footage of Switzerland and labeled it ‘Gastonia, NC.’ Then, a Florida woman drove there to see it for herself. She realized about 20 minutes away from her destination “that something wasn’t right.” Sorry, Olivia.

Read more about the mishap with the Observer’s Jonathan Limehouse — and don’t believe everything you see online!

1. CMS pitches apartments with 2 new schools. Some worry about added traffic

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools has plans and funding for a new elementary and relief high school in south Charlotte.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools has plans and funding for a new elementary and relief high school in south Charlotte.

A proposal to build an elementary school in south Charlotte along with 349 residential units — 299 apartments and 50 townhomes — is facing some opposition. The Observer’s Gordon Rago has the details here.

What’s the deal?

  • Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and developer Woodfield Development petitioned City Council last week to rezone two parcels of land.

  • One would house a high school and 420 apartments just north of Interstate 485.

  • The second, which faced opposition, would be for a new elementary school on 36 acres across the street from Ardrey Kell High School.

  • The new schools are a result of a $922 million bond referendum passed in 2017.

  • Why the opposition to the elementary school? Some neighbors and City Council members describe the area as an already clogged part of town.

The schools will help relieve school overcrowding issues and provide nearby housing, district consultant Dennis LaCaria and attorney Collin Brown told council members.

While we’re on the topic, here’s more education news:

  • Most Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools construction projects approved by voters five years ago are completed or underway. Learn more about the progress with the Observer’s Anna Maria Della Costa.

  • Plus, also from Della Costa, here are details about the “Say Something” Anonymous Reporting System that allows students to submit anonymous safety concerns. Students in Charlotte-area schools are training on it this week.

2. You might assume this Charlotte restaurant is ‘just another chain.’ Here’s why it’s not

The Showmars at 9704 E. Independence Blvd. in Matthews is one of 32 locations.
The Showmars at 9704 E. Independence Blvd. in Matthews is one of 32 locations.

What started as one restaurant on Independence Boulevard has grown to 32 locations — most in the greater Charlotte area, with some in cities like Columbia and Raleigh.

That’s right, Charlotte — it’s Showmars. If you’re from here, you may or may not love it, but you definitely know it. It’s an iconic restaurant that has served Greek entrees and Southern dishes since 1982.

“We really pioneered fast-casual dining in Charlotte — allowing customers to order at the counter and receive table service for the rest of their visit,” Showmars CEO Dean Peroulas told CharlotteFive.

Learn more about the history of the Queen City favorite with CharlotteFive’s Philip Freeman.

3. Here’s what to know before filing your 2022 tax return in NC

Starting today, taxpayers can start filing taxes for the 2021 tax year. Filing early could mean you get your rebate quicker.

Are you ready to begin the process? The Observer’s Evan Moore walks you through the process here, answering questions like:

  • When’s the deadline?

  • How long will it take to get my refund?

  • What’s the fastest way to get my refund?

  • ... and more

4. Mortgage paid in full for husband, kids of fallen Charlotte police officer

The home of fallen Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Officer Mia Goodwin has been paid off by the Tunnel to Towers Foundation, a New York-based nonprofit.
The home of fallen Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Officer Mia Goodwin has been paid off by the Tunnel to Towers Foundation, a New York-based nonprofit.

The home where Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Officer Mia Goodwin lived with her husband and their children has been paid off, as reported by the Observer’s Jonathan Limehouse.

Goodwin was killed on duty last month in a wreck involving two semi-trucks on Interstate 85, and is survived by her husband, Brenton, and their three kids, Gabriella, Greyson and Gia.

The Tunnel to Towers Foundation nonprofit paid the mortgage.

“This is a family of first responders, a husband and wife dedicated to serving and protecting their community,” Frank Siller, chairman and CEO of the Tunnel to Towers Foundation, said in a news release Monday. “It is now our turn to step up and do the same for them.”

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