September 25, 2023


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This week in Charlotte: Interim county commissioner selection, NCAA tournament

Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioner Ella Scarborough attends a meeting on Oct. 01, 2019 at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center in Charlotte.

Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioner Ella Scarborough attends a meeting on Oct. 01, 2019 at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center in Charlotte.

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Did you “spring forward” with your clocks this morning? Today marks the start of Daylight Saving Time when we turn our clocks ahead by one hour, which means you’re probably an hour late for everything you planned today.

In an effort to make sure you’re not late on any news this week, one big event to look for is the appointment of a temporary at-large Mecklenburg County Commissioner at Tuesday’s Board of County Commissioners meeting.

The position will be an interim replacement for Ella Scarborough, who is on medical leave and, the board chair announced March 2, in hospice care. Scarborough became the first Black woman elected to serve on the Charlotte City Council in 1987. She previously ran for Charlotte Mayor and for U.S. Senate, and has served as a county commissioner since 2014.

There were 18 eligible applicants to fill the at-large position, which was narrowed to four nominees to be interviewed Saturday: Beverly Earle, Mary T. McCray, Wilhelmenia I. Rembert and Sam Spencer. The top two will be submitted for consideration and a vote Tuesday.

A swearing-in is expected March 22. The person would serve as a temporary at-large county commissioner through Dec. 5.

Fans wait for Duke to take the court before the Blue Devils game against Syracuse in the quarterfinals of the ACC mens basketball tournament at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., Thursday, March 10, 2022. Ethan Hyman [email protected]

Are you ready for some March Madness?

Carolina is college basketball country, which means this is what many consider the best week of the year. This is Selection Sunday, and the field for the men’s NCAA tournament will be revealed at 6 p.m. (CBS), followed by the women’s selection show at 8 p.m. (ESPN).

The 64-team tournament starts Thursday, and that first weekend of back-to-back-to-back games with potential for upsets galore is generally regarded as among the best weekends in sports.

There’s even potential to see some games in person. Greenville, South Carolina, will host first- and second-round men’s games (Friday and Saturday), and Greensboro will host the women’s Sweet 16/Elite 8 on March 25 and 28.

This year’s men’s Final Four is at the Superdome in New Orleans, April 2 and 4. The women’s tournament wraps up at Target Center in Minneapolis, April 1 and 3.

The Five Points Plaza has been under construction for years and is set to open to the public on Saturday. The public plaza will feature chairs, swings, free WiFi, an outdoor amphitheater and a water splash pad. Jeff Siner [email protected]

Openings, old and new

After a grand opening ceremony Saturday, Five Points Plaza in Historic West End officially will be open. The plaza is intended to be a cultural, educational and entertainment public space that reflects the neighborhood’s identity, according to the Charlotte Knight Foundation.

The Observer’s Gordon Rago wrote that the space has been underutilized for years, said Charles Thomas, the foundation’s director. The foundation donated nearly $400,000 to the city to help support construction of the plaza.

With construction officially over, students and residents can use it as a place to sit and eat some Rita’s Italian Ice or grab a slice from Jet’s Pizza, both steps away. There’s free public WiFi, so students can sit and work on their laptops, Thomas said. During the year, people can also put on community events like outdoor yoga, play music at the amphitheater or host bigger events like a jazz series or Christmas festival.

Meanwhile, opening day for amusement park Carowinds was Saturday. The Observers’ Catherine Muccigrosso writes that Carowinds is calling this year the “Seasons of Fun,” and will open with new décor and entertainment throughout the park.

City, county government

Charlotte City Council: A virtual information session on unrestricted arts and culture grants will be held Friday at noon. The Arts and Culture Advisory Board is accepting applications from arts and culture nonprofits and other eligible organizations for up to $20,000. Applications are open until March 24. Find more information on watching the information session at

Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners: The board is scheduled to meet Tuesday at 5 p.m, At this meeting they’ll vote to nominate an interim replacement for commissioner Ella Scarborough, who is on medical leave and is not expected to return. They’ll also provide an update on the development at 7th and Tryon. The meeting can be watched on the Government Channel or online at

From CharlotteFive

  • Don’t forget to pick up your $3.14 pie deals on Pi Day, 3/14. That includes pizza pie at the chain Blaze Pizza, and regular ol’ pies Buttermilk Sky Pie Shop – which will celebrate Pi Day on Sunday since the shop is closed Mondays.

  • Listen to the tunes of Peabo Bryson during his March 19 performance at The Knight Theater at The Levine Museum of the Arts. Rhonda Thomas is the special guest recording artist. Grammy-award winner Bryson is known for songs like “Can You Stop the Rain” and Aladdin’s “A Whole New World.” The event starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $52.50+. 430 S Tryon St. Buy tickets online.

Your 5-minute guide to the best things to do in Charlotte | March 11-17

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Compiled by Jodie Valade

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Jodie Valade is the Planning and Enterprise Editor at the Charlotte Observer. She most recently worked at WFAE as a digital editor, and freelanced for publications such as The Athletic, The Washington Post and The New York Times. She was a longtime, award-winning sports features and enterprise reporter at The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, Ohio. She also worked at The Dallas Morning News covering the Dallas Mavericks — where she became Mark Cuban’s lifelong email pen pal — and at The Kansas City Star.

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