News briefs for March 23

Rama Road Elementary won first place in the H2O Ecosystems category of the Autobell Car Wash Creek Challenge. Photo courtesy of Autobell

Students know their creeks

CHARLOTTE – A dozen elementary schools, including Cotswold IB World and Rama Road, competed in the third annual Autobell Car Wash Creek Challenge recently at UNC Charlotte.

Teams of third-, fourth-, and fifth-graders undertook the specially developed curriculum that includes classroom and on-site creek education.

Students displayed and demonstrated model water filters and three-dimensional watersheds they built. They were tested on knowledge of topics, such as the water cycle, aquatic plants and animals.

“Autobell is very cognizant of water quality and conservation, which led us to develop the Creek Challenge, because we know it is essential to educate and engage our youth about this most important resource,” CEO Chuck Howard said.

Event designed to spark ideas into action

CHARLOTTE – The City of Charlotte’s Housing & Neighborhood Services Department is hosting the Neighborhood Exchange: Spark Ideas Into Action breakfast and panel discussion.

The event is geared toward inspiring neighborhood leaders, residents and organizers to undertake community-changing projects.

The free event takes place 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. April 21 at the SMS Catering Event Atrium, 1764 Norland Road. Registration is open until April 17.

The panel includes:

• Amanda Zullo, founder and executive director, Pop Up Produce.

• John Martin, CEO and founder, Young Black Leadership Alliance.

• Amalia Deloney, founder and principal, Co-Learning for Action Project.

• John Lincoln, vice chair, Monroe Road Advocates (MoRA).

The event will feature a presentation, “Home(town) Security,” by Majora Carter, a leading urban revitalization strategist.

Visit or call 704-336-3380 for details.

Census: Yep, it’s crowded

RALEIGH – Two-thirds of North Carolina’s counties experienced growth from 2016 to 2017, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates released March 22

Census estimates show that as of July 1, 2017, 10.3 million people called North Carolina home and the state remains the ninth most populous in the country.

The data show that 66 percent of North Carolina counties grew from 2016 to 2017, compared to population growth for 57 percent of counties nationally. In North Carolina, the largest numeric growth happened in metropolitan counties and fewer counties lost population than the previous year.

The Mecklenburg population grew from 695,348 in 2000 to 919,628 in 2010 to 1,076,837 in 2017.

Black dresses help raise $66K

CHARLOTTE – The Junior League of Charlotte raised more than $66,000 from 1,166 donors from the third annual Little Black Dress Initiative held Feb. 26 to March 2.

Participants wore the same black dress for five consecutive days with a pin that read “Ask Me About My Dress” with the goal of sparking conversation about poverty and how JLC helps combat it.

“We are thrilled that the JLC’s commitment to the community has received such great support,” President Arina Kirk said. “Our work changes lives, so this will make an enormous impact on our mission to improve communities in Charlotte.”

Donations can be made to the JLC Annual Fund at

CATS opens Blue Line light rail extension

CHARLOTTE – Charlotte Area Transit System welcomed customers March 16 on the newly expanded LYNX Blue Line light rail service after nearly five years of construction.

The 9.3 mile extension continues the alignment north from 7th Street Station to UNC Charlotte. It features 11 new stations and an additional 3,100 parking spots at four new park and ride locations.

“The city’s largest infrastructure project is now a reality,” Mayor Vi Lyles said. “Beginning today, we have a seamless connection between south and northeast Charlotte, delivering jobs, education and entertainment to the community.”

The extension has already attracted new private development along the line with nearly $500 million in projects completed, planned or under construction.

College hosts career fair

CHARLOTTE – Brightwood College will host a career fair, featuring training opportunities, giveaways, tours, mock interviews, resume reviews and dress-for-success tips.

“Especially in today’s job market, networking is becoming increasingly valuable, and we are eager to help facilitate these professional connections,” Campus President Tenika Glenn said.

The free fair takes place 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 28 at the campus, 6070 E. Independence Blvd. Register in advance.

Call 704-567-3700 or visit https://bright for details.

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