Radio personality Robert Raiford dies at 89 | Charlotte Observer

Robert D. Raiford, the unrepentant iconoclast whose war on political correctness amused Charlotte radio listeners for decades, died Friday. He was 89.

Raiford started on radio as a teenager and left the airwaves only in August 2015, after a stroke robbed him of his mobility and discombobulated the source of his livelihood: his voice.

For 30 years, Raiford served as “curmudgeon at large” on the “John Boy and Billy Big Show” that originates at Charlotte’s WRFX-FM (“Fox” 99.7) and is syndicated to 57 other stations nationally.

A curmudgeon, Raiford once explained, is a person who provides the public service of observing all things and interpreting them for others. “I call it a curse of sensitivity,” he said.

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“Invariably, dissenters are asked: Well, you’re quick to criticize. What would you do about it?” he said in a 1993 interview with the Observer.

“Well, we don’t pretend to have the solutions. It’s like a baby crying. The baby doesn’t know how to fix what’s irritating it, but he damn well knows something is out of whack – and howls about it.”

His in-your-face weather report: “It’s the same as it was last month. When it changes, I’ll let you know.”

Wry and stern, his commentaries – all composed on an Underwood manual typewriter he refused to relinquish – were often tough-love fusillades targeting the acolytes of political correctness. They tended to sting – but not wound – and were served with a formal theatrical zeal set a notch below serious.

“Who says that?” he would ask rhetorically at the end. “I say that!”

His secret side

“Bob Raiford had the mind of a well-read intellectual, trapped in the body of a grumpy old guy who holds court at the end of the counter at Waffle House,” said Johnny Isley, known to listeners as John Boy. “He was a fan of Nat Cole and Sinatra, but could command a rowdy crowd at a bar with a heartfelt rendition of ‘Dixie.’ ”

Co-host Billy James said that Raiford’s unpredictable musings were a key part of the success of the show for three decades.

“He could talk about anything,” James said, “because he’d done a little bit of just about everything.”

And Raiford had – he was a broadcaster, actor, pilot, parachutist, motorcycle enthusiast and bungee-cord daredevil.

Robert D. Raiford and the restored U.S. Air Force T-34 flight trainer he flew in a dogfight with his son Ray.

Courtesy of Robert D. Raiford

War-time job

Raiford hit the professional airwaves in 1944 at age 17 in his native Concord as a play-by-play announcer on WEGO-AM (980) for the Concord Weavers, a minor-league team that featured pitcher Tommy Lasorda (who went on to manage the Los Angeles Dodgers). Even then, he had what they call in radio “good pipes”: a voice resonant, distinctive and authoritative.

He went on to study communications at the University of South Carolina and by the early 1950s was a leading announcer on Charlotte’s WBT-AM (1110), one of the nation’s pioneer radio stations, then known as the “Colossus of the South.”

Raiford was at the microphone on the night of April 12, 1956, after news was received that singer Nat King Cole had been the victim of a racial attack in Birmingham, Ala.

At WBT, discussion of racial matters was strictly forbidden. But Raiford was resolute in his personal beliefs and was an early champion of civil rights.

Calling himself “a native Southerner,” he told listeners he didn’t believe “the unprovoked violence in Birmingham represents the true feeling of the South as a whole and the state of North Carolina and the city of Charlotte in particular.”

After he condemned the racial violence, Ken Tredwell, WBT’s station manager, called and told him to change the subject immediately. Raiford kept ranting. Tredwell called back and fired him over the phone.

Raiford signed off, playing Cole’s song “For All We Know, We May Never Meet Again.” Among its lyrics: “We come and go, like the ripples on a stream.”

On to Washington

Soon Raiford was working at WTOP, the CBS affiliate in Washington, D.C., then and now one of the nation’s premier radio stations. One of his colleagues there was an up-and-comer from Missouri named Walter Cronkite.

One November afternoon in 1963 he showed up at work to learn that the president had been assassinated. Three days later, the CBS radio network used him as one of the reporters narrating the drama as the funeral cortege marched toward Arlington National Cemetery.

For 14 long minutes, Raiford held the national audience in the thrall of his voice as he described the somber scene unfolding before him.

“The coffin approaches, drawn by those seven white horses. People raise their cameras to take pictures; others stand on tiptoe to try to get a better view. … A child of 6 said, ‘He was nice. We went to church and prayed for him when we heard he’d been shot.’ ”

Back to Charlotte

Raiford has been fired many times – usually for good reason, he would readily admit – and his career at WTOP ended with a prank when he lit off a firecracker in the studios. “I had half a jar of corn liquor in me,” he later admitted.

He found his way back to Charlotte in the early 1970s with Charlotte radio with a morning talk show on the old hard-rock WIST-AM and uncloseted his liberal views.

“There have never been more talk shows here,” Observer radio critic Charlie Hanna wrote in October 1973. “But the degree of controversy voiced remains low, despite one show host determined to make it otherwise. That would be Charlotte’s newest addition to the gumbeater bunch, Bob Raiford.”

At WIST, Raiford railed against Richard Nixon, fundamentalist preachers and cast himself as a middle-aged hippie. His in-your-face weather report: “It’s the same as it was last month. When it changes, I’ll let you know.”

On to television

In 1978, Raiford took a job with Charlotte’s NBC affiliate on Channel 36 as news anchor and host of a no-budget TV talk show, “Call Raiford.”

“Newsman/curmudgeon Robert D. Raiford” is how he was described in his work on the “John Boy and Billy” show; Raiford is at far right; Claire B. Lang also did news and commentary.

Tom Franklin

In 1986, when John Boy and Billy were developing their new morning show for WRFX-FM, they would sometimes make fun of the old man who did the TV call-in show with a single telephone on an empty desk. Someone said they should get him as the news reader for their new show. They thought it was just crazy enough to work, and Raiford went back to radio.

In the early days of the show, Raiford would report in his faux-serious voice on “fake news” he’d clipped from the wilder supermarket tabloids, stories about Bat Boy, Lobster Man and Hitler ghost squadrons being spotted on the moon. Later, he began writing satirical commentaries just speaking his mind. And he was blunt.

“Frequently, we get letters saying we shouldn’t talk like we do because children are listening,” he said in one. “Why are children listening to ‘The John Boy and Billy Show’ on a rock ‘n’ roll station anyway? … You have umpteen radio stations in this city serving up pablum. Why aren’t you listening to them?”

While delighting the core audience, his rants would bring waves of complaints from those he targeted. It was the job of Randy Brazell, executive producer of the “John Boy & Billy” show, to take the heat.

“Bob was everything you thought he was when you heard him on our show – crotchety, tight and opinionated. But he was also a sensitive, tender man that I could make cry just by telling him I loved him – which I did often,” Brazell said.

“He was a self-proclaimed curmudgeon with a gift for calling things like he saw them, without worrying about whose toes got in the way. Unfortunately, I’m the guy who would have to argue with him about laying off something when the complaint calls numbered too high. On one of those exchanges, he barked that it was his job to “piss people off” – to which I barked back, “Fine, but not all of them at the same time!”

He graduated from Concord High School and lived most of his adult life in the house his father, a textile company representative, built for the family in 1935 near the Cabarrus County courthouse.

Raiford picked up bit parts in TV and movies, usually as a gruff authority figure, often a judge. He had three appearances on “Matlock,” a legal series filmed in Wilmington starring Andy Griffith.

Fought back from stroke

After his stroke, Raiford went through two years of arduous rehabilitation to regain his speech and mobility, said his wife of 30 years, Kelia Raiford.

But he remained frustrated to the end that he couldn’t resume his independent lifestyle. He loved to ride his Harley Davidson motorcycle and was an ardent skydiver, having jumped more than two dozen times with the 82nd Airborne at Fort Bragg.

In October, Raiford’s strength suddenly sagged and he entered a rapid decline.

Raiford is survived by his wife Kelia, and four children. Three earlier marriages ended in divorce.

On the subject of obituaries, Raiford was outspoken. He would fuss about how people in the Observer and Independent Tribune in Concord would “enter the kingdom,” “earn his wings,” or “go to her reward.”

“When I die,” Raiford would rant, “just say, ‘He died.’ None of that other stuff.”

Request granted.

Observer staff writer Tim Funk contributed.

Washburn: mwashburn76@gmail.com.

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City of Charlotte, NC Welcomes Its First Ever Black Mayor

Mayor Vi Lyles

Nationwide — Vi Lyles has just made history as the first Black mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina. She ran an aggressive campaign, and her victory was confirmed by local and national news outlets on November 8th.

Prior to becoming mayor, she was was an at-large representative on the Charlotte City Council. She was elected in 2013, and served two terms.

Lyles worked for the City of Charlotte for almost 30 years, starting off as an analyst in the city’s budget department before becoming budget director. She was assistant city manager for the city from 1996 to 2004. During her time with the city, she helped create the city’s first capital budget and led the restructuring of government programs to evaluate and assess performance audits for city programs.

She also led and presented the community safety plan and helped develop the city’s affordable housing plan and Mecklenburg County’s Minority and Women’s Business Enterprise Program for small businesses.

She has a bachelor of arts in political science from Queens University and a master of public administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a trained facilitator and executive coach, completing programs at the Institute of Government, North Carolina State University and the Lee Institute’s American Leadership Forum.

She says her proudest accomplishment is being mother to her two children Kwame and Aisha, 36 and 34, and grandmother to Aryah and Hailey.

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How Charlotte Got Liquored Up

Thirty-five years ago, after multiple votes, it finally became possible to order a mixed drink in a Charlotte restaurant. Here’s the story of the backroom deals that made it happen
Bill Hensley, left, and state Rep. Ben Tison set brown bags on fire to celebrate the end of a statewide ban on mixed beverages on September 8, 1978. Mecklenburg County voters approved liquor-by-the-drink sales that day, ending the practice of brown bagging.

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September 8, 1978—It started like any other election-watch party. Chamber of Commerce members and big-name developers schmoozed with local politicos in the ballroom at the Sheraton Center Hotel. As the results poured in, showing an overwhelming victory for their side, the crowd became giddy. By the end of the evening, they were cheering as they set fire to brown paper bags.

The flaming bags were symbolic—the end of a tradition that made many businessmen cringe when entertaining out-of-state clients and kept convention hotels and chain restaurants wary of setting up shop in Charlotte. Mecklenburg County voters had, for the third time in less than 10 years, voted to approve liquor-by-the-drink sales, each time by about a 2-to-1 margin. This time it was destined to stick, ending a decade-long battle between Charlotte’s business community and much of the rest of North Carolina.

“I’ve been waiting for this day for 20 years,” Jim Catlis, owner of Central Avenue’s Little Italy restaurant, told The Charlotte Observer. An exuberant Bill Veeder, then the chamber director, predicted a convention hotel boom: “I’ve heard all kinds of names tossed around—Hilton, Holiday Inn, Hyatt House—but I don’t know anything for sure. Take your pick.”

A few blocks away, at First Baptist Church, about 50 preachers, deacons, and churchgoers licked their wounds and predicted doom for the city.

“If the people insist on bringing this poison on themselves, that’s their problem,” said a dejected Henderson Belk. A member of the prominent department-store family and the old-line-Charlotte First Baptist Church, Belk had led the dry defenses.

“I’m convinced people want Charlotte to be another Atlanta or New York,” said Kannapolis preacher and Baptist lobbyist Coy Privette.

Privette was right, though wanting to be Atlanta or New York meant different things in different parts of the state. In 1978, Charlotte was at the tail end of the textile bust and on the cusp of the banking boom. The Johnston Mill, the last major textile mill in a city built with mill money, had closed in 1975. Downtown, once a busy grid of department stores, offices, and, of course, churches, had seen shop after shop flee to suburban strip malls until Tryon Street was desolate after dark and the bulk of business on Trade Street was illicit.

But in the boardrooms of the uninspired mid-century office towers, people with big ideas—and big corporate wallets—were making big plans for the city’s future. A series of local bank mergers had already made Charlotte a headquarters city, and it would continue to grow through the interstate banking push in the 1980s and the later emergence of behemoth Bank of America. The Charlotte Chamber of Commerce had an outsized stake in city politics. Two of its former presidents, Stan Brookshire and John Belk, controlled the mayor’s office from 1961 to 1977. The Chamber of Commerce aggressively sold the city to Rust Belt and Northeastern companies looking to relocate or expand. Their efforts came to a head in 1978, when IBM built a branch headquarters amid the forests off I-85 that would become University Research Park.

The Chamber had plans for downtown, or “uptown” as it would soon be called, too. A Civic Center opened in 1973 at the corner of College and Trade (it became the first Charlotte Convention Center, which was demolished in 2006 to make way for today’s EpiCentre). Hugh McColl’s North Carolina National Bank had supported residential revitalization of Fourth Ward. More ambitious plans—for grand hotels, fine restaurants, even a “Convention Boulevard” spanning the abandoned tracks where today’s light rail runs—fell through. A big roadblock was the lack of liquor sales.

It’s all a little hard to imagine in 2013 Charlotte, where you can’t walk half a block uptown without bumping into one or seven sidewalk signs advertising drink specials. But 35 years ago, state law prohibited restaurants (and the handful of “bars” in existence) from selling liquor. Establishments could sell beer and wine, but patrons who wanted hard alcohol had to bring their own bottles in paper bags. Waiters could sell “set ups” of ice and mixers. Bottles had to remain in the bag at all times, and drinkers were supposed to do all their pouring under the table.

“It was the biggest local issue for the Charlotte business community,” Charlotte lawyer James H. Carson remembers, sitting in the study of his high-rise condo in the Eastover neighborhood. As a young state representative in the late 1960s, Carson helped lead the earliest pro-liquor-by-the-drink attempts. “You’d have these Northern businessmen coming down, and they’d say, ‘Would you like to get a Manhattan before dinner?’ Well, you’d have to go back to Manhattan to get it.”

Brown bagging was one of those odd rituals accommodating the often conflicting and always confusing patchwork of local and state alcohol laws, especially in the South. Prohibition ended in 1933, returning regulation of beer, wine, and liquor to the states. States could stay dry—and a handful did until the 1960s—allow statewide sales, or opt for the most common solution, passing the decision to cities and counties. As early as 1933, the North Carolina Legislature gave local areas the option to vote on beer and wine sales. Mecklenburg quickly approved the option. State-owned ABC liquor stores were a tougher sell. Mecklenburg County voters rejected the stores in 1937, then approved them in 1949. But mixed-drink sales stayed off-limits.

Starting with Georgia in 1964, though, liquor by the drink spread across the South. When South Carolina passed a statewide referendum in 1973, ushering in the era of the Myrtle Beach minibottle, North Carolina was the only Southern state where the ban remained.

It wasn’t for lack of trying. As early as 1966, the Chamber of Commerce and the Mecklenburg delegation of state legislators threw their full weight behind a bill giving counties (or at least Mecklenburg) the local option of selling liquor. Among Chamber of Commerce leaders, only W.T. Harris, whose Harris Teeter grocery stores sold no wine or beer until bought out by the Ruddick Corporation in 1969, took a principled stand against it.

A few simple numbers help explain what Charlotte was up against in Raleigh. One million Southern Baptists. Five hundred thousand Methodists. Those two groups alone made up one-third of the state’s population. Under Editor Marse Grant, the weekly Biblical Recorder sold 100,000 copies, topped only by the daily papers in Charlotte and Raleigh.

Grant’s Recorder carried several anti-liquor stories in each issue—drunk-driving tragedies, young lives destroyed, drunken muggers on dark and dirty city streets. The newspaper characterized liquor as “evil,” bartenders as “drug pushers,” and defeating liquor by the drink as “the most urgent mission cause at home or abroad.” To help in the fight, Christian Action League lobbyists tallied committee and floor votes, inviting the faithful to voice their disapproval to representatives who voted against the league’s stances. It was effective—so effective that one state senator joked that his Tuesday mail read like a second edition of the paper, as preachers reflected the paper’s themes in Sunday sermons and urged their congregation members to write Raleigh.

Religion was the biggest force aligned against the Charlotte business community’s quest. But so was Charlotte’s big-city image in the legislature. The eastern tobacco farmers had little love for “The Great State of Mecklenburg” to begin with, but even less after the delegation came out in favor of a tobacco tax. Urban issues didn’t play so well in a state dominated by rural interests.

“Most of the Republicans were from really rural areas where the Baptist Church is the dominant force,” says Carson, who in 1967 became one of the first Republican state representatives from Charlotte since Reconstruction. “I had more in common with the Democrats from Greensboro, Raleigh, or Winston.”

Some in Charlotte and other cities didn’t do much to help the cause, making fun of the drys with a bit of big-city smugness. Famed photographer and Grandfather Mountain owner Hugh Morton campaigned statewide on behalf of the North Carolina Travel Council.

Pro-liquor, he created a mock fraternal organization with the humorous title “Loyal Order of the Holders of the Bag.” Some frustrated wets hurled around words like “stupid,” “backward,” and “archaic.” The Chamber of Commerce was so forceful that the Mecklenburg delegation had to ask them not to send a bus of businessmen to lobby in Raleigh because some undecided legislators thought Charlotte was taking too big a role in the bill.

“We tried every trick of the trade,” says Parks Helms, a Charlotte Democrat whose efforts for liquor by the drink in the General Assembly during the late 1970s would prove crucial. “But we just couldn’t get it out of the Legislature.”

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Legal brawl with former Charlotte mayor, an ex-governor and a war hero almost over

A series of contentious lawsuits involving a former Charlotte mayor, a former North Carolina governor and a Persian Gulf War hero could be nearing an end.

The trustee liquidating a defunct Charlotte-based bus company called DesignLine filed a motion this week asking a judge to approve a “global settlement” that would resolve four legal actions she brought as part of the company’s federal bankruptcy court proceedings.

In a motion filed Tuesday, trustee Elaine Rudisill said the defendants in those suits will pay $8.25 million to the bankruptcy estate, with all but $125,000 covered by directors’ and officers’ insurance. The parties will also give up $9.1 million in unsecured claims they had made against the company.

“The settlement agreement represents the mutually agreeable resolution of over two years of vigorously contested litigation,” Rudisill said in the motion.

A group led by retired Air Force Gen. Buster Glosson and his son, Brad, bought DesignLine in 2006 and moved it to Charlotte from New Zealand, looking to capitalize on hybrid technology that promised lower emissions. After struggling financially for years, the company filed for bankruptcy in 2013, costing investors millions and leading to layoffs for a workforce that once reached 250.

Buster Glosson

OBSERVER

As part of DesignLine’s bankruptcy proceedings, Rudisill filed “adversarial proceedings” against various defendants to recover more money for the bankruptcy estate. The settlement covers four of those actions filed in 2015:

▪ A lawsuit alleging Anthony Foxx, the former Charlotte mayor and U.S. Transportation Secretary, performed little to no work in a past job as deputy general counsel at DesignLine.

▪ A complaint against former leaders of DesignLine, including Buster and Brad Glosson, alleging that they committed fraud against the company’s creditors and investors.

▪ A suit against six former DesignLine directors, including former Gov. Jim Martin, alleging breach of fiduciary duties.

▪ A suit alleging two other directors breached their duties.

The defendants had denied the allegations and sought to have the suits against them dismissed.

In Tuesday’s filing, Rudisill said the settlement will allow the trustee to pay all administrative expenses of the bankrupt company and fees associated with the liquidation. Unsecured creditors will also get 4 to 6 percent of their money back, the motion says, calling it “a remarkable result for a case” in which the sale of the company’s assets resulted in less than the company’s post-bankruptcy borrowings.

Rudisill and an attorney representing her declined to comment. Lawyers for Foxx, the Glossons and Martin could not be immediately reached.

In this file photo, then-U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx speaks at a groundbreaking ceremony for the CityLYNX Gold Line Phase 2 project.

Diedra Laird dlaird@charlotteobserver.com

Subject to court approval of the settlement as well as the resolution of one other case, the trustee will have resolved 115 actions that she brought, according to the motion. The four cases involved in the settlement are the most complex, with the court once calling the suit against the Glossons “likely the longest and most pervasive pleading of its type ever filed in this bankruptcy court,” the motion says.

According to the filing, the parties engaged in mediation on Sept. 26 and 27, resulting in the settlement. The agreement says the defendants “deny all liability and allegations of wrongdoing” and that the pact was agreed to “only for the purpose of avoiding the burdens, inconveniences and expenses of further disputes and litigation.”

Buster Glosson gained fame for directing the air campaign during the Persian Gulf War and later moved to Charlotte after retiring from the Air Force. Of the $9.1 million in unsecured claims released by the parties, about $7.4 million was a claim asserted by a company run by Glosson called Eagle Ltd.

Starting in 2013, the Observer began reporting on losses sustained by DesignLine’s investors and problems with buses the company sold to Charlotte Douglas International Airport, including a fire and brake issues. The airport in 2014 auctioned off its 10 DesignLine buses.

A hearing on the settlement motion is scheduled for Nov. 7 in bankruptcy court in Charlotte.

Rick Rothacker: 704-358-5170, @rickrothacker

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These 7 Restaurants Serve The Best Brussels Sprouts In Charlotte

With fall weather comes fall veggies! The Brussels sprouts craze is back for this fall, and we’ve evaluated some of the best Brussels sprouts in Charlotte. If you enjoy these tasty little greens as much as we do, you’ll want to make sure these restaurants are on your list for dinner or date night.

Futo Buta/FacebookFuto Buta is an awesome little ramen place in South End that has been killing the food scene since it opened in 2015.
While most people come here for the Ramen Bowls, there is a Brussels sprouts appetizer on the menu that is so delicious you’ll want to order it every time you visit.Futo Buta/Facebook
2. The Cellar at Duckworth’sJaz N./Yelp
The Cellar at Duckworth’s/Facebook
Kid Cashew/Facebook
Kid Cashew/Facebook
Ayumi/YelpThe Workman’s Friend is a fun little gastropub in Plaza Midwood that specializes in traditional Irish food and craft Irish beers.
The Workman’s Friend serves their Brussels sprouts with a crispy-skin Scottish salmon, a parsnip puree, basil oil, and a side of seasonal vegetables.Melanie E./Yelp
Robin S./YelpYafo Kitchen is a casual dining Mediterranean restaurant in South Park where you can order fresh, fast dishes at the counter for lunch or dinner.
Yafo Kitchen/Facebook
Vivace/YelpVivace is a modern Italian restaurant located in the heart of Charlotte at the Metropolitan.
Vivace serves their famous Brussels sprouts a few different ways.Tate B./Yelp
Good Food on Montford/FacebookGood Food on Montford is an amazing tapas restaurant on the popular Montford Rd.
Good Food on Montford/Facebook

Where are your favorite Brussels in Charlotte? Let us know in the comments!

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McCain interception gives NC A&T 35-31 win over Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Franklin McCain returned an interception 74 yards for a touchdown with 24 seconds left and North Carolina A&T defeated Charlotte 35-31 on Saturday night.

After the touchdown made it 35-25, Charlotte got a long kickoff return and Hasaan Klugh hit Workpeh Kofa for a 44-yard touchdown on the next play. The 49ers missed the extra point and the Aggies recovered the onside kick.

Klugh, who played his freshman at North Carolina A&T, hit R.J. Tyler for a 4-yard score to cap a 12-play, 90-yard drive and found Chris Montgomery for the extra point to make it 28-25 with 6:12 to play. The 49ers (0-3) got the ball back on their 16 with 2:24 to play. It was first down on the Aggies 44 when Klugh was picked off.

Lamar Raynard threw for 259 yards, including a 17-yard touchdown pass to Malik Wilson, and Marquell Cartwright’s second touchdown run put the FCS Aggies (3-0) up 28-10 early in the third quarter.

Klugh had three touchdown passes and ran for a touchdown but was intercepted twice, both by McCain, and was sacked seven times.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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NC woman loses 2 daughters in separate car crashes in one week

Ciera McCorkle, Ambra Hunt

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) —

A North Carolina woman is mourning the loss of two of her daughters, both of whom were killed in separate car crashes last week.

Larissa McCorkle’s youngest daughter, 25-year-old Ciera McCorkle, died Saturday afternoon in a collision with a marked Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police vehicle.

Investigators said an off-duty police officer was driving a Ford Explorer when Ciera’s Honda Accord entered the intersection. Police said the officer’s Explorer hit the left side of Ciera’s car.

Ciera was rushed to the hospital where she died. Investigators said speed was not a factor in the crash.

Exactly a week before Ciera died, Larissa’s daughter, Ambra Hunt, was killed in a crash on Interstate 77 in Charlotte.

Highway Patrol troopers said Ambra was driving in the center lane when her Nissan broke down.

Investigators said the hazard lights were on but another car hit Ambra’s vehicle.

Troopers said there were three other people in the car with Ambra. Two, including Ambra, died.

"At this point, I’m tired. I’m broke, don’t have no words," Larissa told WBTV. "I didn’t believe it. I didn’t believe it. I didn’t believe it at all. I didn’t believe it when the police officer told us in the room. I had to have some kind of proof. I had to see a tattoo. I had to see her hair. I had to see something."

Larissa has four other children.

Ambra was the oldest of six. Ciera was the youngest of the three daughters.

"They were both loving. I guess they couldn’t live without each other. That’s how I’m thinking about it right now," Larissa said. "One called the other one. The other one called the other one – say come on up here and that’s how it went."

Copyright 2017 WBTV. All rights reserved.

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Stop On By These Three Wonderful Restaurants In Charlotte NC

Just this afternoon I ran into a friend that told me she was heading up north to Charlotte for awhile. It’s a great city if you haven’t been before, and did you know that there are approximately 2000 restaurants there? I’ve discussed several of them in past articles, and now I have the privilege of highlighting three more for you. Take note of these popular establishments in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Up first is 300 East, and it is located at 300 East Boulevard. I bet you didn’t know the name was about its location, did you? Brownies are on the menu highlights, and guess what, so is sweet potato ravioli. That’s a very unique dish. Have you heard of it before? That is a new one for me, and as for other delicious menu highlights, there is hanger steak, baked marinated goat cheese, various sandwiches and more.

Now for the second restaurant, I want to tell you about a place called Cafe South. I love to talk about cafes, so I certainly picked this top establishment on purpose. It is located on Forest Pine Drive, and one person said it was across from the hotel they stayed at in Charlotte. Now that is convenient of course, and the menu highlights for this place are scrumptious. It is a cafe, so what have you got to lose if you ask me.

Yes, I have a thing for cafes. Now, there is one more Charlotte restaurant I want to bring to your attention. It is a brewery actually, and it is called Heist Brewery. What a name, right? Located on North Davidson Street, this place is going to serve you up some great brews, beer cheese, burgers, pretzels and so much more. Plus, they have a buffet on Sundays. You have three more great places to try in Charlotte NC now, so it is time to eat some good food.


Light rail lines in Charlotte closed this weekend

CHARLOTTE — The Lynx blue and gold lines are shut down for maintenance and testing this weekend.

If you need ways to get around the city, CAT buses will make stops at each Blue Line rail station and Gold Rush trolleys will pick you up along the Gold Line.

You will still be able to buy tickets as normal.

CATS says the shutdown shouldn’t affect pick-up times.

Both lines will run their normal schedule starting Monday morning.

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Grumpy Cat Visits NC, Hates It

(Photo: Twitter screenshot)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The Queen City is known for its southern charm and hospitality, but apparently, that wasn’t the case for one internet celebrity.

Grumpy Cat, the beloved internet celebrity cat that’s known for her permanently “grumpy” facial expression, recently made a visit to Charlotte to stay at The Ivey’s Hotel in uptown.

Apparently, she hated it. Which, when you think about it, isn’t anything out of the ordinary, right?

Ouch. I guess this Sir Purr photo means nothing, then?

Grumpy Cat also took a tour of Sophia’s Lounge, the latest uptown hot spot that’s creating quite the buzz for those looking for cocktails and a place to hang out. We’ll let you guess what she thought of that.

In the end though, Grumpy Cat did compliment The Ivey’s, posting “even still, The Ivey’s Hotel is a pretty great place to be grumpy.”

To see photos and read Grumpy Cat’s full review of The Ivey’s click here.

© 2017 WCNC.COM

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