First Drip (5/19/15): Plaza Midwood shows up to rezoning meeting, Rodney Monroe to retire, more

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Last night, several dozen Plaza Midwood residents showed up to the public hearing for the rezoning petition that would put an apartment building on the land home to Tommy's Pub and Backstage Vintage. Six were scheduled to speak against the request, but only three were able to do so in the time allotted, including one gentleman who reminded Council that Plaza Midwood is "the last neighborhood in this city that cares about artists.” On the side for development, Plaza Midwood Neighborhood Association president Phillip Gusman stepped up in support of the 97-unit complex, saying it was one of the most collaborative projects he's been a part of. City staff has recommended approving the request, and during the meeting, only one councilmember asked a question pertaining to the historical value of Tommy's Pub. A vote takes place next month.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Chief Rodney Monroe is retiring July 1. His seven-year tenure had its ups (swiftly charging Officer Randall Kerrick in the shooting death of Jonathan Ferrell, handling the DNC so smoothly) and downs (his department's hiring practices were questioned after an officer was arrested and found to have assaulted several women while on duty). Officials have not commented on how they'll choose the city's first black police chief's successor. Good luck to that guy/gal.

The proposed $22 billion N.C. House budget gets debated today. In it are $361 million in salary increases for the next fiscal year, an increase in teacher pay and a 50-percent increase in fees at the DMV.

Sad but true: A new study has found the suicide rate among black children aged 5 to 11 has nearly doubled since the 1990s, while the rate for white children has decreased. “I was shocked, I’ll be honest with you,” Jeffrey Bridge, an epidemiologist at the Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, told the New York Times. “I looked at it and I thought, ‘Did we do the analysis correctly?’ I thought we had made a mistake.”


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