First Drip (8/24/15): Protests remain peaceful following Kerrick mistrial

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Protests resulting from the mistrial of Randall Kerrick in Charlotte were carried out throughout the weekend and remained peaceful on both sides. Protesters marched through the streets of Uptown following the announcement of the mistrial on Friday afternoon, stopping outside of a Charlotte Knights doubleheader and marching through traffic in other parts of Uptown. On Saturday, protesters began outside of the Carolina Panthers preseason game and then marched along the sidewalks throughout Uptown to Marshall Park and back again. Police rode alongside protesters throughout both evenings, arresting two on Friday and one on Saturday. 

Officials are expecting 147,000 students in Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools to begin the school year this morning, with 89 teacher vacancies still waiting to be filled. That number is reportedly lower than it was at last year on the first day of class. CMS did decide to continue its teacher assistance program for another two years, but a state budget that will decide on paying those people has not yet been approved. 

Charlotte-based Belk Inc. announced this morning that they will be bought out by New York-based private-equity firm Sycamore Partners for around $3 billion. Belk stockholders will reportedly receive $68 per share of common stock they own. The department store chain will continue to operate with Tim Belk remaining as chief executive and the headquarters will remain in Charlotte. Belk currently runs nearly 300 stores in 16 states. The deal is expected to close by the end of the year. 

Polo Ridge Elementary teacher Timothy Olson has been arrested and charged with third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor, according to a Union County Sheriff's Office report. Third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor in state law is defined as possessing a “visual representation of a minor engaging in sexual activity.” Olson teaches fifth grade at Polo Ridge Elementary in south Charlotte. He is now suspended with pay pending an investigation. 

A 15-year-old girl was reportedly shot in northwest Charlotte on Sunday evening. The girl was taken to Carolinas Medical Center and was last reported to be in stable condition. The victim, whose name is not being released due to her age, appears to have known the suspect who shot her, police said. 

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