Most talked about Charlotte Observer stories

Former Charlotte Catholic quarterback flourishing in new role — Charlotte Catholic football coach Mike Brodowicz called senior Ryan Miller into his office this fall a few days before the Cougars' first game. Brodowicz was about to make one of his biggest decisions in his first year as head coach: He had to tell the two-year starting varsity quarterback that he wouldn't be playing that position.

Second act of shopping frenzy gets started — NEW YORK Stores are welcoming a second wave of shoppers in what has become a two-day kickoff to the holiday shopping season. The big question: How much Thanksgiving shopping will hurt Black Friday, which is relinquishing its status as the start of the holiday shopping season?

Davidson car show to feature NASCAR celebrity cars — DAVIDSON Celebrity cars from the collections of NASCAR stars Dale Earnhardt Jr., Kelley Earnhardt Miller, Joey Logano and Denny Hamlin , team owner Rick Hendrick and former driver Rusty Wallace will be on display at Saturday's second annual AmeriCarna LIVE Car Show.

Concord late model racer sets sights on Snowball Derby — Preston Peltier was in his late teens when he sold most of his possessions, packed what remained in the back of a truck and headed to North Carolina to pursue a racing career that he felt had stagnated in his home state of California.

Oregon police dog fired for poor performance — CANNON BEACH, Ore. A 2-year-old Belgian Malinois was supposed to be the ninth member of the police force in the Oregon coastal town of Cannon Beach, but "Cash" just didn't have what it takes. The dog was dismissed from the force before seeing any action or gaining any glory.
Nov 27, 2014

He was to be the ninth member of an Oregon police force. But "Cash" just didn't have what it takes. cc: @RBerkywcnc

NASCAR’s top rookie flashed plenty of promise in 2014 — One rookie won a championship. Another went toe-to-toe with some of NASCAR’s biggest stars. And a third finished among the top 10 in points. The 2014 rookie award winners in NASCAR’s national series – Sprint Cup, Nationwide and Truck – weren’t short on memorable moments this season.

Should city toss pay-as-you-throw? — There are things in life that are simple. Garbage is one of them. In Charlotte, you have a green rolling bin and a gray rolling bin. (Your colors may vary.) One bin is for recycles. One bin is for the rest of your garbage. You fill these up.
Nov 28, 2014

RT @theobserver: Should the city of Charlotte toss the pay-as-you-throw idea? The editorial board weighs in

New landmark to emerge on Interstate 77 at Lake Norman — CORNELIUS After months of traffic delays, the new diverging diamond interchange at Interstate 77's exit 28 is finally open, but it awaits a finishing touch - a feature that could do for Cornelius what the Peachoid did for Gaffney, S.C. In January, the town will erect steel cables that will rise 42 feet to resemble two sails soaring over I-77.

Bargain hunters line up for Black Friday deals on Thanksgiving — Small crowds of diehard deal-hunters started to line up outside stores Thursday afternoon in Charlotte, in search of cheap televisions and other electronics. Several shoppers said the crowds were smaller than in past years. Some stores, such as the Target at the Metropolitan complex, had no one in line by early afternoon, when in years past crowds had waiting.

Ex-Charlotte 49ers star Henry Williams never lost faith in wake of life-changing diagnosis — The rapidly blinking message light on his office telephone caught Henry Williams' attention. Williams had just finished preaching at Charlotte's New Zion Missionary Baptist Church one Sunday afternoon in August of 2009. On his phone were 15 urgent voice-mail messages - all from his doctor.
Nov 28, 2014

ICYMI: Ex-#Charlotte49ers star Henry Williams never lost faith in wake of life-changing diagnosis…

Nov 27, 2014

Nice story from @davidscott14 on the health challenges facing former Charlotte 49ers star Henry Williams:…

Nov 27, 2014

Doc told ex-@Charlotte49ers star Henry Williams he had 'dead man's number' on kidney function. @davidscott14 story:…

Show 1 more tweet from David Scott

Mandolinist Thile to guest host 'Prairie Home' — ST. PAUL, Minn. Host Garrison Keillor plans to stay home and listen to "A Prairie Home Companion" on the radio for a couple of shows this winter. Mandolinist Chris Thile (THEE'-lee) of the band Nickel Creek will be the guest host for shows Feb. 7 and 14 from the Fitzgerald Theater in St.
Nov 27, 2014

#GarrisonKeillor to take break from hosting @prairie_home for 2 shows in February; musician Chris Thile to guest host

For Carolina Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams, a what-next kind of season — What's next? That's the question DeAngelo Williams has asked himself occasionally since this summer. First, it was the death of his mother, Sandra Hill, after her long fight with breast cancer. When the season came and offered a chance to take Williams' mind away from the pain of his loss, he dealt with injuries at a higher rate than ever in his nine-year career.
Nov 27, 2014

RT @theobserver: Rough year has Panthers DeAngelo Williams asking 'What's next?' #Panthers #CARvsMIN #Vikings #NFL

Nov 26, 2014

RT @mikepersinger: For Carolina Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams, a what-next kind of season. @jjones9 story:…

Nov 26, 2014

For Carolina Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams, a what-next kind of season. @jjones9 story:…

Charlotte-area mall hours for Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday — More Information Local Thanksgiving Day opening and closing times SouthPark: 6 p.m. Thursday to 1 a.m. Friday; open Friday 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Concord Mills: 6 p.m. Thursday to 9:30 p.m. Friday Charlotte Premium Outlets: 6 p.m. Thursday to 10 p.m. Friday Carolina Place: 6 p.m.

Former CMS Superintendent Heath Morrison’s travel and expense reports show few discrepancies — Heath Morrison said Wednesday that he kept proper records of his travel and expenses as superintendent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, despite allegations to the contrary made by a former colleague. The Observer reviewed hundreds of pages of documents outlining Morrison's travel and expenses during his tenure as superintendent, covering tens of thousands of dollars, and found no clear discrepancies.
Nov 27, 2014

NC law sets no specific deadline to produce public records. Morrison case underscores need for change.…

Nov 27, 2014

CMS only slowly releasing all we've requested under NC's public records law on Morrison's leaving. The latest.…

Nov 27, 2014

ICYMI: Former CMS Superintendent Heath Morrison's travel and expense reports show few discrepancies…

The man who gives Charlotte’s Thanksgiving parade its marching orders — First off, you've got to understand elves. There are 35 elves. They hang with Mrs. Claus, who will be getting the sleigh washed aboard the Autobell float. Elves are vital. When you're running a Thanksgiving parade, you herd your elves with care.

Decade later, ‘The Play’ lives on for Pack, Heels — Of the 103 football games between North Carolina and N.C. State, the one 10 years ago certainly qualifies as one of the most memorable. UNC's 30-24 win Oct. 9, 2004, at Kenan Stadium also turned out to be one of the most meaningful.
Nov 27, 2014

Decade later, 'The Play' lives on for Pack, Heels. Albemarle's T.A.McClendon at center of it. @jwgiglio story:…

Paradise lost: Butler stuns sluggish UNC in the Bahamas — North Carolina's trip to the Bahamas, coach Roy Williams said recently, was all about work – and not so much pleasure – and the Tar Heels on Wednesday found out how much they work they have to do, and they found out in a not so pleasurable way.
Nov 27, 2014

Hustle, rebounding on island time during UNC's 74-66 loss to Butler in the Bahamas. @_andrewcarter story:…

Late effort helps NC State push past a tough Richmond team — It was the kind of basketball game in which neither team ever got much breathing room. But at the end, N.C. State had just a little more left in the tank. Trevor Lacey poured in a career-high 26 points and Ralston Turner added 23 as the Wolfpack topped a good Richmond team 84-72 on Wednesday night at PNC Arena.

Providence Day’s Grant Williams proving himself against top competition — In this weekend's Charlotte Hoops Challenge at Myers Park High, junior forward Grant Williams and the Providence Day basketball team will play against two quality teams with talented big men. In the first game Friday, the Chargers (0-2) will face Hamilton Heights (Tenn.) and center Abdul Hakim Ado, the No.