Anti-abortion groups, county settle lawsuit + New census data highlights Charlotte area’s growth

Hey, everyone! Drew here. TGIF!

The Charlotte Observer Mobile Newsroom is off to our next stop — the communities in the Beatties Ford Road corridor — and we’re excited to meet them.

Beginning next month, The Observer will be at the Allegra Westbrooks Regional Library. We will be in residency there for the next six to eight weeks to learn more about this community, the issues they care about and to cover it in ways we’ve never done before.

To kick things off, the branch will host “Meet the Charlotte Observer Staff“ on Monday, April 3, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at 2412 Beatties Ford Rd. We invite you to come and tell us about your neighborhood and your concerns. Bring your questions and conversation and learn more about how we do our jobs.

We look forward to seeing you there!

1. Anti-abortion groups, county settle suit over pandemic arrests outside Charlotte clinic

Two anti-abortion groups have settled their federal lawsuit against Mecklenburg County stemming from the 2020 pandemic-related arrests of eight protesters.
Two anti-abortion groups have settled their federal lawsuit against Mecklenburg County stemming from the 2020 pandemic-related arrests of eight protesters.

Two anti-abortion groups have settled their federal lawsuit against Mecklenburg County.

On April 4, 2020, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police arrested eight protesters during a demonstration outside A Preferred Women’s Health Center, an abortion clinic on Latrobe Drive in southeast Charlotte.

Police said at the time that those arrested had violated North Carolina’s COVID-19-related ban on gatherings of more than 10 people. In their complaint, the groups claim that protesters were complying with the ban but were arrested anyway, violating the group’s First Amendment protections of religion, speech and assembly.

Mike Gordon shares more details from the settlement.

2. Which Charlotte-area counties grew the fastest in 2022? Here’s what census data says

Nearly every county in the Charlotte area added residents over the last year, U.S. Census Bureau data says.
Nearly every county in the Charlotte area added residents over the last year, U.S. Census Bureau data says.

The Charlotte metropolitan area is always growing, and new census data proves it.

Nearly every county in the Charlotte area added residents over the last year, including two counties that experienced significant population growth after the pandemic.

Lancaster County in South Carolina grew by 4.03% from July 2021-July2022 and Lincoln County northwest of Charlotte grew by 3.59%.

Evan Moore runs through the new census data.

3. At 15, gunfire paralyzed him and killed his cousin. Now 18, it all still makes him sick.

Chrishaun Hough has responded to tragedy in inspirational ways. But at the same time, adjusting to life in the wake of it has been a near-constant struggle.
Chrishaun Hough has responded to tragedy in inspirational ways. But at the same time, adjusting to life in the wake of it has been a near-constant struggle.

On the most recent anniversary of the Jan. 20, 2020 ambush-style shooting that devastated the families of the two teenage victims, Chrishaun Hough’s mother, Loretta Gaddy, had scheduled interviews for herself and her son with Charlotte reporters to reflect on the tragedy and their lives since.

At the last minute, however, she had to cancel. Because — as he has on or around previous anniversaries — Chrishaun took physically ill, suffering through fits of vomiting, bouts of light-headedness, and trouble simply just getting himself out of bed.

He has no explanation, other than grief.

Théoden Janes has more.

4. Some more stories to read

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Drew Nantais is a Senior Growth & Engagement Producer for the Charlotte Observer.
Drew Nantais is a Senior Growth & Engagement Producer for the Charlotte Observer.