Mallard Creek coach killed in shooting + CMS board candidates voice their opinions

Hey, everyone! Drew here. Hope y’all had a restful weekend!

A major concern on everyone’s mind right now is Hurricane Ian down in the Caribbean. Earlier today, meteorologists for the National Weather Service in Wilmington said the Carolinas could experience “heavy rainfall” and potentially powerful winds.

The Charlotte Observer will continue to provide coverage of the storm as it makes its way north.

Now, on to the news for your Monday, have a good one!

1. Mallard Creek coach identified as victim in fatal shooting in northeast Charlotte

A Twitter account associated with Mallard Creek High School athletics posted a tribute to Ralph Hammond, a football coach who was killed in a shooting on Friday, Sept. 23, 2022.
A Twitter account associated with Mallard Creek High School athletics posted a tribute to Ralph Hammond, a football coach who was killed in a shooting on Friday, Sept. 23, 2022.

Mallard Creek High School is in mourning after losing a member of its community over the weekend.

Ralph Hammond, 56, died after being shot multiple times Friday night in northeast Charlotte near the Highland Creek area, police confirmed today. Hammond served on the coaching staff for the Mallard Creek football team and would let athletes use his garage to lift weights and train, his family told Charlotte Observer news partner WSOC.

“I want to tell that person that you took a grandfather, a father, a son, a brother, an uncle and a father figure to so many kids,” sister Pamela Hammond told WSOC.

A vigil is planned for tonight in Hammond’s memory.

Kallie Cox has the full story on the coach’s passing.

2. What do CMS board candidates say about superintendent, low test scores?

Observer file photo of students at their lockers before class at J.M. Alexander Middle School in Huntersville.
Observer file photo of students at their lockers before class at J.M. Alexander Middle School in Huntersville.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools’ board elections are fast approaching and candidates were able to voice their opinions at a local forum this month.

Hosted by the African American Caucus of Mecklenburg County Democratic Party, the candidates were asked questions on everything from what they will be looking for in a new superintendent to low test scores among Black and brown students.

The 18 candidates are vying for six district seats come Election Day on Nov. 8. School board races are nonpartisan, which means party affiliation won’t appear next to individual’s names on the ballot.

Anna Maria Della Costa has highlights of each candidate’s answers from the forum.

3. Charlotte Hornets sign LiAngelo Ball to one-year NBA deal, reuniting him with LaMelo

Charlotte Hornets forward LiAngelo Ball guards Los Angeles’ Mason Jones during a Las Vegas Summer League game on Sunday, July 10.
Charlotte Hornets forward LiAngelo Ball guards Los Angeles’ Mason Jones during a Las Vegas Summer League game on Sunday, July 10.

It’s a family affair in Charlotte after the Hornets’ latest free-agent signing.

LiAngelo Ball has signed a non-guaranteed one-year deal with the Hornets, league sources told The Charlotte Observer today. LiAngelo is the older brother of Hornets All-Star LaMelo Ball and joins the team ahead of the Tuesday’s start date for training camp.

Ball was on the Hornets’ summer league roster, appearing in three games after initially landing in the NBA’s health and safety protocols just before the team left Charlotte for Las Vegas. Last season with the Greensboro Swarm of the G-League, Ball averaged 4.2 points in 28 games.

Roderick Boone as the scoop on the newest Charlotte Hornet.

4. Driving between Fort Mill and Charlotte? A $64 million decision will improve the trip

Money could become available for new work at I-77 and Carowinds Boulevard
Money could become available for new work at I-77 and Carowinds Boulevard

If you’ve driven around the Charlotte area, you know one of the busiest spots is down at the South Carolina border near Carowinds.

Traffic may soon become less of a problem now after the South Carolina Transportation Infrastructure Bank approved more than $64 million for work at the I-77 and Carowinds Boulevard exchange. Now comes the hard part: figuring out how to make the roads better.

“What are we going to do with this interchange?” said Patrick Hamilton, who heads the county’s Pennies for Progress program and led the infrastructure bank application. “I don’t know.”

John Marks has the full details on the funds awarded to the improvements.

5. 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.