‘SouthPark Susan’ makes social media splash
CHARLOTTE – Police say four criminal summons notices have been issued for Susan Westwood after a video of her bothering two African-American women went viral.
The summons are for two counts of communicating threats and simple assault. She confronted two women Oct. 19 in an apartment parking lot, bragging about being “white and hot,” as well as earning $125,000 a year.
“What’s going on here in this parking lot that you feel that you need to congregate?” she asked the two women.
Westwood’s behavior was bashed on social media. People referred to her as “SouthPark Susan.”
CMPD released 911 taps from the incident. Westwood told dispatchers the women did not belong there and offered to pay $2,500 to get them out of there.
Mayor Vi Lyles commended the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department for their professionalism and courtesy.
“The ugly sentiment expressed in a 911 call released today doesn’t reflect our city’s values – that everyone is deserving of respect and dignity,” Lyles tweeted.
Bissells commit $2M to after-school program
CHARLOTTE – The Greater Enrichment Program received a $2 million challenge gift from business leader Howard “Smoky” Bissell and his wife, Margaret.
The gift was announced at the GEP’s annual fundraising luncheon. The funds will be used to underwrite the Iris and Bishop George E. Battle, Jr. Greater Enrichment Program, creating a $4 million endowment to help sustain the program and allow for growth of the academic and cultural enrichment services.
Battle, bishop of the AME Zion Church, founded GEP in 1975 out of his desire to create a safe place for children to gather after school – one where they could learn in a compassionate environment.
“If you could take GEP and let it stand for something else, it’s George Elevates People,” said Margaret Bissell, retired long-time educator with CMS and former head of school at Charlotte Country Day School. “If you look at the 10,000-plus children that he has had an impact on – and their families – you can only begin to imagine the profound impact.”
“George Battle will step in wherever he is needed,” said Smoky Bissell, local developer and chairman of the Bissell Companies. “He is a true leader… it’s always about how are we going to add value in people’s lives.”
Rico’s Acai signs lease
CHARLOTTE – Rico’s Acai has signed a lease for 800 square feet at The Village at Robinson Farm.
The company recently began parking one of its food trucks at the center and plans to open in its new space early next year.
Rico’s Acai specializes in gourmet acai bowls consisting of blended frozen fruit with various toppings such as fresh fruit, granola, coconut, almond butter and Nutella. The superfood is filled with antioxidants, resveratrol, amino acids and omega fatty acids.
Rico’s Acai founders John and Matt Williams opened their first Charlotte location in 2015, serving breakfast and lunch bowls from a food truck at 510 S. College St. Since then, they have expanded to more locations at 7th Street Public Market, Plaza Midwood and SouthPark Mall.
The new location, next door to Bradshaw Social House, will be the first with an indoor dining area. The Rico’s Acai food truck at The Village at Robinson Farm will remain open during the build-out of the retail space.
Retail space at The Village at Robinson Farm is now fully leased. Tenants include Bradshaw Social House, The Butcher’s Market, Famous Toastery, Hawthorne’s NY Pizza & Bar, Sherwin Williams and Wahlburgers.
Bishop says he was smeared by British tabloid
CHARLOTTE – The Daily Mail outed N.C. Sen. Dan Bishop as an investor of the Gab social media network, a site the newspaper reports was used by alt-right thinkers, including the man accused of a shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue.
Democrats, including Bishop’s challenger Chad Stachowicz, weighed in.
“Our community deserves to know why Dan Bishop was funding a platform for hate speech,” Stachowicz said. “His investment helped spread white nationalist content, so we deserve to know if he holds these views. Dan Bishop should have known he was playing with fire.”
Bishop released a statement saying he made a $500 crowdfunding investment in a startup that promoted itself as an unbiased social-media platform.
“I don’t use Gab, but if it’s management allows its users to promote violence, anti-Semitism and racism on the platform, they certainly have misled investors and they will be gone quickly, and rightfully so,” Bishop said. “Why I’m being targeted and smeared by a British tabloid for a $500 investment in the final days of a campaign, I have no clue.”