Happy Tuesday, everybody. Kristen here. Have you listened to Kiss 96.1 recently? There are some new hosts in town. “The Miguel & Holly Show” has been airing since March 7, and listeners can expect to hear fun and authenticity in the show. Want to know more? Learn about the duo with the Observer’s Jonathan Limehouse.

Today’s stories:

1. Payback: Jessica McDonald’s journey

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Payback: Part 1

In 2019, U.S. women’s national soccer team striker Jessica McDonald capped a World Cup journey few could have imagined.

Once a child of a broken home, a teen runaway, then a single mom, McDonald rose from houselessness in Phoenix to the pinnacle of sports in Lyon, France. Now, she uses her voice to battle systemic inequalities in soccer, including the U.S. women’s national team’s ongoing fight for equal pay.

This is her story. Learn more in our new series, Payback, written by the Observer’s Alex Andrejev.

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The U.S. women’s soccer team member Jessica McDonald flexes during a celebration at City Hall after a ticker tape parade, Wednesday, July 10, 2019, in New York. The U.S. national team beat the Netherlands 2-0 to capture a record fourth Women’s World Cup title. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig) Seth Wenig AP

The components of the series are linked below:

2. Today’s development news

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An aerial rendering of The Olde Mecklenburg Brewery plans as the anchor tenant for a proposed mixed-use facility in Balantyne, The Bowl at Ballantyne. Northwood

Great news for south Charlotte fans of local beer: Olde Mecklenburg Brewery is beginning its expansion, and its new location will anchor a new Ballantyne mixed-use development. Pour up the details here with the Observer’s Catherine Muccigrosso.

Also from Muccigrosso: A new dine-in theater chain will open this month in Charlotte’s University area.

3. Charlotte-area COVID positivity rate lowering

The Charlotte area has reached its lowest COVID positivity rate in close to a year.

The details:

  • This week, the average fell nearly as low as was seen early summer last year.
  • In January, the average positivity rate in Mecklenburg hit 33%.
  • It’s now at 3.4%, as of March 13, county health officials report.
  • The lowest point on record was in June 2021, when the weekly average positivity rate in Mecklenburg was close to 2%.

Get the latest COVID-19 metrics for Mecklenburg and North Carolina with the Observer’s Mary Ramsey.

4. What do these NC candidates say about Jan. 6?

Most Republicans running for Congress in North Carolina don’t want to talk about the Jan. 6 Capitol riot ahead of the primaries.

Why’s that?

To find out, the Observer recently asked every Congressional candidate in an email survey whether they agreed with former President Donald Trump, who said he would consider pardoning some of the people convicted for crimes in the riot. But few candidates — and no front runners — agreed to answer the questions.

In this subscriber exclusive, learn about what the candidates said with the Observer’s Will Wright.

5. Here are some stories from yesterday you may have missed

That’s all for today, folks. If you don’t already, subscribe to the Charlotte Observer here. If you’re already a subscriber (thanks!), download our iOS or Android app to get connected.

Stay updated with us at charlotteobserver.com, and follow along on Twitter and Instagram to see more from us. Thanks for reading!

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This story was originally published March 15, 2022 4:11 PM.

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