Concord Mills starts renovations to refresh exterior

Concord Mills will soon be getting a facelift.

According to Simon Property Group, upcoming renovations to the outlet mall include updated signage, LED lights and new landscaping.

The mall will remain open during renovations. The construction will begin later this month and is slated to be complete around August.

This is not the first update to Concord Mills in recent memory. In 2016, major interior renovations included new tables, tile flooring and LED lighting.

The property follows a trend of mall renovations in the Charlotte area as brick and mortar stores work to fight online retailers.

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Bi-Lo braces for bankruptcy, could close hundreds of stores nationwide

The grocery store chain that owns Bi-Lo, Winn-Dixie and Harvey’s is facing bankruptcy within the next month, according to Bloomberg news.

Southeastern Grocers, the parent company, has looked into other options before going bankrupt, such as asset sales and debt-to-equity sales. The company has gone bankrupt twice already and carries $1 billion in debt to its creditors.

Bi-Lo has yet to close stores or lay off employees, but it has been reported that up to 200 stores could be closing among the grocery chains. Southeastern Grocers also owns Fresco y Mas, which could be affected as well.

The company is the fifth-largest grocer in the U.S., owning 700 stores and employing 50,000 workers.

Billy Graham, evangelist who reached millions throughout the world, dies at 99

The Rev. Billy Graham died Wednesday morning at the age of 99, according to a spokesperson for the family.

Graham died of natural causes in his home in Montreat, North Carolina, according to the spokesperson.

Graham’s legacy included reaching millions of people through a traveling evangelical message.

He met and shared the message with everyone from Steve McQueen to each president since Harry Truman to millions of Americans.

He harnessed the influence of television with his simple but powerful message of salvation, reaching millions in a way no one had before. Experts estimate that through rallies, more than 200 million people had heard his message in person, and many more through radio and television.

Graham was born in 1918 on a dairy farm in Charlotte.

Weekend headlines: Florida shooting victims demand change, Trump reacts after Russia indictment

Florida shooting victims say #Enough

A deadly rampage in a Florida high school that left 17 people dead and 14 others wounded — most of whom were students — left the community of Parkland shaken and a nation in shock. The survivors from the shooting are speaking out for change, demanding tighter gun laws. These high schoolers are finding a unified voice to criticize adults on the lack of change in policy. Activist groups have rallied around the victims by organizing a walkout for everyone from elementary school to college on March 14, along with a march on Washington on March 24. You can read more from the survivors here.

Trump feels vindicated, then defensive after Russian indictment

After an indictment by special counsel Robert Mueller, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to shout “no collusion.” While Trump initially thought the announcement was a victory against what he considers fake news, it quickly became clear that the indictment could question the legitimacy of Trump winning the election by his own power. You can read the president’s reaction from the weekend, along with him backtracking on the Russia investigation being fake news by clicking here.

Man charged after deadly crash in Charlotte split his car in half

A man was charged late Saturday night after he hit multiple trees and split his car in half, killing a woman in Barclay Downs. You can read how it unfolded by clicking here.

Weekend headlines: Winter Olympics, deadly plane crash in Moscow and 2 killed in I-77 crash

2018 Olympics heats up

The United States upped its medal count during this weekend’s Olympic events. Seventeen-year-old Red Gerard brought home the first gold medal for the U.S. in men’s slopestyle. Chris Mazdzer shocked the world with a silver medal after placing in men’s single luge, giving the U.S. its first medal in that category in Olympic history. You can find the full medal count, along with upcoming events, here.

Plane crashes after takeoff in Moscow

A regional jet heading 1,000 miles to a Russian town crashed shortly after takeoff from the Moscow airport Sunday afternoon. All 71 people – 65 passengers and six crew members – were killed. The plane was tracked falling 3,300 feet per minute before it lost signal and triggered a search party, according to FlightRadar24, a real-time plane tracking website. You can read the full story here.

Two killed in I-77 crash

Two people were killed after a driver hit a car on I-77 early Sunday morning in Charlotte, WSOC reported. The driver was charged with two counts of felony death with a vehicle and driving while impaired. You can read the full story here.

5 fun things to do this rainy weekend

Friday

Opening ceremony

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Get in the Olympic spirit by watching the Opening Ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games at 8 p.m. on NBC. You can watch it at Draught, where you can get $2 beers and dollar shots as you watch the Olympic torch get lit.

You can also find the Winter Olympics schedule here for the duration of the event.

Saturday

Pick up a couple free trees

Trees Charlotte is opening its “tree store” for the day, where Charlotte residents can pick up two free trees to plant on their land. Trees Charlotte is an organization that is trying to improve Charlotte’s canopy and promote a greener city. There is tree training before you pick up your new plants, as they are 6’10”, and you have to show proof of Charlotte residency. Head over to the Eastland Mall from 9 to 10:30 a.m. You can find more information here.

Frigid 5K run and plunge at the Whitewater Center

Brave the chilly weather by running a 5K through the center’s trail system before jumping into 40 degree water at the U.S. National Whitewater Center. Tickets are $37 on race day, and you can find more info here.

Be an Olympian and learn how to curl

Head over to the Charlotte Curling Center to get a hands-on lesson and tour the facility to find out how curlers roll… or slide. The discounted lessons start at 11 a.m. and are $10. TIN Kitchen will offer up lunch if you stick around, and it’s a great way to learn an Olympic sport! More info here.

Sunday

Go see the Hornets play

Watch the Hornets take on the Toronto Raptors this Sunday. The game is at 1 p.m. at the Spectrum Center. Find more info here.

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Carolina Panthers’ Ryan Kalil to retire after 2018 season

Loyal Panthers center Ryan Kalil will make 2018 his last season in the NFL.

The center has spent his entire career with the Panthers and is a favorite among fans in Charlotte. Kalil will turn 33 in March.

This news comes just two weeks after Thomas Davis, a veteran linebacker, said this upcoming season would also be his last.

Kalil plans to return after a neck injury kept him sidelined for most of the 2017 season, along with a shoulder injury he sustained before last season’s training camp.

“I just felt way behind and I didn’t feel as physically ready for the season as I would have liked to have been,” Kalil said.

2018 will be his 12th season, and it will give him the chance to play with his brother, Matt Kalil.

Ryan Kalil said he doesn’t want there to be much fanfare around his departure and that he won’t have a farewell tour.