Local

Upscale movie theater for uptown

Uptown Charlotte's first modern movie theater complex will open Nov. 14 at the EpiCentre, featuring five screens, a luxury environment and adults-only atmosphere in the evenings.

Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based IPic Entertainment will run the theater, which will open with the release of the upcoming James Bond film “Quantum of Solace,” said EpiCentre developer Afshin Ghazi of Ghazi Co.

IPic theaters feature VIP sections that allow moviegoers to buy their tickets online as much as a week ahead of time and reserve a specific seat – similar to purchasing a concert ticket, company spokesman Jim Lee said. -- Nichole Monroe Bell

Meck briefs

Charlotte

As a nationwide nursing shortage worsens, particularly in minority communities, UNC Charlotte's nursing school is using a $706,000 federal grant to help close the gap.

The “Crossing Borders” grant will help generate 30 new nurses who are within minorities or from high-poverty, underachieving high schools. Ten will be admitted each year during the three-year grant.

The first 10 enrolled this summer, taking a course together. Now they're integrated into the school's regular classes. They're eligible for scholarships, or stipends, and they get support to navigate college by developing good study skills.

David Perlmutt

A new segment of road is open uptown, improving access to an upcoming residential, retail and entertainment district developers envision will become the “SoHo of Charlotte.”

Seaboard Street, in Fourth Ward not far from the Brookshire Freeway, used to dead end after curving right over a set of railroad tracks.

The road – extended, widened and redirected – now veers left with four lanes, continuing for about a half-mile before widening to six lanes and connecting with North Graham Street. The old road has been closed.

Charlotte Department of Transportation spokeswoman Linda Durrett said closing the old road will improve safety because it eliminates the need for drivers to cross railroad tracks. --Nichole Monroe Bell

REGIONAL BRIEFS

Catawba County

Since 1979, the city of Hickory has wanted to build a public park on a piece of picturesque land it owns on Lake Hickory.

But over the years, other priorities and tight budgets have gotten in the way, so only scattered kayakers and swimmers enjoy the spot on Cloninger Mill Road, despite “No Trespassing” signs.

Now city parks officials are taking another look at the 75-acre site.

A plan being considered would include a park, homes and businesses. The park, which would not include ball fields, would take up the bulk of the property. --Hannah Mitchell

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