Good News Friday: NC’s famously pregnant stingray, an 8-year old chef, and more

Good News Friday: NC’s famously pregnant stingray, an 8-year old chef, and more

Charlotte the Stingray Courtesy of Aquarium and Shark Lab Team ECCO

By Leah Sherrell

March 1, 2024

A stingray in Hendersonville is drawing international attention this month, and we can’t wait to see the pups. 

It’s almost the weekend and that means Good News Friday is hitting your phone (or laptop or tablet) with a fun roundup of happy local news.

Today’s news is all about seeing stars—the celebrity kind. Let’s hop to it.

Updates on Charlotte the Stingray

You may have heard about the miraculous stingray, Charlotte, in Hendersonville’s Aquarium and Shark Lab. Earlier this month, the aquarium revealed she’s pregnant—but there are no males in the tank!  

Caretakers believe that Charlotte went through a rare process called parthenogenesis, where cells split inside an egg and make an embryo without fertilization. Parthenogenesis happens in every class of animals except mammals, particularly when captive, and usually results in a normal birth. Charlotte’s the first-known round stingray to undergo parthenogenesis—but then again, there are only so many under observation in aquariums. 

An early ultrasound showed she’s carrying up to four pups. When they’re born, they’ll probably be the diameter of a baseball and will be fairly independent.

Charlotte’s already gained a huge following on social media, with people from Uruguay to the Philippines tracking her progress. There is no exact timeline for when Charlotte will give birth, but the aquarium wrote in a post this week that she’s “showing no unusual behaviors or changes in eating patterns. Patience is the game right now.” 


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NC Survivor Contestant 

Good News Friday: NC’s famously pregnant stingray, an 8-year old chef, and more

Kenzie Petty (front left) Courtesy of Survivor

The 46th season of Survivor premiered this week, and Charlotte salon owner Kenzie Petty is representing the Tar Heel state as a contestant. The Michigan native is the proud owner of Explicit Salon, a Camp North End business that she calls “the happiest place for your hair.”

During the show’s first week, Petty avoided elimination.  We can’t wait to see what’s in store for her! You can follow along by watching the show on CBS or through a streaming service like Paramount+.

Greensboro 8-year-old is a Master Chef 

The 9th season of MasterChef Junior premiers next week, and 8-year-old Jordyn from Greensboro will be there to show off her culinary skills. 

In an interview with Fox8 Morning News, Jordyn revealed that her signature dish is a “ribeye steak with homemade BBQ sauce with sautéed asparagus and cherry tomatoes.”

Along with 11 other chefs between the ages of 8 and 13, she will be mentored and judged by chefs Gordan Ramsay and Aaron Sánchez and food journalist Daphne Oz. The winning prize is $100,000. 

Watch MasterChef Junior this season, which starts at 8 p.m. Monday, March 4, on FOX, Hulu, and other streaming platforms.

“House Hunters” in Wilmington 

Good News Friday: NC’s famously pregnant stingray, an 8-year old chef, and more

Wilmington Riverfront Courtesy of Shutterstock

The HGTV show “House Hunters” is headed to Wilmington next week, where the show will capture scenic shots throughout the city—namely at Thalian Hall and Live Oak Bank Pavillion.

There won’t be any actual house hunters on the scene, and the camera crew will be a small team that shouldn’t stand out too much from the regular crowd. But Wilmington locals can expect to see some of their favorite spots showcased in future episodes from this trip.

Watch House Hunters—which offers a whopping 248 seasons—on HGTV or on streaming. 


  • Leah Sherrell

    Leah Sherrell is a multimedia reporter for Cardinal & Pine. A graduate of UNC-Wilmington, she's a resident of Kernersville with a background in video production and communication. Leah uses many forms of media to explore the multifaceted lifestyles and cultures present in North Carolina.

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