Youth risk behavior survey released by CMS

The Youth Risk Behavior Survey, produced by the Centers for Disease Control and conducted every two years, assesses health risk behaviors that contribute to some of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality in youth.  There are few surprises. CMS noted that cigarette and inhalant use is down (just by one percent). However, high schoolers’ computer usage for non-school work is up. The question: “Spend three or more hours per day playing video games or using a computer for something that is not school work on an average day.” In 2005, 21 percent answered yes. In 2009, 26 percent answered yes. Click  here for the PDF of all high school the results. For middle school results, click here.

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General Growth clawing its way out of bankruptcy

General Growth Partners, one of the largest mall owners in the country and the company which still intends building The Bridges at Mint Hill, may be on the verge of exiting bankruptcy. The company was forced to file for bankruptcy last year when investments went bad. Simon Properties, the owner of South Park Mall, wants to take over General Growth with a $10 billion offer. However, General Growth is not going down without a fight. It has a partner to help get the finances back in order and has recently indicated it will get listed once more on the New York Stock Exchange. A judge recently gave the company more time to reorganize its finances. Thomas H. Nolan Jr., General Growth’s president, told the New York Times after the hearing:

“We’re pleased with the outcome. The judge clearly agreed with the plan that we outlined.”

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Land use plan meeting tonight

The Comprehensive Land Use Plan Committee of the Town of Mint Hill will meet tonight at  6:30 p. in the John M. McEwen Assembly Room, Mint Hill Town Hall. The called meeting will provide the opportunity for Committee members to continue working with representatives of the Town’s consulting firm, HNTB, toward developing a Comprehensive Land Use Plan for the Town of Mint Hill.

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Former candidate for Dist. 103 could hear from the courts this week

As the Mint Hill Times has reported since 2008, former unaffiliated Dist. 103 candidate Mark Brody is challenging the way North Carolina allows third parties access to ballots. In 2008, Brody collected signatures of 4 percent of registered voters so he could run as an unaffiliated candidate. He became the only state-wide unaffiliated candidate to get on a ballot in more than a century, eventually losing to Jim Gulley. This time, Brody took his case to the courts. He filed a lawsuit on February 11 and was told to expect a response by March 11.

“This lawsuit is going to catch them by surprise,” Brody said.

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Police Chief Tim Ledford releases statement on medical marijuana legalization

Mint Hill Police Chief Tim Ledford released a statement today reaffirming his opinion that medical marijuana should not be legalized in North Carolina. Ledford told the Charlotte Observer:

“If people start accepting the use, even if it’s medical marijuana use, people tend to see that being more liberal, more accepting.”

Representative Nick Mackey of Charlotte is working on a bill in the state legislature that will legalize medical use of the drug. Mackey got support for legalization from an unlikely source: the Meck Deck blog, which in the past has not been very friendly to the state representive. However, it was Ledford who took the brunt this time. Said Jeff Taylor, the primary writer for the blog,

“Chief, when you make Nick Mackey sound like a statesman, you might want to start over.”

Ledford is the President of the North Carolina Association of Chiefs of Police. He heavily cited in today’s press release the The International Association of Chief’s of Police analysis of California and Arizona medical marijuana propositions. According to the IACP, The Arizona proposition was not a success.

In essence, the proposition legalized all Schedule I drugs for everyone in the state. Two doctors were required to write prescriptions for Schedule I drugs; however, no age limit is specified for individuals seeking drugs for medicinal purposes. The law also allowed for the release of over 1,000 felons from prison on the premise that they were sent there for minor, non-violent drug crimes.

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