Indian Trail woman poses with Taylor Swift and wins contest

The Mint Hill Times

Taylor Swift poses with Mandie in 2008.

An Indian Trail woman will have her picture on the 2011 CMA Music Festival tickets. Mandie Palcic posed for a picture with Taylor Swift in 2008 and submitted it to The Country Music Association in a contest that helps celebrate the 40th anniversary of CMA Music Festival. The photo was taken in Swift’s booth at the Fan Fair Exhibit Hall in the Nashville Convention Center.
Fans submitted hundreds of photographs of themselves posing  on site with their favorite artists for a chance to be included on the tickets for the 2011 Festival. 2011 CMA Music Festival will be held Thursday-Sunday, June 9-12, 2011 in Downtown Nashville, and will once again be filmed for an ABC Television special that will air later this summer.
Six photos were chosen to be used on the Festival tickets, but all submitted photographs will be included in an on-going photo archive documenting the legendary event. All six winning photographs will also be displayed on, the official Internet home of CMA Music Festival.
Palcic of Indian Trail was the grand prize winner. The photo will be used on the Gold Circle Level tickets for this year’s Festival. Palcic will have the opportunity to autograph ticket blanks in the CMA Booth of the Fan Fair Exhibit Hall at this year’s Festival. She will also receive two Gold Circle four-day tickets to the 2012 CMA Music Festival, a plaque displaying a ticket containing her winning photograph; and a merchandise prize pack.

Independence High School student wins National Achievement Program scholarship

Melanie McRae was one of five CMS who won the National Achievement Scholarship. These students are among more than 800 black American high school seniors across the country who will receive scholarships totaling over $2 million. The list of winners and their high schools:

Myers Park: Kainee Aguilar; East Mecklenburg: David Ayers; Providence: Wiley Davis III, Vance: Khalid Love, and Independence: Melanie McRae. Continue reading


Town of Matthews wins first place in communications competition


The Mint Hill Times

The town's website

The Town of Matthews won first place in two categories at the third annual Excellence in Communications Awards presented March 31 at the Historic Cumberland County Courthouse by NC3C, the North Carolina City & County Communicators. The town won for Marketing Tools – a Direct Mail Campaign (Advertising the Town’s Redesigned Website and Social Media) and first place for Communication Technology – the Town’s Website.
Government communications professionals from 14 North Carolina cities and towns won awards.

The awards program was part of the fourth annual NC3C Spring Conference, held March 30-April 1 in Fayetteville. Awards were presented in the categories of TV & Videos, Communication Technology, Special Events, Printed Publications, Most Creative Project
for the Least Amount of Funds, Service Delivery, Marketing Tools, and Communications Plans.

Over the two years the Town of Matthews has worked extensively on a branding plan that included a communications plan, a logo and website redevelopment. This plan is part of the economic development initiative that is underway in Matthews.

“I am very excited that award winning judges from around the U.S. recognize the hard work and thoroughness we have put into our website redesign. We are working hard to ensure that our citizens have current and relevant information on a daily basis,” said
Annette Privette Keller, Matthews Communications Director.

Judges for the NC3C Excellence in Communications Awards were government communication professionals from around the United States, all of whom had previously won first or second-place in the national Savvy Awards, presented annually by the City-
County Communications and Marketing Association. States represented by the judges were Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Texas and Virginia.

The purpose of North Carolina City & County Communicators is to encourage professional development and networking among local governmental communications professionals. The organization was formed in March, 2007 by 27 professional communicators from around the state. Since then, the organization has grown to more than 50 members.


Mint Hill football player named to academic all american team

Cody Kluttz, who played for the national champion Mint Hill Chargers 8th Grade AYF team, was named AYF Academic All American today. Kluttz played both offensive and defensive lines for the team which went undefeated on its way to a third national championship in four years.

“On behalf of American Youth Football and American Youth Cheer I would like to congratulate our scholarship winners for showing leadership in the classroom. Thanks to Eastbay our Academic Achievement Alliance Partner, their efforts are recognized by a scholarship to help defray their college tuition,” said AYF President, Joe Galat.
In addition to all american honors, Klutzz won an Eastbay Athletic Sports Source Scholarship which was given to 10 other scholar-athletes on the All-American Team. To be considered for the award,  scholars had to excel in academics, sportsmanship and community. Out of 800,000 AYF athletes, Kluttz  was awarded this honor and scholarship for his outstanding education achievements. Kluttz carries a 4.0 in academics while being an honor athlete.
“Congratulations to all our Academic All- Americans.  You are an inspiration to us all.  Your hard workin the classroom will serve you well in life, as will your hard work and dedication to the sport youlove.” – Adam J Laufer Esq., General Counsel, American Youth Football



Gas prices up nearly 6 cents in the past week

The Mint Hill Times

Photo by Daryl Mitchell

Will gas prices ever stop going up or is this the new norm? Unrest in the middle east seems to be fueling the recent surge in gas prices. The price for gas has already reached a 30-year high for March, and if they continue to rise as the busy summer season approaches, we could be looking at $4 per gallon that we had just after Hurricane Katrina in 2008. The average retail gasoline prices in Charlotte have risen 5.7 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $3.64/g Sunday according to This compares with the national average that has increased 7.4 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.64/g.

Including the change in gas prices in Charlotte during the past week, prices Sunday were 89.6 cents per gallon higher than the same day one year ago and are 15.6 cents per gallon higher than a month ago. The national average has increased 17.6 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 79.3 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago.