Angry Aqua customers join forces for action

Photo courtesy of Dale Kast.

Residents of Ashe Plantation are happy to hear that after years of communication with the North Carolina Department of Transportation and the Town of Mint Hill their roads will finally be repaired.  The town and state will repair the parts of the neighborhood, located off Hwy. 218, and when the work is completed, the town will maintain the roads.  This does not mark the end of Ashe Plantation’s utility problems, though.

Ashe Plantation’s homeowner association president, Sharon Decker, says residents are being overcharged and disregarded by their water company, Aqua North Carolina.  Her neighborhood isn’t alone.  Aqua services a number of communities in Mecklenburg County, including Farmwood East, Glencroft, Oxford Glen, Rocky Ridge, Belle Meade, Timberlands, and Wyndham.

Decker met with Stan Coleman from Park South Station in Charlotte about the issue.  As an Aqua customer, Coleman has been working toward finding a solution to the problems he has with the company.  He filed a formal complaint two years ago.

Coleman directed answers about Aqua’s ethical practices to Clean Water for North Carolina, a non-profit organization whose mission is “to promote clean, safe water and environments and empowered, just communities for all North Carolinians through community organizing, education, advocacy and technical assistance.”
The organization published a 2011 report called “Privatizing North Carolina’s Water, Undermining Justice.”  The report acknowledges the Park Foundation and the Duke University Stanback Internship Program for supporting the research, investigations, and preparation of the report. Continue reading

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Mint Hill’s American Legion senior baseball team played rival Union County last week at Wingate and Butler.  With a promising start to Friday’s game at Butler, Mint Hill lost 5-6.  After the Union County game June 22, VFW Post 4059’s record was 13-5. The regular season ended June 26, and the playoffs begin July 1.

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Local FD volunteer pulls victim to safety

Camden Johnson was fishing at Oak Island, N.C. when he watched a helicopter crash into the ocean June 14.  He was on a boat with friends Steve Peloza and Matt Brooks.

Johnson, 16, is a volunteer fire fighter in Mint Hill and a rising junior at Independence High School.  He volunteers about 80-100 hours a month and intends to make firefighting his career.

“We were riding in from fishing, coming into port, and we saw the helicopter acting funny,” said Johnson.  That’s when it crashed into the ocean.  “Thirty more seconds and it would have been on top of us.”

Johnson pulled the passenger out of the water onto the boat.

The Oak Island Police Department report states that the helicopter crashed into the ocean at 4:37 pm about 500 yards southwest of the Oak Island pier.  Multiple police, fire, and EMS units arrived on the scene.

Numerous witnesses watched the low-flying helicopter hit the ocean at a fast speed.  After the hard impact, the aircraft was upside down.  Peloza, Brooks, and Johnson tied off their boat onto the helicopter.  Within moments the pilot popped up and told them the passenger could not take off her seatbelt.  Before the men had time to find a knife and jump in, she made it to the surface.  Johnson pulled her out, and water rescue personnel arrived to transport the two survivors to an awaiting ambulance.

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Reedy Creek Nature Center visits the library

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Children gathered at the library last Thursday to learn about nocturnal animals.  Heather Reid from Reedy Creek Nature Center taught the young naturalists about the barred owl’s sight, the skunk’s defense mechanism, the bat’s echolocation, and the necessity of beetles and millipedes for a forest’s ecosystem.  The children had the opportunity to ask questions and touch pelts, feathers, scales, and bugs.  Popcorn, the corn snake, was popular among the eager learners.  The Reedy Creek Nature Center provides these specimens and more at no cost.  For more information call 704-432-6459.  The library will host another natural program this summer.  The Nature Lady’s interactive ornithological program will be July 19.  For more information about library programs call 704-416-5200.

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QBCC at June Tunes

June Tunes will end July 3 this year with its annual performance by Queen City Brass Band.  Band member Richard Spangler said their song list theme is Americana, including patriotic songs as well as some Broadway tunes and other popular songs.  Listeners can expect selections from Oklahoma, The Thunderer, Blue Tango, and Annie’s Tomorrow.

Queen City Brass Band was founded in 1992.  It currently consists of 24 members under the direction of Jason Robison, who recently completed his master’s degree in Wind Instrumental Conducting at Winthrop University.

The band is a crowd favorite in Mint Hill each year.

“We really have enjoyed coming out every year and doing that,” said Spangler.  “It’s a great crowd.”

You can catch one more June Tunes show before the QCBB.  Mint Hill native Lindsay Nicole and Highway 74 will perform June 30.

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Old and new Town Hall building plans

The Board of Commissioners met June 21 for a mini-retreat to discuss various issues regarding the plans for the new and current Town Hall buildings.

The current building will be renovated for the future police department.  Construction will be minimal.  Most walls will be kept as they are to keep costs low.  Chief of Police Tim Ledford is reported to have approved the plans.  The biggest renovations include enclosing the area between the John M. McEwen Assembly Room and the rest of the building, possibly adding a facade to the face of the building, and adding public parking at the front of the building, as the back will become enclosed.

The board considered furniture and procedures for acquiring and displaying artwork in the new Town Hall.  Cushioned, armed chairs are being considered for the new assembly room.  Commissioners expressed a desire for historical images of Mint Hill to be displayed throughout the building, as well as local art.  They considered creating an art committee to work with arts organizations and professional decorators for display guidelines.

Other topics discussed included the future of cultural events that historically took place at the Town Hall, including Movies on the Lawn, June Tunes, Mint Hill Madness, and the lighting of the Christmas tree.  They also discussed the cost effectiveness of moving the tree and the possibility of cutting it down.

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