Cyclists gather for Honor the Warriors Bike Ride

The Military Family Lifestyle Charitable Foundation and the United Service Organizations of North Carolina sponsored last Saturday’s third annual Honor the Warriors Bike Ride at the Mint Hill Park on Fairview. Approximately 60 veterans, service members, and citizens biked together in an effort to support military families. Three rides were staggered: 66 mile, 34 mile, and 15 mile rides. Brian Talkington (pictured), a 14-year Army soldier stationed at Fort Jackson, South Carolina, traveled to Mint Hill to support wounded veterans. Photo by Amanda Waters


St. Luke’s celebrates 25 years

Parishioners at St. Luke’s Catholic Church on Lawyers Road celebrated the church’s 25th anniversary last weekend with their annual fall festival, which corresponds with St. Luke’s feast day. The celebration included a ferris wheel, bouncy house, train rides, games and prizes, live music, exotic animals, and a number of food and goods vendors.
The church first gathered 25 years ago in a movie theatre in Matthews and quickly moved to a store in the Mint Hill Festival shopping center. The current building was opened in 1994, and St. Luke’s is making plans to construct a new building. Photo by Amanda Waters


Fire department receives grants for cameras

Fire Chief John Phillips accepts a grant from Tom Lott of AmWINS and Lynette Cardwell of the Fireman’s Fund. Commissioner Mickey Ellington and Town Manager Brian Welch display the new thermal imaging cameras purchased with the grant money. Photo by Derek Lacey

By Amanda Waters

Staff Writer

Last Wednesday the Mint Hill Volunteer Fire Department received grant money for thermal imaging cameras.  The insurance company AmWINS, represented by Tom Lott, a member of the fire department, presented the $12,461 check in conjunction with the Fireman’s Fund, represented by Lynette Cardwell.  Town representatives Brian Welch, Beth Hamrick, and Mickey Ellington were in attendance, along with fire department board members Bobby Reynolds, Albert Leath, Phil Angelo, and charter member Bobby Long.

The grant was used to purchase two Scott Safety Eagle Attack thermal imaging cameras.  The cameras are among the newest tools available for fire fighters, introduced June of last year.  They are lighter in weight and easier to use, compared to the cameras they are replacing.

“We are extremely excited about the development of this thermal imaging tool,” Tony Topf of Scott Safety said in an earlier statement.  “Efficiency, quality and convenience factors are what make the Eagle Attack imager unique.  We’ve designed this innovation around what the customers have said rather than around what we think first responders may need.”

Images shot by the germanium lens are displayed on a screen showing heat represented by colors.  Yellow indicates temperatures of 200 degrees or more, when water turns to steam.  Orange is for 500 degrees or more, when common building materials will combust.  Temperatures of 800 degrees are represented by red and indicate the point of flashover, when smoke fills an area and becomes hot enough to ignite.

In the last few decades, more building materials and household items are being made of synthetic materials.  When these items burn, they produce a darker, thicker smoke than natural materials.  Firefighters 50 years ago could expect flashover after 30 minutes of flames, but today flashover occurs in three or four minutes, becoming an extremely dangerous problem.

The cameras will allow firefighters to find bodies lost in a smoke, find unaccounted for firefighters, find the source of a fire in thick smoke, and find missing people at night.

“Thermal imagery for the fire service is something that is becoming more needed,” said Phillips.  “We’re thrilled to have these cameras.”

The two new cameras will assist the fire department as it serves 39 square miles and a population of about 28,000 people.  The 18 full-time firefighters and 70 volunteers have begun training how to use these life-saving tools.


Column: “Your health record,” by Dr. Mike Richardson

Maintaining your own health history is very important. Insurance programs change, moves happen, doctors retire, medical needs arise when you are out of town. While you can always have your records transferred, it’s smart to have your own back up set of records for those times when information is needed in a hurry–or when you just didn’t take the time to request records from your previous doctor in a timely fashion.

There are a variety of internet based systems where you can plug in your data and access it as needed. Those require some trust on your part that the information will be held securely, and that you will have the proper device and/or printer to access it when you need it. I like plain old paper. Maybe you’ve got a fancier electronic version to my file cabinet at home. Whatever works for you. The important part is what’s in those files.

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Independence outlasts Rocky River in Mint Hill football showdown

The Independence Patriots and the Rocky River Ravens faced off on Friday for an important 4A Southwestern Conference game. The Patriots came into the game with an overall record of 7-1 and 4-0 in conference. The home-standing Ravens were 6-2 and 3-1. Both teams appear headed for the playoffs, and this game would play a part in future playoff match ups.

This game was a back and forth affair between two evenly matched teams.

Independence kicked off and the game was on. After a first down, Ravens senior quarterback Andre Rice attempted his first pass. The pass was promptly picked off by the Patriots’ sophomore defensive back Cordell McMurray who returned it to the Rocky River 33 yard line.

The Patriots wasted no time taking advantage of the sudden change of possession. On the first play senior quarterback Jason Connella connected with wide receiver Jamar Jenkins, only a sophomore, on a deep pass down the right sideline for a gain of 29 yards.

From four yards out, the Patriots were able to pound the ball into the end zone. Connella scored the touchdown on a quarterback sneak. The extra point was blocked but the Patriots led early 6-0. The teams exchanged punts until the Ravens offense exploded. After a first down, senior running back James House burst through a big hole on the left side and juked his way through the Patriots’ secondary for a 41 yard touchdown run. The extra point was missed and the game was tied 6-6.

The excitement in the first quarter was far from over. After the Ravens’ kickoff, Connella hit Patriots’ senior wide receiver Dequan Barnes on a 65-yard bomb. Barnes had gotten wide open behind the Ravens’ secondary and Connella hit him in stride for the score.

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Resident works to bring new sport to Mint Hill


Mark Guion is bringing a new sport to Mint Hill: paddle tennis.

Mark Guion explains paddle ten- nis at the demonstra- tion at the park on Wilgrove, October 14. PHOTO BY DEREK LACEY

Paddle tennis is a variation of its classic namesake, played with wooden paddles, a deadened ball, a smaller court, and a shorter net.

Guion, a resident of Mint Hill, discovered the game while on vacation in Venice Beach, California, started playing, and “absolutely loved it.”

Upon returning to Mint Hill, Guion couldn’t find any courts in the area, but started to play at the Park on Wilgrove, marking off

the smaller courts from the regular tennis courts.

Today, Guion is working to replace the old, unused basketball court at the park with two paddle tennis courts, circulating a petition, which has more than 300 signatures.

The goals were removed from the court years ago, the asphalt is weathered and cracked, and the dimensions are ideal for two paddle tennis courts.

Guion has been in contact with town commissioners and lions club and will be presenting the proposal to the parks and recreation committee at its November 13 meeting.

According to Guion, there are no paddle tennis courts in the area, and the United States Paddle Tennis Association has shown interest in coming to the Charlotte area to host clinics and promote the game.

“I’d love for Mint Hill to be the place where people would have to come to play,” Guion said. “If anybody knows of or wants to try it out, they would have to come here, because there is nowhere else available.”

Guion is optimistic about the success of the proposal, based on the interest and feedback from the community.

Mark Guion hopes Mint Hill will become a new paddle tennis location for enthusiasts of the sport.

“The amount of people I’ve talked to, the number of signatures I’m getting, the level of interest from those folks, I think there’s a pretty good shot,” Guion said.

Guion hosted a demonstration of the sport at the park on Wilgrove Sunday, October 14, explaining the game and showing attendees how to play.

Tom Campbell, a resident of Matthews, attended the demonstration, and while he has never played paddle tennis before Sunday, he supports replacing the basketball court with paddle tennis courts.

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