Independence DREAM Team to restore neglected trophies

The bomb shelter at Independence High School, now home to hundreds of Big “I” trophies. PHOTOS BY DEREK LACEY

Each year, Noel Hamrick takes her US History class to see the old bomb shelter at Independence High School, leading them out a side door, through a chain link fence, down concrete stairs, and through a hot boiler room.

But the thing most students take away from the trip is not the impact of Cold War tensions, it’s the hundreds of Big “I” trophies stored on rusted shelves in the dank, flood-prone room.

Dating from 1967, the trophies include academic and athletic achievements, everything from small wooden plaques and certificates to huge three-tiered trophies.

“Wow. That’s probably the best word I could use to describe it,” said Ivan Blair, senior at Independence. “It was devastating, I guess you could say…I didn’t know that we had that many trophies, and I definitely didn’t know that they were all down there.” Continue reading

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October Sundays bring new classes to Mint Hill Arts

Retired CMS drama teacher Marta Brown and student practice improvisation. PHOTOS COURTESY OF MINT HILL ARTS

This month, Mint Hill Arts will be offering something entirely new. “A Month of Sundays” is a program at MHA that will feature a different class, taught by a different teacher each Sunday.

Sundays in October, from 1-4 pm at MHA’s Lawyer’s Road gallery, classes are free to attend and will show different techniques of painting, drama and drawing.

The program is an effort to expand awareness and showcase the array of classes Mint Hill Arts has to offer and an experiment in expanding hours to Sunday.

“I’ve had many people say to me, ‘I wish you were open on Sunday afternoons, because that’s when I have free time and that’s when it would be easier for me to get over there and look around and see what’s going on.’” said Judy Mizell, organizer of the program. “So I thought, before we try to take it on as a full-time thing, let’s give it a month and see what kind of reaction we get. Can we get people to come out on Sundays?”

October 7 will start the program with “Watercolor Fun and Easy,” taught by Vicki Crossman, who has been teaching watercolor at MHA for several years.

The second Sunday will feature an improv class, taught by Marta Brown, a retired middle school drama teacher and current MHA teacher.

“A Month of Sundays” organizer Judy Mizell teaches a workshop at Mint Hill Arts.

“The main reason I chose to do the improv on Sunday is because I think it’s a really good skill for people to know how to do,” Brown said. “Because you have to think quickly on your feet, and I think this is something that anybody—adults, any ages—would enjoy doing.”

Week three will be a hands-on drawing demonstration with teacher Ginny Edelen, featuring three different types of drawing: drawing by shape, from the imagination, and by spatial relationships, which will be presented at 1, 2, and 3 pm, respectively.

Edelen, who teaches home schoolers at MHA, said, “I do anything I can to promote it (MHA) because it’s a wonderful service to the community, and this is one way of bringing people in on a day that they might be available.”

The last Sunday, October 28, will be taught by Mizell, who has been teaching at MHA for four years, and will demonstrate pouring techniques in watercolor using different surfaces and

materials to show “some of the exciting results you can achieve when you allow the paint and water to do the work.”

Mint Hill Arts is hoping that the turnout for “A Month of Sundays” will provide enough activity for the gallery to be open on Sundays regularly, and that it helps people to rediscover MHA at their new

facility.

“We would like to get it so more people know where we are and what we have to offer the community,” said Mizell. “We moved from our other location back in the spring to this new location on Lawyer’s road and we’re sort of trying to get people to find us there and that’s part of the reason we wanted to do this.”

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The Big “I” defense makes big plays in win over Providence

This gallery contains 2 photos.

Friday night’s game against the Providence Panthers got off to a quiet start. After each team had the ball on offense, neither could score. Independence was on the board first when RB Isiah Robinson ran for a 13-yard score with 7:26 to go in the first quarter. Robinson’s run capped off a 35-yard drive by […]

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Mustangs invade Independence High School

The Charlotte Regional Mustang Club held its annual Mustang and all-Ford show this past Saturday at Independence High School.

The Club has been around for 34 years and is affiliated with the Carolina Regional Mustang Club. This was the 32nd year the club has had a showcase for Mustang enthusiasts and any other Ford-powered vehicles. Currently, there are approximately 400 members from North and South Carolina.

The group meets once a month at the Captain’s Galley in Matthews the first Tuesday of every month from 7:30-9 pm. Members can come early for dinner. The club offers several activities including a driving school in Kershaw, S.C., and a chance for members to get together and restore their vintage or new Ford models.

“We get together, keep Mustangs in good order and have fun,” said Karen Demers of the club’s mission and purpose. Demers is serving as the current president of the Carolina Regional Mustang Club. For more information, attend one of the CRMC’s monthly meetings or go to its website ponytales.org.

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Rocky River blasts South Meck 42-0 in homecoming win

The Rocky River Ravens celebrated Spirit Week and Homecoming with a solid 42-0 win over South Meck Sabre squad last Friday night. This was the third conference game for both teams.

The game was controlled by both defenses in the first quarter. The Sabres had a bad handoff exchange and Safety Lamar Hood tackled the runner in the end zone which resulted in a safety for the Ravens. The Ravens had given up safeties in the previous two games, so being on the receiving end was a welcome change. Neither team could get any traction on offense, and the quarter ended with Rocky River leading, but by the slimmest of margins, 2-0.

“South really came out ready to play tonight. They punched us in the mouth and were the more physical team in the first quarter,” said Head Coach Jason Fowler.

The teams continued to trade punts when the Ravens got a break. A punt was mishandled by South Meck and recovered by Rocky River at the Sabres’ three yard line.

Before the next play could be run, lightening was seen in the area and the officials sent the teams to the locker rooms for a mandatory postponement of 30 minutes. Coach Fowler thinks the stoppage of play may have helped his team.

“We were able to make some adjustments when that happened, and it had a positive effect,” says Fowler.

Once play resumed quarterback Andre Rice ran in from the three yard line and just like that, with three and a half minutes left in the half, the Ravens led 9-0. The point after touchdown was converted by kicker Aaron Roman who was injured two games ago against Providence.

“It’s good to have Aaron back,” coach Jason Fowler said. It helps tremendously to have a consistent kicker.”

The second quarter ended with Rocky River leading 9-0. The defense was solid in the half, al- lowing only four first downs. They gave up one long run of 66 yards, but otherwise kept the Sabres in check.

Newly crowned Homecoming Queen Vanessa Perez saw the Ravens explode in the second half. The Ravens’ first drive of the half ended in a touchdown. Offensive Coordinator Mark Harmon called a wide receiver pass and it worked to perfection. Rice pitched to wide receiver Aaron Cole who started to run a sweep to the right side, stopped and threw to a wide open Brandon Harris behind the defense for a 26-yard score. This is the second consecutive week that exact play resulted in a touchdown, having worked against Butler last week. The score was now 15-0. Rocky River forced another South Meck punt and thus began the Naquan Evans show. He took the punt on a hop at the 28-yard line and slalomed his way through the Sabres’ punt team for a 72-yard score. With the extra point the score was suddenly 22-0. After another South Meck punt the Ravens began to impose their will offensively. The drive methodically moved the ball down the field, mixing the run and the pass. This was easily their best drive of the night, taking six minutes off the clock and spanning the third and fourth quarters. The drive started at their own 24-yard line and ended in another Rice run for a touchdown.

“We were trying to run a little more in the second half,” coach Fowler explained. We were using our short passing game in the first half basically as our running game. In the second half, their defense loosened up some and we were able to run more.” The score was now 29-0 and the game appeared out of reach for South Meck, but Rocky River was not done yet.

South Meck was forced to punt yet again. They made the mistake of kicking it to senior Naquan Evans, again, who promptly took it to the house. This time the touchdown was only 65 yards. Special teams were important according to Coach Fowler, “The Special Teams were big tonight. We definitely won the Special Teams battle tonight and that really helped out.”

With the score now 35- 0, many of the Ravens’ reserves got a chance to show what they could do. Sophomore quarterback Christian Allen-Brown took control of the offense on the Ravens’ last scoring drive. Freshman running back Rashaad Brannon showed he could have an impact on the team in coming years as he capped off the scoring with a 12- yard run. The point after touchdown ended the scoring for the night at 42-0.

 

Team Notes

The Ravens’ offense looked spotty for most of the first half.

“We didn’t match their intensity in the first half,” Offensive Coordinator Harmon said. “I’m proud of our guys; they played their game in the second half.”

Senior Naquan Evans put on a show. Two punt returns for touchdowns, and he also added an interception, all in the second half. “I’ve been preparing for a game like this, he said. I scored a couple of touchdowns last year, but this was the best game of my career so far. The defense was keeping us in the game early while the offense struggled. We just needed a spark and I’m glad I was able to help the team win.”

The Ravens’ defense had their third shutout of the season. Average opponents scoring in the Ravens’ five wins: just over seven points per game.

Penalties, a problem for Rocky River all season, were not a factor in this game.

The Ravens had no turnovers while forcing two from S. Mecklenburg.

Continuing a theme for this season, this was Rocky River’s first victory over S. Mecklenburg in football, having lost the previous two years.

 

Coming up

Rocky River (5-2, 2-1) at East Meck (0-7, 0-3) Friday, 7 pm

Rocky River played E. Mecklenburg last year, winning 35-0.

Many may know Head Coach Fowler came to Rocky River from E. Mecklenburg, where he was the Assistant Head Coach and Offensive Coordinator.

“I spent six years at E. Mecklenburg before coming to Rocky River. They gave me my first big break in coaching. I still have a lot of good friends over there, and I know some of their players. It’s gonna be good to go there and see some familiar faces, but we’re going there to win a ball game.”

About the Eagles team, “They’re a physical team and we’ll get their best game,” Coach Fowler said. “We need to continue to win to get where we want to go.”

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Hospital sets 2016 as date of completion

The site of the new Presbyterian Hospital, at the corner of I485 and Albemarle Road. Photo by Derek Lacey

At Thursday night’s commissioner meeting, Presbyterian Hospital Matthews president Roland Bibeau gave an overview of what the hospital currently offers the residents of Mint Hill and the status of the Presbyterian Hospital to be built at I485 and Albemarle Road.

Bibeau presented the updated timeline of the construction of the planned Presbyterian Hospital in Mint Hill. The new timeline has moved the date of completion from 2018 to 2016, with construction beginning in 2014. At 165,000 square feet and $90 million, the hospital will include 50 inpatient beds, a 16-bay emergency department, four operating rooms, maternity services, rehabilitation, cardiovascular services, laboratory service, and pharmacy services.

“I’m pretty proud to share this timeline with you,” said Bibeau, adding “We owe it to the community of Mint Hill to deliver the healthcare that they’ve been expecting.”

The services that will be provided at the new location will include a medical office building that will house pediatrics, cardiology, OBGYN, general surgery, cardiology, and gastrointerology.

Construction will begin as soon as water and sewer reach the building site, and according to Bibeau, the 2014 start date is a result of the lack of water and sewer services at the location.

“I’m pretty excited about this,” Bibeau said. “Delivering healthcare closer to your community and your needs.”

 

 

 

In other matters

  • A public hearing was held on petition #ZC12-8, for a text amendment to Downtown Overlay Code authorizing administrative variation of sidewalk width.
  • Theresa Deeton, president of the homeowners association of Mint Lake Village, spoke at the meeting to oppose the construction of a 7/11 and car wash adjacent to their property.
  • Russel Bagley, of Pine Lake Lane, spoke in opposition to any revision of the current noise ordinance, saying that any new restrictions would be over-burdensome to the community.
  • Troy Pollard spoke, personally thanking Beth Hamrick for her service to the Mint Hill community, and wished her success in her retirement.
  • Jerry Mullis, of the Mint Hill Volunteer Fire Department, spoke to report that MHVFD purchased property in order to build a station in the Cabarrus Road area.
  • Connie Green Johnson, candidate for county commissioner in district six, spoke to introduce herself to the community and present her platform as a conservative democrat.
  • Steven Smith, president of Mint Hill Lions Club, spoke about the progress of the Lions Club’s 5k, that has grown from 35 runners in 2008 to more than 300 runners in 2012, and presented the commissioners with T-shirts, thanking them for their support.
  • The commissioners voted to approve a contract with the Idlewild Fire Department, which deals with service district tax proceeds for non-incorporated areas. The contract distributes $180,000 to Mint Hill Volunteer Fire Department, $130,000 to Idlewild Fire Department, and $5,000 to Midland.
  • The commissioners revised their meeting schedule, because of the holiday season, to meet on November 15 and December 13.
  • Chief of Police Tim Ledford spoke about the Police Department’s annual golf tournament October 6 at Lark Haven Golf Course, to support new programs and volunteer police service, with registration online at minthill.com.
  • The commissioners also discussed the change of voting precinct 219, which will go to the new town hall, and residents of the precinct should be receiving letters detailing the change within the next couple of weeks.
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