Town clerk Beth Hamrick retiring after 32 years

Beth Hamrick readies her office for her retirement, organizing information for Michelle Farrar to take over her position as Mint Hill’s town clerk. PHOTO BY AMANDA WATERS

November 30 will mark the end of Beth Hamrick’s 32-year career with the Town of Mint Hill. Hired in 1980 as a receptionist, Hamrick’s role has changed over the years. She has served as the secretary to the town administrator, the Planning Board coordinator, secretary to the Board of Adjustment, and the deputy clerk. In 1985 she became the town clerk, the position from which she is retiring.

Throughout the years, Hamrick has seen Mint Hill grow, tripling in population. She has served with numerous commissioners and four mayors. She has served in the town’s last three town hall locations: the McEwen Shopping Center, the building on Matthews-Mint Hill Road, and the newest building on Mint Hill Village Lane. Hamrick took classes for various certifications, including the certificate of municipal clerk and master municipal clerk.

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Independence’s cannon a forceful tradition

The cannon looks on as the Independence Patriots run onto the field for their November 2 playoff win vs. NW Guilford.
PHOTO BY DEREK LACEY

For nearly 50 years, the Independence Patriots football team has been celebrating every touchdown and field goal with the blast of a cannon, tallying their score on the eardrums of the entire town.

The tradition started in 1966, when Independence High School first opened, and principal Sam Haywood enrolled the school in a contest, one where the prize was a new mascot.

“This was going to be forever, he wanted us to have the opportunity to be part of something great,” said Doug Pressley, former Independence teacher who now manages operations of the cannon.

The contest was held by Lay’s Meats and radio station 61 AM Big Waves Radio, to see which school could collect the most Lay’s Meat labels.

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Mint Hill considers regional consortium

“CONNECT Our Future: Vibrant Communities—Robust Region” is a process that seeks to create a regional growth framework for development among communities across a 14-county wide area in North and South Carolina.

The three-year process utilizes input from counties, communities, non-profit organizations, businesses, educators, and other organizations to form the plan and is funded by a $4.9 million federal grant and $3 million in local matching funds.

Jim Prosser, executive director at Centralina Council of Governments, gave a presentation of the program at the October 25 meeting of the Mint Hill town commission.

“The basic purpose of this effort is to establish a regional framework for how all the cities and the counties are going to grow for the next 30 to 50 years,” Prosser said.

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New Clear Creek principal named

The Charlotte-Meck- lenburg Board of Education appointed Deborah McSwain Heath principal at Clear Creek Elementary. Heath is currently an assistant principal of instruction at Independence High School.

Deborah McSwain Heath

She began her career with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools as a language arts teacher at Carmel Middle School in 1987. She has also taught language arts and social studies at Druid Hills Elementary, Albemarle Road Elementary, Northeast Middle, and Mint Hill Middle schools. Heath became a principal intern at Independence in 2006 and an assistant principal in 2007.

Heath has a master’s in school administration from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where she also earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary and middle grades education.

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Indy wins close first round game, gets rematch with Butler

Friday, November 2, the Independence football team got their wish by narrowly beating NW Guilford in an offensive shootout at home. The win helped set up a rematch of the last regular season game, Butler vs Independence.

NW came in with a loaded running game. The Vikings of NW won the toss but deferred the kick to Indy. On their first posses- sion, Indy could not score after gaining a first down on a 12-yard reception from Kelvin Hopkins to Workpeh Kofa, and Jason Connella punted the ball away. It took NWG only eight plays to score when QB Andrew Ritz ran it on the keeper play to put the Vikings up 7-0 at the seven minutes and 43 second mark in the first quarter.

Workpeh Kofa would bring the ball out to the Indy 27 yard line on the kick return. It took Indy five minutes and 15 seconds to cap off an 11-play drive when RB Isiah Robinson would run two yards for the patriot score, 7 to 7.

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Rocky River ends season with playoff loss

The Rocky Ravens lost 40-14 to the Greensboro Page Pirates last Friday night in the first round of the North Carolina State 4AA football playoffs.

“I’m so proud of this team and especially the seniors,” Head Coach Jason Fowler said. “These seniors all came from other schools, not by their choice, and helped start this team and this program. They’ve been through a lot, andlesserkids would’ve quit, but they stuck it out, and I’m proud of them.”

Rocky River came into the game as the twelfth seed in the 16-team playoff format, while Page was the fifth seed.

As the lower seed, Page was the host team. The winner of this game would go on to play the winner of the E. Forsythe/Providence game in the second round.

The game was played on even terms early on. The teams traded punts in the first quarter. Rocky River attempted some long passes, but they were unsuccessful. The teams were able to move the ball between the 30 yard lines, but the defenses would stiffen and force the punt teams onto the field. Page forced the first turnover of the game just before the end of the first quarter.

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