Independence Girls fall to W. Charlotte 62-51

The Independence Lady Patriots basketball team lost in a back-and-forth match against the West Charlotte Lions last Tuesday, December 11.

The high scorer for Independence was Laquisha Taylor, with 21 points. Turnovers were again the Achille’s heel, as Independence started off strong, reaching a 15-6 by the end of the first quarter, and were only down by one, 29-30, at halftime. Going into the final quarter, Indy had the lead 47-44, but were outscored in the fourth by West Charlotte, 14-8, ending the game with West ahead 52-61.


Community Candlelight Memorial Service

A community-wide prayer service honoring Kayla Campbell and the recent lives lost in Newtown, Connecticut wil be held Thursday, December 20, at 7 pm at the Blair Road United Methodist Church Sanctuary. All are invited and encouraged to attend the service.

A love offering will be collected and sent directly to the Sandy Hook School Support Fund.


Henderson Grove Presbyterian Women’s Ministry collecting coats for Steve’s Coats for Kids

The Women’s Ministry at Henderson Grove Presbyterian Church are asking local churches and the community to help them in their effort to bring winter coats to needy children. The women’s ministry is teaming up with WSOC chief meteorologist Steve Udelson in his campaign, “Steve’s Coats for Kids.” The campaign collects as many new or lightly used coats as possible, and the Women’s Ministry started collecting coats December 16. They will accept donations through Sunday, January 13, 2013.

To donate: bring coats to Henderson Grove Presbyterian Church, 8724 Blair Road in Mint Hill, or, if you need the coats picked up, call Vicki Stafford at 704-563-9009 or email her at


2012 Shriner Bowl stars local players

The 2012 Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas was played last Saturday, December 15, and featured some local football players on the North Carolina team.

This year’s game was the 76th anniversary, and after each player touched “The Rock” of the Shrine Bowl as they took the field, South Carolina came out on top, with a score of 23-19.

Local Mint Hill players at the game were Matthew Wogan, a kicker from Porter Ridge, Jack Tocho, a defensive back from Independence, and Sean Wiggins, a linebacker from Butler.


Christmas cheer for all to hear

For the fourth year in a row, one neighborhood in Mint Hill is again bringing Christmas cheer to its residents in a free event called Neighborhood Noel.
JAMin. (Jeff Andler Ministries) Christmas Singers, a group of 10 voices, will  present a wide variety of secular and sacred music to the Apple Creek Farmwood neighborhood December 22. The singers will perform a tune from Home Alone 2, The Charlie Brown Christmas Special, a salsa setting of the carol, Pat-a-Pan, and the hallelujah chorus from Handel’s Messiah. Hot chocolate will be free for all who attend and candy will be given to children. Last year, the group gave away more than 500 cups of hot chocolate to attendees, and they hope to have more this year.
Attendees can also help those in need while watching the performance. The group will be collecting new small toys and canned goods to be distributed to the needy.
“It is a great atmosphere of Christmas cheer for family and community,” said Jeff Andler, leader and coordinator of JAMin. singers and the neighborhood event.
Andler and his neighbor, Whitley Stevens decorate their homes extensively every year for the Christmas season and decided in 2009 to add a musical aspect to their light displays. JAMin. singers are already well prepared each year for musical performances, and the musical Neighborhood Noel was a welcome addition to the schedule.
“It has become our favorite and probably most popular Christmas event,” said Andler.
The event is December 22 from 6-9 pm at 10204 Old Roam Court in the Apple Creek Farmwood Subdivision. Parking for the event is street side and JAMin. asks all attendees to not block the flow of traffic.


Independence Students land summer internships

This year, 26 Independence High School students will get a head start in the working world. 
They have been chosen to participate in the Mayor’s Youth Employment Program, an initiative by the Charlotte mayor’s office to provide local high school students with job training and  a paid summer internship at a local business. The program involves more than 60 area businesses, including the Office of the Governor, Microsoft, Duke Energy, and Bank of America, and will also count toward class credit for Independence students.
Originally, about 60 students recieved the initial recommendation for the program, and about 50 were interested and able to participate, 30 turned in applications, and of those came the 26 that were accepted into the program.
To be selected for the program, students first had to be recommended by a member of the faculty and fill out an application form. After an initial interview, the students participated in a two-day training in employability skills, including how to be successful at a job and job searching skills.
From January to May, before starting the internship, students will schedule times to visit local businesses to see how area companies operate. Over the summer, interns will work approximately 20 hours per week over an eight week period.