2012: The Year in Review

JANUARY

 

Stinson-Wesley takes District 6 school board seat

 

At the beginning of 2012, Rev. Amelia Stinson-Wesley filled the District 6 seat left open by Tim Morgan. Stinson-Wesley was one of 12 candidates vying for the position, and was sworn in on January 10. She serves as director of World Connections for Women, a foundation she established in 1998.

 

New year, new laws

 

The beginning of 2012 saw changes to laws concerning everything from healthcare systems to gun laws. New laws provide incentives for physicians to organize Accountable Care organizations, North Carolina adopted standard deductions and personal exemptions, new energy conservation codes, new gun laws, and laws requiring employers to report new hires.

 

Independence senior wins writing prize

 

Erin Mullins, then a senior at Independence, won first prize in the eighteenth Martin Luther King Jr. Writing and Art Awards, part of a number of awards presented by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and the MLK Jr. Citywide Committee. The theme was “Defending the Dream,” and students competed first at the school level, then district level.

 

New CMS starting times

 

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools estimated that they will save more than $600,000 for the 2012-2013 school year by changing their bell schedule, at 10 schools. The effort was to use a tiered method of scheduling, in order to offer the same transportation services, but with 15 fewer buses.

 

Mint Hill resident named recruiter of the year

 

Aviation Structural Mechanic First Class Robert Orzescu, who lives in Mint Hill, was named the Raleigh Navy ROTC Enlisted Recruiter of the Year. Orzescu became a recruiter in 2009, and since has won the NRD Raleigh NROTC Enlisted Recruiter of the Year two years in a row, and also claimed the 2011 Warrior Challenge Recruiter of the Year.

 

Judges rule on redistricting

 

A three-judge panel decided that the May 8, 2012 primary votes stood as scheduled, despite a lawsuit challenging new legislative and congressional voting districts. Challengers were hoping that primaries be moved to July 9, in order to further discuss the new districts, which support Republicans. The districts were upheld, and served through primaries and the general election.

 

FEBRUARY

 

Local author signs books

 

Mint Hill author Ed Galloway, writer of Incident in Mint Hill, sold and signed the book at The Hill Restaurant in Mint Hill, February 8. The audiobook, which Galloway produced himself, is a story about “a strange object that falls from the sky and causes an entire golfing community to go into a 24-hour blackout. No cable TV. No phone coverage. And all while being surrounded by military and government personnel,” said Galloway.

Private Family Care comes to Mint Hill

 

The Village at Mint Hill, which was hailed as a revolutionary family care community dedicated to dementia care, opened in Mint Hill, by Unlimited Possibilities Family Care Homes. Located at 14009 Thompson Road, the community hosts a doctor affiliated with the Charlotte Medical Clinic, therapeutic activities, and each home is 6,000 square feet, with four private rooms.

 

New School Board member wows crowd

 

In an “education conversation” hosted by Matthews mayor Jim Taylor and Mint Hill mayor Ted Biggers, newly appointed school board member for district 6, Amelia Stinson-Wesley wowed the crowd of more than 50 people that showed up to hear her discuss school board happenings, and the beginning of the search for a new superintendent.

 

Four students from Independence sign scholarships

 

On national signing day, February 1, four Independence students signed letters of intent to attend colleges on athletic scholarships. The students are Morgan Brigman, who will attend Winthrop University on a soccer scholarship, Jessica Dellinger, who will attend Coker College on a soccer scholarship, Austin Duke, who will play football at the University of North Carolina, and Drew Morgan, who will attend Catawba University on a football scholarship.

 

**Febraury 16**

 

Rocking through the day

 

The fourth annual Rock-a-thon, an event to raise money for the Levine Senior Center and its programs, was held February 18 at the center. There were crafts, virtual bowling, food, and music. This is one of the center’s primary events, where people bake and make and donate crafts, all to support the center.

 

The Broadway Experience

 

Independence senior Casandra Harrell, a drama student, was selected to partcipate in “The Broadway Experience,” a scholarship provided by the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center, to provide a trip to New York City to see a Broadway show. Students are selected by teachers and must write an essay and participate in an interview.

 

MARCH

 

**March 8**

 

Rocky River raises money for Africare

 

Rocky River students raised nearly $1,500 for an organization called Africare, which helps to provide clean drinking water for communities living in poverty in Africa. “Every penny counts” was the motto, and the students raised the money in a unique way, counting money raised toward the homecoming king contest instead of individual votes.

 

Blessed Assurance hods Alzheimer’s Seminar

 

The annual Alzheimer’s Seminar was hosted by the founder of the Alzheimer’s Memory Center for Cognitive and Behavioral Neurology, Dr. Rezi Bolouri. He provided guidance and answered questions to a standing room only crowd of caregivers who were being challenged to take care of a loved one with Dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

 

Chili cook-off

 

Mint Hill held its sixth annual chili cook-off March 20 to support the Art and Science Council’s Annual Fund Drive. Twelve entries were submitted to the contest, by local eateries including Jimmy’s, Palmetto Grill, Penny’s Place, The Hill Bar and Grill, Hawthorne’s, Abbey Rose, and Showmar’s.

 

Independence students design clothing line

 

Independence students Brian Acker, Broderick Cuthbertson, and Kavon Shuler began their clothing line after Acker won a T-shirt design contest at Independence, then decided that he had a knack for designing clothes, and started the line, Ignorant Black Kidz, also known as IBK Nation. The clothing line donated money to Stop KONY 2012 and started an IBK day at Independence.

 

Mint Hill hosts “A Day in the Park”

 

Storms almost stopped the 2012 Day in the Park on March 24, held at the Park on Fairview, but the sun came out and attendees enjoyed activities including free yoga lessons by Tone Your Temple. The event was an effort to gain interest and feedback on Mint Hill residents’ opinions on parks in the town.

 

Matthews funds heritage museum

 

The Matthews Town Board approved funds to go toward a town museum to be housed in the historic Massey-Clark House, circa 1880. The museum is to be operated by the Matthews Historical Foundation, comprised of volunteers, and which has worked to preserve the history of Matthews for more than 25 years. The board approved a one-time expenditure of $212,000, and two more expenditures, for $12,000 and $13,000, all for the museum.

 

APRIL

 

Historic documents find home at Post 433

 

Marking the American Legion’s 93rd birthday, the Midland Post 433 received a donation by Stanfield resident and Army veteran Bill Derugen, who bought a box of old correspondence, newspaper clippings and other memorabilia at a flea market and later discovered that it all pertained to a native son of Cabarrus County, Joseph G. Black, Jr. after whom Post 433 is named. Derugen and his son built a shadow box and donated it to the post.

 

Presbyterian hospital raises money for juvenile diabetes

 

Presbyterian Hospital Matthews held its first “Cruisin’ for a Cure” car show and fundraiser on April 1. The event supported research for juvenile diabetes and provided a fun afternoon for car enthusiasts. There were 12 entries, and the hospital was able to raise $800 for the research.

 

Mint Hill Arts settles into new space

 

Mint Hill Arts moved into its new gallery in the Mint Hill Plaza on Lawyer’s Road in January, after four years at its previous location. The space was being renovated in April, and includes three suites, and classrooms and galleries. Renovations include painting walls and installing plumbing for washing brushes.

 

Pillars erected at Korean War memorial

 

Pillars etched with the names of missing-in-action soldiers were installed at the Korean War Veterans Memorial on April 4 and 5. the pillars feature the names of 789 North Carolinian soldiers that were reported as missing in action during the three years of the war.

 

Local church gives away gas

 

New Beginnings Community Church gave away gas for 334 cars on Good Friday 2012. Cars were lined up on Idlewild Road and Margaret Wallace Road for $15 in free gas, provided by the church. In all, the church spent $5,160 in gas, and gave away free water and popcorn. Church members Garland Perry and Minister Paulus ford pumped the gas.

 

New York Port Authority flag in Mint Hill

 

The Charlotte Fire Department’s baseball team played the New York Port Authority at Rocky River High School. The NYPA team brought an American flag that flew over the World Trade centers before 9/11. The Mint Hill Volunteer Fire Department donated their truck to fly the flag during the game.

 

Butler marching band performs at Disney

 

During Spring Break, 40 members of the Butler High School Marching Band performed in Orlando, Fla., at the Epcot Theme Park under the direction of Joshua Stevenson. The performance was a part of the Disney Performing Arts Onstage program, and gave the band a chance to perform in front of an international audience. The band was also named grand champion at the Hickory Ridge Festival of bands in October 2011.

 

Discover Mint Hill showcases town

 

Mint Hill residents were treated to a history of their town on April 21, at the Mint Hill Historical Society. Hour-long double decker bus tours, face painting, gold panning, boiled peanuts, and canned preserves were all featured at the event, and visitors participated in a civil service treasure hunt and listened to a performance by the band Doc’s Front Porch. The event was described by Sue McDonald, of the Historical Society, said the event was a “huge success.”

 

Local best-selling author visits Mint Hill Library

 

Carrie Ryan, a New York Times best-selling author, spoke to a group of young readers at the Mint Hill Library on April 24. She presented a writer’s workshop, but also presented the bigger message: set goals and follow your dreams. Ryan grew up in Greenville, S.C. and her best-selling book is The Forest of Hands and Teeth, which came from an internet-based writing challenge, National Novel Writing Month.

 

Students make a difference in Uganda

 

After Northeast Middle School teacher Keith Marowitz showed the Kony 2012 video to his seventh grade social studies students, they reacted with strong passion, enthusiasm and activism. The students stayed after school on April 20 to participate in the Cover the Night event, and sold wristbands to raise money to donate to the Street Child Project that rehabilitates and rescues homeless Ugandan children.

 

MAY

 

Helping Hands knit for charity

 

The Mint Hill-based group Helping Hands, is a group of knitters, that makes hats for premature babies and the homeless. For the past decade, the group has met to make these items for the needy, and the group knitted 162 hats for premature babies in local hospitals. The group also donates to Citizen Sam, an organization that sends stockings to soldiers overseas for Christmas.

 

Chamber unveils Jack Bryan Memorial

 

The Mint Hill Chamber of Commerce unveiled a memorial bench in honor of Jack Bryan at the Korean War Veterans Memorial Thursday May 3. Bryan was a retired Marine, and he and wife Janey moved to Mint Hill in 1979. Bryan was involved with the Lions Club, was a member of the planning board, and led the creation of the Mint Hill Chamber of Commerce, of which he served as president for many years, and where he expanded the festivities of Mint Hill Madness.

 

The 2011 Mint Hill Highland Games

 

The Mint Hill Scottish Society hosted the 2011 Mint Hill Highland Games at the Park on Fairview Saturday, May 5. Patrons competed in Scottish athletics, like throwing heavy weights and bands like Maidens IV played Scottish music. The MacKenzie Clan was presented with the Best Clan Tent Award

 

Fire Chief Resigns

 

Mint Hill Volunteer Fire Department Chief Jeremy Russel, who has since agreed to plead guilty to embezzlement, resigned his position as Fire and Emergency Medical Services in April, and resigned as fire chief at the Mint Hill town commission meeting on Thursday, May 10. MHVFD chairman Jerry Mullis asked the town to release the emails of the former chief. He spoke to concerns that the emails could contain issues which may require the organization to act, and also said that Russell resigned so as to not bring the fire department into the same issues he was having with the town.

 

Student wins Broad Prize

 

Independence senior Meredith Avant was among 28 seniors throughout CMS that were awarded 2012 Broad Prize Scholarships. The scholarship is $20,000 from the Eli and Edyth Broad Foundation, and was awarded to the seniors via surprise announcement at a summer block party.

 

Schools awarded innovation grants

 

Both Mint Hill Middle and Bain Elementary were awarded Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Innovation for Transformation grants, which provides iPads for 21st century classroom instruction. The music department at Mint Hill Middle, and kindergarten classes at Bain were the recipients.

 

Relay for Life

 

The Matthews-Mint Hill American Cancer Society held the 2011 Relay for Life at The Park on Fairview May 18-19. Teams raised money and set up boths, sold treats, and gave out literature. Throughout the event, one member from each team was required to be on the track, to represent the sleeplessness of cancer and the fight against it.

 

Bain honors local veterans

 

Bain Elementary School students sang “You are our Heroes” and gave out American flags to local veterans at their annual patriotic performance May 25. The Junior ROTC color guard raised the flag while second graders sang the national anthem.

 

JUNE

 

Fire Chief Under Investigation

 

The Town of Mint Hill received a subpoena from federal agents on May 24, about the actions of former Mint Hill Volunteer Fire Department Chief Jeremy Russell, pertaining an investigation into his handling of public funds. The town commission passed a resolution allowing town staff to fully cooperate with federal authorities in the investigation.

 

Annual Lions Club yard sale

 

The Lions Club, in conjunction with Bi-Lo, held their annual yard sale June 2, at Bi-Lo in Mint Hill. The turnout was good, and at the end, Goodwill came and collected the items that weren’t bought. The proceeds from the yard sale went to the Lions Club, to fund various causes in the Mint Hill community.

 

Car show raises $1,300

 

A car Show, held Saturday June 9, at Bi-Lo, raised $1,300 for the Mint Hill Lions Club. Vendors donatd grills, coolers, and a tent, which were auctioned off, and Roger Kerns came in first place in the hot rod category at the show, with his 1947 Plymouth Club Coupe. Mayor Ted Biggers, Police Chief Tim Ledford, and Action Auto’s Ken Keuhl were the judges.

 

Charlotte Flute Choir performs

 

At the June Tunes series at the Town Hall, the Charlotte Flute Choir performed on June 16. Eleven members of the band were present, and the perfect weather provided an optimal environment for the performance by the choir, which has been performing all-flute pieces since 1964.

 

Angry Aqua customers join forces

 

Mint Hill residents, living in Ashe Plantation after working with the town of Mint Hill and the North Carolina Department of Transportation to repair the roads in their community, worked improve the quality of their water service, provided by Aqua North Carolina. The Ashe Plantation Homeowner’s Association worked with nonprofit organizations and local politicians to see what could be done about the issue.

 

Local volunteer pulls woman from crashed helicopter

 

Independence High School student and local Mint Hill volunteer firefighter, Camden Johnson was fishing off the coast of Oak Island, N.C., when he witnessed a helicopter crash in the ocean near him. He and his two friends tied their boat to the helicopter, and after the pilot surfaced to say that the passenger was unable to undo her seatbelt, Johnson dove in and pulled the woman to safety.

 

JULY

 

Women receive free mammograms

 

Presbyterian Healthcare’s mobil mammography unit came to local branches of American Community Bank to provide free breast cancer screenings to age-eligible women. Fourteen women received screenings, four of them for the first time.

 

Town Hall Construction nears completion

 

As of July 12, the new town hall was nearly finished, with only minor work to be completed before the project was finished. The building was only awaiting carpet, stucco, and sidewalk work. The two-story building, expected to last 50-100 years, hosts offices for town staff, assembly room, and is built with a classic, colonial look.

 

Mint Hill Fire Department proposes new station

 

In a standing room only John C. McEwen assembly room at the Town of Mint Hill’s commission meeting on July 12, Mint Hill residents had a lot to say about the Fire Departments proposal of a new station in Mint Hill. Fire Chief John Phillips presented the plan for the station, to be built at the corner of Cabarrus and Arlington Church Roads.

 

Democracy in action: neighborhood aqua meeting

Aqua North Carolina customers, angered by the poor service and high prices they pay to the company, met with local politicians, and NC senate representative from district 41, Jeff Tarte presented his expertise in dealing with problems that Cornelius is having with Aqua N.C. Residents of Mint Hill, Charlotte, Union County, and Huntersville were present.

 

Kilahpalooza supports young victim

 

Three-year-old Kilah Davenport, a victim of abuse from her stepfather, was honored and greeted by friends and family when she came home from the Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte Thursday, July 19. Mint Hill residents began organizing Kilahpooza, an event to help support the Davenport family, at Forty Rod, on August 12.

 

American Legion holds baseball banquet

 

The junior and senior Mint Hill American Legion baseball teams met at the VFW post 4059 on Bain School Road for their end-of-the-year banquet. Of the 18 players from the senior team, 10 went on to play baseball in college, and Steve Baucom, athletic director spoke to the players about the military, and the support they give to the baseball teams and the country.

 

AUGUST

 

Children’s Choir performs at Korean Veterans War Memorial

 

The Korean Children’s Choir performed at the Korean Veterans War Memorial Friday, July 27. The performance was part of a tour the choir was doing throughout the United States and Canada, and the performance at the memorial in Mint Hill was on the anniversary of the armistice in 1953 that ended the war.

 

CMS Superintendent holds town hall at Rocky River

 

Newly appointed Charlotte-Mecklenburg Superintendent Dr. Heath Morrison came to Mint Hill Thursday, August 2. Board members lead discussions as Morrison bounced from group to group to participate. The “community town hall meeting” was an effort to encourage members of the public to voice their opinion.

 

***August 9***

 

Common Core standards set for school year

 

For the school year that started in the fall of 2012, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools was among the many school districts in the country that adopted the Common Core standards, established by the National Governor’s Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers. The key points of the standards are English and language arts, including writing, speaking, and listening, and mathematics, technology, and media.

 

Kilahpalooza a big success

 

The fundraiser for Kilah Davenport, a young victim of abuse, was considered a big success by the organizers, after hundreds of people showed up to the event, held at Forty Rod in Mint Hill on Sunday, August 12. Community members were treated to candy and popcorn, face painting, and cotton candy, and even Danica Patrick’s race car. Ten bands played music until 10 pm, and organizers surpassed their fundraising goal.

 

New Fire Station approved

 

At the August 9 town commissioners meeting, the board approved the petition to purchase the land and build the station at the corner of Cabarrus and Arlington Church roads after a favorable recommendation from the planning and zoning board. Current plans are for a building 5-7,000 square feet, with allowances for a future 10,000 square foot expansion.

 

Local scholars explore Alaska

 

Seventeen incoming freshman at the University of North Carolina Charlotte were faced with the challenge of 23 days in the rugged wilderness of Alaska. The trip was a part of the Levine Scholars program at UNCC, which provides extraordinary graduating high school seniors with a full scholarship that includes a summer course with the National Outdoor Leadership School. The students hiked and camped in the remote Alaskan wilderness.

 

SEPTEMBER

 

Mint Hill Women’s Club hosts fashion show

 

Marking their 39th anniversary on September 10, the Mint Hill Women’s Club hosted a fashion show, presented by Chico’s at Stonecrest. The meeting was held at the old Mint Hill Town Hall. The Women’s Club donates money to a number of local organizations and charities, as well as volunteering within the community.

 

Aqua NC talks with local customers

 

Mint Hill residents, customers of Aqua NC, crowded the assembly room of the old town hall on September 7, to speak with representatives from the company. The meeting was organized by Jeff Tarte, N.C. state senate representative from district 41 and N.C. representative to the state house Bill Brawley. The conversation was mediated by Tarte, and focused on water quality.

 

Moving day

 

The Mint Hill Town Hall officially moved into the new location at 4430 Mint Hill Village Lane over the weekend of September 7-9. Movers worked to deliver all the furniture, files, and supplies to the new location, just down the street from the previous town hall. Monday, September 10 was the first fully operational day in the town hall.

 

Mint Hill supports Kilah’s Law

 

At the Mint Hill board of commissioners meeting on September 13, the board passed a resolution presented by the Justice for All Coalition, to support Kilah’s Law, a proposed law that would require tougher penalties for persons convicted of child abuse, like Kilah Davenports, a young victim of abuse from her stepfather. The resolution reads, “Let it be resolved that the Board of Commissioners of Town of Mint Hill, North Carolina, fully supports the spirit and efforts to create this law.”

 

DREAM Team pledges service, dedication

 

Ten students from Independence High School made a public pledge to abstain from drugs, alcohol, violence, bullying, and made a commitment to their community at the Mint Hill Board of Commissioners meeting Thursday, September 13. The students make up the DREAM (Daring to Role Model Excellence as Athletic Mentors) Team, taking a leadership role in their school and community.

 

Ashley Olive crowned Miss Mint Hill Madness

 

In a new schedule, the Miss Mint Hill Madness Pageant was held a week before the celebration, on September 22. The all-day event, featuring 72 participants, started with Baby Miss at 10 am, moved to Toddler Miss, and all the way up to Miss Mint Hill at 4 pm. The winners are Baby Miss Charley Stegall, Toddler Miss Aubreyana Jeter, Tiny Miss Braylin Huneycutt, Little Miss Brinkley Housand, Young Miss Shelby Stegall, Junior Miss Carson Gravely, Teen Miss Leila Malouky, and Miss Mint Hill Ashley Olive.

 

OCTOBER

 

Madness brings out crowd

 

Mint Hill Madness 2012 saw a record-breaking crowd that packed downtown Mint Hill September 28-29 for the parade concerts, food, and fun of the annual celebration. The Lions Club 5K race saw a new record of runners, and Chamber of Commerce organizers Rich Ferretti and Bob Lucas remarked on the crowd being the largest they had seen at the event, and considered it a great success.

 

Hospital Sets 2016 as date of completion

 

At the September 27 Mint Hill Board of Commission meeting, Presbyterian Hospital Matthews president Roland Bibeau gave an overview of the current plans for the new hospital to be located at I485 and Albermarle Road. Bibeau said construction crews are slated to break ground in 2014, and with roughly a two-year construction time, the hospital should be operational in 2016.

 

DREAM Team works to restore neglected trophies

 

The group of student athletes and leaders at Independence High School are working with the community to try and restore hundreds of Independence trophies that have been stored in the basement of the school, deteriorating. The trophies were moved to the basement by principal Rick Henson in 2003, for an unknown reason. Students are working to restore the trophy cases that were removed as well.

 

Clear Creek Animal Hospital holds fourth open house

 

The Clear Creek Animal Hospital in Mint Hill hosted their fourth annual open house Saturday, October 13. The event included presentations by Dog Training in Your Home and Tails of Hope Rescue, a dog costume show, adoptable pets, and representatives from Royal Canin Dog Food and C-Vets.

 

Resident works to bring paddle tennis to Mint Hill

 

Mark Guion, a resident of Mint Hill, held a demonstration of paddle tennis, a variation on its classic namesake, at the Park on Wilgrove October 14. Guion has been trying to raise interest in the sport, working with national foundations, starting a website, and working with the town to replace a basketball court at the Park on Wilgrove with paddle tennis courts.

 

Mint Hill Fire Department receives grant for cameras

 

The Mint Hill Volunteer Fire Department received grant money for two new thermal imaging cameras from insurance company Am-WINS. On Wednesday, October 17, they were presented with a check for $12,461 for the cameras, two Scott Safety Eagle Attack thermal imaging cameras, essential tools for today’s firefighters.

 

St. Luke celebrates 25th anniversary

 

Saint Luke’s Catholic Church in Mint Hill celebrated a quarter of a century with their annual fall festival the weekend of October 20-21, which corresponds with St. Luke’s feast day. The celebration included a ferris wheel, bounce house, train rides, games, live music, exotic animals, and more.

 

NOVEMBER

 

Commission holds first meeting in new town hall

 

The Mint Hill Board of Commissioners held their first meeting in the new town hall on October 26. The commission heard presentations on the Centralina Council of Government and Catawba Regional Council of Government’s “CONNECT” regional plan, as well as the Military Order of the Purple Heart’s presentation to put a memorial for purple heart recipients at the Park on Fairview.

 

Chamber of Commerce annual meeting

 

The Mint Hill Chamber of Commerce held its annual meeting at Pine Lake Country Club on October 25, where they voted on the 2013 board of directors and heard a speech by retired Air Force Colonel Quincy Collins, on his experiences at the infamous Hanoi Hilton in Vietnam, and ideas about freedom, America, and patriotism today. Former Mint Hill mayor Bob Long, Mint Hill Police Chief Tim Ledford, and mayor pro tem Lloyd Austin were in attendance.

 

Town clerk Beth Hamrick retires after 32 years

 

November 30 marked the last day of Beth Hamrick’s tenure as Mint Hill Town Clerk. Throughout her career with the town, she has served as secretary to the town administrator, as planning board coordinator, secretary to the Board of Adjustment, and deputy clerk. In 1985, she began her job as town clerk, which she held for the next 27 years.

 

New Clear Creek principal named

 

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education appointed Deborah McSwain Heath principal of Clear Creek Elementary. She formerly served as assistant principal of instruction at Independence High School. Heath has a master’s degree in school administration from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and began her career at CMS in 1987.

 

Mint Hill resident sends Christmas spirit to Jersey Shore

 

Renee Ribera, a MInt Hill resident, grew up in Fords, N.J., close to where the devastating hurricane Sandy made landfall, causing extensive damage. After seeing the devastation to places she frequented throughout her childhood, she decided to do something to help, and began gathering toys, to make sure that the children affected by the hurricane could have a happy Christmas morning.

 

Historical Society DVD lands statewide award

 

“Step Into History: The Carl J. McEwen Historic Village” is a short film produced by members of the Mint Hill Historical Society, as an introduction to their facilities and efforts. The award won a Paul Green Multimedia Award from the North Carolina Society of Historians. The video took more than a year to create, and features footage from events at the village, and an original score.

Pageant brings Thanksgiving to those in need

 

The members of the Mint Hill Madness pageant brought the spirit of Thanksgiving to members of the Mint Hill community in need. The winners of the pageant a couple months earlier, the girls gathered all the necessities of a Thanksgiving meal and donated them to community members in need, so that they too could have a full Thanksgiving dinner.

 

Residents hear more about Aqua NC

 

At a meeting in the new town hall on November 26, Mint Hill residents packed in to hear a discussion on the water service provided by Aqua NC. The meeting was hosted by Jeff Tarte, a local state senator, and Bill Brawley, a local state representative. Topics discussed were options about what the residents could do, what the legislators could do, and what the extent of the problems cause by Aqua NC.

 

DECEMBER

 

Russell agrees to guilty plea

 

Former Mint Hill Volunteer Fire Department Chief Jeremy Russell agreed to plead guilty to embezzling more than $225,000 from the Town of Mint Hill and the Fire Department, over a two-year period. The money was funneled from the town, through fake invoices, through a fake company Russell had established, called “Regional Medic and First Responder Supply Connection.” The money was used to support his gambling habit and lifestyle.

 

Local nonprofit wins van

 

Competing against thousands of other nonprofits, Blessed Assurance Adult Day Care won a brand new van from Toyota, as part of the company’s “100 Cars for Good” campaign. The van was presented at a ceremony at Scott Clark Toyota, to Nate Huggins, director of Blessed Assurance, who said the van will help the organization to provide the services that its patrons depend on.

 

First tree lighting and open house.

 

The first Christmas tree lighting at the new town hall, along with an open house ceremony that featured a full tour of the new building, a performance by a local orchestra and choir, and a visit from Santa, was held December 2. Crowds gathered to walk through the new building and gathered outside to watch the lighting of the tree and take pictures.

 

Christmas party hosts record number of seniors

 

The annual Mint Hill Chamber of Commerce Senior Christmas Party saw a record number of seniors enjoying a Christmas meal at Independence High School on December 1. Larry Sprinkle, of WCNC emceed, and local businesses donated gifts for attendees to win. The party saw more than 600 are seniors treated to a meal served by a local Boy Scout troop.

 

Christmas Cheer for all to hear

 

The fourth annual Neighborhood Noel, put on by JAMin (Jeff Andler Ministries) Christmas Singers, a group of 10 who presented a variety of Christmas carols and songs in the Apple Creek Farmwood neighborhood on December 22. Hot chocolate was free for visitors, and candy was given to children.

 

Independence students land sumer internships

 

Twenty six students from Independence High School were chosen to get a head start in the working world when they were chosen to participate in the Mayor’s Youth Employment Program, which places outstanding students in local businesses as paid interns, in order to gain work experience. Businesses include large ones like Duke Energy and Microsoft, but small, local businesses also participate in the program.

 

Mint Hill remembers Kayla Campbell

 

Early December in Mint Hill was marred by the disappearance and later death of Mint Hill teen Kayla Campbell, who was a 16-year-old Independence High School student. First reported missing December 9, her body was later found in a pond near her home. Independence students held candle-light vigils, hoisted a banner at the school in her honor, and compiled a scrapbook in her memory.

 

Commission issues demolition ordinance

 

In the last meeting of 2012, the Mint Hill Town Commission discussed the future of the Clear Creek Business Park with Aberdeen, Carolina, and Western Railroad, and issued a demolition ordinance for a dilapidated property in Mint Hill. The house, at 7200 Pine Lake Lane burned nearly three years before, and while the owner acquired a demolition permit, did not demolish the property before the permit expired. The town moved forward with the demolition process, which the board estimated should take about 30 days.

 

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