Bi-Lo car show raises $1,300

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The Bi-Lo car show last Saturday was a success, raising 1,300 dollars for the Lions Club.  Vendors donated prizes like grills, coolers, and a tent, which were auctioned off.  The car show was broken up into classes.  Roger Kerns came in first place in the hot rod class with a 1947 Plymouth Club Coupe; Tim Tollo came in second with a 1953 Chevrolet pick-up.  Gene Veese came in first place in the classic class with a 1957 Chevrolet Nomad; Paul Cochrane came in second with a 1968 Chevrolet pick-up.  Ron Stokes won first place in the antique class with a 1936 Buick Special Coupe; Mike Cescon won second with a 1935 Ford Deluxe Tudor Sedan.  Richard Garland won first place in the muscle class with a 1967 Dodge R/T Convertible; Phillip Winston won second with a 1970 Chevrolet Corvette.  C.W. Adcock won first place in the motorcycle class with a 2003 Suzuki motorcycle.  Roger Kerns also won Best of Show.  Mayor Ted Biggers, Chief of Police Tim Ledford, and Action Auto’s Ken Kuehl were the show’s judges.

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Park and Recreation Committee met

The Park and Recreation Committee met at the Town Hall June 12 to discuss and approve the police department’s National Night Out event to be held at Fairview Park August 7.  This event is held across the country and allows police departments to provide safety tips to the community.

The committee also discussed the Pine Lake Country Club Junior Open to be held September 7-9.  The event, sponsored by orthodontist Dr. Wesley Robinson, may be large enough to require extra tennis courts.  Free clinics the weekend before or after the event have been offered in exchange for use of the public courts.

The town attorney is looking into new contracts regarding the radio tower in Fairview Park.  Committee members brought up concerns for what the tower will mean for a future dog park.  Town Manger Brian Welch explained the town had access to the area under the tower, excluding the fenced-in area.

“We had to work out the issue of whether or not we could be under the tower, per se; now that we know we can it’s just a matter of waiting to see is there going to be a tower to be under,” said Welch.

The budget does not have funds specified for a dog park, though there may be extra money available depending on the cost of construction and what other needs come up in the town.

Welch also announced that Dwayne Dorton, Director of Public Works, will be retiring this year.  His last day will be August 31.

“Dwayne was good for this town, not just for just keeping the park squared away, but obviously we have the best streets in Mecklenburg County,” said Welch.

The committee will not meet in July.

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Adoption in the Carolinas

Adoption in the Carolinas is being made easier with the help of Gift of Adoption, a national non-profit organization headquartered in Chicago and dedicated to providing financial assistance for domestic and international adoptions.

Charlotte is the new headquarters for Gift of Adoption’s seventh regional chapter.  The new chapter will serve North and South Carolina.  Its opening celebration was May 10 at the Myers Park Country Club.  Charlotte residents and Carolinas chapter board members Jason Cipriani, Muhsin Muhammad II, and Eric Welch joined board president Greg Ewald at the celebration.  The group shared its mission statement and the expected impact it will have on the Carolinas.

The event was also a fundraiser, generating nearly 40,000 dollars for adoption grants.  This single fundraising event can assist up to 10 children.

Over the past ten years, Gift of Adoption has awarded over 150,000 dollars in grants to families adopting nearly 50 children in the Carolinas, and over 2.8 million dollars in grants to connect more than 950 children with new families.

Gift of Adoption was founded in 1996 and has chapters in Florida, Illinois Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon, and Wisconsin.  It awards grants of up to 7,500 dollars to provide families with financial support, regardless of race, religion, age, or marital status.

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Police looking for suspects in armed robbery

Mint Hill Police responded to an armed robbery call at Mr. Professional Jewelers at 4709 Margaret Wallace Road June 6 at 8:30 pm. The victim stated that two men entered the store wearing masks. The armed suspect held the victim at gunpoint while the other removed money from the register.

The suspects are described as black males, one wearing a white t-shirt and shorts, and the other wearing a black shirt and dark shorts with a Yankees ball cap. Officers searched the area but were unable to find the suspects.

Contact Mint Hill Police at 704-545-1085 or Police Dispatch at 704-847-5555 with any information on this incident.

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Lions Club holds annual yard sale at Bi-Lo

All proceeds from Saturday's yard sale at Bi-Li go to the Lions Club to support their various causes in the Mint Hill community.

(Club will hold a car show Saturday)

Bi-Lo co-manager Tonya Ivey said the yard sale they sponsored in collaboration with the Lions Club last Saturday was successful enough to consider making it a monthly event.  She said the turn out was good, everyone made some money, and when it was over Good Will brought a truck to take donations if people didn’t want to pack up and keep their things.
Yard sale proceeds go to the Lions Club, an organization whose efforts Ivey and others at Bi-Lo respect and appreciate.
“They do a lot of good work in the community,” said Ivey.
This Saturday Bi-Lo and the Lions Club will hold their forth-annual car show in the Bi-Lo parking lot from 2 -5 pm.  The show grows with each year, and 30 to 40 cars are expected to participate.  The Corvette Car Club, Carolina Cruisers, Mint Hill Police, and Mint Hill Fire Department will be present.
Snow cones, pop corn, and lunch plates of chicken breast, baked beans, cole slaw and a roll – only five dollars a plate – will be for sale to help raise money.  Bi-Lo will also provide music. Continue reading

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Former Mint Hill Volunteer Fire Dept. Chief under investigation

By Amanda Waters
amandawaters@minthilltimes.com

The Town of Mint Hill received a federal subpoena May 24 and is cooperating with federal agencies in an investigation of recently resigned Fire Operations Director, Jeremy Russell.  “We are absolutely not under investigation as a town,” said Town Manager Brian Welch.  “The town is actively cooperating with them in their review.”
The Board of Commissioners passed a resolution May 24 authorizing the town staff, town attorney and members of the board “to meet with investigating agents and attorneys for the Federal Bureau of Investigations and the United States Attorneys Office.” According to the resolution they could inform investigating agents and attorneys of  “(1) the suspension, disciplinary action and later resignation of Mint Hill Fire Operations Director Jeremy Russell, (2) the reasons for and circumstances surrounding such personnel action and events, (3) the Town’s findings regarding Mr. Russell’s activities engaged in during his prior employment with the Town and as a volunteer with the Mint Hill Volunteer Fire Department, and (4) any additional information requested by the Federal Bureau of Investigations and/or the United States Attorneys Office in connection with their investigation of Mr. Russell and/or any related individuals and entities.”
Russell was hired as a paramedic June 13, 1994.  The town promoted him to Fire/EMS Operations Director April 1998.  He received a disciplinary suspension April 13, 2012, and resigned the same day. The Board of Commissioners held several closed sessions last month regarding an unspecified personnel matter.
The board passed a resolution April 12 “to inform the Mint Hill Volunteer Fire Department Board Chair and other members of the Board of Directors of the suspension and other disciplinary action involving Mint Hill Fire Chief Jeremy Russell and the reasons for such personnel action.”
The board also passed a resolution May 2 to make the MHVFD Board of Directors and counsel for the MHVFD aware of “the Town’s findings regarding Mr. Russell’s activities engaged in during his prior employment with the Town and as a volunteer with the Mint Hill Volunteer Fire Department.”
The FBI declined comment on its involvement with the investigation of Russell.
When asked what Russell is being investigated for, Welch said he was unable to comment and directed questions to the U.S. Attorneys Office, which also declined to comment.
Chairman of the MHVFD Board of Directors, Jerry Mullis, said “Our mission here at the Mint Hill Volunteer Fire Department is to be responsive to the investigation, assist in any way we can, and go on in our mission of providing fire protection and emergency medical and transport to the people in our fire district.”
The fire department held a board meeting June 4, ending with a two-hour closed session where they discussed personnel and insurance matters and the investigation.
The fire department has experienced several personnel changes since Russell resigned.  John Phillips is the new fire chief, Tommy Moore is the assistant chief in charge of fire operations, David Leath is the assistant chief in charge of EMS operations, and the chief introduced three newly-hired firemen at last night’s meeting.  There were changes in the board, too, as Henry Allison stepped down as the vice chair and member of the board.

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