Town Hall construction nears completion

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Construction on the new Town Hall is nearing completion.  The two-story building is currently awaiting carpeting, stucco finishing, and sidewalk brickwork.  Major construction is practically finished, and the installment of smaller details is underway.

Upon entering the building through the front doors, visitors will be facing the entrance to the assembly room.  The new assembly room is larger than its present counterpart.  The Board of Commissioners’ long desk is set, made of a dark wood that matches the doors.  The ceiling stretches through the second floor, taking over the entire center of the building.  Still to come are the fabric wall coverings.

The hallways wrapping around the assembly room on both the first and second floors are open to the public.  The hallways on the back of the building are for artwork, and gallery lights have been installed.

Offices are accessed through key cards and are located off of the public areas on the left and right of the building.  To see a town staff member, visitors can go to the receptionist windows located on both floors.

Since the building was designed to last 50-100 years, some of the offices will not be immediately occupied.  A space is provided for a possible administrative assistant to the town manager, and open offices can be used as conference or training rooms.

The monumental granite stairs, the more utilitarian back stairway, or the elevator give access to the second floor.

Finishing up the outside construction involves adding stucco and laying the brick walkways in the front of the building.  The outside materials were chosen in part due to their durability and low maintenance.

Energy-saving motion sensor lights were installed in the offices.

“They were smart when they spent their money,” said Edifice project executive, Scott Fandel.  “I think they did a good job of planning for the future.”

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MHPD Police Explorer program

The Mint Hill Police Department is holding its annual fundraising golf tournament Saturday, October 6 at Larkhaven Golf Course on Camp Stewart Road in Charlotte to support its newly instated Police Explorer program.  This national program operates under the Boy Scouts of America, though it is a non-scouting group.  Mint Hill’s Police Explorers were established at the beginning of this year.

The Police Explorer program is for young people 14-20 years old who have an interest in a career in law enforcement.  Police Chief, Tim Ledford, hopes the program can give some direction to kids who need it.

Applications for the program have been provided to the high schools in the area.  Interested students should turn in the applications and an essay on why they want to be in the program to the police department, where a review board will choose the top applicants.

The cadets-in-training will find mentors in police officers.  They will attend classes for interviewing techniques, taking fingerprints at crime scenes, and how to write a report, among other skills.  Proficiency will be awarded with equipment for the duty belt.  For an example, proficiency in handcuffing skills will result in handcuffs for the belt.  Ledford believes this allows them to set goals and have a visual for success.

The program currently has 10 members, and the department wants to expand that to 20.

The golf tournament will raise money for the equipment needed to run the Police Explorers program.  Along with equipment, Ledford would like to issue utility and Class A uniforms.

“We’d like to get some support from the community to supply the equipment and supplies to make this program a solid program,” said Ledford.  He hopes the tournament will raise $5,000.  If that goal is met, the department would also like to set up a scholarship program to award to members going to college to study Criminal Justice.

“It would be a major milestone in my career to see a program where we started these kids out a young age, they’ve gone through our program, and then one of them finally gets accepted as a police officer somewhere.  I think that’d be great,” said Ledford.

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QCBB on Town Hall lawn

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The Queen City Brass Band delivered another crowd-pleasing performance this year at the Town Hall.  Numerous residents in red, white, and blue listened to Americana classics.  Jack and Dottye Brimhall (pictured) enjoyed the evening in their patriotic attire.  Photos by Amanda Waters.

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Dunwellz grand opening

Photo by Amanda Waters.

The Mint Hill Chamber of Commerce extended their welcome to Dunwellz last Thursday with a ribbon cutting for their grand opening.  Commissioners Lloyd Austin, Mickey Ellington, and Tina Ross were in attendance, along with Chamber members and Dunwellz owners, the Toler family.

“We welcome you to Mint Hill…. It’s a pleasure to have you as a part of this community,” said Austin.

“On behalf of the Chamber, also, we’d like to say thank you for being a part of the community, and you know that we’re here for you; because we’re only successful if you’re successful, so welcome to our family,” Rodney Rothoff.

Dunwellz is celebrating their grand opening by introducing their weekly specials.  Look for wing night, ladies night, cornhole tournaments, and live music throughout the week.

The restaurant has been open since June 13, and patrons have already announced, “Mint Hill needs this place.”

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Deadly crash on Bain School Road

Mint Hill Police released a statement early this morning that Wednesday at 7:53 police dispatched to a fatal single vehicle crash.  The car struck a tree in the front yard of 12601 Bain School Road.  A male was ejected from the car and was found lying on the ground.  He was pronounced dead on the scene.  Two other males were in the car.  One was transported to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte by air, and the other was transported by ground.  One of the men has life threatening injuries.  The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s Major Crash Investigation Unit is working with the Mint Hill Police Department to investigate the incident.  Police believe speed and alcohol are factors.

Update: The names of the men involved in the accident have been released.  Enrique Omar Ochoa, 23, of Mint Hill, died at the scene of the accident.  Cameron C. Thomas Wells, 18, and Brandon Scott Smith, 19, of Mint Hill, are in critical condition at CMC.  Sergeant B. A. Beck of the Mint Hill Police Department is leading the investigation, which is ongoing.

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Cool lemonade

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Pat Christian helps her grandchildren organize a lemonade stand every year around the Fourth of July.  Midday Tuesday the five children drew signs, baked cookies, and shouted “lemonade!” as cars passed.

From left to right in their lemonade stand tent, Will Taylor, Sophie Taylor, Camille Hough, Sam Taylor, and Seth Christian in their grandmother’s yard off of Blair Road.  For three hours they sold lemonade, cookies, water, and patriotic hair ties.

“This gave them a good summer project,” said Candice Hough.

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