Butler High senior stays connected to heritage

By Leah Schmalz

Conor Quinlivan, left, hugs his mother at the Trish Quinlivan at the World Irish Dance Championship qualifying event.

Conor Quinlivan, left, hugs his mother at the Trish Quinlivan at the World Irish Dance Championship qualifying event.

Conor Quinlivan, a senior at Butler High School, is a successful Irish dancer and novice hockey player. While the two activities may seem quite different, they’re both reflections of his family and heritage.

Quinlivan began learning Irish dance at the age of four. His mother, who was born in Ireland, got him involved. Throughout his 13 years of dancing, Quinlivan has taken part in state and international competitions. While he was overseas to compete in the World Irish Dance Championships, he was able to stay with aunt and explore Ireland, including the town where his mother was born. “I got to see all of my family,” he said. “We went to different towns and ventured all around.”

December was a busy month for Quinlivan. In addition to placing eighth in the qualifying event for the World Irish Dance Championship, he also started playing ice hockey. While Quinlivan’s father is also Irish, he was born in New York. As a result, both of them are fans of the New York Rangers NHL team. Quinlivan’s love for hockey prompted him to learn the sport, and he enjoys playing.

In the fall, Quinlivan plans to attend Central Piedmont Community College. While he will continue dancing and playing hockey, he wants to major in special education. He’s worked at Camp SOAR at the Levine Jewish Community Center and enjoys it. “My sister has been involved with special needs. She brought me to one of the special needs camps and I was hooked,” he said.

Quinlivan had the chance to attend a different high school, but looking back he wouldn’t change a thing. “I’m glad I ended up staying at Butler because the faculty and staff were amazing to me,” he said. “I had a great time.”

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IHS valedictorian recognizes responsibility of adulthood

By Leah Schmalz

Even though Hannah Williams is 17, she demonstrates a maturity and understanding many would consider ahead of her years. As valedictorian of Independence High School, her speech at last Saturday’s graduation ceremony focused on the balance of freedom and responsibility that comes with leaving high school.

“Our graduation is marking…entering a more adult side of the world,” she said. “It’s the beginning of our freedom as people and the beginning of our responsibility as human beings to do something with our lives.”  Continue reading

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BOB award winner to teach at Mint Hill Arts summer camp

By Leah Schmalz

When owners of Blue Moon Puppets Pamela Shook and Stephen Clifford received a call from Charlotte Magazine a few months ago, they had no idea it would lead to a Best of the Best (BOB) award. “The photographer came out and took some photos,” said Shook. “When I asked him…he said it was just for an article about family entertainers.”

Not long after, Shook and Clifford received an email saying they had won an editor’s choice BOB for birthday entertainment. All BOB awards were announced in the May issue of Charlotte Magazine.  Continue reading

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Novant meets with Mint Hill residents about planned hospital at I-485 and Albemarle Road

By Leah Schmalz

Novant say it is still on track to open a hospital at the intersection of I-485 and Albemarle Road, but the plans have been downsized. Novant submitted plans in 2008 for a hospital with 100 beds and 140,000 square feet of medical office space. Now the healthcare organization has submitted a new zoning application to include 50 beds and 80,000 square feet for medical offices.

The hospital would still contain 16 emergency bays, as well as space for rehabilitation, maternity services, and cardiovascular services. It woulda also have a laboratory and pharmacy. The zoning request includes 25,000 square feet for retail and restaurant space.  Continue reading

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Dr. Steve Bain connects with lineage during Mint Hill visit

By Leah Schmalz

Steve Bain: Dr. Steve Bain stands next to a portrait of John Bain at Philadelphia Presbyterian Church.

Dr. Steve Bain stands next to a portrait of John Bain at Philadelphia Presbyterian Church.

When Dr. Steve Bain, a professor at Texas A&M, began researching his family lineage, he never imagined it would take him to Mint Hill. The link extends back to Bain’s great-great-great grandfather, who was John Bain’s uncle.

Bain received a gracious welcome last Thursday at Philadelphia Presbyterian Church, where some of his ancestors are buried. Mayor Ted Biggers presented him with several mementos from the town, including several pins and an ornament of the town hall. “We were quite excited when we heard we had a namesake from the Bain family coming,” said Biggers. ““This is about…meeting the community and connecting so when people come here they don’t have to have the last name Bain to feel welcome.”  Continue reading

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