Local youth raises funds for police K-9 Unit

Landon Weyenberg (center) poses with K-9 Officer Billy Gilman (left) dog Ivy and Officer Robbie Owens (right) with Blitz. Photo courtesy of Angela Weyenberg.

Landon Weyenberg (center) poses with K-9 Officer Billy Gilman (left) dog Ivy and Officer Robbie Owens (right) with Blitz. Photo courtesy of Angela Weyenberg.

By Charles Kelleher Harris

When most of think of those who protect and serve, we imagine them standing on two legs. But some of the greatest assets to law enforcement agencies around the world work on four legs.

Recently the Mint Hill Police Department acquired too such crime fighters.

Blitz and Ivy are Dutch German Shepherds trained specifically to assist police in a variety of areas.

“We use them for tracking, trailing, appre- hension and evidence searches,” said Mint Hill Police Officer Robbie Owens who along with Officer Billy Gilman manages the K-9 unit.

Since the K-9s are often placed in precarious situations, their protection is important.

To that end, a Charlotte boy decided to make things a little safer for Blitz and Ivy.

“I care for the dogs that help us in everyday situations,” said 12 year- old Landon Weyenberg, “I wanted to be sure that these dogs, were better protected, as they work to protect us.

Weyenberg decided that he would hold a fundraiser to help purchase bullet proof vests for Blitz and Ivy.

Weyenberg said that after hearing about Mint Hill PD’s recent K- 9 acquisition, he called Chief Tim Ledford and inquired about K-9 vests. Ledford explained that the purchase was costly, around $800 per vest.

With the help of his parents, Weyenberg created a fundraising site at CROWDRISE.com. Word spread quickly and in only four days $1,800 was raised.

“It was truly a testament to how giving people can really be,” said Landon’s mom

Angela, “Of course it makes me proud that my 12 year old son chose to do something of this nature, in order to help with a need for one of our local communities. But what makes it really great was that he chose something that he is passionate about…dogs!”

Landon, who attends Hickory Grove Christian School, hopes that his efforts will help inspire others to follow in his footsteps.

Meanwhile Angela said that the entire family has been motivated.

“This project has given our whole family reasons to continue this cause,” she said.

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First Art Around the Block brings art and community together

Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at 7.51.19 PM Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at 7.51.25 PM Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at 7.51.36 PMBy Charles Kelleher Harris

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When Romie Mizell and Michael Hutchinson of Mint Hill Arts Fine Art Center initially brainstormed about the first Arts around the Block event, they were unsure how the community would respond.

By Friday evening the response was clear.
“I was surprised by the involvement,” said Mizell, “Everyone has been very supportive.”

“Our goal was to bring art into the community,” said Hutchinson, “We wanted to bring merchants and artist together to encourage more support of the arts.”

Local businesses, artist and craftsmen came together to arrange the Friday evening art crawl. Mint Hill establishments such as the Fine Art Center, Picket and Plume and The Looking Glass featured hors d’oeuvers, wine and pastry along with selections of some of the area’s best painter’s, photographer’s and artisans’ portfolios.

“We want to bring some culture to the people,” said Irene Café owner Kidane Sayfou, “There are so many local artists but nobody knows about them.”

Artist Barbara Travell, who helped arranged the event said that her goal was to actually change people’s impression of Mint Hill.

“We want to see Mint Hill being known as an art community,” said Travell, “We want people to know they don’t have to go into town for art, music and food.”

Artist Joyce Fischer, who has been painting since 1958, was on hand at Irene Café where some of her work is on display.

“I love this exposure,” she said, “A lot of times if people can meet an artist they take a second look at the work.”

Mint Hill resident Tracy Hill attended the Art Crawl with great interest.

“We just wanted to see what is available in Mint Hill,” she said, “And I wanted to meet some of my neighbors.”

Tony Scudder and Joe Cunningham owners of Picket and Plume opened their business which features home décor and custom artwork.

“One of our big visions was to have local artists featured,” said Scudder, “There are a lot more people than I expected.”

If residents missed out on the Art around the Block, they will have plenty of time to catch up. Mint Hill Arts has decided to hold the event the first Friday of every month.

 

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Mint Hill native says ‘yes’ to baseball park proposal

Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at 7.34.07 PM Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at 7.34.02 PMAndy proposed to Sarah at the Charlotte Knights Baseball game Wednesday night, July 30. Andy told Sarah he won tickets on the radio and she got to throw out the first pitch. Andy caught the pitch and then got on his knee and proposed to Sarah. She said “yes”. Sarah Rappe grew up in Mint Hill, graduated from Butler High School and Appalachian State, play softball at both Butler and App State, and is currently employed by OrthoCarolina. Andy attended Appalachian State and graduated from The Citadel. He is currently employed by the Columbia SC police department and the Air National Guard.  He served in the US Marine Corps for 6 years. No wedding date has been set yet.

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It takes me to a different place

By Charles Kelleher Harris

Screen Shot 2014-08-06 at 7.30.05 PMGlenwood Barnes loves working with his hands. For the last 12 years he has worked creating beautiful custom made cabinetry.  But his craftsmanship with woodworking is only the beginning of Barnes creativity.  “When I was a kid I didn’t do to good in school,” Barnes said, “But I was creative.”  Barnes was born in Lancaster, South Carolina but raised primarily in Philadelphia. Barnes was one of 13 children.  In his late teens Barnes began taking art classes at a Philadelphia night school. It was there that his true talent blossomed.  Recognizing his skill, Barnes tried, unsuccessfully to garner attention for his work. Frustrated, Barnes put his brushes away for a very long time.  “I stopped,” Barnes recalled, “I lost interest.”  Meanwhile, Barnes and his wife of 25 years, Vernere, raised theirñ three children.  During the lull in his painting, Barnes began practicing Tai Chi and focused on woodworking.  After returning to Charlotte in the 1990s, his interest in painting was sparked anew.  While continuing to work in cabinetry with Metro Woodcrafter Inc, Barnes studied at Mint Hill Arts under Carlos Cotera.  Continue reading

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Art Around the Block set for Friday

 

Join local artists and neighbors at the Mint Hill community’s first ever Art Around the Block event Friday, August 1, from 7-9 pm. It will be an evening of fine art, music, demon- strations, entertainment and much more.

Recognizing that art and other cultural venues are flourishing in Mint Hill, artists, neighbors, and local businesses gathered for a brain-storming session at Hawthorne’s Pizza and created Art Around the Block—an evening event to be celebrated on the first Friday of each month.

Art Around the Block will feature monthly displays of paintings and other fine art, along with pottery and gift items by local artists, music, demonstrations and home fineries—all in one easy-to-navigate block, complete with ample parking.

Carol Clayton - Rain in the City

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Long-time bank teller fosters customer relationships

By Leah Schmalz

Jane Locklear, second from left, has worked as a bank teller for 27 years. She is appreciated not only by her customers, but also her coworkers, including Anna Pancamo, far left, Cindy Brinson, second from right, and Cim McComiskey, far right.

Jane Locklear, second from left, has worked as a bank teller for 27 years. She is appreciated not only by her customers, but also her coworkers, including Anna Pancamo, far left, Cindy Brinson, second from right, and Cim McComiskey, far right.

If you bank at BB&T in Mint Hill, chances are you know Jane Locklear. With 27 years under her belt as a teller, Locklear does more than handle the banking needs of her customers- she forms genuine relationships with them. “Not only is there the fact she is superior at her job, she is just a totally caring person,” said Sandy Reynolds, a long-time customer.

Reynolds has worked for Mobley Electric Company, Inc. for about 20 years and has banked with Locklear on behalf of her company throughout that time. Reynolds’ daughter even got a job at BB&T after graduating high school. “Her first day there Jane brought a fresh peach cake, and she knew she would like her,” said Reynolds. “She said everyone always wanted Jane and would be upset when she was away on vacation.”  Continue reading

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