Showmars employee reaches 20-year milestone

Screen Shot 2014-09-12 at 1.48.09 PMCustomers dining in or stopping to pick up food from Showmars in Mint Hill have probably noticed a giant banner hanging near the registers, thanking Lanny Barr for 20 years of reliable service. Not only is Barr celebrating two decades of employment with the business, he’s also hitting that impressive landmark at the age of 38.

“We’re really appreciative of all that he has done and is willing to do for the store,” said Manager Tommy Racano, who has worked with Barr about five and a half years. “He’s definitely a valuable asset.”

Barr started in 1994 at Showmars’ original location in Mint Hill,

doing prep work in the kitchen. He was with the company when they expanded to their current, larger location on Mat- thews Mint Hill Road. Now that he’s moved up to assistant manager, his responsibilities are as varied as handling money to running expo to managing calls for to-go orders. “I like the people,” said Barr. “The people I work with and

the customers.”

Barr’s coworkers unanimously agree that he’s a supportive assistant manager. “He’s always willing to be flexible with his scheduling and help anybody out that needs it,” said Racano. A perfect example is his recent switch to night shift. While he had previously worked during  the day, Barr traded with another manager, Tia Vang, when he learned it would make things easier on her.

“That just shows how big of a heart he has, how he cares about me and

my family,” she said. Vang has worked with Barr for 12 years. “I just love him on the team. We’ve grown to know each other and I appreciate that he’s my friend.”

 

 

 

Share

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.

Continue reading

Share

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.

 

Share

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.

Share

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

Share

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

Share