Mint Hill weighs future of Madness at January meeting

Mint Hill Madness, the yearly festival that has been presented by the Chamber of Commerce for the last three decades, took center stage at last Thursday’s Board of Commissioners’ meeting. 
The Mint Hill Chamber of Commerce is relinquishing their management of the event turning that responsibility over to a nonprofit organization that will be created solely to manage Mint Hill Madness.
Nancy Bradley and Marty Cocking of RelyLocal,  presented the board with information and plans for the future of the festival, citing the mission of the new Madness, “to bring back vitality to Mint Hill Madness by repurposing the festival to support local 501(c)3 charitable organizations to foster community and help rebuild economic growth in Mint Hill.”
The proposition is to create a board of directors that will manage the nonprofit, Mint Hill Madness, which will make all executive decisions regarding the festival. 
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Bringing Thanksgiving to those in need

Young Miss Shelby Stegall, Little Miss Brinkley Housand, Tiny Miss Braylin Huneycutt Back row: Baby Miss Charley Stegall, Teen Miss Lelia Mallouky and Miss Mint Hill Madness Ashley Olive. PHOTO COURTESY OF JULIE SHILLINGBURG

This year, the members of the Mint Hill Madness Beauty Pageant are bringing the spirit of Thanksgiving to those in need.

Bringing together all the necessities of a Thanksgiving meal, from whole turkeys to sides and desserts, pageant members gathered food to bring homeless families a full Thanksgiving.

This is the second year the pageant has donated Thanksgiving meals to those in need, and this year, eight families will be getting a meal; seven receiving laundry baskets full of food, and one, without the ability to cook, receiving a gift certificate to Cracker Barrel.

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Vandals caught at MH athletic fields

Two groups of teenagers have been caught vandalizing MHAA soccer fields, causing over $6,000 in damages. 

Teenagers were caught vandalizing the Mint Hill Athletic Association fields.  They agreed to community service at the fields to avoid criminal charges.  Last week, another group was caught vandalizing the fields, and their parents will pay thousands of dollars for the repairs.
The MHAA fields have seen some level of vandalism the last three summers, but the association says it is not going to put up with it any longer.
The juveniles rolled over picnic tables and did doughnuts on the U6 and U7 soccer fields.  In a span of eight days the fields were vandalized three times.  The police have been involved and are not releasing any names, since it is a civil matter.  The damages are estimated at over $6,000, and the association is considering putting up fences.
“It’s never been this bad,” said Keenan Harward, soccer commissioner at MHAA.  “It means fees go up and fewer kids can play soccer.”
Harward wants the community to be aware of what is happening.  “I think the community needs to know because MHAA serves the community.  We raise money from the community.”  The soccer program is accepting charitable donations to help repair the fields.  For more information, email soccer@mhaa.us.

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MHPD benefits from K9 unit

Sgt. McKenzie and K9 Officer Ajay have worked together at the MHPD for five years. 

The Mint Hill Police Department is equipped with two working dogs.  Ajay and Bady go to work with their handlers, Sgt. McKenzie and Officer Mahmutovic.  They have been trained to find drugs, perform building searches, track suspects, and perform article searches.
The dogs spend a lot of time waiting in the K9 unit vehicle.  It’s equipped with a hot dog alarm, which automatically rolls down windows if temperatures get too hot.  Most of his calls are to sniff out traffic stops.  They have assisted with the DEA and police departments in Matthews, Pineville, and Charlotte.
McKenzie has seen a change in the number of people who run from him since he’s become a handler.  In his first four years, nine people attempted to run from him, but no one has tried it since they see the K9 logo on his car.
Ajay and Bady were bred in the Czech Republic.  Breeders pair dominant, trainable dogs, and a litter might produce just one dog that meets the behavioral requirements for police dogs.  American kennels purchase dogs from Europe, and bring them back to continue training.  They can cost between $6,000 and $12,000.  Mint Hill’s K9s came from a kennel in Greenville, N.C., and they respond to Czech commands.
“We spent a month at the kennel; we had to live there.  And we pretty much trained 12 hours a day, six or seven days a week,” said McKenzie.
He works with Ajay, an eight-year-old German Shepherd who has worked with the MHPD for five years.  McKenzie is his first handler.  When Ajay retires around the age of 10, McKenzie will gladly take him in as a family dog.
“I’ve always been an animal person.  I’ve always had dogs, and trained dogs for duck hunting,” he said.

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Burdicks celebrate 50 years

Charlie and Jane Burdick celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary Saturday, August 4 at the Mint Hill Historical Society.  Their family and friends traveled from across the U.S. for the occasion.
The Burdicks were married Saturday, August 4, 1963 in Minnesota.  They have two daughters and five grandchildren.  They met their senior year at the University of Minnesota and married when they were 23 years old.
The party had an old-time southern feel.  The historic buildings, folk band, and gospel singers Karen and William Lindzy Washington provided the ambiance.
Dinner was provided by a caterer and served in the schoolhouse, and a bar was on site.  Tables and chairs were set under a tent, lit by strings of lights.
The Burdicks both volunteer at the historical society.  Charlie works on the grounds and Jane as a docent.  It’s a special place for them. Continue reading

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Fall sports registration

Mint Hill Athletic Association fall sports registration ends this month.  Soccer is available for children ages three to 16, football for ages six to 13, and baseball for ages five to 16.  Registration end dates vary from August 14 to August 24, depending on the sport.  Parents can register online at mhaa.us.

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