Fundraiser provides support for military families

By Michele Dotson:  Staff Writer- dotson.michele@minthilltimes.com

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Former Charlotte native Joseph Henao prepares for a 33 mile bike ride to benefit US soldiers and their families. Henao currently teaches military science at the Citadel.

On Saturday, October 19, Military Family Lifestyle Charitable Foundation (MFLCF) held its 4th Annual Honor the Warriors Bike Ride at the newly renamed Mint Hill Veterans Memorial Park on Hwy. 218. The organization works specifically with the family members of killed in action paratroopers or Special Forces.

MFLCF is in partnership with Hearts & Hammers, Purple Heart Homes, Charlotte Bridge Homes, The Patriot Charities, local businesses and hundreds of volunteers to build five homes in five years for Service Disabled Veterans who are moving to the Charlotte area.

According to Cantwell, it is estimated that over 7,000 veterans will be moving to the Charlotte area in the next couple of years.

“We just finished building the first house,” says Richard D. Cantwell, Chairman of MFLCF and former Commander for a 625-man combat engineer battalion in South Korea.

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Riders of all ability levels prepare at the starting line on October 19 for the 4th Annual Honor the Warrior Ride. These riders prepare for a 33 mile ride.

“We have four home sites in one location, and the fifth lot was a bit small for a house, so Lowe’s has donated a playground,” he says. “The last house will be built near the others in the Denver, NC area.”

Despite the rain, turnout was great and other organizations were visible and supportive.

Former Charlotte resident Joseph Henao, who is now a military science instructor at the Citadel, participated with The Warrior Ride, a non-profit organization founded in Oak Island, North Carolina who uses cycling as a rehabilitative and morale building activity for wounded soldiers.

Three separate rides left the park on staggered times. Continue reading

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Park renamed, Mint Hill named Purple Heart City

Screen Shot 2013-10-20 at 9.41.17 AMThe Mint Hill Town Commissioners voted unanimously at its October 17 meeting to rename the Mint Hill Park on Fairview to Mint Hill Veterans Memorial Park. The new name will be dedicated at the Korean War Memorial unveiling on November 9.

Several members of the Order of the Purple Heart were present for a proclamation naming Mint Hill as a Purple Heart City.

Mayor Biggers said, “Now, therefore, I, Ted H. Biggers, Jr., Mayor of the Town of Mint Hill, North Carolina, on behalf of the Board of Commissioners, do hereby bestow honorScreen Shot 2013-10-03 at 2.53.20 PM and gratitude upon the Military Order of the Purple Heart and proudly supports the recognition of the Town of Mint Hill as a “Purple Heart City in the State of North Carolina.”

Commander Mike Stubbs introduced accepted the proclamation and introduced the members of Wounded Warriors Chapter 634 that were present. Members represented military service from WWII, Korea, and Vietnam.

“These veterans are the reason we can live the way we live in the United States,” says Stubbs.

The Board of Commissioners came down to the floor to shake hands and congratulate the veterans at the conclusion of the presentation. Continue reading

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Shred event set for Sunday

By Michele Dotson
Identify theft is a problem across the nation and it is important to protect your personal information at all times. According to the State’s Attorney General’s office, about 300,000 people in North Carolina become victims of identity theft annually. 
Many of these cases can be prevented by shredding personal documents instead of throwing them away in the trash can.
The Charlotte area is one of the two North Carolina cities that rank in the top 100 metropolitan areas for identity theft complaints; the other is Fayetteville.
The public is urged to attend the free Community Shred Event on Saturday, October 12 from 9 am to noon at the McEwen Shopping Center, which is located at the corner of Hwy 51 and Lawyers Road.
The event is sponsored by the Mint Hill Chamber of Commerce and the Mint Hill Police Department.
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Mint Hill Cruise in: Great car, great stories

By Michele Dotson

Michael and Becky Smith displayed their 1960 Ford Starling at the October 4 Cruise-in in Mint Hill. The Smith’s are pictured here with their grandson Jacob Tucker. PHOTOS BY MICHELE DOTSON

Michael and Becky Smith displayed their 1960 Ford Starling at the October 4 Cruise-in in Mint Hill. The Smith’s are pictured here with their grandson Jacob Tucker. PHOTOS BY MICHELE DOTSON

The weather was beautiful, the cars streamed in and the last Cruise-in of 2013 was held on Friday, October 4 in the Monroe Hardware parking lot in Mint Hill. The monthly event, which is held the first Friday night from April through October from 6-9 pm, helps to raise money for Special Olympics.

“We have done real well this year,” says organizer Ronnie Theroux. “We’ve had a real good turn out and have seem some new cars.”
Ronnie and wife Vicenta work with the Special Olympics where they are coaches for softball. They work with adults and their season begins in February, with Regionals beginning in June in Cabarrus County. Continue reading
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Former Bain students now working on staff

By Michele Dotson
Former Bain students Dorothy Flaherty, Kelli Drye, Tracy Mullis, Susan Moore and Jessica Corrigan have returned to their elementary alma mater as employees. Flaherty is the school’s administrative and financial secretary, Drye is the Instructional Facilitator, Mullis and Moore are both teaching assistants, and Corrigan teaches third grade. PHOTO BY MICHELE DOTSON

Former Bain students Dorothy Flaherty, Kelli Drye, Tracy Mullis, Susan Moore and Jessica Corrigan have returned to their elementary alma mater as employees. Flaherty is the school’s administrative and financial secretary, Drye is the Instructional Facilitator, Mullis and Moore are both teaching assistants, and Corrigan teaches third grade. PHOTO BY MICHELE DOTSON

Whoever said “Nothing good can last forever,” certainly had never attended Bain Elementary School.

Five current members of the Bain Elementary staff are former students.  What has drawn them back to Bain to work as adults is basically the same feelings they got when they were kids.
“The closeness that we have is like an extended family,” says Administrative and Financial Secretary Dorothy Flaherty who attended Bain from Kindergarten through sixth grade.
Third grade teacher Jessica Corrigan is proud to be at Bain to continue the traditions.
“The heart of Bain is what makes it so special.  There is a feeling of love and warmth amongst the staff, parents, and students.  We have strong historical ties to the community and Bain is rooted in a long tradition of providing the best for its students. “
Academic Facilitator Kelli Drye’s mother taught at Bain when she was a student there and she remembers spending time after school with her in her classroom “teaching school.”
Although Bain has been known since its inception in 1889 as a quality educational institution, holding high expectation of its students and parents, there’s always room for some fun, too. Continue reading
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Chamber hears the State of Real Estate

Meeting highlights trends in area home buying 
and financing
By Michele Dotson
The focus of the September 26 Chamber meeting on real estate and financing was facilitated by Mint Hill Chamber president and real estate professional Rich Ferretti and Monarch Mortgage loan officer, Janet Gaglione.
“There is confidence in the market and lenders are loaning money again,” says Ferretti, who cited recent comparisons in the market which shows a 12.4 percent increase in home sales in July 2013 compared with July of 2012.
“The housing market is growing in pockets around the country,” says Ferretti. “Las Vegas is hot right now, and overall, the cost of housing is down.”
Ferretti also says that North and South Carolina continue to attract a lot of newcomers, with large numbers relocating from Florida.
chamber“We call them the half-backs,” he says. “These are individuals who moved to Florida from places up north, and have now settled in the Charlotte area.”
Thanks to Charlotte’s banking industry, 2nd only to New York City, and new industry such as Met Life and Chiquita, Ferretti says our market is thriving.
Although there is a spike in interest in houses close to or in uptown, Mint Hill continues to see a resurgence in building, particularly on sites that were already prepared before the housing crisis hit.
Most recently, Bontera began construction near Lebanon and Hwy. 51 and the upscale Cheval community will be the focus of this year’s HomeArama in November.
There are also lots of investors in the market looking for good deals, and a recent study of home sales in the Charlotte area indicated that nearly one in five home sales last year could be attributed to an investment purchase. Continue reading
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