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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Mint Hill Lions Club shows appreciation

Mint Hill Lion’s Club President Alan Mckenize presents a check to Sydney Eudy for a VIP Fishing trip. PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE MINT HILL LIONS CLUB

Mint Hill Lion’s Club President Alan Mckenize presents a check to Sydney Eudy for a VIP Fishing trip. PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE MINT HILL LIONS CLUB

It was a night of appreciation and a time to say thank you at the Mint Hill Lions Club regular meeting last Tuesday. The club hon- ored Janelle Smith and Tonya Eudy, manager and co-manager of the Mint Hill BiLo for their tireless work.

The club also thanked Billy Kiser for his support of the club and with his donations and assistance at the annual car show held in the BiLo parking lot.

Alan McKenize, president of the Mint Hill Lions Club, presented

a $600 check donation to Sydney Eudy for the VIP fishing trip to the Outer Banks, where sight impaired individuals experience ocean fishing.

The funds will assist them for the next trip where prizes are given out for the largest catch and the most fish caught.

The Mint Hill Lions Club meets the second and fourth Tuesday of every month, except dur- ing July and August.

All meetings begin at 7 pm and take place at Jimmies Restaurant on Matthews-Mint Hill Road.

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Anchor stores announced for newly approved commercial building

By Michele Dotson

According to George Dunn from Gem-Cap properties, both tenants in the newly approved commercial building between Jimmie’s Restaurant and Wendy’s have committed.  On the end of the building with the outside patio will be Jersey Mike’s, and the other side will house a Sherwin Williams Design Center and Paint Store.

“This is more of a residential venture,” says Dunn, “as opposed to a commercial paint store. The emphasis will be on residential design ideas and paint for the home.”

According to Dunn, construction should begin the first of August. “We have our plans into Mecklenburg County for approval,” says Dunn.

Plans indicate the project will be completed and stores open this year.

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Mint Hill Board approves budget for 2015

By Michele Dotson

A public hearing was held on June 12 at the monthly meeting of the Mint Hill Board of Commissioners to present and vote on the proposed budget for fiscal year 2014-15.

Highlights of the budget include merit raises for town employees, six additional Paramedics which would be funded by the Volunteer Fire Department, one town engineer, an additional public works employee and a narcotics detective, which would be funded with drug forfeiture revenues.

The proposed General Fund budget totaling $10,969,898 was presented with a proposed tax rate of $.27 per $100 of assessed valuation which is the same as the current tax rate. Continue reading

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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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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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