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Independence Students land summer internships

This year, 26 Independence High School students will get a head start in the working world. 
They have been chosen to participate in the Mayor’s Youth Employment Program, an initiative by the Charlotte mayor’s office to provide local high school students with job training and  a paid summer internship at a local business. The program involves more than 60 area businesses, including the Office of the Governor, Microsoft, Duke Energy, and Bank of America, and will also count toward class credit for Independence students.

Originally, about 60 students recieved the initial recommendation for the program, and about 50 were interested and able to participate, 30 turned in applications, and of those came the 26 that were accepted into the program.
To be selected for the program, students first had to be recommended by a member of the faculty and fill out an application form. After an initial interview, the students participated in a two-day training in employability skills, including how to be successful at a job and job searching skills.
From January to May, before starting the internship, students will schedule times to visit local businesses to see how area companies operate. Over the summer, interns will work approximately 20 hours per week over an eight week period. 

By |December 18th, 2012|Around Town, Development|0 Comments

Two Patriot wrestlers are champions at county tourney

By Frank Smithwick

Sports Writer
Eighteen schools participated in the two-day Al Kessie Mecklenburg County Wrestling Tournament held at Olympic High School this past weekend. 
The tournament is named after a former coach and athletic director in CMS who started the tournament many years ago. 
From Mint Hill, Independence, Rocky River, and first time participant Queens Grant wrestled. 
Queens Grant came away with one place winner, Connor Day, who took fourth place at 145 lbs. Rocky River had one place winner as well, Seth Johnson, who came in fourth place in the 195 lbs. weight class.
The Independence wrestling team came in third in team points without a full lineup.
Independence entered the tournament with a chance to be in contention for a top two finish. This goal was hindered when Indy began the tournament without three of its regular starters: Robert Merli (126 lbs.), Devin Taylor (138  lbs.) and Charlie Kurtz (220  lbs.). These three wrestlers have combined for 34 wins this year for the Patriots. Missing these wrestlers meant that other Indy wrestlers had to do well over the two-day tournament to make up points lost by not entering a full team. At the end of the second day, Indy had four wrestlers place in the top four. Tashon Risher came in fourth place at 170 lbs. and  Josh Matos came in second place at 182 lbs. Indy did crown two champions: Junior Brian Tiderman(195 lbs.) and senior Demetree Hardison (285 lbs.). This was the third county championship for Tiderman and the second for Hardison. 

By |December 18th, 2012|Around Town, Independence High School, Schools, Sports|0 Comments

A player, a teacher, and a flyer: Bill Hanna

He was born in Louisville, Ky., the only place his father could find textile work during the Great Depression. After living there for only one year, the family made their way back to North Carolina, living in 36 different addresses in cities across the state: Burlinton, Shelby, Rutherfordton, Mooresville, Rockingham, and others. 
In those days, Hanna had no intention of becoming a musician. He had started playing the piano in first and second grade, but did not start playing again until he was 25. He picked up the trombone in the sixth grade, but after three different schools in three years, all without a band, he fell out of practice.
Back in Mooresville in the tenth grade, he joined the band, having to play catch-up with his friends, who had been playing since the sixth grade.
After high school, Hanna wasn’t sure on a career, and was accepted at Davidson College, where he began business school.
“I didn’t know what I wanted to study,” Hanna said. “I didn’t want to be a preacher, and I didn’t want to be a doctor, so the only thing left was to be a businessman.” 
By the end of his junior year, Hanna’s grades weren’t up to snuff, and in 1954, he was drafted into the army.
At Fort Jackson in Columbia, S.C., Hanna got started in the army band, avoiding heavy weapons or infantry duty. And one night, he heard some music.
“I got inspired one night, because I heard some fellows playing in the barracks, they were jamming you know, playing jazz,” Hanna said.


By |December 18th, 2012|Around Town|2 Comments

UPDATED: Mint Hill teen’s body found

The body of missing Mint Hill teen Kayla Campbell was recovered from a pond near Mint Hill approximately 12:15 am Thursday.

The pond, on Sable-Cap Road, is where her bicycle, helmet, and cell phone were found earlier. Investigator’s accepted a local contractor’s offer to drain the pond, installing four pumps on Wednesday, December 12.

The cause of death is still being determined and investigators are still working to find out what happened.

Ten extra counselors were on hand at Independence High School, where Kayla was a student, to help students grieve.

Anyone with information about Campbell, or who could have seen her Sunday, is asked to call the Mint Hill Police Department at 704-545-1085.

For earlier stories and links, click “continue reading.”


By |December 10th, 2012|Around Town|0 Comments