Mint Hill businesses asked to help prepare next generation of workforce to compete globally

By Michele Dotson  Dotson.michele@minthilltimes.com
 
Bill Anderson, Executive Director of MeckEd, addresses the Mint Hill Chamber of Commerce, hoping to garner support for workforce development at Independence High School.

Bill Anderson, Executive Director of MeckEd, addresses the Mint Hill Chamber of Commerce, hoping to garner support for workforce development at Independence High School.

Dr. Bill Anderson, Executive Director of MeckEd, made an impassioned plea to the members of the Mint Hill Chamber of Commerce on Thursday, January 24 at its monthly luncheon meeting at Pine Lake Country Club.

Anderson, a former Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools teacher, principal and central office administrator, feels high schools across the country are failing to provide options for high school students.

“60 percent of high school graduates go on to four-year college,” says Anderson. “Only 59 percent of those students actually have a degree by the time they’re 27.” Continue reading

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HomeArama Draws Large Crowds – Showcases Mint Hill’s Cheval neighborhood

By Michele Dotson   dotson.michele@minthilltimes.com

Screen Shot 2013-11-21 at 10.52.54 AMThe Home Builders Association of Charlotte has selected Mint Hill’s Cheval as the site for this year’s HomeArama event, currently in its 25th year. The show opened November 9 and will continue through the 24. Ticket holders enjoy a self-paced tour of six luxury homes which are open and superbly adorned with the latest innovations in home design and décor. Anthony and Tina McNeill from Charlotte spent time at Cheval doing some shopping and idea gathering. “We are in the market, but we’re looking for decorating ideas, too,” says Tina. “We’re doing a little of both.” Barbara Fox and Fay Tran from Huntersville were looking for ideas for their homes, but also wanted a chance to see what Mint Hill had to offer. “I love HomeArama,” says Huntersville resident Barbara Fox. “We have the best time and get to see a new area and get lots of ideas.” Sunday totals were a bit lower than expected because of the rain, but official totals for November 18 were at 907. According to Yvonne Case, accounting manager for the Homebuilders Association, the crowds have been very encouraging and they are very pleased with what they’re seeing. “So far we’ve had a total of 4,581 people come through,” says Case. “That’s really great.” HomeArama continues through November 24, but is closed on Monday. Advance Tickets are $12 each. Children 12 years and under are free. To purchase advanced tickets, go to http://charlottehomearama.com/homearama-tickets/ Tickets may be purchased at the gate for $15.

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Student raises awareness, money with T-shirts

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

Andrew Terry is a student at Queen’s Grant High School.

Andrew Terry is a student at Queen’s Grant High School.

Last year, Queens Grant student Andrew Terry wore pink socks and wrist bands during his cross-country meets to raise awareness and show his support for cancer research.

This year, Terry got the idea to take his initiative a step further, so he de- signed a tee shirt and has been selling them at school since the first school days in August.

So far, he’s profited $780 towards his goal of raising $1000 which will be donated to the American Cancer Society.

“This year I just wanted to do something bigger,” says Terry. “We also have a raffle going on and so far we’ve raised $160.”

Tee shirts are $20 and will be on sale through October.

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Bain dedicates building with ribbon-cutting

By Leah Schmalz
bain 1 bain 2 bain 3The history of Bain Elementary School is extensive, dating back 124 years. Last Thursday the school added another chapter to that rich story with a ribbon cutting ceremony for the newly constructed school building.
Principal John LeGrand reflected further on this history, emphasizing that the vision of John Bain in the 1800s, which led to the school’s establishment, is still being upheld today. “This new building does not mean that we’re starting over,” he said. “This new building simply means that we’re continuing that tradition of excellence that was created by the people that stood before us.”
The event was held in the gymnasium and featured student involvement and leadership. Fifth grade students kicked off the ceremony by leading the pledge of allegiance and introducing the principal. Mr. Clenney’s third grade class also performed a song composed by music teacher Noreen Hofmann, complete with clapping, hand motions, and creative lyrics. “The sky’s the limit when you act Bain proud,” rapped one of the students.
CMS Board of Education District 6 member Amelia Stinson-Wesley touched on the legacy of the school, noting that commissioner Mickey Ellington’s family has attended the school for five generations. “I’m really excited about having this new incarnation of Bain here,” she said. “With the technology in this building, with the talent and the passion of all of our teachers, with the drive and dedication of each of you that are students here, it will all guide us to the next generation of Bain Bobcats.”
Dr. Heath Morrison, the superintendent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools, spoke about the future of the students, using the analogy of a basketball game. “Here at Bain you have all of the things that you need to make sure that you’re going to be in position the rest of your life to take that winning shot,” he said. He also thanked the principals, teachers, support staff, community members, and parents for their efforts in support of the new building and the school as a whole. 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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Mint Hill Police station open for business

Screen Shot 2013-09-25 at 8.31.52 PMThe Mint Hill Police station was open for business on Monday, September 23 at its new location in the former town hall building.

A few small problems were reported, but, according to Police Chief Tim Ledford, the transition has been smooth.

“We have a couple of locks not working,” says Ledford. “We had a leak in the men’s locker room that was taken care of this morning, and the phones were not working properly.”

Screen Shot 2013-09-25 at 8.31.58 PMAll minor inconveniences that haven’t dampened the excitement of the move.

The Board of Commissioners approved the renovations of the former Mint Hill Town Hall in March, 2012.

The architects worked hard to make effective use of the space in order to provide the police department with what they need to do their job effectively.

“We went from about 5,000 square feet to 7,800 square feet,” says Ledford. “In the old building, we had to put three units together to make one, and it wasn’t very effective.” Continue reading

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