Hospital sets 2016 as date of completion

The site of the new Presbyterian Hospital, at the corner of I485 and Albemarle Road. Photo by Derek Lacey

At Thursday night’s commissioner meeting, Presbyterian Hospital Matthews president Roland Bibeau gave an overview of what the hospital currently offers the residents of Mint Hill and the status of the Presbyterian Hospital to be built at I485 and Albemarle Road.

Bibeau presented the updated timeline of the construction of the planned Presbyterian Hospital in Mint Hill. The new timeline has moved the date of completion from 2018 to 2016, with construction beginning in 2014. At 165,000 square feet and $90 million, the hospital will include 50 inpatient beds, a 16-bay emergency department, four operating rooms, maternity services, rehabilitation, cardiovascular services, laboratory service, and pharmacy services.

“I’m pretty proud to share this timeline with you,” said Bibeau, adding “We owe it to the community of Mint Hill to deliver the healthcare that they’ve been expecting.”

The services that will be provided at the new location will include a medical office building that will house pediatrics, cardiology, OBGYN, general surgery, cardiology, and gastrointerology.

Construction will begin as soon as water and sewer reach the building site, and according to Bibeau, the 2014 start date is a result of the lack of water and sewer services at the location.

“I’m pretty excited about this,” Bibeau said. “Delivering healthcare closer to your community and your needs.”

 

 

 

In other matters

  • A public hearing was held on petition #ZC12-8, for a text amendment to Downtown Overlay Code authorizing administrative variation of sidewalk width.
  • Theresa Deeton, president of the homeowners association of Mint Lake Village, spoke at the meeting to oppose the construction of a 7/11 and car wash adjacent to their property.
  • Russel Bagley, of Pine Lake Lane, spoke in opposition to any revision of the current noise ordinance, saying that any new restrictions would be over-burdensome to the community.
  • Troy Pollard spoke, personally thanking Beth Hamrick for her service to the Mint Hill community, and wished her success in her retirement.
  • Jerry Mullis, of the Mint Hill Volunteer Fire Department, spoke to report that MHVFD purchased property in order to build a station in the Cabarrus Road area.
  • Connie Green Johnson, candidate for county commissioner in district six, spoke to introduce herself to the community and present her platform as a conservative democrat.
  • Steven Smith, president of Mint Hill Lions Club, spoke about the progress of the Lions Club’s 5k, that has grown from 35 runners in 2008 to more than 300 runners in 2012, and presented the commissioners with T-shirts, thanking them for their support.
  • The commissioners voted to approve a contract with the Idlewild Fire Department, which deals with service district tax proceeds for non-incorporated areas. The contract distributes $180,000 to Mint Hill Volunteer Fire Department, $130,000 to Idlewild Fire Department, and $5,000 to Midland.
  • The commissioners revised their meeting schedule, because of the holiday season, to meet on November 15 and December 13.
  • Chief of Police Tim Ledford spoke about the Police Department’s annual golf tournament October 6 at Lark Haven Golf Course, to support new programs and volunteer police service, with registration online at minthill.com.
  • The commissioners also discussed the change of voting precinct 219, which will go to the new town hall, and residents of the precinct should be receiving letters detailing the change within the next couple of weeks.
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Grassroots meteorologist provides Mint Hill forecast

The brain of the Mint Hill weather station: the solar-powered black and white cylinders stand five feet from the ground, measuring temperature, humidity, air pressure, and rain, transmitting data every three seconds, 24 hours a day. PHOTO COURTESY OF CHRIS MULLIS

Mint Hill is home to a weather station that provides a large amount of weather data at the local level. A 34-foot pole stands just a few miles from downtown, measuring temperature, humidity, air pressure, rain, and light, while transmitting data every three seconds to be uploaded to MintHillWeather.com.

The weather station is the solo project of Mint Hill resident Chris Mullis, who grew up in Charlotte, being introduced to the world of science through the Charlotte Amateur Astronomers Club. His passion for astronomy led him to a doctorate degree at the University of Hawaii.

Astronomers develop a relationship with the weather, as they depend on clear skies for observations. They also share with meteorologists the fundamentals of data collecting as scientists. So it was easy for Mullis to cross over to the meteorological world a couple months ago when he constructed his weather station and built his website.

Alongside dozens of charts, graphs, and columns of information are visual aides. The live sky camera, daily videos, and blog illustrating phenomena of the sky provide fascinating visuals from a local perspective. Visitors can see a full-screen lightning flash from last Saturday morning, a meteor from the August 12 Perseid shower, or simply watch the sky grow brighter from the rising sun any given day.

“Visual information is the most powerful type of information,” explained Mullis. “Science begins with observation, and what better way to question the natural world than by looking at it.”

His inspiration for this latest scientific endeavor was in large part his children. As they progress through their education, Mullis wants to keep their curiosities alive. He talks to classrooms of young children about astronomy and meteorology, hoping to instill the importance of questions.

“I’m a grassroots agitator for science education and asking why and questioning the simple stuff; pausing to look and think, ‘why is that?’ I’m taking this weather science and using it as a reason to have a conversation about science and technology. I’m not trying to generate new meteorologists or new astronomers, I’m trying to get kids and citizens to think about science and technology.”

For that reason, he regularly takes out the telescope at home for his children. For special astronomical occasions, the neighborhood kids visit for observations.

MintHillWeather.com was not created just as a tool for teaching science. It’s a useful site for anyone wanting the local weather forecast. Radar images come from Weather Underground in exchange for the high quality data Mullis collects. Current conditions and forecasts provide the casual weather-watcher with the information they need to make the day’s or week’s plans. Scrolling down the home page, more detailed information can be found like precipitation and the UV index, useful for gardeners.

Visitors can also find advisories and astronomical observation charts. The current solar image is always available, illustrating the mind-blowing size of the sun (look for the Earth and Jupiter scale markers). Mint Hill residents can obtain information from the website in a variety of convenient ways. The website is easy to remember and navigate. Following the forecast on Twitter (twitter.com/MintHillWeather) provides live weather conditions on the hour every hour. The Facebook (facebook.com/MintHillWeather) page posts current conditions and the forecast every morning and afternoon. The site also has a mobile version for smart phone use.

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Becoming a certified Community Wildlife Habitat

The Town of Matthews is working with Habitat and Wildlife Keepers to become a certified Community Wildlife Habitat.  Matthews will become the fourth community in N.C. to become certified.  Weaverville, Montreat, and Lake Norman are already certified.

HAWK is a chapter of National Wildlife Federation.  This chapter, founded by Carol Buie-Jackson, now the N.C. Wildlife Federation vice president, was the first of its kind in the country, and North Carolina is the only state supported by a chapter system.

The Matthews initiative includes the zip codes 28104, 28105, and 28106.  Communities have five years after registering, and Matthews has one year left.  Certification works on a point system, and Matthews has only 56 points left.  Homes add one point, schools five points, and businesses and parks are three points.

Butler High School, Crestdale Middle School, and Matthews Elementary School are certified.  HAWK is now asking daycare centers and places of worship if they will participate.  The Four Mile Creek Greenway in Matthews is certified, as well as Squirrel Lake Park.

Residents can certify their homes by filling out a NWF application at gardenforwildlife.org.  Property must provide food, water, shelter, and a place to raise young for wildlife.  It is best to provide native plants and trees, as they are better sources for native wildlife.  Water can be as simple as a birdbath.  Birdhouses, shrubs, brush piles, and snags can be places for wildlife to raise young.  Certification costs $20, and a certification sign can be purchased for $30.

Jill Palmer, HAWK president, said Matthews town representatives have been supportive of this effort.  Having the town certified will “recognize the community as a place that cares about wildlife.”

“We’re pretty nature- and eco-friendly in Matthews,” said Palmer.  “This just gives us that right to say this is a community that cares about wildlife.”  She said certification will be attractive to residents and businesses looking for a place to settle down.

Palmer expects HAWK to eventually branch out beyond Matthews into surrounding areas like Mint Hill.  If Mint Hill residents or businesses have questions about certification or general wildlife concerns, HAWK will gladly answer them.

“We do it because we love nature, we love animals.  We care about the environment,” said Palmer.

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Bi-Lo car show raises $1,300

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The Bi-Lo car show last Saturday was a success, raising 1,300 dollars for the Lions Club.  Vendors donated prizes like grills, coolers, and a tent, which were auctioned off.  The car show was broken up into classes.  Roger Kerns came in first place in the hot rod class with a 1947 Plymouth Club Coupe; Tim Tollo came in second with a 1953 Chevrolet pick-up.  Gene Veese came in first place in the classic class with a 1957 Chevrolet Nomad; Paul Cochrane came in second with a 1968 Chevrolet pick-up.  Ron Stokes won first place in the antique class with a 1936 Buick Special Coupe; Mike Cescon won second with a 1935 Ford Deluxe Tudor Sedan.  Richard Garland won first place in the muscle class with a 1967 Dodge R/T Convertible; Phillip Winston won second with a 1970 Chevrolet Corvette.  C.W. Adcock won first place in the motorcycle class with a 2003 Suzuki motorcycle.  Roger Kerns also won Best of Show.  Mayor Ted Biggers, Chief of Police Tim Ledford, and Action Auto’s Ken Kuehl were the show’s judges.

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Adoption in the Carolinas

Adoption in the Carolinas is being made easier with the help of Gift of Adoption, a national non-profit organization headquartered in Chicago and dedicated to providing financial assistance for domestic and international adoptions.

Charlotte is the new headquarters for Gift of Adoption’s seventh regional chapter.  The new chapter will serve North and South Carolina.  Its opening celebration was May 10 at the Myers Park Country Club.  Charlotte residents and Carolinas chapter board members Jason Cipriani, Muhsin Muhammad II, and Eric Welch joined board president Greg Ewald at the celebration.  The group shared its mission statement and the expected impact it will have on the Carolinas.

The event was also a fundraiser, generating nearly 40,000 dollars for adoption grants.  This single fundraising event can assist up to 10 children.

Over the past ten years, Gift of Adoption has awarded over 150,000 dollars in grants to families adopting nearly 50 children in the Carolinas, and over 2.8 million dollars in grants to connect more than 950 children with new families.

Gift of Adoption was founded in 1996 and has chapters in Florida, Illinois Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon, and Wisconsin.  It awards grants of up to 7,500 dollars to provide families with financial support, regardless of race, religion, age, or marital status.

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Mint Hill Planning Board meets

The Planning Board met Monday at the Town Hall to approve the minutes of the March 22 meeting and to discuss and recommend the rezoning request filed by Sullivan, Burd and Roupas, LLC.  The dentists are asking to construct a new building at 6332 Matthews-Mint Hill Road.
The first approval made by the Planning Board was to allow the front of the building to be on a private street.  The Monday meeting focused on sidewalks.
The site plan meets code requirements, but the town has asked Sullivan, Burd and Roupas to be flexible, shifting the sidewalk.  There was discussion on whether the sidewalk should be five or eight feet, but it was determined that five feet is adequate.
The closeness of the building to the road and to Queens Grant Charter School will add to the vision the town has for the downtown area.
The board carried the motion to send a favorable recommendation to the Board of Commissioners to work with the applicant.

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