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MH joins local family in raising pediatric cancer awareness

By Leah Schmalz

Kevin and Emily Ratliff lost their daughter Claire to a rare form of childhood cancer when she was two and a half years old. Now they take steps to support other families facing similar circumstances, as well as raise awareness of the disease.

The town supported the Ratliff family’s efforts at the council meeting last Thursday by recognizing September as Pediatric Cancer Awareness
Month. Commissioner Tina Ross read a proclamation and presented it to the Ratliffs.

“I just want to personally thank you guys so much,” Kevin said. “I want to thank Tina personally as well. She is obviously someone who I admire greatly for her own tenacity against the disease.”

Pediatric cancer is the most deadly disease for children under the age of 14, causing more deaths than AIDS, asthma, muscular dystrophy, cystic fibrosis and juvenile diabetes combined, according to the CDC.  […]

News Notes

Charlotte Rose Society Rose Show

Charlotte Rose Society will hold its annual Rose Show October 3, at Porter Ridge Middle School, 2827 Ridge Road. Indian Trail.  It will be open to the public from 10 am to 4 pm. For more information, contact Jim Redington at 717-262-8737 or email

Golf Tournament

Matthews Help Center will hold its 5th Annual Golf Tournament September 22 at Raintree Country Club. Lunch and registration is at 11 am, shot gun start is at 1 pm. Players $125, foursome $500. Sponsorship opportunities are available. Call 704-841-2200 or email for more information. The mission of Matthews HELP Center is to help our neighbors and those in surrounding communities survive financial crisis by providing short-term assistance. […]

Fire department evolves to match growing community

By Leah Schmalz

Decades ago, firefighters were primarily volunteers responsible for responding to fires and putting them out if they could. Now there is a much greater chance of seeing a fire truck at a motor vehicle accident or EMS call.

Mint Hill’s Fire Department has had to change in other significant ways as well. The station used to be fully staffed by volunteers, but now there are 30 paid employees to cover a steady influx of calls and support the 60 to 65 volunteers that comprise the department.

“As the town grows, we’ll grow with it,” said Deputy Chief and Training Officer John Phillips.

Phillips joined as a junior firefighter in 1974 at the age of 16. On July 7, he celebrated 41 years with the department. Just a few days prior, he began his new position as Deputy Chief. With over four decades at the station, Phillips has seen the department evolve drastically. “We’re really not the sleepy little bedroom town that we were in the 60s and 70s,” he said.  […]

Changing the course of time—Rev. Dr. Jesse L. Douglas Sr was a civil rights pioneer

By Andrew Stark
The Mint Hill Times
It turns out the “unidentified white man” has a name, and boy does he have a story to tell.
Mint Hill resident Rev. Dr. Jesse L. Douglas Sr. is the holder of two bachelor degrees, a masters and a doctorate degree. He is a minister, a soloist, a civil rights pioneer and was a confidant to some of the country’s biggest and most powerful players during the civil rights movements of the 1960s.
It was during that time Douglas became known by many as the “unidentified white man” since he appeared to be a caucasian man who was so often seen in photographs alongside Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., John Lewis, Ralph Abernathy and many other key players in the civil rights movement in Atlanta, Alabama and throughout the United States.
Now 84 years old, Douglas resides in the Clear Creek Retirement Home with his wife, Blanche, and is recovering after spinal surgery. He gets around with a wheelchair or a walker these days, but just like his fighting spirit of the 1960s, Douglas can rise to the challenge when needed and, sometimes against his therapist’s best wishes, will stand by himself just months after surgery left him nearly bedridden. […]

By |January 16th, 2015|Featured Posts, History, North Carolina|2 Comments