Independence students push on in trophy restoration

Refurbished trophies on display in the Independence media center. PHOTO BY DEREK LACEY

Refurbished trophies on display in the Independence media center. PHOTO BY DEREK LACEY

By Derek Lacey / Staff Writer

For an entire school year, students at Independence High School have been working to restore a chunk of school history from rusting and decaying in the basement.

The Independence DREAM Team, a group of student leaders, have been working to clean up and repair hundreds of trophies that were moved to a flood-prone basement years ago.

The trophies date as far back as the 60s, and encompass all sports and academic competitions, from football and basketball to scholars’ bowl and Future Farmers of America.

Beginning at the start of the school year, U.S. History teacher and advisor to the DREAM Team, Noel Hamrick, started taking the trophies out, cleaning them, and putting them on display in the media center.

Hamrick, who graduated from Independence in 1995, has even seen names of her classmates on trophies that the group has worked to repair.

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Mint Hill Board of Commissioners hears plans on development

Before the normal Mint Hill Board of commissioners meeting last Thursday, January 10, the town held their quarterly developer’s workshop, hearing presentations from several area land developers.

The board heard from Jerry Helms regarding Blair Road Development, Chris Isaacs regarding Mint Hill Commons development, and Brian Jackson regarding modifications to the Summerwood Community’s architecture requirements. 
Helms presented preliminary plans for an area of land owned by a number of residents, and potential uses for the land include a retirement community and a retail shopping space.
“I’m afraid if we develop Lawyer’s Road, we develop 218, we develop Blair Road, it’s going to turn Mint Hill and the outer belt into a nightmare,” said Mint Hill Mayor Ted Biggers, speaking of the potential development for a retail shopping complex along 485 in Mint Hill. “So at this point, I’m not encouraging this project. I think there are components of it that may be viable down the road, but this project is one big project that  I’m just not encouraged by.”
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2012: The Year in Review

JANUARY

 

Stinson-Wesley takes District 6 school board seat

 

At the beginning of 2012, Rev. Amelia Stinson-Wesley filled the District 6 seat left open by Tim Morgan. Stinson-Wesley was one of 12 candidates vying for the position, and was sworn in on January 10. She serves as director of World Connections for Women, a foundation she established in 1998.

 

New year, new laws

 

The beginning of 2012 saw changes to laws concerning everything from healthcare systems to gun laws. New laws provide incentives for physicians to organize Accountable Care organizations, North Carolina adopted standard deductions and personal exemptions, new energy conservation codes, new gun laws, and laws requiring employers to report new hires.

 

Independence senior wins writing prize

 

Erin Mullins, then a senior at Independence, won first prize in the eighteenth Martin Luther King Jr. Writing and Art Awards, part of a number of awards presented by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and the MLK Jr. Citywide Committee. The theme was “Defending the Dream,” and students competed first at the school level, then district level.

 

New CMS starting times

 

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools estimated that they will save more than $600,000 for the 2012-2013 school year by changing their bell schedule, at 10 schools. The effort was to use a tiered method of scheduling, in order to offer the same transportation services, but with 15 fewer buses.

 

Mint Hill resident named recruiter of the year

 

Aviation Structural Mechanic First Class Robert Orzescu, who lives in Mint Hill, was named the Raleigh Navy ROTC Enlisted Recruiter of the Year. Orzescu became a recruiter in 2009, and since has won the NRD Raleigh NROTC Enlisted Recruiter of the Year two years in a row, and also claimed the 2011 Warrior Challenge Recruiter of the Year.

 

Judges rule on redistricting

 

A three-judge panel decided that the May 8, 2012 primary votes stood as scheduled, despite a lawsuit challenging new legislative and congressional voting districts. Challengers were hoping that primaries be moved to July 9, in order to further discuss the new districts, which support Republicans. The districts were upheld, and served through primaries and the general election.

 

FEBRUARY

 

Local author signs books

 

Mint Hill author Ed Galloway, writer of Incident in Mint Hill, sold and signed the book at The Hill Restaurant in Mint Hill, February 8. The audiobook, which Galloway produced himself, is a story about “a strange object that falls from the sky and causes an entire golfing community to go into a 24-hour blackout. No cable TV. No phone coverage. And all while being surrounded by military and government personnel,” said Galloway.

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Two Patriot wrestlers are champions at county tourney

By Frank Smithwick

Sports Writer
frank@minthilltimes.com

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. 
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Ravens drop heartbreaker to Sun Valley, 49-46

In a see-saw battle, the Rocky River Ravens boys’ basketball team was beaten on their home court by the Sun Valley Spartans last Friday night 49-46. These two teams met just nine days earlier on the Spartans’ home floor with Sun Valley prevailing 45-42. Although the margin of victory for the Spartans was the same the second time around, the Ravens nearly came out with a win this time. This was an evenly matched game from the start.

The Ravens and Spartans both played stingy, albeit different, zone defenses. New head coach Jason Buzzard’s Ravens periodically switched from a standard 2-3 defense to a trapping 1-3-1. Both types were effective at times.  Sun Valley stayed in an active matchup 2-3 zone that the Ravens had a hard time penetrating.  The defenses really dictated the flow of the game, that is to say, there wasn’t any.  Most of the scoring in the first half was from loose balls and turnovers.  The two teams’ zone offenses had their moments but for the most part were ineffective.  The Ravens lead at the end of the first quarter 13-10 and 27-24 at the half.

Both teams made adjustments at the half.  Sun Valley was able to get the ball inside the Ravens’ zone in the first two minutes of the half and grabbed the lead 30-29.  Rocky River was intent on pressing the Spartans, hoping for some turnovers which would lead to easy buckets.  It worked to a degree but the Ravens also committed more fouls in the frenetic pace. The Spartans outscored the Ravens 15-7 in the third quarter and led 39-34 to start the fourth quarter.

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Rocky River girls dominate Sun Valley, 49-36

By Kevin Baker

Sports Writer
kevin@minthilltimes.com

The Rocky River Ravens girls’ basketball team defeated the game but overmatched the Sun Valley Spartans last Friday night 49-36 on the Ravens’ home court. This was the second time the Ravens and Spartans have played this year. The Ravens won the first meeting, at Sun Valley, 39-36.
The Raven girls had to come from behind in that game to pull out the win. There was no such drama this time around. The final score was not indicative of the Ravens’ dominance.
The Ravens were intent to set the tempo from the beginning. They won the tap and immediately went inside the lane. The shot was missed, but the strategy was apparent. Rocky River wanted to push the pace. In fact, both teams came out of the locker room pressing full court. This seemed to play right into the Ravens’ girls hands as they shot out to a 16-5 lead. Sun Valley fought back to 16-10 in the last minute of the first quarter. Rocky River had the ball last and worked the clock down for the last shot. Senior Center Aliyah Hason scored on a pretty inside move at the buzzer and the quarter ended with Rocky River leading 18-10.
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