Four candidates vie for two spots on sheriff ticket

By Leah Schmalz

With Chipp Bailey stepping down as Mecklenburg County sheriff, four contenders have registered to take his place. Irwin Carmichael and Antoine M. Ensley seek a spot on the Democratic ticket, while Chris Hailey and Louis Rango Jr. are up against each other for the Republican spot.

Irwin Carmichael has worked as a reserve captain with the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office for 28 years. “I just want to see the stability of the office to continue,” he said. Carmichael’s two main points of focus are inmates and youthful offenders. Carmichael said the daily count of inmates just dropped below 1,800, down from nearly 3,000 several years ago. “We have been able to cut the population down because of the programs we have inside our facilities,” he said. “We are going to turn 95% back out into community. We want to return them as productive members.” He said the office has training programs in place in areas such as culinary, carpentry, and horticulture so that released inmates have employment and are less likely to reoffend.  Continue reading

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NC Public Charter Schools Association to host two informational charter school fairs for parents

Fairs will be held in conjunction with fourth annual National School Choice Week

North Carolina parents interested in more information about high performing public charter schools in the Tar Heel state can attend informational charter fairs in Greensboro and Charlotte, organizers announced today.

The fairs will cater specifically to parents looking for a high-performing public charter school for their child, or to educators looking for what a public charter school might be able to offer them. These fairs are being hosted in as part of National School Choice Week 2014, the largest-ever celebration of school choice in American history. Continue reading

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It’s Your Business: Nova’s Bakery

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Nova’s Bakery, based in Charlotte, recently purchased the Dilworth Coffee House location at the Hoods Crossroads Shopping Center in Mint Hill.

Bringing their specialty breads, pastries and other baked goods to Mint Hill, this move marks only the most recent expansion for Nova’s, who opened a new location in Charlotte’s South End neighborhood last August.

Sladjana and Vlado Novakovic started Nova’s Bakery on South Boulevard in Charlotte in 1996, and after needing a larger production facility, moved to Central Avenue a few years later, where their headquarters are located today.

Just a few weeks ago, Nova’s purchased the location at Hoods Crossroads, after realizing that much of their weekend patronage consisted of customers commuting 20 to 30 minutes from the Matthews/ Mint Hill area, to get bread and other baked goods from Nova’s.

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Chamber hears important message at June luncheon

By Derek Lacey / Staff Writer

Guillermo Villar, Mental Health Association Ambassador, speaks to Mint Hill Chamber of Commerce members at the June luncheon.

Guillermo Villar, Mental Health Association Ambassador, speaks to Mint Hill Chamber of Commerce members at the June luncheon.

The Mint Hill Chamber of Commerce welcomed new members and heard a touching message at their June member luncheon.

New members Southern Charm Cleaning and Family-First Chiropractic joined the ranks at the chamber in June.

Southern Charm Cleaning is a commercial and residential cleaning service that uses a five-step cleaning process that includes on-site visits, personalized checklists and regular follow-ups.

Family-First Chiropractic has served Mint Hill for 16 years, and Doctors Doug and Vicki Jordan specialize in chiropractic care, acupuncture, nutrition, massage therapy and weight loss.

The featured guest at the meeting was the Mental Health Association, who spoke to the chamber about the importance of mental health, and the organization’s new campaign to fight the stigma associated with mental disorders.

The Mental Health Association of Central Carolinas “has been the voice of hope for persons affected by mental illness” since its founding in 1933.

MHA serves all of Mecklenburg and Cabarrus Counties, providing resources, advocacy and education about mental health.

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Camp SOAR hits new heights in thirteenth year

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By Derek Lacey / Staff Writer

Bob Bowler has been a volunteer with Special Olympics for 29 years. In that time, he noticed that everything shut down in the summer, and saw the need for a camp for Special Olympics athletes. Camp SOAR was born.

Camp SOAR, or Special Olympics Athlete Retreat, began in 2000, with no small effort from Bowler, who after seeing the need, started to look around for locations. He decided to try for the Levine Jewish Community Center in Charlotte and called Barry Schumer, the assistant executive director of the center, to make a lunch meeting and discuss his plans.

“They show up, we shake hands, and they said ‘What do you want to talk about?’,” said Bowler. “I said, ‘Well, I don’t have any money, but I’ve got a lot of visions, dreams, and hopes that you can help me. I want to start a day camp for the special needs community.”

Bowler’s timing was impeccable, since the JCC was then trying to do more community outreach, and the rest is history.

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Mint Hill police officer biking 500 miles for fallen officers

Riders in the 2012 Law Enforcement Bicycle Ride to D.C. leave Charlotte headed for Washington D.C. PHOTO COURTESY RON HORTON

Riders in the 2012 Law Enforcement Bicycle Ride to D.C. leave Charlotte headed for Washington D.C. PHOTO COURTESY RON HORTON

by Derek Lacey / Staff Writer

This May, more than 100 area police officers will travel 500 miles to Washington D.C. to visit the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial–on bicycles.

The Law Enforcement Bicycle Ride to D.C. 2013 will feature area law enforcement officers riding all the way to our nation’s capital via bicycle, to honor and remember those officers that gave their life in the line of duty.

Riders will reach Washington D.C. just in time to kick off Police Week at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, the nation’s monument to all law enforcement officers have died in the line of duty. Two 304-foot-long walls are carved with the names of federal, state, and local law enforcement officers-more than 19,000-who have been killed throughout U.S. history, dating back to 1791, the first known death. New names are aded each spring, in conjunction with National Police Week, which is May 12–18 this year.

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