Independence wrestlers hit stride

Over the last few weeks, the Independence wrestling team has been picking up wins and adding trophies to its collection. Over the holiday break, the Patriots went undefeated at the Clash at the Creek (5-0) to earn first place. Senior heavyweight Demtree Hardison was voted Most Outstanding Wrestler for his effort in leading Independence to first place. This past week, the team began its conference schedule and picked up wins over Rocky River and Myers Park. Independence defeated Rocky River 63-18 and Myers Park 49-21. The Patriots are 15-8 on the year and 2-0 in the SW4A conference. Their most recent hardware addition came at the fourth annual Holy Angels Invitational. Independence came in third place for the second year in a row. The following wrestlers placed for Independence: Tashon Risher, second place, at 170 lbs.; Brian Tiderman, first place at 195 lbs.; Charlie Kurtz, fourth place, at 220 lbs.; and Demtree Hardison, first place at 285 lbs. For the second tournament in a row, Hardison was voted most outstanding wrestler after pinning a state champion in the finals. The next match for the Patriots is Friday, January 11 when they host East Meck and Garinger at 6 pm.

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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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Independence Students land summer internships

This year, 26 Independence High School students will get a head start in the working world. 
They have been chosen to participate in the Mayor’s Youth Employment Program, an initiative by the Charlotte mayor’s office to provide local high school students with job training and  a paid summer internship at a local business. The program involves more than 60 area businesses, including the Office of the Governor, Microsoft, Duke Energy, and Bank of America, and will also count toward class credit for Independence students.
Originally, about 60 students recieved the initial recommendation for the program, and about 50 were interested and able to participate, 30 turned in applications, and of those came the 26 that were accepted into the program.
To be selected for the program, students first had to be recommended by a member of the faculty and fill out an application form. After an initial interview, the students participated in a two-day training in employability skills, including how to be successful at a job and job searching skills.
From January to May, before starting the internship, students will schedule times to visit local businesses to see how area companies operate. Over the summer, interns will work approximately 20 hours per week over an eight week period. 
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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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Indy wins close first round game, gets rematch with Butler

Friday, November 2, the Independence football team got their wish by narrowly beating NW Guilford in an offensive shootout at home. The win helped set up a rematch of the last regular season game, Butler vs Independence.

NW came in with a loaded running game. The Vikings of NW won the toss but deferred the kick to Indy. On their first posses- sion, Indy could not score after gaining a first down on a 12-yard reception from Kelvin Hopkins to Workpeh Kofa, and Jason Connella punted the ball away. It took NWG only eight plays to score when QB Andrew Ritz ran it on the keeper play to put the Vikings up 7-0 at the seven minutes and 43 second mark in the first quarter.

Workpeh Kofa would bring the ball out to the Indy 27 yard line on the kick return. It took Indy five minutes and 15 seconds to cap off an 11-play drive when RB Isiah Robinson would run two yards for the patriot score, 7 to 7.

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Order of the Patriot inducts new members

From left: Order of the Patriot co-faculty advisor Tamara Babulski, principal Amy Dellinger, and new members Terhass Yosief, Grace Craft, Danielle Castelucci, and Jesse Parker. Not pictured are new member Dianne Spence and co-faculty advisor Emily Williams

At a ceremony Wednesday, October 24, five student and honorary members were inducted into the Order of the Patriot at Independence High School.

The Order of the Patriot is an honor organization that recognizes individuals that have excelled in leadership, service, and character, founded by Independence’s first principal Samuel Haywood in 1966.

The new student inductees are Terhass Yosief, Grace Craft, and Danielle Castelucci; honorary inductees are Jesse Parker and Dianne Spence.

The program included an opening and explanation by current Order of the Patriot members Ivan Blair and Kathia Toledo, presentation of the new inductees, and closing statements by principal Amy Dellinger.

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