Remembering our environment: Earth Day 2013

This Monday, April 22 marks the 43rd annual Earth Day, a day of support for our natural surroundings.

It all started in 1970, when Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson witnessed the devastation of an oil spill in 1969 Santa Barbara, Calif. He coordinated the effort with other politicians, the press and schools, and by April 22, 20 million Americans rallied coast to coast for the sake of the environment.

This event led to the modern American environmental political agenda, spurring the foundation of the Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts.

Since, the movement has gone global, and Earth Day itself is largely credited with birthing the modern environmental movement worldwide.

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MHPD renovation on track

by Derek Lacey / Staff Writer

Renovations are underway, and soon the Mint Hill Police Department will move across the street into their new station in the old town hall.

Work began in March at the old town hall, 7151 Matthews Mint Hill Road, by Charlotte-based general contractors Edifice Inc., who is handling the renovation.

Mint Hill has worked with Edifice before, as they led the project to build the new town hall.

At the March 14 Board of Commissioners meeting, the board adopted the capital projects ordinance for the police department renovation, which appropriated funds for the project totaling $2,043,036.

The ordinance sets aside the most, $1,758,036, for general construction, with smaller amounts for contingencies, design, furnishings, and moving costs.

“No. Hopefully less,” said Town Manager Brian Welch, when asked if he thought the town would spend more than the allotted monies. “That ($2,043,036) contains some contingencies and some estimates for furniture and the like, so I fully anticipate to bring it in a little under that.”

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Queen’s Grant, Mint Hill Police 5K benefits fallen officers

by Derek Lacey / Staff Writer

May 12 marks the start of National Police Week, a week to remember what police officers do for our communities, and to remember those officers that gave their lives in that service.

Queen’s Grant High School and Mint Hill Police Department are putting together the Soles to Remember 5K race, May 18, to benefit the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial is 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.

The run is being sponsored by Mint Hill Police Department and the Community Connections Club at Queen’s Grant, which in the past, under the leadership of founder Melanie Moore, has been involved in raising money for Special Olympics, Project Unify, and serving food to the homeless.

“The Community Connections Club is a way for students to get plugged into the community and do community service,” said Robyn Marlin, of Queen’s Grant. “We’re always looking for ways for the club to volunteer.”

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Walking by Faith Church purchases land for new church

by Derek Lacey / Staff Writer

Walking by Faith Ministry Church has purchased property for a new church, and work is beginning to build a church of their own.

The congregation presently meets for Sunday services in the chapel of Albemarle Road Presbyterian Church, but at the end of April, will move to Crown Point Elementary School in Matthews, holding their first service there on May 5. The move is an effort to be closer to the community they serve, and the community where their new church building will be.

Church members will be canvassing the neighborhood and sending out postcards prior to that first Sunday service at Crown Point.

The church was established in 2004, and today consists of around 80 members, led by Pastor Alvin Denson, retired Army and director of ROTC at Mallard Creek.

The 5.5-acre lot purchased by the church is at the corner of Sam Newell and Rice roads in Mint Hill, and was bought at foreclosure for $42,000, while market price estimates closer to $300,000, according to Larry Miller, vice president and business manager, as well as deacon for the church.

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Spring (gardening) is in the air

Garden

It’s official. As of Wednesday, March 20, spring has arrived. That means enjoying the warm weather by getting outside and starting a new garden or changing up the landscape around the house.

And if you’re a beginner, a veteran, or just trying to supplement your grocery bill by growing your tomatoes and squash in your backyard, here are some tips and ideas to keep in mind when shrugging off that winter dreariness.

Bob Prophit, general manager at King’s Greenhouse in Stallings, offers up his expertise for people wanting to get growing this spring.

Getting a garden going has no shortage of benefits, and these days people get started for a number of reasons.

Sustainability, fresh produce, and stress release are all on that list, and even general health is a consideration.

“Gardening is good for you,” said Prophit. “Just in general, especially if you work in an office all the time. I mean, that’s a release, you get to go out and work. It’s healthy, you’re not sitting around, most gardeners are just happy; they’re doing something.”

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Farmer’s market takes fresh look at helping local farmers and missions

Founders Leconte Lee and Nick Knock sell produce at the first go-go fresco, a weekly “pop-up” farmer’s market, designed to benefit local farmers and nonprofit missions. PHOTO BY DEREK LACEY

Founders Leconte Lee and Nick Knock sell produce at the first go-go fresco, a weekly “pop-up” farmer’s market, designed to benefit local farmers and nonprofit missions. PHOTO BY DEREK LACEY

A new, Mint Hill-based farmer’s market is bringing a fresh way to support local farmers and local nonprofits to the Charlotte area.

Founders Nick Knock and Leconte Lee combined their passions of health and public service to create go-go fresco, a new kind of farmer’s market.

Go-go fresco brings fresh produce from local farms like Barbee Farms and The Farm at Dover Vineyards to sell at different locations around Charlotte, with a portion of the proceeds benefitting local nonprofits like Habitat for Humanity and Charlotte Rescue Mission.

The idea came to Knock as he was riding his bike to the coffee shop one day, and from there it snowballed into a new take on both charity and produce.

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