Town boards ready for new year

The boards of commissioners from several local towns met with the Mecklenburg delegation of the North Carolina Legislators Thursday, January 3, in a called meeting to discuss legislative matters.

Town boards from Mint Hill, Cornelius, Matthews, Davidson, Pineville, and Huntersville met with members of the state legislature, including representative Bill Brawley, and senator Jeff Tarte, in a dinner meeting at Savour in Matthews.

“Try to sit with people you really don’t know too well, and encourage some conversation,” said Jim Taylor, mayor of Matthews. “I’m really pleased that everybody was able to come down here this evening, we have a good crowd—great crowd as a matter of fact.”

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New laws that can affect you

In the wee hours of the first of January, 16 new laws came into effect that can and will effect our community. Many of the new laws are just technical changes to previous laws, but some deal with employee verification, protecting children in day cares, and stealing kitchen grease from restaurants.

Employers and local governments must now use E-Verify to verify the work authorization of newly hired employees. This law is a part of a phasing process that currently affects large companies and will soon impact smaller companies in July.

Harsher penalties have been enacted for those who steal cooking oil. If you steal more than $1,000 worth of grease, expect to be charged with a felony. Less than $1,000 in grease will result in a misdemeanor.

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Korean War Veterans’ Memorial nears completion

Two and a half years since the groundbreaking ceremony and beginning of construction of the NC Korean War Veterans Memorial in the Park on Fairview, construction is 85 percent complete.

The granite sign was first, then came the footings and construction of the four-foot tall brick wall planter, topped with 80 green boxwood plants.

Plumbing PCV lines were laid, connecting the fountain in the center of the memorial and the irrigation system to the planter and trees. A 1,000-gallon tank to supply the water has been buried and is ready to be hooked up to the main water supply line. Electrical conduit lines to the in-ground lighting throughout the memorial are ready for wiring to the control panel. A six-inch concrete flooring was poured and an additional amount of concrete was added on four sections in the center that will be covered with Astroturf. Two life-size granite statues, one dressed in a poncho and the other in class A uniform, stand guard at the four 14-foot tall granite pylons with the names of the 788 men from North Carolina who were killed or are listed as missing in action during the Korean War.

 

Loads of four-inch granite slabs were placed starting at the sign and moving down into and through the memorial. On many of the slabs are more than 400 engraved memorial pavers remembering and honoring “veterans of all wars.” Stainless steel handrails have been manufactured and await installation on the two handicap ramps leading to the fountain and Hallowed area of the memorial. The center is the water fountain with the South Korean flag, the “Taeguk,” colored in red and blue with fiber-optic lighting at night.

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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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House fire leaves four misplaced; none injured

A mobile home fire displaced four Mint Hill residents early Monday morning on Rivendell Road.

The fire is suspected to have been caused by electrical issues around 5:30 a.m. The home was empty at the time, and the 911 call was made by a neighbor after seeing smoke coming from the mobile home.

The home belongs to Heather Walker, who lives there with her three children. The family lost nearly all their possessions, their cat, and medications needed for a son that has diabetes and a daughter suffering from Leukemia.

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2012 Shriner Bowl stars local players

The 2012 Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas was played last Saturday, December 15, and featured some local football players on the North Carolina team.

This year’s game was the 76th anniversary, and after each player touched “The Rock” of the Shrine Bowl as they took the field, South Carolina came out on top, with a score of 23-19.

Local Mint Hill players at the game were Matthew Wogan, a kicker from Porter Ridge, Jack Tocho, a defensive back from Independence, and Sean Wiggins, a linebacker from Butler.

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