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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Christmas cheer for all to hear

For the fourth year in a row, one neighborhood in Mint Hill is again bringing Christmas cheer to its residents in a free event called Neighborhood Noel.
JAMin. (Jeff Andler Ministries) Christmas Singers, a group of 10 voices, will  present a wide variety of secular and sacred music to the Apple Creek Farmwood neighborhood December 22. The singers will perform a tune from Home Alone 2, The Charlie Brown Christmas Special, a salsa setting of the carol, Pat-a-Pan, and the hallelujah chorus from Handel’s Messiah. Hot chocolate will be free for all who attend and candy will be given to children. Last year, the group gave away more than 500 cups of hot chocolate to attendees, and they hope to have more this year.
Attendees can also help those in need while watching the performance. The group will be collecting new small toys and canned goods to be distributed to the needy.
“It is a great atmosphere of Christmas cheer for family and community,” said Jeff Andler, leader and coordinator of JAMin. singers and the neighborhood event.
Andler and his neighbor, Whitley Stevens decorate their homes extensively every year for the Christmas season and decided in 2009 to add a musical aspect to their light displays. JAMin. singers are already well prepared each year for musical performances, and the musical Neighborhood Noel was a welcome addition to the schedule.
“It has become our favorite and probably most popular Christmas event,” said Andler.
The event is December 22 from 6-9 pm at 10204 Old Roam Court in the Apple Creek Farmwood Subdivision. Parking for the event is street side and JAMin. asks all attendees to not block the flow of traffic.

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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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