Q&A with Coach Justin Hardin
After Independence dropped a bombshell by announcing that second-year football coach Joe Evans would not return to the program in 2015, the Patriots took less than two weeks to find its new coach.
And they may have struck gold, hiring former Providence and Weddington coach Justin Hardin.
Hardin was a star quarterback at Kannapolis’ A.L. Brown where he played for his father, Bruce, a North Carolina Athletics Directors Hall of Fame coach who recently stepped down at Providence Day and is the orchestrater of 332 career wins.
Hardin went on to play quarterback at The Citadel, and had assistant coaching stops in high school and college before getting his first head coaching job at Weddington High in 2009. That season he inherited an 0-11 team but posted a 14-11 record the following two seasons. After a year as an assistant at Rock Hill South Pointe, Hardin returned to the coaching ranks at Providence, where he posted am 18-9 record in two seasons, including a 10-4 mark this year.
By Leah Schmalz
Mint Hill members of council and staff met Friday and Saturday to review priorities for the upcoming fiscal year. One of the highlights was a presentation from Robert Bush, president of the Arts and Science Council (ASC).
The ASC is changing its approach with a new cultural vision plan that includes goals like increasing programming for students from pre-k through 12th grade, restoring in- and out-of-school field trips at no cost and bringing the arts to areas that are underserved, including Mint Hill. “We want to expand deeper into the county to make sure everyone has access across the community,” Bush said.
The plan requests an increase in the monetary contribution from local communities. By 2020, ASC hopes to secure $1.30 per capita from each supporting community, which amounts to about $42,000 for Mint Hill. The increase would be gradual, starting with a jump from the current contribution of $10,000 to $16,000 for next fiscal year. Over the next 10 years, ASC plans to develop a source of revenue from the public sector that would replace and expand upon contributions from the towns, city and county.
By Leah Schmalz
Forrest & Forrest Family Dentistry on Lawyers Road provided children throughout the local area with free dental care last Friday. “For us it’s a great way to give back to the community,” said Dentist Stacy Forrest. She and her husband Brad Forrest, who is also a dentist, operate the family practice together.
The office has held the event annually for four years now. Kids from more than six area schools ranging from ages three through 17 received cleanings and any necessary dental work that could be done that day, including fillings, extractions and sealants.