Mint Hill resident receives promotion still finds time to clown around

By Michele Dotson  Dotson.michele@minthilltimes.com

Brett Ford

Brett Ford

Long-time Mint Hill resident and 1988 Independence graduate Brett Ford is ringing in the New Year with a promotion at AT & T. This is Ford’s second promotion since joining the company in 2000.

“My first position for 10 years was a Service technician,” says Ford. “Then in 2010 I became a Facility Technician working on everything from the cut wire in your backyard, the jack in your bedroom that quit working, DSL, networking, high speed data lines and everything in between.”

Ford’s new position is a Specialist-Network Control in the AT&T Network Operations organization. He will oversee the circuits that handle the cellular traffic all across the country.

“It is a management position which came with a raise,” he says.

This is good timing for Ford, whose wife Madonna, a former surveyor, is beginning her student teaching in mathematics at Rocky River High School.  Additionally, Brett is finishing up a BA in Networking Administration. Continue reading

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‘Tis the season for giving IRS reminders for charitable contributions

By Michele Dotson
Staff Writer
Dotson.michele@minthilltimes.com

Cleaning out closets, weeding out unwanted Christmas decorations, and year-end home renovations can yield some great items to donate to one of the many local charitable institutions that will take them. For those tax payers who itemize their deductions, donations made prior to January 1, 2014 can be claimed as deductions on their 2013 taxes.
Also, any monetary contributions made to qualifying organizations can also be used as a deduction.
But just what is deductible and what is the process for claiming a charitable contribution deduction?
The IRS has recently posted the following reminders to its site, www.irs.gov in preparation for the 2013 tax season, which officially begins January 31, 2014.
Contributions are deductible in the year made. Thus, donations charged to a credit card before the end of 2013 count for 2013. This is true even if the credit card bill isn’t paid until 2014. Also, checks count for 2013 as long as they are mailed in 2013.
Only donations to eligible organizations are tax-deductible. The IRS provides a searchable online database available on its website. This lists most organizations that are eligible to receive deductible contributions. In addition, churches, synagogues, temples, mosques and government agencies are eligible to receive deductible donations, even if they are not listed in the database.
For individuals, only taxpayers who itemize their deductions on Form 1040 Schedule A can claim deductions for charitable contributions. This deduction is not available to individuals who choose the standard deduction, including anyone who files a short form (Form 1040A or 1040EZ). A taxpayer will have a tax savings only if the total itemized deductions (mortgage interest, charitable contributions, state and local taxes, etc.) exceed the standard deduction. Use the 2013 Form 1040 Schedule A to determine whether itemizing is better than claiming the standard deduction.
For all donations of property, including clothing and household items, get from the charity, if possible, a receipt that includes the name of the charity, date of the contribution, and a reasonably-detailed description of the donated property. If a donation is left at a charity’s unattended drop site, keep a written record of the donation that includes this information, as well as the fair market value of the property at the time of the donation and the method used to determine that value. Additional rules apply for a contribution of $250 or more.
The deduction for a car, boat or airplane donated to charity is usually limited to the gross proceeds from its sale. This rule applies if the claimed value is more than $500. Form 1098-C or a similar statement, must be provided to the donor by the organization and attached to the donor’s tax return.
If the amount of a taxpayer’s deduction for all noncash contributions is over $500, a properly-completed Form 8283 must be submitted with the tax return.
Always keep good records and receipts.
More information on preparing taxes can be found at www.IRS.gov.
The IRS website also warns individuals to use caution in selecting a tax preparer to be certain they are properly licensed and are updated on the most recent tax changes.
The tax payer is ultimately responsible for any information that is submitted to the IRS.

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The Mint Hill Police Department will be hosting Coffee with a Cop next Tuesday.

MINT HILL, NC—On January 7, 2014, officers from MINT HILL POLICE DEPARTMENT and community members will come together in an informal, neutral space to discuss community issues, build relationships, and drink coffee.
All community members are invited to attend. The event begins at 9:00 am on January 7, 2014 at Burger King, 7002 Matthews-Mint Hill Road, Mint Hill, NC. Please contact Chief Tim W. Ledford with questions: 704-545-1085.

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New board sworn in at December Mint Hill commissioners meeting

Mayoral appointments made; Mayor Pro Tempore selected

By Michele Dotson  dotson.michele@minthilltimes.com

Screen Shot 2013-12-18 at 7.57.29 PMThe December 12 meeting of the Mint Hill Board of Commissioners was the first for newly elected member Richard Newton. Newton, along with fellow Board members Lloyd Austin, Mickey Ellington, and Mayor Ted Biggers were sworn in just after the Municipal election results for Mint Hill were accepted.

Commissioner Tina Ross, who was reelected along with Austin and Ellington, is undergoing treatments for cancer and is expected to be sworn in at the next meeting.

“I ask that you keep Commissioner Ross in your prayers,” says Mayor Biggers. “Our thoughts and prayers are with her and her family and we look forward to seeing her at our next meeting.”

Outgoing commissioner Brenda McRae was praised for her years of service and dedication to the town. Continue reading

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Bill and Ann Litaker art show winners announced

By Michele Dotson  dotson.michele@minthilltimes.com

Christopher Pariano’s painting, “Self-portrait with black hood,” won first place in the paint- ing category for acrylic/pastels/oil. PHOTO BY MICHELE DOTSON

Christopher Pariano’s painting, “Self-portrait with black hood,” won first place in the paint- ing category for acrylic/pastels/oil. PHOTO BY MICHELE DOTSON

The winners for the Mint Hill Arts show were announced on Friday, December 13, at 8 pm. The gallery was filled to capacity for the opening of the annual Bill and Ann Litaker judged art show.

The entire show was judged by Eldred P. Hudson, Head of the Art Department at UNCC. Hudson spent over four hours at the gallery meticulously studying and documenting each piece. He then spent two days sifting through his notes before making his final recommendations. Hudson also prepared written comments on all winning pieces.

The show was open to a wide range of genre, including water media, photography, painting (oils, acrylics and pastels), three-dimensional multimedia including drawing, graphics, and alcohol inks.

Several honorable mentions were awarded in each category, as well as first, second and third place prizes. Continue reading

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Independence Patriots Varsity basketball

The Independence Patriots varsity basketball teams opened their Southwestern 4A conference play at home Friday night against the Eagles of East Meck.

Girls
East Meck          72
Independence  35
After a close first quarter, the visiting Lady Eagles pulled away and earned a 72-35 conference win.  Camile Martin led the Lady Patriots with 13 points while Jayla Horton paced the Lady Eagles and led all scores with 18 points.
Scoring:
East Meck       13  22  16  21  -   72
Independence   8   7   10  10  -  35
East Meck:  Jayla Horton 18,  Zhamya Wills 16,  Ciera Rucker 13,  LaBria King 10,  Miya Bull 6,  Taylor Hudson 5,  Shatoya Alexander 2,  Rachel Collins 2.
Independence:  Camile Martin 13,  Lydajah Mcleod 7,  Monique Dubose 6,  Krysta Peterson 6,  Laryn Sullivan 3.
Boys
East Meck          61
Independence  66
In the boys’ game The Independence Patriots held off a fourth quarter rally by the East Meck Eagles to pick up the 66-61 win in the conference opener for both teams.  East Meck entered the fourth quarter trailing by 12 points and out scored the Patriots 26-19.
Tryle Poindexter led the Eagles with 20 points. Independence got another big night from Deion Lane who led all scores with 28 points along with 7 rebounds, 5 assists, 5 steals and 2 blocked shots.  He hit 5 out of 6 from the floor, 4 three pointers and went 6 for 6 from the line.  Workpeh Kofa also had a big night with 9 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 blocked shots and 6 deflections.
Scoring:
East Meck          12  13  10  26  -    61
Independence  18  14  15  19  -    66
East Meck:  Tryle Poindexter 20,  John Rankin 10,  Ray’Quelle Days 8,  Reggie Smith 7,  Desmond Covington 6,  Jaylen McManus 4,  Charles Patton 4,  Cameron Stradford 2.
Independence:  Deion Lane 28,  Junior Bowen 9,  Workpeh Kofa 9,  Tayon Gleaves 8,
Marcus Thomas 7,  Matthew Statile 3,  Kadeem Harry 2.
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