Angry Aqua customers join forces for action

Photo courtesy of Dale Kast.

Residents of Ashe Plantation are happy to hear that after years of communication with the North Carolina Department of Transportation and the Town of Mint Hill their roads will finally be repaired.  The town and state will repair the parts of the neighborhood, located off Hwy. 218, and when the work is completed, the town will maintain the roads.  This does not mark the end of Ashe Plantation’s utility problems, though.

Ashe Plantation’s homeowner association president, Sharon Decker, says residents are being overcharged and disregarded by their water company, Aqua North Carolina.  Her neighborhood isn’t alone.  Aqua services a number of communities in Mecklenburg County, including Farmwood East, Glencroft, Oxford Glen, Rocky Ridge, Belle Meade, Timberlands, and Wyndham.

Decker met with Stan Coleman from Park South Station in Charlotte about the issue.  As an Aqua customer, Coleman has been working toward finding a solution to the problems he has with the company.  He filed a formal complaint two years ago.

Coleman directed answers about Aqua’s ethical practices to Clean Water for North Carolina, a non-profit organization whose mission is “to promote clean, safe water and environments and empowered, just communities for all North Carolinians through community organizing, education, advocacy and technical assistance.”
The organization published a 2011 report called “Privatizing North Carolina’s Water, Undermining Justice.”  The report acknowledges the Park Foundation and the Duke University Stanback Internship Program for supporting the research, investigations, and preparation of the report. Continue reading

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String of shootings

Six car windows and Jakes Good Eats restaurant window were shot in east Charlotte last Friday, June 8; and last Tuesday, June 5 a bullet entered a home on Cabarrus Road in Mint Hill.  Some of the bullets have narrowly missed people, including drivers and a restaurant patron.  Shattered glass injured drivers on Albemarle road when their window was shot out.  Police are working with undercover detectives and K-9 units, and keeping watch of the homes of potential suspects.  CMPD requested the fragment of the round in the Mint Hill home to compare it to the Albemarle Road rounds.  Two vehicles were seen on Albemarle Road, a red pickup truck and a grey or silver Chevy Astro Van.  Police encourage witnesses to call Crime Stoppers at 704-336-1600.

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Library plan presented to Mint Hill Board

Carol Hull presented the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library Citizens Committee report to the Board of Commissioners last Thursday.  She is a member of the committee, a team of citizens with professional experience in real estate, process improvements, information technology, and Mecklenburg County government.
The goal of this committee was “to review the functions and utilization of the main library, consider the feasibility of consolidating, downsizing, or relocating the functions of the main library” to another site.  The committee met monthly from November 2011 to February 2012 to investigate library functions and ways to save money. Continue reading

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Billotto brings culinary expertise to Mint Hill Arts

Heidi Billotto demonstrated her culinary skills at Mint Hill Arts. She arranged vegetable bouquets and provided a hands-on learning experience.

Heidi Billotto brought her culinary expertise to Mint Hill Arts May 22.  The food writer, reviewer, instructor, and caterer offered a free lecture and demonstration on culinary arts.
Surrounded by heaps of limes, oranges, onions, peppers, and mushrooms, Billotto cut curves and lines into produce to produce beautiful dinner party decorations.  Zigzagging her knife, she displayed blooming onions, blossoming peppers, tulip carrots, and rose tomatoes.  The bouquet was presented in a watermelon basket.  Cucumbers were sliced into leaves to add to the vegetable foliage.
Billotto dished out useful food tips as she sliced and arranged.  For example, purple peppers turn green when cooked.  Mushrooms should not be washed, but instead wiped with a paper towel, as they absorb water and will brown prettier when not soaked.  The oil in onions reacts with oxygen to make eyes water, and most of the oil is concentrated in the root end.  To avoid tearing up in the kitchen, cut off the top of the onion, peel it, and throw away the root end.  To present a bloomin’ onion and avoid the strong smell, soak the onion in cold water before presentation.  When cutting designs, as Billotto did with swirls in her mushroom caps, odd numbers look better than even numbers.  Try five swirls instead of four.
Billotto entertained her Mint Hill audience as she instructed them.  She expertly provided culinary lessons, patiently assisted her students, and provided some laughs along the way.
Billotto offers lessons in her home as well as private sessions.  She is featured in the local magazine Charlotte Living.

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Arrest warrants obtained in shooting

Arrest warrants are secured for Anthony Christopher Stith for the shooting that occurred May 14 at the Sunoco on Lawyers Road.  The warrants are for Assault with a Deadly Weapon with Intent to Kill Inflicting Serious Injury (Attempted Murder) and Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon.

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Bain honors local veterans

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Bain students presented local veterans with American flags after singing “You are Our Heroes” to the special guests last Friday at their annual patriotic performance.  Butler High School’s JROTC color guard presented the flag while the second graders sang the National Anthem.

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