Mint Hill Police hosts Coffee with a Cop

Coffee with a CopThe Mint Hill Police Department and community members will come together September 9 in an informal, neutral space to discuss community is-sues, build relationships, and drink coffee.All community members are invited to attend. The event begins at 7 am at Nova Bakery and Coffee, 3665 Matthews-Mint Hill Road, Mint Hill.Coffee with a Cop provides a unique opportunity for community members to ask questions and learn more about the department’s work in Mint Hill’s neighborhoods.

The majority of contacts law enforcement has with the public happen during emergencies, or emotional situations. Those situa- tions are not always the most effective times for relationship building with the community, and some community members may feel that officers are unapproachable on the street. Coffee with a Cop breaks down barriers and allows for a relaxed, one-on-one interaction. Continue reading

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Mint Hill Volunteer Fire Department to charge for ambulance service

Mint Hill Volunteer Fire Department representative Roger Martin shares the findings of the long- range study completed in January. Martin demonstrates the need for additional personnel that will be funded by charging for ambulance service. PHOTO BY MICHELE DOTSON

Mint Hill Volunteer Fire Department representative Roger Martin shares the findings of the long- range study completed in January. Martin demonstrates the need for additional personnel that will be funded by charging for ambulance service. PHOTO BY MICHELE DOTSON

At the August 15 Board of Commissioners meeting, representatives from the Mint Hill VFD made a presentation outlining a plan to move forward with billing for ambulance service. This plan is an effort for the service to become self-sustaining.
MHVFD Chairman Jerry Mullis addressed the Board to explain the findings of a study initiated in January to determine long-range needs of the department based on the steady increase of call volume due to population increases in the Mint Hill area.
“All indications are that our call load will increase each year,” says Mullis. “We need to be proactive in our readiness and future abilities to serve.” Continue reading

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Shands School raises funds for needed supplies

Shands School, a non-profit organization, serves students ages 8-13 with learning differences. Director Liz Morris, who is a trained vision therapist, says the school utilizes as part of its instruction, targeted movements that activated different parts of the brain.
“We use Brain Gym because we felt we needed to do in the classroom what we do in therapy,” she says.
The school operates on a one-room school house concept, where they take students where they are to where they need to go by catering to their individual needs and building a team family.
“We do thematic teaching here,” says language arts teacher Karen Johnson. “This year we will start with the theme of ‘force in motion’ which is more of a science theme, but all other subjects will connect around that theme.”
Right now the school is at capacity with 5 students from the Mathews and Mint Hill areas. At present, the school has several needs, such as improving their science labs by purchasing science equipment. The school is also need an awning outside of the front door.
“Every time it rains, water comes in through the mail slot,” says Morris. “And when the sun beats down on the front door all day, the handle is so hot you can’t even touch it.”
The school is currently looking to expand and is looking for a bigger, more suitable space.
“We do a lot of hands-on learning,” says Morris. “We focus on nutrition and we even grow our own food.”
Recently, the raised beds the school uses to grown their own food had to be moved because of a new tenant moving in across their parking lot.
Shands School is in need of several items for this school year to expand their science labs. Microscopes, magnifying glasses, and test tubes just to name a few. They could also use some additional art supplies and proceeds from the fund raiser will help greatly.
If you’d like to help, or know of a possible location for the expansion of the school in either the Mint Hill or Matthews area, call Liz Morris at 704-321-5705. Shands School is currently located at 130 West Matthews Street, Matthews, NC.

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Young blacksmith apprentice keeps hope alive for craft

By Michele Dotson: Staff Writer

In medieval times, blacksmithing was considered part of the set of seven mechanical arts.  Today it is often referred to as the king of crafts.  The job of a blacksmith is not an easy one.  It’s hot, dirty, smoky, and physically demanding.

The most serious injury many teens today might encounter is carpal tunnel syndrome from repetitively texting with their thumbs.  That’s why it is so impressive to walk into the blacksmith shop at the Carl J. McEwen Historic Village and see 15-year old Cuinn McDermott hammering and sweating over a glowing hot piece of steel.

“I was part of History’s Kids and we spent some time at the Schiele Museum where I watched a blacksmith at work,” says McDermott.  “I took an interest and started helping the blacksmith there.”

McDermott worked there for a couple of years and now works under the supervision of Mike McRae at the Mint Hill Historic Village.

McRae spends time at the blacksmith shop doing demonstrations for school children and works with Cuinn whenever he can.

“There are not too many kids his age that show an interest in this kind of thing,” he says.  “Cuinn has a natural ability and a dedication to blacksmithing I’ve hardly ever seen.”

For centuries the apprenticeship program has stayed pretty much the same.  It takes dedication and education.  Today, apprentices can get some of their training, especially in working with fire to cut steel, and learn the properties of flame building and heat by attending a community college.  But every committed blacksmith eventually joins a journeyman program and trains in a professional blacksmith shop.

McDermott says he’ll probably head in that direction in the future.

“It’s fun,” he says. “It takes a while to learn the different techniques, so I learn a little more each time I come out here.”

McDermott is a student at Trinity Christian School.

 

blacksmith 1:  15-year old blacksmith apprentice Cuinn McDermott stokes the fire at the blacksmith shop on Saturday, July 27 at the Carl J McEwen Historic Village in Mint Hill.

 

blacksmith 2:  Cuinn McDermott (right) watches as blacksmith Mike McRae of Mint Hill demonstrates proper technique for stoking the fire for maximum effectiveness.  McRae readies a piece of steel for work on the anvil.

 

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New sidewalks in Mint Hill

Screen Shot 2013-07-30 at 1.42.37 PMNew sidewalks from the Wendy’s in Brighton Park to the corner of Idlewild Road and Highway 51 are nearing completion in Mint Hill. This is part of the pedestrian plan approved by the Mint Hill Board of Commissioners in May, 2011, aimed at providing safe walking paths connecting uptown businesses.  According to the plan, residents can expect to have access to sidewalks all the way down that side of Highway 51.

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It’s Radio-Active: Charlotte amateur radio club transmits message to Iceland

By Michele Dotson: Staff Writer

Screen Shot 2013-07-30 at 1.33.09 PMMembers from the Charlotte Amateur Radio Club set up their equipment every other Saturday in the Assay office at the Carl J. McEwen Historic Village in Mint Hill.  Their priorities are to provide information to the public about the history of ham radio, and to help those interested learn how to begin their hobby by offering support from the club which meets once a month.

The cost of getting into the hobby is not exorbitant and are mostly incurred over time.

“It doesn’t take a whole lot of money to get into ham radio,” says club member and vice president Joe Ducar. “The antennae is the most important part of the set up, and it’s fairly inexpensive. You can get one for about $45,” he says.

Other expenses are associated with purchasing the radio, a “to go” box, if you plan to use your radio in remote locations, instructional manuals, and fees for taking the FCC tests. In the United States there are three kinds of ham radio licenses; the technician class, the general class and the extra class. Each class requires more extensive knowledge of ham radio operation and theory, and provides the user with access to more frequency options worldwide.

Gone are the days with the need for huge, unsightly towers that are restricted in many neighborhoods.  Websites offer advice on how to “stealth” your antennae so it is still effective but not unsightly on your property, like what has been done at the assay office.

“Conditions here at the assay office are not always the best,” says Ducor.  “We’re here at a fixed time, and that can be a disadvantage. But we have made contact with so many places around the world. We have even talked with people from Iceland and Greenland.”

But in this age of email, Twitter, Skype, and iPhones, it seems unlikely this hobby would survive much into the 21st Century. Surprisingly, though, the latest FCC information posted in August 2012, indicated that there are over 755,000 licensed operators in the United States alone, which was an increase of 30,000 from the year before. Some attribute the increase to the phasing out of the Morse code test as part of the licensing requirements. But for others, it is just the right time to get started.

John McDermott has been involved with ham radio for less than a year. After fostering an interest for many years, McDermott decided it was time to do something about it. He located the club through an internet search, and was extremely impressed by his first visit.

“I can’t say enough about the club,” says McDermott. “They were willing to help me get started, and answered all my questionsInside the assay office, posted on the wall, is a world map full of pushpins. Each pushpin on that map represents a successful contact like the one in Iceland. That’s a person-to-person contact with someone from another country; another culture, and a personal connection to another fellow human a world away that shared the same desire to reach out and make a new friend.It’s easy to see why this hobby is enjoying a regrowth of popularity.The Charlotte Amateur Radio Club meets Thursdays at 7:30 pm in the Salvation Army headquarters building located at 501 Archdale Drive, Charlotte. For further information, contact www.w4cq.us

 

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