CMS OKs Independence High construction
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Board of Education approved construction work for Independence High School at the board’s March 12 meeting.
The project will include construction of a new administrative building, a new gym, major renovations to the existing gym building and stadium work including new visitor bleachers, visitor concession and visitor restrooms. The $10,549,490 project was awarded to Shelco, Inc., and is funded by a 2007 bond project. The project was delayed because of the recession.
Construction is expected to be complete by August 2014.
Matthews spends $5K on retreat
The Matthews Board of Commissioners spent about $5,100 on their annual planning retreat in Ocean Isle Beach recently, according to town spokeswoman Annette Privette Keller.
The total for the March 1 to 3 retreat, was about $1,420 more than what the board spent during last year’s Ocean Isle retreat. The additional cost was due to an increase in the amount paid for the rental house, Annette Privette Keller said, which allowed commissioners to each have their own rooms for the first time during the retreat.
The town spent $3,679.71 on the Ocean Isle retreat last year. By comparison, Mint Hill hosted a one-day 2012 board retreat at its town hall, costing taxpayers $115, which covered lunch from Mint Hill’s The Hill Bar & Grill, snacks and beverages.
Matthews Mayor Jim Taylor said previously board members feel retreats outside of the town limits have proven to be “more productive.”
Show goes on for Mint Hill pageant
Mint Hill will have a pageant this fall, despite uncertainty about when the Mint Hill Madness festival will occur.
Pageant volunteer organizer Julie Shillingburg said she’s committed to making sure the pageant goes on as planned Sept. 28 at Philadelphia Presbyterian Church.
“I just didn’t want it to drop. The show is still going on,” she said.
The event has a new name – the Miss Mint Hill Scholarship Pageant – but not much else will change, Shillingburg said, especially the competition’s commitment to community service throughout the year. Top pageant winners, who earn a $500 scholarship, are required to do community service. In the past, those efforts have included working at Discover Mint Hill, collecting donations for local troops through the Lions Club’s Christmas in a Box and collecting food to fill the food pantry at Bain Elementary School.
Robinson Orthodontics has already committed to be the show’s title sponsor this year and Logo Pros will donate event T-shirts, Shillingburg said.
Pageant applications will be available on the organization’s Facebook page by July. Registration is $50.
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Library event focuses on digital technology
Matthews and Mint Hill branch libraries will offer special hours and activities Thursday, March 21, as part of the system’s “EveryoneOn” digital literacy campaign.
The system was one of five “EveryoneOn” launch cities nationwide selected to participate in the public awareness campaign by Connect2Compete, a national nonprofit supported by the Knight Foundation. Connect2Compete aims to raise awareness of free digital literacy training and Internet access opportunities throughout the United States, according to a news release.
Matthews and Mint Hill libraries will be open March 21 from noon to 8 p.m. offering special activities, including one-on-one technology help, exploring the library’s resources, instructional video clips and library card sign-ups.
For more information, visit www.cmlibrary.org/everyoneon.
Matthews awards mowing, planting contracts
The Town of Matthews will enter into contracts with two companies that will cover mowing and median planting along Matthews Township Parkway.
Town commissioners voted at their Monday, March 11, meeting to approve a mowing contract with the low-bidding Brickman Group, who will mow along the road for $867 per week, costing the town $32,076 for the season. Two other companies – AA Tex-Lawn and Smith Grounds Management – bid $35,815 and $69,967 for the season, respectively.
Commissioners also approved a contract with Smith Grounds Management, who will plant roses, hollies and liriope in the medians for $71,378. Due to concerns about possible fungus and beetle infestations throughout the year, there also is a $50 charge per bed per application for pesticides, if needed.
Smith was the lowest of four bidders for median planting. AA Tex-Lawn, the Brickman Group and Creative NatureScapes bid $82,480, $109,459 and $121,093, respectively.
Funding for mowing costs will come from the town’s tourism funds, while median planting costs will be drawn from capital improvement program funds, which were originally appropriated from tourism funds. The town’s tourism fund is supported by hotel and motel occupancy and prepared-food and beverage taxes.
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Send event information to firstname.lastname@example.org or call Editor Kara Lopp at 704-849-2261.
Free tax preparation available
The Family Financial Literacy Coalition is offering free tax preparation for local residents who make $51,000 or less per year.
Appointments are available at the North Carolina Department of Commerce’s Division of Workforce Solutions, 10801 Monroe Road, in Matthews.
The AARP also is providing help for area residents who earn $72,000 or less per year. Residents don’t have to be seniors to receive help from AARP tax preparers.
Appointments are available on Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. through
For more information, or to
schedule an appointment, call 704-761-8482 or visit www.fflcvita.
Free special needs baseball
The nonprofit Matthews Athletic Recreation Association has openings for area students with special needs to play baseball.
The special needs program, called Bambino Ball, pairs students with mental and/or physical challenges with local volunteers for a friendly game of baseball or softball. The free program is open to students ages 5 to 18.
Registration forms are available online at www.marasports.org.
For more information, call Charles Angerson at 980-233-0466 or email email@example.com.
Woodcarver winners hail from Matthews, Mint Hill
Three Matthews residents and one Mint Hill resident were first place winners in their category during the recent Charlotte Woodcarvers Club Showcase of Woodcarvings.
The show, with the theme of “The Wild, Wild West,” was held last month in Charlotte. Local blue-ribbon winners are: Bob Slaughter, Rebecca Black and Terrell Crowley, all of Matthews, and Bill McCaughey of Mint Hill.
The Charlotte Woodcarvers Club meets every Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Woodcraft store, 1725 Windsor Square Drive, in Matthews. Guests are welcome. Membership fees are $15 per year.
The club is open to men, women and children 12 and older, with a parent’s supervision. New members are given eight weeks of basic carving instruction.
For more information, visit www.charlottewoodcarvers.com.