Matthews-Mint Hill Weekly News Briefs July 19

Matthews-Mint Hill Weekly seeks editor
The Carolina Weekly Newspaper Group is accepting applications for the position of editor of Matthews-Mint Hill Weekly.
Interested candidates should email a resume and published writing clips to company Managing Editor Mike Parks at
For more information, see the ad on Page 9.

Downtown Mint Hill sidewalk work begins
Work on the first phase of a $590,000 sidewalk project began in downtown Mint Hill on Monday, July 15.
Mint Hill-based Creative NatureScapes, Inc. was recently hired to complete phase one of the project after bidding $204,814. Senior planner Dana Clukey said the town could pay slightly more if changes, such as trees that might need to come down, are
Clukey said work has already started next to Wendy’s and said the rest of the sidewalk work will likely be in the downtown area. It’ll be up to the contractor, however, to decide where the rest of the phase one sidewalks will go, she
The town doesn’t expect to close any roads during sidewalk construction, Clukey said.

Urgent: blood donors needed
The Community Blood Center of the Carolinas needs the public’s help to battle a regional blood shortage.
The nonprofit announced last week there is a regional blood shortage and is urging area residents to donate blood as soon as possible. Blood donated to CBCC helps patients in the Carolinas who are undergoing treatment for cancer and cardiovascular disease as well as trauma. The local blood supply typically drops in the summer because students – which account for about 20 percent of the agency’s supply – are out of school, where many blood drives are held.
Anyone age 16 or older who weighs at least 120 pounds is encouraged to donate at one of the five CBCC centers located in Charlotte, Concord, Gastonia, Hickory and Monroe or at one of CBCC’s blood drives.
For more information including a list of upcoming blood drives, visit or call 704-972-4700.

Plantation Estates earns wildlife habitat status
The Matthews retirement community Plantation Estates recently became a certified wildlife habitat with the National Wildlife Federation, according to a news release.
Plantation Estates has created a garden space that improves habitat for birds, butterflies, frogs and other wildlife by providing essential elements needed by all wildlife – natural food sources, clean water, cover and places to raise young, according to the release. The nonprofit joins more than 150,000 certified habitats nationwide.
For more information about how to certify your home or business, visit or call 800-822-9919.

Want to be Miss
Mint Hill?
Applications are now available for the Miss Mint Hill Scholarship Pageant.
The pageant, formerly Miss Mint Hill Madness, now includes more opportunities for scholarships and will be held Sept. 28 at Philadelphia Presbyterian Church. The pageant is open to girls ages 3 months to 18 years and participants don’t have to be a Mint Hill resident or have pageant experience.   Robinson Orthodontics, the event’s title sponsor, will feature Smile Wear, Beauty and Photogenic competitions.
Winners are eligible to receive $50 off a portrait session and the overall photogenic winner receives a free portrait session with Lenn Long of Miss Mint Hill will receive a $500 cash scholarship sponsored by Robinson Orthodontics. First and second runner ups in the Miss Division will receive $100 cash scholarships sponsored by Cheval Homes and the Miss Interview winner will receive a $100 cash scholarship sponsored by Todd Younker State Farm Insurance. Abbey Rose Florist will provide the queens bouquets and LogoPros will provide contestant T-shirts.
This year’s pageant also includes a $100 cash award for community service, sponsored by Big Guys Pizza. Contestants interested in the award must submit a 300-word essay detailing what they have done and are doing to serve their community.
Applications are available online at or by emailing Pageant Director Julie Shillingburg at
Applications can be dropped off at the following Mint Hill locations: Robinson Orthodontics, Big Guys Pizza, Todd Younker State Farm Insurance and Abbey Rose Florist or mailed to the address listed on the application.
For more information, email The pageant is limited to 75

Grant brings recycling bins to Stumptown
Matthews recently received a grant to provide recycling bins for Stumptown Park, 120 S. Trade St., according to a news release.
The grant was sponsored by Keep America Beautiful and The Coca-Cola Foundation. The town was one of 156 local governments, schools, colleges and other community groups nationwide to receive a grant. The bins are in the park now.
Matthews was chosen based on level of need, recycling experience and the ability of applicants to sustain their program in the future, according to the release.
The Bin Grant program awards recycling bins directly to recipients and leverages volume buying discounts. In its seven years of operation, the Bin Grant program has placed more than 29,000 recycling bins in more than 500 communities in 48 states and the District of Columbia.
A full list of the spring 2013 Bin Grant recipients and more information about the grant program is available at

Matthews offers tourism grants
Matthews is now accepting applications from local nonprofits for its annual tourism grants.
The town will award $56,000 in grants to organizations who attract tourists to the town. Nonprofits must meet strict guidelines to qualify for a grant. In the past, the town has awarded tourism grants to the Matthews Historical Foundation, Matthews Athletic Recreation Association baseball tournaments, the Matthews Alive! Festival and the Matthews Playhouse of Performing
Applications are due by Aug. 7.
For more information or to get an application, visit and click “Community News.”
If you have questions contact Corey King, Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resource director at 704-708-1263.

Matthews among best towns for young families
The Town of Matthews was recently ranked seventh in a top 10 list of the best towns in North Carolina to raise children, according to the credit card blog NerdWallet.
Matthews followed Indian Trail, which ranked fourth, and Mooresville, which ranked second. Morrisville was named number one.
The online article used schools’ academic performance, based on rankings from the nonprofit GreatSchools, cost of living data and economic growth in the last decade, according to the website.
Matthews was chosen for its strong schools and “successful companies,” including Harris Teeter, the website said.
To view the rankings, visit

Farmers’ market hosts marinara sauce competition
The Matthews Community Farmers’ Market will host a Best Marinara Sauce competition Saturday, July 27.
The competition is replacing the market’s annual Tomato Tasting Day. Recent rainy weather has decreased the amount of tomatoes local farmers have to
To enter the contest, participants should bring at least a half gallon of their best marinara sauce to the market, 188 N. Trade St., by 9 a.m. Entries must be made with fresh tomatoes from a home garden or tomatoes purchased at the farmers’ market. Entries must be submitted along with a whole tomato of each of the varieties used in the recipe. Sauces should include as many fresh, locally grown ingredients as possible, according to a news
Contest judges include: Luca Annunziata, chef-owner of Passion8 Bistro; Chef Joe Bonaparte of the International Culinary Schools of the Art Institute and Charlotte culinary expert and food writer Heidi Billotto.
Entries will be judged on taste, texture, consistency, appearance and aroma. The judges will determine first-, second- and third-place winners. There also will be a tasting table where market customers can sample entries and vote for their favorite to win in the “People’s Choice”
The first prize winner will receive $25 in market gift certificates, a market tote bag and a market T-shirt. Other prizes include market tote bags, T-shirts and a bouquet of fresh-cut flowers.
For more information, visit

Relay for Life needs volunteers
The Matthews-Mint Hill Relay for Life is looking for volunteers to serve on its 2014 planning committee.
The annual event raises money for local programs of the American Cancer Society.
For more information or to volunteer, call Blair Lindley at 704-552-6147 or email

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