A look back at the favorite feature stories of the year
As a community-focused newspaper, feature stories on individuals, groups and organizations from our coverage area are an important part of what we do at Matthews-Mint Hill Weekly.
From the inspirational and motivational to the comical and downright bizarre, our newspaper constantly works to keep our readers entertained and informed through weekly feature stories on newsworthy events and accomplishments taking place in and around Matthews and Mint Hill.
Take a look back at some of our favorite feature stories from 2015. Read the entire stories by clicking on the headlines.
Featured in the Jan. 23 issue
CHARLOTTE – Nancy Writebol gained national attention after contracting Ebola while serving as a missionary in Liberia in 2014. The former Charlotte Christian School employee spoke about her experience in January at a luncheon in Calvary Church in south Charlotte.
Featured in the Jan. 23 issue
MINT HILL – Rev. Dr. Jesse L. Douglas Sr. is often referred to as the “unidentified white man” in a famous photo, featuring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during the Selma to Montgomery March in 1965. Actually African-American with light skin, Douglas now resides at Clear Creek Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Mint Hill. Douglas sat down with Matthews-Mint Hill Weekly in January to discuss his experience working alongside King to bring social justice to America during the mid-20th century.
Featured in the Feb. 6 issue
MATTHEWS – Silent Images, a Matthews-based nonprofit that uses still photography and videography to tell stories of hope amidst hardship locally and abroad, has hosted an ongoing program to equip the people of Myanmar to tell their own story.
Honoring their daughters’ memory
Featured in the April 3 issue
MATTHEWS – Matthews residents Amy McKelvey and Kim Frizzell hiked 28.3 miles earlier this year to fight cancer through CureSearch’s semi-annual Ultimate Hike. The hike follows a mountainous trail through North and South Carolina and raises money for CureSearch, which provides funding for childhood cancer research and clinical trials, as well as resources and education for families of children diagnosed with cancer. McKelvey and Frizzell both lost their teenage daughters to cancer in 2008.
Featured in the May 29 issue
MATTHEWS – June Bayless founded a small community theater in 1995. Twenty years later, the theater – now known as Matthews Playhouse of the Performing Arts – has become a staple in the community, producing multiple stage plays and musicals throughout the year. The nonprofit theater group hosted several big shows this year to celebrate its 20th anniversary, including “Alice in Wonderland” – the first show Matthews Playhouse produced.
By Justin Vick
Featured in the July 17 issue
MATTHEWS – The Matthews community rallied around Echo, an injured pit bull who was a victim of illegal dogfighting, over the summer. Animal control officer Jeremy Schnabel responded to a call on June 10 regarding a dog found lying in the middle of Lakeview Circle. Schnabel took Echo to S.A.F.E. Animal Haven, and the nonprofit helped rehabilitate the dog. The Matthews community raised thousands of dollars for Echo’s care, and Schnabel eventually adopted the pit bull and vowed to make sure the dog had a happy life from then on.
Featured in the Oct. 2 issue
Featured as part of Matthews-Mint Hill Weekly’s October health and wellness issue, this story focused on the potentially deadly effects of America’s dependency on caffeine. Energy products such as shots, powders, pills and drinks can be especially dangerous, health experts say.
Featured in the Oct. 30 issue
MINT HILL – Just days before Halloween, the Mint Hill Historical Society received a bizarre donation: a human skeleton. The skeleton, which was donated by a family with generations of medical professionals in its history, was used by a medical student for academic purposes. It is now on display at the Carl J. McEwen Historic Village’s Mint Hill Country Doctor’s Museum.
Featured in the Nov. 13 issue
MATTHEWS – Rev. Dr. Larry Whitley became the town of Matthews’s first African-American elected official when he won a seat on the town’s Board of Commissioners in November. Whitley is a retired captain with the N.C. Highway Patrol and has served as pastor of Mt. Moriah Missionary Baptist Church, located in Matthews’s historic Crestdale community, for 18 years.
Featured in the Dec. 11 issue
MATTHEWS – Students at Covenant Day School helped strangers more than 1,600 miles away through their “ContainIt” project, which provided an additional living space for those gripped by poverty at the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. The Lakota Indians living on the reservation face conditions of extreme poverty, unemployment and alcoholism.