Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Charlotte, NC – In these tough economic times, the need for homeless
supports only continues to rise. Mecklenburg County Area Mental Health
officials are pleased to announce that not only has federal funding
that supports homeless services been renewed, but that new funding has
also been awarded. Every year the Department of Housing and Urban
Development (HUD) awards funding to communities to assist homeless and
disabled citizens with housing. This year, Mecklenburg County and the
City of Charlotte were awarded recurring and new HUD funding totaling
$3,415,231. Most of the funding is recurring and will be disbursed to
maintain existing Continuum of Care programs and services through
partnering agencies that assist the homeless like the Salvation Army,
Hope Haven and Community Link.

Mecklenburg County Area Mental Health will receive $1,904,903 of that
funding which will continue to support the community's Shelter Plus
Care and ACCESS programs -- $260,532 of which is brand new funding
through the Samaritan Bonus award. This new money will provide some
additional permanent housing subsidies for the chronically homeless.

Area Mental Health Housing Resource Development Coordinator and Chair
of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Continuum of Care Roxi Johnson believes
the money will better meet the needs of the growing homeless
population in our community. "It ensures that we can continue to
provide stable housing for those with disabilities who are most in
need. Most of these people have an area median income of $15,000 a
year or less. With the new money, it provides us with an opportunity
to extend assistance to more people," said Johnson.

Peter Safir, Mecklenburg County's Homeless Services director,
estimates that there are approximately 6000 homeless persons in the
Charlotte-Mecklenburg community. Currently 181 individuals and/or
families occupy housing units that are assisted by HUD funding. The
federal Stimulus Package may provide some additional funding for
homeless shelters and housing, but the specific impact of that funding
is yet to be determined.

ACCESS is an integrated multidisciplinary System of Care for people
who are homeless and severely mentally ill and for those with co-
occurring mental health and substance abuse disorders. ACCESS provides
outreach, assessment and case management services. Shelter Plus Care
is a tenant-based rental assistance program through HUD for persons
who are chronically homeless and have a disability.

Mecklenburg County Area Mental Health manages the public mental
health, substance abuse and developmental disability system in
Mecklenburg County. For help and information, the public can contact
the Area Mental Health call center, MeckLINK at 704-336-6404 or visit
Mecklink.charmeck.org. MeckLINK provides screening and referrals to
appropriate service providers in the community in English and Spanish.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Elliott Davis Capital Partners To Host Seminar on Creating Value in a Downturn

CHARLOTTE, N.C. Feb. 18, 2009 – Elliott Davis Capital Partners, the
regional investment banking affiliate of Elliott Davis, PLLC, one of
the largest accounting, tax and consulting services firms in the
Southeast, will host a seminar titled "Making An Acquisition in a
Troubled Market – Creating Value in a Downturn." The seminar will be
held on Mar. 12, 2009 from 8:00 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. at the Charlotte
City Club, 121 W. Trade St., Ste. 3100.

Pre-registration for the seminar is required and available at www.elliottdavis.com/EDCP_seminar.aspx
or by contacting Tracy Waldroup at twaldroup@elliottdavis.com or
864-552-4874. The registration deadline is Mar. 9, 2009.
The seminar will discuss key issues for buyers and sellers to consider
when contemplating an acquisition including: reasons for making an
acquisition, how to determine value in the target company, transaction
and financing terms in this environment, and the top five mistakes to
avoid when making an acquisition.

Speakers will include: Michael Hronchek, managing director of Elliott
Davis Capital Partners; Rick Hewitt, principal with the transaction
services group at Elliott Davis; Bob Anders, founder and managing
partner with Plexus Capital; Charlie Arndt, senior vice president with
RBC Bank's commercial markets group; and Tom Barr, entrepreneur and
founder of TestAmerica.
Seminar sponsor Elliott Davis Capital Partners provides investment
banking services to emerging and middle market businesses and their
investors including assistance with mergers and acquisitions,
dispositions, private placements, recapitalizations and restructurings.

The firm's investment banking services are led by Managing Director
Michael Hronchek. Hronchek has 18 years experience advising closely-
held and middle market companies and their management teams, and has
served clients in numerous industries including technology,
manufacturing and distribution, healthcare, hospitality and
construction. Hronchek and the other professionals at Elliott Davis
Capital Partners have advised clients ranging in size from pre-revenue
to, in excess of, $500 million in annual revenue.

Hronchek began his career with Price Waterhouse, serving as an audit
manager in the Atlanta, Ga. office. He has served as chief financial
officer of an electronic payments company and strategy consultant for
an international consulting firm. Prior to joining Elliott Davis
Capital Partners, Hronchek was managing director of an Atlanta-based
investment banking firm.
Hronchek earned a bachelor's degree in finance from the University of
Notre Dame and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of
Pennsylvania. Michaels holds Series 7, 24 and 63 licenses with the

Elliott Davis Capital Partners is a regional investment banking firm
established to assist companies with their corporate finance needs.
The firm provides merger and acquisition, private placement, and
restructuring services to privately-held, emerging and middle market
businesses and their investors. For more information, go to www.elliottdavisCP.com

Since 1925, Elliott Davis, PLLC has been the accounting, tax and
consulting services firm that provides clients the solutions needed to
achieve their objectives while offering their people rewarding
opportunities. Today, Elliott Davis has 50 shareholders and 400
employees in 10 offices throughout the Southeast. Elliott Davis'
affiliates include Elliott Davis Capital Partners, LLC, a regional
investment banking firm; and Elliott Davis Investment Advisors, which
creates objective and competent investment solutions customized to
meet the needs of individuals, companies, endowments and foundations.
The firm is a member of The Leading Edge Alliance, an international
professional association of independently-owned accounting and
consulting firms based in the U.S., and is strategically aligned with
LEA Europe and LEA Asia Pacific, a worldwide network of 430 offices in
90 countries around the globe.

For more information about Elliott Davis and its services, visit www.elliottdavis.com

County Commission Makes Budget Cuts, Other Feb. 17 Actions

The Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners met in the Charlotte-
Mecklenburg Government Center on Tuesday,
February 17, 2009. The meeting is scheduled for re-telecast at various
times on the Government Channel (Time-Warner
Cable Channel 16) and GOV-TV (digital cable channel 232). The meeting
can also be viewed online at

County Manager Harry Jones gave the board an update on how the current
economic situation is
impacting the County's operating budget for both the current and
upcoming fiscal year.
To address a funding gap, the County Manager has directed the
following spending reduction
 Immediate County hiring freeze
 15% reduction in non-salary accounts ($21M)
 Requested reductions in County funding from its partners CMS, CPCC,
Library, MEDIC
and Carolinas Healthcare System ($9M)
The County Manager will review the proposed reductions later this week
and anticipates
implementing most of these reductions immediately. Those reductions
involving policy decisions
or that significantly alter the County's course of operations will be
brought to the Board for
additional input.

The County Manager reported a $70 million preliminary gap between
current year funding and
projected revenues for FY2010. To address this gap, which is likely to
increase as budget
estimates are refined, the County Manager has taken the following steps:
 County departments, Library, MEDIC and other agencies will identify
reductions of 20%
from the current year
 Request to CMS, CPCC and WTVI to share the burden of eliminating
the gap by
considering a 10% reduction from current year's funding.
County Manager Harry Jones reported that if County departments had to
assume the full burden
of eliminating the $70 million gap, it would require the County to
eliminate 800 to 1,000 jobs
and layoff approximately 500 employees. Manager Jones indicated his
intention to retain jobs
and people when possible, but that many County employees would
potentially be put out of work
if the County's key business partners, especially Charlotte-
Mecklenburg Schools, do not share
the responsibility for eliminating this funding gap.

The Board decided to conduct a review of $1.3 billion in authorized
but unissued capital projects
on March 11 and April 28. This review will include a report on the
debt capacity available under

The Board adopted a policy for the audio recording of its closed
session meetings. The recordings
will be available to the public as soon as the Board approves minutes
of the meeting. The
recordings will be retained for two years after they become public
unless the Board directs that
they be retained longer.

The Board held a public hearing and approved a street lighting
assessment for 14
subdivisions. Homeowners in these subdivisions went through a petition
that qualified the subdivisions for funding in the form of a loan for
the installation
and operation of street lights. Homeowners will be assessed for these
costs until the
subdivisions are incorporated into the City limits as a result of

The Board recognized the Harding University High School Band, which
performed during the Presidential Inaugural Parade last month in
Washington, DC.

The Board received an update on the financial condition of
the U.S. Whitewater Center, which was built and operated by
a private company on County-owned park land.
As part of its agreement with the Whitewater Center,
Mecklenburg County agreed to pay a maximum annual
service fee of $1 million for seven years, unless the Center
generates revenue in excess of its operating and debt costs. For the
fiscal year ending October 31,
2008, the reported revenues did not exceed operating expenses plus
debt service so Mecklenburg
County is obligated for the entire $1 million service fee, which is
already approved in this fiscal
year's operating budget.
This is the second full year that Center has been in operation. It has
not been able to generate
sufficient income to make the required principal payments on its
outstanding debt of $38 million.

As part of its consent agenda, the Board amended the Department of
Social Services budget by
adding $1 million in US Department of Energy funds. The additional
funding will assist
Mecklenburg residents with heating and cooling needs through the end
of FY2009. Crisis
Assistance Ministries will continue to administer these funds to those
eligible. This brings the
FY2009 total of these Crisis Intervention Program funds to $4.2
million, compared with $2.6
million last year.

The next meeting of the Board of County Commissioners is scheduled for
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
at 6 p.m. at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center, 600 East
Fourth Street, Charlotte. The
agenda will be available at www.MecklenburgCountyNC.gov on Friday,
February 27, 2009.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Charlotte, NC – Did you know hunger was already a struggle for 1 in 8
Americans even before these challenging economic times? Now, food
pantries all across the country are finding it difficult to keep up
with the increased demand.

There is hope! The Mecklenburg County Health Department's Fit City
Challenge has created a way for residents to give back to the
community while helping themselves live a healthier lifestyle.

The Lose Weight, Donate Challenge brings together the Fit City
Challenge and Earth Fare, the Healthy Supermarket to encourage weight
loss through physical activity and healthy eating.

For each pound of weight lost by participants, Earth Fare will donate
an equivalent amount of healthy food or money to Second Harvest Food
Bank of Charlotte.

Here's how it works:
· Register for the FREE challenge anytime between February 16
and May 10, 2009, at www.fitcitychallenge.org

· Use the online fitness log to record your weight and track

· Watch your loss turn into someone else's gain. It's a win-
win for the community.

"Whether you need to lose a little or a lot, we'll give you tips and
tools to help along the way," said Dianne Thomas, Fit City Challenge
director. "This is an excellent opportunity to improve your health
while helping those most in need."

So, log onto www.fitcitychallenge.org and get started today. Also, Fit
City is now on Twitter. Get daily tips and friendly nudges to help as
you work to live a healthier life.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Idlewild Elementary debuts student documentary

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Feb. 13, 2009 – Idlewild Elementary students,
parents, current and former principals and staff members will debut a
documentary tracing the history of the school. Idlewild opened in 1957
and the original building will be demolished as part of a major
renovation project. Before the construction equipment moved in, fifth-
grade students decided they wanted to learn more about their school.

"Last year's fifth graders were the first magnet class to attend
Idlewild from kindergarten through fifth grade," said Gloria Jones,
talent development/learning immersion coordinator. "I was
brainstorming with The Light Factory about a special project for the
class, and we came up with the idea for the documentary."

The History of Idlewild Elementary project was made possible by the
John Taylor Memorial Fund, which benefits The Light Factory
Contemporary Museum of Photography and Film. Every year, The Light
Factory uses proceeds from the fund to pay for a teaching artist who
works with CMS students to promote the power of image through
photography or film. Filmmaker Katlyn Wyllie worked with the class for
a small fee, which was covered by the fund.

"Some of the students were more excited about the project than others,
but they all agreed to participate," said Idlewild Principal Jane
Collins. "After starting the research, the students really got
interested in what they uncovered."

The students worked with a historian and visited the public library to
research Idlewild's history using microfiche, personnel records and
maps. They also asked the local community and CMS staff for help and
received an overwhelming response.

"We found the principal who opened the school in 1957," said Jones.
"The students tracked down and interviewed nearly all of Idlewild's
principals. One had died since retiring from CMS, but the students
interviewed his secretary."

While the students were working on the documentary, filmmaker Wyllie
moved to Washington, D.C., but continued to help with the project. The
students sent her tapes of their interviews and old photos they
discovered and Wyllie put a script together, which one of the students

"Now we have a wonderful documentary of Idlewild's history that we can
keep for years," said Jones. "Our students loved this project. One
said, 'You can tear down the walls of our school, but you can't tear
down our memories,' and that is so true."

Media Note: Students, parents, staff and members of the community are
invited to The Light Factory (345 North College Street) for the
premiere of the documentary on Sunday, Feb. 15, at 4 p.m.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Charlotte, NC – Mecklenburg County Government has refunded nearly $254
million in general obligation public improvement bonds, saving
taxpayers $18 million in interest over the next 10 years.

Finance Director Dena Diorio describes the refunding as the same as
refinancing a home loan and taking the mortgage at a lower interest
rate. The new bonds were refunded by Wells Fargo for approximately 10
years at a rate of 2.3%. The average annual saving is $1.5 million
over the life of the deal for a total saving of $18 million.

The refunding was authorized by the Board of County Commissioners at
its Feb. 3, 2009 meeting. The sale took place on Wednesday to take
advantage of current conditions in the municipal bond market.

"We have always looked for ways to save taxpayers' money," says
Diorio. "We were able to take advantage of a narrow window of
opportunity in the bond market to get a better rate on these bonds."
Also at its February 3 meeting, the Board approved the recommendation
of County Manager Harry L. Jones Sr., to delay borrowing $253 million
in bonds until next year's operating budget is developed. The delay
will reduce a projected $90 million budget gap for next year (FY2010)
by approximately $18.3 million. Borrowing the $253 million may be put
off until FY2010 to defer incurring additional debt service costs
until FY2011.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Charlotte, NC – Known for huge flood losses, the Cavalier Apartments
are setting a new record: the biggest donation of building materials
ever to Habitat for Humanity of Charlotte. In February, hundreds of
like-new kitchen cabinets, windows and doors are being removed from
the apartment complex to be sold at local Habitat ReStores.

Mecklenburg County bought the Cavalier Apartments in 2008 using a
combination of local storm water fee dollars and FEMA flood mitigation
grant funds. The apartment complex will be torn down in late February
and March. Before demolition starts, Habitat staff and volunteers are
removing reusable building materials, mostly from the 90 apartment
units on the second floor that were not damaged by flooding last
August. Those items include:
· 900 oak kitchen cabinets
· 764 vinyl windows
· 450 interior doors
· at least 90 exterior doors.

Habitat Donations Manager Tim Murphy called it the largest
deconstruction project that Habitat of Charlotte has ever been
involved with. "It took us a week to just uninstall the kitchen
cabinets," Murphy said. "With an energetic group of volunteers, we
filled an entire tractor-trailer last Saturday with cabinets from 40
apartments." The harvesting continues this week and next, and Murphy
expects to fill the equivalent of three tractor-trailers with the
donated building supplies from Cavalier.

Murphy estimates that Habitat will remove more than $90,000 worth of
materials from the apartments. The sale of these items at the ReStores
will be enough to pay for the construction of one Habitat home. The
two Charlotte ReStores are open to the public and have already begun
selling cabinets and doors removed in the past week from Cavalier.

David Goode, project manager with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water
Services, called the harvesting of cabinets, windows and doors from
the Cavalier Apartments a win-win for the entire community. "The
apartments will be torn down and never flood again. The open space
will benefit the neighborhood and water quality in Briar Creek.
Habitat will sell quality building materials to remodelers at an
affordable price. Tons of usable materials will be kept out of
construction landfills. And Habitat will reinvest the proceeds back
into the community as affordable housing for deserving families."


Charlotte, NC – In these uncertain and trying economic times, more
and more of us are experiencing stress, anxiety, depression and
feelings of hopelessness. Mecklenburg County Area Mental Health,
Substance Abuse and Developmental Disabilities Services, has seen a
record number of inquiries -- a 25% increase in call volume -- over
the last few months requesting mental health, substance abuse and
developmental disability services.

To meet the ever-growing concerns around the impact of skyrocketing
jobless rates and the economic crisis, Area Mental Health would like
to remind citizens that it is important to reach out and ask for help
when stress, anxiety, depression and alcohol and substance abuse
become emotional and behavioral challenges.

MeckLINK is Mecklenburg County's central call center for mental
health, substance abuse, and developmental disability service
referrals. MeckLINK will assess immediate needs and refer individuals
to local providers that can help. Citizens can contact MeckLINK at
704-336-6404. Additionally, Area Mental Health contracts with a Mobile
Crisis Team that can be dispatched to wherever mental health crises
occur in the community. The Mecklenburg County Mobile Crisis Team
phone number is 704-566-3410.

Area Mental Health Deputy Director Carlos Hernandez says the signs and
symptoms of anxiety and depression (the most common reactions to
stress) are often intermixed. "Often, while looking for emotional
equilibrium, people will look for relief in the wrong places:
overindulgence of alcohol, other substances and other high risk
behaviors," Hernandez says.

Overall, emotional reactions to high levels of stress can be intense,
frightening and debilitating. It is important at moments like these
to seek professional assistance.

Don't wait another day hoping that you or someone you love will simply
"snap out of it."

Mecklenburg County Area Mental Health manages the public mental health
system in Mecklenburg County which includes screening, assessing, and
referring consumers to appropriate service providers in the community.
For help and information, the public can contact the Area Mental
Health call center, MeckLINK, at 704-336-6404 or visit
Mecklink.Charmeck.org. Referrals made in English and Spanish.

Current schools construction on schedule

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Feb. 10, 2009 – All schools under construction,
including six set to open in August, are on schedule, a top Charlotte-
Mecklenburg Schools official told the Board of Education Tuesday
during an update on capital projects.

"We've been assured that the projects that are currently under
construction will continue to be funded," said Guy Chamberlain,
associate superintendent for auxiliary services.

However, nearly 20 other new-construction and renovation projects in
the pipeline – including four elementary schools scheduled to open in
2010 – will likely be delayed because of Mecklenburg County's
financial woes. County commissioners have said they do not want to
incur any additional debt during the current economic crisis.

Chamberlain also told Board members that of the $745 million in
Certificates of Participation (COPs) and bonds approved by voters
since 2006, $436 million in work has been completed or is under
contract. The remaining $309 million has not been awarded.

As projects progress, CMS has saved substantial money by using good
bid practices and sound fiscal management.
"The cumulative savings in all projects is about $21 million,"
Chamberlain said. "We've been good stewards of taxpayer dollars. We're
trying to deliver as we promised."

Of that $21 million in savings, $7 million has been redirected to 2008
COPs projects; the remaining amount has yet to be allocated.

In November 2007, voters approved a $516 million school-bond
referendum, including $30 million set aside to buy land for future
schools. CMS has spent about half of the money on sites for four
elementary schools and two middle schools, and on land to expand
McClintock Middle.

"The county has indicated that they are not going to issue any debt
until July or August," Chamberlain said, adding that it's unclear how
much the county will issue.

For the 2009-10 academic year, the six schools scheduled to open are:
Hamilton Smith Road, Berewick (formerly Dixie River Road), Mount Holly-
Huntersville and Salome Church Road elementary schools, and Ridge Road
and Belmeade Road middle schools.

The following school year, Bailey Road and Matthews/Mint Hill high
schools will open. Four elementary schools are also scheduled to open
but could be delayed because it appears the county will not issue the
necessary bonds by June. The schools are: Robinson Church Road, Ervin
Cook Road, Johnston Oehler Road and New York Road/Red Fez Club.
Other highlights of Chamberlain's presentation:
o CMS stands to lose the free site where it plans
to build an elementary school at the Palisades. Under an agreement
between CMS, Mecklenburg County and Crescent Resources, the developer
donated the site to CMS as part of a rezoning. However, CMS agreed to
begin construction by July 1 or lose the free site. If construction
begins after July 1, CMS would have to pay market value – $1.3 million
– for the site.
o The CMS per-square-foot construction cost
remains lower than the state averages. For elementary, CMS is $131.61,
compared to the state's $145.50. For middle schools, CMS pays $117.69,
compared to the state's $167.11. For high schools, CMS is $167.50,
compared to the state's $182.25.
o The CMS per-seat construction cost is also lower
than the statewide averages for elementary, middle and high schools.
For elementary schools, CMS pays $14,220, compared to the state's
$16,911. For middle schools, the district pays $12,749, compared to
the state's $24,207. For high schools, CMS pays $21,623, compared to
the state's $31,087.
o CMS is on track to reduce by 15 percent the
number of temporary or mobile classrooms, a goal in the district's
Strategic Plan 2010. "With the classrooms that we deliver in August,
we will be able to take about 350 mobiles out of service and we'll
meet the goal a year early," Chamberlain said. CMS has more than 1,200
mobile classrooms.

CMS saves money through online auctions

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Feb. 10, 2009 – After an initial test auction,
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is moving forward with plans to sell
additional surplus property through an online auction site. The
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education on Feb. 10 approved a
proposal to sell hundreds of chairs, desks and tables through
GovDeals, an online auction service.

"We tested the online auction process with a small number of surplus
pieces in December," said Kenneth Wilson, director of storage and
distribution for CMS. "The auction was successful and we estimate we
made at least 50 percent more money through the online service,
compared to a live auction."

CMS sold refrigerators, stoves, bookcases and desks online in December
and made $2,028.30. That compares to an estimated $1,300 for selling
the items through a live auction. The online vendor also charges a
much lower rate for holding the auction: 7.5 percent of total sales,
compared to a 38 percent commission for a live auction vendor.

CMS houses surplus property at its warehouse. Items not recycled
within the district are sold to the public. The district previously
held live surplus-property auctions twice a year to make space for new
items in the warehouse. Selling items online could reduce warehousing
costs, because goods may be sold as soon as they are available.

GovDeals provides online auction service to 2,100 government clients
across the United States, including 29 school districts in North
Carolina. According to GovDeals, clients report online auctions bring
20 percent to 40 percent more revenue compared to live auctions. CMS
hopes the additional exposure and convenience also will bring in more

The next online auction will be open from Feb. 16 – 27. Those
interested may go to the CMS Web site (www.cms.k12.nc.us) to be linked
to the GovDeals site. Bidders can register free on the site.

Parent University expands offerings

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Feb. 10, 2009 – Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools' Parent
University has doubled its course offerings and expanded its locations
in the program's second semester.

"We are thrilled with the response we've already received from
parents, community members and partners," Jerri Haigler, executive
director of Family and Community Services and Parent University, told
the Board Feb. 10. "We learned many valuable lessons during our first
semester and have already made changes to ensure we are reaching as
many families as possible."

During Parent University's first semester last fall, 31 courses were
offered in schools, public libraries, YMCA branches and other
locations. More than 2,700 parents attended programs on parenting
awareness, health and wellness, personal growth and development, and
helping children learn in the 21st century.

More than 9,000 people also visited the U.S. National Whitewater
Center on Oct. 18 for Fall Family Fun Day. Participants learned about
Parent University, visited booths staffed by community partners, and
explored the Whitewater Center's grounds.

Haigler said Parent University staff made changes to reach even more
families this semester. Parents asked for more topics of interest to
them, the need to provide food, child care and transportation whenever
possible, and classes in Spanish. This spring, families may choose
from 64 classes offered 159 times acrossMecklenburg County. The
curriculum includes: preparing students for the End-of-Grade (EOG) and
End-of-Course (EOC) tests; preparing students for transitions to
middle and high school, and professional growth and development.
Fifteen classes are also being offered in Spanish.

"We have also expanded the number of locations where parents can take
courses," said Haigler. "We have partnered with more houses of worship
and businesses."

A successful business partnership with Wachovia led to on-site lunch-
and-learn sessions for employees. Hundreds of Wachovia workers
attended classes on helping students build study skills; preparing for
End-of-Grade tests; surviving adolescence, and higher education for
working adults.

For more information on Parent University, go to the CMS Web site at www.cms.k12.nc.us
, call 980-343-0318, or e-mail info@parentuniversity.org.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Mecklenburg Officials Visit Washington To Lobby For Stimulus Funds

Mecklenburg County Commissioners Jennifer Roberts and Vilma Leake and
County Manager Harry Jones are in Washington DC to meet with the North
Carolina Congressional Delegation. They are lobbying for funding for
local projects totaling $430 million. Those projects include:

• CPCC's Harris Campus expansion
• CPCC parking deck
• Greenways/urban connectivity
• Memorial stadium/Grady Cole Center
• Several parks
• Freedom center
• Solid waste facility
• Storm water systems
• New schools
• School renovations and repairs
The Mecklenburg County officials will meet with Congressmen Watt, and
Kissell and Senators Hagen and Burr as well as Sue Myrick's Washington
Chief of Staff.

Senator Hagen told the local group that it is unlikely that any of the
$16 Billion removed from the Senate bill will be restored. That money
would have been used for school construction.

The discussion with Senator Burr included transit (north and northeast
corridors), social services and homelessness.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Myrick Selected to Serve on House Intelligence Committee

(Washington, D.C.) – US Representative Sue Myrick (NC-09) has been
selected by House Leadership to serve on the House Permanent Select
Committee on Intelligence.

"With my work on anti-terrorism issues, I'm excited to have been
selected to serve on such an esteemed committee," Rep. Myrick said.
"I look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure the safety of
the American public by providing the intelligence community with the
proper resources and oversight it needs to effectively execute its
goals." Rep. Myrick is the founder and co-chair of the House Anti-
Terrorism Caucus.

Rep. Myrick was selected for the committee by House Minority Leader
John Boehner.

"Representative Myrick has shown herself to be committed to issues
related to the intelligence community, and I know that she will be a
great asset to the committee," said Leader Boehner.

Rep. Myrick will continue to serve on the Energy and Commerce
Committee, specifically the Subcommittees on Health, and Commerce,
Trade and Consumer Protection. However, due to time constraints, she
has vacated her seat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee
Subcommittee on Energy and the Environment.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Mecklenburg County Responds To Health Crisis Among African Americans with Free HIV/AIDS Testing

Charlotte, NC – On Friday, February 6, the Mecklenburg County Health
Department will take part in recognition of National Black HIV/AIDS
Awareness Day. The day is set aside each year to raise awareness of
the vicious toll HIV/AIDS continues to inflict on African-American
communities across the United States.

While African-Americans account for only 13 percent of the nation's
population, this group represents almost half (49 percent) of the
people who contract HIV and are diagnosed with AIDS. In Mecklenburg
County, where African-Americans make up 31 percent of the population,
most recent statistics show that this group accounts for 69 percent of
all cases of HIV/AIDS.

"The primary goal of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day is to
motivate African-Americans to get tested and know their HIV status.
Its imperative that they know how the disease is transmitted, and get
treated if they are currently living with HIV," said Dr. Stephen
Keener, medical director for the Health Department.

This Friday, February 6, the Health Department will go on the road to
provide free, confidential HIV and syphilis testing. This event is
open to the public.

· Johnson C. Smith University,
100 Beatties Ford Road, Counseling and Testing Building 32
10 a.m.-4 p.m.

The Mecklenburg County Health Department always offers free,
confidential testing at two locations, 2845 Beatties Ford Road and 249
Billingsley Road. Walk-ins are accepted or appointments can be made by
calling our appointment line at (704) 336-6500.

Residents with questions can also call the testing hotline at (704)
432-TEST seven days a week from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m. The Health
Department also offers HIV/STD education, HIV case management and an
HIV early intervention clinic.