Monday, August 31, 2009



Charlotte, NC - Mecklenburg County government offices and agencies
will be closed on Monday, September 7, 2009 for the Labor Day holiday.
This includes all units of the Department of Social Services, the Tax
Office, Elections Office, the Register of Deeds Office, and the Land
Use and Environmental Services Office.

Mecklenburg County Substance Abuse Center (Detox) is open 24 hours a
day, seven days a week.

The Department of Social Services Care Line (704-336-CARE or
704-336-2273) operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week to receive
reports of suspected abuse or neglect of children and elderly or
disabled adults.

The Health Department will be closed on Monday, September 7, 2009.

The Main Library and all library branches will be closed on Monday,
September 7, 2009.

All Solid Waste administrative offices and facilities will be closed
on Monday, September 7, 2009 with the exception of Compost Central,
which will be open 7 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Park and Recreation administrative offices will be closed on Monday,
September 7, 2009. County parks, recreation centers and nature centers
will operate normal hours. The Aquatic Center and Marion Diehl Pool
will operate special hours, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Rays Splash Planet will
have special hours, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Outdoor pools will operate
regular hours, Noon - 6 p.m. and will close for the session at the end
of Labor Day.

As a reminder, CharMeck 311 remains open and available to the public
when City and County offices are closed for holidays and on the weekend.



Charlotte, N.C. – A Mecklenburg County incentive program for green
builders has expanded to include residential construction projects.

Mecklenburg County Code Enforcement has offered the Green Permit
Rebate Program for businesses since 2008. The program encourages green
construction by rewarding projects certified as sustainable
construction by one of the following environmental construction rating

● The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green
Building Rating System

● The Green Globes Program, which is accredited through the American
National Standards Institute (ANSI) and sponsored by the Green
Building Initiative

● EarthCraft House, a residential green building program of the
Greater Atlanta Home Builders Association in partnership with Southface

● N.C. Healthy Built Homes, a collaboration of the North Carolina
Solar Center, the State Energy Office, N.C. Department of
Administration and local building professional organizations

● The NAHB National Green Building Program, the ANSI-approved
ICC-700-2008 National Green Building Standard. This standard defines
green building for single and multifamily homes, residential
remodeling projects and site development projects.

In order to apply for the rebate, the project owner must submit an
application to Code Enforcement before the certificate of occupancy is
issued. When the project is certified, the owner must submit the
certification form to Code Enforcement. Once Code Enforcement has
verified the project's eligibility, the validity of the
certification, the receipt of the application before the issuance of
the certificate of occupancy and, finally, the certificate of
occupancy itself, the project owner is eligible for a rebate of up to
25 percent of the net permit fee, with a maximum rebate of $100,000.

The County is seeking applications from project owners. More than $1
million in funding is available for Green Permit Rebates.

To apply for the rebate, go to

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Charlotte Resident Named National Finalist in $25,000 Ocean Spray Recipe Contest

Ocean Spray Announces Finalists in Ultimate Cranberry Recipe Contest;
Foodies Vie for Chance to Win $25,000
Contestants Whip-up Cranberry Creations for Chef Tyler Florence at
Live Cook-Off

LAKEVILLE-MIDDLEBORO, MASS. (August 26, 2009) – The sweet smell of
victory will be cranberry scented for the winners of Ocean Spray's
2009 Ultimate Cranberry Recipe Contest. A winner from each category –
foodservice professionals and home cooks – will receive $25,000 cash
and a year supply of Ocean Spray products. Contest judge and Food
Network Star Tyler Florence, host of "Tyler's Ultimate," will announce
the winners on Oct. 6 following a live cook-off in New York City.

The contest attracted more than 2,000 new cranberry culinary creations
in the professional and home cook divisions. Innovative cranberry
concepts included everything from Panini sandwiches and Panna Cotta
desserts to chutneys, salads, hearty stews and flavorful main dishes.

Many of the cranberry items in this year's entries were accentuated
with a mix of slightly more exotic influences, inspiring ingredients
such as Fleur de sel and smoked salt, black rice, chipotle and ancho
chile powders. As seen in a number of the finalist recipes, dishes
also reflected a trend toward Asian-inspired flavors. Hoisin sauce,
fish sauce, Chinese five-spice powder, star anise, lemongrass and
sesame oil were common choices.

"Most people think about cranberries during the holidays but they are
versatile and can be used year-round," said Tyler Florence.
"Cranberries can add a new dimension to almost any dish or drink, so
I'm looking forward to seeing how they are showcased at the cook-off."

The Finalists

Finalist recipes in the consumer category include Sweet-n-Savory
Haricot Verts from Kara Adanalian of Fresno, Calif.; Savory Blue
Cranberry Shortbread with Caramelized Onion Cranberry Jam from Laureen
Pittman of Riverside, Calif.; Cranberry Bacon Brunch Scones with
Cranberry Pecan Cream Cheese from Patrice Hurd of Bemidji, Minn.;
Cranberry Monte Cristo Strata of Janice Elder, from Charlotte, N.C.

The foodservice finalist recipes included a Tropical Summer Sling from
Lewis Thompson of DNC/MFS Food Group at Richmond International Airport
in Richmond, Va.; Trail Mix Tortoni from Bryan Buffington of Lanier
Village Estates in Gainesville, Ga.; Asian Shrimp and Scallops with
Ginger Cranberry Syrup from Katsuto Sandifer of Homestead Resort in
Warm Springs, Va.; and Cranberry Wontons with Cranberry Jalapeno Jelly
Dipping Sauce from Chris Wright of Saz's in Waukesha, Wis.

"Cranberries can add a festive flavor to any occasion – from
traditional Thanksgiving menus to New Year's Eve cocktails and every
day in between," said Larry Martin, vice president of marketing at
Ocean Spray. "The sheer creativity and variety of recipes submitted
prove that this little, red wonderberry is truly the unofficial
official fruit of the holidays."

Finalists receive a trip for two to New York City to compete in a live
cook-off on Oct. 5. In addition to Chef Tyler Florence, the esteemed
judging panel includes Executive Chef Chris Gatto of UNO Chicago
Grill® and Woman's Day Food Director Jackie Plant.

The event coincides with the debut of Ocean Spray's 2009 "Bogs Across
America" tour in New York City where more than 2,000 pounds of
glimmering cranberries will be on display in a 1,500 square foot free-
standing urban cranberry bog in Rockefeller Center®. Visitors are
encouraged to visit the bog between 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. on Oct. 6-8.

About the Contest

Johnson & Wales University and Tadware & Company, Inc. tested the
recipes based on creativity, use of product, taste, overall appearance
and ease of preparation to decide the top four finalists from each
category. The finalist recipes are featured on

About Ocean Spray

Ocean Spray is an agricultural cooperative owned by more than 600
cranberry growers in Massachusetts, Wisconsin, New Jersey, Oregon,
Washington, British Columbia, and other parts of Canada as well as
more than 50 Florida grapefruit growers. Ocean Spray was formed over
75 years ago by three cranberry growers from Massachusetts and New
Jersey. Florida grapefruit growers joined the Cooperative in 1976.
Ocean Spray is North America's leading producer of canned and bottled
juices and juice drinks, and has been the best-selling brand name in
the canned and bottled juice category since 1981. Ocean Spray posted
fiscal 2008 sales of $1.9 billion.


Sept 12 event features benefit for The Duke Mansion

Buck's Backyard Bash To Benefit The Duke Mansion Historic Inn and
Meeting Place
Charlotte – Bring your party shoes, your appetite, your dancing
groove, your spirit of fun and friendship. Leave behind your tux,
your cares and your worries.

Join us for Buck's Backyard Bash, The Duke Mansion Preservation
Society Gala, on Saturday, Sept. 12, 6 pm, at 400 Hermitage Road in
Charlotte. This night of great food and dancing will benefit The Duke
Mansion, a non-profit historic inn and meeting place. Come and
support this grand old mansion and all its history. All proceeds from
the event will be used to preserve and protect the mansion.

We'll have the music through the night with Hot Sauce, a well-known
cover band that fuses the genres of 70s, 80s, 90s, and current hits
into "one extra large bag of popcorn fun and party madness," they
say. Individually they have worked with many national artists,
including James Taylor, Yes, The Moody Blues, Arlo Guthrie, Al
Jarreau, Brian Wilson, and the Billy Joel Broadway show. Hear them at

Single tickets to the bash are available at $100 per person. Or host
the event at the Diamond level for $750, Platinum level for $550, or
Gold level for $350. For more information or to purchase tickets,
call 704/714-4445 or email

Built in 1915 and tripled by its most famous owner James Buchanan
"Buck" Duke, The Duke Mansion has been home and host to leaders of the
20th century. Duke's most lasting legacies, including Duke University,
Duke Energy and the Duke Endowment, took shape at the home. Listed on
the National Register of Historic Places, The Mansion is now operated
as a nonprofit with all proceeds being used to preserve and protect
this community treasure. The Duke Mansion has received the
prestigious AAA Four Diamond Award. For more information,

SAT scores rise at CMS

SAT scores rise at CMS; top students outperform state and nation.
College Board data shows decline in participation rate for area schools

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Aug. 26, 2009 – Testing data released by the College
Board Aug. 25 showed that average SAT scores in Charlotte-Mecklenburg
Schools rose slightly in 2009 while national and state scores
declined. The district's top performers continued to outscore their
state and national peers, scoring 30 points above the nation's high-
fliers and 45 points higher than those in North Carolina.

The average score in CMS on the three areas tested – math, critical
reading and writing – rose three points to 1492. The state average
score was 1486, down three points from a year ago. The national
average was 1509, compared to 1511 a year ago.
CMS students in the top-tenth percentile of test-takers scored 1782,
up from 1765 a year earlier. Nationally, the average score for the top
tenth was 1752, up from 1740 a year ago, and in North Carolina, it was
1737, up from 1722.

"Our top students continue to outpace the state and national averages
and we're very pleased by that," said Dr. Peter C. Gorman,
superintendent of CMS. "These students are competitive for any college
or university in the country."
The district's participation rate, however, declined for the second
year in a row, falling below the state participation rate for the
first time in several years. The district's rate was 60.6 percent,
down from 68.4 percent in 2008. The state participation rate stayed
the same for both years at 63 percent. The national participation
rate, which rose to 46 percent in 2009 from 45 percent a year earlier,
continues to trail both CMS and North Carolina.

"Although we're glad to see our scores rise this year, we have some
real concern about the decline in the participation rate," Gorman
said. "This test is a gateway test for college and we want to see more
of our students taking it, not fewer."
District officials said that no immediate reason was apparent for the
decline but that they would work with high school counselors to
investigate it. Students essentially self-select for the test, which
is not required to graduate but is generally required for college

The College Board also released results for Advanced Placement tests.
Advanced Placement classes are accelerated to give high school
students familiarity with the level of rigor expected in college
studies. Almost half – 49 percent – of CMS students who took an AP
exam scored in the proficient range, compared to 59 percent at the
state and national levels.

"We are pulling kids into Advanced Placement classes – we're
stretching kids academically," said Dr. Chris Cobitz, the district's
director of assessment. "That's good for our students, although it
tends to hold our average down."

The College Board provides districts with a prediction for students
judged ready to take AP courses. The students are chosen by the
College Board based on results from the PSAT, a precursor to the SAT
given in the junior year of high school. When only students considered
ready to take the AP tests are counted, the pass rate in CMS rises to
70 percent, which is the College Board prediction of pass rate.

"That is further evidence that we are stretching our kids to take more
rigorous work," Dr. Cobitz said. "By increasing access to these tests,
we are setting high expectations for our students."

Fraternal Order of Police hosts “Shop with a Cop”

FOP hosts "Shop with a Cop"

CHARLOTTE NC – The Charlotte Mecklenburg Fraternal Order of Police
Lodge #9 will hold its annual "Back To School Shop with a Cop" on
Saturday, August 29, 2009. This year's event will be held at the
Target Store located at 8120 University City Blvd. beginning at 9:00 am.

The Fraternal Order of Police takes kids shopping as the school year
begins to help them with school supplies and back to school clothes.
All the kids are referred to the FOP though various community
resources. We hope that by helping them with purchases of school
supplies and clothing the start of the school year will be a
successful and they can begin on a positive note.

Randy Hagler, Lodge #9 president notes "Each year the program grows
and it's a great opportunity to see the kids warm up to the officers
by the end of the shopping experience."

"Back To School Shop with a Cop" would not be possible without
contributions from the community to the Charlotte Mecklenburg
Fraternal Order of Police throughout the year. Thank you for your

The FOP is the largest law enforcement officer organization in the
country with more than 325,000 members nationwide. Locally the 1400
member FOP Lodge is made up of men and women serving in the law
enforcement community in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. Members
proudly serve in all capacities of law enforcement including
municipal, county, state, and federal agencies.

For more information contact:

Randy Hagler

Charlotte Mecklenburg FOP Lodge #9
704-376-3838 (Lodge)
704-608-0890 (Cell)
980-343-2767 (Office)

Friday, August 21, 2009

USO Of NC Teams Up With Panthers and Bank Of America To Host Troops At Panther's Camp and Games

Charlotte, N.C. -- The Carolina Panthers, Bank of America and the USO
of NC have teamed up to support the troops. Service members and
veterans from the Carolinas visit the Panthers' training camp this
month, allowing the Panthers and Bank of America to recognize and
thank military personnel for their duty to our nation. Soldiers from
Fort Bragg were the first to visit the Panther training camp at
Wofford College on August 4, followed by Marines from Cherry Point on
August 11 and soldiers from Fort Jackson on August 13. Each military
group enjoyed watching a team practice from the field and each member
was given an array of Panthers souvenirs, including a white Panthers
shirt to get autographed by the players. Following practice, the
military VIPs toured the training facility, stopped by the locker room
for a quick visit and ended the day by sitting down for a meal with
the players.

"We were right on the field … so close that we even had to get
out of the way of a play," says Harvey Auger, USO of NC center
administrator for theCharlotte Douglas International Airport who
accompanied the military VIPs. "This was an unbelievable,
unforgettable experience." Charlotte Douglas International Airport is
one of four centers operated by the USO of NC as it supports more than
220,000 active and retired military and their families who annually
either live or travel in the Carolinas.

One of the many highlights of each day was the surprise
presentation of a Panthers 'challenge coin' to each service member. A
long tradition in the military, a challenge coin is a small coin or
medallion bearing the insignia or crest of a branch of service that
all members carry at all times. Members good-naturedly challenge each
other to produce the coin. If the challenged service member can't
produce the coin, he/she is good-heartedly required to buy a drink of
choice for the challenger.

"America's military – the Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, Airmen,
Coast Guardsmen – lay it on the line every day. There is a natural
bond between these warriors and the professional football player,"
highlights retired Carolina Panther Mike Rucker, who serves as a USO
of NC ambassador. "It is amazing to see the interaction between them –
each in awe of the other."

"We are excited that our troops are able to enjoy this once-in-a-
lifetime experience," says John W. Falkenbury, USO of NC president.
"These special events help us maintain our mission of providing a
'home away from home' environment for our military members that
supports, among other things, their positive spirit and high morale.
Most of these troops have had multiple deployments into combat zones.
The efforts of the Carolina Panthers and Bank of America to bring them
to the camps helps their transition back to normality and reflects the
strong commitment to and respect for our troops." The USO was
established in 1941 to meet a presidential request for civilian
support of the military. The first USO facility opened that year in
Fayetteville, N.C., home to Fort Bragg, and the USO center in
Jacksonville, home to Camp Lejeune, is the longest continuously-
operating USO facility in the world. The organization that later
became the USO of NC was officially established in 1987, a separate
entity from the national USO.

On August 24 and 25, Bank of America, partnering with the USO of
NC, is inviting 35 troops from the Carolinas to attend Panther
training camp each day. They will enjoy brunch and a program in the
Panthers Den on the Club Level of Bank of America Stadium. Following
brunch, the military personnel will view a team practice on the
Panther practice fields, participate in an autograph session with the
players and have an insider's tour of the stadium. Troops are coming
from all services – Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and National
Guard – as guests of Bank of America.

In addition, Bank of America will be hosting 40 military
personnel and area veterans, some who are wounded warriors, to the
August 29 pre-season game and hospitality tent as the Carolina
Panthers battle the Baltimore Ravens. The Panthers are donating 40
tickets to the USO of NC and are inviting military members or a family
member to the Ravens game.

With essential help from over 700 dedicated volunteers, USO of
NC provides valuable services and programs to members and their
families of theAmerica's military. USO of NC is there to greet the
nation's warriors when they depart and come home, links children and
their military parents through special reading and outreach programs,
gives travel assistance, and properly cares for the fallen heroes and
families passing through its airport centers.

About the USO of NC:
The USO of North Carolina's vision … leading the way to enrich the
lives of America's military in the Carolinas. The mission of the USO
ofNorth Carolina is to serve and support America's military and their
families. For more than 67 years, the USO (United Service
Organizations) of NC has been providing morale, welfare and
recreational services to U.S. military personnel and their families.
The USO of NC is a nonprofit, charitable organization, relying on the
generosity of North Carolinians to support its programs and services.
The USO of NC is supported by Marine Federal Credit Union, LC
Industries and other corporate donors. The United Way and the Combined
Federal Campaign have joined thousands of individual donors to support
the USO of NC. For more information on the USO of NC, please visit our
website at

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

North Carolina Among's Most Tax-Friendly States for Retirees 2009

Federal taxes will be about the same no matter where you live, but
state and local tax burdens can vary greatly, especially if you're
retired. Today launches an exclusive interactive map
to point you to which states will take the smallest—and biggest—bites
out of your assets in retirement. has selected North Carolina as one of the most tax-
friendly states for retirees. To find out why, check out's interactive map entitled "Retiree Tax Heavens (and
Hells) 2009-2010":


Charlotte, N.C. – The Mecklenburg County Register of Deeds reminds
residents that statewide fees for some services provided by the
Register of Deeds will increase over the next 60 days.

Marriage Licenses: Effective September 1, 2009, fees for marriage
licenses will increase by $10 to $60. Per the approved 2009 North
Carolina State Appropriations Bill, proceeds will be channeled to the
state Domestic Violence Center Fund. The total amount to the fund will
increase from $20 to $30.

Deeds: Beginning October 1, 2009, the fee for recording a deed will
increase by $5. A deed is created any time a person purchases real
property and ownership is transferred from one person to another.

Deeds of Trust and Mortgages: Beginning October 1, 2009, the fee for
Deeds of Trust and Mortgages will increase by $6.

The Register of Deeds maintains real estate and vital records, issues
marriage licenses, provides official copies of records and retains
military discharge records. The Register of Deeds Web site allows
access to most real estate and other vital records.

The office is in the County Courts and Office Building at 720 E.
Fourth St., next to the Mecklenburg County Courthouse. General service
hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Marriage hours
are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. The Register of Deeds
accepts cash, credit or debit cards (except American Express), and
checks or money orders.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Tony Womack Baseball Camp is Sept. 12

Camp Womack

The Tony Womack Baseball camp will be held Saturday, September 12,
2009 at Robert and Mariam Hayes Baseball Stadium on the campus of UNC
Charlotte. Registration is $125 per camper and will include big
league instruction from Tony as well as members of the UNCC team and
staff. Join us for a day of fun! Each participant will receive a Camp
Womack t-shirt, gift bag, lunch from Moe's Southwest Grill and an
autographed item from Tony. Registration deadline is September 9,
2009. If you have any questions please email us at or
call Mike Dixon at 919-388-5886 ext 105.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

The buses are back!

The buses are back!
CMS school buses will be on the roads Aug. 17-21

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Aug. 13, 2009 – Charlotte-area drivers
will see big, yellow CMS buses on the roads Aug. 17-21. Bus drivers
will be behind the wheel each morning and afternoon, practicing their
routes so they are familiar with their assignments and stops before
the first day of school.
More than 1,150 school buses will conduct dry runs over the five-day
period. Drivers, who have been in training over the past several
weeks, will report to their assigned transportation areas next week to
practice driving their routes and picking up students. Drivers will
also work in small groups during the week for more individualized
attention by instructors. During the dry runs and school year, the
majority of buses will be on roads from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and 1:15 p.m.
to 5 p.m.
CMS is also reminding the public and other drivers to review school
bus safety laws and to be patient during these dry runs and throughout
the school year. When a school bus stops to pick up or discharge
children, warning lights and a red stop sign are engaged and traffic
must stop in both directions. Drivers should also watch for children
in school zones and school crossings where the speed limit is reduced
during certain school hours.
"Starting Aug. 25, there will be 1,155 school buses on
the roads, as well as parents taking students to school and students
driving themselves," said Carol Stamper, executive director of
transportation. "Please be careful and allow extra travel time so
you're not rushing to get to work when buses are back on the roads."
This year, parents should also carefully check their
child's transportation assignment. To save money during a difficult
budget year, CMS reduced the number of bus stops from 37,000 last year
to 26,000 this year. Many bus stop locations have changed and families
need to make sure they know where their stop is before the first day
of school.
Suggestions for parents and children include:
• Walk to and from your child's school bus stop to become familiar
with its location
• Ensure that your child arrives at his/her stop 10 to 15 minutes
before the bus is scheduled to arrive.
• Tell children to cross the street in front of the school bus after
the stop arm and hazard lights come on.
• Remind children to tell the bus driver immediately if something is
dropped near the bus.
Transportation information, including the location of bus
stops, pick-up and drop off times and bus-route numbers, is being
mailed to families. Parents with questions about transportation or a
bus stop should call their school. Parents can also fill out a
transportation service request form online on the CMS Web site to
request changes to their child's transportation plan or to report
unsafe stops.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Charlotte-Area Rite Aid Stores To Hold Shingles Clinics Aug. 18

Preregistered Patients Can Receive Help Preventing the Painful Nerve
Disease Most Common Among Elderly

WHO: Patients seeking vaccination for shingles

WHAT: Zostavax, a vaccine for the painful nerve disease
shingles, will be available to patients who preregister at an upcoming
Rite Aid Shingles Clinic. Under state law, this vaccination requires a
prescription from your physician. Customers can ask their pharmacist
to contact their doctor for them. To register or learn more about who
should and should not be vaccinated, call the below-listed Rite Aid
Pharmacist/Regional Immunizer. Some health coverage plans will cover
the cost. All patients must preregister.

WHERE: Store No.
Contact Phone number
11436 3645 CONCORD
PARKWAY Angie Cawa 704-723-4948
11447 14120 STATESVILLE
ROAD Erin Rogers 704-875-1606

WHEN: Tuesday, Aug. 18 – Appointment times available on a
first-come, first-served basis

WHY: Shingles, also known as zoster, is a painful
disease caused by the same virus (varicella-zoster) responsible for
chicken pox, a common but rarely dangerous childhood disease. Shingles
can strike those who had chicken pox, as the virus can remain dormant
in a patient's spinal fluid, as well as those who never encountered
the disease in their youth. Zostavax is a live vaccine that uses a
weakened version of the virus to boost the body's natural immune
response. It is used with adults 60 or older and is given in one dose
once in a patient's lifetime.

Rite Aid Corporation is one of the nation's
leading drugstore chains with nearly 4,900 stores in 31 states and the
District of Columbia with fiscal 2009 annual sales of more than $26.3
billion. Information about Rite Aid, including corporate background
and press releases, is available through the company's website at

Thursday, August 6, 2009



Wednesday, August 5, 2009