Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Robot Johnson Brings Talking Baby Back for October CAST Show

CHARLOTTE – It's time to sit back, kick up your feet and laugh
uproariously at a baby doll again. The Talking Baby, Charlotte native
and former MTV2 pitchman will make His triumphant return at 10 pm
Saturday, October 17th at the Carolina Actors Studio Theatre (CAST)
when he rejoins the cast of The Robot Johnson Show
( for one night only.

Originally conceived as part of a comedy sketch entitled "The
Critics," the Talking Baby quickly became a cult sensation that caught
the eye of a local advertising agency, and in 2003, the Talking Baby
became a pitchman for MTV2. After a short sabbatical, Keenan's infant
alter-ego made weekly appearances at The Duke Energy Theatre at Spirit
Square for four months in 2008 before going back into hiding.

"One night. One show. One foul mouthed baby," said Keenan. "Seriously.
I'm only doing this once in 2009. If you miss it, you miss out."

In addition to the October 17th performance, Robot Johnson will
perform at CAST on Saturday, November 21st at 11 pm and on Saturday,
December 19th at 10 pm. For ticketing information, please visit
or email

Robot Johnson is Charlotte's award-winning premier sketch comedy
troupe, giving the Queen City good humor by bad people. For more
information, please

Belk Announces new jeans line

Belk is pleased to announce Belk at SouthPark Mall will begin offering
the hot Not Your Daughter's Jeans® (NYDJ) line beginning in October.
NYDJ jeans are designed to flatten your tummy, lift your bottom and
allow you to wear one size smaller. Women with real curves will be
excited to know they can now purchase NYDJ at Belk. Praised by
celebrities such as Rachel Ray, Diane Sawyer and Elizabeth Hasselbeck,
NYDJ is one of the most innovative products offered by the fashion and
beauty industries since control top

About Belk, Inc.
Based in Charlotte, N.C., Belk, Inc. ( is the largest
privately owned mainline department store company in the United
States, with more than 300 stores in 16 Southern states. The company
was founded in 1888 by William Henry Belk in Monroe, N.C., and is in
the third generation of Belk family leadership.


Charlotte, N.C. – As autumn settles in, there's no better time to get
your hands dirty in the name of organic gardening. Learn how to start
and manage a compost heap that will give your spring plantings a
nutrient-rich jump-start at a Mecklenburg County composting class.

Mecklenburg County's Piedmont Landscape and Naturescape Training
(P.L.A.N.T.) program began its fall series of four-hour composting
classes in late September. These classes offer hands-on training in
yard care that is aesthetically pleasing, organic and affordable.
Participants in the P.L.A.N.T. class will learn:

• Composting – how to turn leaves, yard clippings and kitchen scraps
into rich compost that is thrifty and valuable to your garden.
• Home and community soil stewardship – how and why to test soil,
manage soil to improve fertility, decrease erosion and protect the
• Toxicity reduction – water quality, chemical alternatives and
natural gardening techniques; and proper use, storage and disposal of
yard chemicals.
• Home yard care – wise lawn care, types of grasses and how to best
manage them, grasscycling, and lawn alternatives that include ground
covers, natural areas and proper mulching techniques.
• Piedmont naturescaping - landscaping for sustainability and easy,
low-cost maintenance, using traditional and native plants and trees,
groundcovers and mulch, water-saving strategies, and best irrigation
practices and technologies. Prevention and eradication of invasive
plants in our communities to improve property values.
• Habitat and natural gardening – natural landscaping techniques that
allow for beneficial insects and plants, habitat for wildlife and low-
maintenance beautification of the landscape.

These classes are popular, so act quickly! P.L.A.N.T. workshops take
place throughout the County. Participants should wear comfortable
clothing and bring a snack. They will receive a book and a wire bin.
All classes take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays. Go to
for dates and locations. To register, call the site of your chosen

The County's mission is to promote wise and sustainable management of
natural resources through responsible stewardship, working with
individuals, neighborhoods, schools and community organizations.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Charlotte, NC - The Mecklenburg County Health Department wants all
seniors to protect themselves from seasonal influenza by getting a flu

Seasonal flu generally takes aim at those over 50 years of age and the
very young, and getting the vaccination is the single most important
step one can take to keep from becoming ill. That is why the Health
Department is participating in a special event to immunize as many
senior citizens as possible.

Senior Vaccination Sunday will be held October 4, 2009 at both
locations of the Health Department:
· 2845 Beatties Ford Road
· 249 Billingsley Road

Hours for these special clinics are from 12:30 p.m.-3:30 p.m.

The vaccine costs just $25. Medicaid and Medicare "B" will be
accepted, but residents are reminded to bring their insurance card.

Although these special hours are geared toward the older population,
ANY resident who wishes may get a flu shot at these clinics. Residents
may also call the Health Department appointment line at 704-336-6500
to schedule a flu shot.

It's important to remember that many physician offices, drug and
grocery stores, and urgent cares are also offering seasonal flu shots.
So, if Senior Vaccination Sunday is not convenient, there are many
options available.

Seasonal influenza is different than the H1N1 flu we have been hearing
about. Seasonal flu affects an older population and kills 36,000
Americans each year.

There is much more information on all types of flu and how to keep
from getting and spreading it on our Web site

NC Operation Lifesaver Launches "Don't Walk That Line" Rail Safety Campaign

North Carolina Operation Lifesaver ( is
highlighting public awareness of pedestrian safety with "Don't Walk
That Line," a billboard and television PSA (public service
advertising) campaign to remind people of the dangers posed by tracks
and trains. The campaign, supported by the North Carolina Department
of Transportation, sends a clear message: trespassing on train tracks
is illegal and deadly.

"We are launching this campaign because North Carolina continues to
rank among the top 10 states in pedestrian-train incidents nationwide,
with 17 deaths and 19 injuries last year alone," says North Carolina
Operation Lifesaver State Coordinator Vivian Speight-Bridges.

The billboards show train tracks and include taglines like "There's a
fine line between taking a shortcut - and having your trip cut short."
Three safety messages, including a Spanish-language version, will be
rotated on billboards over the next nine months in the Rocky Mount,
Raleigh, Greensboro and Charlotte areas.

The billboards include a website,, with safety
tips and contact information. More features will be added to the
website in coming months.

The television PSA, targeted at hunters to warn of the dangers of
hunting near train tracks, will air on the ION network in Greensboro
starting this week. In addition, the North Carolina Wildlife Resources
Commission will make the television PSA available to hundreds of
certified hunter safety instructors throughout the state.

About Operation Lifesaver

Operation Lifesaver is a national, non-profit safety education group
whose goal is to eliminate deaths and injuries at railroad crossings
and along railroad rights of way. There are programs in all 50 states
and the District of Columbia, with trained and certified presenters
who give free safety talks to community groups, schools, school bus
drivers, truck drivers and community organizations to raise awareness
of the need for caution around railroad tracks and trains. More
information, including safety tips and how to schedule a free safety
presentation can be found at

Track Safety Tips

1. Tracks, train tunnels, trestles, rail yards and equipment are
private property. If you walk, hunt, fish or ride your ATV on the
tracks, you are trespassing and can be legally prosecuted.

2. The only safe place to cross railroad tracks is at a public
crossing. Anywhere other than a public crossing, stay off and away
from the tracks.

3. Don't talk on a cell phone, text, or use MP3 players when you're
near train tracks. Trains are quieter than you think, go faster than
they appear, and do not run on set schedules.

4. Freight trains do not travel on a predictable schedule and
passenger train schedules frequently change. Always expect a train at
every highway-rail intersection, in either direction.

5. Because of their size and weight, trains can't stop quickly - a
100-car freight train traveling at 55 mph will need more than a mile
to stop.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Lueders of 24-Hour Charity Cycling Event Named a 2009 Mover and Shaker

CHARLOTTE – Spencer Lueders, founder and president of 24 Hours of
Booty, Inc., which runs the Official 24-Hour Cycling Event of the
Lance Armstrong Foundation and the only 24-hour road cycling charity
event in the country, has been selected for Business Leader Media's
2009 Movers & Shakers Awards.

"I am very excited to be included among this year's Movers and Shakers
in Charlotte," said Lueders who is also competition counsel at NASCAR.
"This recognition is a testament to the incredible 24 Hours of Booty
staff, volunteers, participants and supporters who have been
instrumental in helping further my mission of fighting cancer through
this one-of-a-kind event."

The winners of the 2009 Movers & Shakers Awards – which recognize up-
and-coming business leaders in the Charlotte community – were honored
at a ceremony on Sept. 23, 2009 and featured in the September issue of
Business Leader magazine.

About 24 Hours of Booty
24 Hours of Booty, Inc. is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit charity
located in Charlotte that provides extraordinary cycling events that
are safe, fun, and open to all levels of cycling ability. Its mission
is to conduct 24-hour cycling events that increase public awareness,
funds, and support for the Lance Armstrong Foundation and local cancer
organizations. Local organizations include The Keep Pounding Fund at
Carolinas Medical Center and the Brain Tumor Fund for the Carolinas in
Charlotte, and the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults and Johns
Hopkins Medicine in Columbia, Md.

In 24 Hours of Booty's eight-year history, more than 6,000 riders have
raised more than $3.5 million. This year's event in Charlotte included
1,200 riders from 24 different states, and more than 250 volunteers.

The next 24 Hours of Booty event is scheduled to roll on the "Booty
Loop" at Gateway Business Park in Columbia, Md. from 4 p.m. Saturday,
September 26 to 4 p.m. Sunday, September 27, 2009. For more
information, call 704-365-4417 or toll-free at 877-365-4417, or visit

Get updates and the inside scoop about 24 Hours of Booty! Follow us on
Twitter at and become a 24 Hours of
Booty "fan" on Facebook.

Friday, September 25, 2009

City Seeks Community Input on Energy Strategy

City Seeks Community Input on Energy Strategy

Charlotte, NC – The City of Charlotte will host a public meeting on
September 29 at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center to collect
the community's ideas regarding development of the City's Energy
Efficiency and Conservation Strategy (Energy Strategy). As part of
the Energy Efficiency & Conservation Block Grant program managed by
the Department of Energy, the City has 120 days to develop and submit
an Energy Strategy to become eligible to receive the first half of
more than $6.4 million in grant funding.

The meeting will begin with a briefing in the Council Chamber at 6:30
p.m. followed by open discussion and idea sharing at themed stations
in the lobby. Interested citizens, business owners and residents may
attend in person or watch the live presentation on The GOV Channel, on
Time Warner Cable 16 or online at

The briefing will consist of a program overview, results of
Charlotte's recently-completed Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Inventories, and a
review of projects eligible to receive funding. At each station, the
public will have the opportunity to learn about existing ideas under
consideration, add new energy efficiency and conservation ideas for
consideration, and provide input about Charlotte's energy priorities.

Citizens may also submit energy program and project ideas and learn
more about the Energy Strategy and involvement opportunities, by
visiting the new City Energy Strategy page on the City's Economic
Recovery Web site at

Comments submitted by the public and business community will be
reviewed by City staff and consultants who are assisting in the
development of the strategy. A draft plan will be presented to City
Council and the public in mid-November for review and comment,
followed by a final plan presentation on November 23.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Promotion Marketing Association Coupon Council Reports an Increase in
Coupon Activity in 2009, Anticipates Long-term Savings Trend

Since the financial crisis deepened a year ago, coupon use has been on
the rise. Marketers made substantially more coupons available to
encourage consumer purchases, and shoppers responded by increasing
their coupon use by approximately 20 percent during the first half of

That double digit growth in coupon use started during the fourth
quarter of 2008 and coupon redemption has continued to rise ever since.

"Coupons are even more influential in consumer purchasing decisions
today due to the economic downturn as shoppers realize it's the smart
thing to do," says Charles Brown, Co-Chair of the PMA Coupon Council.
"Both manufacturers and retailers are promoting at a greater pace to
appeal to consumers who are seeking deals to stretch their budget and
changing their spending habits in ways that are expected to continue
permanently, even when the economy recovers."

PMA Coupon Council Co-Chair Matthew Tilley adds, "Given the new
frugality of American households brought on by the current economic
hardship, the interest in finding new and additional ways to save is
expected to continue. Coupons are a perfect fit as a convenient way to
save a good deal of money without a lot of effort. That's something
everyone likes to do, in good times and bad."

Coupon Statistics

• $3 billion of savings were achieved by consumers using packaged
goods coupons last year.
• More than $400 billion of packaged goods coupons are offered
• The average value offered per coupon is approximately $1.35.
• 94 percent of the overall population report that they have used
coupons when shopping (for grocery, household and healthcare items),
an increase of 5 share points.
• 89 percent of the overall population report that they have prepared
a shopping list using coupons, up from 78 percent who said they did so
a year ago.
September is National Coupon Month, which is sponsored by the PMA
Coupon Council. That makes September a great time for shoppers to
refine their coupon saving skills by better organizing the coupons
they receive, clip, or download to maximize their share of the $400
billion dollars of discounts available annually in the U.S.

"Once someone creates a coupon habit, they can achieve a lifetime of
savings," said Brown. "The typical family can easily save $1,000
annually by spending just 20 minutes a week seeking, clipping and
organizing their coupons. If you do that every year for the next 30 or
40 years, that's $30,000 or $40,000 at today's value of money. Imagine
how you can stretch your budget over time by routinely using coupons
when shopping."

"Organization is key," said Tilley. "Many shoppers sort coupons by
category and keep their coupons in a file or envelope. But no matter
how you organize your coupons the point is to be sure you take them
with you to the store. When it becomes part of your shopping routine,
the savings can be enormous."

For more information about coupon usage, coupon clipping tips and
more, please visit

About the PMA Coupon Council
Founded in 1994, the PMA Coupon Council is an advocacy group for
coupons within the Promotion Marketing Association. The group focuses
on providing education on, and promoting the use of, couponing among
manufacturers, retailers and consumers. Coupon research is conducted
by Coupon Council member companies, Inmar and NCH Marketing Services.

About the PMA

Established in 1911, the Promotion Marketing Association, Inc (PMA) is
the premier not for profit organization and resource for research,
education and collaboration for marketing professionals. Representing
the over $1 trillion integrated marketing industry, the organization
is comprised of Fortune 500 companies, top marketing agencies, law
firms, retailers, service suppliers and academia, representing
thousands of brands worldwide. Championing the highest standards of
excellence and recognition in the promotion and integrated marketing
industry globally, PMA's objective is to foster a better understanding
of promotion and integrated marketing and its role in the overall
marketing process. The PMA is headquartered in New York City with its
affiliate, the PMA Educational Foundation, Inc.

Charlotte's 2009 Walk for Farm Animals, Sponsored by Farm Sanctuary

Walk This Way: Charlotte Among 65 North American Cities to Host 2009
Walk for Farm Animals

Annual Event Sponsored by Farm Sanctuary Aims to Put Farm Animal
Issues on the Map

Charlotte, N.C. – September 24, 2009 – This fall, animal lovers in
Charlotte and 65 other cities throughout the U.S. and Canada will lace
up their walking shoes and hit the streets as part of the 2009 Walk
for Farm Animals. Every year, thousands of concerned citizens join
together for this annual event sponsored by Farm Sanctuary, the
nation's leading farm animal protection organization. The Walk is one
of the group's many rescue, education and advocacy efforts to expand
awareness of the severe and unnecessary suffering that billions of
animals raised for food endure on a daily basis.

"We walk to call attention to something most people don't know: that
billions of animals confined and crowded on factory farms live such
unnatural lives that they can't move freely at all," said Farm
Sanctuary National Advocacy Organizer Jasmin Singer. "Calves raised
for veal, pigs used for breeding and hens who lay eggs spend their
entire lives trapped in crates and cages so small they cannot even lie
down comfortably, turn around or fully extend their legs or wings.
These are just a few examples of the outrageous treatment these
animals endure during their short lives. People are understandably and
justifiably appalled when they learn about the abuse that happens for
the sake of profit. Our Walks enable local advocates to educate people
about the food industry's exploitation of living creatures and how
adopting a plant-based diet is the best thing they can do to help
alleviate this suffering."

The 2009 Walk for Farm Animals is sponsored nationally by Boston Baked
Bonz, an animal-friendly company that makes vegan and organic dog
treats and gifts for companion animals and the people who love them.
Last year's record-breaking Walk for Farm Animals raised more than
$231,000 for Farm Sanctuary's lifesaving work from people who pledged
to financially support their friends', family members' and co-workers'
participation in the walk-a-thons. Compassionate corporate sponsors
also gave generously to the cause, and in exchange gained valuable
national exposure for their brands. Of equal importance, Walk
participants brought a powerful message of compassion to 58 cities
with the aid of eye-catching t-shirts, banners and literature.

The Charlotte Walk for Farm Animals is on October 3 at Freedom Park.
Registration is at Noon, and the Walk begins at 12:45 p.m. Those
interested in registering for the 2009 Walk can learn more at All participants will receive a limited-
edition 2009 Walk t-shirt designed by Herbivore Clothing Company
Founder Josh Hooten, and there are special prizes forwalkers who reach
fundraising milestones.
If you would like to speak with Farm Sanctuary National Advocacy
Organizer Jasmin Singer or the local Walk coordinator, please contact
Michelle King or 607-583-2225 ext. 254.

Farm Sanctuary is the nation's leading farm animal protection
organization. Since incorporating in 1986, Farm Sanctuary has worked
to expose and stop cruel practices of the "food animal" industry
through research and investigations, legal and institutional reforms,
public awareness projects, youth education, and direct rescue and
refuge efforts. Farm Sanctuary shelters in Watkins Glen, N.Y., and
Orland, Calif., provide lifelong care for hundreds of rescued animals,
who have become ambassadors for farm animals everywhere by educating
visitors about the realities of factory farming. Additional
information can be found at or by calling

Fleming Rutledge is Featured Speaker on Preaching

Fleming Rutledge is Featured Speaker on Preaching
Faith Seeking Understanding is October 11&12

The well-known preacher, teacher and author, The Rev. Fleming
Rutledge, will speak on
"The Subject of the Sentence: What Do We Preach?" as part of The
Faith Seeking Understanding Series sponsored by Union-PSCE at
Charlotte, held at Covenant Presbyterian Church.

Rev. Rutledge will make a presentation and lead a discussion on
Sunday, Oct. 11 at 5 p.m.

On Monday, Oct. 12 she will lead a conversation with area pastors at
10 a.m. followed by lunch at 12 noon. Both events will be held in the
fellowship hall of Covenant Presbyterian Church.

Also on Sunday, Oct. 11, Rev. Rutledge will preach at the 11 a.m.
service at Covenant Presbyterian.

One of the first women to be ordained to the priesthood of the
Episcopal Church, Rutledge spent 22 years in parish ministry. She is
the author of several books including The Bible and The New York
Times, Help My Unbelief and The Undoing of Death. Her most recent
book is Not Ashamed of the Gospel: Sermons from Romans.

Covenant Presbyterian Church is located at 1000 East Morehead Street,
Charlotte, NC. Reservations for the conversation and luncheon with
pastors are strongly encouraged. For reservations and more
information, please call Susan Hickok at (704) 337-2450.

"Makin' Tracks" First Annual Car Show & Vendor Event Oct. 3

"Makin' Tracks" First Annual Car Show & Vendor Event!
October 3rd - Saturday (Homecoming Weekend)
9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
at Hickory Ridge High School
7321 Raging Ridge Road
Harrisburg, NC 28075
(entry forms can be downloaded online - please send entry forms to
8380 Rocky River Road, Harrisburg, NC 28075)

Here is more information:

Mechanical Bull Riding, Dunk-Tank, Pie Eating Contest, Cake Walk
(every hour), Grocery Cart Races, Wheel Barrel Racing, Games, Local
Business Vendors, Entertainment and Food!

Vehicles (pre-register): $10.00
Day of Event: $15.00

Trophies: Top 10 Vehicles, Best of Show, Best Paint, Best Engine,
Ladies Choice and more!

Feel free to join us even if you don't want to be judged. We welcome
all vehicles and crusin' - We do ask that a gentle donation be made
since this is a fundraising event to help the athletes. Thank you for
your support!

City Energy Strategy Launches Community Input Web Page

Charlotte, NC – A new Web page dedicated to the development of the
City of Charlotte's Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy is now
live on the City's Economic Recovery Web site at
under City Energy Strategy.

By visiting the page, citizens will find information about the Energy
Efficiency & Conservation Block Grant program managed by the
Department of Energy. The page also details the City's efforts to
develop and submit an Energy Strategy within the 120-day timeframe to
become eligible to receive the first half of more than $6.4 million in
Federal grant funding.

The site hosts opportunities for the public to actively participate in
the development of the Energy Strategy. Visitors may submit energy
program and project ideas to the City for consideration in the Energy
Strategy up to Monday, October 5. And, between September 29 and
October 5, a Community Input Survey will be available. The short
survey will allow citizens to voice their opinion about Charlotte's
energy priorities.

The site will also feature a live-streaming feed of two public
meetings that will provide citizens with information and updates about
the strategy development process. The first meeting, Monday, September
29 at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center, will be streamed
live via the web site and will also be broadcast on the GOV Channel,
Time Warner Cable 16, beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Comments submitted by the public and business community via the public
meetings and the web page will be reviewed by City staff and
consultants who are assisting in the development of the Energy
Strategy. A draft plan will be presented to City Council and the
public in mid-November for review and comment, followed by a final
plan presentation on November 23.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

CMS plans community meetings to discuss student-assignment options

CMS plans community meetings to discuss student-assignment options
Meetings will look at Myers Park, East Meck and Eastover

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Sept. 23, 2009 – Charlotte-Mecklenburg
Schools will hold a series of meetings to look at student-assignment
options related to Eastover Elementary and East Mecklenburg and Myers
Park high schools. The meetings will be held in September and October,
in order for staff to present a report to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg
Board of Education on Oct. 27. The Board is scheduled to vote on the
options at its Nov. 10 meeting.
The first timeline considers options to relieve
overcrowding at Eastover Elementary School. Two community meetings
will be held at Myers Park High School (2400 Colony Rd.). The first
meeting is on Tuesday, Sept. 29, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The second
meeting is on Thursday, Oct. 8, also from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
CMS staff will also hold meetings focused on the student-
assignment process for East Mecklenburg and Myers Park high schools.
The first meeting will be at East Meck (6800 Monroe Rd.) on Thursday,
Oct. 1, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The second community meeting will be at
Myers Park High on Tuesday, Oct. 6, also from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
All the community meetings will provide the same
information; families may attend the one that is most convenient.
Click here for more information on the student-assignment
process and to view staff discussion options for all involved schools.



Charlotte, NC – Mecklenburg County Area Mental Health Director Grayce
Crockett has been honored with the Champion for Children Award for her
ongoing support of children's interests and youth mental health
initiatives in Mecklenburg County.

The award was presented by the Council for Children's Rights at their
30th annual luncheon on Monday, September 21, 2009. Crockett was
recognized for her exemplary support of children's rights, and for her
tireless efforts to create community dialogue positioning children at
the core of partnerships.

"It's really humbling," said Crockett. "They do so much for kids in
this community."

Crockett has long been an active supporter of children's mental health
issues in Mecklenburg County and initiated the establishment of
Mecklenburg County's award-winning System of Care for youth and
families, MeckCARES.

Each year, the Council for Children's Rights seeks to identify
individuals who exemplify the spirit of the organization's efforts.
The Champion for Children Award is given to those whose generosity of
spirit ensures the mission of the Council for Children's Rights and
its ability to provide advocacy for the children of our community.



Charlotte, NC—Sarah Greene says her role was small, but that the
message is huge.

The Mecklenburg County Area Mental Health Child Development-Community
Policing director was a special expert interviewed in the film, "In
Our Words." The community film, set to air on WTVI, shines a light on
children's struggles with trauma, stress, distress, grief, anxiety and
abuse and the role parents and other care providers can play in their
recovery. The documentary, which airs throughout September, features
five Mecklenburg County area families, and focuses on how children
experience varying degrees of distress. The film confronts issues
facing a military family, the challenges of grief and loss, the
effects of the current economy and child neglect and abuse. "In Our
Words" is a co-production of WTVI and the Junior League of Charlotte,

The message of the film is important to share because "distress and
grief are a part of life, and we are all vulnerable to traumatic
experiences. Family support is critical to children's recovery, and
each of us can learn what symptoms to look for and how to provide
support when needed," says Sarah. "Actually, my role in this film is
small," she explains, "It's the heroic courage of the children and
families who told their stories that's most impressive. These are
stories of hope."

The film is a sequel to "Through my Eyes," an Emmy-nominated and
SAMHSA VOICE award winning documentary focusing on youthsuicide,
depression, anger, anxiety, learning disabilities, eating disorders
and other mental health challenges that local youth face every
day."Through my Eyes," was produced through the collaboration of The
Junior League of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County Area Mental Health and
Public Health, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and WTVI.

"In our Words" will serve as another community-wide educational tool,
providing practical information and resources to help youth through
the healing process of trauma recovery.


WTVI 20 09/23/09
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WTVI 20 09/27/09
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WTVI 20 09/27/09
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WTVI 20 09/30/09
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CPCC’s Institute for Entrepreneurship partners with N.C. Bar Association to host bankruptcy program

CPCC's Institute for Entrepreneurship partners with the N.C. Bar
Association's N.C. LEAP to host bankruptcy program

Program free and open to the public, to discuss such issues as
foreclosure, bankruptcy and reorganization

WHAT: As a result of the recent recession, some businesses are
experiencing financial difficulty. Central Piedmont Community
College's Corporate & Continuing Education (CCE) Department is pleased
to partner with the N.C. Bar Association to host a program that
addresses the issues of foreclosure, bankruptcy, reorganization and
their tax implications.

If you're considering filing for bankruptcy, come and listen to a
panel of volunteer lawyers from N.C. LEAP (North Carolina Lawyers for
Entrepreneurs Assistance Program) discuss these issues in detail so
that you may make an informed decision about your business practices.

N.C. LEAP, a program of the North Carolina Bar Association (NCBA) and
the NCBA Foundation, is the signature project of the NCBA's Business
Law and Corporate Counsel sections.

WHERE: CPCC Central Campus, Hall Professional Development Building,
Room 215, 1112 Charlottetowne Ave., Charlotte, N.C.

WHEN: Wednesday, October 14, 2009 – 1-3 p.m.

CONTACT: This session is free and open to the public. To register for
this seminar, please call our CCE Helpdesk at 704.330.4223 or visit

CPCC is the largest community college in North Carolina, offering 100
degree and certification programs, customized corporate training,
market-focused continuing education, and special interest classes.
CPCC is academically, financially and geographically accessible to all
citizens of Mecklenburg County. In 2002, the National Alliance of
Business named CPCC the Community College of the Year for its response
to the workforce and technology needs of local employers and job
seekers through innovative educational and training strategies.

Wachovia Wells Fargo Foundation Donates $250,000 to RMH of Charlotte

The Wachovia Wells Fargo Foundation Donates $250,000 to RMH of Charlotte
House will Name Dining Room After Foundation

CHARLOTTE, N.C.—Sept. 22, 2009—The Wachovia Wells Fargo Foundation
came to the Ronald McDonald House (RMH) of Charlotte's Volunteer
Kickoff meeting tonight carrying a big check.

The Foundation kicked off the meeting when it announced it was
donating $250,000 to the RMH of Charlotte in front of almost 200
volunteers. In turn, the charity announced that it would name its
future dining room after the Foundation. Both announcements took
place at St. Mark's Lutheran Church on Queens Road.

"Dealing with the trauma of having a child who is ill is a challenge,"
said Kendall Alley, Wachovia's Greater Charlotte Regional President.
"Having to be away from home to manage treatment for the illness only
compounds the impact on a family. The Wachovia Wells Fargo Foundation
is pleased to support the efforts of Ronald McDonald House of
Charlotte to provide a 'home away from home' for families with
children who are being treated for illness. We hope that in some way
we are able to provide, security, comfort and support when families
need it most."

With the Foundation's donation tonight, the RMH of Charlotte is closer
to reaching their goal of $11 million in funds needed ($7 million for
construction and the remaining to furnish, maintain and operate the
House for 1 year).

"With tonight's donation, we are very close to putting a shovel in the
ground," said Mona Johnson-Gibson, RMH of Charlotte's Executive
Director. "We are expecting to hear back from other potential donors
who will finally put us in a position where we can finally show the
people in this community that the RMH of Charlotte will be a reality.

"From the bottom of my heart, I truly want to thank the Wachovia Wells
Fargo Foundation for this generous donation. When the families who
will stay at the House see the Foundation's name above the door
leading dining room, they'll know Wachovia and Wells Fargo built this
for them."

There will be one more volunteer kickoff meeting at St. Mark's
Lutheran Church on Saturday, Sept. 26 at 10 a.m. For more
information, call Ari Harris at 704-335-1191 or email

About the Wachovia Wells Fargo Foundation
The mission at the Wachovia Wells Fargo Foundation is to build strong
and vibrant communities, improve the quality of life and make a
positive difference. It is a private foundation providing grants to
eligible 501(c) (3) tax-exempt organizations to support specific focus
areas: education, community development, health and human services,
arts and culture, environment and civic.

About the Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte
Currently, Charlotte is the only major US city that does not have a
RMH. The RMH of Charlotte is scheduled to open sometime in 2010 and
will serve the families of children being treated at Levine Children's
Hospital and Hemby Children's Hospital. Located on the 1600 block of
East Morehead Street on land donated by Carolinas Medical Center, the
House will feature approximately 35,000 square feet of living space
complete with 28 bedrooms (one family per bedroom/suite), providing
more than 10,000 nights for the families. It is also scheduled to
have a community kitchen, great room, learning center, playground and
sitting porch. Construction will hopefully begin in this year. The
RMH of Charlotte is an independent 501 (c) (3) charity managed by a
local board of directors which will oversee construction and operation
of the home. The cost of building and operating the RMH of Charlotte
will come primarily from individual and corporate donations. The RMH
of Charlotte will be funded, constructed and operated by the Charlotte
community. The mission of the RMH of Charlotte is to provide the
families of children being treated in area medical facilities with a
safe, affordable and caring "home away from home." For more
information on RMH of Charlotte, visit

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Pretty Lights Kicks Off Fall Tour Including Charlotte

Pretty Lights, Colorado's ultra-versatile producer, Derek Vincent
Smith with drummer Cory
Eberhard, is back with a bang, kicking off a fall tour that
encompasses all of the U.S., including Amos Southend in Charlotte on
Sept. 24.

Fresh off their summer
tour which included stops at Electric Daisy Carnival, Bonnaroo, High
Sierra Music Festival, Rothbury Music Festival, Forecastle Festival,
Camp Bisco, 10K Lakes Festival, and a show at Red Rocks Amphitheatre,
Pretty Lights is ready to get back in front of their fans this fall
with stops including the Symbiosis Gathering and a headlining slot at
Trinumeral Festival. Accompanying the raw intensity of Pretty Lights'
live performance this fall, will be a dose of cutting edge lighting
and LED technology that will push optical boundaries over the edge.

Pretty Lights will be touring this fall in conjunction with the
release of the new album Passing By Behind Your Eyes (Pretty Lights
Music). The album, set for release October 6, is the first album of
brand new material since 2008's two-disk Filling Up The City Skies and
begins yet another remarkable new chapter in this producer's career.

With more than 150,000 downloads of disk Filling Up The City Skies
online in the past 9 months, Pretty Lights continues to juxtapose a
collage of beautiful vintage samples against backdrops of futuristic
synthesis and dirty broken beats, creating a sound that can snap your
neck while simultaneously shedding your tears. At a time when music
lovers from almost all subcultures and genres are finding common
ground in the basic form of banging beats, Pretty Lights is giving the
people what they want; electro organic cutting-edge party rocking
beats that fill venues with energy and emotion and send dance floors
into frenzies. The group's spectacular live shows, filled with
powerful beats, have become synonymous with their name and they are
becoming an institution in the touring industry as they continue to
fill venues nationwide. Pretty Lights sound is not only getting
around, it's spreading like a virus.

Pretty Lights' U.S. Tour Dates with support are as follows:

08.29.09 – The National – Richmond, VA

09.02.09 – Lyric Theatre – Oxford, MS

09.03.09 – The Sky Bar – Auburn, AL

09.04.09 – Athens Arena – Bogart, GA

09.05.09 – Belly Up – Aspen, CO

09.12.09 – Trinumeral Festival – Horseshoe, NC

09.18.09 – Symbiosis Gathering – Groveland, CA

09.21.09 – Bama Theatre – Tuscaloosa, AL

09.23.09 – Rhythm & Brews – Chattanooga, TN

09.24.09 – Amos' Southend – Charlotte, NC

09.26.09 – Diesel – Wilmington, NC

10.01.09 – Fox Theatre – Boulder, CO

10.02.09 – Aggie Theatre – Ft. Collins, CO

10.03.09 – Odgen Theatre – Denver, CO

10.12.09 – Belly Up Tavern – Solana Beach, CA

10.14.09 – Key Club – West Hollywood, CA

10.15.09 – The Independent – San Francisco – CA

10.16.09 – Nocturnum – Eureka, CA

10.17.09 – Nectar Lounge – Seattle, WA

10.18.09 – Crystal Ballroom – Portland, OR

10.21.09 – The Varsity Theater – Minneapolis, MN

10.22.09 – Miramar Theatre – Milwaukee, WI

10.23.09 – Park West – Chicago, IL

10.24.09 – Majestic Theatre – Madison, WI

10.25.09 – Bluebird Nightclub – Bloomington, IN

10.27.09 – Headliners Music Hall – Louisville, KY

10.28.09 – Exit/In – Nashville, TN

10.29.09 – The Valarium – Knoxville, TN

10.30.09 – The Orange Peel – Asheville, NC

10.31.09 – Ann Street Shed – Charleston, SC

11.03.09 – Crowbar – Tampa, FL

11.04.09 – The White Room – Miami, FL

11.05.09 – Engine Room – Tallahassee, FL

11.07.09 – House of Blues – New Orleans, LA

11.10.09 – Granada Theater – Dallas, TX

11.11.09 – La Zona Rosa – Austin, TX A

11.12.09 – George's Majestic Lounge – Fayetteville, AR

11.13.09 – Newby's – Memphis, TN

11.14.09 – The Masquerade – Atlanta, GA

11.17.09 – Cat's Cradle – Carrboro, NC

11.18.09 – 9:30 Club – Washington DC

11.19.09 – Fillmore NY @ Irving Plaza – New York, NY

11.20.09 – The Note – West Chester, PA

11.21.09 – Paradise Rock Club – Boston, MA

For more information on Pretty Lights, Passing By Behind Your Eyes,
news, and tour dates, please visit or

Dale Earnhardt Jr., Brett Favre…and You?

Dale Earnhardt Jr., Brett Favre…and You?

"Wrangler® Face Off" Contest Sets Consumers Against Each Other for
Chance to Win Cash and Prizes

GREENSBORO, N.C. (Sept. 22, 2009) – Think you have what it takes to be
named a Wrangler® guy? The iconic denim brand, long trusted for
comfortable, durable and affordable apparel, is kicking off a
promotion challenging fans to see who best lives up to Wrangler®
standards in the likes of brand endorsees NASCAR-driver Dale Earnhardt
Jr. and NFL-great Brett Favre. Entries are already being accepted at
, and voting for the online showdown officially starts Friday, Sept. 25.

The 12-week "Wrangler® Face Off" contest will award a grand prize of
$2,500 cash and a new Wrangler® wardrobe to the man the public thinks
is an ultimate Wrangler® guy. Eligible fans – men 18 years and older
– can enter by uploading a personal photo and answering a short set of
questions designed to give contestants the opportunity to prove why
they should be named a Wrangler® man.

The profiles will be showcased on the "Wrangler® Face Off" promotion
site, where everyone is invited to vote for their top contenders.
Each week the man whose profile received the most votes will be named
as a Wrangler® guy and will receive a pair of Wrangler® jeans with
$100 cash in the back pocket. He will also be featured on the contest
site for the following week alongside the current Wrangler men, all-
star Wrangler® endorsees Earnhardt Jr. and Favre.

"Wrangler has two great partners and ambassadors in Dale Jr. and Brett
because they both truly represent the brand's core values of integrity
and authenticity," said Craig Errington, vice president of Wrangler®
marketing. "Now we want to recognize and award fans who are known for
those same principles and who have what it takes to be named the
quintessential Wrangler man."

Voting begins Friday, Sept. 25, and is open to everyone 18 years and
older. The profile with the most votes by midnight Thursday, Oct. 1
will be named the following day as the first weekly winner.
Subsequent weekly winners will be named each Friday through Dec. 18.

At the end of three months, the 12 weekly winners will be set against
each other once again and the Wrangler® guy whose profile received the
most overall votes will be $2,500 richer and take home a new wardrobe
of comfortable and durable jeans, casual pants, shorts and shirts from
the Wrangler®brand.

Offering male consumers the best value possible with top quality
clothing priced right at less than $20, Wrangler® apparel is
conveniently available nationwide at value-minded retailers like
Walmart, Kmart and Target. Fans can get more information, view the
official rules and enter or vote by

About the Company
Based on more than 60 years of heritage in making authentic denim
jeans, the iconic Wrangler® brand is long respected for comfortable,
durable and affordable jeans, pants, shorts and shirts. The Wrangler
Jeans Co.TM and Wrangler Hero Five Star Premium DenimTM lines are
available at value-minded retailers nationwide and retail for less
than $20. For more information regarding the Wrangler® family of
authentic clothing or to locate a retailer, visit or
call 1.888.784.8571.

Wrangler® is a division of VF Jeanswear Limited Partnership, which is
an affiliate of VF Corporation. Through its many affiliates, VF
Corporation is a global leader in lifestyle apparel with a diverse
portfolio of jeanswear, outdoor, action sports, image, sportswear and
contemporary apparel brands. Its principal brands include Wrangler®,
Lee®, Riders®, The North Face®, Vans®, Reef®, Eagle Creek®, Eastpak®,
JanSport®, Napapijri®, Nautica®,Kipling®, John Varvatos®, 7 For All
Mankind®, lucy®, Splendid®, Ella Moss®, Majestic® and Red Kap®. VF
Corporation's press releases, annual report and other information can
be accessed through the Company's home page,



CHARLOTTE, NC (September 22, 2009) – The Hispanic community in
Charlotte can support children battling cancer and other deadly
diseases by participating in the second annual Promesa y Esperanza
(Promise and Hope) radiothon to be held October 8 - 9 benefiting St.
Jude Children's Research Hospital®. Hosted by WNOW- Poder 105.3 FM,
the radiothon will encourage listeners to donate to St. Jude in
support of the hospital's mission of finding cures and saving children
by calling 1-800-998-VIDA (8432) from 6:00 AM – 7:00 PM (EST).
Interested volunteers can contact Maria Cardenas al (1-800) 606-2187
for more information.

The goal of this event is to motivate the Hispanic community and to
inform them about St. Jude, which provides medical care to thousands
of sick children regardless of their family's ability to pay. During
the broadcast, listeners will hear emotional stories from Hispanic
patients and families who are battling cancer at St. Jude, including
Valeria Ruiz. A native of Puerto Rico, 3-year-old Valeria is
receiving medical treatment at St. Jude after being diagnosed with
medulloblastoma, a very aggressive brain tumor.

Thanks to St. Jude and donations from monthly donors called Angeles de
Esperanza (Partners in Hope), children like Valeria have the
opportunity to receive cutting-edge medical care. WNOW is one of more
than a dozen Hispanic radio stations around the country participating
in the two-day national radiothon. Last year, WNOW raised more than
$138,500 for St. Jude, one of the world's premier pediatric cancer
research centers.

"We are so grateful to these dedicated Spanish radio stations and
their generous listeners, who have embraced the St. Jude mission of
finding cures and saving children," said Richard C. Shadyac Jr., CEO
of ALSAC, the fundraising organization of St. Jude. "It is
heartwarming to see the Hispanic community rally around our cause
every year, and I know that the funds raised during Promesa y
Esperanza will inspire hope in our precious patients and their

Since opening in 1962, St. Jude has treated children from all 50
states and around the world. From public donations such as the Promesa
y Esperanzaradiothon, St. Jude researchers and doctors are able to
share medical discoveries around the world, including several Latin
American countries, to help increase survival rates for children with
cancer and other catastrophic illnesses.

About St. Jude:
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is internationally recognized
for its pioneering work in finding cures and saving children with
cancer and other catastrophic diseases. St. Jude is the first and only
pediatric cancer center to be designated as a Comprehensive Cancer
Center by the National Cancer Institute. Founded by late entertainer
Danny Thomas and based in Memphis, Tenn., St. Jude freely shares its
discoveries with scientific and medical communities around the world.
St. Jude is the only pediatric cancer research center where families
never pay for treatment not covered by insurance. No child is ever
denied treatment because of the family's inability to pay. St. Jude is
financially supported by ALSAC, its fundraising organization. For more
information, please visit

Monday, September 21, 2009

Charlotte Office of ITEX Opens for Bartering

ITEX Corporation Launches barter-based business in Charlotte, North
- Franchisee of national trading community helps Charlotte businesses
increase cash flow and gain new customers-

(September 21, 2009) (Charlotte, NC): ITEX Corporation, the growing
leader in barter-based business transactions, announced the launch of
ITEX in Charlotte, North Carolina. ITEX Franchise Owner, Warren
Stone, is excited to introduce the barter organization in the
Charlotte market and spearhead local recruitment efforts. With over
24,000 network members, ITEX is the leading Trading Community for
cashless transactions across North America.

Tens of thousands of small businesses, mid-sized companies, and large
corporations reap the benefits of barter every day. Every year, ITEX
members conduct more than $270 Million in barter transactions across
the US. "Many business owners are naturally curious about how barter
can benefit their bottom line," says Warren Stone, owner of the local
Charlotte ITEX office. "We encourage owners from every industry and
market in Charlotte to give ITEX a call to discover how we can help
you grow your business with the power of barter." The Charlotte
office of ITEX already boasts over seventy members and projects to
recruit over one hundred businesses by the end of the year.

Membership opportunities are available throughout the metro Charlotte
area including Ballantyne, Center City, Pineville, Rock Hill as well
as surrounding communities. The Charlotte team schedules weekly
orientations to encourage networking and foster transactions within
the growing membership base. Weekly events also illustrate different
strategies for participants to leverage their membership and save cash.

Almost any business can benefit from barter. "Our members come from
numerous industries and includes a majority of the businesses in the
Charlotte area," says Warren Stone. "We are seeking businesses who
want to increase cash flow, bolster sales and generate new customers."

ITEX is quickly growing in popularity across the Charlotte market as
an alternative means of doing business. With the launch of ITEX in
this region, numerous Charlotte businesses can increase sales and make
important purchases without spending all their cash. Successful ITEX
members sell excess merchandise and then bank the dollars in their
ITEX account to spend later on corporate travel, meals, office
supplies, professional services, and more, effectively converting
excess supply into ITEX purchasing power.

Quite simply, "ITEX is an incredible tool to turn 'what you have' into
'what you need,'" says Warren Stone. Barter is business without the
cash! For more information about joining ITEX, call 704-749-3600 or
visit ITEX online at or
About ITEX in Charlotte
ITEX, ( The Membership Trading CommunitySM, is a thriving
community of member businesses buying and selling through barter.
Member businesses increase sales through an exclusive distribution
channel managed by franchisees, licensees and corporate-owned
locations, by utilizing ITEX dollars to exchange goods and services.
ITEX in Charlotte ( is powered by ITEX
Payment Systems, a leading payment technology platform for processing
cashless business transactions. ITEX is headquartered in Bellevue,

Service companies such advertising agencies, attorneys, consultants,
doctors, accountants, dentists, plumbers, electricians, architects and
more accept ITEX members to fill open appointments, maximize their
schedules and boost profits. They spend their ITEX dollars inside the
ITEX Marketplace the same way they would spend cash, making purchases
for personal or business products and services. Manufacturers sell
their products to ITEX members to boost sales, reduce inventory and
augment cash flow. Retailers sell to ITEX members to move slow-
selling merchandise or liquidate discontinued merchandise.
Restaurants, hotels, airlines, and tour companies use ITEX to fill
excess capacity and maximize profits during slow business periods.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Local Contractors Put Employee Safety First

How to Start A Cultural Movement

Some of the most telling construction data comes not from the Bureau
of Labor Statistics (BLS), but rather the experiences of individual
contracting firms. For instance:
•Diamond D General Engineering, Inc., Woodland Calif., has never
logged a lost-time accident since incorporating 16 years ago.
•Hendrick Construction, Charlotte, N.C., has gone six years without an
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recordable injury.
•In four years, Canyon Concrete, Inc., Farmington, Mo., lowered its
experience modification rate (EMR) from 1.15 to 0.84.
•By lowering its EMR to 0.65, Kelley Construction, Louisville, Ky.,
saved approximately $81,000 on its workers' compensation

What's the secret to their success? Creating a culture of safety.

Where the Movement Begins
Effective contractors don't just say safety is a priority, they show
it. The key is to be as upfront and transparent as possible, often
starting with the interview process.
"When someone walks in the door at Kelley Construction, the first
person they meet is the safety director," says Tim Prakop, who leads
all safety efforts for the commercial and industrial general
contractor. "It immediately puts safety into their head."

In determining whether a candidate will turn out to be a safe,
productive employee, Spencer Defty, president of Diamond D, looks for
a strong work ethic, reliability, honesty and integrity.
"We also look for selflessness. If I get a guy in the interview
process who wants all the money and days off and wants to run the
newest piece of equipment, I know he's not a team player," he says.
"Those who don't ask end up getting it because they're team players
whose attitude and selflessness help keep us safe."
Creating an immediate connection between new employees and safety
managers can help foster a positive relationship down the road.

"At a lot of companies, guys in the field don't have a good
relationship with the safety director and maybe think of them as not
being on the same team," Prakop says. "At Kelley, because I'm involved
with field hiring, our guys do not hesitate to call me and say: 'This
is the situation I'm in. What do you advise me to do?'"
Developing this trust is crucial so employees don't work from a point
of fear, Defty says. If an employee fears he'll be fired for unsafe
behavior, he's less likely to ask questions or report incidents. As a
result, a sincere, personalized approach proves more effective than a
mandate from above.

This is particularly relevant for small business owners, who often
know all of their employees and families by name.
"I always tell our people that everyone has an obligation to return
each other to their loved ones in the exact same condition as when
they left home," says Defty, who employs about 25 people. "It starts
with myself, down to laborers, operators and office staff. There's an
emphasis and obligation on everyone to work as a team."

Putting the Movement in Motion
When Roger Hendrick decided to open his Charlotte-based general
contracting firm six years ago, he turned to Mel Rosa, a former
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) compliance
officer with whom he'd worked in the past, for help implementing a
quality safety program.

Recalls Rosa: "Roger said, 'I want to start it right and I want
everyone 30-hour OSHA trained. You tell me what else I need to do.' We
started off with safety classes and training, and I reinforced that
things would come to a screeching halt if a safety incident happens.
Roger gave his full support and has always been very proactive."
Rosa, who now owns a consulting firm called RSS Safety, visits
Hendrick Construction a few times a month to help train employees on
everything from first-aid to fall protection and fire prevention. He
also helps with job hazard analyses and performs mock inspections as a
way to demonstrate the penalties or liability exposures the firm would
face if OSHA made an unannounced visit.

Last year, the company hired a full-time safety director, Bryan
McGucken, to supplement Rosa's expertise.
"I convinced Roger it would be best to find someone from inside the
company and train him to be in charge of safety," Rosa says. "Most
superintendents already know about safety. They just need to be taught
the laws and regulations."
Rosa, a master trainer through the National Center for Construction
Education and Research, is now taking
McGucken, a superintendent, through a certified safety technician
course as well as OSHA training.

Having at least one staff member dedicated to safety is a significant
investment for a small contractor, but it can make a big difference,
says Von Marler, safety and training manager for Canyon Concrete. When
Marler joined the 25-year-old concrete specialist about four years
ago, his mission was to revitalize the small firm's "canned" safety
policy. The first thing he did was initiate weekly safety talks that
cover issues related to upcoming jobs or recently released industry

Prakop uses weekly jobsite meetings and monthly training sessions to
present material that will open Kelley Construction employees' eyes
about the importance of jobsite safety, including staggering
statistics on alcoholism in the workplace and the number of fatalities
that result from contact with electricity.
Rather than lecturing, having employees respond to questions or share
their personal experiences are effective ways to explore safety topics—
whether it's reviewing the warning signs of a stroke or examining what
caused the death of a grade checker on a nearby job.

"Let's learn from other people's mistakes," Defty says, recalling a
local subcontractor that experienced its first lost-time accident when
a seasoned employee attempted to complete a five-minute job without
protective gear and ended up with third-degree burns. "Safety problems
don't discriminate against anything—age, race or work experience. You
have to be vigilant because it can all go bad in a split second."

Cultural Roadblocks
Documentation is one area that requires constant attention—and incurs
some of the most resistance from supervisors who are reluctant to take
the time to provide detailed paperwork on jobsite safety inspections
or incident reports.
"One thing I'm struggling with right now is getting accurate reporting
with first-aid injuries," Marler says. "Some guys have the 'manly man'
attitude of not admitting they're hurt, but by emphasizing the
importance we're starting to move in the right direction, and I'm
seeing more reports of things like scrapes."

In safety-conscious companies, these inspections and reports spur
ideas for future talks and training.
Finding time to train is another challenge, particularly for companies
like Kelley Construction, which performs 80 percent of its work 100
miles or more from its Louisville base. Prakop addresses this problem
by training local workers in the office and providing onsite training
for crews on out-of-state jobs. He picks a topic each month and makes
it his mission to get the message to everyone in the company.

"You can never train enough because it creates awareness, and safety
truly is about awareness," Prakop says.
At Canyon Concrete, staff undergoes more than 30 hours of safety
training (OSHA and Mine Safety and Health Administration) within the
first six months of employment. Marler, a former teacher, administers
much of the training in-house, and last year the company invested in a
new conference area with a TV, computer interface and media center to
aid his efforts.
According to Rosa, a more problematic barrier embedded in many
contractors' corporate makeup is basing their bonus system for
superintendents on coming in under budget and ahead of schedule. If
safety costs aren't separated from project costs, then safety programs
are likely to be the first thing cut to help meet deadlines and
financial benchmarks. This philosophy encourages employees to push
safety aside when making on-the-spot decisions (e.g., they might skip
renting a trench box—saving time and money—and try to finish the task
quickly so nobody notices).

The key, Rosa says, is for contractors to change their routine to
include safety personnel in the early stages of projects so they know
exactly what safety hurdles may arise and can plan for all the
necessary equipment to be ordered.
Subcontractors must be on board with the safety program from the
beginning as well. In addition to creating a subcontractor handbook,
Prakop requires subcontractors to submit their safety program to the
superintendent when they first arrive onsite; if it doesn't measure
up, they are required to follow Kelley's program.

Hendrick Construction even posts its entire safety program on its
website and requires subcontractors to sign a document saying they'll
follow the general contractor's policies. "Many companies will brag
about being safe, but they aren't open about the specifics of their
safety requirements," Rosa says. "By putting it online, there's no
excuse for a subcontractor to say, 'I didn't know you required that,'
because we tell them upfront."

Rewarding safe behavior with T-shirts and gift cards can be another
effective way to motivate employees. However, this cannot be the
driving force of a safety program because these incentives don't flow
down to subcontractors. A subcontractor's incentive to be safe, Rosa
says, is the increased likelihood of receiving a preferential contract
due to its quality reputation.

The Value of Change
As owners increasingly require bidders to supply evidence of their
safety records, a quality safety reputation can put general
contractors at the forefront of the prequalification process and
translate into more work.

"When workers know they're safe, they concentrate on quality of work,"
Rosa says. And when customers get higher quality work, there's no need
for re-work, which leaves both parties satisfied and more willing to
collaborate again in the future.
Prakop has found a respectable safety record to be especially valuable
in the petroleum industry, where last summer a 10-person Kelley crew
outfitted in flame-resistant clothing completed an oil refinery
project in Garyville, La., without logging a heat-related incident.
"If a customer wants to ask us to work for them again, our safety
means a lot in terms of reputation," he says.

Plus, accumulating impressive records allows contractors to qualify
for state and national safety programs such as OSHA's Voluntary
Protection Program or
Associated Builders and Contractors' Safety Training and Evaluation
Process (STEP).
STEP—which offers bronze, silver, gold and platinum levels of
achievement—provides contractors large and small with an organized
approach to developing and analyzing long-term safety and loss-
prevention programs, as well as measuring their year-over-year progress.

Last year's STEP participants, two-thirds of which have fewer than 100
employees, boast:
•fatality rates 58 percent below the national construction average
(per 2007 BLS data);
•DART rates 29 percent below the national average;
•OSHA incidence rates 31 percent below the national average;
•90 percent fewer OSHA citations than the industry average;
•mod factors well below 1.00; and
•significant insurance savings.

"STEP gave me a good outline and starting point when I came on board,"
Marler says. "Even as I filled out the application again this year, I
saw some areas where I know we need to do more work."
For example, next on Marler's to-do list is to formalize Canyon
Concrete's job safety analysis program. In 2008, he instituted a seat
belt policy for drivers and
passengers. Though a few fines were incurred at first, he hasn't
noticed any infractions in the past few months—a simple example of
cultural change.

Certainly a quality safety program eliminates some of the egregious
expenses associated with running a construction company, but
contractors should shy away from focusing only on the financial side
of the equation, Defty says. "The best thing business owners can do is
personalize safety in a sincere way so employees truly understand they
are concerned about them and their loved ones."

Special Programming on GOV Channel Focuses On Hugo

GOV Channel to Feature Exclusive Look
at Hurricane Hugo: Then & Now

WHAT: "Remembering Hugo: Emergency Preparedness Then and
Now," an in-depth program featuring City
officials and
employees from 1989 and 2009.

The first half of the special includes
interviews with employees
who worked to continue City services to
citizens and later
lobbied for aid from state and federal
officials. The second part
of the show focuses on what changes have
been implemented to
improve emergency response preparedness
since the night of
September 22, 1989.

WHERE The GOV Channel
Time Warner Cable (16) and online at

WHEN: Tuesday, September 22 at 7pm and throughout the
month of October

WHY: To commemorate the 20th anniversary of
Hurricane Hugo,
which ravaged the Charlotte area and tested
preparedness of its citizens and government
on all levels,
causing more than $1billion of damage

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Charlotte Company Giving Back In Hard Times

Sept. 17, 2009 (Charlotte, N.C.) - Even with the economy still in a
recession, one Charlotte business is still giving back - and in quite
a creative way.

Southeast Anesthesiology Consultants is sponsoring the BB King concert
at The Fillmore on Oct. 6 and giving $12.50 for every ticket sold to
the soon-to-be-built Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte. This type of
donation is the first of its kind for the Ronald McDonald House of
Charlotte and Southeast.

"We're committed to giving back to our community, particularly to
children-focused groups," said Jeannette Anselmo, Senior
Administrative Director of Southeast Anesthesiology Consultants. "We
hope this event brings both donations and awareness to this very
important organization in Charlotte."

With 2,000 seats in the Fillmore, the total donation will equal
$25,000 to the Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte, which is planning
to break ground later this year. And by sponsoring the concert,
Southeast is able to provide valuable marketing tools to the Ronald
McDonald House of Charlotte in the time leading up to the concert.

Southeast chose the Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte for this unique
giving opportunity because of their corporate commitment to children's
health in the Charlotte community. Several years back, Southeast gave
$1 million to the Levine's Children's Hospital.

"We're thrilled that Southeast decided to raise money for us in a
unique way," said Mona Johnson-Gibson, Executive Director of
Charlotte's Ronald McDonald House. "Fans of B.B. King will be glad to
know that a portion of the ticket sales are going to a charity that
wants to provide the families of children being treated in area
medical facilities with a safe, affordable and caring 'home away from

The Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte will be the fifth such facility
in North Carolina. The first Ronald McDonald House in North Carolina
opened in Durham in 1980, and there also are Ronald McDonald House
facilities in Chapel Hill, Greenville and Winston-Salem.

Southeast Anesthesiology Consultants is an 80+ physician anesthesia
and pain management practice serving more than 100,000 anesthesia and
more than 45,000 pain management patients each year in North Carolina,
South Carolina and Virginia. On the Web at

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Horizon Fitness Sponsors Local Organization

Horizon Fitness continues its dedication to helping families live
better, healthier lives by sponsoring the Girls on the Run® SoleMates
program, the adult charity running leg of Girls on the Run® (GOTR).
Male and female athletes alike, who pursue individual goals such as
running a marathon or participating in a triathlon, can sign up to
raise money for local GOTR councils. By joining SoleMates, you can
play a vital role in ensuring the future success of GOTR programs,
which impact the lives of thousands of young women every year. The
SoleMates program provides a great opportunity to give girls an
example of healthy living.

By signing up to participate in SoleMates, you will have numerous
opportunities to win a Horizon T92 Treadmill (MSRP $1,099.99). For
contest rules and more information on the SoleMates program, visit

Horizon Fitness has also set up an online coupon code that gives Girls
on the Run International 15 percent of the Horizon® treadmill purchase
when the code is used (the only excluded product is the T90
Treadmill). The promo code is: HZGOTR. The code can be used
immediately at and is valid until December 31,

About Girls on the Run®
The 12-week after-school program, offered each spring and fall, helps
8- to 12-year-old girls get to know themselves and understand their
place and value in the community by teaching a curriculum that
combines training for a 5K run/walk event with self-esteem enhancing
workouts that encourage emotional, social, and physical development.

GOTR was founded by Molly Barker, a four-time Hawaii Ironman
triathlete. Molly used her expertise in counseling and teaching,
combined with extensive research on adolescent issues, to develop the
program's curriculum. What started in 1996 with 13 participating girls
has grown to over 150 councils across 43 states, serving over 52,000
girls each year.

About Horizon Fitness
Horizon Fitness is a brand of Johnson Health Tech, the fourth-largest
fitness equipment manufacturer in the world. Horizon offers a wide
assortment of fitness equipment designed for in-home use, including
treadmills, elliptical trainers, exercise bikes and functional
strength training equipment. Products are sold through a variety of
retail channels including sporting goods retailers and department

For more information about Horizon Fitness or GOTR, visit
or call 1-800-244-4192.
# # #

SIMPLIFAST RTD Beverage Reinvents the Lemonade Diet

CHARLOTTE, NC September 16, 2009 – SIMPLIFAST®, the first ready-to-
drink fasting beverage, has reinvented the Master Cleanse (aka the
Lemonade Diet). The lemonade diet has been around for decades with its
health benefits touted by everyone from doctors to celebrity product
endorsers. Simplifast has made the so-called lemonade detox diet
possible for busy people on-the-go with the world's first ready-to-
drink improved version of the lemonade diet formula. Simplifast is an
ultra functional beverage, forging a brand new category in the high-
growth beverage industry. The cleansing lemonade diet beverage is
experiencing accelerating growth at specialty supermarkets and
regional supplement chains throughout the U.S.

"The lemonade diet has been around for many years with countless
powder and gel mix versions available on the market and endless do-it-
yourself detox cleanse recipes," says Dianna Toomey, Simplifast
Founder and CEO. "Our mission is to promote healthy lifestyles and
proper weight management to all consumers by enabling a wider audience
to enjoy the many health benefits of the master cleanse and lemonade
diet concept."

Some people in the entertainment industry have used the lemonade diet
for rapid weight loss, leading members of the public to follow their
example and use what has been described as an extreme fad diet or as a
crash diet. In 2006, the master cleanse received media attention as a
result of being embraced by some celebrities. The singer/actress
Beyoncé did it for 14 days and lost 20 pounds for her role in the 2006
movie Dreamgirls and Howard Stern's co-host Robin Quivers claims to
have lost 73 pounds using the master cleanse diet.

Similarly, actor Jared Leto says he lost the weight he gained to play
'Mark David Chapman' (he gained 62 pounds) all from the master cleanse
lemonade diet. Anne Hathaway is a devotee of the 48-Hour Detox,
created by celebrity fitness trainer David Hirsch. It is a shortened
version of the master cleanse lemon detox, except the ingredients have
been pre-prepared. Gwyneth Paltrow likes to do a fast or cleanse diet
a couple of times a year. She has tried the master cleanse lemonade
diet and found it worked well for her but, together with her liquid
detox doctor, she has also created some cleansing diets of her own and
is a spokesperson for her doctor's diet cleansing products.

Aaron Petrosky, Simplifast Executive Vice President adds, "You do not
have to have a personal trainer or a time consuming and costly
professionally managed master diet cleanse to achieve optimal weight-
loss and the health benefits from the lemonade diet that facilitates
proper weight management. As one of our Twitter followers recently
commented on Simplifast: 'They are a bit tart, I assume from the lemon
juice, which I actually like. The bottle is unobtrusive, it's not
advertising that you are on a juice fast or embarrassing, like
chugging a Brand X slimming shake or a Brand Y miracle diet (no lie, I
saw a lady drinking one of those and EATING A BIG MAC once)'." For
more consumer testimonials, visit the Simplifast website.

Prior to Simplifast, there was nothing available on the market
specifically designed for the busy, working consumer, where several
pills and laxatives didn't fall into the mix – making fasting and diet
cleansing a very costly and time-consuming endeavor. So many of the
concentrated fasting diet drinks on the market contain toxic
preservatives and have an unappealing taste, plus most all lack the
important nutrients needed to sustain a fasting diet or replace a
meal, leaving people weak and dizzy, and therefore not finishing the
diet cleansing program they started.

Simplifast is the world's first all-natural, ready-to-drink fasting
beverage based on the lemonade diet concept. It contains all the
vitamins, antioxidants, electrolytes and fiber necessary to support
the body and promote detoxification during a fasting diet. Designed
for one, three and seven-day fasting diets, Simplifast is also a great
meal replacement and an alternative to sugary sports drinks,
caffeinated energy drinks and unhealthy snacks and beverages.
Simplifast is packaged in 16-ounce bottles and comes in three flavors
including Lemon, Strawberry and Blueberry.
Unlike other fasting diet programs and products, Simplifast contains a
powerful combination of all the necessary nutrients needed to support
the body and promote detoxification during a liquid detox fasting
routine including: 11 grams of Fiber per serving (44% daily value),
pure lemon juice (3-4 fresh lemons in every bottle), pure organic
grade B maple syrup, potassium, sodium, vitamin E (50%), vitamin C
(100%), vitamin A (50%), vitamin B6 (100%), magnesium (10%), manganese
(10%), zinc (10%) and selenium (10%). Simplifast is all-natural and
contains no preservatives and no artificial sweeteners, flavors or
colors. It is available online at and at, and in leading specialty supermarkets and supplement shops
throughout the U.S and Internationally. For more information, please
visit Twitter,

Monday, September 14, 2009

Date Night Comes to 131 Main in Dilworth--Special Price Menu for Two Every Friday and Saturday Night

Date Night Comes to 131 Main in Dilworth
Special Price Menu for Two Every Friday and Saturday Night


Charlotte, N.C. – September 14, 2009 – People looking to take that
special someone out for a romantic dinner can now treat them to a
fantastic meal for under $50.

Special Date Night Menus are now available every Friday and Saturday
night at 131 Main Restaurant's Dilworth location. The announcement
was made by Joe Douglas, CEO of Captiva Restaurant Group which owns
and operates 131 Main.

"We're proud to offer some of our chef's signature dishes to diners
looking for an elegant restaurant at a reasonable price," Douglas
said. "We believe the special menu we're offering every Friday and
Saturday night will allow diners the opportunity to try a variety of
our meals."

Douglas added that as 131 Main in Dilworth updates its menu with new
and exciting dishes throughout the year, it's also expects to update
the Date Night Menu as well.

The current Date Night Menu for two for $49 is as follows:
• Choice of one appetizer to share: Roasted Vegetable Bruschetta,
Seared Scallops or Smoked Salmon
• Each get a salad: A choice of either a small Main salad or Caesar
• Each get a choice of entree: Grilled Carolina Trout with wild rice
salad; Sautéed Chicken Paillard with angel hair pasta and red pepper
tapenade; or Slow Roasted Prime Rib with hot au jus and mashed potatoes
• Choice of one dessert to share: Choice of any available dessert

For more information about the Date Night Menu in the Dilworth, please
call 704.343.0131.

About 131 Main Restaurants
131 Main is an upscale casual dining restaurant serving updated
American classics with an emphasis on fresh food. Its relaxed
ambience, reasonably priced menu and extensive wine list have made 131
Main the ideal place for a business lunch, a quiet evening out, drinks
with friends, or dinner with the family. 131 Main has four locations
– Cornelius (Lake Norman), Charlotte (Blakeney and Dilworth), and
Asheville. A fifth location is scheduled to open in early 2010 in
Raleigh. Captiva Restaurant Group, formed in 2004, founded, owns and
operates 131 Main. Based in Cornelius, NC, Captiva Restaurant Group
was founded by its three principals: Joe Douglas (CEO), Michael Vaughn
(COO), and Chris Carlsen (CFO). For more information, visitwww.131-

Friday, September 11, 2009

CMS seeks community input on naming of new high school

CMS seeks community input on
naming of new high school

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Sept. 11, 2009 – The community is invited to help
make recommendations for naming the new high school located off Bailey
Road in Cornelius. Principal Terri Cockerham has scheduled several
drop-ins for families and the community to submit their input. The
first opportunity will take place at the North County Regional
Library's 12th Birthday Celebration (16500 Holly Crest Lane,
Huntersville) on Tuesday, Sept. 15, from 2 to 6 p.m. Two drop-ins have
also been scheduled at the North Learning Community (16630 Northcross
Drive, Huntersville) on Thursday, Sept. 17, from 6 to 8 p.m. and on
Monday, Sept. 21, from 4 to 7 p.m. In addition to submitting their
recommendations, families can also learn about the school's
construction updates and view architectural renderings and a map of
the attendance zone.

Board Policy FF (Naming Facilities) recommends the names represent the
geographic area or community in which the school is located, a
historical figure or location, or an individual who is deceased whose
name has special significance and /or who made an outstanding
contribution to the school or school system, community, state or nation.

Cockerham will appoint a School Name Advising Committee that will
review, research and select three names to be presented to the
superintendent. Those recommendations will then be sent to the Board
for vote this fall. The new high school will open in August 2010.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Program aimed at helping families deal with substance abuse issues

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Sept. 10, 2009 – Family Nights, a program that
debuted last year for families whose children may be at risk for binge
drinking or other substance abuse problems, will offer another series
of classes this fall. The first class begins at East Mecklenburg High
School (6800 Monroe Road) on Sept. 17.

Families who are interested should contact Shirnell Addison, program
secretary, at 980-343-2612 for specific meeting times and to reserve a
space in the group. Students do not need to attend East Meck in order
to participate, but families must pre-enroll by Tuesday, Sept. 15, in
order to participate. The program will also be offered at four other
CMS high schools this fall. Each location will hold a series of four
weekly meetings.

Developed by the school district's High Risk Alcohol Abuse Prevention
Program, Family Nights provides free classes to help families develop
healthy habits and increase positive interaction. To qualify for
participation, families must have at least one child enrolled in
public, charter or private high school in Mecklenburg County. The
program is funded with federal money.

"The data we collected from last year's session shows that parents
feel more confident in their parenting skills after participating in
the class," said Danielle Doskocil, who is the program coordinator.

Family Nights will provide dinner and gift-card incentives for
participating families and child care and/or tutoring services for
younger siblings who attend. The program will also engage parents and
students in activities related to developing positive behaviors,
critical- and creative-thinking skills, goal setting, and the
importance of investing in family life. Follow-up services will also
be provided to the families who participate.

Additional classes will be held this fall at Turning Point Academy and
at North Mecklenburg, Hawthorne and Myers Park high schools, and other
locations are being planned for the spring. For additional information
on the program, please contact Doskocil at 980-343-2610.



Charlotte, N.C. – Are you a devoted Panthers fan, complete with a
tailgating tradition of beer and burgers on the barbecue? If so, Keep
Mecklenburg Beautiful and several community partners want to make it
easier for you to recycle before you head off to your sweet seat in
the stadium this season.

Keep Mecklenburg Beautiful is teaming up with the Carolina Panthers,
Bojangles', the City of Charlotte's Solid Waste Services and Center
City Partners to combat waste and boost recycling among tailgaters. A
pilot recycling program launched August 29 in a four-block area near
the Bank of America Stadium at the Panthers' first preseason game
against the Baltimore Ravens. At the two Panthers preseason home
games, more than 2,500 pounds of recyclables were collected – about 15
percent of total material collected.

"Our goal to start is to divert 20 percent of this volume, which
equates to 4,000 pounds of recyclable bottles and cans that are
generated by tailgaters before a typical home game," says Jake Wilson,
executive director of Keep Mecklenburg Beautiful. "We know we can grow
from there."

Tailgaters will receive two bags as they enter their usual parking
lot. One is designated for trash. The other, a bright yellow bag with
the Panthers and Bojangles' logos, is for all recyclable bottles and
cans. Tailgaters will be instructed to leave both bags at the curb for
collection by the City of Charlotte before they head into the stadium.
Tailgating generates nearly 10 tons of waste on most game days,
according to the City of Charlotte.

If the program is successful, the footprint of the recycling area will
be expanded.

Keep Mecklenburg Beautiful is a division of Mecklenburg County that
works to empower the residents of Mecklenburg County to take greater
responsibility for enhancing their environment.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Regional Recovery Initiative update: Regional community colleges offering programs for entrepreneurs

Regional Small Business Centers consortium to offer
entrepreneurial training for displaced workers

Budding entrepreneurs throughout the Charlotte region have a new tool
to help them get their business up and running – and it's free.

A consortium of Small Business Centers throughout North Carolina has
partnered with the Charlotte Regional Entrepreneurial Initiative to
offer the Kauffman Foundation's FastTrac® LaunchPad program to help
individuals who have been affected by the economy turn a negative
situation into an opportunity.

"This partnership with the Charlotte Regional Entrepreneurial
Initiative provides us an opportunity to combine our efforts to
provide entrepreneurial training and support that will encourage
creative ideas and spur business development, " said Renee Hode,
Director of CPCC's Small Business Center.

The Charlotte Regional Entrepreneurial Initiative works with displaced
workers interested in entrepreneurship by providing a variety of
educational programs. This effort is part of Governor Perdue's
Charlotte Regional Economic and Workforce Recovery initiative she
announced on April 22, 2009. Besides the American Recovery and
Reinvestment Recovery Act (ARRA) funding from Governor Perdue,
additional support has come from FastTrac® LaunchPad which is a joint
initiative between the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and the Deluxe
Corporation Foundation.

FastTrac® NewVenture™, which is part of FastTrac® LaunchPad, provides
the tools to develop business concepts and outlines the critical steps
to a successful business launch. Created and facilitated by successful
entrepreneurs, the FastTrac® NewVenture™ program helps entrepreneurs
identify and reach their target markets, set financial goals, build an
effective team, and more. FastTrac® allows the participants to use
their ideas as case studies, giving them an opportunity to test their
venture in a safe and supportive environment.

This program combines the award-winning, comprehensive FastTrac®
materials, along with new tools to help aspiring entrepreneurs launch
a successful business during these challenging economic times.

Eight community colleges in the Charlotte region will offer this
program through June 2010. For more detailed information or
application instructions, please contact the local Small Business
Center Director.

Catawba Valley Community College, Small Business Center, (828)327-7000
x 4112
· September 21, 2009 – October 7, 2009

· September 22, 2009 – October 8, 2009

Rowan-Cabarrus Community College, Small Business Center, (704)290-5222
· September 22, 2009 – October 8, 2009

Central Piedmont Community College, Small Business Center, (704)330-6832
· October 5, 2009 – November 11, 2009
· October 6, 2009 – November 10, 2009

Gaston College, Small Business Center, (704)-922-6449
· October 6, 2009 – November 10, 2009

South Piedmont Community College, Small Business Center, (704)290-5222
· September 21, 2009 – October 28, 2009
· October 12, 2009 – November 18, 2009
· November 3, 2009 – December 17, 2009

Mitchell Community College, Small Business Center, (704)878-3227
· December 1, 2009 – December 17, 2009
· February 2, 2009 – February 16, 2009

Stanly Community College, Albemarle Campus - Continuing Education
Building, (704)991-0182
· November 4, 2009 – December 7, 2009

Cleveland Community College, Small Business Center, (704)484-4146

The Small Business Center Network (SBCN) is comprised of 58 Small
Business Centers throughout North Carolina that support the
development of new businesses and the growth of existing businesses by
providing community-based entrepreneurial training, counseling and
resource information. Eight local Small Business Centers have formed
a regional consortium to help dislocated and underemployed individuals
secure opportunities for self-employment. They are Catawba Valley,
Cleveland, Central Piedmont, Gaston, Mitchell, Rowan-Cabarrus, South
Piedmont, and Stanly community colleges.