Monday, November 30, 2009

N. C. Commerce Secretary Crisco To Visit Union County Dec. 18, Speak At CEM In Stallings

MONROE, N.C. - Keith Crisco, North Carolina Department of Commerce
Secretary, will visit Union County Dec. 18, meet with local officials,
tour a leading local industry and provide an update on local and state
economic developments.

Appointed by N. C. Governor Bev Perdue, Crisco oversees the state
department responsible for economic development and industry
recruiting. His host will be the Union County Partnership for
Progress, the economic development organization for Union County.

Crisco will arrive at CEM's facility in Stallings in the morning
(details to be announced). CEM is a leading provider of innovative
microwave systems and solutions for laboratory applications. It
recently won a 2009 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge award,
presented by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, for its Sprint™
Rapid Protein Analyzer.

His visit will begin with a concise presentation for the media and
other guests on the North Carolina economy, the Union County economy,
and the Legacy Business Park proposed for eastern Union County. The
event will be held in CEM's conference room, 3100 Smith Farm Rd.,
Stallings (also listed on maps as Matthews).

Crisco will then take a brief tour of the high-tech CEM facility, led
by CEM President Dr. Michael Collins.

New Glass by Rose Hawley To Be On Display

"I make all of the colored elements in my fused glass by hammer,
torch, kiln, saw,
nippers, or blow pipe," says Glass Artist Rose Hawley. "Every tiny
sliver, dot,
medallion, or confetti must include at least three colors. Palette is

NEW GLASS by Rose Hawley will be unveiled during Gallery Crawl,
Friday, December 4th, 5-9 pm, at Charlotte Trolley Museum, 1507 Camden
in Charlotte's Historic SouthEnd.

"Rose breathes saturated color into all of her glass," says Museum
Director Andrea Faey.
"We are excited to have Rose's amazing creations in our Museum, once
along with those of Alex Fields, America's Van Gogh - Stefan Duncan,
and oil painter Charles Wyndam."

A separate reception will be held for Rose Hawley and her apprentice,
Alex Fields
on Saturday, December 5th, 2-6 pm, at The Artisan, 1236 East Boulevard,
in Dilworth's Heart Of Art.

New Works by Rose Hawley will be available for purchase through December
at The Artisan, across the street from Harris Teeter, next door to Red
Sky Gallery
in a great old house in Historic Dilworth.

For more information on Rose Hawley or Alex Fields, visit Art In The
Dairy, click here.

For more information on Charlotte Trolley Museum, click here.

For more information on The Artisan, click here.

Saturday, November 28, 2009


On Friday, November 27th at approximately 1:50pm, a Solid Waste
Services temporary driver was involved in a vehicular accident in the
3200 block of Billy Graham Parkway and West Boulevard. While making a
right turn from Billy Graham onto West Boulevard, the driver lost
control striking a 4-door sedan with. There were 4 occupants in the
sedan. The driver of the sedan died on the scene. The other three
occupants were taken to area hospitals with life-threatening injuries.
CMPD HITS unit will be conducting an investigation.

Solid Waste Services was working today and will work tomorrow,
Saturday, November 28 to collect garbage, yard waste, recycling and
bulky items. The Solid Waste Services truck involved in today's
accident was a yard waste truck. There were three workers on the
truck - the driver and two laborers to assist with yard waste
collection. As noted above, the driver was a temporary employee and
not employed directly by the City of Charlotte. He has been working
through the staffing agency for the City of Charlotte for 1 month.
This was his first accident while operating a City vehicle. The
driver and one of the other workers went to local hospitals with non
life-threatening injuries.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Provide Guides for Holiday Security

Charlotte, NC - With the onset of the winter holidays, the Charlotte-
Mecklenburg Police Department is stepping up patrols and taking
special precautions to ensure the safety of citizens and shoppers
throughout the holiday season. Beginning this week, with one of the
biggest shopping days of the year, police presence will increase and
continue through New Years.

Funded through the Justice Assistance Grant (JAG), extra patrols have
been added throughout the entire jurisdiction, providing heightened
visibility, especially in high volume shopping areas. This includes
all major shopping centers, malls, and superstores such as Walmart,
Target, and Sams Club. The Department has allotted more than $80,000
of JAG overtime funding to support this project.

The Department will be paying special attention to its known and
repeat offenders while also employing the full support of its
undercover officers who will be on the lookout for any criminal
activity and suspicious behavior. Officers will have a special focus
on crimes such as shoplifting and larceny from autos. The Department
also plans to fully utilize crime prevention tools such as its Sky
Watch Towers.

In addition to more police patrols, CMPD will collaborate with private
security firms to combine efforts.

Emphasizing the crucial relationship between the community and law
enforcement, CMPD will be working with local businesses to reinforce
precautionary measures for money management and business safety. The
Department is also encouraging citizens to take preventive steps to
ensure the securing of their property and their personal safety and
offers these tips for the holiday season:

Safety While Shopping

• Pay with checks or credit cards when possible. Don't flash large
amounts of cash.
• Don't leave any purchases or your purse unattended while shopping
or in a dressing room.
• Try to carry as little as possible. Make multiple trips to your
vehicle to store your purchases.
• Never leave your children alone.
• If your children get separated from you, teach them to find a
cashier or a security officer and ask for help.
• Report all suspicious activity. Call 911 with a description.
Safety in the Parking Lots

• Park and walk in well-lit areas.
• Walk with confidence be aware of people around you, and know where
you parked.
• Always lock your car doors after leaving or entering your car.
• Have your keys in your hand so that you don't have to linger before
entering your car. Check the back seat before you get in.
• Don't leave packages on the car seats. Keep packages out of sight
in the trunk or under a covered rear cargo area.
Home Holiday Safety

• Make sure your home is well lit. Turn on outside lights,
spotlights, motions lights, etc. Leave several lights on timers while
you are away to give your home that lived in look.
• Keep all shrubbery trimmed. Do not allow shrubbery to conceal
windows or doors.
• Remove anything a burglar could climb up on to gain entry or use to
knock out a window or door; items such as ladders, tools, tables, and
• All exterior doors should be solid, rather than hollow core.
• Don't leave garage roll down doors open, even while you are home or
while you are doing yard work.
• Use a deadbolt lock to secure your doors. A good deadbolt should
have a 1" throw, if you have glass within 40" of the lock a burglar
could reach in and unlock the door. A double cylinder lock (this type
needs a key on both sides to unlock) should be used if glass is near
the lock.
• If you are going away contact a trusted neighbor or friend to pick
up your mail, newspaper and other delivered items.
• Try not to leave gifts in open view. This is an invitation to
• Don't advertise new gifts or purchases. Break up cartons before
leaving them at the curb or dispose of them another way the morning of
trash pick up.
• Don't forget to engrave new gifts or purchases with your Drivers
license number
• Don't open your door to strangers. Be wary of solicitors and
salespersons. If a stranger asks to use your telephone, tell them to
stay outside, lock the door behind you and make the call for them.
Never let a stranger inside your home.
• Don't give any information about yourself or your neighbor to a

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

ACN Donation Sets Stage for Ronald McDonald House Construction - Groundbreaking Will Take Place Early 2010

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - After considerable planning, outreach and support,
the Ronald McDonald House (RMH) of Charlotte has taken a huge step
towards becoming a reality.

Concord-based telecommunications powerhouse ACN has stepped up and
made a donation of $1.3 million, providing substantial progress
towards the RMH of Charlotte's funding goals and allowing the charity
to keep pace with its primary construction targets. The announcement
was made today by Mona Johnson-Gibson, RMH of Charlotte's Executive

"We've been so close to this goal and now our dream of a House being
built on that site will finally come true," Johnson-Gibson said. "I
can't believe all the support that ACN has given us. They have been
extremely generous and are all wonderful people. We can't begin to
thank them enough."

With ACN's generous donation, the RMH of Charlotte is now expected to
break ground on the 1600 block of East Morehead Street in early 2010.
The one-acre parcel of land, donated by Carolinas Medical Center,
currently contains two residences that will be demolished to enable
the start of construction.

Fund-raising for the RMH of Charlotte will continue by raising money
to meet secondary building targets as well as to provide support for
initial operations and to help maintain the House.

ACN, the largest direct seller of telecommunications and home services
in the world, began working exclusively with the Ronald McDonald House
Charities last year raising funds at each of its global events.

"ACN has been a huge supporter of the Ronald McDonald House around the
country and it's only appropriate that we support the House right in
our back yard," said Greg Provenzano, ACN President and Co-Founder.
"We're honored that we were able to step up and help this charity
reach their goal. We are looking forward to the groundbreaking and to
when the House finally opens its doors next year."

During the summer, ACN announced the RMH of Charlotte would be the
official charity of its International Training Event held at both Time
Warner Cable Arena and Bojangles' Coliseum. Following the event, the
company and its independent representatives made a donation of
$124,870 to the RMH of Charlotte. Even Donald Trump, who was the
event's guest speaker, donated $10,000. During the training event, the
company collected contributions from thousands of generous ACN
representatives and employees. ACN then matched these contributions
dollar for dollar.

About ACN
Uniting together in 1993, the entrepreneurial team of Greg Provenzano,
Robert Stevanovski, Mike Cupisz and Tony Cupisz launched a single-
product enterprise that would quickly become the largest direct seller
of telecommunications and home services in the world. Today, ACN
provides customers with a full-scale Product Portfolio including IRIS
3000 Video Phone, Digital Phone Service, Wireless, Local/Long Distance
and Internet, Home Security and Satellite TV. ACN is on the forefront
of technology with Digital Phone Service and Video Phone, which allows
users to see the person they're talking to – in real time. With this
revolutionary product, ACN is changing the face of communication. ACN
operates in 20 countries with offices throughout North America, Europe
and Asia Pacific. For more information, visit

About the Ronald McDonald House of Charlotte
Currently, Charlotte is the only major U.S. city that does not have a
RMH. The RMH of Charlotte is scheduled to open in late 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 begin in early 2010. 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

National mentoring initiative moves forward in Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Nov. 24, 2009 - A national mentoring initiative to
recruit, connect with and direct caring adults to community-based
organizations and institutions supporting our vulnerable students is
moving forward in Charlotte. The National CARES Mentoring Movement is
helping to fill in the gap by recruiting and connecting adults with
Charlotte CARES will operate in Mecklenburg County and provide mentors
for students. Founder and CEO of National CARES Mentoring and Essence
Magazine Editor-in-Chief Emeritus Susan Taylor will talk about the
program and answer questions from the media Tuesday, Dec. 1, 9 a.m. at
Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School. She will also speak to
approximately 300 students about the importance of a mentor and
academic achievement. This event is a question-and-answer session for
the media and special guests. It is not open to the general public.

Charlotte CARES will partner with local faith institutions, schools,
businesses and organizations such as the Urban League, YMCA and 100
Black Men to recruit mentors. One thousand mentors are needed to
support the program. Charlotte CARES will create networks and connect
students with adults through existing youth-service organizations,
using one-on-one and group mentoring models.

Before mentors are matched with students, they will complete training
and a background check. To sign up as a volunteer or for more
information, visit

National CARES began in 2006 as Essence Cares, when Taylor joined with
celebrities and leaders of the National Urban League, Children's
Defense Fund, United Negro College Fund and other organizations. The
mentoring initiative is operating in nearly 40 cities, including
Atlanta, Baltimore, Dallas, Greensboro, New York City and Philadelphia.


Charlotte, N.C. - The Mecklenburg County Health Department is once
again taking appointments for priority groups to get the H1N1 (swine
flu) vaccination.

Current vaccine supplies will now allow health department staff to
administer the H1N1 vaccination to:

· Pregnant women

· People who live with or care for children younger than 6
months old

· Persons between the ages of 6 months and 24 years old

· Persons aged 25-65 who have chronic medical conditions

Appointments can be made by calling (704) 432-5100.

It is the goal of the Health Department to administer all of the
vaccine received as quickly as possible. Using the appointment system
will ensure that clients, especially those in vulnerable populations,
receive the vaccine without having to stand in long lines.

Vaccine shipments are expected to become more plentiful over the
coming weeks, allowing the public expanded options for those who wish
to be protected from the H1N1 virus. Residents should check first with
their personal medical provider to see whether they are administering
the vaccine. Many pharmacies, including those in grocery stores, are
expected to receive limited quantities of the H1N1 vaccine for public

Prevention and good personal hygiene can help you stay healthy this
flu season. Frequent hand washing, covering your cough, and staying
home when sick are keys to good health.

More information about the flu and protecting yourself and your family
can be found on our Web site In Mecklenburg
County, call 311 for more information.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Hope House and The Salvation Army Collaborate as a "Win-Win" Team

Huntersville, N.C. - Hope House Foundation and The Salvation Army
announced today (Nov. 23) that they have forged a collaborative
agreement to work together to manage and operate the newly renovated
and furnished Hope House to serve homeless women and children in the
Lake Norman area.

A front-page article in a local newspaper on The Salvation Army tipped
off Hope House Board Member Chris Anthony that The Salvation Army was
a perfect match when he learned that they planned to build a
transitional house in two years. With his board's blessing, Anthony
immediately approached The Salvation Army's Major Todd Hawks and
Director of Social Services Deronda Metz with his collaborative idea.

According to Major Hawks, "It was a win-win match. By our joining
forces to run and program Hope House, we will experience cost savings
by not duplicating services for both our organizations," he
explained. "With these tough economic times, we are all looking for
best practices to serve the many needy people with the available funds
in the community."

Combining their strengths and missions, both non-profits have formally
signed an agreement that clarifies each organization's role in running
the house and managing the program for residents with 24/7 supervision
for the next three months, and then to negotiate a long-term

The Salvation Army has hired the necessary staffing to run Hope House
with solid program management to operate the facility at full
capacity. Hope House has provided a transitional house on four acres
of land, household furnishings and amenities, utilities, a volunteer
program and a continuation of fundraising and development efforts by
its board to maintain the house and its grounds. In addition, Hope
House will continue to build strong relationships and close community
ties in the Lake Norman area with its many supporters.

"It's taken us almost three years of extensive renovations to
completely furnish the house in order for us to open our doors to be
as resident-ready as we are today," said Dr. Lee Beth Lindquist, co-
founder of Hope House. "Building anything is financially demanding.
When our Board had to face programming and operating the house 24/7,
this task was as daunting to us as renovating the house. To fill all
our 13 beds by December 1, we looked for an expert non-profit with
impeccable credentials in operating homeless shelters, and we
fortunately found a compatible connection with The Salvation Army."

Built on two levels, Hope House is a 4,000 square foot brick ranch
house in Huntersville that has been configured into six bedrooms and
four baths, two laundries as well as ample dining and kitchen space to
shelter homeless women and their children for up to six months with
services to enable them to transition into affordable permanent
housing and self-sufficiency.

Comfortably furnished by individuals and organizations from the Lake
Norman area, the house has new energy-efficient appliances, beds and
bedding as well as household goods furnished from a generous start-up
grant from the Sisters of Mercy of N.C. Foundation. The AT&T Learning
Center within the house has state-of-the-art computers and software
for all residents to use for educational and employment
opportunities. The garage of the house was converted into a colorful
recreational play area by Profit Technologies and funding from
Charlotte Regional Realtor® Association Housing Opportunity
Foundation. The disability ramp making the house totally accessible
was a gift from the Peninsula Community Foundation.

Major Hawks summed up the alliance, "Joining together at Hope House is
key to meeting the ever increasing needs of the homeless population in
our community -- particularly with those who are the most vulnerable
-- women and children. You can only put so many people in an
emergency shelter, but a transitional home gives individuals time to
become independent – a long term solution in hope."

About The Salvation Army and the Center of Hope
The Salvation Army of Greater Charlotte meets the needs of the
community with 15 centers of service and five Thrift Stores with
services ranging from emergency assistance, shelters, Boys & Girls
Clubs, adult rehabilitation and disaster relief. The Center ofHope is
a 36,000-square foot facility with 202 beds, making it the largest
women and children's homeless shelter in the Southeast. In addition to
shelter, the Center of Hope offers professional case management, a
free medical clinic, childcare, Life Skills program, Substance Abuse
Treatment program, Shelter Health Care Services, a computer lab, a
resource center and the first fully-chartered Boys & Girls Club that
operates within a homeless shelter. For more information about The
Salvation Army of Greater Charlotte, visit its web site at

About The Hope House Foundation

The Hope House Foundation is a 501-(c)-(3) non-profit charitable
organization created to serve the growing needs of homeless women and
women with children in the Lake Norman area in a comfortable suburban
home in Huntersville. To qualify, residents must be carefully screened
to live at Hope House and are expected to keep the home and grounds
tidy, contribute to meal preparation and assist with laundry and
cleaning, as well as fulfill personal goals set by their case managers
and staff to become independent. In addition to transitional shelter,
Hope House provides access to medical treatment and a variety of
services to enable these temporarily displaced women to become
productive and self-sufficient. To learn more about Hope House and
become a friend to its mission, visit

Gaston Rehab Associates Partners with Total Nutrition Technology to Add Nutrition Counseling

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Total Nutrition Technology, a company specializing
in helping people lose weight, manage their health and enhance their
sports performance, will serve as a nutrition resource for Gaston
Rehab Associates, an outpatient physical therapy, sports medicine and
health and wellness facility, and their Physical Performance Center, a
medically based training center that provides individuals and groups a
specialized work out facility to meet their personal health and
wellness goals.

As a nutrition resource, Total Nutrition Technology will provide
nutrition counseling to Gaston Rehab Associates' patients, clients and
athletes in their Charlotte, Gastonia and Statesville locations.
Jennifer Gusmer, a health educator for Total Nutrition Technology,
will lead this partnership and present monthly programs to parents and
athletes focused on improving sports performance through nutrition.

"We provide a diverse program offering at our three Charlotte area
locations," said Brian Boyle, DPT, president of Gaston Rehab
Associates and Physical Performance Center. "We believe that a
healthy mind and body can better overcome life's challenges and
enhance personal performance. The one thing we were missing in our
health and wellness programs was the nutrition education component.
We had read and heard great things about Total Nutrition Technology
and felt they were perfect partners to complement our programs.

"Both Total Nutrition Technology and Gaston Rehab Associates have some
of the same philosophies when it comes to managing your health and
improving your sports performance," said Angela Gallo, president of
Total Nutrition Technology. "This partnership allows us to fill a
need with their company and expand our company into two more markets -
Gastonia and Statesville."

About Gaston Rehab Associates
Gaston Rehab Associates was founded in 2004 by two physical
therapists. Since 2004, they have expanded to three offices -
Charlotte, Gastonia and Statesville – and partner with some of the top
medical experts in the region to bring the best in physical therapy,
sports specific training and conditioning, and health and wellness
services. Gaston Rehab Associates works with many physicians, sports
teams, and businesses in the area.

About Total Nutrition Technology
Total Nutrition Technology provides comprehensive nutrition and
exercise programs for individuals interested in achieving optimal
health and specific sports performance goals. They also offer
specialty programs that target unique health needs for youth, pregnant
and nursing moms, adults 50+ and corporate businesses wanting to
improve the health of their workforce.

Total Nutrition Technology has eight locations in Charlotte, NC and
one office in Asheville, NC, and licenses its proprietary program to
health professionals across the country. Please visit or call (704) 549-9550 for more information.

Dr. Peter Gorman Named NC Healthy Schools Superintendent of the Year

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Nov. 23, 2009 - Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools
Superintendent Dr. Peter C. Gorman was selected as the 2009 North
Carolina Healthy Schools Superintendent of the Year. Gorman was
honored for his leadership, support and commitment to coordinated
school health programs across the district. The award was presented on
Nov. 13 at the North Carolina Alliance for Athletics, Health, Physical
Education, Recreation and Dance (NCAAHPERD) convention in Winston-
Salem. Debra Kaclik, director of arts, health and physical education
and PreK-12 curriculum support programs, and Randolph IB Middle dance
teacher Rebecca Hill were also recognized.

"I am honored to be named Healthy Schools Superintendent of the Year,"
said Gorman. "We know students who live healthy lives do better in the
classroom, and it is important for all areas of education to work
together to support school health."

Gorman was nominated for the award by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School
Health Advisory Council, comprised of school administrators and staff
from a range of CMS departments, the Mecklenburg County Health
Department, parents and other community representatives. Members
represent the eight areas of the district's Coordinated School Health
program: health services, health education, nutrition services,
counseling, psychological and social services, physical education,
staff wellness, family and community involvement and a healthy school
environment. The council works together to support school health,
which improves students' ability to learn.

"Dr. Gorman has been a strong supporter of the Coordinated School
Health program, as well as many other initiatives that encourage
healthy living," said Nancy Langenfeld, school health specialist for
CMS. "Under his leadership, the CMS program has become a model across
the state and country."

Some programs at CMS include:

• The Sports, Play, and Recreation for Kids (SPARK) physical-education
curriculum and Fitnessgram, fitness level testing that includes Body
Mass Index (BMI) measurement. Both are part of the In School
Prevention of Obesity and Disease (IsPOD) statewide initiative.

• The school district's wellness policy and regulations, which was
adopted by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education in 2006. The
policy directed the superintendent to create the School Health
Advisory Council and provides vending restrictions for sugared
beverages and snacks.

• Physical Exercise Together Everyday, or "P.E.T.E.," which Gorman
introduced at the July 2009 CMS Leadership Conference that included
400 district leaders. Gorman and the Carolina Panthers Fit Squad led
exercises to emphasize the link between wellness and performance. The
superintendent also encourages staff to model positive behaviors that
will get students moving and improve their academic performance.

• The Asthma Education Program, which is nationally known and is
featured in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention video
entitled "Creating Asthma Friendly Schools." The program boasts a
unique Asthma on Wheels curriculum for all students in grades four and
six, and Open Airways classes with nurse case management to improve
outcomes and the school environment for students with asthma.

During the conference, Gorman also received the IsPOD Outstanding
Superintendent Award for his commitment to fighting obesity and
disease in school.

Kaclik was named IsPOD Outstanding Healthful Living Coordinator for
her commitment to health and physical education at CMS. Kaclik is a
member of the School Health Advisory Council. She has also been named
North Carolina High School Physical Education Teacher of the Year,
Southwestern 4A Coach of the Year and was a teacher/coach for the
World Scholar Athlete Games.

Hill received the K-12 Dance Educator of the Year Award. Hill helped
launch the dance program at Randolph IB Middle School four years ago.
Her open classroom is for students of all abilities, including those
with severe and profound disabilities. In 2003, she became the first
dance teacher to win the CMS and North Carolina Dance Theatre
Outstanding Educator of the Year Award.

NCAAHPERD is a nonprofit organization of athletics, health, physical
education, recreation and dance professionals working to promote the
health of North Carolinians.

[Photo from the conference. Left to right: Rebecca Hill, Dr. Peter C.
Gorman, Debra Kaclik]

Charlotte Area News Launches New Design Format, Gains National Listings

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Nov. 23, 2009 - Charlotte Area News, an online news hub that aggregates news from regional media into one site, launched a new website design Monday and announced listings in national media directories. is now included in national media directories produced by Cision (formerly Bacon's) and is attracting an increasing flow of news from across the country. However only news stories related to the Charlotte area are published.

The website also launched a new design format Monday (Nov. 23) including a wider page, dropdown menu and original local news on the front page.

"We encourage local organizations and public relations firms to send news releases and photos as jpegs to our site," said Buck Lawrimore, president of Lawrimore Communications Inc., the Charlotte marketing firm which publishes as a public service. "However we are seeking to complement, not compete with, dBusinessNews and Carolina Newswire, both of which focus on regional business news.

"We also value our win-win relationship with local news media, which provide us much of our content, and in return we send them readers whenever someone clicks on a story link or headline," he said. features RSS feeds from regional newspapers and TV news departments, as well as national news from Google and Yahoo, Charlotte news on Twitter, a variety of weather reports, and Charlotte neighborhood news ranging from police reports to library books and restaurant reviews.

Original local news provided by local organizations is also sent overnight as an email newsletter and via Twitter at

Lawrimore Communications Inc. is a full-service marketing agency providing market research and marketing plans, websites and Internet marketing, public relations and advertising, graphic design and brochures, online at

Friday, November 20, 2009

Brace for Impact: Local crash survivors (Charlotte, NC) share what happened when they went home

Charlotte, NC - Thirteen lucky Charlotte NC survivors of the crash of
US Airways Flight 1549 into the Hudson River, documented their
personal stories and lessons learned for a new book just published by
HCI titled Brace for Impact.

Barry Leonard of Charlotte, NC Story Title: The Heart of Gratitude

Summary: Suffered fractured sternum during crash and was hospitalized
for 3 days. Recently organized a thank-you luncheon for 70 New Jersey
first responders and staff at Palisades Medical Center on NJ shore of
Hudson who saved him.

Barry Leonard 212-213-8000

Jerry Shanko of Matthews, NC Story Title: Dreaming of Tomorrow

Summary: At rescue scene he kept saying he wanted to thank the pilot
for letting him know his baby. His wife was five months pregnant with
their first child and first grandchild on both families. Samantha was
born in May and Jerry dreams of her life he expected never to share.

Jerry Shanko 215-850-2548

Glenn Carlson of Charlotte, NC Story Title: Embracing Community

Summary: Social organizer of passenger group for email lists, Yahoo,
Facebook, reunions, etc. Also self-proclaimed 'class clown' with
offbeat humor, which helps keep the group together to share the
celebration and the upheaval.

Glenn Carlson 704-200-6629

Don Norton of Charlotte, NC Story Title: Respecting Your Fears

Summary: After a few post-crash flights he developed a morbid fear of
flying and has not flown since. Has immersed himself in this fear and
become student of plane crashes and plane safety. Also, sidebar in
book about his growing friendship with Darren Beck, who survived the
crash with him.

Don Norton 704-206-0697.

Gerry McNamara of Charlotte, NC Story Title: The Power of Story

Summary: He wrote a simple personal account of his crash for family
and friends that was then circulated through his firm and proceeded to
go viral across the Internet, winding up in Time magazine. He reflects
on how this unexpected public exposure continues to shape him.

Gerry McNamara 704-591-2881

Bill Elkin of Mooresville, NC Story Title: Awakening to Purpose

Summary: Swept up in gratitude and emotional upheaval, he searches
for a new sense of life purpose. As one answer he begins delivering
sermons at churches with this theme: Imagine You Had One Minute to Live

Bill Elkin 704-756-5509

Maryann Bruce of Cornelius, NC Story Title: Be the Survivor

Summary: She is the celebrated 'girl with nine lives.' This was #7
after surviving a tsunami, hurricane, earthquake, 1993 Trade Center
bomb, 9/11 on plane to Boston, etc.

Maryann Bruce 704-894-0580

Dave Sanderson of Charlotte, NC Story Title: Speaking from the Heart

Summary: After starting out with church talks about his experience as
a symbol of the possibilities of miracles, he has become a prolific
speaker now represented by Keppler Speakers Bureau. Story relates how
he speaks without notes and finds himself often in tears before,
during and after his talks at the memories of the crash and rescue,
the deeper spiritual meaning, and the poignant moments with those he
has reached.

Dave Sanderson 704-904-2233

Beth McHugh of Lake Wylie, SC Story Title: Hug Like You Mean It

Summary: In profound gratitude and stirred by the deepest hugs of her
life with her 3 adult daughters, she decided to hug everyone she met –
and still does. Story details memorable hugs and the spirit behind them.

Beth McHugh 704-965-5619.

Vicki Barnhardt of Huntersville, NC Story Title: Knowing When to Go Back

Summary: Returned to crash rescue scene on Hudson River in June as
part of her personal healing and had profound experience, riding NY
Waterway ferry and finding the dinner cruise ship where she was taken
by Coast Guard rescue boat to warm up.

Vicki Barnhardt 704-992-0000

Frank Scudere of Fort Mill, SC Story Title: Peace in the Silence

Summary: The crash was part of a triple-whammy. His father died 5
days after the crash and, after being spared from a layoff on the day
after the crash because of what happened, he is axed from his law firm
in March. He hit bottom, then found silent moments to being to heal
and slowly climb back up.

Frank Scudere 803-218-9572

Warren Holland of Charlotte, NC Story Title: Soldier of Faith

Summary: Ex-Marine officer who led combat missions in Desert Storm is
guided by his faith and heroes like Arland Williams, fellow Citadel
grad who gave up his life saving others after 1982 Potomac River crash.

Warren Holland 917-566-7782

Darren Beck of Charlotte, NC Story Title: Circle of Love

Summary: Father of 3 young sons takes vow to make family #1 after
crash and winds up taking son Tyler to Los Angeles where he is filming
a commercial as head of marketing for LendingTree.

Darren Beck 980-721-2083


"Brace for Impact." Three simple words that proclaimed to all 150
passengers on board US Airways Flight 1549 on that cold, crisp New
York afternoon of January 15 that their plane was about to go down in
the icy Hudson River.

We all know what happened next. The story of Captain "Sully"
Sullenberger's miraculous landing, the heroic acts of first
responders, and the images of 150 grateful souls stepping off those
water-coated wings to safety with nothing worse than soggy clothes and
minor injuries has touched the world.

But there is a different, more meaningful, and more timely story that
has yet to be fully told.

What happened to these passengers when they went home to their
families, their homes, their jobs, and everything else familiar but
somehow not the same?

What has been the real impact, not of a disastrous crash but instead
the gift of a "new" life?

What can any of us learn from the honest and open sharing of ordinary
people who came back from the brink of death?

Brace for Impact by Dorothy Firman and Kevin Quirk answers these
questions and more. This incredible book takes you inside the hearts,
minds, and souls of twenty-two passengers. The first-person stories
will shed light on the diverse, engaging experiences of what has
emerged since that day.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Hopewell High teacher named Milken Award winner

CHARLOTTE, N.C., - Cynthia Rudolph, a biology teacher at Hopewell High
School in Huntersville, today was named North Carolina's 2009 Milken
Family Foundation National Educator Award recipient. Rudolph is among
more than 50 secondary educators in the nation to receive the
unrestricted financial award of $25,000 this year and has become the
newest member of a network of over 2,400 past recipients. Milken
Family Foundation Senior Vice President Jane Foley made the surprise
announcement during a school-wide assembly. Rudolph is the only North
Carolina educator to receive the award this year, and the fourth
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools employee to be named a Milken Award
winner. In 1994, Albert Winston won the award while he was principal
of Hidden Valley Elementary; Collinswood Principal Maria Petrea won
the award in 2000, and Dr. Cindy Moss won the award in 2001 while
teaching science at Independence High.

State Superintendent June Atkinson, who assisted in the presentation,
said she knows the Milken Family Foundation National Educator Award
recipients represent the best and the brightest in the teaching
profession. "These outstanding educators spark interests, inspire
creativity and boost achievement among all their students and we are
so fortunate to have another Milken award winner in our state,"
Atkinson said. "Talented teachers such as Cynthia Rudolph are a key
ingredient in our efforts to keep students excited and engaged in
learning so they stay in school and graduate prepared for college, job
training and a career."

Rudolph co-teaches two biology inclusion classes as well as honors
classes and is noted for her unconventional and successful teaching
techniques. Colleagues say that she challenges each student with the
same mantra, to get out of their "comfort zone" to increase their
academic achievement. She integrates art, dance and song into her
classes to accomplish this goal and test results for her inclusion
classes show all of her students exceed state standards.

Rudolph also helps to show her colleagues and educators across the
country that science instruction can be creative. In 2008, she was
selected as a professional development master teacher by her district,
and her classroom serves as a learning lab for new teachers. Rudolph
helped to
develop the district's science curriculum and serves on the state
department committee for testing and test development. She also was
one of 20 teachers in North Carolina to be selected for the State
Biology Standards Development conference.

An independent, blue-ribbon committee appointed by each state's
department of education selects the potential award recipients for
submission to the Milken Foundation. Selection criteria include
exceptional educational talent as evidenced by effective instructional
practices and student learning results in the classroom and school;
exemplary educational accomplishments beyond the classroom that
provide models of excellence for the profession; strong, long-term
potential for professional and policy leadership; and an engaging and
inspiring presence that motivates and impacts students, colleagues and
the community.

"Highly effective educators are the human capital that will equip
America's youth in this increasingly competitive global economy,"
Milken Family Foundation Chairman and Co-Founder Lowell Milken said.
"By shining a national spotlight on these exceptional people, the
Milken Educator Awards send a powerful message of the critical role
that talented teachers play in preparing young people for a bright

Dubbed the "Oscars of Teaching" by Teacher Magazine, the Milken
National Educator Awards were established to provide exceptional K-12
educators with public recognition and to inspire talented young people
to consider teaching as a career. In addition to the financial award
and educational networking opportunities, the Milken Family Foundation
provides recipients with a variety of professional resources to help
them cultivate and expand innovative programs in their classrooms,
schools and districts. The award alternates each year between
elementary and secondary educators.

Since North Carolina joined the Milken Awards program in 1994, 44
North Carolina educators have received this award, sharing a total of
almost $1.1 million. Nationally, over 2,400 educators have received
more than $60 million since the program's inception in 1987. To
receive additional information on the Milken Educator Awards, the
National Education Conference, or other Milken Family Foundation
programs, please call 310.570.4775 or visit the Milken Family
Foundation Web site, For information about the
award presented in North Carolina, please contact the NCDPI's
Communications division at 919.807.3450.


Charlotte, N.C. - Did you know that more than 6 million tons of excess
waste are created between Thanksgiving and New Year's?

According to conservation experts, Americans generate 25 percent more
waste per week during the holiday season than during the rest of the
year. It's a sobering statistic, given growing awareness and
interest in recycling and sustainable living.

Mecklenburg County Solid Waste Services invites residents to fight
this longtime trend of wastefulness by participating in Use Less Stuff
(ULS) Week, a national campaign taking place November 19 through 25 to
help people reduce waste by conserving resources.

You don't have to become a vegetarian or stop giving gifts to be
kinder to the environment. The ULS Report offers these tips for
enjoying a leaner, greener holiday season:

● Buy rechargeable batteries for electronic gifts and use them
as stocking stuffers. One family can keep hundreds of batteries out of
landfills by making the switch.

● Switch to a cold-water laundry detergent. Doing so will save
the cost of hot water. (Also, consider purchasing a high-efficiency

● Hunt through your holiday storage for wrapping paper and bows
that you can reuse. Consider using old maps, magazines and bags to
wrap gifts.

● Plastic bags can be recycled! Learn more at www.plasticbagrecycl

● Plan meals and shopping trips to maximize
efficiency of time and resources

Mecklenburg's waste reduction staff offers additional tips on
how you can be generous and green this holiday season.

● Purchase gift cards, which are a snap to wrap and
generate little to no waste.

● Give homemade gifts. Home-cooked meals, baked goods and crafts
are traditional gifts with a personal, creative touch.

● Buy tickets to sporting events, movies, plays or

● Spread good will by making a donation in someone
else's name.

● If you're feeling brave enough to shop at
the mall, bring reusable bags.

● Think durable. Before you buy an item, consider
how long it will last.

● Look for items made with recycled materials.

Green giving doesn't end when you're done shopping. You
can reduce waste when wrapping gifts, too:

● Gifts from the kitchen can go in Ball Mason jars, cookie tins
recycled from past holidays, decorated oatmeal canisters or brightly
colored Tupperware containers. All are reusable.
● Decorate oversized gifts with a bow that can be
reused next year.

● Use Sunday comics, decorated paper bags or
blueprint paper to wrap gifts.

● Make gift tags from last year's Christmas

● Save boxes and bows for next year.

Cut waste while cooking and decorating, too!

● Pack meal leftovers in reusable containers.

● Use china and cloth napkins instead of disposable

● Create centerpieces with an array of colorful
fruits, vegetables and nuts.

● Decorate your home with holly, cedar, berries, fruits and
nuts, which can be composted at the end of the season. Trim the tree
with strings of popcorn and cranberries.

Remember, all gift wrap and tissue can go in your curbside recycling
bin. And Christmas trees are recyclable, too.

For more information on Use Less Stuff Week, go to

For more information on waste reduction and recycling year-round in
Mecklenburg County, go to

Bishop E. Bernard Jordan Returns to Charlotte

On Thursday, November 19th, and Friday, November 20th, 2009, Bishop
Jordan will be returning to the greater Charlotte area to speak at
Apostle Penny Montgomery's Prophetic Conference 2009. Jordan, who
counts Rev. Al Sharpton, Rev. Run (of Run DMC Fame), and Mark Victor
Hansen (co-author of the best selling Chicken Soup for the Soul books)
among his followers, will be a featured speaker at the conference,
which starts at 7:30pm, at the New Covenant Bibleway Church, 1321
Capps Hill Mine Rd., Charlotte, NC.

Bishop Jordan is the author of more than 40 books, including the NY
Times bestseller, "The Laws of Thinking." He is also a pioneer of the
"cyber church" experience, and draws viewers from around the world
that stream his services weekly on his website,
Bishop Jordan is a regular contributor to Rev. Al Sharpton's
nationally syndicated radio show and on cable network BET.

131 Main in Dilworth Now Taking Cornbread & Coffee and Boxed Lunch Orders

CHARLOTTE, N.C. - If you're looking for the perfect mid-morning snack
or a delicious boxed lunch delivered right to your home or office,
then 131 Main Restaurant in Dilworth is here to help.

The award-winning restaurant, located at 1315 East Blvd, is now
delivering cornbread and coffee and boxed lunch specials.

"Our cornbread appetizer is a huge hit with our customers, so we've
launched our Cornbread and Coffee promotion," John Perkinson, General
Manager of 131 Main in Dilworth. "We will now deliver 131 Main's
cornbread with Royal Cup's Caffe Sumatra coffee," Perkinson said.
"With our special cornbread recipe and Royal Cup's rich coffee, our
customers now have the perfect mid-morning snack."

The Box Lunch menu offers the restaurant's Double Dip as a starter,
three different salads and four signature sandwiches all served with
hand-cut potato chips, an apple and homemade brownie.

"Because our Dilworth location is a popular lunch destination, we've
decided to offer delicious lunch specials to those who can't break for
lunch because of a busy work schedule," Perkinson said. "The goal is
to offer the same quality 131 Main food to our customers who unable
join us at our East Boulevard location."

Both cornbread and coffee and boxed lunches are also available for
pick up. For more information about cornbread and coffee or the boxed
lunch specials, please visit or call

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-


Confectioner See's Candies has opened at South Park Mall in Charlotte
for the holiday season. The seasonal shop, located near Aldo Shoes and
J. Crew, will feature a selection of candies including its signature
Peanut Brittle, Assorted Chocolates and Gourmet Lollypops.

Regular mall hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday;
12:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays; with extended holiday hours
periodically through December. For more information, please visit
or call 800-895-7337.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

CMS teams ready for second round of playoffs

Six CMS football teams still fighting for state title

CHARLOTTE - Six Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools football
teams are still in the battle for the state title. Five of those teams
will play in Mecklenburg County on Friday, Nov. 20, and one plays out
of town:

• West Forsyth at Butler
• Independence at Mallard Creek
• East Mecklenburg at Olympic
• Providence at Richmond Senior

All games will kick off at 7:30 p.m. and tickets cost $7.

Greer & Walker Receives National Recognition

Charlotte, N.C. - Accounting Today, a national accounting
industry trade publication, and Best Companies Group recently named
Greer & Walker, LLP, Charlotte's largest locally-owned accounting
firm, as one of the 2009 "Best Accounting Firms To Work For" companies.
"We are honored to be named among the 'Best Accounting
Firms To Work For' companies," said Kevin Walker, CPA, and co-managing
partner. "This award is also very important to our firm because it
gives us valuable feedback on the areas in which we are doing well as
well as the areas where we can improve." The survey and award program
was designed to identify, recognize and honor the best places of
employment in the accounting industry, benefiting the nation's
economy, its workforce and businesses.
"The Best Accounting Firms To Work For" list is made up
of a total of 100 companies, split into three groups: 20 small-sized
companies (15-24 employees), 65 medium-sized companies (25-249
employees) 15 large-sized companies (more than 250 employees). With a
total staff of more than 80 employees, Greer & Walker has been named
one of the "Best Accounting Firms To Work For" in the medium-size
Companies from across the country entered the two-part
survey process to determine category winners. The first part consisted
of evaluating each nominated company's workplace policies, practices,
philosophy, systems and demographics. The second part consisted of an
employee survey to measure the employee experience. The combined
scores determined the top companies and the final ranking. Best
Companies Group managed the overall registration, survey and analysis
process and determined the final rankings.
Founded in Charlotte in 1984, Greer & Walker, LLP
provides audit, accounting, tax and business advisory services to a
diversified client base of middle-market companies and not-for-profit
organizations with operations throughout the Carolinas and around the
world. Affiliates include Greer & Walker Investment Advisors, LLC and
Greer & Walker Corporate Finance, LLC. For more information about the
firm, call Kevin Walker at 704.377.0239 or visit the Greer & Walker
website at

Percentage of local students receiving free or reduced-price lunch rises

CHARLOTTE - Just over half - 50.9 percent - of students in Charlotte-
Mecklenburg Schools are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch, the
district reported Nov. 18. That number is a slight increase over the
2008-2009 total of 48 percent.

The 40th-day enrollment count showed that 67,991, or 50.9 percent of
K-12 students, qualify for the subsidy. When pre-kindergarten students
are included, 51.6 percent of CMS students are eligible for the
subsidy. Eligibility is widely used by school districts as a proxy for
poverty in the student population.

The guidelines are set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which
gives a subsidy to school districts based on the number of free or
reduced-price lunch students. To qualify a student to receive free
lunch, a family of four can earn no more than $28,665 per year.
Students from a family of four earning more than $28,665 but less than
$40,793 receive school lunch for 40 cents, which is well below the $2
CMS charges for a student lunch.

Like other districts, CMS verifies eligibility for a sample of
families who apply for the subsidy. More than half of the district's
eligible students are referred to the program (and verified for it) by
the Department of Social Services. CMS verifies eligibility for three
percent of families who apply for the subsidy, said Cindy Hobbs, the
director of Child Nutrition for the district. Families chosen for
eligibility verification must provide proof of income, such as a pay
stub, she said.

The district uses the free and reduced-price lunch data to allocate
extra resources to schools with high concentrations of poverty. CMS
collects the data for each school, as well as for the entire district.

The 2009-2010 data shows that five schools had an increase of 10
percentage points or more in students eligible for free or reduced-
price lunch. Twenty-three schools showed declines in eligible
students, but none of the decreases were more than 10 percent, with
most below three percentage points.

Creek Re-Leaf Team to Plant 1500 Trees in 3 Hours

Charlotte, NC - On Saturday, November 21, from 9am until Noon almost 4
football fields of area will be reforested with approximately 1500
tree seedlings.

More than 250 volunteers will spend three hours of their Saturday
morning planting trees along the streams of Huntersville's McDowell

As the trees grow, so do the benefits of stream reforestation. Trees
planted along creek banks:
• Reduce pollution,
• Control soil erosion,
• Decrease storm water runoff,
• Slow down water during heavy rains,
• Provide shade and habitat for aquatic life in the stream, not to
• Improve the health of the environment.

Our volunteers come from all walks of life and range in age from young
students to senior citizens. Their ranks include business men and
women, high school and college students, families, boy scouts and
environmental organizations. No specific skills are needed to
participate – only the desire to improve our environment.

The Creek ReLeaf Program is a collaborative effort of the Charlotte
Public Tree Fund, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services, the
Center for Sustainability at Central Piedmont Community College, the
Sierra Club Central Piedmont Group, and our dedicated volunteers and
financial supporters to plant trees in riparian areas (floodplain and
stream buffers) of Mecklenburg County.

Noon to one pm we will have lunch at the site, as well as give out
gifts and prizes to volunteers.

Visit to register and for more information
including directions to the site.

Creek Re-Leaf Team to Plant 1500 Trees in 3 Hours

Charlotte, NC - On Saturday, November 21, from 9am until Noon almost 4
football fields of area will be reforested with approximately 1500
tree seedlings.

More than 250 volunteers will spend three hours of their Saturday
morning planting trees along the streams of Huntersville's McDowell

As the trees grow, so do the benefits of stream reforestation. Trees
planted along creek banks:
• Reduce pollution,
• Control soil erosion,
• Decrease storm water runoff,
• Slow down water during heavy rains,
• Provide shade and habitat for aquatic life in the stream, not to
• Improve the health of the environment.

Our volunteers come from all walks of life and range in age from young
students to senior citizens. Their ranks include business men and
women, high school and college students, families, boy scouts and
environmental organizations. No specific skills are needed to
participate – only the desire to improve our environment.

The Creek ReLeaf Program is a collaborative effort of the Charlotte
Public Tree Fund, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services, the
Center for Sustainability at Central Piedmont Community College, the
Sierra Club Central Piedmont Group, and our dedicated volunteers and
financial supporters to plant trees in riparian areas (floodplain and
stream buffers) of Mecklenburg County.

Noon to one pm we will have lunch at the site, as well as give out
gifts and prizes to volunteers.

Visit to register and for more information
including directions to the site.

Family finance help

Leadership Charlotte and Parent University offer free workshop

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Nov. 17, 2009 - Strategies for budgeting. Solutions
for managing bills. Options for saving.

A Nov. 19 "Managing Your Finances" class for parents at Windsor Park
Elementary will offer these tips and more. The free, interactive
workshop – from 6:15 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. – will be offered in English
and Spanish.

"I'm excited about the possibilities for increased parent involvement
at Windsor Park through the Leadership Charlotte initiative," said
Principal Kevin Woods. "I'm sure that our money management class
offered this Thursday will be the first of many exciting opportunities
for parents."
he program is being sponsored by a team from Leadership Charlotte's
Class 31 and Parent University. Dinner, activities for kids and door
prizes will also be provided. Among the door prizes: Blockbuster gift
cards, hams, turkeys, Jake Delhomme-autographed mini-helmet, DeAngelo
Williams- autographed football, Charlotte Bobcats tickets, Children's
Theatre tickets, and a suite for a Charlotte Checkers game. The
school's Parent-Teacher Association will staff a table at the event.
Windsor Park will have a pizza party for the classroom that gets the
most parents to attend.

This is the second year Leadership Charlotte has partnered with Parent
University to support parent classes in targeted schools. Last year,
Leadership Charlotte's Class 30 supported nine Parent University
sessions, which drew more than 1,200 participants. Leadership
Charlotte members offered assistance with promotion, meals,
incentives, child care, and more during these workshops.

While parents are in Thursday's workshop, children can receive help
with homework from teachers, watch a movie or play games.

Parent University, which began in 2008 as part of the district's
Strategic Plan 2010, is a community collaborative led by CMS to offer
free resources and workshops for parents.

Leadership Charlotte is a community leadership development
organization that operates a 10-month program. Participants meet with
community leaders, are exposed to major issues affecting the region
and address community needs.

A Way Home Hosts Fifth Annual Hope for the Homeless Awareness Walk - November 21

- Event Includes the Homeless Services Network Serving Charlotte-
Mecklenburg -

Charlotte, N.C. - The non-profit A Way Home will host the 2009 Hope
for the Homeless Awareness Walk scheduled for Saturday morning,
November 21 to raise awareness for the homeless population in
Mecklenburg County. There are an estimate 8,000+ homeless people in
Mecklenburg County, including over 2,400 school-aged children.

Registration for the three-mile walk begins at 9:30 a.m. at 500 Spratt
Street in front of Crisis Assistance Ministry. Participants can also
register in advance at Pre-registration is
recommended. Activities begin at 9:30 and the Walk will begin at 10:30
a.m. Other activities and entertainment, as well as a soup kitchen
lunch, will be available to everyone until 1:00 p.m. on Spratt Street.

According to Chris Wolf, the Executive Director of A Way Home, the
purpose of this walk is to heighten awareness of the homeless
population in our region, particularly as we go into the winter months
during these tough economic times. The event also is scheduled to
correspond to the 2009 National Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week
presented by the National Coalition for the Homeless.

The Walk is a partnership with the Homeless Services Network that
supports our community's homeless population through outreach
services, assessment, emergency shelter, transitional housing,
permanent housing, permanent supportive housing and supportive
services intended to help people overcome personal issues that
contribute to their homeless. This network is a coalition of agencies
and organizations delivering services to persons who are homeless or
at risk of becoming homeless and those who have a stake in the
prevention and reduction of homelessness.

"A donation of $10 is recommended for adults and teens to participate
in the walk, said Wolf. "And there is no charge for children 12 years
of age and under. Bring the family, but please leave pets at home," he

Teams of walkers from different organizations, companies,
agencies' clients and the faith-based community will be participating
in the event.

For more information about the 2009 Hope for the Homeless
Awareness Walk, please contact A Way Home at 980 219 2327 or visit
their web site at



Bringing THE WORLD IN ONE RING to Freedom Shopping Mart for the First
Time Ever With Guest Appearances by Charlotte Bobcats, Knights and
Carolina Panthers Mascots

WHAT: Now in its 16th season, UniverSoul Circus returns to Charlotte
with an all-new show, "The World in One Ring," featuring a star-
studded cast including the Chinese Olympic Acrobats who performed
during the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Multi-talented comedian Patrice
Lovely portrays Auntie Maggie Shirley Lee Mae Frances Upshaw Jenkins,
a hilarious mistress of ceremony that takes you through a
quintessential UniverSoul spectacle and keeps you laughing non-stop.
Opening Night will also feature special appearances by favorite
professional sports mascots, Sir Purr, Rufus Lynx and Homer. Every
performance offers the audience an escape from their worries by
embarking on a breath taking odyssey that features the youthful raw
energy of talent from over 11 countries, all converging in one ring
for a magical night of circus, dance, music, comedy, and disbelief.
This powerful entertainment experience in an intimate tent atmosphere
will envelope and inspire the audience like never before. At
UniverSoul, the audience is the co-star of the show.

WHERE: Freedom Shopping Mart (across from Freedom Mall) 3146 Freedom

TICKETS: Tickets are available at,, by calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-316-7439. Lap
children 11 months and under admitted FREE. Group rates and discounts
may apply.

WHEN: Weekdays beginning November 18 at 10:30 am & 7:30 pm and Noon,
4pm and 7:30pm on Saturday, November 21 and 2:30pm and 5:30pm on
Sunday, November 22.
Visit or or text USOUL
66937 for alerts and promotions

Monday, November 16, 2009

LLOYD DOBLER EFFECT Playing next SATURDAY 11/28 in Charlotte

LLOYD DOBLER EFFECT will be performing in Charlotte, NC at Amos South
End (1423 S Tryon St) NEXT Saturday 11/28!

LDE was recently featured on MTV.COM, The Wall Street Journal,
Entertainment Weekly, and much more – in regards to their celebrated
performance in the middle of Times Square on November 3rd!! Check it
out here-- – Their highly
anticipated new album, A MUTE REMINDER, comes out March 2010.

Drawing from the diverse Washington, D.C. music scene, LDE fuses rock,
percussive rhythms and vocal harmonies to create an intricate and
fresh sound. The multi-layered and upbeat music showcases their
universal appeal to both mainstream modern rock lovers and culturally
diverse audiences. Most notably, LDE is notoriously close with their
fans – a peek at their Web sites make that clear.

As those very fans and industry insiders alike await the highly
anticipated album, A MUTE REMINDER, the guys have taken to
the road on an extensive tour.

Check 'em out at


Charlotte, N.C. - Have you ever taken a quick stroll through Asia?
This week you can - right here in Charlotte, on your lunch break.

Mecklenburg County's Geospatial Information Services department
is hosting National Geographic's Giant Traveling Map exhibit at
the 11th annual GIS Day on Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2009, at Spirit Square,
345 N. College St. The event is free and open to the public.

National Geographic's giant map of Asia will be on display all
day for residents and geography aficionados to study - and yes, walk
across - as they consider how maps and culture intersect to enrich our

"I think having the National Geographic Giant Traveling Map this
year sets this GIS Day apart from others," said Paul Martin of
Mecklenburg County GIS. "It's fun and interactive, and
will bring people to GIS Day who don't know what GIS is. The
map is a great equalizer across age and technical proficiency.
It's a springboard for showing the community how Mecklenburg
County uses GIS every day. "

The traveling map is making stops at several Charlotte-Mecklenburg
middle schools this month, as well.

A geographic information system (GIS) captures, stores and manages
data in relationship to a specific location. That data is used for
many purposes, from mapping a family vacation route to charting
economic growth and business strategies.

GIS Day explores the marriage of geography and technology, and how
people can use geographic information to learn more about a variety of
topics, including:

● Weather
● Homeland security
● Urban planning
● Sustainability
● Economic development
● Market
analysis ● History
and cultural anthropology

Geocaching ● 3-
dimensional modeling

GIS enthusiasts of all ages are welcome!

In addition to the traveling map, another first at this year's
GIS Day is geocaching. Attendees are invited to participate in this
family-friendly activity in which global positioning systems (GPS) are
used to find hidden treasure outdoors. It's just another way
that mapping technology has made our world a bit bigger.

National Geographic Information System Day reaches millions worldwide
with its message of how geography makes a difference in our lives. Its
global sponsors include the National Geographic Society, the
Association of American Geographers, the University Consortium for
Geographic Information Science, the United States Geological Survey
and the Library of Congress.

Local sponsors include Independent Mapping Consultants, the Charlotte
Chamber of Commerce, Avioimage and Sanborn.

For more information on the County's Geospatial Information
Services and GIS Day, go to or call (704)


Charlotte, NC - City Manager Curt Walton announced today that Carolyn
Flowers has been named the new Transit Executive Director and CEO for
Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS).

Flowers will be leaving her post as Chief Operations Officer for the
Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) where
she oversees Metro Bus operations, Freeway Service Patrol and SAFE
call box programs, and an annual operating budget of $900 million and
more than 6,000 employees.

Her illustrious career at MTA includes holding the positions of
Executive Officer of Administration and Deputy Executive Officer for
Finance. As Executive Officer she was responsible for Real Estate,
General Services, Human Resources, Organizational Development,
Strategic Planning and ADA Compliance functions. As Deputy Executive
Officer for Finance she managed the Office of Management and Budget.

Prior to joining the transit agency, Ms. Flowers held financial
positions in both the public and private sectors. She served as budget
director for the City of Beverly Hills, as a financial manager at Wang
Laboratories, and as a financial analyst and budget officer at
Rockwell International Automotive Operations.

A total of 70 candidates from across the country applied with seven
finalists interviewed. Charlotte City Manager Curt Walton attributes
the interest and caliber of candidates as a testament to what the City
has built in terms of an efficient, responsive, accountable and
integrated regional transit system.

Walton says that Flowers resonated among the other candidates because
of her experience and the number of key leadership roles held.

"Her reputation for proactive education programs, innovative customer
relations programs and building positive working relationships with
employees and her board will continue to build our national and
international reputation in the transit industry," adds Walton.

Flowers will report to the City Manager and provide support services
to the MTC. The position oversees County-wide transit planning and
transit management activities including developing and promoting a
long-term regional vision for transit services; managing existing
transit services; designing and managing the future transit system;
and providing oversight on in-house contracted transit services.

The Transit Director and CEO of CATS is responsible for building
partnerships and strong working relationships with Mecklenburg County,
the six incorporated Towns located in Mecklenburg County, and other
key City business units.

"I look forward to leading CATS and working with our experienced staff
to continue building one of the finest transit systems in the country,
says Flowers. "The people in the Charlotte region can count on my
experience and commitment to continue to provide service and make our
system world-class."

Selection of the Transit Director/CEO is a City Manager appointment
with the concurrence of the Mecklenburg County Manager and a
Metropolitan Transit Commission (MTC) member representative in
accordance with the Transit Governance Interlocal Agreement. Since the
MTC member representative cannot be a City of Charlotte or Mecklenburg
County Representative, Mayor Pat McCrory, who serves as the MTC chair,
appointed Mayor John Woods, Town of Davidson, to be the MTC
replacement. Also serving on the selection panel were Hazen Blodgett,
Matthews Town Manager, and Harry Jones, Mecklenburg County Manager.

Flowers earned a bachelor's of art from UCLA in History and Political
Science and a master's in business administration from the UCLA
Anderson School of Management. She currently serves as vice-chair of
the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Diversity
Committee. She is a member of the American Public Transportation's
"Passenger Transport" publication advisory committee.

Among her many accomplishments she was named "Woman of the Year" by
the Los Angeles Chapter of the Women's Transportation Seminar in 2008.
She also received the Ambassador award for her volunteer work with the
American Stroke Association and was given a special recognition award
by the Greater Los Angeles African-American Chamber of Commerce.

Flowers will begin her new role with CATS early January. Her salary is

CPCC Partners with City on "Getting to the Core of Business: Strategic Development Program"

CPCC's Institute for Entrepreneurship forms partnership with the City
of Charlotte to bring "Getting to the Core of Business: Strategic
Development Program" to second stage business owners in Charlotte

CPCC's Institute for Entrepreneurship is launching a new program this
spring for existing business owners. Getting to the CORE of Business™
is an innovative strategic development program, designed to give small
business owners the skills necessary to grow their business, revenues
and their managerial skills. This innovative five-month program,
beginning in January, consists of:

• An orientation session that includes individualized business
• A series of 16 evening course sessions targeting essential business
• Up to eight hours of one-on-one counseling by professionals
• Experiential learning through exercises and activities using real
world experiences
• Utilization of Efficio's Red Diamond Blueprint Model™

Getting to the CORE of Business™ is designed for business owners who
have been operating their business for more than one year and are
seeking to expand, build processes and develop an effective growth

The City of Charlotte encourages and supports advanced training for
existing businesses in the region and has scholarship opportunities
available for Certified Small Business Enterprises and Business owners
in the City's five priority corridors. To learn more about the
eligibility requirements and scholarship application process visit
, or contact Jerrianne Jackson at 704.432.1331. The scholarship
application deadline is Friday, December 11, 2009.

Don't qualify for scholarship funding? You can still participate. For
detailed program information, pricing and registration information
please visit or call 704.330.6736. The
deadline for course registration is January 4 and program enrollment
will be limited to 25 business owners.

Central Piedmont Community College is the largest community college in
North Carolina, offering close to 300 academic degree, 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.

Deadline approaches for new-student enrollment

Deadline approaches for new-student enrollment
Families must enroll by Dec. 14 to enter first magnet lottery

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Nov. 13, 2009 - Everything is early this
year – the holiday decorations are on store sales racks, and families
interested in magnet programs need to plan the next school year.
Students must be enrolled in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools by Dec. 14
- just a month away – to be eligible for the first magnet lottery.
Many magnet schools have scheduled open houses over the next few
months. Click here to see the open house schedule.
"The open houses are meant to give families a feel for
the magnet programs," said Jeff Linker, director of magnet programs
for CMS. "In addition to the open houses, CMS will hold a district
magnet fair on January 9, as well as three mini-fairs later that month."
New-student enrollment is for children entering
kindergarten or older students who will be new to CMS. New families
enrolled by Dec. 14 will receive a personalized lottery instruction
sheet in the mail during the first week of January. Current CMS
students will bring instruction sheets home. The first magnet lottery
will run from Jan. 8 – Feb. 8, 2010. Families who plan to send their
child to the assigned home school do not have to register by Dec. 14,
but are encouraged to enroll as soon as possible.
Children must be five years old on or before Aug. 31,
2010, to be considered for kindergarten. Students must be four years
old on or before Aug. 31, 2010, to be considered for pre-kindergarten.
Families interested in the Montessori Pre-K programs must also
register by Dec. 14 to enter the first magnet lottery.
In order to enroll students in CMS, families are required
to provide three documents to show proof of residency. There are three
categories of acceptable documents and parents must submit one
document from each category. Category one includes a copy of a lease
and record of the most recent rent payment, or a record of the most
recent mortgage payment. Category two includes a utility bill dated
within the past 30 days, and category three includes a valid driver's
license, vehicle tax bill or payroll stub. Click here to see the
complete list of acceptable documents.
Parents must fill out a Safe Schools Enrollment
Declaration per North Carolina law, stating whether the student has
been suspended or expelled from any public or private school, or
convicted of a felony. Click here to read the Safe Schools Enrollment
Parents must also provide an official birth certificate
(with seal) and a copy of the student's current immunization record.
New student-enrollment forms are available on the CMS Web site, at any
school, learning community office, or the Family Application Center
(700 Marsh Road). For more information, please call the Family
Application Center at 980-343-5335 or e-mail

Thursday, November 5, 2009

MD News to Re-launch new magazine in Charlotte Area

MD News - a healthcare trade magazine mailed to 5,773 local licensed
physicians and hospital administrators in Mecklenburg, Cabarrus,
Gaston, Iredell, Rowan, Union, and York (SC), is re-launching their
magazine in January 2010.

Under the new ownership of True North Custom Publishing, MD News will
have a more sophisticated look, modern logo, and increased
distribution. The magazine is mailed free to every licensed physician
in the above counties.

Our objective is to help local healthcare entities, businesses and
professionals market their services to our physician readers while
also providing those readers with valuable, educational information.

If you can benefit by reaching 100% of the referring physicians in our
market - through a feature article, business profile, expert editorial
or advertisement contact MD News.

Jennifer Tabbit, Publisher



Dee Dee’s Gourmet Cheese Straws Now Available Nationwide From Charlotte

Charlotte, N.C. November 5, 2009 -- A Charlotte woman who turned her
hobby of baking gifts for family and friends into a successful
culinary business has taken her enterprise nationwide at

Donna "Dee Dee" Norton, a mother and grandmother, founded Dee Dee's
Gourmet Cheese Straws in 1999. For many hostesses, cheese straws are
an essential component of appetizer trays. Norton has set a new
standard for cheese straws through the use of high-quality aged real
sharp cheddar cheese and a unique hand-blending process with special
seasoning. She has created a cheese straw unlike most on the market
featuring a rich, buttery flavor with a spicy Southern zing. Norton's
secret blending technique also creates a perfect, crispy crunch.

Norton says, "The biggest compliment, and the one I hear most often,
is when people tell me my cheese straws remind me of their
grandmother's. That is exactly our intention and I am thrilled beyond
words that after many years of growing Dee Dee's Gourmet Cheese Straws
by word of mouth, we have built the company to deliver Dee Dee's
Gourmet Cheese Straws coast-to-coast."

Dee Dee's Gourmet Cheese Straws are available in a variety of
different sizes. In plastic re-closable, tamper-proof containers, the
cheese straws are sold in 4.125 oz., 8.125 oz., 14 oz. and 1.5 lb
containers. In tins, they are available in 8.125 oz & 12 oz. Dee
Dee's Gourmet Cheese Straws are also available in a smaller size straw
called "Little Gemmies" that are approximately 1" in length and
approximately 1.66 grams per Gemmie and are available in the same
packaging options listed above.

For additional information on distribution, private label or custom-
label personalized corporate gifts please contact Marc Singer, Cherie
Richie or Donna Norton at 1-980-207-1071. Or please visit our website
at Product samples and high-resolution images are
available upon request.

About Dee Dee's Gourmet Cheese Straws:
Dee Dee's Gourmet Cheese Straws, a family owned business based in
Charlotte, N.C., bakes savory snacks made from the highest-quality
aged cheddar cheese. For more information, visit

Girls' Night Out Party at Mez Features First Look at The Twilight Saga- New Moon

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Nov. 5, 2009)---Don't fight the crowds for seats to
the midnight showing of The Twilight Saga: New Moon– purchase your VIP
seats at the Epicentre and enjoy drink specials and appetizers with
the girls before settling in to your reserved theater seat. Mez will
be partying Alice Cullen-style with creative cocktails on the
exclusive second-story level of the lounge prior to the midnight
showing of the movie on Thursday, Nov. 19. To purchase tickets, please or call 704-688-2400.

New Moon stars Taylor Lautner, Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart
and continues the supernatural vampire romance of the 2006 blockbuster
hit Twilight. The movie is the second film based on the Twilight book
series by Stephenie Meyer. Tickets are $12/VIP or $9/General Admission
for evening show times and $9/VIP or $6/General Admission for
matinees. Please note that the theater is for ages 21 and over after 7
p.m., and General Admission tickets do not include reserved seats.

About Mez and the Epicentre
Voted Best New Restaurant and Bar by Charlotte Magazine in 2009, Mez
is a contemporary dining experience that entertains the palate with
global fare from Chef Klime Kovaceski. The adjoining Epicentre
Theaters offer the best in theater entertainment, and guests can enjoy
cuisine from Mez while enjoying the latest feature films. The
restaurant and theaters are located at 210 East Trade Street in
Charlotte, and Mez serves lunch and dinner daily. For more
information, or

Charlotte Rental Property Ordinance Public Hearing Advisory


WHAT: The City of Charlotte is conducting a public hearing on the
proposed Rental Property Ordinance. The purpose of the hearing is to
hear from citizens and stakeholders on any outstanding concerns in
advance of the decision to be made by City Council to adopt the
ordinance to amend Chapter 6 of the Charlotte City Code entitled
"Businesses and Trades."

WHO: Citizens and stakeholders with outstanding concerns related to
the Rental Property Ordinance Proposal will have the opportunity to
speak before Charlotte City Council.

WHEN: 7 p.m. on Monday, November 9, 2009

WHERE: Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center, Meeting Chamber
600 E. Fourth Street

The Rental Property Ordinance will require registration of those
rental properties that fall within the top 4% of a Disorder Risk
Threshold among all rental properties. This activity will be measured
on a weighted scale with violent crime rated the highest, followed by
property crime and citizen initiated disorder calls for service.
Owners of those properties meeting the 4% threshold will pay a
registration fee based on the number of units in the property.

City Council will vote on the ordinance at the Monday, November 9
Each speaker will be limited to three minutes. Call the City Clerk's
Office at 704-336-2248 to sign up to speak at the meeting, for more
information about speaking at City Council meetings visit the City
Clerk's web site.