Friday, July 23, 2010

Charlottean publishes new cyber-thriller, "Storm"

STORM is a new cyber-thriller by Dave Pearson of Charlotte that
uncovers the undisclosed worlds of computer hackers, cyberterrorists
and Special Operations with exceptional realism. Pearson's first book,
which required extensive research, focuses on the secret military
internet, the Intelink, NSA hackers and cyberterrorism. STORM is the
first book in Pearson's cyber-thriller series.

In STORM, the Intelink—the secret U.S. Intelligence Communities'
intranet—is under attack by a rogue group of hackers, known as STORM.
Recruiting the talent of super-hacker Dutch, STORM journeys to
Compound Five, a combat training facility of the U.S. Defense Advanced
Research Projects Agency (DARPA), to attack the Intelink. This is not
the hack Dutch had anticipated, as he finds himself alongside the
STORM hackers pitted against a special unit of Navy SEALs in a
struggle to stay alive.

"Navy SEALs, NSA expert hackers, and DARPA (U.S.Defense Advanced
Research Projects Agency) are involved in an attack on the Intelink
(the secret U.S.Intelligence Communities' intranet) by a global rogue
group of hackers. It's hard to tell fact from fiction. STORM is an
electrifying, cyber-security thriller that launches onto a real
— MG Paul E. Vallely, U.S. Army (Ret.), Chairman, Stand UpAmerica

"A great read that hits the ground running and keeps the pace from one
page to the next. Dave Pearson's action, scenarios, and glimpses of
today and tomorrow rival both Clancy and Cussler!"
— CDR Pete Berardi, U.S. Navy (SEAL)

"STORM indeed! An adrenaline-accelerating Cat-Five ride on land and
sea, in the air, and surging through cyberspace, at one point pitting
computer-hacking paramilitaries against U.S. Navy SEALs."
— Lt. Col. W. Thomas Smith Jr. (S.C. Military Dept.), author,
columnist, former U.S. Marine

"Dave Pearson's first novel is a heart pounding, reality packed thrill
ride through a STORM of intrigue, high-tech hacking and Spec Ops
training. Jock up and enjoy the ride!"
— CDR Mark Divine, U.S. Navy (SEAL-Ret.), founder, and

"Dave Pearson has delivered an unforgettable one-of-a-kind adventure.
With distinctive realism, STORM takes you on a thrill ride filled with
cyber-terrorism and Special Ops. This high-tech international tale is
a Mach-3, edge-of-your-seat, cyber-thriller. Must read!"
— LTG Thomas G. McInerney, U.S. Air Force (Ret.), author of Endgame,
FOX News military analyst

By Dave Pearson
Stand Up America Publishing
Aug. 12, 2010 / $19.50 (Trade Paperback) / Thriller
ISBN: 978-0-615-35997-7

Cherryville woman crowned Mrs. International 2010

Mrs. Southeast of Cherryville, N.C., Shannon Devine, 35, was crowned
Mrs. International 2010, Saturday, July 17 at the 23rd Annual Mrs.
International Pageant in Skokie, Ill. The two-hour event, held at the
North Shore Center for the Performing Arts, featured 51 contestants
competing in three categories, including interview, fitness-wear and
evening gown. Devine, who also won the Most Photogenic award, was
crowned Mrs. International by her husband, Jason, before a packed
audience, which included her 2 ½-year-old daughter Halle-Grace.

In keeping with International Pageants' platform-focus and dedication
to highlighting women's accomplishments through community support,
Devine will spend her year as Mrs. International 2010 supporting the
National Council for Adoption (NCFA). Devine's only child was adopted
by her and her husband in Vietnam on September 1, 2008. They
recognize this date each year with their own "Family Day"
celebration. As part of Devine's work with NCFA, she will head a task
force to re-open adoptions of Vietnamese children to U.S. families,
and hopes to spend time with her daughter in her native country
promoting adoption.

"This was the first time I've competed in a pageant as a mother, and
my daughter really put things in perspective for me," said Devine. "I
realized that the most important part of the International Pageant
system is their devotion to family values. Strong values are what
this crown is all about. It's not about winning a crown, but what
you're going to do with it."

Devine is a 1997 graduate of Appalachian State University in Boone,
N.C. and currently works as a sales manager for Genzyme corporation, a
world leader in biotechnology. Devine also volunteers for many other
local organizations, including LifeShare of the Carolinas and Susan G.
Komen for the Cure. Devine is part of the Angela's Army team that will
participate in the 2010 Susan G. Komen race in Charlotte, N.C. in
memory of her cousin Angela Wike and her grandmother, whom both lost
their battles with breast cancer this past spring. Additionally,
through her role as Mrs. International 2010, she will support the
American Heart Association's Go Red for Women movement, for which
International Pageants, Inc. has a national alliance.

The Mrs. International Pageant is the only platform- based system and
is owned and operated by International Pageants, Inc., which also
operates the Miss and Miss Teen International competitions. Mrs.
International showcases married women 21 to 56-years-old and includes
their husbands as an integral part of the event. For more information

First runner up: Mrs. Oklahoma International, Heidi Ducato,
of Jenks, Okla. Her platform is the American Heart Association's Go
Red for Women campaign.
Second runner up: Mrs. Florida International, Donna Brown, of
Parkland Fla. Her platform is the National Kidney Foundation.
Third runner up: Mrs. Utah International, Janine Marquardson,
of Cottonwood Heights, Utah. Her platform is organ donation through
the Donate Life organization.
Fourth runner up: Mrs. Southeast Asia, Zereana Jess-Huff of San
Antonio, Texas. Her platform is the World Federation on Mental Health


Cornelius, NC – The NO SWIMMING advisory that was issued on July 22,
2010 for a portion of Lake Norman has been lifted.

The "no swimming" advisory was issued after approximately 240 gallons
of sewage discharged to Lake Norman during the evening of July 21,
2010 at Peninsula Club Drive. The spill was caused by a private
contractor who accidentally bored through a sewer main at 18619
Peninsula Club Drive. The discharge was stopped by Charlotte-
Mecklenburg Utilities on July 21, 2010 and all repairs have been

Water samples were collected from the lake yesterday by Charlotte-
Mecklenburg Storm Water Services staff. The laboratory results of
those samples indicate that levels of fecal coliform bacteria are well
below 200-colonies/100 ml, which is the level determined to be safe
for swimming.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Charlotte's Top Online Questions Revealed by

From questions about the city's origins to the Panthers' chances for
success in 2010, people in Charlotte have a ton of questions about
their beloved Queen City – questions that have undoubtedly shifted and
changed as the city has experienced growth to reflect the most
pertinent ponderings on locals' minds., a question and answer site that receives more than 1 million
specific questions everyday, has been monitoring these ponderings for
the past month and is now revealing the top-10 questions asked about

How many do YOU know the answers to???

Top Questions Asked about Charlotte on

1. What county is Charlotte, North Carolina in?
Charlotte, North Carolina is located in Mecklenburg County.

2. What is the population of Charlotte, North Carolina?
The population in Charlotte is approximately 756,912.

3. Who owns the Charlotte Bobcats?
Hall of Fame basketball player, Michael Jordan, is the majority owner
of the Charlotte Bobcats.

4. What is there to do in Charlotte?
Charlotte has something for everyone, from major sporting events to
historic Carolina charm. Charlotte also boasts major shopping centers
like SouthPark Mall and Concord Mills, as well as "NoDa" (Arts
District north of Uptown), where you'll find an assortment of cool
galleries and a hot lineup of live bands performing almost every

5. What is the closest beach to Charlotte?
The closest beaches to Charlotte, North Carolina are Wrightsville
Beach in North Carolina, and the Isle of Palms, Folly Beach andMyrtle
Beach in South Carolina. The nearest beach would be around a 4 hour
drive from Charlotte, which is about 178 miles fromMyrtle Beach.

6. Why is Charlotte called the Queen City?
The city is named for Charlotte Sophia of Mecklenburg-Strelitz in
Germany, who became the bride of England's King George III. In 1768,
founders named it "Charlotte Town" in an attempt to win favor with the

7. Will the Carolina Panthers be super bowl material this season?
Most experts put them in the middle of the pack, with odds of winning
the super bowl ranging from 30/1 to 55/1.

8. Are Justin Bieber concert tickets sold out in Charlotte?
Tickets for the August 8th show at Time Warner Cable Arena in
Charlotte are sold out. However, there are still plenty of tickets
available via third party resale sites.

9. How much are tickets to the NASCAR Hall of Fame?
Adult tickets are $19.95. Tickets for children are $12.95.

10. When is the next Charlotte Restaurant Week and how much does it
Charlotte Restaurant Week is going on now - Friday, July 16 - Sunday,
July 25, 2010. The cost is $30 for a 3-course prix fix dinner menu.

Kings Mountain native needs lung transplant

Kings Mountain native Terri Mullis deBruin needs a lifesaving lung
transplant, and volunteers are planning a spaghetti supper to help
with the expenses.

In 2004, deBruin first noticed troubling symptoms, such as redness and
swelling in her hands. She saw a rheumatologist and was later
diagnosed with systemic scleroderma, an autoimmune disease causing her
immune system to attack her body, especially her lungs. Doctors say a
lung transplant is her only hope.

A lung transplant costs approximately $450,000. Even with health
insurance, deBruin faces significant medical expenses. For the rest of
her life, she will need follow-up care and daily anti-rejection
medications. The cost of post-transplant medications can range from
$2,000 to $5,000 per month, and they are as critical to her survival
as the transplant itself.

Once she receives her transplant, she must temporarily relocate more
than 200 miles from her home to be closer to the transplant center in
Pittsburgh, adding to her financial strain.

To overcome these financial challenges, deBruin turned to the National
Foundation for Transplants (NFT) for assistance. NFT is a nonprofit
organization that helps transplant patients raise funds to pay for
transplant-related expenses.

Friends and family are planning a spaghetti supper Saturday, July 31
from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at David Baptist Church, 2300 David Baptist
Church Rd. Admission is $6 for adults and $3 for children 6 and
younger and includes spaghetti, salad, bread, dessert, tea and water.
For more information, please call Tiffany Mullis at 704-300-9989.

To make a donation in honor of deBruin, please mail a tax-deductible
gift to the NFT Delaware Lung Fund, 5350 Poplar Ave., Suite 430,
Memphis, TN 38119. Please be sure to write "in honor of Terri deBruin"
in the memo line. Secure donations also can be made online at
. Donors should click on "Patients We Help" to locate deBruin.

NFT is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization based in Memphis, Tenn. that
has been helping transplant patients overcome financial obstacles
since 1983. NFT provides fundraising expertise and advocacy to
transplant patients by organizing fundraising campaigns in the
patients' own communities. In the past 27 years, NFT has helped
generate more than $56 million to assist patients with their expenses.

NFT currently assists more than 1,000 transplant candidates and
recipients nationwide. For more information about NFT, please call
800-489-3863 or visit

CMS shows gains in all subject areas, graduation rate

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools showed improvement in 23 areas tested
and the district's graduation rate rose by almost four percentage
points in the 2009-2010 school year, according to preliminary state
data released July 19. The district had 97 schools making Adequate
Yearly Progress, as required by the federal No Child Left Behind Act,
which is 57.7 percent of all schools.

The results continued a positive upward trend in CMS since 2006 in
nearly all tested areas. Comparisons to other districts for the
209-2010 year, as well as data for academic growth at individual
schools, will not be available until the North Carolina Department of
Public Instruction releases statewide data in early August, district
officials said.

"Overall, we are pleased but not satisfied," said Dr. Peter C. Gorman,
superintendent of CMS. "We want to see the pace of improvement
accelerate even more. However, the preliminary results from the
2009-2010 year show that we are continuing to make substantial
academic progress in CMS, and that's good news."

Gorman also noted that the gains had taken place against a backdrop of
diminishing resources and staff. CMS cut $35.1 million from its
2008-2009 budget – the largest local-funding cut in the state – and
the cuts eliminated 181 teacher-level positions. There were additional
staff cuts in special areas.

Overall, CMS showed gains in math for grades three through eight, with
a composite proficiency rate of 82, an increase of three points over
the 2008-2009 school year. Reading proficiency also increased in
grades three through eight, with a composite rate of 70 percent
proficient, up three points over the 2008-2009 school year.

Science tests, given in grades five and eight, also showed an increase
in student proficiency over last year: 69 percent of students
demonstrated proficiency, up from 62 percent a year earlier. (All
scores include retests, which the state now uses in its calculations.)

For eight End-of-Course tests, given in middle and high school,
proficiency also increased. English I had a four-point increase in
proficiency; Geometry had a four-point increase. The composite rate
for the district was a three-point increase in proficiency, with the
composite score rising to 79 percent proficiency (without retests) in

On the North Carolina General Writing Assessment, given in grade 10,
the proficiency rate rose one point to 76 percent proficient. Since
the test's inception in 2004-2005, CMS has increased its proficiency
rate by 26 points. Statewide comparison data is available for the
writing results, and the data shows the CMS rate is six points higher
than the state rate.

Preliminary results also indicated that the graduation rate for CMS
increased to 69.9 percent, from 66.1 percent a year earlier. On VoCATS
tests, given to students who are enrolled in Career and Technical
Education courses, the overall proficiency was 73.8, down from 79.9 a
year earlier.

The preliminary data also showed a decline in the number of schools
making Adequate Yearly Progress – a decline that CMS had anticipated.
When the state began using retests in proficiency calculations last
year, many schools saw their scores rise dramatically. This led to a
sharp rise in the AYP calculation as well. Using retests, CMS had 68.1
percent of schools making AYP last year; without retests, the rate was
36.2 percent. The 2009-2010 rate, using retests, was 57.7 percent – 97
of 168 schools.
For details on the performance of subgroups and other data, please
click here.


A 37-year-old brown-and-white Welsh pony named Sammie - who weighs 700
pounds and stands 4 feet 3 inches tall - broke free from his Shelby home
last Wednesday, July 14, and has been missing ever since. He was last
seen on Zion Church Road crossing the Broad River.

"When he is hungry, he lets me know by coming to the back door,"
Sammie's guardian Marianne Miller told news sources; her voice was
hoarse from calling out for Sammie for days. Sammie eats only a
special diet of ground grain because he has lost all his teeth.

"Sammie needs to be home with the people who know him and can best
take care of him," says PETA Director Martin Mersereau. "We hope that
someone will find Sammie so that he can be reunited with his family."
Anyone with information about this case is encouraged to contact
Marianne Miller at 704-284-0037.

For more information, please visit

Thursday, July 15, 2010


The McDowell Nature Center will celebrate its 25th anniversary on July
17, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., with several fun activities for the entire
family. A vine cutting by dignitaries will kick off the day, which
features hikes, hayrides, live animals – including birds of prey from
the Carolina Raptor Center -- as well as live music, and stories and
poetry by Keith "Little Bear" Brown.

The McDowell Nature Center, 15222 York Road, opened July 27, 1985, and
is located in the southwestern part of Mecklenburg County near Lake
Wylie on land that was once used as a Boy Scout Camp. It is the oldest
of Park and Recreation's three nature centers and the only one built
by the County. The center serves as the gateway to the 1,115-acre
preserve and is the sourcefor educational programs and information on
the preserve's natural communities.

"The nature center is a way to get people aware of what's out in
theenvironment," said Mike Giles, assistant park manager of McDowell
Nature Preserve. "Then they can go out in the nature preserve and
experience it."

Mecklenburg County now has two additional nature centers, Reedy Creek
and Latta Plantation for learning, and over 6,800 acres of natural
areas to explore.

This activity supports Mecklenburg County's strategic goal to improve/
expand parks, open spaces, greenways and recreational activities.

Five Tips To Teach Kids About Money

In the coming decade, it won't be enough to teach kids how to read and
write. If they're not financially literate, they'll be lost.

That's the advice being offered by The National Financial Educators
Council (NFEC) (, organizers of
Money XLive – one of the nation's largest financial literacy event
that brings together celebrities and sport stars to provide youth a
practical financial education in an MTV award show style environment.

According to a survey from, 80 percent of all college
graduates in 2009 moved back in with their parents after graduation, a
three percent increase from 2008 and a 13 percent increase from 2006.

"It's tough out there, and it isn't getting any better," said Vince
Shorb, president of the NFEC. "I'm reading studies that are saying as
many as 80 percent of college grads have to move back home after
graduation. The trend is rising, and it's not getting any better.
Living independently is getting more difficult with each new
generation of graduates, and one of the key problems is that we aren't
equipping these kids with a good sense of how to run their finances."

The NFEC, which helps educators, not-for-profits, schools, community
organizations and parent groups assemble financial literacy programs,
offered some tips on how to teach children financial literacy. They

· Relate Money to Lifestyle. Today's youth are not focused on
just "money." It's what money "allows them to do" that motivates our
children to pick up financial literacy skills. Uncover their personal
dreams and find out how they want to live their day-to-day life. Then
relate their aspirations to how having a financial education can help
them reach their goals faster.

· Help Them Recognize Opportunity. Even though many people are
going through financial challenges now, it is important that we teach
our children how to recognize opportunity. When the economy is in bad
shape is when many financially savvy people are making investments
that will increase their long-term net worth. A simple financial
literacy lesson like a practical understanding of market cycles gives
them the knowledge of how to take advantage of future trends can have
a profound impact on their life.

· Savings Plan. Getting your child, teen or young adult in a
habit of setting financial goals and saving money as soon as possible
is an important financial literacy habit you can help them develop.
Since today's youth are comfortable with technology it is highly
recommended you teach them to automate their savings and budget plans.

· Build a Solid Financial Foundation. Make sure your child has
their checking, savings, Roth IRA and brokerage accounts open as soon
as possible (even if they do not have money to put into their
brokerage or retirement accounts right now). People that have these
accounts open are more likely to save their money and begin investing
at a young age.

· Power of Compounding Interest. Youth gives our children a
huge advantage when it comes to their financial health due to
compounding interest. If you are over 60 years old, if you would have
invested $100 per month in the S&P 500 index starting at 18 years old,
you could be a millionaire now. Don't you wish you fully understood
compounding interest and how to take advantage of it when you were 18
years old?

"Let's face it," Shorb said. "The next generation will be without the
advantages of pensions and Social Security to protect their futures.
If we're going to deny them those tools, we should at least teach them
how to better manage what they earn. That's why the NFEC was created,
and that's the mission of the organization."

About The NFEC

The National Financial Educators Council (NFEC) is a coalition of
leading financial literacy experts and organizations that represent
the best practices in the financial education industry. Serving people
of all ages and backgrounds, the NFEC provides practical financial
education solutions that are engaging and inspire people to take
positive action.

CMS Summer graduation schedule

CMS will hold two summer commencement ceremonies for graduates on
Tuesday, Aug. 3. The ceremonies will be held at Bojangles' Coliseum
(2700 E. Independence Blvd.) at 9 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.

Here are the schools participating in the graduation ceremonies:
9 a.m.: Ardrey Kell, Phillip O. Berry Academy, Butler,
Cato Middle College, East Mecklenburg, Hawthorne, Hopewell, Mallard
Creek, Providence, South Mecklenburg, Vance, Waddell and West
11:30 a.m.: Garinger Community of Schools, Harding University,
Independence, Myers Park, North Mecklenburg, Northwest School of the
Arts, Olympic Community of Schools, Performance Learning Center and
West Charlotte.
Commuters and guests should be aware that graduations
will increase traffic during the morning drive around Bojangles'
For security reasons, and to keep the focus on graduates,
guests will not be allowed to bring the following items into the
graduations: flowers, duffel bags, fanny packs, backpacks, gifts,
balloons, air horns and noisemakers. Guests attending the graduations
will also be checked with a metal detector prior to entering the
venue. Parking is free and doors open one hour before each graduation
begins. There will be no reserved seating.

School Nurses in Charlotte Tackle Low Meningitis Vaccination Rates

The School Nurse Association of North Carolina (SNANC) has joined the
Voices of Meningitis campaign to urge parents to vaccinate preteens
and teens in Charlotte against meningococcal disease, a rare but
serious bacterial infection that can cause meningitis and take the
life of a child in just a single day.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other leading
medical groups recommend vaccination for preteens and teens 11 through
18 years of age, and college freshmen living in dormitories. Yet
despite these public health recommendations, only 30 percent of
adolescents 13 through 17 years of age have been immunized in North
Carolina, which is far below the CDC's goal of a 90 percent
vaccination rate in 2010.

"School nurses are on the front lines with students every day, and our
mission is to keep our students safe and healthy," said Denise
McIlwain, school health supervisor, Mecklenburg County Health
Department. "School nurses in Charlotte have joined Voices of
Meningitis to help raise awareness and encourage parents to speak to
their child's school nurse or other health-care provider about
meningococcal vaccination before coming back to school."

Paul Harrison of Chapel Hill, NC, who lost his daughter, Julia, to
meningococcal meningitis when she was a sophomore in college, has
joined the SNANC's Voices of Meningitis campaign to reinforce that
vaccination is the best protection available against the disease.

Since Julia's death, Harrison has worked to secure legislation that
requires all North Carolina colleges to educate incoming students
about the disease and vaccination. Due to his efforts, all North
Carolina college students are now required to indicate whether they've
been vaccinated. Currently, he leads a Duke Endowment funded statewide
grant program to increase vaccine compliance for North Carolina
adolescents by encouraging North Carolina primary care physicians to
recall adolescents regarding all CDC recommended vaccines.

"I've joined as a 'voice' of meningitis to share my personal story
with the community and encourage local parents, preteens and teens to
learn about the dangers of meningococcal meningitis and how to help
prevent the disease," said Harrison.

About 10 percent of the 1,000 to 2,600 Americans who get meningococcal
disease each year will die. Death rates are up to five times higher
among teenagers and young adults compared with other age groups. Of
those who survive, one in five is left with serious medical problems,
including amputation of limbs, brain damage, deafness and organ damage.

"We all are 'voices' of meningitis and it is our responsibility to
spread the word and do everything we can to help prevent this
devastating disease," said McIlwain. "Every health-care visit is a
vaccination opportunity."

About Voices of Meningitis
Voices of Meningitis brings together the many "voices" of meningitis –
school nurses, parents whose children have been affected by the
disease, survivors of meningococcal meningitis, and public health
professionals – to raise awareness about the dangers of meningococcal
meningitis and the importance of prevention for preteen and teenage

Voices of Meningitis includes educational materials for the public and
health-care providers, as well as a public service campaign featuring
school nurses, disease survivors, and families affected by
meningitis. The campaign also features a comprehensive website,
, where visitors can hear the compelling stories of families that have
been personally affected by meningitis and access educational
information about the disease and the importance of vaccination.

About Meningococcal Disease
Meningococcal disease is a serious infection that can cause meningitis
(swelling of the brain or spinal cord) or meningococcemia (blood
infection). The disease can be spread through common everyday
activities, such as sharing eating utensils and drinking glasses,
living in close quarters like dormitories or overnight summer camps,
and kissing. Meningococcal disease can be hard to recognize,
especially in its early stages, because symptoms are similar to those
of more common viral illnesses. Unlike more common illnesses, the
disease can progress quickly and may cause death or disability in just
a single day.

Public health officials recommend meningococcal vaccination for
preteens and teens 11 through 18 years of age, college freshmen living
in dormitories and children 2 through 10 years of age who are at
increased risk or if elected by their health-care providers and parents.

Vaccines are available for people who wish to reduce their risk for
contracting the disease.

About the National Association of School Nurses
The National Association of School Nurses (NASN) is a non-profit
specialty nursing organization, organized in 1968 and incorporated in
1977, representing school nurses exclusively. NASN has over 14,000
members and 51 affiliates, including the District of Columbia and
overseas. The mission of the NASN is "to improve the health and
educational success of children and youth by developing and providing
leadership to advance the school nursing practice." The School Nurse
Association of North Carolina (SNANC) is an affiliate of the NASN.

For More Information
For more information about the Voices of Meningitis educational
initiative, visit For information about
the National Association of School Nurses, visit or call
866-627-6767. For state specific information, select "Affiliate
Organizations" under "QUICKLINKS" on the NASN homepage.

Voices of Meningitis is a program of the National Association of
School Nurses in collaboration with sanofi pasteur, the vaccines
division of sanofi-aventis Group.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


The Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department invites active
retirees, empty nesters and boomers to sign-up now for "Summer Leisure
and Learn 2010." Classes are 10:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. each Tuesday
throughout the month of July.

This is a series of fun and informative programs for seniors, ages 50
and up, at William Davie Park Conference Center, 4635 Pineville-
Matthews Road.

The programs include guest speakers and seminars on:
• Cooking demonstrations to watch and taste the results.
• Technology 101: Learn how to choose the best cell phones, digital
cameras and televisions from experts in the field.
• American History
• Coin Collecting
• Wood Carving
• Ask the Pharmacist

The series also offers morning coffee and refreshments, blood pressure
checks, lunch, door prizes and lots of fun! Cost for the whole series
is $18. Space is limited, so register today! To register visit the
recreation center, visit, click on Eparks, and use
Course Code #8684, or call 311.

This series is presented in partnership with Summit Place of
SouthPark, Carmel Place Holiday Retirement, Accquest Hearing Center,
Best Buy, and Walgreens.
For more information call 704 548-8234 or e-mail:

Arthur Rutenberg Homes Enters Charlotte/NC Market, Two Franchises, Carolinas HQ in Charlotte

Arthur Rutenberg Homes, Inc., America's largest franchise network of
custom homebuilders, has officially confirmed its move into North
Carolina with the announcement of its first two independently owned
homebuilding company franchises in Charlotte – Paragon Homes of
Charlotte, Inc. and Southern Inspirations LLC, confirmed Art
Rutenberg, company founder and chairman. Charlotte will serve as the
homebuilding company's Carolinas Regional headquarters.

Arthur Rutenberg Homes also confirmed its plans to become a leader in
custom and luxury homes in key markets throughout the Carolinas, and
has already committed significant resources towards this goal,
including the development of the Southern Design Collection and the
opening of its South Charlotte office. The new Carolinas Region for
Arthur Rutenberg Homes will operate under the leadership of Region
Vice President Jim Rosewater.

Arthur Rutenberg Homes was founded by Art Rutenberg in 1978 after an
already highly decorated career. Today, he continues to lead the
company and is actively involved in its day-to-day operations.
Honored as National Builder of the Year and inducted into the National
Home Builders Association's "Legends of Residential Homebuilding," Art
Rutenberg, through his nearly 60 years of service and leadership, has
become an icon in the homebuilding industry. And as Jim Rosewater
stated, "Art is truly an inspiring and exemplary visionary. His
contributions to both custom and production builders throughout the
country are well recognized and deserved."

In the Carolinas, Arthur Rutenberg Homes plans to award additional
franchises to qualified and select builders, with plans for at least
one additional builder in Charlotte. The two initial Charlotte
franchises will start building new homes in a seven-county area that
includes Mecklenburg, Cabarrus, York, Iredell, Union, Gaston and
Lincoln counties. In South Carolina, the first Arthur Rutenberg Homes
franchise in the region was awarded in 2007 to Monterrey Bay Homes in
Myrtle Beach.

As Art Rutenberg stated, "Our franchises are represented by talented,
local custom builders who recognize the value of our operating model
and have the desire to grow and sustain a successful building business
through good times and bad. We offer a proven format that supports
long-term growth through pre-sales rather than spec building. It's
long been a better and smarter way to operate."

As Rosewater emphasized, "One of the unique aspects of Arthur
Rutenberg Homes is its ability to deliver high quality, cost-
efficient, fully customized homes quickly and reliably for our
customers. It all starts with our unique Rapid Pricing process which
customers appreciate because it lets them know exactly what their home
will cost, up front."

Local industry consultant Diane Austin, president of Builder +
Developer Advisors, who has assisted Arthur Rutenberg Homes with their
Carolinas entry, commented that "The Charlotte real estate community
is very fortunate to have Arthur Rutenberg Homes enter this market.
Art Rutenberg, truly a living legend in this industry, has always been
a hero of mine, since the '80s. He's a man of passion and exemplary
integrity and has devoted his entire life to delivering the best home
and value for the homeowner."

Introducing Arthur Rutenberg Homes Franchise –
Paragon Homes of Charlotte, Matthews, NC

The new Arthur Rutenberg Homes franchise, Paragon Homes of Charlotte,
is co-owned by Jim Rosewater, who is the company's Region Vice
President for the Carolinas, and Mitch Genda, well known and long time
Charlotte builder, who will serve as Building Company President. The
franchise's new offices are located in Matthews, NC.

According to Rosewater, Paragon Homes will build single-family homes
in prominent communities located throughout the greater Charlotte
area, initially in Mecklenburg and York Counties.

Today, Paragon Homes officially announced they have selected Crescent
Communities' Springfield, in Ft. Mill, as the site for the Charlotte
market's first Arthur Rutenberg Model Home. The Springfield model
home will also represent the first home design in North Carolina from
the new Southern Design Collection.

"The Crescent Communities team is honored that Arthur Rutenberg Homes
has selected Springfield as the location of their first Charlotte-area
model. We're confident that Jim Rosewater and Mitch Genda will
continue the company's long-standing tradition of quality in
Springfield," stated James Martin, Vice President, Crescent Communities.

Paragon Homes also officially announced featured builder positions
within three Charlotte area luxury home communities. In addition to
Springfield, the company will build Arthur Rutenberg Homes in Paris
Projects' Cheval luxury home equestrian community near South
Charlotte; and Maxwell Developments' waterfront community Heron Cove
on Lake Wylie, SC.

Introducing Arthur Rutenberg Homes Franchise –
Southern Inspirations, LLC, Kannapolis, NC

The new Arthur Rutenberg Homes franchise Southern Inspirations, LLC is
owned by homebuilding industry veteran George Kiser and located in
downtown Kannapolis in Cabarrus County. Steve Liebentritt, who was
formerly vice president of operations for KB Homes in Charlotte, has
been named Building Company President.

According to Kiser, Southern Inspirations will build single-family
homes in prominent communities located in Cabarrus County, Iredell
County, the Lake Norman Area/ Mooresville, Davidson/Cornelius and
North Mecklenburg County. Communities and model home locations will
soon be announced.

As Kiser further stated, "We are so excited to be a part of bringing
this legendary product to the Charlotte area. These homes have great
versatility for today's varied lifestyles. Open floor plans, designs
for multi-generational living, extraordinary outdoor living areas, and
featuring award-winning single level and first-floor master suite

Arthur Rutenberg Homes Introduces New Southern Design Collection

The new Arthur Rutenberg Homes franchises will offer new Southern
Design Collection home designs. Home buyers can also select from the
Arthur Rutenberg Home Florida Design Collection, currently comprised
of 80 home designs, including many award winning designs. Plans range
in size from 1,800 to 7,000+ square feet.

Professionally decorated model homes in select communities will
showcase and set the standard for homebuyer expectations and introduce
new buyer trends. Arthur Rutenberg Homes will build both within
existing new home communities and for homebuyers who already own their
own homesites.

One of America's most recognized new homes sales trainers, Bob Schultz
has described Art Rutenberg as "a world class visionary and business
man" who has, in his words, "brilliantly created the Arthur Rutenberg
franchise that has become one of the most respected and trusted high
quality homebuilders in the country." Schultz, who founded the New
Homes Sales Specialists, was recently named to the national
homebuilding industry's hall of fame as a Legend of Residential
Marketing, a distinction that Art Rutenberg has also received.

As Schultz further stated, "I work with homebuilders all over the
world, and can say with confidence that Arthur Rutenberg Homes sets a
high standard by which all homebuilders can be judged. Homebuilders,
large and small, come and go through economic cycles, but for more
than four decades, Arthur Rutenberg Homes has maintained an
unparalleled reputation for consistent quality and integrity."

Headquartered in Clearwater, FL, Arthur Rutenberg Homes currently has
29 independently owned and operated franchises in the Southeast,
Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas.

To learn more about Art Rutenberg and Arthur Rutenberg Homes, please

DSS Transportation Changes for Better Service

The Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services (DSS) will be
making changes to its existing transportation service for senior
citizens (60 years and older) and Medicaid customers, effective August
1, 2010. These changes are necessary to continue to provide vital
transportation services in a cost effective, safe manner.

Seniors and Medicaid Transportation recipients who are eligible for
DSS Transportation Services will no longer be able to take taxi cabs
as a primary mode of transit, but will need to use the Charlotte
Transportation System's (CATS) fixed route bus or rail service. Those
wishing to use this service will be able to obtain a bus pass at the
CATS Transportation Center located at 310 East Trade Street. Bus
passes will cost $10.00 each month for persons participating in the
Senior Transportation program. There is no cost for Medicaid customers.

"We have made this transition to bus passes in order to use
transportation dollars efficiently while at the same time making more
transportation options available to more eligible residents," said
Rodney Adams, Services for Adults division director. "Through a
coordinated effort, DSS and CATS leadership are working together to
provide more efficient, coordinated transportation services to
Mecklenburg County citizens."

Residents who feel that they are unable to ride the bus due to
disability will be required to undergo assessment by CATS Special
Transportation Services. If they are determined unable to ride the
bus, they will be able to use the Mecklenburg County Transportation
System van or a contracted provider.
Residents with questions can call 704-336-4547 or go to
for more information.


Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation invites parents with children
interested in playing soccer (ages 4-6, 7-8 & 9-10) or flag football
(ages 4-6, & 7, 8) to register for the upcoming fall co-ed recreation
season. Space is limited, so register early. Birth certificates are
required for proof of age, determined as of August 1, 2010.

The registration fee is $55 per child, which includes league play and
uniform. The deadline for individual players to register is Saturday,
July 31. League play runs September to October with practices
beginning in mid-August.

Teams interested in registering must do so by Wednesday, July 21. Team
registration fee is $375. Groups that register as a team must provide
their own uniforms and secure their own practice sites.

To register, go online to , click on "EParks,"
"Program Registration," find "School Level," then click on "Athletics"
to see league offerings. You may also call 311 or go to your nearest
recreation center and staff can assist you.

All Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation coaches are trained and
certified through the National Youth Sports Coaches Association and
undergo a background check by the department. If interested in being
a volunteer coach, please contact the recreation center closest to you
or Lori Saylor, volunteer coordinator, at 704.336.5478.

Among the benefits of participation in the department's youth leagues
are increased physical fitness, positive socialization, learning the
fundamentals of the sport, and sportsmanship in a safe and fun
environment. About 4,000 youth participate in Park and Recreation's
organized youth athletic leagues annually.

For more information on the youth soccer leagues, call 311, your
closest recreation center or the Athletics Division at the Revolution
Park Sports Academy 704-432-4963