Monday, November 29, 2010

Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte to Launch Urban Sip Wine Bar, City's Largest By-the-Glass Menu

Presenting more than 90 wines and 35 single malt Scotches by the
glass, Urban Sip at The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte is scheduled to open
on December 29 as the Southeast's most comprehensive fine beverage

Presenting an unmatched by-the-glass list of Cabernet wines and the
city's most noteworthy selection of California vintages by the bottle
and by the glass, Urban Sip also will be the only hotel wine bar in
the Carolinas to make available single glasses of Far Niente
Chardonnay, Cakebread Chardonnay and Dom Prignon Champagne, all
accessible in a single experience, and all presented in a contemporary
setting offering spectacular urban views. Additionally, Urban Sip
will offer the highly-demanded Opus One and Quintessa by the glass,
along with ten specially-designed flights of three wines each,
presented in Riedel stemware.

For guests wishing to savor fine and rare Scotch whiskeys, Urban Sip
will pour single-malts from six different regions of Scotland,
including Highland, Lowland, Islay, Isle of Skye, Isle of Jura and
Orkney Islands. Featured labels are set to include Macallan 25 Year,
Glenlivet 25 Year and Johnny Walker Blue Label Scotch, complemented by
fine cognacs such as Hennessey Paradis and Rmy Martin Louis XIII, and
by several renowned whiskeys including Crown Royal Reserve and
Blanton's Single Barrel.

"Urban Sip has been designed to revolutionize the wine and Scotch
experience for this region, and many of the wines we have selected
have never been poured by the glass in Charlotte," said David
Rothwell, General Manager, The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte. "With fine
beverage tasting a growing trend, and wines-by-the-glass increasingly
demanded among wine aficionados and newcomers alike, we are excited to
introduce this transformative new tasting experience to guests and the

Urban Sip will complement its wine and Scotch menus with a premium
array of 21 cult and artisanal cheeses from seven different
categories, including such blues as Ba Ba Blue, several premium French
mountain cheeses, hard cheeses such as Utah's Sea Hive, which is hand-
rubbed with local wildflower honey and Redmond Real Salt, and a
selection of North Carolina cheeses to include Bloomin' Sweet Ash from
Hillsborough, Carolina Moon from Chapel Hill, and Silk Hope from Siler

Urban Sip is scheduled to begin operations on December 29, 2010 and
will be open Wednesdays through Saturdays from 5 to 11 p.m. Located on
the 15thfloor of the AAA Five-Diamond
Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte, Urban Sip offers the quintessential new
lounging and tasting environment, blending wine, food and style in a
contemporary but comfortable and relaxed urban setting, and offering
complimentary valet parking and by-the-glass wine prices ranging from
$9 to $39.

About The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte
The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte is located at 201 East Trade Street in the
heart of the city's most popular business, sports, dining and
sightseeing district. For details and reservations, please visit
, call 1.800.241.333 or contact a travel professional. The AAA Five
Diamond-rated Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte hotel is located at the
intersection of College and Trade Streets in uptown Charlotte and may
be contacted directly at 704.547.2244.

CMPD Releases Photos of Hit and Run suspect vehicle

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department's Major Crash
Investigation Unit is looking for a two-tone (dark blue over a lighter
color) Ford F-150 pickup truck in connection to a fatal hit and run
collision on November 28, 2010 at 5:19 am. The suspect vehicle struck
a pedestrian in the 4200 block of Brookshire Boulevard and continued
outbound until it turned left onto S. Hoskins Road. The truck will
have damage to the front grill (honeycomb style) and tinted bug
guard. Anyone with information about this incident can call a
detective at 704-432-2169 or Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Reedy Creek Hosts Fourth Annual Holiday Open House

Reedy Creek Nature Center invites the public to the fourth annual
Holiday Open House on Saturday, December 4, from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.
The FREE celebration will feature great environmentally-friendly gift
ideas , puppets and children's stories with the University Library,
crafts, activities, naturalist-led hikes and, of course, Santa.

Enjoy FREE coffee, hot chocolate, apple cider and cookies while they
last. Weather permitting, there will be a fire and marshmallow roast
at the outdoor amphitheater which includes a fire ring. The
celebration will conclude at 2 p.m. with naturalist-led hikes through
the Nature Preserve.

Reedy Creek Nature Center serves as the gateway to the Nature
Preserve. The Reedy Creek Nature Preserve protects over 736 acres of
natural, forested habitats. Preserve trails pass by mixed pine and
hardwood forests, open fields, lakes and streams. A variety of free
and low cost public programming, from children's birthday parties and
summer camps to natural and cultural history hikes, and special events
are offered.

For more information contact Reedy Creek Nature Center 704-598-8857.

Noted Jazz Artist-Alumnus Performs at Davidson College December 4

The Davidson College music department invites the public to a full day
of musical events featuring noted jazz pianist Harry Pickens on
Saturday, December 4.

Pickens, a 1981 Davidson alumnus who lives in Louisville, Ky., has
collaborated withmany noted jazz musicians, including Dizzy Gillespie,
Freddie, Hubbard and Milt Jackson. He has issued three CDs in a career
that has included concerts in 17 countries around the world. Pickens
is shown in the photo, seated, with Davidson music professor Bill
Lawing, standing.

There is no charge to attend any of the events, all of which will take
place in Tyler-Tallman Hall of the Sloan Music Center. The day will
begin at 11 a.m.with Pickens leading a master class and conversation
titled "From Stage Fright to Standing Ovation."

At 2 p.m. Pickens will conduct an open rehearsal with the Davidson
College Jazz Ensemble. At 4 p.m. he will lead another master class and
conversation titled "Power Practice: How to Get the Most Out of Every
Minute of Your Practice Time."

The residency will conclude with a 7:30 p.m. formal concert with
Pickens and the Davidson College Jazz Ensemble during which hewill
perform some of his original compositions. His work reflects his study
of diverse musical backgrounds, which include classical, jazz,
popular, and world music genres. Pickens is also noted for directing
his musical talent into works that increase awareness of social issues
and into works that help listeners connect with the divine.

He has served as worship leader and musical director for many national
and regional spiritual conferences and gatherings, and has composed
theme songs for the Presbyterian Peacemaking Conference, Kentucky
Developmental Education Association, and the Center For Interfaith
Relations. He has also created and staged community-wide celebrations
that tap the power of the arts to inspire positive social change.

Pickens is the composer of more than 40 songs that will be included in
the "Sing The World To Peace"™ songbook, scheduled for publication
soon. He has produced three CDs of his music.

For more information about the concert at Davidson, call the music
department at 704-894-2848.

Charlotte Area Resident Wins Big Prize from Jack in the Box

It took three weeks, more than 170,000 mouse clicks and possibly the
most new fans ever in 21 days, but Jack has finally met his new
biggest fan: David Hughes, from Hickory, North Carolina. Jack in the
Box® restaurants and its creative agency, Secret Weapon Marketing,
have announced that Hughes is the winner of the "Be a Rich Fan"
competition, awarding him with more than $11,500 in nickels.

Hughes was randomly selected among thousands of Facebook users who
were already fans of Jack's or became a fan of Jack's during the month
of October. For each existing and new Facebook fan, Jack made a
nickel donation into a money jar, displayed and updated in real time
on his fan page. Jack now has more than 283,000 fans, and showed a
280% increase in fans throughout the campaign in October.

"Be a Rich Fan" was one of the latest initiatives in a series of multi-
channel advertising campaigns from Secret Weapon reaching Jack's young
fans and cultivating relationships with a wider audience. Ever
grateful for the outpouring of support after his bus accident on Super
Bowl Sunday in 2009, Jack has fully resumed his responsibilities as
CEO and "Be a Rich Fan" was a way to show appreciation for his growing
fanbase around the country.

"While this was a campaign to celebrate Jack's popularity and share
some of his wealth, Mr. Hughes definitely showed the most potential as
a best buddy for Jack," said Dick Sittig, Founder & Creative Director
of Secret Weapon, which has handled Jack's marketing efforts for the
last 15 years.

Secret Weapon and Jack are continually working on Jack's acts of
philanthropy, most recently rewarding America with free tacos on
Tuesday, November 16th. If you haven't already, watch the "Dentist"
spot, where Jack makes the free taco offer under the influence of
laughing gas:

For more information on what Jack is up to, visit
(search "Jack in the Box") or For additional
information on award-winning creative agency, Secret Weapon Marketing,

Bank of America Introduces Online Car Buying Center

Bank of America has introduced the Car Buying Center, a unique online
resource designed to make shopping for a new or used car easier for
consumers. By using the site (,
consumers can take advantage of Bank of America's car buying power as
a leading auto financier and benefit from the low price guarantee on
new cars purchased through the site. This new online research and
purchase tool is powered by Zag, a division of TrueCar Inc. and a
leading provider of private-label online and mobile car buying programs.

"Bank of America is committed to developing innovative products and
services that meet our customer's changing needs," said Ellie Clarke,
president, Bank of America Dealer Financial Services. "We're listening
to our customers and understand they are looking for an easy and
convenient way to shop online for a vehicle. At our online Car Buying
Center, you can compare prices, see photos and read user reviews,
customize your options, get a low price guarantee from certified
dealers, and apply for a loan on a new or used car. It's all in one

Car Buying Center enhances the car buying experience for customers by
making it easy to research inventory and get:

• A competitive, upfront price in writing, which will be honored by
Bank of America certified dealers.
• The ability to lock in a haggle-free price with a local Bank of
America certified dealer while online.
• Average savings of $4,356* off MSRP (Note:Prices vary by area.
Savings are based on actual customer transactions reported by Zag as
of October 1).
• The ability to apply for a loan to finance a new or used car

Car Buying Center connects consumers with over 4,000 Bank of America
certified dealers across the country who are committed to upfront,
haggle-free pricing and the bank's standard of excellent customer
service. Customers can then benefit from Bank of America auto
financing, which provides clear and easy-to-understand terms and
conditions at attractive rates.

For more information, visit

Friday, November 19, 2010

Mecklenburg County Announces Closings for Thanksgiving Day

Mecklenburg County government offices and agencies will be closed on
Thursday, November 25 and Friday, November 26, 2010 for the
Thanksgiving holiday. This includes all units of the Department of
Social Services, the Tax Office, Elections Office, the Register of
Deeds Office, and the Land Use and Environmental Services Office.

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

The Department of Social Services Care Line (704-336-CARE or
704-336-2773) operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week to receive
reports of suspected abuse or neglect of children, the elderly or
disabled adults.

The Health Department will be closed on Thursday, November 25 and
Friday, November 26.

The Main Library and all library branches will close at 6 p.m. on
Wednesday, November 24 and remain closed all day on Thanksgiving.

All Solid Waste administrative offices and the Foxhole landfill will
be closed on Thursday, November 25 and Friday, November 26.
Staffed recycling centers and Compost Central will be closed on
Thursday, November 25 and reopen on a normal schedule on Friday,
November 26.

Park and Recreation administrative offices, recreation centers and
nature centers will be closed on Thursday, November 26, 2010.
Administrative offices and recreation centers only will remain closed
on Friday, November 26, 2010.

As a reminder, CharMeck 311 remains open and available to the public
on holidays and weekends.

CHS to provide athletic trainers for all CMS high schools

Certified athletic trainers will be placed in all Charlotte-
Mecklenburg (CMS) high schools over the next five years under an
agreement announced today between CMS and Carolinas HealthCare System

The athletic trainers, who will be CHS employees, will be nationally
certified and state licensed, and will direct efforts to protect the
health and safety of student athletes in all sports. The action
follows growing concern nationwide about athletic injuries, especially
concussions sustained by football players and sudden cardiac deaths.

"This is a remarkable opportunity for us to ensure that our student-
athletes are receiving the best care while they take part in sports,"
said Dr. Peter C. Gorman, superintendent of CMS. "We are very
fortunate to have Carolinas Medical Center and Carolinas Healthcare
Systems as partners, and we thank them for helping us keep athletics
safe for participants."

CMS high schools that have received a certified athletic trainer this
year are South Mecklenburg, Berry Academy and East Mecklenburg.
Additional trainers will be added each year until 2015, when all CMS
high schools will have one.

Dennis Phillips, executive vice president-metro group of CHS, said the
agreement builds on a 17-year relationship with CMS that has provided
comprehensive sports medicine services to the schools.

"Our partnership to date has produced a number of unique efforts to
safeguard CMS student athletes, including the highly successful Heart
of a Champion Day and our ongoing study and treatment of concussions,"
Phillips said. "This agreement will better structure our relationship
and result in an expansion of services available to students."

Heart of a Champion Day, begun in 2008, screens more than 1,000 CMS
student athletes annually. The free screenings include a general
medical evaluation, orthopedic exam and two heart tests to check for
conditions that could lead to sudden cardiac death.

CHS' Sports Medicine Department and Carolinas Rehabilitation jointly
operate the Carolinas Concussion Network, which monitors brain
injuries, provides treatment and tests athletes before they are
allowed to resume competition.

Concussion Network programs include a research study using wireless
sensors in football helmets that record the force of impacts during
football games. The data is transmitted to a sideline computer in
real time. Also, athletes in all sports who have sustained a
concussion are given a computer-based test that measures cognitive
function before being cleared to play.

Among the new features that will be added under the CMS/CHS agreement
are dietary and health and wellness programs, CPR and Automated
External Defibrillator training, a 24-hour sports medicine nurse
hotline, sports medicine web site and a quarterly newsletter.

Certified athletic trainers hold a bachelor's or master's degree with
a major in athletic training and are focused on injury prevention,
assessment, treatment and rehabilitation. They are required to pursue
continuing education to retain their certification (ATC or Athletic
Trainer-Certified), which is awarded by the Board of Certification, Inc.

Athletic trainers practicing in North Carolina are also licensed by
the North Carolina Board of Athletic Trainer Examiners (NCBATE).

Charlotte School Nurses Urge Vaccination Against Meningitis

The School Nurses Association of North Carolina (SNANC) is urging all
Charlotte parents to have their preteen and teenage children
vaccinated against meningococcal disease now that school is back in
session. Meningococcal disease is a rare, but serious bacterial
infection that can cause meningitis and take the life of a child in
just a single day.

Public health officials recommend meningococcal vaccination for
preteens and teens; however, a recent Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC) survey found that in North Carolina, less than half
of adolescents 13 through 17 years of age have been vaccinated against
the disease. This is far below the CDC's goal of a 90 percent
vaccination rate by the end of 2010.

School nurses in North Carolina have joined the Voices of Meningitis
campaign to reach parents of preteens and teens about the importance
of meningitis vaccination now that school is back in session. Every
health-care visit is an opportunity to discuss meningitis vaccination.

Voices of Meningitis is a public education initiative that brings
together school nurses, parents, survivors of the disease and public
health officials nationwide to share their experiences to help educate
families with preteen and teenage children about prevention. Voices
of Meningitis is a program of the National Association of School
Nurses in collaboration with sanofi pasteur.

Preteens and teens are at greater risk for getting meningitis and are
more likely to die compared with other age groups. Of those who
survive, up to one in five is left with serious medical problems,
including amputation of limbs, brain damage, deafness and other organ

Everyday activities like spending long periods of time in large groups
or sharing water bottles during sports practices can put even healthy
kids at increased risk for the disease.

Vaccination has been available for years and is a safe and effective
way to help protect against meningitis.

Detectives capture suspects in night club shooting death

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Homicide Unit Detectives are
conducting a homicide investigation into a shooting death at the
Silver Fox club, 3935 Statesville Avenue. The victim was identified as
Juquina Harris, age 28.

Metro Division officers responded to a call for service which came in
as a shooting in the parking lot of club Silver Fox. When officers
arrived on scene, they found a female lying on the ground outside the
club suffering from an apparent gunshot wound. The victim was
pronounced deceased on scene by Medic at 2:13 a.m. Initial statements
from witnesses in the parking lot area are that several subjects were
involved in a physical altercation in the parking lot near the
entrance to the club. Shortly after the fight began, one of these
subjects pulled a handgun and multiple shots were fired in the parking

Witnesses on scene stated that a green sedan left the parking lot on
Statesville Avenue heading towards the city. At 2:13 a.m., Providence
Division officers were dispatched to a call which came in from
Carolinas Medical Center stating that a male subject who had been shot
was dropped off by at least one other subject in a green Pontiac four
door vehicle. Providence Division officers have detained at least one
subject who was with the shooting victim when he arrived at the
hospital. The vehicle in which they arrived has been secured and will
be processed by Crime Scene Search. Detectives are in the process of
determining whether or not the subjects who presented themselves to
CMC are related to the initial incident at club Silver Fox.

The tireless work of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Homicide
Unit detectives led to charges being filed against two brothers for
the murder of Jaquina Harris. Earlier Friday, Elijah Akeem Ashford,
DOB: 07/16/1986, was arrested by the Violent Criminal Apprehension
Team shortly after being notified that a murder warrant had been
signed against him. Elijah Ashford was arrested without incident at
the intersection of Tappan Place and Academy Street; he is currently
at police headquarters. He will later be transported to the
Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office, where he will remain in their
custody. At this stage of the investigation, it is believed that the
two subjects who arrived at CMC were bystanders and that one of the
subjects was struck by gunfire.

The Violent Criminal Apprehension Team subsequently arrested Aaron
Ashford (in photo) without incident, at 6602 Wisteria Drive, shortly
after 3:30 p.m., on Friday, November 19, 2010. VCAT worked quickly to
take both brothers into custody. From the time that VCAT began
working the cases until the arrests of both brothers were made, less
than a day had passed. Along with the tireless efforts of Homicide
Unit Detectives, this case was brought to a quick resolution.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Unpaid County Taxes Sent To State For Collection

The Mecklenburg County Tax Collector reminds property owners that if
they have not yet paid their real estate, individual personal
property, and vehicle taxes for the year, their tax bills will go to
the North Carolina State Department of Revenue for collection.

The Debt Setoff Collection Act allows for the County to notify the
State of delinquent taxes. Any state income tax refund due the
taxpayer may be applied to the debt. A $15.00 collection fee will be
added to the bill if it is submitted for setoff. To avoid collection
action, the property owner must pay the bill immediately upon
notification by mail, or request a hearing within 30 days. An appeal
hearing form is enclosed with the delinquency notification. There are
roughly 113,000 tax bills that are eligible for the Debt Setoff program.

How to pay your tax bill:

· By Internet: Log on to and use your
credit card, debit card or eCheck. *

· Online Banking: Funds are sent electronically from your bank.
Please allow up to four business days after the date you authorized
your financial institution to make the payment before it is posted to
your account. The Bill Number must be present on the payment to ensure
property tax posting to your bill. Your payment will be rejected and
returned to the financial institution if the bill number is missing or

· By phone: Call toll-free 1-877-533-0072 and use your credit/debit
card. Service is now available in English and Spanish when paying your
tax bill by phone.*

· By mail: Mail your check using the return envelope in your tax bill.

· In person: Pay at the Tax Collector's office at the Robert L.
"Bob" Walton Plaza, 700 East Stonewall Street, Charlotte, NC, or 4150
Wilkinson Blvd., Charlotte, NC, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday
through Friday, at both locations. Cash, money order or checks
accepted. Make checks payable to the Mecklenburg County Tax Collector.

* A convenience fee is assessed when using the credit card or debit
card option. Credit card and debit card payments are not accepted at
the Tax Collector's office.

Taxpayers with questions about their bill, property listings, or real
estate valuations can call City-County Customer Service at311.
Taxpayers calling from outside Mecklenburg County should dial
704-336-7600 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. More
information is also available on the Office of the Tax Collector's
website. Visit and then click on Office of the
Tax Collector.

Union Presbyterian Seminary Uses Technology to Provide Community Resources

Union Presbyterian Seminary announces the launch of Union Live. Union
Live is the seminary's new communication channel which utilizes
webcast technology to provide interactive learning opportunities. Now
online audiences have the ability to participate in book lectures,
guest speaker presentations and training classes no matter where they
are physically located. Union Live presentations are offered at no
charge to the participants as a resource for the church and anyone
interested in theological education.

The first presentation of Union Live was The Dean's Forum on Faculty
Research which featured the recently published book by Professor Mark
Valeri, Heavenly Merchandize: How Religion Shaped Commerce in Puritan
America. The inaugural presentation was limited to a select viewing
audience who actively participated by having an online chat and
posting comments. When Pulitzer Prize winning author, Taylor Branch,
visited Union Presbyterian's Richmond campus on October 26, the
program was webcast live to online audiences in Charlotte, NC.

"The creation of Union Live is one of many ways we plan to use the
technologies and tools of the 21st Century in the training of pastors,
educators, and church layworkers, as we realize our vision of forming
leaders and transforming the church," says President Brian K. Blount.

The prerecorded lectures are now available on the Union Presbyterian
website. To access Union Live, visit to view
lectures and see a listing of upcoming events. To participate in a
live event, a user must create a login and preregister for each one

Since 1812 Union Presbyterian Seminary (formerly Union-PSCE) has been
dedicated to the vision of forming leaders and transforming the
church. The Seminary has two campuses that serve a diversified
student body in Richmond, Virginia and Charlotte, North Carolina. The
Extended Campus Program offers an opportunity for students for whom
graduate level education would be impossible without a hybrid format
of mixing distance learning with intensive periods of on campus study.

Charlotte Regional Realtor Assoc. Reports Residential Activity for October

Charlotte Regional Realtor® Association reports on the residential
real estate market in this region based on Carolina Multiple Listing
Services, Inc. (CMLS) data. The number of closings for October 2010
(1,695) decreased 23.3 percent compared to October 2009 when closings
totaled 2,210. Compared to September 2010, closings increased 2.2
percent. The average sales price for October 2010 ($202,840) is up
3.4 percent over October 2009 ($196,204), but was down slightly, 0.5
percent, over the September 2010 average sales price ($203,799). The
average listing price of homes sold in October 2010 ($231,491) was up
6.2 percent compared to October 2009 ($218,050), and was nearly
unchanged, down 0.1 percent, over last month's average listing price
of $231,678.

The residential pending contracts figure for October 2010 (1,617) was
down 32.6 percent compared to October 2009 (2,400), and was down 2.5
percent over last month (September 2010) when pending contracts
totaled 1,658.

New residential listings in October 2010 totaled 3,875. The average
number of days a property was on the market from the time it was
listed until it closed (list to close) was 148, which is about a day
longer than last month. The average number of days a property was on
the market (days on market), excluding the days the property was off
the market or pending, was 112.5 days, which is nearly unchanged from
last month.

In July 2010, CMLS underwent a system conversion. CMLS staff has done
everything possible to ensure the accuracy of the October 2010
statistics; however, as with any new system, we may discover very
slight anomalies that will require adjustments and corrections over

For more residential-housing market statistics, visit the
association's website at and click on "Community
Data." For an interview with Association/CMLS President Lyn Kessie,
please contact Kim Walker.

The Charlotte Regional Realtor® Association is a trade association
that leads, educates and equips members to be productive. It provides
more than 7,300 Realtor®members with the resources and services needed
to conduct ethical, professional, successful and profitable
businesses. The association is dedicated to being the region's primary
resource for residential real estate information. The association
operates the Carolina Multiple Listing Services, Inc. (CMLS), which
has approximately 7,900 Subscribers and is the private cooperative
Realtors® use for access to tens of thousands of residential listings
in a 10-county service area, including the high-growth Charlotte area,
as well as listings outside this service area.

Mecklenburg County Wipe Out Waste Day

Mecklenburg County Wipe Out Waste Day will be held Saturday, November
13, 9:00 a.m. - Noon; at all 4 Mecklenburg County Recycling Centers.
County Full-Service Recycling Centers are located at:
North Mecklenburg Recycling Center and Yard Waste
12300 N. Statesville Rd.
West Mecklenburg Recycling Center
8440 Byrum Dr.
Foxhole Recycling Center and Yard Waste
17131 Lancaster Hwy.
In the new era where protecting personal information and the
environment is equally important, there is a much better solution to
getting rid of that dangerous stuff, and on the upcoming Wipe Out
Waste (WOW) Day, residents can do it safely and for free thanks to
Mecklenburg County Solid Waste.
All four Mecklenburg County Full Service Recycling Centers will be
shredding household documents for no charge on Saturday, Nov. 13 from
9 a.m. until noon as part of a partnership with City of Charlotte
Solid Waste Services. Document destruction specialists Shred-it,
Automated Shredding Inc. and document management experts DataChambers
will be on hand -- along with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police
Department -- to ensure that your documents are disposed of safely and
securely. The first 50 residents to bring items to each recycling
center will receive special giveaways.
Those other household hazardous wastes, such as old paint, chemicals,
and batteries, will also be accepted for safe disposal. Not sure what
to bring? Visit or call E. Nadine Ford at
704.201.2201 for detailed information about what you can bring for

Free talk on promising treatments for Parkinson's

Charlotte - What are the most promising therapies to treat Parkinson's
disease?  Dr. Danielle Englert, neurologist with Carolinas Center for Parkinson
Disease and Movement Disorders, will give a free talk on the latest
treatments for Parkinson's, including deep brain stimulation. The
free presentation is on Tuesday, Nov. 16, 5 pm, at The Ivey, 6030 Park
South Drive in Charlotte. Reservations are requested at 704/909-2070.
This event is part of a regular support group for people with
Parkinson's and their families. The group meets at The Ivey on the
third Tuesday of each month. Newcomers are welcome to join the
support group at any time.
The Ivey® is a not-for-profit adult day care center that provides
daytime services for people affected by Alzheimer's and other types of
memory loss, social isolation, or physical frailty due to stroke,
Parkinson's, and similar illnesses. The Ivey offers socialization,
engaging activities, meals from a Johnson & Wales-trained chef, and
healthcare monitoring from our on-site registered nurse. The Ivey's
services allow caregivers to hold jobs, continue friendships, and
refresh from the responsibilities of providing constant care. For
more, see

Women Invited To Discuss Issues For North Carolina General Assembly

A coalition of organizations, including Mecklenburg County's Community
Support Services' Women's Commission, is seeking to increase the
collective voice of women and women's rights advocates in the North
Carolina legislature. On Tuesday, Nov. 16, 2010, the Charlotte-
Mecklenburg Women's Agenda Assembly will be held to discuss
recommendations for changing public policies to better meet the needs
of women and their communities. The assembly begins at 5:30 p.m.

Community Support Services' Women's Commission is a local partner
along with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Women's Summit, UNCC Women's &
Gender Studies Program the Women's Advisory Board and North Carolina
Council for Women.

The Women's Agenda Assembly (WAA) is an organized meeting of women
around the state of North Carolina that takes place in multiple
counties every other year.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center
600 East Fourth St., Room 267 (map)
Parking is available in the Davidson Street parking deck between Third
and Fourth streets).
Cost: $12 (Dinner is provided)

Invitations are being extended to women from a wide range of social,
ethnic, economic, and public interest groups. This assembly is one of
many that will be held across the state as part of NC Women United's
Women's Agenda Program. NC Women United is a consensus-based
coalition of organizations and individuals committed to achieving full
equality for and empowerment of women.

During the Assembly, participants will hear from local experts
regarding the current status of women, girls and families in the
Charlotte-Mecklenburg region and attendees will have the opportunity
to share their knowledge and experience of the issues. Round table
discussion will take place, and participants will prioritize the issues.

A report outlining and prioritizing the issues will be compiled and
used to advocate with the General Assembly – the North Carolina Senate
and House. Regular follow up report cards are then done to measure the
success of the Women's Agenda Assembly. In addition, the report will
be used to measure change in legislative policies affecting women in
our community.

Go to 2010 Women's Agenda Assembly to register today. The deadline to
register is Wednesday, Nov. 10.

Charlotte USA unemployment continues downward trend

Unemployment has continued to fall steadily since June, as every one
of the 16 counties in the Charlotte region experienced a drop in its
unemployment rate from August to September. The Charlotte Regional
Partnership's October By the Numbers reports that as a region, the
rate fell to 10.9 percent from 11.6 percent with initial unemployment
claims across Charlotte USA decreasing a whopping 27 percent from
September 2009.

However, the labor force continued to shrink slightly, dipping .7
percent, which might indicate residents are still experiencing
frustration with job searches, and no longer are categorized as
actively looking for work. The U.S. Consumer Confidence Index, which
had declined in September, increased slightly in October. While
slightly improved from September levels, the index is still hovering
at historically low levels.

The Federal Reserve's Fifth District Survey of Manufacturing Activity
in the central Atlantic region, which includes the Charlotte region,
advanced modestly in October, following a slight pullback in
September. Shipments and employment edged back into positive territory
while the volume of new orders posted solid gains. The Federal
Reserve's Carolinas Survey of business activity index increased in
October although it remained in negative territory.

The Charlotte Regional Partnership's monthly By the Numbers is the
only report of its kind. Easy-to-read charts not only compare
employment numbers in the current and prior years for each of our 16
counties, the report breaks down employment changes by industry. It
compares the Charlotte region with the other six partnership areas in
North Carolina and other major Southeast regions. Charts show at a
glance year-to-year comparisons of the national unemployment rate,
consumer confidence and home sales indices. The report also summarizes
Charlotte USA locations, expansions, closings and layoffs for each
month fiscal year-to-date. View the full October report at

A nonprofit, public/private economic development organization, the
Charlotte Regional Partnership allocates and leverages regional
economic development resources to sustain and enhance the economic
growth, vitality and global competitiveness of the Charlotte region.
The 16-county region encompasses Alexander, Anson, Cabarrus, Catawba,
Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, Mecklenburg, Rowan, Stanly and
Union counties in North Carolina and Chester, Chesterfield, Lancaster
and York counties in South Carolina.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Vision 2020 Forum Gives Residents Opportunity To Be Heard

What will County government look like in the year 2020? That's what
residents are being asked to give their thoughts on from 7 p.m. to 9
p.m., Thursday, Nov. 11, at the Vision 2020 Community Forum, which is
being held at the Queens Sports Complex, 2229 Tyvola Road, Charlotte.

Attendees will be guided by facilitators through a discussion that
will include such questions as "How would you like your tax dollars
spent?" and "What do you think are the top priorities and issues that
need to be addressed for the future of our community?"

Areas of discussion will include arts & entertainment, crime,
education and schools, environment, healthcare, housing, jobs, sports
& recreation, and transportation, among others.

The discussion will be facilitated by representatives of the Community
Building Initiative, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Community Relations
Committee, and Mecklenburg Ministries.

The Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) has a current
vision to be a community of pride and choice for people to live, work,
and play. However, the BOCC wants to revisit the goals and develop a
new 10-year plan given the economic realities faced by people,
business, and government. The Vision 2020 process is designed to get
resident input and expert opinions on priorities for our community.

Results of the community forum will be posted on
, and residents will be given the opportunity to comment on those
results prior to County staff compiling that information into themes
and then presenting that information to the BOCC. Commissioners are
scheduled to receive the information in early 2011. After receiving
the information, board members will participate in facilitated
discussions and identify the key elements for a shared vision.

To sign up to attend the event, please visit
or call 704-336-2020.

Charlotte's Belmont Neighborhood to Receive Major Revitalization This Weekend

A team of Cricket Communications volunteers, as well as other
businesses and community organizations, will work with Rebuilding
Together on a major revitalization project in Charlotte Saturday, Nov.
6. Through this project, four local residents' homes in the Belmont
neighborhood will get a much-needed facelift including new windows,
bathroom repairs, brand new kitchen appliances, and numerous safety

WHEN: Saturday, November 6
- 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. – Volunteer renovation efforts
- 11 am to 2 pm - Block party for residents of the entire Belmont
Neighborhood, volunteers and local officials
- 12 noon - Remarks from sponsors and officials including City
Councilmember Patsy Kinsey

WHERE: St. Paul Baptist Church, 1401 Allen Street

WHY: For the second year in a row, Cricket is one of the top sponsors
of Rebuilding Together, a leading, national, non-profit organization
dedicated to bringing volunteers and communities together to
revitalize communities across the country. Cricket's main goal is to
rehabilitate and revitalize homes, schools or community centers for
residents living in the communities in which the company operates.

The City of Charlotte as well as Belmont residents and visitors as a
whole will benefit from improvements made to the neighborhood.
Renovations to the four homes will also demonstrate the help Charlotte
residents and families will be receiving through the new affiliate,
Rebuilding Together of the Carolinas, located in Charlotte. This
project marks the launch of the national charity's newest affiliate,
an organization which will serve the Charlotte community by engaging
volunteers and corporate sponsors to deliver critical home renovations
and services to local homeowners-in-need in an effort to stabilize and
preserve the neighborhoods of Charlotte. A true measure of
philanthropic efforts, a host of experts and community members are
involved in this kick off project, including Cricket, Lowe's and Wells
Fargo. Additional partners have offered their support in this
venture, including the Belmont Community Development Corporation and
St. Paul's Baptist Church.

Explore HIstory: Duke and Lee, Electrifying the Carolinas

A century ago, Charlotte emerged as a national leader in the new
technology of electricity. Hear stories about the colorful characters
who made Charlotte a national powerhouse in energy during this free
presentation at The Duke Mansion.
On Sunday, November 14, at 3:00 p.m. at The Duke Mansion, 400
Hermitage Road in Charlotte, members of the Lee family will share
never-heard-before tales about towering figures from Charlotte's past.
Bill Williamson will talk about his grandfather, pioneering engineer
William States Lee. W.S. Lee worked with James Buchanan Duke (in
photo), owner of The Duke Mansion and founder of Duke University.

States Lee will remember his father, Bill Lee, an iconic leader not
only of Duke Energy but of Charlotte. Lisa Lee Morgan, Bill Lee's
daughter, will talk about her involvement in green and renewable
energy -- key elements of the field today.

Energy is a core reason for Charlotte's economic development in the
20th century and an essential focus for future economic growth.
Discover more about Charlotte through this unique perspective.

The afternoon will be hosted by Levine Museum of the New South
historian Dr. Tom Hanchett. For more information, call 704/714-4400.
Part of the Explore History! Series co-sponsored by The Duke Mansion
and Levine Museum.

Drop-in Public Meeting to be held for City Boulevard Extension Project

The City of Charlotte Department of Transportation; City of Charlotte
Engineering & Property Management and URS Corporation will host a drop-
in public meeting to show area residents the design of the City
Boulevard Extension Project. Thursday, November 18, 5:30pm – 7:30pm ar
Ebenezer Baptist Church, 2020 West Sugar Creek Road.

The purpose of the meeting is to show area residents and property
owners the proposed design of the City Boulevard Extension Project.
Attendees are invited to come any time between 5:30 and 7:30 pm. Staff
will be available to meet with residents one on one to review the
design plans for City Boulevard. The design of extending City
Boulevard westward from the existing intersection of City Boulevard at
Neal Road to the proposed alignment of Mallard Creek Road near Rumple
Road will include a four-lane median divided roadway with planting
strips, sidewalks, street trees and bicycle lanes.

Therapeutic Rec Concludes Free Movie Series With 'Blindlight'

The Therapeutic Recreation Section will conclude its free "Movies with
a Message" series on Tuesday, Nov. 9 with a documentary film titled
"Blindsight." The film will be shown at Mahlon Adams Pavilion in
Freedom Park, 2435 Cumberland Avenue, at 6:30 p.m.

"Blindsight" highlights the gripping adventure of six Tibetan
teenagers on their journey to climb a mountain in the shadow of
Everest. A dangerous journey soon becomes a seemingly impossible
challenge made all the more remarkable by the fact that the teenagers
are blind. The film provides a glimpse into the lives of individuals
with unique abilities, allowing us to appreciate the differences and
similarities of all people, and to share in their challenges and

The Therapeutic Recreation Section provides services for individuals
with disabilities to help ensure inclusive opportunities in all
program services and accessibility at all Department parks,
facilities, special events and classes.

For more information on the Therapeutic Recreation Section, contact
Karla Gray at 704-432-4322.

Local family wins Rack Room Shoes model search

Rack Room Shoes' "Holiday BOGO" event kicks off this month, with the
winning family being from Concord. The Vanderburgs were selected from
thousands of other entrants from across the country during the
retailers "Models Wanted" competition. Along with a professional photo
shoot and VIP treatment, the local family will be featured in Rack
Room Shoes" newspaper inserts, in-store signage, and on the company
website from November 16 through the end of the year.

Entering the contest was the kids' idea according to mom, Kelly, and
dad, Micah. Their two children were ecstatic when they found out they
were the chosen winners; their son Asher (9) commented, "We were so
excited when we heard we had won, but waiting for today to get here
was agony." Younger sister Ellis (6) also showed her enthusiasm,
taking her brother"s lead with smiles and giggles that lit up the
studio throughout the shoot.

Kelly and Micah were high school sweethearts who first met at church
and got engaged the night Kelly graduated. Anyone thinking they were
crazy to exchange vows at such a young age would be surprised to see
them going strong, 14 years later. Now an elementary art teacher,
librarian, and busy mom, Kelly admits she used to be shy and
introverted when she was Ellis"s age. Whether or not the modeling
classes her mother enrolled her in years ago helped to boost her
confidence in front of the camera, she moved with style and grace,
looking like a "teenage princess," according to Asher.

A fun and loving dad, Micah was immediately comfortable and creative
in front of the camera. He exhibited the same kind of enthusiasm for
showcasing shoes as he puts into his job in inside sales, his faith,
and everything else he goes after in life. The camera crew said he was
a modeling machine, but Micah responded that he would never do this
for himself. Feeling honored that his family was chosen, Micah said
the experience was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for his kids.

Little Ellis made a big appearance throughout the shoot, striking
creative poses like her dad and jumping up and down to make her
Sketchers Twinkle Toes boots light up. Big brother Asher had fun
shooting baskets and showing off his pool table skills. Although math
is his favorite subject in school, he said, "Trying on clothes and
shoes is definitely more fun than doing homework!"

Brother and sister and the best of friends, Asher and Ellis make their
parents proud and add to the undeniable star quality of the Vanderburg
family. Now through December, their images will adorn store walls
where customers can catch a glimpse of the extraordinary qualities of
each member of this family.

Rack Room Shoes features all of the latest styles and brands for the
entire family including Nike, Converse, Reebok, Skechers, New Balance,
Puma and more. Rack Room Shoes, based in Charlotte N.C., is a member
of the Deichmann Shoe Company headquartered in Europe, which is the
largest privately owned shoe retailer in the world. Rack Room Shoes
operates over 380 stores in 26 states, primarily in the Mid-Atlantic,
upper Midwest, Southeast and Southwestern states. Rack Room carries a
broad assortment of brand name and private label shoes for all
occasions. Visit the company"s website at for
more information and current, special offers.

Power2 Charlotte Web Site Launches

The Power2 Charlotte campaign has launched an interactive website,, showcasing the City of Charlotte's energy
efficiency and conservation block grant projects. The site also serves
as a community resource for other energy partners and future projects.

Power2 is the centerpiece of the outreach and education
campaign for the City's 17 energy efficiency projects, funded by a
grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. Kim McMillan, City of
Charlotte Director of Corporate Communications stated, "The web site
is designed to create a dynamic environment to distribute interactive
content, and provide a vehicle for dialog between the City, project
experts, interested citizens and the media. We are excited about the
ability of the site to engage the community to become energy efficient
and conserve resources."

Another key element of the campaign is a monthly eNewsletter providing
regular updates on the progress of projects throughout the community.
The website features an easy registration form for those interested in
learning more about what the City is doing and what they, as residents
and business owners can do to make a difference. The first 500
subscribers will receive a Power2 bracelet, made from
recycled product. To sign up for the newsletter, visit

The City of Charlotte's "Power2" Campaign offers resources and
services to help Charlotte residents, business owners and local
government save energy, money, and the environment. The program
promotes and encourages increased conservation and the use of clean,
renewable energy. It also provides citizens with information to make
better decisions which will reduce the overall energy consumption in
our community.

Funded by a grant from the US Department of Energy, The Power2
Charlotte campaign is one of 17 City of Charlotte projects to receive
funding through the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant
Program, part of the American Resource and Recovery Act. To learn more
about Charlotte's energy strategy, visit the city's economic recovery
web site at

Community Blood Center of the Carolinas Kicks off Sixth Annual Puppies for Patients Program

The Community Blood Center of the Carolinas (CBCC) today launched its
Sixth Annual Puppies for Patients Program that will run through
December 31, 2010.

Donors who give blood in the months of November and December will be
able to sign a tag that will then be attached to a stuffed puppy and
delivered to children in area hospitals this holiday season. One local
children's hospital alone requires nearly 300 red blood cells and more
than 200 platelets each month. CBCC is asking anyone in generally good
health, over the age of 16 and who weighs at least 120 pounds to
donate blood this holiday season and help save the lives of local
patients, many of them children.

"We have touched the lives of more than 6,000 children with stuffed
animal puppies over the past five years and are excited about
continuing this very special tradition," said Martin Grable, president
and CEO of Community Blood Center of the Carolinas. "Not only is this
about our community coming together to save local lives, but being
able to bring smiles and comfort to children in our local hospitals
during the holidays."

For businesses, churches and organizations interested in hosting a
blood drive in November and December, there is still time to sign up
with CBCC. Call 704-972-4700 for more details on sponsoring a blood
drive or donating blood.

About Community Blood Center of the Carolinas
The Community Blood Center of the Carolinas is an independent, locally-
managed, non-profit community blood center providing more than 90
percent of the blood supply to the 16 area hospitals that serve 15
North Carolina and three South Carolina counties. The Center's mission
is to be the steward of a community resource – life-saving blood. CBCC
is strictly a blood center, completely focused on gathering red blood
cells, platelets and plasma from volunteer donors to save local lives.
Every drop of blood collected stays here to help people in our
community. Our vision is to help build and strengthen the bonds of

The Community Blood Center of the Carolinas is a member of America's
Blood Centers, a group of 76 independent blood centers that supplies
50 percent of the country's blood. It subscribes to a community-based
banking philosophy. That means community donors know that the blood
they give stays in our community first – helping family members,
friends and neighbors. Excess supply is shared with other communities
when needed. For more information on blood drives near you, visit www.cbcc.usor
call 704-972-4700. You may also donate blood at CBCC, located at
4447 South Boulevard in Charlotte, 1212 Spruce Street in Belmont or at
600 Hospital Drive in Monroe.