Thursday, March 31, 2011

Charlotte Area News Seeking Reviewers and Writers

Charlotte Area News wants to expand its coverage by working with area
writers to review books with local connections, and review cultural
events with multi-day-night offerings. This is mostly for fun and
exposure, not money. If you review a book, you keep the book. If you
attend an event that provides tickets for reviewers, you get in free.
If you can sustain daily or regular output on any locally relevant
topic, we'll consider giving you a regular column.

Right now we have a "coming of age" book written by a best-selling
Charlotte author which we would like reviewed. We also welcome press
releases from local organizations about news of interest to the
general public.

Interested? Please send your resume and writing sample(s) to
editor(at) as soon as possible.

Monday, March 28, 2011

'No Need 2 Speed' Campaign Begins This Week - Be Careful

The N.C. Governor's Highway Safety Program and the N.C. State Highway
Patrol are kicking off the "No Need 2 Speed®" campaign. Local law
enforcement agencies will join state troopers March 28-April 3 to
conduct stepped up patrols and enforcement to catch speeders on North
Carolina's highways.

"I urge drivers to slow down and obey the speed limit," said GHSP
director Becky Wallace. "For every 10 miles per hour you drive over 50
mph, you double your chances of dying or being seriously injured."

Officers will focus their efforts on interstates and major four-lane
highways across the state. During the No Need 2 Speed campaign in
November 2010, state and local law enforcement agencies cited 26,870
motorists for speeding.

Dangerous driving can be reported to the SHP by dialing *HP on
cellular phones from anywhere in the state. For more information on
No Need 2 Speed®, go to the Governor's Highway Safety Program Web site.

Bi-Lo Charities Offers $50,000 Match for American Red Cross - Japan

BI-LO Charities is offering to match customer donations up to $50,000
made to the American Red Cross to assist the victims of the
devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan last week.

"Our hearts go out to families in Japan who are suffering unfathomable
loss following last week's earthquake and Tsunami flood. After the
generous support given victims of Nine Eleven disaster and Hurricane
Katrina by the Japanese people, we felt it was our turn to open our
hearts and offer assistance during this horrible disaster in Japan,"
said Michael Byars, President and CEO of BI-LO, LLC.

Through a partnership BI-LO has formed with Google, donations can be
easily made on-line to BI-LO Charities by going to either or
BI-LO Charities will match all customer donations made to this secure
website through Tuesday, April 19.

"Not one of us can walk away untouched after viewing the devastation
of homes and heart-breaking loss of families and the resolute
hopefulness of the Japanese people. Please join us in sharing $10 or
more to assist those who have lost so very much," said Carol Browning,
Executive Director, BI-LO Charities.

About BI-LO Charities Inc.
Formed in 1998, BI-LO Charities Inc. manages BI-LO's extensive
charitable giving programs, including the annual BI-LO Charity
Classic golf tournament, celebrating its 28th year in June 2011.
Since its inception in 1984, the BI-LO Charity Classic has raised more
than $53 million to provide funding for non-profit organizations in
the Southeast. Their mission focuses on what is important to
families: children's issues, education for all ages and hunger relief.

Charlotte Area Entertainer Will Paddle His Way to a Guinness Record in Italy

A Huntersville man will have the opportunity to paddle his way into
the Guinness Book of World Records next week. But he won't employ
either a canoe or an instrument of corporal punishment!

Comedian and variety entertainer Steve Langley, aka "The Great
Fettucini," has become master of the art of paddle ball. So much so,
in fact, that he has been invited to take an all-expenses paid trip to
Milan, Italy, April 4-10 to establish a record for that prop on the
Guinness-sponsored prime-time television show "Lo Show del Record."

Langleyexpects to establish the record at six paddle balls bounced
simultaneously by holding three paddles in each hand. The rules of the
show stipulate that hemust continue paddling for thirty seconds
without a miss, tangle or bobble, and Langley said that represents
about 150-160 bounces with each ball. Guinnessofficials will be on
hand to judge and certify the attempt.

Langley, who serves as host for the annual Vaudeville Extravaganza
show at Davidson College each Labor Day weekend, said the path to
Guinness began with an Internet video contest last fall. The Swiss
company Active People Toys offered an iPad to the creator of the best
video showing someone playing with one of its props. The company makes
paddle balls, so Langley created and submitted a clever "A Day in the
Life of The Paddle Ball King" video that was judged as the winner.

Active People was so impressed they signed on as sponsor for Langley's
paddle ballactivities and appearances, and the video eventually found
its way to Guinness officials and resulted in their request that he
appear on "Lo Show del Record."

In addition to keeping multiple paddle balls going, Langley has been
developing an act/persona called The Paddle Ball King (
) and has incorporated several single paddleball tricks into his act.
They include popping balloons, knocking levitating ping pong balls out
of the air, and snuffing out a candle flame. He is also developing
methods of playing music on digitally synthesized paddle balls.

The Big Brew Ha Set For April 15 at the Mint Uptown

The Big Brew Ha event will feature gourmet breakfast for dinner,
complete with all things brewed (coffee, tea and beer) on the top
floor of the Mint Museum Uptown on Friday, April 15, 2011, from 7:30
p.m. to 10:30 p.m.

Event-goers can win prizes by participating in a balloon pop and the
"Brew Pong" Tournament. Proceeds from the event will help fund
preservation efforts for St. Peter's Catholic Church (501 S. Tryon
Street), one of the oldest buildings on Tryon Street.

Admission is $60; all participants will receive a pilsner glass or
coffee mug. Free parking will be provided in The Green parking deck
next to St. Peter's Church. Tickets and other details are available

With a comfortable but fashionable neighborhood pub feel, The Big Brew
Ha menu will include breakfast items from DEAN & DELUCA, Harvest Moon
Grille, Amelie's French Bakery, the Healthy Home Market, The Flying
Biscuit Cafe and more.

The moonlight meal and bountiful beverages that create The Big Brew Ha
experience will be enhanced by a festive atmosphere of music and
upscale pub decor. Activities will include a balloon pop in which
guests pay to pop a balloon to determine their winnings (i.e. gift
certificate to restaurant), and a "Brew Pong" tournament (a version of
"beer pong" in which contestants accrue points by tapping the beer cup
with the ping pong ball or even more points when the ball goes inside
the beer cup). A grand prize will be awarded to the winners.

All festivities will feature the backdrop of the Charlotte skyline as
seen at the 5th Floor of the new Mint Museum Uptown, located across
from St. Peter's Catholic Church.

The Big Brew Ha Details:

Date: Friday, April 15, 2011 7:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.

Location: The Mint Museum Uptown, 500 S. Tryon Street., Charlotte, NC

Tickets: $60

About The Big Brew Ha

This brand new event is sponsored by:, Healthy Home
Market and ServiceMaster Cleaning Services. Current food vendors
include DEAN & DELUCA, Amelie's French Bakery and Harvest Moon
Grille. Current beverage sponsors are Healthy Home Market and Bealer
Wholesale. Promotional partners include Charlotte Magazine and Yelp
(Real People. Real Reviews.) Proceeds generated from The Big Brew Ha
will further the effort to preserve St. Peter's Catholic Church.

About St. Peter's Catholic Church

St. Peter's Catholic Church is one of the oldest buildings on Tryon
Street, for which the original cornerstone was laid in 1851. According
to a former pastor, "For 90 years it was the only Catholic church in
the city. It's easy to interpret this church's role in the city in
light of the name Jesus gave Peter…Rock." The mission of St. Peter's
is to grow in faith through worship, prayer, outreach, education and
action. St. Peter's has been staffed by the Jesuits since 1986.
Learn more at

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Alive After Five Returns to Uptown April 7

Warm weather has spread across the Carolinas and spring is in the air,
which in Charlotte means its time to kick-start the weekend in style
with the Queen City summertime tradition – Alive After Five.

Celebrating its 10th Anniversary this year, Alive After Five presented
by AT&T returns to uptown Charlotte on Thursday, April 7 at 5 p.m. at
Wachovia Plaza, 301 South Tryon Street. The 2011 season kicks off with
a performance on the Bud Light Stage by one of Alive After Five's all-
time most popular bands, Liquid Pleasure. The six-piece North Carolina-
based band has nearly 30 years of experience cranking out everything
from R&B, Motown and funk to oldies, disco and modern dance classics.

Wachovia Plaza will host Alive After Five each Thursday during the
month of April. The venue was home to Alive After Five for its first
eight seasons. Beginning May 5 (Cinco de Mayo), the scene shifts to
the Bud Light Pavilion at EpiCentre, 210 E Trade Street, where Alive
After Five will continue every Thursday through September 15.

When AA5 returns to EpiCentre, guests will notice significant
enhancements to Pavilion, including the addition of greenery, cherry
trees, permanent water features, welcoming shaded areas and relaxing
seating. A new Beer Garden is also on tap for Pavilion, which will
serve import, specialty and craft beers during Alive After Five.

Weather won't dampen Thursday afternoons at Pavilion in 2011 with the
implementation of a new When it Rains, We Pour promotion. Pavilion has
purchased two huge tents to keep guests sheltered from the elements
during summer showers, so when it rains, Alive After Five will pour
with drink specials, including discounted beer prices any time there
is inclement weather during Alive After Five.

There will also be added dining elements once Alive After Five returns
to Pavilion in May. Each Thursday during the Alive After Five
EpiCentre season, all restaurants at the popular entertainment
destination will offer special $20 menus, allowing guests to enjoy
multi-course feasts at their favorite EpiCentre eateries. All
restaurants at EpiCentre will also offer complimentary passed hors
d'oeuvres during Alive After Five the first Thursday of every month
from May through September.

Other special themed nights are also in the works for Alive After
Five, as is a new Business of the Week program, which will reward one
business each week with complimentary VIP access and drink tickets.
Details on these and other special events will be posted on as they become available.

"We are extremely grateful for the Charlotte community," said Larry
Farber of East Coast Entertainment. "Alive After Five would not be
celebrating 10 wonderful years in uptown without their support. We are
excited to celebrate with an opening month at Wachovia Plaza and for
all the new additions to Alive After Five at Pavilion this year."

Alive After Five is how Charlotte kick-starts the weekend in style! As
the city's largest weekly happy hour and free entertainment
celebration, Alive After Five provides a destination for friends and
co-workers to gather and unwind, while enjoying great live music,
tasty beverages, including a variety of local and specialty wines, all
in a fun, casual environment. With its prominent location, close to
other great restaurants, bars and shopping, Alive After Five is the
launching pad for Charlotte's nightlife and entertainment.

CMPD Seeks the Community's Assistance

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department is seeking the community's
assistance related to the investigation of a series of events which
occurred early in the morning of March 20. Specifically CMPD is
interested in speaking to any witnesses who have information regarding
these events:
· The robbery that took place in the 1400 block of West Trade
Street on Sunday, March 20, at approximately 1a.m.
· The shooting that occurred in the 1800 block of Garibaldi
Avenue involving Officer Brent Harrison and Malcolm Xavier Springs.
· The arrest of Malcolm Xavier Springs on Garibaldi Avenue.
Detectives with the CMPD returned to Garibaldi Avenue on Monday March
21, attempting to make contact with anyone who may have new
information regarding the robbery, the shooting of Officer Harrison
and the subsequent arrest of Mr. Springs.

An Internal Affairs investigation began immediately after the shooting
involving Officer Harrison and the arrest of Mr. Springs. This is
standard procedure for any case in which an officer fires his service
weapon or when an officer uses force to make an arrest. In an effort
to preserve the trust and confidence of the community, the CMPD
investigates all accusations of officer misconduct. This investigation
will be no different than any other internal affairs investigation.
The confidentiality of each person who calls to speak to a detective
is assured. Please notify the public to call Detective Osorio at
704-432-TIPS, Internal Affairs at 704-336-2336 or Crime Stoppers at
704-334-1600 if they have any information regarding the events listed

16th Annual Neighborhood Symposium, an Event for All to Attend

The 16th annual Neighborhood Symposium will take place on Saturday,
April 16 from 8:00 am – Noon at Central Piedmont Community College's
(CPCC) Central Campus, Overcash Building (1206 Elizabeth Avenue). The
Symposium is a free event hosted by the City of Charlotte.
The theme of the Symposium this year is 'Connecting Community' and
will feature a new level of community engagement through short
neighborhood-led presentations, designed to inspire other
neighborhoods to get involved in a neighborhood project of their own.
Presentations will be themed around creating a safe environment,
involving youth, promoting sustainability and energy efficiency, and
engaging community partners. Neighborhoods will also learn about
funding resources for their next neighborhood project.

During the second half of the program, attendees will be grouped by
geographic region to learn about events happening in their area such
as new greenway construction, new roads/sidewalks, new fire stations,
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools volunteer opportunities, civic projects
and business activities.

Breakfast and lunch will be provided at the Symposium event. Pre-
registration is required. Go to or call
704-336-2061 to register or for more information.

CPCC's annual celebration of the arts – Sensoria, and the Charlotte
Clean and Green Earth Day Festival will be taking place in partnership
with, and simultaneous to, the Neighborhood Symposium, making it a
full day with many fun and exciting activities for the whole family.
Festival exhibits, classes and activities will take place from 10:00
am – 4:00 pm on Elizabeth Avenue.

Free Skin Cancer Screenings Offered in Charlotte

The Skin Cancer Foundation's free skin cancer screening program will
be open to the public in the Charlotte area April 9 and 10. The Tour
offers FREE, full body skin cancer screenings and the latest skin
cancer information to the public. AVEENO® sunscreen samples, coupons
and complimentary copies of Fitness magazine are also distributed.
Screenings are first-come, first-served. For more information, visit

When: Saturday, April 9, 2011
10:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Sunday, April 10, 2011
10:00 AM to 4:00 PM

Where: Rite Aid
15221 John J. Delaney Drive
Charlotte, NC 28277

Rite Aid
108 South Highway 16
Denver, NC 28037

Who: Dr. Stanley Hoffman, Dr. Marc Darst and Dr. Laura Rosenzweig will
conduct the screenings.

Demand Grows For Innovative Program Teaching How To Fix Heart-Healthy Foods

Demand is growing in the Charlotte region for a new program teaching
kids how to fix their own healthy foods - requests are now coming from
organizations serving adults with developmental disabilities and
pediatric cardiology patients.

Kids Heart Felt Health uses high school honor students to teach
elementary and middle school students how to fix their own favorite
foods such as pizza in a fun, heart-healthy manner. The program was
begun by Claudine Lovitt after her own daughter was diagnosed with
Type 1 diabetes.

"After a recent article about our program appeared in the media, I was
contacted by the Clinical Director of Quest Provider Services," Lovitt
said. "They work with adults with developmental disabilities –
developmentally they are at the same age as our regular students,
elementary to early teen age. They have asked us to do our six-week
program for adults at their facility. We are very excited to be able
to extend our program to this community of people - something I had
never imagined when I conceived of this program."

"This hands on program sounds excellent," said Corri Digilio, Clinical
Director for Quest Provider Services in Charlotte. "We believe this
will be extremely beneficial to the individuals we serve as we promote
their optimal independence, which includes making them aware of
healthy lifestyle choices."

Lovitt has also been contacted by a local pediatric cardiologist group
about working with them and their patients, although details have not
been announced.

"We're excited about being able to raise awareness that heart disease
develops over an entire lifetime, starting in childhood, and puts
possibly the entire population of children at risk - not just obese
and overweight kids," Lovitt said. "We welcome inquiries from other
groups interested in learning how to fix heart-healthy foods."

Kids Heart Felt Health Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization,
which means donations to it are tax deductible. A portion of the
proceeds of the program will be donated to fund research for the cure
for Type 1 diabetes, Lovitt said.

For more information or to register for future programs, visit the
organization's website at

Get Ready for 'Compost Camp,' Worms Included

Worms aren't just for bait anymore. With a little encouragement, they
can help make your yard the envy of the block.

"Compost Camp" is a special composting how-to workshop that includes
special instruction on how earthworms can be added to compost to make
it even better for fertilizing your landscape. (Compost that has been
helped along by earthworms has even been shown to help in warding off
common garden pests, like the pesky horned tomato worm.) Of course, we
can also show you how to make the compost. It's cheap, and it's easy
to do.

Compost Camp is offered in two sessions on April 16, 2011 at
Friendship Trays Community Garden
at 2401-A Distribution Street in Charlotte; Session A will be held 9
a.m. – 11 a.m.; Session B will be held 11:15 a.m. – 1:15 p.m. Both
sessions will offer a worm class and a backyard compost class. Each
class is limited to 15 people. The cost for the worm class alone is
$25, the backyard compost class alone is $10, and both are $30.
Deadline for Compost Camp registration is Weds., April 13.

Other how-to composting workshops (without worms) are offered by
Mecklenburg County. The basic Home Composting Workshop is a two-hour
hands-on workshop. Topics include home composting and residential
recycling, soil preparation and management, toxicity reduction,
grasscycling and mulching. This class is suitable for beginners.

Composting classes are limited to 20 people per class, and required
for anyone wishing to participate in the advanced Master Composter
program. Classes are held from 10:00 a.m. to noon (unless otherwise
noted) at a cost of $10 each, at many locations throughout Mecklenburg
County. They are held outdoors, so please dress appropriately. Closed-
toe shoes are required for safety reasons.

Pre-registration is required and may be completed online. The deadline
for registration is the Wednesday before the class. Please select a
workshop and complete the registration form for online registration or
register by phone at 704-336-4304.

Community Blood Center of the Carolinas Grows Annual Scholarship Program for Local Students

The Community Blood Center of the Carolinas (CBCC) is expanding its
annual "Students Saving Summer Scholarship" program.

Students who organize and host a successful blood drive with CBCC
between the months of June and September 2011 have the chance to earn
scholarship money for college. The students who hold the top-five-
producing blood drives will each earn a $1,000 scholarship for their
post-secondary education. There will be a total of five $1,000
scholarships awarded from CBCC instead of the three offered in past

"School breaks and family vacations make the summer months a
challenging time for blood collection," said Martin Grable, president
and CEO of Community Blood Center of the Carolinas." "These student
organized blood drives helped us get through the tough summer months
last year and garnered thousands of blood products needed to support
local patients. We're so pleased to be able to recognize even more
deserving students with scholarships this summer."

Participating students must hold their blood drive between June 1 and
September 30, 2011. Students must select a location, recruit donors
and collect a minimum of 25 units of blood to be eligible for the
scholarship. Each student will be paired up with a CBCC representative
who will provide assistance with planning the blood drive. The CBCC
scholarship donation must be directly transferred to the college,
university or other learning establishment of each winner's choice.

For more information on how you or your child can earn scholarship
money for college, contact Jennifer Teague, director of development
and public relations at 704-972-4709 or

About Community Blood Center of the Carolinas
The Community Blood Center of the Carolinas (CBCC) is a non-profit
community-based blood center and the primary blood supplier to 19
regional hospitals, serving patients that live in 16 North Carolina
and three South Carolina counties. The mission of CBCC is to be the
steward of a community resource – life-saving blood and the vision is
to help build and strengthen the bonds of community. 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 the Carolinas.
The Community Blood Center of the Carolinas is a member of America's
Blood Centers, North America's largest network of community-based,
independent blood centers providing more than 50% of the nation's
blood supply.

For more information on community blood drives, visit or
call 704-972-4700. There are also CBCC donor centers located at 4447
South Boulevard in Charlotte, 1212 Spruce Street in Belmont and at 600
Hospital Drive in Monroe.

Paul Simon Co. to Help Jacob's Ladder Clients Step Ahead with Shoe Drive - April 14-30

Between April 14-30, 2011, customers who donate a gently used pair of
men's or women's shoes to either Paul Simon Co. men's store in Myers
Park (1027 Providence Road) and The Village at SouthPark (4300 Sharon
Road) will receive $35 off a new pair of Allen Edmonds shoes purchased
at these locations. For information on store hours and inventory, call
Paul Simon Co. at 704-372-6824 (Myers Park) and at 704-366-4523 (The
Village at SouthPark). For questions about the program, call Elizabeth
Hyland at 704-332-5822, x223.

All donated shoes will be contributed to Jacob's Ladder's – a
Charlotte non-profit organization that specializes in breaking the
cycle of chronic unemployment through job readiness and related
services – two "A Perfect Fit" clothing boutiques at its headquarters
at 2304 The Plaza and at its new Jacob's Ladder West location at 2201
Caronia Street.

"We are excited about supporting Jacob's Ladder Job Center and doing
something that brings the community together to help people get a step
ahead out of poverty," said Paul Simon, owner of Paul Simon Co.
"Having a professional pair of shoes for an interview can change a job
seeker's life. We encourage people to step up and be a part of that
change by bringing in gently used shoes."

"At Jacob's Ladder we empower clients to step into success so we are
thrilled about this partnership with Paul Simon," said Steffi Travis,
executive director of Jacob's Ladder. "Shoes are among our most needed
items in our 'A Perfect Fit' boutiques, which provide clients with the
right professional attire to make a good first impression and succeed
in the job search."

For more information and other donated item needs for "A Perfect Fit,"
call Elizabeth Hyland at 704-332-5822, x223 or visit

About Paul Simon Co.
Started in 1975, Charlotte-based Paul Simon Co. is a locally owned
clothing store with two locations in Myers Park and one in SouthPark.
It specializes in a high level of service and selection with custom
clothes and personal collections for men and women. Visit http://paulsimonco.comfor
more information.

About Jacob's Ladder
Jacob's Ladder Job Center, Inc. is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit,
which helps unemployed and underemployed people find and keep living
wage jobs. A member of the N.C. Center for Nonprofits, Jacob's Ladder
was founded in 1998 as a compassionate response to the Welfare-to-Work
movement and to chronic unemployment Charlotte's urban communities.
For more information, visit or call

Follow Jacob's Ladder on Facebook at!/
jacobsladdercharlotte and on YouTube at

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Bank of America Announces Support Following Devastating Earthquake and Tsunami in Japan

Bank of America has just announced a 100 million yen ($1.22 million)
commitment to aid victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. This
includes a 50 million yen grant to the American Red Cross (ARC), which
is partnering with the Japanese Red Cross Society to help meet the
immediate needs of survivors.
"We are determined to do our part in ensuring that the communities
affected by this tragedy receive relief and refuge as soon as
possible," said Brian T. Moynihan, president and chief executive
officer of Bank of America. "We are coordinating with employees in
Japan and across the globe on a number of initiatives aimed at
encouraging a swift recovery."

As relief efforts evolve in the coming weeks and months, the remaining
50 million yen will be directed toward long-term recovery, including
the rebuilding of homes, schools and other critical infrastructure.

In addition, Bank of America will match employee pledges to the ARC
"Japan Earthquake/Pacific Tsunami Relief Fund" through the bank's
Matching Gifts program, and will not limit its overall company donation.

Arrest made in serious assault outside EpiCentre

Detectives with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg ADW Unit have arrested Casey
Rhyne, DOB: 09/24/1980, and charged him with (Felony) Assault
Inflicting Serious Bodily Injury, in reference to an assault which
took place at 210 East Trade Street, on December 20, 2010. The victim
in this incident, Yacine Moudarrir, is still receiving rehabilitation
for the brain injury caused by the assault.

If anyone has information regarding this incident, please contact ADW
Detective Brandy Lingle at 704 432-3427. For further information on
this incident, reference CMPD complaint number 2010-1220-021800.

Fatality accident on I-277 outer loop - three crashes

On Saturday, March 12, 2011 at 7:20 a.m., Patrol Officer Jeff
Templeton with the Central Division responded to a disabled vehicle, a
Chevy Impala, on the outer loop of I-277 approaching Carson
Boulevard. The disabled vehicle, occupied by a driver and two
passengers, was parked on the left side of the roadway in the
breakdown lane, out of the travel lanes. Officer Templeton exited his
vehicle and began to assist the motorist. Moments later, a Toyota
Camry crashed into the rear of Officer Templeton's marked CMPD
cruiser; Officer Templeton was outside the vehicle at the time of the
crash. The Toyota Camry was occupied by a driver and three passengers.

Westover Division Officer Chris Kunz, who was off duty at the time,
was passing by in his personal vehicle and stopped to assist Officer
Templeton. Officer Kunz parked his vehicle and began to assist
Officer Templeton and the other motorists. Moments later, a Toyota
4Runner crashed into the right rear of the Toyota Camry which had
initially crashed into Officer Templeton's police cruiser. As a
result of this crash, the driver of the Toyota Camry, who was now
standing on the roadway talking to the officers, was struck and killed
by the Toyota 4Runner. Officers Templeton and Kunz were also struck
during this second collision and were transported to Carolinas Medical
Center for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.

Officer Kunz' unoccupied personal vehicle was then struck by a cab
driver travelling along I-277 at the conclusion of the first two
crashes; there were a total of three crashes during this incident. A
total of eight patients were transported to area hospitals for
treatment; the two officers, three passengers from the Toyota Camry
and three occupants of the Chevy Impala. There were a total of four
occupants in the Toyota 4Runner, none of which were transported to a
hospital. Officer Templeton has been with the CMPD since December 9,
1992; Officer Kunz has been with the CMPD since September 8, 2008.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Major Crash Investigations Unit is on scene
investigating the incident and will release additional information as
it becomes available. The deceased driver of the Toyota Camry has
been identified as William Alan Sweezer, DOB: 08/19/1957; his family
has been notified of his death.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call
Detective Oberer at 704-432-2169.

Friday, March 4, 2011

CMS Dropout Count, Some Violent Acts Decline in Schools

The dropout rate in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools declined for the fourth year in a row, according to data released by the Department of Public Instruction March 3 for the 2009-2010 school year. The decline was 17.2 percent: The number of students who dropped out in 2009-2010 was 1,637 compared to 1,976 for the same period a year earlier. The number of expulsions and short-term suspensions in CMS also declined, according to state data.


The dropout rate for the DPI report is calculated by counting the number of students who left school in a given year. This calculation is slightly different from the more frequently used number (also calculated by the state) of the percentage of students graduating each year. The CMS dropout rate for 2009-2010 was 4.15 percent, down from 4.99 a year earlier, 5.91 percent in 2007-2008 and 6.39 in 2006-2007 – making CMS one of five counties with the largest three-year decreases in dropout count.


The decline mirrored a state-wide decrease, as well. High schools in North Carolina overall reported a 3.75 percent dropout rate last year, compared to 4.27 percent a year earlier.


"We are pleased to see our dropout rate decline," said Dr. Peter C. Gorman, superintendent of CMS. "We're one of the few districts in the state to have a credit-recovery program and a ninth-grade academy and we think these programs are helping us lower the number of students who drop out. But we'd like to see the number decline even more and we'll keep working with our struggling students to improve their performance in school."


The numbers are part of an annual report on dropouts and violence in schools, which identifies 10 acts as violent. The 10 are used to calculate which schools are designated persistently dangerous. Eight schools in CMS are on the list, up from five last year.


Among the 10 violent crimes identified by the state data, four declined in CMS: assault involving use of a weapon, kidnapping, rape and robbery without a dangerous weapon. Three of the 10 remained at zero for both years: death by other than natural causes, robbery with a dangerous weapon and taking indecent liberties with a minor. The remaining three increased: assault resulting in serious injury, sexual assault and sexual offense. In all, the number of incidents classified as violent acts increased from 62 to 107 in CMS for the 2009-2010 school year, the data shows.


Other offenses for which the state gathers data include assault on school personnel, bomb threats, burning of school buildings, possession of alcoholic beverages, controlled substances, firearms or explosives, and weapons.


All of these incidents increased in the 2009-2010 school year at CMS, according to state data. The largest increases occurred in assaults on school personnel (215 incidents, up from 169 a year earlier) and possession of a weapon (543 incidents, up from 484 a year earlier. One factor in the increase of assaults may be a change in the state definition of school personnel – it was expanded to include volunteers, police officers, sports referees and others.


Small CMS Logo Color - for e-mail


Cannon Memorial YMCA Registering for Summer Camp Program

Cannon Memorial YMCA's three branches, West Cabarrus, Kannapolis, and
Harrisburg, offer children the opportunity to experience hands on
indoor and outdoor camp fun, keep kids active and excited rather than
spending too much time watching TV and playing video games. They will
enjoy a variety of summer activities with their friends during each
camp session.

Weekly themes create an atmosphere of fun and learning at the same
time. The themes guide the weekly activities like arts and crafts,
nature activities, games, contests and team building games. Please
note that the themes and activities will vary by branch and are
subject to change.

All three camps run from June 13 through August 15. The West Cabarrus
branch welcomes children ages 3-17. The Kannapolis branch provides
care for rising 1st – rising 8th graders, and the Harrisburg branch
serves children ages 5-13. Both Harrisburg and West Cabarrus camps run
from 7:00 AM until 6:00 PM, while Kannapolis runs from 6:30 AM until
6:00 PM.
Weekly field trips are taken, and are now included in the cost of
camp. Campers will visit places like Discovery Place, Lazy 5 Ranch,
blue Water, the skating rink and more!

Registration for these camps begins on March 7th for members of the
YMCA and March 21st for program members. Don't miss our free
registration period going on until April 24th.

Cannon Memorial YMCA is one of the few area camps that welcomes
children who have moderate to intensive special needs. Children with
these unique needs take part in all traditional camp activities. When
necessary staff are able to transition children to activities that are
tailored to their special needs. For more information speak with one
of our camp directors.

For more information contact:
Brian Byrnes Jami
Eager Amanda Patterson
West Cabarrus YMCA Kannapolis
YMCA Harrisburg YMCA
704.939.9622 704.484.7800
Or log on to our website

Casting Call for Charlotte-Area Families Ready to Make a Change on Video

Three Charlotte-area health facilities will be hosting a video casting
call for families who are interested in participating in a new
educational documentary program for North Carolina.

The casting calls will take place at the following locations:
• Levine Jewish Community Center of Charlotte (Levine JCC) located at
5007 Providence Road will host casting calls Sunday, March 6, 11am-2pm
and Wednesday, March 9, 6:15pm-8:15pm.

• University City YMCA located at 8100 Old Mallard Creek Road will
host casting calls on Thursday, March 10, 6pm-8pm and Saturday, March
12, 10am-Noon

• Lifestyle Family Fitness Center located at 9915 E. Independence
Blvd. in Matthews will host casting calls Saturday, March 5, 10am-Noon
and Monday, March 7, 6pm-8pm.

The Physical Activity and Nutrition Branch for the N.C. Division of
Public Health has partnered with Professional Communications with the
intention of creating a program that will be fun to watch, but also
serve as a practical guide for North Carolina families to improve
their health through diet and lifestyle changes. They are searching
for a Charlotte family to be featured in the program alongside two
other families currently being cast in Fayetteville and Wilmington.

The call is open to families of all ages, sizes and fitness levels.
The one mandatory requirement? A desire to get healthier! The program
is for anyone who knows they have some unhealthy habits, but have not
yet found the right balance of food and activity to keep them feeling
their best. The families' stories will serve as an inspiration to
others who want to change, but are unsure of where to start.

"Health Crisis in Carolina; Real Families, Real Struggles, Real
Solutions" will be a reality-style documentary video program in which
three families from around the state learn to make healthier food
choices, rethink their free time, and build some form of physical
activity into even their busiest days. TV cameras, and the team's
expert host, will follow each family for one weekend in April, so the
time commitment is relatively small. The show promises no fad diets,
no embarrassing weigh-ins, and no Spandex-clad aerobics instructors
screaming like drill sergeants; instead it will focus on real-world,
no-nonsense solutions to help families form maintainable habits and
avoid common health pitfalls. The families will be guided by a team of
health experts as they learn to best utilize their resources and the
environments where they live, learn, earn, play and pray. The show is
expected to be completed and ready for distribution in August 2011.

For more information or to make an appointment for the Charlotte-area
casting calls, e-mail Information
about the program is also available on Facebook.

"Sick Puppies" and Idol's Kimberly Caldwell Headline 2011 Green Party

Australian rockers Sick Puppies and former "American Idol" contestant
Kimberly Caldwell will headline the third annual Green Party presented
by Kiss 95.1 at the Bud Light Pavilion on Saturday, March 12 at 5 p.m.

Sick Puppies' initial success came on the back of the 2006 single "All
the Same" off their sophomore album Dressed Up as Life, which peaked
at No. 8 on the Billboard Alternative Songs chart. The trio's
popularity grew with the release of 2009's Tri-Polar, which spawned
the singles "You're Going Down" and "Odd One," which both entered the
top 10 on the Mainstream Rock chart. The album's third single,
"Maybe," charted on the Billboard Hot 100 and "Riptide," which was
released on February 8, has steadily climbed both the Mainstream Rock
and Alternative charts.

Kimberly Caldwell was a finalist on the second season of "American
Idol" in 2003. Since appearing on "Idol," Caldwell has worked as a
television host and commentator for networks such as CBS, MTV, FOX
Sports Network and TV Guide Network. Returning to her musical roots,
Caldwell is set to release her debut album, Without Regret, on April
19. The album's lead single, "Desperate Girls & Stupid Boys," was
released in December.

Green Party tickets are available at select EpiCentre venues,
including BlackFinn American Saloon, Libretto's Pizzeria, StrikeCity,
SUITE, Vida Mexican Kitchen y Cantina and Whisky River. Also, anyone
with wristbands from Rich and Bennett's St. Patrick's Day Pub Crawl,
which also takes place on March 12, will be admitted to the Green
Party as well as any EpiCentre venue for free prior to 11 p.m. that
evening. The Bud Light Pavilion is located on the roof of EpiCentre,
210 E Trade Street in uptown Charlotte.

Entering its third year, the Green Party serves as the official
kickoff of a busy 2011 season at Pavilion. After an opening month at
Wachovia Plaza, Alive After Five returns to Pavilion in May and will
continue every Thursday through September. Pavilion will host more
concerts than ever before in 2011, including the All-Star Concert
Series, Summer Concert Series and Bug Light One Night Stand. In
addition, Pavilion will host a variety of events this year, including
Field Day, EpiCinco, SOAK Sundays, Movie Nights, Sip & Stroll, Rock
the Republic and more.

Pavilion at EpiCentre is Charlotte's premier rooftop special event
venue, located in the heart of uptown. With its breathtaking views,
contemporary design and sophisticated Penthouse bar and lounge,
Pavilion at EpiCentre redefines urban, upscale events. Flexible floor
plans, the fully equipped Bud Light Sound Stage and unbeatable
amenities combine to accommodate limitless creativity in event design
for groups of any size.

Free Program on Charlotte 100 years ago

James B. Duke was one of North Carolina's towering figures in the
early 20th century. Many of his lasting legacies, including Duke
Power Company, Duke University and The Duke Endowment, began when Duke
and his family lived at The Duke Mansion, now a historic bed-and-
breakfast inn and meeting place in Myers Park.

What did Charlotte look like when Duke walked and drove these roads?
How did Duke, one of the world's richest men at that time, affect the
landscape and the city with his purchases of land along the Catawba

Join us on Sunday, March 20 at 3 pm for "Mr. Duke's Charlotte," a free
presentation at The Duke Mansion, 400 Hermitage Road in Charlotte,
featuring popular Charlotte history speaker David Erdman. Erdman will
show dozens of photos of Charlotte as it appeared when James "Buck"
Duke lived here around the turn of the last century.

Enjoy an afternoon set in the streets of old Charlotte, plus photos of
Duke's innovative dams and his "Interurban" transit system that served
the city. Though born poor in Durham, Duke dramatically grew the
tobacco company his father started. He diversified his tobacco
investments into manufacturing textiles, which led him to invest in
electric generation to power the textile mills. More than 100 years
later, Duke Energy is still headquartered in Charlotte and is among
the largest power-generating companies in the U.S.

Questions about the presentation? Call The Duke Mansion at
704/714-4400. "Mr. Duke's Charlotte" is part of the Explore History!
Series, presented by Levine Museum of the New South (
) and The Duke Mansion ( .

24 Hours of Booty to Host Open Ride with Team Mountain Khakis - March 11

24 Hours of Booty, Inc., which runs the Official 24-Hour Cycling Event
of LIVESTRONG and the only national 24-hour road cycling charity event
in the country, is teaming up with its partner Mountain Khakis to host
an open ride with Team Mountain Khakis (Team MK).

During their Charlotte visit for a Team Training Camp on Friday, March
11, Team MK will be spinning on the "Booty Loop" in Charlotte's Myers
Park from 4:00-6:00 p.m. Similar to the wildly popular "Twitter Rides"
Lance Armstrong has done throughout the world, this ride is open to
the public and offers the chance to ride with top professional
cyclists and show your support for 24 Hours of Booty. More information
is available at and

"It's such a privilege to be associated with 24 Hours of Booty this
year, and when we saw the opportunity to take a spin with Spencer and
other Booty supporters, we jumped at the chance," said Adam Myerson,
captain and manager of Team Mountain Khakis. "The 'Booty Loop' is
legendary, and it'll be great to stretch our legs with the Charlotte
cycling community before we head off to race on Saturday in
Blythewood, South Carolina."

"We are stoked to host 'our' Team Mountain Khakis on the 'Booty Loop'
and to give them a warm welcome with our area's cycling community,"
said Spencer Lueders, founder of 24 Hours of Booty and a Mountain
Khakis ambassador. "We'd love for people to come join us in this fun
afternoon ride and to meet this extraordinary cycling team."

Participating cyclists are welcome to join for as many laps as they
wish, and are asked to be respectful to traffic laws and other users
of the "Booty Loop" during this free and open gathering. Riders are
encouraged to park and ride to riding start point, which will be at
the "Bootyville" parking lot on Wellesley Avenue (between Selwyn and
Queens Road West). For more information, visit the Team MK Facebook
page at and click on "events" to RSVP
for the ride.

Bank of America Donates $1.5 Million to Combat Hunger Through Newly Established Gift for Opportunity(TM) Fund

As hunger relief organizations continue to confront the alarming
number of Americans at risk of experiencing food insecurity, Bank of
America today announced a combined $1.5 million donation to Feeding
America and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America through its newly
established "Gift for Opportunity" fund. This donation, made possible
due in part to Bank of America customers and associates who made
charitable contributions to the fund over the course of six weeks
starting in December, will help these organizations and their networks
serve more than 40 million Americans, including children, families and
The Bank of America "Gift for Opportunity" fund is a new, nationwide
program that extends the combined charitable giving of the bank's
customers and associates through a corporate match. During times
throughout the year, Bank of America plans to activate the "Gift for
Opportunity" fund to support a variety of critical community needs
important to both the bank and its customers.

"The issue of food insecurity really motivated our customers and
associates to give generously of their money and time," said Kerry
Sullivan, president of the Bank of America Charitable Foundation. "The
money we give in terms of charitable grants is extremely important,
but it's also our associates who give their time and their talents to
provide opportunities for the families and children in the communities
we serve."

Volunteerism is a vital complement to the "Gift for Opportunity" fund.
Bank of America associates donated more than 1 million volunteer hours
to support a variety of community organizations and causes, including
food insecurity, with more than 50 events focused on helping to
alleviate hunger in December alone.

Bank of America is a longtime supporter of both organizations and the
donation is in addition to the combined $17 million that the
Foundation has directed to these nonprofit partners and their networks
since 2008.

In its first use of the fund, the Bank of America Charitable
Foundation donated $1 million to support Feeding America, the nation's
leading hunger-relief organization, and the Boys & Girls Clubs of
America, which provides a safe place for children to obtain nutritious
meals through its network of 4,000 Clubs.

"This generous donation will have a real impact in the lives of so
many people, allowing families, children and the elderly to receive
food and nourishment," said Vicki Escarra, president and CEO of
Feeding America. "We are extremely grateful for the support from Bank
of America and donors to the 'Gift for Opportunity' fund."

"Partnering with Bank of America enables our food program and Kids
Café to function successfully in local communities nationwide," said
Roxanne Spillett, president and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of America.
"Given the financial and volunteer support of the 'Gift for
Opportunity' fund, we can help Boys & Girls Club members secure
nutritious snacks and meals that are critical to ensuring a great

The Bank of America "Gift for Opportunity" fund is administered
through the Bank of America Charitable Gift Fund, a tax-exempt
organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
Bank of America customers and associates made their donations at the
bank's 5,800 banking centers nationwide or by going online.

For more information about the Bank of America "Gift for Opportunity"
fund, visit

Lake Norman Comedy Zone Welcomes the Legendary Gallagher

Comedy fans will have the opportunity to laugh with an all-time legend
in an intimate setting when the one-and-only Gallagher takes the stage
at Lake Norman Comedy Zone on Tuesday night, March 7 at 7 p.m.

Gallagher became a household name in the 1980s smashing produce and
other items with his trademark "Sledge-O-Matic." A pioneer in prop
comedy, Gallagher has written and starred in over a dozen television
specials, which were heavily aired on both Showtime and Comedy Central
in the 1980s and 1990s. Gallagher made headlines again in 2003 when he
ran as an independent in the California gubernatorial recall election,
which was won by Arnold Schwarzenegger.

General Admission tickets for Gallagher at Lake Norman Comedy Zone are
$25 and available at Lake Norman Comedy Zone at
Galway Hooker Pub is located at 17044 Kenton Drive, just off
Interstate 77 in Cornelius.

The Galway Hooker Pub believes that nothing inspires a great story
like a delicious meal and a refreshing pint. That's because the Galway
Hooker is a story in and of itself. Originally built in Ireland, the
pub was deconstructed and moved piece-by-piece to its current location
off the shores of Lake Norman, just a stones throw from Charlotte,
North Carolina. The pub is named for Galway Bay, which lies on the
west coast of Ireland. Nearly all of the artifacts and décor inside
the pub, including an authentic Galway Hooker boat, are from the area
surrounding Galway Bay. The Galway Hooker serves traditional Irish
favorites fused with contemporary items all made with fresh, locally
grown ingredients. Galway Hooker is also home to Lake Norman Comedy
Zone, which attracts some of the biggest names in comedy, as well as
Waterford Hall, a spacious banquet facility. Plus, Galway Hooker is
known to pour the coldest pints this side of Dublin. And don't forget
– at the Hooker you enter as friends and leave as family.

Davidson WIll Present Hilarious "Celebrity Autobiography" March 9

Celebrity Autobiography, the 2009 Drama Desk Award Winner and Off-
Broadway sensation, will present a night of laughter and celebrity
insight at Davidson College on Wednesday evening, March 9. The show
begins at 8 p.m. in the Duke Family Performance Hall. Tickets are
available online at

Created and developed by Emmy Award-nominated writer-performer Eugene
Pack and Dayle Reyfel, Celebrity Autobiography features a first-rate
comedic ensemble performing from the actual memoirs of a wide range of
celebrities. It's all in their own words! The passages run the gamut
from the insight of Justin Bieber and the Jonas Brothers to the
shocking "romance tips" from Tommy Lee to the most famous Hollywood
love triangle in history---Elizabeth Taylor, Debbie Reynolds, and
Eddie Fisher.

The cast members for the Davidson College performance will include
Saturday Night Live (SNL) alumni Jim Breuer, Melanie Hutsell, and
Casey Wilson; original SNL writer and Emmy Award-winner Alan Zweibel;
and the show creators of Eugene Pack and Dayle Reyfel.

Celebrity Autobiography has been one of the most critically acclaimed
productionsever in the Off-Broadway scene and one of the most "buzzed
about shows" of recent years. It ran for three sold out years in New
York, and won both the 2009 Drama Desk Award in the category of
"Unique Theatrical Experience" and a 2010 Bistro Award.

Celebrity Autobiography is a part of the C. Shaw & Nancy K. Smith
Artist Series and is sponsored by the Union Board, the major student
programming organization at the college. Made up of 19 students, the
Union Board and its 10 committees program events for the Davidson
campus every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday night.

For more information on Celebrity Autobiography visit

Davidson is a highly selective independent liberal arts college for
1,800 students located 20 minutes north of Charlotte in Davidson, N.C.
Since its establishment in 1837 by Presbyterians, the college has
graduated 23 Rhodes Scholars and is consistently regarded as one of
the topliberal arts colleges in the country. Through The Davidson
Trust, the college became the first liberal arts institution in the
nation to replace loans with grants in all financial aid packages,
giving all students the opportunity to graduate debt-free. Davidson
competes in NCAA athletics at the Division I level, and a longstanding
Honor Code is central to student life at the college.