Saturday, April 30, 2011

Walmart offers special price, free fan events for May races

As Charlotte prepares for the upcoming Sprint All-Star Race and Coca-
Cola 600 on May 21 and May 29, respectively, Walmart is giving racing
fans more reason to get excited with its new Race Time program.
Walmart customers and NASCAR fans can purchase the Walmart Family
Track Pack available exclusively through for both
races. The discount ticket package includes four race tickets, four
hot dogs, four beverages and one race program for just $99, a savings
of nearly $100 for a family of four.

"We've found that nearly nine out of 10 NASCAR fans chose to shop at
Walmart[ii]," said Walmart market manager John Jones. "We wanted to
provide Charlotte race fans with unbelievable savings on NASCAR
tickets and merchandise and unique Race Time experiences that you can
only find at Walmart."

Race Time at Walmart
Beginning May 17, select Walmart stores in the Charlotte area will
host NASCAR fan events featuring real stock racing car displays, a
special driver appearance and racing simulator machines – perfect to
safely get behind the wheel and feel the power of NASCAR.

In addition to hosting Race Time fan events on May 20 and 28, the
Concord Commons Walmart will host special events leading up to both
races, including show cars, Armed Forces Day, live bands and an
auction of race team items to benefit Children's Miracle Network.
Drivers scheduled to appear include Dusty Davis, Justin Johnson, Bobby
Labonte, Justin Lofton, Kenzie Ruston, Donny Schatz, Rusty Wallace,
Steve Wallace and Scott Wimmer.

Additionally, Walmart stores will feature incredible prices on NASCAR
merchandise such as T-shirts, racing flags, and tailgating food and
beverages with even more selection of exclusive product on

Participating stores in the Charlotte area include:

Tuesday, May 17 from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Events free and open to the public include M&M show car simulator,
Cheerios show car, Oreo Ritz Nationwide show car, Coca-Cola 5-seat
racing simulator trailer and the Pepsi Max/Amp racing simulator at:

Walmart Store #2005
2420 Supercenter Dr. N.E.
Kannapolis, N.C.

Wednesday, May 18 from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Events free and open to the public include M&M show car simulator,
Cheerios show car, Oreo Ritz Nationwide show car, Coca-Cola 5-seat
racing simulator trailer and the Pepsi Max/Amp racing simulator at:

Walmart Store #2134
7735 North Tryon St.
Charlotte, N.C.

Thursday, May 19 from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Events free and open to the public include M&M show car simulator,
Cheerios show car, Oreo Ritz Nationwide show car, Coca-Cola 5-seat
racing simulator trailer and the Pepsi Max/Amp racing simulator at:

Walmart Store #4574
5825 Thunder Road N.W.
Concord, N.C.

Friday, May 20 from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Events free and open to the public include M&M show car simulator,
Kimberley Clark Cup show car, Cheerios show car, Oreo Ritz Nationwide
show car, Coca-Cola 5-seat racing simulator trailer and the Pepsi Max/
Amp racing simulator at:

Walmart Store #1027
150 Concord Commons
Concord, N.C.

Wednesday, May 25 from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Events free and open to the public include M&M show car simulator,
Cheerios show car, Oreo Ritz Nationwide show car, Coca-Cola 5-seat
racing simulator trailer and Pepsi Max/Amp racing simulator at:

Walmart Store #1156
169 Norman Station Blvd.
Mooresville, N.C.

Thursday, May 26 from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Events free and open to the public include Hefty Black Out show car
simulator, M&M show car simulator, Cheerios show car, Oreo Ritz
Nationwide show car, Coca-Cola 5-seat racing simulator trailer and
Pepsi Max/Amp racing simulator at:

Walmart Store #4274
7131 Hwy. 73
Denver, N.C.

Friday, May 27 from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Events free and open to the public include Hefty Black Out show car
simulator, M&M show car simulator, Cheerios show car, Oreo Ritz
Nationwide show car, Coca-Cola 5-seat racing simulator trailer and
Pepsi Max/Amp racing simulator at:

Walmart Store #1552
323 South Arlington St.
Salisbury, N.C.

Saturday, May 28 from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Events free and open to the public include Hefty Black Out show car
simulator, M&M show car simulator, Cheerios show car, Oreo Ritz
Nationwide show car, Coca-Cola 5-seat racing simulator trailer, Pepsi
Max/Amp racing simulator, and cars and drivers from Concord
Motorsports Park. Other events include the Colgate Motorhome Car Show,
three live bands and an auction of Race Time displays.

Walmart Store #1027
150 Concord Commons
Concord, N.C.

For additional details and a complete listing of participating Walmart
stores, visit

Celebrate "Chips De Mayo" on Cinco De Mayo! Microchip Clinic

Celebrate Cino De Mayo with a "chip" for your pet at The "Chips De
Mayo" Microchip Clinic
Date: Thursday, May 5
Time: 10am – 2pm
Location: 4Paws Holistic – 2907 Selwyn Avenue Charlotte,
NC 28209

For more information contact:

Melissa Knicely
Public Information Specialist
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department
Animal Care & Control
704.336.3627 office
704.336.5709 fax
Work Schedule: Tuesday to Saturday

Check out an easy, new way to find us on the web at:

NASCAR Sponsors Concerts and Other Celebrations in May

NASCAR Rev'd Up Concert
Wednesday, May 18

NASCAR Rev'd UpTM, a free concert and festival put on annually by
NASCAR to kick off NASCAR Sprint All-Star WeekTM, will feature
performances by multi-platinum country artist Gary Allan (in photo)
and singer-songwriter Josh Kelley on May 18 at the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

NASCAR Rev'd Up will begin at 4 p.m. ET with vendor displays and
interactive activities from official partners including Sprint and

Singer-songwriter Kelley will perform at 7:15 p.m. while Allan will
take the stage at 8:45 p.m.

WHEN: Wednesday, May 18 from 4- 10 p.m. ET

WHERE: NASCAR Hall of Fame, Charlotte, N.C.
Corner of Martin Luther King Jr.
Blvd. and Brevard Street.

For more information, please visit

NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge presented by Craftsman
Thursday, May 19

The NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge presented by Craftsman will take
place on Thursday, May 19 at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte,
N.C., and is the only indoor event sanctioned by NASCAR. The event
begins at 7 p.m. and will be televised at 8 p.m. the same evening on

The finishing order of the 2011 NASCAR Sprint Pit Crew Challenge
presented by Craftsman will determine the order of pit selection for
the Sprint Showdown or NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race.

Tickets are available for purchase online at

WHEN: Thursday, May 19, 2011 at 7 p.m. ET
4:30 p.m. Seeding Round Begins

WHERE: Time Warner Cable Arena
333 East Trade Street
Charlotte, N.C.

INFORMATION: To request media access, please submit name, title,
affiliation, phone number and e-mail to


NASCAR Unites on NASCAR Day: Car Wash for Kids
Friday, May 20

On NASCAR Day, an annual charitable celebration, NASCAR Unites will
unify the motorsports community across the nation with Car Wash for
Kids. NASCAR Unites on NASCAR Day: Car Wash for Kids will rally
tracks, charitable organizations, fans and the NASCAR industry to
raise funds toward the goal of $1 million for children's charities.

WHEN: Friday, May 20 from 9 to 6 p.m. ET

WHERE: Concord Mills
NASCAR SpeedPark
8111 Concord Mills Boulevard
Concord, NC 28027

2011 NASCAR Day Facts:
¨ More than 15 locations will participate in Car Wash for Kids.
¨ Each attendee will receive a car wash and a NASCAR Unites band
which encourages fans to pledge five hours of volunteer service at
¨ NASCAR Day is one pillar of the NASCAR Unites initiative to
generate $1 million and one million hours of volunteerism for
children's charities.

NASCAR Day Fast Facts:
¨ Annually celebrated on the third Friday in May
¨ Since the first NASCAR Day in 2004, the celebration has raised
more than $8 million for The NASCAR Foundation.
¨ May 20 will be The NASCAR Foundation's eighth NASCAR Day

For additional information visit NASCAR.COM/unites or

Food Lion Speed Street
Thursday, May 26 – Saturday, May 28

WHAT: Celebrating 17 years, Food Lion Speed Street delivers
an unprecedented experience to an estimated 400,000 fans by means of
live entertainment, access to NASCAR's brightest stars, and vendor
displays from sponsors such as Food Lion, Coca-Cola, Miller Lite,
General Mills and Chevrolet.

WHEN: Thursday May 26 – Saturday, May 28
12 p.m. – 11 p.m. Daily

LOCATION: Charlotte, N.C.

LINEUP: Thursday, May 26
Rose Royce
Midnight Star
Pat Green

Friday, May 27
Josh Turner

Saturday, May 28
Eddie Money
Clay Walker
*Please note, all times, locations and appearances are subject to
change. Visit for updated information.

Golf Week Tees off in Charlotte with Three Special Events

Each May the eyes of the golf world turn to Charlotte as the sport's
biggest names descend on the Queen City. This year, Golf Week in
Charlotte features three live entertainment celebrations, the first of
which takes place before the first backswing at Quail Hollow Club.

On Tuesday night, May 3, Bud Light presents the official kickoff to
Golf Week – the Tuesday Night Tee Party at Phillips Place featuring
live music from Mustang Sally, a Nashville-based all-girls country and
rhythm and blues band. Tickets for the Tuesday Night Tee Party are
available at all Phillips Place businesses.

Then on Thursday, May 5, Charlotte's summer time tradition, AT&T Alive
After Five, returns home to Pavilion at EpiCentre for a special Golf
Week / Cinco de Mayo celebration. Alternate Take brings their eclectic
mix of contemporary party music and jazz standards to the Bud Light
Stage at Pavilion on May 5, while Jesse's Girl performs on the
Courtyard Stage on the main level at EpiCentre.

EpiCentre will also unveil its new Thursday night dining deal on May
5. Each Thursday during the AT&T 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.

Golf Week culminates with a Block Party at Piedmont Town Center on
Friday night, May 6 from 7 until 11 p.m. featuring a performance by
Party on the Moon on the Miller Lite Stage. The Friday night Block
Party also serves as the official kickoff of AT&T Alive After Five's
Piedmont Town Center series, which runs every Wednesday from May 11
through June 15.

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.

Register Now For Summer Youth Basketball

Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation invites coaches with teams
interested in playing basketball, ages 9-10, 11-12, 13-14 or 15-16, to
register now through May 13 for the upcoming summer Hot Hoops season.
Space is limited, so register early! Birth certificate required for
proof of age determined as of June 1, 2011.

Games will be played weeknights and Saturdays at Ivory Baker, Arbor
Glen, Naomi Drenan and Tuckaseegee recreation centers. League play is
June 11-August 13.

To register, go online to, click on the E-Parks
logo and enter Course Code #24931. You may also call 311 or go to your
nearest recreation center and staff can assist you. The fee is $400
per team. Teams must provide their own uniforms and secure their own
practice sites.

All coaches will be trained and certified through the National Youth
Sports Coaches Association and undergo a background check by Park and

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

For more information on youth sports, call Revolution Park Sports
Academy 704.432.4963

Ballantyne Goes Mobile with Apps for iPhone and Android

A new local Website, and 'Ballantyne' mobile app
guides for iPhones and Androids (the first mobile apps devoted to
Ballantyne) have just been released. They are part of a national
entrepreneurial trend that has quickly spread to over 30 U.S. states
including Hawaii and well over 120 U.S. communities, mostly small
towns. creates the Website and the smartphone apps and
the owner of the 'town' inputs all of the content.

Information entered into feeds to 'Ballantyne' the
apps. The iPhone app is available FREE from Apple's App Store and the
Google Android app is available FREE from the Android Market.

"These days, people always have their smartphones with them, and they
want to stay in touch with what's going on here today, right now,"
said Jeff Jones of and 'Ballantynes' the apps.
"That's what our new mobile guides are all about."

"I believe users will love the app," said Jones of 'Ballantyne' the
app. "It lists all of the events and local restaurants in Ballantyne
and across south Charlotte. To be sure their event or special is
covered businesses and organizations can go online and add them FREE!
It is a simple one-minute process and again it is FREE. So anyone can
have their event 'go mobile'.

"When you see an event you are interested in you can click and call or
click and be guided to the event via the GPS map", said Jones.
"Every day, we feature local events, charities and businesses at the
exact moment when people are looking for that information. If it's
happening in Ballantyne, it's on and 'Ballantyne'
the apps."

In addition to events and places the apps provide south Charlotte
weather information including the current temperature, a five day
graphical forecast, time of sunrise and sunset, the heat index, the
humidity level and wind speed.

Users can easily upload and share photos from their activities around
Ballantyne with others. Once the photos are approved they will appear
on the Website and on the mobile apps. Users can also recommend
favorite YouTube videos to be featured.

Jones says, "I'm a user of the iPhone app myself and so it behooves me
to make it as useful as possible. I especially enjoy hearing from
users of the Website or the Apps and welcome comments or
suggestions." Users can contact Mr. Jones via email through the
Website or through the apps.

The public is invited to visit the facebook page,
BallantyneLive and to follow on twitter,

(Mr. Jones is also the owner of '' and 'Rock Hill'
the mobile guide.)

'Ballantyne' the apps are Ballantyne's #1 Mobile Guide, featuring
local events, restaurants, news, weather, photos, videos, activities
and more. The free apps are available in the Apple App Store and the
Android Market.

· iPhone version -

· Android version -

Features of the apps:

· Events – offers a calendar of what is going on in Ballantyne
and south Charlotte as well as business deals and specials.
Information differs per event but usually includes hours, contacts,
Websites and addresses with a link to a GPS map.

· Places – offers a list of restaurants, businesses, and other
places which is searchable by keywords or by alphabetical list. Using
GPS mapping the list will also show what places are near you so you
can find a restaurant, etc. quickly.

· Weather – provides the

o current temperature

o a graphical five day forecast

o time of sunrise and sunset

o the heat index

o the humidity level

o and wind speed

· Photos - users can easily upload and share photos from their
activities around Ballantyne with others. Once the photos are
approved they will appear on the Website and on the mobile apps.

· Videos - users can also recommend favorite YouTube videos to be
featured by emailing the Webmaster the URL or Internet address of the

· Map – The GPS map will show the user their location and provide
a map of the area. User's location will update as they travel to
their desired destination.

· Contact – The app will allow you to easily contact the
Webmaster via email.

About Jeff Jones

The Webmaster and owner of the Website and Apps is Jeff Jones. Jeff
is the father of three and married to a nurse practitioner. He is a
media specialist for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. He has two
Master's Degrees. The latest is a degree in Media and Library
Information Science from The University of South Carolina.


The Website and mobile apps are part of the network, an
extended family of local mobile guides. The network was featured in
the February issue of Entrepreneur magazine. (

The TownWizard network is featured in the February issue of
Entreprenuer magazine which focused on "Small Investments, Big Ideas,

"TownWizard helps its partners get their websites and applications up
and running, including submitting each app to Apple's App Store,"
wrote Entrepreneur, which reaches over 2.5 million readers every
month. Entrepreneur magazine has the largest newsstand circulation of
any business monthly, and it's been the #1-selling business magazine
for 5 years running. Their website generates 93 million monthly page-
views and reaches an additional 6 million people every month.

CMT MADE Having Open Casting Call May 4

CMT is coming to Charlotte…. It's time to get MADE!

Do you have a crazy dream, event or skill that you have always wanted
to try but never had the opportunity? Well, this is your time!
MTV's Emmy award-winning series, MADE, has helped hundreds of teens
transform their lives by pursuing their dreams. Now MADE is coming to
CMT and we are seeking parents with a CRAZY dream that they want help

Whether it's being a rodeo star, figure ice skater, crocodile
wrangler, BMX racer, or trying to become a tango dancer- we want to
hear your story!

If you appear to be between the ages of 25-45, come down and talk to
our casting directors for a chance to be MADE!

Open Casting Call:

Wednesday, May 4th

From 5p.m. - 8p.m.

Strike City Bowling


210 E Trade St # D164

Charlotte, NC

Between your kids, errands, and work, do you feel like you never have
time for what YOU want to do? Now is your chance to be MADE!

Visit for more info!

Halogen TV and Becky Henderson Win Prestigious Awards

Halogen TV and its Founder and General Manager, Becky Henderson, have
received three prestigious cable industry awards.

First, Henderson was awarded an elite scholarship by the Women in
Cable Telecommunications (WICT). She is one 120 women selected for its
"2011 Rising Leaders Program," a week-long immersion in leadership
skills, stress management, wellness and more, funded by a grant from
the Walter Kaitz Foundation.

Henderson also received the coveted Multichannel News "40 Under 40"
distinction. Editors of Multichannel News annually select 40 movers
and shakers under the age of 40 who are helping their companies grow
and succeed, while playing an important part in mapping the future of
cable and telecommunications. Henderson's recognition was published
in the April 18, 2011 edition of Multichannel News.

Finally, CableFax honored Halogen TV with the Digital Award for Best
of the Web - Social Media Campaign for Halogen TV + Charity water:
Let's build a well together; a project that led to the establishment
of a well in the Central African Republic that will provide clean
water to 250 people for 20 years. This is part of a wider effort to
address critical practical issues in Africa and other areas of the

"As the architect behind Halogen TV, Becky's passion is people," noted
Kyle Chowning, VP of Halogen TV. "She found particular inspiration in
Mahatma Gandhi's words, 'You must be the change you want to see in the
world.' She founded Halogen to motivate people to action. Her vision
is that Halogen be a platform that brings a spotlight to key social
and moral issues of our time, and encourages social consciousness
throughout society."

Chowning continued, "We are honored and humbled by this recognition
from industry peers. These awards validate our efforts as we, along
with our programmers and viewers, impact local and global communities.
Halogen TV is more than entertainment. It's where people connect with
purpose and with each other. The network and website tell stories that
matter to a growing demographic searching for information, inspiration
and ideas on how to make a difference where they are, with what they
already have."

Halogen TV is available in the Charlotte-metro area on Time Warner
Cable channel 282. Check local listings for programs or visit

About Halogen TV
Launched in 2009, Halogen TV is the emerging television network and
digital media company that entertains and motivates individuals
looking to be the change they want to see in the world. Available in
over 14 million homes with over 750 hours of programming, Halogen TV
inspires and educates viewers with stories that bring hope, excitement
and encouragement to viewers everywhere. The network's online
component,, delivers a rich media experience with news,
streaming video, sponsored event information and a social media
platform that immerses the viewer in both content and community.
Halogen TV is a division of The Inspiration Networks. Halogen TV – Be
the Change.

Celebration To Mark Grand Opening of Ruth Shaw Trail on Toby Creek Greenway

Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation, along with Catawba Lands
Conservancy, the Carolina Thread Trail and the University of North
Carolina Charlotte invite the public to the opening celebration of the
Ruth G. Shaw Trail on Toby Creek Greenway on Tuesday, May 3, 2011 at 3
p.m. Toby Creek Greenway is located in the University City area and
connects the 7.1 mile-long Mallard / Clark's Creek Greenway to and
through the campus of UNC Charlotte.

The new trail is named in honor of Dr. Ruth G. Shaw, a longtime civic
and business leader who is the founding chair of the governing board
of the Carolina Thread Trail, an interconnected trail system in
piedmont North and South Carolina.

Under Dr. Shaw's leadership, nine of the Thread's 15 counties have
adopted countywide master plans for a total of 1,000 planned trail
miles. About 67 miles of trail have opened, and $1,568,002 has been
awarded in catalytic grants from the Thread to community partners who
are advancing the project throughout the region.

The ceremony will feature brief remarks from Dr. Shaw as well as other
distinguished guests.

Toby Creek Greenway was funded by a $1.25 million grant from the
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The greenway stretches
two miles and links many neighborhoods in the university area to the
UNC Charlotte campus, allowing many students, faculty, and staff to
walk or ride bikes to the university. Neighborhoods which adjoin this
greenway system include Fairlea, Wellington, Winchester, Mallard
Ridge, Radbourne, Colvard Park, Mallard Trace, Brookstone, and the
University Research Park.

Please park in the Union Parking Deck and walk back to and cross
Cameron Blvd. to the brick walkway that leads to the west campus.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Police Capture Suspect in Mullens Road Murder

The CMPD Homicide Unit developed information on Sunday, April 24,
2011, which led to the identification and arrest of Chauncey Sterling,
DOB: 03/23/1993, for the murder and robbery of Robert Barber on
Mullens Road in Charlotte. Once the Homicide Unit obtained warrants,
the Violent Criminal Apprehension Team began working the case in an
effort to quickly locate Mr. Sterling.

Mr. Sterling was taken into custody at 10:05 p.m., on Sunday, April
24, 2011, at 285 Fargo Street, Rock Hill, SC. The Rock Hill Police
Department and York County Sheriff's Office assisted with the arrest
of Mr. Sterling. Mr. Sterling is currently in South Carolina,
awaiting extradition. Anyone with information about this incident is
asked to call 704-432-TIPS and speak directly to a Homicide Unit
Detective. Detective Ladd is the lead detective assigned to the
case. In addition, you may also call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.

The victim has been positively identified as Robert Latimer Barber,
DOB 07/14/1946. The victim was walking home from a nearby business at
the time of the incident. An updated description of the suspect:
B/M, dark complexion, short hair cut, tall and skinny, approximately
Wearing dark pants and a white and black plaid shirt or jacket
Last seen running on Mullens Ford Road towards Simsbury Road.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Keep Charlotte Beautiful Adopts Madison Park Neighborhood For 2011

Keep Charlotte Beautiful (KCB), one of the nation's first Keep America
Beautiful affiliates, has selected the Madison Park Neighborhood of
Southeast Charlotte for the 2011 Adopt-A-City Neighborhood Program.

Beginning in May, KCB will be working with Madison Park to improve and
expand the existing rose garden on the site of the Old Pinewood
Elementary School. The Madison Park community has rallied around the
idea of adopting this space and making what was once a negative aspect
of the community into a central gathering place with positive features
that will serve the community. The proposed name for this area is
Madison Central Park.

Stacy Raynor, Madison Park HOA Director, comments, "This garden is a
symbol of the previous school that once stood on the site and the
generation of students who attended the institution. We would like to
honor these memories as the site is reborn as a park."

At the beginning of each year, the KCB board members select a
neighborhood to participate in their neighborhood adoption program
through an application process. KCB works with resident volunteers to
provide a community service/beautification project of the
neighborhood's choosing. There is no cost for the neighborhood to
participate, however, it is necessary for neighbors to volunteer and
maintain the project after completion.

Some examples of projects that were completed in past years have
included: beautification of neighborhood entrances, landscaping
neighborhood common area and painting a neighborhood center.
For more information about Keep Charlotte Beautiful and the Adopt-A-
City Neighborhood Program, visit:

April 29 Free Concert at Davidson by Marlene VerPlanck

Legendary big band singer Marlene VerPlanck and the Charlotte-based
Rick Bean Trio will join the Davidson College Jazz Ensemble for a
public performance on Friday evening, April 29. There is no charge to
attend the show, which begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Duke Family
Performance Hall.

The concert will be a must-see for fans of vocal jazz and big band
music. It will open with numbers featuring the Jazz Ensemble, followed
by several intimate pieces featuring VerPlanck and the Rick Bean Trio.
The highlight of the evening will be a collaboration between
VerPlanck and the Jazz Ensemble, playing a variety of songs from her
personal book.

Widely hailed for her clear, smooth voice, VerPlanck has been a noted
performer in the fields of jazz, big band and popular music for a half-
century. She has performed many times in the Charlotte area, most
frequently with her friend the late Loonis McGlohon. She described him
as "one of my Renaissance men….He could do everything and do it
fabulously well."

VerPLanck's career began in the 1950s with studio work with greats
like Perry Como, Tony Bennett and Frank Sinatra. She teamed up with
big band musicians Charlie Spivak and Tex Beneke in the 1950s, and met
her husband, the late composer/trombonist Billy VerPlanck, during a
stint with the Dorsey Brothers Orchestra. He created all her
arrangements for the next 52 years, until his death in 2009.

In the 1960s, Marlene VerPlanck was perhaps most widely heard in
commercials as the voice behind jingles for products like Campbell's
Soup, Michelob beer and Winston cigarettes.

She and Billy settled in Clifton, N.J., and recorded their first of
many albums together, "A Breath of Fresh Air," in 1968. They produced
a total of 21 albums, including the 1983 Glenn Miller Orchestra album
"In The Digital Mood," which sold more than 100,000 copies and was the
first big band album to go gold.

Her most recent album is titled "One Dream at a Time." A writer for
"Jazz Journal" wrote of it, "the bell-like freshness of her voice is
as good as it has ever been and she brushes aside the decades with
ease. She sounds so fresh, in fact, that it is tempting to think that
there might be a Dorian Gray-like tape in the attic. But that suggests
a pact with the devil and she is much too nice for that."

Over the years, VerPlanck has appeared on radio shows like "Alec
Wilder's American Popular Songs" and "The American Popular Singers."
In late March NPR's American Popular Songs series reran a segment
featuring VerPlanck, which was hosted by Alec Wilder and Loonis

VerPlanck has performed at Carnegie Hall and the Rainbow Room in New
York City, and has appeared on "Entertainment Tonight" and "The Today
Show." She continues to tour widely, and has just completed her annual
month-long tour of England, which always receives rave reviews from
the local press.

VerPlanck said the secret to her half-century career in the field is
taking a voice lesson every week from her teacher, Maria Farnsworth.
"Singing is the hardest instrument of all," VerPlanck said. "It's easy
to get into bad habits, but Maria is there to constantly oversee me
and help me avoid them."

In addition to the performance at Davidson, she and the Rick Bean Trio
will perform the following evening, Saturday, April 30, at CPCC's Tate
Hall. Reservations for that performance are available by calling

For information on her appearance at Davidson, call 704-894-2848 or

Compostable Diaper Service Coming to Charlotte

In honor of Earth Day 2011, Ivy's Diaper Service is announcing its new
compostable diaper service. Compostable single- use diapers are
delivered monthly and the soiled diapers are picked up weekly and

Compostable single-use diapers look and behave just like standard
disposable diapers, but are made of 100% compostable materials, such
as corn and wood pulp. It is important to note the difference between
landfills and compost piles. A compostable diaper will not biodegrade
in a landfill. Compostable diapers need very specific conditions to
decompose, conditions only found in industrial composting facilities.
Many parents buy all natural and compostable diapers believing they
are helping the environment. But those diapers are just as harmful as
regular disposables if they are not composted properly. Backyard
composting is also not a suitable option for compostable diapers.
Extremely high heat is required to safely kill the pathogens found in
human waste. Backyard composting piles do not get hot enough to safely
handle human waste.

So how does a compostable single-use diaper service work? Ivy's Diaper
Service splits the cost into two categories: diapers and delivery/
composting. At the beginning of every month, customers are charged for
their diapers for the month as well as a small delivery and composting
charge. Diapers are delivered at the beginning of the month and the
dirties are picked up, in complimentary compostable bags, every week.
Need more diapers? Ivy's Diaper Service can deliver more when picking
up the dirties. Just log on to their website and order what you need.

Garrett Burfield, owner of Ivy's Diaper Service, wanted to offer
parents in Charlotte another environmentally friendly diapering
option."While we feel cloth diapers are still the best option, we
wanted to give busy parents another natural way to diaper. When you
use our compostable service you can rest assured every diaper your
baby uses will be composted safely and resold as fertilizer," Burfield

Standard disposable diapers add a 1/2 ton of untreated waste per baby
to our landfills each year. A disposable diaper will sit in a landfill
for up to 250 years. In other words, every disposable diaper ever put
into a landfill is still there and will be for at least another 200

Ivy's Diaper Service opened its doors in April 2009 and has been
steadily growing ever since. Owner Burfield moved to Charlotte with
her family when their daughter, Ivy, was 2 months old. Unable to find
a diaper service already in business in the area, she decided to offer
cloth to Charlotte.

Ivy's Diaper Service is proud to be represented at this year's
Charlotte Clean & Green Festival on Saturday, April 16th on the CPCC
campus. Please visit for more information
about cloth and compostable delivery options.

Calling All Tots! Register Now for the 11th Annual 'Tots Olympics'

Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department is sponsoring the
11th Annual Tots Olympics on Friday, May 13, 2011, from 10 a.m. - 2
p.m., at the Irwin Belk Track and Football Complex on the campus of
Johnson C. Smith University, 500 Summit Avenue. This event is for boys
and girls ages 3 - 5 years old.

Children will be able to participate in events such as ball throw,
ball kick, long jump, hurdles jump, and the 50-meter run. Each child
will receive an award, and lunch will be provided for all participants.

To register, visit, click on the E-Parks logo and
enter Course Code #24659, or call Revolution Park Sports Academy at
704-432-4963. Registration will be accepted through May 10. Cost is $2
per child.

Food Lion Speed Street To Feature Eddie Money, Clay Walker and Starship

To wrap up the 17-year-old, three-day festival, Food Lion Speed Street
will showcase Eddie Money and Starship featuring Mickey Thomas on the
Coca-Cola stage May 28 beginning at 8:15 p.m. ET; while country
favorite Clay Walker will take the Miller Lite stage at 9:30 p.m. ET.

"Food Lion Speed Street works hard every year to identify and secure
top-level talent, especially for the Saturday night performance," said
Jay Howard, president of JHE Production Group Inc. and promoter and
producer of Food Lion Speed Street."The trio we have lined up for May
28 should please a wide variety of Food Lion Speed Street fans and
bring the event to a close on a high note."

As a preview to the Coca-Cola 600 at Charlotte Motor Speedway which
takes place the following day, Food Lion Speed Street delivers an
unprecedented experience to an estimated 400,000 fans by means of live
entertainment, access to NASCAR's brightest stars, and vendor displays
from sponsors Food Lion, Coca-Cola, Miller Lite, General Mills,
Chevrolet and many more.

Eddie Money will headline the Coca-Cola stage Saturday, May 28 at 9:45
p.m. ET. Starship featuring Mickey Thomas will kick off the evening at
8:15 p.m. ET.

A native of New York City, Eddie Money is a rock 'n' roll singer-
songwriter and saxophonist whose success in the 1970s and 1980s led
him to multiple top-40 hits and platinum albums.

In 1968, after moving to Berkley, Calif., to pursue his music career,
Money signed a recording contract with Columbia Records and soon after
had hit singles such as"Baby Hold On" and"Two Tickets to Paradise."
Money followed the success of his debut album with a stream of Top 40
hits, as well as some of the era's most creative videos for songs like
"Think I'm in Love" and "Shakin."
In 1986, he once again took the mainstream rock industry by storm with
the album Can't Hold Back, which featured the singles "Take Me Home
Tonight" and "I Wanna Go Back," both top-10 hits. Since that time,
Money has released additional hits like"Walk on Water" and"I'll Get
By." Today he continues to make new music and tour the country, where
he performs in front of his loyal fans.

Along with having sold more than 28 million records, Money's songs
have appeared in movies, television shows and have recently been
included in video games like"Grand Theft Auto" and"Guitar Hero."

Starship featuring Mickey Thomas

Dating back to the late 1970s, Thomas earned a chart-topping single
with"Fooled Around and Fell in Love," and soon after joined Starship
as the lead vocalist. The dynamic combination of Thomas and Starship
earned a No. 1 hit with"Jane" followed by a series of hits
including"No Way Out,""We Built This City," and"Sara." The group also
received an Oscar nomination for the No. 1 hit"Nothing Gonna Stop Us
Now" from the movie"Mannequin."

In addition, Starship earned popularity with hits"Find Your Way
Back,""Stranger,""Laying it on the Line" and"It's Not Over Till It's
Over," which became Major League Baseball's theme in 1987. Every album
Starship has released has gone gold, platinum or multi-platinum.

The May 28 performance will feature multi-platinum hits by Jefferson
Airplane, Jefferson Starship and Starship, along with the new female
vocalist, Stephanie Calvert.

On the Miller Lite stage May 28 at 9:30 p.m., Frito Lay is proud to
present country music artist Clay Walker. Food Lion Speed Street fans
will enjoy some of his greatest hits since the early 1990s.

Making an entrance in the country music scene in 1993, Walker topped
the Billboard country singles chart with"What's It to You" and
followed with a second consecutive No. 1 hit,"Live Until I Die." Since
then, he's placed 31 titles on Billboard's singles chart toppers
as"Dreaming with my Eyes Open,""If I Could Make a Living,""This Woman
and This Man," and"Rumor Has It."

He's scored four platinum-selling albums and two gold albums. Walker
has released eleven albums, including a greatest hits album and a
Christmas album.

In 2010, he released a new album, She Won't Be Lonely Long. Along with
Nashville's best songwriters, Walker contributed to the album by
writing"She Likes It In The Morning." It also includes his first
duet, a cover of the country classic"Before the Next Teardrop Falls"
that he recorded with Freddy Fender, the country veteran who had a hit
with the song in the 1970s.

Musical performances for the three-day festival begin Thursday, May 26
at one of two stages – the Coca-Cola stage on Martin Luther King Jr.
Boulevard between Brevard Street and Caldwell Street at the NASCAR
Hall of Fame entrance and the Miller Lite stage located in the parking
lot at the corner of Third Street and Poplar Street. Additional
artists will be announced soon.

Admission to Food Lion Speed Street is free. The festival opens each
day at 12 p.m. ET. For a complete schedule of events, visit

Charlotte Author Amy Clipston Writes "Roadside Assistance" Novel - A Review

Reviewed by Jessica Stafford

Charlotte author Amy Clipston takes a break from her best selling
"Kauffman Amish Bakery" novels to portray adolescent car fanatic Emily
Curtis in her first young adult novel. Emily is having a crisis of
faith and could use a little "roadside assistance" to help her on her
Christian journey. Tackling the issue of losing a parent, Clipston
hopes the book will appeal to teens and adults and leave them with a
sense of hope.

Just when Emily needs her mother the most she dies, leaving Emily and
her dad overwhelmed with medical bills and forced to sell their
business and home. They move in with Aunt Darlene until they can get
back on their feet, though Emily is desperate to move into their own
home so she can disappear from her aunt's "make-over" radar. Emily is
forced to leave her friends and everything she knows for a new town,
deal with the loss of her mother, and what she feels is constant
comparison to her perfect cousin without the help of her confidant…her
mother. Readers will relate to the levels of Emily's grief and follow
her as she comes to understand the dynamics of her new life.

Clipston created a very likable and relatable character in Emily
Curtis. Everyone at some point can relate to the feeling of being out
of place, and Clipston tackles this emotion head on. Her creative use
of letter writing to communicate with Emily's mother helps us to see
the inner thoughts of Emily, and the plot can lead to quality
discussions between adults and their teens about faith and the loss of
a loved one.

"Motivating" is the best word to describe Amy Clipston, both in life
and in her writing. The mom of two not only writes, but works full
time for the City of Charlotte, and has a husband with a pending
kidney transplant. Clipston says it has been a challenge, but her
mother helps with her children and household, and she and her husband
have very supportive employers.

Amy will be signing Roadside Assistance Saturday, April 30 from 4:30 -
7:30 p.m. at the New Creation Christian Bookstore, 11416 E.
Independence Blvd., Matthews. Also, she will be speaking at the Mount
Pleasant Library, 8556 Cook Street, Mount Pleasant, on Tuesday, May 3
from 6:00 - 7:30 p.m.

Roadside Assistance (Zondervan; $9.99; May 2011)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Agencies launch to encourage donations to support Japan earthquake relief efforts

As another magnitude 6.6 earthquake rattled northeast Japan this week,
it is yet another reminder of how much Japan needs relief. To that
end, ad agency BooneOakley and digital agency Studiobanks recently
partnered for the launch of, a site designed to sustain
awareness and encourage donations to the earthquake victims in Japan.

JapanSaver features a free, downloadable screensaver that displays
simple, yet powerful imagery to help maintain awareness about the
ongoing need for aid in Japan. The screensaver features a sheet of
graph paper scrolling by as a seismograph needle jumps around as
though it's tracking an earthquake. The resulting image is the red sun
of the Japanese flag. The site includes a link that allows visitors to
donate directly to the American Red Cross, as well as Facebook and
Twitter links for users to easily share the site with friends.

"When tragedy strikes, everyone wants to help out the best way they
can. But a few weeks after the earthquake struck Japan we noticed that
when the news coverage tapered off, so did the donations," said Keith
Greenstein, Associate Creative Director at BooneOakley. "That's when
we were inspired to create a free screensaver that could provide a
constant reminder – displayed on the most ubiquitous device in an
office – that the victims in Japan can still use our help."

Said Banks Wilson, Studiobanks' President and Creative Director, "With
JapanSaver, we saw the potential not just for people to download the
screensaver and support Japan's relief efforts, but to share it with
their friends and family. It works within the office environment, but
also allows us to tap into the viral power of social media and spread
this important message across an array of forums."

"Our hearts go out to the people of Japan and the others who survived
the recent earthquake and tsunami", said Kate Meier, American Red
Cross' Regional Communications Director. "With efforts like, people are reminded that they can help the American
Red Cross meet the immediate and long-term needs of earthquake and
tsunami survivors in Japan."

About BooneOakley
BooneOakley is a full-service, award-winning, independent advertising
agency with a client roster that has included Bojangles', State Farm,
CarMax, MTV, Bloom, Mizuno and Visit Charlotte. They were recognized
by Advertising Age Magazine as the 2009 Southeast Agency of the Year.
For more information, visit

About Studiobanks
Studiobanks is an award-winning digital agency specializing in high-
performance websites, interactive games and dynamic mobile
applications. Based in Charlotte, North Carolina, Studiobanks helps
clients around the country communicate and connect directly with their
target audiences using innovative digital marketing platforms. For
more information, please visit

About American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support
to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood;
teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid;
and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a
charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on
volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its
mission and is committed to using donor dollars wisely and
transparently. For more information, please visit

Feature films holding casting calls in Charlotte area

There's a lot going on in the Charlotte region's film industry. This
weekend, two feature films will have casting calls. The first is for
"Artemis," which literally is looking for thousands of extras.
Although all ages and all types are needed, there's a particular need
for children between the ages of 12 and 18. Those interested should
bring a non-returnable current snapshot to either the casting call at
Cleveland Mall in Shelby on Saturday, April 16, between 10 a.m. and 1
p.m. or to Carolina Mall in Concord on Sunday, April 17, 12:30-3:30
p.m. Details are on the Charlotte Regional Film Commission's website at

The second casting call this weekend is for 13- and 18-year-old boys
who look exactly like Adam Sandler and want to play him in his R-rated
movie "I Hate You Dad" that will be shooting in June. That casting
call will be this Sunday, April 17, 2-5 p.m. at the Quality Inn &
Suites in Matthews. Those interested should bring a non-returnable
current photo, and minors must be accompanied by an adult. Further
information is available by or
by visiting the Charlotte Regional Film Commission's website at

Finally, HGTV is back in the region looking for people who will buy
their first home between May and August. Those interested in being
featured in "Property Virgins" should e-mail

The Charlotte Regional Film Commission, a division of the Charlotte
Regional Partnership, provides support services and recruits films, TV
shows, documentaries, commercials to the Charlotte area. Film and
video production has nearly a half-billion dollar annual economic
impact on the 16-county Charlotte region.

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. Visit

CMS Superintendent's budget recommendation

Included below is a link to the Superintendent's budget recommendation
for the Board of Education meeting tonight at 6 p.m.

To access the presentation, scroll to the bottom of the agenda and it
is item D under reports/information items.

Missing Person Reported to Charlotte Police

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Missing Person Unit is
conducting an investigation into the disappearance of an 42 year old
male subject. The incident took place at 1408 West Sugar Creek Road
in the North Tryon Division. The call for service came in at 01:00
P.M., on Monday, April 4, 2011.

Patrol officers responded to a call for service placed by Crystal
Collier, in reference to a missing family member. Ms Collier stated
that Martin Bryant, a family member, has not been seen or heard from
him since March 30, 2011. Martin Bryant's local and out of state
family and friends have not heard or seen him since before his
birthday on March 30, 2011.

Martin Bryant was living at the Days Inn at 1408 West Sugar Creek
Road. Martin Bryant's roommates stated to police that he left the room
on March 30, 2011 at around 08:30 A.M., and no one has heard from him
since. Martin Bryant was last seen wearing jeans, white T-shirt, and
a black jacket.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department is asking that anyone who
has information about Martin Bryant to Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.

Complaint Number: 20110403-130302
Martin Eric Bryant
Black, Male, DOB: 3-30-69
Height: 6'0", Weight: 170 pounds

Friday, April 1, 2011

'Wipe Out Waste' Guide Is Now Available

Whether you're wondering how to safely get rid of that old bucket of
varnish, how you can start your own compost pile, or what can or can't
go in the recycling bin, Mecklenburg County has the answers for you
all in one place.

The 2011/2012 Wipe Out Waste (WOW) Guide Book is out now, and is
available in both print and online versions. For Mecklenburg County
residents, it's the must-read resource on recycling; household
hazardous waste, waste reduction, litter prevention and much more. The
WOW Guide is available at all local libraries and other locations, and
online at

The WOW Guide is a part of the effort by Mecklenburg County to create
a cleaner, safer, more sustainable community by embracing strategies
designed to achieve a better environment. Our focus is on clean-up,
prevention, promotion and awareness, enforcement, and legislation. We
count on partnerships involving government agencies and the public/
private sectors of our community.

Online Voting Starts For Bark in the Park 'Top Dog' Finalists

Dog lovers may cast votes online April 1 (starting at 8a.m.) through
April 17 (until 5p.m.) for the Top Dog of the 2011 Pedigree® Bark in
the Park Dog Festival presented by Food Lion. Go to and click on the Top Dog logo. Judges have chosen
three finalists: Zoe and Boss, both German shorthaired pointers; and
Bella, a miniature dachshund. Online voting will determine the Top
Dog, to be announced April 20.

These three finalist photos were chosen based on cleverness and
originality from 49 entries. The contest is part of the Bark in the
Park Dog Festival, a signature event of Mecklenburg County Park and
Recreation Department, and is set for Saturday, April 30, 10 a.m.-4
p.m. at Rural Hill, 4431 Neck Road, Huntersville, NC. Rural Hill has
plenty of space and free parking. Admission is FREE for dogs and people.

The Top Dog and master will be the grand marshals of the Pooch Parade
at Bark in the Park and will receive a pet photo portrait by Tianna
Fisher, a year's supply of dog food, a Petco gift basket, and the dog
will be featured on the poster for next year's festival logo. Bark in
the Park is "for dogs and the people they own!"

The Pedigree® Bark in the Park Dog Festival presented by Food Lion
drew more than 14,000 people last year, most with dogs. The festival
features contests like Best Costume, Best Bark, Largest Dog, Smallest
Dog, Best Trick, Disc Throw and Catch, and Disc Long-Shot Catch.
Register for contests at the festival. Included this year will be
exhibits, dog products, adoptable dogs, prize drawings and many great
dogs to see and greet! All dogs on leashes, please. For more
information, check or call 311.