Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Mecklenburg County Announces Closings For Independence Day Holiday

Mecklenburg County government offices and agencies will be closed on
Monday, July 4, for Independence Day and open on a normal schedule
Tuesday, July 5. This includes all units of the Department of Social
Services, the Tax Office, Elections Office, the Register of Deeds
Office, and the Land Use and Environmental Services Department.

The Department of Social Services Care Line (704-336-CARE or
704-336-2273) operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week to receive
reports of suspected abuse or neglect of children and elderly or
disabled adults.

The Health Department will be closed on Monday, July 4.

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

Area Mental Health's MeckLink call center (704-336-6404) operates 24
hours a day.

The Main Library and all library branches will be closed on Monday,
July 4.

Solid Waste's administrative offices and all facilities, except
Compost Central, will be closed on Monday, July 4. Compost Central
will operate from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Park and Recreation administrative offices will be closed on Monday,
July 4. County parks and nature preserves/centers will be open on
regular schedules.

All recreation centers will be closed except Naomi Drenan Recreation
Center/Grayson SkatePark. The Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center will
operate from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Ray's Splash Planet will be open from 10
a.m.-6 p.m.

Marion Diehl Pool will be closed.

Meet Bismack Biyombo and Kemba Walker June 30 at EpiCentre

Last Thursday night, Charlotte Bobcats fans got a glimpse of the
future when the team selected Bismack Biyombo and Kemba Walker in the
first round of the 2011 NBA Draft. Now those fans will have an
opportunity to meet the two newest members of the Bobcats Thursday,
June 30, during Alive After Five.

Biyombo and Walker will join Big Pat, the voice of the Bobcats, and
members of the Ladycats on the Pavilion at EpiCentre stage. Alive
After Five attendees will have the opportunity to mingle, take
pictures and get autographs as well as win prizes such as Bobcats t-
shirts, cozies and more. Two lucky fans will walk away with Bismack
Biyombo and Kemba Walker autographed basketballs.

Standing 6'9" with a 7'7" wingspan, Bismack Biyombo was one of the
most impressive physical specimens in the 2011 NBA Draft. A native of
the Democratic Republic of the Congo in central Africa, Biyombo was
selected with the 7th pick in the draft by the Bobcats. Biyombo played
professionally in Spain last season where he averaged 7.05 points,
5.75 rebounds and 1.9 blocks-per-game while splitting time between
Illescas and Fuenlabrada.

Kemba Walker comes to the Bobcats after three successful seasons as
point guard for the University of Connecticut. As a junior, Walker led
the Huskies to 2011 NCAA championship while averaging 23.5 points, 5.4
rebounds, 4.5 assists and 1.9 steals-per-game. Known of his
explosiveness, Walker was named a consensus first-team All-American
and won the Bob Cousy Award, which is given to the nation's top point
guard, prior to being selected 9th overall by the Bobcats

Taking the Bud Light Stage at Alive After Five tomorrow night is the
ultimate tribute to Led Zeppelin – Zoso. Alive After Five is
Charlotte's summertime tradition, taking place every Thursday
afternoon at 5 p.m. on the rooftop Pavilion at EpiCentre, located at
210 E Trade Street in the heart of uptown Charlotte.

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.

Serial Numbers Lead To Arrest Of Residential B&E Suspect

Metro Division Officers with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police
Department have arrested Shadarius Thompson, DOB: 09/08/1990. On May
23, 2011, at approximately 6:15 p.m. officers responded to a
residential breaking and entering call at a home in the 900 block of
State Street.

The victim advised officers that he returned home to find his front
door kicked in and several items stolen from his home which included
electronic equipment and jewelry. The victim was also able to provide
officers the serial numbers of the items taken during the crime.
Officers entered the serial numbers of the property into the system
and received notification through Pawn Tracker that the suspect had
sold the items including; a flat screen television and jewelry to a
local pawn shop the week of the reported breaking and entering incident.

Officers immediately put a hold on the property which prohibited
the pawn shop from selling the items. The victim traveled to the pawn
shop and positively identified the items as those belonging to him. A
warrant was issued for the arrest of Shadarius Thompson. He was
apprehended on June 28, 2011, without incident and has been charged
with Breaking and Entering with Force and Felony larceny.

The serial numbers that the victim recorded and saved proved to be a
critical element in him recovering his property. It also allowed
officers the ability to apprehend this thief before he victimized any
additional members of our community. The CMPD continues to strongly
urge citizens to record and save all serial and model numbers from
electronic equipment and other expensive items. This information is
invaluable in tracking the property in the event it's ever stolen.
Anyone with additional information concerning this case may forward
anonymous tips to the Crime Stoppers tip line at 704-334-1600 or

Thursday, June 23, 2011

No-Swimming Advisory Issued for Portion of Lake Norman After Sewage Discharge

A NO SWIMMING advisory was issued after approximately 267 gallons of
sewage discharged to Lake Norman during the afternoon of June 21, 2011
at Town Harbour Road in Cornelius. The spill was caused by a broken
valve in a sewer line on Windy Point Drive off Town Harbour Road. The
discharge was stopped by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities and repairs
to the lift station have been completed.

Water samples collected by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services
staff on June 22, 2011 revealed elevated bacteria levels at 300
colonies/100 ml. in the cove adjacent to Town Harbour Road resulting
in the issuance of this NO SWIMMING advisory. Sampling will continue
until levels of fecal coliform bacteria fall below 200 colonies/100
ml, which is the level determined to be safe for swimming. When
bacteria counts reach this level, the no swimming advisory will be

Rusty Rozzelle, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services' Water
Quality Program Manager, said the advisories are standard procedure.
"It was necessary to close the areas to recreation because of the
potential risk to human health as Lake Norman is designated as
recreational waters," said Rozzelle.

Avett Brothers Concert to be Simulcast On World's Largest HDTV at CMS

Charlotte Motor Speedway will add another fabulous first to its legacy
on July 9 when the world's largest HDTV airs a live simulcast concert
by American Recordings artists, the Avett Brothers, from the legendary
Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, CO.

The simulcast will give local Avett Brothers fans the opportunity to
view the live show on Charlotte Motor Speedway's massive 80-foot-
HDTV. The speedway will also supply concert-grade speakers for the
event, to
turn the infield area in front of the HDTV into a one-of-a-kind concert

"The speedway has been a hometown landmark for us our whole lives
and we're proud to have an opportunity for our music to echo through
historical infield," said Seth Avett. "For us, performing at Red Rocks
airing live in Concord is about the most ideal situation for being in
amazing places at once."

The Avett Brothers front men, Scott and Seth Avett, who grew up on
their father's farm in Concord, quickly grew their fan base throughout
Charlotte, N.C., region with memorable energetic shows, which has
become the
band's trademark.

The Avetts' popularity skyrocketed on the heels on their major label
debut, the 2009 album "I and Love and You." Recently, the band has
accustomed to performing sold-out concerts and in February they
performed at
the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles alongside Bob Dylan.

"We are so fortunate to travel and play the many places we do," said
Scott Avett. "To have an opportunity to share that with our supportive
town in a setting where great men like Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt and
David Pearson competed adds to the sense of pride that we feel to be a
of the Charlotte community and this event at Charlotte Motor Speedway."

"This is going to be an unbelievable event," said Marcus Smith,
president and general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway. "This is
something that would have never been possible without the world's
HDTV. But, now we're going to simulcast a live sold-out show from one
of the
most famous concert venues in the world, featuring our home-town boys,
Avett Brothers, to their loyal fan following here in Charlotte. It's
to be awesome!"

Speedway gates for the live simulcast on Saturday, July 9, will open
at 8 p.m. Grace Potter and the Nocturnals are scheduled to begin at 9:30
p.m. with the Avett Brothers scheduled to perform around 11 p.m.

Tickets for the July 9 simulcast on the world's largest HDTV at
Charlotte Motor Speedway are on sale now and can be purchased at the
speedway ticket office or by calling 1-800-455-FANS (3267). Tickets
are only
$10 until July 1, when they will increase to $15 until July 8. Tickets
purchased the day of the event, July 9, will cost $20.

Tickets for October races at Charlotte Motor Speedway are on sale
now and can be purchased online at or by
calling the speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267). The Coca-
Four Pack includes tickets, hot dogs and Coca-Cola drinks starting at
$39.75 per person.

Connect with Charlotte Motor Speedway on Twitter at or become a Facebook fan at

2011 SOAK Sunday Season Kicks Off This Weekend

Summer is officially upon us and that means Sundays at EpiCentre are
about to sizzle with the return of SOAK Sundays. The first SOAK Sunday
of the 2011 season takes place this Sunday, June 26, beginning at noon.

SOAK Sundays are high-energy parties on the rooftop Pavilion at
EpiCentre featuring first-class entertainment, including prominent
national and local DJs as well as bikini fashion shows, plus delicious
food, import specialty and craft beers at Biergarten, superior
customer service and leisure activities such as ping-pong tables, a
bocce ball court, corn hole, limbo, twister and more.

The 2011 SOAK Sunday calendar spans the summer months of June, July
and August. After this weekend's kickoff soiree, subsequent SOAK
Sundays take place every other Sunday until August 21. (Full 2011 SOAK
Sundays calendar: June 26, July 10 & 24, August 7 & 21). Each SOAK
Sunday begins at noon and continues through 7:30 p.m.

Tickets for all SOAK Sunday events are $10 apiece are available online
at and select EpiCentre venues including
BlackFinn, Pavilion, StrikeCity, SUITE and Whisky River. When the sun
goes down on SOAK Sundays, StrikeCity keeps the atmosphere alive by
hosting the official after party immediately following each SOAK
Sunday. Pavilion is located atop EpiCentre, 210 E Trade Street in the
heart of uptown Charlotte.

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.

Memorial Stadium Offers Free Location for Watching Fourth of July Fireworks

Memorial Stadium will once again serve as a destination for fireworks
in uptown Charlotte this Independence Day. Mecklenburg County Park and
Recreation Department will Partner with Presbyterian Hospital to
present the "Presbyterian Hospital July 4th Spectacular" beginning
with family-fun activities at 6 p.m. and fireworks at 9:30 p.m.
Admission is FREE. Alcohol is not permitted. Event is weather

Family fun activities, live music, and food and non-alcoholic drink
vendors will be located inside the stadium. Activities include:
· Kids' inflatables: Rapid slide, obstacle course, moon
bounce, and double shot basketball (For each child to participate,
there is a $5 fee).
· Boy Scouts of America: Local scouts will be on hand with
several fun activities including a rappelling tower, a camping demo,
and an outdoor cooking demo.
· Conder Flags: Conder Flags will offer people a free 3x5
printed polyester flag if you bring your NC or U.S. flag to the event
to retire.

Bring a blanket or lawn chairs and use the stadium field as a prime
viewing area! Stadium bleachers are currently closed for a structural
assessment that is currently under way. Coolers or pre-packaged food
will not be permitted inside the stadium.

The fireworks display will last approximately 20 minutes and will be
staged from the Central Piedmont Community College campus. Some
streets around the campus will close at 8 p.m. to accommodate the
fallout zone, so traffic in the area will be heavy. Streets will
reopen immediately after the show. The display will be synched to a
music track exclusively on 96.9 FM, The Kat; the music will also be
played at the stadium.

Parking will be available at Memorial Stadium lots, off 7th Street,
for $5. Other off-street parking will be available in decks around
uptown. Parking will not be allowed along many streets. Parking is
discouraged in neighborhoods in the surrounding area such as
Elizabeth, First, Third and Fourth Wards. Use of public transit is
encouraged. The fireworks can also be viewed from various locations
around the city.

Sponsors include Presbyterian Hospital, Central Piedmont Community
College (CPCC), 96.9 FM, The Kat, Mecklenburg County Park and Rec,
Conder Flags, the Boy Scouts of America/Mecklenburg County Official/
Etowah District and Charlotte Center City Partners.

In Wake of Local Dog's Death, PETA Offers Tips For Safeguarding Animals in Hot Weather

Following the death of one dog in York County and the rescue of three
more who were left to suffer for four days outside in the heat without
food or water while their guardians were on vacation, PETA asks that
you take special care of your pets in the summer heat.

PETA receives reports every year about animals who suffer horrifying
deaths during the spring and summer months. During warm weather, even
dogs who are left in the shade can quickly succumb to heatstroke and
suffer brain damage as a result. On a 78-degree day, the temperature
inside ashaded car is 90 degrees, while the inside of a car parked in
the sun can reach 160 degrees in just minutes. If you see a dog
showing any symptoms of heatstroke - including restlessness, heavy
panting, vomiting, lethargy, and lack of appetite or coordination -
get the animal into the shade immediately. You can lower a symptomatic
dog's body temperature by providing the dog with water, applying a
cold towel to the dog's head and chest, or immersing the dog in tepid
(not ice-cold) water. Then immediately call a veterinarian.

PETA makes the following suggestions for safeguarding animals:

· Keep dogs inside: Unlike humans, dogs can only sweat through
their footpads and cool themselves by panting. Soaring temperatures
can cause heat stress, injury, or death.
· Water and shade: If animals must be left outside, they
should be supplied with ample water and shade, and the shifting sun
needs to be taken into account. Even brief periods of direct exposure
to the sun can have life-threatening consequences.
· Walk, don't run: In very hot, humid weather, never exercise
dogs by cycling while they try to keep up or by running them while you
jog. Dogs will collapse before giving up, at which point it may be too
late to save them.
· Avoid parked cars: Never leave an animal in a parked car in
warm weather, even for short periods with the windows slightly open.
Dogs trapped inside parked cars can succumb to heatstroke within
minutes—even if the car isn't parked in direct sunlight.
· Never transport animals in the bed of a pickup truck: This
practice is dangerous—and illegal in many cities and states—because
animals can catapult out of the truck bed on a sudden stop or choke if
they jump out while they're tied up.
· Stay alert and save a life: Keep an eye on all outdoor
animals. Make sure that they have adequate water and shelter. If you
see an animal in distress, provide water for immediate relief and then
contact humane authorities right away.

For even more tips, visit

Electronic Items Now Banned from Landfills and Recycling Containers

Under a new state law that takes effect on July 1, discarded computer
equipment and televisions will be banned from landfills in North
Carolina. The ban on computer equipment includes CPUs, laptops,
keyboards, printers, printer/fax/scanner devices, mice and monitors.
All televisions are banned, including flat-panels and projection

Solid Waste Services accepts electronic waste for bulky item
collection. Electronic items collected as bulky waste are taken to a
facility to be recycled.

Residents are asked to schedule a bulky item collection for
electronics and not place them in their garbage or recycling rollout
carts. To schedule a bulky item collection, residents can:

• Call 311 (704.336.7600) or
• Visit

Before placing items curbside, please remember:

• Items must be placed within 2 feet of the curb and at least 3 feet
away from other collection items and obstacles such as mailboxes,
vehicles, phone poles, etc. Please do not block the sidewalk.
• Items must be at the curb no later than 6:30 am on your scheduled
collection day. Items must not be placed at the curb prior to the day
before collection.

Residents may also take electronics to one of Mecklenburg County's
Electronics Collection sites. For more information, call 311
(704.336.7600) or visit

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wingate University to Host The MET-Rx World's Strongest Man 2011

As the first ever university to host The MET-Rx World's Strongest Man
competition, Wingate University will be in the national and
international spotlight later this year when the premier event in
strength athletics takes place on the University campus in September
and is televised domestically on ESPN as a six-hour program in
December and internationally on ESPN2 in 2012.

"We are very excited that millions of people around the world will see
what Wingate University has to offer, including our beautiful campus,"
said Wingate University President Dr. Jerry E. McGee. "As the third
ranking NCAA Division II Academic All-America® school in this
millennium, we pride ourselves on our strong educational and athletic
programs, and know our 600 student athletes and others will enjoy
seeing this exciting competition between 32 champion athletes

"Having the competition on campus will enrich the educational
experience for students interested in our sport sciences and
communication programs," said Dr. McGee. "It is a prime example of how
Wingate University gives students the tools and support they need to
excel in academics and apply that learning toward an extraordinary
career and life."
McGee added that Wingate students will not only be able to participate
as spectators, but also will be able to meet the athletes and see
firsthand how an internationally televised sports competition is

Many of the events will be held on the Wingate campus, located 30
miles east of Charlotte on Highway U.S. 74 in the town of Wingate.
Wingate is working with the North Carolina Department of Tourism to
determine the on-campus sites. Other locations around the state are
still being added.

The public will be invited to the events, which will take place at
several locations around the campus. A full schedule of events, times
and locations will be announced as they are finalized. Contestants
will be housed in the Monroe area.

About The MET-Rx World Strongest Man
Now in its 34th year, the series is owned and produced by IMG Media,
the production and distribution arm of IMG, the global sports,
entertainment and media company. Wingate University was selected
through arrangements secured by PSE-3 in Raleigh, N.C., a
communications, marketing and sales firm serving the sports and
entertainment industries.

About Wingate University
Founded in 1896, Wingate University is a comprehensive university with
more than 2,300 students on three campuses in Wingate, Matthews and
Hendersonville, N.C. The university offers 34 undergraduate majors, 37
minors and career concentrations, numerous pre-professional programs,
graduate degrees in business, accounting, education, physician
assistant studies and sport administration, and doctorates in pharmacy
and education. With a 14 to 1 student/teacher ratio, Wingate students
gain the tools and support they need to excel in academics and apply
that learning toward an extraordinary career and life. The campus
community offers in-class learning, out-of-class experiences, strong
mentors, a competitive yet caring environment and rewarding community
service opportunities for a complete educational experience. In
addition to a robust intramural athletics program, Wingate student
athletes compete in 19 NCAA Division II sports, and the University has
won the South Atlantic Conference Echols Athletic Excellence Award for
the past five years.

For more information, go to

24 Hours of Booty Riders Spin Into July with Team Fund-raisers - July 9 and July 21

As the 24 Hours of Booty charity cycling event to fight cancer gears
up for its 10th anniversary ride in Charlotte on July 29-30, several
riders are going the extra mile to support the organization with team
fund-raisers, including two in July.

On Saturday, July 9 Team Carpe Diem will be hosting "BBQ for Booty…the
Other Biker Night" from 6:30-10:00 p.m. at Mac's Speed Shop in
Cornelius, N.C. (19601 Liverpool Pkwy). Cost is $20 per person with a
portion of the proceeds supporting 24 Hours of Booty. The ticket price
includes a "pulled pork" plate, dessert and a beverage. The event is
open to the public and will feature a silent auction and raffle. For
more information and to purchase tickets, visit

Team Gita is hosting Bottoms Up for Booty 2011 presented by Olde
Mecklenburg Brewery in Charlotte (215 Southside Drive) on Thursday,
July 21. Open to the public, the event runs from 6:00-10:00 p.m. and
will feature an array of raffle items including a road bike. Tickets
are $30 each and include a brat plate, beer and two raffle tickets.
Purchase tickets online at http:// For questions about either
event, contact 24 Hours of Booty at 704-365-4417 or

"Our riders are the backbone of our event so it means a lot to see
team members join forces to raise money in such creative and fun
ways," said Basil Lyberg, executive director of 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.
"Many thanks to Team Carpe Diem and Team Gita for going above and
beyond to support 24 Hours of Booty and the fight against cancer."

About 24 Hours of Booty
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 a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit charity
located in Charlotte that provides extraordinary cycling events that
are safe, fun, and open to all levels of cycling ability. Its mission
is to conduct 24-hour cycling events that increase public awareness,
funds, and support for LIVESTRONG and local cancer organizations.
Local organizations include The Keep Pounding Fund at Carolinas
Medical Center and the Brain Tumor Fund for the Carolinas in
Charlotte, the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults in Columbia, Md.,
and Aflac Cancer Center of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta.

In 24 Hours of Booty's nine-year history, more than 9,100 riders have
raised more than $5 million. The 10th Annual 24 Hours of Booty
presented by Levine Cancer Institute in Charlotte is scheduled to roll
on the Myers Park "Booty Loop" from 7 p.m. Friday, July 29 to 7 p.m.
Saturday, July 30, 2011. 24 Hours of Booty will also host the Third
Annual 24 Hours of Booty of Columbia, Md. at the Gateway Business Park
"Booty Loop" on August 27-28, 2011 and the Second Annual 24 Hours of
Booty of Atlanta at the Stone Mountain "Booty Loop" on Oct. 1-2, 2011.
For more information, call 704-365-4417 or visit

Get updates and the inside scoop about 24 Hours of Booty! Follow us on
Twitter at and on Facebook at

Legends Million Returns to Charlotte Motor Speedway

The second annual Legends Million returns to Charlotte Motor Speedway
Aug. 1 and 2. The largest grassroots race in history will once again
offer the largest Legend Car and Bandolero purse of the year, as
drivers do battle on the speedway's frontstretch
quarter-mile oval.

Registration for the Legends Million begins today and is scheduled to
close on July 18. The purse structure for the 2011 Legends Million
will be prorated, based on total cars registered, so competitors are
encouraged to register early.

"As the car count goes up, the purse goes up," said Don Hawk, vice
president of business affairs, Speedway Motorsports, Inc. "We're
asking competitors to get their registration in as early as possible
so we can get the purse locked in."

In the inaugural Legends Million last year, Kannapolis, N.C., native
Daniel Hemric was victorious, taking home an unprecedented $250,000.
More than 300 drivers from 36 states and two foreign countries,
ranging from 12 to 72 years old, registered for the one-of-a-kind
Legend Car race.

"These are the race cars that launched the careers of NASCAR drivers
like Dale Earnhardt Jr., Joey Logano, David Ragan, Kurt Busch and Kyle
Busch," said Marcus Smith, president and general manager of Charlotte
Motor Speedway. "The Legends Million is a great opportunity for fans
to come to the track and see the future stars of NASCAR compete in the
largest Legend Car race in the world. It's also an excellent
opportunity for young drivers to get noticed and hopefully take their
career to the next level."

Registration links are available online at and at The cost
to register is $500. Competitors who purchase a new Legend Car from
U.S. Legend Cars International will receive free entry into the
Legends Million.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Motorcyclist Dies in Park Road Wreck

On Friday June 10th at 8:07am, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police officers
responded to an injury crash on Park Road at the intersection of Abbey
Place. The collision involved a 2000 Honda Odyssey minivan and a 2006
Suzuki GSX-R motorcycle. It was reported by independent witnesses
that the motorcycle was accelerating quickly after completing a U-turn
and was traveling above the speed limit when it approached the

The Honda van, driven by Ibrahim Noora Khaleel (Arabic Female, DOB
12/04/1970), was attempting a left turn from inbound Park Road onto
Abbey Place when the two collided. The motorcycle rider was ejected
from the motorcycle and came to rest approximately 50 feet from the
area of impact. The rider was transported to Carolinas Medical Center
with critical injuries and was pronounced deceased at 8:34am. Mrs.
Khaleel was the sole occupant of the Honda and was uninjured.

Positive identification has been made of the decedent but next of kin
notification is pending. The identity will be released once family
has been contacted.

County funding will avoid some layoffs at CMS, but not all

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools will be able to keep 570 educators,
including 406 classroom teachers, because of an additional $26 million
in county funding. However, district officials cautioned that layoffs
may still be needed, depending on the final state budget.

The $26 million will be applied to three items in Tier 4 of the
district's proposed budget, which included about $101 million in
proposed cuts. The items included teachers related to weighted student
staffing, class size and instructional support staff in schools. By
design, the fourth tier includes the reductions most likely to affect
student achievement. District leadership told the Mecklenburg Board of
County Commissioners during budget talks in June that any additional
funding would be applied to Tier 4, starting at the bottom of the tier
and working up.

"We will use the $26 million just as we told the county that we
would," said Chief Operating Officer Hugh Hattabaugh. "The $26 million
will mean we don't have to increase class sizes and we don't have to
change our weighted-student staffing formula. Together those two items
add up to $24 million – and we'll apply the remaining $2 million to
the next item in the tier, which is support staff in schools."

The remaining items in Tier 4 that the county money did not cover are
a reduction of 328 teacher assistants and a reduction in the number of
Bright Beginnings classes offered by CMS.

"We do not know whether we will have to make the additional reductions
in Tier 4 yet," Hattabaugh said. "It will depend on the state funding
and we won't know that until the state budget is final."

District officials expect to have final state numbers by the end of
June. The state budget appears likely to be resolved sooner than it
has been in earlier years, so CMS could have those numbers earlier
than usual.

The district's proposed budget included eliminating 1,687 positions.
The county funding has allowed the district to preserve 406 teacher
positions and some support staff. If funding allows the district to
keep its current number of Bright Beginnings pre-kindergarten classes
with associated staffing and the 328 teacher assistants scheduled for
reduction in Tier 4, that would bring the number of positions cut to
about 600, Hattabaugh said. Final numbers won't be available until the
state funding is certain, which will be later in the summer.

The district has decided to close the pre-kindergarten centers where
Bright Beginnings has been offered. If Bright Beginnings is not cut,
then the classes will move to other district schools, he said.
Teachers will not lose their jobs if that occurs, but other school
staff may.

"While we're relieved not to have to cut more teachers, we've still
had to cut hundreds of positions from the budget," Hattabaugh said.
"We have had a reduction in force for the past three years and that
has meant some very effective district employees have lost their jobs."

Charlotte Realtors Report Decline In Sales in May

Charlotte Regional Realtor® Association reports on the residential
real estate market in this region based on Carolina Multiple Listing
Services, Inc. (CMLS) data. The number of closings for May 2011
(2,194) decreased 11.5 percent compared to May 2010 when closings
totaled 2,480. Compared to April 2011 (1,882), closings were up 16.6

The average sales price for May 2011 ($208,999) was up slightly, 0.6
percent, compared to May 2010 ($207,711), and was up 2.7 percent
compared to the April 2011 average sales price ($203,480). The median
sales price in May 2011 ($151,995) was down 3.2 percent compared to
the May 2010 median sales price of $157,000, and was down 0.7 percent
compared to the April 2011 median sales price of $153,000.

The average listing price in May 2011 ($257,971) increased 2.2 percent
from last May's average listing price of $252,446, and was down 2
percent from the April 2011 average listing price of $257,486. The
residential pending contracts figure for May 2011 (2,240) was up 13.5
percent compared to May 2010 (1,974). This figure increased 1.8
percent compared to April 2011, when pending contracts totaled 2,200.

New residential listings in May 2011 totaled 4,139. The average
number of days a property was on the market from the time it was
listed until it closed (list to close) was 150, which is four days
less than last month.

In April 2011, CMLS began using a new reporting tool to create
reports. To report the most up-to-date figures each month, the tool
is constantly "updating history," instead of freezing the data once
it's reported. Therefore, with each new month of reporting, there
could be slight variances in what was reported in the previous month
as transactions are updated and adjustments made within the MLS system.

For more residential-housing market statistics, visit the
association's website at and click on "Community
Data." For an interview with 2011 association/CMLS President Laurie
Knudsen, please contact Kim Walker.

The Charlotte Regional Realtor® Association is a trade association
that leads, educates and equips members to be productive. It provides
more than 6,700 Realtor® members with the resources and services
needed to conduct ethical, professional, successful and profitable
businesses. The association is dedicated to being the region's primary
resource for residential real estate information. The association
operates the Carolina Multiple Listing Services, Inc. (CMLS), which
has approximately 7,500 Subscribers and is the private cooperative
Realtors® use for access to tens of thousands of residential listings
in a 10-county service area, including the high-growth Charlotte area,
as well as listings outside this service area.

News Corporation Appoints Peter Gorman to its Education Division

News Corporation has announced that Dr. Peter Gorman, Superintendent,
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools will be named Senior Vice President and
work with school districts to implement the division's programs, as
well as review their integrity and effectiveness.

News Corporation's Education Division is focused on individualized,
technology-based content and learning opportunities that support world
class student and teacher performance, as well as digital assessment
tools for K-12 students in the United States that help eliminate the
achievement gap. News Corporation recently acquired Brooklyn-based
education technology company, Wireless Generation.

Said Joel Klein, CEO of News Corporation's Education Division, "Pete's
success running one of the largest schools systems in the United
States, combined with his commitment to educational innovation are the
perfect complement to our mission."

"I'm thrilled to join News Corporation, and to work with someone of
Joel's caliber, and the rest of his team, to transform the educational
system through digital technology and other means," said Dr. Gorman.
"News Corporation has a reputation for leading significant change
across many industries, and I look forward to what lies ahead for the
education sector."

As Charlotte-Mecklenburg Superintendent for the past five years, Dr.
Gorman led one of the nation's largest school districts with more than
138,000 Pre-K through 12th grade students, 17,700 staff members and a
budget of more than $1.15 billion. This year, the school district has
been selected as one of four finalists for the Broad Prize for Urban
Education. Dr. Gorman has also served as Superintendent of the Tustin
(CA) Unified School District and as both Chief Information Officer and
Chief Operating Officer/Business and Finance of the Orange County
Public Schools in Orlando, Florida. He holds a Doctorate of Education
from the University of Central Florida and an MBA from Rollins College.

News Corporation (NASDAQ: NWS, NWSA; ASX: NWS, NWSLV) had total assets
as of March 31, 2011 of approximately US$60 billion and total annual
revenues of approximately US$33 billion. News Corporation is a
diversified global media company with operations in six industry
segments: cable network programming; filmed entertainment; television;
direct broadcast satellite television; publishing; and other. The
activities of News Corporation are conducted principally in the United
States, Continental Europe, the United Kingdom, Australia, Asia and
Latin America.

Stomp, Chomp & Roll Hosts Cookie Contest to Benefit Cookies For Kids' Cancer

Charlotte-area restaurant and entertainment group, Stomp, Chomp & Roll
will host a cookie recipe contest to benefit national nonprofit
organization, Cookies for Kids' Cancer.

Finalists in the contest will be invited to have their cookies judged
on Friday, July 1 at 2 PM at The Flying Biscuit Park Road (4241 Park
Rd) for a chance to win a place on the menu for their cookies at all
six Stomp, Chomp & Roll locations until September 30, to recognize
Pediatric Cancer Awareness Month. First place also includes free food
for a year at any Stomp, Chomp & Roll location.

Submit your favorite original cookie recipe to:
by Monday, June 27.

Judges include:

· Grier Christenbury, Cookies for Kids' Cancer Representative
(age seven)
· Kathleen Purvis, Food Editor (The Charlotte Observer)
· Lisa Frame, Blogger (Daily Pinch, Powered by Women and
· Kiran Dodeja Smith, Co-Publisher/Editor (Little Ones Magazine)
· Richard "Foodzilla" Grucia, Founder Good Eats & Meets,
(largest dining group in the country per capita, based in Charlotte)
All proceeds from the sale of the winning cookie until September 30
will benefit Cookies for Kids Cancer. Second place will receive $100
gift card to any Stomp, Chomp & Roll locations and third will win a
$50 gift card to any location.

Stomp, Chomp & Roll includes The Pizza Peel & Tap Room (Cotswold), The
Flying Biscuit Café (Park Road Shopping Center and Stonecrest), Monkey
Joe's (Park Road Shopping Center), Mama Fu's (Cotswold Village Shops)
and Moe's Southwest Grill (Northlake Mall).

"Partnering with Cookies for Kids' Cancer combines the two things
Stomp, Chomp & Roll is passionate about- great food and supporting the
Charlotte community," said Will Bigham co-partner. "We are proud to
support such a worthwhile organization like Cookies for Kids' Cancer
while giving back to the many families in need they benefit."

About Stomp, Chomp & Roll

Stomp, Chomp & Roll, filling Charlotte bellies with food and laughter,
is a Charlotte-based restaurant and entertainment group. Locations
include: The Pizza Peel & Tap Room (Cotswold), The Flying Biscuit Café
(Park Road Shopping Center and Stonecrest), Monkey Joe's (Park Road
Shopping Center), Mama Fu's (Cotswold Village Shops) and Moe's
Southwest Grill (Northlake Mall). For more information, visit

About Cookies for Kids' Cancer

Cookies for Kids' Cancer was founded by parents inspired by their
son's fight against cancer. Today pediatric cancer remains the number
one disease killer of children in the United States, due in large part
to a lack of funding for research into new and improved therapies.
Through the concept of local bake sales and online cookie sales,
Cookies for Kids' Cancer inspires individuals, organizations, and
businesses to join in the fight against pediatric cancer by raising
the funds and awareness necessary to change the face of pediatric
cancer and provide more families with the hope they deserve. Cookies
for Kids' Cancer grants funds raised to leading pediatric cancer
research facilities including Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center,
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, Children's Hospital of
Philadelphia, Texas Children's Cancer Center and Dana Farber Cancer
Center. For more information, visit
Follow on Facebook at
and Twitter at

The organization is a recognized 501(c)3 non-profit. Donations are tax
deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

County Budget Lowers the Tax Rate, Increases School, Park and Library Funding

With little change from their straw-vote decision last week, the
Mecklenburg Board of County Commissioners voted to adopt a $1.38
billion budget on Tuesday that gives more to education and libraries,
creates a fund to better manage debt, and provides for employee merit

The BOCC adopted the Fiscal Year 2012 budget at its regular meeting on
June 7, 2011, at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center. The
spending plan covers July 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012, and includes
a property tax rate decrease of almost 2 cents. The tax rate for the
total $1,385,005,882 budget is 81.66 cents per $100 of valued property.

The adopted budget includes several recommendations from County
Manager Harry L. Jones Sr., such as his proposal to give Charlotte-
Mecklenburg Schools an additional $26 million above the system's
current year allocation. Some new community nonprofit agencies
received funds this year because their program plans best fit the
County's focus on critical success factors such as high school
graduation and literacy. Charlotte Mecklenburg Library and Mecklenburg
Park and Recreation received additional funds this year after
significant cuts last year.

Another FY2012 budget approach change this year resulted in the County
no longer providing area hospitals with an indigent care subsidy
because, County officials say, the hospitals are in good financial
shape and can afford to pay for paying for that care on their own.

For additional details about the budget, visit
which is the County's official website.

PepsiCo Dream Machines Provide Convenient and Rewarding Recycling Option During Taste of Charlotte

You may have seen the PepsiCo Dream Machine kiosks at your local,
Charlotte-area Rite Aid store. Starting Friday, June 10, we invite you
to recycle your plastic bottles and aluminum cans in Dream Machine
kiosks or bins along Tryon street during the Taste of Charlotte food
festival. PepsiCo's Dream Machine is the official recycling partner
for the event, and PepsiCo will have exciting giveaways and
opportunities for you to interact with Dream Machines at the PepsiCo
Dream Machine tent located at Booth #97 on Tryon Street, near the
corner of Trade Street.

This is more than just recycling – the Dream Machine recycling
initiative is rewarding for the on-the-go consumer, our planet, and
post-9/11 veterans with disabilities.

Dream Machine bins and kiosks will be placed throughout Tryon Street
for convenient, on-the-go recycling. When you recycle your plastic
bottles and aluminum cans in a Dream Machine, you can:
o Earn personal reward points, redeemable for local discounts
(kiosks only);
o Support post-9/11 U.S. veterans with disabilities; and
o Help make our planet a little greener.

For all the bottles and cans recycled through the Dream Machine
program, PepsiCo will provide support to the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp
for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV), a national program offering free
education in entrepreneurship and small business management to
post-9/11 U.S. veterans with disabilities

When: Friday, June 10, 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Saturday, June 11, 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Sunday, June 12, 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Where: 13th annual Taste of Charlotte
Dream Machine tent, booth 97
On Tryon Street, near the corner of Trade Street

Friday, June 3, 2011

dbraun Promotions presents Inaugural EpiCentre Summer DJ

Eight prominent local and internationally-known turntable technicians
descend on EpiCentre on Saturday night, June 18, for the Inaugural
Summer DJ Fest presented by dbraun Promotions.

DJ Fest will include performances by Los Angeles-based DJ RJ Spinher,
one of the best-known club DJs on the west coast; DJ Enferno, best
known for his work with Madonna as both her touring DJ and for his
assistance on musical arrangements and programming in the studio; DJ
Roonie G, who incorporates innovative video into each of his sets, is
a three-time winner of the Clubworld Best VJ Award and was ranked the
No. 9 DJ in United States by DJ Times in 2010 and Ruth Flowers a.k.a.
DJ Mamy Rock, a 70-year-old silver-haired DJ sensation from Great

The main set at DJ Fest runs from 7–11 p.m. at Pavilion at EpiCentre.
When the concert is over, each of the aforementioned DJs will disperse
to select EpiCentre hotspots to perform their own after party club
set. DJ Spinher will perform at Kazba, DJ Enferno will spin at SUITE,
DJ Roonie G will perform at Whisky River and Ruth Flowers will rock Mez.

In addition, popular local DJs Rwonz, DJ Dirty, DJ RED and DJ Rowshay
will provide the opening soundtrack for both DJ Fest and each
performer's individual club sets.

Tickets for the Inaugural Summer DJ Fest at EpiCentre are $20 and
include admission to the rooftop concert at Pavilion as well as all
four after parties. Tickets are available online at and as well as at select
EpiCentre locations, including SUITE, Whisky River, Mez and Kazba.
EpiCentre is located at 210 E Trade Street in the heart of uptown

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.

Local Youth Sports Movement Heals Sports Budget Cuts

Local budget cuts are reducing or eliminating physical education and
sports programs in public schools and parks and recreation
departments. Some school teams are only surviving on financial
donations from parents, and those donations are drying up. With
childhood obesity rates at all-time highs, parents have the daunting
task of finding ways to keep their kids active and engaged.

To make matters worse, local parents looking for fun, organized sports
alternatives for children often find local athletic leagues can lack
both fun and organization. Half of all kids quit a sports team by age
12 due to cutthroat competition, pressure to excel, injury, or
unsustainable demands on time and money.

i9 Sports, a new local concept in youth sports, is on a mission to
buck this trend by providing families with the ideal balance of fun,
safety, convenience and affordability.

"We have created an exciting new model for youth sports that resonates
with families who are tired of the uncertainty of school sports and
the all-or-nothing culture of competition our children are often
thrown into," says Brian Sanders, president and COO of i9 Sports, the
nation's first and fastest growing youth sports franchise with 110
franchises in 26 states and one in your area. "Kids shouldn't have to
wonder if there will even be a school team or if they'll make that
school team. We give everyone a chance to play because there is much
more to gain from sports than just winning."

Why i9 Sports is Different:

• Practices and games are held together, one day a week – great for
working parents because it cuts down on driving, gas money, and
interruptions to family life and school work.
• Enrollment is inexpensive, with a low, one-time fee. No tournament
travel, coach and referee fees, trophy expenses, fundraising or parent
volunteering required.
• The emphasis is on fun. Every child makes the team and plays
• Parents sign a pledge to be a model of good sportsmanship. After
each game, a child earns a sportsmanship award for showing great
conduct with teammates and opponents.
• Leagues are available for children with disabilities or special
medical needs.
• After background checks, all coaches and league officials are
trained and certified.
Consider This:

• Charlotte, North Carolina - School board voted to eliminate all
middle school athletic programs. One thing saving some programs from
the budget ax for now is a $250,000 donation from Michael Jordan and
the Charlotte Bobcats!
" Every parent is concerned about budget cuts when it involves
physical education " says Denise Wilcox, a mother of two boys in i9
Sports and the PTA president of an elementary school in a suburb of
Atlanta. "With the rise of childhood obesity we parents will doing
anything we can to keep our kids active. One school system here has
already eliminated 60 physical education teacher positions; it's a
problem that's not going away. "

Heart of a Champion Day athletic screenings set for June 4

The fourth annual Heart of a Champion Day athletic screening for high
school student athletes attending Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS)
will be held at Carolinas College of Health Sciences, 1200 Blythe
Blvd., Saturday, June 4, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

More than 400 medical volunteers will screen nearly 2,000 high school
students who have pre-registered. Sponsors are CMS, CMC, CMC Sports
Medicine, Levine Children's Hospital, Sanger Heart & Vascular
Institute and OrthoCarolina. Sanger, eCardio and McKesson are
providing financial support.

Screenings will include an electrocardiogram and echocardiogram to
check for heart abnormalities that can lead to sudden death. For the
first time this year, students will be given a baseline balance test
that will help diagnose future concussions should they occur. Also
included will be general medical and orthopedic screenings. Video/
photographs of the screenings will be permitted and interviews with
medical volunteers and students will be available.

"The Bachelor" Is Calling All Single Ladies of the Carolinas

Charlotte native Emily Maynard won the heart of Brad Womack on ABC's
hit reality show "The Bachelor" earlier this year on WSOC-TV Channel 9.

Now the reality juggernaut is coming to the Queen City to see if any
other southern belles have what it takes to fight for the final rose.
Casting producers from "The Bachelor" will be on hand at AT&T Alive
After Five on Thursday, June 16, searching for prospective
bachelorettes to appear on the next season of "The Bachelor."
Registration begins at 4:30 p.m. and on-camera interviews will run
through 10 p.m. at SUITE, located adjacent to the rooftop Pavilion at
EpiCentre, 210 E Trade Street in the heart of uptown Charlotte.

"The Bachelor" introduces one lucky gentleman to 25 lovely ladies who
are all vying for his affection. The bachelor gets to send time with
each woman he meets, sometimes as a group and sometimes one-on-one.
Each episode culminates with a rose ceremony where each woman who
receives a rose can stay to date another day. Those who come up empty-
handed must head home alone. Since debuting in 2002 "The Bachelor" has
produced two spin-offs, "The Bachelorette" and "Bachelor Pad."
Additional information about "The Bachelor" is available at
The current season of "The Bachelorette" airs Monday nights at 8 p.m.
on WSOC-TV Channel 9.

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.