Friday, September 23, 2011

Charlotte novelist Mark de Castrique earns high advance praise for upcoming book

Poisoned Pen Press announces the upcoming release of The Sandburg
Connection by Charlotte novelist Mark de Castrique. The Sandburg
Connection (Category: Mystery. Hardcover, ISBN: 978-1-59058-941-0,
$24.95, 298 pages/Trade Paper, ISBN: 978-1-59058-943-4, 298 pages,
$14.95/Large Print Trade Paper, ISBN: 978-1-59058-942-7, $22.95, 420
pages) will be available wherever fine books are sold on October 4,

In a pre-publication Starred review, Publishers Weekly (July 29, 2011)
calls The Sandburg Connection "Stellar… a marvelous blend of history
and mystery. This strong regional mystery should resonate with a much
wider audience."

Novelist Mark de Castrique has earned high praise from a variety of
critics. The Chicago Tribune wrote, "As important and as impressive as
the author's narrative skills are the subtle ways he captures the
geography— both physical and human—of a unique part of the American
South." In a starred review, Library Journal added, "De Castrique's
unassuming but commanding prose style is comparable to James Lee Burke
and Margaret Maron." The Sandburg Connection is Mark de Castrique's
tenth book.

It was only routine. A simple assignment for private investigator Sam
Blackman and his partner Nakayla Robertson: follow a history
professor who's suing a spinal surgeon for malpractice and catch her
in physical activities that undercut her claim.

When professor Janice Wainwright visits Connemara, Carl Sandburg's
home in Flat Rock, North Carolina, and climbs the arduous trail to the
top of Glassy Mountain, Sam believes he has the evidence to wrap up
the case—until he finds the woman semiconscious and bleeding on the
mountain's granite outcropping. Her final words: "It's the Sandburg
verses. The Sandburg verses."

Having discovered the dying woman, Sam becomes the first suspect. And
now the routine case is personal. An autopsy reveals painkillers in
Janice Wainwright's blood and solid proof of the surgeon's errors. Sam
is haunted with questions: Why would this suffering woman endure the
climb to the mountaintop? Did she stumble and fall? Or was her death
not an accident—but murder?

A break-in at the Wainwright farmhouse and the theft of Sandburg
volumes convince Sam someone is seeking information worth killing for.
But what in Pulitzer-Prize-winner Carl Sandburg's literary collection
could have lead to multiple murders?

And who will be the next target?

A native of North Carolina, Mark writes mysteries primarily set in the
Appalachian mountains. He is an award-winning film and video producer
whose work has been broadcast on PBS, HBO, and network-affiliate
stations. Mark de Castrique is the author of the Sam Blackman mystery
series, the Buryin' Barry series, and two mysteries for young adults.
He lives in Charlotte, North Carolina. Visit Mark de Castrique online
at: For a video preview of The Sandburg
Connection and a tour of Connemara, please visit:

Founded in 1997, Poisoned Pen Press is an independent publisher
specializing in high quality mystery works. Based in Scottsdale,
Arizona, Poisoned Pen Press is the second largest publisher of
hardcover mysteries in the United States. Titles from Poisoned Pen
Press are distributed by Ingram Publisher Services, and are available
through such wholesalers as Ingram, Baker & Taylor, and Brodart, and
directly from the publisher. Visit Poisoned Pen Press on the web at:

Smith to be Shot Out of Cannon at Bank of America 500

For decades the Smith name has been associated with spectacular, one-
of-a-kind pre-race shows at Charlotte Motor Speedway, but the stunt
scheduled for the Oct. 15 Bank of America 500 will send Smith soaring
skyward to new heights.

In a first-of-its-kind attempt, Smith will try to set a Guinness World
Record for the highest recorded human cannonball shot. Will it be
Bruton Smith? Will it be Marcus Smith? Well, no.

It will be world-renowned human cannonball David "The Bullet" Smith
who will attempt to soar 90 feet in the air before the green flag
flies on the only Saturday night race in the Chase for the NASCAR
Sprint Cup.

Although this David Smith is not related to the Speedway Motorsports
Smith family, like Charlotte Motor Speedway President Marcus Smith,
David became involved in the family business at an early age.

He began his cannonball career at the age of 19, mostly out of
necessity when his father, David Sr., a lifelong human cannonball,
sustained an injury.

"My dad called and said 'son, I need you in Madison, Wisconsin in two
days,'" the junior Smith recalled. "I got to Wisconsin and took a
practice shot in the morning and did my first live show that evening.
I was terrified and nervous, but very excited."

That first cannonball shot was 75 feet in length. Since then Smith's
attempts have gotten significantly longer. He set his first Guinness
World Record for distance fired from a cannon in 1998 at 181 feet, 4
inches. In March this year Smith smashed the original attempt and
remains the current record holder, with a launch of 193 feet. During
the Bank of America 500 at Charlotte Motor Speedway he's setting his
sights on a height record, which is currently not on the books with

"Setting a height record is quite a challenging prospect on many
levels," said Smith. "Any time that I venture into uncharted territory
the biggest questions are will the cannon and the landing net perform
accurately and safely under new stresses and will I be able to
accurately account for things like wind drift and the rebound bounce
in the netting.

"A shot this big will require almost perfect accuracy, yet that
accuracy will be harder to come by than ever," Smith said. "I intend
to fire out of the cannon at Charlotte Motor Speedway with an
incredible amount of force both during launch and at the impact in the
landing net. One hard truth about a cannon shot like this one is that
there is very little grey area between success and failure."

Smith has performed all over the United States, including weeklong
shows at Disneyland in Calif., as a part of the Vans Warped Tour, on
"The Tonight Show with Jay Leno" and "The Today Show," and on
"Senseless Acts of Video" on MTV, where he shot over part of the Grand

"Figuring how to set the netting and to keep the cannon from rolling
down the cliff were challenges," Smith said of the Grand Canyon
attempt. "Also, adjusting to the incredibly strong winds and cold
weather was difficult too, but we did it!"

Smith has also taken his act internationally, performing once at the
Sultan's festival in Oman and at four Royal Shows, an annual fair held
in England.

Smith comes from a family with seven children, each of whom has been
fired from a cannon and four of whom have become professional
cannonballs. Smith himself has four children and his five-year-old son
Maverick has already expressed an interest in following in his
father's and grandfather's footsteps.

Smith earned the nickname "The Bullet" from his friends. He guesses
that he has been shot out of a cannon more than 5,000 times.

"It's in my blood. I love this," Smith said. "The challenge, the
adrenaline, the adventure, the roar of the crowd.

"I'm honored to have been invited to Charlotte Motor Speedway to find
out just what I can do with a human cannon," he continued. "I'll
improve as long as I can and then maybe pass it down to the next
generation. I can't wait to see what they can do, but I'll probably
have to cover my eyes."

Fans can purchase two frontstretch tickets to the Bank of America 500,
with the best views of Smith's human cannonball launch and the world's
largest HDTV, for just $99. Tickets for all October races at Charlotte
Motor Speedway can be purchased online at or by calling the speedway ticket
office at 1-800-455-FANS (3267).

For more information on all October events, connect with Charlotte
Motor Speedway on Twitter or become a
Facebook fan

Dirty Money Made Clean by Iredell Sheriff's Department

Sheriff Phillip Redmond of Iredell County is cleaning up the community
in an unconventional way. His office recently converted 13 out of 150
Crown Vics to run on clean-burning, domestically produced propane
autogas thanks in part to illegal activity - confiscated drug money.

The Sheriff's Office used Drug Interdiction Funds from seizures to
match grant funding for the autogas conversions, which were
administered by nationwide network Alliance AutoGas. Captain Mike
Phillips estimates the autogas conversions will save the county about
40 percent in fuel costs, in addition to reduced maintenance costs
like fewer oil changes.

"Running our fleet on propane autogas goes hand-in-hand with the
Sheriff Office's mission to clean up the community and create a better
environment for future generations of Iredell County—literally and
figuratively," says Captain Phillips.

Visit for more information.

Volunteers Needed for Thunder Road Marathon

Charlotte's Thunder Road Marathon is currently recruiting volunteers
for this year's race scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 12.

The following volunteer positions are needed from Tuesday, Nov. 8
through Saturday, Nov. 12: Expo Support, Information Kiosks, Packet
Distribution, Registration, Course Monitors, Signage Help on Course, T-
shirt Distribution, Baggage Area, Start Line Assistant, Finish Line
Support, Lead Bike Escort, and Driver Assistance. For those interested
in volunteering for the race and expo area, can register online at:

There is also an opportunity for non-profit organizations to volunteer
as a group and receive a charitable contribution for their team's
efforts. For questions regarding volunteering, please contact Bryan
Paschal at 704-643-3038

"Volunteers play a huge role in the days leading up to event and
especially during race day," said Tim Rhodes, race director of the
Thunder Road Marathon. "Donating your time at the Thunder Road
Marathon is a great way to support the runners and our community, and
help make the event a great experience for everyone involved. We can
never have too many volunteers so we encourage as much support as

Both the 7th Annual Thunder Road Marathon (a Boston Marathon
qualifier) and the Amica Insurance Half-Marathon will take place on
certified courses starting at 7:45 a.m. The Presbyterian Hospital 5K
will begin at 8:15 a.m. Registration for the 2011 Marathon is open and
is available online at Entry fees are as
follows: Now through Nov. 4: Marathon - $95, Half-Marathon - $65 and
5K - $35; and at the pre-event Expo (Nov. 10-11): Marathon - $125,
Half-Marathon - $90 and 5K - $45. There is also a double medal
opportunity for those who run the Dowd YMCA Run Half-Marathon (Oct.
22, 2011) and the Thunder Road Marathon or Amica Insurance Half-

The Thunder Road Marathon is the second largest marathon in the
Carolinas and unites the excitement of road racing, music, family-
friendly entertainment and the Charlotte region's rich heritage of
stock car racing. Featuring a marathon, half-marathon and 5K run, the
event draws participants from 48 different states and Canada. In its
six-year history, the race has raised more than $250,000 for local
charities. For more information or to register or volunteer for the
7thAnnual Thunder Road Marathon, zoom to

Stayed connected with Thunder Road Marathon on Facebook and Twitter at

Thursday, September 15, 2011

RiverTime Ride and Safety Rodeo Set For Sept. 24 in Mount Holly

The Catawba River District will be holding the RiverTime Ride and
Safety Rodeo, a community bike ride and safety rodeo in Mount Holly's
Tuckaseege Park, from 8-10 a.m. on Saturday Sept. 24.

Bike riders of all ages will participate in this leisurely 2.6 mile
ride to Mount Holly Middle School and returning to Tuckaseege Park.
Registration for the ride will start at 8am and the ride will begin at
8:45. The Safety Rodeo orchestrated by Crumley Roberts LLP will be
held concurrent with the ride and will allow young cyclists to get
safety tips and bike helmets while supplies last. The community bike
ride is also a free event with t-shirts available for sale for $5 and
donations accepted.

The RiverTime Ride and Safety Rodeo are part of a series of events
being held over the weekend of the 23rd and 24th in the Catawba River
District. RiverTime events include Autumn on Main, an arts and fine
crafts festival on Saturday the 24th in Mount Holly and the STEM
Outdoor Learning Fair and Northwest Chapter Green Conference being
held at the US National Whitewater Center on Friday September 23.
For further information on RiverTime and this series of events, visit

"We are excited about the RiverTime Ride and the opportunity to work
with the City of Mount Holly and Mount Holly Community Development
Foundation on this bike ride and safety rodeo", shared Edna Chirico,
executive director of the Catawba River District. "While this is our
first year for this event, we are pleased with the great support
received from the community thus far and are excited to make it a part
of RiverTime, "added Chirico.

About The Catawba River District
The Catawba River District is an organization committed to building a
sense of community based on environmental stewardship and water
quality in a 16,000-acre area comprising parts of northwest
Mecklenburg County, Mount Holly, and Belmont. This area is a vital
part of the Charlotte region and a critical part of its watershed.
The district includes the US National Whitewater Center, the Mountain
Island Educational State Forest, and parts of the Carolina Thread
Trail - including a key crossing of the Catawba River.

Wear Pink, Raise Awareness at Dollar General 300 Miles of Courage

Fans who attend the Oct. 14 Dollar General 300 Miles of Courage at
Charlotte Motor Speedway will have a unique opportunity to think pink
and join the fight against breast cancer.

In conjunction with October's recognition as Breast Cancer Awareness
Month, Dollar General, Charlotte Motor Speedway, Susan G. Komen for
the Cure and Speedway Children's Charities are working together to
increase awareness and raise funds for breast cancer research.

Fans are encouraged to wear pink for the Friday night NASCAR
Nationwide Series race and Charlotte Motor Speedway is offering
special breast cancer awareness ticket packages for the Dollar General
300 Miles of Courage that will benefit Susan G. Komen for the Cure and
Speedway Children's Charities. With the purchase of a $30 package,
fans will receive a frontstretch ticket to the Nationwide Series race
with spectacular views of pit road and the world's largest high-
definition television plus a commemorative pink t-shirt featuring the
unique pink race logo.

A weekend package which includes a Nationwide Series race ticket, pink
t-shirt and a ticket to the Oct. 15 Bank of America 500 NASCAR Sprint
Cup Series race is available for just $79.

In addition, any fan that purchases tickets to the Dollar General 300
Miles of Courage at Charlotte Motor Speedway via phone at 1-800-455-
FANS (3267), online or in the speedway ticket office can also purchase
additional tickets for just $20 each to send a breast cancer survivor
or her family member to the race. For their donation, fans will
receive recognition on the Charlotte Motor Speedway website, in the
Bank of America 500 souvenir program and on the world's largest HDTV
during Bank of America 500 Race Weekend.

Companies can also show their support for the fight against breast
cancer with block ticket purchases of 100 tickets or more at the $20
per ticket price by calling (704) 455-3203 and receive the same
recognition benefits online, in the souvenir program and on the giant

A portion of the proceeds from each breast cancer awareness ticket
package purchased will be donated to Susan G. Komen for the Cure and
Speedway Children's Charities for the fight against breast cancer.

"So many families in the NASCAR community are affected each year when
a parent is diagnosed with breast cancer, so it's a natural fit for
Speedway Children's Charities to support this awareness campaign and
partner with Susan G. Komen to find ways to lessen the impact this
disease has on children in our area," said Marcus Smith, president and
general manager of Charlotte Motor Speedway. "The Dollar General 300
Miles of Courage takes place in the middle of National Breast Cancer
Awareness Month and we want the fans and teams to support our efforts
this October and bring more attention to the fight against breast

Dollar General will exchange its traditional yellow paint scheme for
pink on its race car in the Dollar General 300 Miles of Courage. Reed
Sorenson, driver of the No. 32 Dollar General Chevrolet in the NASCAR
Nationwide Series, will drive the special pink car.

"I am so fortunate to be able to work with a sponsor like Dollar
General. Not only is it a great company with awesome people, but they
do so many good things for the communities to which they belong," said
Sorenson. "So it was no surprise to me that Dollar General wanted to
do something special once again for Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

"I'm thrilled to get the opportunity to drive the pink No. 32 Dollar
General Chevy in the Dollar General 300 Miles of Courage at Charlotte
Motor Speedway. It will surely be an exciting race that raises
awareness for a very important issue affecting so many people."

Three hundred people will be recognized in a special "ring of
survivors" during pre-race ceremonies and the pink race logo will
grace the frontstretch grass for the Friday evening race. In addition,
the speedway will incorporate the pink motif on the official Toyota
Camry pace car, tickets and at the start/finish line.

For more information on the Dollar General 300 Miles of Courage or to
purchase any of the breast cancer awareness ticket packages, fans can
call the Charlotte Motor Speedway ticket office at 1-800-455-FANS
(3267) or go online at

Holocaust Survivor Will Speak at Davidson Sept. 19

Davidson College invites the public on Monday, September 19, to hear a
talk by Holocaust survivor Susan Cernyak-Spatz of Charlotte.

Cernyak-Spatz, a Professor Emerita of German literature at UNC
Charlotte, will speak about her suffering at the hands of the Nazi
regime in a talk titled, "The Perpetrators of the Holocaust Through
the Eyes of the Victims." It will begin at 4:30 p.m. in Chambers
Building room 2164, and there is no charge to attend. For more
information, call 704-894-2284.

Cernyak-Spatz was born into a middle-class Jewish family in Vienna
during the interwar period. In 1929, the family moved to Berlin, where
they witnessed the Hitler movement's rise to power. Along with her
parents, Cernyak-Spatz fled to Prague in March 1938. While her father
managed to escape to Belgium shortly before the German invasion of
Poland, theNazis arrested and eventually deported Cernyak-Spatz and
her mother.

Cernyak-Spatz survived Auschwitz-Birkenau, the women's concentration
camp of Ravensbrück, and a death march during the waning weeks of the
war. Her mother died in Theresienstadt.

In July 1946, Cernyak-Spatz managed to leave Europe for the U.S. She
completed a dissertation on German Holocaust literature in 1971,
working under the direction of Ruth Klüger, another survivor. She has
published work on various aspects of the Holocaust, and her memoirs
appeared in 2005.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Warranty Direct Expands Extended Car Warranty Coverage For Customers At No Extra Charge

Warranty Direct (, a leading provider of
extended vehicle service contracts, has announced expanded coverage
for its major policies at no additional cost, in response to customer

"We are increasing the coverage for our most popular contracts by a
whole year, and providing additional options for others, to make our
coverage an even better value in the current economy," said Tara
Williams, Executive Vice President of Warranty Direct in Charlotte.
"We have had numerous customer requests for these options, and we are
very pleased to make them available, effective Sept. 12."

"With several comprehensive policy options, coverage for new cars has
been increased by one year, to a maximum of eight years, and for used
cars up to a maximum of 11 years of vehicle age," Williams explained.
"For one of our popular economical products, which just covers major
components such as engine, transmission and drive train, we have
expanded it to cover electronic components as well, for just about 10
percent more."

Warranty Direct is also offering the extended warranty industry's
first "disappearing deductible." It will waive its normal $100
deductible whenever customers have their cars repaired at two major
approved suppliers, Firestone Complete Auto Care with 1,500 stores
nationwide and AAMCO Transmission Repair with 750 locations.

Additional information on the coverage improvement options are
available on the company website,

For more than 30 years, Warranty Direct has been part of one of the
largest and most established vehicle service contract companies in
North America. Today Warranty Direct operates primarily on the
Internet, providing full transparency for the consumer so they can see
all options, prices and contracts online prior to purchase. The
company respects consumers by never engaging in unsolicited phone
calls (telemarketing). Warranty Direct is one of the few auto warranty
companies rated A+ by the Better Business Bureau.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Public assistance is needed in Myers Park burglaries

During the evening hours on Sept. 8, into the early morning hours on
Sept. 9, there were multiple burglaries in the areas of Harvard Place
and Ardsley Road in the Myers Park, Charlotte. If anyone has an
information regarding the pictured suspect, please contact 911
immediately or Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.

United Way Kicks Off 2011 Fundraising Campaign With $20.5 Million Goal, Belk Partners

United Way of Central Carolinas officially launched its 2011
fundraising campaign today (Sept. 9) at Montclaire Elementary School,
one of six CMS schools that will benefit from a new partnership
between Belk and United Way. At the event, United Way announced a
campaign target of $20.5 million in local donations, an increase of
3.4 percent.

Belk donated over 2,000 new school uniforms that will be distributed
via two United Way partner agencies: A Child's Place, which provides
resources for students who are homeless or in transition, and
Communities In Schools, which offers resources and support to help at-
risk students achieve graduation and reach their fullest potential.

zMAX Dragway Becomes Drag Racing Heaven for NHRA Nationals

The fastest accelerating machines on the planet arrive at zMAX Dragway
for the fourth annual O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals Sept. 15-18.

The six-race NHRA Full Throttle Countdown to the Championship
postseason begins when the Full Throttle Drag Racing Series returns to
the Bellagio of drag strips. The event will showcase drag racing's
best, as well as fire performers, NHRA legends, Tommy Ivo's "Showboat"
four-engine dragster, track walks, 40-foot flame throwers and more.

Winning at zMAX Dragway a Good Omen
In both 2009 and 2010, three of the four winners in the O'Reilly Auto
Parts NHRA Nationals at zMAX Dragway went on to secure championships
in their respective categories. Robert Hight, Mike Edwards and Hector
Arana each took home a Wally from Charlotte, then went on to win
championships in 2009, while Larry Dixon, Greg Anderson and LE Tonglet
won titles after scoring the victory in Charlotte's Countdown event in

Worsham, Neff, Anderson and Krawiec Lead Field into Playoffs
Top Fuel driver Del Worsham, Funny Car driver Mike Neff, Pro Stock
driver Greg Anderson and Pro Stock Motorcycle driver Ed Krawiec are
top seeds in their respective categories heading into the O'Reilly
Auto Parts NHRA Nationals, the first of the six-race championship
playoffs. Worsham has earned his spot with six victories so far this
season. Neff and Anderson each secured their fifth win of the season
in last weekend's U.S. Nationals and Krawiec has two wins this season.
Worsham and Anderson scored wins earlier this year at zMAX Dragway in
the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals.

The Night Time is the Right Time
Fire will rule the evening on Friday, Sept. 16, at zMAX Dragway during
the only night qualifying session of the weekend. See 8,000 horsepower
come to life under the lights as nitro Funny Cars and Top Fuel
dragsters shoot six-foot flames out of the headers while they scream
down the Bellagio of drag strips at speeds over 300 mph. Fire
performers Srikanta Barefoot and Jimmy Pyro will thrill the crowd with
performances throughout the day and on the track on Friday evening.
Even zMAX Dragway's twin scoring towers at the Top End will get in on
the act as both will be outfitted with flamethrowers that will shoot
flames 40 feet into the night sky signifying the lane with the best
Elapsed Time for each nitro pass. Tickets for Friday start at only $20
and kids 12 and under get in for only $5 with a paying adult.

"TV" Tommy Ivo's "Last Hurrah" at O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals
Drag racing's greatest showman and one of NHRA's greatest drivers "TV"
Tommy Ivo will be honored at the fourth annual O'Reilly Auto Parts
NHRA Nationals, Sept. 15-18, at zMAX Dragway in what Ivo claims may be
his "last hurrah" on the East Coast. Ivo will be at the Bellagio of
drag strips Friday through Sunday, Sept. 16-18, during the event
weekend signing autographs for fans, as well as participating in the
Legends Track Walk down the concrete quarter-mile on Sunday, Sept. 18.
Ivo will also serve as the honorary starter. Joining Ivo will be his
famous four-engine dragster, the "Showboat." The dragster uses four
Buick power plants, because Ivo, who upgraded from a two-engine
dragster, decided that if two engines were good, four would be better.
Fans with reserved-seat tickets for Sunday will have access for the
Legends Track Walk.

Garlits and Gwynn to Revive Rivalry
Reviving a rivalry from the 1980s, two legendary drag racers, "Big
Daddy" Don Garlits and Darrell "The Kid" Gwynn, will face off during
the fourth annual O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals, Sept. 15-18, at
zMAX Dragway. The legends will pilot two specially-built, battery-
powered dragsters, with paint schemes similar to the machines they
raced in their heyday and will compete three times, once each day on
Friday, Saturday and Sunday of the event weekend.

9/11 First Responders Honored at O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals
A group of twelve 9/11 first responders will serve as Honorary Grand
Marshals for the Sept 15-18 O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals and
participate in pre-race ceremonies. Retired members of FDNY and NYPD,
each of the men was among the first to respond to the scene following
the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center the morning of Sept.
11, 2001.

Tickets for the O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals start at $20 and
are still available or by phone at 1-800-455-
FANS (3267). Fans can buy three tickets and get one free for any day
until Sept. 9.

Connect with zMAX Dragway and stay up to speed with all the happenings
at the Bellagio of drag strips on Facebook at
and on Twitter at

Animal Care & Control Offers Free Rabies Vaccinations Saturday

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department's Animal Care & Control will
be promoting rabies prevention awareness and education by celebrating
World Rabies Day at its monthly rabies clinic on Saturday, Sept. 10.
Mecklenburg County residents are encouraged to bring their pets to the
shelter (located at 8315 Byrum Drive Charlotte, NC 28217) for a free
rabies shot between the hours of 7:00am and 11:00am.

The line will be cut off at 11:00am, however everyone who is in line
before 11:00am will be served. Please make sure dogs are on leashes
and cats are in carriers. You will need to provide identification to
show you live in Mecklenburg County such as a valid driver's license.

The free vaccinations that are being used at the clinic are made
possible by the Global Alliance for Rabies Control and Pfizer Animal

Despite being 100% preventable, it is estimated that 55,000 people die
worldwide from rabies each year, approximately one person every ten
minutes. The World Rabies Day initiative is a global rabies awareness
campaign being spearheaded by the UK charity Alliance for Rabies
Control and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

"This campaign offers all of us a unique opportunity to increase
global awareness of the most deadly disease known to humans," says Dr.
Deborah Briggs, Executive Director for the Alliance of Rabies Control.
"A major part of this effort is the declaration of an annual World
Rabies Day on September 28th. Events are planned throughout the world
to increase awareness about rabies, and to raise support and funding
towards its prevention and control."

Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department's Animal Care & Control will
join the list of international partners who are rallied towards
Working Together to Make Rabies History!

Additional information is available online at
and at

Charlotte Realtors report closings up in August

Charlotte Regional Realtor® Association reports that the number of
closings for August 2011 (2,289) increased 25.6 percent compared to
August 2010 when closings totaled 1,822. Compared to July 2011
(2,173), closings were up 5.3 percent.

The average sales price in August 2011 ($205,915) was down 9.2 percent
compared to August 2010 ($226,716), and down 3.5 percent compared to
July 2011 ($213,371). The median sales price in August 2011 ($158,000)
decreased 2.5 percent compared to the August 2010 median sales price
of $162,000, and was down 3.5 percent compared to the July 2011 median
sales price of $163,659.

The average list price in August 2011 ($236,813) increased 2.7 percent
from last August's average list price of $230,481, and was down 3.7
percent from the July 2011 average list price of $245,953. The
residential pending contracts figure for August 2011 (2,258) was up
24.6 percent compared to August 2010 (1,812). This figure increased 8
percent over July 2011 when pending contracts totaled 2,091.

New residential listings in August 2011 totaled 3,886. The average
number of days a property was listed until it closed (list to close)
was 146, which is four days faster than last month.

CMLS distressed housing inventory, or the transactions that deal with
distressed sales, continues to decrease, with the number of
foreclosures for sale in the MLS at its lowest level in three and a
half years. Distressed sales represented 22.7 percent of all closings
in August, down from 35.5 percent in August 2010. The share of
distressed new listings in August decreased to 15.2 percent compared
to 24.8 percent in August 2010, which means that a greater share of
distressed properties are selling off the market than entering the
market at this time.

In April 2011, CMLS began using a new reporting tool to create
reports. In order to report the most up-to-date figures each month,
the tool is constantly "updating history" instead of allowing data to
remain static 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 are 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 6,600 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 7,300 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.

Noted War Correspondent Will Speak at Davidson Sept. 20

Davidson College invites the public to a talk on Tuesday, Sept. 20, by
acclaimed combat photojournalist and author Sebastian Junger. Junger
will deliver the college's annual Reynolds Lecture on "The Front Lines
of History: Twenty Years of Reporting from Around the World" beginning
at 7:30 p.m. in Duke Family Performance Hall.

There is no charge to attend the lecture, but tickets are required and
may be picked up at theAlvarez College Union ticket office from 10
a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays, and beginning one hour prior to the lecture
if they remain. For information call the ticket office at
704-894-2135. A reception and book signing will follow the lecture.

Junger's book "The Perfect Storm" remained on "The New York Times"
best-seller list for more than three years, and became a major motion
picture. His other books include "A Death in Belmont" and "Fire."

Junger has also reported on war in Liberia, Sierra Leone and
Afghanistan. For more than a year, he and photojournalist Tim
Hetherington (who recently died covering the war in Libya) embedded
with a combat team in the heavily contested Korengalvalley of eastern
Afghanistan. Junger spent weeks at a time at a remote outpost that
endured more combat than almost any other part of the country. He
wrote about that experience in a book titled "WAR," and produced from
the experience a documentary titled "Restrepo" that won the 2010 Grand
Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival and has been aired on the
National Geographic Channel.

Junger's earlier reporting on Afghanistan in 2000 became the subject
of the National Geographic documentary "Into the Forbidden Zone." In
2001, he covered the Afghan war as a special correspondent for ABC
News and "Vanity Fair." His work has also been published in
"Harper's," "The New York Times Magazine," "National Geographic
Adventure," "Outside," and "Men's Journal."

Davidson is a highly selective independent liberal arts college for
1,900 students located 20 minutes north of Charlotte in Davidson, N.C.
Since its establishment in 1837 by Presbyterians, the college has
graduated 23 Rhodes Scholars and is consistently regarded as one of
the top liberal arts colleges in the country. Through The Davidson
Trust, the college became the first liberal arts institution in the
nation to replace loans with grants in all financial aid packages,
giving all students the opportunity to graduate debt-free. Davidson
competes in NCAA athletics at the Division I level, and a longstanding
Honor Code is central to student life at the college.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Davidson College Concert Series Begins Sunday, Sept. 11

The Davidson College Music Department kicks off its 2011-2012 Concert
Series on Sunday, Sept. 11, with an encore piano trio performance from
Rosemary Furniss, violin, Alan Black, cello, and Dana Protopopescu,

Rosemary Furniss (in photo), who currently serves as Artistic director
and Concertmaster of the London Chamber Orchestra, recently moved to
the United States with her husband, Christopher Warren-Green,
conductor of the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra. She will serve as
Artist Associate in Violin at Davidson College.

Alan Black begins his twenty-sixth season as Principal Cellist with
the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra. This season, Black strengthens his
ties to Davidson College as he assumes a position as Artist Associate
in Cello and Chamber Music. Dana Protopopescu, a native of Bucharest,
is an active performer and award-winning recording artist. She has
worked with notable conductors throughout Europe and performed in many
prestigious festivals worldwide.

Their Concert Series performance on September 11, 2011 will feature
works by Schubert, Enescu, and Chopin. Ticket prices range from $5-$12
and are available online or by phone at the College Union Ticket
Office at 704-894-2135. More information about this performance, and
other upcoming Concert Series events, can be found at the Music
Department's website at

Davidson College Music Department Concert Series
An Afternoon of Chamber Music
Feat. Rosemary Furniss, Alan Black, Dana Protopopescu
Tyler-Tallman Hall, Sloan Music Center
September 11, 2011
3:00 p.m. Reception to follow; open to public.

Krispy Kreme CEO Jim Morgan To Speak On Faith and Prayer at Community Breakfast Sept. 19

Jim Morgan, President and CEO of Krispy Kreme Corporation, will be the
keynote speaker at an open Community Breakfast at Providence Baptist
Church, Charlotte, at 6:30 a.m. Monday, Sept. 19. Tickets for the
event, which the public is encouraged to attend, are $10 from the
Church Office at 704-366-2784.

Morgan will discuss "When and Where Are Faith and Prayer Appropriate?"
"I will be discussing the myth that we must park our faith at the
doorstep of our workplace and why we must challenge that myth and life
both our faith and our life of prayer 24/7," Morgan explained.

Morgan, a longtime member of Providence Baptist Church and Charlotte
resident, has served as Chairman of the Board of Krispy Kreme since
2005; President and Chief Executive Officer of Krispy Kreme since
2008; and Vice Chairman of the Board of Krispy Kreme from 2004 to
2005. He was previously Chairman and Chief Executive of Interstate/
Johnson Lane, an investment banking and brokerage firm, and led the
merger of IJL and Wachovia Corporation in 1999.

Providence Baptist Church is located at 4921 Randolph Rd., online at

Northwestern Mutual Foundation Gives $25,000 to Easter Seals UCP

Easter Seals UCP (United Cerebral Palsy), a nonprofit that provides
critical programs and services to individuals with disabilities and
special needs, was presented with a generous $25,000 donation today
fromNorthwestern Mutual Foundation . The grant is in recognition of
Richard Worrell, managing director of Northwestern Financial in
Charlotte, being named the Most Exceptional Volunteer in the company's
17th annual national Community Service Award program. Worrell is a
long-time supporter of Easter Seals UCP and has a son who has
benefitted from the nonprofit's services.

The $25,000 donation will be designated to support a multi-sensory
environment room at the Easter Seals UCP Children's Center in
Charlotte. The multi-sensory environment will offer a safe place for
children with multi-sensory disorders and be the first in the
Charlotte area open to the community.

"We are extremely grateful for the support we have received from
Richard Worrell and the Northwestern Mutual Foundation," said Betsy
Dailey, Mecklenburg community director for Easter Seals UCP. "Our
Children's Center has benefitted tremendously from Northwestern Mutual
Foundation's designated grants over the past couple of years, which
have allowed us to provide even more services and better equipment to
help our children with special needs progress in their development. "

Worrell's son was born with a rare birth defect that caused him to
have significant development challenges. After discovering the Easter
Seals UCP Children's Center, his son was able to attend a school that
allowed him to prosper developmentally and mentally through
specialized therapies, while being in an inclusive classroom. As a
result of seeing the benefits his son received through Easter Seals
UCP, the Worrell family became active supporters of the nonprofit,
even after his son graduated from the preschool two years ago.

"Easter Seals UCP is a lifelong partner for children and adults with
disabilities, helping them to maximize their potential," said
Worrell. "I am most grateful to Northwestern Mutual's generosity for
this grant, which will be dedicated to building a multi-sensory
environment room at the Easter Seals Children's Development Center in
Charlotte," he added.

The Community Service Award program is open to more than 9,000
Northwestern Mutual financial representatives and assistant financial
representatives, recognizing their individual dedication to charitable
organizations and philanthropic projects. Since the program's
inception, over $3 million has been contributed to more than 300 non-
profit organizations throughout the country.

About Easter Seals UCP North Carolina & Virginia
Headquartered in Raleigh, NC with programs and services throughout
North Carolina and Virginia, Easter Seals UCP is a lifelong partner to
families managing disabilities and mental health challenges. The
nonprofit serves more than 20,000 individuals and their families
annually through an array of services. Easter Seals UCP enhances the
quality of life for individuals and maximizes their potential for
engaging in their communities. For more information on Easter Seals
UCP North Carolina & Virginia, please visit

About Northwestern Mutual The mission of the Northwestern Mutual
Foundation – the largest corporate giver in the state of Wisconsin –
is to build strong, vibrant communities that serve as a legacy to
future generations. The Foundation's giving is designed to create an
impact on the communities where the company's employees and financial
representatives live and work. In fiscal year 2011, the Foundation
contributed more than $15 million to nonprofit organizations across
the country.

ACS Launches Pink Porch Campaign to Create Awareness and Funds for Breast Cancer

The American Cancer Society (ACS) recently announced that it is
launching the "Pink Porch Campaign." Through the campaign, individuals
are invited to purchase a pink light bulb and install it in a visible
location (such as a front porch or yard light) during October which is
National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The pink bulbs are available for $5 at the following ACE Hardware
· Blackhawk Ace Hardware, 4225 Park Rd., Charlotte
· Ferguson's Ace Hardware. 2267 Lincolnton Hwy, Cherryville
· Eason's ACE Hardware, 3347 S. NC HWY 127, Hickory
· Locust Ace Hardware, 217 Town Center Dr., Locust
· Morganton Ace Hardware, 526 W. Fleming Dr., Morganton
· Rockwell Ace Hardware, 229 East Main Street, Rockwell
as well as from the American Cancer Society directly at 1901 Brunswick
Avenue, Suite 100, Charlotte.

"Finding breast cancer early can mean the difference between life and
death," said Dana Hamilton, project manager of ACS Making Strides
Against Breast Cancer in Charlotte. "What could be more visible than
turning a pink light bulb on for your neighborhood to see? These pink
bulbs lit up across the region will serve as a reminder to make that
all important appointment for a medical check-up or mammogram."
Money raised through the Pink Porch Campaign will be added to that
raised during the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event on
October 29, 2011, at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte. More than
5,000 individuals are expected to participate in this powerful and
inspiring event that celebrates people who have battled breast cancer,
educates people about ways to reduce their risk and empowers
communities to join the fight. For more information, visit or call 704-552-6147.

All funds will support American Cancer Society breast cancer efforts.
ACS currently invests more in breast cancer research to better
understand, prevent and cure the disease than in any other cancer
site. Of the researchers receiving Society funding throughout the
years, 44 have gone on to win the Nobel Prize. The American Cancer
Society has played a role in nearly every major cancer research
breakthrough in recent history, including:
· funding research into breast-conserving surgery, using
lumpectomy plus radiation for treatment;

· establishing mammography as the gold standard to find breast
cancer early;

· discovering lifesaving treatments (such as Herceptin) to
improve breast cancer survival and drugs (such as Tamoxifen) to reduce
the risk of second or first breast cancer;

· discovering genes for inherited breast and colon cancer;

· confirming the knowledge that genetics, diet, lack of
exercise, and alcohol abuse can increase cancer risk; and

· discovering cancer-causing oncogenes and tumor-suppressor

About the American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society combines an unyielding passion with nearly
a century of experience to save lives and end suffering from cancer.
As a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers, we
fight for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every
community. We save lives by helping people stay well by preventing
cancer or detecting it early; helping people get well by being there
for them during and after a cancer diagnosis; by finding cures through
investment in groundbreaking discovery; and by fighting back by
rallying lawmakers to pass laws to defeat cancer and by rallying
communities worldwide to join the fight. As the nation's largest non-
governmental investor in cancer research, contributing about $3.4
billion, we turn what we know about cancer into what we do. As a
result, more than 11 million people in America who have had cancer and
countless more who have avoided it will be celebrating birthdays this
year. To learn more about us or to get help, call us any time, day or
night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit

Look at Her Power, Dress for Success - Charlotte Fundraising Event Sept. 15

Dress for Success Charlotte hosts its premier benefit, Look at Her
Power on September 15, 2011 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the Park
Expo & Conference Center, (formerly the Merchandise Mart, 2500 E.
Independence Blvd.)

Look at Her Power guests enjoy an evening of fun, fashion and
delicious refreshments. They are also privy to a unique experience: a
Private Preview and Opening Night Celebration of the 29th Annual
Southern Women's Show, thanks to Southern Shows, presenting sponsor
and long-time supporter.

A powerful highlight of the evening will be "The Faces of Dress for
Success" fashion show. The models are all Dress for Success Charlotte
clients. We will hear their success stories and watch them take to
the runway in beautiful outfits donated by belk, the fashion show

Sheri Lynch, author and award winning co-host of The Bob & Sheri Show
on The Link, 107.9, will be this year's keynote speaker. Maureen
O'Boyle from WBTV will return as our emcee. This year's honorary
chairs are Carolyn and Paul Silas, NBA Coach of the Charlotte Bobcats
and Jane Thomas is the Event Chair.

The 2011 Paradigm Award, sponsored by L'Oreal Paris will be presented
to Diane Davis of AmeripriseFinancial Services, Inc. for helping to
link individual and corporate philanthropy with social needs activism.
Diane has had a life-long passion for the empowerment of women in all
facets of our society. Most notably, the Professional Women's Group
(PWG) program of Dress for Success Charlotte has drawn Diane to
participate in forums helping women develop workplace skills essential
to their career advancement.

Dress for Success promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged
women by providing professional attire, a network of support and the
career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.Now
in its sixth year, Look at Her Power has raised more than $500,000 to
support these programs.

Sponsors of Look at Her Power are: Wells Fargo, Southern Shows, belk,
L'Oreal Paris, US Airways, Debby & Steele Alphin, Bank of America,
Boingo Graphics, formerly Integraphx, King & Spalding, Polymer Group,
Charlotte Bobcats, The Charlotte Observer, CoaLogix, Inc. Episode XI
Studios, Gilbert E. Galle, Don & Susan Sherrill, Today's Charlotte
Woman, Booz Allen Hamilton, Ty & Pat Boyd, Carolina Pad, Diane Davis –
Ameriprise Financial Services, Duke Energy, Family Dollar, First
Citizens Bank, Sarah Belk Gambrell, Goodrich, Goodwill Industries of
the Southern Piedmont, Greer & Walker, L.L.P, Paul Simon for Women,, American Honda Finance Corp, Mary Lou Babb,
Jefferson Brown, Colletta Bryce, Peggy & Robert Culbertson, Jill
Dinwiddie, Doncaster Charlotte/Marguerite Rupar, Elliott Davis, PLLC,
Flowers of Charlotte, Cammie Hauptfuhrer, Healthy Meals from Home,
Cory & Katherine Hohnbaum,LorneLassiter, Lee Hecht Harrison, Jenny
Longshore, Susan McDonough, Piedmont Natural Gas, Solutions FYS, Inc.,
Nancy Tarbis and Jane & Chris Thomas. Food and Beverages provided by
Brown-Forman Beverages, Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Brio Tuscan Grille
and La-tea-das.

About Dress for Success Charlotte:
Dress for Success Charlotte provides women with interview-appropriate
attire, a support network and the tools for their economic self-
sufficiency and to help break the cycle of poverty. Demand for Dress
for Success Charlotte's services has seen a 70% increase over the past
year and the suiting of more than 800 new clients in 2010. Besides
interview-appropriate attire, clients benefit from programs and
services at the organization's Boutique and Career Transformation
Center, which offers a Professional Womens Group, one-on-one coaching,
mentoring, free internet access and interactive group workshops.

Randolph Road Shut Down Due To Water Main Leak

CMPD has just announced that Randolph Rd from Laurel to Caswell will
be entirely shut down as of 4 pm today (Sept. 6) for some time due to
water main leak and large sink holes.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

'Cookies For Kids' Promoted In September To Support Pediatric Cancer Research

Everyone knows that good causes and Charlotteans go hand and hand.
Charlotte has proven that it is full of 'good cookies' by raising more
money per capita for Cookies for Kids' Cancer, a national non-profit
dedicated to raising much needed funds for pediatric cancer research,
than any other city in the U.S. Beginning September 1st, 30 local
businesses will donate a portion of their proceeds for one given day
of the month to the organization during Pediatric Cancer Awareness

During every day in September, Charlotte-area businesses are raising
funds for and awareness of pediatric cancer research. The inspiration
behind the effort is local first grader, Grier Christenbury, and the
'little warriors' also battling the disease. Grier is a 7 year old
from Charlotte who has been battling Neuroblastoma, a type of
pediatric cancer, since the age of 2 1/2. He is currently undergoing
treatment. "We wanted to recognize his fight and all of the children
like him who live in our area by making every day during Pediatric
Cancer Awareness Month to be a day to come together to raise money and
awareness," explained local event organizer Lesa Helbein.

"Many of us are guilty of not taking the time to enjoy what is already
right in front of us - our family and loved ones. So, in honor of
these families, we are offering 30 different opportunities to spend
time with family and support research for pediatric cancer, the
disease the claims the lives of more children than any other," Helbein

There is a wide variety of ways people can get involved from eating at
a favorite restaurant to shopping at a local store to even getting a
haircut. All money raised will be directed to Cookies for Kids'
Cancer to fund much needed pediatric cancer research.

Cookies for Kids' Cancer was founded by a Meredith graduate, Gretchen
Holt Witt, a mom inspired by her son's courageous battle with
pediatric cancer who also battled the same type of cancer as Grier
Christenbury. After learning that cancer is the United States' number
one cause of death by disease in children under the age of 18, due in
large part to a lack of funding for research into new and improved
therapies, Witt was determined to do everything in her power to change
that fact. She decided to make it her mission to raise funds for new
and improved therapies for childhood cancers through the concept of
local bake sales. Cookies for Kids' Cancer, provides the inspiration
and support for individuals, communities and businesses to help fight
pediatric cancer.

Cookies for Kids' Cancer is not about one child or one type of
pediatric cancer. It is about changing the facts of pediatric cancer
for the better, forever. Forty-six children are diagnosed with cancer
every school day and 13,000 children are diagnosed with cancer each
year in the United States alone. Survivors of childhood cancer face a
broad range of physical and psychological challenges imposed by the
disease, and many will suffer its long-term effects for the rest of
their lives. Despite these statistics, there has only been one drug
developed specifically for pediatric cancer in 20 years.

To learn how you can support CFKC, visit

To learn more about "30 Days for a CURE!", go to or
visit us on Facebook, you can find us at Cookies for Kids' Cancer-
Charlotte. Here, you can find all of the events that we are working
on in and around the Charlotte area throughout the year.

Curbside PIckup Maintains Labor Day Collection Schedule

The City of Charlotte Solid Waste Services collection crews will
collectgarbage, recyclables, yard waste and bulky items according to
the normal schedule on Labor Day, Monday, September 5.

While enjoying holiday festivities, residents are encouraged to
recycle. As a reminder, the week of September 5 is a green recycling
collection week. Residents on green collection week should place their
recycling carts curbside on their scheduled collection day.

A few tips to help residents properly prepare recyclables for
collection include:

· Rinse and remove all food/liquid residue from recyclable items

· Remove caps and lids from bottles and containers

· Please do not bag recyclables before placing them in the
recycling cart

· Cut cardboard into sections small enough to fit into the
recycling cart

· Please do not overfill the recycling cart

· Place the recycling cart curbside by 6:30 am on your
scheduled collection day

· Place the recycling cart within 2 feet of the curb and at
least 3 feet away from other collection items and obstacles such as
mailboxes, vehicles and phone poles.

For more information on Curb It! collection services, visit
or call 311 (704.336.7600).

Groundbreaking Scheduled for New Romare Bearden Park in Third Ward

Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation, in partnership with the Arts
and Science Council, Charlotte Center City Partners and Partners for
Parks, invite the public to the groundbreaking of Romare Bearden Park
on Friday, Sept. 2 from 9 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.
Festivities will take place at the corner of Third and Church streets
in uptown Charlotte.

The groundbreaking ceremony, which falls on the 100th birthday of the
famous artist, will offer unique experiences through an array of
cultural activities ranging, from a musical performance from a local
jazz band to an exhibit of youth art inspired by Romare Bearden. A
Romare Bearden commemorative stamp display will also be featured.

The schedule of events is as follows:
• 9 a.m. - Music from the 5 Story Building Jazz Band followed by St.
Michael's Episcopal and All Angels Church Choir
• 9:15 a.m. - Brief remarks from local dignitaries
• 9:55 a.m. - Ruth E. Sloane, playwright, poet and artistic director,
will present a dramatic reading from excerpts of her original play:
Romare Bearden 1911-1988
• 10:10 a.m. - Groundbreaking hosted by Captain Rob Brisley, Charlotte
Fire Department, Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Commission Chair
• 10:20 a.m. - Birthday cake will be served

About Romare Bearden
Romare Bearden was born on September 2, 1911 in Charlotte and died in
New York City on March 12, 1988, at the age of 76. He is best known
for his richly textured collages, two of which appeared on the cover
of Fortune and Time magazines in 1968. Bearden also designed costumes
and sets for numerous dance theatres, including the Nanette Bearden
Contemporary Dance Theatre. Most of his work can be found in public
collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney
Museum of American Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Museum of
Fine Arts, Boston and the Jerald Melberg Gallery in Charlotte.

School of Rock Charlotte Introducing New Artist Development Program This Fall

This fall the School of Rock will launch three new Artist Development
programs in the Charlotte area designed for musicians who want to take
their playing to the next level. Band Coaching, Project Studio, and
Epic Albums, are designed to give intermediate to advanced students of
all ages the opportunity to enhance their performance skills, broaden
their creativity in the studio, and further develop their musical
knowledge and skills. "Our students possess the talent and desire to
be in their own bands, get in the studio and write their own music"
said Mark Biondi, VP of Product Development. "It is our goal to
provide a nurturing environment to help foster the next generation of
great artists."

-BAND COACHING gives bands an edge through coached rehearsal sessions
with a professional musician, focusing on the development of their
live show and how to tighten up their sound. Bands receive musical
guidance, constructive feedback and assistance with getting gigs. Band
Coaching features a weekly 90-minute rehearsal for bands who want to
improve the quality of their performances. Follow the Twitter hashtag:

-EPIC ALBUMS brings together musicians to record rock history.
Students will learn the recording process in the studio through the
dissection and analysis of pivotal albums including: OK COMPUTER
(Radiohead), NEVERMIND (Nirvana), LED ZEPPELIN IV (Led Zeppelin),
DOOKIE (Green Day) and MASTER OF REALITY (Black Sabbath). Epic Albums
features a weekly private music lesson and 90-minute pre-production
session complemented with an intensive, once-a-month recording studio

-PROJECT STUDIO immerses students into the process of songwriting and
recording in a studio environment. This program will give students an
opportunity to collaborate, write and record original music. Project
Studio features a weekly private music lesson and 90-minute pre-
production session, plus a monthly studio session.

About School of Rock:
For more than a decade, School of Rock has been inspiring kids to rock
on stage and in life. Our students develop confidence, talent and
skills, through our beginner, intermediate and advanced music
programs. We offer music lessons on guitar, bass, piano, vocals and
drums in an authentic, performance-based environment. School of Rock
operates 71 schools in 26 states and Mexico, with new locations
opening nationwide. We are expanding rapidly to meet the demands of
kids who want to play music, be in a band and for parents who
appreciate music education. With opportunities available nationwide,
it's an exciting time to open a music school franchise with School of
Rock! Visit for more information.

County Announces Closings for Labor Day Holiday

Mecklenburg County Government offices and agencies will be closed on
Monday, Sept. 5, for the Labor Day holiday. This includes all units of
the Department of Social Services, the Tax Office, Elections Office,
the Register of Deeds Office, and the Land Use and Environmental
Services Agency.

Mecklenburg County Substance Abuse Center (Detox) is open 24 hours a
day, seven days a week. The Department of Social Services Care Line
(704-336-CARE or 704-336-2773) operates 24 hours a day, seven days a
week to receive reports of suspected abuse or neglect of children, the
elderly or disabled adults. The Health Department will be closed on
Monday, Sept. 5.

The Main Library and all library branches will be closed on Monday,
Sept. 5.

Solid Waste's administrative offices and all facilities, except
Compost Central, will be closed on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 5. Compost
Central will operate from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Park and Recreation administrative offices will be closed on Monday,
Sept. 5.

Recreation Centers and the Marion Diehl pool will be closed on Monday,
Sept. 5. Outdoor pools will open at noon and will close for the season
at 6 p.m. Spraygrounds open at 10 a.m. and remain open until 8 p.m.
before closing for the season.

Ray's Splash Planet will operate from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. A reminder, the
Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center is closed for maintenance until mid-

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

Thunder Road Marathon Calls on Charlotte Neighborhoods to Make Thunder for Nov. 12 Race

Charlotte's 7th Annual Thunder Road Marathon is calling on area
neighborhoods to take part in its "Neighborhood Association Challenge"
to support the thousands of runners who will take to thestreets of
Charlotte on Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011.

Geared toward neighborhoods along the course – Eastover, Foxcroft,
Myers Park, Dilworth, South End, Wilmore, Gateway/Third Ward, NoDa and
Plaza Midwood – Thunder Road Marathon will award two $500 checks to
two neighborhoods that put on the best event and showed the most
support for the marathon. The winning neighborhood associations are
free to utilize the cash as they please.

Participants in the "Neighborhood Association Challenge" are
encouraged to be as creative as possible to get the runners pumped up.
Requirements for the challenge include: making it public and open to
all residents of the neighborhood; promoting it to all neighborhood
residents; keeping it outside and along the marathon course;
incorporate a racing theme; cheering on the runners; and taking
photos. Residents are encouraged to lead the charge with their
respective neighborhoods if they would like to be involved in this

"Thunder Road Marathon is a community event that draws in runners from
all over the country and Canada so we have a great opportunity to show
off the spirit and camaraderie of Charlotte," said Tim Rhodes, race
director of the Thunder Road Marathon. "We encourage all
neighborhoods, residents and businesses along the course to come out
and cheer the runners. Powerful crowd support is incredibly motivating
during all stages of the race."

To register for the "Neighborhood Association Challenge" or for any
questions, contact Ashleigh Lawrence

Registration for the 2011 Marathon is open and is available online at
. Both the 7th Annual Thunder Road Marathon (a Boston Marathon
Qualifier) and Amica Insurance Half-Marathon will take place on
certified courses starting at 7:45 a.m. The Presbyterian Hospital 5K
will begin at 8:15 a.m. Entry fees are as follows:Now thru Nov. 4:
Marathon - $95, Half-Marathon - $65 and 5K - $35; and at the pre-event
Expo (Nov. 10-11):Marathon - $125, Half-Marathon - $90 and 5K - $45.
There is also a double medal opportunity for those who run the Dowd
YMCA Run Half-Marathon (Oct. 22, 2011) and the Thunder Road Marathon
or Amica Insurance Half-Marathon.

About Event Marketing Services, Inc.
Event Marketing Services, Inc. has been involved in producing running
and endurance events in Charlotte, N.C. since 1995. It is also
affiliated with Run For Your Life – Charlotte's oldest running
retailer with four locations in Dilworth, University, Piper Glen and
SouthPark and the official Registration and Timing & Scoring provider
for the Thunder Road Marathon.

About Thunder Road Marathon
The Thunder Road Marathon is the second largest marathon in the
Carolinas and unites the excitement of road racing, music, family-
friendly entertainment and the Charlotte region's rich heritage of
stock car racing. Featuring a marathon, half-marathon and 5K run, the
event draws participants from 48 different states and Canada. In its
six-year history, the race has raised more than $250,000 for local
charities. For more information or to register or volunteer for the
7th Annual Thunder Road Marathon (Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011), zoom to

Stayed connected with Thunder Road Marathon on Facebook and Twitter at