Saturday, January 28, 2012

"The Dry Grass of August" Tells Story of Charlotte's 1950s Past

"The Dry Grass Of August" by Anna Jean Mayhew

Reviewed by Jessica Stafford

Charlotte Area News Book Editor

"The Dry Grass of August" takes us back to a time in our very own
Charlotte and explores the complicated relationship between blacks and
whites on the eve of Brown vs. Board of Education. It is an honest
look at the feelings of people involved from all perspectives.

Charlotte author Anna Jean Mayhew makes her debut into literature with
this heart wrenching story. It was long journey to create this book,
but for this reader it was worth the wait. Her use of dramatic irony
tears at the heart as the reader makes their way into the inevitable.
Her protagonist, 13 year old June, finds herself in a whirlwind of
social change. While her family seems to be happy and successful, the
real heart and rock of the family is in their maid Mary.

The story is full of Charlotte references from Queens Road West to
Daddy Grace. Mayhew compiled a large amount of research to accurately
convey the time period and culture of the story. Her research
stretched from the Carolina Room at the main branch of the Charlotte
Public Library (a resource that I can personally recommend as being
wonderful) all the way to Washington, DC to see an exhibit on Brown
vs. Board of education. Her attention to accuracy does not go
unnoticed; as you read the 1950s seems to fill your mind in culture
and setting. It is one of those books that you get so engrossed in
that the summer setting of the story makes you forget that we are
actually in the middle of winter.

She created characters that are so vivid that they are living lives
that make the readers question what their own response would be in the
face of social injustice – if they would have the same audacity or
naivety. Even cameo characters have a realism to them that goes to the
old saying "there are no small roles."

"Delta Magazine" recently named "The Dry Grass of August" as one of
the top 5 books of 2011 and the book just had its 8th printing. If you
have not read this book yet it is a must! Then you will be ready for
the next book she is currently working on, "Tomorrow's Bread."

The Dry Grass of August (Kensington Books; $15.00; April 2011)

Friday, January 27, 2012

Charlotte's International Culinary School Offers Gourmet Lunches

Before going through a drive through for lunch again, consider a
gourmet lunch that will make your taste buds burst but not your
budget. At The Artisan Restaurant, a student- run restaurant at The
International Culinary School at The Art Institute of Charlotte, you
can savor lunches created and prepared by culinary students whose
sights are set on culinary perfection. Tasty entrees range from $8 to
$10, and you can choose from additional items such as soups, salads
and desserts. In addition to having lunch at The Artisan, your tips
are going towards a culinary scholarship fund. It's the best way to
help yourself, and help others.

Students attending The International Culinary School are put under
fire as they approach the end of their education by working in the
school's The Artisan Restaurant. The restaurant is all a part of a
class called A La Carte, and for many of the students, it's the first
time they have sautéed and grilled for paying customers – but you
would never know it from sitting in the newly redesigned dining room.

The Artisan Restaurant is located within The Art Institute of
Charlotte near the Yorkmont Farmers Market at Three LakePointe Plaza,
2110 Water Ridge Parkway, Charlotte, NC 28217 and offers lunch service
Monday through Friday from 11:30am to 1:00pm.

The restaurant operates under the guidance of Chefs Jess Cochran and
Maria Marquez and is known for its commitment to quality products,
sourcing many of its ingredients from local farmers. "People ask what
it's like to operate a restaurant exclusively with culinary students-
it does have its challenges, but the students always rise to the
occasion," said Chef Cochran. "The Artisan Restaurant is Charlotte's
best kept secret. We offer an outstanding value, and I think we are
serving food that's on par with other trendy spots in town."

For the winter term, the students are featuring a Southwestern cuisine
menu which can include a three-course lunch for $13.95. Some examples
of menu items include Southwestern Caesar salad, Crispy Poblano
Chicken, Black Pepper Crusted Venison, and sweet Apple Empanadas.

Large lunch parties and corporate lunch parties are encouraged to make
reservations by calling 704.357.5900. As the menu changes on a
quarterly basis, customers are encouraged to call for a menu.

The Art Institute of Charlotte offers a Bachelor of Arts degree in
Culinary Arts Management, an Associate of Applied Science degree in
Culinary Arts, a Baking and Pastry certificate and an Art of Cooking

The Art Institute of Charlotte is one of The Art Institutes (
), a system of more than 45 educational institutions located
throughout North America. The Art Institutes schools provide an
important source for design, media arts, fashion and culinary arts
professionals. Several institutions included in The Art Institutes
system are campuses of South University. See for
program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, federal
salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

The International Culinary Schools at The Art Institutes is North
America's largest system of culinary programs, offered at over 35 Art
Institutes schools. The Art Institutes schools provide an important
source for design, media arts, fashion and culinary arts
professionals. Several institutions included in The Art Institutes
system are campuses of South University. See for
program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, federal
salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

Young Charlotte Area star Abby Corrigan hits the ABC screen

Abigale Corrigan has a resume that stretches a mile long. It reads as
if she has been in the "industry" for years, yet the Northwest School
of the Arts student is only 13 years old. This Sunday, Jan. 29, at 9
p.m., Abigale "Abby" will star in the Hallmark Premiere "A Smile as
Big as the Moon" on ABC.
The movie, which stars Sex & the City character, John Corbett, is
based on the memoir by teacher Mike Kersjes in the 1980′s. It
gives an inside look into the way one educator empowered special needs
students by fighting for them to go to Space Camp, a competitive
education program at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center. The students,
who were often bullied by others, find compassion and respect from
everyone. Abby plays "Lisa Burke," a 14-year-old special needs student
in the ninth-grade. She said the character has attention deficit
hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), attention deficit disorder (ADD),
obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and bi-polar disorder.

Like a true professional, she found herself prepared and ready for the
filming of the movie which took place in Wilmington, N.C., and
Alabama. She said the key is to, "read everything and develop my
character. What she looks like, what she sounds like. I look at the
script and study it."

The eighth-grade student is all about business when it comes to her
acting career. Abby and her friend, Matt Mitchell, opened their own
nonprofit theater group, "Treehouse Acting Company." It is an
opportunity they created to help expose young kids to the stage in
local theater.

Ultimately, her goal is to be on Broadway and star in lots of films,
however she is still taking it one step at time looking to perfect her
craft before aiming to perform in shows like "Rent." Abby said she
will complete her studies at NWSA and then attend North Carolina
School of the Arts or The Juilliard in New York City.

Although Abby is a busy working girl, she is still an everyday kid.

"I think I am different, but I think everyone here at Northwest is
different. I found that I belong here. We're a unique group of people
who are fearless!" said Abby. "But on the weekends … I just like
to hang out with friends and have water fights.

Davidson College Welcomes Episcopal Priest and Best-selling Author Barbara Brown Taylor

Davidson College will host the Rev. Dr. Barbara Brown Taylor as its
2012 Staley Distinguished Christian Lecturer on Tuesday, February 7.
Her talk is titled "Learning to Walk in the Dark: The Ancient Way of
Unknowing," and will begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Duke Family Performance
Hall. The event is free and open to the public. Tickets are not

Dr. Taylor is the Butman Professor of Religion at Piedmont College in
Demorest, Ga. She also taught for many years on the faculty of
Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Ga. Ordained as an Episcopal
priest in 1982, she served as Rector of Grace-Calvary Episcopal Church
during the 1990s. In 1996 she was named one of the twelve "most
effective" preachers in the English-speaking world by Baylor University.

Dr. Taylor has authored many articles and twelve books on Christian
spirituality, including the New York Times bestseller An Altar in the
World (2009), Leaving Church: A Memoir of Faith (2006), The Luminous
Web: Essays on Science and Religion (2001) and The Preaching Life
(1993). She was votedGeorgia Author of the Year in 2006.

Dr. Taylor received her B.A. in Religion from Emory University and her
Masters of Divinity from Yale Divinity School. She has also been
awarded the Doctor ofDivinity degree from various institutions,
including Wake Forest University, the University of the South
(Sewanee), and Yale Divinity School.

Her Staley Lecture at Davidson College will be based on the book she's
currently writing, the thesis of which is that darkness has gotten a
very bad name among religious people, when it is in fact where Goddoes
some of God's best work. Additional information may be found at
or by calling the Office of the Chaplain at 704-894-2423.

Davidson is a highly selective independent liberal arts college for
1,800 students located 20 minutes north of Charlotte in Davidson, N.C.
Since its establishment in 1837 by Presbyterians, the college has
graduated 23 Rhodes Scholars and is consistently regarded as one of
the 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 aidpackages,
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.

Walmart Gives Fans More Authentic NASCAR Merchandise, Savings on Tickets, Joins Forces with Bill Elliott

Walmart has announced it is expanding its Race Time 2012 program to
give fans more accessibility to discounted race tickets, driver
appearances and fan events at stores, a greater selection of authentic
NASCAR merchandise and a special sponsorship of Bill Elliott at the
Coke Zero 400.

Walmart's Race Time program, launched last year as the largest retail
promotion in NASCAR history, gives fans authentic merchandise and fan
events at Walmart stores in every NASCAR Sprint Cup series race
market. This year, Walmart has more than tripled the number of
companies offering displays of authentic merchandise, doubled the
number of fan events at stores and increased the race markets where
the $99 Walmart Family Track Pack will be offered.

"Our mission is to bring accessibility and affordability to NASCAR
fans," said Rand Waddoups, Senior Director, Entertainment Properties
and Brands, Walmart. "We know our customers love NASCAR, so we are
going to be a one-stop shop where they can save on discounted family
tickets and authentic merchandise, as well as meet some of their
favorite drivers."

The goal for Elliott, who was voted NASCAR's Most Popular Driver 16
times and is one of NASCAR's Top 50 Drivers of all time, is to qualify
and compete at the Coke Zero 400. He will also visit Walmart stores
with his show car before select races.

Steve Phelps, chief marketing officer of NASCAR, said, "Our expanded
partnership with Walmart allows us to further engage and excite our
fans and bring exceptional value. NASCAR fans can now visit a single
destination to stock up on all of their favorite NASCAR merchandise,
tickets and race-day snacks."

Walmart's Race Time 2012 program specifics include:
• Elliott appearances at Walmart stores throughout the racing season
leading up to the Daytona race on July 7, giving fans a chance to meet
him in person.
• In participating race markets, Walmart will offer a $99 Walmart
Family Track Pack that includes four discounted race tickets, four hot
dogs, four sodas and a race program. The package saves fans more than
$100 and will be available online at as well as in
Ticketmaster kiosks in selected Walmart stores.
• NASCAR fan events at stores in every race market throughout the
season will feature real stock car race displays, special appearances
by professional drivers and racing simulator machines.
• Participating stores will offer authentic NASCAR T-shirts, racing
flags and other NASCAR branded merchandise, as well as tailgating food
and beverages.

The $99 Walmart Family Track Pack will be available for the following
Carolina races and others nationwide:

· Dodge Challenger 500, Darlington, S.C. – May 12, 2012
· NASCAR Sprint All-Star Race, Charlotte, N.C. – May 19, 2012
· Coca-Cola 600, Charlotte, N.C. – May 27, 2012
· Bank of America 500, Charlotte, N.C. – Oct. 13, 2012

For additional details, visit

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) serves customers and members more
than 200 million times per week at over 10,000 retail units under 69
different banners in 28 countries. With fiscal year 2011 sales of $419
billion, Walmart employs 2.2 million associates worldwide. Walmart
continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and
employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be
found by visiting, and on Facebook at
and on Twitter at Online merchandise
sales are available at and

Pre-K information sessions for Charlotte-Meck Schools begin

Mecklenburg County families interested in placing their child in a Pre-
Kindergarten program can come to an information session to learn about
Charlotte-Mecklenburg NC Pre-K, a child-centered, literacy-based
program. The program is open to children in Mecklenburg County who
will be age 4 on or before Aug. 31, 2012. Participants will learn of
locations and program requirements. They'll also receive an overview
of daily operations, including curriculum, meals and transportation.

Spanish language interpreters will be at each event.

Date Time Location
Thursday, Jan. 26 5:30 p.m. Beatties Ford
Road Library (2412 Beatties Ford Road)
Tuesday, Jan. 31 4:30 p.m. Hickory Grove
Library (5935 Hickory Grove Road)
Wednesday, Feb. 8 6 p.m. Independence
Regional Library (6000 Conference Drive)
Thursday, Feb. 16 6 p.m. University
City United Methodist (3835 West WT Harris Blvd.)
Tuesday, Feb. 21 5:30 p.m. West Boulevard
Library (2157 West Blvd.)
Wednesday, Feb. 29 5:30 p.m. Steele Creek
Library (13620 Steele Creek Road)
Tuesday, March 6 5:30 p.m. ImaginOn (300
East Seventh Street)

Charlotte Community Relations Seeks Police Award Nominations

Nominations are being sought for the 33rd annual Police Community
Relations Awards sponsored by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Community
Relations. The award recognizes officers and work teams from the
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department who have made outstanding
contributions to the improvement of police community relations in the
Charlotte-Mecklenburg area.

Officers will be judged on their involvement in helping the community
understand the police function and the citizens' role, demonstration
of extraordinary efforts in the area of crime prevention, and
involvement in aiding neighborhoods in handling special problems.

Nominations may be made by citizens in the patrol area, Charlotte-
Mecklenburg Schools personnel, groups and individuals. Nominations may
be submitted by writing, requesting a nomination form OR visiting our
website,, and completing a form online. Deadline for
submitting nominations is Monday, April 2.

Nominations will be reviewed by a committee made up of members of the
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Community Relations Committee. Officers selected
will be honored at an awards ceremony on Thursday, May 17.

Go Red for the American Heart Association at Showmars

In honor of American Heart Month, Showmars will offer two special
promotions during the first two weeks of February to help spread
women's heart-health awareness and raise funds for the American Heart

Beginning Monday, January 30, continuing through Friday, February 10,
Showmars will donate $1 from every large Greek Salad sold in each of
its restaurants to the American Heart Association. Showmars' signature
large Greek salad is a bed of fresh romaine and iceberg lettuce with
sliced tomatoes, Kalamata olives, feta cheese, pepperoncini and red
onions. Guests can also add grilled chicken or Gyro meat.

In addition, the restaurant will also sell American Heart Association
Red Dress pins for $5 apiece from January 30 through February 10.
Anyone who purchases a Red Dress pin will receive a coupon for $2 off
their next visit to Showmars, valid through the end of February. All
28 Showmars locations in North and South Carolina will participate in
the Go Red promotion.

Cardiovascular disease claims the lives of nearly 500,000 American
women each year, yet women were unaware of the risks. To dispel the
myths and raise awareness of heart disease as the number one killer of
women, the American Heart Association created Go Red For Women in 2004
– a passionate, emotional, social initiative designed to empower women
to take charge of their heart health. Additional information about Go
Red for Women is available at

Showmars serves fresh, made-to-order food fast in a casual, family-
friendly environment. With a diverse mix of Greek, Southern and
American flavors, Showmars caters to a wide customer base with
signature items such as gyros, Souvlaki, pita burgers, fresh salads
and its famous World's Best Fillet of Flounder. Founded in Charlotte
in 1982, Showmars has proudly served the southeast for over 25 years.
With its reputation of offering a broad selection of quality food at a
great value, exceptional customer service and a comfortable
atmosphere, it's easy to see why everybody loves Showmars!

Queens University and The Ivey to Host "Caring for the Elderly" series

Queens University of Charlotte and The Ivey® , the adult day care
center in Charlotte's Southpark area, invite caregivers to "Caring for
the Elderly," a series of programs that will provide valuable
information and training for family members and other caregivers of
aging loved ones. This collaboration was inspired by the growing
number of adults in the Charlotte community who care for aging family
members in their home or in an assisted living facility. The speakers
and trainers are leaders in their fields.

"Caring for the Elderly" is a series of five sessions held on Saturday
mornings in March from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Participants will leave with
powerful tools to ease their caregiving experience. Topics will vary
each week, and sessions will include time to meet and share ideas with
other caregivers. Participants may register for individual sessions or
all five for a more comprehensive overview.

"Caring for the Elderly" March 2012 Schedule:
3/3: Elder Care Options and Reducing Relocation Stress
3/10: Taking Care of Finances and Estate Planning
3/17: Understanding Medicare, Living Wills and Hospice & Palliative Care
3/24: Strategies for Handling Caregiver Burnout
3/31: Communicating with Healthcare Providers, Including Alzheimer's
and Parkinson's Disease

View the full program schedule and register at
. For participants registering by January 31, the cost is $20 per
session or $100 for all five. After that, the fees are $29 per session
or $125 for all. The sessions will meet at the Queens Sports Complex &
Conference Center at 2229 Tyvola Road in Charlotte.

As part of this partnership, The Ivey adult day care center at 6030
Park South Drive will open from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. to allow registered
participants of the series to drop off elderly family members for a
special rate of $20 per person each Saturday. Advanced registration
for adult day care is required by calling The Ivey at 704-909-2070.
Breakfast and lunch are provided. To view photos of The Ivey, visit

About Caregiving in Charlotte
There are more than 66 million family caregivers in the United States
– nearly 30 percent of the entire U.S. population. Seven out of 10 of
these people are caring for older adults, and most of the caregivers
are women, according to a 2011 ABC World News report. In a 2005 local
study, Mecklenburg County's aging and family caregiver populations
mirror those in the national studies.

Caring for aging parents can be a full-time job, often taking an
emotional, financial or even physical toll on the caregiver.
Caregivers often have busy schedules, families, and jobs of their own.
The constant stress can take up to 10 years off the caregiver's life.

About Queens University of Charlotte
Queens University of Charlotte is a private, co-ed, Presbyterian-
affiliated comprehensive university with a commitment to both liberal
arts and professional studies. Located in the heart of historic
Charlotte, Queens serves approximately 2,700 undergraduate and
graduate students through its College of Arts and Sciences, the McColl
School of Business, the Wayland H. Cato, Jr. School of Education, the
James L. Knight School of Communication, Hayworth College for Adult
Studies and the Andrew Blair College of Health which features the
Presbyterian School of Nursing. For more information, visit

About The Ivey
The Ivey® is a not-for-profit adult day care center that provides
daytime services for people living with Alzheimer's and other types of
memory loss, social isolation, or physical frailty due to stroke,
Parkinson's, and similar illnesses. The Ivey offers socialization,
engaging activities, meals from a Johnson & Wales-trained chef, and
healthcare monitoring from an on-site registered nurse. The Ivey's
services allow caregivers to hold jobs, continue friendships, and
refresh from the responsibilities of providing constant care. For more
information, visit .

Tickets on Sale for 'Runway For The Ballet' Feb. 11

Dance from North Carolina Dance Theatre and fashion from Neiman Marcus
unite for the fifth annual Runway for the Ballet on Saturday, February
11. Runway for the Ballet is presented by Carolinas Medical Center and
Shumaker, Loop and Kendrick, LLC.
Runway for the Ballet takes place in the intimate performance venue,
The Patricia McBride & Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux Center for Dance on North
Tryon Street in uptown Charlotte.

The shows "Heart & Soul" theme is an exciting blend of fashion and
dance, highlighting upcoming 2012 fashions from sponsor Neiman Marcus,
interspersed with vignettes from Dance Theatre's popular shows.
Dancers from Dance Theatre will also serve as the models for the
fashion show.

Scott Provancher, President of the Arts & Science Council and Sonya
Barnes, CEO of Harris & Barnes, Inc, will emcee this event.

Presented in two stylish shows, the 4 p.m. matinee provides fun and
fashion for all ages, complete with a pre-show reception including
complimentary drinks and hors d'oeuvres. Then, at 8 p.m., find your
most stylish outfit and celebrate a night out at our evening
performance and post-show reception. Don't miss this night of high-
fashion, fun and dance with gourmet fare from Best Impressions Catering

"Runway for the Ballet's fifth year continues to celebrate the
marriage of dance and fashion in one of Charlotte's premier arts
events. This is an exclusive opportunity for guests to experience
dance, view Neiman Marcus spring 2012 high fashion looks and give back
to North Carolina Dance Theatre at a stylish event," said Runway For
The Ballet 2012 co-chair Chelsea Cote

NC Dance Theatre's young professionals group, Opening Night Insiders,
is organizing the event and all proceeds will benefit NC Dance
Theatre. Tickets include show admission and a reception. VIP tickets
are also available for both performances and include prime VIP
seating, exclusive cocktail and gift bags.

Raffle tickets are available for this event for $10 each and prizes
include a $1,000 Neiman Marcus shopping spree, an overnight stay at
The Ballantyne Resort, wine tasting and a custom painting.

Runway for the Ballet Details:

Date: Saturday, February 11, 2012

Matinee: 4 PM Reception/5 PM Show

VIP - $55, General - $40, Children 16 and under- $25

Late Show: 8 PM Show/9:15 PM Reception

VIP - $75, General - $50

Location: Patricia McBride & Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux Center for Dance,
701 N. Tryon Street, Charlotte, N.C.

Tickets: $40-$75; Order tickets from
runwayfortheballet or call 704.372.0101

About Opening Night Insiders
Opening Night Insiders, NC Dance Theatre's Young Professionals group
for individuals 21-45 years of age, provides young professionals with
an interactive experience with North Carolina Dance Theatre throughout
its season. Membership to ONI provides access to discounted tickets to
opening night performances, exclusive networking opportunities,
private receptions with the artists, invitations to VIP events and the
opportunity to get an inside look at the performances by meeting with
choreographers, dancers and guest performers. To join and for more
information please visit

About North Carolina Dance Theatre
North Carolina Dance Theatre is a Charlotte-based ballet company
focused on performing, inspiring and educating through artistically
excellent programming. Led by internationally acclaimed President and
Artistic Director Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux, NC Dance Theatre is known for
its strong dancers and versatile repertoire, ranging from classical
ballet to bold, contemporary works. In June 2010 NC Dance Theatre
moved to the Patricia McBride & Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux Center for
Dance in Uptown Charlotte. The Center houses the Company's
administrative offices, rehearsal space and School of Dance. For more
information visit
North Carolina Dance Theatre is supported, in part, with operating
support by the Arts & Science Council. Dance Theatre is also supported
by individuals, corporations, and local and national foundations, the
North Carolina Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Detectives Conducting a Death Investigation on Toomey Avenue

Detectives with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Homicide
Unit are conducting a death investigation at 2325 Toomey Avenue in the
Central Division. The call for service was reported at 3:58 p.m., on
Thursday, January 19, 2012. The victim has yet to be positively
identified; pending family notification, his name will be released.

Central Division officers responded to Al's Mini Mart to an
unresponsive male in a vehicle. Upon their arrival, they located the
victim in the vehicle not breathing. Detectives are currently
canvassing the neighborhood to determine if anyone has information
that will aid in the investigation. As additional information
develops, it will be released by CMPD Public Affairs.

Crime Scene Search responded to the call for service to process the
scene and collect physical evidence. The Mecklenburg County District
Attorney's Homicide Prosecution Team responded to the scene as well.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call 704-432-
TIPS and speak directly to a Homicide Unit Detective. Detective King
is the lead detective assigned to the case. In addition, you may also
call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600. For additional information,
reference CMPD complaint number 2012-0119155805.

Statesville Group Launches früsh Yogurt & Fruit Shakes, Investing More than $7 Million

Origin Food Group, LLC will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony on January
25 at 4:15 p.m. at its new facility in Iredell County where it will
produce its new and innovative line of healthy food products,
beginning with früsh™ Yogurt & Fruit Shakes.
The company is investing more than $7 million to build and upfit its
state-of-the-art food processing facility off of Interstate 40. Origin
Food Group expects to create 28 jobs initially, and employ as many as
40 - 50 people by 2014.

N.C. Gov. Bev Perdue is scheduled to attend and speak at the ribbon
cutting, as is former Gov. James B. Hunt, Jr.

The facility is key to Origin Food Group's plans for Iredell County.
The company will initially launch in grocery stores with a new line of
Yogurt & Fruit Shakes, called früsh. Debuting in four flavors:
strawberry, blueberry, peach and strawberry banana and available in
two sizes, 8.4 fl. oz. and 32 fl. oz., früsh is designed for a healthy
on-the-go lifestyle.

"It's time for an all new approach to the way we eat," said Don
Greenlee, general manager of Origin Food Group. "Our products fit
seamlessly into a healthy lifestyle, giving consumers the taste they
want, the nutrition they need – with the convenience they require. We
are even sourcing the ingredients locally whenever possible. In
fact, the milk used in früsh will come from neighboring Stamey Farms,
making the trip from farm to factory less than one mile."

The company creates healthy, tasty and affordable products to fit
consumers' busy lifestyles where unhealthy choices are abundant and
the need for healthier dietary choices is becoming increasingly

"We're thrilled to offer früsh to the marketplace, while also creating
jobs in our community and giving new life to an existing building by
adding a state-of-the-art manufacturing plant. And I have to admit,
creating these jobs for Iredell County is putting a smile on all of
our faces here at Origin."

"The früsh line is just the start for Origin Food Group, with
additional future super food product lines planned," Greenlee stated.
"At Origin, we are driven to continuously dream, test and innovate."

About Origin Food Group, LLC

Origin Food Group prides itself on promoting healthy lifestyles by
creating wholesome alternatives for today's consumers while investing
in the Statesville region where the company is headquartered. A
partnership, the company combines 33 years of experience in yogurt and
beverages by the Alarcón family of Ecuador with the Stameys of Iredell
County, N.C's 60+ years in the dairy farming and cattle business.
Origin Food Group is the maker of früsh Yogurt & Fruit Shakes, a
superdrink make with real fruit, rich and creamy yogurt and all-
natural health boosters like HOWARU® Bifido probiotics and TruCal®
calcium. For additional information, visit

CMS begins calendar process for 2013-2014

Creating the school calendar for Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (CMS)
is very complex. The 2013-2014 calendar development gets under way
Jan. 23, and the public is invited to observe the process.

"The Calendar Committee looks at what's best for the district's
instructional needs, the classroom and the community," said Interim
Superintendent Hugh Hattabaugh. "It's a very complex process."

Many things must be considered when creating the calendar.
Instructional days. Teacher workdays. Holidays. Annual leave days.
Makeup days. And school can't start before Aug. 25 and must end by
June 10.

There's another wrinkle: The state legislature added five days for all
school districts in the state, going from 180 instructional days to
185. In addition, the five protected teacher workdays were eliminated.

A steering committee will meet to develop up to six different
calendars. A committee of parents, community members, teachers,
principals and other CMS staff will choose two calendars from the six
potential ones. Then CMS staff and the community will take part in an
online poll to indicate which calendar they prefer. The results will
be shared with the superintendent, who will give them to the Board of
Education. The Board is expected to decide on a calendar in March or

In additional to the Jan. 23 meeting, the Steering or Calendar
committees will meet Jan. 30, Feb. 6 and Feb. 13. All meetings are 4-6
p.m. at Metro School, 405 S. Davidson St. Attendees should park at the
Education Center.

For more information on the calendar development process, visit
and click on Calendars/Schedules at the bottom of the homepage.

Register of Deeds Website to Include New Search Features

The Mecklenburg County Register of Deeds Office has added new website
features that dramatically improve user access to records and optimize
search results.

Highlights of the improved site:

• Real estate searches from March 1990 to the present are
• The results of real estate searches are easier to print and
• Search results can be sorted by any column
• An online request form to become a registered user.
Registered users will have access to more vital record information.
Previous rules forced those requesting a log-in to appear in person
and present a valid ID to register.
The upgraded system also shows temporary index data as well as
permanent index data.

"I hope that the changes we have made will lead to a greatly improved
experience for customers who utilize our website," said David
Granberry, Mecklenburg County Register of Deeds. "With the ability to
see temporary real estate indexes, website users will have access to
information that is as current as possible."

Information and images related to documents in the temporary index are
subject to change before they reach permanent status, Granberry said.

The improved site can be accessed through the County's main website at
or directly at

The Mecklenburg County Register of Deeds is the official repository
for County records dating from 1763 to the present. These records
include real estate, marriage, notary public commissions, and military
discharges. In addition, this office provides certified copies of
birth and death records. For services not available at the website or
for questions, contact the agency at 704-336-2443.

New Private School Starts in Lake Norman Area

Trinity Classical School, a non-traditional, 3-day, Classical
Christian School, is now serving the North Mecklenburg/Lake Norman

Offering classes for 8th grade through 12th grade, Trinity is a
classical Christian school that will graduate critical thinkers, clear
communicators and compassionate leaders through the classical eduation

It is the belief of the founding board that classical Christian
education creates a cohesive, Christian worldview by connecting all
disciplines through consistent thinking. Students master the art of
learning and are prepared for their future pursuits.

The Board of Directors at Trinity Classical School will be holding a
General Interest meeting on Tuesday, January 24, at 7 PM. The meeting
will be hosted at CrossWay Community Church in North Charlotte at 6400
Prosperity Church Rd., Charlotte NC, 28269.

For more information visit or contact
Sarah Arensman at

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Meat House Will Donate 5% of Sales to Murder Victim's Funeral Costs

The Meat House, neighbors to The Flying Biscuit, will donate 5% of
their sales for the week ending on Sunday, January 22 to assist in the
funeral costs of Danielle Watson, as well as take donations from

Watson, who was murdered on January 14, has left the community in
shock and disbelief. Fred and Shawn Merrill, of the Meat House are
using thier store as a platform to help. "We are truly saddened by the
senseless murder of Danielle. We are committed to the Charlotte
community, especially Southern Charlotte and want to help in any way
we can," commented Merrill.

For more information on how you can donate, please contact Fred
Merrill at (704) 542-4530 or email at

More than 100 CMS Teachers Earn National Board Certification

Hopewell High School biology teacher Cynthia "Cindy" Rudolph recently
earned her National Board Certification, but "it was no walk in the
park," she admitted. Although she completed the program in one year,
her most trying obstacles evolved around self-evaluation. The process
required Rudolph to take a video camera to class and tape her
classroom interactions. She was often her own worst critic, but in the
end her instruction improved, students were more engaged and her
biology students have a greater understanding of science.

"Sometimes as a teacher you can't see the forest for the trees.
[Evaluating] allows you to see what you could improve upon. You have
to point out some of your flaws and say I could have done this and
this," said Rudolph. "I'm evaluating my practice. I can say, 'Next
time we will pour this and have this result.'"

Rudolph, who also won the North Carolina Outstanding Biology Teacher
Award, is one of 122 new National Board Certified Teachers (NBCT) in
CMS. The certification is considered as the "gold standard" for
teaching excellence and the district boasts 1,854 of its teachers
having achieved this professional certification. CMS is ranked fourth
nationally for the most certified teachers.

The Board of Education, Interim Superintendent Hugh Hattabaugh and the
Teacher Professional Development Department will honor these teachers
in a ceremony on Jan. 19 from 4:15-6:30 p.m. at Mallard Creek High
School, 3825 Johnston Oehler Rd.

NBCT distinction is achieved by performance-based assessment and
testing that takes one to three years to complete. This voluntary
assessment program is designed to develop, retain and recognize
accomplished teachers and to embed ongoing school improvement in that
nation's schools. NBCT must demonstrate advanced teaching knowledge,
skills and practices within their given discipline. By completing the
certification process, it signifies that teachers have developed and
demonstrated the skills required of an accomplished education

For Rudolph, the certification was the credentials she needed to call
herself a professional. She said she learned a lot about herself
during the process and even found that students would respond better
when she slowed down directions to them. She said it decreased the
number of questions students asked when she gave instructions.

NBCT supports 25 certification areas. Nationwide, 6,200 teachers
earned their certifications last year which totals 100,000 board
certified teachers.

For more information about National Board Certified Teachers, go to

US Airways donates $10,000 to Charlotte Rescue Mission

US Airways has made a donation of $10,000 to the Charlotte Rescue
Mission (CRM) to help men and women struggling with homelessness and
chemical addiction. This gift will be used to provide food, shelter,
clothing and professional counseling for more than 500 men and women
who come to CRM each year.

"Hundreds of lives of desperate men and women will be changed in the
coming year because of this generous gift from US Airways," says EJ
Underwood, director of development at CRM. "This is especially
significant as CRM does not receive government or United Way funding."

"US Airways' support of the Charlotte Rescue Mission is more than just
giving a charitable donation; it is fulfilling a promise to our
employees, our passengers and our communities to invest in nonprofit
organizations which care for the most vulnerable in our communities,"
said Kelly Balthazor, US Airways' Director of Community Relations.
"We are honored to begin a partnership with the Mission and help them
to provide safe shelter and long term recovery programs that will
ultimately change their lives of their clients."

Charlotte Rescue Mission provides a free 100-day residential recovery
program for men and women who are addicted to drugs and/or alcohol and
are homeless or at risk.

Charlotte's Warranty Direct Publishes New “Consumer’s Guide To Extended Vehicle Warranties and Service Contracts”

Rising consumer interest in extended warranties for used cars, vans
and trucks has prompted Warranty Direct ( of
Charlotte to produce a free "Consumer's Guide to Extended Vehicle
Warranties and Service Contracts."

"With the economy like it is, more and more people are holding on to
their cars longer and realizing that an extended warranty or service
contract can be an economical way to protect their investments," said
Tara Williams, Executive Vice President of Warranty Direct's Charlotte

"Once the manufacturer's warranty expires, the burden is on the
consumer to pay for any repairs, which can run into the thousands of
dollars as the years and mileage add up - unless you are protected by
some sort of extended vehicle warranty or service contract. After the
manufacturer's warranty expires, consumers are likely to face more
expensive repairs involving large mechanical parts, engine or drive
train issues. That's when a service contract can really come in handy
and save owners as much as thousands of dollars."

Williams explained that the new Consumer's Guide contains "a lot of
key information spread across our website,, and
other available resources. We've taken all that helpful information,
condensed it into an 11-page e-book, and made it available free on our
site as a public service."The e-book can be downloaded at
. Other key facts included in this professionally written
publication include:

• "The many benefits of an extended vehicle warranty"

• "How to decide if an extended vehicle warranty is right for

• "How to choose an extended vehicle warranty provider"

• "How repairs and repair payments are handled"

• "Service contract payment options, transfers and

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.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Community Blood Center of the Carolinas and Baxter Village Call on Community to Help Jan. 28

The Community Blood Center of the Carolinas (CBCC) is teaming up with
The Helping Hands of Baxter Village to host a community blood drive in
honor of two young residents who are undergoing treatment for cancer.
The blood drive will take place on Saturday, Jan. 28, 2012 from
9:00AM-3:00PM at the Village Hall in Baxter Village in Fort Mill, S.C.
Sign up to donate blood at and use sponsor
code: "helpinghands." For questions, contact Amanda Ballog at
704-972-4712 or at

The drive is in support of two Baxter Village girls – 13-year-old
Justine Farinick Seibel and almost three-year-old Libby Kern (left and
right in photo). Justine was diagnosed with Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia
on Sept. 17, 2010. Since then, she has received over 200 doses of
chemotherapy, 55 blood and or platelet transfusions, six bone marrow
aspirations and 20 lumbar punctures. She hasn't let cancer stand in
her way of participating on the Baxter Barracuda's for the past six
years, including last year when she swam in three meets and served as
a junior swim coach all while undergoing weekly infusions of
chemotherapy. She is also a junior black belt from the Peaceful dragon
and she did tai chi through some of her initial treatment. The next 12
months of her treatment will include MRIs, spinal injections, daily
oral chemotherapy and steroids, and monthly infusions of chemotherapy,
and possible surgeries for her weight-bearing joints.

Libby was diagnosed with an optic pathway glioma (a brain tumor of the
optic nerve) on Friday, Sept. 3, 2010 at barely 19 months old. Since
then, the tumor has undergone several confusing changes and Libby has
suffered total vision loss in her left eye. Because the tumor has
proven to be inoperable and too invasive for radiation, Libby is
undergoing a regimen of chemotherapy for around 60 weeks. Despite
everything and her 'eye booboo,' Libby loves to dance, run around and
play with her two big sisters.

"We urge the community to lend a helping hand by donating blood to
honor Justine [Seibel] and Libby [Kern] and to help other local
patients requiring transfusion and the support of local blood donors,"
said Martin Grable, president and CEO ofCommunity Blood Center of the
Carolinas. "We are fortunate to have high quality medical care in our
region and the advances in medicine have never been more promising,
but when transfusion is required, it's our local donors that make the

As the primary blood supplier to the region, CBCC provides nearly 400
blood products every day to help patients being treated in area
hospitals. Cancer patients are primary and frequent patients in need
of blood and blood products; approximately 16% of red blood cells and
26% of platelets transfused in our region.

About Community Blood Center of the Carolinas
The Community Blood Center of the Carolinas (CBCC) is a non-profit
community-based blood center and the primary blood supplier to 21
regional hospitals, serving patients who live in 16 North Carolina and
three South Carolina counties. The mission of CBCC is to be the
steward of a community resource – life-saving blood and the vision is
to help build and strengthen the bonds of community. CBCC is strictly
a blood center, completely focused on gathering red blood cells,
platelets and plasma from volunteer donors to save local lives – every
drop of blood collected stays here to help people in the Carolinas.
The Community Blood Center of the Carolinas is a member of America's
Blood Centers, North America's largest network of community-based,
independent blood centers providing more than 50% of the nation's
blood supply.

For more information on community blood drives, visit or
call 704-972-4700. There are also CBCC donor centers located at: 4447
South Boulevard in Charlotte; 363 Church Street North Suite 170 in
Concord; 2524 East Franklin Blvd Suite E in Gastonia; and 600 Hospital
Drive in Monroe.

Visit and bookmark CBCC's virtual press room today. Become a "fan" of
the Community Blood center of the Carolinas onFacebook
or follow us on Twitter at

In photo:
Baxter Village residents and cancer survivors Justine Seibel and Libby

County Announces Grant Process and Free Info Session for Nonprofits

Mecklenburg County budget staff plan to hold an information session
for nonprofits to learn how the Request for Proposal process works for
Community Service Grants. The County is looking for nonprofit
organizations that can provide services in the following areas:

• Improve the high school graduation rate
• Train and place unemployed workers
• Prevent health risks and diseases
• Promote financial self-sufficiency

At 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012, staff will be on hand to
explain the County's RFP process. The information session is in Room
267 of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center, 600 East Fourth
Street. The grant award funding period is for Fiscal Year 2013, from
July 2012 to June 2013. Priority consideration will be given to
services with proven success strategies.

On Feb. 1, the RFP documents will be available online at
and individuals with questions can email
for assistance.

The four target areas of this competitive RFP process reflect some of
the specific areas endorsed by the Board of County Commissioners in
FY2012 as most critical to improve the quality of life for residents.
County Manager Harry L. Jones Sr. recommended these critical success
factors, which were identified through a statistical survey of
Mecklenburg County residents, a community forum, employee input and
analysis of the County's progress toward desired results. Mecklenburg
County government is committed to making strategic investments in the
community's future.

Are You In the Path of the Monroe Connector-Bypass?

Are you in the path of the Monroe Bypass?

Attorneys at the law firm of Horack Talley in Charlotte have begun
representing homeowners and other property owners who will lose their
property to the state of North Carolina. Through condemnation and
eminent domain, the state will be taking property for the new Monroe
Connector/Bypass project, a 19.7 mile toll road. The road will
stretch from US 74 and I-485 in Mecklenburg County between Matthews
and Stallings to US 74 between the towns of Wingate and Marshville in
Union County.

"If the state takes your property, you're entitled to compensation
based on the 'highest and best use' of that property," says Horack
Talley attorney Ann Pilkington. "And if you have to move after the
state takes your property, you're entitled to relocation expenses. "

Pilkington and other Horack Talley attorneys help clients navigate the
process to get the highest compensation for their property.

"The N.C. Department of Transportation will obtain its own appraisal
and will try to convince you to accept their value," Pilkington
explains. "If you don't agree with the value that the NCDOT has
offered, you don't have to accept it if you don't believe that it is
fair. That's when it would benefit you to obtain the services of a
lawyer to work directly with the NCDOT on your behalf. "

Horack Talley has developed relationships with qualified appraisers to
assist in countering the NCDOT appraisal. The law firm's fees are
either hourly or on contingency. Under a contingency fee agreement,
the attorneys get paid when you receive your money.

The firm is offering free consultations to help property owners decide
if they need legal assistance. To schedule your session, call

Horack Talley's practice areas include family law, commercial and
residential real estate, real estate litigation, commercial
litigation, creditors' rights, tax planning and wealth building,
employment law, and homeowners' association law. The firm has offices
in uptown Charlotte at 301 S. College Street Find out more at

Monday, January 16, 2012

Police Catch Flying Biscuit Robbery-Murder Suspect

At approximately 1:00 p.m. Monday, Jan. 16, CMPD's Violent Criminal
Apprehension Team (VCAT) along with the Fayetteville Police Department
apprehended and arrested Mark Anthony Cox, DOB: 11/05/1989 at 770
Hedgelawn Way in Cumberland County. Danielle Marie Watson's vehicle
was located at a nearby apartment complex. CMPD Homicide Detectives
traveled to Fayetteville, NC to interview Mr. Cox before being
transported to Intake in Mecklenburg County.

The Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department would like to thank the
Fayetteville Police Department for their assistance in the
apprehension of Mr. Cox. Following was the course of the investigation:

During the course of the investigation, it was determined that Ms.
Watson's fiancé received a phone call which led him to believe that
there was some type of commotion at the Flying Biscuit, at 7930 Rea
Road. The phone call was an open line; there was no communication.
The fiancé received the phone call at approximately 10:15 p.m. As
time went on, the fiancé became more concerned for Ms. Watson's
safety. After Ms. Watson failed to respond to repeated text messages
and phone calls, her fiancé called 911 at 12:05 a.m., on Saturday,
January 14, 2012, to report that he needed the police to respond to
the Flying Biscuit. He told 911 that Ms. Watson called him and hung
up abruptly and that he heard some type of commotion in the background
and believed that the business was being robbed.

A call for service was entered for a non-existent business named Plum
Biscuits at 3930 Rea Road. The officer responded to the address,
which was a private residence and did not receive an answer at the
door. The officer then drove to a nearby shopping complex to attempt
to locate any businesses that matched the name of Plum Biscuits. Due
to the address entered into the call, the officer did not respond to
the Flying Biscuit.

Detectives have signed warrants on Mark Anthony Cox, DOB: 11/05/1989,
charging him with the murder of Ms. Watson and two counts of Armed
Robbery. Mr. Cox was a co-worker of Ms. Watson; he has not yet been
arrested. We are asking that anyone who knows the whereabouts of Mr.
Cox please call 911 immediately. In addition, it is believed that Mr.
Cox fled the scene in Ms. Watson's car, which has still not been
located. The vehicle description is a 1997 Chevrolet Cavalier two
door, NC registration: ZYX1952; baby blue in color. Anyone with
information about this incident is asked to call 704-432-TIPS and
speak directly to a Homicide Unit Detective. Detective Morales is the
lead detective assigned to the case. In addition, you may also call
Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.

Detectives with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Homicide
Unit are conducting a homicide investigation related to the robbery of
The Flying Biscuit Café, located at 7930 Rea Road in the South
Division. The initial call for service came in at 6:24 a.m., on
Saturday, January 14, 2012, in regards to what was thought at the time
to be a larceny. The victim has been identified as Danielle Marie
Watson, DOB: 04/29/1986.

South Division patrol officers responded to the Flying Biscuit early
this morning in reference to a suspected larceny. As officers were
still on the scene conducting their investigation, they were notified
by an employee of Allied Waste Services that a body was behind the
trash dumpster that he was attempting to empty. The body was that of
Ms. Watson, an employee of the Flying Biscuit. At this time, Ms.
Watson's vehicle is unaccounted for. We are asking that if anyone
sees her vehicle, that they call 911 immediately. The vehicle is a
1997 Chevrolet Cavalier two door, NC registration: ZYX1952; baby blue
in color. A photo of the actual vehicle is attached to this e-mail.
The investigation is in its early stages. As additional information
develops, it will be released by CMPD Public Affairs.

Crime Scene Search responded to the call for service to process the
scene and collect physical evidence. Detectives with the Robbery Unit
responded to the scene to assist in the investigation.
Representatives of the Mecklenburg County District Attorney's Homicide
Prosecution Team responded to the scene as well

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call 704-432-
TIPS and speak directly to a Homicide Unit Detective. Detective
Morales is the lead detective assigned to the case. In addition, you
may also call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600. For additional
information, reference CMPD complaint number 2012-0114-062401.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Charlotte Company Buys Historic Greenville-Area Store For Remodeling Into Branch Office

The historic Hester Store near Greenville, S.C., has been purchased
from the Palmetto Trust by an innovative Charlotte restoration company
that plans to restore it and use it as their Upstate S.C.
headquarters. A special renovation launch is scheduled for Jan. 18.

Built in the late 1800's, the Hester Store – a sort of roadside
country store once typical throughout the South - is 20 minutes from
downtown Greenville at the busy intersection of Thomas Mill Road and
Hester Store Road in Pickens County. Vacant and in disrepair for many
years, the old Hester & Sons Grocery store once served the Dacusville
community. (Historic details at

The wooden, two-story building with a stone facade has been purchased
from the Palmetto Trust by Falcone Crawlspace & Structural Repair, a
Charlotte company which specializes in repairing and restoring the
foundations and floor beams of houses and buildings throughout the
Carolina and Georgia. Co-owner Melissa Falcone saw the store listed on
the Palmetto Trust website and noted that it had extensive termite and
moisture damage.

"I thought, 'I know someone who can fix that!'" she said. "Our
business has really grown since it started in 2005, and we created 12
jobs last year. We need a second branch location to better serve the
South Carolina Upstate and western NC. We expect the rehabilitation
project and construction of a detached workshop will cost about the
same as leasing an office and warehouse space for five years, so it
makes good business sense for us."

A special renovation launch will be held Jan. 18, with local elected
officials and Palmetto Trust staff on site at 10 a.m.

"Even though we have an A rating with the Better Business Bureau and
have 59 Angie's List Super Service Awards under our belt, it's still
scary for homeowners to choose someone to repair their crawl space,"
she said. "Buying this humble building and turning it into our
permanent Upstate office should help show homeowners that we're solid,
and we're investing in improving the community."

Her partner/husband Fred Falcone noted, "The building was very well-
built, but was neglected over the years. There are holes in the floor,
walls and roof... but the building is definitely repairable. As our
company grows, we look for new ways to train employees, and the Hester
Store building is an excellent training site. In about a year, when
structural and cosmetic repairs are complete, Falcone Crawl Space will
have an office upstairs and open a 1,400 square foot retail store on
the first floor. Eight to 10 full-time local jobs will be created for
by our company in the process."

The bulk of the work that needs to be done is structural, she
explained, but the nearly 10,000 vehicles that drive by each day will
notice the biggest changes this summer when a new metal roof is
installed and the wood siding is repaired and painted.

For more information, visit or contact
Melissa Falcone at 866-651-8989.