News Briefs for September

Charlotte election officials urge use of early voting
CHARLOTTE – Early voting for the city of Charlotte primary election began in late August and continues into early September.
Democratic primaries will be held Sept. 13 for District two, the Mountain Island-area of Charlotte, and at-large elections. The winner of the District two primary will run unopposed in the November election, winning the seat outright. The top four vote-getters of the five Democratic at-large candidates will go on to face four Republican candidates in November.
Times and dates for early voting are as follows:
• Sept. 6-9, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
• Sept. 10, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The main location for early voting is the first floor of the Hall Marshall Annex, 618 N. College St., but Mountain Island residents may also vote at the Beatties Ford Road Library, 2412 Beatties Ford Road, Charlotte.
The popularity of early voting has grown steadily over the years, and in the 2010 presidential election more than 65,000 residents used early voting to cast their ballots. Mecklenburg County Board of Elections Director Michael Dickerson said he hopes 40 percent of voters use the early voting option to make tallying votes on election night easier.
For more information about candidates, see the Mountain Island Monitor’s City Council election guide on page 20.

Brookshire checkpoint nabs nine on DWI charges

CHARLOTTE – The Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department conducted a DWI checking station at the 5100 block of Brookshire Boulevard, near Lawton Road, Aug. 26 from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m.
The checkpoint resulted in the following 90 charges:
• DWI: 9
• Driving with license revoked: 21
• No operator’s license: 13
• Open container: 5
• Drug charges: 6
• No seat belt: 3
• Carrying concealed weapon: 1
• Giving fictitious information to an officer: 1
• Resisting, obstructing or delaying an officer: 1
• Other citations: 30
A total of 11 arrests were made. Arrests include:
• DWI with other charges: 9
• Resisting an officer: 1
• Carrying concealed weapon: 1
The Pineville Police Department and N.C. State Highway Patrol assisted with the checkpoint.
Mecklenburg County tax bills go out

CHARLOTTE – The Mecklenburg County tax collector sent out real property, business personal property and individual personal property tax bills on Aug. 29. In total, nearly 361,281 bills were sent out to residents.
However, 30,000 properties will not be billed until October because the property values are still under appeal.
• Real Property: All real property, residential and commercial, was subject to revaluation this year. Approximately half the properties were reappraised at a higher value, and another portion was appraised at a lower value. According to state tax officials, the total County tax revenue generated from all residential and commercial property is $819 million.
• Business Personal Property: This is a tax on equipment and other property used in conducting business. Nearly 37,000 of the bills are for business personal property, accounting for more than $71 million in County revenue. Municipalities also derive revenue from these bills.
• Individual Personal Property: This tax includes vehicles and trailers, jet skis, boats, boat motors, aircraft, manufactured homes and income producing farm equipment. There are more than 16,000 bills in this category, accounting for nearly $1.5 million in tax revenue.
Real estate and personal property bills are due September 1, 2011. Those not paid on or before January 5, 2012 are subject to two-percent interest for January and an additional three-quarters percent each month after that. Property owners with a question about their bills are encouraged to call 311 if calling from within Mecklenburg County or 704-336-4600 if calling from outside the County.

Veterans’ Affairs officials to help veterans obtain health care

BELMONT – The rural health program of the W.G. Hefner Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center, in Salisbury, Va., will provide veterans affairs services at the American Legion Post 144, at 202 Park Drive, in Belmont, on Sept. 8 from 6 to 8 p.m.
The team will provide former and current military members with registration and health care education assistance. Former military members who are not currently enrolled to receive veteran’s affairs health care benefits should bring a copy of their DD Form 214 and certificate of release or discharge from active duty to attach to their application for health care benefits.
Former members who have lost their DD Form 214 can request a copy online at www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records. Veteran’s Affair’s personnel will assist with completing enrollment applications, requesting DD Form 214s and initiating “MyHealtheVet” online services.
For more information, contact the medical center’s rural health program at 1-800-469-8262 or go online to www.salisbury.va.gov.

Gaston Chamber division comes to Mount Holly
MOUNT HOLLY – The Mount Holly Chamber of Commerce has moved into a new space.
The chamber is a division of the Gaston Regional Chamber of Commerce and was housed in its Gastonia facility, but officials said they wanted to bring a physical presence into Mount Holly.
The chamber acquired its new space at 551 Highland St. this summer. Hours are noon till 5 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays and 9 a.m. till noon Fridays.
Cam Tracy, director of business development for the Mount Holly and Gaston Regional chambers, said the Mount Holly chamber plans to offer more services with its new space. Currently, the chamber hosts “Mount Holly Morning,” a breakfast meeting, at 7:30 a.m. the second Friday of the month at the Mount Holly Municipal Complex. The meeting is open to anyone in the business community.
“With the new facility, we will add more business development programs, such as LEADS groups and networking events,” he said. “Members can utilize the space for meetings and it will serve as a place for visitors to come and get information about the city.”
For more information, call the Gaston Regional Chamber at 704-864-2621 until the chamber establishes its own telephone number. You can also visit www.mhchamber
.org or www.gastonchamber.com.

Mountain Island
locals rise to Slim Down Challenge
CHARLOTTE – Chick-fil-A of Mountain Island wrapped up its first ever Mountain Island Slim Down Challenge earlier this summer and five Mountain Island residents learned the ins-and-outs of getting fit.
Throughout the month of July, Tia Lampone, Allison Rinehardt, Randy Stanley, Sara Reinecke and Ryan Collins worked on improving their physical fitness and health with help of local health and wellness experts. Rhinehardt, a 40-year-old stay-at-home mother of four and Riverbend resident, approached Jodi McKay, the restaurant’s unit marketing director, several months ago with an idea to help a group of local residents learn to eat responsibly and exercise.
“Jodi loved the idea and took it to a whole new level,” Reinhardt said.
Each participant received more than $5,000 in healthy food and fitness services from Chick-Fil-A of Mountain Island, Life Spring Chiropractic, Omni Wellness Center and Mountain Island Fitness.
Sally McDaniel, Omni Wellness Center practice representative, said Omni Wellness became involved so its staff could help educate the community.
“The only way this community is going to get well is if we make sure the proper tools and education are in place, and that’s what we wanted to do,” McDaniel said. “It is exciting to give people another option of healthy living, to give them the proper tools to make an education decision on the wellness of themselves and their families.
All participants lost weight and several inches off their waistline. Rinehardt said the competition taught her many of the essential components of healthy living.
“The biggest challenge has been going out into the big bad world of birthday parties with my kids, where cakes, cookies, ice cream and pizza abound,” Rinehardt said.
“I am now excited to get to the gym and exercise, and I have become an informed label reader.”
McKay said the Chick-fil-A location plans to hold a similar event at the beginning of 2012. Pairs, such as parents and children, siblings, spouses, fiancés or coworkers will be able to apply for slots in the challenge by writing a short essay about why they should be picked. The restaurant will release more information about the application process as the holidays approach.

Charlotte sees rise in recycle numbers
CHARLOTTE – Numbers show that Charlotte residents are taking advantage of the improved Recycle It! program, according to a news release from Mecklenburg County.
Since the transition to single-stream recycling a year ago, the residential recycling tonnage has increased by 30 percent compared to the same period last year. This exceeded the goal of 20 percent set for the first year of single-stream recycling.
“We are excited to see such a tremendous increase in the amount of recyclables collected,” said Victoria Johnson, key business executive for Solid Waste Services. “This increase, we believe, can be attributed to the improvements that were made to the recycling program.”
Improvements made to the program included a 96-gallon rollout cart and the addition of aerosol cans, milk and juice cartons, juice boxes and several types of plastics to the approved list of items accepted in the program. Solid Waste Services also noted that garbage tonnage decreased by approximately 7 percent. The diversion of approximately 10,000 tons of materials from the landfill produced landfill disposal savings of about $274,000.
In addition to the increase in collected recyclables, Solid Waste Services has noted the overall single-family recycling participation rate is now 50 percent, meaning that half of all county households are setting their recyclables out on their collection day. Last year’s participation rate was 42 percent.
As the improved Recycle It! program enters its second year, Johnson said there are steps residents can take that will contribute to the continued success of the recycling program.

Wingshack makes move to Mount Holly
MOUNT HOLLY – Hojo & CC’s Wingshack has moved from Stanley to Mount Holly.
Owners Howard and Christine Cormier felt that Mount Holly had better growth opportunities. They opened the restaurant at 130 W. Charlotte Ave. July 1 with the goal of providing a relaxing environment where customers can enjoy great food at reasonable prices. Live music is offered on Friday nights.
“We’re not after the bar scene,” Christine Cormier said. “We want to keep it laid back and comfy.”
Hojo & CC’s is widely known for its wings and wild sauce, which were voted “Best Wings in Charlotte” by Creative Loafing in 2005 and received an honorable mention in the Gaston Gazette’s “Wing Wars.” Homemade wing sauces come in a variety of flavors, including teriyaki, garlic Parmesan, lemon pepper and barbecue.
The restaurant has added new sandwiches, wraps, appetizers, salads, side items and desserts to the menu. Hotdogs and burgers can be covered in homemade chili. The newest burger, Hojo’s Heart Attack on a Bun, comes with two beef patties and all 13 fixings.
Hojo & CC’s Wingshack is open from 11 a.m. till 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and noon till 6 p.m. Sundays. The eatery opens at 11 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays, but has no specific closing time. However, the kitchen stops serving food at 10 p.m. both days.
For more information, call 704-827-8867 or e-mail hojonccswingshack@att.net.

St. Luke Greek Orthodox invites public to gala
DAVIDSON – St. Luke Greek Orthodox Church is inviting the community to its fifth annual church gala, dinner and dance Oct. 8 in the Vail Commons building at Davidson College.
Tickets to the gala, themed “Celebrating Orthodoxy Around the
World,” cost $65 each or $475 for a table. Admission includes food, dancing, cash bar, raffle and silent auction. The gala begins with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres at 6:30 p.m., followed by dinner at 7:30. A DJ will play a variety of music throughout the evening.
Proceeds from the event benefit the St. Luke Greek Orthodox Church Building Fund. The church is located at 134-A Talbert Pointe Drive in Mooresville ,and draws members from around Lake Norman, Mountain Island Lake and as far west as Hickory.
Purchase tickets at St. Luke’s office or call 704-660-6915.

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