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January 2015 • VOLUME 10 NUMBER 4




Page 4

Cornelius Today P.O. Box 2062 Cornelius, NC 28031-2062

NC slip and fall laws are due for a change

2 • CORNELIUS TODAY • January 2015


Free Appetizer*

after 4pm with purchase of an entree *present coupon at time of purchase


Fresh Market Shopping Center, 20609 Torrence Chapel Road, Cornelius

Catawba Ave. bridge will close Jan. 10 for as many as 30 hours Gov. Pat McCrory coming for grand reopening Get ready for Carmageddon Lite. The Catawba Avenue bridge over I-77 will close for up to 30 hours on the weekend of Jan. 10. The temporary closure starts at 12:01 a.m. Saturday and may go all the way to 6 a.m. Monday. Town commissioners and town staff hope that work on the nautically styled mast-and-cable superstructure will not hurt businesses near the exit for long. Of course it did when the bridge was closed for the 24 Hours of Carmageddon back in June. Construction and lane closures wore on until Oct. 31, affecting businesses on both sides of Exit 28. The $6 million diverging diamond interchange project—better known as the DDI—has a big payoff for the business community, however.

According to Mayor Chuck Travis, the high tension cables rising 38 feet above the roadway will be an iconic landmark for travelers on I-77, boosting tourism and retail as well as branding Cornelius as the Lake Town. Gov. Pat McCrory and Cultural Resources Secretary Susan Kluttz will help christen the new bridge sometime in January or early February. It's the inaugural effort of the state's "Art That Moves You" program. "Our Gateway to Cornelius bridge structure, which will be installed after the holidays, has been chosen to serve as the prototype for this new state program designed to encourage more creativity and originality in areas such as bridge design," Travis said.

New production director at Cornelius Today Stephen Nance is the new production director at Cornelius Today and Business Today. A recent graduate of Central Piedmont Community College, Nance was for six years the layout editor at Charlotte-based Drapery & Design Professional Magazine.

Nance, 25, is responsible for the design and production of both publications, in print and online. He and his wife Kendall were married in August.

LKN Chamber awards dinner is Jan. 16 The theme of the Lake Norman Chamber’s annual awards banquet Jan. 16 is “Connecting, Empowering & Expanding Our Possibilities.” The chamber will recognize outstanding volun-

Adoptable Pets

teers, business leaders and citizens. The keynote speaker is Sen. electct Thom Tillis. Tickets are $85. For more information, call 704-892-1922 or visit

Open for adoptions Tuesday-Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and 5 to 7 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to noon. Call for appointments 704-237-3602

Greta is a sweet 18 month old Lab/ Hound mix who was recently picked up as a stray, in Cornelius. She has a brown and black coat and soft brown eyes.  She is friendly, playful and affectionate.

Garfield is a handsome orange male tabby, who has been at the shelter six months. He has a soft orange and white coat and golden eyes.  He is a shy, quiet boy, but loves to snuggle in your lap.

CORNELIUS TODAY • January 2015 • 3

Table of Contents Out of step

NC slip and fall laws are out of date. Just ask Jim Hicks. Page 4


Mayor Chuck Travis wants more lake access to match our new nautical bridge

Looking for a Furever Vet?

Page 8


Our new town commissioner is a man of many talents Page 12

Page 23

Mon-Fri 7:30am to 6pm Saturday 8am to 12pm

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Making connections

Columnist Joanne Ahern explains how support groups help everyone Page 26

Keith Blankenship designed this month’s cover

Lake People RUN DEEP

Editor: Dave Yochum,; Sales and Marketing Director: Gail Williams,; Account Executives: Sara Foley, sara.todaypubs@gmail. com; Production Director: Stephen Nance, Send us your news: Cornelius Today is published 12 months a year by NorthEast Business Today, LLC with all rights reserved. Reproduction or use of any content without permission is prohibited. The Cornelius Today logo, stylized wave, and Lake People slogan are copyrights of Cornelius Today and NorthEast Business Today. All rights reserved. Views expressed herein are not necessarily the views of Cornelius Today or Business Today. Cornelius Today is a local community service-driven publication. Cornelius Today, PO Box 2062, Cornelius, NC 28031-2062. Telephone: 704-895-1335 Fax: 704-490-4447 Email: Cornelius Today is independently owned and operated and is not affiliated with the Town of Cornelius. Back issues: Payable by VISA and MASTERCARD ONLY. $1.50 (if available); $4 to mail. Reprints: Reprints on high-quality , framable stock are available, starting at $65 Photos: $100.



Accepting New Clients! Call us today!

Mel Funk shares his special recipe for Cornelius Cooks



at Main Street Veterinary

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HOME DECOR ………………………… Page 22 HOME SALES ……………………… Page 18-20 NEWS-E ………………………… Pages 14-15 new coporations …………………… Page 29 SOUNDOFF, letters ……………… .Page 30-31


4 • CORNELIUS TODAY • January 2015

Archaic liability law stymies victims

‘Slip and fall’ rule dates back to early 1800s Jim Hicks: Tripped up by N.C. slip and fall rules


By Dave Yochum hen Stephanie Hicks passed away in 2010, most people blamed the grocery store where it happened. She tripped on a pallet, fell and broke her hip. She passed away a month and a half later. While Harris Teeter won’t comment, the big grocery company said Stephanie contributed to the accident because she saw the pallet. Husband Jim Hicks, who ran for Cornelius Town Commission in the late 1990s, says Harris Teeter was not liable because of the doctrine of contributory negligence that rules North Carolina. If there’s an accident in North Carolina, the claimant has virtually no chance of collecting damages if he or she somehow contributed to the accident. North Carolina is one of only four states that operates under this doctrine. This applies even if the plaintiff was only slightly negligent—and even when the defendant is almost totally at fault.

The state law dates back to a horse accident in 1806 in England. TILLIS “This law needs to change,” says Cornelius attorney Chris Mauriello. “I just feel it’s unfair. It’s wrong. Just like anything else you know about that strikes you as extremely wrong and unfair, you want to make it right,” he says. The Hicks’ were married 52 years and traveled all over the world during Jim’s career with IBM. They retired comfortably in 1987 in Rockingham and then moved to a new home on Norman Colony Road in 1998. “We woke up one morning, we needed orange juice and she ran to Harris Teeter. Next thing you know, Stephanie, she had fallen. They were restocking and they had a skid in the middle of the aisle, she had a brace on her left leg, she put her basket down, she went to get it and snagged her leg on the skid and boxes, and fell and broke her hip,” Hicks says. There was apparently some dis-

cussion about whether or not to call 911—Stephanie said not to—and the manager “loaded her” on one of those motorized carts. They got her in the Hicks’ car and drove straight to the hospital. Stephanie was hospitalized for three weeks and developed pneumonia. She was transferred to Huntersville Oaks, but after three or four weeks, she opted to stop her medication and died at age 78. In 46 other states, Harris Teeter would be liable for damages. Its insurance company would step up to the table and compensate the victim. Connecticut-based Constitution State Services specializes in “delivering customized, responsive claim administration services” to companies like Harris Teeter. In a letter to Hicks dated July 12, 2010, Constitution said, “our obligation on behalf of Harris Teeter is not to pay all losses, but to only consider those losses that Harris Tetter is legally responsible for causing the damages or injuries sustained on their premises or because of their

operations….Based on our investigation, we found no negligence on the part of Harris Teeter for this incident…..we respectfully deny any and all liability.” Hicks said his wife should not have been moved after she fell, according to Harris Teeter’s own policy. The manager should have called 911, Hicks said, as per Harris Teeter accident guidelines. “Of course what bothers me most is losing her, but the public pays the expenses through insurance costs; Harris Teeter’s insurance paid nothing,” Hicks said. Medical care ran into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Most of it was paid for by Medicare, and Mauriello so we all pay. Even when Medicare isn’t involved, everyone else gets dinged Continued on page 5

CORNELIUS TODAY • January 2015 • 5

cases a year. So a change in the law isn’t going to make him wealthy. Reform has come close in the N.C. legislature. The last time, the the bill was too heavily JETER weighted in favor of trial lawyers. Reform doesn’t seem to be high on the 2015 legislative agenda, although Hicks, a Republican, has written to local legislators. In a letter to Hicks, Tillis wrote: “I support the move to a comparative fault system and I have been actively engaged with all parties to work out a fair bill.” Tillis, of course, has moved on to the U.S. Senate. N.C. Rep. Charles Jeter said in December he will look into the matter. “To require injured people to be absolutely free from any culpability whatsoever doesn’t make sense,” Hicks said.

Continued from page 4

because the big companies with big insurance policies don’t. “Because of N.C. laws, Harris Teeter bore no responsibility even though the Medical Examiner stated on her death certificate that death was a result of the fall. The many dollars paid for medical care were paid by others,” Mr. Hicks wrote in a letter to local legislators. Mauriello, owner of Mauriello Law Firm on West Catawba, said North Carolina’s contributory negligence doctrine, is unfair. We’re one of only four states left that still follows the doctrine. “States have been moving away from it, not toward it,” Mauriello said. It’s not to say that plaintiffs can never recover. If the case is absolutely clear cut, like a construction accident or a trench collapse, the case can go to court. In fact, Mauriello represented six injured parties in the Charlotte Motor Speedway bridge collapse back in 2000. He was also on the plaintiff steering committee. Mauriello stays plenty busy under the current law, handling 100 to 120

8 • CORNELIUS TODAY • January 2015

Travis wants more lake access with ‘nautical’ Exit 28 bridge developed,” he said. Travis also said that the town is about to issue $10 million in bonds for the first installment of the road and greenway bond package approved by voters in 2013. In addition he announced that: • The state will be resurfacing Jetton Road in the spring, after which the town will take over maintenance. • The Torrence Chapel Road widening and sidewalk addition is virtually complete. • Financial closing on the agreement between DOT and Cintra for the I-77 managed/toll lanes should occur within the next month. • The town board is keeping a close eye on the DOT's proposed plans for the Phase II widening of West Catawba Avenue.

Mayor Chuck Travis opposes ‘superstreeting’ W. Catawba

By Dave Vieser With one year under his belt as mayor, Chuck Travis outlined the town board’s accomplishments at the Cornelius Today and Business Today Newsmakers Breakfast Dec. 11. “I've been your mayor for one year, so this is a great opportunity to reflect on the past year's highlights, while also looking ahead,” Travis said, explaining that Cornelius is in the midst of retail growth. Davidson, meanwhile, has more growth connected to industry. Under Cornelius’ form of government, the mayor does not vote, rather he or she helps set the direction around growth, infrastructure and policy. (Mayors do break tie votes; see page 12.) “I'm thrilled to report that Gov. Pat McCrory and Cultural Resources Secretary Susan Kluttz will help christen the new Catawba Avenue Bridge when it is completed early next year,” he said. “It's the inaugural effort of the state's ‘Art That Moves You’ program, a new state program designed to encourage more creativity and originality in areas such as bridge design,” Travis said. The ceremony will take place in late January or early February. “The program's goal is to urge citizens and officials not to do typical bridges and structures, and we're proud that Cornelius will be in the forefront of this statewide effort.” The $2 million “aesthetic makeover” of Exit 28—a sailboat like superstruc-

ture with cables and special lighting— will help brand Cornelius as the town by the lake. When completed, the new bridge will feature five-foot lanterns on the four corners, as well as trees and other plantings. Travis said there is considerably more work to be done around lake access for everyone. “In a town which prides itself on the lake connection, we have only two lakeside restaurants. That needs to change,” Travis said. He said the town's land use plan will help identify more lakefront properties suitable for development. Travis announced that the town will conduct an interchange justification report for a future Exit 27 on I-77. “There are over 200 vacant acres in that area, which was once associated with the Augustalee project, still waiting to be

Travis said the state's “superstreet” proposal, which would eliminate most left turn movements, was off-base. “That concept may be beneficial in moving people from Point A to Point B but I am not at all sure it's right for our town, especially our local businesses.” On the economic side, Travis noted that the Publix at Magnolia Plaza was nearing completion, and that retail de-

velopment at Antiquity was well under way. In the area of public safety, the mayor said the recent agreement whereby the town will become the primary 911 responder on the lake starting next summer was a huge accomplishment. “This came to a head last year when a call for help to CMP was delayed. We've actually been working on this problem for many years, since the days when Gary Knox was mayor. I appreciate the work done by County Manager Dena Diorio, who was instrumental in making this happen.” He also said the town will be purchasing a new aerial ladder truck for the fire department; creating speed zones at Bailey Middle and Hough High; and expanding the community camera program next year. “Lots of work accomplished, but lots to still do,” Travis said. “I appreciate the support of my fellow town board members in getting our goals achieved.” The Newsmakers Breakfast was sponsored by The Mauriello Law Firm, Donna Moffett Accountants & Consultants; Aquesta Insurance Services and Davidson Wealth Management.

Will there be a new I-77 interchange at Westmoreland?

Mayor Travis will run for a second term Mayor Chuck Travis will run for a second term in the municipal elections in November. Travis, who ran unopposed in the 2013 elections, was elected to the Town Board in 2009. He said one of his goals is to make Cornelius a true lake town with more access to Lake Norman for all residents, not just lakefront homeowners. Travis has also served on the Cornelius Planning Board and on the Archi-

tectural Review Board, which he helped organize. Travis is one of the architects behind the nationally renowned Birkdale Village. He said he wants to focus attention on economic development so fewer residents commute into Charlotte each day. Travis also supports a new Exit 27, which would help bring offices and development to the old Augustalee project on Highway 21.

By announcing early, he gets the jump on possible opponents. Leading Republicans have said they will not oppose Travis should he seek a second term. A resident of Mollypop Lane, he is married to Janice. They have two grown children. —Dave Yochum

10 • CORNELIUS TODAY • January 2015

Commissioner Jim Duke goes back to school Project Citizen explores ways to solve problems

By Dave Vieser When Cornelius Elementary School fifth grader John Polek volunteered to help get information on a new class project entitled Project Citizen, he had no idea it would result in Town Commissioner Jim Duke visiting his classroom. Then again, neither did Duke, who, upon walking into the school, said he was more nervous about addressing the fifth graders than sitting on the Town Board. It all came together on a Friday in December when Duke visited Mrs. Patricia Amato's fifth grade class. Project Citizen is a special initiative designed to teach youngsters how they can solve problems by working with local government. Commissioner Duke had all the answers and both the teacher and the class were thrilled. "I'm so proud of John for reaching out to the commissioner and for the interest shown by the students," said Amato. "We are learning about civic responsibility and how to solve a problem through our government channels, so this visit was perfect." Fifty students involved in Project Citizen chose three different issues in the community to try to resolve: • The need for dog waste bag stations and trash cans on specific roads in Cornelius • The need for more volunteers at the Cornelius Animal Shelter • Reawakening an unused garden at the school for vegetables

The commissioner spent most of the 30 minutes providing students with contact information within Cornelius government, and suggestions on how the town can help resolve their three issues. By the end, the students were clearly very much at ease with him, and he was equally impressed with the questions they asked. A California native, Duke moved to Cornelius 10 years ago. He was elected to the Cornelius Town Board for a two-year term in November 2013. Prior to that, he served on several committees and volunteer boards, and was the president of the Peninsula Homeowners Association for six years. “It was a joy to interact with these very bright young folks. The impression that I took away from the experience was just how involved they were with the issues and how many intelligent questions they asked,” Duke said.

Duke thanks Fifth Grader John Polek whose inquiry resulted in the commissioner’s recent visit to Cornelius Elementary.

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12 • CORNELIUS TODAY • January 2015

New man on Town Board puts people, service first By Dave Yochum The new man on the Cornelius Town Commission is a man of many talents. Bruce Trimbur, 59, grew up in Munster Ind., a Chicago suburb, where he worked as a supermarket bagboy and stocker as well as a driver and helper at a funeral home. He tinkers with antique clocks and pinball machines. The Indiana State graduate has been an industrial engineer for a lighting fixture manufacturer, a lighting specification sales person and an entrepreneur, having owned and sold Bagby Co., a lighting firm in Charlotte which did the lighting for Food Lion, Family Dollar, Belk’s and Panther Stadium. That’s not to mention launching his own residential real estate brokerage and working with former Mayor Wes Southern and former Town Manager Bob Race in a commercial real estate brokerage. He currently is eastern regional sale manager for a Los Angeles-based lighting company. But giving back may be Trimbur’s true calling. “I think one of my prayers is I always pray is to be a good example

Bruce Trimbur: ‘ Where are our Class A buildings?’

for others and contribute something to this world. It’s been my mantra forever,” says Trimbur, who lives in the Antiquity neighborhood with his wife of 31 years, Val. A 20-year member with his wife of Davidson United Methodist Church, Trimbur serves on the staff parish committee. “When I came to Cornelius, I wanted to be involved in the community and I am very proud to say I am involved,” Trimbur says. Indeed, he went on the town’s parks and recreation board a decade ago. When former Mayor Lynette Rinker stepped up from Town Commission in 2013, Trimbur volunteered—along with a few other people—to fill her commission seat. He also served on a street lighting advisory board, and a sub-committee for the Cornelius Arts Project. He has been steadily “involved in some of the tedious meetings and unglamorous meetings and some of the meetings that

aren’t even recognized, but [whose] decisions are taken to the board, which matter and make the positive end results.” In part because of his quiet, steady ser-

“I have known Bruce for many years. ...He is one of the most genuine individuals I have ever met. We even worked together in commercial real estate when he first started in that venture. When we would discuss local politics he always kept an open mind and LISTENED!” — Bob Race, former town manager of Cornelius vice to the town, Trimbur was selected to fill Rinker’s seat. When the elections were held in November a year ago, Trimbur stepped down. He had agreed, back then, not to run for the town board. This time, he did not. “I plan to run,” Trimbur says, pointing out that the people involved in Cornelius’ non-partisan government are “great.”

Live coverage of Town Board Commissioner Nomination The Town Board meeting Dec. 15 was contentious, with supporters of Dr. Michael Miltich in attendance as well as supporters of Bruce Trimbur. Here are key parts of the debate and subsequent 3-1 vote as reported on Facebook by reporter Dave Yochum 8:19 p.m.

on the Town Board. 8:20 p.m.

Gilroy said the ‘high-integrity approach’

www. facebook. com/CorneliusToday

to describe John Bradford as having op-

8:36 p.m.

Commissioner Thurman Ross says this is

posed Thurman Ross for the Town Board.

Dave Gilroy says: ‘Respect the voters, go

a decision for the board at this point. The

8:22 p.m.

voters elected this board, and the board

Now it appears that Gilroy is almost—al-

8:36 p.m.

should decide who fills the fifth seat.

most—suggesting Susan Medlin for the

Bruce Trimbur is the new commissioner.

8:21 p.m.

fifth, appointed seat. Ms. Medlin served on

The board voted 3-1 for Trimbur. Voting

Mayor Pro Tem Woody Washam counters:

the board several years ago.

for Trimbur: Ross, Washam, Duke.

‘There is no comparison, Bruce Trimbur is

8:22 p.m.

8:37 p.m.

the most-qualified candidate.’

The vote to name Dr. Miltich to the Town

After all that, Gilroy was the first to shake

8:21 p.m.

Board goes 2-2. Mayor Travis breaks the

Trimbur’s hand as the latter took his seat

Gilroy uses the term ‘grudge match’ to de-

tie, and the motion failed.

on the Town Board.

scribe the electoral relationship between

8:23 p.m.

8:38 p.m.

Commissioner Ross and former Commis-

Mr. Washam says ‘we were elected to make

It’s official: Bruce Trimbur is the new Town

sioner John Bradford.

good decisions’ and Mr. Trimbur ‘without a


8:21 p.m.

doubt has the attributes of being a great

Mayor Chuck Travis says Gilroy is wrong


is to select the next-highest vote-getter, namely Miltich.

be at the top, or one of the lead dogs,” he says, promising a positive—as in not negative—approach on the Town Board and in the fall when all five seats on the Town Board will be up for grabs. “I won’t say anything negative…negative campaigning has driven me crazy.”

8:21 p.m.

Commissioner Dave Gilroy just nominated Dr. Michael Miltich for the fifth seat

“We have a good mayor a good board, good people on staff,” he says. As a commissioner Trimbur said he would like to “see more unification of North Mecklenburg” on issues like zoning and economic development. “Where are our Class A buildings? That’s what I want. If we can’t generate it, we have to recruit,” he says, explaining that a new exit on I-77 at Westmoreland is “imperative for the future of our community. I want to make sure we get Exit 27,” he says. Trimbur was appointed by a 3-1 vote of current members at the Dec. 15 Town Board meeting—Commissioner Dave Gilroy voted against him, having championed, instead, Dr. Mike Miltich. “I’m a huge people person, and if I have be involved in something, I’m going to

with what the voters say.’

CORNELIUS TODAY • January 2015 • 13

14 • CORNELIUS TODAY • January 2015


News from

Home for the holidays: Swank abode on Jetton sells for $3.6 million

By Dave Yochum Dec. 8 A landmark lakefront home on Jetton Road in Cornelius has sold for $3.6 million, putting it in the top three of all Mecklenburg County residential real estate transactions in 2014. The county’s highest 2014 residential transaction, at $3.97 million, was a lakefront home at 15521 Jetton. The second highest price transaction in Mecklenburg was $3.93 million, for a home on Colville Road in the Eastover section of Charlotte. Cornelius has two out of the three largest Mecklenburg transactions.

Opportunity Ahead

Rounding out the Top Five are a home in Pellyn Wood and a 1936 mansion in Myers Park. The latest mega-sale, which closed late last month, was “Green Gardens,” at 16505 Jetton Road. Anita Sabates and Dixie Dean of Allen Tate’s Cornelius office, had the listing. Boston Reid, from Allen Tate’s Concord office, brought the buyer. The property was listed at $3.995 million. The high-end real estate markets in Lake Norman, Myers Park and Eastover are sizzling with an influx of buyers not just from out of state,

704.895.1335 about advertising opportunities

P.O. Box 2063 Cornelius, NC 28031

Top 5 Mecklenburg Sales 1. $3,969,000 - 15521 Jetton Road, Cornelius, NC - 10,321 sqft 2. $3,925,000 - 540 Colville Road, Charlotte, NC - 4,656 sqft 3. $3,600,000 - 16505 Jetton Rd, Cornelius, NC - 7,304 sqft 4. $3,335,000 - 1913 Bent Branch Rd, Charlotte, NC - 9,146 sqft 5. $3,150,000 - 1630 Brandon Rd, Charlotte, NC - 7,928 sqft

Kiwanis club dives into splash fountains for Smithville Park

Contact Gail Williams or Sara Foley at

but out of the countr y. Business and wealth have become internationalized, and real estate experts say money is practically no object when it comes to second and third homes, according to Allen Tate president Pat Riley. He said during the past 12 months, 232 homes priced at more than $750,000 were sold in Lake Norman. During the preceding 12 months, there were only 196 such sales. Then, too, millennials are suddenly a force in the high-end luxur y market. More than 114,000 millennials received gifts of $1 million or more from parents in 2013, compared to 1,600 such gifts in 1997.

Dec. 2 The Lake Norman Kiwanis Club is expected to propose a water feature—a splash pad comparable to the one in the center of Birkdale Village—for Smithville Park at an upcoming Cornelius Town Board meeting. The Smithville Park Splash Pad, which would include the Lake Norman Kiwanis in its name, could be completed in July or August of 2015, according to John Aneralla, a member of Kiwanis and former

president of the organization. It’s important because the park is underutilized by the nearby Smithville community, a historic African-American enclave just east of I-77 along Catawba Avenue. “The Splash Pad will provide parents and children with access to fun water play during the summer vacation season since we still have no access for public use of Lake Norman and no public

pools,” said Lisa Mayhew, co-chairman of the Smithville Community Coalition. Next year is the 100th anniversary of the international service organization. Aneralla said Kiwanis is looking for the town to put up the money for the splash pad to get the roughly $150,000 project under way quickly. The Kiwanis would be responsible for recruiting donor. The project will offer permanent recognition for them. The park is a town-wide amenity in the middle of a historic African-American community just east of I-77. Mayhew said the SCC is “100 percent committed” to help raise funds for this project over the next three years as well. She said the park right now is “always occupied with some type of sporting activities that the majority of” people in Smithfield “can not afford to have their children participate.” — Dave Yochum

CORNELIUS TODAY • January 2015 • 15

News-e Ivester Jackson launches Charlotte office

Ivester Jackson listing: 4222 Fox Brook Lane in Morrocroft for $5.95 million

Dec. 17 Cornelius-based Ivester Jackson Christie’s International will open an office later this month in one of the top office buildings in Southpark. Reed Jackson Ivester Jackson recruited Matthew Paul Brown from Sotheby's International as senior managing broker and broker in charge for Charlotte. Brown had been helping launch Sotheby's Lake Norman office in Cornelius. "The key reason for the timing of this is that there is demand for our service and Christie's reach in Charlotte, but we also recognize how important

it is to not disrupt our Lake Norman clients, thus finding an experienced respected leader to grow our Charlotte business who closely reflects the Lori Jackson values of our company was really important," said Reed Jackson, managing partner of Ivester Jackson. The company is already one of the largest high-end real estate brokerages in Mecklenburg County. "Since affiliating with Christie's last December, our ultra-luxury business has more than doubled," Jackson said. Lori Jackson Ivester Jackson has already listed a mansion at 4222 Fox Brook Lane in Morrocroft for $5.9 million. The company has also named Alison Smith associate lead broker in the Cornelius office. Despite the rapid growth in the high end, Jackson said 50 percent of the company's transactions are in the $500,000 and under price range.

Car bandit hit 80-100 vehicles on west side

Dec. 18 Call him the Car Bandit. Phillip Geoffrey Jordan has been arrested and charged with eight felony counts of breaking and entering a motor vehicle, one felony count of identity theft, one felony count of financial card theft and two misdemeanor counts of larceny. More charges are pending against Jordan and he is currently being held at the Mecklenburg County Jail. Cornelius Police say he targeted unlocked vehicles in residential areas along West Catawba Avenue between Robbins Preser ve and Mariner Cove, into the Norman Island area.

Jordan, who turned 21 last month, has admitted to breaking into approximately 80-100 vehicles in the area. Police caught JORDAN him this way: While investigating a stolen credit card that was used at Walgreens in Birkdale, sur veillance video showed images of the suspect. Based on the location of the break-ins, detectives believed the suspect was local and traveling on foot. They took the suspect's photo to area apartment complexes where the suspect was recognized. He was arrested at the Redcliffe Apartments. If you have been a victim of a recent car break-in in the west side of Cornelius and have not filed a police report, please call Cornelius Police Detectives at 704-892-7773.

18 • CORNELIUS TODAY • January 2015

Home Sales

19128 Peninsula Club Dr.

These recent property transactions in Cornelius and Davidson were recorded by the Mecklenburg County Register of Deeds.

Cornelius 11/14/14 $517,000 Classica Homes to Chester III & Elizabeth Naramore, 18033 Robbins Ln. 11/14/14 $560,000 Christina Walker to Justin & Rachel Faunce, 22113 Satilla Dr. 11/14/14 $285,000 South Creek Homes to

Carol A. Lehman Revocable Trust, 18025 Couleter Pkwy. 11/14/14 $230,000 Michael & Allison Bowman to Nancy & John Jr. Lintner, 19111 Juanita Ln. 11/14/14 $425,000 Lori Dewing to Wahit Tawfik & Parvana Arkhaft, 17416 Summer Place Ct. 11/14/14 $320,000 Patrick & Jennifer Greene to Eileen Vargosko, 17810 Half Moon Bay Ln. Unit C 11/15/14 $325,000 John & Celia Bavis to Scott Bavis, 21212 Harken Dr. 11/17/14 $239,900 Scott & Stefanie Hart to Cathleen Smith, 9912 Caldwell Depot Rd. 11/17/14 $245,000 David Hooper II & Onita Vaz to James & Ali Miller, 10603 Quarrier Dr. 11/19/14 $305,000 John & Sarah Carpenter to Marla & James Brown, 9834 Willow Leaf Ln. 11/20/14 $58,000 Charlotte Robinette to Eric Vest and Navegante LLC, 19714 School St. 11/21/14 $301,000 South Creek Homes to Frank & Leslie Mason, 18120 Coulter Pkwy. 11/21/14 $137,500 KMM Homes to James Smith, 18817 Nautical Dr. Unit 106 11/21/14 $310,000 Rush & Kary Watson to Gusten & Rebecca Brainerd, 1202 South St. 11/21/14 $164,500 David & Shelly Little to Annie Little, 10309 Washam Potts Rd. 11/21/14 $1,000,000 Thomas Stea to Frank & Sharon Coffey, 19128 Peninsula Club Dr. 11/24/14 $254,000 Anthony Jarrett to Donald & Donna Clark, 8622 Lake Pines Dr. 11/25/14 $228,000 Brenda McMullen to Tyler Rusin, 20264 Amy Lee Dr. Unit 153 11/25/14 $312,500 Cunnane Group to Michael & Jennifer Thomas, 1204 Inn Keepers Way 11/25/14 $835,000 David & Veronica Hagen to Christopher & Brenda Opie, 15506 Fisherman’s Rest Ct. 11/25/14 $105,000 Aquesta Bank to Matthew Hehs, 19701 Bethel Church Rd. Unit 304 11/25/14 $135,000 Westmoreland Lake LLC to Patrick & Lisa Hymes, 17119 Kenton Dr. 106 11/25/14 $319,000 South Creek Homes to Christine Manger, 18115 Coulter Pkwy. 28031 11/25/14 $498,000 South Creek Homes to See HOMES, Page 19

CORNELIUS TODAY • January 2015 • 19

Home Sales HOMES

from page 18

James & Harriet Collier, 12518 Meetinghouse Dr. 11/25/14 $405,000 South Creek Homes to John & Cindy Lomax, 12315 Meetinghouse Dr. 11/25/14 $185,000 Cheryl & Brett Houston to Ryan & Ashley Hilton, 21515 Verano Pl. 11/26/14 $597,500 Classica Homes to James Ott & Charlotte Armistead, 18116 John Robbins Ln. 11/26/14 $302,500 MS Antiquity to Mark Lancaster, 1146 South St. 12/2/14 $323,000 South Creek Homes to Francine Herrington, 18402 Neville Ave. 12/2/14 $246,000 Sharon McGowan & Eulalia & John Duncan to Philip Cooper, Lot 160 Victoria Bay 12/3/14 $220,000 John &Karen Heslin to American Homes 4 Rent; Properties, 9832 Westmoreland Rd. 12/4/14 $458,500 Cunnane Group to Susan & Kelly Curry, 20106 Dowry Ct. 12/4/14 $688,000 John & Laura Lewis to Robert & Patricia Graham, 19611 Meta Rd. and 19618 Bustle Rd. 12/5/14 $660,000 Dirk & Chantal Deceunick to Grace & Lowell Morgan, 16712 Yardarm Ln. 12/5/14 $101,000 Normandy Mortgage Loan Trust to Shanil Amalean & Jiten Tailor, 17443 Caldwell Track Dr. 12/5/14 $181,000 Eric & Carla Gutkowski to Keith & Jennifer Key, 15533 Crossing Gate Dr.

12/5/14 $233,000 Estate of Mary Ann Beckham to Althea Clark, 19147 Brookgreen Garden Pl. 12/8/14 $135,000 Westmoreland Lake LLC to Lee Syria, 9818 Pecan Station St. 12/8/14 $208,000 Linda Dencklau to Ciamack Kamdar, Lot 59 Caldwell Station

9834 Willow Leaf Ln.

12/9/14 $388,000 Allen Plummer Jr. to Robert & Carol Hicks, 17808 Prescott Border Dr. 12/10/14 $650,000 Classica Homes to Matthew & Andrea Snyder, Loretta Snyder, 17416 Pennington Dr. See HOMES, Page 20

20 • CORNELIUS TODAY • January 2015

Home Sales HOMES

from page 19

9035 Magnolia Estates

12/10/14 $234,000 Joyce Loomis to Robert & Catherine Marriot, 20145 Lamp Lighters Way 12/11/14 $269,000 Mark & Priscilla Charest to Stephen & Rene Blecha, 9035 Magnolia Estates Dr. 12/11/14 $357,000 South Creek Homes to Mary Wood, 11836 Meetinghouse Dr. 12/12/14 $395,000 James & Kathryn Marshall to Susan Johnson, 19721 Bethel Church Rd. 12/12/14 $796,000 William & Patricia Hirsch to Susan & Charles Clausen, 19245 Stableford Ln. 12/12/14 $177,000 Cary & Stacey oser to Matthew Pratt & Caitlin Alcorn, 10536 Meadow Crossing Ln. 12/12/14 $342,000 Joel & Emily Justus to Joel & Jenissa Switzer, 16606 Mizzen Ct. 12/12/14 $225,000 Gayle Gunter to Janet Mott, 17214 Chardonnay Ct. 12/12/14 $275,000 Daryl & Susan Chapman to Joyce Loomis, 1246 Inn Keepers Way

Davidson 11/14/14 $365,500 Weekly Homes to Ryan Dennis, 11604 Bradford Park Dr. 11/17/14 $370,000 Nicholas & Lynn Karras to Erik & Elizabeth Swanson, 13826 Helen Benson Blvd.

19611 Meta Rd.

11/19/14 $575,000 Jeffrey & Julie Kwitkowski to Bruce & Carol Seeber, 13519 Robert Walker Dr. 11/20/14 $204,000 Jill & Robert Kufhta to Amanda Wile, 16419 Leavitt Ln. 11/26/14 $395,000 NVR to Ajay & Meredith Paul, 13736 Helen Benson Blvd. 12/1/14 $302,500 NVR to Paul & Araceli Antrella, 17419 Summers Walk Blvd. 12/2/14 $347,500 Bungalow 626 Homes to Donald & Judith Gundry, 15746 Laurel Oak Crescent 12/5/14 $641,000 Evans Goghill Homes to Jack & Lorraine Louthan, 18514 Dembridge Dr. 12/8/14 $545,000 Mary Wood to Brendan Kelly & Andrea Tacy, 17700 River Ford Dr. 12/8/14 $458,000 Hugh & Diane Elkins to Scott & Elizabeth Miller, 18708 Greyton Ln. 12/12/14 $775,000 Amy Jo & Jason Salcido to Christopher & Amy Williams, 18530 Green Knoll Trace 12/12/14 $229,000 River Run LP to Jeffrey Harley & Eileen Shatara, 15603 June Washam Rd. 12/12/14 $254,000 Weekly Homes to Meghan & Joel Charpentier, Kathleen Hammock, 12436 Bradford Park Dr.

22 • CORNELIUS TODAY • January 2015

Less is more when it comes to selling your home

Example of warm, yet neutral Sherwin Williams’ Kilim Beige

My grandmother in Wisconsin recently mailed me a very amusing column clipping written by Joel Stein in TIME magazine called “Decolor My World.” It was essentially a satire piece highlighting the writer’s recent experience of selling his home and working with a Realtor and home-staging company similar to mine. Stein jokes that the first problem was their walls were painted in “personal colors.” I want to clarify that the answer is not “white” to correct this problem. White or vanilla walls are very sterile and can be just as bad in many cases as those personal colors. Instead I recommend warm yet neutral colors that will appeal to buyers. I am still having great success with Sherwin Williams Kilim Beige or Universal Khaki. If your rooms are smaller or lack natural light, go with the lighter of the two. I also often recommend tranquil spa-like colors for the master baths and even secondary bathrooms to differentiate the home. Stein next jokes that he had to take away all his “gross personal stuff” for several months and replace with fewer staging accessories. A few years ago Duke University conducted a study on

the effectiveness of home staging. The top staging principle was that personal items need to be removed from bathrooms. These items include but are not limited to used bars of soap, razors and toothbrushes. They create clutter, remind buyers the house is “used” and prevents potential buyers from imagining the home as theirs. The take-away from both his column and mine is that less is more when it comes to selling real estate. Fewer bright colors, less clutter and less furniture. Try to create a traditional setting when staging your home to sell — not too contemporary and not too antique. You want your house to appeal to as many buyers as possible of varying demographics. If you’re not sure how to accomplish this task, you can hire a home staging professional for a one hour consultation. He or she can create a home staging plan that you can implement yourself to save money. The ultimate goal of staging your home is to sell more quickly and for top dollar given current market conditions. Jamie McNeilis is an Accredited Staging Professional and owner of Centerpiece Home Staging in Cornelius. Email Jamie at Jamie.McNeilis@ for home decorating and improvement topics you would like covered in Home Decor

CORNELIUS TODAY • January 2015 • 23

Chicken that can be beat Funk’s main dish is elegant, easy, tasty

Mel Funk’s version of Chicken Cordon Bleu is what you’d expect from a lifelong restaurateur who helped develop menus at the old Steak and Ale chain and worked for 131 Main before launching Fresh Chef in The Shops at Fresh Market last September. It’s as delicious as it is fresh and appealing to the eye. Funk serves it at home—he lives with his wife Martha in Oakhurst—with rice pilaf and steamed broccoli, with a little salt and pepper, a squeeze of lemon and Parmesan cheese. And a smoky Chardonnay. Raised in Troutville, Va., Funk

learned the art of cooking mostly from his dad, a salesman and part-time country musician. Plenty of cook-outs and barbecues later, he “got his chops” at Steak and Ale as a grill cook. He honed his skills at 131 Main and moved to Cornelius three years ago. “My hobby is work,” he says. “I’ve always been able to imagine what tastes well together.” The Funks like to entertain casually at home, and doing so usually includes music. “We are all musicians; we play guitar, piano and we definitely grill out,” he says.

Mel Funk’s Chicken Cordon Bleu

Ingredients •

6-ounce chicken breast

Vegetable oil

Old Bay Seasoning

1/4 cup smoked ham

1/4 cup swiss cheese

Panko breading



Preheat oven to 350 Start with a 6-ounce chicken breast, place it in cellophane, pound it out until paper thin. Put vegetable oil on the skin side. On the inside

(not skin side) put a quarter teaspoon of Old Bay seasoning, a quarter cup of chopped smoked ham thinly sliced and a quarter cup of chopped shredded Swiss cheese. Fold into a pouch and sear the open end shut. Coat with with Panko breading, made with Old Bay, salt and white pepper. (A cup of Panko to a teaspoon of Old Bay, salt and white pepper.) Roll the chicken pockets into the coating mix. Place the chicken pocket on a greased sheet pan. Cook at 350 for 22 minutes or to 155 internally. Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes.

24 • CORNELIUS TODAY • January 2015

Little Smiles puts ‘merry’ back in Christmas for hospitalized kids Town Hall Update

Jeff DiNicola, Margi Kyle, Robin Holland and Lisa Webster from Jeff Gordon Children's Hospital

Margi Kyle, founder of Little Smiles NC

Margi Kyle founded Little Smiles NC, which aims to brighten the lives of hospitalized children. Margi's team works year-round, but, on Dec 17, Kyle opened Little Smiles' storage unit to nurses so they could "shop" for their young patients. Nurses from Jeff Gordon Children's Hospital, Hemby Chil-

dren's Hospital and Interim Healthcare visited and left with hundreds of gifts for children that wouldn't otherwise have a Merry Christmas. The toys came from residents in Mariners Village, Toys for Tots and other donors. Photography by Jackson Sveen


Margi Kyle; Diane Giambra and Heather Southers with Interim Healthcare; and Caroline Norris with Hemby Children's Hospital

Robin Holland and Lisa Webster pick out toys at Jeff Gordon Children’s Hospital

Jeff DiNicola helps Diane Giambra fill a bag with plush toys for Interim Healthcare

, 2015

y a e D k a g L i Bat the

Big D

ay A t


uly 18 1 is J 1 e k e La

a igday www.b


ke-l tthela 速



to all of our 2014 Boat Hosts, Sponsors and Volunteers 2014 Presenting Sponsor

2014 Admiral Sponsors

2014 Captain Sponsors

2014 Commander Sponsors

AlphaGraphics - Lake Norman, Davidson Wealth Management, Hatcher Law Group, Edward and Terry Keible, Frank, Lynn & Erin Manis & Mama's Pizza, Kiwanis of Lake Norman, Ingersol Rand, Julia Holyfield/Tom Hansen, KS Audio Video, Lake Norman Realty, Law Firm of Bentz and Associates, McIntosh Law Firm, North Mecklenburg Rotary Club, Park Avenue Properties, Dixie Dean, Randy Stephenson

2014 Skipper Sponsors

Harvey's in Cornelius, Andy and Paula Smith, Jim & Carolyn Duke, LePage Johnson Realty, Raymond Kepner Funeral Home, Tracy Stehle, Mark & Lynette Rinker, Troy & Della Stafford

2014 Mate Sponsors

Deborah Young Studios, Margaret and Blair Boggs, Brampton Capital, Woody Washam

2014 Crew Sponsors

Bill & Linda Dagit, Lapis Financial, John Cherry, Tom & Ann Dutton, Mother Lode Wines, Chris & Sally Ashworth, Linda & Bill Dagit

2014 Food Vendors

Alton's Kitchen and Cocktails, Big Bitez, The Brickhouse Tavern, Brewsters, Fireside Bar & Grill, Harvey's in Cornelius, Jack's Corner Tap, Lake Town Tavern

26 • CORNELIUS TODAY • January 2015

Senior News

Support groups can help “Every chasm has a supporting find them. You will often find them side.” This is a favorite quote of at hospitals, churches, or senior mine. Sometimes the chasms in my centers and they are free to join. In life are deep and scary, other times most cases, support groups are methey are shallow and easy to man- diated by a doctor or counselor, and age. We all need support of some sometimes by people who are symkind throughout our lives whether it pathetic to the problems that othbe emotional support, as in a shoul- ers are facing. Support groups are der to cry on, or physical support as important because they give people in the use of an arm to with little or no hope a lean on. taste of what the future Spiritual support can may be. be found in a place of Depression and suiworship or in the prescide support groups play ence of a friend who a big part in the lives of shares your beliefs. those who feel that they We use a support to are mentally unstable, prop up a sagging porch, and are on the edge of or support hose to ease making a drastic decithe pain of varicose sion. Joanne Ahern veins. Support is a good There are many benefits Seniors Columnist thing and can be found in of joining a support group. many shapes, forms, or You make connections with sizes. Finding the right support for other people that share the same you is critical. struggle, and you feel less isolated. Support can be the difference Coping with your problem may be between falling into that chasm of the hardest thing to do, and supdoubt, fear, or uncertainty, and be- port groups are designed to improve ing saved from doubt, fear, or uncer- your coping skills by sharing past tainty. experiences with your peers. SupWhat does your support look like? port groups can also motivate you to Have you thought about how much cope with your problems by hearing that good friend means to you and former patients share their stories of why? How about your spouse? recovery. Too often we take for granted those Support groups are about finding whom we love but let’s not forget the hope, and in most cases, hope is many times they were “there” for us found. It may take a long time to heal through thick and thin. and you may be nervous, but support Other times we need someone groups are here to help you. Watchwho understands what it feels like ing others make strides in their lives to have certain diseases, ailments motivates you to pursue the same or phobias. This is where support confidence and support that is availgroups can have a huge impact on able to you through a support group. our lives. I am happy to announce that the People who are diagnosed with North Mecklenburg Senior Center, certain diseases can find that they at our new location of 102 Gilead are not alone in these groups and Road, Huntersville, is offering two that they can talk and discuss their support groups in January 2015. feelings without feeling ashamed A Fibromyalgia support group will or subjected to criticism. A support have its first meeting on Wednesday, group provides you with a group of January 7, at 10:30 a.m. The second people who have had the same dif- one is for those challenged by Parficulties and are seeking the same kinson’s Disease and will start on support. Wednesday January 14, at 10:30 a.m. There are several types of supPlease give us a call at 704-948-2486 port groups and various places to to register and for more information.

28 • CORNELIUS TODAY • January 2015

Its been a jolly, jolly Christmas North Mecklenburg Christmas Parade

Christmas dancers from the Lake Norman Dance Gallery

Photos: Jackson Sveen

Santa Gene Ervin was the star of the N. Meck Christmas Parade

Christmas Cantata

Clydesdales from Hunting Creek Farm

Photos: Dave Yochum

Marcy Mittelstadt led the choir and orchestra at Mt. Zion United Methodist Church

Christmas in Davidson

Michaele Autry and Arlene Arciero ran the ticket booth for Lake Norman Kiwanis

Photos: Dave Yochum

Davidson United Methodist Church manger scene

CORNELIUS TODAY • January 2015 • 29

New Corporations

Continuing a Family T radition ofE xcellence. H elping families remember someone they love is our goal at Raymer-Kepner Funeral Home

These corporations have registered with the N.C. Secretary of State

Cornelius 11/19/14 Heavy Shower Doors LLC, Neil Heesch, 21301 Harken Dr., Cornelius 11/19/14 Moduset LLC, Adam G. Breeding, 9606 Bailey Rd., Ste. 260, Cornelius 11/20/14 John Hassell Insurance Services Inc., John Hassell, 21413 Pinecrest Pl., Cornelius 11/21/14 Alviz Construction Inc., Edwin Ortega, 226 Crane St., Davidson 11/21/14 Classic Transport & Logistics Inc., John F. Hanzel, 19425-G. Liverpool Pkwy., Cornelius 11/21/14 Studio 3 Five 8 LLC, Leanne C. Howell, 20700 N. Main St., Ste. 114, Cornelius 11/24/14 Pitbox Auto Sales LLC, John F. Hanzel, 19425-G Liverpool Pkwy., Cornelius 11/24/14 The Upper Crust LLC, Ernest B. Remmey, 19619 Weavers Cir., Cornelius 11/25/14 RT Restaurant Co. LLC, Robert B. Newkirk III, 19810 W. Catawba Ave., Cornelius 11/25/14 Southern Cut Landscaping LLC, Jack Greyson Oxidine, 20437 Harborgate Ct., #702, Cornelius 11/26/14 Standard Motors LLC, Ekramuddin T. Jaffary, 19836 Deer Valley Dr., Cornelius 11/26/14 Value Restore Inc., Seth Rogers, 15818 Kiser Corner Ln., Davidson 12/1/14 Joey’s Wings, Jill Catherine Daham, 16618 Flying Jib Rd., Cornelius 12/1/14 Marcoccia and Donnelly Incorporated, George J. Marcoccia, 10120 Treetop Ln., Cornelius 12/1/14 Martinbach Aviation LLC, Ronald S. Martin, 17820 Spinnakers Reach Dr., Cornelius 12/3/14 Carolina Custom Wheels Tires Accessories Inc., Erika M. Erlenbach, 209 Delburg St., Ste. 203, Davidson 12/3/14 Highland Crossing B – LLC, C. Shane Buckner, 16930 W. Catawba Ave., Ste. 205, Cornelius

12/3/14 Highland Crossing M – LLC, C. Shane Buckner, 16930 W. Catawba Ave., Ste. 205, Cornelius 12/4/14 Modtions9 LLC, Mark Hoogendoorn, 18058 W. Catawba Ave., Cornelius 12/4/14 PCGSolar Construction LLC, Michael D. Whitson, 442 S. Main St., Ste. 12, Davidson 12/5/14 WV Waste 2 Energy LLC, Michael D. Whitson, 442 S. Main St., Ste. 12, Davidson 12/8/14 Santosuosso Enterprises Inc., Rebecca Santosuosso, 8344 Viewpoint Ln., Cornelius 12/10/14 Bohman Insurance & Financial Services LLC, John F. Hanzel, 19425 G. Liverpool Pkwy., Cornelius 12/10/14 PHT Investments LLC, Robert B. Newkirk III, 19810 W. Catawba Ave., Ste. E, Cornelius 12/11/14 455 Main South LLC, Richard J. Kline, 230 South Main St., Davidson 12/11/14 The Girl in Me LLC, Tammy Nadzieja, 18137 Sunset Cove Ln., Cornelius 12/11/14 Hoppy Hour LLC, Shawn A. Copeland, 215 S. Main St., Ste. 301, Davidson 12/11/14 Vegnation LLC, Leilani M. Munter, 9420 Glenashley Dr., Cornelius 12/12/14 JNN Ventures II LLC, Judith Bailey, 18825 Coveside Ln., Cornelius 12/12/14 Parker Marketing LLC, Carmen Wagner, 19025 Northport Dr., Cornelius 12/15/14 Homeworx of LKN LLC, Jonathan Poole, 20119 Henderson Rd., Unit B, Cornelius 12/15/14 John Matthews CPA PLLC, John Matthews, 17819 Peninsula Club Dr. N, Cornelius 12/15/14 Make an Impact Holdings LLC, Dale W. Gillmore, 235 Grey Rd., Davidson 12/15/14 Parks Retail LLC, Tracy B. Parks, 22727 Torrence Chapel Rd., Cornelius 12/15/14 Samartino Consulting Services LLC, Frank Smartino, 12801 Westmoreland Farm Rd., Davidson

More new corporations are online at

generations our family has worked with other local families to create a meaningful experience, offering funeral options tailored to their needs. We are proud to be a part of the Lake Norman community and proud to carry on the tradition of excellence started by the Raymer family in 1989. Thank you for allowing our family to guide and comfort you through the loss of a loved one.

John & Claudia Kepner with son Jonathan

16901 Old Statesville Road • Huntersville 704-892-9669 •

30 • CORNELIUS TODAY • January 2015


Cornelius vacuum circa 1965

Your comments and opinions

Power Vacuum? Photo: James Sanders The culprit

Left in the dark

Businessman Sounds Off about power failtures



“The power has gone out for all small businesses on Catawba Avenue for more than an hour at least four times in the last 90 days leaving my students to do nothing more than puppet shows for the passing cars. I applaud those who work so diligently to restore power and save those whose lives where put in jeopardy by it, but the last two outages, caused by obvious professional negligence on the part of those constructing the Harris Teeter center deserve being called out. My small school (SkilStak Coding Arts) lost a full Saturday afternoon of classes and camps, more than $500, my biggest day of the week. I work with very tight margins as a nano-school but more importantly I turned away disappointed chil-

dren for Minecraft Camp one of whom traveled from Kannapolis for it. I spoke with other business owners and made a rough anecdotal estimate of lost downtown business during these outages of over $5,000 for both the power outages. Small potatoes to some, but if we really want to grow downtown business we need some accountability with teeth. Shouldn’t we at least be fining those responsible for these outages? Reflective warnings on the power lines clearly were not enough to prevent it from happening again. Maybe a $20,000 fine would.” Rob Muhlestein Muhlestein is the owner of SkilStak Coding Arts at 21347 Catawba Ave.

Rob Muhlestein: A rough estimate of losses is $5,000


“This is the 21st century, not 1965. Someone from the town of Cornelius needs to notify Electricities. Repeated instances of power outages, three in less than three weeks, for extended times, is not acceptable for a large suburban area of a major city. Please, Electricities, invest in  modern equipment that works properly and replace antiquated equipment that needs it. Being a miser and replacing old, worn out transformers or boxes only after they blow up or die of old age isnt good business. But of course, you have a monopoly on the service currently. Citizens deserve better, and many, such as myself are tired of losing hundreds of dollars worth of groceries, much less freezing, due to the ineptness of your operation. While you're at it, invest in a communications center that is staffed by employees that answer the call and tell the truth to those inquiring. Letting the phone ring repeatedly while you stick your head in the sand and ignore it is completely unprofessional and unacceptable. Being left in the dark literally is bad enough without being left in the dark by lack of communication skills on the part of Electricities. Not sure, maybe its just us common folk on the poor side of town that are affected so often and not the ones on knob hill by the lake. We pay taxes the same and also pay outrageous power bills so how about some decent service.” —via

ElectriCities responds

"We know there's nothing quite as frustrating as the power going out, especially when it happens several times in one month. The lengthy power outages that occurred in November were caused by accidents at a major construction project. These accidents caused considerable damage that interrupted service and our local crews worked non-stop to restore power as quickly as possible. We continue to educate construction companies on safe practices to avoid similar construction-related outages in the future. When it comes to electricity, the town's No. 1 goal is to keep the lights on by providing safe and reliable power. That's why Cornelius continues to invest in new electrical infrastructure and relies on local crews to respond quickly and safely to outages. You can find information about power outages and our response efforts on ElectriCities local Twitter account, @Cornelius_EC, and on the Cornelius Police Department account, @CorneliusPD."

Kathy Morey Morey is general manager of ElectriCities in Huntersville

CORNELIUS TODAY • January 2015 • 31

Zombie law

A bridge too strong “Just curious...with all that excess weight (and more to come), has any work been done to the underside of the bridge at Exit 28?”

What does a Superstreet do to Magnolia?

—via anonymous contact link on


Tyler Beardsley, project manager for Cornelius, responds: While still in the planning process and prior to any of the construction, NCDOT Bridge Structural Engineers ran weight and load calcula-

Moron sighting “To the micro-brain driver of the enormous black pick-up truck with giant steam pipes on each side on Tuesday Dec. 9 who passed me on Bethel Church Road: You’re a moron.” —via anonymous contact link on



“I’m not sure, but aren’t heavily tinted side windows illegal in North Carolina? You can’t see the other drivers and can’t get a sense of whether they see you or not at a four-way stop. Why is this allowed? These cars are all over Cornelius. Why do the police let them do this?” —via anonymous contact link on

tions to determine if the bridge could support additional weight. All of the load calculations showed the bridge had more than enough capacity to hold the additional weight. 

L etters

to the

“When I got to the first roundabout in Davidson after I-77, I got stuck in the inner lane and went around eight or nine times before I could head right back to Cornelius, fast as you please. My husband an I moved here from New Jersey WHERE WE GOT RID OF TRAFFIC CIRCLES.” —via

Going public


“Residents of Magnolia Estates have a real difficult time making a west-bound left turn on West Catawba Avenue. Is Publix or the town planning to put a traffic light at that intersection allowing access into the development and the supermarket? Town and Publix officials should try making that turn to see the difficulties we experience.” —via anonymous contact link on



"The sign ordinance.... it is NOT a dead issue!" —via anonymous contact link on

Roundabout: You spend the day your way

“Is Publix going to update our entry sign on Catawba? Hoping so.... No contact from Publix and one would hope they would want our neighborhood to fully support them.” —via


Dec. feature: “The compassion industry tugs at heart strings, wallets” Editor: Thank you for addressing the issues of service duplication and toxic charity in your December 3 article. We have a generous community in the Kreuger Lake Norman area, and honestly Ada Jenkins Center could not survive without the volunteers and investors living and working here. Support from Linda Beck and the United Way team is also very important. In your article, you mention that both United Way and Ada Jenkins Center have worked hard to keep overhead costs down. True, though while keeping a low overhead is important, it should not come at the cost of compromising quality of service. Although we don’t have salaries that are competitive with the for-profit world, we are amazingly fortunate to have a great staff; their hard work is what makes Ada so effective. It is important for potential investors to look at other factors as well. We are fortunate to live and work in a rare area where most nonprofits don’t duplicate services. This is largely due to a long-time culture of cooperation and collaboration. I would encourage new

nonprofits or those considering starting one to do their homework and think about all possible consequences – intended and unintended – before undertaking a plan of action. With regard to understanding charity, I recommend reading “Toxic Charity” and “When Helping Hurts”; both are books that highlight some damaging effects of charity in America and abroad. One of my teammates lived in Haiti and she can attest firsthand to the economic disruption that “do-gooders” often cause. “Some church groups would come to our village with American candy for the Haitian children,” says Nicole. “Well, that’s a nice idea, but you’ve just cost the local candy store a week’s worth of business. Businesses can’t compete with free handouts. We convinced later groups to buy candy from the Haitian store instead. Everyone wins.” I encourage everyone reading this to get involved in our community. Speak up! Volunteer, and don’t be afraid to lend a hand to those around you—but think about how to best do so. Georgia Kreuger Kreuger is executive director of Ada Jenkins Center in Davidson.

Editor: I found your December article, “The compassion industry tugs at heart strings, wallets,” to be very compelling and beck thought-provoking. Shortly after moving to Lake Norman five years ago, I discovered several local agencies and services providing help to the working poor and those trying to permanently improve their life situations. I was so impressed with the area’s wonderful philanthropic orientation and commitment to “take care of its own.” Many people view Lake Norman as an affluent community with few (if any) needy community members. However, one does not have to look far to see genuine need among us. Kudos to the Lake Norman community for its heightened awareness of and helpfulness to our less fortunate neighbors. Linda Beck Beck is community director for United Way in Lake Norman and Mooresville

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