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March 2016 • VOLUME 11 NUMBER 6 CMS Board member has a lot on her shoulders

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Page 8


There’s a new pastor at First Baptist


Help us Rhonda


Here comes the Judge

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


2 • CORNELIUS TODAY • March 2016

Please join us for the following Easter & Holy Week Services and Activities at Mt. Zion United Methodist Church.

All are welcome!

Sunday, March 20 Palm Sunday Worship Services: 8:30, 9:45 and 11:00am. All children and adults will receive a palm branch to wave and take home. Wednesday, March 23 Wednesday Night Worship – 6:30pm in the Sanctuary This is a contemplative worship service with Communion, which is open to all people. Thursday, March 24 Maundy Thursday Worship Service – 7:00pm in the Sanctuary This service is a remembrance of the last supper of Jesus with the celebration of Communion, which is open to all people. Friday, March 25 Good Friday Worship Service – 7:00pm in the Sanctuary This service will focus on the story of Jesus’ death and will include prayer, scripture reading, hymns and the stripping of the altar.

Saturday, March 26 Community Children’s Easter Egg Hunt 11:00am Meet in the Family Life Center/Gym. Free and open to the community. Sunday, March 27 Easter Sunday Service Times 7:00am Sunrise Service Located between the Sanctuary and the Cemetery in the parking lot. (Free pancake breakfast after) 8:30am Worship in the Sanctuary with Chancel Choir, Brass and Handbells. Identical to the 11:00am service. 9:45am Worship in the Family Life Center with the Praise Band. 11:00am Worship in the Sanctuary with Chancel Choir, Brass and Handbells. Identical to the 8:30am service.

Mt. Zion United Methodist Church - 19600 Zion Avenue Cornelius, NC 28031 -

March Things to do

CMS Board member is speaker at Newsmakers Breakfast March 24

Rhonda Lennon, a member of the of ar ts in business administration Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools from UNC-Charlotte. Board of Education, will be She star ted Families Unitin the hot seat at the Cored for Nor th Mecklenburg nelius Today/Business ToEducation (FUME) in 2003 day Newsmakers Breakfast and has ser ved on several March 24 at The Peninsula education-related commitClub. tees and the board of CharLennon was elected to lotte Advocates for Educathe Board of Education in tion. LENNON 2009 to represent District 1, Newsmakers Breakfasts the nor thern par t of Mecklenburg are an open-forum discussion with County. people in the news; questions are CMS is in the throes of a reassess- asked by the audience. ment of the school assignment sysDoors open at 7:15 a.m. for nettem, in light of burgeoning growth working. The buf fet-style breakfast at char ter schools and private gets under way at 7:30 a.m. The schools and disappointing results at Q&A begins at 8 a.m. and concludes some inner city schools. at 9 a.m. The cost to attend, $12, inA Cornelius resident, Lennon is cludes a full countr y breakfast. a graduate of South Mecklenburg Reser vations are required. High School. She holds an associate Call 704-895-1335 with Visa or degree in nursing and a bachelor MasterCard.

American Legion BBQ fundraiser is March 24 American Legion Post 86 is holding its annual BBQ and Baked Goods fundraiser March 24. The event, at 21215 Legion St., starts at 11 a.m. A $10 plate includes BBQ, plus beans, slaw and drink, or three sandwiches and a drink. To donate baked goods or preorder, call Mack Robinette at 704-361-4679. All proceeds will be used to purchase a statue to enhance the military theme of the Cornelius Veterans Monument in honor of all veterans from Cornelius.

Details, More Local Events:


Adoptable Pets

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

CHARLOTTE 2919 Boyer St. / 704.393.3647 LAKE NORMAN 15020 Brown Mill Rd. / 704.875.8668 For additional locations or to make a reservation, visit or call 1.877.PETS.PLAY.

Angus is a 10-month old Black Lab mix. He has a shiny coat and a white spot on his chest. He is very friendly and loves to play with his toys. He knows the sit command already, and responds well to training with treats.

Wonder is a handsome 1-year old Black Tabby/White male who was recently surrendered to the shelter along with brother Kirby. Wonder and Kirby are wonderful companions and playmates, if by chance you are looking for a pair of wonderful cats.

CORNELIUS TODAY • March 2016 • 3

Table of Contents



Judge bears witness to the power of forgiveness Page 4




CMS Board Member Rhonda Lennon doesn’t shy away from anything Page 8





More new age-restricted residences are coming to Cornelius Page 10



Eighty-eight local artists have their work on display at Cornelius Arts Center Page 12



Susan Nichols shares her recipe for a healthy Lentil Soup Page 28

HOME DECOR ………………………… Page 29 HOME SALES ……………………… Page 22-26 NEWS-E ………………………….Pages 14-18 new coRporations ..........................Page 36 SOUNDOFF ................................. Page 38-39



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Editor: Dave Yochum,; Sales and Marketing Director: Gail Williams,; General Manager: 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, SoundOff 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 based in 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.

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4 • CORNELIUS TODAY • March 2016

Pastor Judge

A new leader takes on the challenge of religion in a new century There are lots of different kinds of clergy, not just from a denominational perspective, but gender, age, liberal or conservative. Some are outstanding preachers, others wonderful counselors. Others dive into the communities around them, others are more inclined, like their denomination, to stay close to home. And then there’s David Judge, the new permanent interim pastor at First Baptist Church of Cornelius on Catawba Avenue, just east of Smithville and Victoria Bay. The church has been there for more than 100 years; Judge has been there four months. “Permanent interim” sounds, well, more interim than permanent, but it’s not. Judge would like to be the full-time pastor, but, as far as membership goes, the church has seen better days. Back in the 1990s, attendance was around 300 on any given Sunday. Nowadays, it’s more like 60, Judge says. Supporting a pastor long-term is a tall order, financially speaking. “I bring stability to the church,” he explains. Judge’s job, in addition to ministering to the flock, is to help the church find “its identity and purpose for which God has put us here.” He is striving to turn the focus of the

church outward into the community. Judge, 51, has already met with community leaders, and reached out to a neighbor, Cornelius Elementary School. His is a job of biblical proportions.

Church, in context

Mainstream churches have struggled nationwide with shrinking membership rolls for years. The Pew Research Center’s 2014 Religious Landscape Study says only 14.7 percent of U.S. adults are part of the mainline Protestant tradition – a sizable decline from 2007, when the last such study was conducted. The number of mainline church-going Protestants has declined at a faster rate than any other major Christian group, including Catholics and evangelical Protestants. According to Pew, mainline U.S. churchgoers decreased from about 41 million in 2007 to 36 million in 2014. Meanwhile, younger people are less likely to identify with mainline denominations. Among Millennial adults, only 11 percent are mainline Protestants, 16 percent are Catholics, 21 percent are evangelical Protestants and 35 percent are religiously unaffiliated. It means change for the Cornelius faith community, as retention rates across the

board suffer. On the flip side, Elevation Church, which is also Southern Baptist, draws enormous crowds via a televised ministry to more than a dozen locations, including one in Kenton Place on the western edge of Cornelius. According to Wikipedia, Charlotte-based Elevation regularly attracts 15,000 worshippers. Enter into this mix one interesting fellow. Raised as a Catholic on Long Island, Judge married a Roman Catholic. He had a born-again experience in a Pentecostal church, went on to the United Church of Christ, where he was asked to preach a sermon after there was a split over samesex marriage. Of course, Judge did preach, and his sermon was a big hit. So in 2006, he enrolled at Reformed Theological Seminary, a Presbyterian institution, but by then he was attending a United Methodist church. He was called to the Southern Baptist faith, which has a traditional approach to Scripture and a decentralized, locallydriven structure. Forgiveness is one of the major tenets of the church—you don’t have to earn it.

Forgiveness needed

Judge is highly qualified for forgive-

ness: Married at 23 to a Catholic girl, their marriage failed after six years. Judge soon remarried—you might say it was a bounce back—and that union lasted seven years, until 2000. Judge married a third time 10 years ago. He and Christy have four children. All told, Judge has six children, aged three months to 20 years. His life experience helps him immediately relate to people: He has children of all ages, he’s been divorced. “Knowing that the pastor has gone through the same thing…it’s helpful,” Judge says. “Now, as a believer, my commitment to my wife is so much stronger now that I have understood my sin,” Judge says. “Divorce is not an unforgivable sin.” He looks the part of a successful businessman in a sharp blazer, slacks and Polo button down shirt, because he is. Weekdays, Judge lives in South Charlotte, and works as an insurance executive. With an undergraduate degree from Hofstra University and an MBA from the University of Houston, he’s had a highprofile career with companies like The Equitable, health maintenance organizations and Optum Insurance. Indeed, he’s so good at what he does, he sells somecontinued on Page 5

CORNELIUS TODAY • March 2016 • 5

continued from Page 4

thing called “stop insurance” to self-funded employers.

A hire calling

He also is used to hard work. When he was 16 years old his father came to him and said, “Do you have a job?” Judge said he told his dad he didn’t, to which his father replied: “You have one week to find one.” One week later his dad asked if he had a job…and “I said no. He said ‘yes, you do…be at the hardware store at 8 a.m.” His first job after college was as a sales rep. His territory was Brooklyn, Queens and Long Island. Judge will keep his job in the insurance business, hoping that First Baptist’s growth will help turn his calling into what will amount to a new life for him and his wife and children. Judge routinely visits church members who are ill or in the hospital and attends Wednesday night fellowship dinner as well as the young adults meeting.

A higher calling

“We knew the end game was to quit my job and become a full-time pastor… that we would have to rearrange our finances,” Judge said. The couple has virtually no debt and their house in Raintree is nearly paid for, which means they’ll “be able to sell the house and buy a smaller house for cash.” “I have done all the preparation work to make this move possible…it will be a change in lifestyle, I’ll be downsizing my life, but I’m looking forward to it,” Judge says, who graduated from seminary in May. He’s a case study in time management, what with school, a full-time job and a young family, not to mention serving the church. Judge’s mission is to right-size First Baptist—something like 200 or 300 members. Today’s mega-churches, he thinks, can provide refuge to those who are not fully committed. Members can be somewhat less involved, somewhat anonymous, he says. “The attractiveness is the lack of accountability. From the pastoral perspective, how can I pastor a church of 5,000 people? You can’t, you have to have a personal connection. If let’s say ‘Mary’ doesn’t come to church one Sunday, I’m probably going to call her…there’s going to be that exposure…how do you know somebody cares if they don’t know who you are? How many people live in Cornelius, 27,000? If I could get 1 percent to attend…”

It’s tennis time at Cornelius Elementary who said it has several purposes. “Childhood obesity rates continue to climb and I wanted to offer a club that focuses on healthy lifestyle and fitness” she said. “The second purpose was to create an affordable entr y point to learn tennis as a sport. We live in a perfect climate for this sport and yet many kids never tr y it out because Rich Jakiel, one of the volunteer tennis instructors, demit has the reputation for onstrates some good moves to Giselle Meza-Hernandez being an expensive and and, facing the camera, Grace Lennon. exclusive sport.” By Dave Vieser Initial reaction has been overCornelius Elementar y School has whelmingly positive. “We are ver y launched a new after-school sports pleased that a tennis club is being activity seldom seen at the grammar offered at the elementar y school at school level: A tennis club. Dubbed a reasonable price,” said Shellea Taythe Cornelius Cougars, the club has lor, who has a third grader in the club. 23 students in the K-2 grade session “It’s nice to have a variety of sports and 20 students in the grades 3-5. offered to the students, not just the The club is the brainchild of the standard ones, so they have a chance school’s ESL (English as a second to find what they may excel at.” language) teacher Tammy Van Cleef, Principal Jessica Holbrook shares

that enthusiasm. “The tennis club is a fun way to teach leadership skills and sportsmanship skills, all the while supporting the benefits of physical activity.” Randall Blade from Grip and Rip Tennis was the first coach to volunteer his time to work with the students. “I asked Coach Ran back in December if he would consider partnering with our school,” Vancleef said. “He was immediately interested and we started the paper work through CMS Community Use of Schools department.” With the tremendous turnout, Van Cleef felt the need to line up a second tennis pro, Rich Jakiel, who had recently left his tennis professional position at the Lake Norman Tennis Center to pursue a career in the insurance industr y. He talked to his boss at the Joe Ricci State Farm Agency and they agreed that he be allowed to leave his office early to come to the school ever y Friday afternoon as a school/community business partnership.

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8 • CORNELIUS TODAY • March 2016

Rhonda Lennon: CMS board member takes lonely stand By Dave Yochum Will your child be guaranteed a seat in a nearby school in future years? Right now, Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools students are assigned to a home school based on their residential address, not race or income. Rhonda Lennon, CMS board member from North Mecklenburg, aims to keep it that way. The Cornelius resident was the lone dissenter at a CMS Board of Education meeting in February that saw the board approve establishing broad new goals for student assignment—the politically correct way of saying busing—7-1. The goal, noble as it is, is divisive in a district that includes poor of all colors and broad stretches of distant suburbia. Lennon, 54, is one of the region’s most influential elected officials. She comes at the school board with the sensibilities of a hard-working single parent, a businesswoman and an activist. Her history of activism goes back to the early 2000s. Charlotte and Mecklenburg County were growing rapidly and school populations were soaring. Education trailers were a common sight. Lennon got involved in the PTA at David Cox Elementary; she was a room parent with former Cornelius Mayor Jeff Tarte, now a North Carolina state senator. In 2003 she started FUME, or Families United for North Mecklenburg Education. The goal was to reduce overcrowding and accomplish change on the CMS board, which was struggling to keep up with a fast-changing, fastgrowing population. Race was an issue, with a schoolassignment lawsuit going all the way to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond, Va. But is fixing the root causes of generational poverty the role of a school system? Lennon says it isn’t. One of only two Republicans on the school board, she said fixing generational poverty “will take a combined effort of civic, church, community and government leaders working together.” She has high praise for the Lake Norman Chamber and its efforts to bring business leaders into North Mecklenburg schools, through the Lake Norman Education Collaborative. “However, I believe one of the great equalizers is having an engaged par-

“We can be part of the solution but we are not part of the problem. Since when did it become the school system’s responsibility to solve poverty?” — CMS board member Rhonda Lennon ent in each child’s life. If that parent has abdicated their responsibility or is just too busy working to feed their family, then we need to get another adult to step in to help,” says Lennon. Members of the business community are behind Lennon as well. Jim Engel, CEO of Aquesta Bank, has five children in CMS or who have graduated from CMS. “Schools are simply a poor platform for social engineering. Increased parental engagement, improved resource deployment, targeted mentoring, like Big Brothers & Big Sisters, social support, like food programs and technology availability, are all aspects that can have meaningful impacts. But, busing will only accelerate the demise of the CMS system as more parents choose private schools or a short move to Iredell County to avoid an ill advised CMS social engineering program. Charlotte was recently ranked No. 50—dead last—on a list of the nation’s 50 largest metro areas in economic mobility, the ability of people to move up the ladder to a higher standard of living. A historically segregated Charlotte is still divided along major trans-

portation arteries. As many affluent citizens left, inner-city schools were left with fewer resources and teachers who were willing to stick around for more than a few years. Lennon volunteers with mentoring groups, including Big Day at the Lake which supports Big Brothers Big Sisters. “Having an engaged parent or a mentor can break the predictive links of poverty,” Lennon says. “We can be part of the solution but we are not part of the problem. Since when did it become the school system’s responsibility to solve poverty?” “We have to determine what we can do from a student assignment perspective that will stabilize schools and provide options of either a great neighborhood school or a quality magnet option… We as a board need to guarantee students a seat in their neighborhood school, unless they choose a magnet, or we’re going to drive even more parents to choose schools outside of CMS, like charters and private schools. It’s about parental choice,” Lennon said. “Parents need to be able to choose.” With a review under way, it could all be ver y philosophical right now.

The board’s new goals include provide choice, reducing concentrations of poverty, easing over crowding and protecting successful schools. The Cornelius Town Board has taken note. There are at least three votes for a resolution that could conceivably object to the notion of busing and at the same time ask CMS to guarantee a seat for each child in a neighborhood school. Commissioner Dave Gilroy took an early and strong position last year, backing Jeremy Stephenson, an anti-busing candidate, for school board. Stephenson lost, and Gilroy may propose a resolution in favor of a guaranteed seat. “The concept of neighborhood schools is paramount in Mecklenburg County and particularly in North Mecklenburg. I would certainly support Cornelius getting on board with a resolution, etc. to provide our District 1 Representative, Rhonda Lennon, additional support with her efforts and to provide feedback to the entire school board. I have lived the busing era that our county experienced in the past and it simply does not work,” Mayor Pro Tem Woody Washam said.


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Sotheby’s International Realty® and the Sotheby’s International Realty logo are registered service marks used with permission. Each office is independently owned and operated. Equal Housing Opportunity. Property information herein is derived from various sources including, but not limited to, county records and multiple listing services, and may include approximations. All information is deemed accurate.

10 • CORNELIUS TODAY • March 2016

Age-restricted housing in Cornelius Approved Single Family

Bailey’s Glen 1

More new housing for over-55 set is coming

The number of age-restricted residential developments in Cornelius continues to grow. The Cornelius Town Board unanimously approved a conditional rezoning request for 103 more singlefamily homes for seniors in the Bailey’s Glen development in the southeast corner of the town. This is in addition to 72 new lots approved last year. Bailey’s Glen already has 372 homes and 96 condominiums on 145 acres. Cornelius has a lot of shades of gray these days. Age-restricted developments are growing on both the east and west sides of town. They’re viewed more favorably in terms of burdening

municipal resources and services, said Commissioner Dave Gilroy. “Few or no kids in public schools, fewer cars on the road—especially commuters—and generally less crime, fire, etc.,” the commissioner said. “Seniors also tend to contribute a lot to local volunteer and cultural organizations and spend money in our local economy.” But is new residential development, in any form, precisely the way to go when more companies are opening in neighboring communities like Mooresville, Davidson and Huntersville? Michael Waltrip Raceworld has closed and Curtis Screw Co., one of the last re-

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Courtyards Cornelius (Jetton)




Courtyards LKN (Nantz)




Bailey’s Glen 2 (phase 1)







66 52 36 154

66 52 0 118

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Antiquity Renaissance Bailey’s Glen Condominiums Mt. Zion Multifamily Sub total

86 132 110 328

86 0 0 86

0 132 110 242

Grand Total




Sub total

Townhomes Twin Oaks Lake Crest Mt. Zion Townhomes Sub total


Source: Cornelius Planning Dept.

minders of Cornelius’ old manufacturMt. Zion United Methodist Church, ing base, is moving to Iredell County. on the east side of town, plans to expand “Our tax base remains stuck at ap- its senior living campus. proximately 85 percent residential and Longer-term, Gilroy said the town’s too many of our citizens need to com- vision is definitely not “just another submute to Charlotte or elsewhere for urban bedroom community.” jobs,” Gilroy said. “We are patiently aiming toward a Cornelius is getting grayer by the Cornelius widely recognized as a highly minute. U.S. Census data shows that distinctive place to live, work, and play Cornelius’ over-65 population grew with one a sustainable quality of life 132 percent between 2000 and 2010. among the best in the United States.” According to the Census Bureau, 8.38 The town’s approval of more units percent of Cornelius’ population was 65 in Bailey’s Glen was accompanied by and older in 2000. Ten years later, 10.11 a list of 14 conditions. Developer Jake percent—of 24,800 people—were over Palillo had previously indicated it would 65. Of course, the 2000 take about 18 months to population was only start construction after “We are patiently 12,932. town approval. aiming toward a Meanwhile, baby He estimates the boomers are aging in Cornelius widely homes will range from place here, and moving to 3,000 square recognized as a 2,000 here. Epcon Communifeet depending upon highly distinctive the model and will be ties is expanding from just one active adult priced in the $350,000 place to live, development on Jetrange. work, and play ton Road Extension, to With the approval, the another one on Nantz with one a town now has approved Road. The Courtyards sustainable quality a grand total of 1,113 at Lake Norman will senior age-restricted of life among the homes. Some 631 are, have 67 homes designed for ages 55 “or like Bailey’s Glen, sinbest in the better.” The maintegle-family homes; 154 United States.” nance-free, ranch-style are town homes, and homes start at around — Dave Gilroy the remaining 328 are $315,000. multi-family/condos.


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12 • CORNELIUS TODAY • March 2016

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Regina Shea with her painted window glass piece

‘Home Grown’ exhibit harvests local talent By Dave Yochum The artwork on display at the Cornelius Arts Center is home grown, literally. One example is by Antiquity resident Regina Shea: Her image of trees—five layers of window glass she painted and etched—is both stunning and unique. The 39-year-old production manager studied art at Virginia Commonwealth University. She paints as a hobby, but her work has sold for thousands of dollars. “If I’m not creating something I get restless, and I go ‘why don’t we do

this to the house,’” she says, explaining that she and her husband Nicholas Elhini enjoy decorating their home with her artwork. They’ve lived in Antiquity three-and-a-half years. Pieces move around their home, with the newest getting a place of honor over the fireplace. A colorful piece in Elhini’s home office also has a colorful history. Regina painted it when she was working for a few summers in the budget office at Ronald Reagan Washington National

CORNELIUS TODAY • March 2016 • 13

Jan Black next to her photograph ‘Lake Snow’

Airport. Four feet by four feet, the oil painting is of a diner. When the office space was demolished for new offices, the painting disappeared. After plenty of sleuthing by Nick along with help from another intern, the painting was located unappreciated and unseen behind a book case at the airport. He got it back for a total of $200 in gift cards. The Home Grown exhibit has the work of 88 local artists on display at the Cornelius Arts Center through April 14. There are sculptures, paintings and photographs, including a photo of a snow-covered dock on Lake Norman by Jan Black, also a Cornelius resident and a professional photographer. Called “Lake Snow,” it’s for sale for $125.

More than 100 people attended opening night at the exhibit, which is all about supporting local artists, many of whom were on hand to discuss their work and the creative spark that made it happen. You might recognize a local landmark—or a neighbor.

Cornelius Arts Center 19725 Oak St. (behind the Police Station)

Hours: Monday through Thursday, 9 am to 5 pm; Saturday 9 am to noon

Kiwanis pancake breakfast March 5 The Lake Norman Kiwanis Club will serve pancakes, fun toppings, and sausage from 8 a.m.-noon March 5 at Angels and Sparrows in Huntersville. The fundraising event will include a silent auction, 50/50 raffle, and music by MusicalMinds students. Proceeds support Angels and Sparrows and Splashville Park. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for children.



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Ada Jenkins gala April 23 The Ada Jenkins Center’s 10th Annual All That Glitters Gala will be April 23 at Langtree Plantation in Mooresville. Tickets to the event, which starts at 7 pm, can be purchased for $125 each at events/ gala/ Proceeds benefits the programs and services at Ada Jenkins Center in Davidson.

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14 • CORNELIUS TODAY • March 2016


News from

It looks like LKN Transportation Commission has run out of gas

Feb. 23. In the wake of the Huntersville Town Board’s decision to withdraw from the Lake Norman Regional Transportation Commission, the Cornelius Town Board is expected to vote against re-funding the inter-county agency this Friday at a specially called meeting. The towns that are members of the LNTC have until Feb. 29 to give notice. The former mayor of Mooresville, Bill Thunberg, is the only paid LNTC offi-

cial. As executive director, he receives an annual salary of $80,000 shared equally by Cornelius, Davidson, Huntersville and Mooresville. One town pulling out—let alone two—is a body blow to the organization. Cornelius board members said withdrawing from the organization is really about a fresh start, and, to some extent, a town staff approach to regional transportation issues as opposed to

Big Day at the Lake



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what amounts to a separate agency. The LNTC has come under fire in recent months for lining up to closely with the NCDOT, and specifically not taking a more active role in the I-77 toll lane controversy. Cornelius Commissioner Dave Gilroy says “the organization should be defunded now and re-chartered at some point in the future.” Leaving the organization intact does not seem to be an option—the sentiment, in Cornelius at least, is to start from scratch, especially with the goal of bringing Huntersville back into the fold. “I have come to believe it is cleaner to start all over. It is unquestionable in my mind we must have Huntersville,” said Mayor Pro Tem Woody Washam. Long-time Commissioner Thurman Ross also supports a vote to defund. Thunberg says the commission can continue to play a valuable role. “There is value in regional collaboration and the Lake Norman Regional Transporta-

tion Commission remains committed to regional collaboration on issues around transportation and land use in the Lake Norman area,” he said. Created in 2009, LNTC’s primary role is to “study, investigate and advocate any and all transportation improvements in the Lake Norman area.” The commission is officially comprised of the Town Managers and a commissioner from Huntersville, Cornelius, Davidson, Mooresville and representatives from the Lake Norman and Mooresville-South Iredell Chamber of Commerce meets monthly. Gilroy has been seeking to defund LNTC for years. “It’s simply about accountability. And not just...I-77 tolls, but the ridiculous Red Line fiasco years ago. Whether one supports the Red Line or not, LNTC wasted an enormous amount of our town’s time and resources over two years with no understanding or awareness whatsoever of Norfolk Southern’s point of view, as owner of the right of way,’ Gilroy said. The LNTC, he said, has managed to focus on “exactly the wrong policy choices and then simply cheerlead” from the sidelines. “As a region, we need to work the high-tech Bus Rapid Transit opportunity, while getting ahead on transforming new innovations in urban transportation. This 21st century is moving rapidly toward self-driving cars, ride-sharing apps ubiquity, and even more cutting edge modes,” Gilroy said.

9/11 Monument moving forward The 9/11 Monument project in front of Fire Station No. 1 on Main Street is expected to be done by Sept. 11 of this year. RE:site Studio from Houston was selected as the top choice by a special committee that includes Cornelius first responders. The design that was submitted by RE:site, titled “Never Forget,” features two monolithic stone pillars about 12 or 15 feet tall, on either side of the vertical steel I-beam salvaged from the wreckage of the World Trade Center. The project will cost about $100,000. So far $23,000 has been raised.


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16 • CORNELIUS TODAY • March 2016


News from

NCDOT seeks feedback on 50-year Cintra contract

Feb. 19. By Dave Vieser. It looks like the NCDOT is suddenly paying attention to strenuous objections from the municipalities and governments that will be directly affected by the $650 million plan to widen I-77 with toll lanes between Charlotte and Lake Norman. In letters sent Feb. 17 to all the members of the Charlotte Regional

Transportation Planning Organization, NCDOT Secretary Nicholas J. Tennyson asked for suggestions by March 14. The letter said: “We may not be able to satisfy every issue raised, but we want to make certain we are identifying all the potential points of concern. We recognize there are aspects of this project for which

Aquesta Bank will open Wilmington branch Feb. 2. Cornelius-based Aquesta Bank will open a full service bank branch in Wilmington, proof, perhaps, that the Aquesta name and logo translates well to an upscale, waterfont-oriented marketplace. Aquesta Financial Holdings officials said they “recently finalized the purchase of a soon-to-be full-service bank branch” in Wilmington. While no other details were immediately available, the financial services company already has an Aquesta Insurance office on Military Cutoff Road in an upscale area of Wilmington not far from Wrightsville Beach. Aquesta’s chief subsidiary, Aquesta Bank, has branches in Cornelius, Davidson, Huntersville, Mooresville and Charlotte. The Wilmington branch is expected to open in the spring. Aquesta Insurance Services—an independent agency—has offices in Cornelius, Huntersville, Mooresville, Wilmington and in Hampstead, just north of Wilmington and Wrightsville Beach. On Jan. 21, Aquesta Financial Holdings and Aquesta Insurance Services announced today the purchase of the Alex Squires’ Insurance Portfolio

from the James E. Moore Agency in Wilmington. Aquesta unaudited net income for the three months ended Dec. 31 was $387,000 compared to $368,000 during the fourth quarter of 2014. For the full year 2015, net income was $2.0 million vs. $1.7 million in 2014. CEO and President of Aquesta, Jim Engel, said he is “happy with the strong ending quarter for 2015 and hope this helps establish the pace” for this year. “Loan production is excellent as well as core deposit growth. Our SouthPark branch is up and running with continued growth expected. We recently contracted on a Wilmington branch location that will also house our Wilmington insurance operations. In sum, we had an excellent year and look forward to growth of loans and earnings in 2016.” Just less than a year ago, Aquesta purchased the SouthPark branch of CertusBank, its first branch outside the Lake Norman area. Greenville, S.C.-based Certus, once headquartered in Charlotte, faced mounting losses and increased regulatory scrutiny.

additional review may yield a better outcome.” Interestingly, in January, NCDOT attorneys said people against the 50-year contract with a Spanish company were “a group of disgruntled individuals.” Of course, it’s an election year, and Tennyson’s boss, Gov. Pat McCrory, faces a formidable opponent not just in the general election—NC Attorney General Roy Cooper, a Democrat—but the Republican primary next month. Mooresville resident Robert Brawley is opposing him. Cornelius resident Dee Gilroy, one of the leaders of the toll opposition, is hosting a fundraiser March 2 for Brawley. Changing the contract triggers the need to rebid the entire job, according Kurt Naas, head of the WidenI77 citizen’s advocacy group which fought the project in state court. “Under North Carolina law, if a material change is made to a contract with the

state, it must be rebid. WidenI77 would be prepared to argue such in court,” he said. Mecklenburg County Commissioners Pat Cotham and Jim Puckett say contract changes of this magnitude require scrapping this contract and rebidding the project. “Perhaps there is a subtle shift underway in trying to make the project better” said Bill Thunberg, Executive Director of the Lake Norman Transportation Commission. “We’ll see.” Cornelius Commissioner Woody Washam, who also serves on the LNTC suggested that “maybe the NCDOT is finally acknowledging that the contract is problematic and they will finally pay attention to our board and citizens.” He said the Cornelius Town Board and staff will be working over the next few days to provide direct and specific feedback about the project and the contract.

Retiree helps bring cats in out of the cold Feb. 20. Retiree Jim Smith, 76, recently turned his love for animals and building projects into a worthwhile hobby to help feral cats. After just a couple of prototypes and some internet research, the “Kitty Kottage” was born. The exterior is raised off the ground with a small cat-sized opening. The interior has room for up to seven cats. Robin Byrd, executive director of Lake Norman Lucky Cat, a Corneliusbased volunteer organization dedicated to improving the welfare of community cats, is all too familiar with the site of shivering cats, huddled under whatever shelter they can find. Winter temperatures can be life-threatening for these animals. Lake Norman Lucky Cat has helped provide shelters for the cats in its managed colonies throughout the Lake Norman area. Smith’s design exceeded Byrd’s expectations. “These are going to make a difference in the survival of so many cats and will last for years!” she said. Smith has built four of the Kitty Kottages so far. Some of the structures will replace less efficient shelters, including dog houses, providing several of the area’s feral cats with shelter for the first time.

Dog houses that are replaced will be donated to a local organization that works to get dogs off chains and into fenced yards with dog houses.

CORNELIUS TODAY • March 2016 • 17


News from

continued from page 16

Organizers plan Huntersville chamber Feb. 16. Jill Swain, the former mayor of Huntersville, is the new executive director of Huntersville Connection, a 501c6 organization that voted today to transition to the Huntersville Chamber of Commerce. In addition to Swain, board members include Jeff Neely, a former SWAIN Huntersville town commissioner, and Raquel Crespo, assistant general manager of the real estate management company behind Birkdale Village. The organization is effective as of the vote today. The group is working toward completing a business plan and sharing with participants. Bill Russell, CEO of the Corneliusbased Lake Norman Chamber, said he was not concerned about the new chamber. “The Lake Norman Chamber was formed 28 years ago to be a regional chamber of commerce serving the businesses of Huntersville, Davidson and Cornelius, and, as we grew, we included Denver, and even Charlotte. This announcement has no impact on the Lake Norman chamber because we will continue to be the chamber that services the communities Huntersville, Davidson and Cornelius,” Russell said. Much of the chamber business today has to do with perceived value. Where businesses almost automatically joined chambers years ago, simply on the basis of geography, that’s not the case any more, Russell said. “The uniqueness of Huntersville Connection has been our ability to create

partnerships among our participants that benefit each entity. Our goal has been to give a sense of community to the local businesses, so that everyone works together toward overall benefits. When the business community understands that they are each other’s cheerleaders, we’ve seen that customers respond,” said Crespo, board president. The organization has grown since its inception. Originally intended as a roundtable for area destinations, organizers added businesses as well. Meetings have been held on the third Tuesday of each month at rotating locations and participation has been free. The organization will move to Neely a fee-based model with “affordable” membership dues. Planned are a website and more events, like the Fall Into Huntersville festival held annually and discussion forums. “Huntersville’s population is now over 54,000 and it looks like that the growth will continue. Creating the Huntersville Chamber of Commerce, which will work with other area Chambers of Commerce, effectively moves our business community into a more proactive growth position for the future,” Neely said. Swain is in charge of transition plans, including membership recruitment, website development and name change issues. More info: or, on Facebook at Huntersville Chamber.


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18 • CORNELIUS TODAY • March 2016


News from

West Catawba Phase Two compromise emerging

Feb. 15. By Dave Vieser. A compromise plan is emerging from recent talks involving the NCDOT, Cornelius, and the Lake Norman Regional Transportation Commission that will permit motorists to turn left from a widened West Catawba Avenue onto Hwy. 73 to head toward Birkdale. Initially, the DOT would not permit motorists to turn left onto Sam Furr/73 from West Catawba Avenue, as many do now to reach Birkdale, I-77 and other points east. The compromise was unveiled by Mayor Pro Tem Woody Washam at the Lake Norman Transportation Commission meeting last week, following a DOT presentation on the new designs being used at signalized intersections. “We’ve had some productive discussions and the way things are looking now, left turns will continue to be permitted at Sam Furr Road, at least until Sam Furr is widened.” Widening is scheduled to begin in 2018 on West Catawba Avenue from

Jetton Road to Sam Furr Road, while the 73/Sam Furr Road widening from Business N.C. 16 in Denver to U.S. 29 in Concord, would not even begin until around 2021-23. The compromise plan also will allow left turns at the Westmoreland Road intersection, unless or until a new Exit 27 is added to I-77. Left turns would be restricted at a newly signalized Nantz Road intersection, and the Jetton Road intersection would remain as is. In his presentation to LNTC, DOT’s Warren Cooksey said that by the use of synchronized streets and intersections, they are attempting to eliminate left turns at newly widened intersections as much as possible because they are “unsafe, inefficient and not pedestrian friendly.” However, local businesses were concerned on the impact such a change would have. Studies done previously have confirmed that, while destination businesses, such as a furniture store, are not

severely impacted, impulse businesses, such as a fast food outlet, can suffer when left turns are restricted. Washam says with the compromise, the Phase II widening for West Catawba will include bump out areas where motorists can also make U-turns. “That first meeting with DOT last April scared us to death, but now, this is going to end up more like Phase One than

Helen Adams moving LKN office to Cornelius

Feb. 12. Charlotte-based Helen Adams Realty will move its Lake Norman office from Huntersville to Jetton Village in Cornelius, just outside high-end neighborhoods like The Peninsula, Patrick’s Purchase and Shearwater. The new office, some 3,000 square feet, will be within eyesight of Premier Sotheby’s International and some of the luxury agents at Allen Tate’s Lake Norman office on Old Jetton. Bob Dellinger, broker in charge at Helen Adams in Lake Norman, has been a fixture in the Lake Norman real estate community for a decade. He came on board with Helen Adams and opened the Lake Norman office, near

Birkdale in 2005. Before that, he was in commercial real estate in Cabarrus County after the textile industry snagged on overseas competition. He was a textile industry executive, having been president of sales and marketing for Fieldcrest Cannon in Kannapolis. The Davidson resident says the demographics around Lake Norman, Cornelius in particular, are “significant.” The corner location near Sotheby’s and Allen Tate will provide increased activity. “The visibility is something we really like,” he said. The Lake Norman office has 25 agents. Helen Adams, which was

founded four decades ago in Charlotte, has offices on Randolph Road and in Ballantyne Commons. Dellinger said the high-end market, by it’s very nature, is a little slower than homes priced around the median. Over the past six months, the average DOM for houses in Cornelius priced between $500,000 and $1 million was 66 days. For homes over $1 million, the average DOM was almost twice as long. Homes priced between $500,000 and $1 million sold at an average of 9 per month which equates to a 4 month supply. For the same six month period, the statistics for homes priced $1 million and higher, the average DOM was 127 days. Homes in this category sold at an average of 3 per month which equates to a 15-month supply. In spite of all the discussion about I-77, Dellinger—as well as commercial broker and former Mayor Gary Knox—said Cornelius is “hot.” “As we begin 2016, the DOM is beginning to trend downward and prices are solid and according to the past three months, they are trending up in the luxury category,” Dellinger said.

the first presentation we saw.” Cooksey agreed. “Our engineers like the synchronized street/intersections because of their safety, efficiency and the fact that they handle future growth better than a traditional signalized intersection. However, this is not a ‘one size fits all’ situation. These intersections must be adapted to the needs of each region,” he said.

J.V.Washam Elementary offers guided tours for prospective parents Feb. 3. Parents of prospective students are invited to join us for parent-led tours of J.V. Washam Elementary School in Cornelius beginning in February. Tours begin at 10 a.m. on the following Wednesdays: Feb. 10 and 24; March 9 and 23; April 6 and 13; and May 4 and 18. Parents are encouraged to attend tours without children so they can concentrate on the information that is being presented. Prospective kindergartners will have an opportunity to visit the school on Beginners Day, April 27. Kindergarten enrollment is underway for the 2016-17 school year. To be eligible for kindergarten, students must be five years old on or before Aug. 31, 2016. For an enrollment packet, visit the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools website.

CORNELIUS TODAY • March 2016 • 19

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Berry Bean 704.609.3353 • Alison Smith 704.996.6747 • Suzanne Lindros 704.877.2465 • Jan Sipe 704.453.4677 • Patty Howe 704.651.2529 • Evelyn Finn 704.307.5398 Gayle Phillips 704.340.3336 • Christy Chaffee 704.968.1733 • Annie Livingston 704.996.2744 • Jessica Simpson 704.787.3330 • Pam Boileau 704.905.0366 • Emily Duke 704.907.1252 • Jackie Morgan 704.578.6682 • Sherry Hickman 704.728.1905 • Liz Kitts  704.813.0543 • Tracy Greene 704.578.2174 • Heather Tetzlaff 704.998.7898 • Eric Zientek 704.840.4785 • Julie Pfeffer 704.661.7590 • Stacie Lustig 704.804.1834 • Anna Zientek  704.840.8997 • Doris Nash 704.201.3786 • Meredith Hall 704.905.8400 • Carol Smith • 704.907.9294 • Kristen Kosicki 704.231.0714 • Jayne Coffing 704.604.9016 • Melinda Meade-White 704.534.9208 • Julie Lopez 704.451.4001 • Tracy Davis 704.779.9750 • Dee Reid 704.281.3913 • Tar Reid 704.905.8221 • Mary Porter 704.253.3652 • Bill Moore 704.651.1532 • Colleen Ludington 704.621.0026

22 • CORNELIUS TODAY • March 2016

Home Sales

18219 Harbor Light Blvd in Cornelius for $2,025,000

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

Cornelius 1/19/2016 $252,500 NVR Inc. to Ashley Conger, 1628 Lovers Lawn Trace

Like us on

16815 America Cup Road in Cornelius for $600,000

1/19/2016 $2,025,000 David & Tamara Dyckman to Tobin & Sheri Treichel, 18219 Harbor Light Blvd. 1/20/2016 $600,000 Dale & Donna Haggman to Randy & Laura Turner, 16815 America Cup Rd. 1/20/2016 $204,000 Matthew & Jacklyn Lowery to Brian Frankenfield, 10436 Glenmeade Rd.

1/20/2016 $161,000 Kimberly Singh to Erin Bauer, 19435 Fridley Ln. 1/21/2016 $240,500 NVR to Lindsay Armstrong, 1620 Lovers LawnTrace 1/21/2016 $380,000 John & Angela Regan to Mark Pinfold, 20135 Northpoint Dr.

Keep up with all that is Cornelius by becoming a fan of Cornelius Today on Facebook.

18709 Daymark Drive in Cornelius for $363,000

See HOMES, Page 24

CORNELIUS TODAY • March 2016 • 23

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24 • CORNELIUS TODAY • March 2016

Home Sales

19700 Valiant Way in Cornelius for $307,000


from page 22

ners to South Creek Homes, Lot 153 Bailey’s Glen

1/26/2016 $368,000 South Creek Homes to Mary Bartley, 11735 Meetinghouse Dr.

1/28/2016 $149,500 Ronda Elsea to Eileen Moreno & Ellen Rosenfeld,

1/26/2016 $70,000 Bluestream Part-

19415 Greentree Way in Cornelius for $411,000

See HOMES, Page 25

CORNELIUS TODAY • March 2016 • 25

Home Sales HOMES

from page 24

17661 Delmas Jr. 1/28/2016 $490,000 Alan & Jaletta Desmond to Daniel Smith & Susan Bernstein, 22039 Lady Glencirn Ct. 1/29/2016 $363,000 Epcon Cornelius to Arie & Erika Knox, 18709 Daymark Dr. 1/29/2016 $265,000 Scott Hardeman to Reina Clair, 18116 Harbor Mist Rd. 1/29/2016 $880,000 Paul & Cynthia Ornstein to Nancy & Randy Stiles, Lot 3 The Peninsula 2/1/2016 $411,000 Epcon Cornelius to Ralph Jr. & Leslie Von TresckowNapp, 19415 Greentree Way 2/2/2016 $150,000 Southlake Properties of Cornelius to James Gatley, 18805 Silver Quay Dr. 2/2/2016 $138,500 Capital One to John Pyle, 8952 Rosalyn Glen Rd. 2/4/2016 $127,500 SPRIP LLC to Andrea & Jeffrey Riddle, 18741 Nautical Dr. #203

Davidson 1/19/2016 $485,000 Victor & Della Casteel to Lyle & Janet Morien, Lot 37 River Run 1/20/2016 $800,000 Monterey Bay Homes to Mark Sokal, 13205 Davidson Park Dr. 1/21/2016 $413,500 TSG Partners to Carolina Cottage Homes, See HOMES, Page 26

18940 Kanawha Drive in Cornelius for $235,000

We’re Moving...

We can’t wait to show you our new office as we move from Birkdale to the Jetton Village shopping center this April!

2/5/2016 $307,000 Fredrick & Nancy Beal to John & Martha Acquisto, 19700 Valiant Way 2/5/2016 $152,000 Greendrive Management to Gerri & Sydney Wilkerson, 9670 Bailey Rd. 2/5/2016 $325,000 Kendra Patton to Christopher Smith, 22222 Market St. 2/8/2016 $270,000 Jonathan Strine & Stephanie King to Jason & Sumer Taylor, 9121 Rosalyn Glen Rd. 2/8/2016 $454,000 South Creek Homes to James & Judith Lotts, 12019 Meetinghouse Dr. 2/8/2016 $84,000 Bluestream Partners to South Creek Homes, Lot 103 Bailey’s Glen 2/9/2016 $70,000 Dennis & Rebecca Gryder to Oakbrooke Inc., 10206 Victoria Blake Dr. 2/11/2016 $235,000 Howard Jr. & Ann Kemp to Judith Raddatz, 18940 Kanawha Dr.


2/12/2016 $170,000 Danielle George to Kevin Elliott, 19023 Long Pond Ln. 2/12/2016 $140,500 Cotswold Homes to Sandra Dacus, 9029 McDowell Creek Ct.

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26 • CORNELIUS TODAY • March 2016

Home Sales HOMES

from page 25

148 Morrison Hill Road in Davidson for $352,000

452,460,472, 478, 508 Beaty St. and 382 Delburg St. 1/21/2016 $435,000 Stephen & Mary Bull to Veronica & Douglas Jr.

McRae, 18417 Turnberry Ct. 1/28/2016 $352,000 Margaret Evans to Frederick & Michelle Lobpries, 148 Morrison Hill Rd.

18417 Turnberry Ct in Davidson for $435,000

1/28/2016 $318,000 Michael & Danielle Angell to Joan & Erik LaRuffa, 130 Shorecrest Dr. 1/29/2016 $412,000 Chessman Homes to Jennings & Phyllis Bryant,

12406 Bradford Park Dr. 2/10/2016 $290,000 Carlos & Maureen Espinosa to Benjamin Epstein & April Burleson, 735 Amalfi Dr.

13205 Davidson Park Drive in Davidson for $800,000

28 • CORNELIUS TODAY • March 2016

Susan Nichols

Lentil soup: ‘A good way to get kids to eat veggies’

You CAN Take it with You! Cornelius Today is as mobile as you are. Download mobile versions of each issue by visiting our web site:

Susan and Richard Nichols have lived in Cornelius for almost nine years, having moved from California where Susan had lived most of her life. “However, I was a Navy brat and lived my younger years on the East Coast,” the Connor Quay resident says. Her father’s last tour was San Diego and from there they moved to equally beautiful Ventura, Calif. She went to college at the fabled University of Southern California in Los Angeles. After college, Susan and Richard married, and “lived in Chicago a few years, then Portland, Ore. for five years and then Phoenix for two

years. “We finally moved back to California and lived there until we moved to North Carolina,” she says. The Nichols have two grown daughters: one in Huntersville and one in Atlanta. “I’ve always enjoyed cooking, helping my mother when I was young and branching out to try lots of new recipes when I married,” Susan says. Her mother’s side of the family was German and food was very important in their lives. Susan shared a simple soup recipe they frequently had while growing up. “It is a good way to get kids to eat veggies,” she says.

Lentil Soup Wash in large bowl:

• 2 cups lentils or any other beans

Drain and put in large pot with: • • • • • •

1 onion, chopped 3 stalks celery, chopped 4 carrots, chopped 1 bay leaf 1 can diced tomatoes 6 to 8 cups water

• 1 ham bone with lots of meat on it.


Bring the above to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer 2 hours. Add salt to taste. Refrigerate overnight. Remove bone and fat which has congealed. Shred ham. Reheat and serve with a good hearty bread.

CORNELIUS TODAY • March 2016 • 29

Adhesive backsplashes

When I first started my staging and design business in 2007, travertine backsplashes and Venetian gold granite was all the rage. New products and styles are constantly emerging with the latest being peel and stick kitchen backsplashes! Now I wouldn’t recommend this product to everyone, but they are very easy to install and anyone can do it. It’s also a great way to save money, time, and frustration. Internet blogger “Landee” recently shared a project in her own home where she used vinyl adhesive for her kitchen backsplash for a total cost of $98 for her entire kitchen and she now sells the product on her ETSY store online. This product is great for those currently leasing or renting their home because it is also easy to remove. Lowes Home Improvement offers

a variety of peel and stick “mosaics” now including this Mountain Terrain Composite Vinyl Mosaic Scale wall tile. The product requires no grout or tools for installation and is resistant to

water damage and can even be used on shower walls. Check out this application in the kitchen featured here…it looks real, doesn’t it?!

Jamie McNeilis is owner of Centerpiece Home Staging. Email Jamie at

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30 • CORNELIUS TODAY • March 2016

Tom Dutton: Putting the finishing touches on a career in banking SNAPSHOT: Tom Dutton

Family: Wife Ann; two children, two grandchildren Special ‘adopted’ family: Randy and Cheryl Henning and their six children Born in: Charlotte’s Nevin Community Education: North Mecklenburg High School; UNC-Charlotte, graduated in 1965 Military service: NC Air National Guard, 6 years First Presidential election: Johnson vs. Goldwater in 1964. Dutton’s man lost Church: Mt. Zion UMC

When Tom Dutton retired in February, a little bit of Cornelius’ financial history will retire with him. The longtime banker, who will be 73 in June, got into the world of finance large and small back in 1966, when Cornelius

was a burg, the lake was new and doctors were few and far between. Dutton, who helped open the new Bank of the Ozarks office on West Catawba, joined First Union National Bank right out of UNC-Charlotte where

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he graduated with a degree in business administration. He and future wife Ann had grown up in the Nevin Community on the north side of Charlotte by Hwy. 21. Both he and Ann—they’ve been married 50 years—graduated from North Mecklenburg High School, as did both their children. His Cornelius connection began with a bank. First Union stationed him in Gastonia for seven years, then they bought the old Bank of Cornelius/ North Mecklenburg Bank, where interestingly enough, Town Commissioner Woody Washam’s mother worked for many years. He’s seen Cornelius grow, too. He was a member of Cornelius’ medical development committee, a group of citizens who took it on themselves to recruit doctors to Cornelius—this, during another Hong Kong flu epidemic in 1972. There was even a group that sought to consolidate the three tiny towns of Cornelius, Davidson and Huntersville into one. “We never could put it together,” he said. The two-time cancer survivor was also president of the Cornelius Lions Club back in the day when service organizations were where men of good will gathered to do good things. Dutton was also on the YMCA board, the board at Mt. Zion United Methodist Church and a leader at Boy Scout Troop 10. He also worked for Lincoln Bank and Piedmont Bank, retiring once before, from 2007 to 2011, when he start-

ed with Bank of the Ozarks. Along the way he became a trusted advisor and banker to literally thousands of people. Small-town banking was really relationship driven, and these relationships can be testy. The high and mighty have their ways. Best to leave it at that. “I look at various buildings all around here, and I helped finance them. This was a great place to be a banker because we always had good business going on,” Dutton says. The life-long businessman plans to keep his hand in finance as a financial advisor and a loan broker who finds the cheapest money and the friendliest terms. As to new hobbies—there won’t be any. The Duttons are already the grandparents of two, not to mention their warm, special relationship with another young family and their children. “My first hobby is playing with the grandchildren,” Dutton says. The senior Duttons are well-known for attending church every Sunday with their grandson Tyler, whose parents are daughter Susan and son-in-law Monte. Mark Dutton and wife Heather brought the Duttons another grandchild, Jordan. Indeed, Tom says he is proudest of his family. “We raised two children, married to people we love, and each has a child. It has just made our life complete.”


“Try to find something where you have a real interest, where you can grow in your occupation and career and where you can be satisfied that it is rewarding to you. Too many poeople work in jobs they hate and don’t feel rewarded.” — Tom Dutton

CORNELIUS TODAY • March 2016 • 31

Big Day at the Lake XII off to a big start

Beach Bash is April 14 at Port City Club

Shelia Brumlow, Rusty Knox. Knox provided music for the kickoff

$80,000 goal: Jim and Laura Engel with Little and Big Deon Bease and Tommy Lee Hayes-Brown; and Big Day at the Lake Council members Angela Swett, Tracy Yochum and Shelia Brumlow. The fundraising total is already over $51,000, virtually all of which goes to support Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Charlotte

The 12th year of Big Day at the Lake got under way in early February with a kickoff party that included remarks from Sen. Jeff Tarte, Cornelius Commissioner Jim Duke and a “Big” and a “Little” who shared the positive impact their mentoring experience had on their lives. Big Day at the Lake is at $51,275, well on the way toward its goal of an $80,000 cash contribution to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Charlotte. The group, which consists entirely of volunteers in and around Lake Norman, has two other goals: Recruits “Bigs” or mentors for at-risk children in BBBS, and provide an unforgettable day of fun on the lake for children who would not otherwise experience Lake Norman or Mountain Island Lake. This year there are two presenting sponsors: PayPal, the worldwide online payments system, and Champion Tire & Wheel, a Cornelius-based company that provides logistics services for motorsports teams. “We have always subscribed to the idea that every kid deserves a chance. Big Brothers Big Sisters with the help of Big Day at the Lake lay some foundation for kids to gain a brand new perspective on the world. Who knows where that might take them. After hearing some of the stories, it seems like Big Day at the Lake provides a lot of perspective to more than just the kids as well,” said Kevin Mahl, co-

owner of Champion Tire. Big Day at the Lake this year is July 23. More than 200 at-risk children were hosted by more than 175 Boat Hosts last year, the 11th straight year that Duke Energy has hosted a picnic for upwards of 600 participants. Big Day at the Lake’s fundraising team is co-chaired by Della Stafford, Tracey Stehle and Gail Williams. This year’s fund-raising goal is $80,000. Thanks to businesses and individuals, Big Day at the Lake is responsible for raising well over $750,000 for Big Brothers Big Sisters during the past 10 years. Big Brothers Big Sisters serves some 250 children in North Mecklenburg. In-kind contributions, ranging from restaurants to printing, courtesy of AlphaGraphics, has kept Big Day at the Lake overhead at virtually zero for more than a decade. For many of the children in Big Brothers Big Sisters, Big Day at the Lake is the highlight of their year. “Big Day at the Lake has been one of the most successful events in the history of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Charlotte. We owe a debt of gratitude to the Big Day at the Lake committee, the many volunteers and boat hosts who help, and the financial and in-kind sponsors who so generously support this initiative,” said Doug Hartjes, vice president of development for BBBS.

The next fundraising event, cochaired by Liz Marlow and Shelia Brumlow, is the Beach Bash on April 14 at Port City Club from 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. If you would like to donate an item for the silent auc-

tion at this event, please call Liz at 704-560-5520. Big Day at the Lake updates can also be found online: Facebook at Big Day at the Lake or at

32 • CORNELIUS TODAY • March 2016

Senior News

What color is your mood?

There is a flurry outside my kitchen window. Not of snow, although my New England heart would certainly be thrilled at the prospect. No, it is a flur-

ry of birds’ wings, all around my two feeders. Somebody must have told them it is lunchtime as they have flown in from every direction to partake of

Follow us on

Keep pace with breaking news and special events by following @CorneliusToday on twitter

you put together, the muddier and closer to gray the colors got. Remember the three primary colors in a color wheel? There are different words for color variations as well, including hue, value, tint and shade. How do our aging eyes perceive color? What colors are best for certain activities and movements? According to the Baucom Institute for life and longevity, there are a number of age-related changes that occur which affect both vision and color perception. There is also a thickening and yellowing of the lens of the eye, which is similar to viewing the world through a pale yellow film. This makes it harder to differentiate between colmy offerings. There are 19 ors in the green and blue species, I kid you not, as I shades. This yellowing also Joanne Ahern have written them all down “absorbs” more of the blue Seniors Columnist and they are all famished. light entering the eye, which This collection of species is a won- means things in the environment look derful study of personalities as well as much more yellow to an older person the weather, but today I am most in- than to a younger individual. terested in all the colors and variations • Blue is a restful color with a calmthereof. ing effect and which can actually lower Why, there is the blue of the blue- blood pressure. birds, orange breast of the robin, (yes • Red increases brain wave activity there is actually a robin trying to get and can stimulate the production of the food in my caged, globe feeder), adrenalin into the blood stream. rose of the House Finches, red of the • Green is associated with growth cardinal, the “almost” yellow of the and life, and is the most restful of colgoldfinches, chestnut of the Carolina ors. Green reduces central nervous wren, black and white of the chick-a- system activity and helps people feel dees and downy woodpecker, and gray calm. of the titmouse and juncos. As they • Yellow is a highly visible color and feast on my seeds, I feast on their col- thus is often used to carry important ors. messages. Color used in rooms, or in our closAs we think of the birds and of the ets can be indicators of our personali- different colors of each, we can see ties, as well as our mental state at a that they do certainly indicate their particular moment. Why do we dress personalities. Just as they will soon in bright colors in the spring and sum- be brighter in plumage, we will turn to mer, tend to be less bright in the fall brighter colors as well. Can spring be and downright dark in the winter? far away? I think not! Why do we tend to wear dark for a fuJoanne, who lives in Magnolia Esneral and bright for a wedding? Color says a lot about our mood as well. tates, is the Director of the North MeckColor in rooms can bring out the worst lenburg Senior Center, affiliated with the Mecklenburg County Park and Rec and the best in us. Most of us remember mixing paints Department. She can be reached at together as children. The more colors 980-314-1127.

CORNELIUS TODAY • March 2016 • 33

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34 • CORNELIUS TODAY • March 2016

Scene and Heard

Ash Wednesday: Rev. Tony Moreau held a drive-through Imposition of Ashes on the grounds of Mt. Zion United Methodist Church when it was 28 degrees. Feb. 10 began 40 days of Lent.

Scouting for Food: Boy Scouts from all around North Mecklenburg gathered at Bethel Presbyterian Church to process literally tons of food collected for Loaves and Fishes, a food pantry that serves about 80,000 needy people a year.

Ginger Griffin, who lives on Nantz Road, snapped this picture of the Cornelius Volunteer Fire Department training at Ramsey Creek Park. The two streams of water created a rainbow. “I’m not sure if they could see it from where they were but it was gorgeous,” she says. Firefighters from Station 1 and Station 2 practiced drafting and supplying Truck 4. The lake was a little choppy with winds over 15 mph.

On Sunday, Come Worship With Us Bethel Presbyterian Church 19920 Bethel Church Rd., Worship 9am & 11am Cornelius Presbyterian Church 21209 Catawba Ave., Worship 10:30am Church of the Good Shepherd Lake Norman YMCA, 21300 Davidson St. Worship 10am First Baptist Church 21007 Catawba Ave., Worship 11am Grace Covenant Church 17301 Statesville Rd, Worship 8am, 9:30am, 11:15am Mt. Zion United Methodist Church 19600 Zion St., Worship 8:30am, 9:45am, 11am NorthCross Church 11020 Bailey Rd., Ste H, Worship 10:15am

Point of Grace Lutheran Church 20700 N. Main St., Worship 8:30am, 11am The River Church 18731 W. Catawba Ave., Worship 10:30am Union Bethel AME Zion Church 20738 Catawba Ave., Worship 11am Community in Christ Lutheran Church 7621 Norman Island Dr., Worship 9:30am, 11am Calvary Chapel 18731 W. Catawba Ave., Worship 10am Inclusion Community Kadi Fit, Sundays 11am

Sen. Thom Tillis recently presented Chris Ashworth, a Cornelius resident, with a flag that was flown over the U.S. Capitol in honor of the late Vernie E. Ashworth, Chris’ father. Vernie, who passed away at the age of 93 in November. He served in the U.S. Navy in World War II and Korea. Chris and his wife Sally Ashworth live in the Courtyards at Jetton.

CORNELIUS TODAY • March 2016 • 35

Scene and Heard

PSY 377: An advanced seminar course taught by Professor Kristi Multhaup at Davidson College has looked at the stories of various people in and around Davidson and Cornelius since 2001. The students study autobiographical memory and reminiscence and gather stories on the internet. Senior Pooja Potharaju, 20, was paired with Smithville matriarch Lula Bell Houston, a long-time employee of Davidson College. She worked in the campus laundry, which is now named for her, some 60 years. To view Lula Bell’s story online, visit Photo by Dave Yochum

Women helping women: Concerned ladies met Feb. 11 at the Ice Martini Bar to collect feminine hygiene products, underwear and personal care products for homeless women. Pictured are “Galentine’s Day” organizer Stacy Phillips and Mecklenburg County Commissioner Pat Cotham. Photo by Gail Williams of Cornelius Today.

North Meck Rotary Breakfast: Kenneth Ziegler, Jim Duke, Tracey Howell Stehle, Paul Newton, John Kepner and Rick Younts

Holly’z Hope: Sydney and McKenna Markovics, two of 20 volunteers, help build a dog enclosure. The event was organized by Holly Davis of Holly’z Hope. Photo by Christine Nolan​​

If your service club has an upcoming project, we’re glad to post an announcement online or in print. If you have a special, highresolution photo of a non-profit project to share, send it our way and we will try to include it. Email:

36 • CORNELIUS TODAY • March 2016

New Corporations

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

1/25/16 Salon Utopia LLC, Lara Christy, 11308 Heritage Green Dr., Cornelius


1/25/16 Thrive Wellness Group LLC, Robert B. Newkirk, 19810 W. Catawba Ave., Ste. E, Cornelius

1/19/16 HRGC LLC, Robert B. Newkirk III, 19810 W. Catawba Ave., Ste. E, Cornelius 1/20/16 CFS Holdings LLC, Mitchell McCune, 17039 Kenton Dr., 3rd Floor, Cornelius 1/20/16 Concrete Pumping Solutions Inc., Jaylene G. Moss, 9624 Bailey Rd., Ste. 290, Cornelius 1/21/16 LKN Affiliates LLC, Bradley William Hauck, 18610 Starcreek Dr., Cornelius

1/27/16 Hygge LLC, Paul D. Harrington, 19529 Heartland St., Cornelius 1/28/16 C Investments 2 LLC, George C. McKee, 19915 Shearwater Point Dr., Cornelius 1/28/16 Montgomery Sheep Farm LLC, Adam Foodman, 20035 Jetton Rd., Unit D, Cornelius 1/28/16 Pristine Panorama LLC, Brandy L. Jones, 20405 Queens St., Cornelius

1/21/16 The Newhall Company LLC, Daniel M. Shiels, 17935 Crossing Cir., Cornelius

1/29/16 Lake Norman Living LLC, Marzi Mazzotti, 19224 Captains Watch Rd., Cornelius

1/21/16 Sustainable Power Savings LLC, Brian Holland, 20567 Harbor View Dr., Cornelius

1/29/16 Peninsula Cleaners LLC, Chantha B. Lam, 19825 North Cove Rd., #E, Cornelius

1/25/16 Eagles Nest C46 LLC, Hugh Franklin, 19421 Liverpool Pkwy., Cornelius

2/1/16 Resolute Fabricators LLC, Keith Home, 18708 W. Catawba Ave., Cornelius

1/25/16 Innovative Healthcare Management LLC, Melissa Lynch, 19315 West Catawba Ave., Ste. 102, Cornelius

2/2/16 Carolina Acquistions Group 1 Inc., Jonathan Ouzts, 17510 Harbor Walk Dr., Cornelius

2/2/16 SSJ Advisory Services LLC, Stephanie Justice, 20706 Bethelwood Ln., Cornelius 2/2/16 WestFit LLC, Lori West, 20109 Coachmans Wood Ln., Cornelius 2/3/16 Compass Land and Real Estate Group LLC, Benjamin Beshears, 18605 Northline Dr., Unit 1-4, Cornelius 2/3/16 CTS of the Triad Inc., John F. Hanzel, 19425-G Liverpool Pkwy., Cornelius 2/4/16 Ernst Aviation LLC, Gary Ernst, 21061 Scottcrest Cir., Cornelius 2/4/16 NorthSouth Concord LLC, Robert S. Stamey, 18525 Statesville Rd., Ste. D-09, Cornelius 2/4/16 Thrive Wellness Group LLC, Robert B. Newkirk, 19810 W. Catawba Ave., Ste. E, Cornelius 2/5/16 GioMack Consulting LLC, Benedetto Mauceri, 16331 Barcica Ln., Cornelius 2/9/16 1Motorsport LLC, Donna Moffett, 8220 Village Harbor Dr., Cornelius 2/9/16 Bell Industrial Corporation, Timothy Bell, 9236 John Hawks Rd., Cornelius 2/9/16 Tisko Holdings LLC, United States Corporation Agents, 19701 Bethel Church Rd., Ste. 103, Cornelius 2/10/16 Renu Energy General Contractor LLC, Jeffrey Aliotta, 16213 Winnow Ct., Cornelius 2/12/16 Piselli Enterprises Inc., Richard Piselli, 18045 Harbor Light Blvd., Cornelius

Davidson 1/25/16 FS Technology LLC, Paul C. Wolf, 220 Logan Crossing Dr., Davidson 1/26/16 1424 W A LLC, Jacqueline Boone, 126 Kinderston Dr., Davidson 1/27/16 Harbor Point Animal Hospital PLLC, Andrew Lee Pierce, 215 South Main St., Ste. 301, Davidson 1/28/16 Betera Coaching and Consulting LLC, Sarah M. Matchett, 127 Julia Cir., Davidson 1/29/16 Kent Cook Institute Inc., Marsha G. Cook, 400 North Harbor Pl., Ste. C, Davidson 2/1/16 Red Oaks Investment LLC, Christopher Todd Riddle, 10700 Alabaster Dr., Davidson 2/4/16 Davidson Yoga Therapy LLC, United States Corporation Agents, 442 S. Main St., Ste. 12, Davidson 2/9/16 New Horizon Architecture PLLC, Tracy Atkinson, 235 Grey Rd., Davidson 2/9/16 Servcon LLC, Brad Scorse, 907 Southwest Dr., Davidson 2/10/16 A Porter & Associates Inc., Alice E. Porter, 18337 Woodlands Trail Dr., Davidson 2/10/16 Empty Fish Bowl LLC, Scott Galloway, 600 Ashby Dr., Davidson 2/11/16 EP320 Power LLC, John P. Gross, 18108 River Ford Dr., Davidson 2/12/16 Redecam USA LLC, Stephen J. Wacker, 118 N. Lynbrook Dr., Davidson

More new corporations are online at

Thank you



• Provide a day of fun for kids in Big Brothers Big Sisters • Raise money for an efficiently run non-profit • Recruit mentors for children




COMMANDERS: Law Firm of Bentz & Associates, Charlotte Eye Ear Nose and Throat Association, Dan & Donna Brown, Chris & Robbie Davis, Carolyn & Jim Duke, McIntosh Law Firm, Novant Health, Rotary Club of North Mecklenburg, Art Sabates, Tricia & Brian Sisson, Dr. Nancy & Sen. Jeff Tarte, Allen Tate Co. FRIENDS: John & Nancy Aneralla, Chris & Sally Ashworth, KS Audio, Rod Beard, Margaret & Blair Boggs, Crafty Burg’r, Pat Cotham, Troy & Della Stafford, Thomas & Ann Dutton, Lapis Financial, Bell & Bell Law Firm, Diane & Dave Gilroy, Dr. Akiba Green, Carol Houle, Martin & Cheryl Kane, Lauren Kimsey, Charles & Shelly Knoedler, Rhonda Lennon, Sandy & Mac McAlpine, Maria & Kurt Naas, Vickie & Donald Payne, Robert & Ivonne Reed, Dressler’s Restaurant, Thurman Ross, Modern Salon, DeVore, Acton & Stafford, Tracey & Dan Stehle, Thom & Susan Tillis, Master Title, Sharon & Woody Washam, Gail Williams

Supported by


for 12 years

38 • CORNELIUS TODAY • March 2016


Your comments and opinions since 2006

Poop at Town Hall

Newspapers all over the neighborhood

“That’s just it ! there are newspapers thrown all over my yard and the neighborhood and I want it to stop. Sometimes they have advertisements in them, like I need more of those. I even have a box at the edge of my yard and they just sling ‘em out the window as they fly on by. I AM NOT going to pick them up anymore either; they should be made to clean up the entire town maybe that would stop the littering of our streets. School Street resident a bit peeved.” —via • Editor’s note: Cornelius Today is mailed directly from the Post Office on Liverpool and placed inside mailboxes by a truly awesome Postal Ser vice staff led by Postmistress Glady Torres. Cornelius Today is never thrown in driveways.

“The grass behind Town Hall is regularly being littered with trash and stuff dogs leave behind. I live in the town homes there and this area is literally our back yard. After a good rain when running by (and many runners do) you can literally smell the dog crap from the sidewalk. I can’t control the actions of my neighbors and have decided to just do my part to pick up after the more lazy among them, but it would really help attract people to Old Town more if this amazing park area had one or more stations to dispose of trash and dog stuff. “This is the same grass we enjoy for Catawba Art Walks, Santa visits, and other events. We hope to have a free yoga at Town Hall event in the summer. Currently doing yoga on that grass is not very, um, enjoyable. I have been sitting in a meditative pose while neighbors let their dog crap less than 100 feet away and leave it. I would love to hear any ideas on how I can help better maintain this space as one suitable for all to enjoy and play on, including kids throwing footballs, playing games, and such (which I often see when families stroll around in Old Town.” —via anonymous SoundOff contact link on • SoundOff writer Rob Muhlestein contacted us to say it was OK to use his name and let us know the town has ordered a dog trash station for the rear lawn.

Lady with a cell phone

‘Thank you Postmistress Gladys Torres,’ from all of us at Cornelius Today

White Escalade Response to ‘Cornelius Elementary fundraiser’ “i think it is a grate school.” —via anonymous SoundOff contact link on • y-fundraiser

“Attention Cornelius Police. There is a white Escalade that flies down Robbins Ridge Road two or three times a week. Please be on the lookout. This is a neighborhood road, NOT a through street.” —via anonymous SoundOff contact link on

“Dear Sociopath on a Cell Phone in the Milk Case at Harris Teeter. We all knew in that part of the store that you were interested in calories and carbohydrates in your milk products. We don’t know if you were talking to your husband or your psychiatrist, because we were all grinning and winking at each other. Thank you for bringing perfect strangers together.” —via anonymous SoundOff contact link on • Casual readers might not notice the milk moustache we added to Joan Crawford’s picture, but it’s there. Plus the milk.

CORNELIUS TODAY • March 2016 • 39


Don’t dump trees in Lake Cornelius “As I walked along the shore of Lake Cornelius today I had to look at two rotting dead Christmas trees in the water. PEOPLE, it’s illegal to dump Christmas trees in the lake unless supervised or approved by Duke Power or the NC Wildlife Federation. If you want to help the fish, do it the proper way!” —via

HOA power trip Dana Carvey played Enid Strict, the Church Lady, on Saturday Night Live 1986-1990

What is appropriate in church?

“I have been a decades-long member of a church here....but I have had enough! Through the years, I have seen very inappropriate behavior in church services and I can no longer keep quiet about it. “Recently I witnessed a few young children in a church service that ruined the minister’s message. It lasted through most of the message. I could not believe that the adults that were with the children had so little regard for the minister’s message and the congregation who had come to worship and learn. As hard as I tried to disregard the interruptions, I could not focus and give my complete attention to the service I came to hear. “I began to wonder why the adults who were with the children would be so inconsiderate of the other members of the congregation. Were these “special needs”

children? Were they in the first signs of becoming sick? Had a family tragedy caused the children to be so restless and so loud? “Any of these ideas could account for the children’s behavior. But what about the adults? Why didn’t they show respect for all the people in the sanctuary and simply take the children out? Who is to say that some person(s)in that holy place needed to hear that message desparately? Who is to say that those distractions caused many of us to feel that we were robbed of a wonderful opportunity to feel a closer relationship with our Lord? “Believe me, I know how hard it can sometimes be to keep children, and, yes, grandchildren, fairly quiet and still during a worship service. If you are spending so much effort attending to your child(ren), then it might be safe to say that you are not benefitting from that service. Please do the courteous

—via anonymous SoundOff contact link on

and respectful thing by removing the child(ren) from the service. “I would, also like to comment on the people who habitually get up during the sermon to go to the bathroom. Couldn’t you go before the sermon? If you had an emergency, why not return and sit at the back of the church so that you don’t interrupt the focus of everyone there? It is hard not to follow with your eyes a person who walks down the main aisle going in and out. “If, for some reason, you never thought about this in the ways I just described, please do so now. If Jesus were preaching, do you think the things I just described would take place? The minister is God’s messenger to us. We should act with common courtesy and good manners when we are in God’s House.”

“Why would an HOA sue their own HOA for control of a budget, with costs of legal action rising more than $100,000. What do they think the cost benefit analysis is? What are the savings?” —via anonymous SoundOff contact link on

New Huntersville chamber “I am not a business owner, just a resident who is interested in the continual growth of Huntersville....[and] seeing people headed in the right direction, one that all of us can live in and prosper. Congratulations to all involved.” —via anonymous contact link on • The headline on our online stor y Feb. 16 was ‘Organizers plan Huntersville chamber.’ Cornelius Today and Business Today will be 14-year members of the Lake Norman Chamber come April this year.



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$1,199,000 | Waterfront | The Peninsula Pool | Huge Master | 3 Car Garage


$1,799,000 | Waterfront | Denver Private Dock | .78 acres

$3,950,000 | Waterfront | Pool | Private Dock | Huge Covered Veranda

$899,000 | River Run | 3 Levels | Master on Main| 3 Car Gararge | Amazing Kitchen

$451,000 | 3282 sq ft | .54 acres | Stanley Cowans Ford Park | Master on Main

$380,000 - $659,000 | 3 Waterfront Lots Available

$5,400,000| Waterfront | Mooresville | Over 9000 sq ft | 1.5 acres

Lance Carlyle 704-252-0237

Jim Carlyle 704-252-3047

Terry Byars 704-728-9775

Al Strickland 704-201-7244

Tammy Godwin 704-650-0296

Traci Roberts 615-946-8708

John Roberts 704-507-4960

Terry Donahue 321-402-8543

Jim Grywalski 704-236-9899

Michael Green 704-954-4489

19520 W Catawba Ave Suite 113 | Cornelius, NC 28031 | 704-895-4676 Office |

Cornelius Today - March 2016  
Cornelius Today - March 2016