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Inside: CATS plans for future light rail • Page 5A

Friday, Aug. 3, 2018 • Vol. 11 • No. 31

ABOUT US P.O. BOX 1104 Matthews, NC 28106 (704) 849-2261

Taylor prepares to research TankTown by Lilly Edwards Contributor


MATTHEWS – Pictures of historic Matthews, stacked binders full of research and half a deer’s antler surround Barbara Taylor in her office at the Matthews HeriTaylor tage Museum. The other rooms in the museum display old artifacts and collections that tell an incomplete

story of the history of Matthews. The museum is opening a temporary exhibit next year on TankTown, now Crestdale, with a grant of $2,000 from Truliant to help fill in the blanks. Taylor, the museum's director, expresses an interest in the history of TankTown and its relation to Matthews. “Matthews is a small town, but it has another component to it,” she said. TankTown was settled by former slaves and free men of color

after the Civil War, but in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, very few people outside of the community knew of its existence, Taylor said. Matthews annexed the town in the 1960s and gave the residents access to its water supply and sewer service in 1988. The unclear details of land settlement and the prospect of uncovering forgotten history encouraged Taylor to research TankTown. see TANKTOWN, Page 6A

Mission trip WEEKLY PICKS

Church builds homes in Guatemalan community by Kieran Mouritsen Contributor

Matthews Mayor Paul Bailey is the safety mayor. Before town board meetings, he'll give safety tips on how to act in the event of an emergency. Shake his hand and pick his brain at 8 a.m. Aug. 4 at Jonathan's Restaurant, but remember to wash your hands to prevent the spread of germs.

Sweets TCBY is celebrating its 37th birthday from 3 to 7 p.m. Aug. 7 with a buyone-get-one promotion. Buy the first one at regular price and get the second for 37 cents. The brain freeze is on the house.

Food Your first choice as league commissioner is to decide where to hold your fantasy football draft. Small Bar Matthews is enticing people with 75 cent wings.

Music Dan Warren and Jason Fava, known as Jettison Five, perform at the Pizza Peel on Aug. 4. The duo performs covers from the likes of Garth Brooks, Marvin Gaye and Jack Johnson.

Streaming Snap ya fingers. Do ya step. We downloaded “Avengers Infinity War” and then we wept. Marvel's latest blockbuster is now available for streaming. Yeah!

Movies Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon are dropped into the flashy, high-stakes world of espionage in “The Spy Who Dumped Me.” Yuk it up while they save the world on Aug. 3.

MATTHEWS – “To take care of orphans and widows in their suffering, and to keep oneself from being corrupted by the world” (James 1:27) – this is the mission statement of Manos de Jesus. The group, based in Chichicastenango, Guatemala, builds homes and provides for the needs of widows and their families. In the states, Manos de Jesus is known as Pray America. It sends out weekly volunteer groups to build houses, serve food and give out shoes to people in need. During the week of July 13 to 20, Morning Star Lutheran Church took a group of 18 members to work directly with Manos de Jesus. This trip was the church’s 19th with the organization. During the busy week, participants enjoyed interactions with the Guatemalan citizens, built four homes, visited three feeding stations, taught English to young children and gave away 50 pairs of shoes. Each week, the organization feeds 750 children and widows across three feeding stations, at which the children sing and get to learn about Jesus. Volunteer groups build four to six houses during their stay. Manos de Jesus provides weekly volunteer teams with wood and tools to build houses for widows and their fami-

Members of Morning Star Lutheran Church built four homes for widows in Chichicastenango in one week. Kieran Mouritsen/UCW photo

lies. Thanks to these weekly efforts, over 1,000 houses have been built. Morning Star Lutheran volunteers were hit hard by what they saw in the community of Chichicastenango, even before they began their projects. They could not wait to start helping children and widows. On July 14, volunteers assisted a group of Guatemalan children to learn English through playing games. Afterward, some played with the younger children on the playground, while others played

Inside: Flip to Page 6A to see a photo of the finished house soccer with the older ones. Monday is when the real work started for the group, and they began building their first house of the trip at 9 a.m. The families at each site would look on. Some would even offer to help. There were always children see MISSION, Page 6A

This exhibit panel gives a brief history of the Crestdale community, which used to be known as "TankTown." Barbara Taylor's research will help uncover more about the area's origins. Justin Vick/MMHW photo

United Way chief headed to Chicago CHARLOTTE – Sean Garrett is leaving United Way of Central Carolinas to become CEO of United Way of Metro Chicago. Garrett joined UWCC as executive director in March 2015. He will remain in Charlotte through early September. During his time with UWCC, Garrett oversaw change of its community impact strategy and funding process. Focusing on improving education, health and financial stability, the impact strategy works to boost economic mobility across the region, while providing a safety net for people in need. UWCC recently announced the investment of $24.5 million into the community, with $16.3 million going toward its community impact strategy and $8.2 million in donor-directed funding. UWCC launched three major initiatives last year: United Neighborhoods to revitalize neighborhoods, Unite Charlotte to improve racial equity and increase social capital, and Tutor Charlotte to provide reading mentors for students in grades K-3. “He has worked tirelessly to connect donors, volunteers and partners to the impact work needed in our community,” said Wes Beckner, board chair and BB&T regional president. Garrett spent five years in fundraising roles with Metro Chicago from 2005 to 2010. He said the new job will allow his family to return to where his wife's professional career is based, while letting him continue his work with the United Way. “Charlotte welcomed me with open arms and afforded me the opportunity to work on our community’s most pressing issues,” he said. “It has been the privilege of my career to be part of our community’s efforts to drive opportunity for all.”

NCDOT isn't yielding to superstreet criticism Investigations Police look for suspects in crimes, 2A

INDEX Crime................................................................................ 3A Classifieds..............................................................5B Faith.................................................................................... 1B Calendar....................................................................2B Puzzles.........................................................................4B

by Yustin Riopko Contributor

INDIAN TRAIL – The N.C. Department of Transportation is determined to turn Old Monroe Road into a superstreet. Scott Cole, an engineer with the NCDOT, delivered an update to the Indian Trail Town Council on July 24 about the state’s plans to widen the highway. The superstreet design faces strong opposition from citizens. The NCDOT conducted a traffic forecast that accounted for population growth, planned land

use and road projects like those on I-485 and U.S.74. That study saw traffic volumes on the corridor dropping by 3 percent from the 2035 forecast. NCDOT’s analysis also determined that a superstreet and a traditional four-lane street with standard intersections would “operate comparably,” according to Cole. Cole insisted the superstreet model is safer, reducing the number of crashes by 46 percent and limiting the amount of dangerous T-type crashes. He said superstreets also better accommodate pedestrians and cyclists. “We understand that we have to balance not





only the needs of Indian Trail, but the needs of the folks on either side,” Cole said. “There are 20,000-plus cars a day on this route, so we recognize what we’re hearing from some of the constituents of the town. But we believe that because of the safe aspects of the route and the ability to get through the route efficiently, that we’re moving with the right thing for all the people involved.” Town council voted July 10 to extend a $10 million bond that may go to NCDOT for the superstreet. The bond money was originally see SUPERSTREET, Page 6A

For advertising, please contact the sales department at (704) 849-2261 or e-mail

Page 2A • Matthews-Mint Hill Weekly • Aug. 3, 2018


IN THE KNOW PHOTO OF THE WEEK STAY CONNECTED • Twitter: @UCweekly • Like us on Facebook • Web: www.unioncounty weekly,com • E-edition: olinaweeklynewspapers

PUBLISHER Jonathan McElvy

Police suspect this man has been cashing forged checks in Matthews, Charlotte and Pineville. Photo courtesy of Matthews Police Department

Storm clouds full of lighting could be seen beyond the trees near Mint Hill. Paul Nielsen/MMHW photo


Police looking for man cashing forged checks




1. Coke helps retired teacher celebrate 100th birthday 2. Mint Hill may get a baseball complex, cultural center or both 3. Couple celebrates 75th wedding anniversary 4. Butler alum expects another big year with Tar Heels 5. Artist has edgy approach to painting saw blades

TWEETS OF THE WEEK • “Awesome Day of Action across North Carolina today! I was honored to join great groups making calls and knocking on doors throughout Mecklenburg and Union County. Thanks to everyone for their efforts to get out our conservative message and keep the 9th district red! #NC09 #ncpol” – Mark Harris (@MarkHarrisNC9) • “Here’s to the awesome volunteers who came out for our weekend of action! Our volunteers in Matthews got a pep talk from my wife, Laura. That's going to be a tough act to follow…” – Dan McCready for NC (@McCreadyForNC)



MATTHEWS – The Matthews Police Department is asking for help in identifying a man suspected of cashing forged checks. Police said he most recently cashed a forged check at 1 p.m. June 12 at the State Employees’ Credit Union, 1825 Matthews Township Pkwy. He is also suspected of cashing forged checks at SECU branches in Charlotte and Pineville. He is described as a black male, 60-65 years old, standing 6-foot-3 and weighting 185 pounds. Call Det. Dan Townsend at 704-847-5555 if anyone has information about the identity of the man,


SAVE THE DATE Our September is for Seniors Expo will have dozens of vendors, informative break-out sessions, raffles, breakfast and lunch – all for free. The event is 9 a.m. Sept. 28 at Calvary Church, 5801 Pineville-Matthews Road, Charlotte. People interested in attending need to register by calling 704-849-2261 or emailing

ADVERTISING Maya Cann Charlotte Conway Kate Kutzleb PRESS RELEASES

Bars host live music MATTHEWS – Several restaurants and bars have scheduled live music to entertain patrons. They are as follows: • Beantown Tavern: Chuck Johnson Duo (Aug. 8) • Jekyll & Hyde: Taplow (Aug. 9) • Mac's Speed Shop: Fish Out of Water (Aug. 3) • Moochies Tavern: Sticks and Stones Honeymoon and Moses Jones (Aug. 5); and Shannon's Jam (Aug. 7) • Pizza Peel: Jettison Five (Aug. 4) • Steady Eddy's Pumphouse: TARGeT (Aug. 3) • Sweet Union: Ellie Morgan (Aug. 3) and Matt Carter & Jason Atkins (Aug. 4) • Temple Mojo: Alanna Mosley (Aug. 3)

Servant's Heart offers auctions


• Aug. 10: Back to School • Aug. 17: High School Football Preview

grants on the condition that it begin construction by January 2019. The first phase of the project will include a walking trail, playground area, parking lot and sidewalk connection to Rice Road. It will also have benches, landscaping, lighting and picnic tables. The second phase would include a picnic shelter, multi-use path along Rice Road and road improvements. The town will revisit the second phase on an annual basis until funding becomes available. JD Goodrum submitted the winning bid at $645,000, but the town budgeted $445,000. Delaying road improvements reduced the cost by $209,354, with the town making up the difference.

No injuries were reported in this armed robbery at Chipotle. Photo courtesy of Matthews Police Department

Police need help identifying robbery suspect MATTHEWS – The Matthews Police Department is investigating an armed robbery reported July 24 at the Chipotle restaurant at Matthews Township Parkway. Employees said a man came in the back door of the restaurant, pointed a black handgun at them and demanded money. As the suspect fled through the back door, another male, believed to be an accomplice, was seen standing outside the door. The suspect that came inside is described as possibly a black male, standing 6-foot1 and weighing 220 pounds. The suspect standing outside is described as a black male standing 5-foot-10 and weighing 180 pounds. Anyone with information regarding the case is encouraged to call Det. Stacy Cooper at 704-847-5555.

MINT HILL – Servant’s Heart is launching silent auctions at its boutique to move some of the antiques, collectibles, artwork and specialty items that the community donates to the charity. The auctions offer the possibility of buying treasures below market value, while providing resources to people in the community who need help. The first auction spans 10 a.m. Aug. 15 to 5 p.m. Aug. 27. The first item will be a Nippon Moriage Demitasse Dragonware Tea Set. Place bids at 9229 Lawyers Road. Bids will be in increments of no less than $5. Future auctions will be announced monthly on Hill/. Email questions about the auction or featured items to Tracy Doyle at tracy@servant

Improve Your Health by Healing Your Gut!

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He was last seen at 4:36 p.m. near Matthews Reserve Gillespie Apartments on Sam Newell Road, wearing a black T-shirt, blue shorts and black tennis shoes. He is described as standing 6 feet tall and weighing 140 pounds, with a thin build, short brown hair and brown eyes. Police have no reason to believe that anyone is in danger. Call the police at 704-847-5555 if you have any information about his whereabouts.

partment provides, including fire, rescue and EMS service. Officials say the good insurance rating the fire department has earned through extensive training and water flow will save residents hundreds of dollars on annual insurance premiums. Residents can make donations with debit or credit cards at

Seating is limited and Join us for this free dinner presentation. reservations are required. Call to reserve a seat for you Tuesday, January 23, 2018 at 6:30pm and a guest: Harper’s at Carolina Place, 704-708-4404

11059 Carolina Place Parkway | Pineville, NC

We look forward to seeing you there!

Alzheimer’s Support Group

CHARLOTTE – Mecklenburg Commissioner

We look forwardVilma to seeing there! Leake is you concerned about how much

Caregivers and family members welcome!

The Last Thursday, Monthly 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. In the Independent Living Garden Room at Waltonwood Providence Gain insight into the disease | Share experiences and concerns Learn about resources available in the community Discover meaningful ways to make time for yourself


RSVP by the Monday prior (704) 753-7123

Independent Living, Assisted Living & Memory Care 11945 Providence Road, Charlotte, NC 28277 |

Philadelphia Presbyterian

704-708-4404 VBS focuses on heroes

Seating is limited and reservations are required. Leake concerned about Call to reserve a seat for you and a guest: Matthews funding


MINT HILL – Several members of the Mint Hill Chamber of Commerce are collecting backpacks for children in Mint Hill schools. Donations can be dropped off at Big Guy's Pizza, Create A Video, Edwards Jones (Mint Hill Village), Hawthorne's Pizza, Home Style Gallery, Jimmies Restaurant, Mint Hill Dance Center, Mint Hill Pharmacy, Pour 64 and Subway (Mint Hill Village). Backpacks can be dropped off during the Town of Mint Hill's Family Fun Night at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 18 at town hall.

Your digestive tract is the foundation for your body’s health. Constipation, bloating, IBS, acid reflux, Crohn’s, Colitis, fatigue, Police looking for suspect brain fog, hormonal imbalance, MATTHEWS – The Matthews Police Department is looking for a suspect wanted on and more can be healed by healing several felony probation violation warrants, your gut!recent Come as well as a most charge hear of resist,digestive obFire department needs struct, delay of an officer. health expert, Dr. Michael Smith, Officers attempted to make contact with community support Philip Joseph Gillespie, 31, to heal yourMINT speak about how gutHILL – The Mint Hill Volunteer Fire Department will soon be mailing the annual at 12:30 p.m. July 26 in the and avoid andfor tax deductible donations to proprequest 200 block of Southinvasive Freemont procedures erty owners in the fire district. Street, but he fled on foot. medications! Donations support the services the fire de-

You do not have to be taking multiple medications or experience the complications of type 2 diabetes! Learn how to free yourself from fear. Reverse your diabetes and get your quality of life back. Come hear leading diabetes expert Dr. Michael Smith, and enjoy a free dinner. Join us for this free dinner presentation. Tuesday, August 7th, 7pm at Brio 4720 Piedmont Row Drive Charlotte, NC 28210

Companies collect backpacks

money the county has been investing in Matthews. Leake pulled an item from the July 10 consent agenda that would authorize $346,327 from parks and recreation capital improvement funds to go toward a greenway on Four Mile Creek. Items in the consent agenda are usually routine and grouped together for approval, but Leake wanted to make a point about this particular item. “What else are we going to give to Matthews up there?” Leake said. “They also have a sports complex. I'd like to know how much has the county has spent in Matthews over the last four years. … I'm serious. I want to know, because they complain about the schools. They get money.” Commissioners approved the item. The N.C. Department of Transportation is funding $1.4 million of the $1.9 million project. Matthews is chipping in $125,000. The greenway will extend from Brenham Lane to the west side of South Trade Street and go under the underpass.

Town delays road work in order to deliver park MATTHEWS – The cost to develop Rice Road Park has come in over budget, prompting the town to adjust the project's scope and delay corresponding road improvements to maintain the construction timeline. The town had previously accepted state

MINT HILL – Philadelphia Presbyterian Church's vacation Bible school takes children on adventures with their favorite Bible heroes while learning what makes us heroes through God. Using Cokesbury's VBS Hero Central, children will hear about biblical heroes that have heart (Samuel Anoints David), courage (Abigail), wisdom (Jesus Goes to the Temple), hope (Beatitudes) and power (Pentecost). The event includes music, science, crafts, recreation and Bible stories to help kids discover their strength in God. Philadelphia Presbyterian's VBS kicks off Aug. 5 and runs nightly from 6 to 8:30 p.m. through Aug. 9. Dinner is served each night. Adults are encouraged to stick around to eat as a family and join pastors Rusty Benton and Katie Sloan for an adult class. Registration is needed. Those interested can sign up online at The church is located at 11501 Bain School Road.

Clear Creek Baptist offers VBS MINT HILL – Clear Creek Baptist Church holds a vacation Bible school with a “game on” theme. Participants are invited to “gear up for life's big game,” with a week full of fun in Bible study, music, crafts and games. The VBS takes place at 6:30 pm Aug. 12 to 17 at Clear Creek Baptist Church, 9015 Ferguson Road. It targets ages 3 to adult. Visit vbs for details.

Matthews-Mint Hill Weekly • Aug. 3, 2018 • Page 3A

CRIME SCENE The Matthews Police Department reported the following incidents July 16 to 22: Alcohol • Shell, 11130 E. Independence Blvd.: Driving under the influence and possession of marijuana. July 17 • Sleep Inn, 9900 Matthews Park Drive: DWI. July 19 • 11100 block of East Independence Boulevard: DWI and speeding. July 20 Break-Ins, Vehicles • AMF Carolina Lanes, 11210 Brigman Road: Leather backpack stolen. July 17 • 3000 block of Laurelwood Drive: Break-in reported. July 18 Burglaries • 500 block of Arborlea Court: Jewelry and coins stolen. July 22

President Donald Trump gives the State of the Union. Trump is expected to accept a nomination in Charlotte to pursue a second term. Shealah Craighead/Official White House Photo

RNC will take a regional effort by Paul Nielsen

CHARLOTTE – Now the real works begins for Sarah Reidy-Jones and the rest of the Mecklenburg County Republican Party. Reidy-Jones is the vice-chairman of the county Republican organization, and was on hand when the Republican Party voted last month in Austin, Texas to hold its 2020 nominating convention in Charlotte. The convention is expected to have a huge economic impact on Charlotte and the surrounding counties, as nearly 50,000 visitors could attend the convention, which will most likely be held in August 2020. Charlotte hosted the Democratic National Convention in 2012 and is now one of 10 cities to host both conventions. The Mecklenburg County Republican Party has been tasked with finding the thousands of volunteers needed to run the convention. “We were originally told 5,000 volunteers but when I talked to Mayor (Vi) Lyles, she said it took 12,000 volunteers to run the DNC (in 2012),” Reidy-Jones said. “That is the main goal that we will be doing, helping with volunteer recruit-

ment.” Reidy-Jones is confident the party will find enough help. “This will definitely be a regional effort,” Reidy-Jones said. “We have already been talking to leaders in the surrounding counties and to leaders in South Carolina. People will be doing a little bit of everything. There will be a variety of roles and between 6,000 and 12,000 volunteers will be needed.” Reidy-Jones said she was pleased the city council voiced its support for the convention on July 16 and before the whole Republican National Committee voted on a convention site. “The fact that we had so many from the Charlotte delegation in Austin showed this is more than about politics,” Reidy-Jones said. “It’s really about bringing the city together and having a first-class convention. Our trip to Austin was amazing, and it was great to talk up Charlotte. We explained the council vote because there were a lot of people that were curious about the bid process. “The reality is that a 9-2 (Democratic majority) council showed its support for this.” Raising the expected $70 million

needed to finance the convention will fall to the Charlotte 2020 Host Committee, led by former Charlotte City Council member and local businessman John Lassiter. “Hosting the 2020 RNC will generate tremendous economic impact and global exposure that will benefit our region for years to come,” Lassiter said. “We look forward to putting on an event that showcases our great city, creates opportunities for our residents and engages our entire community.” The Democratic National Convention in 2012 had an economic impact on the region of $164 million and $59 million in added labor income. N.C. State Sen. Jeff Tarte (R-Mecklenburg) said hosting the convention will impact the entire metropolitan area. “First the DNC and now the RNC,” Tarte said. “We are excited to share our Southern hospitality and showcase North Carolina to the world. North Carolina is a turnaround success story and now a global economic powerhouse. Our local businesses and entrepreneurs are ready to demonstrate why North Carolina is the No. 1 state to start and operate a business.”

Frauds/Forgeries • Hendrix Business Systems, 2040 Independence Commerce Drive: Forged checks. July 16 • Publix, 3110 Fincher Farm Road: Counterfeit $100 bill. July 17 • 9300 block of Tillot Drive: Credit card fraud involving $1,930.49. July 18 • 11100 block of Atrium Way: Con game. July 18 • 2700 block of Kipperly Court: Con game. July 18 • Applebees, 9616 E. Independence Blvd.: Credit card fraud involving $1,000. July 21 Property Damage • 600 block of Deer Creek Drive: Damage to passenger door. July 16 • Fullwood Express, 11229 E. Independence Blvd.: Damage to property, attempted larceny of gas and possess marijuana. July 17 • Cracker Barrel, 9330 E. Independence Blvd.: Damage to rear side of vehicle. July 17 Robberies • 9600 block of East Independence Boulevard: Jeans and shirts stolen. July 19 Thefts • Cycle Gear, 11328 E. Independence Blvd.: Motorcycle helmet theft. July 16 • Academy Sports & Outdoor, 2314 Matthews Township Pkwy: Pliers and ammunition stolen. July 18 • Rack Room Shoes, 1819 Matthews Township Pkwy.: Sandles, socks and backpack stolen. July 19 • Kohls Department Stores, 9617 E. Independence Blvd.: Clothes and computer hardware/software stolen. July 19 • Hobby Lobby, 2310 Matthews Township Pkwy.: Household goods stolen. July 21 • Dick's Sporting Goods, 10530 Northeast Pkwy.: Clothes stolen. July 21 Other • 600 block of Matthews Township Parkway: Warrant for arrest. July 16 • 1400 block of East John Street: Soliciting. July 16 • Chick-fil-A, 9905 Matthews Park

Drive: Warrant for arrest. July 17 • 300 block of Crestdale Road: Possess stolen vehicle. July 17 • Beltway Gun & Pawn, 11500 E. Independence Blvd.: Fictitious registration plate. July 21 • 8500 block of East Independence Boulevard: Fictitious registration plate. July 21 • Pizza Hut, 11315 E. Independence Blvd.: Driving during revocation. July 22 The Mint Hill Police Department reported these incidents July 16 to 22: Alcohol • 10800 block of Parktown Road: Driving under the influence. July 18 • 10800 block of Fairview Road: Driving under the influence. July 20 Break-Ins • 3900 block of Matthews-Mint Hill Road: Computer hardware and speakers stolen. July 16 Break-Ins, Vehicles • 10500 block of Hanging Moss Trail: Money stolen. July 19 Burglaries • 8200 block of White Ash Court: Case of oil stolen. July 19 • 6000 block of Farm Oak Lane: Jewelry and money stolen. July 21 Identity Theft • 6600 block of Barry Whitaker Place: Identity theft involving $2,345.40. July 16 Possess Drugs • Idlewild and Rice roads: Possession of schedule VI controlled substance. July 17 • 11500 block of Idlewild Road: Possession of schedule II controlled substance. July 17 • 9100 block of Lawyers Road: Possession of schedule II and IV controlled substances. July 21 • 9600 block of Hannon Road: Possession of marijuana. July 16 Property Damage • 8600 block of Brookgreen Drive: Damage to automobile. July 18 • 6000 block of Gatekeeper Lane: Damage to wooden door frame with deadbolt lock. July 19 Robberies • 7300 block of Town View Drive: Money stolen in robbery. July 20 Thefts • 5900 block of Oak Drive: Vehicle parts stolen. July 16 • 10900 block of Despa Drive: Electric scooter stolen. July 20 Other • 6200 block of Wilson Grove Road: Trespass of property. July 17 • 9000 block of Lawyers Road: Charges related to assisting a vehicle crash. July 19 • 9600 block of Stoney Glen Drive: Aggravated assault by strangulation. July 22

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Page 4A • Matthews-Mint Hill Weekly • Aug. 3, 2018

Carl J. McEwen Historic Village has new exhibit

Korean War veterans pose for photos July 27 at Mint Hill Veterans Memorial Park. Photo courtesy of Bryan Boyett

Ceremony honors Korean War veterans MINT HILL – More than 100 people attended the National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day Commemorative Ceremony on July 27 at Mint Hill Veterans Memorial Park. The Mecklenburg Chapter of National Society Daughters of the American Revolution hosted the event and handed out certificates of service to the veterans in attendance, as well as American flags and programs to the crowd. Shelby Boyett, author and personal historian, welcomed the crowd and shared words from President Trump's 2017 proclamation of the armistice day: “As we reflect upon our values and pause to remember all those who fight and sacrifice to uphold them, we will never forget our Korean War veterans whose valiant efforts halted the spread of Communism and advanced the cause of freedom." Mayor Ted Biggers made introductory and closing remarks. He also introduced keynote speaker Don Putnam. Putnam shared experiences as a fighter pilot during the war, in which he flew 78 missions before being taken down by enemy fire. Young Chang Ha talked about his impressions growing up in North Korea during the war and his love for America since then. Chaplain Ha served for 24 years in the U.S. Navy. VFW Post 2423 presented the colors and performed the three-volley salute and

Don Putnam flew in 78 missions as a fighter pilot during the Korean War. Photo courtesy of Gerry Wall

Shelby Boyett welcomed the crowd and shared an excerpt from a proclamation from President Trump. Photo courtesy of Bryan Boyett

taps. Lowe-Neddo Funeral Home supplied the large tent, while the Town of Mint Hill provided the sound system and other needed items. The USO served doughnuts and bottled water to the veterans and guests.

MINT HILL – Visitors at the Carl J. McEwen Historic Village can see a new exhibit that has a very old local history. Over 25 years ago, Joe Biggers of Midland entrusted the Mint Hill Historical Society with a family treasure. He donated a stone burr mill used by his grandfather to grind corn into cornmeal. His grandfather, Will Biggers, operated a general store on Albemarle Road. Cornmeal was a staple of the time, and grits and mush were a delicious hot breakfast cereal. So what took so long for the mill to become a “must see” village exhibit? The mill requires a long leather belt attached to a tractor or a hit-and-miss engine to cause the 12-inch stones to shake together and grind the corn. It was not until about five years ago that a large hit-and-miss engine was donated to the Mint Hill Historical Society by Jerry Murray of Monroe. Since that time, Boy Scout Aiden Fox approached the Mint Hill Historical Society looking for a project to complete for his Eagle Scout Award. He chose to build a mill house from reclaimed lumber to showcase the Biggers Mill and the Murray hit-andmiss engine. He floored the building with old reclaimed brick. Hand-wrought hinges for the doors were made by local blacksmiths John Baird and Matt Wainscott. Ron Pressley, a local expert on stone burr mills, was contacted and agreed to see if he could put all of the many pieces back together and most importantly, if he could get the mill to operate. After all those years in storage, Pressley put the mill together in one afternoon and discovered only one missing piece that he was able to duplicate. Joe Biggers died and never saw the mill in operation at its new home in the Carl J. McEwen Historic Village, but his children, Mike and Karen, along with other family and friends, gathered as docent Phyllis Jacobs prepared ‘hoe cakes’ from the corn mill ground by the mill. It is people like Joe Biggers who had the vision to grow a historic village in Mint Hill, according to the Mint Hill Historical Society. Mike Biggers provided this history about his great grandfather, Henry Norris Biggers: Henry Norris Biggers and his wife, Lou

Will Biggers operated a general store on Albemarle Road. Photo courtesy of Carl J. McEwen Historic Village

(Pinyan) Biggers, were married in 1898 and bought a farm off what is now N.C. 27 (Albemarle Road), about one mile beyond the Mecklenburg/Cabarrus County line. They raised six children to adulthood (Will, Madison, Lem, Jennie, Lela and Louise). Four children died very young. In about 1918, they cut trees and sawed the lumber to build a new home on Albemarle Road. Over time, they bought several tracts of land that eventually totaled nearly 400 acres. A grandson, Bill Purser (his mother was Lela) remembers his mother saying everyone had to get up at 4 a.m. every day to be ready for chores and fieldwork as soon as there was enough daylight. Madison told of how he and his older brother, Will, would cut and saw timbers to be sold to the railroad to be used as crossties and of digging a well by hand. Will did this while being partially crippled with infantile paralysis (polio). Family historian and grandson Boyd Biggers (son of Lem) confirms in the early 1920s, Henry opened a general store with his son, Madison, named H.N. Biggers & Son. Bill Purser also remembers his mother saying they had a generator used to provide electricity. Locals would gather at the store to listen to the radio until late at night. The family had one of the first reaping machines in the area, and it would be pulled from farm to farm to help with the harvesting of grain. The New Williams Burr Mill model N20 dates prior to 1924, when that company was purchased by the Meadows Mills Inc. in North Wilkesboro, which is still in operation today. This mill was purchased by Henry N. Biggers to grind cornmeal and flour for the people in the community. The mill was donated to the Mint Hill Historical Society by his grandson, Joe H. Biggers, in memory of his father, William Robert “Will” Biggers.

Labor Day Weekend 2018

August 31st - September 3rd FRI. August 31st 6-10pm

SAT. Sept 1st 9am-9pm

Featuring the All-You-Can-Ride Wristband Night $15 for all you can ride in the carnival! 6:30pm Hip Pocket 8:30pm The Tams

The Matthews Alive Parade brought to you by ACADEMY SPORTS beginning at 10:30am in Historic Downtown Matthews!

SUN. Sept 2nd 12-9pm

MON. Sept 3rd 9am-5pm

Featuring: An all-ladies country lineup on the main stage!

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Matthews-Mint Hill Weekly • Aug. 3, 2018 • Page 5A

Former stuntman finds calling as toymaker Five ways ingenuity can fuel your business REIDSVILLE – People often find themselves in jobs where they know they don’t want to be for years to come. Yet many of those people are unsure what to do about it in order to move forward in the direction of a career of their dreams. For one former stuntman, he didn’t sit idly by and wish for a position he would be passionate about. Combining his passion for car shows that stemmed from his childhood with his ingenuity, he was able to take steps to create a career path that led to him having a hit television show building unique one-of-a-kind custom hot rods and cars for adults. “I had to realize that being a stuntman wasn’t a long-term career. It was too hard on my body,” says David Ankin, inventor and star of the hit show “ToyMakerz.” “I decided to turn my passion into a career that I could grow in and others could also enjoy. Creativity is something that helped me get started in this field and remains a constant. Now the challenge is constantly coming up with something new and unique.” Ingenuity, which is having the ability to be clever, original or inventive, is what has propelled Ankin to the top of his field. His ingenuity has led to his company, ToyMakerz, where the toys are made, and has also been turned into a hit television show, where people can tune in and see him work his magic. Here are five ways that ingenuity can help fuel your business:

1. Gets you noticed. With your business being set apart by being original, it will help get you noticed. People have become immune to everything being the same and they crave things that are different or stand out from the crowd. Whether it’s a restaurant, clothing line or something else, being different will open the doors to a whole new audience. 2. Helps with longevity. Those business leaders who are unique will be in a better position to roll with the punches. They don’t mind adapting and changing as the market demands. Rather than close up, they will be able to keep re-inventing themselves in order to keep thriving. 3. Fuels decision making. Being able to come up with creative solutions to problems will help take a business to the next level. Those with ingenuity are not afraid to put their ideas out there, no matter how out of the box they may seem. Ultimately, that’s exactly what is needed to help grow their business. 4. Offers drive. Business leaders with initiative have drive and determination. They are not afraid to take risks and they don’t wait around for someone else to make something happen. They come up with their own unique plans and put them in action to keep moving forward. 5. Helps carve out opportunity. Whether fueled by your childhood passions or noticing what is missing in your city and wanting to make improvements, those with new ideas will create their own opportunity. They find a way to make things happen in the business world.

Jason Lawrence (right), who helped design the Silver Line, is working in other communities to build future light rail connections. MMHW file photo

CATS planning for future light rail by Yustin Riopko Contributor

CHARLOTTE – The Charlotte Area Transit System is collecting input and exploring options for a train that will travel east-west through uptown. CATS planners are getting feedback to help develop their 2030 Transit Corridor System Plan – an envisioned web of five train corridors that will connect in uptown. One of those will be the LYNX West Corridor, a train that will enter Charlotte from the southeast and exit to the west. What it does in the middle is undecided. While plans for the West Corridor are still up in the air, CATS Planner Jason Lawrence confirmed the tracks themselves won’t be. The city isn’t considering elevated trains like the Chicago “L”. “We also took out anything that was mixed traffic,” Lawrence said. “That’s your more streetcar-level operations. If we’re looking for a consistent travel time – and that’s what we heard from our community – we would look at options that were only in their own dedicated right-of-way.” Other transit system qualities residents value include reliability, frequency and airport connectivity The LYNX tracks we already have are the 10-mile CityLYNX Gold Line streetcar on Trade Street uptown and the 19-mile LYNX Blue Line light rail that operates from I-485 at South Boulevard to UNC Charlotte. CATS also just broke ground at Trade and Graham streets for the Charlotte Gateway Station, a future hub for city trains and transit. CATS is considering building off that infrastructure with the West Corridor. The first two of their four plans are called the Blue Line and Gold Line connections, because they would enter the city on the Southeast, connect to one of those existing lines, and then exit off to the west. The third plan is called the East-West Tunnel, because the city would actually build a tunnel underneath uptown. “It’s certainly on the more expensive side of our four options,” Lawrence said. “But it does provide you that future capacity. A tun-

nel gives us the most maximum flexibility to expand the services if we add additional corridors in our community. When we’re doing this long-range planning, we want to make sure we’re looking at everything – that we’re not leaving any stones unturned.” The fourth plan is called the North End Connection, which also involves a tunnel. Like the first two plans, it enters the city from the southeast, but this version of the corridor would go underground for a shorter distance, and then resurface before exiting on the west side. Lawrence said residents are at the center of the transit plan, so it’s important that the people keep talking. “The plan exists because of community input,” the CATS planner said. “It’s the whole idea why we have five corridors, why it is the commuter rail piece. What we want to make sure of through this effort – you know, since it’s been 20 years since we’ve really updated the whole plan – is that we all know what our options are. We develop these options based on public input.” Whatever CATS and the community decide on, plans need to take shape sooner than later. “When you’re thinking about these options, it’s important that we decide and define a corridor that can advance, and we start protecting that corridor,” Lawrence said. “Because we know that development is coming. We’re growing at a rapid clip, and there’s 100,000 people moving here over the next 10 to 20 years. We really need to start thinking about planning and preserving corridors, so we’re not building ourselves out of options.” Planners want to be in front of the city board to recommend an option for the West Corridor by this fall.

How does this relate to me?

CATS has already designed a preferred route for the Silver Line, a light rail line that will connect downtown Matthews to Uptown Charlotte. That line will likely connect to the Charlotte Gateway Station, allowing for future transit connections, such as the West Corridor.

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Page 6A • Matthews-Mint Hill Weekly • Aug. 3, 2018

MISSION (continued from page 1A)

The Manley Clyburn house in TankTown. Photo courtesy of Matthews Heritage Museum

TANKTOWN (continued from page 1A)

“I love discovering things that people no longer remember,” Taylor said. She hopes the exhibit will provide a better perspective on Matthews, since many don’t know of TankTown’s history. But uncovering Crestdale’s history is certainly a challenge. “There are no history books,” Taylor said. Her research has uncovered interesting stories about the town and its former residents that haven’t been told before. While conducting interviews with older residents of the area and delving into documents about TankTown, Taylor recognized a few missed opportunities. More residents were available to interview in the past, but time has changed that. “I’m going to the next best generation,” Barbara said.

Few people took the opportunity to interview residents before, and consistent records weren’t kept about TankTown, making this exhibit almost necessary to preserve history before it is lost. Should this research and unveiling of TankTown have taken place years before now? “That’s a hard call for me to make. I’m an outsider,” Taylor said. “It is what it is. You can’t turn back the clock. Is it time to do it? You betcha!” Taylor said TankTown hasn’t been talked about to the extent of an exhibit, but believes now is the time. “If we wait another 20 years,” she said, “we’re going to know less and less.”

Want to go?

The Matthews Heritage Museum is open 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday to Saturday at 232 N. Trade St., Matthews.

willing to pitch in or eager to play with the Americans in any way that they could, whether through tag, soccer, Frisbee or just making jokes. The houses were built from the ground up in a matter of hours. After the build was complete, a team member was elected from each group to do a certain task: one would read a Bible story, another would present the family with a solar-powered audio Bible, a third would pray for the family and bless the house, but the most emotional job was done by the person who handed the widow the lock and key to her new home. The volunteer told the widows: “This house, like your salvation from Jesus Christ, is a free gift from God.” None of the widows are required to pay any money for the new house, and nobody can ever take it away from them, Manos de Jesus works closely with community leaders to procure this arrangement for each of their houses. When the widow of the home is handed the lock and key, the fact that this home is truly hers, built by a group of strangers out of the pure goodness of their hearts and their willingness to serve Jesus, is sometimes too much. Tears leaked out of Guatemalan and American eyes alike each day. Families were

ABOVE: Hundreds of children were fed during the week-long mission trip. BELOW: After building the homes, church members presented them to widows. The exchange tended to be emotional for both parties. Kieran Mouritsen/UCW photos

truly thankful of the work these servants of God were doing for them. When the church volunteer group wasn’t building homes, they were assisting at one of the three Chichicastenango area feeding stations, playing with the children and singing along as they learned about Jesus and His love for them. Although the songs are sung in the native language known as Quiche, the church members did their best to follow the motions and keep smiles on their faces, showing the children of Guatemala the true goodness of God and all He does. After singing, dancing and learning about God, the children are ushered out of the classroom to a large shelter filled with tables where they are handed bowls of food and a plastic cup of

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water. The food is often not consumed at the shelter, but rather put into a bag or some sort of container, courtesy of Manos de Jesus, to take home to the children’s families. Despite all of the work that Manos de Jesus is doing to help the area of Chichicastenango, there is still much to be done before the community is self-sustaining. The group from Morning Star Lutheran left July 20 knowing they had done God’s work, but eager to spread the word and return

to help more families in any way they could. In the same way, they encourage all who are willing, all who believe themselves to posses the hands of God, to help wherever they can.


with the money. Superstreet intersections prohibit drivers on a minor road from driving straight across or making a standard left turn. Instead, they have to perform a U-turn into a “bulb,” and yield before merging back into traffic. Cole called these turns “net lefts” and “net throughs.” He said they reduced the amount of conflict points at an intersection from 32 to 14.

(continued from page 1A)

meant to help speed up the widening of Old Monroe Road, before the superstreet entered the equation. Council members were hoping to use the bond money as leverage to change the state’s mind about the superstreet. Now that it’s been seven years and no progress has been made, council members aren’t sure what to do

Kieran Mouritsen is a member of Morning Star Lutheran Church.

Want more info?

Visit www.prayamerica. org to learn more, donate to the cause, or to sign up your own volunteer group.


Join us at 9am @ Calvary Church in Charlotte, NC for our fun-filled Senior Expo! Breakfast and Lunch will be provided as we showcase senior resources and enjoy food, fun, and fellowship! Register to attend by calling 704-849-2261 or email

COMMUNITY Matthews-Mint Hill Weekly • Aug. 3, 2018 • Page 1B

Tony Marciano Reverend

Help – I’m an HOA board president


Charlotte Cirque and Dance Center offers various classes and camps. Paul Nielsen/MMHW photo

Dance center offers aerial twist by Paul Nielsen

CHARLOTTE — The Charlotte Cirque and Dance Center has been a beehive of activity this summer, hosting classes and camps. But then again, the center is always pretty busy. The center specializes in aerial silks, contemporary dance, lyra, trapeze, jazz, acrobatics, hip-hop, Spanish web, hand balancing and ballet, to name a few. It offers classes for youth and adults. Classes range from a more structured schedule to an unlimited option, which is like belonging to a gym where people can take unlimited classes. The center also hosts week-long summer camps. But as the school summer break wound down in late July, the Summer Intensive class had Charlotte Cirque and Dance Center director Caroline Calouche’s full attention. Students were on the go, working on trapezes and performing dance routines. “Summer Intensive is geared towards youth, teens, those 12-and-up, but we have some college kids, as well,” Calouche said. “They are interested in doing dance and circus arts as a profession. We give them extra push. There are a lot of dances ranging

from musical theater, to silks, to trapeze, to ballet, both classical ballet and contemporary.” There are also classes and camps for students who want to learn routines while having fun. “We have a range for all expertise levels and desires,” Calouche said. “We range from novice to professionals.” The center’s teaching philosophy values creativity, support, understanding and community. The staff teaches skills and technique and the faculty also focuses on helping students see dance as a form of expression and an art form. This involves having a student problem-solve how to use their body, mind and soul to convey meaning. Teachers have college degrees in dance or certificates in aerial arts or fitness techniques like Pilates. Calouche chooses faculty members who will support the growth of students through positive teaching methods and focused on the art of dance. “We have a very diverse staff,” Calouche said.

Want to go?

Charlotte Cirque and Dance Center will have a fall open house Aug. 18 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The center, located at 9215 Monroe Road, hosts birthday parties and bachelorette parties.

Students gets hands-on teaching at the summer camps at Charlotte Cirque and Dance Center. Paul Nielsen/MMHW photo


any years ago, when George H.W. Bush was running for President, he uttered these famous words in a debate, “Read my lips, no new taxes.” It won him the presidency. It cost him the re-election. Try being a homeowners association board president when you are trying to raise the dues. No one rises and calls you blessed. No one thanks you for your volunteer leadership and sacrifice. No one is grateful that you are looking out for the best interests of the community. What I learned is that they “smear” you on Facebook. When the newsletter came out asking for the homeowners to vote to raise dues, the social media ranting began. It was similar to being on the editorial page of the local newspaper. You can’t do anything right. One homeowner not only said “evil” about me on Facebook, she emailed our property management company. I captured her address and decided to pay her a surprise visit. I stopped at her house, rang the bell and asked for her. When she came to the door I greeted her by saying, “I heard I’m graying your hair for free.” She looked at me very puzzled. My next sentence was “Do you know who I am?” Silence. I continued with, “We met 10 years ago.” Silence. I said, “I’m your HOA president.” We had the best conversation. I let her talk as she shared with me her frustrations about the neighborhood. I let her know I shared most of her frustrations. I showed her how I was planning to improve the board and the community. I left her house, having made a friend. Why are we so terrified of conflict? There are so many reasons. One reason is that we want people to like us. Therefore, we don’t confront people. We hope the problem just goes away. It doesn’t. I have a friend who, I think, has a codependent relationship with God. When she gets into a difficult situation, she doesn’t address it. Rather, she prays and asks God to change the situation. Yes, I believe in prayer. I also believe that God will give us the strength to address difficult situations. see FAITH, Page 3B

New hospital offers volunteer opportunities MINT HILL – Novant Health Mint Hill Medical Center opens Oct. 1 and is seeking adult volunteers who have excellent customer service skills and a love for helping people. Here are a few opportunities: • Guest services lobby & surgical services lounge ambassador – Welcome, greet and provide information and assistance to people entering the hospital or provide updates to family and friends waiting during a loved one’s procedure. Must enjoy talking with people and walking. Hours will vary between 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. • Golf cart driver – Create a re-

markable ride for visitors coming into the facility. Must be at least 18 years old with a valid driver’s license. Hours will vary between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. • Gift Shop Ambassador – Provide cheerful customer assistance in the retail area. Hours will vary from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. • Emergency Department Volunteer – Greet, welcome and provide comfort measures to patients waiting in the emergency department. Hours will vary. The hospital asks volunteers commit to at least six months or 100

hours of volunteer service per year. Most volunteers provide a minimum of one four-hour shift per week.

Want to learn more?

Attend one of the hospital's upcoming volunteer information sessions 10 a.m. to noon Aug. 10, 17, 24 and 30, as well as 4 to 6 p.m. Aug. 23 at the Mint Hill Public Library community room, 6840 Matthews-Mint Hill Road. Email Kris Wright at Kawright@novanthealth. org to access the volunteer application, or call 704-384-4959 with questions.

CMPD Animal Care & Control

Orphaned Animals Available for Adoption

8315 Byrum Drive


Novant Health is two months away from opening its latest hospital. Photo courtesy of Novant Health

Name: Tommy ID: A1140462 Age: 2 years Weight: 61 lbs Sex: Neutered Date of Arrival: 6/22/18 - Stray Adoption fee: $10 plus donation Vaccinations: Has all required vaccinations


Name: Blaze ID: A1140189 Breed Mix: Shorthair Siamese Age: 3 months Sex: Neutered Date of Arrival: 6/16/18 - Stray Vaccinations: Has all required vaccinations

CMPD Animal Care & Control also holds an adoption event

the first Saturday of each month at the SouthPark Mall located at 4400 Sharon Road

Page 2B • Matthews-Mint Hill Weekly • Aug. 3, 2018

According to some industry experts, there are over 33 physicals problems that will come under scrutiny during a home inspection. A new report titled “11 Things You Need to Know to Pass Your Home Inspection” identifies the most common problems found, and what to do before listing your home. If your home is old or new, there are several things required in order to pass a home inspection. Know that if any of these 11 items are flagged it could cost you dearly and that is why this free report is critical to read before marketing your home. Remember if a building inspector flags any of these 11 items that could cost you delays at your closing, or worse, possibly losing a potential buyer. This report can be very helpful in guiding you through a reasonable pre-inspection of your own, and points out what you need to look for. So if you’re considering listing Call 1-800-706-3433 enter code 1789 today and receive your copy of “11 Things You Need to Know to Pass Your Home Inspection.”


Tap Stickup Carolina Beer Temple highlights Heist in A Tap Stickup. Drink some of the brand's most popular beers, including Bananas Foster Flambe and Blurred Up. Call 704 847-2337 or visit for details. 6 to 11 p.m.; 131 Matthews Station St., Matthews Music Bingo Top Shelf Promotions presents Music Bingo at CharBar No. 7. Visit for details. 7 to 9 p.m.; 3118 Fincher Farm Road, Matthews

Aug. 3

Ribbon Cutting Fine Art Dentistry holds a ribbon cutting and open house to celebrates its membership in the Matthews Chamber of Commerce. Visit for details. Noon to 1 p.m.; 1230 Mann Drive, Matthews Movie Screening The Mint Hill Library screens the PG-rated film “Coco.” Call 704-4165200 or for details. 2 to 3:45 p.m.; 6840 Matthews-Mint Hill Road, Mint Hill Cruise In Classic Cruisers of Monroe holds a Hwy 51 Cruise In at Mint Hill Festival. The event allows people to check out classic cars. 6 to 9 p.m.; 6908 Matthews-Mint Hill Road, Mint Hill

Aug. 4

Mayor Meet-Up Mayor Paul Bailey invites the community for a meet and greet at Jonathan's restaurant. 8 a.m.; 10630 Independence Pointe Pkwy., Matthews Run Club Temple Mojo's run club takes on the 4 Mile Creek Greenway and meets back at the shop for coffee or breakfast. Call 704-246-8196 for details. 8 to 9 a.m.; 195 N. Trade St., Matthews Sidewalk Sale Servant’s Heart hosts a sidewalk sale with great deals on merchandise. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; 9229 Lawyers Road, Mint Hill Paws to Read Children, ages 3 to 11, read to a therapy dog at the Mint Hill Library. The Paws to Read program is design to increase children’s reading skills. Register in advance. Call 704-4165000 or visit for details. 10:30 to 11:30 a.m.; 6840 Matthews-Mint Hill Road, Mint Hill Women's Health Total Being Yoga and Compleat Rehab and Sports Therapy partner on an outreach event to educate women on the importance of pelvic floor health. The event includes drinks and appetizers. Donations are encouraged to support The Inked Phoenix Project. Visit www.totalbe for details. 1 to 2:30 p.m.; 7427 Matthews-Mint Hill Road, Mint Hill Patio Party Qdoba houses live music, games and prizes at its Party on the Patio . Check out the restaurant's new look. 5 to 9 p.m.; 2233 Matthews Township Pkwy., Matthews Music Bingo Top Shelf Promotions presents Music Bingo at Dunwellz Custom Kitchen and Pour House. Visit www. or call 704-545-1505. 8 p.m.; 7110 Brighton Park Drive, Mint Hill

Aug. 5

Music Matchup HeadTilt Entertainment tests knowledge in Music Matchup at Beantown Tavern. Call 704-8492023 or visit www.beantowntavern. com for details. 7 to 9 p.m.; 130 Matthews Station St., Matthews

Aug. 7

Coffee With a Cop The Mint Hill Police Department invites the community to Coffee with a Cop at Nova's Bakery. The event is

an opportunity for the community to connect with police officers. Visit for details. 9 to 10 a.m.; 3565 Matthews-Mint Hill Road, Mint Hill Night Out The Matthews Police Department hosts National Night Out festivities in front of Matthews Town Hall. The event includes bounce house, live music and opportunity to get to know neighbors and police officers. 6 p.m.; 232 Matthews Station St., Matthews Night Out The Mint Hill Police Department hosts National Night Out at Mint Hill Veterans Memorial Park. The event focuses on crime prevention. 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.; 8850 Fairview Road, Mint Hill Wine Tasting Seaboard Brewing holds a wine tasting, featuring five drinks. The tasting costs $10. Call 704-246-8323 or visit for details. 6 to 8 p.m.; 213 N. Trade St., Matthews Run Club Carolina Beer Temple's run club takes on 1, 3 or 5 mile routes throughout downtown and meets back for beer. Visit for details. 6:45 p.m.; 131 Matthews Station St., Matthews Season Garden The Successful Gardener leads a garden class at Renfrow Farms. Tickets cost $20. Visit www.jeffrieves. com for details. 6:30 p.m.; 409 W. Charles St., Matthews Beer Yoga Hero Fitness Charlotte holds a yoga class Tuesdays and Wednesdays at Temple Mojo. Tickets cost $10, which includes a 16-ounce craft beer. Call 704-246-8196 for details. 7 to 8 p.m. 195 N. Trade St., Matthews

Aug. 22

Pro Soccer Charlotte Independence plays the Louisville City FC in United Soccer League action at Matthews Sportsplex. Ticket prices vary. Visit for details. 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.; 1505 Tank Town Road, Matthews

Aug. 24

Food Trucks Coconut Groove Band headlines the Food Truck Fridays series at Stumptown Park. The festival includes food and activities. Visit for details. 5 to 9 p.m.; 120 S. Trade St., Matthews

Aug. 26

Business Luncheon Robert Kinney, a financial professional with Prudential, serves as keynote speaker of the Mint Hill Chamber of Commerce's monthly member luncheon at Jimmies Restaurant. Register in advance. Call 704-573-8282 or visit www.min for details. 11:30 a.m.; 7024 Brighton Park Drive, Mint Hill

Sept. 1

Pro Soccer Charlotte Independence plays the Nashville SC in United Soccer League action at Matthews Sportsplex. Ticket prices vary. Visit www. for details. 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.; 1505 Tank Town Road, Matthews

Sept. 6

Aug. 7-8

Bike & Brews Mojo Cycles hosts Bike & Brews on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Ride up to 30 mile routes and finish it off with a beer. Call 704-246-8196 for details. 6 to 8 p.m.; 105 W. Charles St., Matthews

Aug. 8

Music Matchup HeadTilt Entertainment presents Music Matchup at Pour 64. Test your music knowledge. Call 980-5851051 for details. 7 to 9 p.m.; 4410 Mint Hill Village Lane, Mint Hill Pro Soccer Charlotte Independence plays the Bethlehem Steel FC in United Soccer League action at Matthews Sportsplex. Ticket prices vary. Visit for details. 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.; 1505 Tank Town Road, Matthews Music Bingo Top Shelf Promotions presents Music Bingo at Moochies Tavern. Visit for details. 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.; 15060 Idlewild Road, Matthews

Aug. 9

Music Bingo Temple Mojo remixes the classic game of bingo by allowing patrons to fill up cards by identifying snippets of songs. The taproom hosts the event, dubbed Mingo, Thursdays, except the first of the month. Call 704-246-8196 for details. 7 p.m.; 195 N. Trade St., Matthews Music Bingo Top Shelf Promotions presents Music Bingo at CharBar No. 7. Visit for details. 7 to 9 p.m.; 3118 Fincher Farm Road, Matthews Music Matchup HeadTilt Entertainment presents Music Matchup at Temple Mojo. Call 704-246-8196 for details. 7 to 9 p.m.; 195 N. Trade St., Matthews

Aug. 10

cert Series at Stumptown Park. The event takes place on the second and fourth Fridays of the month through September. Visit www.matthewsnc. gov for details. 5 to 9 p.m.; 120 S. Trade St., Matthews

Food Trucks The Catalinas bring beach music to the Food Truck Fridays & Con-

Golf Tourney The Mint Hill Chamber of Commerce holds its sixth annual golf tournament at Olde Sycamore Golf Plantation. Registration is required to play. Registration costs $100 to play. Sponsorships range from $150 to $1,500. Entry fees include lunch, dinner, snacks and raffle ticket. Call 704-573-8282 for details. 1 p.m.; 7500 Olde Sycamore Drive, Mint Hill

Sept. 8

Pro Soccer Charlotte Independence plays the Richmond Kickers in United Soccer League action at Matthews Sportsplex. Ticket prices vary. Visit for details. 7 p.m.; 1505 Tank Town Road, Matthews

Sept. 14

Food Trucks Acoustic South headlines the Food Truck Fridays series at Stumptown Park. The festival includes food and activities. Visit www.mat for details. 5 to 9 p.m.; 120 S. Trade St., Matthews

Sept. 28

Food Trucks The Entertainers headlines the Food Truck Fridays series at Stumptown Park. The festival includes food and activities. Visit www.mat for details. 5 to 9 p.m.; 120 S. Trade St., Matthews


Heritage Exhibit The Matthews Heritage Museum showcases tools used in our lifetime that have become obsolete in its latest exhibit, “Widgets and Thinga-ma-Jigs, Part Three: An Exhibit of the Mostly Forgotten.” The exhibit takes place Thursdays to Saturdays through Sept. 1. A small admission fee is charged. Children under 10 get in free. The first Saturday of every month is free for all. The museum will be free to all active military personnel and their families through Labor Day. Call 704-708-4996 or visit www.matthewsheritagemuseum. org for details. 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; 232 N. Trade St., Matthews

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Matthews-Mint Hill Weekly • Aug. 3, 2018 • Page 3B


The Sandbox inspires people to use their gifts where they can National Night Out connects the community with law enforcement. MMHW file photo

Showing of solidarity Communities celebrate National Night Out Neighborhoods throughout Matthews and Mint Hill are invited to join thousands of communities nationwide Aug. 7 for the 35th annual National Night Out. The event encourages neighborhoods to gather as a community and get to know one another, along with police officers. The event is designed to heighten crime and drug prevention awareness, strengthen neighborhood spirit and police partnerships, while also sending a message to criminals that neighborhoods are organized and committed to safety. The Town of Matthews will hold its National Night Out event 7 to 9 p.m. Aug. 7 at the town green in front of town hall, 232 Matthews Station St. Police and fire departments will be there, along with representatives from the Mecklenburg County District Attorney’s Office and home security companies. Other attractions include a bounce house and food specials. The Mint Hill event will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Aug. 7 at Mint Hill Veterans Memorial Park, 8850 Fairview Road. In addition to meeting law enforcement, attractions include a bicycle safety course, K-9 demonstration and snow cones. The City of Charlotte is holding National Night Out in conjunction with its 250th anniversary. Neighborhoods throughout the city will mark the occasion with block parties, cookouts and other gatherings. The city encourages people to leave their porch lights on from 7 to 10 p.m. to demonstrate alertness.

by Justin Vick

CHARLOTTE – Mara Campolungo felt called to honor the legacy of her late brother, a doctor who worked tirelessly to help everyone he met. Campolungo Campolungo and her husband, Neil, decided to adopt a family at Levine’s Children’s Hospital. But when Campolungo visited the hospital, she learned a sobering truth. “I don’t want your teddy bears,” a tired mother told her. Stunned, Campolungo asked what her family actually needed. The answer proved to be as simple as picking up lotion and household supplies at Walmart. “This woman taught me how to be an executive director,” Campolungo said. “What I realized was that I was going to start using my gifts and talents in a different way.” This experience evolved into what is now known as The Sandbox, a charity that helps families cope with their children’s life-changing illnesses. At the charity’s core is CARRE – Caring About Real Relationships Empathetically. Campolungo believes anyone can use their gifts and talents to impact the world, or at the very least, their community. Jacinda Jacobs learned about The Sandbox at a time in her life when she questioned her calling. A television reporter at the time, Jacobs wanted to focus on stories that were meaningful. She met Campolungo through her work. Jacobs has since become an author, public speaker and loyal volunteer at The Sandbox. She recently talked about meeting one special girl at The Sandbox that changed her life. Her name was Abby Wright. Abby, who is now 18, was diagnosed in utero with a rare form of dwarfism. Doctors didn’t think she’d live past 3. Jacobs was inspired to see a young girl go through so much, yet smile through it all and still want to help other children. “Her family still has so much love and

Abby Wright gives back to The Sandbox, a charity that has helped her cope with hardship. Photo courtesy of The Sandbox

compassion to serve other people,” Jacobs said. “It just rearranges your life to what’s important and what matters.” Abby became a youth mentor at The Sandbox. She’s also helped with marketing, selling raffle tickets and serving as an ambassador for the charity that has helped her through the years. “She gives in a way that is authentic to her,” Campolungo said. “We take our workshop anywhere and everywhere people will hear our message, and I’m grateful because Abby has given her life and service to The Sandbox.” Independence High School student Caroline Backus is another example of someone using her gifts to influence the community despite medical hardship. Backus received the Dr. Timothy J Nugent NWBA High School Academic-All American Honorable Mention for her role with the Charlotte Rollin’ Hornets wheelchair basketball team. She also surfs, water-skis and runs track. “She happens to have cerebral palsy but she doesn’t realize it,” Campolungo quipped. Not only that, but she also mentors children at The Sandbox. “I wanted to be a youth mentor because I got to experience fun,” Backus said, noting how she went on trips to the beach and became friends with her mentors. “I want to be able to create that bond with another family and help them out and always be there for

them.” Campolungo met the Kelsin family around Christmas more than five years ago, when Grace was brought home from the hospital. Grace was diagnosed with a heart condition that requires a lot of surgery and physical therapy. “The medical odds have been constantly against Grace, but their family’s faith, Grace’s tenacity and their love has overcome so much,” Campolungo said. “Amidst all of this, this family uses their gifts and talents of unconditional love, compassion and empathy and they serve on The Sandbox as the family liaison to our families.” The Kelsins attended Charlotte Media Group’s Women@Work Luncheon in May, which benefited The Sandbox. During the luncheon, the charity’s volunteers asked attendees to brainstorm ways in which they could give back to this family. After five minutes, tables generated more than a dozen ways in which they could help the family, ranging from providing free babysitting to taking Grace’s sister, Wisdom, on a girl’s day out. The exercise was designed to show everyone how easy it is to “give where you live.”

Want to help?

Learn more about The Sandbox by visiting The Sandbox is located at 9935 Rea Road.

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Jacinda Jacobs talks about her experiences working with The Sandbox at the Women@Work Luncheon on May 11 at Waverly Hilton Garden Inn. MMHW file photo

Why are we so terrified of conflict? There are so many reasons. One reason is that we want people to like us. Therefore, we don’t confront people. We hope the problem just goes away. It doesn’t.”

FAITH (continued from page 1B)

Remember, Jesus called the religious leaders of his day a bunch of blood-sucking vipers. Not exactly a page out of the book by Dale Carnegie, “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” There is a Scripture verse that says, “Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary: “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his

• The Rev. Tony Marciano head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” It’s interesting that it says, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you.” Conflict is inevitable. We think we should skip through the fields, pick daisies and never disagree with anyone. That’s not what this Scripture is saying. It is telling us conflict will come. What will you do? I will confess to you I wanted to write a very nasty Facebook response to my neighbor. I’m glad I didn’t. I took the high road and made a friend, instead of an enemy. I’ll be back soon. Until then, live well my friend. The Rev. Tony Marciano is the executive director of the Charlotte Rescue Mission. Visit for details.

Page 4B • Matthews-Mint Hill Weekly • Aug. 3, 2018

Independence to host 2018 Liga MX Champions

The Charlotte Independence has generated good crowds this season. They will host an international squad for the first time at the Sportsplex at Matthews. Photo courtesy of Charlotte Independence

CHARLOTTE – The Charlotte Independence pro soccer team will face off with the current Liga MX Champions Club Santos Laguna S.A. de C.V. in an international friendly match on Sept. 5 at the Sportsplex at Matthews. Santos Laguna is reigning Champions of Liga MX Clausura in the top division of the Mexican Football Federation. A sixtime League Champion, Santos Laguna is based out of Torreón, Coahuila, Mexico and plays home matches at Territorio Santos Modelo, home to Estadio Corona. Not only does the team average a league title once every five years – the most of any Mexican club – Santos Laguna holds the record for most goals scored in CONCACAF Champions League with 120. “This game is a great opportunity for

players to play a game against a top International club,” said Independence head coach Mike Jeffries. “I am really happy for the organization and our players. It will be a day where we hope to get an incredible turnout and make it a really fun evening." "We're looking forward to knowing Charlotte, which is a new territory for us, and using the international break to keep our competition level high by playing against the Charlotte Independence,” said Santos Laguna, vice president of football, Jose Riestra. “I have no doubt that we will return to Torreon with nothing but a positive experience." Beyond the first-team’s on-field success, Santos Laguna is the only club in Mexico as a two-time U17 and U20 title champion in the same tournament. Additionally, the club is celebrating 11 years of a social responsibility program called Guerreros de Corazón, which in-

volves weekly community engagement of the first-team and youth teams within their communities. Since 2015, Santos has held 20 charitable activities in the United States. “Santos Laguna is a highly respected club for both their work on and off the field. A game like this is important to us as we expand our profile in the community,” said Independence General Manager Tom Engstrom. This will be the second international friendly match hosted by the Independence after setting a franchise attendance record vs Swansea City AFC of the English Premier League in front of a sold-out crowd in July 2016. The match will be the first International match hosted at the newly expanded Sportsplex at Matthews stadium. Buy tickets at www.charlotteindepen or call the front office at 704206-1515.

Southern Range experiences statewide demand for its beer by Lee Noles Contributor

MONROE – It was a little more than six months ago when Dustin Gatliff began thinking about taking his homemade beer from Southern Range Brewing Company and distributing it throughout Charlotte. He quickly realized he needed to adjust his thinking. “(The distributors) started to get a lot of requests from cities in other parts of the state,” said Gaitliff, who opened Southern Range with his wife, Elise, more than two years ago. “It’s pretty awesome when people want to drink the beer you make.” Southern Range’s signature, Hopsequences, can now be found from one side of North Carolina to the other. It’s sold in Wilmington, Asheville, Charlotte, Raleigh and Durham. Gatliff said he recently sent out 64 cases of the brewery’s New England IPA to bottle shops and specialty stores around the state with more requests made just a week after the initial order. “The distributors are having a hard time keeping it in stock,” Gatliff said of Hopse-

quences. The demand has Gatliff having to reconfigure the brewery. He installed a canning line a few months ago while also switching from 12-barrel tanks to two tanks each containing 20 barrels. Gatliff said the additional size of the tanks has cut down on time for beer production from 20 hours to seven. “We can do bigger batches quicker,” Gatliff said. “It allows us to play with different styles and flavors. We can still do the same favorites, but we also can try new things. It’s way more efficient.” The changes are a far cry from five years ago, when Gatliff made beer as a hobby in his garage. The idea of opening a brewery was just a conversation starter while sitting with friends. He opened Southern Range without the aid of loans and financial assistance. He did much of the work on the building himself. When it came to distributing beer, Gatliff said he wasn’t much of a salesperson, so he hired someone to get the product out to the public. Things were going well until March, when Gatliff’s salesperson left for another business opportunity. The vacancy allowed Gatliff to hire Artisan Beverage out of Char-

lotte to handle sales for Southern Range. Gatliff said talking with owners of other breweries made the decision to go with Artisan Beverage easy because of its reputation of helping smaller beer companies compete for business against larger corporations. “Their portfolio is top notch when it comes to beer,” Gatliff said of Artisan Beverage. “They don’t mess around.” Having a distributor and more advanced equipment has allowed Gatliff the chance to refocus on creating new kinds of beer. Always trying to stay up on the latest trend in the brewery business, Gatliff is developing flavors which contain mango, passion fruit and guava, a tropical fruit mainly found in Mexico and Central America. He would like to start distributing Hopsequences as soon as possible, along with another popular beer from the brewery known as Blood Orange. “We are trying to do it all for the cans,” said Gatliff of distribution. One of the neat things for Gatliff is keeping up with who is having a beer from Southern Range through Instagram. Gatliff said patrons take photos of beer cans from his brewery and leave comments about where

they drink it around the state. “It’s amazing,” Gatliff said. “It’s a dream come true. There is such a demand for our beer. I guess it can be a good thing and a bad thing. Good that we are selling out, but kind of bad in trying to keep up with the demand.”

Want to go?

Southern Range Brewing Company is located at 151 S. Stewart St., Monroe. Find it locally at the following locations: • Carolina Beer Temple, 131 Matthews Station St., Matthews. • Mac's Speed Shop, 142 E. John St., Matthews. • Moe's Original BBQ, 111 Matthews Station St., Matthews. • Dunwellz Custom Kitchen and Pour House, 7110 Brighton Park Drive, Mint Hill. • Hill Bar and Grill, 11232 Lawyers Road, Mint Hill. • Custom Home Pubs, 1640 Sardis Road, Charlotte. Visit or call 704-289-4049 for details.

DINING SCORES Health departments in Mecklenburg and Union inspected these restaurants July 20 to 26: Matthews • Cafe 157, 157 N. Trade St. – 99 • Chick-fil-A, 6390 Weddington Road – 95.5 • Food Lion (deli/bakery), 3609 Matthews-Mint Hill Road – 99 • Food Lion (market), 3609 Matthews-Mint Hill Road – 100 • Food Lion (produce), 3609 Matthews-Mint Hill Road – 98.5 • Genghis Grill, 9727 E. Independence Blvd. – 98 • Sante, 165 N. Trade St. – 95 • The Belle Grille, 3022 Weddington Road – 96

• Wendy's, 11145 E. Independence Blvd. – 97.5 Mint Hill • Bojangles, 11420 Beaver Farms Road – 99.5 • Pizza Hut, 9229 Lawyers Road – 94 Charlotte (28227) • China Saute, 9248 Albemarle Road – 98.5 • Circle K, 7208 E. Independence Blvd. – 97.5 • Hop Feng II, 9229 Lawyers Road – 94.5 • Taziki's Mediterranean Cafe, 7107 Waverly Walk Ave. – 95 Charlotte (28270) Chinese Chopstick • Restaurant, 9626 Monroe Road – 95 • Pizza Hut, 9614 Monroe

Waxhaw Community Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad, Inc. PO Box 1258 • 3500 Waxhaw ParkwayWaxhaw, North Carolina 28173 Business: 704-843-4001 FAX: 704-843-4362

The Waxhaw VFD is seeking qualified personnel for part-time employment as a firefighter/EMT. If you are interested in applying, please obtain an application from our website (, at Station 18 (3500 Waxhaw Pkwy), or send an e-mail to You may return the application in person, via USPS, or e-mail. Requirements for Staff Position 1. 21 years old 2. Valid North Carolina Class B/South Carolina Class E within six months of hire. 3. Clear back ground check 4. North Carolina certified Firefighter, EMT, & HazMat Operations

Compensation 1. Starting pay is $12.00 per hour 2. Accident and Sickness policy 3. A 401(k) is available through the department and the NCSFFA 4. Line of Duty Death benefits provided by the State and Federal Government 5. We do not provide personal insurance of any other type 6. The department does not offer vacation or sick leave nor do we offer light duty work in the event of an injury/illness

• Subway, 6751 Old Monroe

Indian Trail

Road – 97.5 • Providence Meadows, 4123 Kuykendall Road – 96.5 • The Southern Gourmet, 9101 Monroe Road – 97.5

Crossword “A couple of years ago I was the answer to number 1-Down in the New York Times crossword puzzle,” says best-selling author 1-Across. “At first I was like ‘This is the greatest day of my life.’ But then my brother-in-law pointed out that it was a Saturday puzzle,” which is the hardest of the week. “The clues are so obscure, no one is supposed to know them. He basically told me that until I’m in the Monday or Tuesday puzzle, I’m [24-, 38- and 52-Across].” ACROSS 1 See blurb 9 Sore spot 16 Convenient to carry 17 Region around San Francisco 18 Strike a chord 19 Check for flaws 20 On the ___ (fleeing) 21 Zilch 23 Ja Rule hit that includes the lyric “Wash away your tears” 24 See blurb 29 Falls behind 30 Santa ___ winds 31 Playbill listing 32 ___-friendly

33 Perform in a play 35 Go bad 38 See blurb 44 Bridal path 45 ___ Enterprise 46 “The Catcher in the ___” 47 “Later, old chap” 49 Apple apps use it 51 One of the Three Bears 52 See blurb 57 The “A” of U.A.E. 58 Effortlessness 59 Fútbol cheer 60 Threatening person 62 Military vehicle used for reconnaissance








Hungry for more?

The New York Times Syndication Corporation 99 Road – Sales E. Inde13812 • Bojangles, 620Blvd. Eighth Avenue, New •York, N.Y. 10018 6751 Old House, The Trail – 93.5 pendence For Information Call:Monroe 1-800-972-3550 Road – 96 610 S. Indian • Great China, For Release Tuesday, January 30, 2018 – 97.5 Trail Road







67 Mark never seen in an online crossword 68 Main city in Chile 69 Snow White’s sister 70 No-show DOWN 1 First full month of spring: Abbr. 2 Coffee, slangily 3 Third-year students: Abbr. 4 Islands surrounding lagoons 5 Venice thoroughfare 6 Appointer of Sotomayor and Kagan to the Supreme Court 7 Sandwich that’s often stuck with toothpicks 8 Welcomed at the door 9 Tolerate 10 Hackneyed 11 Method: Abbr. 12 Chemical symbol for tungsten 13 Puts up 14 Like some handshakes and formulas 15 Lecherous deity 22 “Halt!,” to a sailor 24 Killed, as a dragon 25 Chalupa alternative

Visit www.matthewsminthill for more restaurant inspections.

Edited by Will Shortz 1








No. 1226 9





19 20





29 32



22 28












58 61

























59 62








26 Dr. Frankenstein’s assistant 27 Deadly 28 Vaping devices 33 Burmese or Persian 34 The “75” of $1.75: Abbr. 36 Second-century pope 37 Clip-___ (certain sunglasses) 39 Collection of information 40 Things used on a bridle path

41 Neighbor of Afghanistan 42 Write using a keyboard 43 Get wind of 47 Bullfighter 48 Yoga positions 50 Ukrainian city on the Black Sea 51 Baking container for a cobbler 52 Debussy work whose title is French for “The Sea” 53 Big name in tractors

54 Dog-___ (like some well-read books) 55 Middays 56 Butt muscle 61 Mean dog 63 Hailed vehicle 64 Burmese or Persian 65 Birthday card number 66 ___ v. Wade

Online subscriptions: Today’s puzzle and more than 7,000 past puzzles, ($39.95 a year). Read about and comment on each puzzle:

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Matthews-Mint Hill Weekly • Aug. 3, 2018 • Page 5B

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Page 6B • Matthews-Mint Hill Weekly • Aug. 3, 2018

Traveling solo? Consider these four tips NEW YORK, N.Y. – Solo travel will always represent one of the largest segments of the travel market. As intrepid lone travelers hit the road this year, TravelInsurance. com recommends some special planning tips to help them travel safely. “Traveling alone can be an exciting, enlightening and personally rewarding adventure, however it's important to be extra vigilant, as traveling solo is not without its own considerations,” said Stan Sandberg, travel expert and co-founder of “While getting off the grid is part of the appeal, sharing your travel plans and checking in with someone at home on a regular basis is important. Equally important, investing in an emergency travel medical and evacuation plan may just save your life. Travel medical and emergency evacuation coverage can be inexpensive and are included in many travel insurance plans.” Here are four things solo travelers can do to minimize risks and ensure a smooth adventure, from • Purchase travel insurance. If something goes wrong on your trip, travel insurance can be almost as good as having a travel companion. Comprehensive travel insurance plans typically include trip cancellation, trip interruption, travel medical, and emergency evacuation coverages, as well as 24/7 global travel assistance. If cash or credit cards are stolen, travel insurance can help you get back on track. If you get sick or injured, a travel insurance plan's global medical assistance services can help navigate a foreign hospital system for you. A comprehensive travel insurance plan with trip cancellation coverage will typically range from 4 to 8 percent of the total trip costs. A plan with just medical and emergency evacuation can cost considerably less. By purchasing an insurance plan, it is almost as if you have someone on your side without having to argue over where to eat each night. • Let someone know where you are going and how to contact you. Designate at least one emergency contact and share your itinerary and any updates with that person. Make a general rule that you update your contact, even briefly, every time you hit an internet cafe or get decent wi-fi coverage on your phone or tablet. Better yet, publish a travel blog along the way or update all of your friends and family with frequent social media posts. But remember, keep your social media profiles private so strangers can't track you down. • Prepare with a Traveler's Checklist. The U.S. State Department has a great Traveler's Checklist which recommends travelers: get informed, get required documents, get enrolled and get insured. Registering with the U.S. State Department's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program provides travel advisory updates on your destination and gives the U.S. embassy a way to reach you. Also, keep a list of your emergency contacts handy, including U.S. embassies or consulates, hotels, and 24/7 Global Assistance phone numbers found in your travel insurance plan. Many of the U.S. embassies and consulates use social media to provide information, so that's another way to stay connected. • Memorialize the adventure. Keeping a travel journal is a great way to reflect on what you are seeing, learning and experiencing. Sharing your travel experiences can be rewarding for both you and your audience. In addition, keep all receipts and documentation for any expenses associated with the trip before and during the vacation. In the event you would need to file a travel insurance claim, receipts and other proof of loss will be needed to receive reimbursements. Visit for more information and travel tips.

Couple travels to 31 countries in nine months with toddler in tow by Paul Nielsen

CHARLOTTE – After 12 years with Red Ventures and rising to president and chief technology officer of the company, Abhishek (A.J.) Ratani decided it was time for he and his wife, Natasha Sandhir, to cross a few items off their bucket list. It turned out to be a long list. And the couple had to pack for three as they took their 2-year-old son, Aarav, along for the ride that would have them gone from their home in Charlotte for almost nine months. The first bucket list item – a cruise to Alaska – was checked off in July 2017 and the last item, at least on this first bucket list – was checked off this past April. Along the way, the family visited six continents and 31 countries and took almost 40 flights and three cruises. A.J. gave Red Ventures a two-year notice of his departure and that is when the couple started to think about what their trip would look like. “We started thinking about the trip years ago,” said A.J., who is a 2002 graduate of the University of Arkansas. “I was working at Red Ventures and things were going really well and we decided it was time for me to leave. We started talking about what we would do after I left and one of the things I always wanted to do is travel. I thought it was time to take a break and do something crazy.” So, the couple started thinking about spots they would like to visit as A.J. prepared for his departure from Red Ventures. “The first conversation we had was when I was pregnant,” Natasha said. “I thought he was bluffing. I set it aside until things became more concrete.” Things got pretty solid as A.J. entered his finals months of work. Planning on the fly Remarkably, the nuts and bolts of planning the trip didn’t start until a few months before their departure. They only planned the first part of the trip, and ended up flying by the seats of their pants for the rest of it. “We had a basic outline, but what we thought we would do and what we ended up doing was completely different,” A.J. said. “We planned the first 30 days and I booked a couple of the cruises, but everything else we planned on the fly. I was booking flights maybe three days before we took the flight. We were not stuck on a schedule. If we liked something, we could stay longer.” “We did check (lodging) inventory beforehand to see what was available,” Natasha said. “Trans-Atlantic flights and cruises are what we did try to book in advance.” But one thing that was set in stone was they would visit countries during the warmer months, which made packing a little easier. “Our strategy was we wanted to see summer basically the whole trip,” A.J. said. “We started in the Northern Hemisphere and then visited the Southern Hemisphere.” “We never saw winter, but we did see cold,” Natasha said. “China was cold. Japan was cold.” The family had just two large checked bags and some carry-on items. They only bought new clothes when needed. And of course, they had a car seat and a stroller, and one bag of toys for Aarav. The only souvenirs they bought on the trip are magnets that nearly cover the couple’s refrigerator in their Charlotte home. The family

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The family saw the great geyser explode in Geysir, Iceland. Photos courtesy of A.J. Ratani

also has around 20,000 photos and 1,000 videos from the trip. “We did not add to the suitcases,” Natasha said. “There was no shopping, and that was hard. The magnets are a memento.” Stops in Australia, India and Dubai to visit family provided a break for the couple and some downtime from the rigors of international travel. “We had fun with them,” A.J. said. Favorite Spots Spain would be one place the couple would return to for an extended visit. “The people are so nice and the people are amazing,” A.J. said. “I just love the laid-back lifestyle.” Patagonia, the Galapagos Islands and China were among the family’s top spots they visited but it was Iceland that really caught their eye. “Iceland is the best place for natural beauty,” A.J said. “We only spent five nights in Iceland, and I wish it was more. What we saw was beautiful. Iceland was unbelievable. The Galapagos Islands were amazing, especially the things we saw underwater.” But where was the best food? “The Chinese food is so different than the Chinese food here. It was unbelievable,” A.J said. “The food is nothing like you taste in the U.S.” Looking back, the couple is glad they traveled the world with their infant son. “We learned so much on this trip, and it wasn’t a piece of cake for sure, but it was so worth it,” A.J. said. “Life is short and you have to take advantage of it.” “It is so amazing to experience it with your child,” Natasha said. “It wasn’t a sprint. It was more like a marathon. We paced ourselves.” Both A.J. and Natasha said they would like to take a similar trip every five to seven years. “We actually have a list for our next trip,” A.J said. “We only did the east coast of China and there is so much more to see in China. We want to work hard for five to seven years, then take a year off to recharge our batteries.” Before the family embarks on its next trip, they have decided to provide advice to other couples thinking about traveling the world with young children with a blog on Facebook and an Instagram account. The Facebook blog is titled: The 2 Idiots Blog. During their trip, the family used the

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hashtag #2idiots1baby on their social media posts. “Many people would say we wouldn’t last and they asked if we were two idiots,” A.J. said with a laugh. “We had so many people ask us, ‘what stroller do you recommend.’ Things like that. We want to let people know you can do this with young children. So, we kept that hashtag for the blog.” “We had so many people ask us about our experience,” Natasha said. Before leaving, the couple shifted all their bills to online payments and they had neighbors check on their house and check the mail just in case something important arrived. They also had to choose a wireless carrier carefully. “T-Mobile has free data in 140 countries and that really helped,” A.J. said. “We had access the whole time, even China.” It looks like that T-Mobile plan is going to come in handy in the future.

ON THE WEB Instagram: www.instagram. com/2idiotstravel Facebook: www.facebook. com/2idiotstravel



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A.J. Ratani and Natasha Sandhir carry their son in the Forbidden City in Beijing.


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Matthews-Mint Hill Weekly Aug. 3  

Vol. 11, Num. 31 Mission trip

Matthews-Mint Hill Weekly Aug. 3  

Vol. 11, Num. 31 Mission trip