SUNDAY December 6, 2009
The coaches of the Rocky River Conference had made their choice for this year’s all-conference team. Find out who made the team and who didn’t inside.
A Mecklenburg county assistant DA may challenge Page 3A John Snyder for job of Union DA
Crowding puts everyone on edge
BY JASON deBRUYN
Santa comes to town The Christmas season arrived in downtown Monroe on Saturday with a visit from Santa and the lighting of the town tree by Mayor Bobby Kilgore who almost got a blast of the real white stuff this year as a winter storm was expected to dump snow on many Southern communities. Above, Emily Evelyn, 4, of Monroe, gives Santa a grateful hug after telling him about a few of the things she’d like for him to bring for Christmas. Below, Lindsay Hasty, of Monroe, and manager of The Renn’s Nest on Main Street, puts the final touches on the lighted Christmas tree in the front window of the store. The Renn’s Nest was one of several businesses participating in the downtown festivities staying open late and offering ‘open house’ specials for their shoppers.
MONROE The Union County jail is overcrowded to the point that prisoners are sometimes three to a cell with a mattress on the ground. “It’s not right,” said Loretta Gaddy, whose friend, Christopher Eugene Huff, is a prisoner at the jail. Gaddy said that visitations are also cut short. With so many prisoners, there are more visitors; because there is limited space for “When visitation, everything is cut short. you put more Union County people in a conSheriff ’s Capt. fined place, you Ronnie Whitaker, the jail adminisdo have more trator, said the tension,” he overcrowding has raised the level of said. “It’s going tension in the jail to create more not only for the chances for prisoners but the guards as well. altercations.” “When you put more people in a Ronnie Whitaker confined place, you do have more Captain tension,” he said. Sheriff’s Office “It’s going to create more chances for altercations,” especially when people from diverse backgrounds with diverse habits are forced to live almost on top of each other, he added. The jail technically has 264 beds, but Whitaker said that number is misleading. There are different classifications of prisoners and each group has a certain number of beds. There are 24 beds classified for short term such as medi-
E-J photos by Rick Crider
See JAIL / Page 15A
Man and Woman of Year are chosen BY TIFFANY LANE
MONROE Every Sunday for 17 years, “The Biscuit Man” makes his rounds — a nursing home, a hospice house, then maybe to those just “not doing well.” Isom Franklin “I.F.” Plyler Jr. is Union County’s Man of the Year. Born and raised on a cotton farm in Union County, the former county commissioner established the local livestock auction facility, but divides his first passion among thousands of young and elderly locals. Armed with fresh fruit and sugar-free candy, I.F. Plyler has driven more than 53,000 miles to Hospice of Union County,
Service to others • President of the N.C. Cattleman’s Association for more than 20 years • Inductee into Plyler the N.C. Agriculture Hall of Fame in 2000 and 2005 • Union County commissioner from 1962 to 1965, chairman for the last year • Member of Benton Heights Presbyterian Church since 1950
See MAN / Page 16A
What’s Inside 8A 10-11A 14A Insert 4B 12A
High: 49 Low: 32 Full report: Page 14A
Tension mounts at jail
By Karen Cimino Wilson
Brides Business Calendar Comics Classified Health
County prison chief gets position
See TARLTON / Page 15A
Sun today then increasing clouds and more rain by midweek. Highs will be in the mid-50s.
All Conference Picks
The state has funded a new Superior Court judge position for the county and District Court Judge Page 3A Chris Bragg wants the job.
Media General News Service MOUNT PLEASANT When the Union Correction Center in Monroe closed in October because of state budget cuts that shut down seven prisons statewide, Ron Tarlton thought he had retired. Barely a week passed before he decided to come out of retirement and take over as superintendent at the Cabarrus Correctional Center, a minimum custody prison for adult males located in Mount Pleasant. “I wasn’t really sure at my stage in the career that I really wanted to relocate anywhere else,” he said. “But after I reconsidered a little bit and did a little bit of research the, Cabarrus facility was not that much farther away.” Tarlton began his career with the N.C. Department of Correction in 1982, working as a correctional officer for the Union Correctional Center. He worked at the center for 27 years and was promoted to superintendent of the facility in 2006. “I would really rather retire on my own terms when I get ready to rather than retiring just because I didn’t have a place to go,” he said. The Union Correctional Center offered GED preparation and vocational classes to inmates and had one of the largest work release programs in the state, Tarlton said. Now Tarlton said he would like to expand the work release program at the Cabarrus prison, which is located on Dutch Road in Mount Pleasant. Already, the Cabarrus inmates work in several positions. Some are assigned to N.C. Department of Transportation road crews or work under contract for local government agencies. Others are assigned to maintenance or kitchen duties. Inmates nearing parole are allowed to participate in work release, leaving the prison for the part of the day to work for a business in the community. Tarlton said the state requires inmates to be within 36 months of their release date to participate in the work-release program. Inmates are paired with employers who are willing to work with them. They must be paid minimum wage. Some employers pay more based on the
Letters Library News Obituaries Opinion Weather
5A 13A 2A 4A 14A
BY TIFFANY LANE
MONROE Emmy Lou Haywood has worked for decades to preserve her hometown’s history. The longtime volunteer with the Waxhaw Historical Committee and Union County Heritage Room was chosen as Union County’s Woman of the Year, but said she’s not sure why. Last year’s winner, Gwen Perkins, recently called Haywood to share the good news. Perkins, along with several other former winners, sifted through about two dozen nominations before choosing Haywood. “They said it was for all my volunteering,” Haywood said. “I
Service to others • Volunteer for the Union County Board of Elections since 1992 and chief judge for her precinct Emmy Lou for 12 years Haywood • Helped develop the Andrew Jackson Museum • Member of the Waxhaw Woman’s Club for nearly 50 years • Member of Waxhaw United Methodist Church for 44 years
See WOMAN / Page 16A
The Enquirer-Journal is again collecting letter for Santa Claus. We will deliver the letters to the North Pole and publish some in our paper. You may mail or e-mail letters (firstname.lastname@example.org). Mark them as Letters to Santa.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Best wishes are extended to everyone who is celebrating a birthday today, especially: Grace Flowers, Kay Rushing, Carolyn Helms, Jonnie Hildreth, Rick Long, Janiah McCray and Dane Love. Best wishes also are extended to everyone who is celebrating a birthday Monday, especially: Tasha Blakeney, Angela Bell, Louise Eudy, Jess Perry, Abby Baucom, Ted Meachum, Greer Collins, Sean Austyn McCain and Kaitlin Edwards. Call (704) 261-2278 or e-mail email@example.com to add your names to The Enquirer-Journal birthday list.
2A / Sunday, December 6, 2009 Christmas service planned
MONROE First Baptist Church of Monroe and Gordon Funeral Service are working together again this Christmas to offer Union Countians mourning the loss of a loved one an experience of healing and wholeness. The second annual Christmas Service for the Bereaved will be Dec. 13 at 3 p.m. in the church’s sanctuary. “These were people who had lost spouses, parents or children at Christmas in previous years, or were experiencing their first Christmas since a recent loss, and coming to church was just too painful for them.” the Rev. John Hewett, the church’s senior pastor, said in a press release. Johnny Gordon of Gordon Funeral Service said in the release that he invited all the families served in 2009 to attend. In addition, area churches, Hospice of Union County and Carolinas Medical CenterUnion have been asked to spread the word.
DEATHS Tonya Rhinehardt
CHARLOTTE Tonya Michelle Helms Rhinehardt, 33, died Tuesday (Dec. 1, 2009) at Presbyterian Hospital. Memorial service will be 2 p.m. Monday at McEwen Funeral Home of Monroe, with burial in Lakeland Memorial Park. Born Sept. 12, 1976, in Mecklenburg County, she was a daughter of Jay Larry Helms of Monroe and Margaret Trull Pleimann of Charlotte. Survivors, in addition to her parents, include
The Enquirer-Journal copyright 2008
three sons, Chris Helms, Mark Rhinehardt Jr., Jamar Latrelle Warren, all of Charlotte; three daughters, Iasia Simone Davenport of Jacksonville, Breann Elizabeth Rhinehardt, Sha-Pyah Tressa Jennings, both of Charlotte; a grandmother, Wilma Trull of Charlotte; three half brothers, Michael Todd Helms, Claude Starnes Jr., Randy Starnes, all of Monroe; and her stepmother, Carol Helms of Monroe. Visitation will be from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Monday at the funeral home.
Radio’s tallest singing cowboy dies
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — W.E. “Big Bill” Lister, who toured as one of Hank Williams’ Drifting Cowboys and was dubbed “Radio’s Tallest Singing Cowboy,” has died. He died Tuesday at the age of 86 in San Antonio after a brief illness. His family said Lister was performing nightly for crowds of 300-plus on a cruise from Galveston to the Caribbean until just a few months ago. Even though the 6-foot-7 cowboy never drank, his family said he needed a drinking song to record in 1951. Williams gave him a demo of “There’s a Tear in My Beer.” The demo ended up in Lister’s attic until he offered it to Hank Williams Jr. decades later.
Every day is an adventure.
MONROE Mrs. Judy Helms Cady, age 64, of Monroe, passed away Friday (December 4, 2009) at her residence. A funeral service to celebrate her life will be conducted at 1:00 p.m. Monday (December 7, 2009) at Davis Funeral Chapel, officiated by Reverend Bobby Catoe. Interment will follow at Lakeland Memorial Park Cemetery. Mrs. Cady was born on June 23, 1945, in Union County, a daughter of the late Earl Thomas Helms and Lula Mae Moore Helms. She was a retail clerk for Brewer-Hendley Oil Company. Survivors include her husband, Robert Lawrence (Ray) Cady of Monroe; four sons, Billy
Griffin and wife Trina Griffin of Hartsville, S.C., Joey Cady and wife Dawn Cady of Monroe, Roger Cady and wife Dawn Cady of Unionville, and Richard Cady of Jefferson, S.C.; four daughters, Tricia Cady of Monroe, Lisa Starnes and husband Allen Starnes of Monroe, Michelle Lake of Jefferson, S.C., and Tammy Marrow and husband Paul Morrow of Chicago, Ill.; and a brother, Robert Clinton Helms and wife Iva Helms of Monroe. There are 21 grandchildren and 14 greatgrandchildren. The family will receive friends from 3:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. Sunday afternoon (December 6, 2009) at Davis Funeral Home in Monroe, 1003 East Franklin Street, Monroe, NC 28112. Memorials may be made to Hospice of Union County, 700 West Roosevelt Blvd., Monroe, NC 28110. Davis Funeral Home and Cremation Service is serving the family of Mrs. Cady. An online guest register book is available at www.davisfuneralservice.com. PAID OBITUARY
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Father of Montana governor dies
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HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Adam Schweitzer, the father of Gov. Brian Schweitzer, died Friday at the age of 89. A lifelong farmer and rancher who kept working into his 80s, Adam Schweitzer died in Helena of natural causes, the governor said. He was born May 15, 1920 in Goldstone, the sixth of nine children by Ukrainian natives Michael and Francisca Schweitzer, who came to Montana as homesteaders in 1909. He married Kathleen McKernan of Box Elder in September 1946, and the couple had six children. They farmed and ranched north of Gildford near the Canadian border and later in Central Montana near Geyser. The governor described his father as a hardworking businessman with little formal education but a knack for organizing and for modernizing his ranching practices. German was his first language and he learned English only after going to school. Adam Schweitzer finished the eighth grade. “He didn’t need a contract. He didn’t need to write it down,” the governor said. “If it was a deal it was a deal. A handshake was all it took.”
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Sunday, December 6, 2009 / 3A
County to get new Superior Court judge; Bragg interested BY JASON deBRUYN
MONROE In a year, Unionâ€™s criminal courts could move twice as fast. In 2011, the Union County Superior Court districtâ€”District 20Bâ€”will have a second Superior Court judgeâ€™s seat. The extra position was granted in a 2005 budget bill in anticipation of Unionâ€™s growth; with two judges, the District Attorneyâ€™s office can ostensibly move twice as many cases through the system as the courtroom is the choking point in any courthouse. The election for the seat will be in 2010 and Chief District Court Judge Chris Bragg said he will vie for the spot. Filing for the position begins Feb. 8. Active Superior Court Judge David Lee is up for reelection in the same election and has
announced he will run. â€œI love the job (as Disctrict Court judge),â€? Bragg said. â€œBut I would like to experience some new challenges in my life.â€? Bragg was appointed by Gov. Jim Hunt and has served as a judge for 15 years; he has been the chief District Court judge since 2006. â€œI love being in the courtroom,â€? he said. From a population and case load standpoint, Lee said that the additional judgeâ€™s seat made sense. The grand jury meets once a month in Unionâ€™s district and averages about 150 to 200 indictments each month. Lee noted that was more than some other districts that already have two judge seats. â€œThis is the most critical need for the criminal justice system in Union County,â€? District Attorney John Snyder said. â€œThe addition of a second Superior Court judgeship
helps me complete what I see as the critical mission of clearing out some of the backlog in the system. ... I have said for a long time, that is the missing piece in our artillery.â€? Clerk of Court J.R. Rowell said he was excited about the new spot because it would mean the wheels of justice could move a little quicker in the county. Rowell has not been granted any new clerk positions in lieu of the new judgeâ€™s seat yet, but there have been nine new jobs budgeted since he took office almost three years ago. State law requires that the county provide a courtroom and office space for clerks, but the state pays the salaries of most of the employees. Rowell said the new seat would mean more work for everyone in his office, if for no other reason than a clerk must be present
in the courtroom with a judge. He had no complaints with the size of the work force or the Judicial Center. â€œWould I like to have more? Sure,â€? he said. â€œBut we have it better in Union County than in a lot of other places.â€? Lee said the court staff would be able to â€œhit the ground runningâ€? as soon as that new seat came online. Bragg said Union was â€œlong overdueâ€? for the second seat, pointing to court cases that are constantly continued. â€œThatâ€™s not justice,â€? he said. John Joseph Carvalho, for example, was convicted in September of a murder he committed in 2002. Nobody else has yet publicly announced candidacy for the judgeâ€™s seat. Lee, who nominated Bragg for the District Court position, called Bragg and â€œoutstanding judge.â€?
Chris Bragg bio Chief District Court Judge Chris Bragg will throw his name in the ring for the new Superior Court judge seat. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1986 and was a military attorney in the Marine Corps from Chris Bragg 1987 through 1990. He then took a position in the District Attorneyâ€™s office until 1994 when he was appointed judge. Bragg said he has enjoyed working in District Court but is ready to step up and face new challenges. His only reservation about taking the Superior Court seat was that he would have to travel more regularly as Superior Court judges rotate districts. â€œItâ€™s a new challenge,â€? he said.
Mecklenburg assistant may run for Union County DA BY JASON deBRUYN
CHARLOTTE There is a strong chance there will be a contested race for Union County district attorney next year. Mecklenburg County Assistant District Attorney Clayton Jones, a resident of Weddington, has not fully committed to entering the race, but said there is a â€œstrongâ€? likelihood that he will file to run against John Snyder. Jones called himself a â€œcareer prosecutorâ€? who was ready to step up to the lead role. â€œTo me this is important,â€? he said. â€œNot only for me, but for the community as well.â€? Jones said there are still a few more people that he wants to talk to before making his official decision, but said he thinks he can give Union County quality prosecu-
Clayton Jones Bio Jones was born in Gaston County, the son of a â€œblue-collarâ€? family. He attended school at Central Piedmont Community College and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte before entering the Air Force and finishing undergraduate school at Appalachian State University. â€œNeither of my parents graduated college, but they made sure we knew how important it was,â€? he said. Jones graduated law school from North Carolina Central University and took summer courses at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill before entering the Navy in 1985. He served as the attorney in the Navy, including as the personal attorney for admirals, then furthered his education at George Washington University and was assigned to the Navy surgeon general. In 2002, he was hired as an assistant district attorney in Mecklenburg County and moved through the ranks to now work on the homicide team. â€œIâ€™m a trial attorney,â€? he said. â€œThatâ€™s what Iâ€™m good at.â€?
tion mainly because of his experience. He said that at 56 years old and with nearly 25 years of legal experience, he was qualified to take the spot. â€œIt comes down to experience, and they donâ€™t teach you that
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in law school,â€? he said. â€œThe seat belongs to the people,â€? Snyder said. â€œI am proud of the job Iâ€™ve done.â€? Jones said he would work to move cases through as quickly as possible. In order to do
that, he said he would work around the clock to make sure his office was prepared to try any case. The district attorney should be prepared on â€œenough cases to keep that judge busy eight hours a day, five days a week,â€? he said. â€œThe most valuable piece of real estate in that courthouse is the trial courtroom with that Superior Court judge. You can have 100 DAs, you can have a huge public defenderâ€™s office, you can have 1,000 clerks and all that stuff, but it all has to go through that piece of real estate in a trial courtroom and there is only a limited amount of that time. So the time in that trial courtroom is the most valuable time youâ€™ve got.â€? As for offering plea deals, Jones said every district attorney takes criticism for that and Snyder is no exception. Coming to terms with a
defendant, however, is just part of the process, he said. â€œAnybody who says that they are not going to offer plea deals is not being honest.â€? There currently more than 900 cases on the trial calender and Jones said the only way to move some of those through is to reach a plea agreement. He refused to criticize any specific plea offers Snyder has made, saying there is information that only the district attorney and police know about some cases, which
go into making the plea deals, â€œso it would be unfair for me to sit here and take potshots at him in any specific case when I donâ€™t know all the information.â€? Where Jones said he would be an asset to Union County was in using his experience when making the decision on which cases to take to trial. Jones did not have a time line for finalizing his decision for candidacy. Filing begins Feb. 8.
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Sunday, December 6, 2009
“What we hope ever to do with ease, we must learn first to do with diligence.”
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A CAROLINA VIEW
Recycle, and make it a habit Given time and the right incentives, recycling can become habit forming. Sometimes it just takes a push, like the law that took effect Oct. 1 banning plastic bottles from landfills. The people whose job it is to monitor how much we throw away and where it goes say since the highly publicized ban went into effect, North Carolinians are recycling more plastic. Perhaps they’re also recycling other waste, too, including aluminum cans — which, by the way, already are banned from landfills — and paper. The law, which comes with no real punishment for the average tosser of household trash, is still new. Some people may be responding with a short-lived environmental consciousness. But many may use the recycling push to make some permanent changes that can keep a lot of garbage out of our landfills as well as provide a resource for a growing market. New Hanover County’s waste watchers are seeing a promising trend. Over the past couple of years recycling by the public has nearly tripled, even without the impact of the bottle bill. During October they collected about 9 percent more plastic from recycling bins than during the same month last year. Garbage haulers are making it a little easier by offering recycling services, but they typically come at a higher price than just throwing it all away. Still, for committed recyclers the convenience is preferable to stuffing bags of bottles, cans, newspaper and boxes into the trunk and burning the gas it takes to get it to the nearest recycling station. In Wilmington, curbside recycling is automatically a part of the garbage collection service. Even there, the city is seeing an increase in requests for household recycling bins and has had to order more to meet the demand. The signs are good. Once a routine is established, it becomes almost second nature to separate the bottles, cans and paper products from the regular household garbage. While the public seems agreeable to the concept of recycling if it’s made convenient, the means are what’s lacking. New Hanover County can’t handle much more with the existing facilities. Lynn Bestul, the county’s recycling director, says what is needed is a larger, up-to-date facility to process recyclables. That would cost about $5 million, with most of that going for sophisticated equipment to sort the reusable garbage. Without one, the county would pay about $65 a ton to have a private company do the sorting, if the Board of Commissioners opts to keep the county’s waste operations in house. The board also is considering proposals from private contractors, at least one of which proposes to expand recycling efforts. There are advantages and potential problems with a private contract, and the commissioners must weigh those. Keeping the process in house would require long-term investments but would give the public more direct control over prices and services. The commissioners must decide what is best for county residents, not which alternatives are best for private haulers. Either option should include a strong commitment to reducing the amount of garbage that winds up in the landfill or at the incinerator. The public seems amenable to changing its habits. In this case, it’s government’s turn to catch up. The Star-News of Wilmington
What was he — cough — saying? Whatever the gentleman came to talk about was suddenly unimportant. That’s because a split second before he gripped my hand in that warm, embracing shake perfected by salesmen and politicians, he coughed into his fist. It wasn’t a tiny, throatclearing cough, one used to ensure that initial greetings are enunciated clearly. It was a deep, body-racking cough that originated, if not from his toes, deep from within his lungs where all manner of seasonal germs were multiplying faster than Octomom on fertility drugs and Red Bull. I had less than a tick of the clock to pull up short, to refuse the handshake, possibly offend this gentleman and protect my own health, but the pull of middle-class manners was too strong and I allowed him to grasp my had in that big, potentially infectious mitt. I’m not a germaphobe. I don’t buy hand sanitizer in five-gallon buckets. I have retrieved a burrito from the trash when someone forgot to ask me if I wanted the rest of her lunch. But the media attention given to H1N1 - what we called swine flu back in the day - has left me paranoid and hyper-aware of the coughs and sniffles of others. Thanks again, media. The guy gave me a big grin and began to talk, but nothing registered. It is highly unlikely, but it could have been, “I stopped by to unleash my rabid wolverines upon you.” I heard nothing he said. Instead, I thought about the
Scott Hollifield Columnist
germs creeping up my right hand. I flashed back to my first viewing of the 1958 scifi classic “The Blob,” when my 5-year-old eyes widened in terror at the TV screen as the farmer poked the core of the meteor and The Blob quickly engulfed his hand. I ran screaming from the room then, and I fought the urge to follow the same course of action as this man talked about God knows what. I’ll be OK, I thought, as long as I don’t touch my face and let the vicious little critters in. He can’t talk forever, germs and viruses rarely move at Blob-speed and I can run to the restroom and scrub from fingertips to elbows before I meet the farmer’s fate. Was the soap dispenser refilled? I can’t remember! Heart beating faster. The guy kept talking. “Not many people raise rabid wolverines these days, but I find the hobby quite rewarding. My late wife never really cared for it.” He probably didn’t say that, but I don’t know what he said. I was too busy mentally berating myself for not getting a flu shot. So, you didn’t have time to get vaccinated, did you Mr.
Super Busy Man? Oh, you’ve got time to sit around and think up a bunch of smart-aleck things to put in the newspaper then run out and get a six-pack before the ball game but you can’t clear 15 minutes in your schedule to go to the Health Department for something that could SAVE YOUR FREAKIN’ LIFE and now you’ve got mutated swine flu Blob-germs swarming up to your armpit. That’s what I told myself as the man continued to talk about something I wasn’t listening to. At least I have life insurance, I thought. The wife and kid will be taken care of, although a large portion of that has been designated to construct a slightly smaller scale Graceland in my memory. At this point, the man paused and I recognized this as the part of the conversation in which I was supposed to interject something. “I see,” I said, though I really didn’t. He seemed satisfied, thrust out his hand again and again I took it, perhaps hastening my demise. The second he was out the door I sprinted to restroom, cranked open the hot water and pumped the soap dispenser. Did I kill the virus? Am I safe? I think so. I still feel pretty good,except for just a tiny hint of ...a cough. • Scott Hollifield is editor/general manager of The McDowell News in Marion, N.C. Contact him at P.O. Box 610, Marion, N.C. 28752 or e-mail rhollifield@ mcdowellnews.com.
Hark! The herald angels sing – or maybe not ’Twas the nightmare before Christmas late last month for Michael Stratechuk of Maplewood, N.J., when a federal appeals court upheld a local school district policy barring religious music from school events during the holiday season. Stratechuk, a parent with two children in the district, filed suit in 2004, arguing that eliminating sacred music from holiday programs discriminates against Christianity in violation of the First Amendment. On Nov. 24, the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals disagreed, ruling that public schools are not constitutionally compelled to include religious music. Students in the South Orange-Maplewood School District do study some religious music in the curriculum. But school administrators decided that one way to ensure “religious neutrality” in the schools was to make holiday programs religion-free zones. While Stratechuk vows to continue his legal battle all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, two outraged Californians are
Charles Haynes Inside the 1st Amendment determined to put the Christmas carol conundrum up for a vote. Last month, Merry Susan Hyatt (yes, her real first name) and her brother, David Joseph Hyatt, began gathering signatures to put a referendum on the November 2010 ballot that would require California public schools to include Christmas music in classrooms and assemblies during the holiday season. Signing up 433,971 registered voters by March 29 is no easy task, but Merry Hyatt -- a substitute teacher with horror stories about schools that celebrate Christmas without Christ
-- is confident that churches will line up to help. She may be right. After all, in referendumcrazed California, anything is possible. Oddly enough, the Hyatts’ ballot initiative doesn’t explicitly define “Christmas music” as religious – which would likely have the unintended consequence of adding more renditions of Frosty and Rudolph to the playlist. But even if victorious next November, the measure might not pass constitutional muster. Courts have consistently ruled that including religious songs in school events is constitutional, as long as the program is educational and not devotional or proselytizing. But any state mandate that sacred music must be a part of holiday programs is likely to run afoul of the establishment-clause prohibition on government endorsement of religion. The First Amendment solution is stunningly simple: Schools should plan holiday programs that are educational in purpose and balanced in
content. Nothing in the First Amendment prohibits public schools from educating students about music, religious and secular, as part of a comprehensive music program that exposes students to a variety of traditions and cultures. Of course, it is also true that nothing in the First Amendment requires schools to include religious songs (as Michael Stratechuk has discovered). But millions of Americans celebrate Christmas in December, and for schools to pretend that Christmas either doesn’t exist or is entirely secular is just plain silly. For those who are nostalgic for the “good old days” in public schools when we all sang the same songs, it’s worth recalling that Americans have been fighting about the role of religion in schools since the founding of public education. In the 19th century, lest we forget, we fought Bible Wars over whose version of the Scriptures would be read in schools -- Protestant or Catholic. Riots broke out, churches
were burned. In other words, there were no good old days. We were divided over religion then, and we are divided over religion now. Since somewhere in the firmament it is written that every public school must have a holiday concert in December, school officials need to get it right. That means ignoring the Restorers who want to re-impose an earlier regime by converting school auditoriums into local churches. But it also means ignoring the Removers who seek to eliminate all mention of religion in public schools. In this, our season of perennial discontent, a little good will combined with a dose of common sense is the best recipe for school holiday programs we can all cheer. • Charles C. Haynes is senior scholar at the First Amendment Center, 555 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20001. Web: firstamendmentcenter.org. E-mail: email@example.com.
Sunday, December 6, 2009 / 5A
Does anyone remember forecasts that were wrong? By the time you read this column the wild hurricane may have already flown. Or it might still be flying. Or it might not have flown at all. That’s weather forecasting in these parts for you. Nobody can do it accurately but everybody thinks they can. And the more they’re wrong, the more they do it, and the more we keep on believing they can. I read this week where lo and behold the real hurricane season wasn’t as active as the hurricane “experts” said it would be this year. Seems God didn’t make as many storms as they said would show up and not one of the ones that did made land fall. Not that any of us wanted one of ‘em to, mind you. But none of us ever claimed one would. Is it just me or don’t those same hurricane boobs predict the same hurricane mayhem and pandemonium every year? Only to have it all fizzle out come the end of the year. Oh, every now and then they get a year right. But I suspect that’s not as much from any knowledge or mastery of meteorological science as it is a gift from the law of averages. Sort of like the old adage about how even a broken clock is right twice a day. Then every year at about the same time as the hurricane folks admit they’ve bombed out, the “colder than average winter” weather folks start warming up in the bullpen. And I really don’t figure them out because how can it possibly get cold with all this global warming the global warming folks keep warning us all about? Still yet how a bunch of gomers from a profession that cain’t even tell you what its gonna do tomorrow even with their Doppler radars pointed right at it think they can predict something that’ll happen months down the road is beyond me. But if it isn’t what the hurricane season will do or how cold the winter’s fixin’ to be it’s the drought. And just a few weeks from now I’m sure some clown will come on the TV or turn up in the newspaper long enough to tell how many
Bill Melton Columnist
inches of rainfall we didn’t get this year. And then go on to explain to us what all that means to the water table and just how much water it ain’t got in it. If you want to know the truth about it I ain’t sure there is such a thing as the water table to start with. I’ve never personally seen it nor have I ever met anybody else who’s ever claimed they have. Not even a well digger. They don’t even have pictures of it. And the best anybody’s ever been able to do is draw a picture of what it’s supposed to look like. That’s sort of like sitting on Santa’s lap at the mall. We know the fat old dude with the white beard and the red suit represents the real McCoy but ain’t none of us ever him. At least with Santa Claus, though, presents do show up at High Grass Manor on Christmas morning with his name on them. But I ain’t never had the water table bring me nothing yet. The bottom line is the weather’s gonna do what it planned on doing whether or not it fits into our plans or not. Just remember this rule every time the weatherman threatens us with snow or ice- It ain’t bread and milk every time you need to stock up as much as it toilet paper. I learned several storms back that you can make it a day or two without a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and glass of milk. But you ain’t gonna make it far without toilet paper now that the leaves are gone.
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My family always had respect for the Union County Court System. We have different views now. A family member has been trying to take her ex husband to court for child (2 children) support. This case has been postponed and put off for a year, by his attorney and accepted by the judge. No child support is being received and this father is now $40,000 past due. Does the state care about children? No. If yes, this would have been handled within several months. If it had
not been for the mother’s family, these children would be doing with out while their father enjoys his boat and new home. Child abuse, this should fall in that category and to think we are only one family. How many others are suffering? These two children are not receiving any help from state services or funds. They have no health insurance since the father dropped coverage. Wake up Union County Court System, you have control in these matters. C. Helms Monroe
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6A / Sunday, December 6, 2009
New mayor leaves open council seat Applicants sought for appointment BY ELISABETH ARRIERO
MONROE Residents who missed the cutoff or chose not to enter the Wesley Chapel Village Council election in November have a second chance to serve. With Councilman Brad Horvath taking over as mayor at the December meeting, there will be a vacancy on the Village Council. The village is accepting letters of interest through Wednesday and will appoint his replacement. “We knew that was going to happen if he was elected mayor,” Councilwoman Sondra Bradford said. Howard Brotton and Kim Ormiston were
elected in November to fill the seats of departing council members Rick Croffut and Sonya Pierce. Candidate Chuck Rohland came in third with 22.15 percent of the vote, but Horvath said that state statute doesn’t automatically award him the vacant position. As of Friday, town clerk Cheryl Bennett had received three letters indicating interest; Rohland has yet to apply for the position. Village staff will present all the letters to the council at its Dec. 14 meeting. At its Jan. 11 meeting, the council will interview candidates. Anyone interested in filling the seat should send a letter of interest to Bennett at firstname.lastname@example.org or by mail to P.O. Box 1584, Monroe, NC 28112.
E-J staff photo by Rick Crider
Antique Crawl in Waxhaw
Kemp Heinbaugh, proprietor of The Antique Clock Shop, left, details the history of an antique Junghans mantle clock to customer Ed Hill, of Waxhaw, during Waxhaw’s first annual Art and Antiques Crawl on Saturday.
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Danny Jordan, of Scoggins Farms in Monroe, pilots ‘Tom’ and their six-seat carriage down Main Street as part of the downtown festivities leading up to the 7 p.m. tree lighting on Saturday.
Garden club plans Christmas lunch
MONROE The Monroe Garden Club will have its annual Christmas luncheon and silent auction at the Monroe Library’s Griffin Room on Dec. 15, at 11 a.m. The meeting is open to the public. The library is at 316 E. Windsor St. For information, contact Joyce Ingold at 704-2894644 or ingold@carolina. rr.com.
Defeating denial artwork displayed
MONROE In recognition of National Recovery Month, BHC First Step at CMCUnion displayed “Breaking Through the Wall of Denial,” art work completed by patients receiving treatment. “The art therapy exercise is designed to provide patients the opportunity to explain what denial means in terms of addiction and how to break the cycle. It is part of treatment our treatment program said Dorsey Ward, director of First Step.” The artwork
was displayed in the Main Lobby of CMC-Union. For more information about BHC First Step at CMC-Union please call 704-283-2043.
Two sewer spills are reported
MONROE Two sanitary sewer overflows occurred in the Union County sanitary sewer system on Wednesday. According to a press release from the county, the overflows were not of the magnitude to cause immediate danger to human health or the environment. All pumps and equipment were operating properly and at full capacity on Wednesday. The sewer overflows were the direct result of heavy rain which fell in less than 24 hours causing stormwater to enter the sanitary sewer system through defects in pipes and manholes. The first overflow occurred off McIntyre Road near Wingate at approximately 5:15 p.m. and lasted until 12:35 a.m. on Thursday. A portion
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of the overflow entered Meadows Branch. A second overflow occurred off Monroe-Ansonville Road near Monroe at approximately 10 p.m. and lasted until 12:15 a.m. on Thursday. A portion of the overflow entered Rays Branch. Union County has an ongoing program to identify and reduce stormwater entry into the sanitary sewer system. The overflows have been reported to the N.C. Division of Water Quality. For additional information, contact the Union County Public Works Department at 704-296-4210.
Metro’s Brock reaches top status
MONROE Robbie Brock has earned master technician status at Metro Honda of Union County, the highest achievement in Honda’s technical training program. He is the only one on staff so far to receive this award. He has been with the company for 11 years. His
Strategic planning committee to meet
MONROE The Union County Board of Education’s Strategic Planning and Technology Committee will discuss the superintendent’s evaluation
when it meets Dec. 17. The committee will also discuss the school system’s continuous improvement model. The meeting will be at noon in the Central Services board room, 400 N. Church St.
8A / Sunday, December 6, 2009
BIRTHDAYS Taylor Nicole Huss
Taylor Nicole Huss was 1 year old Nov. 21, 2009. She is the daughter of Mark G u y t o n and Ashley Huss, both of Monroe. Her grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Nickie Huss of Lancaster, S.C., Teresa Huss and Mr. and Mrs. Lynn Guyton, all of Monroe, and Carole Darity of Florence, S.C. Taylor’s great-grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Carroll Huss and Rosemary Deaton, all of Mon-
roe, and Wallace Guyton of Florence.
of Monroe and Madeline Rushing of Wingate.
Evan Bryce Tarlton
Ryan Thomas Moyer
Evan Bryce Tarlton was 3 years old Nov. 29, 2009. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Aaron Tarlton (Cara Simpson) of Unionville. His grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Larry Simpson of Unionville and Mr. and Mrs. Cecil Thomas of Indian Trail. Evan’s great-grandparents are Frances Simpson and Marilyn Purser
Ryan Thomas Moyer was 4 years old Nov. 27, 2009. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Matthew M o y e r (Sherry Slagle) of Apex. His g randparents are Tom and Peggy Moyer of Monroe and Rick and Sheila Slagle of Cary. Ryan’s great-grandparents are Troy and Joyce Purser.
BIRTHS Nathan James Haney Mr. and Mrs. Jason Louis Singalevitch (Valerie Diane Clontz)
Clontz — Singalevitch The Episcopal Church of the Redeemer in Shelby was the setting for the 2 p.m. wedding of Valerie Diane Clontz and Jason Louis Singalevitch. The Rev. Marie Cope officiated. The bride is the daughter of Carl “Happy” and Diane Clontz of Charlotte. She is the granddaughter of Ellis and Maida McComb of Charlotte and the late Wright and Louise Clontz. She graduated from United Faith Christian Academy in 2000 and from UNC Charlotte in 2004. She is employed by the N.C. Highway Patrol in Monroe. The groom is the son of Lorri Singalevitch of Cherryville and the late Peter Singalevitch. He graduated from St. Joseph High School in Metuchen, N.J. and from Georgia Southern University. He is employed by the N.C. Highway Patrol in
Cleveland County. The bride, given in marriage by her parents, wore a white, strapless, A-line gown with corset back. Serving as maid of honor was Andrea Suddreth, cousin of the bride. Bridesmaid was Heather Endre of Leland. Jeff McCall, friend of the couple, served as best man. Mark Endre of Leland served as groomsman. The wedding reception, held in the parish hall at the church, followed the ceremony. The rehearsal dinner was held on Sept. 18, 2009, at Gondola Italian Restaurant in Shelby. After a wedding cruise to the southern Caribbean, the Singalevitches reside in Kings Mountain.
Marc and April Lankford Haney of Peachland announce the birth of their son Nathan James, on Sept. 22, 2009, at Presbyterian Hospital in Matthews. Nathan weighed 8 pounds 4 ounces and was 21.5 inches long. His grandparents are Harold and Lucy Haney of Wingate, Fred and Deborah Atkinson of Greensboro and Ronald and Marsha Lankford of Reidsville. He is the great-grandchild of Ronald and Rachel Lankford of Greensboro, Margaret Saunders of Greensboro and Beatrice Edwards of Peachland.
Rayleigh Shyanne Fowler
Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Brent Fowler of Monroe
announce the birth of their daughter Rayleigh Shyanne, on Nov. 7, 2009, at Presbyterian Hospital in Matthews. Rayleigh weighed 8 pounds 4 ounces and was 20.5 inches long. Her grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Steven Wayne Turner of Indian Trail, Mr. and Mrs. Jack Pressley of Indian Trail and Douglas Vane Fowler of Monroe.
Dylan Scott Melton
Mr. and Mrs. Scottie A. Melton (Melissa Belk) of Monroe announce the birth of their son, Dylan Scott, on Nov. 7, 2009, at Carolinas Medical Center-Union. Dylan weighed 7 pounds, 13 ounces and was 22 inches long. His grandparents are Mr. and Mrs. Richard D. Belk of Monroe and Mr. and Mrs. Jackie A. Melton of
Monroe. He is the greatgrandchild of Grace N. Belk of Charlotte and Mr. and Mrs. Charles Fry of Monroe.
Lane Austin Garris
Jessica and Phillip Garris of Monroe announce the birth of their son, Lane Austin, on Oct. 27, 2009, at Carolinas Medical Center-Union. Lane weighed 7 pounds, 14 ounces and was 22 inches long. His grandparents are Cindy and Robert Garris of Monroe, Annette Rushing Tarlton of Monroe and Scott Tarlton of Wingate. He is the great-grandson of Mary Keiser Waugh of Oak Island and Ona and Shelton Davis, Larry and Carolyn Rushing, and John and Joanne Tarlton, all of Monroe. He is the great-great-grandson of Roma “Jackie” Rushing of Monroe.
HOROSCOPES Dec. 6, 2009
You always stand up for yourself and fight for your rights, but this could easily be intensified in the year ahead. You won’t be unnecessarily aggressive, but when something is important, you could go all-out. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 23-Dec. 21) -- You have a gift of turning things or situations into what others deem to be pleasurable activities. You may get that opportunity once again. CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) -- Some kind of important change might take place that you won’t personally orchestrate. But this occurrence could benefit you more than it does anyone else. AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) -- When doing something different that should be fun, find an ally who can be a contributor. It’ll be more enjoyable working together and bouncing ideas off each other. PISCES (Feb. 20-March 20) -- An opportunity to use your special talents might present itself. Those who work at your side will be happy to have you around and greatly appreciate what you have to offer. ARIES (March 21-April 19) -- This is a good day to do what you like, but it’s important to keep things in balance, whether you’re socializing, working, spending time with the family, or being a recluse. TAURUS (April 20-May 20) -- Things will go much smoother if you make sure that you and your mate are in complete accord when it comes to handling domestic issues. Join forces to keep the lid on things. GEMINI (May 21-June 20) -- This is a good day to do something different, something you’ve always wanted to do but never got around to trying. Your curious mind and eager disposition makes you amenable to anything new. CANCER (June 21-July 22) -- You might be a bit extravagant, but only to satisfy a special need -- so you won’t consider it a foolish thing to do. You’re smart enough to know when to tighten
the wallet. LEO (July 23-Aug. 22) -- Be persuasive if necessary in order to get others to join you in a fun activity. It could be an active and happy day, and everyone will have a good time. VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) -Strong, intuitive feelings should not be ignored, especially those that encourage you to enhance your status and standing among your peers. It could mean a lot to you. LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 23) -- If you’ve been considering accepting an invitation from some new acquaintances, follow these urgings. It is a good day to make friends and/or cement relationships. SCORPIO (Oct. 24-Nov. 22) -- You work best when you’re in charge and can do things at your pace. This is likely to be one of those days, whether you’re working alone or with several other people.
Dec. 7, 2009
Life has a way of exposing us to character-building situations from time to time, which is likely to be the case for you in the year ahead. Fortunately, you’ll handle it in an admirable fashion and grow considerably from the experience. SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 23-Dec. 21) - When seeking financial advice, be wise and selective as to whom you go to for help. Bypass best friends who don’t know any more about monetary issues than you do. CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) - Even though you might feel very good about what you want to accomplish, keep your plans to yourself. Others could be involved with their own objectives and don’t want to hear about yours. AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) - There’s a chance you could commit yourself to something you know would be wrong simply to appease another. Later when you attempt to fulfill your promise, you could end up in trouble. PISCES (Feb. 20-March 20) - Help you were counting on is
not likely to be forthcoming. In order to be on the safe side, you had better have a back up plan in place for when you are on your own. ARIES (March 21-April 19) A partnership situation in which you’re involved will run out of steam if either you or your sidekick get tired and begin to leave all the hard stuff to the other. Quit while you’re ahead. TAURUS (April 20-May 20) You may be able to talk a good game, but when it comes to doing what your mouth claims, you could leave a lot to be desired. Better leave all the bragging until after you’ve proven yourself. GEMINI (May 21-June 20) Attempting to keep up with the spending of your friends could turn out to be expensive. Don’t be a victim of your pride and/or the mismanagement of your resources. CANCER (June 21-July 22) - If you believe you have to come on strong in order to impress others, you could be in for a tough lesson. Throwing your weight around might induce a heavier person to throw his/hers right back at you. LEO (July 23-Aug. 22) - Associates aren’t likely to be enamored by your bright ideas, so don’t attempt to impose your thinking on them. Ideas have to be fully exchanged with everyone while keeping an open mind. VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) Something you’ve been hoping to acquire can be purchased at a pretty good price, but, in order to do so, you must not be too laid back or lazy about searching for a bargain. Check all your sources. LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 23) Usually you’re a fair and balanced person who treats everyone in a magnanimous fashion. Yet for some reason you may start to place importance on yourself and what pleases you. SCORPIO (Oct. 24-Nov. 22) There’s a possibility that you will be your own worst enemy and refuse to listen to another’s point of view. All viewpoints need to be considered in order to iron out a complicated development. © 2009, Newspaper Enterprise Assn.
IN SERVICE Bobo finishes basic training
COLUMBIA, S.C. — Army Reserve Pvt. Joshua L. Bobo has graduated from basic combat training at Fort Jackson. During the nine weeks of training, Bobo studied the Army mission, his-
tory, tradition and core values, physical fitness, and received instruction and practice in basic combat skills, military weapons, chemical warfare and bayonet training, drill and ceremony, marching, rifle marksmanship, armed and
unarmed combat, map reading, field tactics, military courtesy, military justice system, basic first aid, foot marches, and field training exercises. Bobo is the son of Charlen Bowers of Stoneyridge Drive, Indian Trail.
Service From the Heart
Girl Scout Cadette Troop 795 recently finished a scavenger hunt community service project to collect items for the Turning Point domestic violence shelter and the Community Shelter. as well as other nonprofits and families in need. All Girl Scouts in Union District 2 were invited to participate. There were 20 items, such as paper products, cleaning supplies, blankets and personal hygiene items, on the list to collect. When the items were turned in Nov. 21, more than 60 Girl Scouts had participated. Troop 795 did the project to earn its Silver Award, the highest a Cadette Girl Scout can earn.
Man ready to say goodbye to ex Dear Abby: I am 25 and dated a woman I’ll call “Brenda” for about five years. She dumped me soon after college graduation with no explanation. All she said was she “needed to be alone for a while,” but she could see herself marrying me and having kids with me “eventually.” I accepted it and tried to move on. Brenda has stayed in touch for the last two years, but we have not been together or intimate. She calls me nearly every night before she goes to bed. I never call her or go to her house. I talk to her because I don’t want to be rude, but I’d prefer not to. I mean, what’s the point? When we split, I told her I didn’t want contact, but she seemed so devastated when I said it that I backed off. Would it be wrong for me to completely cut off communication? How do I do it nicely? I loved Brenda once, but her constant calls don’t allow me closure. Even if she asked me now to get back together, I wouldn’t. She hurt me when she broke it off with no explanation, and I no longer trust her. What should I do? — Needs Closure in Philly Dear Needs Closure: Forgive the strong language, but Miss Brenda
Dear Abby Columnist appears to be somewhat screwed up. You seem like a nice guy — too nice, in fact. There comes a time in life when we must draw the line when someone hurts us. The next time Brenda calls to say good night, tell her it’s not good night, it’s goodbye because you no longer want to dwell in the past. Believe me, you’ll be doing yourself a favor. Dear Abby: In cities large and small across the globe, a sad reality occurs year after year. Children die. The causes vary — an auto accident, suicide, drive-by shooting, fire, illness, war or something completely different. Families, friends and entire towns mourn the deaths of children who have died before they could reach their full potential. For the past 13 years, The Compassionate Friends, a national selfhelp support organization for families grieving the death of a child, has spon-
sored a Worldwide Candle Lighting during the difficult holidays to honor the memory of all children — no matter their age — who died too young. Dear Abby readers, whether or not they have been personally touched by such a tragedy, are invited to remember all children who have died by joining in the Worldwide Candle Lighting on Sunday, Dec. 13. Although officially held for one hour at 7 p.m. local time, this has become an event where hundreds of services in memory of children are held throughout the day around the world. Anyone who is unable to attend is encouraged to light candles in their home, whether alone or with friends and family. — Patricia Loder, Executive Director, The Compassionate Friends Dear Patricia: I am pleased to help spread the word. Your organization is a valuable resource for families and friends of those who have experienced the loss of a child, and I commend you for the work you do. Readers, you can locate local services on The Compassionate Friends Web site: www. compassionatefriends. org or by calling (tollfree) 877-969-0010. © 2009 Universal UClick
Sunday, December 6, 2009 / 9A
HOLIDAY EVENTS The following events are scheduled at various schools to celebrate the holiday season:
The Cuthbertson High School Chorus and Chamber Ensemble, under the direction of Janet Hall, will perform a winter concert on Dec. 15 at 7 p.m. in the school auditorium. Admission is free.
Craigs celebrate 50 years
Wilsons observe 30th
Mr. and Mrs. David F. Craig of Monroe celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on Oct. 29, 2009, with a surprise dinner at Logan’s Roadhouse in Monroe. It was hosted by Kenny and Marsha Craig. They were married Oct. 29, 1959, in Monroe. Mrs. Craig is the former Ellen Faye Shrader, daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Alonzo Shrader. She is retired from Herff Jones Company in Matthews, where she worked in customer service. His parents are the late Mr. and Mrs. J. Baxter Craig of Monroe. He is re-
Mark Darren and Cheryl Marie Wilson of Waxhaw celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary on Nov. 30, 2009, with a small family get together at their Waxhaw home. It was hosted by their children. They were married on Nov. 30, 1979, in Waxhaw. Mrs. Wilson is the former Cheryl Schwab, daughter of Gail and John Schwab of Waxhaw. She is retired from J.S. Woodworks in Mineral Springs, where she worked as office manager and cabinet stainer. His parents are Irene and Doug Wilson of Wax-
tired from Old Dominion Freight Lines in Charlotte, where he was employed as an auditor. Their children and spouses are Kenneth “Kenny” and Marsha Craig of Waxhaw and Jeffrey “Jeff ” and Melissa Craig of Monroe. They have five grandchildren.
UCPS LUNCH MENUS Elementary
Monday: Taco salad, chicken strips with honey mustard, quick-baked potatoes, steamed broccoli, mixed fruit cup, fresh fruit choice Tuesday: Cheese stix dippers, chicken fajita salad with tortilla chips, baked potato, green beans, tropical fruit, fresh fruit choice Wednesday: Macaroni & cheese with ham, hamburger on whole wheat bun, potato smiles, mixed green salad, sliced peaches, fresh fruit choice, apple muffin Thursday: Barbecued chicken, corn dog, baked beans, steamed broccoli, pear halves, fresh fruit choice, whole wheat roll Friday: Cheese pizza, deli roll-up, baked french fries, spinach salad, peach cups, fresh fruit choice
Wednesday: Macaroni & cheese with ham, hamburger on whole wheat bun, potato smiles, glazed carrots, mixed green salad, sliced peaches, fresh fruit choice, apple muffin Thursday: Barbecued chicken, corn dog, baked beans, steamed broccoli, creamy coleslaw, pear halves, fresh fruit choice, whole wheat roll Friday: Cheese pizza, deli roll-up, baked french fries, carrot coins, spinach salad, peach cups, fresh fruit choice
fruit choice, muffin Wednesday: Country style steak with rice & gravy, chicken strips with honey mustard, oven roasted potatoes, California blend, Caesar salad, pear halves, fresh fruit choice, sesame seed roll Thursday: Turkey tetrazzini, chef salad, baked potato, green peas, mixed green salad, pineapple tid bits, fresh fruit choice, apple muffin, saltine crackers Friday: Beef burrito, turkey deluxe on hearty
Parkwood High School’s chorus concert will be Dec. 15 and its band concert will be Dec. 17. Both will begin at 7 p.m. in the auditorium.
Porter Ridge High
Porter Ridge High School’s winter chorus is scheduled for Dec. 10, the winter band concert for Dec. 11 and the holiday drama production for Dec. 17, all in the school auditorium. The winter visual arts display, including refreshments and music, will be Dec. 15 at 7 p.m. in the school’s G wing lobby.
Sun Valley High
haw. He is retired from J.S. The Sun Valley Honors Woodworks in Mineral Theatre class will presSprings, where he was ent “It’s A Wonderful employed as head cabinet maker. Their children and spouses are David Joseph Wilson of Great Falls, S.C., Casey Elizabeth Wilson of Waxhaw and Clyde Taylor Parkwood to present Wilson of Waxhaw. They have one grand- one-act plays MONROE child. The Theatre Department of Parkwood High School will present “Bits & Pieces 09,” a collection of one-act plays, on Thursday, roll, potato bites, green Friday and Saturday at beans, spinach salad, 7 p.m. at the school, 3220 blueberry cup, fresh fruit Parkwood School Road. choice Tickets are $5 for adults, $3 for students with a valid ID. The author of After-school Monday: Bug bites, two of the plays, Brad milk Tuesday: Goldfish cheddar crackers, assorted juices Wednesday: Fruit pastry, assorted juices Unionville third-grader Thursday: Giant gold- Meredith Shank should fish graham, milk have been listed on the Friday: Cheese sticks, school’s A honor roll for assorted juices the second grading pe-
Life: A Live Radio Play” on Dec. 11-12 at 7:30 p.m. in the school auditorium. Tickets are $5. This play is a radio style version of the classic movie and offers audience participation.
The Weddington High School Choral Department will present a winter concert on Tuesday in the school’s auditorium at 7 p.m. The Ladies Chorus and the Honors Ladies’ Chorus will each sing a variety of seasonal and traditional selections. As a finale, the choruses will combine to sing an arrangement set to the music of “The Nutcracker Suite” using the lyrics to “Jingle Bells”, titled “Nutcracker Jingles.” Also, the combined choruses will sing a medley of Christmas pop tunes: “Winter Wonderland,” “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” and “Its the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” The Weddington High School Band will have its annual winter concert on Dec. 17 at 7:30 p.m in the school auditorium. They will be playing a wide selection of music with the premiere performance of the Weddington Jazz Band. Admission is free
ACADEMICS Walton, will be in attendance on Saturday. For more information, please call 704-764-2900.
Parkwood art on display
MONROE The third annual Parkwood High School Visual Arts Exhibit is on display through Dec. 31 ath the Monroe branch of the Union County Public Library, 316 E. Windsor St.
Setting it straight riod. She was mistakenly listed in the A/B honor roll that was published on Page 10A of Friday’s edition.
Monday: Cheese enchilada, hamburger on whole wheat bun, pinto beans, California blend, lettuce and tomato, sliced peaches, fresh fruit choice Tuesday: Chicken vegetable casserole, submarine sandwich, potato smiles, glazed carrots, tossed salad, mixed fruit cup, fresh
Monday: Taco salad, chicken strips with honey mustard, quick-baked potatoes, steamed broccoli, cucumber/tomato salad, mixed fruit cup, fresh fruit choice Tuesday: Cheese stix dippers, chicken fajita salad with tortilla chips, baked potato, green beans, tossed salad, tropical fruit, fresh fruit choice
Maranatha Christian Book Mart We have gifts for everybody Bibles and Bible covers with free engraving
Adult and children books, cards, boxed cards (buy 2 get 1 free) and music.
Come in and register for weekly drawings. 1412 Skyway Drive, Monroe, NC 28110
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10A / Sunday, December 6, 2009
Obama wrestles with jobs WASHINGTON (AP) — In his latest job creation effort, President Barack Obama is trying to find practical and politically feasible ways of spurring hiring among skittish employers. Among the ideas expected in his economic speech Tuesday is an expanded program that gives people cash incentives to fix up their homes with energy-saving materials, senior administration officials have told The Associated Press. Obama is leaning toward new incentives for small businesses that hire new workers and new spending on roads, bridges and other public works, the officials said. The president also is open to a federal infusion of money to cash-strapped state and local governments, considered among the quickest and most effective — though expensive — ways to stem layoffs. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the package and Obama’s speech were being developed. The officials emphasized that Obama probably won’t mention in his speech every job idea he will eventually support, and that his address is meant only
as one step in a debate that’s sure to keep going. Obama said in his Saturday radio and Internet address that the country is emerging from an “economic storm” and that he’s working to put people back on the payroll after a painful recession. Two years of drastic job cuts all but ended in November, according to the latest figures, and the jobless rate inched down to 10 percent. Putting that in perspective, he said in the address, “For those who were laid off last month and the millions of Americans who have lost their jobs in this recession, a good trend isn’t good enough.” The White House is not yet commenting publicly on the details of Obama’s speech. Job losses in the U.S. have been the worst since the 1930s, but new statistics out Friday showed a relatively moderate loss of 11,000 jobs last month. The unemployment rate dipped from 10.2 percent in October to 10 percent in November, but remains at a troubling doubledigit level. Rising frustration over joblessness threatens the president’s agenda. The president must con-
nect with voters to boost the chances of his legislative efforts and for Democrats in the 2010 midterm elections and his own in 2012. Obama held a jobs forum at the White House on Thursday, made a trip Friday to visit business owners, workers and the unemployed in Allentown, Pa., and set the jobsbill speech for Tuesday at Brookings Institution, a Washington think tank. “History tells us this is usually what happens with recessions — even as the economy grows, it takes time for jobs to follow,” Obama said in the weekend address. “But the folks who have been looking for work without any luck for months and, in some cases, years, can’t wait any longer.” Obama said he has no intention of backing off his administration’s efforts to overhaul health care, improve education, invest in a clean energy economy and deal with mounting federal debts. All, he said, are vital to strengthening the economy long term. “I didn’t run for president simply to manage the crisis of the moment while kicking our most pressing problems down the road,”
$350 million goes to ‘clean’ coal plant ODESSA, Texas (AP) — The federal Department of Energy has awarded a $350 million grant to a company that plans to build a more environmentally friendly coal-fired plant in West Texas. Summit Texas Clean Energy LLC of Bainbridge Island, Wash., is pitching a $1.7 billion plant capable of producing 400 megawatts, enough to power 400,000 homes. The department announced its decision, two years after the MidlandOdessa area lost out on a similar project called FutureGen. Officials used the legwork from that proposal to boost their latest bid. Summit has said its plant would capture about 90 percent of the carbon dioxide produced in coalfired plants. The captured greenhouse gases would be sold to help the drilling process in the oil-rich
Permian Basin. Summit’s plan differs from the government’s $2.4 FutureGen plan, which would permanently store the captured gas. A site in Mattoon, Ill., beat out a site in Penwell, near Odessa, for the FutureGen project. Former Dallas Mayor Laura Miller, a spokeswoman for Summit, said the government moved quickly in awarding the grant, meaning her company could break ground on the project in a year. The site could be Penwell or elsewhere in the Midland-Odessa area. “We are extremely pleased to have DOE’s support,” Miller said in an emailed statement. Miller credited several Texas politicians “who believed in this project from the get-go and know that it will create many jobs and opportunities.
Trying to Save Money By Cutting Out Your Newspaper Advertising Is Like… Trying to Save Electricity By Cutting Off Your Open Sign
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Sunday, December 6, 2009 / 11A
Plan your retirement in stages
hile summer vacations and national holidays typically provide a break for everyone who would be considered a member of the working public, there is one big break ahead that’s a priority on most everyone’s calendar — retirement. And while it may be closer for some than it is for others, everyone needs to make sure they are financially prepared when the time comes to take a permanent leave from the ranks of the employed. Personal circumstances make planning for retirement different for each individual, but there are several considerations that apply if you break it down by the amount of time you have left until you retire. If you have at least ten years to go until you plan on retiring, you still have the advantage of time on your side. One of the most basic principles of investing is putting your money into different investment vehicles and then leaving it there so you can reap the benefits of long-
Jay Jacob Columnist
term returns. With more than ten years to invest, you might be able to afford to take on a little bit more risk with your investments. While equities – such as stocks – have an inherent risk of losing money, they also have a history of providing significant returns over a long period of time. Just keep in mind that past performance is no guarantee of future results. Probably the biggest advantage of getting an early start is the benefit of compounding earnings. Based on the investments in your retirement portfolio, the money you put in has the potential to earn more mon-
ey for you – whether through interest payments, dividends, or other means of growth. In many cases, those earnings can be reinvested into your portfolio, further enhancing the total value of your savings and allowing your money the opportunity to “make money” for you. If your retirement is less than ten years away, then it’s time to start making subtle adjustments to your investment mix. Hopefully, at this point you’re not just getting started, but rather taking a look at how your investments are allocated and making sure they appropriately match your risk tolerance, your investment objectives and your relatively short time horizon. Because you have less time to work with, you still want to have some investments that offer growth, but you also want to begin looking at preservation of principal through fixed income alternatives such as bonds, which may provide a little more stability in your portfolio and help reduce your overall risk.
Finally, at some point you’ll reach that day that you once thought was so far off. When you find yourself officially in the position to retire, you will have a whole different outlook on those funds you have set aside for just that purpose. Instead of making contributions to your retirement funds to help them grow, you’ll be looking to maintain income from those investments. You’ll likely begin taking distributions from them to pay for your dayto-day expenses. A thorough review of your investments will help you clearly see just how much you have saved, and how you will have to plan your distributions so you don’t run short on funds during your retirement. Financial preparation for retirement is something that is different for every individual. To make sure that you’re on the right track, take the time now to assess your own situation and see what you can do to make sure you’re ready when it’s time for you to retire.
Grant will fund e-learning for farmers
STATESVILLE — Farm Credit has received a grant to cover the tuition and make a new e-learning financial and business management course available to North Carolina farm families. The online training will be offered statewide through North Carolina’s three Farm Credit associations. The Farm Credit University curriculum includes financial planning, budgeting and other money matters essential to a farm’s success. Among the 10 participants for the first class taking place during fall 2009 and spring 2010 is Lee Ann Helms of Monroe. Helms is participating with her husband, Nathanael. They live on a 6.5-acre farm (part of a larger family-owned row cropping farm) and have a small horse farm that they are expanding to include cattle operations. Their mentor is Mitchell Clontz, commercial ag loan officer at the Monroe office of Carolina Farm Credit. The program is funded by a $94,500 grant from the North Carolina Tobacco Trust Fund.
CHRISTMAS CONCERT Benjamin Britten Ceremony of Carols
Camille Saint Saens Christmas Oratorio
With members of:
Central United Methodist Church Festival Chorus Union County Symphony Chorus Union County Symphony Orchestra
Must present coupon to technician upon arrival. Valid Monday - Friday 8am - 4pm. Expires 12/31/09
Johanna O’Dell, Anna Gosnell, Leah Anderson, Matthew Burton, Beverly Burton, and Jon Jones. James A. O’Dell, Director
With guarantee that if your system breaks down this winter we will credit $49.00 towards any necessary repairs. Valid Monday-Friday 8am-4pm. Expires 12/31/2009
Sunday, December 6th 5:00 p.m.
CENTRAL UNITED METHODIST CHURCH 801 South Hayne Street Monroe, NC 28112
(704) 289-3186 A free-will offering will be taken to help defray the cost of the concert.
Installed to your ductwork. Advertised price includes 2 ton heat pump, variable speed air handler, digital thermostat, labor and applicable taxes. Valid while supplies last. Other sizes available at slightly higher cost. 10 year parts warranty. Expires 12/31/09
Merry Christmas from our family to yours!
12A / Sunday, December 6, 2009
CMC-Union Caledar Carolinas Medical Center-Union offers a wide variety of community health events, seminars, support groups, and wellness classes, all intended to promote preventive health and encourage healthy choices. All classes and support groups will take place at CMC-Union, 600 Hospital Drive, in Monroe, unless otherwise noted. To view a complete list of upcoming events and classes scheduled for December, visit www.cmc-union.org/ calendar/. CPR/AED certification class Saturday, 8 a.m. to noon. This class includes adult/child CPR and AED (Automated External Defibrillator) and infant CPR instruction. This is the right choice for day care providers, teachers, coaches, and any non-health care professional seek-
ing a certification card. Certification cards will be mailed to participants upon completion of the course. The cost is $15 per person. To register, call 704-9932265. Childbirth preparation classes Dec. 7, 14, 21 & 28, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Four-part prenatal program for expecting moms and their partners. Learn about the physical and emotional changes youâ€™ll experience during the third trimester, the role of a support person, normal newborn behavior and breathing techniques to ease the labor and delivery process. To register, call 704-283-BABY. Introduction to insulin pumps Dec. 8, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Curious about insulin pumps? Find out how insulin pump therapy can improve the quality
of life for people with diabetes. Understand how an insulin pump works in comparison to taking injections and explore what it means to wear an insulin pump daily. To register, call 704-225-2880.
your blood sugar levels, and how to make good food choices on a budget. The tour will take place at Harris Teeter located at 1817 Dickerson Blvd. in Monroe. To register, call 877-7677373 ext. 1731.
Car seat safety workshop Dec. 10, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. This class will teach new parents how to install a car seat and properly secure their child in the seat according to the N.C. Child Passenger Safety Law. To register, call 704-283BABY.
How smart is your cart? Dec. 10, 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with diabetes and takes insulin, join us for a free grocery store tour to learn about heart healthy food choices, the effects of carbohydrates on
Brain Injury Support Group Dec. 7, 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Free monthly support group for those suffering from a brain injury, including strokes, tumors, TBI, Parkinsonâ€™s, etc. Family members and caregivers welcome. For more information, call 704-355-4354. Look Good, Feel Better Dec. 8, 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Free bi-monthly support group for women undergoing chemotherapy or radiation. Trained cosmetologists help women adjust to
the side effects of treatment such as hair loss and skin complexion. This program is provided in conjunction with the American Cancer Society. Pre-registration is required. To register or for more information, call 704290-0444. Gastric Bypass Support Group Dec. 8, 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Free monthly support group for people who have undergone or who are considering gastric bypass or lap band as a means to lose weight. For more information, call 704226-5073. Diabetes Wellness Group Dec. 15, 6-8 p.m. Free monthly support group for adults with diabetes and those who support diabetics. For more information, call 704-2252880.
Medicare at core of health care debate
WASHINGTON (AP) â€” Senate Republicans forced Democrats to vote in favor of cutting billions from providers of home care for older people as partisan debate flared Saturday during a rare weekend session on President Barack Obamaâ€™s health care overhaul. Obama planned to travel to Capitol Hill on Sunday to help Democrats resolve internal disputes that stand in the way of Majority Leader Harry Reid bringing the 10-year, nearly $1 trillion legislation to a vote. Ahead of his visit, Republicans, bent on making Democrats cast politically risky votes, offered their third amendment in the debate so far showcasing more than $400 billion in cuts to projected Medicare spending that would pay for the bill, mostly for subsidies to help extend coverage to millions of uninsured. Like the other two, this one went down to defeat, on a vote of 53 to 41. The measure by Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., would have eliminated $42 billion in cuts over 10 years to agencies that provide home health care to seniors under Medicare. Four moderate Democrats joined all Republicans present in voting for the amendment.
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Sunday, December 6, 2009 / 13A
LIBRARY CALENDAR Computer classes
Monroe Library, 316 E. Windsor St.; 704-283-8184 Word II, 5 p.m. Tuesday 12/1; Excel I, 3:30 p.m. Thursday 12/3; Ancestry Online for Beginners, 1:30 p.m. Saturday 12/5; Word I, 10 a.m. Monday 12/7; Basic Internet, 10:30 a.m. Wednesday 12/9; Excel II, 3 p.m. Wednesday 12/9; Mail Merge, 3 p.m. Wednesday 12/9; Basic Computer Skills, 10 a.m. Tuesday 12/15; Basic Email, 11 a.m. Wednesday 12/16; Word I, 5:30 p.m. Wednesday 12/16; Publisher I, 10 a.m. Thursday 12/17; Basic Computer Skills, 1:30 p.m. Saturday 12/19; Basic Computer Skills, 10 a.m. Wednesday 12/23; Internet Basics, 10 a.m. Monday 12/28; Excel I, 2 p.m. Monday 12/28. Union West Library, 123 Unionville-Indian Trail Road, Indian Trail; 704821-7475 Basic Computer Skills, 10 a.m. Thursday 12/3. Union West Regional Library; Excel I, 5:30 p.m. Tuesday 12/8; Basic Internet, 10 a.m. Thursday 12/10; Publisher, 1:30 p.m. Saturday 12/12; Basic Email, 3 p.m. Monday 12/14; Word I, 3 p.m. Monday 12/21; Excel I, 3 p.m. Tuesday 12/22; Excel II, 5 p.m. Tuesday 12/22 Edwards Memorial Library, 414 Hasty St., Marshville; 704-624-2828 Excel I, 5:30 p.m. Wednesday 12/2; Word II, 1:30 p.m. Saturday 12/5; Basic Internet, 10 a.m. Tuesday 12/8 Waxhaw Library, 509 S. Providence St., Waxhaw; 704-843-3131 Email Basics, 3 p.m. Thursday 12/10; Internet Basics, 10 a.m. Thursday 12/17.
Edwards Memorial Library
414 Hasty St., Marshville; 704-624-2828. CHILDREN TODDLER TIME: 9:30 a.m. Wednesday. Twenty minutes of stories, songs, and activities for children ages 12 - 36 months and a caregiver. PRESCHOOL STORY TIME: 10 a.m. Wednesday. Thirty to 40 minutes of stories, songs, and activities for children 3, 4 and 5. BABY TIME: 10 a.m. Tuesday. This fun and interactive program is full of stories, rhymes and songs! It is for babies and their caregivers. TERRIFIC TUESDAY: 5:30
p.m. Dec. 8. “All Aboard! The Polar Express” Get your ticket and wear your pajamas for a holiday story, music and a craft. Registration required. For ages 5-9. SAMANTHA’S WINTER PARTY: 5:30 p.m. Dec. 14. This American Girl party features a short story, making snowflakes and ornaments plus a game. Ages 5-12. READING CLUBHOUSE: 5:30 p.m. Dec. 17. Read the book and attend the program for some fun and exciting activities. For ages 8-12. TEENS OFFICIAL OPENING OF NEW TEEN AREA: 5-5:30 p.m. Dec. 7. Help us unveil our new Teen Area at the Marshville Branch. The name of the area will be announced and displayed. The name was chosen by the local teens. Free customized ear buds will be given to all teens (ages 13-18) in attendance. Drawings for three gift certificates will be held — you must be present to enter and win. Refreshments provided. ADULTS OPEN KNIT: 3-4:45 p.m. Dec. 7. Open Knit is the perfect opportunity to share information on patterns and yarn, get some advice, or just meet other knitters. Beginning knitters are always welcome and experienced knitters are always sought. Teens are invited as well. BOOKS FOR LUNCH: Noon Dec. 15. Discussion of “Holidays on Ice” by David Sedaris.
316 E. Windsor St., Monroe; 704-283-8184. CHILDREN BABY TIME: 11 a.m. Wednesday. This fun and interactive program is full of stories, rhymes and songs! It is for babies and their caregivers. TODDLER TIME: 10 a.m. Tuesday. Twenty minutes of stories, songs, and activities for children ages 12 - 36 months and a caregiver. PRESCHOOL STORY TIME: 10:30 a.m. Tuesday. Thirty to 40 minutes of stories, songs, and activities for children 3, 4 and 5. HOMEWORK HELP: 4:306:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. For kids in grades 1-8. No registration is necessary; just drop in. This will run through December 17. ADULTS
A RECEPTION AND BOOKSIGNING HONORING THE AUTHORS OF REMEMBERING HURRICANE HUGO – LIFE EXPERIENCE STORIES FROM UNION COUNTY NC: 2-3:30 p.m. Dec. 6. This keepsake book is a product of a writing workshop led by Margaret Bigger that took place in August at the library. Participants were given prompts to help recall and write their memories of that night and the aftermath. This drop-in event will be held at the Monroe Library and is open to the public. EVENING BOOK CLUB: 5:30 p.m. Dec. 8. Free choice! Bring your favorite book or Christmas book to discuss with the group. FINDING THE PERFECT POOCH: 1:30 p.m. Dec. 12. Before you buy that new puppy for Christmas, join certified professional dog trainer Maggie Blutreich to learn about what you should AND shouldn’t look for in a new family member. Call 704-283-8184, ext. 232 for more information. REBALANCE YOUR PORTFOLIO FOR 2010 IN JUST 30 MINUTES: 4 p.m. Dec. 16. Christine Benz, Morningstar’s director of personal finance, will present this online seminar. The session will focus on how to use the library’s subscription to Morningstar Investment Research Center to help manage your portfolio and keep your investments in order. Following the presentation, patrons will have the opportunity to access the online Morningstar Investment Research Center to practice the skills taught in the seminar. This program will be helpful for anyone who wants to take an active role in their retirement or investment planning. Morningstar is an independent investment research company providing data on more than 300,000 investment offerings including stocks, bonds, and mutual funds. Union County Public Library offers its cardholders access to Morningstar’s online Investment Research Center as well as the hardcopy Morningstar Mutual Funds subscription (at the Monroe and Indian Trail branches). There is a limit of 14 participants for this program. Registration is required. To register, call the Reference Desk of the Monroe Library at 704-283-
Circulation District Manager: Full time, entry-level management position. Responsibilities include working with adult newspaper carriers, maintain and improve customer service and work on circulation sales. Flexible shifts including early morning and weekends. Must have dependable vehicle to be used on the job, clean driving record, valid drivers license and insurance.
8184, extension 232.
Union West Regional Library
123 Unionville-Indian Trail Road, Indian Trail. 704-821-7475. CHILDREN BABY TIME: 10:30 a.m. Mondays & Thursdays. This fun and interactive program is full of stories, rhymes and songs! It is for babies and their caregivers. TODDLER TIME: 11:15 a.m. Mondays. 10 a.m. Tuesdays. 10:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. Wednesdays. Twenty minutes of stories, songs, and activities for children 12-36 months, and a caregiver. PRESCHOOL STORY TIME: 10:45 a.m. Tuesdays. 11:30 a.m. Wednesdays. Thirty to 40 minutes of stories, songs, and activities for children 3, 4 and 5. COME DISCOVER BOOKS BY CHRIS VAN ALLSBURG: 5 p.m. Dec. 8. We will discover a few of Chris Van Allsburg’s books with book talks, and then share the story of “The Polar Express.”We will also do a fun activity with a jingle bell. This program is for kids 5 and up and their families.
CARTOONING CLUB: 5:30 p.m. Dec. 17. For ages 8 and up. New members always welcome. ADULTS UNION WEST BOOK CLUB: 5:30 p.m. Dec. 15. Discussion of “Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert. Call 704-821-7475 for more information.
509 S. Providence Street, Waxhaw. 704-843-3131. CHILDREN BABY TIME: 11:30 a.m. Monday. This fun and interactive program is full of stories, rhymes and songs! It is for babies and their caregivers. TODDLER TIME: 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. Tuesday. Twenty minutes of stories, songs, and activities for children 12-36 months and a caregiver. PRESCHOOL STORY TIME: 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. Wednesday. Thirty to 40 minutes of stories, songs, and activities for children ages 3, 4 and 5. FAMILY MUSIC FUN: 3:30 p.m. Dec. 21. Celebrate the joy of music and family. This whole family event will be a fun-filled time for all. The best part – no musical talent is necessary!
VFD awarded $9,616 grant
RALEIGH — Allens Crossroads Volunteer Fire Department south of Wingate has been awarded a $9,616.37 grant through the state’s 2009 Volunteer Fire Department Fund. The check will be mailed to Chief Bruce Aldridge to be used by the department to purchase needed equipment. The equipment is purchased using matching funds and must be approved by the Department of Insurance Office of State Fire Marshal. Allens Crossroads Volunteer Fire Department Inc. has received a total of $75,661.07 from the Volunteer Fire Department Fund in the 22 years since the program began. The General Assembly created the Volunteer Fire Department Fund in 1988 to help volunteer units raise money for equipment and supplies. The grant funds must be matched dollar-for-dollar, up to an approved amount, by money raised locally to purchase necessary equipment.
Santa Has Arrived… at The Renn’s Nest
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Sunday ...... December 6th ........ 1pm - 5pm Friday ........ December 11th....... 10am - 6pm Saturday.... December 12th ...... 10am - 5pm Sunday ...... December 13th ...... 1pm - 5pm Friday ........ December 18th ...... 10am - 6pm Saturday.... December 19th ...... 10am - 5pm Sunday ...... December 20th ...... 1pm - 5pm Monday..... December 21st ....... 10am - 6pm Tuesday ..... December 22nd ..... 10am - 6pm Special arrangements can be made for other dates or for large groups.
ANNUAL CHRISTMAS SALE! 25-35% OFF selected items including Citizens Seiko Watches
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14A / Sunday, December 6, 2009
COMING EVENTS Sunday, Dec. 6
• HUGO BOOK RECEPTION, BOOK SIGNING, 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monroe Library. Honoring authors of “Remembering Hurricane Hugo — Life Experience STORIES FROM UNION COUNTY, N.C.” Details, 704-283-8184. • SIBLING TOUR AND CLASS, 3 p.m. to 4 p.m., CMC-Union. For details, call 704-283-3100.
Monday, Dec. 7
• EXERCISE CLASS, 9 a.m. to 10 a.m., Ellen Fitzgerald Senior Center. Open to ages 55 and up. For details, call 704-2824657. • SENIOR FITNESS CLASS, 10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m., Bazemore Center, Winchester Avenue, Monroe. Free to all senior citizens. Details, 704-282-4654. • MICROSOFT WORD I CLASS, 10 a.m., Monroe Library. Free. Registration required; call 704-2838184. • BABY TIME, 10:30 a.m., Union West Library.
Details, 704-821-7475. • TODDLER TIME, 11:15 a.m., Union West Regional Library, for children ages 12 months to 36 months. • BABY TIME, 11:30 a.m., Waxhaw Library. Details, 704-843-3131. • MONROE-UNION COUNTY SENIOR CITIZENS ORGANIZATION, 3 p.m., Winchester Center. For details, call Christine R. Belton, 704-283-1615. • OPEN KNIT, 3 p.m. to 4:45 p.m., Edwards Library, Marshville. Beginners welcome. Details, 704-624-2828. • TURNING POINT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE GROUP, 4 p.m. at the shelter. Details, 704-283-7233. • CAREGIVER SUPPORT GROUP, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Outpatient Treatment Pavilion auditorium, CMC-Union. Details, Kara Finch, 704-2833381, 704-320-6570, kara. email@example.com. • ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, Low Bottom group, 6 p.m. to 7 p.m., old Belk building, 200 Stewart St., Monroe.
Details, 704-332-4387; 704377-0244. • INDIAN TRAIL TOPS (Take Off Pounds Sensibly), private weighin, 6 p.m. to 6:45 p.m; meeting 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., Indian Trail United Methodist Church, 113 Indian Trail Road. First visit free. Details, 704-843-9365. • ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS, Sunset group, 6 p.m., 1010 McManus St., Monroe. Details, 704-219-6245. • TOPS (TAKE OFF POUNDS SENSIBLY), 6:30 p.m. weigh-in, 7 p.m. meeting, Bonds Grove United Methodist Church, Waxhaw. Details, 704-8432735. • SUN VALLEY HIGH BOOSTER CLUB, board members 6:30 p.m., general public 7 p.m. in the school cafeteria.. • TOPS (TAKE OFF POUNDS SENSIBLY), 6:30 p.m. weigh-in, 7 p.m. meeting, First Baptist Church, 109 Morrow Ave. Details, 704-233-1610. • COMMUNITY CAREER CONNECTIONS, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Lee Park Baptist Church. Call 704-
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