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WEDNESDAY July 21, 2010


Mooresville couple’s all natural beverage something to root about BY SUSAN SHINN For The Salisbury Post

f you’re a fan of root beer, you’ll love Uncle Scott’s All Natural Root Beer. If you’re not a fan, you might be after one bottle. The beverage is the creation of Scott and Suzanne Ramsey of Mooresville. Locally, you can find it at Okey Dokey and Co. General Store; Atwell One Stop, Stag ’n’ Doe and Steve’s Corner Store in China Grove; Conrad & Hinkle Grocery in Lexington; and McLaughlin’s Farmhouse and McCann’s Place in Mooresville. The bottles sell for $2 a piece or $8.75 for a six-pack. “We want folks to visit local stores,” Scott says. A candy fiend, Scott always takes time to load up from Okey Dokey’s barrels of old-fashioned treats. Bette Pollock of Okey Dokey says the response to the root beer has been very good. “I always tell customers that it’s made locally,” she says. “We like to promote local products.” Scott loved making root beer as a child. He and his wife had considered making it. But first, they installed a specialty grape vineyard of French and Spanish grapes. They lost all 700 vines two years ago in a bad freeze. So they came back to their root beer idea. July 22 marks the third year the root beer hit stores. “You cook it like you’re making beer,” Scott explains. “It’s as complex as wine.” The root beer has a whole lot going on when it hits your tongue. Some people immediately taste the licorice, Suzanne says, while others pick up on the cherry, vanilla and cinnamon flavors. Scott and Suzanne are proud of the fact that you can pronounce all of the ingredients: filtered carbonated water, vanilla, cinnamon oil, caramel, wood extract, licorice root oil, anise oil and natural gum arabic. Just so you know, a dollop of vanilla ice cream mellows the flavor even more. Suzanne says she’s heard of the beverage being used as an ingredient in baked beans, barbecue sauce, marinades, cocktails and cakes. The duo brought in a partner, Jeff Fleenor. Jeff and Scott deliver the beverages to 57 stores and restaurants in Rowan, Mecklenburg, Iredell and Davidson


Tea Party Forum gives locals a chance to quiz candidates BY HUGH FISHER

Voters had a chance to hear, and question, candidates for local offices at Tuesday’s forum organized by the Rowan County Tea Party Patriots. The crowd at Blue Bay Seafood Restaurant on Statesville Boulevard neared 200 people, many standing or sharing tables and booths. Michael Lambe said the turnout was “nearly double” attendance at the last forum in June. Sheriff Kevin Auten, a Democrat, and Republican candidate John Noble were the first to speak. They were followed by Karen Biernacki (D) and Brandy Cook (R), candidates for district attorney. The program included judicial candidates Beth Dixon and Douglas Smith, and Rowan Register of Deeds John Brindle (D) and challenger Harry Welch Jr. (R). Each candidate was given time to speak, followed by questions for the candidates for a particular office. Audience members’ concerns were wide-ranging, including issues discussed by Tea Party groups nationwide. Those included discussions of threats to the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms, as well as questions about enforcing immigrations laws. The issue of whether or not President Barack Obama


Scott moved to the Charlotte area in 1988 and the couple have been married for seven years. Suzanne says that working with her husband is “absolutely great.” “We had full lives and careers and neither of us had never married,” she explained. “We were both ready for a partner. We look forward to working together every day.” Jeff and Scott were good friends from Scott’s racing days, and the three know one another’s strengths and witnesses, Suzanne says. They’ve conducted tastings at farmers markets and

is actually natural-born American citizen was also raised. Candidates listened and responded during what was at times a very emotional discussion. Both candidates for sheriff spoke of the growth of crime over the years. Auten said that from the time he started work as a detention offi- AUTEN cer in Rowan County until today, he’d seen the number of inmates in the county jail jump from 27 to 307. He pledged to remain ac- NOBLE countable to taxpayers and citizens. “We kind of have a black cloud over the office on some issues, and we’re trying to deal with that,” Auten said. He also pledged to improve relationships between the Sheriff’s Department and other public safety agencies “Our job is to be customer service oriented,” Auten said. Noble pointed to over 30 years’ experience working with the Sheriff’s Department in a variety of roles from detention


Board of Adjustment puts brakes on Rockwell go-kart race track

Suzanne and Scott Ramsey of Mooresville, along with their partner Jeff Fleenor, are the folks behind the scenes at Uncle Scott’s. counties, while Suzanne Ramsey is in charge of all the marketing. She’s the only full-time employee so far in this venture. “I have the cutest delivery person there is,” Suzanne says of Scott. Scott works full-time in sales, while Jeff works for an independent contractor who builds race cars. “We really try to create a good relationship with our customers,” Suzanne says. A native of New Mexico, Suzanne owned her own business and also had her own radio show. That’s where she met Scott, a native of Pittsburgh.



festivals. They’re considering adding another product to their repertoire — either a blueberry, raspberry or black cherry soda in the next year or two. “That’s still in the development stages,” Suzanne says. The root beer’s name comes from Suzanne’s nieces. “They said, ‘Uncle Scott, this is the best root beer we’ve ever tasted,’” Suzanne says. “I said, ‘There’s our name.’”

The disputed Rockwell go-kart track was red-flagged Tuesday when the Board of Adjustment revoked Mike Cauble’s accessory structure permit. Cauble built the race track behind his business, Carolina Pipe Cleaning, to boost morale among his workers. But, neighboring families did not like the noise, and investigated the definition of an accessory permit further, eventually appealing Cauble’s permit. Chris Stiller, adjacent property owner who has been against the track since February, said he was pleased with the board’s decision. “I think the board did the right thing,” he said. Cauble could not be reached for comment, but previously said he be fine with whatever the town decided. Each board member spoke about their decision to revoke the permit, and all agreed that the race track was not a true accessory structure, in that it was not used for the same or similar purposes as the main building.



Cop will soon be moving to the top CHINA GROVE — In about three weeks China Grove Police Officer David Lambert will spend more than 24 hours at Gary’s BarB-Q restaurant. He won’t be eating a barbecue sandwich and sweet tea, but raising money for Special Olympics of North Carolina. Lambert is organizing an event called Cop on Top where he’ll sit on the restaurant’s roof and among the activities, let people hurl water balloons at him. The slogan for the event is: “China Grove’s finest empowering North Carolina’s Special Olympian.” “I like getting involved,” Lambert said of organizing the event.

He has a cousin and a friend’s daughter have Down Syndrome. Also as a school resource officer for Carson High School, Lambert said he encounters students with special needs. “I love all of the kids,” he said. He’s watched as the athletes who participate in the Special Olympics get excited, win or lose. Lambert will go on top of Gary’s at 10:30 a.m., Friday Aug. 6 and come down Saturday Aug. 7 at 10:30 p.m. The restaurant is located at 620 U.S. 29 North, China Grove. Lambert is selling T-shirts to help raise money and is also collecting other donations. The T-shirts are $7 and will list all of the event sponsors as well as the police department’s


See COP, 5A China Grove Police Officer David Lambert, left, is organizing a fundraiser ‘Cop on Top’ for Special Olympics. Also pictured is Officer Jeff Alley.

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