Morning Minute: Thursday, June 27, 2019

News About Town:  Proximity Matthews is planning to plant some trees. The Taft apartment complex overcut the tree canopy when land clearing began, because, as Taft representatives explained, the tree save information was too far back in the project design drawings. Taft paid a $50,000 fine and imposed their own $100,000 fine to the town. Now they’re planning to replace the trees, but need the Board of Commissioner’s approval of the new landscape plan. The Board will decide whether to hold a public input session. The trees to be planted include oak, pine, elm, and hollies, among others.


News Around Matthews: On Tuesday, County Commissioners held an informal meeting to discuss the potential Dedicated Sales Tax for Arts & Culture and Other Use. The quarter-cent increase in sales tax will equal about $50 million a year. How will that be divided up? $24 million would go towards arts and culture (mostly for Arts & Science Council), $8 million would supplement to public school teachers, $15 million will go to parks and greenways, and the remaining $2.5 million would go towards arts and parks programs in Mecklenburg’s six towns. On July 2, at their regular meeting, County Commissioners will vote on placing this on the November 2019 Ballot.

One Good Thing: Matthews Playhouse has a FREE Performance tonight at Fullwood Theatre. Nearly 30 area teenagers will take the stage to belt out the best of Broadway and show off some fancy footwork. The Playhouse students and camp-goers have been practicing hard to make this show a hit. The curtain goes up at 7 pm, make sure you're in your seat and ready to be impressed.

Touching Art: A Sensory Art Show at McDowell Arts Center

When my daughter and I walked into the Sensory Art Show at McDowell Arts Center (123 E. McDowell St.), I still had to ask, “It’s okay to touch everything?” Melissa Johnson, Cultural Recreation Manager for the Town of Matthews, nodded and cheerfully said, “Yep.”

That’s exactly what we did: touched each piece, enjoyed the colors and textures, the variety of methods of art making covered in the exhibit. From metal sculpture to heavily textured abstracts, the show was also perfect for kids. Friendge, Andrea Vail’s interactive community-building project, was an unassuming table in the middle of the room, waiting for viewers to sit down and take part.

With this exhibit, it’s the interaction that sparks the magic of art in this show.

Enjoy some of the photos my daughter and I took, but also go and see it yourself. The Multi-Sensory Art Show is on display through July 5. Hours are typically Monday-Friday: 1 pm-8 pm, Saturday: 10 am-4 pm, and Sunday: 1pm-6pm, but call to double check first: 704-847-9746.

Morning Minute: Wednesday, June 26, 2019

News About Town:  There are a few town events coming up that are of note. Wednesday the police will hold a car seat checking station at the police station (1201 Crews Road, Matthews) starting at 8 am. The NCDOT meeting about the 51 widening is this Thursday, June 27, 2019, from noon to 7 pm and is a drop-in at Endhaven Elementary School (6815 Endhaven Lane, Charlotte). This Friday at 5 pm head up to Stumptown Park for Food Truck Fridays.

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News Around Matthews: Any visually creative thespians out there? Matthews Playhouse is hiring! They’re looking for a Technical Director and several members for the Production Design Staff. The 2019/20 season includes The Adventures of Madeline, It’s A Wonderful Life, and Mamma Mia! For more info, contact the Playhouse.

One Good Thing: Five bucks won’t get you much these day. Maybe a meal at a fast food restaurant, less than two gallons of gas… ten movies. What?! Matthews Movies 10 is offering a 10 movie pass this summer for $5. See the newish How to Train Your Dragon, Peter Rabbit (a favorite around here), the SpongeBob Movie (barf), and a handful of others on the big screen. Bring the real cash for the drinks and pop corn.

2810[high]5: Book Clubs

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The Pocket Size Book Club: I know you’ve probably already decided you don’t have time to join a book club. You’ve probably decided you don’t even have time to finish reading this article. But before you go, you should know that the Matthews Library hosts a book club specifically for those who are short on time. The Pocket Size Book Club meets monthly and discusses books that are 300 pages or less. For July, they will be reading Fruit of the Drunken Tree by Ingrid Rojas, a story about a friendship between a sheltered young girl and a teenage maid in Colombia during the reign of the violent drug lord, Pablo Escobar.

Date: Wednesday, July 17, 2019 - 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm

230 Matthews Station St, Matthews, NC 28105

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Carolina Beer Temple Book Club: If you’ve ever hung out in downtown Matthews on a Tuesday evening, you probably know about the Carolina Beer Temple’s Tuesday Run Club. But did you know that once a month they also host a book club after the run? In case you’re more into reading than running, don’t worry, you don’t need to run to participate in the book discussion and the books will not be about running. For July, the club will be discussing the book Be Free or Die: The Amazing Store of Robert Smalls Escape from Slavery to Union Hero by Cate Lineberry.

Date: Tuesday, July 30, 2019 8:00 pm-9:00 pm

131 Matthews Station St #1C, Matthews, NC 28105

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Books on Tap: Matthews 20s & 30s Book Club: The Carolina Beer Temple is not the only place you can enjoy an adult beverage while discussing great reads. The Matthews Library hosts a monthly book club at Seaboard Taproom and Wine Bar specifically for the 20s and 30s crowd. In July, they will be reading (one of my personal favorites!) All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. Winner of a Pulitzer Prize, the novel is about the connecting paths of a blind French girl and a German boy during World War II.

Date: Thursday, July 11, 2019 -7:00 pm to 8:30 pm.

213 N Trade St, Matthews, NC 28105

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Far Horizons Non-Fiction Book Club: If you’re more reading about real life, considering joining the Far Horizons Non-Fiction Book Club at the library. July’s book will be Dear America: Notes of an Undocumented Citizen, by Jose Vargas. In his memoir, Vargas poignantly discusses his experience as an undocumented immigrant in the United States and the emotional complexities of trying to “pass” as an American and living in a country for most of your life but still not feeling as if you can call it home.

Date: Monday, July 8, 2019, 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm.

Matthews Library, 230 Matthews Station St, Matthews, NC 28105

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Teen: Are you worried your teenager’s brains are beginning to melt over the summer? Encourage them to join the Teen Book Club at the library. Rather than focusing on one particular book, they select a different genre to discuss each month. For July, the focus will be Science Fiction books.

Date: Monday, July 15, 2019, 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm.

Matthews Library, 230 Matthews Station St, Matthews, NC 28105


Are none of these book clubs your particular choice of genre? Did you know the Charlotte Mecklenburg library actually offers Book Club Kits to help you begin your own book discussion with friends, families, or even strangers? Each kit includes 10 copies of a book, biographical notes on the author, and sample discussion questions, and tips on how to host a successful book club.  Materials can be kept for up to six weeks, and you can learn more and see what book club kits are available by visiting the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library website.

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Morning Minute: Tuesday, June 25, 2019

News About Town:  Last night, Matthews Commissioners had a brief meeting about the council meeting invocations. The meeting was brief and consisted mostly of questions from council members with clarifying answers by the town attorney. The board will have a calendar for invocations which will include many varieties of religious representation.


News Around NC: Climbing gym Inner Peaks is moving to Matthews. The popular rock climbing destination is moving their MoRa location to Independence Pointe in the former Grand Slam USA building ( 10715 Independence Pointe Pkwy).  The renovations will be lengthy, but an Inner Peaks spokesperson said they will be open in the new location by the end of the year.


One Good Thing: Every year the Matthews Human Services Council awards a person (or couple) the Nancy Glenn Award. The award honors those who have made Matthews a better community through service. This year’s recipient, Karla Ennis, is a nurse an community outreach coordinator for Novant Matthews. She was nominated because of her can do attitude and her amazing ability to connect the Matthews community with compassion and heart. Congratulations Karla!

Morning Minute: Monday, June 24, 2019

News About Town: Matthews lost a mainstay this past Friday, June 21, 2019. At approximately 9:00 am., Ms.Fanny Dolores Bunn was crossing Trade St. at the crosswalk near Which Wich and was struck by a motor vehicle. Ms. Fanny (also sometimes known by Delores) died at the scene. The 81-year old petite brunette lived near downtown and was often seen walking to Harris Teeter or Target with her red bag cart. The fatality is now an ongoing investigation conducted by members of the Matthews Police Department Accident Reconstruction Team.  The driver has not been charged at this time.

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News Around NC: On the topic of pedestrian safety, North Carolina was recently ranked 13th worst in the country (and 7th worst for pedestrian fatalities). In Matthews there were 46 pedestrian incidents between 2007 and 2016 ( doesn’t have more recent data) and four pedestrian deaths between 2007 and 2017, and two in 2018.

One Fun Thing: If you began the summer with a plan for daily pool trips and at-home crafts, but have already reached the limit of your optimism, fear not! Parks and Rec has you covered. There are still spots in some of their summer camps. Three magic words will make your, and their, summers brighter: Drop Off Fun.

#ThrowbackThursday: June 25, 2009

With permission, The Beacon is archiving past issues of Matthews Record (also called Matthews News and Record and The Matthews News) articles online. Throwback Thursday articles will include relevant content still facing Matthews today. This story was originally published June 25, 2009 and was written by Janet Denk.

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Greenway moves forward

County Commissioners will decide in July, construction could begin in September

The Matthews Board voted Monday night to fund the Four-Mile Creek Greenway project that has been stalled due to county budget cutbacks.

On July 7 the Mecklenburg County Board will vote on the amended contract which would allow Matthews to pay for the project and be reimbursed when the voter approved Parks Bonds are sold.

Construction could begin as soon as September.

“September is the goal for construction to begin,” said an excited Julie Clark, County Greenway Planner.

“We’re thrilled that the Town of Matthews has stepped forward with the funding arrangement.”

The success of Four Mile Creek Greenway comes from a variety of sources, making it a true community effort. Approved back in 2005, the linear park will add green space, connectivity, and walking opportunities to an area increasingly besieged by vehicular growth and rapid development. Several hurdles including personal property concerns by adjacent land owners; county budget cuts and conflicting approaches to the design stalled the project.

But it’s back on the beam, due to a financing option by RBC bank, which helped the town take advantage of lower construction costs, in the current economy.

Town officials have been marking all the neighborhood pathways with signs.

The parkway will run from East John Street to Brenham Lane and from the confluence of Four Mile Creek north to the old Public Works building near Matthews Elementary School.

The County is responsible for the section from East John Street to Brenham Lane, which will include a boardwalk, paved trail, neighborhood entrances, and three pedestrian bridges.

The Town is responsible for the linear park from the old Public Works building north to South Trade street, including connection to the school.

Morning Minute: Friday, June 21, 2019

News About Town: Getting a jump start on campaign season, three incumbent candidates held their first meet and greet at Seaboard last night. The mayor and five commissioners were in attendance, as was the town manager. Candidates for Matthews Board of Commissioners don’t officially file to run until next month, so the full roster is yet to be known. Early voting begins Wednesday, October 16 and ends Friday, November 1. The general election is on Tuesday, November 5 from 6:30 am until 7:30 pm at your regular polling location.


News Around Town: NCDOT is hosting an open house/preconstruction meeting for the I-485 Express Lane project. This project will include the on/off ramps at Weddington Rd. and improvements to the John St. interchange. The express lanes will be tolled with cost depending on demand, existing lanes will not be toll lanes. Stop by anytime Thursday, June 27, from noon to 7 pm at the Endhaven Elementary School (6815 Endhaven Ln., Charlotte) to chat with NCDOT and Turnpike Authority representatives.

One Fun Thing: There’s one more chance to hear from Barbara Taylor, Director for the Matthews Heritage Museum, about the Tank Town exhibit. Barbara will be at Matthews Library presenting the history of the schools and churches in the community as well as some stories highlighting life in Tank Town. Saturday, June 22, 2 to 3 pm, Matthews Library.

Morning Minute: Thursday, June 20, 2019

News About Matthews: Prior to the Monday, June 24 Board of Commissioners meeting, the commissioners will meet at 5:30 to discuss the constitutionality of Board led invocations at council meetings. This is the second d time the board will discuss the topic, the first time largely centered about d the Rowan County Fourth Circuit ruling for a similar situation.


News Around Town: There is a lot of discussion about the sheriff’s department and undocumented immigrants in Mecklenburg County, especially with the HB370 progressing to the state senate. Sheriffs’ offices are clarifying their role in immigration. The Federal Government does not force Law Enforcement to follow their policies, which is how 287g came about as an opt in program. DHS/ICE must follow the same legal steps as any other federal and state agencies to detain a person and cannot force sheriffs to cooperate. Once a person is detained, it is up to the magistrate or judge to determine bond or details of release. Sheriffs are, at that point, required to follow those orders.

One Fun Thing: The lawyers of Garrity & Gossage LLP and Dessi Dufresni of Edward Jones are partnering up with a seminar series: Women, Wine, & Wisdom. The three seminars will cover a variety of topics geared toward women, including financial planning, common legal questions, and estate planning. About that wine...seminars start at 5 pm at The Black Chicken Market (131 Matthews Station St.) on the following Mondays: June 24, September 30, and November 18. To register, or for more info, call 704-841-0664.

Morning Minute: Wednesday, June 19, 2019

News About Matthews: Republic Services did not finish their Monday trash, recycling, and yard waste routes. Sardis Forest (Neil Ridge & Leeswood), Sardis Rd, and Stanhope, Somersby, Sandy Mead, Mangionne, and Barrington should now be picked up. If not, call Republic Services directly at 704-393-6900.

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News Around Town: Approximately 50 Matthews businesswomen gathered at Grace O’Malley’s last night for Women In Business with the Matthews Chamber. The Greater Matthews Family Network (a collaboration of COSKids, Mathews Free Medical Clinic, and the Matthews Help Center) made a short presentation about their work, followed by a networking reception.

One Interesting Thing: On June 19, 1865, two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation, news reached Galveston, Texas that the Civil War had ended. Juneteenth Independence Day or Freedom Day (celebrated annually on June 19) symbolizes the emancipation of enslaved African Americans in the farthest reaches of the southern US.

2810[high]5: Free (or Nearly Free) Fun

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Fountain Rock Park: This passive park is between the Trade St. and Country Place entrances to the greenway. Tucked off to the side, it’s the perfect spot to take the kids when they’re tired of being inside. Who knew a giant rock and splattering water could fuel the imagination? It’s a Matthews mom’s (or dad’s) miracle!

Near the entrance to 4-Mile Creek Greenway at Trade (311 S. Trade St.)

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Visiting the cats at PetSmart: All of the pet fun, none of the litter scooping. We go to PetSmart for essentials, but always stay an extra long time looking at the cats up for adoption. If there’s a volunteer on site, you can even get a few kitty snuggles in.

11210 Brigman Rd, Matthews, NC 28105

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Windsor Park: Go for the zip line, stay for the many opportunities to explore nature. The trees keep things cool, and this park gets bonus points for having a recycling bin at the picnic tables.

10140 Northeast Pkwy (Photos by the author)

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Matthews Library: Always a favorite because free, but also the summer programs look extra fun. This week Discovery Place has programs for all ages. Check the schedule to see what else is going on.

230 Matthews Station St. (Photos from the Library’s website)

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Live Music: This is where the “cheap” comes into play. Live music is easy to find if you’re going to a restaurant. But not buying food? Kinda feels a little weird. A lot of people go to Food Truck Friday just for the music. Why not get a slice of cake and enjoy the music at the Loyalist? This Saturday is a bluegrass band. Grace O’Malley’s hosts a Sunday Session, and the Farmers’ Market has live music as well.

(Top image by South Branch Bluegrass Band, bottom is author’s own)


Morning Minute: Tuesday, June 18, 2019

News About Matthews: Curious about future road projects in Matthews but unsure where to begin looking? On the town’s website, check out the Public Works page of transportation projects. The page lists anticipated projects that haven’t been funded yet, projects that are in the pipeline, and projects that have been completed. Just remember with NCDOT projects, knowing is not half the battle.


News Around Town: Without access to free breakfasts and assisted lunches during the regular school year, up to 45,000 kids could go hungry this summer. CMS’ Summer Food Service Program provides meals to kids who would otherwise go hungry. For those in the Matthews area, Crown Point Elementary and East Meck High School are serving meals throughout the summer. For menus and the schedules, see the CMS website.

One Fun Thing: This Sunday, June 23, trek on over to the east side of town for Kale Farms’ Farmers’ Market. Several vendors will be there, including Nectarri Honey Company, Kale Farms will have their own lotions and potions, and there will be a yoga class in the yard. This event is rain or shine,

Morning Minute: Monday, June 17, 2019

News About Matthews: It’s once again time for Elizabeth Lane Elementary to apply for a zoning allowance to keep module classrooms on the school property. Last year the Kress Query asked for an additional security camera on the modules, which CMS found to be of inferior quality to security measures in place. During the 2018 discussions, Query stated he will not approve the modules in 2019 without the additional security. Chris Melton approved the modules last year, but stated he will not support them this year because he feels CMS does not work collaboratively with Matthews. Since 2017, the Board has approved rezoning projects expected to add an additional 168 elementary students for CMS schools in Matthews.


News Around Town: Jim McGuinness, Head Coach of Charlotte Independence, is updating his resume after a very short stint with Charlotte Independence. Hired this past December for a three-year contract, Charlotte Independence has had one win in fourteen games under McGuinness. The team’s general manager (and their former coach) Mike Jefferies, is putting his coaching hat back on for the team.

One Fun Thing: Get out your camera and pretend you’re a tourist, it’s the last day to enter the Town of Matthews “Capture Matthews” photo contest. There are a few rules: photos must be taken in Matthews, no major photoshopping or editing, and no watermarks. These photos will be used on Town social media, the town website, and a number of other marketing methods, so by submitting your photos you give the town permission to use them. Want more details? Find them here

Morning Minute: Friday, June 14, 2019

News About Town: Mayor Pro Tem John Higdon and Commissioner Barbara Dement participated in the most recent Facebook Live event with commissioners. The commissioners briefly touched on the new City Arcade business going into the old Hooters location, assuring the police department would ensure a safe environment. They also touched on the tree loss at the Taft development, as well as advisory board opportunities. Watch on Facebook if you’d like to catch up.

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News Around Town: If you’ve driven down Independence at Matthews Festival shopping center lately, you’ll notice the buildings in front of the old movie theater have been torn down. Because of the 51-widening, the Texas Roadhouse will be too close to the future bridge site (it will shift a few feet). The restaurant is relocating to the opposite side of the parking lot. At the most recent council meeting, the council approved elevations for Bonefish Grill, which will move to the area that is currently the Roadhouse parking lot.

One Good Thing: On August 7, Novant Hospital is holding a Mental Health First Aid (Adult) class (they also host classes for first aid for children). It seems like a long way in the future to plan for August, but these classes fill up fast. You’ll learn to know risk factors and warning signs of mental illness, a 5 step action plan to help someone who is showing signs of a mental health problem or crisis, and how to connect with that person and find appropriate support for them. After the class is complete, you’ll receive certification and the ability to create a profile on the Mental First Aider portal.

#ThrowbackThursday: February 10, 1993

With permission, The Beacon is archiving past issues of Matthews News (also called Matthews Record and Matthews News and Record) articles online. Throwback Thursday articles will include relevant content still facing Matthews today. This story was originally published February 10, 1993 and was written by the Matthews News staff.

Park development has been put on the front burner by Matthews town council at the urging of the town’s parks and recreation advisory committee.

“We want to proceed immediately with work on Sardis Road and Fullwood Park,” said Gary Palmer, head of the advisory committee. “It is particularly important that we get started on Sardis Park because the easement agreement with the City of Charlotte reads that the agreement may be terminated if a public park is not established in a reasonable amount of time.”

Monday night, the advisory committee submitted a cost estimate for development of both parks. As designed, Sardis-Matthews Park is an active park with volley ball court, a playground and a picnic area. Fullwood Park is termed a passive park and will have walking trails and a less structured play field where families can play a game of pick-up baseball or fly kites.

The committee proposes to construct Sardis-Matthews Park in three phases. The first phase would include a getting ready stage—clearing the land, installing proper drainage, landscaping, signs and gravel the parking area. It would also include the purchase and installation of picnic tables, barbecue grills and playground equipment. Total cost for phase I is $66,800.

During phase II, plans call for the construction of a picnic shelter, adding benches, installing a multipurpose playing field, providing more landscaping and installing a bike rack. This phase will cost $31,000.

Phases III plans include installing a 1/2 basketball court at a total cost of $11,000.

“It should be noted that the town did a development study back in 1990 on Sardis-Matthews Park and our update shows costs have remained relatively stable for the work,” said Palmer. “Therefore the opportunity still exists to complete these parks without significant increase in costs.”

According to a work schedule provided by the parks advisory committee, Sardis-Matthews Park could be ready for opening Labor Day weekend. The committee hopes that a bid advertisement can be published by April 24 with the project awarded in late May.

The advisory committee proposes to also do the work on Fullwood in three phases. Phase I would again be the necessary grading, providing property drainage, signs, gravel and lights. The plans also indicate a need for a 6-foot wide, 30-foot long bridge across a creek located in the park. This phase is expected to cost about $67,500.

Phase II includes necessary clean-up of the property from damage caused by Hurricane Hugo. According to the parks committee report, trees are down in the area and must be removed and the banks of a stream on the property need work. The second phase also calls for grading and paving of a parking lot. This phase is expected to cost about $13,500.

Phase III, fitting the planned trails in Fullwood with exercise stations will cost $10,000. It should be noted that all construction cost figures may be elevated if for instance crews run into problems.

The park committee also hopes this park can be ready in late August.

During last Monday night’s town council meeting, commissioners asked Palmer to discuss the work that needs to be done on the parks to see if some of it can be provided by town employees.

The town also is selling a strip of land which was included in the Squirrel Lake Park acquisition to Ashley Creek developer Don Galloway. The money realized from this sale could be used in whole or in part to pay for construction costs at Sardis-Matthews and Fullwood Parks.