Downtown Matthews

Matthews Police National Night Out: A Photoessay

Last night, Police Departments nationwide hosted National Night Out . Started in 1984, National Night Out is an annual event that promotes accessibility and partnership with communities and their police departments.

The Matthews Police hosted this year’s event on the town green in front of Town Hall. Kids were badged junior officers (unofficially) for the evening and enjoyed the bounce houses and balloons; adults learned more about local law enforcement programs and the men and women on the force. Everyone enjoyed meeting the local police team and seeing the vehicles, but K-9 Unit Benjamin was the star of the evening.

If you missed it this year, plan on attending next year. National Night Out is hosted the first Tuesday of August, and the Matthews Police Department is already brainstorming for it.

Morning Minute: Thursday, July 11, 2019

News About Town: The Monroe Road tree issue has been extended for a while longer. At Monday’s Board meeting, the Commissioners voted to extend their decision two weeks so the public can have time to learn about Taft’s new design and have the opportunity to speak on it. To approve the new landscape design, the Board must decide either the plan is Reasonable or Not Reasonable, as defined below.

Reasonable: The request only makes a modification to the landscape while retaining the overall site layout and architectural theme thus the request is reasonable. The general look and feel of the interior site will remain unchanged from the original proposal.

Not Reasonable: The amendment is not reasonable and represents a reduction of the quality of the landscape that was committed to when the site was approved for rezoning. The changes adversely impact the overall appearance and are not representative of what was depicted to citizens, staff and Council.

To submit your comments, email the board or speak at the July 22 Council Meeting at Town Hall (7 pm).

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Two Fun Things: This Saturday, July 13, Tummas Dance Group is hosting an English Country Dance at Matthews Orthodox Presbyterian (2701 Rice Rd, Matthews). While it may sound a bit like they’re serving scones at a rodeo, English Country Dance is, according to Norah, social dances they used to do at fancy balls and assemblies in Ye Olden Times. Put on your dancin’ shoes and head over to the church for a fun time and a little bit of living history from 7 until 9 pm.

Things are getting wild at the library tonight with the Wild Words Poetry Workshop. From 6 to 7 pm, bards, poets, and lovers of verse will meet in the Matthews library Community Room to read, write, and discuss all things poetry. Bring your own work or stop by to enjoy the prose of others.

Morning Minute: Wednesday, July 10, 2019

News About Town: At Monday's council meeting, Dr. Clayton Wilcox, Superintendent for CMS, spoke to the board about the mobile units at Elizabeth Lane Elementary. Usually, the sunset clause is renewed annually. This year interim planning director Jay Camp suggested the board extend the provision for three or four years with hopes that in four years the Lansdowne relief school should be complete. The conversation switched quickly and amicably to traffic patterns around the school during the afternoon let out. Tensions arose when Commissioner Kress Query brought up adding video cameras to the modules, a suggestion he’s made in the past. Dr. Wilcox explained the redundancies of adding a system by the town but conceded CMS would cooperate if doing so would please the board.


News Around Town: On July 5 Animal Control was called to Novant Matthews (1500 Matthews Township Pkwy) regarding an aggressive cat. The grey, medium-sized six months old kitten, had, in fact, bitten two people. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department Animal Care & Control apprehended the cat and took it for testing. The tests came back positive for rabies. If you’ve been in contact with any cats in the hospital area, the Matthews Police Department urges you to contact the Mecklenburg County Health Department immediately at 704-614-6512 or 704-589-3242.

One Good Thing: Pro Active Chiropractic (300 East John St. Suite 130) is hosting a blood drive with the American Red Cross this Friday, July 12, from 10:00 am to 2:30 pm. Register online at and enter the Sponsor code “ProActive.”

Morning Minute: Tuesday, July 9, 2019

News About Town: With the widening of Independence/74 come all sorts of changes to Matthews. Sam Newell will be changed to a bridge over 74, strategically adding multiuse paths and sidewalks to increase accessibility from the northern portion of town to the south. As part of the larger vision, multi-use paths will run the length of Sam Newell, adding pedestrian accessibility to Crown Point Elementary. The project was partially funded within the Capital Improvement Plan. At last night's meeting, the Board of Commissioners discussed funding the remaining amount through grants.

Updating the roster for Town Council, candidate Ken McCool filed on Monday.


News Around Town: Barbara Taylor, Director of the Matthews Heritage Museum, is hosting a Director's Tour of Tank Town: A Good Place to Live, on Saturday, July 20, at 11 am. Space is limited to 12 people, and is best suited for kids over 10 and adults. Admission is $4 and proceeds go toward a new display case for the museum. Want to go? Call the museum (704-708-4996) and leave a message. They’ll call you back and confirm your spot.

One Fun Thing: Carolina Financial Partners, A Matthews Beacon sponsor, is celebrating 35 years in business! If you haven't already, check out their resource center for information on all sorts of topics. The Lifestyle section is particularly helpful for families balancing budget and fun.

Morning Minute: Monday, July 8 2019

News About Town: Filing began on Friday for the 2019 municipal elections. It was a busy day at the Board of Elections office with candidates from all over Mecklenburg county getting a jump start on election season, including 10 candidates from Matthews. Officially in the race for Matthews Mayor are incumbent Paul Bailey and current Mayor Pro Tem John Higdon. Thus far 8 people have filed for Board of Commissioners (Town Council), they are Dave Bland, Allen Crosby, Barbara Dement, Renee Garner, Jeff Miller, Kress Query, Mark Tofano, and John Urban.

*Editor’s Note: You may notice a certain Beacon co-founder and editor in chief on the list of commissioner candidates. We are immensely proud of Renee for throwing her hat in the ring in the hope of serving the community in yet another capacity. Our personal biases acknowledged we are committed as a news source to covering the election in as factual and unbiased a manner as possible. Our goal is as it has always been: to inform and educate the people of Matthews.


News Around Town: The Matthews Fire & EMS Department had a busy Fourth of July. During the storm early on the fourth, strong winds brought down trees. Several cars were totaled in the Paces Pointe apartment parking lot. Later that night, police noticed smoke coming from a law office on Senna Drive and called the fire department. Matthews, Idlewild, and Mint Hill departments worked together to put out the fire.

One Fun Thing: Ready for a day of art? This Sunday (July 14, 2-4 pm) head over to McDowell Arts Center to learn how to use alcohol inks, a popular new material that looks like really vibrant watercolors. The registration fee ($20 residents. $25 non residents) covers all supplies. After painting, head upstairs in the gallery, for the reception and viewing of the Waxhaw Arts Council exhibit.

Morning Minute: Wednesday, July 3, 2019

News About Town: The town will have rezoning hearings at the July 8, 7 pm meeting, including a hearing for the East John St. warehouse. The warehouse owner, Stronghaven, has applied for a conditional rezoning rather than the town-initiated downzoning. The conditional zoning would, according to Stronghaven, eliminate some of the uses generally permitted in the Industrial-1 District in order to allay fears by the Board of how the property may be used in the future.

Image via Unsplashd

Image via Unsplashd

One Good Thing: Don’t mind a little dirt under your nails? HAWK needs your help this Sunday at 9 am. The group tends the gardens at Squirrel Lake Park (1631 Pleasant Plains Rd.), and they’ve gotten a little behind on weeding. Bring gloves, tools, water, and lather up on the sunscreen then wrestle back the nutsedge, goldenrod, and whatever else is plotting to take over the park.

One Good Thing Deserves Another: We’re going to take the next few days off to be with our families and celebrate Independence Day. We have a couple articles scheduled, so check back in. Above and beyond all else, have a happy and safe Fourth!

Morning Minute: Monday, July 1, 2019

News About Town: Planning your Fourth? Matthews is holding the annual Fun Family 4th of July, starting with the People's Parade at 5:30 at Town Hall and wrapping up in Stumptown Park with music by Too Much Sylvia. Participate in the parade by bike, scooter, wagon, or walking, and make your way over to Stumptown Park for food trucks and music. Bust out your fave festive garb for this event! The food trucks will arrive at 5, so if you skip the parade you just might also get to skip the long lines. July 4, 5 pm - 9 pm at Stumptown Park; parade starting at Town Hall at 5:30 pm.

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News Around Town: Renfrow's is closed for a family vacation this week through July 9. If you're in need of tomato plants and chicken food, you’ll have to make other plans. The store will reopen July 10 and they expect to have the first of Renfrow Farms tomatoes for sale. Get your Dukes and Wonderbread ready.

One Fun Thing: If you're one to wake up early on a holiday and hop on a bike for 52 miles, then we've got just the thing for you: Mojo Cycles' (105 W Charles St, Matthews) annual Independence Day ride. Head out from Mojo Cycles at 8 am for a 52- or 30-mile loop and end up back at the bike shop for grilled hot-dogs and beverages of your choice. If you go for the 52-miler, you'll stop at Polk Mountain Store in Unionville for snacks, shade, and cold drinks. A police escort will help the group get across 74 safely. Registration is free.

Morning Minute: Friday, June 28, 2019

News About Town: Yesterday the town, in conjunction with Alta Design, took downtown business owners on a walk around the area to look at the traffic, parking, and general mobility of the town. About a dozen stakeholders participated, providing firsthand commentary by those who use the streets daily for work. The conversation covered everything from ADA accessible parking spaces and wheelchair access, employee parking, and exceeding two- and three-hour time limits. The input will be compiled as part of Alta’s downtown mobility study. Recommendations for improvements are expected by fall.

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News Around Town: The 2019/20 Matthews Welcome Guide is out. Created by The Biz Well Corporation, Matthews Chamber, Red Brick Partnership, and the Town of Matthews, you’ll see lots of familiar names and faces but will also learn something new about Matthews. Check it out and pick up a copy in Town Hall or the chamber offices (in the train depot).

One Fun Thing: Shut down the screens and get your teenagers (12-18-year-olds) to the Matthews Library tomorrow to see Mr. Bigley. Al is an award-winning illustrator who has worked for all the big names: Golden Books, DC Comics, Disney, Marvel Comics, Scholastic, and more. He’ll talk about his career and technique, and then participants will get to do some drawing of their own. Make sure you register in advance. Saturday, June 29, 2:00 pm to 3:30 pm, Matthews Library, 230 Matthews Station St.

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.

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.

Matthews Last Week Today

Last week’s events throughout Matthews included several significant topics: transportation, affordable housing, and local food. Here are a few snapshots from each.

Last week Alta Design, a consultant for the Town of Matthews, hosted several workshops and open work sessions to provide residents with the opportunity for input in transportation within the downtown Matthews footprint. If you couldn’t make it to one of the sessions, watch the Facebook Live video presented by Town of Matthews Transportation Planner Dana Stoogenke, AICP, and John Cock, Alta Design + Planning VP.

Greater Matthews Habitat for Humanity held a home dedication for their most recently completed home. This home was part of the Sandy Marano Memorial Women Build. Matthews residents and Habitat supporters showed up en masse for the ribbon cutting and dedication.

Volunteers for the Matthews Volunteer Farmers’ Market gathered for their annual thank you lunch at Sante. Market Manager Paulette Wilkes and Assistant Manager Jessica Thomas shared words of gratitude for the volunteers before a casual, locally-sourced lunch prepared by Chef Adam Reed.

Morning Minute: Tuesday, May 21, 2019

News About Town: On Tuesday, May 14 the police department posted security camera images of a man and woman who used stolen credit cards on May 9 at a Matthews gas station. By Thursday, May 16, Matthews Police were able to apprehend the pair, thanks in part to helpful tips from Matthews residents. 

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News Around Town: Wildlife rescuers are on overload with rescued baby birds this time of year, so think before you "rescue." If you're outside and find a baby, first notice whether it's a fledgling (covered in down and feathers) or a nestling (nearly naked). If it's a nestling, try and put it back in its nest. If it's a fledgling, the odds are good a parent is around and watching you and its baby. If it's injured, that's another story. In that case, contact a wildlife rehabber or Carolina Waterfowl Rescue.

One Fun Thing: Calling all bakers of all ages! This Saturday is the Annual Baking Competition at the Matthews Farmers' Market. The Market is looking for "All Things Strawberry" so pop on your chef's hat and mix up your best strawberry creation. Head to for rules and entry form. Entries will be judged by a panel of food experts including renowned Chef Peter Reinhart of Johnson & Wales University. It's sure to be a (straw)berry good time!