matthews nc

#ThrowbackThursday: November 23, 2006

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. These stories were originally published November 23, 2006 and was written by the Record staff.

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Rezoning request challenged

Over 100 Matthews residents turned out to hear a presentation by Beazer Homes and their proposed rezoning and development of 91 townhomes off South Trade Street last Thursday.

The purchase of roughly 20 acres of undeveloped land belonging to the Hylton and Martin families by Beazer Homes, will depend on the success of the zoning request. The homes would start at $265,000. Residents from Country Place, Hampton Green, and Chesney Glen, all neighboring subdivisions, quickly turned the subject to the everpresent topic - traffic.

“It horrifies me that we are even considering another development before the traffic problem is addressed,” said Jack Clark of Hampton Green, a sentiment that was echoed through the night.

With an estimated 182 more vehicles vying for traffic commute space between Fullwood, Pleasant Plains, and Weddington roads, the potential traffic quagmire overwhelmed those in attendance at the community meeting. Many citizens expressed concern about the “chicken before the egg” concept where development takes place before the traffic issues are resolved. Adjacent property owners indicated they were always aware of residential development of that site, for single-family homes, not townhomes. A couple of Matthews town commissioners were present, along with Mayor Lee Myers who addressed the crowd, trying to assure them that the development proposal is in its infancy and that the town leaders will do the right thing for the community. Citizens are encouraged to stay on top of further developments regarding the Beazer rezoning request.

#ThrowbackThursday: November 23, 2006

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. These stories were originally published November 23, 2006 and was written by Janet Denk.

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The War at Home

“See that field over there?” 84-year-old Neubert Purser points to a garden half-full of greens and winter vegetables, a sliver the size it was in its heyday. “My wife and I pulled up tow-foot-tall Johnson grass by its roots and piled it in the driveway.”

His oldest child, Michael, smiles, probably having heard the story before. “We ran over it with a tractor and then we burned it. It still grew back.” Working and saving for over nine years, he and his wife, Juanita, settled on 70 acres of land on Matthews-Mint Hill Road near Phillips where they raised three children - all grown and living in the area with children of their own. Neubert and Juanita, now deceased, along with their children, grew and preserved their own food; raised crops, chickens, hogs, and cattle. People around town still talk about the incredible piece of property.

Hot Property

For the last thirty years, developers of every ilk have been eyeing Purser’s property. But he never put it up for sale.

“It got to be a joke in our family,” daughter Janet Harrell of Matthews chuckles. “Daddy would say, ‘It’ll cost $100,000 to look around.” The Charlotte News wrote a big story in the early eighties about Purser’s refusal to sell his land. But farming is in his blood and it’s all he ever planned to do.

Those weeds were tough and stubborn. But Purser is tougher. Some would say more stubborn, too.

While discussing the Town of Matthews’ recent condemnation of his property for future park and public use projects, there is a sense about the old farmer that goes beyond sadness. Defeat, maybe? That seems unlikely because anybody who’s spent time with Neubert Purser knows he isn’t a guy who will lay down without a fight.

He paid a big price for that dug-in nature.

The beginning of the end

Wounded at the age of 22 during the Battle of the Bulge in World War II, the young man from Union County swore to himself that if he ever made it out of there alive, he was going to buy himself a little farm when he got back to the states. A dream, perhaps. But one that probably helped keep him alive.

Cold?

“You don’t know cold,’ he grimaces. “I seen frozen bodies stacked up like cords of wood in piles all over the place. All kinds of bodies.” He can’t stand going into funeral homes to this day.

In 1945, while preparing to cross the Roer River in Germany, Purser and other members of the 102 Infantry division took a beating.

“The Germans opened up with everything they had that night,’ he recalls. “I was hit when an 88mm shell exploded near the boat.” A chunk of meat was ripped from his right thigh. The men dug in for 12 hours that night waiting for the barrage to subside. “The sky was lit up so bright, you coulda read the newspaper.”

The wounded were thrown on, what Purser describes as, a cattle car and taken to the hospital. “If you hollered or cussed, you got a shot of morphine.”

Reflecting back, the old man says, “I always thought that if I had made it a couple more days after that fight, I might’ve gotten out of that war in one piece.”

He would’ve been right. After the crossing of the Roer, then the Rhine River, the German army was in full retreat and would never fully recover.

It was the beginning of the end.

Plans for growth and the greater good

“This is the absolute worst part of a job like this,” Matthews Town Manager Hazen Blodgett confessed.

Condemnation is undoubtedly one of the most difficult things the Town of Matthews has undertaken. The $5.0 million in park bonds that passed in 2004 was originally intended to purchase land and simply “land-bank” it. Vacant land in the Matthews community is vanishing fast. “We have about 43 acres of town parkland for 25,000 residents,” explained Blodgett. That’s way below national standards for open space. In a community growing as fast as Matthews - it’s an all-out war against encroachment. If the land is not set aside for public open space for future generations it will be lost to development. There are only a few large tracts left in Matthews like the Purser property.

The Town and the family have mediated an agreement that set the amount paid to the Pursers at $59,000 per acre. The old farmer will die on that soil. It will belong to the Town of Matthews but he has the right to stay there until the bitter end. Had the battle gone to court, a jury would have set the value of the land.

Twenty years from now, when Neubert Purser’s deeply loved land is helping to stem back the tide of relentless development, the sacrifice will seem worth it. The battle is a valiant one.

As families toss balls, fly kites, walk dogs, and send their children to Matthews’ newest public school near the corner of Phillips and Matthews-Mint Hill roads, Purser’s pain might not be in vain. “I’ve only seen my daddy cry three times in my life,’ says youngest daughter Lynn. ‘One, when our mother died; two, when his daddy died; and three, over this farm.”

Only time will tell if this soldier’s battle helped win the war.

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The image on the seal includes four aspects of Mecklenburg County and it still holds up. “The seal is as relative today as it was back then,” said County Commissioner Jennifer Roberts. She, along with many others in the community, appreciate the origins of the seal design: that fresh out of the segregationist days of the old south, a young black kid from the country is selected by a powerful board of local leaders to document and preserve the history of the county.

“I thought I could contribute something,” the young man told the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners in 1964 after receiving the honor. He’s still trying to make a contribution, which is why he’s been before the Mecklenburg County Board of Commissioners to offer his consulting services, should the design team need a little help.

Boyd never received any royalties for his work, despite the fact that he owns the patent on the design. He doesn’t want his contribution to be in vain.

That’s not likely to happen, his supporters say. The fact that a County Seal can say so much, from a guy who could’ve claimed so little and have it last so long - is admirable.

“That says an awful lot about the spirit of this place,” explained Juan Williams, owner and operator of Queen City Tours  who’s given more than his fair share of history lessons to natives and tourists alike. “It’s part of what makes the history of this place so interesting to so many people.” The seal is on vehicles, stationery, websites, and government paperwork. Mecklenburg County Manager Harry Jones Sr. has assured folks that Boyd will be included in a logo redesign, should the need arise.

2810 [high] 5: Things You Didn't Know About This Years Matthews Alive

  • LEGO Interactive Exhibit - Play-Well TEKnologies, an organization that offers LEGO-inspired.engineering classes for students in Kindergarten through 8th grade, presented an interactive LEGO exhibit in the Matthews Community Center. On that Saturday, festival visitors were able to partake in the building of the exhibition which was then on display for the rest of the festival.

  • Parade Length - the Matthews Alive Parade is one of the longest Labor Day Parades in the Southeast. The Parade included over 100 participants and lasted about an hour and a half.

  • Parade Start Time - the Matthews Alive Parade will be started at 9:30 this year, an hour earlier than past years. Festival organizers hoped that this change allowed parade participants and attendees to be cooler in the heat and limit train interruptions. Since the weather this year was already beautiful, the earlier start time only made the experience that much better.

  • Mission - Matthews Alive is a 501(c)3 nonprofit whose mission is "provide an opportunity for local non-profit groups to raise funds for their organization to benefit the community." Matthew's Alive has donated over 1.6 million dollars to local nonprofits and lists 34 organizations who benefitted this year. 

  • Volunteers - The festival is almost entirely volunteer operated. Over 2000 volunteers assisted during the festival, as well as the months leading up to it. Organizations who receive funds from Matthews Alive provided many of the volunteers for the festival who helped with everything from ticketing, to trash pickup, to managing the games.

 
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CBD: The Shop

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As I learned doing the research for what was supposed to be one article but instead turned into three, CBD is a complex subject.
 
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I walked into Get Me Some Green in the Hoods CrossRoad Shopping Center in the same way I’m sure many of their customers do: with a head full of misconceptions. Admittedly, I hadn’t hit the books (Google) yet on the science and the history of CBD, so my expectations for a CBD store were a little more headshop/bud bar than health food store.I had imagined glass cases and shelves full of different CBD products - pills, vaporizers, gummy bears, and baked goods all for my choosing.

But in reality, Get Me Some Green had some classy wooden shelves with a sparse selection of pills, smokable hemp located in glass cookie jars behind the register, and a small assortment of creams and roll-ons. Oh, and one small jar of CBD gummies. They do have a green accent wall though behind the register, which livens up the place. The vibe is much more health food store than trendy bud bar.

Heather and Eric Wiskes, the owners of Get Me Some Green, say there is a very good reason there shop is set up that way: they want their customers to feel comfortable inside of their store. All of their customers. They want to have a place where you are comfortable to bring your kids-a place where your grandparents would be comfortable to shop. 

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We’re not a Walmart for CBD, we have very specific products for very specific reasons
— Heather & Eric Wiske

Heather and Eric’s goal is to help demystify CBD and the plants that it comes from and to help our community understand the potential health benefits. That’s why they say the only offer their trusted brands to their clients. "We're not a Walmart for CBD, we have very specific products for very specific reasons.” 

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In creating a space that’s comfortable for everyone, Heather also wants potential customers to feel alright walking into the shop and asking questions, even if they don’t buy anything. She says her bottles are all on display because she wants her clients to feel secure in picking them up and looking at them, even if they know nothing about CBD, or everything they thought they knew was wrong. “We’re on a mission to provide education and high quality products, both local and national, to really demystify the plant to help the whole community.” 

And of course, she wants everyone to stop buying their CBD from the gas station. “Every business has their specialty. Gas stations know their gas. I know my CBD...I always encourage people first get educated before you go buy it. I don’t care where you buy it, but get educated. So if you want something in a specialty arena, go to that specialty store and get educated. And I’m not the only one in the area. There’s a couple of others that are really highly educated but do your due diligence. Anything you’re going to put into your body, do your due diligence.”

After leaving her shop and doing the research for this article, I can understand Heather’s insistence on wanting to educate the community. As I learned doing the research for what was supposed to be one article but instead turned into three, CBD is a complex subject. But hopefully now you know that all those stores aren’t trying to get you high, where its been all your life, and that if you have more questions, you can go ask Heather at Get Me Some Green (or one of the other CBD shops. Just not the gas station.)

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CBD: The Law

Hemp has a multitude of uses both historically and today: textiles, building materials, livestock bedding, bioplastics and, of course, potentially in health care. 

Last time we covered the science behind CBD and left you wondering where it's been all your life. Well, cannabis, hemp, and CBD actually has a rich history in the United States and around the world. 

It’s possible that CBD has been used medicinally since 2737 B.C., when Chinese Emperor Sheng Nung used a cannabis infused tea to alleviate many of his ailments, while the very first known cloth was made of hemp.

Spanish colonists originally brought the plant to the western hemisphere in the mid 1500’s, and a mere hundred years later, it had become a staple crop of the New England colonies. In fact, in 1619, the Virginia Assembly actually passed legislation requiring every farmer to grow hemp. 

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As cotton became more common place and part of American culture, mixed with the importing of other products, hemp production began to decline after the Civil War.

And it’s easy to see why. Hemp, the cannabis plant that does not produce THC, has a multitude of uses both historically and today. It can be used to make textiles, building materials, and livestock bedding. In modern culture, it also has the added benefit of being able to be used in bioplastics and, of course, potentially in health care. 

In agriculture, it helps to maintain healthy soil by adding diversity to crop rotations, the practice of planting different crops in the same plot of land in order to improve soil health. Different plants deplete and return different nutrients into the soil. By rotating crops, agriculturists are able to maintain the best possible level of nutrients without adding synthetic compounds.

As cotton became more common place and part of American culture, mixed with the importing of other products, hemp production began to decline after the Civil War. However, as hemp fell out of vogue, interest in marijuana and its potential medicinal effects began to rise. In the United States, medical cannabis was used to treat nausea, rheumatism, and labor pain, and was available over the counter. 

But by the 1930s, marijuana use became associated with Mexican and black communities, and politicians began to condemn it as a threat to poor, hard working Americans. In the era of the Great Depression, marijuana became linked with public resentment towards immigrants and the rising unemployment rate. By 1937, the Marijuana Tax Act made the plant illegal in the United States-both hemp and marijuana. In 1970 the Controlled Substance Act banned cannabis of any kind. 

Fast forward to 2014, where a Farm Bill legalized hemp containing less than .3% THC to be grown for research purposes to study market-interest in hemp derived products. This past winter, another Farm Bill was passed expanding the 2014 Bill, allowing broad hemp cultivation and the “transfer of hemp-derived products across state lines for commercial or other purposes.”

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The 2018 Farm Bill effectively removes hemp and hemp products from being classified as a federally controlled substance as long as the hemp is produced in ways outlined by the Farm Bill, follows all federal and state regulations, and is grown by a licensed grower.

The 2018 Farm Bill effectively removes hemp and hemp products from being classified as a federally controlled substance as long as the hemp is produced in ways outlined by the Farm Bill, follows all federal and state regulations, and is grown by a licensed grower. Additionally, in North Carolina, adding CBD to food or drink is also illegal.

However, current CBD regulation may change for North Carolina with impending legislation.The problem is, while the 2019 Farm Bill essentially legalized hemp, and by extension CBD so long as it's produced under the parameters of the bill, smokable hemp containing less than .3% THC looks almost identical to marijuana, which remains an illegal substance within the state. Therefore, law enforcement is unable to tell the difference between the two and wants smokable hemp to be banned. Initially, talks were in place to begin the ban this year, but that has recently been pushed to 2020.

So for the time being, this leaves CBD on the shelves and available for purchase, seemingly everywhere. For the final part of this series, I'll look at one CBD business and its role in our Matthews community. 

Top image via NCSU Industrial Hemp Research Program; bottom: example of Hemp Certificate of Analysis, including THC content.

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2810[high]5: Ways to Simplify Your Life

Did you know that the first week of August is National Simplify your Life week? Here are a few ways you can simplify things in your home, at work, and in your mind. 

Declutter - Did you know that there are more reasons to declutter your home than the obvious (less clutter)? According to Psychology Today, it has several psychological benefits as well. It forces you to use decision making and problem solving skills as you prioritize the stuff you have and come up with solutions on how to store it. It can also reduce anxiety, because we lack of order sometimes causes stress. Humans may have evolved to respond this way, because a lack of order in was most likely disadvantageous for early humans. Finally, decluttering might give your mind an opportunity to wander and take a break from your usual thinking.

Prep for Tomorrow - How many times a day do we feel rushed because we are doing something at the last minute? This week, make yourself a list of things you can do to get yourself ready for the next day, even if it’s just one or two activities. Pack your lunch the night before. Before you leave the office, jot down a quick list of what you want to get done tomorrow, Pick out your clothes, pack your work and gym bag, and prep your breakfast. You’ll be surprised how much more smoothly your morning goes the next day.

Embrace "No" - Sometimes, its okay to say no. Many of us are people pleasers (myself included) and we often find ourselves taking on projects or activities that are not beneficial to ours or others lives. If you’re constantly overextending yourself and it’s affecting your mental well-being, use this week as an excuse to practice saying “no” and see if it doesn’t help your outlook.

Prioritize your time - Embracing “no” leads me to the next tip, prioritize time. Now that you’ve gotten some time back by politely declining activities, be mindful of how you spend that time. How much time do you spend mindlessly checking your phone, your email, your twitter feed? Check out from your screens during set hours each day, or only allow yourself to check your phone at the top of every hour. 

Give Yourself a Break - Treat yourself to a destressing activity that you enjoy. Go for a hike. Read a book. Get a massage. Do nothing.

 
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2810[high]5: Free Dates in Matthews

On a budget for the summer? Here are 5 FREE dates you can and your plus one can do right here in Matthews. Bonus points if you take a selfie and tag @matthewsbeacon with the #MatthewsDateNight!

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PDA in front of PDA - Did you know that the giant heart sculpture outside of Stumptown Park is called “Public Display of Affection”? (If you read this Beacon article from 2018 you do!) What better excuse to demonstrate your affection than to do so in front of iconic Matthews public art piece. (This writer strongly encourages you to keep your PDA rated G).

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Checkers at Country Place Park- You and your better half can enjoy the sunshine and decide once and for all who is the board champion. Country Place Park, near Matthews United Methodist church has 3 tables with checkerboard tops for public use, as well as a pollinator garden and bee themed art. Feel like it’s not a free date because you have to go buy your own checkers pieces? Save yourselves some bottle caps from your not-free-dates and make yourself some bottle cap checkers.

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Walking Tour - Did you know the Matthews has its own FREE self-guided walking tour you can follow? Print out the tour, put on your walking shoes, and take turns narrating the history and culture as you travel around town.

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Lecture at the Library - The library has more to offer than just free books (though that’s still pretty awesome). They also offer opportunities to hear talks on subjects like earth friendly way to greenifying your lawn, how to relax through mindfulness and meditation, or a chance to read, write, and discuss poetry

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Volunteer - One of the best ways to strengthen the bonds of an existing relationship is to commit to a shared activity-like volunteering. Matthews has over 55 nonprofits just registered with the Chamber of Commerce, many of which would eagerly appreciate four extra hands. Help HAWK maintain their garden at Squirrel Lake Park, sort donations at the Matthews Help Center food pantry or help build a home with Greater Matthews Habitat for Humanity

 
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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.

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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 redcrossblood.org and enter the Sponsor code “ProActive.”

2810 [high] 5: Homes Away from Home for Your Guests to Stay (That Aren’t Your House)

Summer is the perfect time for vacations. Time for your sister to load up the car with all her kids for a gathering of the cousins, time for your old college roommates to finally make that road trip to come and see you, or time for in-laws to watch the kids for a week or two while they’re out of school. While everyone loves a good reunion, we all need our space sometimes. Perhaps your home is too small for all your guests, or you can only survive a week with your mother-in-law if you have your own space. Either way, these 5 Matthews options will allow your guests to feel right at home while they’re here, even if it’s not in yours.

The Lemmond House Bed & Breakfast: Offer your guests a little sliver of historical Matthews during their stay in the 28105! The Lemmond House Bed & Breakfast is located right on Trade Street, in the heart of downtown Matthews. You may have driven or walked by it many times without ever even knowing it was there (I did!). The Lemmond Family first built the home in the early 1900s and their family remained there through the 1980s. Today it is owned, operated, and continuously renovated by Bill and Connie Clayton. The Bed & Breakfast offers two second-floor guest rooms, each with a private bath equipped with jacuzzi tub and walk-in showers. Breakfast options include french toast, bacon, eggs with cheese, fruit salad, coffee, and juice. Each of the two rooms can be rented for $149 a night and allows for children over the age of 12 (with adult supervision), but no pets. (Images via Owner’s website)

Matthews Manor Charlotte Bed and Breakfast: Beautiful Matthews Manor is located less than half a mile from Squirrel Lake Park and has four lovely rooms available to rent, with prices ranging from $150-$220 a night. The 7,000 square foot home was originally built in 1973 and used to be part of a 52-acre farm. Your out-of-town guests will be able to rent mountain bikes from the Manor for use on the greenway, have access to a kitchen exclusively for guests, a game room with purple-felted pool table, and swimming pool.(Images via Owner’s website)

The BOHOPad Airbnbnb: If your guests are looking for a unique place at a reasonable price, then the BOHOPad is the place for them. Complete with vaulted ceilings, intricate tile work, and brightly colored walls and decor, the BOHOPad is a hidden bohemian gem in Matthews. The home can accommodate up to 6 guests, with one queen bed, two single beds, a sleeper sofa, and two baths for only $84 a night. Guests will have access to the entire home, and if they need something, the Airbnb hosts are only 15 minutes away. Since you are renting the whole hoouse, children are welcome, but your furry friends will have to stay at home. (Images via Owner’s AirBnB)

Gorgeous Guest Home Airbnb: If you only have one or two guests needing a place to stay, this Gorgeous Guest Home may just what is needed. This new Scandinavian-style apartment has one queen bed and is only $85 a night. Kids are more than welcome, and the hosts even offer to provide a pack and play or toys if needed. The apartment is located next to their home, where they reside with their black lab puppy, so they do have a no pet policy. (Images via Owner’s AirBnB)

Three Bedroom House Airbnb: If you have a large group of guests coming to visit (no wonder you don’t want them staying at your place), or they have a pet, this last Airbnb is the choice for them. With three queen-sized bed and 2.5 baths,  this place is a steal for only $65 a night. Plus, the backyard is screened in, so your traveling animal companions will have a place to stretch their legs. (Images via Owner’s AirBnB)

 
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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.

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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.

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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

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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.