Morning Minute

Morning Minute: Monday, February 18, 2019

News About Town: The opioid epidemic has grown in staggering proportions and hasn't left Matthews untouched. Matthews emergency service responders see the effects of this routinely, and thanks to Mecklenburg County Medic, the Police Department has a line of defense against opioid overdose. Medic provided Naloxone, an opioid "antagonist", and the necessary training for the entire Matthews Police force to safely administer it.

Officers, and their canine counterparts are in danger of being exposed to drugs during search and arrest. Not only will having Naloxone on-hand benefit those who have overdosed, but will be an aid in keeping officers (and police K-9’s) safe.

The Matthews Police Department urges anyone with an opioid addiction to please seek help immediately.  For more information on addiction and available resources, please see the links below.

Opioid Crisis Information (National Institute on Drug Abuse)
Naloxone Information (National Institute on Drug Abuse)
How to find Treatment (U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services)

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News Around Town: The Greater Matthews Business Expo, organized by the Matthews Chamber of Commerce, is coming up tomorrow, February 19, at CPCC Levine (2800 Campus Ridge Rd.) from 4 to 7 p.m.
Don’t miss the speed networking event, an opportunity to make lots of connections with no time for awkward lulls. (Is it just me?)

The expo is free to the public, just show up ready to meet new people and learn about the many things the Matthews business community has to offer.

One Fun Thing: Proving there’s no rest for thespians, Matthews Playhouse has another show opening this Friday! The Playhouse is bringing The Jungle Book (based on Rudyard Kipling’s collection of stories) to Fullwood Theater under the artful eye of celebrated Charlotte director Sidney Horton.

This musical tells the familiar story of Mowgli, a precocious boy raised by wolves, as he journeys through the jungle to escape the ferocious tiger Shere Khan.  February 22 - March 3, 2019. Suitable for 5-year-olds and older. $14 Adults - $12 Students & Seniors.

Morning Minute: Friday, February 15, 2019

News About Town: If ever there were a case for “See something, say something” this is it. This past Wednesday (February 13) someone called the police department to alert them to a vehicle break-in near Independence Pointe Parkway. When officers arrived, they found the suspect, Kyahjay Kirkatrick of Charlotte. Kirkatrick had outstanding warrants for his arrest, but was also charged with vehicle break-in, possession of stolen goods, and carrying a concealed handgun.

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News Around Town: On February 19, four Matthews churches - Matthews Baptist, Matthews Presbyterian, Matthews United Methodist, and Mount Moriah Missionary Baptist - are combining resources to host the next in a series of Community Forums on Racial-Bridge Building. WBTV's Tonya Rivens will moderate the discussion. Representatives from town staff, the Matthews Board of Commissioners, and housing professionals form the panel. Discussion will focus on the topic of affordable housing. Tuesday, February 19, 7:00 p.m., Brace Family YMCA, 3127 Weddington Rd.

One Good Thing:  If you don’t have kids in school but want to contribute to community schools, donate your Box Tops for Education. The labels, on many popular brands of food and household items, are worth ten cents each to schools. Most local elementary and middle schools have collection drives for the Box Top label. Just clip them, collect them, then drop them off in the school office. Box Tops for Education also has an app. Use the app on your smart phone to scan your receipt to collect bonus Box Tops. Of local schools participating, Elizabeth Lane Elementary leads with $808.10 in earnings, followed by Matthews with $657.30, and Crown Point with $258. Crestdale Middle has raised $153 while Mint Hill Middle has $0.

Morning Minute: Thursday, February 14, 2019

News About Town: The Tree and Appearance Board showed their love for the trees at this past Monday’s Council Meeting. Debbie Foster presented the minutes from the previous T&AB meeting. Those minutes included suggestions for the property at the corner of McKee and Weddington Road (adjacent to Windsor Run) such as creating  a Town-owned tree nursery for future landscaping needs of the Town. T&AB also approved the tree and plant list, which moved it forward to the Board of Commissioners. (The Board of Commissioners approved the list at the Monday, February 11 Council meeting). T&AB Also presented methods for removing invasive plants such as wisteria from town property; the use of goats to eat the plants is one suggestion, another is a targeted use of Round-Up.

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News Around Town: Over the past decade, Arts and Science Council funding has dropped 48% due to less giving (by both individuals and businesses). As a result, a study committee created by the ASC examined ways to keep the cultural sector funded and determined dedicated funding through sales tax is the best approach. ASC is asking for 1/10 of one cent from authorized-yet-unused sales tax (a portion of the quarter-cent increase approved by the NC General Assembly in 2009) as the dedicated funding. This use of sales tax requires approval and will be put to a public vote. Matthews groups that receive funds from ASC include, but are not limited to, Matthews Playhouse, Project Art Aid, and the Town of Matthews Parks and Rec department. Previous IRS Form 990s may be found here.

One Good Thing: The Mecklenburg County Cooperative Extension has partnered with the Matthews Library to bring Master Gardener volunteers in regularly to discuss current topics in home gardening and answer questions. Saturday, February 16th at 1:00 p.m. is the next event, where Master Gardener Hallie Walker will provide an introduction to pruning shrubs. These events are not to be missed for aspiring gardeners with less than green thumbs. Register here.

Morning Minute: Wednesday, February 13, 2019

News About Town: Once again it’s time to join Council members for coffee and conversation on February 27 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Brakeman’s Coffee ( 225 N. Trade Street). If you miss your chance to caffeinate with a Commissioner, you can grab a cup and meet the Mayor on March 2 from 8 to 9 a.m. at Miki's (1819 Matthews Township Pkwy). Both events are opportunities to discuss your thoughts on all things Matthews. 

News Around Town: If you have a costly erosion problem at your home or business, the county may be able to help. The Urban Cost Share Program, a Mecklenburg County grant, provides funds for projects that will improve local water quality. Property owners throughout the county are welcome to submit applications for projects to stop stream bank erosion and address other water pollution issues. The grant may cover up to 75% of allowable costs (maximum of $7,500) for installation and implementation. More information is available here, and the application is available here.

One Good Thing: If you have a kid who likes to tinker or make things, Level Up! Innovative STEMulation (1307 Matthews-Mint Hill Road, Suite A) has early bird pricing on summer camps through March 31st. With this special pricing, summer camps are $130 a week and for rising kindergartners through eighth graders. Camps run 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (additional hours available for parents who need full-day care). STEM-based activities include robotics, Lego building, Pokemon, arts, horticulture, and more. For more info, call (704) 443-7016.

Morning Minute: Tuesday, February 12, 2019

News About Town:  Matthews Playhouse, in conjunction with the Town Parks & Recreation Department, and the Charlotte Post, are putting on a special performance of “Sweet Jenn” February 23rd at 7:30 pm. The play was awarded Festival Favorite at The Atlanta Black Theatre Festival in October 2018 and tells the poignant story of Jenny Butler, an emancipated woman in the antebellum south. Tickets are $5 and are on sale now. 

News Around Town:  Have you ever had a sudden urge to play the piano, learn Finnish, or master excel spreadsheets? Lucky for you, all of that information - and so much more - is available at your fingertips through the library! Hit up the library’s e-resources and check out eBooks from Overdrive and Hoopla, online courses from Lynda and Universal Class, and enough knowledge databases to keep you busy learning for at least a hundred years.

One Fun Question: Every once in a while fun topics come up around Beacon HQ, and we wonder what our readers think. Recently we were discussing the ability to watch the Board of Commissioners meetings online.

Morning Minute: Monday, February 11, 2019

News About Town: Tonight the Board of Commissioners will consider entering into contract with Bloc Design for streetscape improvement design work for the downtown portion of Trade Street through North End and a portion of the downtown area of John Street. The cost for design work has been estimated by Bloc Design at $37,000 and, if approved, may not exceed $41,250. Their suggestions might include sidewalk improvements, traffic calming measures, and a cohesive design. The planned design will function as a schematic for future reconstruction of sidewalks and aesthetics within the study area. 

Previously the Board hired McGill Associates for a streetscape design. The 2016 renderings and document detailed designs and improvements that projected up to twenty years in the future. It is unclear why another design is being sought now.

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News Around Town: The National Theater for Children will be performing at Crown Point Elementary,  Matthews Elementary, and Mint Hill Middle Schools to teach the students ways to conserve natural resources. If you have a Duke Energy account and a child at any of these schools, you are eligible for a free Energy Savings Kit. Each kit contains items (LED light bulbs, faucet aerators, etc.), to put into practice simple efforts for resource conservation.

One Good Thing: Once again, Pet Stop Clinic will be at Neighborhood Feed to host an affordable pet vaccine clinic, Sunday, February 17, from 12 to 1 p.m. The clinic will offer standard vaccines for dogs and cats, as well as other services including heartworm testing, wellness services, and a discount pet pharmacy.


Morning Minute: Friday, February 8, 2019

News About Town:  Monday, February 11 is the first Board of Commissioners meeting for February.  As it’s the first meeting of the month the Board will focus on Planning and Zoning business for much of the meeting. Other items of interest include reports from the Mecklenburg Education Advisory Committee, Tree & Appearance Committee and the Historical Preservation Committee. Of note on the Consent Agenda (a list of items on which the Board generally votes ‘yea’ or ‘nay’ as a group) is the Budget Adoption Schedule for Fiscal Year 2019-2020. If you’re curious about how the Town will address new property tax valuations, the meetings on that schedule might be worth attending.

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News Around Town: “Tank Town: A Good Place to Live” opens next week (February 16) at the Matthews Heritage Museum, 232 N. Trade Street. On display will be a year’s worth of research and findings about Crestdale, a portion of Matthews formerly known as Tank Town. The area, settled by freed slaves and post-Civil War freedmen. Learn how the area was settled by former slaves and freedmen after the Civil War, about the segregated schools, and the significant community organizations of the neighborhood.
Open Thursday – Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Entry fee: $4 for adults, $2 for children 10 to 17, and Free under 10.  The first Saturdays of the month are free.

One Good Thing: This Sunday, February 10, from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Bright Blessings will hold their annual Baby Shower and Open House. Members of the community are welcome to drop in and learn more about Bright Blessings’ work serving homeless and impoverished children, in particular their Bless-a-Baby program. Attendees may also partake in refreshments, games, and service projects. Donations will be collected for Bless-a-Baby, which must be new and unused: Diaper bags, Bottles (8 oz minimum), Hooded Baby Towels, 0-3 month outfits, and 0-3 month onesies. Bright Blessings is located at 1150 Crews Rd, Suite C, in Matthews.

Morning Minute: Thursday, February 7, 2019

News About Town: In April 2018 the Town hosted an Our Town, Our Vision workshop with Matthews residents. Information gathered at that workshop has been compiled as a Vision Statement for the Town to reference moving forward. Something to keep in mind: the new document is to be read as if we are ten to fifteen years in the future and the goals have been achieved.

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News Around Town: Friday (February 8) is time once again for Carmel Baptist’s Joy Prom - a full-scale prom for the special needs individuals in our community. Partnering with other nonprofits (For Charlotte, Joni & Friends, among others) will allow the event to host 400 guests with an additional 600 volunteers to make the evening go smoothly. This Friday expect traffic delays at Reverdy Lane and Highway 51 between the hours of 5:30 and 6:45 for the arrival of participants.

One Fun Thing: If you’ve somehow missed all the Valentine’s Day notices (ummm, go buy something amazing) but don’t want to be totally blindsided next week when the big day arrives (it’s Thursday if you don’t have a calendar handy) Good Cup Coffee and The Loyalist have partnered for another unique, artisan and local pop up in the pocket park of North End. Stop by Sunday, February 10 from 11-2, 435 N Trade St #102, Matthews. 

Morning Minute: Wednesday, February 6, 2019

News About Town: Monday, February 11 the Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Resource Department will host a workshop with MSW Robert Hughes on the “Seven Habits for Parents.” The workshop draws from Stephen Covey’s “7 Habits for Effective Families” among other resources. If you (like some Beacon writers) feel like you could use some more tools in your parenting toolbox, registration is $10 for Matthews residents and is open now on the Parks & Rec website.

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News Around Town: Many of us leave limbs and bagged leaves at the curb for waste pick up. If pick up is delayed or if you have more yard waste than the town’s service collects (20 bags per week), you can take it to Compost Central (140 Valleydale Rd., Charlotte). This Mecklenburg County facility accepts leaves, grass clippings, and brush (should be unbagged or in clear or paper bags); clean pallets less than 5' in length; limbs and bamboo less than 5' in length; and logs over 5 inches in diameter. Curbside collection will not accept logs over five inches diameter. Other no-nos include food waste; yard waste with items contaminated with paint, plastic, or metal; tree stumps, large root balls, sod, or dirt. Root balls smaller than a basketball are acceptable.

One Fun Thing: This one is so much fun we posted a full article about it, so mark your calendar. Join Tony Lombardino and Backyard Bird store owner Laurie Horne on Saturday, February 9, 2019, at 8:00 AM, for a bird walk at Colonel Francis Beatty Park. Bring binoculars, a camera, and be ready to learn a few things. Tony has led many bird walks at the Rockefeller University Field Research Center and knows the unique spots for interesting finds around the park.

Morning Minute: Monday, February 4, 2019

News About Town: Matthews Fire & EMS is launching a new community education effort called #ScenarioSunday. Head over to their Facebook page to take Sunday’s poll and learn more about the fire safety ordinances in Matthews. This week they want to know if you know whether or not it’s legal to burn yard waste in town.

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News Around Town: Pro Active Chiropractic PA (300 East John St, Ste 130) is hosting a wellness mini-expo tomorrow, February 5, from noon until 3 p.m. Meet local wellness experts, get a free physical exam, and learn about the benefits of chiropractic care.

One Good Thing: Beloved Beacon writer Cyma Shapiro is a finalist in #QueenCityPodQuest, a contest sourcing WFAE’s next local podcast. Cyma’s podcast project, “Women Speak,” will be a weekly talk radio show dedicated to interviewing women in area (from the well-known to the unsung heroes), talking about real issues facing women in the #CLT. Voting begins today and runs through February 17. The proposal with the most votes wins. Please support Cyma and vote for “Women Speak”.

Morning Minute: Tuesday, February 5, 2019

News Around Town: If you have a bachelor's degree in accounting or business and five years of public finance administration, the Town of Matthews wants to hear from you. The Town is seeking an experienced Finance Director who will manage a staff of three and will report to the Assistant Town Manager. Knowledge of municipal finance practices and the ability to work effectively within the Council-Manager form of government are important attributes. Learn more here

News Around Town: Seaboard Brewing, downtown Matthews craft beer brewer and wine bar, participated in Queen City Brew Festival this past weekend. Seaboard took just a little luster out of the Queen’s crown by bringing the Best in Show award home to Matthews.

One Fun Thing: Have you ever wanted to truly talk with your hands? This Wednesday at 3:00 in the Community Room the Matthews Library kicks off a 5 week Learning Circle on American Sign Language. The Learning Circle offers interested members of the community the opportunity to use the library’s Universal Class access to take an online course in a group setting. The course is free and lightly facilitated. No experience with ASL is necessary. Register here.

Morning Minute: Friday, February 1, 2019

News About Town: The Environmental Advisory Board presented at Monday's Board of Commissioners meeting. EAB Board Chair Gordon Miller provided several updates to Commissioners, including the introduction of an EAB created a pamphlet for builders and landowners with suggestions for more environmentally friendly development. Some examples include strategically planted trees, re-use of rainwater, and on-site composting.

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News Around Town:  One of my favorite events of the year is coming up tomorrow - Mecklenburg County Soil and Water Conservation District's annual Tree and Seedling sale.  The 48th annual event will be held  on Saturday, February 2nd from 9-12 at 1418 Armory Drive in Charlotte. These are all native (bare-rooted) plants, and the costs range from $2 to $5 each.   It's past the deadline to pre-order plants, but at this time they have quantities of each.  Since the event benefits the entire county, show up early to get first dibs on your favorites!  
Need a rain barrel?   It's your lucky day since they'll have 60 and 80 gallon rain barrels for sale.
For more information and species list, please visit www.MecklenburgConservation.com.   (Submitted by Debbie LeBlanc Foster)

One Good Thing: On January 22 we posted how to have road signs replaced or potholes fixed. As someone who lives on a state-owned road and had noticed a missing speed limit sign, I took the opportunity to use the NCDOT website to report the need for a replacement. I reported the issue online (January 21). I found the form was straightforward and easy to use. After submitting, I received an email with a tracking number. Occasionally I wondered when the sign would be replaced but gave the system time to work. As of yesterday the new sign was up. The process worked smoothly and efficiently.

Morning Minute: Thursday, January 31, 2019

News About Town: At the Council meeting this past Monday, Chief Clark Pennington asked the Board of Commissioners to approve the Police Department’s pursuit of additional funding through the North Carolina Governor’s Highway Safety Program (GHSP) grant program. In recent years the growth of the department hasn’t kept up with the growth of the town, and valuable police resources are being allocated to crash response rather than crime prevention. Currently, the department has 61 full-time police officers and two reserve officers (one school resource officer serves full-time at Carmel Christian School and is budget neutral). The grant would provide significant budget relief for the addition of three patrol officers and one corporal. The Board of Commissioners approved applying for the GHSP Grant.  

News Around Town: Property tax valuations are a hot topic all over the county. If you’re still in sticker shock, you’re in good company: the median rate increase for residential property is 43 percent while commercial property owners saw a median increase of 77 percent. Yesterday Norah explained the who, what, and when of the new numbers. County Manager Dena Diorio posted a video to explain what the new values mean.

One Good Thing: Miss the days of placing a birth, graduation, engagement, or wedding announcement in the paper? We do too! Here at the Beacon, we're launching a new Community section where Matthews residents can share their good news. Announcements are free to people who live or work in Matthews and can include a picture. Head on over to our submission page and send us the things you’re excited about!

Morning Minute: Wednesday, January 30, 2019

We asked our intern, Sterling, to summarize Monday’s Town Council meeting from a student’s perspective. This morning’s News About Town is her view of small-town government in Matthews (Or BOC meeting):

I walked into a room with a large crest of Matthews, NC at the head with flags adorning each side. The mayor, Paul Bailey, was seated in the middle of a large dais with the board of commissioners circling around; I never knew that all of this was right above the Matthews library, where I had been going my whole life. The crowd included everyone from firefighters who were there in support of Kerry Ernsberger, Matthew’s Employee of the Year, to a boy scout troop, who were working on their communications badge. I was surprised that the atmosphere of the meeting was both formal and casual being that it followed an ordered agenda but with the occasional joke from one of the commissioners. It was thought-provoking to see what topics were being discussed, even if most were passed unanimously; it ranged from the general issue of the effects of traffic on Matthews to the more abstract approval of Matthew’s new “vision statement” for the future. From the concerns raised here in Matthews, I could make a connection to environmental, safety, and political concerns locally as well as nationally, despite it only being considered a small town government. At the end, I shook hands with the mayor and the assistant town manager, which is something I never envisioned myself doing as a high school student.

Photo by Norah Burke

Photo by Norah Burke

News Around Town: Grey Gardens, The Musical opens Friday evening at Fullwood Theater in the Community Center. Directed by Billy Ensley (an area theater mainstay), is sure to captivate. The play, based on the “riches to rags” story of Jackie O’s famously eccentric aunt (Big Edie) and cousin (Little Edie), is the first musical on Broadway ever to be adapted from a documentary. Multiple performances over the next two weekends provide plenty of opportunities to see the show. February 1 -10, 2019, recommended for 13+ years.

One Good Thing: Guild of Charlotte Artists is hosting a Small Works Show at Novant Matthews. Artists are welcome to enter paintings smaller than 12 inches in any dimension on Saturday from 10 AM to 12 PM at Novant Health Matthews. Drop off up to three paintings and include an entry fee (members $25, non-members $65, which includes 2019 membership. The show ends March 1 and pick-up for art is March 2, from 11 AM til noon in the hospital lobby.

Morning Minute: Tuesday, January 29, 2019

News About Town: At the Council meeting last night the town honored Public Works employee Kerry Ernsberger as Employee of the Year for 2018 . The mayor spoke highly of Kerry, mentioning his dedication to community service and kindness to those in need. Assistant Town Manager Becky Hawke praised Kerry for professionalism, problem solving and an overall positive attitude.

News Around Town: Hey #MatthewsMakers! The Parks and Rec Department is looking for artists interested in participating in a multi-sensory art show at the McDowell Art Gallery this summer. Sound, video, and tactile installation artists, this is your chance to show your work in a gallery.  The show opens June 1 and runs through August 2. Ready to submit or have more questions? Contact Melissa Johnson at mjohnson@matthewsnc.gov or 704-708-1262.

One Good Thing: Join the American Legion Post 235 (184 South Trade Street) for a Four Chaplains Spaghetti Dinner this Saturday February 2, 2019. This service and dinner mark the anniversary of the sinking of the USAT Dorchester (February 3, 1943) and honors the bravery of four chaplains, each of different faiths, who sacrificed their own lives to save many men aboard the ship. The interfaith service begins at 4:00 pm followed by dinner at 4:15 pm. Tickets will be available at the door and are $8 for adults and $4 for children under 6.