News

#FiveForFriday: A Morning Minute News Round Up

This #FiveForFriday Morning Minute News Round Up is for the week of February 4 through February 8, 2019.

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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 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.

 
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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.

 
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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.

 
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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.

#FiveForFriday: A Morning Minute News Round Up

This #FiveForFriday Morning Minute News Round Up is for the week of February 4 through February 8, 2019.

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.

 
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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”.

 
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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.

 

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.

 
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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.

#FiveForFriday: A Morning Minute News Round Up

This #FiveForFriday Morning Minute News Round Up is for the week of January 27 through February 1, 2019.

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News About Town: Tonight at 5:30 there is an additional Board of Commissioners meeting prior to the regular meeting at 7. Of note at the early meeting is a presentation on affordable housing in Matthews. The regular 7 PM meeting doesn’t have much on the agenda, so citizens with general topics to speak on may want to take this opportunity to have the Board’s undivided attention. Proposed Planning Conference items will be discussed and provide insight into Board concerns. Some of these items include implementation of four-year staggered terms (following public input), the use of 27 acres at McKee Road and Pleasant Plains, rezoning “by-right” properties in town, visual plans for the future Entertainment District, and an invitation to charter schools to explain their business model. The draft Vision Statements are also worthy of a read.

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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.

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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 that 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.

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News Around 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.

New Property Tax Valuations

Mecklenburg County posted new property tax valuations on Friday, continuing the reassessment process that has been underway since 2017. Property owners can expect to see an increase in both their assessed value and in their tax rate. The Matthews Board of Commissioners and the Mecklenburg County Commissioners both approved tax increases in 2018.

The County Commission increased property taxes by ¾ of a cent. Mecklenburg county’s website provides details on the FY2019 budget and a description of where the money will be allocated here. The 2019 budget was approved in June of 2018 by Commissioners Trevor Fuller, Ella Scarborough, Pat Cotham, Jim Puckett, Vilma Leake, George Dunlap, Dumont Clarke, Matthew Ridenhour, and Bill James.

Matthews approved their 2019 budget on June 11th, 2018, to include a 1.5 cent/$100 in value tax increase. Town Manager Hazen Blodgett’s budget presentation estimated the increase would raise town revenue by $525,000 based on 2011 property values. In the 2019-2020 budget, assuming the Board doesn’t approve any additional tax increase, that number will still be significantly higher. For example, a property in Matthews formerly assessed at $213,600 generated $726.24 in 2017-18 and $758.28 in 2018-19. With a new appraised value of $391,000 the property owners will see their Matthews taxes increase in 2019-20 to $1,388.

The Matthews Board of Commissioners received a presentation from County Tax Assessor Ken Joyner in October of 2017 detailing the valuation process and recommended at that time that property owners review their property information and file a dispute if necessary. The County had created a new system for disputes available through the assessors’ web page. Although the valuation process is over with the release of new values, disputes can still be filed and changes to information requested.

2013-2014 Tax Rate: .3175/100
2014-2015 Tax Rate: .3175/100
2015-2016 Tax Rate: .34/100
2016-2017 Tax Rate: .34/100
2017-2018 Tax rate: .34/100
2018-2019 Tax rate: .355/100

#FiveForFriday: A Morning Minute News Round Up

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There was a little excitement at Town Hall yesterday, and for once it didn’t involve a council meeting. Around 1 PM emergency services were called after the alarm system went off. Three Matthews fire trucks answered the call. After an inspection of the premises, it was determined there was a fault in the sprinkler system which caused the alarm to go off.

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Ashley HomeStore licensee Broad River Retail announced plans to open a HomeStore Outlet in the former Capel Rug Outlet store (9632 E Independence Blvd.). Just down the road, Discount Tire has requested rezoning at the former Tilted Kilt location (1625 Windsor Square), which has been vacant since 2015. The tire retail chain would like to raze the current building to construct a new store. In 2018 the ABC Board applied to rezone the site but was denied. Since the ABC Board was denied rezoning within the last 12 months, Discount Tire must request special permission from the Planning Board to apply for rezoning.

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Mark your calendar for the next HAWK meeting, Tuesday, February 5. Kim O'Shea, beekeeper, archaeologist and master gardener will change the way you see bees. Her own videos and photos provide a unique glimpse into the way bees interact with their surroundings. Kim will explain methods for gardening for and with bees through year-round sustainable practices. 7 p.m. at the Community Center.

Photo by Kim O’Shea

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USA Rugby, the national governing body for the sport of rugby in America, selected the Sportsplex at Matthews as the site for their 2019 Spring College National Championship Series. The organization worked with the Charlotte Regional Visitors Authority/Visit Charlotte to determine the location of their 2018 Fall College National Championships. Visit Charlotte partnered with Sportsplex staff to deliver a professional-level experience for USA Rugby and their participating teams. The Men's D1AA, Women's D1, and Women's D2 finals will be played on the weekend of May 3.

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Did you know that Matthews Fire & EMS holds an annual awards banquet? This year's banquet had 140 attendees and honored the following members of the department:

Explorer of the Year – Jacob Rodriguez
Fire Corps Member of the Year – Sabrina Corra
SAFER Award for most hours (Fire) - Jacob Bobeng
SAFER Award for most hours (EMS)- Montana Hudgens
Rookie of the Year – Kyle “Bon Jovi” Beard
Derek E. Layman EMT of the Year – Montana Hudgens
Firefighter of the Year – Reyes Cruz Guzman
Officer of the Year – Lt. Matthew Losh
L.H. Yandel Award – Chief Rob Kinniburgh

To see a recap of the department’s accomplishments in 2018, view this YouTube video.

#FiveForFriday: A Morning Minute News Round Up

This #FiveForFriday Morning Minute News Round Up is for the week of January 13 through 19, 2019.

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The Federal Transit Authority awarded The City of Charlotte a $920,000 grant for planning the proposed LYNX Silver Line. The Silver Line, a CATS project, is a light rail extension from Gaston County through Matthews to Union County. The budget for the total project is expected to be $1 billion.

This Saturday, January 19, is Coffee With a Commissioner at the Levine Senior Center, 1050 Devore Ln., from 9 to 10 a.m. Stop by, ask some questions, chat about Matthews, and learn more about the goings on in our town.

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If you’re curious about Town Council meetings but have to get dinner on the table and kids in bed, it’s now possible to have your municipal cake and eat it too. The Town has started posting audio to the website. Find the audio file link posted beside the agenda as soon as the file is available, which will usually be a day or two after the meeting. Click audio, close your eyes and feel whisked away to the Council dais. Still want the visuals? Keep an eye on the Town’s YouTube Channel. There will be more videos in the near future.

Thursday morning (January 17) at 7 a.m. the Economic Development Advisory Council will meet. On the agenda: EDAC will discuss open broadband for the town, installing murals with funds from facade grants, and a Matthews-based website built through a partnership with developer Lat Purser, the Matthews Chamber of Commerce and the Town of Matthews.

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Although we posted this a few days ago, it’s an event worth repeating and attending. This Sunday, January 20, join Pastor Larry Whitley at Mount Moriah Missionary Baptist Church (381 Crestdale Rd.) at 2:00 p.m. for the Third Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration, Peaceful March & Commemorative Worship. After a brief presentation about civil rights, attendees will gather outside to walk to Town Hall.

And one to grow on…Not really news, but something not to miss if you can stay awake for it: the Super Blood Wolf Moon.

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This Sunday night (well, technically Monday morning) if you stay up late you might see the Super Blood Wolf Moon. The “super” part means the moon will be in relatively close proximity to the earth. A “wolf moon” is the first full moon of the year, and the blood part comes from the color of sun’s rays as they filter through the earth’s atmosphere. For 62 minutes the moon will be in full eclipse and a red hue will bathe the moon, creating both a beautiful sight and perhaps inspiration for an epic metal band name.

Rezoning: 10816 Idlewild Road

On August 14, 2017 the Board of Commissioners (Taylor, Ross, Urban, Melton, Higdon, Miller, and Whitley) unanimously approved rezoning application 2017-661, submitted by Land Investment Resources, LLC. The property, 16 acres, at 10816 Idlewild Road (Tax Parcel 193-161-10) was rezoned from R-15 to R-15 & R-VS.

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On the property at the time of sale was a single family home built in 1978, several outbuildings (a washroom which appeared to be late 19th or early 20th century) and a barn built in the early 20th century. The R-VS rezoning permits a maximum of 29 single-family detached homes, at least eight of which will have side garages.

The property is within Crown Point Elementary, Mint Hill Middle, and Butler High School zones. The staff report to the Board presented no data for impact to those schools.

The R-VS District requires a minimum of 8% tree canopy preservation. This proposed development would achieve 25% canopy preservation with a commitment to save the tree line along Idlewild Road.

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The buildable area consists of 13 usable acres and three additional acres along the Irvins Creek floodplain (and the future Irvins Creek Greenway). During the rezoning process, there were several points where Commissioner John Higdon led the conversation toward saving the historic buildings.

The washroom was relocated to Purser-Hulsey Park Community Garden. With no feasible solution for saving the barn structure, Land Investment Resources, LLC offered to donate the materials to the Town for reuse elsewhere. The Town agreed. A subcontractor is currently disassembling the barn. The Town will store the wood planks until a suitable use arises, most likely at Purser-Hulsey Park.

Morning Minute: Thursday, December 20, 2018

News About Town: Republic Services, the waste collection service for Matthews, is on schedule for trash and recycling pick up. If you’re curious about what can or can’t go in the recyling bin (cans can!), Republic Services has that covered. Yard waste, however, is still a few days delayed. An extra crew will be on hand this Saturday to play catch up.

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News Around Town: Charlotte Water (formerly CMUD) has been tunneling under Sam Newell Road since September as part of the Beards Creek Wastewater Improvement Project. The tunneling portion is almost complete, and crews will install an 18-inch diameter pipe from Sam Newell to North East Parkway (approximately 7,000 linear feet) in effort to more efficiently move wastewater. The project is expected to be finished by September 2019.

There’s still time to gift    your new favorite mug   !

There’s still time to gift your new favorite mug!

One Fun Thing: If you can’t make it to McAdenville to enjoy the lights this holiday season, you can at least see A Sweitzer’s Christmas display at 1001 Sunnyview Circle. Stop by Sunday through Thursday 6 p.m. - 10 p.m. or Friday and Saturday from 6 p.m. until 11 p.m. Tune into 107.3 for accompanying music. If you can, bring a couple bucks or a nonperishable food item to donate, the homeowners collect them to take to area nonprofits.

Morning Minute: Wednesday, December 19, 2018

News About Town: This past Monday the Board of Commissioners voted to rezone a 1.57-acre property (2018-690) on Matthews-Mint Hill Road. The property, owned by Novant, will be developed into medical office space. As part of the agreement, the Carolina Thread Trail will run through a portion of the campus, a portion of the campus may be used for the CATS Silver Line, and Novant will work with the Town of Matthews to complete Andrew Caroline Drive.

News Around Town: DARE Officer Robert Holmes joined Mrs. Collier’s fifth-grade class at Matthews Elementary for the class party and those reindeer games (we’re assured Rudolph was invited to join in all of those). As of today CMS students are on winter break so breathe easy, commutes will go quicker for the next couple weeks. (Big ol’ thank you to Ginnie Mattes and Sara Mayse for sharing your photos!)

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One Fun Thing: Looking for a fun gift for a Matthews lover? Get a Beacon mug for all your favorite people while supporting local journalism produced by local talent. Pair it with a bag of Matthews-roasted Magnolia Coffee for a merry Matthews gift.

Matthews Gives Back with Covenant Day School

Photos by Cyma Shapiro

Photos by Cyma Shapiro

On Monday, at 9 a.m., 68 students from Covenant Day School in Matthews, and a few of the school’s teachers went to Target with the sole purpose of purchasing items for those in need during this holiday season. As in previous years of the CDS/Matthews Police Department partnership, they were accompanied by School Resource Officer Don Warren, who previously handed out approximately 40 cards identifying the wish lists of unnamed local children in need of gifts this season.

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As part of the annual Matthews Gives Back program, the seventh graders were divided into small groups and assigned a child to buy gifts for. They eagerly scoured the isles with $100 in hand and the dictate to purchase appropriate gifts which will eventually be distributed by the Matthews Help Center. This fall, the class raised $3400 during the “Penny Wars,” a competition between homerooms, specifically for this event.

After shopping, the students are taken to the Crews Recreation Center to play games and eat lunch. They then wrap and deliver the gifts to the police department who, in turn, will deliver the final load to the Matthews Help Center.

“As teachers, we love watching the wheels turning in the students’ heads as they figure out how to stretch the money as far as possible,” said accompanying Covenant Day teacher Zach Turner. “We do not want them to just get one or two gifts - we want them to get as many as they are able to.  For the kids we are shopping for, this might be all they get under the tree, so we take that very seriously.”

This group is one of a number of local institutions, including Matthews United Methodist Church, the police department, and the Town of Matthews who will work toward a unified holiday support program.

“Each year, we’re just adding more community partners to [this],” said Matthews Help Center Director Sandra Conway. This year, the Help Center decided to “marshal our resources to make a bigger impact on the community,” she said.

To become a beneficiary of holiday gifts, families are screened by several local institutions before being chosen to visit Matthews Help Center’s “Holiday House,” where they can pick up toys for their children. Each family is given a budget for shopping and accompanying vouchers to do so, mirroring the experience they would have in a retail establishment. Last year, 374 children received presents.

Across town, students at Crestdale Middle School (among many others) are also doing their part by collecting toys and goods for local families in need. Officer Warren will pick up and transport those gifts to the Help Center as well.

“We’re just really excited to be a part of the Matthews community and give back in whatever way we can,” said Principal Jennifer Schroeder.

Proffitt Dixon: Growth in the Entertainment District

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If you’ve driven along Matthews-Mint Hill Road near Ridge Church and Dorian’s Deli you may have noticed the beginning stages of development on 35.5 acres of the south side of the road.

The property went before the Planning Board and then to the Board of Commissioners (the typical method) for rezoning from I-1 to ENT in 2017. The planned construction, previously named Matthews Park, is a multi-use, urban-style, pedestrian-friendly network of live/work spaces in anticipation of the build-out of the Entertainment District. For those unfamiliar with zoning, I-1 is property appropriate for light industrial and ENT is a designation by the Town in the Land Use Plan for the acreage surrounding the Sportsplex..

Successfully rezoned, site work is now underway. The ENT district requires an 8% tree save which Proffitt Dixon, the developer, has committed to meeting and exceeding. A preliminary survey showed no trees larger than 36” diameter. During Phase I of construction the site will not be clear-cut, though ultimately the majority of the existing trees that are saved will be the ones closest to Matthews-Mint Hill Road. To meet the 8% tree save, trees will be strategically replanted.

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According to the Board of Commissioner’s approval, the entire complex of Matthews Park can include up to 570 apartments, 180 hotel rooms, and 151,000 square feet of commercial space, which may include retail and medical offices. Construction is planned in two phases. Phase 1, where the site work is currently underway, will be 359 apartments. The next phase may include the remaining apartments, hotel, and commercial portion, as allowed by the rezoning process.

Proffitt Dixon expects Phase 1 of this project to be completed in 2021.

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Supportive Help for Butler High Students, Staff, Parents, and Caregivers

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Early Monday morning Matthews Police responded to a shooting at Butler High School. One student, Bobby McKeithen, was shot and taken to the hospital, where he died from his injuries. Another student was taken into custody. Following the lifting of the school lockdown, students were released to waiting parents. Butler will remain open and classes will continue for students who remain on campus.
CMS has counselors on site and available for students who need to talk to someone. There are also several online resources for parents to use in assisting their children in dealing with violence and grief:

If you or your child would like to talk to a counselor over the phone or by text, Disaster Distress Hotline is available 24/7. Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 for support and counseling; Spanish-speakers should text Hablanos to 66746.

Past to Present: Crestdale’s Roseland Cemetery

Photo by Cyma Shapiro

Photo by Cyma Shapiro

When the Taft Development Group (TDG) begins breaking ground in mid-November on the multi-use 21-acre “Proximity Matthews” complex on 10252 Monroe Rd., Charlotte native and UNC anthropology major Hoke Thompson will be marshaling area townspeople to begin carefully clearing out fallen trees and debris on Roseland Cemetery, located on the back of the property.  

Roseland Cemetery, also known as the town’s African American Cemetery is the final resting place of approximately 75 former slaves, many of whom were also Crestdale residents.  The descendants of many of those buried at Rosedale still own or live on their family land.

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There are many sunken spaces once believed to hold graves and a few still-standing and barely legible gravestones.

Photo by Cyma Shapiro

Overgrown and in total disrepair, the less than two-acre plot is on private property with limited accessibility. There are many sunken spaces believed to once hold graves and a few still-standing and barely legible gravestones. Six years ago, the Charlotte Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission designated the cemetery as an historic landmark.

Having originally worked on restoring the Native American and free slave burial cemetery on the grounds of Sardis Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, Hoke Thompson has experience with this type of venture.  Now the Project Manager for this historic cemetery reclamation project, Thompson first showed interest as an Eagle Scout and has waited two long years to see this all of this come to fruition. “I’ve been eager to get in there and fix it up,” he said.  He will also be joined by Paula Lester, president of the Matthews Historical Commission, members of the Matthews Preservation Advisory Committee and others.

According to Dustin Mills, VP of TDG, the cemetery will not be impacted by nearby construction. “There will be no tractors or tree (work there),” said Mills. “It will be preserved in its present state... We’re committed to making this an area which will be beneficial to those who have loved ones in the cemetery and allow them to have access to it, (too).”

Photo by Cyma Shapiro

Photo by Cyma Shapiro

Celebrate the Tatas

Photos by Cyma Shapiro

Photos by Cyma Shapiro

Dozens of women attended the 7th anniversary of Hadassah Charlotte’s “Celebrate the TaTas,” on Sunday, Sept. 23, at the McDowell Arts Center in Matthews.

Photo by Cyma Shapiro

Photo by Cyma Shapiro

This will be the first of four annual events designed to raise money for the Hadassah Medical Organization’s Breast Cancer Research in Jerusalem, Israel. This year’s events will raise about $50,000; cumulatively, the group has raised nearly $500,000 in the seven years of existence. Other events this fall will be Novant’s Mammovan and “The Big Reveal” at Queen Park Social club in October. For the large upcoming soccer tournament, women will fly in from the Carolinas, Georgia, Tennessee and Virginia to join teams such as “Cleats and Cleavage” and “Akuna MaTatas,” emblazoned with such shirt numbers like “34DD.”

On this day, women come to have their “TaTas” painted, eat, schmooze, be pampered, made-up and buy jewelry. While the event is intended to raise money and awareness, and celebrate and empower women in a creative and fun atmosphere, it’s also a day of “sisterhood,” according to Charlotte founder Talia Goldman. “All these women become your sisters.”

Photo by Cyma Shapiro

Photo by Cyma Shapiro

“My mother has had breast, lung, melanoma, colon, and breast (cancer) again,” she said. “I realized that this is in my DNA. I just needed to do something. I wanted to do something that was educational, creative and empowering.”

Citing the organic and communal nature of the group, the events, the sponsors, the artists, and the volunteers, Goldman attributes its success to how much it touches people, most especially, women.“Everyone knows someone (with breast cancer), is in support of someone, is (doing this in) memory of someone, or knows (and supports) Hadassah,” she said.

“Celebrate the Tatas” was started by Goldman, but has spread to New Orleans, San Francisco, Atlanta and several cities in Florida. The events are intended to bring together survivors, supporters and friends and family members affected by breast cancer. This year’s local sponsors include Novant Health, Harris Teeter, Whole Foods, Dillard’s (employees donated their time).

Although Goldman has relinquished many of the overall responsibilities to other women, she sees the growth, passion, and mission for this as infinite. “Someone asked me the other day, ‘When are you going to stop doing this?’” she said. “(I answered) When are they going to find a cure?”

Photo by Talia Goldman

Photo by Talia Goldman

Matthews Morning Minute: September 20, 2018

News About Town: Saturday, September 22, 2018, from 9:00 AM  12:00 PM, the Town of Matthews will hold a Community Meeting at Matthews Town Hall (232 Matthews Station Street Matthews, NC 20815).  If you’re curious what an overlay means, or if it affects you as a property owner, this will be a good time to get all the answers.

The meeting schedule:

  • 9:00 - 10:00 a.m. E. John Street/Outer Loop Small Area Plan

  • 10:00 - 11:00 a.m. Entertainment District Small Area Plan

  • 11:00 - 12:00 p.m. - Monroe Road Small Area Plan

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News Above Town: The weather seems stuck: high of 89, low around 68. We’ll get a few days of slightly cooler temperatures starting Friday, so at least there’s that.

News Around Town: Family Dollar is packing their bags. In a statement released Tuesday, Family Dollar, a subsidiary of Dollar Tree, announced the consolidation of their headquarters in Chesapeake, VA. The closure will affect approximately 900 jobs.

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One Good Thing: Barks and Blooms, a Matthews-based pet sitting service, has organized a supply drive for pets affected by #Florence. Drop off items needed (see list above) at Your Mom’s Donuts or other area locations. Collected items will be taken to high-need areas such as Lumberton and Robeson County.