Mint Hill buys hybrid vehicles for staff use
The town has purchased two 2009 hybrid Ford Escapes to be used by town staff.
The small SUVs, which town manager Brian Welch says average 34 mpg in the city and 31 mpg on the highway, will replace an old Dodge Stratus and a Ford ranger pickup.
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Welch says town staff needs to use the cars on a regular basis for trips to the post office, meetings, and conferences both in and out of town.
“The keys are hanging up front for any town employee to use. If you're having a meeting or a conference, you can just grab the keys and go,” said Welch.
Total cost of the two white Escapes was $55,000, or about $27,500 each. Welch said they paid an up-charge of about $9,000 for the hybrid models, but he figures the savings on gas will be well worth it.
“We bought hybrids to be good stewards of the environment and to combat the rising price of gasoline,” said Welch.
“We bought Fords because we wanted cars that were made in America.”
Max Zalaquett, a Matthews resident and rising sophomore at Western Carolina Univeristy, has won the first Matthews Alive! art contest.
The Matthews Alive! Board of Directors selected his entry from among the dozen submitted.
Zalaquett's piece originally was done and submitted in pen and ink and took about four hours to complete.
Beforehand, he went around town taking pictures of the buildings he most associated with the contest's theme “Discover Matthews.” His picture includes the Matthews Community Center, Matthews Town Hall, Renfrow Hardware, The Chamber of Commerce, and Stumptown Park.
“I had to find a way to draw all the buildings at once, so I wrapped it around and made it look like planet Matthews,” Zalaquett said.
Once it was chosen, the Matthews Alive! Board hired graphic artist Katie Schnellinger to color it in.
Zalaquett, who's been working this summer delivering pizzas for Papa John's, says the $750 award he received for his art will be used for groceries and books when he returns to college this fall.
A 2007 graduate of Providence High School, Zalaquett said he took several art classes there, but didn't take art too seriously, drawing mostly on homework and test papers.
Now he's majoring in art and hopes to have a career where he can use his creativity.
Zalaquett's artwork will be used in all the festival's marketing, such as on posters, t-shirts, advertising and event guides.
Not bad for a 19-year-old who listened to his mother, Lora, and entered the contest. Zalaquett says this is the first art contest he's ever won, but it's also the first he's ever entered.
The 16th annual Matthews Alive! Festival will be Aug. 29-Sept. 1 in and around Stumptown Park in downtown Matthews. The four-day family friendly festival includes live music, artists, rides, games, food and displays. For more information, go to www.matthewsalive.org.
Matthews, Mint Hill, Pineville
The mayors of Matthews, Mint Hill and Pineville are pledging their support for the proposed $250M Parks and Recreation Bond package which will be on the November ballot.
Matthews Mayor Lee Myers, Mint Hill Mayor Ted Biggers and Pineville Mayor George Fowler have sent a letter expressing their support to the Mecklenburg County Board of County Commissioners.
In it, the mayors say that all of the proposed parks and recreation projects are important to the quality of life of citizens living in Mecklenburg County. Of particular importance to the mayors are the six projects which will be located in the southern portion of the county.
The six projects are:
Stevens Creek Nature Preserve, $7.2 million.
Irvins Creek Greenway, $2.5 million.
McAlpine Creek Greenway, $1.3 million.
Pineville Community Park, $3.6 million.
Ezell Farms Community Park, $3.6 million.
Mecklenburg County Sportsplex, $25 million.
“We are grateful to the Parks and Recreation staff, County Parks and Recreation Commissioners and the Mecklenburg County Board of County Commissioners for recognizing the needs of our citizens. We need parks, greenways, nature areas and ball fields in this part of the county,” Matthews Mayor Lee Myers commented.
“As everyone knows we have thousands of young people and adults who participate in both organized and unorganized sports. We need centrally located facilities so that they will continue to be physically active and not be discouraged by having to travel to inconvenient locations in the county,” said Ted Biggers, Mayor of Mint Hill.
“We believe that the bond package offers a variety of projects that will benefit all residents of the county. These projects will provide additional opportunities for a healthy lifestyle for our residents. We encourage our citizens to vote for the bond package in November,” said Pineville Mayor George Fowler .
St. Matthew Catholic Church is celebrating after packing and shipping over 50 tons of donated food to Haiti.
The food should arrive in Haiti in September. Rising food prices have left many in Haiti struggling to find enough to eat. Church volunteers worked for weeks to collect the food and packed it in shipping containers provided by Food For the Poor.
The final tally was 105,000 lbs of food and material on 55 pallets including: 36,500 lbs of rice, 4,700 lbs of flour, 3,700 lbs of tuna and meat, 4,600 lbs of pinto beans, 1,297 lbs of peanut butter, 1,497 lbs of diapers. The church wishes to thank all the volunteers and donors that made the project successful.