Community Notebook

Tickets are on sale for the Old Courthouse Theatre's 20th annual New Year's Eve Murder Mystery Dinner Theatre and Silent Auction.

The event, a fundraiser for the nonprofit theater group, is 8 p.m.-midnight Dec. 31 in the fifth-floor ballroom of the Smith Tower at Charlotte Motor Speedway.

The evening includes dinner, dessert, wine, coffee and champagne at midnight, plus party favors and a DJ for dancing and listening. Tables can seat eight to 10.

Tickets are $75 per person; tax and gratuities are included.

For reservations call 704-788-2405 or e-mail Give your contact information and details about your partyname, mailing address, contact telephone number, the number of people in your party and whether anyone wants the vegetarian entrée or has other dietary needs. The theater accepts checks, MasterCard, Visa or cash.

The reservation deadline is Dec. 29.

Kannapolis recently named winners of its Christmas contests:

Display booth, schools: Preschool of the Arts, first; A.L. Brown Band Boosters, second; Northwest Cabarrus High School Band Boosters, third.

Display booth, churches: Eastwood Baptist and First Wesleyan, first; Grace Fellowship, second.

Display booth, civic organizations: Centergrove Cub Scouts, first; Central Piedmont Search & Rescue, second; Cabarrus Partnership for Children, third.

Gingerbread House, age 10 and younger: Krislyn Grigg, first; Kate Hartsell, second; Ella Griffin, third.

Gingerbread House, age 11-17: Megan Parker, first; Jessi Hackworth, second; Kaylee Grigg, third.

Gingerbread House, adults: Benjamin Williams, first; Melanie Griffin, second; Elizabeth Cox, third.

"Christmas in Village Park" continues through Dec. 31 except Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Details: 704-920-4343.

When the MURDOCK Study team held its first mass enrollment with Cabarrus County Schools Wednesday, about 20 teachers and staff joined the study at a morning registration.

The study is a long-term examination of area health issues. Billionaire Dole Food owner David Murdock provided a $35million gift in 2007 to launch the study at the North Carolina Research Campus, his $1.5 billion biotechnology complex in Kannapolis.

An exhibition of artwork by 16 artists in the limited palette of black, white and red, plus Seagrove pottery and holiday décor, is open through Tuesday at the Cabarrus Arts Council Galleries, 65 Union St. S., Concord.

"Black, White and Easily Red" includes paintings, drawings, photographs, sculpture, pottery, blown glass and cut paper.

Also, "Shop Seagrove" brings pieces from seven of the most prominent artists from the eastern N.C. town known for pottery; most pieces are for sale.

Gallery hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. weekdays.

Details: 704-920-2787 (704-920-ARTS);

Registration is open for classes that will begin in January through the Cooperative Extension Service's Cabarrus County center.

Classes will include Beginners Beekeeping; Growing Delicious Microgreens; and Farming 101.

Registration isn't required for a free landscaping and mulch workshop Jan. 4.

"Healthy Cooking on a Budget" classes are offered year-round for parents with limited incomes. Other programs are designed to teach children how nutritious foods can also be pleasing to their palates.

The 4-H Youth Development Department is scheduling new science, math and political science programs for ages 5-18; specific information will be released soon.

For more information visit the Cabarrus County Extension office website at; e-mail; or call the center at 704-920-3310.

A training session for new volunteers will be 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Jan. 8 at Wings of Eagles Ranch, a nonprofit therapeutic riding facility in Cabarrus County.

New volunteers are asked to apply in advance and sign up for a weekly volunteer time slot. The training will include learning the layout of the ranch, how to groom and tack the horses, how to lead for the riders and how to facilitate classes and games.

Available volunteer time slots are Tuesday and Thursday afternoons or Wednesday mornings. Training is mandatory. Volunteers must be at least 14 years old. Download the application at www.wing