Lake Norman & Mooresville

Lake patrol officers honored by Marine Commission

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police lake patrol officer Randy Echerd.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police lake patrol officer Randy Echerd. COURTESY OF RANDY ECHERD

Two law enforcement officers who have spent most of their careers patrolling Lake Norman were honored by the Lake Norman Marine Commission during its June 8 meeting in Mooresville.

Both Robert Pruette, a deputy with the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office, and Randy Echerd with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, were presented with plaques by Marine Commission chairman John Marino.

Pruette is retiring from the Sheriff’s Office at the end of June after 30 years of service, most of that as the full-time lake patrol officer. He is being replaced by Deputy Scott Sawyer.

Echerd, with the CMPD’s lake patrol division for 15 years, will see his duties shift at the end of the month as the Cornelius Police Department takes over patrolling the southern end of Lake Norman, save for the area around the McGuire Nuclear Plant and the Cowan’s Ford Dam.

In other business by the Marine Commission:

▪ Officials with American Bridge told the commission that underbridge work on the N.C. 150 bridge that crosses the northern end of Lake Norman should be completed by July 15, but that date may change depending on weather conditions.

Work on the topside of the bridge, which involves removal of old concrete and applying a rubberized concrete compound on the roadway, was scheduled to begin June 19, with one side of the bridge closed down. The open lane would be monitored by workers 24 hours a day to allow safe passage of traffic.

The work on the N.C. 150 bridge, which also involved replacing rusted-out steel girders and support pieces and applying a weather-resistant coating under the bridge, is expected to extend the life of the bridge by 20-plus years.

▪ Sam Perkins, the Riverkeeper for the Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation, gave a report on the nutrient levels in Lake Norman and two other area lakes (Mountain Island and Wylie) and how that could cause problems with wildlife.

▪ The N.C. Wildlife Federation is seeking volunteers to help during the group’s annual effort to plant button bushes and other water plants on the shorelines of islands in Lake Norman. The plants will help ease erosion on the shoreline. The planting will take place June 27. For information, call the NCWF at 704-332-5696.

▪ Commissioners unanimously approved an amended budget for the 2014-15 fiscal year, which ends June 30. The amended budget – totaling $95,211 – was needed to reflect the Marine Commission’s annual audit, and is required by the state of North Carolina for all governmental agencies.

▪ The next meeting of the Lake Norman Marine Commission will be held 7 p.m. July 13 at the Charles Mack Citizen Center, 215 N. Main St., Mooresville.

Big Day at the Lake seeks boat hosts

Organizers of the 11th annual Big Day at the Lake are looking for boaters to take part in the July 18 event for the children and their chaperones under Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Charlotte.

The boat hosts will take the children, the littles, and their mentors, the bigs, out on Lake Norman and Mountain Island Lake for a day of tubing and swimming.

The bigs and littles– along with the boat hosts and other volunteers helping with Big Day at the Lake – end their day at the lake with a picnic at the Duke Energy EnergyExplorium in Huntersville.

To register as a boat host or for information on Big Day at the Lake XI, visit www.bigdayatthelake.com. The deadline to register is July 10.

Bill Kiser is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Bill? Email him at bkisercltobs@gmail.com.

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