Register to vote
The North Carolina Primary is March 15. Polls will be open 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
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The deadline for voter registration and to change party affiliations for the primary is Feb. 19. To register, voters must be at least 18 years of age by the date of the next general election on Nov. 8, 2016, be a U.S. citizen and not be currently serving a felony sentence. By election day, voters must have resided in that county for at least 30 days.
Early voting will be available March 3-12. Voter identification will be required this year.
Time to signup
The “BeachFest Matthews” street festival will return to downtown Matthews May 13-14 with live beach music, street food vendors, shagging on the main stage dance floor, a car show, a carnival, and activities for kids including an inflatable village and beach-themed crafts.
Exhibitors and participants are needed for display spaces and arts and crafts. Car enthusiasts can register for the Cruisin’ Car Show for $5 per vehicle in advance, $10 on the day of the event.
Runners also are encouraged to register for the BeachFest Matthews Sandy Feet 5K race on May 14. Advance registration is $25; race day registration is $30.
Learn to weave a small waste basket at the next Basket Weaving Class 9:30 a.m.- 12:30 p.m. Feb. 20 at the Matthews Community Center, 100 McDowell St. in Matthews.
Cost is $25 residents, $30 nonresidents. Details: 704-321-7275.
Stacey Randall, creator of Take Control of Your Days and founder of the Brown Randall Group, will discuss how to improve productivity at a free lunch seminar noon to 1 p.m. March 2 in the Bissell Training Room in the Chandler Building at Ballantyne Corporate Park.
Topics include how to recognize how you invest your time, how to better control your time and strategies for mastering information overload including email tips.
Register by Feb. 24 at email@example.com.
Food Truck Friday
Time to signup
Food Truck Friday returns 5-9 p.m. March 4 at Stumptown Park in Matthews.
Twelve food and dessert trucks will provide varied menus including seafood, Tex-Mex, sandwiches, specialty dishes, international cuisine, Southern comfort food and more. Entertainers perform acoustic music, and area artists are scheduled to appear.
Participants can bring chairs and blankets. Pets and alcohol are not permitted. Food Truck Friday is held each Friday night through Sept. 30.
Solar development program
To help citizens learn about solar development, the town of Matthews and the American Planning Association will offer an interactive game10 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 5 at Matthews Town Hall, 232 Matthews Station St.
The free game lets participants take on the role of residents, business owners, public officials and local planners in the fictional town of Sunnyside. Participants will discuss solar development opportunities and challenges, benefits and barriers of solar development, getting “solar ready,” financing options and understanding regulations.
To register online or get more information, visit http://bit.ly/sunnysidematthews. Registration is limited.
Registration has started
The Town of Matthews Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resource is accepting registration for summer camp. A variety of camps are available for children ages 4-17.
For more information and a list of summer camps, visit www.matthewsfun.org.
Proposed development takes step forward
A proposed neighborhood shopping center at Rea Road and Tom Short Road in the Marvin and Weddington area of Union County took a step forward on Feb. 8 when the Union County Board of Adjustment approved the developer's Special Use Permit.
Commercial development firm Raley-Miller proposed the retail site for a large wooded parcel that backs up to the Somerset neighborhood and sits across from Hunter Oaks and Marvin Creek. The land is also the site of a previous heated debate with Wal-Mart over a proposed Super Center, although Raley-Miller was not involved in the Wal-Mart project that was ultimately defeated.
The Charlotte-based developer reduced the size of its proposed retail center from 275,000 square feet to 240,000 square feet. Local residents also were pleased at the removal of a proposed cell tower from the project.
The new development is expected to include a Harris Teeter grocery store no larger than 82,500 square feet, up to three restaurants with drive-through lanes, a convenience store and gas station, a car repair business and a bank. Developers also shared plans for traffic and buffer considerations related to the center.
Five access points would allow traffic to enter the complex -- three on Rea Road and two on Tom Short Road. Tintinhull Lane would extend from the Somerset neighborhood to Rea Road. Sidewalks would extend to the Mecklenburg County line and to Creekstone Drive in the Hunter Oaks neighborhood. Hours of delivery would be restricted to 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. for businesses that back up to Somerset residences.
Tyson foods expansion
Tyson Foods recently announced a $5 million equipment investment in its Monroe facility that currently employs 1,500 people. Additional jobs could be created by the investment.
Tyson Foods has operated in Union County since it acquired Holly Farms in 1989.
The investment announcement came one month after the Union County Board of Commissioners and Monroe City Council awarded Economic Development Incentive Grants worth $225,000.
Black History Month
The Union County Public Library will hold several Black History Month programs in February.
The schedule includes:
▪ Finding Your Union County African American/Slave Ancestor First Steps: 10 a.m. to noon Feb. 17, Dickerson Room, Monroe Branch. Details: 704-283-8184, extension 224.
▪ Race, Religion and the Pulpit Book Talk: 3 p.m. Feb. 20, Monroe Branch. Author Julia Marie Robinson, associate professor of African American Religion at UNCC and an ordained Presbyterian minister, will discuss her book. Details: 704-283-8184, extension 232.
Tom Short Road extension
Blasting to occur
Intermittent blasting is scheduled to occur through Feb. 17 at the Amber Meadow development site off of Tom Short Road Extension in Marvin.
Amber Meadow will be an age-restricted community near Tom Short and Rea Roads. Approved in May 2015 by the Marvin Village Council, the community will include 44 single-family homes on 24 acres. Eighty percent of the owners must be age 55 or older. Details: www.marvinnc.org.
Weddington town hall
The Weddington Board of Adjustment will hold a hearing at 7 p.m. Feb. 25 at town hall, 1924 Weddington Road.
The board of adjustment will hear a zoning variance request for property at Lot 23 in the subdivision Lake Forest Preserve. Details: 704-846-2709.
Leigh Pressley is a freelance writer: firstname.lastname@example.org.