HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. -- The continuing saga surrounding the fate of the historic Torrence-Lytle School campus in Huntersville is approaching a new chapter, but a pending offer could, once again, swing the story in a new direction.

Earlier this month, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Historic Landmarks Commission (HLC), owners of the 3.6-acre, multi-building site on Holbrooks Road for the last decade, voted to proceed with a previously outlined plan for environmental clean-up and building stabilization efforts at the campus. Dan Morrill, consulting director of the HLC, said discussions with contractors have established July as the target for work to begin on the multi-phase project designed to enhance the property’s appeal to potential developers.

But Morrill also said a detailed review of a purchase offer from a Charlotte couple interested in obtaining the historic school — built in 1937 as the first public high school serving African-American students in the northern portion of Mecklenburg County — is scheduled for early next month.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016 17:41

Davidson bonding to the future?

Commissioners hear catalyst project update, take a lesson in Municipal Bonds 101.

DAVIDSON, N.C. -- When it comes to the Town of Davidson’s ever-evolving plans to create a catalyst project on 3.5 acres that are currently occupied by Town Hall, the police and fire departments, parking and the farmer’s market, one message sent to planners by the town’s residents resonates loud and clear.

They do not want Birkdale Village.

LAKE NORMAN, N,C. -- After touring Fort Bragg in Fayetteville with her husband, U.S. Senator Thom Tillis, in April of 2015, Susan Tillis of Huntersville came away from the experience with a clear mission: to help better serve the families of junior enlisted soldiers, especially those with newborns.

“They told me that they sometimes feel forgotten or under appreciated,” said Susan Tillis of the junior enlisted soldiers and their spouses last year.

That sentiment served as the impetus for her “Baby Bundle Building Shower” to benefit the Baby Bundles program created not only to raise awareness of the needs of America’s armed forces families, but also provide them with needed supplies for their newborns. Baby Bundles is a joint effort between Womack Army Medical Hospital and the Armed Services YMCA of Fort Bragg.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016 18:17

Raising awareness for CMT disorder

LAKE NORMAN, N.C. -- The upcoming Spartan Race in Concord is designed as a fun and physical challenge for all ages and abilities, but for at least two participants with local connections it will also be an opportunity to raise awareness of a rare and debilitating disease while also proving that obstacles can be overcome.

Patrick Livney, the 55-year-old CEO of the Charcot-Marie-Tooth Association (CMTA), and Lily Sanders, an 8-year-old from the region coping with the extremely rare CMT nerve system disorder, are both in training for the Spartan Race event set for Saturday, April 9.

Charcot-Marie-Tooth is a little-known degenerative disorder that damages the peripheral nerves. Livney and Lily both have the neuromuscular disease and are undertaking the challenge of the Spartan Race as a way to raise funds for CMT research. Livney plans to compete in the complete 3.5-mile event and Lily will take part in the half-mile Kids Race.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016 18:15

Race for a Reason for Ryan set April 9

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. -- An annual 5K benefit with direct ties to a former student at Hopewell High School will be held Saturday, April, 9, at Historic Rural Hill in Huntersville.

The Race for a Reason 5K, sponsored by the DECA program at Hopewell, is dedicated to the memory of Ryan Disney and is designed to raise funds to support ongoing efforts to help those impacted by muscular dystrophy. The benefit has become a Hopewell and a Huntersville tradition as a way to remember Disney, honor his dedication to Hopewell’s DECA program and recognize the battle he fought against muscular dystrophy before it claimed his life during his senior year at Hopewell in August 2004.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016 18:14

Shah earns USAF Academy post

LAKE NORMAN, N.C. -- A former Davidson resident with family ties to military service has earned an appointment to the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs.

Aanand Shah is the latest student with local connections to be selected for admittance to a military service academy. His appointment was announced this week by Congressman Robert Pittenger.

Shah, a former Davidson resident who attended Pine Lake Prep, moved with his parents to the U.S. military base in Okinawa, Japan three years ago and is now a student at Kadena High School in Okinawa. His mother, Pina Shah, is a captain in the U.S. Air Force.

Tuesday, 22 March 2016 18:13

Spring Food Truck Rally at Rural Hill

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. -- Historic Rural Hill’s Spring Food Truck Rally is set for Saturday, April 2, from 4 to 7 p.m. The event will take place rain or shine. Parking costs $5 per vehicle, admission is free and food pricing will vary per food truck. Live music will be performed by The Thistledown Tinkers while craft beer and wine will be available for purchase.

Food trucks confirmed for this year’s rallies, although subject to change, include Moe’s Original BBQ, Cuzzo’s Cuisine, Street Spice International, Two Chix and a Truck, Sugar Shack Sweets, Bebo’s Mac Shack, Bebo’s American Bistro, Juan Taco, Ruthie’s, Comfort Food on Wheels, Kona Ice, Maryland Crab, Mel’s Foods, Smoke and Go, Polar Snoballs, Jive Turkey Legs, Taste and See and All-Star Café.

Activities will include a kids’ zone, cornhole, hayrides around the property (fee applies), hiking, local merchants and living history experiences. No outside food or beverages will be permitted, as well as pets.

In addition to the spring and fall food truck rallies, Rural Hill has added a summer rally on July 15. For more information, visit

Tuesday, 22 March 2016 18:12

CRTPO schedules roadway studies

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Charlotte Regional Transportation Planning Organization (CRTPO) voted on Wednesday, March 16, to approve the Fiscal Year 2017 Unified Planning Work Program (UPWP), which describes the transportation planning activities that are anticipated for the coming fiscal year. The plan also documents the allocation of state and federal funds associated with each planning activity.

During FY 2017, three towns within the planning organization’s jurisdiction, two of them in the Lake Norman area, will use CRTPO funds to undertake five projects that will provide long-term benefits to their communities as well as the larger CRTPO region, two of them in the Lake Norman area. Contact the appropriate town staff member for more information about each project.

CORNELIUS, N.C. -- If things don’t work out in the public arena for newly elected Huntersville Mayor John Aneralla or in the private sector for him as a small business owner, he is at least assured of future employment. It turns out Jim Garges, director of Mecklenburg County’s Park and Recreation Department, is holding a seat for him.

A lifeguard seat, to be exact.

During attendee introductions at last week’s Focus Friday event at the Lake Norman Chamber of Commerce, where Garges revealed that the long-awaited public swim beach at Ramsey Creek Park in Cornelius was set to open Memorial Day weekend, Aneralla mentioned that he used to be a lifeguard.

“Boom, you’re on!” Garges said. “We’re looking! $11 an hour, it’s big money.”

Tuesday, 22 March 2016 18:08

Huntersville okays recreation projects

HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. -- A redistribution of municipal dollars from various funds and sources has cleared the path for Huntersville to proceed with construction of a new recreation center and a scaled-back version of Veterans Park at Main & Maxwell.

Following through on an approach unveiled at the town’s planning retreat in early February, Monday night Huntersville commissioners authorized the transfer of funds from the Veterans Park project and the town’s hotel/motel tax fund balance into the Huntersville Parks and Recreation Department’s (HPRD) new rec center. The process directs an additional $1.09 million toward the recreation project, providing the final portion of financing required to proceed with construction of the $5.3 million, 24,000-square-foot facility now planned near the entrance of Huntersville Athletic Park (HAP) off Verhoeff Drive.