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Michele Bachmann visits Beef-O-Brady’s

In Local News on January 6, 2012 at 7:47 pm

By: Cassidy Parker

Michele Bachmann speaks at Beef-O-Brady's restauraunt in Fort Mill on Wednesday. Photo courtesy of Google Images

Michele Bachmann, who is currently running to be the Republican Party’s candidate for president, will be making a stop right here inFortMill. In fact,FortMillwill be the kickoff of her tour ofSouth Carolina. Bachmann will be making an appearance at the well-known Beef-o-Brady’s restaurant onMarket Streetin Baxter, and it isn’t the first time that the Republican has made an appearance inYorkCounty.

            Tomorrow night at 7:30, Bachmann will be at Beef-O-Brady’s to try to earnFortMill’s votes. Her appearance there is being hosted by the Republican Party of York County. Bachmann is the only women competing for the spot as the Republican presidential candidate. She is competing against Mitt Romney, Rick Perry and a few others to receive this highly coveted position.

            Tomorrow will not be the first time Michele Bachmann has made a stop inYorkCounty. Last summer she actually made three visits toYork. First, in June, a few days after she announced that she would be running for president, she was hosted by 1,000 people at theWinthrop’sDiGiorgioCenterballroom. Her second appearance inYorkCountywas a small private event for local pastors. Her third visit was at the Books-A-Million inManchester, and was a book signing for her book, Core of Conviction. Core of Conviction is actually not doing very well in sales.

            Bachmann’s trail through South Carolina, on which she will attempt to win over the voters of the Republican Party, only starts inFortMill. She is actually going on a three-day tour through thePalmettoState.South Carolina’s voting day on this topic is coming up very soon, so Republican candidates are scrambling to try and gather as many votes as possible for the election. Michele Bachmann is especially trying to do this. According to a poll taken by Real Clear Politics, Bachmann trails three of her competitors in the race to be the Republican presidential candidate, so she needs to try and gather up as many votes as possible for the race.

            Michele Bachmann’s, theMinnesota congresswoman, appearance at Beef-O-Brady’s is open to the public, and it costs absolutely nothing to get in. In a scramble for a lead in South Carolina, Bachmann will try to win over your votes, tomorrow night at 7:30.

A Home for the Holidays

In Local News on December 16, 2011 at 8:08 pm

 By: Cassidy Parker

The York County Humane Society opens a new shelter. Photo courtesy of Google Images

   “A Home for the Holiday” marked the ability for animal to now have a new home, right here inFortMill. “A Home for theHoliday” was the name of the ribbon-cutting ceremony held for the Humane Society of York County’s new home, and it is getting people excited. “I am really excited to see the new shelter,” Brittany Bivins, a student that previously volunteered at the old shelter, said with a smile. “I really hope it helps all the animals have a better chance of getting adopted.” The new facility is located at8177 Regent ParkwayinFortMill. The new facility is a huge improvement from the old one.

            The old place was a makeshift office that lacked several features that an animal shelter needs, such as drainage and a place for the animals to run and exercise. The new shelter was built on money made from the thrift shop they run, called Pawsabilities, and other donations and grants given to the shelter. With the old facility being far below needs, saying the new shelter is an improvement isn’t really saying too much about it, but the new place certainly is a top notch facility.

            The main new feature, that the volunteers call The Path of Hope, is supposed to help animals get adopted faster by winning over the hearts of the adopters as they come in. The Path of Hope is a place where the animals can run and play and the volunteers say that when the adopters come in they see the animals playing that it helps them want to adopt them. “I think adoptions are going up because people can see the dogs running and playing together. We didn’t have anything like that in the old place,” staff member Megan Price commented on the new addition.

            The Path of Hope is directed mainly towards dogs, but there is another new addition that is helping cats get adopted as well. The cat area is a place where the adopters can view all of the cats at the same time. They gathered all of the adult cats into one room, and this lets people have a great view of all the cats there are in the shelter that they have the chance to adopt. “Having all the adult cats in one room offers a wonderful view for the public,” shelter manager Jean Ruddy said about it.

            The new additions, however, can offer some challenges as well. Having all the cats in one room can amount to a serious amount of cleanup, which requires a lot of time. Then, the dog kennel needs new locks, not to mention the fact that the outside area requires extra transportation and cleaning. The challenges are worth it though. It’s all about getting the animals adopted, and the new shelter will surely help.

The gift of a lifetime

In Local News on December 16, 2011 at 8:03 pm

By: Cassidy Parler

Now age 18, Melody Nesbit is able to donate her mom a kidney. Photo courtesy of Google Images

The time of late November and all through December is referred to as the season of giving. People are feeling more generous and willing to give up things for other, but a kidney? That isn’t a present you hear about every day. That is exactly what Melody Nesbit, age 18 a former Fort Mill High student, gave her mom. The transplant occurred last Wednesday, and both Sarah Nesbit, Melody’s mother, and Melody are recovering from the surgery in the hospital.

            Melody is in good condition after the surgery, and is now eating ice cream and able to sit up in bed. Her mom, however, is in serious condition and required a second surgery to reposition the new kidney. Sarah Nesbit lost her kidney shortly after the birth of their second child, Ernie. Melody then decided, when she was nine years old, that’s she would give her mom her kidney when she was 18.

            “The only reason I waited until now is you have to be 18 years old to do it,” commented Melody. In the interviews she has given, Melody seems calm and at ease; not worried or scared like most people would be. “I can handle it. No biggie,” she replied when asked how she felt about losing the kidney. She focused on, not what her outcome is, but what her mom’s is. She is doing all of this for her, and she thinks that her mom is well deserving of it. “I am a match. She’s my mom. She gave me what I have…I give back. I give a kidney.”

            Melody’s calm outlook doesn’t mask that this was a major surgery, and pain and worry has followed. Jason Nesbit, Melody’s father, said, “She’s still in pain, but she came through it so far so good.” Melody, according to her father, is a “tough cookie,” and with the support of her family behind her, she is expected to finish her projected 10-day hospital stay this week. Sarah Nesbit, however, is in more critical condition after the surgery. “After some concern at the beginning, the kidney is right now functioning like it should and she is looking better,” says Melody’s father. Sarah’s hospital stay has to be longer, because they must check and test the kidney to make sure it is functioning properly.

Animals can be Angels too

In Local News on December 16, 2011 at 7:54 pm

By Julia Applegate

Christmas is the time for giving and generally, you think of going to the soup kitchen or the care center. But what about providing a Christmas for a helpless animal?

The Baxter Veterinary Clinic has joined forces with the Humane Society of York County and a few other volunteers to create an angel tree specifically for animals.  The animals that are placed on the tree are either at the Humane Society or are brought in by a few very caring volunteers. Joan Roseberry, is one of these volunteers and she saves dogs that are lost or wandering on the streets as well as dogs from the York Animal Control. Roseberry then brings the dogs to the Baxter Veterinary Clinic for a physical, shots, and tests. She brings in about three to five dogs a week and, with the help of the Baxter Veterinary Clinic, puts the dogs in foster care for about two weeks before sending the dogs to homes or rescue groups. The foster care allows for the dogs to get acclimated to home life and other pets so they will be ready for adoption.

Another important volunteer is Mary Beth Knapp, who works with the Humane Society of York County. Knapp originally got introduced to volunteering because she has five dogs of her own and it lets her get involved without bringing home more animals. Knapp started out working with fundraisers and tag-teaming events but was later voted onto the board.  When Kelly Baete, the owner and operator of Baxter Veterinary Clinic, approached both Knapp and Roseberry with the Angel Tree idea they both agreed to help. Roseberry continues to bring in dogs to put on the tree and Knapp has put both cats and dogs on the tree too.

The Angel Tree is located in the lobby of the Baxter Veterinary Clinic and is filled to the top with animal ornaments. The ornament includes a picture of an animal, the type of service or treatment it needs and the amount that it will cost.

“They treat the dogs like they do any other patient with kindness and care and myself too,” Roseberry stated about Baxter Veterinary Clinic. Their help is what has made saving the dogs’ lives possible.

Their hopes are that the Angel Tree will allow for the “Christmas momentum” to pick up and carry through January. The animals on the tree are in desperate need of treatments and other services so they can be ready for adoption. As Knapp put it, “It costs money to save lives,” and this Christmas season is the perfect time to donate to a good cause or even adopt a new pet. Head down to the Baxter Veterinary Clinic today so you can lend a helping hand for animals in need!

Springfield students spread cheer through new tradition

In Local News on December 16, 2011 at 7:45 pm

By: Kristyn Blackwood

New traditions start every year. Some are for the best and some just never work out. Springfield seemed to knock a new tradition out of the ballpark this year. Photo courtesy of Google images

In past years, Fort Mill schools have done the “angel tree” Christmas give project. This is a charitable opportunity that gives each class in the school a child for whom they buy presents and donate money. These children and families are referred by organizations, such as the Fort Mill Care Center, to schools so the children will be able to have a Christmas. Every child deserves to open at least one present on Christmas morning, and organizations like this give them this pleasure.

            Taking a step away from tradition this year was Springfield Elementary School. Instead of taking part in the “angel tree” charity, Springfield took on a new adventure. They volunteered with the organization called the Red Bag Program. This program gets connected with local businesses and schools to aid needy families with Christmas gifts and money to buy gifts. It was created more than 25 years ago by Kansas City social workers. The name suits the organization very well because the presents collected for each child are placed in the company’s signature red bags.

            A young kindergartener was super excited to be involved in such an amazing opportunity through his school. The child, Luke Beauchamp, began to help by offering his services to his mother with the household laundry to earn money. “I folded my clothes, put them away and my mom showed me which buttons to press on the washing machine to make the water come out, and how to turn on the heater in the dryer,” Beauchamp said. Luke was not the only child to sacrifice something for the cause. Other students enrolled in Springfield used up their own birthday and allowance money for the gifts. Altogether Springfield raised $4,000, happily exceeding their preliminary goal of $3,500. The money was then split between 28 families identified by the Fort Mill Care Center.

            Springfield’s Principal, Peter Olinger, said how involved and excited the students became because they were able to do so much for needy families in their own community. Although the “angel tree” organization allowed the students to minister to other needy families, the students just were not as involved as they became in this new program. Parents and volunteers hope that the triumph and excitement for students involved in this program will boost other schools in the community to take part in the Red Bag Program for future years. Praising the students, Olinger said, “We want the kids to take an active role. This gave the kids a chance to practice their work ethic and it brought it all together for them. They see the fruits of their labor.” Springfield students were more than ecstatic about this great opportunity given to them. They were able to actually know where the donated money is going and also got to help wrap as many presents as they wanted. This is most likely why the participation rate was so much higher this year than previous, the children were more involved and enjoyed helping out the community in such a life-changing way.

Eve Carson’s case goes to trial

In Local News on December 16, 2011 at 7:43 pm

By: Courtney Harrington

Over the past couple of years, controversy has been raised dealing with Carson’s unsettled case. With one of the two men still pleading not guilty to the murder, the victim’s family continues to rest uneasy. Photo courtesy of Google images

               Three years ago, Eve Carson’s body was found just short of a mile away from the campus of UNC Chapel Hill. This month, one of her suspected murderers may finally be convicted. Laurence Alvin Lovette, who is expected to soon face the judge, is one of two young men who were said to be behind the murder that took place in March 2008. DeMario Atwater, the other suspect, is already behind bars serving two life sentences after pleading guilty to Carson’s murder. Lovette on the other hand, continues to plead not guilty.

                In 2008, Carson was a senior at UNC Chapel Hill and was finishing up her last semester of college with great grades as the student body president. The night of the murder, the young victim was working on her computer when the two men entered the home. The duo thought they were walking into a sorority house. With Carson being in the wrong place at the wrong time, she was kidnapped and forced into her own car. The two boys then took her to several ATM’s around the state and had her withdraw $1,400. Once the men had what they wanted, they shot Carson to death. After a medical examiner looked over the body, they were able to conclude that she was shot at a total of five times, with the fifth bullet being the cause of death.

                The first four shots were fired from a small caliber handgun, wounding the victim. However, the fifth and final shot was taken with a sawed-off shotgun. She died immediately. Atwater, the one who pulled the trigger, told his girlfriend at the time that Carson was very much still alive after the first four shots had been fired. “The medical examiner believed she would have survived for some time after the first four shots, and she would have been able to talk,” Jim Woodall, District Attorney, stated.

                During the year of the murder, the local police kept many details of the case to themselves. However, Shanita Love, Atwater’s girlfriend at the time, told investigators vivid details of the information she knew about the case.

                The process of picking the members of the jury has begun and could take a few days to complete. So far, 50 potential jurors have been interviewed. The judge is going about picking the jury in such a way to avoid bias throughout the men and women selected due to pre-trail publicity. Because Lovette was only 17 years old at the time of the murder, the death penalty is off the table when the jury comes to a verdict.

                Over the past couple of years, controversy has been raised dealing with Carson’s unsettled case. With one of the two men still pleading not guilty to the murder, the victim’s family continues to rest uneasy. Over the next couple of weeks, will justice finally be served? Will Carson’s case finally be closed?

Preparing to demolish childhood hunger

In Local News on December 2, 2011 at 8:03 pm

By: Jordan Brown

With one holiday down and one more to go, families around the Charlotte area are preparing to receive boxes, bundles and bags but more importantly stuff themselves with food. While some families have their holiday fill, other children and families in our area and in other nations will be starving. The holiday seasons are some of the busiest months for charity food distributors. The need for these local distributors is in high demand as well as the need for world distributors.

            Kids Against Hunger is one of the few local places that provides meals for children across the world. The Kids Against Hunger Charlotte chapter is a local center that assembles the meals for the children; then fromCharlottethe meals are shipped. With as many as 600,000 meals assembled this year, children, specifically inNicaraguaandManagua, will be given the precious gift of food. “It’s a tiny thing, but in two hours you can pack enough food yourself to feed a child for a year,” Suzanne Yoh, the founder of theCharlottechapter of Kids Against Hunger said. TheCharlottechapter is just a “satellite” of major packaging distributors in Northeast U.S. andCanada, which helps to feed children in 60 countries. Packaging the food is just the final step in the long process of getting the food to the kids around the world and locally.

Kids Against Hunger works to end world hunger, one child at a time. Photo courtesy of Google images

            Before anyone can build packaging centers, buy food to send and distribute food to children, someone has to be an advocate for the cause. Sodexo Lead Organizer Grants send youth organizations out to spread the word about childhood hunger. Sodexo teamed up with YSA or Youth Service America to involve youth, ages 5-25, with stopping starvation in theU.S.  Over 200,000 dollars has been donated by the duo to provide youth with the materials needed to successfully recruit and involve other people in the fight against local hunger.  Through donations, fundraisers and support, these youth can save lives and help organizations like Kids Against Hunger to bring hunger to childhood anger to an end.

“With more than 16 million children in theU.S.enduring daily uncertainty about the source of their next meal, it will take creative intergenerational approach to rid our nation of childhood hunger,” Robert Stern, the president of Sodexo, said.

Childhood hunger is a problem here, there and everywhere; it doesn’t matter if an organization is providing food to countries around the world or the house down the street. Stopping children from going hungry is a huge task. By donating, spending time and spreading the word everyone can help demolish kids going hungry.

The Salvation Army starts the Christmas season with love

In Local News on December 2, 2011 at 8:01 pm

By: Courtney Harrington

For many years now, the Salvation Army has made it their goal to give low-income families a miracle for Christmas. This year alone, around 14,000 children will be able to receive a special gift this holiday season that they usually would not have the opportunity to get. Photo courtesy of Google images

            For many years now, the Salvation Army has made it their goal to give low-income families a miracle for Christmas. This year alone, around 14,000 children will be able to receive a special gift this holiday season that they usually would not have the opportunity to get. Through thousands upon thousands of donations, the Salvation Army is fortunate enough to supply parents with gifts to give their children. Todd Hawks, the leader of the agency, is all too familiar with the program. 

            When Hawks was a child himself, he was one of many children who received Christmas toys through the Salvation Army. He was one of four boys in his family, and his parents made just enough money to hardly get by with buying necessities. His family got assistance from a similar program for two years.

           Still to this day, Hawk still has the gifts he received from the Salvation Army: gloves, a sweatshirt and hard candy. According to Lt. Mark Bell, Hawk was a rebellious child and very rowdy. However, after spending time with Bell, Hawk was inspired to commit to the Salvation Army at the age of 18 years old. Since committing, he has worked with the agency in eight different states across the nation.

            This year, unfortunately, the Salvation Army does not have the $2 million needed in order to pull over the annual Christmas program. With such an intimidating factor at hand, the agency is looking for any donations possible. They ask for donors to adopt families this holiday season for help, or to simply donate money so that the agency can stock up on toys for the children.

            With the program underway, around 3,000 volunteers have agreed to give up their free time to devote their attention to passing out toys to children for five days in mid-December. This year, they are expecting a record breaking number in the amount of children receiving the donated gifts.

           If everything falls into place as planned, the Salvation Army will start passing out presents to parents on December 16 in an old Walmart building on Arrowood Road in Charlotte. With every hour that passes, 200 families will get their individual gifts for his/her family. While this is taking place, children will not be allowed inside the building to preserve the Christmas joy and excitement of the unknown.

           “My mom was a hardworking, proud woman, and it was difficult for her to ask for help, but the needs of her kids came first,” Hawk expressed. “That’s why I want to make sure all the parents who come to us for help have a chance to leave with their dignity and their pride intact.”

A Thanksgiving Honor

In Local News, Uncategorized on December 2, 2011 at 7:57 pm

By Julia Applegate

On Thanksgiving Day, most people in the town of Fort Mill were preparing a huge feast, or perhaps spending time with family and watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. Of course for those in the Nation Ford High School band, you would have been marching in the Macy’s Parade.

Nation Ford's Band went to the Big Apple to march in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. photo courtesy of Julia Applegate

    When the band was invited in April of 2010, the teens were excited to be included in such an honor, but they had no idea what they were getting themselves into. In the months that followed, the big question for Nation Ford’s band was: how they were going to raise the money. The band had to raise a total of $160,000 in order to perform. The students and parents had to come together to coordinate some serious fundraising.

                “We tried everything,” the band’s booster club president Linda Tennant said. “Every week has been something else.”

                The band students had to pay an additional $950 called the “Macy Fee” which is how the majority of the money was raised. The parents and students sold concessions at major events including the Carolina Panther’s games, Charlotte Knights’ games and concerts held at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater and Time Warner Cable Arena. The students then sold fruit, pastries and coupon books and hosted an oyster roast. The rest of the money was donated by Macy’s partner businesses, other corporate or private donors.  The last of the money was scraped together when the former Harlem Globetrotters took on a team of local citizens in a charity basketball game. They had finally raised enough money; now all they had to do was perform in front of millions of people.

                The students spent the last few weeks tediously perfecting the songs that were to be played in the parade. These songs included: “Carolina in the Morning,” “Papa’s got a Brand New Bag,” “The Twist,” and “Carolina On My Mind.” The band spent six days in New York City preceding the parade and toured places like Central Park, the Rockefeller Center and saw a show on Broadway. On the morning of the parade, every band student had to be up and dressed in their uniforms by 1:45 a.m. although they had until 9:00 a.m. before they stepped onto the route. The 85th annual Macy’s Day Parade was under way and the Nation’s Ford band played Carolina themed songs until noon that day. The route was three miles long and was televised by several networks.

“The key to our success is we are like a family with that common goal,” Tennant said, “that’s what really gets people out there working and busting butts.”

        So finally the parade was finished and Nation Ford’s band could revel in the fact that they were the first marching band from Fort Mill since 1989 to go to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Vets honored here and across the nation

In Local News on November 22, 2011 at 7:32 pm

By: Jordan Brown

Last Friday was Veteran’s Day, a holiday that was started almost 92 years ago when World War II finally came to an end. This year, all over the country, people  took the celebrations to heart, especially inFortMilland Tega Cay. All of theFortMillSchool’s are proud to say they participated in some sort of celebration or assembly. The city ofTega Cayalso celebrated with the opening of theTegaCayLivingMemorialGardens.

"Fort Mill High School proved that they could continue their ritual raising of the flag and singing the national anthem the morning of Veterans Day." Photo courtesy of Jordan Brown

In early June of this year, the city ofTegatook some big steps toward the planning of theTegaCayLivingMemorialGardens. The garden which was opened this past Friday, has stones, plaques and trees all dedicated to veterans in our area. The public may purchase one of their choosing to dedicate to a person of their choice; the revenue will go toward the completion and upkeep of the garden. This magnificent garden includes beautiful butterfly trees, ornamental trees and paths. The garden will serve as a memory of the ones that fought for our country. Ceremonies and parades are great ways to show reverence and pride toward veterans;FortMillschools did just that.

FortMillHigh Schoolproved that they could continue their ritual raising of the flag and singing the national anthem the morning of Veterans Day. “We’ve been doing it as long as I’ve been here,”FortMillHigh Schoolsophomore Gabby Seymore said when asked about the Veteran’s Day gathering.  

The Town of Fort Mill also showed that they could have just as much patriotism by holding a program at the Veteran’s Park. The Veteran’s Park was opened August of this year. The park is located in “old”FortMill, across from the well knownConfederateParkonMain Street.  Just like theTegaCayLivingMemorialGardens, the Fort Mill Veteran’s Park invited the public to walk through the gardens and view the names of veterans engraved in a beautiful brick path. Like theTegaCayLivingMemorialGardens,FortMillresidents can purchase a brick to have engraved. Both parks are a good way for residents to donate and show support for veterans.

Although it may not be an official holiday everyday, veterans should get the praise and respect they deserve. Tega Cay andFortMillshowed that they want veterans to feel special and never forgotten with the opening and beautification of these magnificent parks. Whether the celebrations include building a whole garden full of lush vegetation or a cook out with a recently arrived veteran, any way you celebrate our troops is a good one.