Austin earns police department employee of the year
MINT HILL – Chief of Police Tim Ledford recognized Sgt. Michael Austin as the Mint Hill Police Department’s employee of the year at the town commissioners meeting on Feb. 14
Austin serves in the patrol division, assigned as the shift sergeant for the C Shift. He has been with the department since 2003. Austin worked his way through the ranks and serves in the “vital role” as field training officer for new hires.
Ledford said Austin is well respected by his peers for his maturity, leadership and professionalism.
“Austin has been recognized for his adaptability, dependability, judgment and courage to name a few,” Ledford told commissioners. “Sgt. Austin is a supervisor that will recognize when his guys are swamped with calls and pick up a call and complete a report without incident.
“Austin acts as a true supervisor by not only telling his officers what to do, but by being out there and showing them how to handle different situations. He is willing to answer all the questions his guys have and will back them up on any call.”
Top teachers at Crestdale, Northeast and Levine
CHARLOTTE – Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools announced three more area Teacher of the Year winners. The district has been announcing winners at each school daily on Facebook.
Meredith Gummerson, an exceptional children’s teacher, won for Crestdale Middle School in Matthews. “Gummerson demonstrates what it means to always put students first,” CMS wrote of her. “She is always willing to offer a helping hand and is the perfect example of teamwork.”
English teacher Kimberly Tuttle won at Levine Middle College High while social studies teacher Abdulkarim Mohamed won at Northeast Middle School.
Mint Hill awards contract for fountain plaza
MINT HILL – The Mint Hill Board of Commissioners awarded a $276,465 contract on Feb. 14 to Creative Naturescapes Inc. to construct the fountain plaza in the circle in front of town hall.
The accepted bid was the lowest among the four bids received and was $100,000 lower than the second lowest bid.
Plans also call for a flag plaza near town hall that will have poles for town, state and national flags. Town officials envision the plaza as a place for mass gatherings.
Construction is expected to start immediately. The project is expected to be completed by the end of May.
Smith’s role evolves as Mint Hill grows
MINT HILL – The Mint Hill Board of Commissioners gave town employee Sheryl Smith a new title at its Feb. 14 meeting.
Smith was hired in 2014 as an executive assistant in the town manager’s office but her new title has been changed to assistant to the town manager. Town Manager Brian Welch said that when Smith was hired, the role was mainly clerical, but it has evolved into a managerial position that has become more involved and sophisticated as Mint Hill has grown.
One of Smith’s responsibilities is organizing town-sponsored events, and Welch said Smith is a valuable employee.
“When we hired her, we knew of all the event planning experience she had when she worked for the University of Michigan Business School, and since that time, she has gone full bore on all town events,” Welch said. “She has jumped in with both feet, and her job has become more managerial than clerical. That is why we are making the change.”
Matthews Police equipped with Naloxone
MATTHEWS – The Matthews Police Department is taking measures to counteract the opioid epidemic.
Chief Clark Pennington decided it was time for officers to be trained in using Naloxone, an FDA-approved nasal spray used for emergency treatment of a suspected opioid overdose. The medication can reverse the effects of opioids within minutes.
“Any tool that we can provide our officers to help save lives is worth looking in to,” Pennington said.
As of Feb. 14, all officers have been trained in what to look for in identifying an opioid overdose and the steps to use Naloxone to reverse it. Officers will carry it on duty.
Medic donated the Naloxone and provided training, while Central Piedmont Community College facilitated a certification course for officers.
Deshaies joins Novant office
MINT HILL – Dr. Eric Deshaies has joined the team at Novant Health Brain and Spine.
Deshaies specializes in cerebrovascular, endovascular and skull base microsurgery.
He performs both the traditional open and the minimally invasive procedures for the treatment of cerebrovascular disease.
As a cerebrovascular and endovascular neurosurgeon, Deshaies has pioneered some of the minimally invasive technology for stroke and brain aneurysm treatments. Deshaies also offers surgical treatment of the brain and spinal cord tumors.
Novant Health Brain and Spine Surgery is located at 8201 Healthcare Loop, Suite 201.
Call 980-302-2060 to schedule an appointment.
Break-in suspect arrested six days before birthday
MATTHEWS – The Matthews Department received a tip at 10:53 p.m. Feb. 13 that a vehicle was being broken into in the parking lot of the Hampton Inn at 9615 Independence Point Pkwy.
Officers made contact with a male subject across the street from the parking lot.
Kyahjay Kirkatrick, 18, of Charlotte, was arrested on charges of breaking or entering a motor vehicle, possession of stolen goods and carrying a concealed weapon (handgun).
Kirkpatrick also had outstanding arrest warrants for breaking or entering a motor vehicle (two counts), felony larceny, financial card theft, financial card fraud (two counts), shoplifting and second-degree trespass.
MLS striker signs with CLT Independence
CHARLOTTE – The Charlotte Independence professional soccer team has signed veteran striker Dominic Oduro.
The Ghanaian international has tallied 63 goals and 32 assists in his 16-year MLS career.
Oduro’s MLS journey includes stops in FC Dallas, New York Red Bulls, Houston Dynamo, Chicago Fire, Columbus Crew, Toronto FC, Montreal Impact and San Jose Earthquakes. In 2013, he recorded a career-high 13 goals with the Crew.