County DSS Director steps down
Union County finds itself searching for a new Director of Social Services, after Dontae Latson announced his resignation June 3. Latson said he didn’t feel that he fit with the current Union County government.
“Although I believe that I am the right person for this department and community, I do not think that I am the right person for Union County government at this time,” Latson wrote in a press release. “This was a difficult and bitterswet decision, but one which I believe is in the best interest of the department and ultimately the citizens of Union County.”
Latson leaves to take a job as Director of Behavioral Health Services with Presbyterian Hospital in uptown Charlotte July 11.
“I am proud of the tireless efforts of the Union County Department of Social Services staff during one of the most difficult economic periods that this county and our country have ever faced,” Latson said.
Waxhaw eighth grader bows out in Spelling Bee final
Going ten rounds with other kids from across the nation, Prakash Mishra fell just short of the national spelling bee title. The 13-year-old, the only student from North Carolina to make it to the Scripps National Spelling Bee finals, lost by misspelling susurrus. Waxhaw resident Mishra won the regional spelling bee in February for the second straight year to advance to the national competition.
School board reassigns principals
Dealing with retirements and transfers, Union County Public Schools made several changes Tuesday, June 7, moving principals to different locations. The reassignments included:
• Wendy Gravely taking over as principal at Wesley Chapel Elementary School. She replaces Rosanne Bateman, who is retiring. Gravely currently serves as the principal at Rock Rest Elementary.
• Kristy Thomas will take over for Gravely at Rock Rest Elementary. She currently serves as Wingate Elementary’s principal.
• Mike Henderson will take over at Wingate Elementary. He currently serves as principal at Shiloh Elementary.
• Tom Childers will take over at Marshville Elementary, replacing Tina Miller, who left Union County to take a position in Harnett County. Childers currently works as principal at Sandy Ridge Elementary.
• Scott Spencer, assistant principal at Sun Valley Elementary, will take over as principal at Shiloh Elementary.
• Jessica Blanchard will take over as principal at Weddington Elementary. Blanchard currently serves as assistant principal at Waxhaw Elementary.
• Terri Cooper will be named principal at Sun Valley Elementary, after serving in the position this year in an interim capacity.
• Karen Dillon, assistant principal at Antioch Elementary, will be promoted to principal at the school.
Construction starting on Union roads
Construction will begin the first week of July on multiple roads across Union County. The North Carolina Department of Transportation gave Blythe Construction of Charlotte a $2.8 million contract for improvements including resurfacing and shoulder work on U.S. Highway 74, U.S. Highway 601 and several secondary roads.
The total project is expected to last a little over a year, finishing by June 30, 2012. The projects were part of nine contracts awarded by Transportation Secretary Gene Conti, totaling $77.7 million.
Carolina Weekly welcomes new sales directors
The Carolina Weekly Newspaper Group recently added three additional sales directors to its Southern Division, which produces Union County Weekly, Matthews-Mint Hill Weekly and South Charlotte Weekly.
Waxhaw native Randi Trojan will return to her roots to serve the advertising needs of residents and businesses in Waxhaw and Michelle McDonald will serve other municipalities in Union County.
A 2002 Parkwood High School graduate, Randi worked at the Crossroads Coffee House in high school and joins the Weekly after four years as the food and beverage manager at Charlotte’s TPC Piper Glen Country Club.
“I’m excited to really get back to Waxhaw and see the changes,” she said.
Trojan and husband Michael have a rescued pit bull, Finnegan, and two rescued horses, Twilight, 21, and Rebel, 11. She adopted Twilight after serving as a volunteer with the equine rescue Horse Protection Society in China Grove.
McDonald has more than 10 years of advertising and marketing experience, most recently working with Holiday Retirement. From 2007 to 2009, she worked as a sales representative with The Mint Hill Times newspaper in Mecklenburg County.
McDonald is excited to return to her roots in print advertising.
“I think that news ink gets into your blood. I missed partnering with local businesses and increasing their market,” she said. “You can watch for me on the streets.”
McDonald and husband Leo have one daughter, Maggie, 9. The family have two horses, Hocus Pocus and Andrew; three dogs, Jessie; Willie; and Louis Vuitton; cats Tobby and Louise; and a guinea pig, Olivia.
Call Randi Trojan at 704-849-2261 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Call Michelle McDonald at 704-957-9158 or e-mail email@example.com.
Marriage licenses now accepted online
Union County’s Register of Deeds office will now take marriage license applications through online submissions.
“I am excited to offer this new service for couples who have future marriage plans,” Register of Deeds Crystal Crump said. “I think this new service will definitely be more convenient for everyone.”
A link to the application is located on the Register of Deeds webpage. Go to www.co.union.nc.us, click on Register of Deeds and then the Marriage Requirements tab. Anyone with questions can contact the Register of Deeds office at 704-283-3610. The fee for a marriage license is $60 and must be paid with cash or money order.
Union kicks off Operation Heat Relief
Elderly residents in Union County can get a free fan to help cool down this summer. Operation Heat Relief is in its 25th year. In 2010, 8,435 fans and 83 air conditioners were distributed across North Carolina, thanks to donations from Duke Energy, Progress Energy and Dominion Resources. For Union County residents, the Council on Aging is distributing fans. For more information, residents can contact the council at 704-292-1797 or stop by their office at 1407 Skyway Drive in Monroe.
Moose Lodge donates $1,000 to school
Students at Walter Bickett Education Center got a surprise when a group from the Monroe Moose Lodge brought the school a check for $1,000.
The Mose Riders, a group of motorcyclists associated with the lodge, held a benefit in April to raise money for charitable donations. Members decided to split the proceeds between Mooseheart Child City and School, and Walter Bickett Education Center.
“Our hearts go out to these kids,” North Carolina Moose Riders Association vice president Jerry Ledbetter said. “We’ve taken on Walter Bickett Education Center to try and help them with our pledge runs.”