Andreacolas win gingerbread house competition
ASHEVILLE – Julie and Michael Andreacola, of Indian Trail, won the 26th annual National Gingerbread House Competition on Nov. 19 at The Omni Grove Park Inn.
Nearly 200 entries were received from chefs vying for a share of more than $25,000 in prizes.
Judging was based on appearance, originality/creativity, difficulty, precision and consistency of theme.
Designs will be displayed through Jan. 4. Drive-in guests pay a $20 per car fee, which goes to charity.
Union County extends CATS bus service contract
MONROE – Union County has extended its contract with the City of Charlotte to provide daily weekday express bus service from Monroe to Uptown Charlotte.
Since 2008, the Charlotte Area Transit System has provided the 74X Union County Express route.
The agreement for fiscal year 2018-19 allows for the continuation of three trips in the morning and three trips in the afternoon. The cost of the agreement is $126,395.
CATA students present ‘The Laramie Project’
MONROE – The CATA High School PTSO presents “The Laramie Project” in honor of the 20th anniversary of Matthew Shepard’s death.
After Shepard’s murder in 1998, members of the Tectonic Theater Project in New York City traveled to Laramie, Wyoming, to interview residents about how the attack affected the town.
These transcripts were transformed into the play “The Laramie Project,” which tells the stories of people who lived at the epicenter of the anti-gay hate crimes.
Show times are 7 p.m. Dec. 7 and 8 at the school, 600 Brewer Drive. Tickets cost $5.
Tickets are available at the door and at www.cata.seatyourself.biz.
Hamilton hosts ‘Green Book’ movie screening
LOS ANGELES – R&B singer, songwriter and producer Anthony Hamilton held a screening of “Green Book” in support of the film’s Thanksgiving release.
Produced by Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer and featuring Academy Award winner Mahershala Ali, “Green Book” highlights the journey of a world-class African-American pianist, Don Shirley.
The movie comes as Hamilton is promoting his new single, “Love Conquers All.” The single tackles subjects like racism, gun control, criminal justice reform and prioritizing education.
“Green Book” was released Nov. 21. The Waxhaw resident’s most recent record and ninth release, “What I’m Feelin,’” dropped last year. He was inducted to the NC Music Hall of Fame in 2017. as well.
Division of Public Health earns reaccreditation
MONROE – The Union County Human Services Division of Public Health was one of five health departments awarded reaccreditation status by the North Carolina Local Health Department Accreditation Board on Nov. 16.
The Reaccreditation with Honors designation was awarded to four agencies, including Union County.
Accreditation includes three major parts: a self-assessment completed by the agency, a site visit by a multidisciplinary team of peers to review performance standards, and determination of accreditation status by an independent accreditation board.
Wesley Chapel invites input to solar power amendment
WESLEY CHAPEL – The Wesley Chapel Village Council will conduct a public hearing to consider amendments to the zoning ordinance relating to “Essential Services Class V” for solar power generating facilities.
The public is invited to provide input at 7 p.m. Dec. 10 at Wesley Chapel Town Hall, 6490 Weddington Road.
Contact the village planning director at 704-839-0182 or firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Residents get help after Hurricane Florence
RALEIGH – More than 720,000 North Carolinians in 304,000 households affected by Hurricane Florence received assistance buying food over the past seven weeks, Gov. Roy Cooper announced Nov. 20.
“When your life has just been turned upside down by a disaster, help feeding your family is critical,” Cooper said. “Disaster food assistance helped families get through those first few weeks after Florence hit.”
The announcement marked the culmination of disaster food assistance in 34 counties impacted by Hurricane Florence and administered by the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, in coordination with federal and local government partners.
Additional help is available to storm survivors working to recover.
North Carolina homeowners and renters who sustained property damage or loss caused by Hurricane Florence have until Dec. 13 to register for Individual Assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Attorney General announces settlement with Atrium
RALEIGH – Attorney General Josh Stein reached a settlement with Atrium Health as a result of the antitrust lawsuit the N.C. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Justice filed in 2016.
“As a result of this settlement, people will be able to purchase lower cost, high quality healthcare and gain transparency of healthcare pricing,” Stein said.
The settlement prohibits Atrium Health from entering into contracts with insurers that would:
• Prevent them from disclosing healthcare prices to consumers or punish them for providing price transparency.
• Restrict them from offering consumers financial incentives to use lower cost, high quality providers.
• Require Atrium’s prior approval for insurers to introduce new, lower cost-benefit plans.
• Require Atrium be included in the most-preferred tier of benefit plans even if it does not meet price or value criteria.
The settlement requires Atrium notify insurance providers within 15 business days that it will no longer enter into or enforce contracts that violate these terms.