Houlihan recognized for community engagement
MONROE – The National School Public Relations Association will recognize Andrew Houlihan at its national conference this summer in Washington, D.C. as one of 14 Superintendents to Watch.
Melissa Merrell, who chairs the Union County Public Schools Board of Education, credited Houlihan for outstanding leadership and community engagement.
“From day one, his enthusiasm created a #TeamUCPS culture that goes beyond our 53 schools and into our entire community,” she said. “He invites everyone to be engaged and #BeTheBest.”
Houlihan’s team have implemented several communication strategies to expand engagement since 2016, including:
• Held listening and learning tour with stakeholders.
• Expanded digital literacy and college/career readiness resources.
• Developed Books and Brackets reading challenge.
• Implemented monthly Twitter chats for staff.
Police arrest suspect in killing
MONROE – Monroe Police have arrested 29-year-old Christopher Terrell Walker on charges of first-degree murder in the shooting death of 71-year-old Archie Lee Blount.
Monroe Police responded to a call of shots fired at 9:42 p.m. March 24 at the 400 block of English Street. Upon arrival, officers found Blount deceased beside his vehicle with what appeared to be multiple gunshot wounds.
During the investigation, police were called to a neighboring home where they found Walker and a weapon. After brief questioning, police took Walker into custody.
Investigators are working to determine the events leading up to the shooting. Blount and Walker both lived at the same home, police said.
Anyone with additional information is asked to call the Monroe Police Department at 704-282-4700.
Union Academy student wins Optimist Club essay contest
WEDDINGTON – Jackson Helms, a senior at Union Academy, won the Weddington Optimist Club’s essay contest.
Helms was awarded a $100 first place prize. His essay will be sent to the district level to be judged.
“Jackson Helms did a wonderful job of articulating this year’s theme,” Club President Mary Ann Maxson said.
The theme was “When All the World’s Problems are Solved, is Optimism Still Necessary?”
Second and third place winners, Sydney Ayers and Annaliese Winnail, received $75 and $50 awards, respectively.
The Optimist Club of Weddington has been active in the community since 1980. The club is also involved in an oratorical contest, computer scholarships, breakfast with Santa and improved student party.
Call 980-328-5700 or visit www.wedding ton-optimist.org to learn more.
UCPS to hire teachers, staff at career fairs
WEDDINGTON – Union County Public Schools will host career fairs for prospective teachers and non-instructional staff April 6 that will allow candidates the opportunity to interview for positions on the spot.
The teacher fair takes place 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., followed by the career fair for non-instructional positions from 2 to 4 p.m. Both events will be held at Weddington High, 4901 Monroe-Weddington Road.
Candidates interested in pursuing non-instructional careers will have the opportunity to interview for available positions in the district’s after-school, facilities, nutrition and transportation departments.
Prospective teachers can register in advance on the UCPS website.
AAA: Gas prices continue to rise due to demand
CHARLOTTE – Gas prices have gone up another nickel on the week across the Carolinas and most motorists are paying more at the pump than they were this time last year, according to AAA Carolinas.
North Carolina’s $2.46 average is up five cents on the week, 19 cents on the month and is two cents more than this time last year. Charlotte averaged $2.44 on March 20, $2.37 on March 13 and $2.21 on March 20, 2018.
“Since early February, gasoline demand has been steadily increasing while stocks have been gradually decreasing causing more expensive pump prices across the country,” said Tiffany Wright, AAA Carolinas spokesperson. “This week, we officially passed last year’s prices.”
AARP chapter meets monthly
MONROE – Patricia Poland, a genealogist with the Union County Public Library, explained how to research your family tree at Union County AARP’s March chapter meeting.
The group generally meets from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of the month at the Ellen Fitzgerald Senior Center, 327 S. Hayne St. Upcoming meetings are April 23, May 28, June 25 and Sept. 24.
For details, contact W. Beatrice Colson, interim president, 704-221-0192; Mary Lawwill, vice president, 704-821-4541; or Sylvia Newbill, secretary, 512-350-0081 or sylvianew firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lions Club holds screening
INDIAN TRAIL – The Indian Trail Lions Club is sponsoring a free vision screening for all ages.
The screening takes place 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 29 at Hemby Insurance, 101 Blythe Drive.
Premier Family Eye Care and Lions Club members will staff the screening.
Master Gardeners hold spring plant sale
MONROE – The Union County Master Gardeners will feature a variety of vegetables, herbs, perennials, annuals, houseplants, container trees and shrubs at its spring plant sale.
The sale takes place 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 13 at the Union County Agricultural Center, 3230 Presson Road. April 14 will serve as the rain date.
Call 704-283-3822 or email email@example.com for details.