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Jenkins named finalist in 2021
National Merit Scholarship Program

(March 18, 2021 Issue)

Gaston Day School is excited to announce that  Senior, Tori Jenkins, has been named a Finalist in the 2021 National Merit Scholarship Program.
Finalists are based on an outstanding academic record through high school, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment, honors and awards received, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, and must write an essay.
About 15,000 Semi-Finalist advanced to the Finalist level. All National Merit Scholarship winners will be selected from this group of Finalists. Approximately 7,600 Finalists will be selected to receive a Merit Scholarship® award. Scholarship winners will be announced beginning in April 2021.
Photo by Allen McLamb

Gaston County High School students to attend 2021 Governor’s School

(March 18, 2021 Issue)

Congratulations to the 15 Gaston County high school students who were chosen to attend the prestigious North Carolina Governor’s School 2021. Check out the list below to see if you know someone who is going to Governor’s School, and if so, give them a “shout out.”
Governor’s School - East at Meredith College, Raleigh
Aaron Hollar, East Gaston High School - Instrumental Music, Euphonium
Luis Tejada, East Gaston High School - Social Science
Evan Friday, Forestview High School - Math
William Barnes, Forestview High School - Natural Science
Amy Hernandez Gutierrez, Hunter Huss High School - English
Kylie Puett, North Gaston High School - English
Dylan Nicks, South Point High School - Math
Hailey Royall, Stuart W. Cramer High School - Natural Science
Governor’s School - West at High Point University
Amarah Kendrick, Ashbrook High School - Dance
Austin Moss, Forestview High School - English
Margaret Lu, Forestview High School - Social Science
Navaeh Meadows, North Gaston High School - English
Lydia Crawford, South Point High School - Choral Music, Alto 1
Scotlyn Wyatt, South Point High School - English
Autumn Deal, South Point High School - Visual Art
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Congratulations to Ricky Brown (left seen with Chief Ryan Baker) on his retirement from the Mount Holly Fire Department. Ricky has been a valuable part of the department for ten years, and everyone has gained so much from him over the years. Thanks Ricky for your work and dedication. MHFD photo

Congratulations to Ricky Brown

(March 18, 2021 Issue)

Congratulations to Ricky Brown (left seen with Chief Ryan Baker) on his retirement from the Mount Holly Fire Department. Ricky has been a valuable part of the department for ten years, and everyone has gained so much from him over the years. Thanks Ricky for your work and dedication.
MHFD photo
 

An Imperial
Easter egg exhibit

The Gaston County Museum, 131 West Main Street, Dallas, will feature a new exhibit, now through May 29, 2021, in the Gathering Room Gallery and on the museum  website at Gaston.Museum@gastongov.com  highlighting Imperial Easter eggs.
George and Edith Poston collected rare, beautiful decorative eggs from all over the world. This exhibit showcases this large, unique collection of decorative eggs donated to the museum by the late couple’s family.
Delving into the history of decorative eggs and Faberge eggs, this exhibit will explore why the egg became a traditional symbol for Easter and features decorative eggs in a variety of materials including wood, glass, and gold inlaid with various gemstones.
For more information, contact, Hannah Musselwhite, Curator, at Hannah.Musselwhite@gastongov.com
Currently the museum is open to the public:  Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 10am – 5pm. Hours are subject to change due to local pandemic guidelines.
The museum has implemented new safety and cleaning procedures in line with CDC, state, and county guidelines to safeguard our staff and visitors.

Holy Angels adds innovative technology to its special education programming

(March 18, 2021 Issue)

By Shawn Flynn

Internationally recognized as innovators, Holy Angels continues to enhance its special education programming by adding two 70-inch Sharp Aquos Interactive Whiteboards in its classrooms in the Morrow Center.
“This is transformative for our education program,” said Charli Sommers, program director for the Morrow Center. “It’s going to enhance our teachers’ abilities to provide modified and adaptive lessons to our residents.”
A recent study showed Interactive whiteboards indicate positive effects on students with special educational needs and promote a multi-sensory style of learning.
There is solid ground based on the results of studies to  believe that IWBs are not only effective for instruction in general education classrooms, but also effective in special education settings making specific recommendations of the possible improvements that could be made utilizing IWB, for students with disabilities. Thus,  students with severe attention difficulties were helped to maintain attendtion to tasks and those with fine motor difficulties worked on coordination.
“I love the fact that instead of just talking to them I have the opportunity to show them and explore,” said Ashley Brown, special education instructor for Morrow Center, Area 1. “I can use a pointer to go hand over hand to help them engage with the boards.”
Not only do the boards come with state-of-the-art technology, but the stands are equipped with hydraulics, enabling instructors to raise the board to teach the entire class, or lower the board to allow individual students to interact with the lesson. Just a few weeks after installing the boards, instructors can already see a difference it’s making in the classroom.
“It absolutely enhances the education program,” Somers said. “It provides a multi-sensory approach for the residents. They are able to go up to the board, touch them, hear what’s coming out of the speakers and see the graphics on the screen.”
The residential-based program at Holy Angels ensures students can continue to receive the medical services they require throughout the school day, while also receiving the education they deserve.
“By providing choice-making options and increased involvement, these interactive whiteboards give our students the power to enhance their independence in activities, which in turn, enhances their overall quality of life,” said Holy Angels President/CEO Regina Moody.
The Aquos Interactive Whiteboards and accompanying technology were provided by a generous grant from the Challenge Foundation Properties, a leading charter school facility resource that provides comprehensive financial and logistical support to organizations.

New Extension Master Gardener
Volunteer course begins April 5th

(March 18, 2021 Issue)

Beginning April 5th, students will begin the journey to becoming an Extension Master Gardener (EMG) Volunteer. New for 2021 is the delivery of the course; offering participants the same great program, but from the safety and comfort of their homes. Virtual delivery also means flexibility of personal schedules. The 12-week virtual program will include weekly class gatherings with the Instructor, reading and homework assignments, quizzes, and fun interactive activities for everyone. Cost for the training is $125.00.
Upon completion of the course, students enter a one-year Internship, where they are required to volunteer 40 hours in their choice of many community activities. Interns also are encouraged to join the MASTER GARDENER Group of Gaston County, where they will meet other folks who have completed the process. Once the Internship is completed, they become Certified Extension Master Gardener Volunteers and commit to 20 hours of volunteer service and 10 continuing education hours per year thereafter. Is the Extension Master Gardener Volunteer Program for you?
To help you decide if you should apply, ask yourself these questions-  Do I want to learn more about the culture and maintenance of many types of plants?  Am I eager to participate in a practical and intense training program?  Do I look forward to sharing my knowledge with people in my community? Do I have enough time to attend training and to complete the volunteer service?
North Carolina Extension Master Gardener Volunteers support the mission of North Carolina Cooperative Extension by educating residents about safe, effective and sustainable gardening practices that grow healthy people, gardens, landscapes, and communities. Their vision is a healthier world through environmental stewardship. If you answered yes to these questions, this course is for you! Contact Julie Flowers, Horticulture Agent for Gaston County, at (704) 922-2104. Deadline for applications is April 1, 2021.
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Belmont Police Department
partners with NCMEO

(March 18, 2021 Issue)

The Belmont Police Department has partnered with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). Belmont has a detective that focuses on crimes against children and monitors an array of networks that predator’s use to exploit children. NCMEC has created “NetSmartz” for young kids to learn about dangers on the internet. “NetSmartz” is an invaluable website that provides Videos, Games and Activities for kids of all ages to participate in to learn safer internet practices. Belmont PD will post monthly videos from “NetSmartz” as an ongoing reminder, but encourages everyone to explore the site and help  protect the youth of the community. Simply follow this link https://www.netsmartzkids.org/.
 
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“Big Ben” Henderson selected Officer of the Month

(March 18, 2021 Issue)

Congratulations to Belmont Police Dept. Ofc. Ben “Big Ben” Henderson for being nominated as officer of the month, February 2021. Officer Henderson was nominated for his dedication to serving the public and building relationships throughout the community. Ofc. Henderson has been assigned to the downtown district since 2017 and has made countless interactions with citizens and business owners which strengthen the bond between The Belmont Police Department and the community we serve.
You may recognize Ofc. Henderson from the Downtown area, but do you remember his claim to fame in 2018? The spotlight fell on Ofc. Henderson two years ago when he accepted the “Lip Sync Challenge” where he performed “Every Breath You Take” by none other than… The Police.
City of Belmont photo

Belmont City Pride Day planned

(March 18, 2021 Issue)

Keep Belmont Beautiful and the City of Belmont will be holding their annual “City Pride Day” on Saturday, April 17.
Tables will be set up near the main entrance of Stowe Park in front of the Fighting Yank statue.
“Grab and go” supplies such as bags, picker tongs, and gloves will be available from 9AM till 11AM. Masks will be required, due to COVID19  there will be no food or drink served.
Please call 704-825-8587 or email keepbelmontbeautiful@gmail.com to register yourself or a group.

Drive-In Bingo

(March 18, 2021 Issue)

Please join Gaston County Parks & Recreation for another Drive-In Bingo event, Friday, March 25th at 4pm. Event will be held in Dallas Park, in the parking lot at the end of Leisure Lane between the two lakes. Parking lot will open at 3:30pm, at that time we will hand each vehicle a bingo packet and direct them to their parking spot. One packet per vehicle, two cards per game per vehicle.
We play 10 games with awesome prizes!  We do ask that participants remain in their vehicles and practice social distancing. We will go over game rules prior to beginning.
This is an event open to everyone with no admission fee. If you have any questions or would like more information, please contact the Spencer Hall at 704.922.2164.
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Goodson named finalist
for Park Scholarship
at NC State University

(March 18, 2021 Issue)

Stuart W. Cramer senior Olivia Goodson, was recently named a finalist for the prestigious Park Scholarship to NC State University. She is the only Gaston County student continuing in the scholarship competition and vying to become one of the university’s 40 Park Scholars.
Gaston Schools photo

 
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Congratulations to the Gaston County Schools 2021 National Merit Finalists. This distinction is awarded to 15,000 high school students nationwide. The program awards approximately 7,500 scholarships in excess of $30 million. Scholarship winners will be announced in the spring.

Good News from Gaston County Schools

(March 11, 2021 Issue)

The Gaston County Board of Education received the following “good news” for the months of January and February 2021:
The following students were winners in the Gaston Regional Science and Engineering Fair: Abby Armstrong, Brianna Maga, Brittany Isaac, Carly Craig, Carter Robinson, James Gunter, Kaitlyn Anthony, Madelyn Ludwig, Martin Inman, Molly Self, Morgan Clark, and Patrick Nanney from Forestview High School; Luigi Bortolussi from Highland School of Technology; and Nikki Bortolussi from Mount Holly Middle School.
Bessemer City High School senior T’Kia Moore earned the Chancellor’s Scholarship from Appalachian State University.  This is a highly-competitive, full-tuition scholarship and only 10 students were chosen from a pool of 14,000 applicants.
Olivia Goodson, a student at Stuart W. Cramer High School, is one of 112 finalists for the prestigious N.C. State University Park Scholarship.  She is the only Gaston County student continuing in the scholarship competition and vying to become one of the university’s 40 Park Scholars.
Cherryville High School senior Ben Hayes was chosen as one of three “Campus Captain Award” winners for January 2021.  The honor is presented by the N.C. High School Athletic Association in partnership with Lowe’s Home Improvement to recognize student-athletes for their efforts to “Build Back Sports” during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Ben was instrumental in starting the Kindness Club at the school and took steps to help his fellow athletes understand the importance of following COVID-19 health protocols to ensure that athletics at his school could happen in a safe environment.  Scott Harrill, the school’s athletic director, submitted the award nomination.
Gaston County Board of Education member Dot Guthrie received the 2021 Coretta Scott King-Virginia Hamilton Award for Lifetime Achievement.  The national recognition is presented by the American Library Association, and it honors an individual for his/her outstanding contributions in areas such as literacy, education, and service to the community.
The Gaston County Schools Communications Department received 17 Blue Ribbon Awards from the N.C. School Public Relations Association.  The department won 16 awards in the following categories: digital media engagement (2), electronic media (6), image/graphic design (2), excellence in writing (3), marketing (2), and publications (1).  Additionally, the department won the “Best of the Best” award in the publications category for our “Gaston County Schools Storybook.”  The 17 awards for Gaston County is the fourth highest number of awards for a school district in the state.
For its “Positive Sign Thursday” feature on social media, Tryon Elementary highlighted members of the Gaston County Board of Education as a way to show appreciation and say “thank you” for their service to education and the community.
Yeva Hall-Williamson, school counselor at Stuart W. Cramer High School, was selected for the College Board Counselor Recognition program.  The acknowledgement honors outstanding school counselors for their hard work and dedication toward helping students, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.  It also recognizes counselors’ efforts to prepare students for college and career success.
Students from Ashbrook, Cramerton, Stuart W. Cramer, East Gaston, and Forestview earned 13 awards in the Mid-Carolina Regional Scholastic Art and Writing Awards program. The students won two Gold Key, four Silver Key, and seven honorable mention awards.
Highland School of Technology junior Lauren Tolbert won the 1A individual cross country state championship.  Her time of 19:15.05 set a 1A state record.
The following schools placed in the Festival of Trees competition sponsored by the City of Belmont: Belmont Middle, first place; Cramerton Middle and Pinewood Elementary tied for second place; and W.A. Bess Elementary, third place.
With the help of the Rotary Club of Gastonia, Angel Tree, and Roxanne Rankin, H.H. Beam Elementary was able to make the Christmas holiday special for 39 students.
Belmont Central Elementary received $2,000 from Duke Energy through the My Energy Kit Challenge.
Belmont Central Elementary student Addison Jones auditioned for the TV series “Go Iguanas!”  She will portray Mindy Maplewood, a student who attends a school for spies.
Belmont Central Elementary student Isla Rose Hightower will participate in the Braille Challenge, a program that motivates students to practice and hone their Braille literacy skills.
Bessemer City High School sophomore Janiya Adams broke a 37-year Gaston County single-game record by scoring 50 points during a recent basketball game.
The Carr Elementary cafeteria staff earned a 100 percent health inspection score.  It is the third consecutive score of 100 for the school.
Cherryville High School’s Scott Harrill became Gaston County’s all-time winningest basketball coach with his 380th victory.
Cherryville High School sophomore Rileigh Kiser was named the 1A Player of the Year for volleyball.  She is the school’s first student-athlete to earn all-state recognition in volleyball.
In lieu of the traditional “Polar Express” celebration, Chapel Grove Elementary held a “Winter Celebrations Around the World” drive-thru event with 345 students/family members participating in the program.  Additionally, an anonymous donor contributed $500 to the school to help a families during the Christmas season.
Cramerton Middle School eighth grader Noelle Martin won first place in the Veterans of Foreign Affairs (VFW) Patriot’s Pen competition at the local and district levels.  In addition, Southwest Middle School students Abigail Bruce, Caitlyn Killian, Ethan Dennis, and Megan Hogencamp received recognition certificates for their entries.
Stuart W. Cramer High School band director Kameron Radford was selected for membership in the American School Band Directors Association.  The national organization is for band directors whose mission is to promote, enhance, and preserve quality school programs through leadership and fellowship.
Stuart W. Cramer High School senior Nathan Linkous signed a National Letter of Intent to play football at Western Carolina University.
Stuart W. Cramer High School cross country runners Zachary Willer and Nicholas Willer finished sixth and seventh in the 3A state championship meet.
Forestview High School is a finalist for this year’s College Success Gold Award, which is presented to schools that have a multiyear track record of preparing students to succeed in college.
Forestview High School cross country runners Austin Brotemarkle and Oussama Ajala finished eighth and twelfth in the 3A state championship meet.
Forestview High School senior Traviyon Barnett signed a National Letter of Intent to play football at Fort Scott Community College in Kansas.
Gardner Park Elementary is participating in a Remote Learning Challenge that involves students earning points for the completion of at-home assignments.  Based on the number of points earned, the students are presented with karate belts.  Since the challenge started, the school has seen an increase in the number of iReady lessons and Schoology work completed.
 Hunter Huss High School was awarded a grant for an artificial intelligence-powered robot to communicate with families about attendance during the spring semester.  The chatbot will remind families of key deadlines and help address attendance-related issues.  The school was one of 60 schools selected to participate in the program out of more than 7,400 applications.
Hunter Huss High School students created beautiful mandalas (geometric diagrams) in the school hallways.
For the third consecutive year, Hunter Huss High School junior Allison Kimmel was named the Big South 3A Conference Swimmer of the Year.
Lingerfeldt Elementary received cleaning supplies and personal care packages from the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority.  The sorority also donated coats and shoes for students at the school.
Lowell Elementary students participated in the Kindness Challenge, which included daily efforts such as giving compliments to classmates, leaving appreciation notes for teachers, custodians, and cafeteria workers, etc.  In addition, the school sponsored a canned food drive to support local families through the Salvation Army and collected 1,040 items.
Pleasant Ridge Elementary second grade teacher Rhoda Verhosek won the Veterans Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 9337 and the Post Auxiliary’s Smart/Maher National Citizenship Education Teacher of the Year Award.  She was also selected as the District 13 VFW Teacher of the Year and received $100 and a certificate of recognition.
Pleasant Ridge Elementary principal Glenn Cook and assistant principals Dan Barber and Bridgette Best were accepted into the North Carolina Association of Principals and Assistant Principals’ 2021 Distinguished Leadership in a Remote Learning Environment program.
Every Sadler Elementary student received a bag filled with presents such as hats, gloves, mugs and candy from Christ Worship Center.  The church also provided lunch for the school staff.  Additionally, the school received dozens of coats, masks, and socks from Pisgah ARP Church and First Baptist Church.
Sadler Elementary students are completing two i-Ready lessons a week in reading and math.  With a focus on student engagement through the computer-based program, iReady participation has increased to 87 percent in reading and 89 percent in math.
Stanley Middle School collected more than 1,000 items for a local food pantry.
South Point High School senior Asheton Queen signed a National Letter of Intent to play softball at Gardner-Webb University, and senior Jackson Risk signed a National Letter of Intent to play baseball at Belmont Abbey College.
South Point High School sophomore Davis Adcock won the 200-yard individual medley title at the 1A/2A swimming regionals.  He also was a runner-up in the 100-yard individual medley backstroke.
South Point High School swimming coach Mary Ellen Lewis was selected as the Southwestern 2A Conference Coach of the Year.
Anna Dunbar and Emily Revels of South Point High School were chosen for the North Carolina Volleyball Coaches Association’s 2A all-state volleyball team.  In addition, Dunbar signed a National Letter of Intent to play beach volleyball at Jacksonville University.
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Stanley Middle School STEAM program

(March 11, 2021 Issue)

Stanley Middle School is home to Gaston County’s only STEAM Academy for middle schoolers. The school offers a curriculum that features a distinct emphasis on STEAM: Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics.
From the five STEAM areas, all students engage in lessons and activities involving science and math. In the sixth grade, students create a foundation of skills and knowledge related to technology. In the seventh grade, students build on what they have learned about technology and gain a perspective of the arts. In the eighth grade, students add the engineering component to complete the middle school STEAM experience.
In addition to core subject courses, students can take “core plus” classes in art, band, choir, Spanish, business technology, computer science, medical science, engineering, and physical education/health. Students may take the following high school courses: Math I, Spanish I, World History, and Earth and Environmental Science. This program provides a pathway for students to participate in the Health Sciences Academy @ East Gaston High School or the Technology and Industrial Engineering Academy at Bessemer City High School.
Students from outside the Stanley attendance area who will be in the sixth grade for the 2021-2022 school year may apply for this program. A lottery process will be used to determine the 40 sixth grade students who will attend (from outside the Stanley attendance area).
Visit our school choice webpage for more information and to submit your application: www.gaston.k12.nc.us/schoolchoice.

Online workshop aims to improve overall health

(March 11, 2021 Issue)

North Carolina Cooperative Extension and Gaston County Adult Services are offering a free virtual workshop aimed at helping you live better and feel better. “Living Healthy at Home” a free six-week, online workshop beginning in March.
This workshop is an evidence-based, self-management program originally developed by Stanford University. It is designed for anyone with a chronic health condition to learn to manage his or her health. Individuals learn how to manage symptoms and to gain support by others who may be experiencing similar problems. Finding support from friends, family, and coworkers provides motivation and encouragement, as well as new ways to work through health problems and the challenges of COVID-19.
 “Living Healthy at Home” truly makes a difference in the lives of so many people, especially while dealing with COVID-19.  Many participants report how helpful the group discussions are as well as being able to problem-solve together on health issues that impact everyone,” said Linda Minges, program facilitator with NC Cooperative Extension.
The program consists of six weekly online sessions scheduled for Tuesdays, March 16 through April 20 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. All sessions will be held online so participants are able to remain safely at home. There is no cost to attend, but group size is limited to 12 participants, with priority given to Gaston County residents. A copy of “Living a Healthy Life with Chronic Conditions” workbook and a relaxation CD will be provided to all participants.
Gaining credible health information is necessary to understand your medical condition and treatment options, which are key factors in managing any health condition. Now is the time to take control of your chronic health condition!
The workshop is valued at more than $600 and fills up quickly, so sign up today! Pre-registration is required by contacting Linda Minges at 704-922-2127 or linda_minges@ncsu.edu by March 5, 2021. This program is sponsored by Centralina Area Agency on Aging.

Lowell News

(March 11, 2021 Issue)

The City of Lowell is proud to present: You Got Egged! (When being egged is a good thing!)
Due to COVID, Lowell Parks and Rec. won’t able to put on its popular Easter Egg this year so they are bringing an Easter Egg Hunt to you
Lowell Parks and Recreation and the Lowell Community Committee will be delivering Easter eggs to registered kids houses in Lowell. A dozen pre-filled Easter eggs will be tossed into your yard for each registered child in the household during the week of Easter.
This free event is open to kids ages 0-12. Child must reside within the City of Lowell. Registration is open March 1-22. Please note that this event is limited to 100 registrations so registrations may fill up before the deadline.
 Post your after “you got egged!”photos to facebook or instagram using the hashtag #WeGotEggedinLowell
For additional details and to register your child: please visit:
http://lowellnc.com/CivicAlerts.aspx?AID=81
Lunch
Registration is now open for Lunch is Ready! A Drive Thru Easter Lunch for Lowell Senior Citizens. This event is open to Lowell residents for ages 60 and up. Meals are $3 each and can be ordered by calling 704-824-3518, option 1. The deadline to register is 3/19.

Queen of Apostles Easter meal

(March 11, 2021 Issue)

The members of Queen of the Apostles Church, 503 N. Main St in Belmont, will offer a meal kit to those needing to prepare an Easter meal at their homes. The meal kit will feed 4 people and will include a $20 gift card that can be used towards the purchase of a ham.
We can deliver a meal kit to your home on Saturday, March 27th, between 10am and 12 noon, or you can pick up a meal kit at the church on the same day between 10am and 12 Noon. To place your order, you have two options:
Call the church office to place your order. The  phone number is (704) 825-9600.  Give us your name, address, phone number, an email address if you have one, and the number of meal kits you need (maximum of 2).  The deadline to place your order is Friday, March 19th.
Or, go to the church’s web site, www.queenoftheapostles.org, look for the “Easter Meal Kit” slide and click there.  That will take you to the on-line order form. Be sure to indicate on the order form if you want your meal kit delivered to your home or if you will pick it up. If you pick up your meal kit(s) at the church on March 27th, please note the pickup times 10am to 12 noon.
A Blessed Easter to all!
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The field was named for Frady in 1999.

Dwight Frady Field safe - for now

(March 11, 2021 Issue)

By Alan Hodge
alan@cfmedia.info


Last week word began circulating in Belmont that Dwight Frady Field and Crescent Park on E. Catawba St. would be sold by the City of Belmont so that apartments could be built there. The baseball field is named for long-time Banner editor the late Dwight Frady and the park portion for nearby Crescent Mills. Numerous calls were received at City Hall regarding the potential sale which prompted officials to issue the following statement from the City of Belmont.
“In the past 36 hours we have heard from many residents about the potential development involving the property that includes Dwight Frady Field and Crescent Park in East Belmont. The city does not own the land where this park is located. The city leases this land from the property owners, Belmont Land and Investment.
Belmont Land and Investment has met with city staff to discuss their interest in developing their properties on both sides of East Catawba Street, but no proposed development plans have been submitted.
The Belmont City Council recently made changes to the development review process that requires a much greater level of public engagement than what was previously required. If Belmont Land and Investment submits development plans for its properties, you will see a large blue sign erected on those properties with the development information on it.
You will also see all plans on the City’s website, which can be found at: https://www.cityofbelmont.org/projects/.
We value the importance of parks in our community and know that our residents would be greatly impacted by the loss of any of our park facilities.”

Gospel concert planned

(March 11, 2021 Issue)

Lowesville Gospel Concerts – 1062 South Hwy 16 – Stanley or Lowesville NC presents its next concert  Saturday, March 13th at 5:00 PM.
Bluegrass, Gospel, Celtic… music that is full of memories and feelings from long ago, as well as inspiration for today… that describes the music of The Dixie Jubilee Band (above). With seamless family harmonies, and a unique blend of instruments, Jubilee produces a sound that is beautiful and inspiring. The Rogers Family, a Lowesville favorite, will be doing their southern gospel program giving praise to our Lord Jesus.   (We will be wearing masks and social distancing.)
For information call  704-618-9762. As always a freewill offering only to be received.
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Congratulations to the Belmont Central Elementary cafeteria staff

(March 4, 2021 Issue)

Congratulations to the Belmont Central Elementary cafeteria staff. They have been awarded ten 100% Health Inspections in a row. The Cafeteria Manager is Jessie Maltba, Lead Person is Dianne Hughes. Cafeteria Assistants are Cindy Collette, Anita Duncan and Teresa Craig. Congratulations to them all for their hard work and diligence.
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Huggins brothers enjoy pie in 1950 Ford 

(March 4, 2021 Issue)

Brothers Stacy (right) and Jim Huggins took advantage of last Wednesday’s sun and went for a ride in Mt. Holly in this cool 1950 Ford convertible. The car had belonged to their father who passed away in 2018 and was an avid antique car collector. The car has a  flathead V-8 and the standard Ford 3-speed transmission, all original. “Our dad, Rick Huggins, owned the car for about 20 years ,” Stacy said. “He also owned a 1931 A-Model, a 1946 Ford Super Deluxe coupe, and a 1953 Chevy 3100 truck; they were sold after his passing. We decided to keep the convertible. It’s been a source of great enjoyment and memories of our dad and his love of antique automobiles. Dad was born in 1936 in North Belmont and worked most of his life in the industrial contracting business. At his passing at 82 years old, he was the president and CEO of the company he worked with for nearly 60 years. He was a Gaston County native who really enjoyed driving his cars around Belmont and Mount Holly when the weather was nice.”

Photo by Alan Hodge
 

Red Raiders & Bulldogs open football season

(March 4, 2021 Issue)

The South Point Red Raider football season kicked off last week with both Varsity and Junior Varsity games against the Burns High Bulldogs. The Varsity game took place at home and the JV contest was played at Burns which is located in Lawndale. The Varsity contest was a tight one with Burns pulling off a razor thin 28-27 win. South Point scored a touchdown with 53 seconds left to make it 27-28 and decided to go for two points.  The play was stopped by the Burns defensive unit and the Red Raiders couldn’t recover the onside kick. The JV game saw the Bulldogs bite down with a 40-20 victory. Here are scenes from both clashes. Scenes from JV game on page 13.
Photos by Calvin Craig Superraiders
 
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University of South Carolina recognizes Belmont scholars

(March 4, 2021 Issue)

Grace Campbell and Jessica Helton of Belmont have been named to the Fall 2020 President’s Honor List at the University of South Carolina. The President’s Honor List recognizes undergraduate students with a grade point average of 4.00 earned on a minimum of 12 credited semester hours.
Grace, a 2018 graduate of South Point High, is majoring in Experimental Psychology with a double minor in Criminal Justice and Business Administration. She has a 3.94 GPA and has been on the President’s Honor List for three out of five semesters and the Dean’s Honor List for the other two semesters. Grace is the President of the Active Minds Club where she has increased membership by 130%, a member of the Shandon Baptist Church College Leadership Team, and a sister in the Alpha Xi Delta sorority.
Jessica, also a 2018 graduate of SouthPoint , is majoring in Chemical Engineering with a minor in Biology. She has a 4.00 GPA and has been on the President’s List all five semesters. Jessica is the secretary for the Residence Hall Association, a member of Garnet Circle, a member of Alpha Epsilon Delta pre-health fraternity, and is on the Dean’s Council for Honor’s College.

Queen of Apostles Easter meal

(March 4, 2021 Issue)

The members of Queen of the Apostles Church, 503 N. Main St in Belmont, will offer a meal kit to those needing to prepare an Easter meal at their homes. The meal kit will feed 4 people and will include a $20 gift card that can be used towards the purchase of a ham.
We can deliver a meal kit to your home on Saturday, March 27th, between 10am and 12 noon, or you can pick up a meal kit at the church on the same day between 10am and 12 Noon. To place your order, you have two options:
Call the church office to place your order. The  phone number is (704) 825-9600.  Give us your name, address, phone number, an email address if you have one, and the number of meal kits you need (maximum of 2).  The deadline to place your order is Friday, March 19th.
Or, go to the church’s web site, www.queenoftheapostles.org, look for the “Easter Meal Kit” slide and click there.  That will take you to the on-line order form. Be sure to indicate on the order form if you want your meal kit delivered to your home or if you will pick it up. If you pick up your meal kit(s) at the church on March 27th, please note the pickup times 10am to 12 noon.
A Blessed Easter to all!

Gov. Cooper announces easing of COVID-19 restrictions as NC trends stabilize

(March 4, 2021 Issue)


As North Carolina’s numbers continue to show improvement and vaccine distribution increases, Governor Roy Cooper announced last Wednesday that the state will carefully ease some of its COVID-19 restrictions. Executive Order No. 195 took effect February 26th at 5 pm and will expire March 26th at 5 pm.
“Today’s action is a show of confidence and trust, but we must remain cautious. People are losing their loved ones each day,” said Governor Cooper. “We must keep up our guard. Many of us are weary, but we cannot let the weariness win. Now is the time to put our strength and resilience to work so that we can continue to turn the corner and get through this.”
“Keep wearing a mask, waiting 6 feet apart, and washing your hands. We’ve seen in the past how fragile progress can be, so we need to keep protecting each other while we get everyone a spot to get their shot,” said North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D.
The Executive Order lifts the Modified Stay at Home Order requiring people to stay at home and businesses to close to the public between 10 pm and 5 am. The number of people who may gather indoors will increase from 10 to 25, while 50 remains the limit for outdoors. The curfew on the sale of alcohol for onsite consumption will be moved from 9 pm to 11 pm. Some businesses, including bars and amusement parks, will now be open for patrons indoors as they adhere to new occupancy restrictions. Many businesses, venues and arenas will have increased occupancy both indoors and outdoors.
Executive Order No. 195 has two general categories of occupancy restrictions: 30% capacity and 50% capacity. Because indoor spaces have a higher risk of spread for COVID-19, indoor facilities in the 30%-occupancy category may not exceed two hundred fifty (250) people per indoor room or indoor space.
 30% Capacity Limit (may not exceed 250-persons in indoor spaces) includes Bars, Meeting, Reception, and Conference Spaces, Lounges (including tobacco) and Night Clubs, Indoor areas of Amusement Parks, Movie Theatres, Entertainment facilities (e.g., bingo parlors, gaming establishments), Sports Arenas and Fields*, Venues*.
*Indoor event venues with more than 5,000 seats may be excepted from the 250 person limit if they follow additional safety measures up to 15% capacity.
50% Capacity Limit includes Restaurants, Breweries, Wineries, Distilleries, Fitness and Physical Activity Facilities (e.g., gyms, bowling alleys, rock climbing facilities), Pools, Museums and Aquariums, Retailers, Outdoor areas of Amusement Parks, Salons, Personal Care, Tattoo Parlors.
Safety protocols such as masks, social distancing and frequent handwashing will continue to be important as people adjust to the new order, health officials said.
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Kristen Wilson (Belmont PD photo)

Kristen Wilson is Officer of Month

(March 4, 2021 Issue)

Join Belmont Police Dept. in congratulating Ofc. Kristen Wilson for being nominated as the officer of the month, January 2021. Officer Wilson was nominated for her leadership, dedication, diligence and outstanding performance for assisting patrol and going above and beyond the call for duty by maintaining a high standard of excellence at the Belmont Police Department. Officer Wilson has served the City of Belmont since 2018.
 

Queen of Apostles Easter meal

(February 25, 2021 Issue)

The members of Queen of the Apostles Church, 503 N. Main St in Belmont, will offer a meal kit to those needing to prepare an Easter meal at their homes. The meal kit will feed 4 people and will include a $20 gift card that can be used towards the purchase of a ham.
We can deliver a meal kit to your home on Saturday, March 27th, between 10am and 12 noon, or you can pick up a meal kit at the church on the same day between 10am and 12 Noon. To place your order, you have two options:
Call the church office to place your order. The  phone number is (704) 825-9600.  Give us your name, address, phone number, an email address if you have one, and the number of meal kits you need (maximum of 2).  The deadline to place your order is Friday, March 19th.
Or, go to the church’s web site, www.queenoftheapostles.org, look for the “Easter Meal Kit” slide and click there.  That will take you to the on-line order form. Be sure to indicate on the order form if you want your meal kit delivered to your home or if you will pick it up. If you pick up your meal kit(s) at the church on March 27th, please note the pickup times... 10am to 12 noon.
A Blessed Easter to all!

Sharing the Love...

(February 25, 2021 Issue)

Kudos to the City of Lowell Parks and Rec. Dept. that handed out  125 goodie bags to Senior Citizens at our Valentine’s Day Drive-Thru event. Special thanks to the volunteers for helping  put together these bags and to Lowell Elementary students for the handmade valentines. Also, special thanks Gaston County Adult & Aging Services, S and L Creations, and Speed Street Collision Center for donating items to go into the bags. 
City of Lowell photo
 
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Mt. Holly Police Dept. express gratitude

(February 25, 2021 Issue)

The Mt. Holly Police Dept. would like to send its sincerest gratitude to Hayden Gunnells for his artwork he created in honor of Officer Tyler Herndon. Hayden did such a great job on this and everyone thanks him for his hard work and his kindness. 
City of Mt. Holly photo
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Thank you!

(February 25, 2021 Issue)

Everyone had the privilege of honoring and thanking a young man named Parker Center at the Mt. Holly City Council meeting on February 8. Parker is ten years old and he attends school at Ida Rankin Elementary. He is currently in Mrs. Hannah Allen’s 5th grade class and he reports to Mrs. Kaylor for Safety Patrol. Parker decided to raise money to purchase ballistic vests for the MHPD’s two new K9s, Hank and Cash for his Safety Patrol Project this year. Parker addressed City Administration, Council, and members of the K9 Unit on Monday and presented these vests to K9 Officer Dodd, who handles Hank and K9 Officer Burchfield, who handles Cash. MHPD cannot thank him enough for his dedication to raising funds and the thoughtfulness in his gift to the K9 Unit.     City of Mt. Holly photo
 
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Mr. Terry Usery

Remembering long-time educator and former Gaston Schools Board member
Terry Usery

(February 25, 2021 Issue)

The Gaston County Schools family is mourning the death of Mr. Terry Usery, who passed away on February 14, 2021.
A long-time educator with more than 40 years of dedicated service to the profession, Mr. Usery worked as a classroom teacher, bus driver, and school administrator.  He served as principal of Page Elementary School in Belmont and Cherryville Elementary School before spending more than 16 years as principal of Tryon Elementary School, which he affectionately referred to as “the purrrfect place to learn.”
Mr. Usery began his career with Gaston County Schools in August 1974, working for 15 years as a teacher at Carr, Arlington, and Tryon elementary schools.  From 1989-1992, he was an assistant principal at Woodhill Elementary and W.C. Friday Junior High School before being named the principal of Page Elementary in July 1992.  After four years at Page, he spent one year at Cherryville Elementary, and then served as principal of Tryon Elementary until his retirement in 2014.
In 2013, Mr. Usery was named the Gaston County Principal of the Year.  He capped his career in education by serving as the Cherryville Township representative on the Gaston County Board of Education from 2016 until 2020.
When he was elected to the Board of Education, Mr. Usery answered the call to dedicate much time and energy to serving the students, employees, and families of Gaston County Schools.  He collaborated with his fellow Board members, Superintendent Booker, school administrators, teachers, parents, community leaders, and others to improve educational opportunities for children.
From the classroom to the principal’s office and all the way to the Board Room, Mr. Usery worked tirelessly during his entire professional life to be a staunch advocate for students, teachers, and the entire public school system in the community he so cherished and loved.  He was a voice, a beacon, and an ambassador for education because he wholeheartedly knew what quality teaching and learning does for children – it changes their lives forever.
Everyone associated with Gaston County Schools wishes to express our sincere condolences to Mr. Usery’s family and friends during this difficult time of loss and sadness.  Mr. Terry Usery, our loyal friend of public education, will be missed by all of us.
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A Sign of the Times of the Carolinas : (Front row left to right) Gerard Benson (bass), Toni Tupponce (vocalist), Tyrone Jefferson (Director/trombone), and Carl Ratliff (saxophone). (Back row, l to r) Tommy Green (drums), Rico Tyler (piano), and Van Sachs (guitar).

Musical performance by A Sign of the Times to be presented by Gaston College Multicultural Affairs Committee

(February 25, 2021 Issue)

 Beginning on Thursday, February 4, 2021, the Gaston College Multicultural Affairs Committee will present through a link on the College website a recorded performance by the core musical ensemble of A Sign of the Times of the Carolinas, a non-profit organization whose mission is to preserve the legacy of the African Diaspora through music, dance and the spoken word. The ASOTT ensemble performs original compositions, Classic R&B, Straight-Ahead Jazz and Old School Salsa music.
 The ensemble features Tyrone Jefferson, who is the Executive Director of A Sign of the Times of the Carolinas and the Music Director of the ASOTT bands. Also featured is Toni Tupponce, Program Director for the non-profit and lead vocalist for the ASOTT bands. Jefferson and Tupponce are hosts of the weekly “Saturday Night R&B House Party” program on WSGE 91.7FM, the Gaston College award-winning non-commercial radio station.
 The one-hour performance will include songs like Stevie Wonder’s “Love’s in Need of Love,” the Stylistics’ “People Make the World Go ‘Round,” and Tyrone Jefferson’s “Listen,” among others. Information or storylines about the selected songs may be interjected into the performance.
 “The Multicultural Affairs Committee is pleased to present A Sign of the Times,” said Judith Porter, President of MAC and Music Instructor. “While their primary focus is to present the experiences of Black Americans and the African diaspora through music, spoken word and dance, their presentations touch on themes that are universal and speak to the human condition.”
 “From our perspective,” said Tupponce, “we hope to reach people who are interested in or curious about Black History as related to the strength and importance of Black female icons throughout American history. Our storyline may also make a connection to the BLM movement.”
 Although the performance will not be presented live, Tupponce does anticipate that ASOTT will communicate with the audience. “The result of any performance is a two-way street,” she said. “It is our responsibility to put our best musicianship and heart into the performance. As the vocalist/storyteller, I share my interpretation of the lyrics based on where I am (emotionally, physically, and spiritually) in the moment. How the audience receives what we offer, and share is their responsibility and will depend on where they are at that moment and the openness of their heart and mind. That’s the real beauty and challenge of the audience-performer relationship.”
 The performance will be available through a link on You Tube at  https://youtu.be/rsPZVWvuhisand on the Gaston College website, posted under GC News, www.gaston.edu. The presentation will be aired daily on Spectrum Cable TV, channel 21, February 22 -28 at 9:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.
 For additional information about the presentation, contact Judith Porter at porter.judith@gaston.edu
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Local students shine in art show

(February 25, 2021 Issue)

Students from Ashbrook High School, Cramerton Middle School, Stuart W. Cramer, East Gaston High School, and Forestview High School earned 13 awards in the Mid-Carolina Regional Scholastic Art and Writing Awards program. The students won two Gold Key, four Silver Key, and seven honorable mention awards.
 
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Nuevo Laredo, Acrylic on Wood, David Childers.

Local artists featured at
Gaston County Museum

(February 25, 2021 Issue)

The Gaston County Museum presents its newest art show featuring Gaston County residents David Childers and Robert Childers. A singer-songwriter residing in Mt. Holly, David Childers is the proverbial study in contradictions: a former high-school football player with an aw-shucks demeanor, a well-read poet and painter who cites Chaucer and Kerouac as influences. He fell in love with folk music as a teen and also listens to jazz and opera. He fed his family by practicing law before turning in his license to concentrate on his creative passions.
David Childers’ son, Robert Childers, also has interests in artistic endeavors. He is well known in the Charlotte music community as a musician, sound engineer, and promoter. Art is another facet of his creative personality.
About 13 years ago, David and Robert were traveling through Holland as part of a musical tour. They arranged for a visit to the Van Gogh Museum and were both subsequently inspired to begin creating art. According to David, “I do not have any rules for what I do in my art. I will leave it to others to judge and explain my art to themselves.”
The exhibit features a collection of folk art paintings on view beginning February 15 in the Depot Art Gallery, Anne Furr Learning Station.
For more information, contact Hannah Musselwhite, Curator, at Hannah.Musselwhite@gastongov.com.

Arts at the Abbey presents
the Bechtler Ensemble

(February 25, 2021 Issue)

The Bechtler Ensemble will bring string trios from 20th century Finland, Hungary, and France as well as the beloved Austrian composer Schubert to Arts at the Abbey. Other composers featured on the program include Kodaly, Sibelius. Cras and Dohnanyi.
Tanja Bechtler is the artistic director of the Bechtler Ensemble that is currently in residency at Queens University and has a music series at the Bechtler Museum of Modern Arts, Central Piedmont Community College and at Queens University (all in Charlotte).
The ensemble features Lenora Cox Leggatt, violin; Vasily Gorkovoy, viola, and Tanja Bechtler, cello.
The concert is Monday March 1, 2021 at 8:00 PM in the Abbey Basilica, Belmont Abbey, Belmont NC. Admission is free. A limited live audience will be admitted. Masks and social distancing are required. Donations are welcomed.  The concert will also be live streamed - https://www.belmontabbeycollege.edu/artslive/
To reserve a seat, call 704-461-6012 or email abbeyarts@bac.edu.
This series is made possible in part by the Associated Foundation, Inc. of Belmont, The Gaston Community Foundations, The Monks of Belmont Abbey and other private donors.
Fr. David Kessinger, the most senior professed monk at Belmont Abbey, died February 7, 2021. A person of many talents and interests, he loved the arts, especially classical music. He was fond of Schubert.  This program is dedicated to him.
For more information: Karen Hite Jacob. 704-461-6012,  www.bac.edu or https://www.facebook.com/BelmontAbbeyArts.
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Mrs. Eskay selected
Staff Member of the Month

(February 25, 2021 Issue)

Congratulations Holbrook Middle School’s Mrs. Eskay for being selected as  Staff Member of the Month that best represents  the character trait “Courage!”. Mrs. Eskay is 7th grade ELA teacher.
Gaston Schools photo
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Interested in gardening?

(February 25, 2021 Issue)


The Mt. Holly Community Garden is  accepting applications for 2021 gardeners. Available garden beds are limited and going fast, $60 gardening fee covers everything except your plants. Visit mthollycommunitygarden@gmail.com for more details. 
Photo by Alan Hodge
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Stanford is Teacher of the Year 

(February 18, 2021 Issue)

Congratulations to Ida Rankin Elementary Mt. Holly’s New Teacher of the Year. Ms. Stanford was recently nominated as a candidate for the Gaston County Schools’ Linda Rader New Teacher of the Year Award. Letters of endorsement from the school were submitted on Ms. Stanford’s behalf and reflect the positive impact she has on the students and overall environment at our school. Ms. Stanford will meet a panel of judges during an interview session on Friday, Feb. 12 where she will be able to share her thoughts about being a teacher in Gaston County. In May, she will be invited to a reception at which time all nominees will be recognized and this year’s Linda Rader New Teacher of the Year will be announced.
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Hannah Clements is W.C. Friday Certified Employee of the Month 

(February 18, 2021 Issue)

Mrs. Clements contributes to the Leadership Academy in several outstanding ways, above and beyond her consistent and caring work as a counselor at WCF.
Hannah is always willing to go the extra mile for students and staff. She is doing an awesome job with the student news. She is also so positive and upbeat that it is contagious.
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New Look for Lowell Officers

(February 18, 2021 Issue)

There’s a new look for the officers of Lowell PD who has switched to load bearing vests. These will move the bulk of the weight typically worn on an officers hips and puts it on the shoulders. This is much more comfortable for the officers and it can help prevent back problems traditional police belts can cause. If you see an officer out and about feel free to ask questions.

 

Belmont police get starting salary raise

(February 18, 2021 Issue)

During its February 1, 2021 meeting, the Belmont City Council unanimously approved a request from Chief Chad Hawkins to increase the starting salary for Belmont police officers. The council action increases the starting annual salary for police officers from $39,749.00 to $45,000.00. The increase in starting salaries keeps Belmont Police Department competitive with other agencies and is an incentive for Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET) graduates making decisions on which agency to consider serving. Agencies across the country are struggling to recruit and retain quality officers, as fewer people are entering the profession every year.
The Belmont Police Department is fortunate to have some of the most well-trained and educated officers in the state. The decision to raise the starting salary is a testament that our city leaders understand the urgency and support the police department.
The Belmont Police Department recently received accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies (CALEA), a prestigious recognition that the department is following best practices and policies for a modern, progressive law enforcement agency. The City of Belmont supports its law enforcement professionals by providing a competitive salary and benefits package, training and promotion opportunities, necessary equipment, and a positive work environment. Law enforcement is a tough and rewarding career, and the City of Belmont is determined to continue to have the Belmont Police Department be an employer of choice for local law enforcement professionals.

Mout Holly Police Dept.
appreciates community support

(February 18, 2021 Issue)

The Mt. Holly Police Dept. wants to thank Lilly, Sammy, and the members of the Tyler Family for the meal they provided recently. This family has blessed MHPD with food and showings of support multiple times and the department could not be more appreciative for everything they do.    Photos provided
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Library expands public access, fully opens for services

(February 18, 2021 Issue)

The Gaston County Public Library (GCPL) announced last Wednesday that it will expand public access at the Main Library and its branches, beginning Monday, Feb. 22. All library locations, except the Ferguson Branch Library and TECH@Lowell, will be open Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The Ferguson Branch Library (located at Erwin Center) will be open Monday-Friday, 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., and TECH@Lowell will not be open on Saturday. As before, a face covering is requested for all persons entering the library buildings, and everyone must practice social distancing protocols.
Due to the increase in COVID-19 numbers in January, the GCPL limited its services and the public’s access, allowing only patrons with computer appointments to enter the building and continuing to offer Curbside Service.
Now, the libraries will be fully open for all of its services, such as selecting items for check out, making photocopies, sending or receiving faxes, and using Wi-Fi or computers. However, makerspace devices at BC@BC and TECH@Lowell will continue to be unavailable at this time.
Due to limited capacity requirements, the library staff is requesting that all patrons limit their time inside the libraries so that staff can serve as many people as possible.
Curbside Service will still be available at all library locations by appointment only. For appointments, hours of operation, or if you have any questions, call your local library location or visit the GCPL website at www.gastonlibrary.org.
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Meals on Wheels Gaston Celebrates Volunteers

(February 18, 2021 Issue)

Meals on Wheels Gaston continues to celebrate its wonderful volunteers, who give so selflessly of their time to deliver meals with a smile to our homebound participants. Thank you John Ahrens of WSOC TV (above left) and Shiloh Keuler of Gaston County Department of Health and Human Services for all you do.
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Lemonade stand benefits community

(February 18, 2021 Issue)

Parker Smith set up a lemonade stand. It’s a time-honored tradition that’s aided many a kiddo in their quest for a toy or some extra spending money. He and his friend, Sterling Stephens, set out to make a little money of their own. Patrons who stopped for a cold, tasty drink and a treat may or may not have known of the duo’s financial intentions, but by the time they closed up shop, they had raised a tad over $150. Quite successful for a front yard business venture.
Not long after, the cold hard profits from the sale of Parker’s cold lemonade warmed  hearts when he donated them to the Mt. Holly Community Relief Organization... or more accurately, his neighbors in need. The CRO wants to say thank you to everyone involved in this contribution, and for being the change you want to see in the world.
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Carolina Pro Musica - Karen Hite Jacob, director, harpsichord, Rebecca Miller Saunders, soprano, Holly Wright Maurer, recorder, traverso, viola da gamba, Edward Ferrell, recorder, traverso.

Carolina Pro Musica continues 43rd season with music in England

(February 18, 2021 Issue)

Carolina Pro Musica continues the 43rd season with “The Flowering of the English Baroque” –featuring the music of Henry Purcell as well as those non-English composers who continued to make England’s music charming. These are Handel, J.C. Bach, Pepusch and Gottfried Finger all composers from Europe.  There are instrumental works for two eighteenth-century flutes, as well as trios for recorder and viola da gamba solo.  Vocal works are the famous “Music for a While” by Purcell, “As when the Dove” by Handel and two Italian arias by J.C. Bach (the London Bach), son of J.S. Bach.
The concert premiere is Saturday, February 27, 2021, at 7:30 PM on Carolina Pro Musica’s YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/user/carolinapromusica
The concert will be prerecorded and remain online.
Viewers are asked to support the production through contributions by mail, through www.carolinapromusica.org or on Facebook.
Carolina Pro Musica was founded in 1977 to perform “Early music” – using period instruments and voice in the styles of the musical periods in which it was written.

Congratulations GEMS!

(February 11 ,  2021 Issue)

It’s time to start thinking about the Commissioners’ School of Excellence

(February 11 ,  2021 Issue)

Commissioners’ School is a summer enrichment program open to current ninth grade students (rising tenth graders) in Gaston County.  Now in its 34th year, the leadership development program offers students an opportunity to learn more about the Gaston community.
Interested students should see their high school guidance counselor for an application.  Applications are due by February 12.
Each year, approximately 60 students are chosen for the program based on academic performance, extracurricular activities (school and community), leadership potential, self-motivation, and written expression.  There is no cost to the students who are selected to attend.
Commissioners’ School challenges students to better understand themselves, life in Gaston County, and their roles as future leaders.  They participate in seminars, problem-solving activities, special events, and hands-on experiences as well as enjoy time with community leaders and guest speakers.  Lessons and activities concentrate on teamwork, communication skills, and community service.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the specific format for the Commissioners’ School program has not been determined at this time; the format will be announced this spring.  The goal is to offer participants the best experience possible while adhering to state and local health guidelines.
The school is named in memory of James S. Forrester, a former state senator and Gaston County commissioner, funded by the county commission, and coordinated by Gaston County Schools.
For more information about the program, contact Lori Collins, lwcollins@gaston.k12.nc.us, or Bridget Matzke, bsmatzke@gaston.k12.nc.us.
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Beverly Knits Inc. donated masks to Gaston PD

(February 11 ,  2021 Issue)

Beverly Knits Incorporated donated 500 masks to the officers and staff at the Gaston County Police Department. Thank you Parker Sytz and Beverly Knits for your support and gracious contribution.

Gov. Cooper, state education leaders say it’s time for in-person instruction in K-12 schools

(February 11 ,  2021 Issue)

Top state education leaders joined Governor Roy Cooper last week to call on K-12 school districts across the state to allow in-person instruction for all students. The Governor joined North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) Secretary Mandy Cohen, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Catherine Truitt and State Board of Education Chair Eric Davis to thank educators for their extraordinary work during an unprecedented time, to highlight ongoing research that shows that with proper mitigation measures, in-person learning is safe, and to emphasize the critical importance of ensuring all students have an opportunity to learn in a classroom.
“Protecting the health and safety of the people of this state, especially our children and our teachers, has been our goal,” said Governor Cooper. “We know school is important for reasons beyond academic instruction. School is where students learn social skills, get reliable meals, and find their voices. Research done right here in North Carolina tells us that in-person learning is working and that students can be in classrooms safely with the right safety protocols in place.”
Since the beginning of the pandemic, state leaders have emphasized the importance of returning students to in-person learning as quickly and safely as possible. Children who rely solely on remote instruction are feeling the negative effects of isolation, including learning loss, mental health challenges and food insecurity. The state’s public health toolkit details specific health and safety protocols K-12 schools must implement to keep students and teachers safe during in-person instruction.
“Even with the thousands of students and teachers attending school in-person across the state, we have seen few COVID-19 clusters in our public schools,” said NCDHHS Secretary Mandy K. Cohen, M.D. “Our Department will continue to serve our school communities, offering resources and support so we can keep our school doors open.”
Increasing evidence suggests that, with prevention measures in place, there are low rates of COVID-19 transmission in primary and secondary school settings even with high rates of community transmission. In addition, ongoing medical studies and peer-reviewed data affirm that children infected with COVID-19 generally have mild or no symptoms, and are less likely to spread the disease.
“Learning loss resulting from COVID has the potential to be a generational hurdle, but the data we have seen shows us that schools can reopen safely if they adhere to COVID prevention policies,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Catherine Truitt. “For many schools, the logistics of returning to in-person instruction five days per week will be a challenge, but this is absolutely a challenge we must face head on so that all students have a chance to fulfill their potential. With strong prevention measures in place, and the scientific research to back them, now is the time to act. North Carolina’s students cannot lose any more time.”
“We know that to equitably and fully address the needs of the whole child in every student, it is imperative that schools reopen for in-person instruction,” said State Board Chairman Eric Davis. “Since August, public school leaders have proven the merits of the safety protocols that have kept our schools safe for students and staff.”
Governor Cooper, Superintendent Truitt, Chair Davis and Secretary Cohen sent a letter to local school board members and superintendents encouraging in-person instruction across the state.
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Schiele Museum Winter Wonderland

(February 11 ,  2021 Issue)

The Schiele Museum, 1500 E. Garrison Blvd.,  has opened its newest, original exhibit Winter Wonderland.  Winter Wonderland will be an adventure geared towards the youngest visitors to the museum as participants are urged to take off their shoes and sock “skate.”  It was opened to the public on Saturday, Jan. 16th for just $3 per person and will be free for Schiele Members. Tickets can be reserved online in advance at SchieleMusem.org. The exhibit is currently scheduled to be open through March 2021.
Winter Wonderland is fashioned to look like an outdoor pond that has iced over.  The winter scene is complete with taxidermy mounts of deer bounding through the forest and other wildlife peeking at the skaters. Children up to age 12 will be able to kick off their shoes and skate off some energy, practice some ice skating techniques, or just enjoy twirls and sliding across the floor.
As the coronavirus continues to be a concern for our community, The Schiele staff wanted to provide a low-contact experience for our youngest visitors to enjoy.  An anonymous sponsor provided support to help make this exhibit possible.  The Winter Wonderland experience will give children a way to exercise while having fun as families enjoy spending time together.
The museum has also opened its weekly Friday Night Light programs scheduled through February. These special planetarium programs will be offered each Friday evening at 5 PM, 6 PM, & 7 PM and will give families, couples, and adults an opportunity to experience a planetarium program after hours. New programs will be available each week, from live star shows to science theater programs from across the national planetarium industry. Limited seating provides ample room for visitors to spread out and pick their favorite seats to enjoy the show.
For more information, please visit schielemuseum.org or follow The Schiele Museum on social media.