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Turning The Sidewalks Into A Stage Street Scene

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There is a buzz in the air and it sounds like banjos and bluegrass. With the excitement and celebration of the Earl Scruggs Center Grand opening, Uptown Shelby Association is hosting Street Scene-Bluegrass Style”.

On the evening of January 9th, from 6 to 9pm we will place bluegrass musicians in several uptown locations to play music on the sidewalks to encourage folks to stroll, eat, shop, listen to music and enjoy Uptown Shelby.

This event “Street Scene-Bluegrass Style” is scheduled on January 9th from 6pm to 8pm.  We will be “Turning the Sidewalks in a Stage”. We have some talented musicians who are willing to share their music on the sideways of Uptown Shelby.

Our bands:  The Zephyr Lightning Bolts, Wiregrass, The Oak Grove String Band & Randy Saxton and Jonathan Sloan

Make plans to hear Uptown turn “Blue” as we prepare to welcome the opening of the Earl Scruggs Center. This is an opportunity for restaurants to feed folks, stores to stay open a bit longer and for people to see our town in the evening come to life.

Bundle up and come out to enjoy the music. If there is rain the musicians will still play in our local businesses. Locations will be marked with signage.

Forrest Hite Remembers A Century Of Change As He Celebrates 101 Years

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Celebrating his 101st birthday Dec. 9, Forrest Hite recalled the day he saw his father Henry’s Model –T  Ford, the first car sold in his hometown of Huntington, W.Va.,  and then he remembered  the day a man walked on the moon.

During a century  plus of living, Hite has experienced  dramatic  changes -  the Great Depression,  two world wars, the computer age. The one constant has been the railroad.

At age 8, Forrest began working for the Chesapeake & Ohio (C&O) Railroad, which was founded  in Huntington to serve the burgeoning coal industry. He is proud that he stayed with C&O until his retirement 47 years later. It became almost a family business as his daughter Donna joined him there. Donna now lives in Shelby with her husband Herb so they can be near their son Randy and his wife Maggie, with whom Forrest lives now.

To help him celebrate his 101st year, participants at Life Enrichment Center Adult Day Service sang “Happy Birthday” as Forrest blew out candles on a cake decorated with a toy train. Bobby Smith, retired from  First National Bank and an avid train enthusiast,  shared railroad stories in a tribute to Forrest’s dedicated service.  Smith said that the C&O was bought out to become part of the larger CSX system, which passes regularly through Cleveland County carrying coal from the hills of West Virginia.

As much as life changes, many things remain the same. West Virginia coal is still being transported by C&O,  and Forrest Hite is still the dedicated, gentle man he has always been. He wears 101 years very well.

Photo caption:  Forrest Hite celebrates his birthday at Life Enrichment Center Adult Day Service with, left to right, family friend Marcella Greene; Maggie and Randy Hutchinson, his grandson and wife; Herb and Donna Hutchinson, his daughter and son-in-law; and Bobby Smith, who presented a program on trains.

Mary Byrnes Receives The Fred Blackley Service Award For 2013

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Mary Byrnes was presented with the Fred Blackley Keep Shelby Beautiful Service Award.  Those considered for the Fred Blackley Keep Shelby Beautiful Service Award are chosen because:

1.  They demonstrated commitment to enhancing and improving the visual quality and aesthetic character of the City of Shelby.

2.  They raised community awareness of the value of good appearance and careful stewardship of the community.

3.  They improved the character, environment, or livability of a neighborhood.

4.  They engaged in the creation, organization, and/or mobilization of volunteers, groups and resources that are involved in projects benefitting the community.

Mary has served as staff support to the Shelby Appearance Commission which is now KSB for nearly 15 years. Because of Mary’s hard work and innovation, KSB has become the accomplished and respected organization that it is today.  Mary helped make the organization become more proactive and sought partnerships with Cleveland County, local schools and PTO’s, the Walmart Distribution Center, the Uptown Shelby Association, the Cleveland County Arts Council and local Churches, to ensure real world results.  Volunteers working with KSB have picked up more trash and recyclable than ever before.

Thank you Mary Byrnes for your years of dedication and service to help keep Shelby beautiful!

To find out more about how you can help keep Shelby clean and beautiful, contact Keep Shelby Beautiful Coordinator, Jordan Tubbs at 704-484-6829 or email jordan.tubbs@cityofshelby.com.

Photo Descriptions:  Mary Byrnes shares some remarks after receiving the Fred Blackley Service Award for 2013.

SECU Foundation Continuing Education Scholarship for Spring 2014

The North Carolina State Employees’ Credit Union Foundation recently announced the availability of Continuing Education Scholarships for Cleveland Community College.  The scholarships will be awarded to ten students for the upcoming 2014 Spring semester who are enrolled in a qualifying credentialed program at the Brown Emergency Training Center.

In 2012, the SECU Foundation established a Continuing Education Scholarship Program to help remove financial barriers for students seeking to gain new and/or upgrade current job-related skills. Annually, the program provides a total of 580 scholarships - 10 scholarships at $750 each to all 58 community colleges. The target groups for the scholarship program are unemployment insurance claimants, unemployed & underemployed adults, military veterans, and members of the NC National Guard

Cleveland Community College is currently accepting applications for the Scholarships for the 2014 Spring semester.  Eligible programs include the Fire Academy Training program certification, Fire Fighter I, Fire Fighter II, Hazardous Materials Awareness and Operations and Rapid Intervention Training, EMT Basic or EMT Basic to Paramedic program.  Interested students may contact the Brown Emergency Training Center at Cleveland Community College for more information at 704-669-4193.

CCC Students Awarded State Employees’ Credit Union Scholarships

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The North Carolina State Employees’ Credit Union (SECU) Foundation recently presented a $2,500 scholarship to Cleveland Community College students Kelsey Jolley of Shelby and Regina Wilson of Dallas.

The scholarships are given to eligible full-time students based on SECU’s philosophy of “People Helping People,” with recipients chosen by their demonstrations of leadership, excellence of character, integrity and community involvement. The scholarships are funded solely by SECU’s membership and will be used to pay for tuition and other education expenses associated with the recipient’s education.

Jolley is the daughter of Mark and Tonia Jolley of Shelby and is a first-year student enrolled in the practical nursing program. A 2011 graduate of Crest High School, she was a member of the National Honor Society and Beta Club. She is a member of Pleasant Ridge Baptist Church and is actively involved in mission work throughout the community and in Guatemala and Honduras.

Wilson is a first year student in the surgical technology program at CCC. She is the daughter of Davey and Susie Garmon. Wilson has a daughter, Samantha, and is currently employed at Walmart Distribution Center.

For more information about the SECU Foundation scholarships to CCC students, contact Financial Aid at 704-669-4028 or visit www.clevelandcc.edu.

Picture included: L-R – Scholarship recipient, Regina Wilson; SECU Advisory Board member, Al Knight; and scholarship recipient, Kelsey Jolley

Corks & Taps for Hospice and Diamond Ring Winner!

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Hospice Cleveland County is pleased to announce that Susan Shuford of Lincolnton was the winner of our Diamond Ring Raffle. The ring, which was valued at $3,250, was raffled and given away at the Corks & Taps for Hospice Fall Fundraiser on October 17th at the LeGrand Center in Shelby. The event included a wine tasting from area wineries, food from Smoke on the Square, entertainment by Dirty Grass Soul, as well as a live and silent auction.

Thank you to Smoke on the Square for the wonderful food and to everyone who helped sponsor, donated items, volunteered, or attended this event. For more information about Hospice Cleveland County, please call 704-487-4677 or visit our website at www.hospicecares.cc.

Dear Motorist: An Open Letter to Motorists From a Truck Driver

Dear Motorist: An Open Letter to Motorists From a Truck Driver

by Franklin Katz

Frank’s Tax & Business Service, Kings Mountain, NC 28086

Dear Motorist:

I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to write to you. It’s not that I’m not thinking of you, but I’ve been busy. As we enter the Fall/Winter of 2013,  it seems like a good time to get back in touch.

It may seem that I sit up here in the cab of my truck, looking out over the roof of your car, not paying any attention. The truth is I am always watching out for you. I’ve learned to see a slight movement of your head that tells me you are thinking of making a lane change. If we are approaching a freeway interchange or off ramp, I try to anticipate your next action. I know when you are on the phone, eating, changing the station on your radio, talking to your passengers, or shouting at your children in the back seat. I can usually tell when you are tired or impaired. I know when you’ve only got one hand on the steering wheel while the other is holding your cell phone as you tap out a text message (and of all the activities that get your attention, that one frightens me the most). I am keeping my eyes on you, all of you, all the time. I have no desire to cause injury to another human being and am well trained in doing whatever I can to prevent a collision, but I am only half of the equation.

Now I’d like to tell you some things about myself, so we can get better acquainted. When my full sized semi is loaded, it weighs at least 80,000 pounds. If my truck were to land on you, it would be like dropping forty or fifty cars on your head. Since it takes four times the distance to stop my truck than it does your car, you can understand why I don’t like it when you cut in front of me. I am much bigger than you. I really need you to remember that when we are on the road together.

My truck is almost seventy feet long. I can’t make any sharp turns, and I need extra space to go around a corner. Left turns are much easier and I try to plan my city driving with those, but it isn’t always possible. I know you get impatient when I sit at a green traffic light, but I may be waiting to have enough room to make my turn without taking out a pole or running over another car. I always try to avoid starting a maneuver that I cannot safely finish, such as getting through an intersection before the light changes to red. I wish it was easier, believe me, but there is nothing I can do to change the way it must be done.

I have as many as fifteen gears in my truck, and it takes me awhile to go through them. I do wish my truck accelerated as fast as your car does so I could get on a freeway at 60mph instead of 45mph. I sometimes get very tired of having to go slowly up mountains and around curves. I would love to drive faster and I wish there weren’t slower posted limits for trucks in many states. But that’s how it is, and I have good reasons for wanting to obey the rules of gravity and the Law. Please be patient. I’m peddling as fast as I can!

The entire right side of my truck is a blind spot. A lot of the left side is too. And when you tailgate me, I can’t see you. As bad as all that is for me, it’s worse for you. Please don’t pass me on the right unless you are very sure I know you are there; I usually drive in the far right hand lane and I may move in that direction when you are next to me. It also makes me nervous to have you close behind me because I know you can’t see what’s going on in front of me. If something happens that causes me to slow down, you may run into the bumper that hangs off the back. It is called a D.O.T. Bumper, and it is a very solid object. It was designed to prevent cars from sliding under trucks in rear-end collisions, because those drivers were being decapitated. That bumper does NOT give way. Trust me.

I try to pass you carefully and with plenty of clearance. It is perfectly okay for you to flash your headlights to let me know I have room to move back over. I may not always acknowledge it but I do appreciate it, especially at night, in bad weather, and in heavy traffic; sometimes that flash is all I can see. Please only pass me when you know you have plenty of room. We both have to slow down for road construction zones. We both have to merge when lanes end. We both have to give emergency vehicles space. We both should be cautious of stalled motorists on the roadside. Because I’m bigger and wider and heavier, I must be more careful than you. Please give me room to make those changes. Don’t make me choose between your car and the guard rail or the construction worker or the highway patrol officer or the man changing the tire on his motor home.

I spend much of my work day driving in unknown areas. I may have no idea where my customer is, much less which street I need to turn on to get there. If I make a mistake, I might find myself trapped on a cul-de-sac in a residential area where I’m not supposed to take a truck in the first place. At the least, it will be a difficult situation to resolve; at worst I could cause damage to a building or a person as I try to get out. I prefer to drive slowly and get it right the first time. I know YOU know where I need to be but I can’t ask directions, and you honking your horn or gesturing isn’t making it any clearer. I’m not trying to be stupid or in your way. I’m trying to be careful.

I admit I’m not always driving at my best either. I may be tired, hungry, sick, or just wanting to get to my next stop so I can go home to my family. I may be thinking of my kids, worrying about my finances, mourning a loss, regretting the chili I had for lunch, or wondering which off ramp I need to take to get to my destination. I try to pay attention, to not get impatient, to be courteous to others, but sometimes being Human gets in the way. Please try be as aware of me as I am of you.

It will make both our travels easier and safer if you also pay attention to what I am doing. If I slow down, it may be because I can see something up ahead from my higher viewpoint. If our paths are about to cross as you merge onto a freeway, please either decrease or increase your speed so I don’t have to do it. You can slow and accelerate your car much faster than I can my truck. That also applies if I pull out to pass a slower vehicle in my lane; it will slow you down a bit if you let me in your lane, but it can grind my progress to a halt if you don’t. If I am merging left for what appears to be no reason, I may be trying to avoid a traffic jam or emergency vehicle or road construction. If you follow me it will go much smoother; if you try to out-distance me, we will still meet up farther down the road and you will save nothing. Please pay attention to those signs that are directed at truck drivers. Be aware of a reduced truck speed limits, an approaching weigh station, and travel lane restrictions. I must make those adjustments every day. I don’t make the laws, but I am expected to obey them. I’m always trying to be cooperative, and appreciate the same effort from you.

As a truck driver, I make deliveries to your grocery store, restaurant, mall, hospital, car dealership, and every other place you visit in the course of your day. Sometimes I am there when you are trying to conduct your business, and I may be in your way. I apologize. I do not set the times for my arrival, my customer does. Just as you expect good service, so do they from me. You cannot walk into any establishment and find an item used for business that did not spend at least part of its journey on a truck. Please let me do my job so you can do yours.

Truck drivers are vital to the economy of this nation. Without us, all commerce would come to a skidding halt within a week, probably much less than that. We aren’t being boastful because we know it’s the truth. We are proud of the role we have in making our country strong and giving our fellow citizens a good life. Please help us do our best for you.

And speaking of life, please remember I have one too. I spend a lot of time in truck stops because there is plenty of room for me to park. The truck stop offers showers and food and sometimes a few diversions, but after a while I get tired of the same old, same old. It’s a nice change to go to Walmart. Many Walmarts offer truck parking, but it isn’t always easy to thread my way through the lot. Sometimes I want to shop at a mall, or eat at a different restaurant, or go to a movie. I may get in your way, and I’m sorry. I just want a different view, a change of pace. Please take an extra moment of your day to make me feel welcome. I won’t stay too long and I may never be back.

We are out here together, you and I. We can make this work.

Thank you,

A. Truck Driver

Fire and Rescue College

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19th Annual Fire and Rescue College Coming Up at Cleveland Community College Banquet to Feature U.S. Marine Corps and Vietnam Veteran Clebe McClary

The 19th Annual Cleveland County Fire and Rescue College will be held November 8-10 at the Brown Emergency Training Center located on the campus of Cleveland Community College. The weekend-long event offers training to dedicated fire and rescue personnel who travel from all over North Carolina and surrounding states to participate. This year’s College will offer instruction from Vincent Dunn, FDNY and James P. Smith of the Philadelphia FD. Over six-hundred emergency personnel have already registered to participate in classes focusing on certifications and rescue operations. A live burn will begin at 1 pm on Sunday, November 10, in addition to many other rescue and fire exercises throughout the day.

This year’s Fire and Rescue College Banquet will feature United States Marine Corps veteran, Clebe McClary. McClary suffered devastating injuries in the line of duty during the Vietnam War. Undeterred, he brings his story of strength, determination, and courage to motivate audiences all over the world. The Banquet will be held on Saturday, November 9, at 7 PM at the LeGrand Center and the public is invited to attend. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Brown Emergency Training Center at 704-669-4193.

For more information about the Fire and Rescue College contact CCC Emergency Training Center Coordinator, Jimmy Hensley, at (704) 669-6656 or 980-721-6340. The Fire and Rescue College is sponsored by Cleveland Community College, Cleveland County Training Officer’s Association and the Cleveland County Firefighter’s Association.

250 Pounds Of Litter Picked Up By Keep Shelby Beautiful Volunteers!

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On September 28th, Students and faculty members of the Shelby High School Environmental Club, chose to spend their Saturday morning picking up litter along First Broad River Tributary 19 that flows behind Optimist Park in Shelby.

As flow volume increases in a creek or stream, debris is washed downstream until it is trapped or the flow volume normalizes. This causes litter to be distributed into locations that are difficult to access without physically entering the stream.  The members of the club were unabated by the thought of getting dirty and picked up 250 pounds of litter on the quarter mile stretch of stream that flows from the park to Leander Street.

Ben Yarboro, the City Engineer, stated, “The City of Shelby was issued a NPDES Phase II Stormwater Permit in December 2012.  This permit includes six minimum measures that must be implemented to control the discharge of pollutants from our municipal storm sewer system to the maximum extent practicable.  This recently completed stream sweep met one of the Public Involvement and Participation goals outlined in the Phase II Stormwater permit and the City of Shelby Comprehensive Stormwater Management Program.”

Keep Shelby Beautiful knows that clean communities are not just nice to look at – they are economically vibrant and environmentally healthy places where people want to live, work, shop and play. Service to the community is the ultimate declaration of love for where you live and for the people you share it with. Volunteer service is an important way that anyone can contribute to improving the quality of life in the community.

Thank you Shelby High School Environmental Club for your service to help keep Shelby beautiful! To find out more about how you can help keep Shelby clean and beautiful, contact Keep Shelby Beautiful Coordinator, Jordan Tubbs at 704-484-6829 or email jordan.tubbs@cityofshelby.com.

Photo Descriptions:  Photos- Shelby High School Environmental Club, September 28th Stream Sweep

1. Shelby High School Environmental Club LSWP 2 – Group Pose (Victoria Medina, Rebecca Burton, Charles Dixon and Heather Canipe) Not pictured: Sydney Fen

2. Shelby High School Environmental Club LSWP 1 – Rebecca Burton Picks up a butterfinger wrapper

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New Members Join CCC Board of Trustees


Three new members and one reappointed member recently were sworn in as members of the Cleveland Community College Board of Trustees. New board members include Allen Langley, June Yarboro, and Jonathan Miller.  Greg Melton was reaappointed to a new term.

Allen Langley was appointed by Governor Pat McCrory.  Mr. Langley is president of H & H Pest Control and Waterproofing. He and his wife, Amanda, have two daughters and reside in Shelby.

June D. Yarboro was appointed by the Cleveland County Board of Education.  Mrs. Yarboro retired from Cleveland County Schools where she taught at Burns High School. She and her husband, Ed, have two daughters and live in Shelby.

Greg Melton was reappointed by the Cleveland County Board of Commissioners.  He is an architect at Holland and Hamrick Architects. He and his wife, Emily, live in Shelby.

Langley, Yarboro, and Melton were appointed to four-year terms ending June 30, 2017.

Jonathan Miller was elected president of the CCC Student Government Association.  He serves on the Board as an ex-officio non-voting trustee.  Mr. Miller is pursuing an Associate in Applied Science degree in Emergency Medical Services. He lives in Shelby.

Other members of the CCC Board of Trustees include: Hoyt Q. Bailey, Chairman; Patsy Rose, Vice Chairman; Michael Cheng; Jim Gold; Gordon Hamrick; Ronnie Hawkins; Ellis P. Monroe; William Thompson; and Chris Turner.

Picture included: l-r  Jonathan Miller, Greg Melton, June Yarboro, and Allen Langley recently joined the Cleveland Community College Board of Trustees. New members, include Jonathan Miller, June Yarboro, and Allen Langley. Greg Melton was reappointed to a new term. Photo submitted by CCC.