Joffree Hotel Parking Lot To Get Facelift

Pete HovanecMonroe, NC – In an effort to both enhance the aesthetic appearance and improve safety of the Joffree Hotel parking lot at Main and Franklin streets, the City of Monroe will begin a renovation that could have the lot closed for up to three weeks.

City staff will close the lot Wednesday and Thursday (Sept. 15 and 16) to stage materials and determine if portions of the lot can remain open during the work which includes the construction of a retaining wall with a set of steps leading to Main Street, landscaping, additional gravel and curb stops to delineate the parking spaces.

“These improvements will not only be another enhancement to Downtown Monroe, they will also make the parking lot safer and better organized.”

- Pete Hovanec, Communications & Tourism Officer

The material cost of the project is estimated at roughly $21,560 and construction should be completed within three to four weeks depending on the weather. Once complete, the lot will be able to accommodate approximately 50 vehicles.

For more information, call (704) 282-4542.

2010 MonroeScoop

Obituary, Margaret Heafner, 84

Margaret HeafnerMrs. Heafner, 84, passed away at her home on September 8, 2010.

Monnie was born on September 30, 1925 in Wilmington, to the late Luther C. Gore and Ollie Smith Gore. She is also preceded in death by her husband, William C. Heafner; and brother, James Gore.

Graveside services to celebrate her life will be held today at 2PM at Sharon Memorial Park, with Reverend Mark Curtis officiating.

She worked for Sealtest for 23 years and later worked and retired from the Charlotte Observer after 18 years. Her favorite pastime was gardening. She was a member of Zion United Methodist Church.

She is survived by her daughter, Wanda H. Hartis; son, Wesley C. Heafner (Susan); sister, Dorothy Gore; grandchildren, Wendy Vest (Harold), Rhonda Bustard (Brian), Luke Heafner (Allison), and Jonathan Heafner; great-grandchildren, Brad, Sara, Lydia, Logan, and Kendall; cousin, Betty Stillwell; and many relatives and friends.

In lieu of flowers, memorials contributions may be made to Hospice of Union County or to Zion U.M.C.

Arrangements are in care of Heritage Funeral Home, Indian Trail Chapel. Online condolences may be left at

2010 Monroe Scoop

Red Cross To Honor Public-Nominated Heroes. Deadline September 15

Union County Red Cross HeroesUnion County, NC – Do you know a real hero, someone who has done something extraordinary, perhaps saved a life or made a positive difference in the community? If so, the American Red Cross of Union County wants to know.

The chapter is recognizing extraordinary citizens of Union and Anson counties for their outstanding contributions at a Real Heroes Breakfast. But you, the public, must nominate citizens who you know are real heroes.

There are heroes all around you. They may be people you know – family members, friends, coworkers – or perhaps strangers whose good deeds you read about in the newspaper or heard about on the evening news. The recipients of this year’s Heroes Awards will demonstrate different ways of helping or comforting a neighbor in need.

“Everyday, residents disregard their personal safety and needs to help another person in an emergency, whether it is a health emergency, rescue situation, physical endangerment or other type of distressful situation. These folks may have very different backgrounds and experiences, but they share a willingness to respond to help another person. The Heroes Breakfast is a chance for us to honor those who have made the simple, yet powerful decision to put their personal needs aside in order to help others.”

- Sheila Crunkleton, Red Cross Development Director

Who is a hero? A hero can be someone who bravely acts in a time of immediate need or someone who simply lives his or her life in a way that shows they care for those around them. Heroes are ordinary people whose actions demonstrate the potential that is in all of us. If someone is a hero in your eyes, the Red Cross encourages you to nominate them.

To nominate a hero, choose the most convenient nomination method:

  • Fill out the online nomination form at at the Heroes tab.
  • Request a nomination form by calling (704) 283-7402.
  • Pick up a form at the Red Cross office at 608 E. Franklin Street in Monroe.

Nominee(s) must live or work in Union or Anson counties and the heroic act must have taken place on or between July 1, 2009 and June 30, 2010. Self-nominations are not permitted. All nominations will be subject to verification.

Nominations should be received by September 15. Heroes will be selected by a Red Cross Heroes selection committee.

The 2010 Heroes Breakfast is Tuesday, Sept. 28 at Monroe Country Club. Breakfast begins at 7:30 a.m., followed by the program from 8 a.m. to 8:45 a.m.

To join in the celebration of honoring these local heroes, you can purchase tickets for $15 a person.

To register for the event, contact the Red Cross at (704) 283-7402.

2010 Monroe Scoop

Obituary, Eugene Lee McRorie, 82

Eugene Lee McRorieEugene Lee McRorie, 82, passed away on September 4, 2010 at Presbyterian Hospital.

Mr. McRorie was born in Mecklenburg County on April 30, 1928 to the late Dallas McRorie and Pearl Berry McRorie. Eugene was also preceded in death by brothers, Clifford and Patrick.

A memorial service to celebrate his life will be held on Friday, September 10, 2010 at 11AM, at Matthews Presbyterian Church with Pastor William C. Pederson officiating. The family will receive friends at 10:00 a.m. in the Fellowship Building.

Eugene served in the US Navy during WWII. He retired from Exxon after 35 years of service. He loved airplanes and carpentry.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 61 years, Betty; daughter, Victoria Wheeler (Beau); sons, Dallas C. II (Kathy), Michael (Sandy), and Daniel (Diane); grandchildren, Christopher, Chelsey, Casey, Carly, Cassidy, Chandler (Sarah), and Melissa (Josiah). Also surviving are sisters, Mary Ellen Benton (Ray), Carroll Flowe (Lee), Ann Whiddon (Carl), and Lucia Lane. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Matthews Presbyterian Church- Building Fund.

Arrangements are in the care of Heritage Funeral Home, Indian Trail Chapel. Online condolences may be left at

2010 Monroe Scoop

Union Smart Start Receives $30,000 In Grants

Union County, NC – Union Smart Start has received two grants totaling $30,000 to provide services to pre-school children in Union County.

A $25,000 grant will support the Smart Start ABCD Project, which works with physician practices to implement standardized developmental screenings for young children.

“The grant is greatly needed, statistics show that 16 percent of all children have some form of disability, including speech and language delays, cognitive impairment, learning disabilities and emotional or behavioral problems. The numbers are even higher for low-income children. Early detection of delays, risks and disabilities is the key to these children’s success in life.”

- Mary Ann Rasberry, Executive Director Union Smart Start

The ABCD Project (Assuring Better Child Health and Development) is designed to “move away from the wait and see approach,” explained ABCD Coordinator Stephanie Finley. “That can be too late. We want children to get the needed services early so they can start kindergarten on level.”

Across the nation, approximately 70 percent of these disabilities are not detected before the child enters school. Children who participate in early intervention programs prior to kindergarten are more likely to graduate from high school, hold jobs, live independently and avoid teen pregnancy, delinquency and violent crime.

The American Academy of Pediatrics also calls the early identification of developmental disorders “critical to the wellbeing of children and their families.”

Union Smart Start was one of 10 Smart Start agencies to receive the grant from the North Carolina Partnership for Children, Inc., which administers the state Smart Start program.

In fiscal year 2009-2010, the ABCD Project worked with 13 medical practices in Union County and impacted 3,874 Medicaid children. An estimated 77 percent of children received a developmental screening with an NC Pediatric Society approved tool at their most recent well child visit.

Physicians participating in ABCD receive diagnostic tools to use during child visits, supplies for parents to take home, as well as technical assistance and community sources of referral. ABCD also provides information to help parents understand their children’s progress and referrals to area agencies.

Union Smart Start also earned a $5,000 second-year grant from the TJX Foundation to support the Smart Start Best Start program.

Best Start is a comprehensive parenting program that supports adolescent and teen mothers in Union County Public Schools during their pregnancy and after the baby is born. Coordinators serve as links between the student, her school, family and primary care providers.

Best Start encourages teen parents to continue their education through graduation. Studies show that high school graduates are more able financially to care for their children, and children of graduates are more likely to graduate themselves.

Best Start also helps teen parents and families adapt to their new roles by teaching life skills needed to parent young children. It reinforces positive parent-child interactions, assists during crises and connects mothers, children and their fathers to needed services.

In 2008, Union County’s teen birth rate was 24 pregnancies in every 1,000 teens ages 15 to 17. The North Carolina rate was 33 pregnancies per 1,000 teens. The county teen pregnancy rate for minorities was 45 per 1,000, above the state rate of 43.9.

In the 2009-2010 school year, Best Start served 80 students in the Monroe and Forest Hills school districts, including students in middle school. More than 85 percent of the students remained in school.
The ABCD Project is administered by Carolina Developmental Therapy Services, and Best Start is administered by Union County Public Schools.

Union Smart Start is a non-profit organization that distributes legislature-allocated funds in Union County. Smart Start is North Carolina’s early childhood initiative designed to ensure that young children enter school healthy and ready to succeed. Smart Start benefits children from birth to age 5 and their families.

2010 Monroe Scoop

Glug, Glug, Glug. Join Charlotte In The 60 Day No Fizz Weight Loss Campaign

stacey simms wbt radio

Stacey Simms. WBT Radio

A bunch of folks in Charlotte, including me, are starting a challenge today. We’re trying to drink more water. A lot more water! It’s called 60 in 60. It starts today and you can get all the info here at NoFizzCLT (@NoFizzCLT). In a nut shell, they’re asking us to drink 60 ounces of water every day for the next 60 days.

This started in May when personal trainer Bobby DeMuro (@bodemuro) asked people around here to give up soda for 30 days. I spoke to him for Health Headlines: The Show and he said the response was so good that he’d do more. So here’s the latest challenge.

I already drink at least 30 ounces of water a day, so I think it’s going to be interesting to see if I can actually get up to 60. I’m going to ask Bobby if I can count the plain seltzer I switched to this summer. (Sorry NoFizz, I still like the fizzy!). My new go-to cocktail is seltzer with a splash of cranberry juice, garnished with lime. I know – you want to party with me!

Please continue reading by visiting Stacy Simms blog

Steve Sherron

Monroe Toll Road Route Gets Final Federal Approval

Union County, NC – The Monroe Connector-Bypass has received final federal approval of its route, a major milestone for the long-sought project, the N.C. Turnpike Authority announced Tuesday.

video courtesy of News14

monroe bypass map

The authority can now proceed with seeking permits for the 19.7-mile toll road, detail a list of properties that will need to be purchased because they are in the project’s way, move ahead with financing plans and finalize the process for awarding the massive construction contract Oct. 28.

“This (approval) is the key to basically everything,” turnpike authority Chief Engineer Steve DeWitt said. “It’s a pretty big deal. … The project’s been talked about for 25 years or so.”

The road will link Interstate 485 with eastern Union County to ease congestion on U.S. 74, one of the few N.C. thoroughfares that runs from the coast to the mountains.

Construction costs are estimated to be $824 million, but final figures should be known shortly before construction starts in December. The road is expected to open in late 2014.

About 500 parcels will need to be purchased, including some with homes or businesses on them, because they are in the path of the road or its right-of-way, DeWitt said. The authority intends to contact about 10 percent to 15 percent of the property owners over the next few months if their land is clearly in the right-of-way.

Some property acquisition will occur this year but most will happen next year. Property owners can get more information by calling toll-free 877-550-6009 or e-mailing monroerightofway@ncturn .

The connector-bypass will start along U.S. 74 near I-485 and the Mecklenburg County line. It will go briefly east and then roughly parallel U.S. 74 until it reconnects with that highway just west of Marshville. The authority has estimated the road will save drivers nearly a half hour per trip driving time on U.S. 74.

Three joint ventures are finalists for the contract to design and build the road, a deal that could be worth about $500 million, according to the state.

Bonds are going to be sold to finance the project, and revenue from tolls will help pay off the bonds. The toll amounts have not been set yet.

The state does not expect to get limited, low-interest federal infrastructure loans to cover a third of the project’s cost, said Grady Rankin, the authority’s chief financial officer. In a tough economy, the loan program received a record number of requests.

Without that loan, the authority will sell additional bonds as the project’s overall financing cost will increase by about $100 million over the 40-year life of the bonds, Rankin said. Total project costs, including construction and bond financing, come to about $950 million.

About a third of the bonds will be sold in October, which is earlier than anticipated, to take advantage of stimulus rebates.

Adam Bell
Charlotte Observer
Monroe Scoop News Partner

CMC-Union And Union OB/GYN To Present MomArama 2010 On September 18

Union County, NC – Whether you are expecting a baby, thinking about starting a family, or already have children, you will want to check out MomArama 2010, a free mom and baby fair presented by Carolinas Medical Center-Union and Union Obstetrics and Gynecology. This event will be held on Saturday, September 18, 2010 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Union County Agricultural and Conference Center located at 3320-D Presson Road in Monroe.

Both new and expectant parents are invited to MomArama to learn about breastfeeding, prenatal care, well baby care, and much more. Local physicians will be available to answer questions and more than 60 vendors will be on-hand displaying and selling merchandise for babies, toddlers and moms.

All attendees will be registered to win door prizes and the first 500 women will also receive a free gift.

For more information, please call 704-296-4115 or visit

This event is sponsored by Brown’s Women’s Care, P.A., Indian Trail Pediatrics, Union County Music Together and Union Pediatrics.

2010 Monroe Scoop