Gaston County leaders head to Tennessee

October 21, 2013 

Gaston leaders head to Tennessee

More than 25 Gaston County leaders will travel to Franklin, Tenn., for an Inter-City Visit on Oct. 23-25. The trip is a joint effort of the Gaston Regional and the Montcross Area Chambers of Commerce.

“Gaston County is a thriving area with many opportunities for growth. We look forward to gathering ideas and learning from others who have succeeded in reshaping their communities,” said John Kimbrell, Gaston Regional Chamber president/CEO.

The Williamson County area of Tennessee was chosen as the Chambers’ destination for its similarity to Gaston County. Williamson is 20 minutes from Nashville while Gaston County is a similar distance from Charlotte. Williamson County has been successful at parlaying their location into an economic engine that drives a thriving, revitalized community. The Gaston County group will meet with representatives from Williamson Public Schools, the Williamson Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, Williamson County Chamber of Commerce, as well as downtown revitalization and economic development organizations. For more information about the Inter-City Visit, call 704-864-2621.

Siopa on Main plans holiday market

Siopa On Main in downtown Clover is hosting a Holiday Market event from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays through Dec. 21 at the shop, 112 S. Main St.

The organizers are looking for vendors of arts, hand-crafted items, home decor and home-based businesses to participate. For information, call 704-813-2882 or 704-648-7600, or go to and complete the contact form.

OSHA compliance training this week

A two-day OSHA safety certification course will be held for general industry and construction firms from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 24-25 at the Charlotte Police & Fire Training Academy, 1770 Shopton Road.

The program is intended to help businesses stay current on requirements of the Occupational Safety & Health Act. The course teaches recognition, avoidance, abatement and prevention of safety and health exposures in business and industry. Information regarding worker’s rights, employer’s responsibilities and how to file a compliant will be included.

The classes are open to the public. Both general industry and construction programs will run concurrently. Membership in ASSE is not required. Either course costs $99.

Participants will receive an official 10-hour Department of Labor OSHA Card.

Visit or email to register or for more information.

Farmers market open Saturday

Fort Mill’s new farmers market is open at 121 Monroe St.

The market is managed by the Fort Mill Economic Council in cooperation with the town of Fort Mill and runs from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26.

The market is for vendors selling agricultural products, produce and plants produced or grown themselves in South Carolina or North Carolina. Brokers will not be allowed. Each 10-by-10 space costs $10, and vendors provide their own tent.

Completed applications and the required documentation must be received two weeks before the vendor expects to sell. Applications are available by calling 803-207-0851 or by emailing

Register by Saturday for Christmas in the Country

Christmas in the Country, hosted by The Market at Inman Farms, will be Nov. 30 at the peach packing shed. The event will offer handmade gifts, and items from local growers and artisans.

There is no fee to register, but space is limited. Vendors will have the option of doing a trunk show, tailgate display, or setting up a booth in the field.

Deadline to register is Saturday, Oct. 26.

Call 803-207-6682.

Friends in Business meeting Nov. 6

The Lake Wylie Friends in Business will hold its November Breakfast Meeting at 8 a.m. Nov. 6 at Cafe 49, 4516 Charlotte Hwy.

The Lake Wylie Friends in Business is a local business networking group and is seeking new members. The group meets twice a month. The November lunch meeting will b held at 11:30 a.m. Nov. 20 at All Saints Catholic Church. Catered lunch available. Visitors are welcome. Visit for more information.

Home buying workshop Nov. 12

A free workshop for first-time homebuyers will begin at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 12 at the city of Rock Hill’s Housing & Neighborhood Services office on Johnston Street.

“Home-Buying Made Easy” is sponsored by Family Trust Federal Credit Union and The Housing Development Corp. of Rock Hill. Kim Gillette, a Family Trust mortgage loan originator, will explain how to qualify for a mortgage, the types of loans, the differences between fixed and adjustable rates, and how to apply. Handouts will be provided.

Participants also will learn about the Housing Development Corp.’s First-Time Homebuyer’s Program, which provides education, and down payment and closing cost assistance to eligible first-time homebuyers.

The workshop is part of Family Trust’s “Know Your Dough,” a series of money-management workshops offered free throughout York County.

Participants must register in advance at or by calling 803-326-2187.

Mellow Mushroom coming to Rock Hill

Mellow Mushroom has acquired the former Harry and Jean’s restaurant in Manchester Village.

The franchise owner purchased the vacant restaurant for $975,000, according to broker NAI Avant of Columbia.

The pizzeria is expected to open in spring 2014, according to NAI Avant.

Harry and Jean’s closed in May 2010 after a nine-year run. Owner Ralph Mercanto cited sagging sales because of the economy.

The location, off Dave Lyle Boulevard, is adjacent to Moe’s Southwest Grill, Cold Stone Creamery and Fuel Pizza Cafe.

K.C. Campbell, a manager at Moe’s Southwest Grill, said the opening of the Mellow Mushroom may affect her business initially, but not in the long run. She said it may bring her more customers.

Mellow Mushroom is the latest franchise restaurant to locate along the Dave Lyle corridor. Other recent additions are Five Guys Burger and Fries, Buffalo Wild Wings, Newk’s Eatery, all on Dave Lyle Boulevard near the Rock Hill Galleria.

This is the fourth Mellow Mushroom restaurant in the Charlotte region. The company also has several locations in South Carolina, including Columbia and Spartanburg.

Outlet mall construction under way

Construction crews broke ground on Charlotte’s first outlet mall on Sept. 20, and executives said the mall’s anchor tenant will be Saks 5th Avenue Off Fifth.

Charlotte Premium Outlets is being built as a joint venture by mall companies Simon Property Group and Tanger Factory Outlet Centers. The companies had originally announced plans to build competing outlet malls in the Charlotte region about 22 miles apart.

The outlet mall is expected to open next summer off Interstate 485 on Steele Creek Road. Executives said they expect it to generate $140 million in annual sales and employ about 800 full- and part-time workers.

Simon and Tanger are each 50 percent owners of the project. Tanger is developing the site and supervising construction, while Simon will manage the mall and provide marketing services.

The companies have said they will share leasing duties.

The mall is expected to be just under 400,000 square feet, and will have an estimated 90 retailers.

The 82-acre, largely-wooded property in southwest Charlotte is bordered by Steele Creek Road, Shopton Road, Dixie River Road and I-485.

The outlet mall is Tanger’s first venture into Charlotte, though the company owns outlets in Mebane and Blowing Rock. Simon owns SouthPark mall and Concord Mills.

Arts Council hires artistic director

The Arts Council of York County announces Mary Lynn Norton has joined the staff at the Center for the Arts and the Community Performance Center as artistic director and facilities manager.

Norton is well connected throughout the county and is experienced in visual and performing arts and facilities management. She recently retired from the Culture and Heritage Museums after working in various capacities with the organization for more than 31 years. During her tenure, she curated more than 300 art exhibitions and received the Southeastern Museum Association’s Curator Award for Excellence in 2003; SC Federation of Museums Award of Achievement in 1994; and SC Museum Art Educator of the Year in 1997.

Norton authored accompanying text and a biographical sketch for Harry N. Abrams publications – “Vernon Grant’s Santa Claus and Vernon Grant’s Mother Goose.” In 2002, Norton became site director for the McCelvey Center where she directed overall operations of the facility and the Lowry Family Theater. She administered the upgrade of the theater’s state-of-the-art sound, light and digital renovations and executed the theater’s program offerings. Norton has organized festivals and craft fairs, and has juried arts exhibitions in the region.

For more information on Arts Council events, call 803-328-2787.

Children’s Theatre leader leaving

Bruce LaRowe, executive director of Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, has announced he will step down at the end of December.

His tenure as the Theatre’s leader spans 20 years. Prior to joining CTC, he served two years as director of development with Belmont Abbey College and eight years as associate director of the Arts & Science Council of Charlotte-Mecklenburg..

With an annual budget of $4.1 million, Children’s Theatre employs a full-time staff of 36 and part-time staff of 43. The theater produces 12 plays each season and provides a comprehensive theatre education program.

Jami Farris, Children’s Theatre’s board chair who is a partner at Parker Poe, will coordinate a transition and search process with the Theatre’s Board of Directors.

Business workshop offered at Winthrop

A workshop on “How to Start A Small Business” will be offered from 6 to 8 p.m. Nov. 12 in room 208 of the College of Business (Thurmond Building) at Winthrop University.

The workshop includes business basics, developing a business plan, anticipated expense and projected income, and allows for questions.

Cost is $25; materials provided. Sign up online at

‘She’s Strong’ begins Nov. 14

Elite Combat Defense Tactics, suite 102 at Shoppes at the Landing, is offering a 12-week “She’Strong” course for females ages 15 and older beginning Nov. 14.

This course is focused on teaching women how to defend themselves against an assault. The course consists of two classes a week for 12 weeks to ensure each participant feels comfortable with the techniques so it can be instantly recalled if a situation occurs.

Coaches are owner Eric Schanno and head coach Josh Flamm. Flamm started boxing in Brooklyn, N.Y., at the age of 5 moving to kickboxing at 10. At 15, he started Karate and then Taekwondo, gaining senior levels of black belt in both. He trained and instructed in Krav Maga, Jiu Jitsu and MMA through his 20s and 30s, enhancing the overall aspects of his self-defense program.

To sign up or for more information, call 803-746-7176 or visit

Vet office under new ownership

Ebenezer Animal Hospital, 2445 Ebenezer Road, welcomes new owners Dr. Jay Hreiz and April Splawn.

Dr. Lorin Lawrence sold the animal hospital he has owned since 1986 to the existing employees. Despite the change in ownership, the doctors and staff of Ebenezer will remain consistent. Lawrence will be staying with the hospital as a part-time associate veterinarian. Dr. April Mafturak will stay on as a full-time associate veterinarian, and Hreiz will continue practicing veterinary medicine in addition to taking on his new ownership responsibilities.

In addition to providing care for dogs and cats, Hreiz also enjoys seeing exotic animals such as birds, reptiles, rabbits and “pocket pets.” His practice interests include internal medicine, exotics care, and surgery.

Splawn joined Ebenezer in 2002 while she was attending Law School at the University of South Carolina. After graduating, she accepted the job as hospital administrator of Ebenezer Animal Hospital.

Clover Vet seeks food donations

Clover Vet, 1565 Hwy. 557, will be accepting donations of pet food in November for area assistance programs and to be distributed during the holiday season.

Assistance programs supply food and other items to more than 20,000 people in western York County, but one overlooked item is pet food and supplies.

For more information, call 803-222-7381 or 803-417-3145.

Join Gaston network program

The Gaston Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Prospects Pipeline meets at 4 p.m. the second and fourth Thursday of the month at the chamber office, 601 W. Franklin Blvd.

Each participant has an allotted time to talk about their business and its value.

Register to attend online at

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