On Monday (Aug. 2nd) Lincoln County Commission Chairman Carrol Mitchem bid an early farewell to Planning Director Randy Hawkins. Hawkins, who is retiring, will attend one more County Commissioners meeting (Monday Aug. 16th). Mitchem thanked him for his years of service and said he'll be missed. Hawkins said that from his previous job as a reporter for the Lincoln Times-News to his years as Planning Director, he has been attending commissioners meetings for over 40 years.
On Tuesday (Aug. 3rd) the Lincoln County Board of Education approved its COVID-19 Protocol for the school year which begins for students August 23rd. By a 4-3 vote, the board approved making mask wearing purely optional for students, teachers and other personnel. Masks will still have to be worn on buses under a federal edict.
The School Board also approved Alysha Tench as the new assistant principal at Rock Springs and Jeff Gavin as the new Instructional Facilitator for the district.
Mrs. Tench, a graduate of North Lincoln High School, has worked at North Lincoln Middle School as a math and science teacher for the past eleven years. She served as Science Department Chair, MTSS Chair, and facilitated and scheduled NLMS Student Clubs for the past three years. Tench graduated from Western Carolina University with a BS in Middle Grades Education in 2010. She received her Master’s in Executive Leadership Studies from Gardner-Webb University in 2013.
Gavin previously worked with Lincoln County Schools as the media coordinator at East Lincoln High and Lincolnton High from 2007-2014. Since 2014, he has worked at the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library as the Teen Lead Librarian, Children’s Library Manager, and Adult Librarian. Gavin graduated from State University of NY at Geneseo in 1989 with a Bachelor of Science in Management and received a Master of Arts in Teaching Special Education from the College of New Jersey in 1996, and a Master of Library and Information Studies from UNC-Greensboro in 2007.
Tuesday was also National Night Out in Lincolnton. Members of the City Council, Police Dept. and Fire Dept. made the rounds to 11 community gatherings. NNO was also celebrated in Gaston County, where the event was held at the county park on the Dallas-Cherryville Highway.
On Thursday (August 5th) Stanley held its second Music on Main concert. Gary Lowder and Smokin' Hot entertained. The final summer concert will be August 26th when the Embers will be the band.
Thursday evening, the Lincolnton City Council heard a presentation by David Lutz, who wants the City to rebuild a pedestrian bridge crossing the railroad from the Oaklawn community to the Main Street side of the tracks. Lutz said he had seen people trying to use the narrow area beside traffic lanes on the Generals Blvd. bridge over the railroad and had talked with residents who told him homeless people had been scaling the banks of the railroad to cross the tracks.
The Council also approved an application by Cruisin' for a Cause to sell alcoholic beverages (beer, wine) at its September 18th 5 - 9 PM event. This will be the eleventh year for Cruisin' for a Cause, which closes off a portion of East Main Street from the Courtsquare to Laurel and charges $5 to cruise or $15 to cruise and park. Food vendors sell food; owners of classic cars put them on display, and the beer tent will be at the south side of Main at Academy (same as for Alive After Five events). Money raised goes to local non-profits.
Also Thursday, the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office hosted its National Night Out, two days later than most places in the country (there are some locations that hold their NNO events in October--when it's cooler). The event included most other Lincoln County first responders, law enforcement, etc. as well as a variety of other participating groups. It was held in the field adjacent to Walmart on NC73.
On Friday, with COVID-19 cases all around the area showing the biggest numbers since February, Gaston County Public Health announced that those who get their COVID vaccination at the Gaston County Health Dept. on Hudson Blvd. in Gastonia, will receive a $100 gift card. Cleveland County is also participating in the program funded by NCDHHS. [Lincoln & Catawba counties are not included.]
Saturday started with the River Sweep by Keep Lincoln County Beautiful--a cleanup of the South Fork River from the kayak landing at Betty Ross Park to Laboratory. For those not making the trip on the river, the morning was spent cleaning up the park and kayak launch area.
Saturday night's big event was this year's Lincoln County Apple Queen Pageant, sponsored by the BPW.