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Top News Stories Jan. 11-25, 2012
WHY: This list will be issued twice monthly to assist media in identifying potential news stories that reflect the total spectrum of Mecklenburg County government services.


1. Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to be Celebrated in Charlotte-Mecklenburg
Beginning Thursday Jan. 12, Charlotte-Mecklenburg will celebrate the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., one of history’s greatest champions of peace, pluralism and diversity, with a weekend of events:
  • CMS Martin Luther King, Jr. Art and Writing Contest Awards Ceremony: Thursday, Jan. 12, 6 - 8 p.m. – West Charlotte High School. School winners will be recognized and district level competition winners will be announced. All first place winners receive an honorarium and have an opportunity to share their work at the Gantt Center on Jan. 16 from 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m..
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Parade: Saturday, Jan. 14, 11:00 a.m. Beginning at N. Tryon and 9th and continuing to Stonewall Street
  •  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial and Wreath Laying Ceremony: Sunday, Jan. 15, 2 p.m. – 800 East Third Street. A ceremony will be held in Marshall Park to commemorate the life and untimely death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Council Member LaWana Mayfield, Kojo Nantambu of the NAACP, Yusuf Yee, Former Chaplain at Guantanamo Bay and Dr. Patrick Gram of the Urban League will lead the ceremony at the King Statue. The benediction will be provided by Reverend Sonja Lee. Gail Jackson Ford will be present as a special guest soloist.
  • Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Prayer Breakfast: Monday, Jan. 16, 7 a.m. – The Westin Charlotte Hotel. The H. L. McCrorey Family YMCA presents its 18th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Prayer Breakfast at the Charlotte Westin, 601 South College Street, in uptown Charlotte. Individual tickets are $35 and sponsorships are available. Call 704-716-6500 for ticket and sponsorship information.
  • Hands On Charlotte Hosts MLK Week of Service:  The MLK Week of Service will include not only dozens of group- and family-friendly service projects across the city during the week, but also the second MLK Service Forum on the King Holiday of Monday, Jan. 16, at the Mecklenburg Park and Recreation’s Grady Cole Center. More information and online sign-ups are available at www.handsoncharlotte.org.  
2. Jan. 18 BOCC Regular Meeting
Commissioners will receive an update on Envision Charlotte during the first BOCC regular meeting of 2012. Envision Charlotte is a public-private partnership aimed at making commercial buildings in Charlotte’s urban core more energy efficient.

3. Low Income Energy Assistance Applications Accepted Through January 31st
The Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services will continue accepting applications for the Low Income Energy Assistance Program through the end of the month. To file an application, visit DSS at either of its two locations.

4. Information Meeting Set for County-funded Nonprofit Community Service Grants
Representatives of eligible nonprofit organizations that offer services to Mecklenburg County residents are invited to a Community Service Grants information session. As part of the annual budget process, area nonprofit organizations can submit applications to the County for funding consideration. The County will release its request for proposals for the 2013 fiscal year on Feb. 1, 2012. The information session is at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2012, in Room 267 of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Government Center, 600 East Fourth Street in Charlotte. Priority is given to services with proven success strategies. Mecklenburg County funds nonprofit services that contribute to the following target areas: 
  • Improve the high school graduation rate 
  • Train and place unemployed workers 
  • Prevent health risks and disease 
  • Promote financial self-sufficiency
5. Operation College Launch
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library's annual college preparatory program, Operation College Launch (OCL) is underway. The program informs teenagers and their parents of the information needed for a future beyond high school. These events range from figuring out exactly how to pay for a college education, to writing the best scholarship essay, all of which are free to the public. The program will conclude in the spring. Be sure to visit the Operation College Launch website or www.cmlibrary.org for details.

6. Do the Write Thing Essay Challenge
Entries for the annual Do the Write Thing essay contest are due Feb. 6. Participants are asked to write about ways to prevent youth violence. For more information, contact Mecklenburg County Community Support Services at 704-336-8630.

7. Tailgate Recyclers 2011 Cap Successful Season
The Panthers Tailgate Recycling Partners wrapped up a successful 2011 season collecting more than 31 tons – about 62,000 pounds worth -- of recyclable material. Panthers Tailgate Recycling Partners include Bojangles’, the City of Charlotte Solid Waste Services/Special Services, Charlotte Center City Partners, Charlotte Checkers, Hands On Charlotte, Rubbermaid, Providence High School, and the Carolina Panthers. The partnership hopes to continue to increase awareness and participation by increasing communication and education efforts.




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