Ice skating rink opens near SouthPark Mall
CHARLOTTE – Winter Wonderland kicked off its 2018-19 season on Nov. 17.
This year’s attraction features a 40 percent larger, 142-foot ice-skating rink, as well as more holiday lights, décor and attractions, including daily afternoon snowfall and heated tents for private holiday parties.
Santa’s Pub, an adult bounce house with a full bar, and Tree Elves, a service that sends elves to deliver Fraser Fir Christmas trees to your door, will have locations at the event. Hot chocolate, coffee and food will be available.
The experience will open at 3 p.m. Monday through Friday and at 11 a.m. on the weekends. Hours change to 11 a.m. daily from Dec. 17 to Jan. 7 at Symphony Park (parking lot behind Dicks Sporting Goods), 4400 Sharon Road.
Winter Wonderland is free. Ice skating with personal skates costs $12. Skating, plus skate rental, costs $17. Season passes are available for $149 for the remainder of the season.
Visit www.winterwonderlandsouthpark.com for details.
Circle K nets $200K scratch-off
CHARLOTTE – Francisco Garcia started shaking and sweating after scratching a $5 Mega Millions/Powerball ticket he bought Nov. 12 at the Circle K on Providence Road.
The concrete worker couldn’t believe he won the $200,000 prize. He took home $141,003 after required state and federal tax withholdings. He plans to use the money to buy a house.
Two top prizes of $200,000 remain in the scratch-off game.
The Salvation Army receives $5 million grant
CHARLOTTE – The Salvation Army of Greater Charlotte received a $5 million grant Nov. 20 to launch an access-to-employment program and expand shelter options for families.
The Salvation Army was among 24 nonprofits to receive Day 1 Families Fund grants, totaling $97.5 million. Grants are from the Bezos Day One Fund, which was founded by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and his wife, MacKenzie.
Deronda Metz, director of social services for The Salvation Army, said the community is missing dedicated shelter space to serve intact families. She added the grant will help the charity determine a plan for serving those families and tackle deep-rooted, systemic problems that keep people in poverty.
Caroline Calouche presents ‘Clara’s Trip,’ ‘Rouge,’ ‘Lingua’
CHARLOTTE – Caroline Calouche & Co. presents a series of performances at Booth Playhouse:
• “Clara’s Trip: A Cirque & Dance Nutcracker Story,” about a girl who breaks her ankle and has dreams at the hospital of friends and gifts, starts at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 7, 2 and 7 p.m. Dec. 8 and 2 p.m. Dec. 9. Tickets cost $20 to $45.
• “Rouge,” a show billed as a mashup of “Cabaret,” DaVinci and “Saturday Night Live,” starts at 9 p.m. Feb. 8 and 5 and 9 p.m. Feb. 9. Tickets cost $30 to $40.
• “Lingua,” a show that explores how people speaking different languages perceive time and space, starts at 8 p.m. April 12 and 2 and 8 p.m. April 13. Tickets cost $30 to $35.
The aerial and contemporary dance company is located at 9315 Monroe Road.
Call 704-844-0449 or visit www.carolinec alouche.org for details.
Charlotte Prep student excels on test, Duke notices
CHARLOTTE – Duke University recognized Charlotte Prep student Emilio Llerenas for being among the nation’s most academically gifted middle school students.
The Duke TIP Talent Search identifies students based on standardized test scores and invited them to take the ACT or SAT alongside college-bound 11th and 12th-grade students.
Students score in the 95th percentile on the test during seventh grade to qualify.
Ardrey Kell presents ‘1984’
CHARLOTTE – Ardrey Kell High School theater teacher Brian Seagroves and student director John Parker Demos sought a fall production with an interesting script that would challenge advanced theater students and create a cohesive cast.
They chose an adaptation of George Orwell’s “1984.” Directors said actors have challenged themselves to expand their range as artists and embraced the mature nature of the show.
Performances start at 6 p.m. Nov. 30, 2 and 7 p.m. Nov. 1 and 4 p.m. Nov. 2 in the school auditorium, 10220 Ardrey Kell Road. Tickets cost $10 at the door.
Visit www.ardreykelltheatre.com for details.
Grant provides pathway to economic mobility
CHARLOTTE – The Gambrell Foundation of Charlotte has pledged $1 million to Central Piedmont Community College to create the Gambrell Opportunity Scholarships.
The grant will support 75 recent graduates of CMS high schools that serve majority low-income student populations. The scholarships will provide for the full cost of a two-year associates degree. Recipients also receive laptops, full-time academic advisor/career coach and academic enrichment program.
The first class will begin in fall 2019.
America’s ToothFairy launches giving campaign
CHARLOTTE – America’s ToothFairy hopes to overcome financial barriers to care with its “Be the ToothFairy” campaign, which launched on #GivingTuesday, Nov. 27.
The campaign allows donors to sponsor annual preventive dental care and oral health education for up to five children.
“This campaign offers affordable options for anyone who wants to help a child avoid the pain and suffering of tooth decay by preventing it from happening in the first place,” Executive Director Jill Malmgren said.
A monthly sponsorship as low as $10 provides two annual check-ups, fluoride treatment and oral health education.
Visit bit.ly/BeTheToothFairy for details.
DMV adds more driver license examiners to offices
RALEIGH – The N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles has added 16 new driver license examiner graduates to 13 offices to improve service, including Nathan Tibbs at the South Charlotte duty station.
The new employees bring the number of positions to 139 the DMV has filled since Aug. 1. Driver license examiners make up 75 of those vacancies.
DMV has also instituted express lines, established dedicated road test teams and used additional customer service representatives to help people in line ensure they have the appropriate documents.
Waverly kicks off season with holiday traditions
CHARLOTTE – Waverly hosts a series of holiday events that include music, shopping, sweet treats and visits from Santa.
Appearances take place 5 to 7:30 p.m. at The Terrace on the following dates:
• Dec. 5: Santa and Olaf from “Disney’s Frozen.”
• Dec. 12: Santa and Elsa and Anna from “Disney’s Frozen.”
• Dec. 19: Santa and Frosty.
106.5 WEND will broadcast live and play holiday songs. Waverly will raffle off a $100 restaurant gift card weekly and collect new, unwrapped toys and shoes for Kids First of the Carolinas.
Charlotte among top digital cities in the country
CHARLOTTE – The Center for Digital Government named Charlotte one of the top five digital cities with populations of 500,000 or more, as part of the 18th annual Digital Cities Survey.
Charlotte is in the company of cities such as Los Angeles, San Diego, Louisville, Kentucky and Denver.
The survey considered 10 key characteristics of a digital city: open, citizen-centric, collaborative, secure, staffed/supported, connected, efficient, resilient and innovative with the use of best practices.