Hope Mills News

Hope Mills Calendar

Meetings

For details about all meetings and activities, including location where not listed, call Town Clerk Jane Starling at 910-426-4113. Until the Parks and Recreation building has been repaired following damage from Hurricane Florence, some meetings may be moved to Luther Meeting Room at Town Hall at regular dates and times. Those meetings are noted with an asterisk below.

Board of Commissioners Monday Feb. 11, Luther Meeting Room, Town Hall This is a meeting to receive findings of a comprehensive plan and proposed master plan for the Hope Mills Golf Course.

Historic Preservation Commission Wednesday, Feb. 13, Parks and Recreation Center*

Parks and Recreation Committee Monday, Feb. 25, 6:30 p.m., Parks and Recreation Center*

Appearance Commission Tuesday, Feb. 26, 6:30 p.m., Parks and Recreation Center*

Veterans Affairs Commission Thursday, Feb. 28, 7 p.m., Parks and Recreation Center*

Activities

For more information on these activities, contact Meghan Hawkins at 910-426-4109. 

Hope Mills Area Kiwanis Club at Sammio’s, second Tuesdays at noon and fourth Tuesdays at 6 p.m. For details, call 910-237-1240.

Promote yourself

Email hopemills@upandcomingweekly.com.

 

Creek General Store creates opportunity for special needs students

15CreekGenStore Looking for someplace in the Hope Mills area to grab a snack where the staff is committed to its work and they all have hearts of gold? Look no further than the newly-opened Creek General Store at Gray’s Creek High School.

The store is the latest project of Miller’s Crew, an organization founded by Terry Sanford High School soccer coach Karl Molnar and his wife, Kim.

Miller’s Crew is named after the Molnars’ son, who is autistic. The purpose of Miller’s Crew is to establish vocational training and vocational labs in educational settings for adolescents with special needs.

By doing this in an educational setting, the hope is to give participants the chance to practice specific skills that will carry over into the workforce when they graduate high school.

Miller’s Crew already has stores, or labs as they prefer to call them, set up at Jack Britt, Pine Forest, Terry Sanford, Seventy-First and West Bladen High Schools. Another lab is near completion at Westover High School. Miller’s Crew has also been contacted by Union County Schools near Charlotte about doing labs there.

Lisa Stewart, the principal at Gray’s Creek, met with Kim of Miller’s Crew last summer to begin planning for the lab at Gray’s Creek.

“I thought it was an amazing opportunity for our students, teachers and community,’’ Stewart said. “It’s something that will benefit our students and  let them learn some life skills.’’

Molnar said the lab at Gray’s Creek is one of the smaller ones in the Miller’s Crew program, which got its start in October of 2016.

Some labs, like the ones at Jack Britt and Pine Forest, are larger and include stations for stocking groceries. The one at Pine Forest has a bicycle assembly station.

“The whole point of these labs is to create as many jobs within that setting so the children can be trained and feel comfortable being trained,’’ Molnar said.

The lab at Gray’s Creek is under the leadership of occupational course of study teacher Ali Arostegui. Arostegui and her students surveyed the faculty at Gray’s Creek to see what items they’d like to be on sale at the Creek General Store.

The store can only sell pre-packaged food items, so the teachers opted for selections including coffee, pastries, muffins, granola bars and peanuts among other similar items.

“Ms. Arostegui has done a great job training the students,’’ Stewart said. “She’s been training them most of the first semester. We wanted to open the second semester.’’

The store is located in a converted teacher workroom at Gray’s Creek, on the first floor of the school building near the atrium.

The store can only be used by teachers because of restrictions placed on what kind of food can be sold to students during the school day. Typical store hours are from 8:45 a.m. until 11 a.m.

If teachers can’t leave their classroom to get to the store, the students running the store are allowed to make deliveries to a teacher’s room.

The startup stock for the store was provided by Miller’s Crew through grants that have been awarded to the organization. The goal is for the Creek General Store to become self sustaining and be able to use the profits it makes to restock the store.

“When that door opens and the kids are in Miller’s Crew Gray’s Creek aprons, they have the purest of grins and are happy to see you,’’ Stewart said. “If that doesn’t warm your heart, you must not have one.’’

There are about a dozen Gray’s Creek students currently working at the store, Stewart said. The goal is to add students from another class of special needs students later.

“The biggest benefit for Miller’s Crew and the Creek General Store is they are able to learn how to work as a team,’’ Stewart said. “They’re able to learn how to serve other people. They are pouring coffee, getting food ready, taking their money, making change, prepping for the day, getting inventory ready.

“They take pride in their jobs, and that’s most important.’’

There’s a sign painted on the wall of the store that says it all, Stewart said. “Opportunity. Community. Bear (as in Gray’s Creek Bears) essentials.’’

For any school interested in learning more about bringing a Miller’s Crew lab to their school, visit www.millerscrew.com.

Hope Mills Event Calendar

Meetings

For details about all meetings and activities, including location where not listed, call Town Clerk Jane Starling at 910-426-4113. Until the Parks and Recreation building has been repaired following damage from Hurricane Florence, some meetings may be moved to Luther Meeting Room at Town Hall at regular dates and times. Those meetings are noted with an asterisk below.

Board of Commissioners Monday, Feb. 4, 7 p.m., Luther Board Room, Town Hall

Historic Preservation Commission Wednesday, Feb. 13, Parks and Recreation Center*

Board of Commissioners Monday Feb. 18, Luther Meeting Room, Town Hall*

Parks and Recreation Committee Monday, Feb. 25, 6:30 p.m., Parks and Recreation Center*

Appearance Commission Tuesday, Feb. 26, 6:30 p.m., Parks and Recreation Center*

Veterans Affairs Commission Thursday, Feb. 28, 7 p.m., Parks and Recreation Center*

Activities

For more information on these activities, contact Meghan Hawkins at 910-426-4109.

Hope Mills Area Kiwanis Club at Sammio’s, second Tuesdays at noon and fourth Tuesdays at 6 p.m. For details, call 910-237-1240.

Promote yourself

Email hopemills@upandcomingweekly.com.

Get Twisted Yoga offering good vibrations

14Gina Currie with singing bowls  Get Twisted Yoga on Trade Street in Hope Mills has taken the words of The Beach Boys’ hit “Good Vibrations” to a new level.

The staff offer a specialized kind of relaxation using crystal singing bowls. In short, music provided by different tones each bowl plays is designed to help get the body in harmony with the surrounding world.

Kyle Jackson, who operates the 1910 Apothecary at the same location as Get Twisted Yoga, described it as vibrational healing that has been around for thousands of years, dating back to the monks of Tibet.

“Each crystal singing bowl has its own tone and unique sound,’’ Jackson said. The bowls come in various sizes, going down as small as a cereal bowl and as large as a punch bowl. “There are lots of different shapes and sizes,’’ he said. “They are a little bit different in design and a bit taller than they are wide.’’

The bowls are also made of different materials. Some are metal. Some are crystal. The bowls are usually empty, although sometimes water is placed into them to change the tone each one makes.

In trying to explain exactly what the vibrational healing is about, Jackson said everything in the world, from fixed structures to people, has its own vibration. “Using different things that have different types of tones can bring harmony to those vibrations, including people and spaces,’’ he said. “It’s like doing a reset of their personal vibration.’’

Get Twisted Yoga is planning to schedule vibrational healing sessions starting in March. The initial plan is to hold them on Saturdays and ask those participating to make a donation for each session rather than setting a flat fee to start.

The sessions will be led by Gina Currie of Raeford, a certified yoga instructor.

Each session at Get Twisted Yoga will be limited to 20 people because that’s as many people as the studio can handle once everyone is in place on a yoga mat.

Jackson said no previous yoga experience is needed to take part in a vibrational healing session. “We get you in the studio and get you relaxed,’’ Jackson said. That simply involves getting everyone in a comfortable position on the floor on a yoga mat.

“We adjust them and make sure they have blankets or whatever they might need to be comfortable,’’ Jackson said. “There’s a little guided meditation at the beginning. Gina gives an explanation of the purpose and what those participating may or may not experience, and then she begins playing the singing bowls.

“We want to make this available to everybody who would like to try it,’’ Jackson said, adding they plan to offer it at least once a quarter if demand continues.

Kimberly Ratcliffe is a Get Twisted Yoga client who recently took part in a demonstration of vibrational healing. A 20-year veteran of the U.S. Army, she said it’s a good treatment for anyone involved in a high stress lifestyle.

“You can walk into a yoga studio or class like this and quiet your mind, come out of that class and be completely refreshed,’’ she said. “I think that’s what a lot of people need to understand.’’

For more information about the vibrational healing sessions, visit the Get Twisted Yoga page on Facebook or go to www.1910apothecaryyoga.com.

Jackson is also available by phone at 910-835-6833.

Hope Mills working to repair damaged eel ladder

12Eel The Hope Mills Lake dam survived visits from two hurricanes this past year with one minor exception.

The eel ladder, which allows American eels to gain access to Hope Mills Lake, suffered damage to a device known as the attractor pump. Now it’s time for town officials to begin the work of having the pump repaired and put back in working order.

The attractor pump is located on the downstream side of the creek bed near the base of the dam.

Don Sisko, who heads the public works department for the town of Hope Mills, said it’s directly below the two depressed soil areas on the side of the dam near Main Street.

“You can’t see the pump unless the water is really low,’’ Sisko said. “The only thing you see is the eel ladder and some piping that runs off the pump that dumps near the water surface to provide the splash for the attractor.’’

It’s that splashing water the pump creates that draws eels to the ladder so they can access the lake.

The season for eel migration begins March 15, so Sisko is hopeful work on the pump can be completed well in advance of that date.

Sisko said a local contractor has already been onsite to assess the damage done to the wiring for the pump. The contractor also looked at any changes that need to be made to better safeguard the wiring so more damage isn’t done to it in the future.

In addition, the contractor looked over the location to see what will be required to gain safe access to the pump and actually perform the repairs.

Sisko said he’s not sure how long the work to repair the pump’s wiring will take. “I’ve never been involved in pump repair in a running creek,’’ he said. 

But he added this isn’t an overly complex job and it can be performed by any competent electrical contractor. “It’s not astrophysics,’’ he said. “It’s pretty basic work.’’

Because the damage to the pump’s wiring was a direct result of the hurricane that struck Hope Mills, Sisko said the town is eligible to get money to pay for the repairs from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Sisko said he doesn’t know if the ongoing partial shutdown of the federal government will cause any delay in Hope Mills being able to get that money, though.

As for the dam itself, Sisko said representatives of Schnabel Engineering, the company that built the restored dam, have visited the site for a posthurricane inspection. Save for the damaged pump, he said, the Schnabel representatives saw no problems with the structure.

They will be returning in the near future for a scheduled periodic inspection.

Sisko remains confident of the dam’s status. “I tell folks that the dam was designed based on good science and built based on good construction practices,’’ he said. “There’s no absolute guarantees, but if you do (build on good science and sound construction), you stand a very good chance.

“It was our first hurricane with the dam. It got a lot of attention, but it withstood the weather, both literally and figuratively, and we’re carrying on.’’

Sisko felt the town’s public works department handled the challenges of the dam’s first hurricane well. “That’s what we’re here for,’’ he said. “We’re here to take care of the town, and we’re going to continue doing that.’’

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