Arbor Day Festival to start this evening in Norwood

The Town of Norwood begins its annual Arbor Day Festival this evening (Apr. 24). It’s the 21st year for the festival, which includes entertainment, food and vendors.

A popular kids activity during the festival is the “Fossil Fair”, which gives children an educational opportunity to dig for and find their own fossils.

Musical entertainment starts with a gospel sing at 7 p.m. tonight at Norwood Town Hall. The band North Tower will play Friday at 7 p.m.

The festival continues Saturday with a 5K run, a helicopter fly-in, and rides and games for children. Entertainment will include bands playing country, bluegrass, classic rock and oldies, along with local dance teams and the South Stanly High School Band.

Also Saturday, the Norwood VFW will have a car show and the Norwood Center Rural Fire Department will have their annual barbecue. Beach music favorites the Fantastic Shakers will perform Saturday at 7 p.m.

More information about the Norwood Arbor Day Festival is available at 704-474-3416 or online at http://www.norwoodnc.com.

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NORWOOD ARBOR DAY FESTIVAL 2014

THU., APR. 24
7 p.m. Gospel singing at Town Hall

FRI., APR. 257 p.m. North Tower

SAT., APR. 26
• Norwood VFW James P. Lowder Jr. Post 6183 Car Show at Norwood Memorial Park on W. Turner St.
• Norwood Center Rural Volunteer Fire Department barbecue at the station on W. Turner St.
• Helicopter fly-in, South Stanly High School’s Honor Society 5K run, kids’ rides and games
9:30 – 10:30 a.m. Keith Byrd
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Stone Washed Bluegrass
1 – 2:30 p.m. Carolina Rhythm Band
3 – 3:30 p.m. Top That Studio Dance Class
3:30 – 4 p.m. South Stanly High School Band
4:30 – 5:30 p.m. Valhalla
5:30 – 7 p.m. Live DJ
7 p.m. The Fantastic Shakers

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Early voting starts today in Montgomery County

Early voting starts today for the May 6 primary election.

130705_Vote_ButtonDarrell Latham of the Montgomery County Board of Elections told WMTG that local early voting will be available April 24 through May 3 in two locations: Courtroom B of the Montgomery County Courthouse, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., and at the Montgomery County Public Library in Troy, weekdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

There will be no Sunday voting in either location.

Curbside voting is also available at the courthouse, and more information is available from the Board of Elections at 910-572-2024.

A list of candidates and other information can be seen from the “Decision 2014″ link on our home page at http://www.wmtg.org.

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Mount Gilead police chief resigns

Mount Gilead Police Chief Cleve Willoughby resigned his position Tue., Apr. 22, amid controversy surrounding a traffic stop last week in Cabarrus County.

Mount Gilead Police Chief Cleve Willoughby, in a photo retrieved from the town website Apr. 22, 2014. (Town of Mount Gilead photo, mtgileadnc.com)

Former Mount Gilead Police Chief Cleve Willoughby, in a photo retrieved from the town website Apr. 22, 2014. (Town of Mount Gilead photo, mtgileadnc.com)

The resignation was confirmed at 1:55 p.m. Tuesday by Town Manager Katrina Tatum. No plans for interim leadership were announced.

Concord newspaper the Independent Tribune reported earlier that Willoughby was driving a Mount Gilead town vehicle when he was stopped by a deputy with the Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office. The report said dispatchers had received a call reporting erratic driving, and Cabarrus County chief deputy Paul Hunt told the paper alcohol was involved, but “not enough to warrant any charges.”

Still, deputies would not let the chief and another Mount Gilead officer continue, and the Montgomery Herald reports a third officer went to Cabarrus County and retrieved the vehicle, while another person drove Willoughby and the other officer back home.

The Herald identified the other officer as James Lewellan and cited a Cabarrus Sheriff’s Office report that said the pair were on their way home from the veterans hospital when they stopped for dinner and had “a couple of beers with their meal.”

Published reports say Chief Willoughby was suspended after an emergency meeting of commissioners last Thursday night.

It was not immediately clear if an emergency meeting of town commissioners scheduled for 7:30 p.m. tonight at the Mount Gilead Public Library would still be held.

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Mount Gilead Commissioners to discuss personnel issue in emergency meeting tonight

Mount Gilead Town Commissioners will meet tonight (Apr. 22) to discuss a personnel issue. That word comes from Town Manager Katrina Tatum, who did not comment further.

Mount Gilead Police Chief Cleve Willoughby, in a photo retrieved from the town website Apr. 22, 2014. (Town of Mount Gilead photo, mtgileadnc.com)

Mount Gilead Police Chief Cleve Willoughby, in a photo retrieved from the town website Apr. 22, 2014. (Town of Mount Gilead photo, mtgileadnc.com)

Sources tell WMTG the matter at hand involves police chief Cleve Willoughby, who was recently suspended by the town following a traffic stop in Cabarrus County.

Concord newspaper the Independent Tribune reported that Willoughby was driving a Mount Gilead town vehicle when he was stopped last week by a deputy with the Cabarrus County Sheriff’s Office. The report said dispatchers had received a call reporting erratic driving, and Cabarrus County chief deputy Paul Hunt told the paper alcohol was involved, but “not enough to warrant any charges.”

Still, deputies would not let the chief and another Mount Gilead officer continue, and the Montgomery Herald reports a third officer went to Cabarrus County and retrieved the vehicle, while another person drove Willoughby and the other officer back home.

Published reports say Chief Willoughby was suspended after an emergency meeting last Thursday night (Apr. 17).

Tonight’s meeting will start at 7:30 p.m. at the Mount Gilead Public Library. WMTG will provide updates when new information is available.

Editor’s note: As a meeting of an elected body, it is expected that commissioners will open the business publicly, then move to a closed session to discuss the personnel matters. In such situations, decisions are usually announced after the closed session is completed and before the meeting adjourns, though sometimes personnel issues are not disclosed in detail.

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