Former Mount Gilead police chief cleared

150420-WMTG-Logo-Local-News-WebMount Gilead’s former police chief has been cleared of domestic abuse charges.

The allegations against Ralph Vieux started a series of events that resulted in his suspension and ultimate separation from the police department. Two independent sources told WMTG the charges were dismissed with prejudice, meaning they cannot be pursued again.

We have been unable to obtain court documents to verify the accounts, but we believe our sources to be reliable. We will continue to follow the story.

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Arbor Day Festival Apr. 23-25 in Norwood

The Town of Norwood is making final preparations to welcome visitors to the town’s 22nd annual Arbor Day Festival.

150423-ArborThe festival starts tonight (Apr. 23) with an evening of gospel and praise music. The LeFevre Quartet of Nashville will sing at 7 p.m. on a stage behind Norwood Town Hall, followed by Camino Praise of Concord and a worship team from Pine Grove United Methodist Church.

Friday at 7 p.m., beach music group North Tower will play. Then Saturday, starting at 9 a.m., a full day of activities for all ages will include a fossil dig and art contest for kids, a classic car show, a barbecue, a volleyball tournament and a variety of music and other entertainment.

The Swashtones will close the event with a concert of classic rock, rhythm and blues starting Saturday at 7 p.m.

There is no charge to attend, but the barbecue and some other activities may require a separate ticket. Vendors will also have items for sale Friday evening and during the day Saturday.

See a full schedule below. Information on the Arbor Day Festival is available at 704-474-3416 or online at


April 15, 2015

Schedule of Events for Arbor Day

Thursday, April 23
7:00 PM Le Fevre Quartet

Friday, April 24
7:00 PM North Tower Band

Saturday, April 25
9:30 AM – 10:30 AM Keith Byrd
11:00 AM – 11:30 AM Quicksilver Cloggers
11:30 AM – 3:00 PM Dixie Sundown
3:15 PM – 4:45 PM Valhalla
5:00 PM – 5:30 PM Memorial Baptist Church Praise Team
7:00 PM The Swash Tones

We will have children’s rides provided by All-4-Fun Inflatables and Wanda’s StarGlazer MoonWalk Co.

Norwood Center Rural Fire Department will have their BBQ on Saturday, April 25 from 11:00 AM until 7:00 PM.

The Norwood VFW will host their annual car show at Memorial Park on Turner Street on Saturday, April 25.

Norwood’s 22nd Annual Arbor Day Festival is now set to begin Thursday, April 23 at 7:00 PM with a performance by the LeFevre Quartet. The main stage will be set up behind the Norwood Town Hall.

Friday, April 24 will feature a performance by the North Tower Band at 7:00 PM.

Saturday, April 25 will feature music for all ages all day long, ending with a performance by the Swash Tones at 7:00 PM.

A variety of food, craft, and service vendors will be here during the festival.

Please check back for updates.

If you are interested in becoming a vendor, please complete and return a vendor application, found here, and return with your payment to the Town of Norwood. Vendors will be able to set up on Friday between 4:00 PM – 7:00 PM. On Saturday, they can set up between 6:00 AM – 8:00 AM.

On Saturday, April 25, the First Annual Norwood Arbor Day Sand Volleyball Tourney will be held at Norwood Park on College Street (near the softball fields).

Time: Coed 4s register at 9:00 AM – play at 9:30 AM.
Doubles register at 12:30 PM – play at 1:00 PM

Pre-registration is encouraged so we can better plan. You must contact Tom Gray via email at or by phone at (704) 438-0747 for more information and to register. The cost is $10.00 per player. These fees will help to pay for more improvements to the courts.

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“Backpack Pals” child nutrition program receives $25,000 grant

Children in Montgomery County’s Backpack Pals Program will benefit from a grant awarded by the Walmart Foundation. Communities in Schools (“CIS”) Executive Director Lynn Epps said the organization received $25,000 from the foundation on Apr. 21, which will allow the program to expand to serve 300 students next year.

130611_Communities_In_Schools_Montgomery_CountyAccording to CIS, “The Backpack Pals program is designed to meet the needs of hungry children … who have little to eat over the weekend.”

Students are identified by school staff, who seek permission from families for their participation. Bags of food are packed by community volunteers and given to students to take home on Fridays.

The program is also supported by Montgomery County Churches in Action and the local school system.

Data from CIS shows more than three-quarters of Montgomery County students are in the free or reduced-cost lunch program, suggesting a sizable need for supplemental nutrition among a large number of students.

CIS says the program has a positive impact on education. Of 180 children served in a recent year, CIS says 86% increased their grade point average, 85% met their school attendance goals, and 100% were promoted to the next grade level.

Lynn Epps said the contribution came from Walmart’s State Giving grant. Walmart awards the grants to selected applicants in an annual nationwide grant-making cycle.

More information about Backpack Pals and the other work of Communities in Schools is available online at

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Small business seminars this week in Montgomery County

140425_MCC_LogoThe Small Business Center at Montgomery Community College will offer three free seminars this week.

“Marketing Your Art or Craft” will be the focus of a seminar Tue., Apr. 21, followed by “How to Enhance Your Negotiating and Forecasting Skills” Apr. 22, and “Fifteen Common Mistakes that Will Undermine Your Business” Apr. 23.

Each session is available separately and will run from 6 to 9 p.m. on MCC’s Troy campus on Page St. More details are available from Richard Hinson at 910-576-6222, ext. 216.

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