News In Brief - September 25, 2007

MorningStar to celebrate grand opening Friday

FORT MILL -- Three years after purchasing part of the former Heritage USA, MorningStar Fellowship Church will celebrate the grand opening of its hotel and church Friday.

The ministry and York County Regional Chamber will have a ribbon cutting at 2 p.m. Friday. The public ceremony marks the grand opening of the Heritage International Ministries Retreat Center and a relocation of the ministry.

The multi-faceted ministry purchased the 52-acre Heritage International Ministries property in 2004 and has worked to restore the 345 rooms, suites and office spaces of the Grand Hotel and the stores of the indoor market called Main Street.

It sits adjacent to the 20-story tower the ministry hopes convert into an active adult resort-class community for people age 55 and older.

For details, call 802-5544.

Mecklenburg bans watering of lawns

CHARLOTTE -- Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities has banned lawn-watering in Mecklenburg County as drought conditions continue to worsen.

The additional restriction was announced during a Monday news conference. Until now, the department had limited customers to watering the lawn twice per week and banned the washing of cars.

Rock Hill officials are poised to take similar action by next week. The city invites local businesses to a meeting on Wednesday at 8 a.m. to talk about restrictions that could be imposed during a Stage 3 drought. The meeting is in the City Hall Council Chambers.

The Charlotte metro region and most of the Carolinas are locked in a severe drought, with no significant rainfall in sight. Adding to the problem has been repeated periods of severe heat, which has added to the effects of the drought.

-- The Charlotte Observer

Diversity forum tonight at City Hall

A "Taste of Culture & Diversity Forum" is 5:30 p.m. today in the Rock Hill City Hall council chambers. The public is invited.

An array of ethnic hors d'oeuvres from local caterers and restaurant owners will be served. The food tasting will be followed by a diversity forum hosted by Nate Barber, a native Rock Hillian and former director of the Small Business Administration at Winthrop University.

Barber currently serves as community development officer for South Carolina Bank & Trust, where his focus is on making the bank's services available to low- and moderate-income customers.

The event is hosted by the city of Rock Hill's Human Resources Department, Committee on Human Relations, No Room for Racism Committee, and MLK Task Force.