Category Archives: Town of Wingate

Review: Hilltop brings culinary diversity and family fun to the Monroe-Wingate area

Jackson Kaplan, Staff Writer

MONROE, N.C. – – – When going out to eat for a meal, do you consistently struggle with deciding what to get on the menu? Spiro’s Hilltop Fish Fare and Steakhouse may very well present this challenge; however, any food item you choose is guaranteed to satisfy anyone’s taste buds.

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Photo Source: The Knot website

Since 1930, Hilltop has provided quality American, Italian, Seafood, and Greek dishes to the Union/Mecklenburg county area. When a customer walks in through the front doors, you instantly smell the combination of a very diverse menu this restaurant has to offer. Hilltop has something for everyone during all times of day.

Hilltop features a family friendly, welcoming atmosphere with multiple sectors of the restaurant that appeals to every type of person who prefers a particular dining experience. If you walk through the entrance and turn left, this room provides a quiet, calm atmosphere for small to large parties.

When walking to the right of the hostess stand, Hilltop brings a first-class bar/buffett area which features multiple TVs and a large projector screen to watch sports or the local news. Walk further to the back and down a spiral staircase, you will experience a lively bar area for people who want to watch their favorite sports team in a fun atmosphere. Again, Hilltop has something to appeal to every customer.

First time at Hilltop and looking for its specialties? All you need to do is read the full title of the restaurant and it will provide a clear indication of its best dishes. For steak lovers, try Hilltop’s signature steaks like the bone-in ribeye or the prime filet mignon. The steaks are cooked to perfection and are highly recommended for first-time visitors.

Not a fan of steaks? Customers could never go wrong with a solid assortment of signature fishes including Chilean sea bass, halibut, mahi mahi and grouper. Don’t worry, there are many other different fried, blackened or grilled fishes to choose from if you aren’t a fan of either of the aforementioned options.

Hilltop offers the same menu at lunch and dinner time, but the lunch crowd can enjoy a variety of sandwiches, paninis, wraps, soups and salads. The possibilities and combinations of menu options are almost endless.

Hilltop is one of those unique establishments that has you covered for all three meals of the day, including a delicious breakfast. The lunch and dinner crowds are much more popular (especially on weekends), but Hilltops provides all of the classic breakfast time favorites. Pancakes, omelettes, french toast, waffles, eggs and biscuits.

There are also many unique offerings like country ham biscuits, chicken biscuits, country fried steak, country fried ham, toasted bagels, and many more. The food options for all three meals are too many to list, so it’s best to check out the menu yourself because chances are good that you’ll find everything you’re looking for.

Personally, there are very few negatives with Hilltop because of the many food choices, friendly service, family environment and the southern atmosphere. One downside is parking. If you decide to dine at Hilltop on a Friday or Saturday night and arrive at around 5:30-6:00 p.m., good luck finding a parking space. Sometimes customers get lucky and someone is leaving their space as they arrive,  but there is very little parking to accommodate everyone who comes to Hilltop.

However, the parking lot of nearby Southern States provides additional parking if the Hilltop lot fills up, but it’s quite a hike from there to the restaurant. Other than the bad parking options for vehicles, Hilltop is sure to be a satisfying experience for every customer looking for quality and southern fun.

Stars: 5

Reservations?: Yes. Reservations are required for parties greater than 15 people.

Atmosphere: A combination of noisy and quiet depending on what section of the restaurant you sit in.

Hours:

Breakfast – 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. | Saturday and Sunday until noon.

Rest of the day – 12 noon to 11 p.m.

Prices: Low to high depending on the food item.

Busiest times?: 6 to 9 p.m.

Time spent: 45 minutes to 1.5 hours.

Size: Very large

Edited by: Brea Childs

Calm on campus amid the chaos close to home

Perspective of safety from a Campus Safety Officer

Zeriq Lolar, Staff Writer

             With the hustle and bustle of the Wingate University school year, it can be very hectic for students and faculty. Although, it is hectic for these individuals, campus safety can be hectic also.

Wingate University has had its population go up and down the past years, but for the 2016-2017 school year it has been very evident that the population is flooding with students. With limited parking spots, and smaller cafeteria, Wingate has been trying to expand due to its overflow of individuals. This however can attract a lot of crime due to more vehicles around campus and limited parking spots.

Wingate University Chief of Campus Safety Michael Easley reacted to the increase of students. Easley said, “The calls for service are a lot more than we normally deal with, nothing bad though, but with the number of freshman that we have coming in it was a lot to handle at once, so we had to bring in some new officers for traffic control and answer calls for service.”

The chief also gave some good advice and insight on safety for cars as students look for parking spots, especially at night to prevent break-ins. Easley said, “I would suggest that you park in well-lit areas so your car is visible, keep your car locked don’t leave any valuables in view, and always report any suspicious activity.”

Due to recent events in Charlotte, there have protests and rioting that have caused lots of damage to the city of Charlotte. With Wingate only being 30 miles down the road from Charlotte there have been rumors that there was going to be rioting or protests on campus.

Chief Easley shared what his plan would be if that were to occur. “Unfortunately we have had some rumors that these things might happen on campus, I immediately got with our command team and met with local law enforcement and had a plan in place if in the event something were to occur. Thankfully nothing happened, we actually had a prayer vigil and some of the campus safety officers participated in the vigil. We have a great community at this University and we like to think of it as one big family.”

Craziness might be happening right in our backyard, however, the students and faculty of Wingate University can feel very safe, especially when Chief Michael Easley and Wingate Police are around to protect and serve.

Edited by: Sara Gunter

Local gas shortage causes panic at the pumps

Residents sent into panic about the possible lack of fuel in NC

Anthanee Doyle, Staff Writer

 Wingate Students, Faculty and staff drivers panic about riots, pot holes, glass in the street or maybe even animals but do not panic about gas. If you have been under the impression that gas prices have gone insane you’re wrong. Yes, The Carolinas have been effected by a big gas leak.

This leak caused many gas stations to higher their prices a little if they have not yet suffered from an outage. Good news, the company has restarted their gasoline pipeline meaning everything should go back to normal soon.

September 9th in Shelby county Alabama an employee for Alabama Surface Mining Commission noticed the strong odor of gasoline from the pipeline where he then discovered a massive leak. The gasoline company estimates that the colonial pipeline that services the east coast leaked between 252,000 to 336,000 gallons of gasoline.

This colonial pipeline was built in 1963 and the company estimates that is supplies over 40 percent of the east coasts gasoline. This Tuesday Colonial Pipeline spokesman Bill Berryrews got the green light to begin cleaning up the gasoline. Since then over 800 employees have been working hard in Alabama to restart the pipelines.

The Charlotte Observer said that the average price of a gallon of gas in their area is 19 cents higher than last week’s prices. Wingate Universities basketball coach Markus Kirkland said “ I always try to get gas in SC because the gas is cheaper, but even the gas in an border city was gone, but my routine didn’t change much”.

When he drives from Indian land, South Carolina to Wingate; Kirkland said “ 3 out of every 4 gas stations that I passed, over both states, were out of gas. Luckily I filled up before the crisis”

AAA spokeswoman Tiffany Wright reported that these gas outages have made drivers feel the need to go fill up all at once. If demand increases so does the price of gas. North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory expresses to the people not to fill up their tanks unless they need to. These actions are only making gas prices higher.

In the next few days gas prices and availability should be back to normal if everyone keeps calm. So Wingate don’t be scared of this unfortunate event.

Edited by: Sara Gunter

 

 

Wingate Professors Reveal Their Ideal Housing Near Campus

Hope Rogers, Staff Writer

In a small town such as Wingate, North Carolina, there is really only one major attraction site, which in this case is the university. When everything is more than ten miles away, it can be hard to find decent housing that fits the needs of young people in the area.

Although students are not permitted to live off campus unless they are living with a relative, are married, or over 23 years old, there are faculty members that face the challenge of finding a suitable living space nearby on their own. To find out what these challenges are, I spoke with some of Wingate’s faculty members to discover where they chose to live and why.

Dr. Wobig from the Political Science department describes his experience with housing in Monroe as “lucky”. He had to move to North Carolina when he was hired in May 2014, but was not able to see the apartment before he moved in because he would have had to fly. He trusted the recommendation of another faculty member who knew of an apartment opening up, and was relieved that the place turned out to be nice.

He has chosen to remain living in Monroe because of its location. “While living in Wingate would be convenient for work, there is nothing to do there of interest to a youthful, single person.  I knew I wanted to be close enough, so that I could drive to Matthews, Ballantyne, or uptown Charlotte to have fun.  I thought pretty hard about moving to Matthews last year but that 45 minute commute was not appealing, and rents are a little higher there.”

Dr. Kumar from the Marketing department moved from Pennsylvania to Ballantyne where he commutes about 45 minutes to the university. He doesn’t mind the drive, because he likes to be closer to uptown Charlotte to have access to different kinds of retail.

One of his favorite attractions, which he calls “Charlotte’s best kept secret”, are the Charlotte Greenways, which consist of well-maintained walking trails around the city. Additionally, Charlotte is a city with a lot of diversity, and Dr. Kumar “wanted to be in an environment to meet people from different places.”

Other faculty members such as Mrs. Baker from the Communications department chose housing in the Weddington/Wesley Chapel area based on school districts for her kids in middle and high school. She moved from California, where she says the housing prices are double what they are in this area.

Although she is not a first-time home buyer, she loves Indian Trail because it offers very affordable housing that is not too far from shopping. “Monroe is the closest housing option but does not attract buyers due to schools, lack of shopping options, and a lackluster downtown.”

Mr. DeLangie from the Sport Sciences department also found his ideal living space based on his family, but it involved some moving around first. He used to commute from Ballantyne, but he says the hour commute was too long. Fortunately, his wife got a job at Wingate which provided free housing for both of them, and he lived close enough to walk to work.

The drawback to living in Wingate then became that it was too far away from everything else. Between the two extremes, Mr. DeLangie and his family finally found a happy medium. “We settled on Indian Trail, a nice balance between Wingate (25 min drive) and Charlotte (~30 min). The main goal for us was to have easy access to 485 since it is so easy to get anywhere else from there. We chose the neighborhood because it had good walking trails, sidewalks, parks for our 2-year-old, and it is safe.”

Based on the professors I talked to, there are a variety of locations they chose to live in for similar reasons. If anything, a small town like Wingate as opposed to a large city where people are more likely to live due to more housing options and convenience, isn’t ideal. Although it may be difficult to find both affordable and decent housing for young adults in the area, at the very least, students can be grateful they are not battling for the same apartments.

Edited By: Brea Childs

Wegmans comes to North Carolina

Hope Rogers, Staff Writer

The popular family-owned New York based grocery store, Wegmans, has made plans to open its first store in North Carolina. Despite the growing competition between grocery chains such as Publix and Whole Foods, in 2015, Wegmans was ranked the top grocery store in the country according to the Consumer Reports’ annual survey of customers.

Wegmans, which was founded by brothers John and Walter Wegman, opened its first store in 1916. Since then, Wegmans has expanded to 88 stores, primarily in the north. According to The News Observer, Wegmans spokeswoman Jo Natalie said, “We have signed a letter of intent and are working through lease negotiations with Columbia Development Group, with hopes of reaching a final lease agreement sometime during the first quarter of 2016.” The first NC store will be located in Cary, across from the Cary Towne Center.

The 90-acre property will consist of much more than the grocery store; the primary development sketch plans included up to 600 apartments. The site is located directly off of Interstate 40 and is currently inhabited by an indoor shopping mall. However, its future does not look promising as large retailers such as Macy’s and Sears have closed down their stores.

Councilman Don Frantz described the location as a “gateway into Cary”, noting that, “It needs to be remarkable. It needs to be something that stands the test of time. It needs to be something that provides a lot of jobs, shopping, retail, restaurants and residential.” As Wegmans stores include a pharmacy, restaurants, a coffee shop, bakery, and more, the new store may be exactly what Mr. Frantz was hoping for.

Although the plans are not yet final for the new store, fans of Wegmans have already taken to social media to show their excitement. Ty Bates, a former Wingate student, exclaimed on Facebook, “I LOVE Wegmans!! It’s got great lighting and decorations that make you feel like your in little Italy. They sometimes even have live local singers come in and play for the people eating in their hot food section (which is to die for).” Also a Facebook page called “Bring Wegman’s to the NC Triangle Area – Please” was created last year and has over 500 likes.

According to the Wegmans website, four new stores are set to open this year. Nine other stores are currently listed on the site as future locations, two are set to open in 2017 and the others are to be determined. Cary is not included in the list, and Ms. Natalie could not disclose Wegmans’s future plans to open in other NC locations.

 Edited by Brea Childs and Shea Murray

Wingate commissioner receives new Heart

Ali Gallagher and Ashley Adkins, Staff Writers

mangum

Wingate Town Commissioner John Mangum is on his way to a full recovery after having a heart transplant on May 20. The 70-year-old Mangum had been on the transplant list going on 11 months before he got the call that there was a heart available. He has been dealing with heart issues for several years beginning in 1984 when he had his first coronary bypass. At the age of 39 he had undergone six bypasses. John was doing well until two years ago when his health worsened.  His cardiologist forewarned him that this time would be very crucial for his health and exercise was necessary. During this time Mangum stayed in good shape, missing little to no days walking.  In June 2014, Mangum was placed on the transplant list and it wasn’t for 11 months later that a match was found. They were encouraged that it was a good, strong match.

Since the surgery, Mangum’s wife, Linda, has been taking care of him making sure that he recovers smoothly.  The two have been married for what Mangum calls “42 glorious years” and they have lived in Wingate all of their lives. John has been a Wingate Commissioner for going on 18 years and is currently in his fifth term. Aside from being a commissioner, Mangum is a long time member of Wingate Baptist Church, Lions Club, and the Wingate Fire Department. Mangum retired from Wingate University where he was the director of Cannon Athletic Complex. Mangum’s involvement has made him one of the most well-known people within the town of Wingate. He enjoys all that he does but the most rewarding for him is “being able to know all of the citizens and working with them.” When John’s health worsened his support system only strengthened.

Linda never left Mangum’s side throughout the process, missing only one day of visiting him in the 12 weeks that he spent in the hospital. Her one word to sum up how she felt during that time was “tired.” She was constantly going back and forth to care for and visit Mangum. But despite the hardships that the couple was put through, Linda says that she “never feared losing him” and stressed the idea that “there’s always something left to do.” She always had hope that he would get better and she would never give up on him.

When Mangum had gone through the grueling process and was allowed to, at last, return home to his beloved Wingate, he was met with more love than he could have ever imagined. On Sept. 15, there was a Wingate Town Commissioners meeting. The other commissioners had set out a name tag in his usual spot at the table, but no one knew if he was actually going to show up. But despite his recent return and recovering state, Mangum did make it. Linda said that “he surprised them by showing up” and that “once they all got done crying, they proceeded” with the meeting. When asked how his first meeting after being back from his heart transplant went, Mangum simply stated, “It was very good.” He joined in with his fellow commissioners to talk about a request from the Fire Department, chicken ordinances, and the Lions Club, which he had to give details about since he is a proud member himself.

Never the one to let anything get him down, Mangum says that he is doing “great” after the transplant. He has overcome his long-term problem of having a bad heart and says, “I’m in pretty good shape for the shape I’m in.” Linda agreed, adding “He is back to doing, truthfully, everything that he did before, except mow the yard” and that he has lost some of the strength and endurance that he once had.

The two of them ended with the message that they are “most thankful for the donor,” even though they do not know who it is, and begged that “everyone please think about becoming a registered donor.”

Edited by Rob Gay