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Cornelius News

Cornelius: Alive at 5am

Alive at 5

Cornelius is up and at ‘em at 5 or 5:30 in the morning. Well, some people are.

It’s still quiet—stores like CVS and Rite Aid are closed; Publix doesn’t open until 7 a.m. It’s dark—the distinctive retro globes at the Police Station shine bright against red brick. And there’s almost no traffic—chances are pretty good you can drive from Jetton to I-77 without hitting a red light. And I-77 is flowing smoothly at 5.

Delivery trucks are making their rounds at retail stores. There are cyclists and runners staying in shape, some with headlights on their heads. Some landscapers are already landscaping, And if you want live news from Chicago, you can tune in to WBBM, a 50,000 watt clear channel station dating back to the 1930s.

Here are snapshots of what life is like at 5 am in Cornelius, from those who know:

On patrol

CPD officer Gina PattersonCornelius Police Officer Gina Patterson has been on the force 13 years and has spent many early mornings protecting our resident’s lives and property.

National data courtesy of Trulia indicates most criminals are snoozing between 3 a.m. and 6 a.m.

“There’s a saying among us: ‘Radio silence is golden.’ But we need to stay alert,” says Patterson, who is cheerful no matter what the hour.

Officers drink lots of high-caffeine and energy drinks. They maintain a schedule of checks on certain businesses which have requested ride-bys and talk with fellow officers.

On most mornings, Patterson says traffic is very light, consisting mostly of delivery trucks. Automobile traffic builds by the hour.

There will be many mornings when there are no radio calls or incidents at all, but when there are, they’re usually alarms set in error as businesses open, an occasional EMS call or a speeding motorist, usually a worker running late,” says Patterson.

Patterson is one of five African Amercans on the force, which represents 8.6 percent of the force, vs. a 5 percent town-wide. She attended the community prayer on the steps of Town Hall after the shootings in Dallas in July.

Bean there

Madelyn's Lewis JewettLewis Jewett has to be up and at ‘em early to get the rest of us ready for the daily grind. After all, he’s in the coffee business, and coffee is what gets most of us up and running every morning. The 46-year-old rolls into Madalyn’s Coffee and Tea each morning between 5:30 a.m. and 6, and starts the first of about 15 pots of coffee he’ll make in a day.

A veteran of the restaurant industry, he ran the Starbucks in Birkdale for 7 years. The natural-born entrepreneur decided to go out on his own and started Madalyn’s, named for his daughter, four years ago. He hopes to launch another location and name it after his son, Roman. Wife Angela is a wedding photographer, whose income more than makes up for the vagaries of entrepreneurship.

Their focus is family, and, with Jewett closing up at 3 each day, he’s home with the kids when they get off from school. Churchgoers, too, Jewett plans to close each Sunday starting in August.

Why is the coffee there so good? Black Powder Roasters in Mooresville is a small batch coffee roaster of “prime, super-hard beans.”

How does Jewett take his coffee? “Black. If you have good coffee you don’t need to flavor it up.” His ratio, by the way, is 2 tablespoons of coffee per 6 oz of water.

Exercise: The first order of the day

Jessica PetersFor Jessica Peters, getting up early has everything to do with exercise and staying in shape. The 28-year-old high school math teacher, who lives in Antiquity with her husband Andrew, gets up at 5 a.m. most days in time for some serious exercise starting at 5:30. We caught her and exercise partner Nikki Daily in the dark, warming up on Old Canal Street. Jessica runs several times a week to train for a half marathon; other days she works out boot camp style. “I have always tried to stay in shape by playing volleyball in high school and running in college,” Jessica says.

Not just waffles

Waffle HouseIt’s fair to say if you haven’t been to the Waffle House, you haven’t really lived. It’s part of a chain of restaurants, mostly in the South, that has been around for 60 years. Lots of country music songs have ensued, not to mention bacon. Bacon. Enough to go around the earth if each strip was laid end to end. Waitress Christina Austin greets a variety of people from lawyers to travelers—with a smile and a hot cup of coffee.

Most popular item: “All Star Special,” eggs, grits, waffles and sausage, all for $7.50. Order it any time of the day or night. There’s a jukebox, but it doesn’t get played much at 5 a.m.

Gas and Tornado’s

20160725_060413Who would have thought Cashion’s at Exit 28 closes at 2:30 a.m. and reopens at 5? But it does, and they are definitely ready for customers who want a 5 a.m. treat like Tornado egg and cheese “roller grill snacks,” America’s No. 1 such treat. Cashion’s employees Loria Houston and Carlotta Williams come in at 4 a.m. and spend the next hour getting ready for the first wave of customers.Just as popular as the egg and cheese Tornado is southwestern chicken, says Williams, a local resident some 60 years. Oscar Meyer hot dogs are ready as well, in two varieties, spicy and regular, if you crave a frankfurter before sunup.

Facebook friends: Are you up and at ‘em at 5 am?

Steve True: I run Tuesday and Thursday in Cornelius and Davidson. Don’t see many folks out then but there are a few walkers and runners.

Michael Wells: Dog walk through the neighborhood

Ginny Stone Mackin: Try 4:10! Up to take pups out, do laundry, make dinner, and out to work by 6:15. I am getting old ish for this

Erin Robbins Smith: Up at 4:30 during the week to start my day off right-working out at Uprising

Mark Alvarez: Running down Washam-Potts Road

Frances Dawson: On Tuesdays and Thursdays I’m heading to a 6 AM rowing class at LKN Indoor Row!

Jeff Boesch: Driving down i77 to work drinking coffee.

Mark Lambert: Up at 5 to work out at 5:30 with F3.

Heather Bigelow Brountas: At the gym preparing for my day!

Lisa Tober: Sleeping. Lol! But at 6am during the school year, listening to 4 teenage kids hit snooze at least twice. (4 kids at Hough)

Lindsay Butler: Working out with my FIA (female version of F3) girls! Any ladies want to join us? We’re all over the city every morning and it’s free.

Heather Klaiber Janson: Burn Boot Camp!

Leigh Jones Yarbrough: Check out Dogwood Crossfit at 5:45 am!

Stephanie Sossamon: I have just turned off my daughter’s feeding pump and am pumping breastmilk for her next feed at 6:30.  My daughter has special needs, so I’m up all hours of the night taking care of her.

Fred Locke: I am up 2 – 3 times a week at 5 AM or earlier, not by choice. I am continually disturbed  by front loading trash trucks emptying dumpsters… I live in Blue Stone Harbor, which is adjacent to the Fresh Market Plaza

Nancy Armstrong Murray: Up at 5:30 just so I can have coffee with my husband who leaves really early to beat the traffic southbound on I77! He leaves super early to be on time at 8!

Ld Swett: Morning devotion… Reading, praying, giving thanks and preparing my heart and spirit for the day.

Karen Butrim Raboin: Up at 4 am to get ready to go to work

Matt Hiley: Masters Swim Practice at the Y