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Waxhaw resident wins $100,000 with N.C. Lottery ticket
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RALEIGH — Vicky Gause of Waxhaw turned a $20 scratch-off ticket into a $100,000 prize.

Gause bought her lucky Ultimate 7’s ticket from the Circle K on East South Main Street in Waxhaw. She claimed her prize Tuesday at lottery headquarters in Raleigh and, after required state and federal tax withholdings, took home $70,756.

The Ultimate 7’s game launched in May with four top prizes of $2 million and eight $100,000 prizes. One $2 million prize and one $100,000 prize have yet to be claimed.

Ticket sales from scratch-off games make it possible for the lottery to raise more than $900 million per year for education. For details on how $15.8 million raised by the lottery made a difference in Union County in 2020, go to and click on the “Impact” section.

Jud's under new ownership, but stays in the family
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MONROE — Since 1956, Jud’s Restaurant has been a popular locally-owned-and-operated restaurant in the downtown Monroe area. This past December, Teresa Tyson and her children — Taryn Duncan and Ryan Tyson — bought the business from relatives. They become the fourth ownership group, and they’ve all been related.

“We knew this opportunity (to own Jud’s) would come along,” Ryan said. “We had the feeling that it was coming one day. We had several years to prepare for this, and we were ready. I’m happy to be here.”

Jud’s Restaurant was founded by Jud Parker, who owned it for the first 19 years. From 1976 to 2008, Ann and Archie Price continued the restaurant’s success until Mike Parker took over.

Parker navigated the business through a brutal economic downturn during the COVID pandemic until the Tyson’s took ownership. When Parker was ready to retire, the trio made an offer. Parker has helped them through the transition of ownership, which took three months.

Ryan said signing the contract was a cherished moment for him because it maintains the family tradition of owning and operating the iconic restaurant.

“We were all drawn to (Jud’s),” Ryan said. “This is like a homecoming for us and we’re excited. We didn’t want to see any change, and we knew if some other owner were to come in, then they would change the restaurant …”

Teresa remembers working as a teenager and seeing most of her family come in and out as fill-in employees.

She can also recall seeing a group of friendly men come in every morning, eating at the same table and ordering the same meals. The tradition lives on, and Taryn says these regulars show up like “clockwork.” The waitresses already know their order.

Taryn remembers going to the restaurant after school every day when she was a young girl. Her great-aunt would pick her up from school. Sometimes, Taryn stood up on the table and sang Father Abraham. Other times, she took customers’ orders. She remembers the strong bond she felt with her family, anchored by the thriving restaurant.

“Our big thing is that we want everybody to be like family,” Taryn said. “We are all family, and we want our employees and customers to be like family … That’s a big goal for us just to keep that going.”

As the new owners, they will continue the old-school southern-style tradition of cooking. “It’s little things that make it a tradition that you don’t see in this day and age,” Taryn said. “I know people my age don’t cook like my grandmother cooked. I think that’s very important.”

Teresa said she’s overcome with joy and peace, knowing that the restaurant will continue to stay in the family.

“We’re extremely happy,” Teresa said. “It’s been a goal all of my life … It’s just worked out that now we are the owners.”

Jud’s Restaurant, located on 1603 W Roosevelt Boulevard, is open Tuesday through Saturday from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m. and on Sundays from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m.

Union County averaging more than 200 new COVID cases per day
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MONROE — More than 1,600 Union County residents caught the COVID-19 virus in the last week of 2021, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Union County averaged 238 new cases per day from Dec. 24-30, per the report.

Last week, Union County’s positivity rate — the percentage of tests that are positive for COVID-19 — was at 10%, but it has since jumped up to 14.7%, according to UC Government.

North Carolina’s positivity rate is up to 22.9%, per N.C. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

According to the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Health, any positivity rate above 5% is classified as “too high” and indicates that “more testing should probably be done.”

Union County’s now had at least 390 residents die from COVID-19, according to the Union County COVID-19 Dashboard. There have been 41,687 cumulative cases of COVID-19 since March of 2020, which is more than 16% of the population in a County of just over 250,000.

Union County Government reports 43 residents currently hospitalized due to COVID, up from 39 last week.

The number of active COVID cases in Union County is at 1,592, up from 1,213 last week.

UC Government reports 53% of the County’s residents are fully vaccinated; by comparison, more than 62% of the nation’s population has been fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

As of Dec. 31, 2021, 19.426 North Carolinians have died from COVID-19 in the past 21 months, according to DHHS.

The CDC Data tracker reports 486,428 new COVID-19 cases and 1,539 deaths confirmed from Dec. 28 until Dec. 29, and a 7-day moving average of 316,277 new cases from Dec. 23-29.

As of Jan. 3 at 9 a.m., per the CDC, 205,811,394 Americans have been fully vaccinated and 68,810,709 (33.4%) have received a booster shot.

Marvin Ridge's girls tennis team had a 23-0 record in 2021 and won the 4A state championship. The program has now won three state titles in a span of seven seasons.