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Archive - Feb 4, 2011

Gourd Lady gets $20k gift

February 4, 2011

When Gourd Lady Margaret Sparkman saw a man pull out his checkbook and start writing a check in her honor, she was thrilled.

She saw him start to write "2," and she thought he was going to donate $25.

That "2" was followed, not by the number five, but by four zeros. The mystery man gave Sparkman, 94, a $20,000 gift to help fund the community center in Conover named in Sparkman's honor.

Outlet causes fire in house

February 4, 2011

One wall of a Newton home was damaged Thursday night from an overheated outlet.

Newton firefighters responded to a reported structure fire at 2255 Chatham St. on Thursday at 5:52 p.m.

Thirteen men from Newton Fire Department arrived on the scene to find no signs of fire coming from the inside of the house. They discovered an overheated outlet on the second level of the two-story structure, said Newton Fire Marshal Dale Coffey. It's unknown if the fire was in a bedroom.

Learn today, earn tomorrow

February 4, 2011

These days, graduating high school, college or technical school is only half the battle.

Students in Catawba County schools must work harder than ever to give them an edge over the millions of other newly graduated students and displaced workers trying to enter the workforce.

Car chase leads to drug charges

February 4, 2011

A Hickory man is in custody and facing drug charges after he led narcotics officers on a vehicle chase late Thursday.

Officers received a tip from the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office about a possible drug transaction involving Joshua Nathaniel Jones, 22, of Hickory. Narcotics officers from Newton Police Department and Catawba County Sheriff's Office located Jones at the Petro Express on U.S. 70 East in Conover, where he was allegedly participating in selling cocaine, according to a press release from Newton Police Department.

Students 'ServSafe' food

February 4, 2011

More high school students are turning to part-time jobs to make money, and for many of those students, a job in the food service industry is an easy way to gain employment.

Catawba County schools offer ServSafe food safety classes for students who have or hope to have a job in food service.

Not every student is meant to attend college, and CTE classes help those students find the right career niche for them.

"Not every career requires a four-year education," said Karen Cale, Catawba County Schools Career and Technical Education director.

Pair busted in Texas out on bond

February 4, 2011

Two Catawba County residents are out of a Texas jail after being arrested for possessing more than $1 million in drugs.

Chelsea Elizabeth McDowell, 25, of Hickory, and Terry Alexander Bumgarner, 47, of Newton, were released from Gregg County jail Tuesday in Longview, Texas, on $300,000 bonds each.

A Texas Department of Public Safety officer allegedly found 30 pounds of crystal methamphetamine secured in a false compartment in McDowell and Bumgarner's vehicle after a routine traffic stop Jan. 29.

The street value of the drugs was estimated at $1.3 million.

Our perspective: CCS policy proposals must be made public

February 4, 2011

On Nov. 1, 2010, the Catawba County Schools Board of Education approved changes to the school system’s policy for non-faculty coaches. That approval came after school system leaders began discussing changes to CCS Board of Education Policy 7.3500 in late June 2010.

The editor's voice: Stepping up my exercise routine

February 4, 2011

I got out of bed Tuesday morning and could barely move. My neck was stiff and my legs didn’t want to move without a little pinch in my nerves. I walked in somewhat of a hunch as I tried to make my way to the shower. Why was I in so much pain? Three words: Step moves class.
Monday night, I decided to try something different at The Perfect Workout. I got off work in time to make it to the gym’s weekly step moves class, so I thought I’d give it a shot. It was something different for me. The only class I’ve tried was Zumba, which I’ve grown to enjoy.

On the news beat: Was that thunder I heard?

February 4, 2011

One morning last week, I awoke to a very unsettling sound.
No, it wasn’t the jarring sound of an alarm clock. It was the harsh peal of thunder.
After hearing the thunderstorm move across Hickory, my thoughts immediately went to one thing: snow.
It’s part of an old wives’ tale my grandmother always talked about. She said that any time it thunders during winter months, the area will have snow within 7-10 days.
The surprising thing is that most of the time, it happens.

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