March 13th, 2012
This O-N-E photo of Margaret Sparkman, the "National Gourd Lady," is the photo of the week.
Sparkman, of Conover, passed away last week at 95.
Many in Catawba County â and across the nation â mourned her passing and fondly remembered her life.
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Jelani Akida Rashod McCorkle, 28, of Glenview Drive S.E. Hickory, died Friday, March 9, 2012, at N.C. Baptist Hospital. The McCorkle family has entrusted arrangements to Jenkins Funeral Home & Cremation Service in Newton.
Virginia Smith, 74, of Newton, died March 9, 2012, at her residence. The Smith family has entrusted the funeral arrangements to Willis-Reynolds Funeral Home & Crematory in Newton.
Mary Elizabeth Hunt Gulley died Sunday, March 11, at Abernethy Laurels in Newton.
The city of Newton announced Tuesday it has hired a new planning director.
Christine Bartleson succeeds Glenn Pattishall, who retired in January after 28 years with the city.
Bartleson was selected from a pool of 50 applicants, based on her knowledge and experience in municipal planning, according to a press release from the city.
A fatal wreck early Tuesday morning closed I-40 eastbound between Rock Barn Road and Claremont. The interstate remains closed, and Oxford Street is closed until a safety inspection is completed on a bridge an out-of-control transfer truck hit.
The O-N-E was first to deliver details and pictures from the wreck in our online edition. Get updated details online as they become available: www.observernewsonline.com/content/driver-dies-fiery-i-40-crash.
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For the past several installments of Newton's annual Soldiers Reunion parade, the assembled crowds of people went wild about the time The Observer News Enterprise staff passed in our golf carts.
It wasn't necessarily because the audience was excited to see the folks who work at Catawba County's community newspaper. No, the shouts and cheers were inspired by the parade entry directly behind us; by a person who is probably the most recognizable citizen of this county: National Gourd Lady Margaret "Sparky" Sparkman.
One man died Tuesday in a fiery tractor-trailer crash that shut down the eastbound lanes of Interstate 40 for nearly seven hours.
N.C. Highway Patrol troopers say Randolph Day, 56, of Hudson, was carrying produce for MDI Distributors Inc. when his truck veered off the highway about 3:40 a.m. Tuesday near Exit 135, slamming into the Oxford Street Bridge that crosses over I-40. Day died in the crash.
While Newton-Conover golfer Lee Mitchell may be the ânew kid on the block,â he certainly didnât play that way Monday.
The senior, who came to Newton-Conover from Alabama, shot a 1-under-par 34 on the back nine of the Jackson Course at Rock Barn to medal and lift the Red Devils to a big non-conference match victory.
Mitchell, who played in a group with Maidenâs Thomas Lilly and Bunker Hillâs Tyler Lail, held his own against two of the top CVAC golfers in 2011.
Mitchellâs round included birdies on holes three, seven and nine.
Avenging a loss to Cherryville three days prior, the Bunker Hill girls soccer team earned its first victory of the season Monday, 5-2.
Wilbelis Rojas pocked five goals for the Lady Bears (1-5). She has eight goals on the season.
Alondra Zavala added a goal for Bunker Hill in the third minute. Yesenia Chavez, Getzi Tiscareno, Rosa Zavala and Patricia Chavez assisted on the goals scored.
In goal, Kristina Lo had five saves, including a penalty kick save.
Bandys 5, Lincolnton 0
NEW ORLEANS â When the Hornets' Trevor Ariza faked a pass and bolted past Gerald Henderson in the final seconds, Henderson suspected Ariza's lane to the hoop for a potential game-tying score wasn't quite as open as it looked.
Ariza still had to contend with Bobcats rookie Bismack Biyombo, who knew better than to stray too far from the hoop with the game in the balance.
Biyombo went up with both arms extended and blocked Ariza's driving dunk attempt, allowing the Charlotte Bobcats to celebrate a 73-71 victory in the Big Easy on Monday night.
John Wilson Howard, 62, of Newton, died March 11, 2012, at Carolinas Medical Center in Lincolnton.
Arrangements are incomplete at Willis-Reynolds Funeral Home in Newton.
James Wilbert Jenkins, 73, of Rolling Lane, Hickory, died Saturday, March 10, 2012 at his residence. The Jenkins family has entrusted arrangements to Jenkins Funeral Home & Cremation Service in Newton.