February 20th, 2012
What a difference a letter makes.
Darvinash Chandra Mohan, an eighth-grader at Newton-Conover Middle School, came within one letter of winning the 58th Annual Charlotte Observer Spelling Bee on Monday.
With four spellers remaining, Chandra Mohan was the only speller to correctly spell his word. Spelling bee rules, however, required him to correctly spell another word to secure the championship.
Chandra Mohan misspelled "iridaceous," an adjective that describes a family of plants with swordlike leaves and showy flowers. He used an "i" in place of the "e."
Apple Inc. says it will build one of the nationâ€™s largest solar arrays to power its Maiden data center.
In a brief update to its environmental impact report, Apple announced Monday that it plans to power the Maiden data center with the nationâ€™s largest end-user-owned solar array and non-utility fuel cell installation.
Apple hinted in October 2011 that it wanted to build a solar array across from its data center, filing for an erosion control permit for more than 170 acres of land at 6028 Startown Road. In the permit, it described the project as â€śSolar panel farm A.â€ť
N.C. 16 traffic southeast of downtown Newton is moving again after a water line break forced multiple highway closures the past several days.
A six-inch water line broke Friday night, and workers closed a small section of N.C. 16 near South Ervin Avenue to repair the line, said Wilce Martin, public works and utilities director for the city of Newton.
Workers finished repairs about 1 p.m. Saturday, and the road reopened, Martin said.
The same patch of N.C. 16 was closed for a while Monday for repaving at the site of the line break.
Tossed salad was the source of a virus outbreak in January that sickened diners of a Conover seafood restaurant, according to a state health investigation.
â€¨Catawba County Public Health (CCPH) received at least 166 reports of illnesses from diners who ate at Harbor Inn Seafood between Jan. 13-29.
State health officials previously identified the illness as norovirus and now say it stemmed from the restaurantâ€™s tossed salad.
Winter weather Sunday night prompted Catawba County and Newton-Conover City school systems to delay the start of school two hours on Monday. The delay applies to students and staff.
Hickory Public Schools will also operate under a two-hour delay for students and staff Monday.
Catawba Valley Community College will delay opening until 10 a.m. due to weather conditions. The delay applies to all CVCC campuses.
Lenoir-Rhyne University will hold classes as planned.
Snow began falling in Catawba County late Sunday afternoon, bringing the first snow to the county of winter 2011-2012.
The National Weather Service issued a winter weather advisory for several western North Carolina counties, including Catawba County.
NWS in Greenville-Spartanburg issued the advisory that will be in effect from noon Sunday until 6 a.m. Monday.
According to NWS, colder air continues to filter into the N.C. mountains and foothills from the north. Low pressure will track from the Gulf Coast states to the offshore Atlantic waters Sunday, spreading moisture into the western North Carolina region.
It was a successful Saturday for the Newton-Conover wrestling program â€” both as a team and individually.
The Red Devils held off Pisgah to earn the 2A West Regional crown, while qualifying five wrestlers for next weekend's state championships in Greensboro.
Among the five Red Devils heading to states are Ian Canrobert at 106 pounds, Franklin Wepner at 126 pounds, Tyler Benfield at 195 pounds, Eric Holbrook at 145 pounds and Addison Klutz at 152 pounds.
Wepner also picked up an individual title at the regionals, defeating Polk County's Jose Ramirez in the 126-pound final.
Fred T. Foard added a second-straight 3A West Regional title to its program's history on Saturday.
The Tigers scored 159 points on their way to the Regional championship, qualifying seven wrestlers for next weekend's state championships in Greensboro in the process.
Two Tigers â€” Ben Pitts at 132 pounds and Hayden Albert at 160 pounds â€”Â also scored individual titles in their respective weight class at the regionals.
The 2A and 3A brackets for the boys and girls state basketball playoffs were released on Saturday with five teams both hosting and traveling for first round contests.
The CVAC co-champions in girls basketball â€” Bandys and Newton-Conover â€” are home for the first round.
The Lady Trojans are seeded No. 4 in the Midwest bracket and take on Central Davidson in Catawba. The winner meets No. 5 Thomasville or No. 12 Cuthbertson in Wednesday's second round.
Area churches will host Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday services this week as the Lenten season begins.
Young professionals in the Hickory Metro are invited to a Wednesday forum to share ways community leaders can attract and retain young adults in the coming years.
Catawba Valley citizens are also invited to support groups for sleep apnea and epilepsy.
For more information on these and other events this week, read on. For information about events throughout the week, pick up a copy of The Observer News Enterprise at newsstands throughout Catawba County.