February 16th, 2012
Leaders in Catawba County's school systems have approved calendars that will send students to class Aug. 7 for the 2012-13 school year.
Some people say the early-August start is positive in part because it will allow high school students to complete first-semester exams before the holiday break in late December.
Others argue the early-August start is negative because, among other things, it shortens this year's summer vacation to about eight weeks.
What's your preference â€” a school year that begins in early August or late August? Vote now at observernewsonline.com.
Construction crews continued work on a Main Street water line replacement project Thursday in Maiden.
The project is replacing one of the oldest water lines in the town and relocating a line from beneath the street to underneath the sidewalk.
Maiden officials say the line has broken several times the past several years due to buildup in a pipe.
Conover police are investigating a rash of church break-ins near the city's downtown area.
In the past two weeks, three Conover churches and one downtown business reported break-ins. For each of the break-ins, police report burglars took only small amounts of money and broke windows and ransacked office areas.
"This person is not taking anything of value," Conover Police Chief Steve Brewer said. "This is occurring after hours in the churches, and most of them have been occupied up until 7-7:30 at night."
U.S. Senator Kay R. Hagan (N.C.) announced that 12 North Carolina fire departments will receive a total of $1,907,418 through the U.S.
Department of Homeland Security Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program.
The Conover Fire Department will receive $38,228.
The funding will help firefighters and first responders obtain critically needed communications equipment, protective gear, training and other resources.
Newton police will roll out new dispatch and records technology this spring that they say will make the department more efficient and help solve more crimes.
Newton Police Department (NPD) will launch its new computer-aided dispatch (CAD) and Records Management System (RMS) beginning in May.
Police officials say the updated, computer-based systems will â€śstreamlineâ€ť processes that used to take dispatchers, officers and supervisors weeks and months to do.
Chinese manufacturer Chongqing RATO Power announced today that it will establish its North American headquarters in Denver and will hire as many as 600 employees in a temporary manufacturing while it searches for a permanent site for its production and distribution center.
â€śThis is the start of something really big that can help change this community and this area,â€ť said Gov. Beverly Perdue who was in Denver for the announcement. Perdue said she hoped the announcement was the â€śfirst day of a long-term journey togetherâ€ť with RATO.
Work will soon begin on a pair of Newton water system projects.
Neill Grading & Construction Company and a subcontractor will begin replacing a water main on U.S. 70 next week between Hughey Drive and Boundary Street.
Crews will begin a water easement and rights-of-way project the following week in the Shannonbrook subdivision. That project is expected to be completed by late June.
Newton has seen an increase in participation for youth sports offered by the cityâ€™s recreation department.
In fact, the increase in participation for sports like basketball and soccer is so great that the city is scrambling to find places for practice and games.
Meanwhile, the cityâ€™s recreation department staff is also facing ever-increasing expenses for the Newton swimming pool, which city council voted to open in 2012.
More details in The O-N-Eâ€™s Thursday print and online edition at www.observernewsonline.com.
In a game that included a combined 40 fouls and 50 turnovers, the Newton-Conover girls basketball team survived an early scare from South Iredell to advance to Friday's CVAC 2A tournament final with a 65-37 victory.
The Lady Red Devils (23-3) will meet the winner of No. 2 Bandys and No. 3 East Burke in the championship game.
"It was ugly. That's all I can say," said N-C coach Ike Williams. "We kind of knew Bandys would be here scouting. We wanted to be conservative with the game plan and what we ran. Obviously, it ended up being an ugly game."
Despite putting up a strong effort Wednesday, the Bunker Hill boys basketball team had its season ended by West Caldwell, 67-47.
The loss ends the Bears' four-game winning streak.
Bunker Hill (7-18) led 16-15 after the first quarter, giving the top-seeded Warriors (16-6) an early scare.
West Caldwell outscored the Bears 15-6 in the second quarter and carried a 30-22 lead into halftime. Ashton Smith paced the Warriors in the first half with eight points.