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September 27th, 2011

Music, business ‘legend’ passes away

September 28, 2011

Catawba County and the Southeast region are remembering a “legend of Southern gospel music” today that you might have known for different reasons.

Charles Ray Burke was an area businessman who friends and family say devoted countless hours to the Southern gospel music industry. He was most known for his behind-the-scenes leadership that launched the careers of notable quartets and singers, but Burke tuned a long list of business ventures throughout his lifetime that continue to be felt today.
Burke died unexpectedly Friday, Sept. 23, in Maiden. He was 75.

Gas prices drop locally, nationwide

September 28, 2011

Gas prices are dropping – for now.

Area gas prices have fallen below the national average, but they still soar nearly $1 per gallon higher than in September of last year.

In the past two months, gas prices across the nation and Catawba County have decreased about 20 cents. On Tuesday, gas stations around Newton, Conover and Claremont sold fuel for about $3.40 per gallon. In Maiden, the prices were higher in places like the Valero gas station on U.S. 321 Business, which sold gas for $3.48 per gallon.

The national average for fuel hovers around $3.51 per gallon.

Football stadium bleacher upgrades planned

September 28, 2011

In an effort to improve safety and meet building code requirements, Catawba County Schools plans to replace bleachers at several of its high school football stadiums.

The board of education approved an agreement Monday night to hire an architect to create design concepts and cost estimates for the replacements.

Assistant Superintendent Steve Demiter said the school system is exploring work on the home and visitor bleachers at St. Stephens and Bandys high schools, the home side at Fred T. Foard High School and the visitor side at Bunker Hill High School.

Catawba gets Dollar General

September 28, 2011

This Dollar goes a long way.

A new Dollar General will open in Catawba this week, giving town residents quick and easy access to basic grocery store needs. There is no grocery store in Catawba, and many residents have to drive outside town lines currently to get food or a general item quickly.

The store is located at the intersection of U.S. 70 and Oxford School Road.

DWI causes moped wreck

September 28, 2011

A Conover man faces a charge of driving while impaired after he wrecked his moped Tuesday morning on N.C. 16.

Gregory Eugene Shook, 51, was impaired by medication, not alcohol, when he lost control of his scooter just before 5 a.m., said Trooper B.K. Perkins of the N.C. Highway Patrol.

Perkins said the first person to arrive after Shook's accident was Keith Cranor of Roan Mountain, Tenn.

"He found him across the center line of the road, called 911 and waited," Perkins said of Cranor.

Shook was transported to Catawba Valley Medical Center.

Hickory man charged in fatal 321 crash

September 28, 2011

Alcohol was involved in a Sunday crash on U.S. 321 that killed a woman, according to the N.C. Highway Patrol.

Tyler Harold Shull, 27, of Hickory, is charged with driving while impaired and felony death by vehicle after a crash that killed 21-year-old Jessica Justice of Stanley.

Shull, with Justice in the passenger seat, was driving his 2008 Volkswagen Passat north on 321 when he hit a 1996 Jeep SUV driven by Brooke Nicole Shipman of Clyde.

Indians win behind Bruce's slow-roller

September 27, 2011

Surviving weather conditions and a tough opponent on Monday, the St. Stephens soccer team picked up a big conference victory against rival Fred T. Foard.

Sophomore Luke Bruce scored a goal for the Indians (5-1-1, 3-0-1) in the 62nd minute of the game and held off a late game charge by the Tigers (8-5-1, 3-2-0) to earn the win.

“Foard is one of the toughest teams in the conference,” said Indians coach Chris Nelson. “We knew we had to come ready to play. The guys worked really hard out there.”

September 26th

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

September 27, 2011

Lena Faye Abernethy Cline, 68, of Robinson Road, Newton, died Sunday, Sept. 25, 2011 at Palliative CareCenter & Hospice of Catawba Valley. The Cline family has entrusted funeral arrangements to Willis-Reynolds Funeral Home & Crematory in Newton.

Happy trails

September 27, 2011

Pieces of a recreation trail in Newton and Conover were in the spotlight on Sunday, even as dark rain clouds threatened.

Leaders in both cities dedicated segments of the Carolina Thread Trail – a planned 126-mile pathway that will meander through 15 counties in North and South Carolina. The trail is named for the counties’ rich fabric manufacturing heritage.

Just after 2:30 p.m., members of Conover’s city council lifted a white sheet off a sign that marks the Thread Trail on a stretch of the Gateway Trail off 1st Street.

Police find pipe bomb in Newton

September 27, 2011

A homemade pipe bomb was found in a Newton man’s home after he was arrested on a charge of drinking and driving this weekend.

Police first arrested Mark David Leatherman, 41, of 1950 Ira Drive in Newton, on Saturday for Driving While Impaired (DWI) on his street, according to Catawba County Sheriff’s Office Capt. Joel Fish.

Authorities returned to Leatherman’s home on Sunday in response to a domestic argument and found a homemade pipe bomb on the front yard.

Fish said Leatherman’s girlfriend had found the pipe bomb previously and had hidden it for safety purposes.

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