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October 3rd, 2011

Fire destroys Maiden home

October 3, 2011

A Maiden home was destroyed early Sunday morning after a fire ripped through a home on Withers Road.

Fire officials are still investigating the cause of the fire that started at about 2:51 a.m. Sunday, but the home is a “total loss,” said Catawba County Fire Investigator David Pruitt.

“It was a working fire coming through the roof when firemen arrived on the scene,” Pruitt said.

There was no one inside the residence at the time of the fire, and the residents were out of town, Pruitt said.

Maiden Fire Department responded to the blaze and was assisted by Bandys Fire Department.

Roommate murder case postponed

October 3, 2011

The trial of a 19-year-old accused of murdering his roommate was postponed until December as the defendant's lawyer seeks an expert to conduct biological testing.

Michael Joseph Anderson, a Kings Mountain native, is charged with first-degree murder after admitting to killing Stephen Starr earlier this year in their Ruth Drive home.

Flu vaccines ready

October 3, 2011

Since the H1N1 pandemic during the 2009-10 flu season, vaccine supply and demand has been an important issue during winter months.

Catawba County suppliers say they recently received doses of the 2011-12 flu vaccine, one that should protect against the influenza B, H1N1 and H3N2 viruses.

Since the virus is always changing, a new strand of the flu could create a virus that requires a new vaccine. Local providers say they have enough of the current vaccine to go around.

Flu outlook always uncertain

October 3, 2011



Could another H1N1 crisis be lurking?

National health organizations say it’s difficult to predict this year's flu season because the virus always changes from year to year.

Catawba County health officials still say preventive measures like vaccinations can never hurt. They tout flu vaccinations, hand washing and other everyday preventative habits as the best ways to make sure you’re not struck by the seasonal flu or a potential new strand of the virus.

Chamber gathers professionals for forum

October 3, 2011

Health care leaders say they're worried about the costs of providing patient services while complying with regulations of President Obama's reform plan that makes care available and affordable for more people.

Michael Blackburn, chief executive officer of Frye Regional Medical Center, said hospitals face having to deal with more patients while getting less reimbursement from programs like Medicare and Medicaid.

"The biggest thing to me is we aren't going to be reimbursed very well," Blackburn said. "More people will be covered, but I'm losing more money on more people."

Corpening pulls out of Conover race

October 3, 2011

Penny Corpening will not accept a seat on Conover City Council if voters re-elect her in November.

Citing concerns about conflicts of interest that could affect city and family business, Corpening notified the Catawba County Board of Elections on Friday that she has withdrawn from the race.

Conover shares success stories

October 3, 2011

Conover turned an old, undesirable plot of contaminated land into new economic development. City leaders say many state resources made the transformation at Conover Station possible.

Now the city is sharing the pathway to that development success with other towns across the state, and leaders hope to collect a few ideas for Conover at the same time.

Murder hearing Monday

October 3, 2011

The man accused of brutally murdering his roommate in February is scheduled to be in superior court on Monday for a pre-trial hearing.


Michael Joseph Anderson, 19, is charged with murdering and mutilating the body of Stephen Starr, his roommate, earlier this year. Anderson has been in Catawba County Jail since Feb. 14.


During a 911 call the day of the murder, Anderson confessed to shooting Starr with a shotgun before using an axe to mutilate the victim's body.


Roles shift in DA office

October 3, 2011

A state prosecutor charged with driving impaired in June is no longer the district 25 attorney’s chief assistant. The DA says the assistant will continue prosecuting cases in Burke County.

Conover store robbed

October 3, 2011

A masked person robbed a Conover store with a knife late Wednesday night.

Conover Police say an unidentified suspect entered the Sunshine Mart at 302 1st St. West in Conover and demanded money from the store’s clerk.

The store manager and other employees said the suspect used a large knife to steal an undisclosed amount of money from the clerk, who was unharmed but shaken.

Conover Police are still looking for the suspect, and store officials said they have video surveillance of the robbery.

Anyone with information on the robbery is asked to call Conover Police at 828-464-4698.

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