February 27th, 2012
The trial of a Hickory woman accused of stealing money from an elementary school organization began Monday in court.
Holly Lafone Specht, 31, is accused of stealing money from Webb A. Murray Elementary Schoolâ€™s Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) when she served as the groupâ€™s treasurer during the 2008-09 school year.
Specht is charged with one count of obtaining property by false pretenses, one count of embezzlement by public officers and trustees, and four counts of forging endorsement.
Former NASCAR driver Jeremy Mayfield was indicted Monday on four counts of felony larceny in Caldwell County.
The indictments stem from a year-long investigation by the Hudson Police Department in which officers probed the theft of trailers located at the site of the former Anderson Truck Lines at 2698 Hickory Blvd.
Authorities searched Mayfieldâ€™s Catawba home on Nov. 16, 2011, using a search warrant granted to the Hudson Police Department, and seized furniture found on the premises.
A Hickory High School student was charged with first-degree rape after an alleged incident outside an area church on Saturday.
A 14-year-old girl says she was raped by two teenage boys Saturday afternoon outside of Exodus Church on Highland Avenue in Hickory.
Hickory police say the girl knew both suspects, including Mikal Jerome Gray, a 17-year-old Hickory High School student.
The girl says Gray and a 15-year-old male suspect raped her after a gathering for youth at Exodus Church.
Police arrested a Conover man that they think may be linked to the cityâ€™s recent string of church break-ins.
Conover police arrested Ryan Chrishan Johnson, 26, of 611 11th St. SW in Conover, early Saturday morning after he allegedly broke into Family Health Care Practices near the five-point intersection downtown.
Conover Police Chief Steve Brewer said CPD Officer Victor Morales spotted Johnson in an alley behind Family Health Care Practices about 3:45 a.m. Saturday, and the suspect tried to hide behind several trash cans.
A pair of Newton-Conover wrestlers earned individual state championships Saturday in Greensboro.
Senior Addison Klutz and sophomore Franklin Wepner both earned titles, the first since Andrew Tremain's state championship in 2010.
"It's an honor to be on the list of Newton-Conover state champions," Wepner said. "I would like to thank coach (Eddy) Clark and coach (Vallie) Murray. I'd also like to congratulate Addison for his state championship."
Klutz said he is thankful to those who helped pass along the rich tradition in the Newton-Conover wrestling program.
A black history celebration and a music fundraiser to benefit area students are among events in Catawba County this week. A variety of community organizations also welcome the public to their regular meetings.
To share events with the community, email the information and contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The O-N-E publishes an events listing daily on its Your News page, and Catawba County's Week Ahead appears each Monday at observernewsonline.com.
Bandys is returning to the Western Regionals following a 73-55 win against North Stanly on Friday.
The Lady Trojans (27-2) delivered the Lady Comets their second loss of the season in New London.
â€śI was really tickled with the win,â€ť said Bandys coach Beth Queen. â€śWe went into a difficult gym to play at. They had a good crowd. It was a small gym. They were really loud.â€ť
The Trojans fell behind 6-0 with two three-pointers from North Stanly, but Bandys roared back to take an eight-point lead after the first quarter.
The transformation from Tiger to Wasp started Friday for Katheryn McGinnis.
The Foard senior soccer player signed her National Letter of Intent to play for Emory & Henry this fall.
â€śIâ€™m really, really excited,â€ť McGinnis said. â€śItâ€™s something Iâ€™ve always looked forward to as a kid growing up â€” getting to play first at the varsity level and now at college. Iâ€™m very excited that my dream is coming true.â€ť
A four-year member of the Lady Tigers varsity squad, McGinnis earned all-conference honors last season and the coachesâ€™ award in 2010.
Four Catawba County wrestlers are in the finals on Saturday of the 2A and 3A state championships in Greensboro.
Newton-Conoverâ€™s Franklin Wepner (126) and Addison Klutz (152), Maidenâ€™s Evan Spears (160) and St. Stephensâ€™ Bradley Bader (113) are all in the championships of their respective weight classes with a chance to bring home individual state titles.
Wepner and Klutz and trying to become the first state champion wrestlers at Newton-Conover since Andrew Tremain in 2010.
If Spears is victorious, he will become the first-ever Maiden wrestler to win an individual state title.
Catawba County Schools officials say relocating Banoak Elementary School will solve a host of pending issues in the Foard area.
They say by relocating the school to a nearby vicinity, CCS can ease overcrowding problems at Mountain View and Blackburn elementary schools, and remove students from a current Banoak building in desperate need of improvements.
However, the relocation could cause the current Banoak School to be no more â€” something surrounding residents have something to say about.