October 14th, 2011
Consistent growth has forced St. Stephens Fire Department to expand to meet residents' needs.
The departmentâ€™s services and personnel have ballooned since its original two-bay station and small crew of the late 1950s. Today, the department serves more than 16,000 residents in northeast Catawba County and boasts a staff of about 40 full-time and volunteer members.
More members â€“ and more calls â€“ demands more space, something the department has anticipated for the past two years.
Some of the nationâ€™s top security experts are being bred off U.S. 70 in Hickory.
In a few years, they will be some of the best crime fighters in America, but they might not be what you expect.
They donâ€™t carry guns, and they arenâ€™t masters of Taekwondo. They donâ€™t have patrol cruisers or wear the stereotypical CIA suit.
No, these super heroes fight crime and protect the innocent through the click of the mouse and punch of the keyboard.
Sharing the same colors during â€śVolley for the Cureâ€ť night, the Saint Stephens volleyball team persevered over Fred T. Foard to share the season series between the two schools.
The Lady Indians (16-3, 9-1), who suffered a five-set defeat against the Tigers at home on Sept. 20, avenged the loss with a 3-1 victory over Foard on Thursday, 25-17, 28-26, 22-25, 25-18.
â€śWe knew we could do it,â€ť said Lady Indians coach Denise Mullins. â€śWe saw the momentum shift at times and it kind of made us nervous at times. We knew we had the strength and desire to do it. The momentum stayed with us.â€ť
The 19th edition of the United Way Invitational at Southside Park in Newton saw some new blood rise to the top, while one runner continued her dominance at the event.
Repeating as winner in the girlsâ€™ competition was T.C. Robersonâ€™s Brooke Gordon.
Last year, Gordon ran a 17:55.63. She improved upon that time by a few seconds this year, completing the 5K race in a time of 17:51.34.
Area breast cancer survivors will lead more than 2,000 runners and walkers on Saturday in the 2011 Susan G. Komen N.C. Foothills Race for the Cure.
Race officials say the annual event is expected to draw large crowds to the 5k course surrounding Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory. More than 2,500 people participated in last yearâ€™s race.
A century-old staple of downtown Newton is gone.
Landscapers were forced to cut down a 100-year-old maple tree outside the 1924 Courthouse on the downtown square on Thursday. The tree is dead and suffered root rot, said Catawba County Finance Director Rodney Miller.
â€śThe cooperative extension looked at it and diagnosed it with root rot,â€ť he said, adding that the stress of piled-up dirt and foot traffic over the years led to the problem.
Miller said the county didnâ€™t see any other stress or problems with the other maple trees in the area.
George Monroe Connor Jr., 47, of Newton, died Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2011. Burke Mortuary in Newton is serving the Connor family.
Jewell Inez Grogan, 81, of Newton, died Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2011, at Abernethy Laurels in Newton.
The Grogan family has entrusted the funeral arrangements to Willis-Reynolds Funeral Home & Crematory in Newton.
Conover workers received special training this week that could save lives.
After a mandate from the city manager, all Conover employees participated in child sexual abuse prevention training from the Childrenâ€™s Advocacy and Protection Center (CAPC).
The center has provided prevention training to more than 800 adults this year already, and Conover is the first city to sign up for the instruction, said Adrienne Opdyke, victim advocate at CAPC.
City workers are getting a â€ścrash courseâ€ť in abuse prevention during multiple sessions throughout the next two weeks.
Art-lovers are expected to flock to Newton this weekend for an annual celebration with chalk murals, childrenâ€™s crafts and entertainment.
The Newton Merchants Group will host the Fifth Annual Newton ArtFEST on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The one-day, multi-media event will feature local artists, craftsmen, food vendors, a sidewalk-art contest, sidewalk sales and entertainment.
Representatives from local wineries will also be on hand Saturday to offer sampling and bottle sales at the festival on Newtonâ€™s downtown square.
Running is a punishing aspect of most sports.
Cross-country is a sport that's all about running.
On Wednesday, nearly 1,200 of western North Carolina's high school runners experienced that punishment in Newton during the 19th annual United Way Unifour Cross Country Invitational.
The runners came from everywhere â€“ Asheville, Boone and even area schools in Catawba County.
The meet, held at Southside Park off U.S. 321 Business, was more like a fitness party with races in the middle.