January 12th, 2012
Tragedy struck Dec. 3 for Alleghany High School senior wrestler Luke Hampton.
During a meet at Hibriten High School, attended by both Fred T. Foard and Maiden High Schools in Lenoir, Hampton charged an opponent during a match at his 182-pound weight class.
The 17-year-oldâ€™s life changed forever.
Breaking his C5 and C6 vertebrae by striking a padded wall, Hampton, then ranked No. 1 in the state in his weight class, became paralyzed from the neck down.
The Hampton family immediately sought help. All of Catawba Countyâ€™s prep wrestling teams answered.
The first-ever Carolina Auto Racing Show (CARS) starts today at the Hickory Metro Convention Center.
The show, which is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., continues through Saturday. Admission is $10.
Former NASCAR owner and current engine builder Robert Yates will be in attendance today from 11 a.m. to noon signing autographs at the Roush Yates Performance products display.
ATLANTA â€” Before the Atlanta Hawks took the court, Joe Johnson whispered a message to teammates Josh Smith and Jeff Teague.
"We have to take ownership," Johnson said, "at both ends of the court."
Clearly, they were listening.
Smith scored 30 points, Johnson added 23 and Teague chipped in with 16, leading the Hawks to a 111-81 rout of the Charlotte Bobcats on Thursday night in Atlanta's first game without All-Star center Al Horford.
In light of the noose-bullying incident this week at Fred T. Foard High School, do you believe racism and discrimination are problems in Catawba County?
Let your voice be heard. Vote in our new reader poll at observernewsonline.com.
Look for a new poll each Friday, and pick up the weekend edition of The Observer News Enterprise at newsstands throughout Catawba County.
Paul Franklin Hicks, 64, of Mack Ballard Road, Denver, died Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2012, at his residence. Burke Mortuary in Maiden is serving the Hicks Family.
Terry Wade Simmons, 46, of Queen Anne Lane, Bessemer City, died Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2012, at his residence. Burke Mortuary in Maiden is serving the Simmons Family.
Catawba County citizens, there's still time to share your cute babies and pets with your neighbors.
The O-N-E invites citizens to submit pictures for a special section Jan. 26 inside OUTLOOK.
Parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles are all invited to share photos of their new bundles of joy that arrived during the past year.
Meanwhile, The O-N-E invites pet owners to share photos of their pets.
"We hope parents and pet owners will email photos to us or visit our website and upload photos of babies and pets," said The O-N-E Publisher Michael Willard.
Catawba County aid and emergency workers are helping their Burke County neighbors who are homeless after tornadoes ripped through the Icard area Wednesday night.
Emergency officials estimate the severe weather affected more than 56 homes in Burke and Rutherford counties, including 18 homes that were completely destroyed and five that sustained major damages.
The National Weather Service's forecast office in Greer, S.C., said Thursday that investigators confirmed a tornado with winds of around 115 mph.
An additional 1,500 children will be served by an expansion of Catawba County's dental health practice, health officials say.
Construction crews began renovating Catawba County Public Healthâ€™s (CCPH) dental health practice this week, and it's a project leaders say will double square footage, update and add new equipment, and provide more adequate public and private areas.
The dental practice will remain open under current hours during the renovations. Construction is set to be completed within about 60 days, said Kelly Isenhour, CCPH assistant health director.
As the sun rose Thursday morning, the tremendous scale of the devastation became apparent.
A windy, narrow path called South Fork Road, in Icard off Old N.C. 10, was one of the hardest areas hit.
You had to pass through a police roadblock just to get access to the street.
Burke County sheriffâ€™s officers said there were several reports of looting in the area the night before, when January tornadoes ripped through the region, injuring dozens, damaging nearly 60 homes and changing peopleâ€™s lives.
Driving along South Fork, signs of the storm were virtually everywhere.
Jake Shimabukuro believes music is the greatest gift, and the ukulele is the friendliest way to present that gift to the world.
Jake Shimabukuroâ€™s life is centered on the ukulele â€” itâ€™s been that way since he was 4 and picked up a â€śuke.â€ť
â€śMy mom played and taught me my first few chords,â€ť Shimabukuro said. â€śI started strumming mainly traditional Hawaiian music has a child.â€ť
Later, though, Shimabukuro enjoyed the challenge of trying to play other styles of music on the four string, two octave instrument, such as jazz, classical or rock.