February 2nd, 2012
Pennsylvania groundhog Punxsutawny Phil saw shadows this morning, and heâ€™s predicting six more weeks of winter.
Visit www.observernewsonline.com for more about his prediction and the 126-year tradition started by The O-N-Eâ€™s sister newspaper, The Punxsutawney Spirit.
Claremont leaders are planning for continued growth in the city. Read more about their strategic plan in The O-N-Eâ€™s print and online editions.
Newton is delivering severe weather waring devices to city residents.
Bucâ€™s Cupboard offers free snacks to Catawba Valley Community College students.
Punxsutawney Phil emerged from his oak stump in central Pennsylvania this morning to find shadows awaiting him.
The result of the 126th annual Groundhog Day tradition predicts six more weeks of winter. Although since winter has been unusually mild in western North Carolina, that might not be such a bad thing.
The announcement Thursday morning drew groans from more than 18,000 people assembled at Gobblers Knob in Punxsutawney, a city about 65 miles north of Pittsburgh.
Finishing their high school careers where they started them together, Maiden quarterback Matt Johnson and running back Will Jenkins signed their National Letters of Intent on Wednesday.
Johnson joins the first-ever recruiting class at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, while Jenkins signed to play for Fayetteville State University next season.
In 2011, Johnson ran for 1,789 yards, threw for another 1,077 yards and scored 30 offensive touchdowns (22 rushing TDs, eight passing).
On defense, he collected 41 tackles (31 solo) and intercepted one pass.
Five Catawba County football players made their college choices official during Wednesdayâ€™s National signing day.
Foard lineman Tanner Fleming, Bandys lineman Travis McCorkle and Hickory quarterback Kyle Johnson signed.
Fleming, who is 6-2, 280 pounds, decided to play for the Air Force in 2012. He had a solid senior season defensively for the Tigers, racking up 80 tackles, including 25 for a loss, and 12 sacks.
Fleming also blocked 12 kicks, including three in Foardâ€™s season finale against Hickory, and forced two fumbles.
Lenoir-Rhyne football coach Mike Houston announced 23 recruits signed for the 2012 season on Wednesday.
Twelve players in the class are North Carolina natives, but the class also includes players from Georgia (eight), South Carolina (two) and Texas (one).
Signings include nine offensive and defensive linemen, including Placid Ajoku, Callan Gillison, Lucas Hayes, Chris Phillips, Logan Reach, Jacob Slagle, Bryan Veazey, Nathan Benfield and Ben Carrion.
2012 Lenoir-Rhyne recruiting class
Barbara Seitz McCombs, 97, of Newton, died Jan. 31, 2012, at Abernethy Laurels in Newton. The McCombs family has entrusted the funeral arrangements to Willis-Reynolds Funeral Home & Crematory in Newton.
Catherine B. Kidd died Jan. 31, 2012, after a long battle with Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases. A memorial service will be at a later date.
After sitting vacant for more than a year, Catawba Valley Community Collegeâ€™s old student bookstore has new life.
Shelves that were recently empty are now filled â€” not with books, but with granola bars, crackers, Rice Krispies Treats, even canned soup and vegetables.
Itâ€™s a snack bar, and the best part is itâ€™s free.
Bucâ€™s Cupboard officially opened on the first floor of CVCCâ€™s Student Services building this week, giving all students access to a food pantry that requires no fees or money from students.
Claremont is moving full steam ahead.
Over the past several years, things have changed in Claremont. After seeing plants and jobs leave the area like the rest of Catawba County, the city has eyed recent successes that it wants to continue in the future.
New businesses like the Claremont Florist, Oâ€™Cup restaurant and Claremont Hardware and Supply, have filled formerly vacant storefronts, and the city's business park is busy with new partners.
New WiFi access downtown and planned updates to existing parks have also connected the community.
Catawba County health officials are still investigating an illness outbreak at a Conover restaurant.
If you ate at Harbor Inn Seafood Jan. 13-22, the countyâ€™s public health department wants to hear from you, whether you were sick or not.
More details in the Wednesday print and online editions of The Observer News Enterprise.
The Corner Table soup kitchen in Newton is marking 10 years of serving hot meals to the communityâ€™s residents.
In a battle that decided the second-place finisher in the Catawba Valley 2A wrestling standings, Bandys got the best of Maiden.
Ahead 22-19, the Trojans (17-11, 7-1) rattled off 21 consecutive points to earn a runner-up finish in the conference and a spot in the 2A playoffs.
"I had a feeling they would bump up their guys on weight," said Bandys coach Sean McIntosh. "They've been doing it all year, especially their 152-, 160- and 170-pound guys. I just chose to wrestle them heads-up. It panned out for us."