January 19th, 2011
Michael Neely is no fortune teller, but he works in the future on a daily basis.
Instead of gazing into a crystal ball, he peers at a computer screen, a digital sign or an iPad and accesses the future with a swipe of his finger.
The time of immediately accessible, completely customizable knowledge isn't far into the future, and if you ask Neely, he'll tell you the future is now.
"It's not so futuristic anymore," said Neely, 46, founder and owner of Blind Squirrel Digital in Newton.
Some experts say the country's economy is on the road to recovery.
But as long as there are people facing financial problems, there will be scammers who seek to take advantage of those in need.
"Before Christmas and during hard times or disasters, people seem to be more generous," said Catawba County Sheriff Coy Reid. "And you see scams pop up then."
N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper advises state residents to be on the lookout for financial scams, especially during times of financial hardship.
An area crisis-assistance organization received a more than $1,000 grant Wednesday from a Newton business.
Representatives from Wells Fargo Advisors presented the Rev. Robert C. Silber, Eastern Catawba Cooperative Christian Ministries executive director, with a check for $1,020 to help the ministry continue with its crisis-assistance services.
A Maiden woman is charged with embezzling money from her employer for six years.
Lincoln County sheriff's deputies arrested Kisha Deaton Sain, 32, on Friday and charged her with one count of felony embezzlement.
According to the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office, Deaton allegedly stole $101,673 while working at Carolina Comfort Systems LLC in Denver. She worked as a bookkeeper for the company from 2003-09, and the incidents allegedly occurred during that time.
She was arrested Friday and taken before a magistrate in Lincoln County.
Last week was a stressful week at the newspaper for me, to say the least. When snow is on the ground, trouble is meant to be found.
Of course, with the white stuff comes delays or closings, which mean no sports to cover for me. High schools canceled and moved games. Colleges also delayed their games.
So finding a good story last week for the sports page was a tad difficult. Mash that together with the fact that Iâ€™ve only lived here a little more than two weeks and am still unfamiliar with the area, teams, coaches and players, and that added to the chaos.
Even the long break couldnâ€™t slow down the Lady Trojans.
Bandys got 19 points, 13 steals and 6 assists from freshman Madi Story on their way to a Catawba 2A win over Bunker Hill on Tuesday.
The game was the first for Bandys since their Jan. 7 game against Maiden.
Coach Beth Queen was aware of the time off.
â€śI was really concerned,â€ť Queen said. â€śAny time you take nine to 10 days and havenâ€™t played, that is in the back of your mind. This game was like the last game at Maiden, where the game time is moved up and everything is out of routine.â€ť
The Bears made their free throws when they mattered the most.
Despite making 8-of-21 free throws in the first half, Bunker Hill connected on 8 of 12 attempts in the fourth quarter to pick up the Catawba Valley 2A win over Bandys.
â€śWe struggled tonight,â€ť said Bunker Hill coach Matt Wilkinson. â€śFree throw shooting has really been one of our strengths this year. I felt like we have won several ball games because of our consistency at the free throw line. I think part of that concentration. I felt like we had a lack of concentration all night long.â€ť
Maiden Town Council is researching the possibility of designing a new town hall and council chambers.
Council members discussed the possibility Monday night during the town's regularly scheduled meeting.
Marty Beal, of CBSA Architects, was on hand at the meeting to hear council member's wants and needs for new town facilities.
The project, however, is anything but certain.
"This isn't saying we're absolutely doing anything," said Maiden Mayor Bob Smyre. "We're exploring the idea."
There's no housing crisis for Newton-Conover High School students, who constructed elaborately designed models of their dream homes for drafting class.
On Monday, students in Susan Ramsey's drafting III class completed and presented their semester-long projects, which were three-story home models designed on blueprints and crafted from wood, glue and foam board.
"When (students) finally put that thing together, it's a sense of pride, on my part," Ramsey said.
Charges are mounting against Zahra Baker's stepmother, who was indicted Tuesday on a bigamy charge.
A Catawba County Grand Jury issued a true bill of indictment on Elisa Annette Baker, alleging she was already married when she wed her current husband Adam Baker, the father of Zahra Baker. Zahra's remains were discovered in Caldwell County several months ago.
While the grand jury deliberated Tuesday about whether to indict Elisa Baker on the charge, loggers in Caldwell located a briefcase possibly connected to Zahra's disappearance and death.