April 18th, 2011
RALEIGH â€” Officials say at least 800 homes in North Carolina were destroyed or damaged by the vicious storm system that killed at least 21 people in the state.
North Carolina public safety spokeswoman Julia Jarema said Monday morning that storms destroyed about 130 homes while damaging another 700. The numbers are preliminary, and teams are to spend much of this week assessing damage across the eastern half of the state. Jarema says officials do not have any dollar estimates on the cost of the damage.
CHAPEL HILL â€” North Carolina's Harrison Barnes will return for his sophomore season instead of declaring for the NBA draft.
Barnes was the Atlantic Coast Conference rookie of the year, averaging nearly 16 points. The 6-foot-8 forward was widely regarded as the nation's top freshman entering the season and helped the Tar Heels win 29 games and the ACC regular-season championship and get within a game of the Final Four.
The Tar Heels will return all five starters and their top seven scorers from last season, making them a favorite to enter the year ranked No. 1.
It was a â€śDavid versus Goliathâ€ť match-up when Bunker Hill faced Newton-Conover in baseball Friday.
The Bears entered the game a staggering 16-0 and 10-0 in CVAC games.
The Red Devils sported a 1-15 record. However, that didnâ€™t stop Newton-Conover from playing their hearts out.
Red Devil pitcher Todd Church had his finest game of the season, striking out nine batters, but the Bears were just too much.
Bunker Hill scored six runs off of Church and pitcher Jacob Shepard struck out 11 batters, allowed one walk and three hits to give the Bears their 17th consecutive victory.
Newton's skyline is changing, and this week's addition of a steel crown to the city's familiar downtown water tank was just the beginning.
On Friday, the 63-year-old landmark was shrouded in a cloak of secrecy as renovations improve the appearance and stability of the towering structure. Behind a fluttering, rust-colored cloth, roaring sounds emanate and fill downtown Newton. When the project is complete, the tank still won't hold water, but it will be a valuable revenue stream for the city.
Donnis Lee Payseur, 66, of Lincolnton, died Thursday, April 14, 2011. Warlick Funeral Home is serving the Payseur family.
Brian Lee Hass, 43, of Hubert, formally of Newton, died Wednesday, April 13, 2011, in Camp Lejeune.
Online condolences may be sent to www.jonesfh.org.
Barbara Ann Cooper Willis, 74, of Maiden, passed away Friday, April 15, 2011, at her residence. Burke Mortuary in Maiden is serving the Willis family.
A dark cloud covered Catawba County school systems this week as the N.C. House passed is education budget with a cut 3.8 percent higher than anticipated.
"It's a little worse than what we heard," said Glenn Barger, Catawba County Schools superintendent. "I appreciate the fact that they did save teachers in this version."
Teacher positions seem to be about the only line item saved in the House's budget, according to Barger and Newton-Conover City Schools Superintendent Dr. Barry Redmond.
A Hickory Police investigator is appealing his DWI conviction, after a single-car wreck in December.
Officer Robert Joseph Falowski, 42, of Claremont, was convicted Thursday on a level five driving while impaired charge in Hickory District Court. Falowski's attorney, Gene Sigmon, filed an appeal in the ruling, which is on its way to the District Attorney's Office for a date in superior court.
Brittany Inskeep has always wanted to skydive. In fact, it's on her bucket list.
On April 30, Inskeep will check off the skydiving adventure from her list as she takes the plunge to raise money for the Rape Crisis Center.
"It's an awesome way to raise awareness about sexual violence," said Inskeep, a victim's advocate at the Rape Crisis Center.
Two Hickory men were arrested Thursday after robbing a man at gunpoint after the victim assisted the men with car repair.
Travis Lee Webb, of Hickory, told Hickory Police he stopped to help Geno Marquis Jordan, 23, of Hickory, and Sherrod Jaquis Weaver, 19, of Hickory, with a purple Chevrolet Caprice in the area of Third Avenue Southwest.
According to Hickory Police, Webb said the suspects were going to sell him an amp, so he followed the men to a house in the 200 block of 10th Avenue Southeast at about 11:45 a.m. Thursday.
Inclement weather forecast for Newton on Saturday forced the city to postpone and cancel events planned for the weekend.
The city's Arbor Day celebration, originally planned for Saturday morning, has been postponed until Monday at 1 p.m. The event will be at Jacobs Fork Park off N.C. 10.
Likewise, the threat of inclement weather and significant rainfall prompted the city to cancel its annual "Big Sweep" citywide clean-up, originally planned for Saturday. No rain date for the "Big Sweep" is set.