November 26th, 2010
Not everyone can stay at Grandma's house during the holiday season, so many people turn to hotels for a home away from home.
As the holidays draw closer, business travel declines, and family travel increases. Eighty percent of North Carolina's visitors come to the state for a pleasure trip, according to recent North Carolina Department of Commerce statistics. About 12 percent of travelers come to the state for business purposes.
Catawba County has 22 hotels providing services for travelers in the area, including hotels in Conover, Hickory and Claremont.
Tourism remains a strong aspect of Catawba County's economy, with more than $2 million in property taxes and other fees expected to be collected in 2010 from county hotels.
According to a recent study from the Western Piedmont Council of Governments, hotels in the county bring in $2.17 million in revenue from property taxes, hotel occupancy taxes, sales taxes and water and sewer fees.
Matthew Clayton Drendel, 35, of Hickory, passed away Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2010, at his residence. The Drendel family has entrusted the funeral arrangements to Drum Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Hickory.
Kary David Drum, 50, of Maiden, passed away Friday, Nov. 26, 2010, at Wake Forest University Medical Center in Winston-Salem. Burke Mortuary is serving the Drum family.
For 27 years, Claremont and its residents celebrated Christmas with its annual Christmas Parade throughout the city.
The parade continues this year, but Claremont is adding something new.
City leaders and several residents organized Old Time Christmas in Claremont, which is a celebration of charitable giving and the holiday spirit.
Participants in Claremont's Old Time Christmas can purchase Christmas trees, enjoy hot food and beverages and ride in a horse-drawn carriage throughout various historic locations in the city.
Claremont sustained more than $6 million in damage from an Oct. 26 tornado that barreled through the city.
The more than 110-mph tornado caused severe damage in the city's Catawba Street, and residents spent days clearing yards, homes and businesses from debris and other damage. No one was injured, but residents were left with leaking roofs, toppled trees and destroyed property.
The Small Business Association is offering low-interest loans to tornado victims who don't have insurance or who need additional financial help to recover property or revenue lost from the storm.
A car crashed into a downtown Newton store's display window Wednesday, sending the driver to the hospital.
The driver was traveling on North College Avenue in front of the 1924 Courthouse when she crashed into an empty storefront shortly after noon.
The driver, an elderly woman, wasn't identified at the scene. Her Buick Park Avenue struck the glass display window and bent the window's metal frame, scattering glass several yards from where the car hit.
More people are expected to travel this holiday season, and of those travelers, a vast majority will arrive at their destination by car.
About 94 percent of holiday vacationers will be traveling in motor vehicles to their destinations, according to AAA of the Carolinas.
More than 1.1 million motorists in North Carolina are expected to drive at least 50 miles this Thanksgiving holiday, which increased 11 percent from 2009.
Melvin Haskell Carroll, 71, of Lincolnton, passed away Nov. 20, 2010, at CMC-Lincoln. Services are pending at this time.
Danny Lynn Barnett, 57, of Granite Falls, went to be with the Lord on Monday, Nov. 22, 2010.
Newton-Conover opened its season Tuesday with an easy win over St. Stephens. The Red Devils defeated the Indians 60-24 at Newton-Conover. The Red Devils led 21-3 after the first quarter and never looked back.
The Red Devils were up 35-10 at halftime and 46-20 after the third quarter.
Newton-Conover had three players score in double figures Tuesday. Kadesha Gibbs led with a game-high 17 points and had five rebounds. Shynese Whitener scored 12 points, and Quazzy Tipps contributed 10.
Lauren Simmons led St. Stephens with six points.
Area churches offer opportunities for community members to give thanks for the blessings in their lives this holiday season.
Churches in Newton and Conover will gather at Abernethy Laurels' Spirit Place on Nov. 24 at 7 p.m. The annual event brings together several area congregations for a joint worship and Thanksgiving service.
"It goes back to the pilgrims who joined together for a time of thanksgiving," said Abernethy Laurels Chaplain Larry Bolick.
Bolick is part of the area ministerial group, which meets twice a month to plan events in the community.