Gov. Bev Perdue announced sweeping changes to the state government Thursday in an attempt to close the state's projected multibillion-dollar gap in next year's budget.
North Carolina residents already saw cutbacks to health and human services in previous years, leaving officials wondering what will be left in their departments if they're forced to make additional cuts.
"There's a real interconnectedness between what's going on in the economy and how it's affecting the state budget," said Alexandra Forter Sirota, North Carolina Budget and Tax Center director.
A former Republican county commissioner and American patriot died Friday.
David Stewart, 74, of Sherrills Ford, died at Palliative CareCenter and Hospice after an illness.
"I am saddened to hear of David's passing," said Robert E. Hibbitts, of Hickory, former county commission chairman. "Our heartfelt sympathies are sent to his family and many friends."
Hibbitts served with Stewart on the Catawba County Board of Commissioners for Stewart's 16 years on the board. For 10 of those years, Stewart was vice chairman while Hibbitts was board chairman.
Betty Rector's home is every little girl's dream.
From pink-cheeked baby dolls and fashion-forward Barbies to delicate fairies and iconic pop-culture dolls, Rector's house is a veritable doll paradise.
Rector, 75, of Hickory, is the president of the Catawba Valley Doll Club, and she has been a doll collector for about five decades.
Rector and her friend, Joan Ashton, 78, started buying dolls for their daughters more than 50 years ago, and what started as gifts for their children turned into a treasured hobby for themselves.
The holiday season is traditionally a time when children get excited about receiving toys.
But 500 area middle school students learned the gift of giving back when their school collected more than 1,000 toys in honor of Zahra Baker.
River Bend Middle School will donate 1,029 new and gently used stuffed animals to Hickory Police Department's Cops for Tots program and Conover Police Department's Santa Cops.
"Zahra is in a better place now," said Brooke Huffman, a River Bend seventh-grader. "We felt toys were a great way to comfort others who were hurting."
Rena Faye Boston Hollar, 78, of Newton, passed away Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010, at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston Salem. Burke Mortuary in Newton is serving the Hollar family.
David Lee Stewart, 74, of Sherrills Ford, passed away Friday, Dec. 10, 2010, at Palliative Care Center & Hospice of Catawba County in Newton. Funeral arrangements are incomplete at Burke Mortuary in Maiden.
Tis the season of holiday movies â€” at the cinemas and on television â€” and stage productions, whether musical, drama or comedy.
I had a near-death experience a few days ago. Well, maybe â€śnear deathâ€ť is an exaggeration, but it certainly felt like my life flashed before my eyes at the time.
I was driving to Hickory on Interstate 40 for an interview, when suddenly a large SUV traveling immediately to my right merged into my lane. The vehicle came out of nowhere. In a split second, I jerked the wheel of my car to the left, slammed on the car horn and pulled into the left lane to avoid the vehicle barreling toward my car.
Donald Hugh Lafone, 73, of Conover, died Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2010, at New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington. The Lafone family has entrusted funeral arrangements to Drum Funeral Home & Cremation Services in Conover.
Since 2006, almost 160,000 gallons of untreated wastewater spilled from Newton sewer lines, and more than 140,000 gallons of raw sewage made its way to the area's freshwater streams.
Newton leaders hope a grant for almost $1.2 million from the N.C. Clean Water Management Trust Fund (CWMTF) will help solve the problem Newton leaders have been wrestling the past few year.
Don't bet on getting a free pass if law enforcement spots sweepstakes machines in the county.
County law enforcement agencies, including departments from county municipalities as well as the sheriff's office, joined together to clear the county of Internet sweepstakes machines, which were deemed illegal Dec. 1.
"There's people who lost their homes (because of the sweepstakes machines)," said Catawba County Sheriff Coy Reid. "When you make it that easy and put it right in front of them, they could lose everything."