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December 10th

20 years, dolls galore

December 10, 2010

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.

Toys for Zahra

December 10, 2010

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."

Obituary

December 10, 2010

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.
 

Insight from Outlook: Tis the season for Bing, Ralphie and Scrooge

December 10, 2010

Tis the season of holiday movies — at the cinemas and on television — and stage productions, whether musical, drama or comedy.

On the news beat: What if we stop saying 'What if?'

December 10, 2010

I had a near-death experience a few days ago. Well, maybe “near death” 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.

December 9th

Obituary

December 9, 2010

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.  
 

Grant money eases Newton sewer woes

December 9, 2010

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.

County enforces gaming ban

December 9, 2010

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."

Education could take a hit in state budget

December 9, 2010

Education comprises about half of the state's budget, making it likely North Carolina's education system will be affected in some way by the state's projected $3.5 billion shortfall.

As education services are cut and children continue to drop out of school, the results have a lingering effect, not just on the education system, but the state's economy as a whole, according to a recent presentation from the North Carolina United Way and the North Carolina Justice Center.

Car crashes into power pole

December 9, 2010

A stray animal was the apparent cause of a car crash Thursday that sent one man to the hospital.

Newton Police said a man was driving west on East 20th Street in Newton about 9:10 a.m. The man, whose name wasn't immediately available, told police a stray animal ran in front of his Chevy S-10 pickup truck.

The man said he swerved to avoid hitting the animal, causing him to run off the right side of the road and crash into a Newton power pole.

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