January 6th, 2011
2010 was a tough year for Catawba County's municipalities, and the city of Newton was no exception.
"This was a very difficult year," said Newton Mayor Robert Mullinax, adding the budget process for the city was "as tough a budget process as I've ever seen."
Despite budgeting difficulties, the city came through 2010 without a tax increase and continuing to provide high-quality services for its residents.
"There's a lot that we accomplished," said Newton City Manager Todd Clark. "And that's in addition to running the city."
Conover Police arrested two men Wednesday for allegedly running a counterfeiting operation at a city residence.
The investigation started when employees from the Conover Wal-Mart called Conover Police to report a customer shoplifting from the store.
Authorities arrived at the scene and interrogated Arthur Joseph Carr, 23, of Beckley, W.Va., and Emmitt Seven Loges, 23, of Conover.
Last year, residents in Catawba County could ring in 2010 at a bar, with a drink and a cigarette in hand.
This year, however, 2011 dawned in smoke-free restaurants and bars throughout Catawba County and North Carolina.
The state law banning smoking in bars and restaurants turned a year old this month, but debates about the law haven't gone cold in the 12 months since it was passed.
"I think you should be able to smoke in bars and restaurants," said 20-year-old Dakota Bryant, of Conover.
Harold Nelson Jones, 52, of Connelly Springs, died Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2011. The Jones family has entrusted arrangements to Drum Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Hickory.
Ella Goodson Abernethy, 96, of Lincolnton, died Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2011, at her home surrounded by her family. Services will be held Friday, Jan. 7, 2011, at 3 p.m. at Macedonia Baptist Church.
RALEIGH â€” A relative of Zahra Baker's stepmother said Wednesday that the jailed woman told her the 10-year-old girl died of an illness and that her parents "went wild," dismembering and hiding her remains.
Boncetta "Buzzie" Winkler, 76, told The Associated Press that she met this week with her niece, Elisa Baker, and talked about what happened to the freckle-faced Australian girl whose disappearance and death have riveted communities in North Carolina and her native country.
At the first gathering of all area swim teams, Hickory swept the board.
The Tornadoes won the boys and girls team awards and the combined team award.
"This is the first meet we had with the whole county since I've been coaching," said Hickory head coach Cathy Hitchcock. "We swim them at dual meets, but not everyone together. So it was kind of a neat thing to see all levels together."
It was an emotional night for the Maiden swim team. They were competing for the first time without teammate Kelsey Ann Hunt, who passed away on Christmas day.
The Red Devils remain undefeated in the Catawba Valley Athletic 2A.
Despite a rough first half of shooting, the Newton-Conover girls' basketball team outscored East Burke 37-17 in the second half on their way to a 61-34 win.
Burke put the pressure on the Red Devils (9-1, 3-0) early and maintained a lead through most of the first quarter. Newton-Conover wouldn't scored their first basket until the midpoint of the quarter.
The Observer News Enterprise and Outlook want to see your cute pet.
If you think your pet is the cutest in Catawba County, send in a picture, and we will publish it in our annual Pet Parade cutest pet contest.
Entries must be received by 5 p.m. Jan. 12.
E-mail entries to firstname.lastname@example.org or bring them by the office at 309 N. College Ave. in Newton.
Be sure to include your name and your pet's name; contact information, including address and phone number (which will not be published); and your pet's photo.
Susan Travis Proctor, 45, of Conover, passed away Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2011, at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem. Burke Mortuary in Newton is serving the Proctor family.
Ray R. Abernethy, 88, of Catawba, passed away Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2011, at Catawba Valley Medical Center in Hickory. Burke Mortuary in Newton is serving the Abernethy family.
Even though Conover Station isn't open, its website is up and running for the community to see the ins and outs of the city's brainchild.
Conover Station, located on the old Broyhill site in the heart of Conover, has a website that was published live Tuesday. A representative from a marketing firm in Morganton presented the website to city council members during their scheduled monthly meeting.