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Archive - Nov 30, 2011 - News Article

Fire destroys couple's home

November 30, 2011

A fire destroyed an elderly couple’s home Wednesday in northern Catawba County.

Family and neighbors say a fire burst from a wood furnace at the home of Bill and Euella Winebarger at 5942 Hightower Road in Hickory. The flames completely engulfed the home and caused minor burns to Bill’s hands and ears, family members said.

Family members say the couple had just returned home around noon on Wednesday when the fire started.

In control

November 30, 2011

It was nearing 6 p.m., and Catawba firemen were circling an old, cinderblock house at 5400 Hudson Chapel Road.

The one-story, abandoned residence was soaked. It had rained all day, which dampened the Catawba Fire Department’s chances of easily starting a training fire at the house that most neighbors consider a burden to the community.

The house, located directly across from Catawba Elementary School, already burned more than four years ago, said Catawba Fire Chief Donald Robinson.

Assistant DA case continued

November 30, 2011

A district court judge agreed to continue the DWI case against Assistant District 25 Attorney Eric Bellas on Wednesday in Brunswick County.

Bellas was scheduled to appear in court for DWI and civil revocation of driver’s license charges in relation to an incident that occurred this summer at Sunset Beach. Court officials said Bellas’ attorney, Roy Best, appeared for him and the case was continued until Jan. 25.

Bellas, 45, of Morganton, was charged with DWI while attending a district attorney’s conference in Sunset Beach.

Man receives life sentence

November 30, 2011

A Hickory man will spend the rest of his life in prison after he was convicted Wednesday of first-degree murder.

Ryan Ansley Rendleman was sentenced in Catawba County Criminal Superior Court after a jury deliberated for four hours and decided that he was guilty of killing former girlfriend Christy Whitmore, according to a release from the district 25 attorney's office.

Whitmore was found dead in March 2010 at the mobile home park where she lived with Rendleman.

Rendleman's trial lasted nine days at the Catawba County Justice Center.

Catawba County crime

November 30, 2011

Thieves have targeted electronic equipment in multiple homes in Catawba County in the last week.

Flat-screen TVs and video games were stolen in Hickory, Conover and Catawba.

Thieves also stole cigarettes from a Hickory convenience store, and others took a catalytic converter from a vehicle sitting at Catawba Valley Community College.

Following are crimes reported by the Catawba County Sheriff's Office.

Monday
Suspects stole a 55-inch flat-screen TV from the home of Randall Scott Setzer, 38, of 1156 Wagon Wheel Road in Hickory, on Monday.

Manufacturer bringing jobs to county

November 30, 2011

A German-based manufacturer of fan wheels and blowers will bring at least 62 jobs to Catawba County when it opens a new manufacturing plant in Hickory.

Punker LLC produces fan parts for the HVAC and exhaust industries. The company's Hickory plant will be its first manufacturing operation in the United States, according to a release from the Catawba County Economic Development Corporation (EDC). Plans for the plant were announced Wednesday.

The O-N-E Morning Read: Wednesday, Nov. 30

November 30, 2011

Lions, tigers and other exotic animals in Catawba County?

They’re here — and they are lawfully allowed as North Carolina is one of eight states that do not regulate possession of exotic animals. Catawba County leaders want to change that, however, and the Wednesday edition of The O-N-E examines how the county’s animal control officials are trying to better regulate possession of exotic animals in area municipalities.

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