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Archive - Feb 2011 - News Article

February 14th

Deputies investigate murder

February 14, 2011

A 19-year-old is in custody after he apparently killed his roommate and carved a word into his body.
Catawba County sheriff's deputies are investigating the apparent homicide at 5209 Ruth Drive in Hickory.
Officials said the shooting happened about 4:50 a.m. Monday.
Authorities said Stephen Starr, 36, was shot and stabbed several times and then hit with an ax by his roommate, Michael Anderson, 19. Anderson also carved a word into the side of Starr, but authorities will not release that information at this time.

February 11th

School absences double in flu season

February 11, 2011

For two weeks, Catawba County schools have seen absentees double among students, thanks to the flu.

"We have been on flu surveillance for two weeks," said Rhonda Stikeleather, Catawba County Public Health school nurse supervisor.

Stikeleather said there was a noticeable increase in absentees at Startown and Mountain View elementary schools.

On Jan. 31, Startown Elementary School reported 100 absences, followed by 103 absences Feb. 1. The absentee number slowly decreased and was down to 37 students absent Feb. 10. The school's total enrollment is 640.

Marijuana plants seized in Vale

February 11, 2011

Two Catawba County police agencies assisted Thursday in a Lincolnton drug bust of a marijuana-growing operation.

Narcotics officers from the Catawba County Sheriff's Office and Newton Police Department worked with the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office's Drug Interdiction Criminal Enforcement team to arrest a Vale man accused of growing and selling marijuana from his home.

Maiden QB elected Beta president

February 11, 2011

Maiden High School's quarterback is right at home in his Blue Devil uniform, throwing passes to his teammates and running for touchdowns on crisp fall nights.

But junior Matthew Johnson is also equally comfortable in his black Beta Club T-shirt, juggling service projects and running for a statewide leadership position.

Johnson, the Catawba Valley Athletic Conference offensive player of the year, was recently elected as North Carolina state Beta Club president.

Johnson's election made him Maiden High's first state officer in about eight years.

Church celebrates decade since fire

February 11, 2011

Ten years ago, members of St. John's Lutheran Church in Conover huddled together for an impromptu worship service at 3 a.m. in the church gym.

They had just watched their church — the building reserved for life's most intimate and precious moments — go up in flames.

Now, a decade later, church members are celebrating their growing congregation, church facilities and profound recovery from two devastating fires in 51 years. The church will hold two anniversary services Feb. 20 at 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

Structure fire damages Hickory building

February 11, 2011

An outbuilding and a mobile home were damaged Friday after live ashes spread to the structures from a burn barrel nearby. 

Hickory Fire Department arrived at 2221 First St. SE to find a fully involved fire in an outbuilding. The flames were spreading to an adjacent mobile home. 

Firefighters extinguished the blaze, but the outbuilding sustained heavy damage. The mobile home sustained moderate damage.

No one was injured. 

February 10th

Police connect multi-county break-ins

February 10, 2011

Police are connecting a string of multi-county business break-ins involving thieves who disarm alarm systems before stealing money safes.

Law enforcement officials have suspects in the break-ins, and they say those suspects are professional thieves who were arrested in the past for similar crimes.

Break-ins at Dollar General stores in Claremont and Conover were reported in the past several weeks, which led police to think those break-ins are related to a string of similar crimes in Burke and Caldwell counties.

More incentives for Sarstedt

February 10, 2011

A Germany-based medical supply manufacturing company has 113,955 more reasons to continue operating its business in Newton.

The Catawba County Board of Commissioners approved an economic incentive package for Sarstedt Inc., which makes science and medical instruments at a facility on St. James Church Road in Newton.

The recently approved county incentives come in addition to incentives from the city of Newton in the anticipation that the company will create a new county investment of $14.2 million, as well as 20 new jobs.

Gun permit sales drop after 10-year high

February 10, 2011

Catawba County gun-purchase permits and concealed-carry applications decreased in 2010 after hitting a 10-year high in 2009.

The Catawba County Sheriff's Office reported 2,781 gun-purchase permits in 2010, which represents an 18 percent decline since permits spiked at 3,413 in 2009. The sheriff's office also reported a 29 percent decrease in concealed-carry applications from 2009 to 2010.

February 9th

City starts 'Adopt-a-street'

February 9, 2011

Several Claremont residents took on the responsibility of keeping the city clean by adopting a street.

Four groups chose to adopt city streets and keep them clear of trash as part of Claremont's Adopt-a-Street program. Claremont City Council presented those groups with signs Tuesday at the council's February meeting.

"We put this program together to help people get more involved in picking up litter," said Henry Helton, of the city's recreation department.

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