Archive - May 2011 - News Article
Catawba County citizens are using words like "leader," "giant" and "go-getter" to remember a community icon who passed away earlier this week.
The Rev. Stanley Louis Stiver Jr., a pastor, community leader and avid collector of crosses died Monday at age 89 in Newton.
Stiver was a pastor for more than 60 years, spending 31 years of his
career at St. Mark's Lutheran Church in Claremont.
Two Lenoir-Rhyne University graduates, a choir tour to Europe and a desire to make people laugh brought Natasha Fox and Laura Greene together.
Fox, 24, and Greene, 26, were part of a radio show at L-R where the pair liked to "goof off" while on the show.
"We wrote comedy and tried to be a comedy band," Fox said.
The girls noticed their comedy act wasn't working, so the pair opted for something more musical. In 2008, the group became known as A Furry Greene Fox.
A sinkhole opened on U.S. 70 SE in Hickory, and motorists should avoid the area if possible.
The sinkhole is on private and public property in the westbound lanes on U.S. 70 SE in front of Valley Hills Mall. Detours have been set up in the area, and if possible, motorists should avoid this area.
Hickory Police Department and Hickory Public Service crews are on the scene, and North Carolina Department of Transportation officials are on the way to assess the situation.
A new movie filmed in parts of Catawba County will be screened locally this weekend.
"Pendulum Swing," a feature film shot in various parts of the county and North Carolina, will premiere Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Carolina Theater in Hickory.
The film, which "follows a man into the dark place of his life," will be screened at 4 p.m., 6:30 p.m., and 9:30 p.m. each night this weekend.
"The only money we actually spent on the film was put to food, gas and the occasional hotel room," "Pendulum Swing" Director Bill Rahn said.
Elisa Baker faces federal drug trafficking charges, in addition to second-degree murder for the death of her stepdaughter, Zahra Baker.
A federal grand jury, sitting in Charlotte, indicted Elisa, 43, of Hickory, Wednesday on drug trafficking charges, according to Anne M. Tompkins, U.S. attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.
Instead of throwing out fallen limbs from your yard, send them off for a new pen.
James Miller, owner of Millermark Pens, takes his hobby of "making something artistic from a hunk of wood" into a small business of creating and selling pens and pencils made from various types of wood.
"I started out making (pens) as gifts," Miller said, adding by word-of-mouth, more people started requesting the unique writing utensils. "It's fun and interesting."
On Tuesday, officials with the U.S. Postal Service told Hickory Metro residents that if a mail processing center here is consolidated into Greensboro, mail service won't be seriously impacted.
"It should be transparent to most of our customers," said USPS Greensboro District Manager Russ Gardner.
Moments later, Gardner admitted that's not exactly true.
U.S. Postal Service officials say a financial crisis is prompting a study concerning consolidation of Hickory's mail processing center into a similar operation in Greensboro.
"We are facing an acute financial crisis," USPS Greensboro District Manager Russ Gardner said, adding increases in electronic communication, a decline in first-class mail volume and an economic recession are impacting the postal service's bottom line. "We continue to deliver to more than 1 million residences every year, but we have less mail. We have got to do it smarter, faster and more efficiently."
Conover City Council approved its $13 million budget immediately following a public hearing Tuesday.
After more than 11 hours of Conover city staff and City Council meeting and discussing budget cuts and fee increases, City Manager Donald Duncan Jr. said it was "not an easy budget."
"It's a difficult time, and there is an increase in expenses that we can't control," Duncan said.
Even though Conover decided not to increase property taxes for its residents, City Council approved a rate hike for water, sewer and landfill fees, as well as fire inspection costs.
Catawba County plans to cut 29 positions in the coming fiscal year to match the area's continued decrease in overall revenue and operating funds.
All, but one, of the positions are currently vacant.
County Manager J. Thomas Lundy said during the past four years, county reductions have totaled $10.5 million, impacting more than 100 jobs.
Building services, and especially building inspectors, will bear the brunt of the cuts and will see 10 unfilled positions cut for fiscal year 2011-12.