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Archive - Jul 2011 - News Article

July 11th

Catawba gets new police chief

July 11, 2011

The town of Catawba’s newest police chief said he plans on upholding the town’s reputation as a “fairly quiet” place to live.

The Catawba Town Council officially swore in police chief Mike Nash on Monday to serve more than 750 citizens that live in the town.

Nash, a Chicago native, has served with Catawba Police Department since September 2004. In August 2010, Nash was briefly promoted to sergeant before becoming the interim police chief after former chief Cecil Cook left a month later.

Citizens remember ‘family restaurant’

July 11, 2011

Area citizens are remembering a “family restaurant” Monday that has served Conover residents for decades.

Drum’s Restaurant in Conover was destroyed by a fire early Saturday morning after an electrical surge protector initially sparked a blaze inside the historic city landmark, fire officials told Drum’s owner Douglas Travis.

The restaurant was built in 1972.

“It had a little, cozy, family atmosphere,” said Conover resident Joyce Rice, adding that she ate at Drum’s two or three times a week.

“Everything about the restaurant was good — it was amazing.”

July 9th

Drum's Restaurant destroyed

July 9, 2011

Drum's Restaurant in Conover was destroyed by a fire early Saturday morning.

The fire was first reported at 1:19 a.m. Saturday, and the Conover Fire Department was dispatched to the downtown Conover restaurant by 1:30 a.m. for a working fire, said Drum's owner Douglas Travis, Jr.

Travis said no one was in the building when the fire was reported. He said he had no idea how the fire started.

The SBI Arson Team, Conover Fire Department and Conover Police Department were all investigating the fire Saturday.

July 8th

Tractor-trailer overturns

July 8, 2011

A tractor-trailer overturned at about 11:35 a.m. Thursday at the intersection of Startown Road and West Maiden Road in Maiden.

A driver for Queen Transportation said he was making a right turn onto West Maiden Road on Thursday when his tractor-trailer overturned on its right side on a grass embankment.

The driver said he did not know what happened. Maiden Police Officer Chad Long said the driver was not speeding. The tractor-trailer was delivering paper to the VonDrehle Corporation.

Mayor candidates file for office


July 8, 2011

With one week of filing remaining for some area municipalities, 17 candidates officially declared for the 2011 Catawba County municipal elections.

Two non-incumbent candidates filed for Newton’s mayoral race, which is the only election that currently has multiple people filed for one position. Newton Mayor pro Tem Anne Stedman, along with the Newton Merchant Group’s President Wes Weaver, officially filed for the mayoral election that will take place later this year. Newton’s current mayor Robert Mullinax said, earlier this year, he will not seek re-election.

Red Cross needs blood during low months


July 8, 2011

The area American Red Cross chapter urges people to donate blood during a time when supplies are traditionally low.


The Catawba Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross will team with the Texas Roadhouse in Hickory on Monday to hold a blood drive from 4-8 p.m. Monday's blood drive comes during a season when Red Cross officials say blood supplies are dangerously low.


Suzan Anderson, executive director for the Catawba Valley’s Red Cross chapter, said blood donations and supplies are typically lower in the summer months.

DA to lead Zahra case

July 8, 2011

Twenty-fifth Prosecutorial District Attorney Jay Gaither reinstated Eric Bellas to active status in his role as chief assistant district attorney this week, but that doesn’t necessarily mean Bellas will be handling prosecution of Elisa Baker if and when her case goes to trial.

In an emailed response to inquiries by the (Lenoir) News-Topic, Gaither indicated that he is taking the lead in the case against Elisa Baker, who was charged in February with second-degree murder in the death and dismemberment of her 10-year-old stepdaughter Zahra Baker.

July 7th

Bellas returns to active duty

July 7, 2011

Catawba County's assistant district attorney was recently reinstated to full duty after being placed on administrative leave following an arrest and DWI charge in Sunset Beach.

Catawba County's assistant district attorney Eric Robert Bellas, 45, of Morganton, was allegedly riding a bicycle on Clubhouse Road at Sunset Beach at about midnight June 20 when he apparently flipped over a guardrail and fell off the bicycle, according to Sunset Beach Police reports and reliable O-N-E sources.

Claremont approves sign ordinance amendments

July 7, 2011

Claremont officials recently approved amendments to its sign ordinance that will allow businesses to incorporate high-rise signs close to its property.

Claremont City Council members approved amendments Tuesday that will establish a high-rise sign overlay district adjacent to Interstate 40 that will let business owners incorporate up to 80-foot-tall signs either on or near their property.

“We are trying to be a little more business friendly,” said Claremont City Manager Doug Barrick. “We are also trying to attract new businesses to the interchange.”   

Financial times on display at flea market

July 7, 2011

If you walk around the Hickory American Legion Flea Market on an early Thursday morning, you’re bound to see some interesting things for sale.

There’s military gear. Piles of used tires. Comic book collections.

Miniature cacti farms. Live animals. Basically, if the flea market had a motto, it would probably read — “You want it, we sell it.”

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