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December 9th

Claremont to offer free wireless access

December 9, 2011

Downtown Claremont will be wireless friendly in 2012, an Internet upgrade city officials say will benefit residents and help retain and attract business.

City officials are hoping to offer a free, wireless hot-spot in Claremont’s downtown area by late January to early February 2012.

City Manager Doug Barrick said the tech upgrade will cost the city about $3,500 and provide free wireless access to all downtown businesses.

CVCC to close child care center

December 9, 2011

Catawba Valley Community College will close its Lab School child development center next year, school officials announced Friday.

The closing will result in a loss of seven full-time and 11 part-time jobs.

The college launched the Lab School more than 20 years ago as a combination child care center and learning lab. In the center, CVCC students in early childhood education curriculum programs work alongside permanent staff to earn clinical experience required for their degrees.

Catawba County's week ahead

December 9, 2011

Holiday events continue this week in Catawba County.
They include concerts, visits with Santa, a Christmas party for cancer survivors and a large distribution of holiday items to help the needy in the Greater Hickory Metro.

The week's events also include the discussion of a new photo book on Conover and surrounding areas.

For more on upcoming events throughout the week, pick up print editions of The Observer News Enterprise at newsstands throughout the county.

Monday-Tuesday

The O-N-E Morning Read: Friday, Dec. 9

December 9, 2011

A downtown Maiden institution is marking a century of service with a special celebration. Read the story of Piedmont Hardware only the Friday edition of The O-N-E, which also includes details about the big anniversary party coming Saturday.

In crime news, four Hickory High students have been charged in a string of break-ins throughout northwest Catawba County. Find out who has been charged with the crimes, and see their photos in The O-N-E’s Friday print edition.

December 8th

Handguns in parks? Vote now!

December 8, 2011

People with permits will be allowed to carry concealed handguns without restrictions at Hickory city parks and recreational facilities following approval this week by Hickory City Council.

Should handguns be allowed in public parks and recreational facilities without restrictions?

Vote now in the latest poll on our home page at observernewsonline.com.

Students arrested in break-ins

December 8, 2011

Hickory police have arrested four Hickory High School students in relation to a string of break-ins and larcenies in northwest Catawba County.

Police say Meguel Robinson, 16; Anton Harris, 16; Tyheem Walton, 17; and Jamario McCombs, 17, are all connected to six car and home break-ins between November and this week.

Hickory Police Sgt. Porter said a member of the public called police after seeing three suspicious black males walking in the pouring rain on Tuesday.

CRIME ROUND-UP: Thefts reported countywide

December 8, 2011

The following incidents occurred this week in Catawba County:

Tuesday
Thieves pried into a Newton man’s pickup truck toolbox and stole a GPS, tools and N.C. Uniform Citation Book at 1927 Mt. Olive Church Road.

Tuesday
Suspects broke into the residence of Joseph Frances Blanchette, 64, of 350 Spencer Road in Conover, and stole a black 42-inch flat-screen TV valued at $550.

Tuesday

A century of selling hardware, values

December 8, 2011

The Piedmont Hardware ledger dates back to 1910.

During that year, the store sold a screwdriver in November for 25 cents.

In February 1911, someone purchased bull tongue for 15 cents. That same month, someone paid $4.50 for a plow.

Now, more than 100 years later, Piedmont Hardware is still serving the Maiden community in Catawba County. Like most everything else, the store’s business, ownership and even price range have changed over the years.

Current owner Samantha “Sam” Saunders said one thing hasn’t varied — the store’s values.

Flex plan

December 8, 2011

Severe weather in recent years may help area schools avoid a growing school calendar that local officials say lacks flexibility.

Catawba County Schools (CCS) appears to qualify for a “good cause” or “winter waiver” that would allow the system an alternative to an unpopular school calendar proposed by the state.

In June, the N.C. General Assembly approved a 185-day school calendar year that must start Aug. 25 and end June 10. The calendar requires five more days of student instruction than in past years.

Bearing manufacturer creates 231 jobs in Burke, Alexander

December 8, 2011

Gov. Bev Perdue announced Thursday that American Roller Bearing Industries Inc. (A.R.B.), a manufacturer of anti-friction bearings for industrial equipment, will expand its operations in Burke and Alexander counties.

A.R.B. expects to create 231 new jobs over the next five years and invest between $3 million and $5 million per year in land, buildings, machinery and equipment. The announcement was made possible in part by a state Job Development Investment Grant.

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