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Archive - Jan 2012 - News Article

January 25th

Curiosities converge

January 25, 2012

Peyton Ramseur experimented with five different calculators before he found one that could be powered by a potato.

He turned his experiment into an entry in Catawba County Schools' (CCS) annual science fair.

"All you need is a galvanized nail, pennies, two potatoes and a calculator terminal," said Ramseur, a sixth-grader at St. Stephens Elementary School. "The calculator will turn on because of the phosphoric acid in the potatoes."

The O-N-E Morning Read: Wednesday, Jan. 25.

January 25, 2012

A Friday the 13th illness outbreak among Harbor Inn patrons has impacted at least 40 people, according to the county’s health department.

The O-N-E was first to report this story last week, and now some of the people who were sick are pointing fingers at the salad bar.

More details in Wednesday’s print an online editions of The O-N-E.

In Newton, thieves are stealing copper from empty warehouses, including one where more than $200,000 in wire was stolen. Now a $2,000 reward is available for information on the burglars.

January 24th

PHOTO OF THE WEEK

January 24, 2012

This photo of Patriot Guard members saluting the casket of deceased Army Sgt. Willie Dennis Hill is The O-N-E news photo of the week.

Hill, who grew up in the Catawba community, died during service in the Korean War in the 1950s. The military worked with Hill's family and other organizations to bring his remains back to Catawba County last week.

Visit observernewsonline.com every Wednesday for a new photo of the week. To submit a photo suggestion or news tip, email onenews@observernewsonline.com.

Cops combat copper thefts

January 24, 2012


On the outside, a vacant industrial building doesn’t seem like it would offer much to an aspiring criminal.


Its sometimes shattered windows and weedy doors don’t seem very appealing to a money-hungry crook, and the thousands of square feet of nothingness inside seem to fit the likes of a homeless person more than a thief.

Yet the area's increasing number of vacant warehouses keep getting hit, not for heavy equipment or luxurious items inside, but for a much simpler product that can pay off big — copper wiring.


Newton is one of the hardest-hit areas.

Man travels D.C. to N-C, back again

January 24, 2012

The Lincolnton furniture maker who is working to bring his industry home from China made a second voyage to Washington, D.C., in less than a month.

This time Bruce Cochrane was First Lady Michelle Obama's special guest for President Barack Obama's State of the Union Address on Tuesday night.

Cochrane is president and CEO of Lincolnton Furniture, and after his family furniture company was sold and moved to China in 1997, he recently decided to bring one of the region's lifeblood industries back to home.

Sick Harbor Inn patrons now number 40

January 24, 2012

Johnny Hicks experienced a rough night Jan. 14.

Starting about 11:30 p.m., he became weak and sick on his stomach.

Hicks had eaten at the Harbor Inn seafood restaurant in Conover that day.

"We were in a party of six," his wife Jan said Tuesday. "I was the only one who didn't eat salad. So it was either the salad or the salad dressing."

About 40 people have officially reported becoming sick after eating at Harbor Inn in the days around Jan. 13, said Amy McCauley, outreach manager for Catawba County Public Health (CCPH).

Mayfield's case with NASCAR back in court

January 24, 2012

Attorneys for former race car driver Jeremy Mayfield are asking a federal appeals panel to reinstate his lawsuit against NASCAR over his suspension for failing a random drug test at Richmond International Raceway in 2009.

The O-N-E Morning Read: Tuesday, Jan. 24

January 24, 2012

A wave of car break-ins is washing over Newton. Seven residents - many in the same neighborhood - became victims of thieves during the weekend. Where did it happen? Find out in the Tuesday edition of The O-N-E.

Newton middle-schoolers are landing in court - but they haven’t broken any laws.

Catawba County accepts used cooking oils at its Blackburn convenience center starting in February.

And the campaign for a gay marriage ban continues in North Carolina.

More details on these stories are available in the Tuesday print and online edition of The O-N-E. Also featured in The O-N-E:

January 23rd

Teens hold court

January 23, 2012

On appearance, it looks and sounds like real court.


There’s a judge, a jury, defendants and attorneys.

There’s even a sworn Newton police officer who serves as the court’s “bailiff.”

However, when the “charges” are discussed and the verdict is read, it’s clear this isn’t exactly a court room.

“The jury thinks the defendant should do one day of silent lunch and write their teacher an apology letter,” read Austin Drum, a sixth-grade student at Newton-Conover Middle School and the lead juror at the school’s Teen Court recently.


Thieves hit Newton vehicles

January 23, 2012

Police are reminding residents to lock their cars after thieves targeted nine different vehicles in Newton over the weekend.


The break-ins all occurred overnight Jan. 20 in the northern part of the city, and Newton Police believe the incidents are related.


No arrests have been made.

Three break-ins occurred at 415 W. 20th St. in Newton.

Break-ins also occurred at:
* 529 W. 15th St.
* 812 Westbrook Drive

* 822 Westbrook Drive

* 304 W. 18th Drive
* 220 W. 18th Drive
* 2034 N. Drum Ave.
* 415 W. 20th St.

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