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May 17th, 2011

County cuts services to value education

May 17, 2011

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.

DA seeks death in triple homicide

May 17, 2011

The district attorney's office declared Monday that it will seek the death penalty against a Claremont man accused of murdering three people and severely injuring another earlier this year.

Everette Hewitt, 32, was arrested March 16 and is charged with three counts of murder, one count of attempted murder, one count of attempted first-degree murder and one count of felony assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury.

Suspects charged in Conover thefts

May 17, 2011

Authorities charged three teens in relation to a breaking and entering and larceny that occurred in Conover Monday.

The Observer News Enterprise first reported Tuesday that three suspects were arrested Monday after being seen breaking into a home near Kelly Court in Conover.

Chad Michael Timothy Robinson, 19, of Hickory; Destiny Julia-Ann Minton, 18, of Claremont; and Samuel John Hull, 17, of Claremont were each charged with breaking and entering and larceny.

Converter thieves strike again

May 17, 2011

Local authorities are telling citizens to be cautious after three more catalytic converters were stolen in the area last week.

There have been at least six catalytic converter larcenies since the thieves first struck May 11.

Catawba County Sheriff Coy Reid said Tuesday that it is easy to deter possible larcenies.

"You can try to leave your car in a garage or lighted area," Reid said.

Reid said it takes less than 30 seconds for an experienced thief to successfully cut and remove a catalytic converter.

Newton budget holds steady

May 17, 2011

Breakout graphic: What it means: The proposed 6.3 percent electric rate increase means the "average" residential customer who uses 1,035 kWh per month would see a monthly increase of $6.93 to a $116.90. Annually that increase amounts to $83.16.

Newton's proposed budget won't increase property taxes, sanitation costs or water and sewer fees, but city power customers can expect a 6.3 percent electric rate hike.

Fees and charges in the city's fire, police and recreation departments will also increase.

Newton soapmakers to visit festival

May 17, 2011

Outside of a green workshop on N.C. 10, there's a pleasant, light fragrance that fills the air. The sweet aroma isn't spring flowers in bloom, but the smell of soap being made.

Jim and Dorothy Samson, both 65 and of Newton, started O My Soap in a garage sitting beside their home. Now, the garage is full of essential oils, fragrances, various butters for mixing and numerous designer fabrics used for the company's products.

Webcast to benefit pro-life organizations

May 17, 2011

Heartbeat International, will co-host the live UNITEforLIFE webcast event to benefit pro-life pregnancy care organizations in the U.S. and Canada.

The free event, to be held May 17 at 8 p.m. in each U.S. time zone, will feature former Planned Parenthood Director Abby Johnson as she describes her dramatic journey from Planned Parenthood director to pro-life advocate.

Johnson’s change of heart happened after she participated in an ultrasound-assisted abortion procedure that opened her eyes to the reality of abortion.

May 16th

B&E, chase lead to arrests

May 16, 2011

Three suspects were arrested Monday in relation to a breaking and entering call near Kelly Street in Conover.
After breaking into a residence around 3:30 p.m., Carl Robinson and two unidentified suspects fled toward Tri-City Baptist Church on Highway 16 North.
When the suspects wrecked their car near the church, Robinson fled the scene while another male and female suspects were taken into custody.
The names of the other suspects weren't released as of press time Monday.

Fire burns mobile home

May 16, 2011

Investigators are researching a fire that started at a mobile home while a husband and wife were inside.
Bandys Volunteer Fire Department arrived at 4662 N.C. 16 South at about 5:15 p.m. Monday to discover a mobile home fully engulfed in flames. The couple, who was inside at the time the fire started, escaped unharmed from their home.
The fire destroyed at least half of the home.
The Catawba County Fire Marshal's Office is investigating.

Revenue loss leads to cuts

May 16, 2011

The town of Catawba plans to cut its budget by 8.8 percent during the next fiscal year in order to match the town’s decline in overall revenue.
The cut will eliminate about $80,000 from the town’s total budget, said Catawba Town Manager Brian M. Barnett on Wednesday.
The town will keep its current tax rate of 48 cents per $100 of valuation, Barnett said.
“Our biggest issue is a decline in overall revenue to the town,” Barnett said. “Now, we have to adjust on our end what we anticipate coming in on revenue.”

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