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July 21st, 2011

9 schools meet AYP

July 21, 2011

Nine Catawba County schools met the Adequate Yearly Progress standards set forth by the No Child Left Behind Act. And officials offer praise to the schools that did make the AYP, even if they feel it's not acceptable testing.

"One child in a subgroup can hold you back," said Catawba County Schools Superintendent Glenn Barger.

With about 40 students in each subgroup, Barger said he does not think the AYP results are an appropriate way to rate school systems.

Justice center expansion a step closer


July 21, 2011

County commissioners recently approved a fund transfer that will help pay for a $30 million public safety expansion project. 
Commissioners appropriated $1,555,455 to the county’s justice and public safety center expansion project that started about three years ago.

The expansion project will give the justice center more courtrooms and revitalize a 911 communications center that is in need of restoration, said Rodney Miller, Catawba County finance director over facilities. 

July 20th

The Artist's Cafe closing

July 20, 2011

After nearly five years in business, The Artist's Cafe will permanently close its doors in downtown Newton. The restaurant's closure will impact 20 employees when the business officially ceases operation on Saturday.

"I never wanted to leave this town. I put five years into this business," said The Artist's Cafe owner Louis Demarhos, adding the decision is heart-breaking. "We made a lot of great friends here."

CVCC at ‘breaking point’

July 20, 2011

Hundreds of area citizens are crowding into Catawba Valley Community College’s registration offices this week to sign up for classes for the coming fall semester.

Enrollment at the community college has steadily increased during the past several years, with administrators seeing about a 24 percent increase since 2007. But the same way attendance has grown, funding from the state has shrunk, putting school leaders in a bind to produce more resources with less cash.

Economic leaders discuss future

July 20, 2011

In the last fiscal year, worldwide conglomerates, like Apple Inc., have made million-dollar investments in Catawba County municipalities. In that same time, homegrown companies, like Lee Industries and Dalco Nonwovens, announced and enacted planned growth to their businesses — bringing more jobs and revenue to the local and county governments.

In total, the county saw about $47.5 million invested and 800 jobs created during the 2010-11 fiscal year.

Sex offender charged for using Facebook

July 20, 2011

Authorities arrested a Claremont man on Saturday after they caught the convicted sex offender using a social media website unlawfully.

Andrew Dorsey, 23, of 2895 Wilderness Trace in Claremont, was arrested and charged with felony use of a social website by a sex offender after a Catawba County sheriff’s deputy found the man’s personal Facebook page.

Dorsey was given a secured bond of $4,000, but was not in jail as of press time Wednesday.

Shakespeare camp helps kids grow

July 20, 2011

Children of all ages are piling into the Old Post Office Playhouse in Newton this week to recite 16th century old English and have fun doing it.

The playhouse is playing host to the 14th annual Summer Shakespeare Theatre Institute, a week-long day camp that gives first-grade through 12th-grade students the chance to watch, practice and perform classic theatre.

David Brown and Jonathon Ray started the institute 14 years ago.

“Theatre and acting itself builds learning skills,” Brown said.

July 19th

Private company to teach CCS driver's ed

July 19, 2011

An outside driver's education business will operate Catawba County Schools' program starting in the 2011-12 school year to avoid charging students a fee.

After the N.C. General Assembly allocated CCS $198 per child for driver's education, the Board of Education faced two options — charge students $45 to keep the program in-house or enter into an agreement with an outside driver's education program to teach students to drive.

"The way the bill is written, it's made our options very limited," CCS board member Sherry Butler said of legislation's binding CCS driver's education allotment.

Dance, raise funds for child

July 19, 2011

"Love what you do, do what you love" was Nina Leavitt Watkins' favorite quote, and that's what she lived by.

Watkins was a wife, mother and daughter, who, at 27, lost her life after only five months of marriage and being a mother to a 9-year-old girl.

"She was very sweet, nice, caring and easy to get along with," said Sharon Rashidi, owner of The Perfect Workout where Watkins frequently exercised. "Everyone liked her."

Hydrant testing under way

July 19, 2011

The Newton Fire Department is now conducting annual fire hydrant flowing and testing in the city’s northeast quadrant (north of “A” Street and east of Main Avenue). The testing is expected to continue for the next several weeks.

Residents in this area may experience water discoloration because of disturbance of minerals inside the underground water lines. If discoloration occurs, citizens should allow water to run from the faucet for several minutes.

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