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September 23rd, 2011

Tour seeks to heal wounds of cancer

September 24, 2011

A pink fire truck parked in front of the Catawba County Justice Center in Newton on Friday afternoon.

People walked up with black pens and wrote all over it – each set of words a message of support for women who have battled cancer.

The truck's visit was a stop on the Pink Heals Guardians of the Ribbons Tour, a nonprofit effort that began several years ago in Arizona as a way to raise awareness of breast and other cancers that women face.

Fast food robbers arrested

September 24, 2011

Justice didn’t taste so good this week for a group of men who set up a drive-through robbery in Denver last year.

Police arrested three men on Wednesday associated with an armed robbery at the Denver KFC/Taco Bell on May 26, 2010. The robbery was a setup and involved one suspect taking money from his acquaintance who worked at the restaurant, said Capt. Joel Fish of the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office.

O-N-E launches shop-local campaign for the holidays

September 24, 2011

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas — at least it is at The Observer News Enterprise and Outlook.

As Catawba County's community newspapers launch their third annual "Hometown Christmas" campaign, the Christmas spirit will begin flowing at stores and businesses throughout the region.

"On Thursday we were proud to host the first Christmas party of 2010," O-N-E Publisher Michael Willard said of the event held at Newton Expo.

September 22nd

County's litter removal effort continues

September 23, 2011

Catawba County is wants residents to stop littering and pick up a piece of trash.

As part of a two-week statewide initiative, the county is asking volunteer groups to help remove trash from roadways through the end of the month. The statewide LITTER SWEEP started Sept. 17 and will end Oct. 1.

“It’s an effort to clean up litter on the roadsides in the community,” said Kelly Groves, North Carolina Cooperative Extensive horticultural agent.

Community garden grows

September 23, 2011

A Catawba County community garden saw a 500 percent increase in its produce and support this harvest.

The county’s Help Our People Eat (HOPE) gardens harvested and delivered 5,071 pounds of vegetables and fruit this year, an increase of nearly 4,000 pounds from 2010.

“This year was a lot better due to the constant rain we had this year compared to last year,” said Christine S. Cofer, HOPE director and employee in the county’s finance department.

Cofer said that with the help of volunteers and contributors, HOPE’s three gardens had water available on site, contrary to prior years.

Claremont loses public servant Stanley

September 23, 2011

James “PJ” Stanley was a man “who always had his city in mind.”

As a man who wore “many hats” for the city of Claremont, Stanley strived to protect, save and fight for the lives of his fellow citizen – all sacrifices that friends, family and colleagues are remembering today.

On Wednesday night, Stanley died from complications during his short fight with leukemia. He was 61.

September 21st

Maiden considers new town hall

September 22, 2011

Maiden officials are planning to build a $1.7 million town hall, but it’s unclear if the building will become a reality.

Town council members voiced their approval on Monday for renderings of a new 11,240-square-foot town hall that would feature a community room, multiple conference rooms and more offices for town officials. The building, which would be located at 19 N. Main Ave. in Maiden, has a projected cost of about $1.7 million.

Passion for the pantry

September 22, 2011

Charlie Bunn had a passion for helping the hungry.

Several years ago on Thanksgiving Day, Bunn volunteered to leave his family's holiday gathering to take care of an alarm that went off at Eastern Catawba Cooperative Christian Ministry (ECCCM), the nonprofit crisis assistance organization in Newton where he volunteered many hours.

On the way home, Bunn found a homeless man, picked him up and took him home.

"Charlie walks into his home and tells his wife to set another plate," said the Rev. Robert Silber, executive director of ECCCM. "He had a passion."

Tough economy impacts county, city tax revenues

September 22, 2011

In terms of tax collection, “close but no cigar,” is an expensive phrase.

Each year, Catawba County aims to collect 100 percent of taxes in the county, including those in its municipalities. The county usually comes very close to its goal, averaging about 97 percent in recent years.

But that other 3 percent comprises a whole lot of potential revenue.

Last fiscal year, for example, the county collected $77,216,606 (97.27 percent) in real estate and personal property tax from its county residents, but had $2,167,872 outstanding.

Catawba County crime

September 22, 2011

Store Larcenies

Thieves steal cigars, money from Vale store

Thieves broke into a Vale convenience store Sunday night and stole cigars and cash.

Police are looking for suspects who entered the Buds Place convenience store at 9029 West N.C. 10 in Vale to take cartons of cigars and $300 in cash.

Witnesses saw two white men in an older white car near the store at the time of the burglary, and Catawba County Sheriff’s Office deputies are reviewing the security tape at the store, said Capt. Joel Fish.

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