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July 14th, 2011

N.C. 16 bypass almost done

July 14, 2011

Despite reports that the new N.C. 16 would be completed within days, the bypass may not be finished for at least two more weeks, transportation officials said Thursday.

Construction crews have been working on the bypass since 2008. The new highway will decrease travel time to Charlotte and runs from south of Tower Road in Denver to Gaston County.

Most of the construction to the bypass is finished, but work to new stop lights is holding up the project’s completion, said NCDOT Resident Engineer Lex Garey.

Dates set for change of venue

July 14, 2011

Elisa Baker’s chains and shackles rattled as she shuffled into Catawba County Superior Court on Thursday for a pre-trial hearing.

The woman, accused of the 2010 murder of her 10-year-old disabled stepdaughter, did not speak as her judge, defense attorney and state prosecution discussed an arraignment and possible change of venue for her case.

Superior Court Judge Timothy Kincaid set Baker’s arraignment for September, but said he will first hear a motion Aug. 1 about moving the trial because of publicity surrounding the case.

Newton pool revenue dips during first month

July 14, 2011

City investments in Newton's swimming pool are up and revenue is down, but plans for the future aims to help keep the facility — and pool goers — afloat during the rest of the summer.

After Newton invested $42,600 to prepare the city's swimming pool for the summer season, the facility brought about $5,000 to city coffers during the 16 days it was open in June.

"This is a good service amenity that the city offers," Newton Mayor Robert Mullinax said of the swimming pool.

July 13th

City gets $333K grant for park

July 13, 2011

Conover received a $333,000 grant to create a park at Conover Station, which will add 48 percent to the city's park tally.

Conover Planning Director Lance Hight announced the city's receipt of a N.C. Parks and Recreation Trust Fund grant for $333,744 at a recent council meeting. This grant requires a 50/50 match with the city.

However, Hight said the city can leverage the PARTF grant with the Cleanwater Management Trust Fund grant for $415,719, which the city received earlier this year. The cleanwater grant provides most of the total matching fund payment.

Warlong building on its way to completion

July 13, 2011

The Warlong building at Conover Station is about four weeks behind schedule, but city officials say the setbacks are in part because of construction problems to the old building.

"The big thing is the complexity of the building," said Conover City Manager Donald Duncan Jr. "You have to open it up and discover how it was built."

The Warlong building was scheduled to be finished July 1, but the new completion date is Aug. 12.

School seeks parking ban for 'Lover's Lane'

July 13, 2011

Newton-Conover High School leaders want to prohibit parking on a street near school grounds because they believe students are going to the area to engage in sexual activity and deal drugs.

School seeks parking ban for 'Lover's Lane'

July 13, 2011

Newton-Conover High School leaders want to prohibit parking on a street near school grounds because they believe students are going to the area to engage in sexual activity and deal drugs.

Police nab Newton strangler

July 13, 2011

Police located and arrested the man Tuesday accused of strangling a 73-year-old woman to unconsciousness before stealing firearms from her apartment.

Newton Police charged Austin O’Brian Chislom, 17, of Newton, with attempted first-degree murder Tuesday after he and two others choked, strangled and stole from a Newton woman he lived beside nearly two weeks ago.

July 12th

3 people sent to hospital

July 12, 2011

Personnel from Newton Fire and Police departments work to transfer a car-wreck victim to an ambulance on Tuesday at the intersection of Startown Road and N.C. 10 in Newton.

The two-car accident sent three people to the hospital, but authorities said none of the injuries were serious. Two people in a Buick Lacrosse and the driver of a Chevrolet truck were all taken to Catawba Valley Medical Center after the cars collided in the intersection.

Drunken argument leads to murder

July 12, 2011

An argument between impaired friends turned deadly early Tuesday morning when a Caldwell County man shot and killed a Conover resident outside his home, authorities said.

Caldwell County authorities arrested Ricky A. Annas, 50, of Granite Falls, later Tuesday and charged him with murder in the death of J.W. Smith Jr., 38, of Conover. He is being held at the Catawba County jail without bond.

Catawba County sheriff’s deputies responded to the shooting at about 1:49 a.m. to find Smith shot, according the sheriff’s report.

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