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February 22nd, 2011

Catawba combats finances year-by-year

February 22, 2011

An increasing cost of doing business coupled with decreasing town revenues caused Catawba leaders to rethink the way the town operates for the upcoming fiscal year.

Catawba hasn't seen revenues exceed expenditures since 2007, leaving the town with a budget trending toward a $200,000 gap between revenues and expenses.

That gap won't be closed in one year, town manager Brian Barnett told Catawba Town Council during a budget workshop Feb. 15. The town, however, can start closing the gap year by year with reduced operating and capital costs.

Man turns hobby into fundraiser

February 22, 2011

For years, a Claremont businessman owned A. Klein & Co. and manufactured iconic heart-shaped boxes for candy and other gifts.

The company has since ceased production, but that hasn't stopped Jesse Salwen from creating other things that make people smile.

Salwen, of Claremont, started taking photographs in the 1940s with a Brownie Box camera. Photography has changed a lot since then, but 73-year-old Salwen's love for capturing images on film hasn't.

February 21st

Zahra's remains show 20 cut marks

February 21, 2011

Undetermined homicidal violence killed the 10-year-old disabled girl from Hickory who used hearing aids and wore a prosthetic leg to walk.

A recently released autopsy performed Nov. 12 at Office of the Chief Medical Examiner's Office in Chapel Hill revealed Zahra Baker died from unknown violent injuries before her body was dismembered by at least two different cutting instruments.

Stepmom charged with murder

February 21, 2011

Editor's note: For complete details from this story, including reporting on autopsy reports and a timeline of events for investigations conducted by departments of social services in Caldwell and Catawba counties, be sure to see the Tuesday print edition of The Observer News Enterprise.

HICKORY, N.C. (AP) — More than four months after a 10-year-old disabled girl disappeared, her jailed stepmother was charged with murdering her with the indictment coming the same day authorities revealed that they haven't been able to find the dismembered girl's head.

February 18th

Newton resident lives black history

February 18, 2011

Walter Ellis knows a lot about black history.

That's not because he studied it in school or perused endless history textbooks.

It's because he lived black history.

Ellis, 88, is a lifelong resident of Catawba County. He's seen the area go through many changes during his lifetime, and he celebrates Black History Month as a way to commemorate those changes and look forward to a future where people have the same opportunities — regardless of the color of their skin.

'Start something' in Catawba County

February 18, 2011

Catawba County wants the world to know it can "start something here."

During Catawba County Chamber of Commerce's annual membership meeting Thursday, business leaders, government officials and educational representatives were introduced to Catawba County's web portal — a website linked to all chamber members.

Startsomethinghere.com was unveiled Thursday at the Gateway Hotel and Conference Center event after two years of brainstorming and planning.

Newton explores ways to tackle nuisances

February 18, 2011

What kind of impression does Newton leave on residents and visitors as they enter the city?

According to one city council member, nothing too positive.

"Coming down N.C. 16 from Conover, the first thing you see is a house on that corner that looks terrible," Council Mary Bess Lawing said of a residence where used and abandoned child toys and refuse fill the property. "People coming through town, wherever they are coming from, they come in and see dilapidated property or property that needs tender, loving care, and they think, 'What kind of city is this?'"

Bill could cut superintendents' salaries

February 18, 2011

A recently filed House bill could cut salaries for certain school system leaders, forcing taxpayers to foot the bill for city school superintendents they want to remain on the job.

House Bill 131 was filed Wednesday in the General Assembly proposing that the North Carolina State Board of Education fund one school superintendent per county. For counties, like Catawba County, with more than one school district and superintendent per county, that could mean changes in personnel, unless taxpayers want to pay for superintendents' salaries themselves.

Fairmont Designs to bring 200 new jobs

February 18, 2011

Case goods and upholstery producer Fairmont Designs selected Hickory for a project that will create 200 new jobs during the next four years with a minimum investment of $1.5 million.
Fairmont Designs acquired a former 215,000-square-foot Thomasville Furniture facility, where it will manufacture upholstered furniture.
Fairmont Designs has 25 years of expertise in manufacturing home furnishings and furnishings for the hospitality industry. They have a 200,000-square-foot upholstery plant in Rancho Dominguez, Calif., where they are headquartered.

Fire weather watch issued

February 18, 2011

Catawba County is under a fire weather watch until Saturday night.
The National Weather Service in Greenville-Spartanburg issued the fire weather watch Friday. The watch is in effect for late Saturday morning into early Saturday evening.
A fire weather watch means that critical fire weather may occur and cause a spread of wildfires.

Grabbing an early lead and holding off a late charge by rival Hickory, the Fred T. Foard baseball...
Below is a look at the 24th Annual Catawba County Easter Baseball Classic results: Monday's opening...
Below is the schedule for the 24th Annual Catawba County Easter Baseball Classic: 24th Catawba...

 

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