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June 20th, 2011

SBI investigates fire

June 20, 2011

State and county officials are still unsure what started the blaze that destroyed a restaurant in Sherrills Ford that is one-half mile from the closest fire station.

Catawba County Fire Marshal Mark Pettit said Monday that his office, as well as the SBI Arson Team, is still investigating the blaze that wiped out the Pier 150 restaurant on N.C. 150 in Sherrills Ford on Saturday.

Pettit didn't comment if arson is suspected, but said it is not uncommon for a SBI Arson Team to be dispatched for a commercial fire.

June 18th

Fire destroys restaurant

June 18, 2011

A fire destroyed a Sherrills Ford restaurant early Saturday morning.

Pier 150 caught on fire at about 12:30 a.m. Saturday. The Catawba County Fire Marshal's Office is investigating the cause of the fire.

June 17th

Fire chief responds to 'incorrect' claims

June 17, 2011

Newton’s fire chief is denying claims that his department has “officially” stopped providing mutual aid to other areas in the county.

“We have always provided mutual aid, and we are continuing to do that today,” said Newton Fire Chief Kevin Yoder. “We do still respond to mutual aid from any department who requests that from us.”

New animal shelter plans start

June 17, 2011

County commissioners have authorized a design phase for a new animal shelter, a facility that County commissioner Tom Lundy said may begin construction during the 2011-12 fiscal year.

Catawba County’s current animal shelter has a capacity of 78 animals, but houses about 200 dogs, cats, rabbits and other animals on a daily basis. Walking down the shelter’s hallways, about seven dogs are assigned to one run — numbers that shelter manager Jay Blatche said are unacceptable.

Stopping Crime Before It Starts

June 17, 2011

It’s that time of year when Catawba County families gear up for weekend getaways and extended stays at the beach. However, before leaving for vacation, don’t forget to properly secure your home.

Claremont Police Chief Gerald Tolbert said that when it comes to break-ins, there are two types of criminals that homeowners should be aware of.

Amateurs are opportunists and take advantage of things like unlocked doors, poorly secured windows and visible cash or expensive merchandise that is easily taken away, Tolbert said.

Reunion Pageants set

June 17, 2011

Applications now being accepted for annual Reunion Week pageants.

As plans get under way for the 122nd annual Soldiers Reunion, registration has begun for contestants in the five Miss Reunion beauty pageants – the forerunner of Catawba County’s major patriotic festival. And to commemorate the milestone year for Newton's Soldiers Reunion, this year's pageant will include cash prizes.

The Miss Reunion title will be bestowed on area girls and young women during a series of three evenings of competition, which precede the August Reunion Week activities in the county seat city.

June 16th

Eco-Tech plan 'disturbs' citizens

June 16, 2011

Several citizens voiced concern Thursday about a Catawba County development plan that will prompt more industrial business in rural and residential areas.
County planners unveiled new plans for the Eco-Tech Development initiative Thursday evening that will seek to expand upon the “noticeable activity” around the U.S. 321 corridor. That noticeable activity refers to the Target Distribution Center, Apple Data Center and County Eco-Complex all constructed around the U.S. 321 corridor within the last five years.

Community gardens sprout up

June 16, 2011

As Gene and Marty Rice toured Ms. Schmidt’s fourth-grade class around Northminster Presbyterian’s Community Garden, the students wanted to know where the watermelons were at.

Looking over at the barely-sprouted plants, Gene chuckled.

“You got to have patience,” he said to the Jenkins Elementary School students. “You just have to wait.”

But the children did not have to wait long, as they were treated to fresh North Carolina watermelon when they returned to their classroom.

Newton has size problem

June 16, 2011

Newton's downtown water tank has a fresh coat of paint and logo, but while it improves the appearance of the 63-year-old tank, it isn't exactly what city leaders had in mind.

"The tank was supposed to be restored to what it was before the rust and the paint started flaking off," said Newton City Manager Todd Clark.

However, when Clark and others living and working near the city's downtown saw the tank's new logo last week, something was not quite right about the "Newton, the heart of Catawba County" red and blue graphic.

"It is positioned wrong on both sides," Clark said.

Conover man killed in Washington crash

June 16, 2011

KENNEWICK, Wash. (AP) — A Conover man was killed when he was involved in a head on collision Wednesday. His passenger, also of Conover, is hospitalized.

The Washington State Patrol says the driver of a semi-truck lost control due to a medical issue, causing a fatal crash Wednesday on Interstate 82 near Kennewick.

The Tri-City Herald reports the truck crossed the median and collided with an oncoming car.

The car driver, 60-year-old Lawrence Volker of Conover, N.C., died at the scene. His passenger, 59-year-old Brenda Volker of Conover, was flown to a hospital in Kennewick.

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