Archive - News Article
April 1st, 2011
Sitting inside Catawba County Animal Services manager Jay Blatche's office is a sign that says the greatness of a person can be judged by the way he treats animals.
More people in Catawba County appear to be acting on that principal judging from an increase in the number of calls reporting animal cruelty.
Blatche said the county's animal shelter has received more calls recently regarding allegations of possible animal abuse or neglect.
"People are being a lot more proactive, for whatever reason that may be," Blatche said.
Barbara Lingerfelt walked easily Friday on a treadmill at the Shuford YMCA in Conover.
Her breath wasn't strained; she talked comfortably; and she wore a smile on her face. For Lingerfelt, exercising is part of a daily routine 40 years in the making â€” eating right, working out and taking care of her body.
Those are habits more people in Catawba County are adopting, according to a recently released national study. Catawba County ranks 18th in the list of healthiest counties as outlined by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
It's too late for Zahra Baker.
It isn't too late, however, to prevent other children from becoming victims of child abuse in Catawba County. That's why county elected leaders and law enforcement officials gathered Friday at the Children's Advocacy Center in Conover to announce their commitments to preventing child abuse and protecting children in the area.
Conover's city leader joined other mayors in the greater piedmont region to discuss issues facing their constituents with Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx.
Mayor Lee Moritz Jr. traveled Wednesday to Davidson College's Lily Gallery for dialogue about economic challenges, as well as transportation and crime issues within the state.
From devastating fires and armed forces services to disaster relief and safety training, the Catawba Valley American Red Cross assists people during some of the most defining moments of their lives.
But with an economy where many people are forced to stop donating to charities, the Red Cross needs help with financial support.
That's why the Catawba Valley chapter is participating in the 2011 Heroes for the American Red Cross campaign, a grassroots, volunteer-led campaign to raise funds locally.
They rush into burning buildings without a moment's hesitation.
They arrest criminals and keep Catawba County's streets safe.
But it's all part of the job for four of Newton's finest police officers and firefighters, who were honored recently for their commitment to service.
Firefighters Scott Mecimore, 37, of Newton, and Dustin Ladd, 25, of Catawba, received top honors from two area organizations for their commitment to fire service and emergency response.
Several Catawba County governing bodies are scheduled to meet Monday.
Claremont City Council will meet Monday at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers.
Catawba County Board of Commissioners are scheduled to meet Monday at 9:30 a.m. at the 1924 Courthouse in downtown Newton. Conover City Council is set to meet Monday at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers.
Claremont City Council will discuss:
-An update on the fiscal year 2012 budget;
-A budget transfer;
-A resolution for Child Abuse Prevention Month;
-Departmental and committee reports;
Richard Clifford Gaither Jr. stared straight ahead Wednesday as a judge told him he is charged with murder.
Catawba County District Court Judge Amy R. Sigmon read the charges against Gaither, 23, during his first court appearance after he allegedly shot and killed a Hickory teenager Monday night.
Police found Steven Darnell Simpson, 19, in a red Toyota Camry about 9:30 p.m. Monday near downtown Hickory. Simpson was shot in the head, and he later died from his injuries. Police later arrested Gaither and charged him in connection with Simpson's death.
After the possibility of some calendar changes, Catawba County Schools students will still start school Aug. 25.
Superintendent Glenn Barger encouraged the Board of Education during its Monday meeting to stick with the previously adopted calendar for the 2011-12 school year.
"The General Assembly has not passed the bill that was introduced," said Barger, adding the bill will allow school systems flexibility in their start and end dates. "The bill was delayed because of other things (available for the legislature's consideration)."
Prevention is key in child sexual abuse, and Catawba County accepts a challenge to train residents to stop the realm of abuse.
The Children's Advocacy Center and Children's Protection Council kicked off a prevent-a-thon Wednesday morning with a breakfast and seminar to alert area officials, law enforcement, school leaders and business owners of the importance of training the community to stop sexual abuse. Catawba County is the first community in North Carolina to start the Darkness to Light training.