Archive - News Article
September 11th, 2011
During the hour when terrorist attacks were unfolding on U.S. soil a decade earlier, Catawba County citizens gathered in Conover on Sunday to remember Sept. 11, 2001.
â€śToday marks the 10th anniversary of when our world was made different in an instant,â€ť said Conover Mayor Lee Moritz Jr. â€śWhatever we call 9/11 - the beginning of the war on terror - or Americaâ€™s wake-up call, one fact is beyond belief: it changed us, and it changed our world.â€ť
â€¨â€¨A group of Conover officials experienced 9/11 first hand this week through the mouth of a â€śheroâ€ť and â€śsurvivorâ€ť himself.
â€¨While on a trip to retrieve a piece of the Twin Towers for the city, Conover chiefs, managers and citizens toured Ground Zero with a man who lived through the terrorist attacks. Nick Pendergast, whose father was the president of the Conover Family Historical Society, was a financial consultant who worked no more than 200 yards away from Ground Zero.
Less than two months ago, federal authorities arrested 17 men in Charlotte associated with the Middle East guerrilla group Hezbollah. The men were smuggling and selling cigarettes across state lines and sending the profits to fund terrorist groups.
It was a large-scale terrorist bust that occurred less than 60 miles from Catawba County.
Area law enforcement say such terrorist plots, as well as the attacks on 9/11, have forced officers to become savvy with a whole new type of security.
Only a few hours after terrorists attacked the United States, Catawba County's community newspaper was among the first in the state and the nation to hit the streets with the news.
"We had it in the newspaper pretty quick. We may have been the first newspaper in North Carolina to print it," said Jon Alverson, former sports editor for The Observer News Enterprise. "I know we had it out before noon."
Police busted a one-man drug and gun operation in Claremont on Thursday that yielded marijuana, cash and more than 100 jars of moonshine.
Authorities searched a Claremont home Thursday and found 295 grams of marijuana, 40 firearms, $13,000 in cash and more than 100 jars of moonshine.
Police also seized a liquor still from the residence at 7103 River Bend Road, said Catawba County Sheriff Coy Reid.
Ten years ago on Sept. 11, Jan Herman and her seventh-grade class were studying a weather unit at Arndt Middle School. Using information from a weather broadcast on TV, the students filled in weather charts on pieces of paper.
Just before 9 a.m., The Weather Channelâ€™s coverage was interrupted by a news broadcast. It was footage of the World Trade Center burning â€“ smoke pluming into clouds high above.
Herman didnâ€™t turn the TV off or change the channel.
Lanny Hartsoe strolled through the old Warlong Building in Conover Station on Wednesday with a smile on his face. He looked up, then down and closely observed the building he worked in for 24 years. Â
â€śI reckon your office is gone, Sam,â€ť he said to one of his former colleagues.
Hartsoe was one of about 10 former Broyhill Furniture employees to tour the newly renovated Warlong Building.
Sometimes it takes extreme measures to create change.
After a â€śharshâ€ť letter and a heated public discussion, Claremontâ€™s city council and Optimist Club are once again communicating.
It has been four years since Claremont officials have heard from the club they have invested more than $200,000 in, but a clear-cut letter from city leaders finally drew some public discourse that has â€śre-openedâ€ť the lines of communication between the two groups.
The Claremont Optimist Club leases land at Frances Sigmon Park on Keisler Dairy Road for recreational leagues and activities for children.
These arenâ€™t your granddadâ€™s train sets.
The nationâ€™s top train and landscape modelers are descending on Hickory this weekend for the 31st annual National Narrow Gauge Convention.
Event planners say the convention will bring more than 2,000 people to the Hickory area, and four area hotels are already full.
It is the first time the annual convention has been held in the southeast and world-renowned modelers will have large- and small-scale layouts for the public to view, said Matt Bumgarner, secretary of the local chapter of the National Railway Historical Society.
Conover moved forward this week with financial commitments that may help create nearly 100 new jobs in the next several years. In exchange, the city will spend up to $181,000 of its money and a $750,000 grant on economic development projects at LEE Industries Inc. and Dalco Nonwovens.