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January 26th, 2011

EDC plans for more jobs, investments

January 26, 2011

During fiscal year 2009-10, companies announced investments in Catawba County totaling more than $1 billion.

Those investments amount to 1,495 new jobs and 702 officially retained jobs, according to a recent publication from the Catawba County Economic Development Corporation.

EDC president Scott Millar said the county accomplished a lot in the previous fiscal year, but there's still a lot to be done before confidence returns completely to the area.

Traffic stop leads to gun, drug charges

January 26, 2011

Two Hickory men face gun and drug charges after Lincoln County sheriff's deputies stopped the men for speeding.

Lincoln County Sheriff's Office's Drug Interdiction Criminal Enforcement unit was conducting traffic surveillance on U.S. 321 in Lincolnton about 4 p.m. Friday.

Officers saw a burgundy Ford Excursion traveling at a high rate of speed, according to a press release from the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies stopped the Ford Excursion, which had Virginia license plates, at mile marker 25. Five people were in the vehicle at the time.

Organizations take homeless count

January 26, 2011

Catawba County participated in a homeless count Wednesday to determine the number of people living day-to-day on area streets.

Troy Jones, 47, of Hickory, is one of those people. He has been homeless for about nine months after he lost his landscaping job.

"It hit me hard," Jones said. "I couldn't pay my rent."

Jones was one of many people who came to be counted Wednesday at Greater Hickory Cooperative Christian Ministry, one of five counting locations throughout Catawba County.

January 25th

Budget could cost teachers $800K

January 25, 2011

Catawba County Schools' teachers may not see their performance-based supplement for the 2011-12 school year.

In CCS interim superintendent Glenn Barger's proposed local budget for the upcoming school year, the largest cut is $800,000, from the instruction performance category. The reduction comes from a lack of county funding, he said. If the reduction is approved, it may protect teaching positions.

"All county agencies were told to cut 5 percent," Barger said. "That is painful."

Crisis services need help

January 25, 2011

It's no secret that these are hard times for Catawba County residents.

But what some people may not know is that these are also hard times for the organizations who serve the county's needy residents.

Crisis services at Eastern Catawba Cooperative Christian Ministries increased about 40 percent from this time last year, according to the Rev. Robert Silber, ECCCM executive director. The ministry provided 317 services Monday, which increased from 232 during the same time last year.

Catawba man charged in marina break-ins

January 25, 2011

Lincoln County sheriff's deputies arrested two men Saturday for multiple counts of felony breaking and entering, and the Catawba County Sheriff's Office announced Tuesday that the men could face additional charges for similar break-ins in the Sherrills Ford community.

Bobby Lee Fish Jr., 30, of Catawba, and Richard Allen Champion Jr., 22, of Lincolnton, were each charged with 18 counts of felony breaking and entering a watercraft, one count of felony conspiracy to commit larceny and one count of felony larceny.

Newton road closed

January 25, 2011

West Eighth Street in Newton, between Deal and Ashe avenues, will be closed Tuesday for about five hours.
The closure came at the request of the Newton Water Department at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday.

CCS in stable financial health

January 25, 2011

Despite little state and county funding, Catawba County Schools remains on stable financial ground.
One important part of the fiscal year 2009-10 audit is the school system's general fund balance increased $1.7 million from 2009's audit. The new general fund balance is $6.2 million.
The general fund is the school system's primary fund for operating expenses and some minor facility needs.
"We increased our available fund balance," said Sandra Wolfe, CCS finance director. "We looked at what's happening in the state and are conservative in our funding."

January 24th

Baby finalist in beach contest

January 24, 2011

Ava Anderson is a miracle baby.

That's what her parents, Alicia and Matt, will tell you.

Alicia, 28, and Matt, 31, both of Lincolnton, unsuccessfully tried to become parents for two years before Ava was born in September 2009.

The proud parents were blessed with a baby girl who is not only healthy, but worthy of a magazine cover, according to Oak Island Accommodations.

Ava, now 16 months old, is one of eight children who are finalists to appear on the cover of the 2011 Beach Times magazine.

CCS weighs personnel options

January 24, 2011

In 2009-10, Catawba County Schools reduced positions for 69 teachers, 113 teacher assistants, four custodians and three literary coaches.

With North Carolina facing a more than $3 billion budget shortfall, CCS leaders face yet another year of difficult budget decisions — including personnel cuts and reductions.

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