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June 15th, 2011

$11M taken from schools

June 15, 2011

North Carolina's 2011-12 budget will take away about $11 million from Catawba County's three school systems, creating a fearful future for school officials and area children.

"This budget sets us on a road to bankruptcy," said Catawba County Schools Superintendent Glenn Barger.

Budget cuts in public education spending will take a total of $4.7 million from Catawba County's three school systems. Discretionary funds from school systems also have to be paid back to the state, which makes the number climb to $10.9 million lost in public funding.

NCCS approves new dress code

June 15, 2011

A new dress code will force many elementary school students to wear uniforms next year.

The Newton-Conover City Schools Board of Education unanimously approved standard code of dress policy Monday for elementary school students to go into effect next school year. The board did not vote on a particular uniform, but rather approved an action that will force each elementary school’s staff to construct a dress code with input from parents.

The school staff and parents must present the new dress code to the board by Aug. 8.

June 14th

Bags of books

June 14, 2011

As the children of librarians, Carmen Winstead and Meredith Gladden aren't strangers to reading or to books.

"When we were growing up, we had a lot of books to read," Winstead said.
Not every young person in Catawba County is as fortunate.

That's why the two rising seniors at Fred T. Foard High School wanted to help spread reading and books to other young people. They orchestrated a book drive at Blackburn Elementary School that collected 2,948 youth and children's books.

GA passes ‘Zahra’s Law’

June 14, 2011

The North Carolina General Assembly agreed Monday to make it illegal to dismember a body to conceal a crime.

The new law was initiated by the local district attorney’s office and will re-word an existing law to make dismembering a corpse to conceal a crime a Class C felony.

State representatives Mark Hilton and Tim Moore drafted the bill that has roots in the Zahra Baker case.

Baker is the 10-year-old Hickory girl who was originally reported missing Oct. 9. After her remains were found nearly a month later, Elisa Baker, Zahra's stepmother, was charged with second-degree murder.

Newton-Conover schools cut 14 TAs

June 14, 2011

The Newton-Conover School System will cut 14 teacher assistant positions next year to compensate for funding being retracted by the state, school officials announced Monday.

NCCS Superintendent Barry Redmond said the school system must return about $852,000 in discretionary reversion funding to the state and cutting positions is one of the only ways to create that money.

N.C. lawmakers pass 'Zahra's Law'

June 14, 2011

RALEIGH — The General Assembly has agreed to make it illegal to dismember a body to hide a possible crime or other evidence of an unnatural death. The move occurred following the death of a 10-year-old girl with disabilities reported missing from her North Carolina home last fall.

The Senate gave final legislative approval Monday night to the measure. The bill now goes to Gov. Beverly Perdue's desk.

June 13th

GHC officials hopeful about future, despite turnout

June 13, 2011

Despite attendance numbers that were lower than prior years, the executive director of the Greater Hickory Classic at Rock Barn is “optimistic” the tournament will stay in Conover.

“All in all, it went extremely well,” said GHC Executive Director Jim Correll. “It was hotter than what we hoped or expected, but those are things you can’t control.”

Correll said the extreme heat heavily contributed to the lower-than-usual turnout. He added that the missing presence of professional golfers Fred Couples and Bernhard Langer, who both played last year, also added to a smaller turnout.

Obama pushes jobs plan in North Carolina

June 13, 2011

DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — President Barack Obama promoted job creation Monday in politically important North Carolina, trying to assure Americans he's focused on their No. 1 concern — and his greatest political weakness — as his potential GOP presidential opponents prepared to target his economic policies in their first major debate.

Splash time in Newton

June 13, 2011

The city of Newton swimming pool officially opened Monday and area citizens came out to tan, play and beat the heat.

The pool is scheduled to remain open through Aug. 14.

n the photo, Dylan Carroll,13, of Newton, takes a ride on one of two slides the pool offers.

Public swimming will be available Monday through Saturday from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is $1 for children ages 0-5, $2 for ages 62 and older, $3 for children ages 6-17, and $4 for adults ages 18-61.

Gang initiative has no re-offenders

June 13, 2011

Area police leaders say a local initiative to stop violent crimes is seeing positive results.

Since the Catawba County Gang Initiative began last month, none of the participants involved in the program have re-offended.

“I consider it a great success because our ultimate goal is to have these folks not re-offend,” said Newton Police Chief Don Brown. “If we don’t hear from them again, and they don’t re-offend, then it’s a success.”

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