Archive - News Article
August 3rd, 2011
For three straight years, Newton leaders have sought a 2-cent increase in the rural fire district tax levied on residents living within the 25 square miles the city's fire department serves.
And for three straight years, Catawba County officials have denied those requests.
Now, as the county seeks to renew a mutual aide fire protection agreement with fire departments countywide â€” an agreement that removes $2,400 those departments previously received â€” Newton leaders are the ones having reservations.
Newton banned parking along "Lover's Lane" near Newton-Conover High School, and some residents of the North Deal Avenue block aren't happy about it.
"I don't like it," said North Deal Avenue resident Red Reitzel.
Another resident of the street, Michael Jackson, said city officials should "leave it alone like it is," even though Newton Police says NCHS students are parking along the street to engage in drug and sexual activity.
A Vale man is in serious condition after his motorcycle crashed into steel cable dividing the median on U.S. 321.
N.C. Highway Patrol reports Noah Lopez, 23, of Vale, was driving his Buell motorcycle south on U.S. 321 at about 5 p.m. Monday when he apparently lost control and ran off the road into the median near the River Road exit. His motorcycle then slammed into steel cables that divide the median.
Arie Taylor was in elementary school the first time she tried her hand at painting. She was a fourth-grader at Banoak School in rural Catawba County and was immediately enthralled by the simple fun of making a blank canvas glow.
â€śI thought it was fun; every single thing about it was fun,â€ť Taylor said.
Growing up in the 1920s and 1930s, art supplies were hard to come by, and Taylor said her newly found passion was shortly put on hold due to a lack of available supplies.
â€śThere was nowhere around here then that sold art supplies,â€ť Taylor said.
Area municipal governments are saying a proposed rate increase by Duke Energy would be â€śunpalatableâ€ť during tough economic times.
Duke Energy Carolinas provides power to many residents in Catawba County, and the company is asking the N.C. Utilities Commission for about a 15 percent average increase in electricity rates.
The city of Conover passed a resolution Monday that voices opposition to a proposed electricity rate increase by Duke Energy, which provides to city residents, as well as the city itself.
WASHINGTON â€” The Senate emphatically passed emergency legislation Tuesday to avoid a first-ever government default, rushing the legislation to President Barack Obama for his signature just hours before the deadline. The vote was 74-26.
Obama signed the bill little more than an hour later.
Elisa Bakerâ€™s jury will not be from Catawba County, but it is still unclear where her trials will be held.
Superior Court Judge Timothy Kincaid granted a change of venue request Monday that was submitted by Elisaâ€™s attorney, Scott Reilly, last month.
The Bunker Hill Covered Bridge has been plagued with vandalism in recent years, but a national grant should help officials better protect the historic Catawba County landmark.
The countyâ€™s historical association will receive about $179,425 from the National Covered Bridge Preservation Program to enhance security at the bridge located in Claremont. The historical association must match the grant with up to $43,000 in locally raised funds, said Melinda Herzog, executive director of the Catawba County Historical Association.
Newton leaders are going back to "Lovers' Lane," and they may break a few high school hearts when they get there.
During its regular monthly meeting Tuesday, Newton City Council will revisit a request to ban parking along North Deal Avenue during school hours, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. In July, Newton Police Department asked leaders to prohibit parking along the street which is adjacent to Newton-Conover High School. The request came after complaints from NCHS officials, who said high school students were parking there and possibly engaging in sexual activity an deal drugs.
A judge has granted a change of trial venue for the woman accused of murdering and dismembering 10-year-old Zahra Baker.
During court proceedings Monday afternoon, Catawba County Superior Court Judge Timothy Kincaid granted a request to move Elisa Baker's murder trial out of the 25th Judicial District.
Elisa Baker faces second-degree murder charges in connection with the disappearance and death of 10-year-old Zahra Baker. A cancer survivor who moved with her father from Australia to the Hickory Metro, Zahra was first reported missing in October 2010.