Archive - News Article
March 14th, 2011
The Gergely family's home appeared, from the outside, to be a typical residence in the Deerfield development of Mountain View.
A garden sits at the front of the yard near a swing set, and children's sporting equipment is scattered throughout the property.
But inside the residence, George L. Gergely Jr., 42, stored six cans of gasoline and firearms after a reported suicide attempt the day before his house exploded.
A call for help
Gergely's wife, Michele, called 9-1-1 on Sunday about 1:05 p.m. to report her husband was having suicidal thoughts and threatening to harm himself.
A proposal to prohibit construction of new "quonset" huts in Newton not only missed the mark, if passed it can open the door to "quonset hut farms" in the city.
As a result, Newton City Council sent a zoning ordinance amendment concerning accessory structures back to city planners' drafting board.
It has been more than 35 years since Newton's train depot helped transport passengers from one location to another.
But new life continues to reinvigorate the building on North Main Avenue, including the addition of an outdoor train museum.
The Newton Depot Authority announced March 9 they will add an outdoor railroad museum to the historic Newton Depot. The railroad museum is designed to collect, restore and preserve railroad equipment that honors the railroad's history in western North Carolina.
A 42-year-old man caused his home to explode, killing himself Sunday.
Catawba County Sheriff Coy Reid said at about 2:30 p.m. Sunday, George Gergely Jr.'s wife got commitment papers to have her husband checked mentally. Reid said his wife was concerned that her husband was going to harm himself after he made threats to do so. She also referenced a large number of guns were inside the Willowbottom Road home in the Mountain View community.
Reid said the Special Tactics and Response Team responds as protocol to suicide situations.
First Class Petty Officer Thomas Brandt hasn't lived in Catawba County for long, but he knows its a place where he wants to live and work after his deployment.
Brandt, 30, lives in Conover, but will soon be deployed with the U.S. Navy. He doesn't know where he'll be, and he doesn't know what he'll be doing.
But he does know one thing: He's exactly where he should be.
"I wanted an adventure," said the native New Yorker, who moved to Catawba County in September. "I always wanted to do something really significant with my life."
Fewer people are living in Catawba in 2010 than were living in the town 10 years ago.
Catawba residents number 603, based on 2010 census data. That number decreased from 698 in 2000, when the last census was taken.
The 13.6 percent estimated population decrease means Catawba isn't growing at the rate officials predicted.
"We didn't quite meet the state's estimated growth rate," Catawba Town Manager Brian Barnett told residents and council members March 7 during his manager's report at council's monthly meeting.
A private pilot. A graphic designer. A dog groomer.
They are all employed in Catawba County, and they all came to Tuttle Elementary School's annual career day.
Representatives from about 20 different local careers arrived in Maiden on Friday to educate students about the skills, education and character it takes to be part of the workforce.
Catawba County sheriff's deputies arrested a Florida man Thursday who is wanted by United States military officers.
Michael Joseph Hinrichs, 31, was charged with being a fugitive when officers located him for the United States Army. The Army had a felony warrant for Hinrichs' arrest because Hinrichs was allegedly absent from duty without leave.
Hinrichs was living in Catawba when deputies arrested him Thursday about 2 a.m. and transported him to Catawba County jail.
He is being held with no bond until military officers arrive to take him into custody.
Hope is the one thing Steve Daniels gained in life and the one characteristic he tries to pass on to other people.
Daniels, 62, is HIV-positive and has dealt with the disease for 25 years.
"I've been infected so long," he said. "I've seen a whole lot of death and hopelessness. I try to encourage people not to give up and to just hold on."
Drugs and alcohol
Daniels used injected drugs, which led to his contracting HIV or human immunodeficiency virus. Daniels was in college when he started using heroin. As drug use progressed, he started injecting drugs for a faster fix.
The informal appeals process in the county's property revaluation ends today as results are mailed to residents who appealed their property value.
The Catawba County Tax Office reviewed informal appeals from property owners who disputed the market value appraisers established during the valuation process.
The county received 5,455 appeals as of March 7. Those appeals represent about 6.33 percent of the county's more than 80,000 parcels, according to Catawba County tax administrator Mark Logan.