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March 17th, 2011

Woman texts officer for drugs

March 17, 2011

A Hickory woman thought she sent her friend a text message about selling drugs, but she mistakenly sent the message to a police officer.

Conover Police charged 18-year-old Jessica Lucas with possession of drug paraphernalia and a drug violation after she mistakenly offered to sell drugs Wednesday to a sheriff's deputy.

Conover Police Lt. Mark Stump said Lucas was texting who she thought was a high school-aged friend about a marijuana purchase. Lucas apparently typed in the wrong number, and the message went to Lt. T. McManus, with the Caldwell County Sheriff's Office.

UPDATE: Victims identified in fatal shooting

March 17, 2011

Victims' names from a Tuesday morning shooting were released Thursday.
In addition to Wade "Squeaky" Sigmon, 49, of Conover, Catawba County Sheriff Coy Reid identified the other deceased victims as Susan Kay Blevins, 51, of Conover, and Connie Canipe Miller, 42, of Conover.
The only survivor in the incident is Joseph Burke, 38. Reid said Burke's address is being held for safety reasons.

March 16th

100 dead dogs found in Maiden

March 16, 2011

Catawba County Animal Services found more than 100 dead dogs Tuesday at the home of a beagle trainer and breeder in Maiden.

The county's animal services personnel responded to 4160 H.E. Propst Road in Maiden after receiving a call reporting dead dogs on the property. Catawba County Animal Services manager Jay Blatche said they discovered 100 beagle carcasses in different states of decomposition around the residence.

STEM needs increase in schools

March 16, 2011

Experts say science and mathematics curricula can help stabilize economic development in Catawba County.

According to educators, business leaders and community officials at Champions of Education's breakfast meeting Wednesday, science, technology, engineering and mathematics in K-12 schools will build a better business industry in the county.

"If investments aren't made in our students, we lose that development," said Lamar Mitchell, executive director for Champions of Education.

Officers locate 57 marijuana plants

March 16, 2011

A couple was charged Monday with manufacturing marijuana after officers saw the plants through the window of the couple's home.

Tona Marie Lail and Dustin Ray Matheson are accused of manufacturing marijuana and using their house on Lynell Street to grow the plants, according to Catawba County Sheriff Coy Reid.

Catawba County sheriff's deputies arrived Monday at 2360 Lynell Street to serve an order for arrest on Donald Ray Matheson for nonsupport.

Reid said he doesn't know how Dustin and Donald are related, but it's possible the two are brothers.

CCS says no service dog allowed; family files lawsuit

March 16, 2011

Catawba County Schools won't let a 4-year-old child bring his service dog to school. His parents say the school system is violating the Disabilities Act, and they've filed a lawsuit.
Leonel and Jennifer Silva, of Vale, filed the lawsuit Monday on behalf of their adopted son, Ayden, who started a pre-kindergarten program at Mountain View Elementary School in August. When Ayden was chosen for the pre-K program, Catawba County Schools knew he was to be accompanied by a service dog.

CAPTURED: Manhunt ends

March 16, 2011

Hours after a manhunt resumed for a suspected shooter who killed three people, police captured Everette Hewitt.
Hewitt, 32, was captured near Oxford School Road.
Catawba County Sheriff Coy Reid said investigators think Hewitt shot four people inside a mobile home in the Oak Knoll mobile home park off Emmanuel Church Road on early Tuesday morning. Two people were left dead at the scene, and a third died at an area hospital later in the morning. One person was treated for non life-threatening injuries.
Drugs are believed to be involved in the shooting, Reid said.

March 15th

Newton OKs tattoo parlors downtown

March 15, 2011

Tattoo artists can now ink a permanent place in the heart of Newton.
Newton City Council approved a move that will allow tattoo parlors to be established in the city’s B-3 central business district in the downtown area. With the green light, Newton residents Margaret and Jonathan Landers hope to ink a deal to buy a downtown building and establish a business that offers more than tattoos.

City's vacant homes increase

March 15, 2011

Population increased in Newton from 2000 to 2010, but there are more vacant homes within the city's limits.

Newton's latest resident count increased by 408 people, but those people aren't filling up all the city's vacant properties, which increased 63 percent since 2000.

Results from Newton's 2010 census revealed the city's residents increased about 3.2 percent since the last time the population count was conducted 10 years ago. The city's latest population count includes 12,968 residents.

PE teacher a hall of famer

March 15, 2011

A Newton-Conover City Schools coach and teacher was inducted into the system's hall of fame Monday night, honoring the man's commitment to students and physical education.

Tim Elrod, 55, was one of three people chosen to be part of the Newton-Conover Hall of Fame, an honor designed to recognize excellence in and commitment to athletics. This is Elrod's 31st year as Shuford Elementary School's physical education teacher, and he coached track and field for 27 years at Newton-Conover High School.

"That's the only thing I've ever wanted to do," Elrod said. "I've been so blessed here."

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