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June 24th, 2011

$1K in cigarettes stolen from Honey's

June 24, 2011

Newton Police are searching for a suspect who stole more than $1,000 in cigarettes from Honey's IGA.

An Observer News Enterprise employee was delivering newspapers to Honey's IGA, located at 425 West A St., at about 3 a.m. Friday, when it was discovered a concrete block was thrown through a front window at the business.

Newton Police Capt. Kevin Yarborough said an unidentified suspect entered the grocery store after the window was broken and stole 24 cigarette cartons totaling $1,160 in value. Yarborough said the store was last secure at 11:30 p.m. Thursday.

June 23rd

Newton fender-bender

June 23, 2011

Newton Police Capt. Kevin Yarborough inspects a car accident in front of the First United Methodist Church in Newton Thursday.

A woman driving a black Toyota Camry was driving down N. Main Ave. when she slammed into the back of Honda Civic parked in front of First Methodist.

Newton fire department and police department responded to the accident. There were no injuries.

NCHS to get new K-9, SRO

June 23, 2011

Students at Newton-Conover High school will notice a new face roaming the halls of their school next year — only this one will walk on four legs.
Newton City Council recently approved a budget that included funding for an additional K-9 police officer to be handled by a new school resource officer Jeff Longstreet.
The K-9 will be with Longstreet every day, said Newton Police Chief Don Brown.
“It’s not a great need at the schools, but I thought it would be a good tool there,” Brown said.

Storms continue in county

June 23, 2011

Access to one of Catawba County’s most historic structures is temporarily closed after strong storms and winds toppled over trees in the area.

Strong winds blew about five trees across the trail Wednesday that provides walking access to the Bunker Hill Covered Bridge, forcing county officials to close the famous landmark temporarily.

“The trail is closed for a period of time until we can get the trees cut and cleared,” said Melinda Herzog, executive director of the Catawba County Historical Association. “The bridge was spared. The bridge is fine, and we are very grateful for that.”

June 22nd

League of Women discuss economy

June 22, 2011

League of Women Voters (LWV) spoke with members of the community Tuesday about the economy and its affect on children and families.

Topics included how the economic and political situations have affected their areas, groups and organizations; and ways the community can support these agencies.

Bellas placed on leave

June 22, 2011

The lead prosecutor in the Zahra Baker case is on administrative leave after he was arrested and charged with a DWI on Tuesday.

Catawba County's assistant district attorney Eric Robert Bellas, 45, of Morganton, was allegedly riding a bicycle on Clubhouse Road at Sunset Beach at about midnight Monday when he apparently flipped over a guardrail and fell off the bicycle, according to Sunset Beach Police reports and reliable O-N-E sources.

Pier 150 fire investigation continues

June 22, 2011

Despite an arson incident report, the fire that destroyed the Pier 150 restaurant in Sherrills Ford on Saturday is still being investigated, county fire officials said Wednesday.

A Catawba County Sheriff's Office incident report dated June 18 listed the Pier 150 seafood restaurant as the victim of arson, but Catawba County Fire Marshal Mark Pettit said that is not the case.

"The sheriff's department is not investigating that fire — we are," Pettit said. "Arson has not been named in the case."

Officials approve e-payments, despite fee

June 22, 2011

Newton residents will soon have the option to pay their utility bills electronically, but they will pay a $3.60 fee to do so.

Despite apprehensive comments from a concerned Newton citizen, the Newton City Council unanimously agreed Tuesday to provide an electronic payment service to its city customers through NCO Financial Services next year. The one-year contract with NCO will allow customers to pay their monthly utility bills on the Internet or on the phone with debit cards, credit cards or electronic checks. For their service, NCO charges a $3.60 flat fee per transaction.

DA puts Bellas on administrative leave

June 22, 2011

Assistant District Attorney Eric Bellas is on administrative leave after being arrested and charged with a DWI.

According to a statement released by the District Attorney's Office on Wednesday, Bellas was placed on administrative leave at noon Tuesday and "relieved from his prosecutorial duties as assistant district attorney."

Bellas is listed as the lead prosecutor in the Zahra Baker case.

Check back with The O-N-E as this story develops.

Bellas given custody release

June 22, 2011

Catawba County's assistant district attorney arrested and charged with a DWI at Sunset Beach was given a custody release.

The custody release order was dated for Tuesday and showed Eric Bellas' single driving while impaired charge. However, the written promise to appear or custody release portion at the bottom of the form is not signed by Bellas or the person who signed to have Bellas put into his or her custody.

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