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May 16th, 2011

Burn victim in critical condition

May 16, 2011

A Maiden man is fighting for his life after a chemical explosion left his lungs, throat and body burned last week.

Jeff Walker, 43, was airlifted to the Wake Forest Baptist Medical Burn Center on Wednesday after a mixture of pool chemicals exploded outside his brother's residence at 709 W. School St. in Maiden.

Walker, who works for the town of Maiden's water and sewer department, is on life support and in critical condition, family members said Monday.

May 13th

SSHS students involved in armed robbery

May 13, 2011

About five St. Stephens High School students were allegedly involved in an attempted armed robbery Wednesday.

Hickory Police are investigating an incident, where a 17-year-old victim said he was forced into a silver Volkswagon Jetta, pistol whipped and later drug from the vehicle. The victim said the incident started at a house on 37th Avenue Northeast on Wednesday.

The victim to Hickory Police that when he was able to be released from the vehicle, he got into another car and attempted to follow the Jetta.

Maiden residents could see tax break

May 13, 2011

Maiden residents could likely see a drop in their property tax rate for the next fiscal year.

If passed by town officials, the proposed tax break will save town residents nearly $80,000 and can be the lowest municipal tax rate in Catawba County.

Though the town of Maiden will lose revenue with the cut, town officials feel that money would be better left in taxpayers’ pockets.

“Unlike other towns, we’ve had some great economic news,” said Todd Herms, Maiden town manager. “The council though it was right to only tax to the level that was needed.”

Conover plans water, sewer, landfill cost increases

May 13, 2011

Taxes may not be increasing in Conover, but city residents could see an increase in their water, sewer and landfill expenses.

“We’ve seen a huge increase in costs,” said Conover City Manager Donald Duncan Jr., adding most of the increase is coming in energy costs.

“When fuel costs go up, everything goes up.”

Storytelling is Reno's purpose

May 13, 2011

The people are what makes Michael Reno thrive on stage.

Reno, a storyteller and musician, said being on stage and interacting with an audience is where his material starts.

"The audiences are the reason I keep going," Reno said. "People liked to be talked to and told stories."

That's why Reno chose to participate in the second annual Music and Mud event May 21 at the Newton-Conover Auditorium in Newton. Reno participated in the event's first year, and he's has been traveling the United States and Europe for more than 40 years telling stories and singing music.

Community Chorus cancels concert

May 13, 2011

The Catawba Valley Community Chorus scheduled for Friday at Episcopal Church of Epiphany in Newton was canceled due to a death in the director's family.
A concert will be held May 15 at 4 p.m. at Bethany Lutheran Church, 1644 Main Ave. Drive in Hickory.

May 12th

BHHS teacher get top honors

May 12, 2011

Derek Chase's love for nature took him to science, but his desire to teach others got him the honors of being Catawba County Schools' 2011-12 Teacher of the Year.
Chase, a science teacher at Bunker Hill High School, received top honors during a ceremony at Newton Expo on Thursday.
"I am surprised and honored by this (award)," Chase said. "It's a privilege to be a teacher in Catawba County."
Chase said being a teacher is more than helping students learn. He said it's about being a mentor and encouraging students to make the right decision.

Shooting case handed to the D.A. No charges filed in Hickory shooting

May 12, 2011

Authorities will not charge neither the suspect nor the victim in a domestic shooting case that occurred Wednesday near the Burke County Line in Hickory.

Capt. Joel Fish, of the Catawba County Sheriff's Office, said the case will be handed over to the district attorney's office to let them make a decision on whether charges will be filed.

Community honors fallen police

May 12, 2011

Kay Webster's candle ignited to the sound of a six-gun salute.

Slowly leaning toward her neighbor's shoulder, she passed the tiny flame on throughout the crowd, creating a mild orange glow beneath the barely-shining stars Wednesday.

She bowed her head and silently prayed for different police officers who died in the line of duty.

"It's like when they go, they are forgotten, and it shouldn't be like that," Webster said. "I don't think people realize that officers put themselves in the line of duty every day."

Tying a ribbon to support C.O.P.S.

May 12, 2011

As National Police Week begins May 15, an initiative in Newton aims to salute the sacrifices of law enforcement officers, as well as the families who support those badge-wearing men and women.

Every year, between 140 and 160 police officers are killed in the line of duty, according to Concerns of Police Survivors, or C.O.P.S. When an officer dies, they leave behind families that face challenges and concerns after their loved one's loss of life, said Holy Cross Lutheran Church Rev. Paul Fitzpatrick, who also serves as a Newton Police Department chaplain.

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