Archive - News Article
July 21st, 2011
â¨â¨About 40 children gathered in a Newton churchâs kitchen Thursday. They sat around three fold-up tables and were ready to eat lunch â their chatter steady as their left and right feet tapped the tiled floor repeatedly.â¨The room was dim, and the only light came from a few glimmering rays diving through the buildingâs original glass windows.
Nine Catawba County schools met the Adequate Yearly Progress standards set forth by the No Child Left Behind Act. And officials offer praise to the schools that did make the AYP, even if they feel it's not acceptable testing.
"One child in a subgroup can hold you back," said Catawba County Schools Superintendent Glenn Barger.
With about 40 students in each subgroup, Barger said he does not think the AYP results are an appropriate way to rate school systems.
County commissioners recently approved a fund transfer that will help pay for a $30 million public safety expansion project.Â â¨Commissioners appropriated $1,555,455 to the countyâs justice and public safety center expansion project that started about three years ago.
The expansion project will give the justice center more courtrooms and revitalize a 911 communications center that is in need of restoration, said Rodney Miller, Catawba County finance director over facilities.Â
After nearly five years in business, The Artist's Cafe will permanently close its doors in downtown Newton. The restaurant's closure will impact 20 employees when the business officially ceases operation on Saturday.
"I never wanted to leave this town. I put five years into this business," said The Artist's Cafe owner Louis Demarhos, adding the decision is heart-breaking. "We made a lot of great friends here."
Hundreds of area citizens are crowding into Catawba Valley Community Collegeâs registration offices this week to sign up for classes for the coming fall semester.
Enrollment at the community college has steadily increased during the past several years, with administrators seeing about a 24 percent increase since 2007. But the same way attendance has grown, funding from the state has shrunk, putting school leaders in a bind to produce more resources with less cash.
In the last fiscal year, worldwide conglomerates, like Apple Inc., have made million-dollar investments in Catawba County municipalities. In that same time, homegrown companies, like Lee Industries and Dalco Nonwovens, announced and enacted planned growth to their businesses â bringing more jobs and revenue to the local and county governments.
In total, the county saw about $47.5 million invested and 800 jobs created during the 2010-11 fiscal year.
Authorities arrested a Claremont man on Saturday after they caught the convicted sex offender using a social media website unlawfully.
Andrew Dorsey, 23, of 2895 Wilderness Trace in Claremont, was arrested and charged with felony use of a social website by a sex offender after a Catawba County sheriffâs deputy found the manâs personal Facebook page.
Dorsey was given a secured bond of $4,000, but was not in jail as of press time Wednesday.
Children of all ages are piling into the Old Post Office Playhouse in Newton this week to recite 16th century old English and have fun doing it.
The playhouse is playing host to the 14th annual Summer Shakespeare Theatre Institute, a week-long day camp that gives first-grade through 12th-grade students the chance to watch, practice and perform classic theatre.
David Brown and Jonathon Ray started the institute 14 years ago.
âTheatre and acting itself builds learning skills,â Brown said.
An outside driver's education business will operate Catawba County Schools' program starting in the 2011-12 school year to avoid charging students a fee.
After the N.C. General Assembly allocated CCS $198 per child for driver's education, the Board of Education faced two options â charge students $45 to keep the program in-house or enter into an agreement with an outside driver's education program to teach students to drive.
"The way the bill is written, it's made our options very limited," CCS board member Sherry Butler said of legislation's binding CCS driver's education allotment.
"Love what you do, do what you love" was Nina Leavitt Watkins' favorite quote, and that's what she lived by.
Watkins was a wife, mother and daughter, who, at 27, lost her life after only five months of marriage and being a mother to a 9-year-old girl.
"She was very sweet, nice, caring and easy to get along with," said Sharon Rashidi, owner of The Perfect Workout where Watkins frequently exercised. "Everyone liked her."