Archive - News Article
August 25th, 2010
It may have been two hours late for some schools, but the first day of school ran smoothly Wednesday for area teachers, students and parents.
â€śWe started with a two-hour delay, but everything went wellâ€ť said Newton-Conover City Schools Superintendent Dr. Barry Redmond. â€śTeachers did a great job with introducing students to the new school year.â€ť
Newton-Conover City Schools and Startown and Balls Creek elementary schools opened at 10 a.m. Wednesday following a water line break Tuesday in Newton that threatened water pressure and sanitation for city water customers.
Newton restored to water service Wednesday after a broken water line affected citizens.
And while the tap has been turned on again, the impacts of the fracture in a 16-inch water main along U.S. 70 may continue into Thursday.
"Right now our system is pressurized, and we are not aware of any leaks or problems at this point," said Newton Assistant City Manager Glenn Pattishall. "Our crews, along with some crews from Hickory Sand worked on (the broken line) during the evening (Tuesday) and the early part of (Wednesday) and got it fixed."
Area school cafeterias made major adjustments Wednesday to provide students with lunch without using water during preparations.
â€śWhen we have an emergency, weâ€™re prepared,â€ť said Karen Duncan, Catawba County Schools child nutrition director.
Newton city officials asked water customers to boil water they use following a break Tuesday in a city water line. Low pressure that occurred from the break increased the potential for bacteria in the water.
As a result, school cafeterias were forced to change their plans for back-to-school lunch preparation.
Newton purchased 4,000 gallons of water Tuesday to distribute to residents who were without water because of a water main break.
The city purchased 1,000 cases, which each held four gallons of water, from Merchant Distributors Inc. Flowers Bakery donated a tractor-trailer to Newton to transport the water from MDI to Newton Public Works on Tuesday afternoon.
"The decision to purchase water was made about the time we made the decision to turn off the water in the area (Tuesday)," said Glenn Pattishall, Newton assistant city manager and planning director.
About 200 cats and dogs living in the Catawba County Animal Shelter will be euthanized following the outbreak of a mysterious illness.
The facility closed Wednesday for extensive sanitization in an attempt to control the deadly illness and stop it from spreading. Sanitation is expected to last until Sept. 7.
â€śWe donâ€™t know what the illness is,â€ť said Jay Blatche, Catawba County Animal Services manager. â€śWe donâ€™t even know itâ€™s a virus at this point.â€ť
All shelter animals are believed to be exposed to the illness, and for safety precautions, must be euthanized.
Two Catawba roads are shut down after a tractor-trailer overturned.
At about 4:20 p.m. Wednesday, emergency responders went to the scene of an overturn tractor-trailer on U.S. 70 at Sharon School Road in Catawba. Responders reported the roadway is completely blocked to traffic. The NC Department of Transportation is working on a detour for travelers. Responders expect the roadway to be closed for two hours on U.S. 70 at Sharon School Road.
No injuries were reported at this time. No other vehicles appeared to be involved.
After a water leak disrupted Newton water service this week, the city's water customers should boil any water they use.
According to an advisory issued by the city of Newton, periods of low pressure or no pressure that occurred following a water line break Tuesday increases the potential for "back siphonage and introduction of bacteria into the water system."
As a result the state's department of environmental health advises Newton water customers "to boil all water used for human consumption, including drinking, cooking, brushing teeth, making ice and washing hands."
A broken water line in Newton has impacted service to customers throughout the city and prompted area school officials to delay the start of school by two hours for students.
Students in the Newton-Conover School System, as well as those attending Balls Creek and Startown elementary schools in the Catawba County School system, will start the school year on a two-hour delay Wednesday morning. The delay is for students only - staff will operate on a normal schedule.
A water line break in Newton early Tuesday is a "budget buster" said Newton Mayor Robert Mullinax.
"There's nothing good about it," he said during an emergency meeting of Newton City Council on Tuesday. "We've lost a lot of water."
Catawba County Schools teachers are safe this year after the Board of Education approved its $142 million budget for the new school year.
Even though CCS will not make additional teacher cuts this year, an energy management position and a student services position were cut from this year's budget. Other possible teacher cuts were saved after faculty and staff retired from CCS, which left openings that will not be filled right now in order to protect jobs.
In addition, there is a 12.5 percent reduction in staff development.