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February 11th, 2011

Church celebrates decade since fire

February 11, 2011

Ten years ago, members of St. John's Lutheran Church in Conover huddled together for an impromptu worship service at 3 a.m. in the church gym.

They had just watched their church — the building reserved for life's most intimate and precious moments — go up in flames.

Now, a decade later, church members are celebrating their growing congregation, church facilities and profound recovery from two devastating fires in 51 years. The church will hold two anniversary services Feb. 20 at 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

Structure fire damages Hickory building

February 11, 2011

An outbuilding and a mobile home were damaged Friday after live ashes spread to the structures from a burn barrel nearby. 

Hickory Fire Department arrived at 2221 First St. SE to find a fully involved fire in an outbuilding. The flames were spreading to an adjacent mobile home. 

Firefighters extinguished the blaze, but the outbuilding sustained heavy damage. The mobile home sustained moderate damage.

No one was injured. 

February 10th

Police connect multi-county break-ins

February 10, 2011

Police are connecting a string of multi-county business break-ins involving thieves who disarm alarm systems before stealing money safes.

Law enforcement officials have suspects in the break-ins, and they say those suspects are professional thieves who were arrested in the past for similar crimes.

Break-ins at Dollar General stores in Claremont and Conover were reported in the past several weeks, which led police to think those break-ins are related to a string of similar crimes in Burke and Caldwell counties.

More incentives for Sarstedt

February 10, 2011

A Germany-based medical supply manufacturing company has 113,955 more reasons to continue operating its business in Newton.

The Catawba County Board of Commissioners approved an economic incentive package for Sarstedt Inc., which makes science and medical instruments at a facility on St. James Church Road in Newton.

The recently approved county incentives come in addition to incentives from the city of Newton in the anticipation that the company will create a new county investment of $14.2 million, as well as 20 new jobs.

Gun permit sales drop after 10-year high

February 10, 2011

Catawba County gun-purchase permits and concealed-carry applications decreased in 2010 after hitting a 10-year high in 2009.

The Catawba County Sheriff's Office reported 2,781 gun-purchase permits in 2010, which represents an 18 percent decline since permits spiked at 3,413 in 2009. The sheriff's office also reported a 29 percent decrease in concealed-carry applications from 2009 to 2010.

February 9th

City starts 'Adopt-a-street'

February 9, 2011

Several Claremont residents took on the responsibility of keeping the city clean by adopting a street.

Four groups chose to adopt city streets and keep them clear of trash as part of Claremont's Adopt-a-Street program. Claremont City Council presented those groups with signs Tuesday at the council's February meeting.

"We put this program together to help people get more involved in picking up litter," said Henry Helton, of the city's recreation department.

'Flash mob' at River Bend Middle

February 9, 2011

River Bend Middle School students started an awards assembly Wednesday sitting quietly in their seats.

But by the end of the assembly, most students and teachers were out of their seats, singing, laughing and dancing to music.

Unknowing students attended what they thought was an awards assembly, only to be surprised with an "flash mob," where students and teachers, dispersed randomly throughout the audience, performed choreographed dance moves and sang.

Why all the cop cars?

February 9, 2011

Residents driving around Newton on Wednesday might have noticed police cars from several agencies driving throughout the city.
Police officers from Valdese, Boiling Springs, Boone and many other agencies in western North Carolina were in Newton for radar training activities.
Officers are expected to continue the training for a couple days, and residents can expect to see the police officers and their vehicles throughout the city.

Drunk driver in fatal crash had pending DWI

February 9, 2011

The man charged with being intoxicated during a fatal collision had a pending DWI at the time of the crash.

Brian Todd Hieb, 43, of Sherrills Ford, was allegedly drunk when his pickup truck crashed into another vehicle Tuesday, killing Sandra Fay Campbell, 50, of Denver, instantly.

North Carolina Highway Patrol trooper C.M. Trouille, who investigated the crash, said Hieb has a pending DWI charge in Watauga County stemming from an incident in August 2010.

February 8th

Newton utility customers to get new payment options

February 8, 2011

Newton residents with a debit or credit card may soon be able to pay their utility bills online and in person. That convenience, however, will come at a price for customers.

"We are hearing it more and more — customers want to pay with electronic transfer," said Newton Finance Director Serina Hinson.

Newton City Council gave Hinson the green light to seek proposals from vendors that can provide online bill payment through a link to the city's website.

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