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August 17th, 2011

Teacher jailed for highway sideshow

August 17, 2011

A teacher was arrested on Tuesday after fondling himself outside a family restaurant on U.S. 70 in Hickory.

Police say Michael Lennell Wallace, 54, was exposing and fondling himself in the grassy area outside Ruby Tuesday’s in Hickory while facing oncoming traffic. When a citizen stopped to question what Wallace was doing, the exposed man fled the scene.

The citizen noted Wallace’s license plate number, and authorities later arrested him at his home at 20th Ave. Dr. NE in Hickory.

O-N-E gives away ASU tickets on Reunion Day

August 17, 2011

At the peak of Soldiers Reunion week, Catawba County's community newspaper is giving away some of its biggest prizes.

During Soldiers Reunion Day on Thursday, The Observer News Enterprise invites area residents to stop by the newspaper's tent on the north side of the Court Square.

When they do, they could win prizes, said O-N-E Publisher Michael Willard.

Long-time dentist passes on his practice

August 17, 2011

After nearly four decades working in pediatric and family dentistry, Dr. Penn Waldron is retiring his dental tools.

"I think it is time to give it up to a younger, fresher mind, with more knowledge," said Waldron, 70.

As Waldron passes his practice on to that "younger, fresher mind," Dr. Ross Penland, he said he has the fullest confidence in his successor.

"I was ready to let go," Waldron said. "I thoroughly trust and appreciate what Ross can do, and I have no misgivings at all."

August 16th

Newton gets first tattoo parlor, gallery

August 16, 2011

When Margaret Moose opened Studio 258 three weeks ago, a couple of guys showed up wanting to be the first people tattooed in Newton – legally, that is.

A tattoo artist and painter, Moose was generally amused by the gentlemen’s effort, but had to tell them they were too late and would have to settle for being the second people tattooed in the city.

Tire explodes in man’s face

August 16, 2011

A tire exploded in a man’s face Monday in the parking of Penske Truck Rental in Conover.

Conover Police say Johnny Henson Bryon, 63, of Conover, was putting air in the tire of a hand truck on Monday when it blew up. Fragments of the wheel came back and hit him in the face, causing damage to his facial and throat area, said Steve Brewer, Conover Police chief.

Bryson was transported to the hospital and was discharged as of press time Wednesday, according to a Catawba Valley Medical Center operator.

August 15th

Biofuels center boasts teamwork

August 15, 2011

Catawba County leaders say a newly opened biodiesel research facility will attract more business to the area, save money on fuel and reduce the area’s carbon footprint. State leaders call it a “model for the future.”


But the largest attribute of the facility may be the collaboration between big groups – something federal, state and local leaders all agree is necessary for positive change.

Pill Stoppers fight growing trend

August 15, 2011




Austin Frye says drug abuse in high school has changed.


A rising junior at Newton-Conover High School, Frye said teens are going beyond “smoking pot” and are experimenting with drugs found in nearly every household – prescription medications.


“I have all these friends at high school doing these pills,” Frye said.

“There are a lot of drugs and a lot of pills. They are smoking cigarettes and trying prescription drugs.”

Fabric fire sends one to hospital

August 15, 2011

One worker was taken to the hospital on Monday after a machine caught on fire in a Newton manufacturing facility.

Fire officials say a dotting machine caught on fire on the third floor of Carolina Specialty Fabrics in Newton, and one employee was taken to the hospital after inhaling too much smoke. A dotting machine is used to put traction material on fabrics used for gloves, said Newton Fire Chief Kevin Yoder.

August 12th

School progress

August 12, 2011

With a new school year set to begin soon, Newton-Conover City Schools leaders are already looking ahead to the 2012-2013 school year.

That's when the school system's new $20.8 million middle school will officially open to students. While the school won't officially open until August 2012, system officials said this week it should be complete well before then.

Check scams threaten Claremont

August 12, 2011


If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.


That’s what authorities are telling area residents about mail scams that are costing some Catawba County residents money and personal security.


The scams mostly come in the form delivery and electronic mail, authorities say, and they can give thieves access to personal bank information if not handled properly.


Tammy G. Sigmon, of Claremont, received a check in the mail through FedEx this week for $3,000. The check was supposedly sent through Key Bank NA in Brooklyn, Ohio from WakeFern Food Corp. in New Jersey.

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