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January 3rd, 2011

Burke appears in court

January 3, 2011

The man accused of killing a woman with his vehicle and leaving the scene of the crash was in court Monday.

Jonathan Caleb Burke, 31, of Newton, appeared in Catawba County District Court on charges of injury to real property and a motions violation.

Burke is charged with felony death by motor vehicle, driving while impaired and reckless driving to endanger after he allegedly struck and killed Tamara Wallis, of Newton, as she stood outside her home on N.C. 16 in September 2008.

Tax deadline approaches

January 3, 2011

Residents have a couple more days to pay their taxes without having interest added to their bills for delinquent payments.

The deadline for residents' tax payments is Wednesday.

Catawba County tax administrator Mark Logan said more people paid their tax bills as the year ended, and the county continues to collect payments.

Tax collection increased more than 2 percent this year in comparison to last year.

Logan said, as of Dec. 31, about 70 percent of tax money owed to the county was collected, which increased from about 67 percent collected during 2009.

December 30th, 2010

Celebrate the New Year

December 30, 2010

As you celebrate the start of 2011, think of The O-N-E.

Send in your favorite pictures from your New Year celebrations. We want to see how Catawba County rings in a new year.

Submit pictures via our website by clicking on "submit a photo" or by e-mailing onenews@observernewsonline.com. Pictures will be published in future print editions, as well as online.

Goodwill increases during new year

December 30, 2010

The holiday season is often a time of excess.

When the holidays are over, many people vow to rid themselves of those extra things, whether its clothing, unwanted gifts or out-of-date electronics.

The impending new year is one of the busiest times for Goodwill Industries, which sees donations increase across the state as residents adopt an "out with the old, in with the new" mentality.

The Goodwill on Lenoir-Rhyne Boulevard in Hickory received more than 150 donations Wednesday, which is twice the amount of donations the store receives on average.

City pursues business grant

December 30, 2010

Newton business owners could receive grant funds for doing the one thing everyone hopes for these days — creating jobs in the community.

Newton officials recently announced the city is eligible to apply for a Main Street Solutions grant, which can provide business and commercial property owners in the city up to $200,000 for job creation.

"For Newton and the whole state, job creation is probably the No. 1 priority," said Rob Powell, Newton commercial development coordinator.

Captain retires from sheriff's office

December 30, 2010

Catawba County Sheriff's Office Capt. Roy Brown is retiring — again.
And when Brown, 62, retires Dec. 31, he'll be very cautious about where he volunteers during his second stint of retirement from a more than 30-year law enforcement career.

Volunteering five years ago at a local elementary school brought the then-retired State Bureau of Investigation agent back into law enforcement with the Catawba County Sheriff's Office.

Sheriff Coy Reid approached Brown in 2005 at a Webb A. Murray Elementary School volunteer book reading with a big question.

December 29th

I-40 project delayed

December 29, 2010

Interstate 40 motorists waiting for a smoother drive through Catawba County will have to wait a few months longer.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation decided to delay paving on a stretch of I-40 from mile markers 146 to 130 after pavement deterioration led the department to rethink the current paving process.

NC man starts Zahra foundation

December 29, 2010

Jim Julian never met Zahra Baker.

In fact, Julian, 53, of Stanfield, lives three hours away from Hickory, where Zahra lived for a few months of her brief life.

Despite the distance, Zahra's story touched Julian. He created the Zahra Clare Baker Memorial Foundation to honor Zahra's memory and help children, like her, who overcame tremendous life challenges.

"I felt like I wouldn't be much of a human being if I just swept this under the rug," he said.

Celebrating Bootsie

December 29, 2010

Newton marks Bootsie Roberts Day

She worked for nine city managers and five different Newton mayors.
She helped create and develop Newton's first public information office position and the city's first citywide newsletter.

State gives area nonprofit $2K

December 29, 2010

A county program benefitting youth received extra help through a state grant worth thousands of dollars.

Clinton's Corner of Catawba Inc. is a nonprofit organization designed to combat area problems facing youth and their families.

The program was one of 14 non-profit organizations throughout North Carolina to receive a grant from the Martin Luther King Jr. Commission of the state's Human Relations Council. The $2,500 grant for each of the chosen programs will fund initiatives that support King's legacy.

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