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January 7th, 2011

Coldcases of 2010

January 7, 2011

Law enforcement officials work every day to protect Catawba County's streets, solve crimes and arrest criminals who endangered county residents.

But every day, crimes go unsolved. Evidence goes cold. Tips stop trickling in. No one is arrested.

In 2010, many crimes went unsolved in the county, and law enforcement officials say they're making progress to put these crimes in the "solved" folder.

Ronald Padgett murder
Feb. 21

CCS receives $250K for science

January 7, 2011

Catawba County Schools is one of five state schools systems to receive an education grant valued at more than half a million dollars.

CCS received $261,037 for the 2010-11 fiscal year to promote science education in the classroom, and there are opportunities for that grant funding to continue during the next two years.

Trespasser held at gunpoint

January 7, 2011

A homeowner took matters into his own hands Thursday after a trespasser entered the man's residence.

Donald Banner, 68, of Maiden, was at his house on Anderson Mountain Road about 10 a.m. when he saw a suspicious person walking across the street.

Catawba County Sheriff Coy Reid said Banner retrieved his pistol from inside the home and then returned to his front window to see if the man was still outside.

January 6th

Newton plans for the future

January 6, 2011

2010 was a tough year for Catawba County's municipalities, and the city of Newton was no exception.

"This was a very difficult year," said Newton Mayor Robert Mullinax, adding the budget process for the city was "as tough a budget process as I've ever seen."

Despite budgeting difficulties, the city came through 2010 without a tax increase and continuing to provide high-quality services for its residents.

"There's a lot that we accomplished," said Newton City Manager Todd Clark. "And that's in addition to running the city."

Counterfeiters nabbed in Conover

January 6, 2011

Conover Police arrested two men Wednesday for allegedly running a counterfeiting operation at a city residence.

The investigation started when employees from the Conover Wal-Mart called Conover Police to report a customer shoplifting from the store.

Authorities arrived at the scene and interrogated Arthur Joseph Carr, 23, of Beckley, W.Va., and Emmitt Seven Loges, 23, of Conover.

Smoking ban: 1 year later

January 6, 2011

Last year, residents in Catawba County could ring in 2010 at a bar, with a drink and a cigarette in hand.

This year, however, 2011 dawned in smoke-free restaurants and bars throughout Catawba County and North Carolina.

The state law banning smoking in bars and restaurants turned a year old this month, but debates about the law haven't gone cold in the 12 months since it was passed.

"I think you should be able to smoke in bars and restaurants," said 20-year-old Dakota Bryant, of Conover.

Stepmom's relative: Zahra died of natural causes

January 6, 2011

RALEIGH — A relative of Zahra Baker's stepmother said Wednesday that the jailed woman told her the 10-year-old girl died of an illness and that her parents "went wild," dismembering and hiding her remains.

Boncetta "Buzzie" Winkler, 76, told The Associated Press that she met this week with her niece, Elisa Baker, and talked about what happened to the freckle-faced Australian girl whose disappearance and death have riveted communities in North Carolina and her native country.

January 5th

Cutest pet wanted

January 5, 2011

The Observer News Enterprise and Outlook want to see your cute pet.
If you think your pet is the cutest in Catawba County, send in a picture, and we will publish it in our annual Pet Parade cutest pet contest.
Entries must be received by 5 p.m. Jan. 12.
E-mail entries to onenews@observernewsonline.com or bring them by the office at 309 N. College Ave. in Newton.
Be sure to include your name and your pet's name; contact information, including address and phone number (which will not be published); and your pet's photo.

Conover Station goes live

January 5, 2011

Even though Conover Station isn't open, its website is up and running for the community to see the ins and outs of the city's brainchild.

Conover Station, located on the old Broyhill site in the heart of Conover, has a website that was published live Tuesday. A representative from a marketing firm in Morganton presented the website to city council members during their scheduled monthly meeting.

City applies for park grant

January 5, 2011

Claremont will apply for a grant worth more than $130,000 to improve and expand the city's Francis Sigman Park.

The North Carolina Parks and Recreation Trust Fund grant will pay for up to $140,281 for improvements to the park, if the city's application is accepted.

Henry Helton, who is in charge of the Claremont's public relations, presented possible expansion and improvement ideas to City Council on Monday at its regularly scheduled meeting.

"We've got this facility," Helton said. "Let's use it to the fullest capacity."

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