Archive - News Article
March 24th, 2011
Fundraising efforts are up and running to purchase playground equipment in honor of murdered 10-year-old Zahra Baker.
Catawba County Kiwanis Clubs announced plans in February to create a playground where disabled children, like Zahra, can play with their able-bodied peers.
More than a month into the campaign, Kiwanians have raised about $3,100 of the $85,000 needed to create an addition to the current Kiwanis Park on Sixth Street Southeast in Hickory.
One of the beagles rescued from a dog trainer in Maiden was put to sleep because it was too ill to survive its injuries.
Catawba County Animal Services manager Jay Blatche said Wednesday that a veterinarian euthanized one of the three beagles rushed to a clinic after the animals were found alive among 100 dead dogs in a dog kennel and training facility on H.E. Propst Road.
"It was very ill," Blatche said of the euthanized animal. "The vets couldn't really determine what was wrong."
Carol and John de Perczel received a call at 3 a.m. March 11 alerting them to a massive earthquake in Japan.
For the de Perczel family, of Hickory, their thoughts went immediately to their 29-year-old son, John Forrest, who teaches English in Yokohama, Japan.
"We just really felt he was OK for some reason," Carol said. "We felt at peace."
Several hours later, Carol and John received an email from John Forrest's cell phone telling his parents he was OK. By 10 a.m. that day, they were talking to him on a video-chat program, Skype.
Essie Reinhardt celebrated her 99th birthday with the friends she has made at the Senior's Morning Out program in Newton.
She travels from her Newton home to First Presbyterian Church on North Main Avenue to exercise, socialize and celebrate her long life.
Reinhardt is one of hundreds of senior citizens in Catawba County who rely on senior nutrition programs for food, fellowship and daily activities.
Area law enforcement agencies attempted to prevent more gang violence in Catawba County with an intervention program for known offenders.
Police officers from every agency in the county attended the first gang call-in March 3 in Hickory City Council Chambers. The call-in is part of the Catawba County Gang Initiative, funded through the N.C. Governor's Crime Commission.
"The people at the call-in are people who are headed in the wrong direction and have been known to participate in gang activity," said Conover Police Chief Steve Brewer.
Maiden residents, employees and officials are one step closer to having a new town hall.
Maiden Town Council voted Monday night to move forward with architectural plans for a new town hall and council chambers expected to cost more than $1 million.
Council members and town officials talked about funding options for the project, which has yet to be set in stone. Officials voted Monday to proceed with architectural drawings for the new building, but they didn't set a timeline for when, or if, the facility will be completed.
The smell of fresh paint lingers in the air at H.M. Arndt Middle School in Hickory. The floors shine; the walls are clean; and the bathrooms are pristine.
For officials from Catawba County Schools, the new classrooms at Arndt Middle don't just represent a fresh start for teachers and students.
The construction projects are a way to boost the county's economy through job creation.
Bob Etheridge, North Carolina Office of Economic Recovery and Investment director, toured construction projects at three Catawba County Schools on Tuesday to see the school bond funding put to work.
A cyclist was taken to the hospital Tuesday after a car struck him from behind.
The cyclist, whose name wasn't released on the scene, was traveling on Boundary Street in Newton about 3:15 p.m. with two other cyclists.
The cyclists started to cross the intersection at Northwest Boulevard near Kentucky Fried Chicken when the male cyclist was hit from behind by a Toyota Camry. Witnesses to the incident said the man fell off his bike and on the roadway from the impact.
A loss-prevention employee at the Conover Kmart had to choose Sunday between stopping a theft or facing a knife-wielding man.
The Kmart employee tried to stop a couple from stealing electronics from the store, but he let the couple escape after one of the suspects pulled a box knife from his pocket, said Conover Police Sgt. R.L. Clark.
The suspects remain at large after what police are calling a "shoplifting gone bad."
A dismembered 10-year-old girl. A mutilated man with a log-splitter in his stomach. A drug-fueled home invasion that left three people dead.
These grisly, high-profile crimes produced state and national headlines, but they didn't occur in some unknown, far away town. They all happened in Catawba County.
The Catawba County Sheriff's Office responded to six murders in the first three months of 2011, which is double the number of murders and non-negligent manslaughter cases in 2010.