Archive - News Article
November 26th, 2010
Tourism remains a strong aspect of Catawba County's economy, with more than $2 million in property taxes and other fees expected to be collected in 2010 from county hotels.
According to a recent study from the Western Piedmont Council of Governments, hotels in the county bring in $2.17 million in revenue from property taxes, hotel occupancy taxes, sales taxes and water and sewer fees.
For 27 years, Claremont and its residents celebrated Christmas with its annual Christmas Parade throughout the city.
The parade continues this year, but Claremont is adding something new.
City leaders and several residents organized Old Time Christmas in Claremont, which is a celebration of charitable giving and the holiday spirit.
Participants in Claremont's Old Time Christmas can purchase Christmas trees, enjoy hot food and beverages and ride in a horse-drawn carriage throughout various historic locations in the city.
Claremont sustained more than $6 million in damage from an Oct. 26 tornado that barreled through the city.
The more than 110-mph tornado caused severe damage in the city's Catawba Street, and residents spent days clearing yards, homes and businesses from debris and other damage. No one was injured, but residents were left with leaking roofs, toppled trees and destroyed property.
The Small Business Association is offering low-interest loans to tornado victims who don't have insurance or who need additional financial help to recover property or revenue lost from the storm.
A car crashed into a downtown Newton store's display window Wednesday, sending the driver to the hospital.
The driver was traveling on North College Avenue in front of the 1924 Courthouse when she crashed into an empty storefront shortly after noon.
The driver, an elderly woman, wasn't identified at the scene. Her Buick Park Avenue struck the glass display window and bent the window's metal frame, scattering glass several yards from where the car hit.
More people are expected to travel this holiday season, and of those travelers, a vast majority will arrive at their destination by car.
About 94 percent of holiday vacationers will be traveling in motor vehicles to their destinations, according to AAA of the Carolinas.
More than 1.1 million motorists in North Carolina are expected to drive at least 50 miles this Thanksgiving holiday, which increased 11 percent from 2009.
Area churches offer opportunities for community members to give thanks for the blessings in their lives this holiday season.
Churches in Newton and Conover will gather at Abernethy Laurels' Spirit Place on Nov. 24 at 7 p.m. The annual event brings together several area congregations for a joint worship and Thanksgiving service.
"It goes back to the pilgrims who joined together for a time of thanksgiving," said Abernethy Laurels Chaplain Larry Bolick.
Bolick is part of the area ministerial group, which meets twice a month to plan events in the community.
Catawba County Schools' search for a superintendent is another step closer to finding a new leader.
Monday was the North Carolina School Board Association's application deadline for the position. Allison Schafer, legal counsel and policy director for NCSBA, said the number of applications received is above the national average.
"We have at least 15 applications," Schafer said, adding the NCSBA staff will have a final number once mailed applications are received and e-mail spam folders are checked. "The national average is about 12 (applications per position)."
Flu season, a time of coughing, fever, chills and body aches, is under way.
It's not too late, however, to prevent the flu from ruining your holiday plans.
"Anytime is the right time to get your flu shot," said Lynne Laws, Community Health Services nurse supervisor at Catawba County Public Health. "Based on information from the (Center for Disease Control), the flu vaccine is effective all year."
More than 200 families can enjoy a Thanksgiving meal Thursday, thanks to the collaboration of two community groups committed to serving the needy.
The Greater Hickory Cooperative Christian Ministry partnered with Wal-Mart to distribute the makings of Thanksgiving dinner and all the trimmings Tuesday to area residents in need.
Wal-Mart donated 200 frozen turkeys so GHCCM clients will have a free, warm meal to enjoy Thanksgiving Day. The turkeys were packaged in a reusable Wal-Mart bag also stocked with stuffing mix, cranberry sauce and canned yams.
It has been more than one week since police confirmed they located the remains of Zahra Baker, and police continue to gather information about what happened to Zahra in her final days.
Hickory Police Department Maj. Clyde Deal said police follow up on any information that could give them a clear picture of Zahra's death.
"Obviously, anything we come across that could be of interest to the case we will collect," Deal said.
HPD investigators conducted interviews Monday in the case, but Deal declined to say who was interviewed or what those interviews involved.