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January 19th, 2011

Board approves incentives

January 19, 2011

The Catawba County Board of Commissioners approved an incentives package Tuesday for a Claremont manufacturing facility.

Commissioners entered into a joint economic agreement with Germany-based Poppelmann Plastics that gives the company incentives based on 67 percent of the increased tax on the company's Phase II facility, which is a 53,000-square-foot warehouse, for five years. The maximum grant total is $28,676 a year or $143,380 total.

Newton gets budget surprise

January 19, 2011

When Newton leaders created a spending plan last summer, they hoped $250,000 would be enough money to fix one storm sewer culvert in the city.

On Tuesday city leaders learned that their budgeted sum won't fix one culvert on Ashe Avenue.

It will fix three.

In addition to addressing a crumbling culvert on North Ashe Avenue, Newton leaders approved construction and financing plans that will also replace culverts on North Frye Avenue and East 18th Street, as well.

Touching the future

January 19, 2011

Michael Neely is no fortune teller, but he works in the future on a daily basis.

Instead of gazing into a crystal ball, he peers at a computer screen, a digital sign or an iPad and accesses the future with a swipe of his finger.

The time of immediately accessible, completely customizable knowledge isn't far into the future, and if you ask Neely, he'll tell you the future is now.

"It's not so futuristic anymore," said Neely, 46, founder and owner of Blind Squirrel Digital in Newton.

Financial scams target needy

January 19, 2011

Some experts say the country's economy is on the road to recovery.

But as long as there are people facing financial problems, there will be scammers who seek to take advantage of those in need.

"Before Christmas and during hard times or disasters, people seem to be more generous," said Catawba County Sheriff Coy Reid. "And you see scams pop up then."

N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper advises state residents to be on the lookout for financial scams, especially during times of financial hardship.

ECCCM gets grant

January 19, 2011

An area crisis-assistance organization received a more than $1,000 grant Wednesday from a Newton business.

Representatives from Wells Fargo Advisors presented the Rev. Robert C. Silber, Eastern Catawba Cooperative Christian Ministries executive director, with a check for $1,020 to help the ministry continue with its crisis-assistance services.

Woman charged with embezzlement

January 19, 2011

A Maiden woman is charged with embezzling money from her employer for six years.

Lincoln County sheriff's deputies arrested Kisha Deaton Sain, 32, on Friday and charged her with one count of felony embezzlement.

According to the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office, Deaton allegedly stole $101,673 while working at Carolina Comfort Systems LLC in Denver. She worked as a bookkeeper for the company from 2003-09, and the incidents allegedly occurred during that time.

She was arrested Friday and taken before a magistrate in Lincoln County.

January 18th

Council considers new chambers

January 18, 2011

Maiden Town Council is researching the possibility of designing a new town hall and council chambers.

Council members discussed the possibility Monday night during the town's regularly scheduled meeting.

Marty Beal, of CBSA Architects, was on hand at the meeting to hear council member's wants and needs for new town facilities.

The project, however, is anything but certain.

"This isn't saying we're absolutely doing anything," said Maiden Mayor Bob Smyre. "We're exploring the idea."

Drafting a dream house

January 18, 2011

There's no housing crisis for Newton-Conover High School students, who constructed elaborately designed models of their dream homes for drafting class.

On Monday, students in Susan Ramsey's drafting III class completed and presented their semester-long projects, which were three-story home models designed on blueprints and crafted from wood, glue and foam board.

"When (students) finally put that thing together, it's a sense of pride, on my part," Ramsey said.

Elisa Baker indicted

January 18, 2011

Charges are mounting against Zahra Baker's stepmother, who was indicted Tuesday on a bigamy charge.

A Catawba County Grand Jury issued a true bill of indictment on Elisa Annette Baker, alleging she was already married when she wed her current husband Adam Baker, the father of Zahra Baker. Zahra's remains were discovered in Caldwell County several months ago.

While the grand jury deliberated Tuesday about whether to indict Elisa Baker on the charge, loggers in Caldwell located a briefcase possibly connected to Zahra's disappearance and death.

January 17th

Mobile home catches fire

January 17, 2011

The smell of smoke filled the air on N.C. 16 south Monday as firefighters tackled a mobile home fire on Stove Drive in Newton.

Alford Lady, owner of the mobile home on 2136 Stove Drive in Newton, said he looked outside from a camper on a neighboring piece of land and saw flames coming from the roof of the mobile home.

"I saw a bunch of smoke and called 9-1-1," said Lady, adding he was in the process of selling the mobile home to move to Louisiana.

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