August 19th, 2011
Newton-Conover City Schools kicked off the school year a little different this year.
Unlike past years, the Opening Day Celebration for principals, teachers and staff was held in the Old Post Office Playhouse in downtown Newton on Friday â€“ and as the location suggests, there was no lack of drama.
As NCCS Associate Superintendent Dr. David Stegall introduced the Opening Day Celebrationâ€™s guest speaker, a wild-eyed and eccentric woman came barging down the OPOP aisle.
Most area schools will begin classes Aug. 25-26, but some Catawba County students have been hitting the books for weeks. As these particular high school students kick off their 2011-12 year a little earlier than their peers, they will not only be taking high school courses, but collegiate classes as well.
Students at several area â€śearly collegesâ€ť got back into the swing of learning in early August â€“ something school officials says matches the collegiate schedule and has certain benefits.
In the wake of an armed robbery that shocked a south Newton neighborhood, an area pastor is trying to make sure similar crimes are prevented in the future.
"We are starting a neighborhood watch on Tuesday night," said Holy Cross Lutheran Pastor Rev. Paul Fitzpatrick. "We are starting out with the idea of building awareness that if (an armed robbery) can happen to one of our neighbors, it can happen to any of them. This is not just an 'it always happens to someone else' type of problem."
Storms in the Catawba Valley on Thursday forced the temporary closure of one Catawba County park.
Riverbend Park will be closed Friday and Saturday due to damage from a storm Thursday evening, according to officials with Catawba County Parks.
A full survey of the park Friday morning found extensive downed trees, debris and damage in several service areas. Park staff has advised it will take additional time to clean up the damage so the public may safely enjoy the park, according to Catawba County Public Information Officer Dave Hardin.
With every gift, comes responsibility. The American Legionâ€™s state chaplain said Americansâ€™ greatest gift, freedom, brings with it the responsibility of never forgetting the sacrifice that soldiers have made for us over the years.
American Legionâ€™s N.C. Chaplain Randy Cash drew applause and cheers from a Newton crowd to kick off the 122nd Reunion Day on Thursday. Cash, along with Newton Mayor Pro-tem Anne Stedman, spoke to a crowd of about 100 reunion goers about the importance of remembering those who died for America and those who live within its borders.
On the most patriotic day of Newtonâ€™s year, Patricia Gabriel and members of the Catawba County Republican Womenâ€™s Club were proudly showing their colors.
â€śWe need to revive and instill patriotism locally and for our country,â€ť Gabriel said at the groupâ€™s Court Square tent during Reunion Day on Thursday.
And she hopes her contributions to the clubâ€™s fund-raising efforts will do just that, as well as support other worthy causes.
Kicking off its season Thursday, the Newton-Conover volleyball team had to work extra hard for a season-opening win.
The Lady Red Devils (1-0) fought through tough first and third games against the Hickory Lady Red Tornadoes (0-1), but picked up the win, 28-26, 25-11, 26-24.
Leading Newton-Conover was Isabella Zaliagiris, who drove down nine kills. Sarah Van Horn had 15 digs.
The Lady Red Devils took an early 3-0 lead, but the two teams battled back and forth until the 26-26 mark.
Coming off of a tough home loss to Forbush on Tuesday, the Fred T. Foard volleyball team bounced back impressively.
The Lady Tigers (1-1) held off Bunker Hill (0-2) in a tight first game and followed that with two dominant game victories to win the match 25-20, 25-10, 25-9.
For Catawba County native James P. Isenhower Sr., military service has become a family tradition.
From the time he and his brothers volunteered for the U.S. Armed Forces during World War II through the same volunteer spirit his grandsons exhibit in their own military careers, the family has produced three generations of soldiers.
And the 90-year-old resident of Conover can't help but be a little proud.
"I am proud of what I did," he said, adding he was even more proud of the service of two brothers, his sons and grandsons. "I respect them very much."
The latest online scam cost one Claremont man valuable personal records and could have cost his friends even more.
Henry Helton, the city of Claremontâ€™s special events coordinator, admits to falling for an e-mail scam earlier this month, but is hoping citizens can learn from his mistakes.