August 3rd, 2011
Since 2008, unemployment rankings and income levels have been thrown around in conversation by politicians and the average citizen alike. While some believe the âGreat Recessionâ is nearing an end, others think the worst is yet to come. âšNeedless to say, economic statistics have filled debate about the financial âcrisisâ going on in the country.
For three straight years, Newton leaders have sought a 2-cent increase in the rural fire district tax levied on residents living within the 25 square miles the city's fire department serves.
And for three straight years, Catawba County officials have denied those requests.
Now, as the county seeks to renew a mutual aide fire protection agreement with fire departments countywide â an agreement that removes $2,400 those departments previously received â Newton leaders are the ones having reservations.
Newton banned parking along "Lover's Lane" near Newton-Conover High School, and some residents of the North Deal Avenue block aren't happy about it.
"I don't like it," said North Deal Avenue resident Red Reitzel.
Another resident of the street, Michael Jackson, said city officials should "leave it alone like it is," even though Newton Police says NCHS students are parking along the street to engage in drug and sexual activity.
A Vale man is in serious condition after his motorcycle crashed into steel cable dividing the median on U.S. 321.
N.C. Highway Patrol reports Noah Lopez, 23, of Vale, was driving his Buell motorcycle south on U.S. 321 at about 5 p.m. Monday when he apparently lost control and ran off the road into the median near the River Road exit. His motorcycle then slammed into steel cables that divide the median.
Arie Taylor was in elementary school the first time she tried her hand at painting. She was a fourth-grader at Banoak School in rural Catawba County and was immediately enthralled by the simple fun of making a blank canvas glow.
âI thought it was fun; every single thing about it was fun,â Taylor said.
Growing up in the 1920s and 1930s, art supplies were hard to come by, and Taylor said her newly found passion was shortly put on hold due to a lack of available supplies.
âThere was nowhere around here then that sold art supplies,â Taylor said.
Area municipal governments are saying a proposed rate increase by Duke Energy would be âunpalatableâ during tough economic times.
Duke Energy Carolinas provides power to many residents in Catawba County, and the company is asking the N.C. Utilities Commission for about a 15 percent average increase in electricity rates.
The city of Conover passed a resolution Monday that voices opposition to a proposed electricity rate increase by Duke Energy, which provides to city residents, as well as the city itself.
Ray Eugene Huffman, age 81, of Newton passed away Sunday, July 31, 2011 at Catawba Valley Medical Center in Hickory.
Yates Edward Deal, 68, of Claremont passed away Sunday, July 31, 2011 at Frye Regional Medical Center in Hickory. Burke Mortuary in Newton is serving the Deal family.
WASHINGTON â The Senate emphatically passed emergency legislation Tuesday to avoid a first-ever government default, rushing the legislation to President Barack Obama for his signature just hours before the deadline. The vote was 74-26.
Obama signed the bill little more than an hour later.
Elisa Bakerâs jury will not be from Catawba County, but it is still unclear where her trials will be held.
Superior Court Judge Timothy Kincaid granted a change of venue request Monday that was submitted by Elisaâs attorney, Scott Reilly, last month.
The Bunker Hill Covered Bridge has been plagued with vandalism in recent years, but a national grant should help officials better protect the historic Catawba County landmark.
The countyâs historical association will receive about $179,425 from the National Covered Bridge Preservation Program to enhance security at the bridge located in Claremont. The historical association must match the grant with up to $43,000 in locally raised funds, said Melinda Herzog, executive director of the Catawba County Historical Association.