The Observer News Enterprise and Outlook are rewarding area residents who spend their holiday dollars at locally owned businesses in the Hickory Metro.
Today the Catawba County community newspaper announced grand prize winners in the Hometown Christmas shop-local campaign. During the Wacky Wake-up Crew on WNNC and 63 Big Ways, The O-N-E Publisher Michael Willard called the names of three area residents whose Christmas got a little brighter.
A Newton couple spreads holiday cheer every year with their brilliant Christmas display, and now their neighbors are returning the favor - by paying their power bill.
Read the story in the Friday print edition of The O-N-E, and online at www.observernewsonline.
The O-N-E invites you to share your favorite holiday lights. Send us pictures of the prettiest, the tackiest and everything in-between: www.observernewsonline.com/node/add/photossubmit. We'll publish the best pictures online and some may make it to the print pages of The O-N-E.
Trailing 38-37 entering the fourth quarter, the Bandys girls basketball team (8-0, 2-0) scored 14 fourth-quarter points to win the first of two rivalry games this season with Newton-Conover.
Bandysâ€™ Madi Story scored 15 points and her sister, Jesse, added 11 points in the victory.
The Lady Red Devils, who went 13-1 last season in the CVAC 2A, fall to 1-1 in the CVAC and 5-2 overall.
Shynese Whitener led N-C with 15 points, while Taylor Petty and Kadesha Gibbs added 10 points each.
Newton-Conover 51, Bandys 38
Lenoir-Rhyne senior offensive lineman Chandler Rearden was selected to the 2011 Daktronics NCAA Division II All-America football second team. Rearden earns All-American honors for the second year in a row.
Rearden, a three-time First-Team All-South Atlantic Conference selection (2008, 2010-11), won the Jacobs Blocking Trophy for the second straight season this fall. The trophy is given annually to the top offensive lineman in the league.
Rearden helped guide Lenoir-Rhyne to its first conference championship in 17 years in 2011.
CHARLOTTE â€” Bobcats coach Paul Silas got what he wanted â€” a long-range shooter.
Charlotte signed shooting guard Reggie Williams to a two-year contract Thursday, filling one of the team's biggest needs.
But the team also announced Williams will have surgery in the coming days to repair a tear of the lateral meniscus in his left knee. He's expected to be sidelined for approximately six to eight weeks with the pre-existing injury.
Drivers are experiencing a Catawba County first in Conover â€” the first roundabout.
The roundabout was built at County Home Road and Northern Drive NW, near the new Newton-Conover Middle School. The N.C. Department of Transportation says roundabouts are safer than traditional intersections with stop signs or traffic signals.
Which intersection design do you believe is safest? Vote now at observernewsonline.com.
You can also send your letters to the editor to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who said social media is ruining personal relationships?â€¨
In Newton, something as simple as a Facebook photo prompted a random act of giving, all in the spirit of holiday cheer.â€¨
The story starts at a little house on West â€śDâ€ť Street.
Each holiday season, Ronnie and Mary Connor transform their home into a Christmas showcase. Filled with inflatable Santas, a candy cane walkway and red, green and white lights, their one-story house sticks out as drivers make their way toward U.S. 321 or N.C. 16.â€¨
Glenn Pattishall became Newton's first full-time planning director when he joined the city staff in 1983.
"I had tremendous opportunities here," he said. "I got to define the job. I got to establish the department and then try to get it integrated into everything else the city had going on."
Now after more than 28 years of work, the department is an established part of Newton government, and so is Pattishall, the city's planning director and assistant manager. According to Newton Mayor Anne Stedman, he is a "consummate professional."
Conover Policeâ€™s Santa Cops program will help provide toys to more than 100 children this Christmas.
The Santa Cops program, initiated by a Conover police officer in 2008, gives toys donated by area residents and companies to children and families in need. Area school systems and Catawba County Social Services identify children and families that need assistance.
â€śThe need is just so great,â€ť said Conover Police Chief Steve Brewer.
â€śWith the economic times and the unemployment rate in the county, the need is genuine. This is a way we can give back."
A Chihuahua was shot with a BB gun in Claremont, and thieves took a four-wheeler in Conover, among other crimes reported this week by the Catawba County Sheriff's Office.
Suspects stole an aluminum dock board and fork life squeeze plate from a loading dock at the Carter Factory Closeout Inc. at 2023 Wagon Lane NE in Conover. The items are valued at a combined total of about $1,000.