The North Carolina board of education is telling public school administrators to plan on adding five more classroom days next year, but the state isn't setting the expanded school year in stone just yet.
State school board Chairman Bill Harrison said Thursday he hopes to meet with state lawmakers before they return to work in February to describe problems local school districts face from a new law increasing the current 180-day school year to 185 days.
School districts complain they'll have to pay for five extra days of school bus fuel and other costs despite state budget cuts.
Catawba Valley Community College recently received the largest private gift in its 53-year history.
Area real estate developer James V. Tarlton Jr. made the donation to the CVCC Foundation, and the college will rename its on-campus multipurpose center The Tarlton Complex in his honor.
Tarlton said he did not want to disclose the amount of the gift to the college, and college officials said they respect that wish.
"It was substantial," Tarlton said.
Authorities are investigating a dead body that was found floating in Lake Norman on Thursday morning.
Catawba County sheriff's deputies responded to a report of a dead body about 10:30 a.m. Wednesday morning near The Boat Rack on Spinnaker Bay Drive in Sherrills Ford.
Catawba County Sheriff Coy Reid said an employee at the boat rack observed the body floating in the water about 25 feet from the shoreline and called 9-1-1.
The victim is a white male about 50-years-old, Reid said. Authorities are not releasing his name or address until his family is notified about the death.
Christmas activities highlight events this week in Catawba County.
Conover will light its tree downtown, Hickory will march its annual parade, an ensemble will sing Christmas tunes in Hickory and Newton senior adults will dance to a variety of music.
A chili and pottery fundraiser, bridge-building contest and several community information sessions also dot the schedule.
Read on for more details and pick up copies of The Observer News Enterprise throughout the week at county newsstands for the latest on events, breaking news, daily comics, opinions and more.
The O-N-E's latest reader poll is up at observernewsonline.com.
This week, share your opinion on media coverage of school safety threats and lockdowns.
Look for a new poll each Friday at observernewsonline.com, and check The O-N-E's Weekend Edition for results from the previous week's poll.
An elderly couple escaped their Catawba County home moments before it was destroyed by fire Wednesday. The O-N-E has complete details in the Thursday print edition and online at www.observernewsonline.com.
Trying to end its current skid, the CVCC men's basketball team lost the lead late against Spartanburg Methodist, and eventually, lost the game in close fashion, 68-65.
The Bucs loss is their fourth in a row.
CVCC trailed at 36-32 at halftime, but a great offensive effort in the early stages of the quarter allowed them to pull back into the contest.
With 7:00 remaining in the game, free throws by Terrence Polk gave the Bucs (3-5) their first lead of the half, 55-54.
Fred T. Foard earned an impressive sweep of Bunker Hill and North Wilkes on Wednesday, defeating the two teams by a combined score of 127-16.
The Bears also earned a victory in that tri-match, topping the Vikings in a hard-fought contest, 46-30.
Fred T. Foard 62, North Wilkes 10
The Newton-Conover girls basketball team nearly scored 100 points, but came up just short in a 94-24 blowout against the East Lincoln Lady Mustangs.
Shynese Whitener scored 25 points in the victory for the Lady Red Devils, who improve to 2-0 on the season.
Bandys 61, Fred T. Foard 49
Behind 22 points from freshman Haleigh Lackey, the Lady Trojans improved to 2-0 with a home victory against the Lady Tigers.
Brooke Robinson led Foard (1-1) with 13 points.
Newton-Conover 48, East Lincoln 44
Joseph Daniel “J.D.” Brooks, 74, of Newton, died Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2011 at Palliative CareCenter and Hospice of Catawba Valley in Newton. Burke Mortuary in Newton is serving the Brooks family.