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December 20th

County's teen pregnancy rate drops

December 20, 2011

Catawba County’s teen pregnancy rate dropped to an all-time low in 2010, according to data released recently.

The total number of pregnancies among Catawba County girls ages 15-19 dropped from 297 in 2009 to 245 in 2010, resulting in a 12-percent decline. The decrease is the single largest year-to-year drop in county history.

North Carolina’s teen pregnancy rates are also at an all-time low. Rates dropped 11 percent statewide from 2009 to 2010, according to new data released last week.

Incentives approved for manufacturer

December 20, 2011

The area’s newest manufacturer will get a financial lift from the county next year.

Catawba County Commissioners approved an incentive agreement Monday for Punker LLC, a German-based manufacturer that plans to bring up to 80 new jobs to the area.

Earlier this month, the Catawba County Economic Development Corporation (CCEDC) announced that Punker plans to open a new manufacturing plant in Hickory. Punker produces fan parts for the HVAC and exhaust industries.

The expansion will bring at least 62 jobs to the area, with the potential to create 80 new jobs.

Children, driver injured in crash

December 20, 2011

Two children were injured in a single-vehicle wreck in Sherrills Ford on Tuesday afternoon, including one who was airlifted to Carolinas Medical Center with serious injuries.

N.C. Highway Patrol troopers on the scene said an adult driver was traveling on N.C. 150 East when his pickup truck careened through an intersection near the N.C. 16 bypass and traveled up a steep hill.

The truck came to rest on top of a hill adjacent to the new N.C. 16 bypass interchange in Sherrills Ford.

The O-N-E Morning Read: Tuesday, Dec. 20

December 20, 2011

With the holidays looming, tragedy is on the roadways of the Catawba Valley.

A Maiden woman was killed in a Sunday afternoon crash that involved a drunk driver, and two men were hospitalized after their speeding Corvette hit a Newton home and flipped.

Complete details on both these stories are inside the Tuesday print edition of The Observer News Enterprise and online at www.observernewsonline.com.

December 19th

Red Devils steamroll Indians on the mat

December 19, 2011

For the second time this season, the Newton-Conover and St. Stephens wrestling teams tangled on the mat.

The first time, the Red Devils earned a victory against host St. Stephens during the Indian Classic a few weeks ago. The result Monday wasn't any different.

Newton-Conover (16-0) won 11-of-14 individual matches, including six pins and three by technical fall on its way to a 57-14 victory in Newton.

Hickory earns top seeds in CV Classic pairings

December 19, 2011

The pairings for this year’s Catawba Valley Classic were released Monday.

The opening round for the tournament starts on Tuesday, Dec. 27.

The boys’ slate of games will be played at Hickory High School, while the girls games will be at the Tarlton Complex, formerly the Multi-Purpose Center, at Catawba Valley Community College.

Hickory, the defending boys champion, is seeded No. 1 and will take on Bunker Hill at 6 p.m.

Panthers Chudzinski's playbook has no limits

December 19, 2011

CHARLOTTE — Panthers offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski has a bag full of tricks and he's not afraid to use them — even if it means borrowing a play from a kids' movie.

With Cam Newton under center, Chudzinski is finding fun news ways to use the talented rookie's athleticism to his advantage.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

December 19, 2011

Elizabeth Martha Wykes, of Newton, died Saturday, Dec. 17, 2011, at Conover Nursing and Rehabilitation.  A memorial service will be on Thursday, Dec. 22, 2011 at 11 a.m. at First United Methodist Church in Newton.

Noah Emanuel Dellinger Jr., 56, of Conover, died Sunday, Dec. 18, 2011 at Catawba Valley Medical Center in Hickory.  Burke Mortuary in Newton is serving the Dellinger family.

Car flips, hits house in Newton

December 19, 2011

Cynthia Travis was enjoying time with her daughter on Monday when what felt like an earthquake rattled her home.

“We heard a really big crash and the house was shaking,” Travis said. “I thought we were in a real earthquake this time.”

Travis was in no earthquake, though. A 2005 Chevrolet Corvette had struck her home.

“I looked outside and there was nothing but horror,” she said.

Two men, whose names were not released, were hospitalized with serious injuries on Monday after their car went airborne and hit Travis’ home at 909 Laffon Road in Newton.

Crash kills Maiden woman

December 19, 2011

The N.C. Highway Patrol believes alcohol was a factor in a Sunday crash that killed a Maiden woman on N.C. 16 South.

Thelma Jean Chappell, 47, of Maiden, died when the 1999 Ford Explorer she was riding in veered into the median on N.C. 16 and overturned in the area of N.C. 150, said K.E. Travis, a trooper with the highway patrol.

Thomas Ray Klutz, 42, of Conover, was driving the vehicle. Travis said he charged Klutz with driving while impaired and reckless driving.

Other charges may be filed, pending blood results, Travis said.

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