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.
A fire destroyed an elderly coupleâ€™s home Wednesday in northern Catawba County.
Family and neighbors say a fire burst from a wood furnace at the home of Bill and Euella Winebarger at 5942 Hightower Road in Hickory. The flames completely engulfed the home and caused minor burns to Billâ€™s hands and ears, family members said.
Family members say the couple had just returned home around noon on Wednesday when the fire started.
It was nearing 6 p.m., and Catawba firemen were circling an old, cinderblock house at 5400 Hudson Chapel Road.
The one-story, abandoned residence was soaked. It had rained all day, which dampened the Catawba Fire Departmentâ€™s chances of easily starting a training fire at the house that most neighbors consider a burden to the community.
The house, located directly across from Catawba Elementary School, already burned more than four years ago, said Catawba Fire Chief Donald Robinson.
A district court judge agreed to continue the DWI case against Assistant District 25 Attorney Eric Bellas on Wednesday in Brunswick County.
Bellas was scheduled to appear in court for DWI and civil revocation of driverâ€™s license charges in relation to an incident that occurred this summer at Sunset Beach. Court officials said Bellasâ€™ attorney, Roy Best, appeared for him and the case was continued until Jan. 25.
Bellas, 45, of Morganton, was charged with DWI while attending a district attorneyâ€™s conference in Sunset Beach.