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March 29th, 2011

Is the county safe from nuclear disaster?

March 29, 2011

Explosions and fires rocked the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan just days after the country was devastated by an earthquake and tsunami in mid-March.

Weeks later, a large-scale nuclear disaster was avoided, for now. The near-catastrophe drew worldwide attention to nuclear power and the potential dangers of radioactive materials. The United States government recommended a 50-mile evacuation zone around the site to avoid harmful radiation in Japan.

1 injured in tractor-trailer crash

March 29, 2011

Lime green metal was twisted at odd angles, exposing the engine of a tractor-trailer in the southbound lanes of U.S. 321 in Newton. Broken glass was scattered everywhere. The vehicle's driver dabbed at his head with a white towel, a stream of dark blood trailing from the man's forehead.

The twisted wreckage of the 18-wheeler's cab rested near U.S. 321 mile marker 37 after the vehicle struck another tractor-trailer driven by a student driver.

DEVELOPING: Man dies after Hickory shooting

March 29, 2011

One man was shot in the head while traveling in Hickory on Monday night.
The victim later died from his injuries.
Hickory Police received a call at 9:27 p.m. Monday for shots fired in the 300 block of First Avenue Southwest.
Steven Darnell Simpson, 19, was found with a gunshot wound to his head. Simpson was airlifted to Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center where he later died.
Hickory Police are conducting interviews involving the case. More information is expected later today.
Check back with www.observernewsonline.com for more details as they become available.

BREAKING: Startown Road reopens after wreck

March 29, 2011

Startown Road is reopened after a Tuesday wreck impacted traffic around Startown Elementary during the morning commute.
An overturned tractor-trailer truck forced closure of Startown Road near Startown Elementary School on Tuesday morning.
Details are still emerging in this story, and The O-N-E will deliver more information as it becomes available.
Check back with www.observernewsonline.com throughout the day for updates to this story.

March 28th

Tharpe hired as N-C boys hoops coach

March 28, 2011

Same school. New team.

Jonathan Tharpe is trading one basketball team for another at Newton-Conover.

He stepped down as the girls basketball coach to lead the boys basketball team.

Tharpe replaces Mark Carter, who is retiring from coaching and teaching at the school.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

March 28, 2011

Maudie Mae Suddreth Keaton, 85, passed away Friday, March 25, 2011, at Frye Regional Medical Center.  Bass-Smith Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the family of Maudie Mae Suddreth Keaton.

Florence “Johnnie” Setzer, 82, of Maiden, died Saturday, March 26, 2011, at the Palliative CareCenter and Hospice of Catawba Valley in Newton. The Setzer family has entrusted the funeral arrangements to Willis-Reynolds Funeral Home & Crematory in Newton.

Electric fees could increase

March 28, 2011

Maiden electrical customers could see an increase in their rates after a decision from ElectriCities to pass on higher rates to municipalities.

The details of that increase are left to representatives from 19 cities and towns served by Electricities in piedmont and western North Carolina.

All North Carolina Municipal Power Agency 1 (NCMPA1) member cities and towns face a rate increase, and the decision falls on board members as to how much and when those increases will happen.

Store robbed at knifepoint

March 28, 2011

Police are looking for an unknown suspect who robbed a Conover store clerk at knifepoint.

A black male walked into the Kangaroo Express on N.C. 16 North shortly before midnight Saturday. A female clerk was behind the counter, and the male walked up to her, demanding money, said Conover Police Investigator John Little.

The man displayed a knife and asked the clerk to take money out of the cash register.

"He didn't threaten her," Little said. "He just told her what to do, and she complied."

2 arrested for metal theft

March 28, 2011

Two men were arrested Friday after stealing $3,000 in scrap metal.

Catawba County sheriff's deputies responded to the 1600 block of Mays Chapel Church Road in Newton about 5:05 p.m. after receiving a call reporting a theft in progress.

They arrived on the scene to find Bobby Franklin Leatherman, 55, and David Michael Henry, 29, both of Maiden, attempting to steal 1,580 pounds of miscellaneous scrap metal stored on a piece of property, said Catawba County Sheriff Coy Reid.

The scrap metal was stored on the property of Tracey Matthews Sipe, 50, of Maiden.

Client increase leads to hire

March 28, 2011

Babies Mason and Zoey played contentedly Monday on a colorful mat at the Bethlehem United Methodist Child Development Center in Claremont, laughing and babbling at each other.

The babies could soon be joined by more playmates after another Claremont day care facility closed unexpectedly, forcing many parents to find other child care options.

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