November 25th, 2011
Chris Willardâ€™s quest on Black Friday started at 4 p.m. on Wednesday outside the Best Buy in Hickory.
Arriving to a half-empty parking lot and sidewalks free of shoppers, Willard sat down next to a sign outside Best Buy that read, â€śLine Starts Here.â€ť
He was the first in line.
â€śAs soon as I got off work, I came up here,â€ť said Willard, a Taylorsville native. â€śWhen I saw there was no one here, I didnâ€™t even think twice to start waiting."
For the next 32 hours that included near-freezing overnight temperatures, almost no sleep and a growing crowd, Willard waited.
Holiday events abound this week in Catawba County with a homes tour to benefit education, a duct tape crafts workshop, a visit by Santa Claus to Sherrills Ford and a concert at Lenoir-Rhyne.
The week also includes a World AIDS Day ceremony in Hickory and a Hmong New Year Celebration at Catawba Valley Community College.
For more events throughout each week, pick up a print edition of The Observer News Enterprise. For breaking news each day, visit observernewsonline.com.
The O-N-E's latest reader poll is up at observernewsonline.com.
This week, share whether or not you participated in Black Friday or Cyber Monday shopping.
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.
Conover-resident Judy Baxter is this week's winner of $100 in The Observer News Enterprise's Hometown Christmas program.
Baxter registered to win at Newton-area business Midway Carpet, one of 70 area businesses supporting The O-N-E's holiday "shop-local" campaign. Her entry was drawn from among hundreds of others just before 8 a.m. during the Wacky Wake-up Crew on WNNC and WAIZ.
On the day after Thanksgiving, The O-N-E edition arriving at homes today focuses on community efforts to deliver a happy holiday on the areaâ€™s needy.
While those community servants serve other area residents, Maiden native Joe Lineberger is serving his nation - just as he has for more than 60 years. Lineberger, 80, served 28 years in active duty with the U.S. Airforce and since then he has served 32 years as a civilian. He recently received the Spirit of Service Award and The O-N-E tells his story in the print and online at www.observernewsonline.com.
Charles Robinson and Richard Clark arrived in downtown Hickory at 6:30 a.m. Wednesday morning. They were waiting on a turkey.
â€śWe werenâ€™t even the first ones here,â€ť Clark said. â€śThere was already a line."
Robinson and Clark were two of about 200 people who lined up early Wednesday morning to receive a free turkey and â€śfixin bagâ€ť at the Greater Hickory Cooperative Christian Ministries on 1st Avenue in Hickory.
Joe Lineberger just missed serving in World War II.
The Maiden native hasn't missed much since in a military service career than spans six decades.
The Department of Defense recently honored Lineberger, now 80 and the civilian equivalent of a three-star general, with the Spirit of Service award for his time and work in the Air Force. He currently works as a civilian at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland.
"I never thought a little country boy from Maiden, Newton and Catawba County would see the things I've seen," Lineberger said this week in an interview with The O-N-E.
A Newton man was stabbed in the abdomen early Tuesday morning in front of his home on North Main Avenue.
Brandon Michael Beatty, 20, of 1319 N. Main Ave. in Newton, was stabbed with a sharp, bladed object about 1:08 a.m. Tuesday in the driveway in front of his residence.
Beatty was taken to Catawba Valley Medical Center with non-life threatening lacerations to his stomach. He was not listed as a patient at Catawba Valley Medical Center on Wednesday afternoon.
Parts of Center Street in Hickory will be closed periodically for repaving beginning Monday.
South Center Street will be paved from Main Avenue to N.C. 127, and North Center Street will be paved from 3rd Avenue to 5th Avenue.
One lane along the street will be open most of the time during the daytime paving project.
Work on North Center Street in front of Frye Regional Medical Center's main entrance may cause closure of the entire street at times. A city spokesperson said that part of the project may be completed at night.
The project is expected to take about a week.
Stores in Catawba County plan to open their doors late Thursday and early Friday to entice shoppers for annual Black Friday deals.
Some of the major Black Friday sales include:
Walmart in Conover â€” Deals start at 10 p.m. Thursday
Best Buy in Hickory â€” Opening at 12 a.m. Friday
Target in Hickory â€” Opening at 12 a.m. Friday
Valley Hills Mall â€“ Opening at 6 a.m. Friday
Stores inside the mall:
Belk â€” Opening at 3 a.m.
Dillardâ€™s â€” Opening at 7 a.m.
JC Penney â€” Opening at 4 a.m.