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November 8th, 2011

Election official: Turnout lower than normal

November 8, 2011

Only 8 percent of eligible voters cast ballots during the 2011 Catawba County municipal and school board elections.

At precinct 28, only four people voted. At precinct 35, six people cast ballots.

Of 47,419 registered voters, 3,865 voted in municipal and school board races.

“I’ve never seen numbers that low since I’ve been here,” said Larry Brewer, Catawba County Board of Elections director for the past 14 years. “Numbers are going to be a little less than normal.”

The highest precinct had about 313 voters, Brewer said.

New mayor for Newton

November 8, 2011

Newton citizens elected a new mayor Tuesday and for the first time a female will hold the city's top elected office.

"I don't think being a female makes any difference ... I am ready to lead the city," said Newton Mayor Pro Tem Anne Stedman, who succeeds Mayor Robert A. Mullinax. "I have the experience, and I do think it takes that to run a city. I think that my passion for Newton shows."

Among her first goals as mayor is continuing to apply that passion toward Newton's central business district.

BREAKING NEWS: Election results are in

November 8, 2011

Newton City Council incumbents Tom Rowe, Mary Bess Lawing and Wayne Dellinger won re-election to the board Tuesday, all receiving more votes than challenger Mae Lutz McLean.

Vote tallies included 714 for Rowe, 645 for Lawing, 628 for Dellinger and 292 for McLean.

Conover City Council incumbents Don Beal and Kyle Hayman gained the most votes and will retain their seats. Bruce Eckard, a former Conover mayor and councilman, will join Beal and Hayman on the board. Eckard takes a seat now held by Corpening, who withdrew from the race in October.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

November 8, 2011

John Franklin Blanton, 76, of Lincolnton, died Monday, Nov. 7, 2011 at Levine Dixon Hospice.
E. F. Drum Funeral Home is serving the Blanton Family.

Adam Baker's attorney asks for venue change

November 8, 2011

Before Elisa Baker pleaded guilty to the second-degree murder of 10-year-old Zahra Baker in September in Catawba County, she wanted her trial moved elsewhere.

Her judge — citing “pervasive” and “prejudicial” media coverage in the area — approved the request, and arrangements were made for several trial dates and locations that never happened.

Now, Zahra’s father wants his case moved for the same reasons.

Adam Baker faces Catawba County charges of identity theft and obtaining property by false pretenses. Both counts are felonies, but are unrelated to Zahra Baker’s murder.

Maiden loses football 'father'

November 8, 2011

The Maiden community lost a former coach this week who helped begin a winning high school football tradition.

William "Bill" Barefoot — who coached at Maiden High from 1955-59 and again from 1962-65 — died Monday night in Columbia, S.C.

"If George Washington is the founding father of our country, Bill Barefoot is the father of football at Maiden," said Barefoot's former player and co-captain Charles Abernethy.

Struggling out of the gate in Barefoot's first season in 1955, the Blue Devils finished 2-4, but Barefoot continued to build a young program.

Red Devils succeed in many sports

November 8, 2011

With a victory Saturday against Northeastern on the volleyball court, Newton-Conover won its eighth state championship.

The volleyball crown, the school’s first in history, continued an amazing run of state titles at N-C since the year 2000.

During that span, the Red Devils are the state’s best in five different sports.

“I just think the excitement surrounding a state championship and kids wanting to be a part of it is infectious,” said N-C athletic director Ericia Turner. “The community just surrounds the kids. It’s a pride thing for them.”

BREAKING: Adam Baker seeks venue change

November 8, 2011

The father of 10-year-old murder victim Zahra Baker appeared in court in Newton on Tuesday. Like the woman accused of murdering his daughter, he wants his criminal trial to be moved to a new venue.

Adam Baker faces Catawba County charges of identity theft and obtaining property by false pretenses. Both counts are felonies, but are unrelated to Zahra Baker’s murder.

In Caldwell County, Baker is charged with two counts of communicating threats, assault with a deadly weapon and failure to return rental property.

N.C. evenly split on Wall Street protests

November 8, 2011

RALEIGH — North Carolina residents are evenly divided in how they feel about the anti-Wall Street protest movement and the Tea Party that preceded it catering to Americans angry about the country's business and government institutions, a statewide poll released Monday found.

The Elon University Poll finds respondents familiar with Occupy Wall Street are split, with 45 percent holding an unfavorable opinion and the same number expressing support. The poll does not measure eligible or likely voters, but takes a snapshot of general public opinion.

The O-N-E Morning Read: ELECTION DAY 2011

November 8, 2011

A little more than a year ago attorney Shawn Clark was less than 250 votes from winning the Republican primary for the District 25 Attorney’s office. Today, he faces charges of extortion and obstruction of justice over accusations of a sexual affair with a client.

More details on the story are available in the Tuesday print edition of The Observer News Enterprise and online at

Other news featured for Election Day 2011 includes:

The Hickory Sportsman’s Club welcomed Ole Miss quarterback Archie Manning for its bi-annual meeting...
Below is a look at Friday's local American Legion baseball scores: Area IV scoreboard Hickory 13,...
CONCORD — Matt Kenseth is hoping history repeats itself Sunday night at the Coca-Cola 600. Kenseth...


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