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March 10th, 2011

AWOL soldier arrested

March 10, 2011

Catawba County sheriff's deputies arrested a Florida man Thursday who is wanted by United States military officers.

Michael Joseph Hinrichs, 31, was charged with being a fugitive when officers located him for the United States Army. The Army had a felony warrant for Hinrichs' arrest because Hinrichs was allegedly absent from duty without leave.

Hinrichs was living in Catawba when deputies arrested him Thursday about 2 a.m. and transported him to Catawba County jail.

He is being held with no bond until military officers arrive to take him into custody.

Living with HIV: Walking a road to recovery, sharing experiences

March 10, 2011

Hope is the one thing Steve Daniels gained in life and the one characteristic he tries to pass on to other people.

Daniels, 62, is HIV-positive and has dealt with the disease for 25 years.

"I've been infected so long," he said. "I've seen a whole lot of death and hopelessness. I try to encourage people not to give up and to just hold on."

Drugs and alcohol

Daniels used injected drugs, which led to his contracting HIV or human immunodeficiency virus. Daniels was in college when he started using heroin. As drug use progressed, he started injecting drugs for a faster fix.

Appeal results mailed today

March 10, 2011

The informal appeals process in the county's property revaluation ends today as results are mailed to residents who appealed their property value.

The Catawba County Tax Office reviewed informal appeals from property owners who disputed the market value appraisers established during the valuation process.

The county received 5,455 appeals as of March 7. Those appeals represent about 6.33 percent of the county's more than 80,000 parcels, according to Catawba County tax administrator Mark Logan.

Charter school bill evolves

March 10, 2011

As the proposed bill to lift the state's cap on charter schools continues to evolve, opponents to the legislation say it won't protect already-strained resources in the school system.

The battle over charter school funding is far from finished for schools in Catawba County, whose leaders argue that Senate Bill 8 could take away more students and funding from school systems.

"It's the worst time to create a process of opening new schools, because we can't take care of the ones we've got now," said Newton-Conover City Schools superintendent Dr. Barry Redmond.

Council visits Raleigh

March 10, 2011

Several city council members and some concerned citizens traveled to Raleigh Wednesday for a chance to speak to elected officials about current issues impacting Catawba County.

Representatives from Conover city government and the American Postal Workers Union spoke with the county's representatives to let their voices and opinions about job loss and budgetary concerns be heard.

The trip started as a trip to visit the state capital for Textile Day, but when the event was canceled, Conover's representatives decided to continue the trip.

March 9th

Lampe, Choi try to lead Red Devils back to a state championship

March 9, 2011

The Newton-Conover boys’ tennis team is looking to repeat their 2010 season and give the program another state title.

The Red Devils finished with a 26-0 record last season, including a 14-0 mark in the Catawba Valley Athletic Conference.

Leading the charge this season will be the doubles team of Hang Lak Choi and Ryan Lampe. The two tennis players were on separate teams in the state championship doubles match.

Choi played with senior Will Huggins, while Lampe played with senior Dillon Cervantez. Choi and Huggins defeated Lampe and Cervantez, 6-3, 6-2, to claim the championship.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

March 9, 2011

Larry Dean Owens, 66, of Conover, died Tuesday, March 8, 2011, at Palliative CareCenter and Hospice of Catawba Valley.  The Owens family has entrusted funeral arrangements to Drum Funeral Home & Cremation in Conover.

Dwight Vance Caldwell, 75, of Maiden, passed away Monday, March 7, 2011, at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem.  Burke Mortuary in Newton is serving the Caldwell family.

Town to hold branding contest

March 9, 2011

Catawba leaders want input about what makes the town special from the people who know Catawba best — its citizens.

In an effort to promote Catawba's assets and draw people and money to the area, Catawba Town Manager Brian Barnett announced a branding contest to create a catchy phrase or slogan for the town.

"It's something sweet and to the point to promote our community," Barnett said.

The contest is one of many recent efforts to create industry and interest within Catawba, which recently struggled financially with decreasing revenues and increasing expenditures.

Deputies report 'largest ever' drug seizure

March 9, 2011

Sheriff's deputies from two counties seized 17 pounds of compressed cocaine in what investigators are calling the largest seizure in sheriff's office history.

Lincoln and Catawba county sheriff's deputies assisted Saturday with a drug seizure in Lincolnton, where they discovered more than $250,000 of cocaine in an abandoned vehicle.

Officers were dispatched about 5:30 a.m. Saturday to 1259 Buffalo Shoals Road to investigate a report of "an abandoned and suspicious vehicle," according to a press release from Lincoln County Sheriff's Office.

HCAM brings arts, careers

March 9, 2011

Hickory Career and Arts Magnet High School is a unique learning opportunity for Catawba County students.

When students leave HCAM after four years of instruction, they graduate with a high school diploma, four to five college credits and, in some cases, a career certification — all at no cost to students.

"So many people say, 'Where was this when I was in high school?'" said HCAM principal Kelly Owen. "...The idea of HCAM is to engage students in a different kind of way in a unique environment."

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