July 20th, 2011
Wilbur Hayden Ennis, 86, of Conover, passed away Tuesday, July 19, 2011, at Palliative CareCenter and Hospice of Catawba Valley. The Ennis family has entrusted funeral arrangements to Drum Funeral Home & Cremation Services in Conover.
After nearly five years in business, The Artist's Cafe will permanently close its doors in downtown Newton. The restaurant's closure will impact 20 employees when the business officially ceases operation on Saturday.
"I never wanted to leave this town. I put five years into this business," said The Artist's Cafe owner Louis Demarhos, adding the decision is heart-breaking. "We made a lot of great friends here."
Hundreds of area citizens are crowding into Catawba Valley Community Collegeâs registration offices this week to sign up for classes for the coming fall semester.
Enrollment at the community college has steadily increased during the past several years, with administrators seeing about a 24 percent increase since 2007. But the same way attendance has grown, funding from the state has shrunk, putting school leaders in a bind to produce more resources with less cash.
In the last fiscal year, worldwide conglomerates, like Apple Inc., have made million-dollar investments in Catawba County municipalities. In that same time, homegrown companies, like Lee Industries and Dalco Nonwovens, announced and enacted planned growth to their businesses â bringing more jobs and revenue to the local and county governments.
In total, the county saw about $47.5 million invested and 800 jobs created during the 2010-11 fiscal year.
Authorities arrested a Claremont man on Saturday after they caught the convicted sex offender using a social media website unlawfully.
Andrew Dorsey, 23, of 2895 Wilderness Trace in Claremont, was arrested and charged with felony use of a social website by a sex offender after a Catawba County sheriffâs deputy found the manâs personal Facebook page.
Dorsey was given a secured bond of $4,000, but was not in jail as of press time Wednesday.
Children of all ages are piling into the Old Post Office Playhouse in Newton this week to recite 16th century old English and have fun doing it.
The playhouse is playing host to the 14th annual Summer Shakespeare Theatre Institute, a week-long day camp that gives first-grade through 12th-grade students the chance to watch, practice and perform classic theatre.
David Brown and Jonathon Ray started the institute 14 years ago.
âTheatre and acting itself builds learning skills,â Brown said.
For the second straight year, a Newton boy will represent his city and state in the All-American Soap Box Derby.
Nine-year-old Caleb Atkinson will race as the only rally champion from
North Carolina in the Super Stock division at the 74th edition of the Derby this Saturday, which is held in Akron, Ohio.
The Derby features around 500 of the greatest soap box champions from around the World.
âIâm more relaxed than the first time I went,â Atkinson said. âI know what to do. Last time, I had someone guiding me that I knew from Huntersville. Iâm way more relaxed than nervous.â
An outside driver's education business will operate Catawba County Schools' program starting in the 2011-12 school year to avoid charging students a fee.
After the N.C. General Assembly allocated CCS $198 per child for driver's education, the Board of Education faced two options â charge students $45 to keep the program in-house or enter into an agreement with an outside driver's education program to teach students to drive.
"The way the bill is written, it's made our options very limited," CCS board member Sherry Butler said of legislation's binding CCS driver's education allotment.
"Love what you do, do what you love" was Nina Leavitt Watkins' favorite quote, and that's what she lived by.
Watkins was a wife, mother and daughter, who, at 27, lost her life after only five months of marriage and being a mother to a 9-year-old girl.
"She was very sweet, nice, caring and easy to get along with," said Sharon Rashidi, owner of The Perfect Workout where Watkins frequently exercised. "Everyone liked her."
Joe Ray Abernethy, 77, of Newton, passed away Monday, July 18, 2011, at his residence. The Abernethy family has entrusted funeral arrangements to Willis-Reynolds Funeral Home & Crematory in Newton.
Worth David Brooks, 64, of Newton, passed away Monday, July 18, 2011, at his residence. The Brooks family has entrusted funeral arrangements to Drum Funeral Home & Cremation Services in Conover.