March 14th, 2011
The Gergely family's home appeared, from the outside, to be a typical residence in the Deerfield development of Mountain View.
A garden sits at the front of the yard near a swing set, and children's sporting equipment is scattered throughout the property.
But inside the residence, George L. Gergely Jr., 42, stored six cans of gasoline and firearms after a reported suicide attempt the day before his house exploded.
A call for help
Gergely's wife, Michele, called 9-1-1 on Sunday about 1:05 p.m. to report her husband was having suicidal thoughts and threatening to harm himself.
A proposal to prohibit construction of new "quonset" huts in Newton not only missed the mark, if passed it can open the door to "quonset hut farms" in the city.
As a result, Newton City Council sent a zoning ordinance amendment concerning accessory structures back to city planners' drafting board.
It has been more than 35 years since Newton's train depot helped transport passengers from one location to another.
But new life continues to reinvigorate the building on North Main Avenue, including the addition of an outdoor train museum.
The Newton Depot Authority announced March 9 they will add an outdoor railroad museum to the historic Newton Depot. The railroad museum is designed to collect, restore and preserve railroad equipment that honors the railroad's history in western North Carolina.
Diana Marie Hardy, 25, of Newton, died unexpectedly Saturday, March 12, 2011. The Hardy family has entrusted the funeral arrangements to Willis-Reynolds Funeral Home & Crematory in Newton.
Karen Leigh Norman Hawkins, 64, of Hickory, passed away March 13, 2011, at Frye Regional Medical Center. Bass-Smith Funeral Home is serving the family of Karen Leigh Norman Hawkins.
Doctor, lawyer or crime-fighting chief, which one of these things would you like to be?
That is the kind of question students at Tuttle Elementary School were asked this week, and on Friday, I joined more than 20 professionals from throughout Catawba County in trying to help provide a few answers. The schoolâ€™s â€śCareer Roundupâ€ť was a great way for young people to learn about many career options available to them as they begin charting their paths into a profession. It was also a great way for leaders of our community to share why we chose the careers we did.
A 42-year-old man caused his home to explode, killing himself Sunday.
Catawba County Sheriff Coy Reid said at about 2:30 p.m. Sunday, George Gergely Jr.'s wife got commitment papers to have her husband checked mentally. Reid said his wife was concerned that her husband was going to harm himself after he made threats to do so. She also referenced a large number of guns were inside the Willowbottom Road home in the Mountain View community.
Reid said the Special Tactics and Response Team responds as protocol to suicide situations.
Darts to Catawba Countyâ€™s justice system that allows a person to walk free even though they are directly responsible for the death of an innocent man.
Sadly, this situation is becoming a disconcerting norm in a county where drunk motorists can endanger roadways and motorists and have the very real hope of never facing punishment for any deadly crimes they might commit.
Trailing early in the game, Newton-Conover made a comeback, but fell short in its game against North Gaston on Friday.
The Red Devils (0-3) fell in an early 3-0 hole in the top of the first inning. North Gaston scored three runs, including an RBI double from pitcher Henry Rundio and a fielder's choice by Micah Smith.
Newton-Conover's Parker Sigmon notched the first run of the game for his team in the bottom of the third, when he plated Jake Cansler to cut the deficit down to 3-1.
First Class Petty Officer Thomas Brandt hasn't lived in Catawba County for long, but he knows its a place where he wants to live and work after his deployment.
Brandt, 30, lives in Conover, but will soon be deployed with the U.S. Navy. He doesn't know where he'll be, and he doesn't know what he'll be doing.
But he does know one thing: He's exactly where he should be.
"I wanted an adventure," said the native New Yorker, who moved to Catawba County in September. "I always wanted to do something really significant with my life."
Fewer people are living in Catawba in 2010 than were living in the town 10 years ago.
Catawba residents number 603, based on 2010 census data. That number decreased from 698 in 2000, when the last census was taken.
The 13.6 percent estimated population decrease means Catawba isn't growing at the rate officials predicted.
"We didn't quite meet the state's estimated growth rate," Catawba Town Manager Brian Barnett told residents and council members March 7 during his manager's report at council's monthly meeting.