January 24th, 2011
In 2009-10, Catawba County Schools reduced positions for 69 teachers, 113 teacher assistants, four custodians and three literary coaches.
With North Carolina facing a more than $3 billion budget shortfall, CCS leaders face yet another year of difficult budget decisions â€” including personnel cuts and reductions.
Faced with uncertain funding options from state budget-makers, the Catawba County Schools Board of Education held a meeting Monday to discuss its choices for the 2011-12 budget.
The board talked about options for cutting back system expenses while preserving jobs, which forced them to consider changes to two educational programs for students.
Board members entertained the idea of moving the Green Room Academy of Drama (GRAD) program to Maiden High School's facilities to save costs on the magnet school for students interested in pursuing theater arts.
Cong. Sue Myrick is thinking about packing heat.
Yes, in the wake of a Jan. 8 mass shooting that killed six people and injured 14 others â€” including U.S. Cong. Gabrielle Giffords â€” Myrick told The Charlotte Observer she is thinking about obtaining a concealed-carry gun permit and carrying a personal firearm.
The clock read 0:00. History was made.
After a win against Draughn on Friday, Bandys coach Beth Queen collected her 300th win in 15 seasons as a player and coach.
â€śI love the Bandys community,â€ť Queen said. â€śIâ€™ve grown up here and been a part of Bandys basketball my whole life. It brings me to be able to bring more victories to the school. I wouldnâ€™t want to coach anywhere else.â€ť
The Trojans came out in the first half motivated to give their coach the historic win. They displayed a strong offensive and defensive performance, and limited Draughn to just four first-quarter points.
The Lady Red Devils got off to a slow start Friday against rival Maiden, despite an earlier-season win against the Blue Devils by as many as 30 points.
By first quarterâ€™s end, the Lady Red Devils put any doubt away and crushed rival Maiden in its win Friday.
Newton-Conover (14-1, 7-0) took a 6-4 lead early and then within the last four minutes of the first quarter outscored Maiden (7-11, 2-6) by a 11-7 margin.
Quazzy Tipps and Shynese Whitener added most of the Red Devilsâ€™ points early and combined for 14 of their 17 first-quarter points.
The woman rumored to be involved in the death and dismemberment of her stepdaughter received two more criminal charges this week, bringing her bond amount to more than $100,000.
Elisa Baker, Zahra Baker's stepmother, was served an indictment for bigamy Friday from her cell in Catawba County jail. Catawba County sheriff's deputies also charged Elisa Baker with another worthless check charge, according to the sheriff's office website, which brings the total number of worthless check charges against Elisa Baker to six.
The Christmas holidays ended almost a month ago, and though the gifts remain, so do the bills.
Many people face large amounts of debt following the economic downturn, the collapse of the housing market and holiday overspending.
Area debt experts said the first step to being debt-free is to use the right debt-assistance services.
Some companies offer programs to rid people of their debt, but in the end, the fees charged by the company cause those in need to sink deeper and deeper into debt.
What could have been a significant piece of evidence in the Zahra Baker case is now, most likely, a dead end.
Hickory Police Maj. Clyde Deal said Friday that a briefcase and blanket found Tuesday in Caldwell County probably isn't related to the 10-year-old disabled girl's death.
"We're looking into it, but it's not at the top of the list, because it's more than likely not related to the case," Deal said.
Red and Green.
Iâ€™m not talking about Christmas colors, but rather those of Newton-Conover and Bandys high schools. One of these teams will receive a gift next week, as they square off in a classic confrontation in the Catawba Valley 2A.
The rivalry started when Eddy Clark decided to take the wrestling head coaching position at Newton-Conover.
â€śI took over this program in 1999,â€ť Clark said. â€śThat next year, we got good and won the conference. We beat Bandys. That set the stage, and it has been a heated rivalry.â€ť
Twenty-three Catawba County children died in 2009-10. Although that's a relatively low number compared to years past, it's a number county leaders want to see continually decreasing.
Catawba County's Child Protection/Child Fatality Team compiles statistics and information about each child's death in Catawba County, whether it be from a long-term illness or a motor vehicle crash.
"We talk about what happened and what we can do better," said Jennifer McCracken, of the Child Fatality Team.