January 26th, 2011
Catawba County participated in a homeless count Wednesday to determine the number of people living day-to-day on area streets.
Troy Jones, 47, of Hickory, is one of those people. He has been homeless for about nine months after he lost his landscaping job.
"It hit me hard," Jones said. "I couldn't pay my rent."
Jones was one of many people who came to be counted Wednesday at Greater Hickory Cooperative Christian Ministry, one of five counting locations throughout Catawba County.
Sadie Crisp Whisenant, 93, of Maiden, passed away Jan. 25, 2011, at Hospice of Catawba Valley. A memorial service will be held Thursday, Jan. 27, 2011, at 2 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church of Maiden.
Donald Robert Colonomos, 73, of Maiden, passed away Monday, Jan. 24, 2011, at Catawba Valley Medical in Hickory. The family will receive friends, prior to the service, at Burke Mortuary Chapel from 2-2:45 p.m.
Duane Strelow’s interest in archaeology began when he was a fourth-grader. He pursued his interest in ancient cultures, societies and “digs” from then on.
As Visitor Services Manager/Educator at Catawba Science Center, Strelow, 39, watches youngsters interact with CSC’s current exhibit, “The Ancient Carolinians.”
Now, visitors to the exhibit can be an archaeologist, uncover artifacts and search for clues in the exhibit’s full-scale, interactive dig-site.
The Trojans won the battle, but the Red Devils won the war.
In a match up of top five teams in the state in 2A, Newton-Conover used an early lead to hold off Bandys for the crucial Catawba Valley Athletic Conference victory.
"It is good to wrestle somebody one times," said Newton-Conover coach Eddy Clark. "We will see them again at the conference tournament and it really would not surprise me if we see them down the road in the postseason."
Kenneth Ray Waters, 55, of Catawba, passed away Tuesday, Jan. 25, 2011, at his residence. Burke Mortuary in Newton is serving the Waters family.
John Weatherly, 86, of Kings Mountain, formerly of Newton, passed away Jan. 22, 2011. Cecil M. Burton Funeral Home and Crematory is serving the family of Weatherly.
Catawba County Schools' teachers may not see their performance-based supplement for the 2011-12 school year.
In CCS interim superintendent Glenn Barger's proposed local budget for the upcoming school year, the largest cut is $800,000, from the instruction performance category. The reduction comes from a lack of county funding, he said. If the reduction is approved, it may protect teaching positions.
"All county agencies were told to cut 5 percent," Barger said. "That is painful."
It's no secret that these are hard times for Catawba County residents.
But what some people may not know is that these are also hard times for the organizations who serve the county's needy residents.
Crisis services at Eastern Catawba Cooperative Christian Ministries increased about 40 percent from this time last year, according to the Rev. Robert Silber, ECCCM executive director. The ministry provided 317 services Monday, which increased from 232 during the same time last year.
Lincoln County sheriff's deputies arrested two men Saturday for multiple counts of felony breaking and entering, and the Catawba County Sheriff's Office announced Tuesday that the men could face additional charges for similar break-ins in the Sherrills Ford community.
Bobby Lee Fish Jr., 30, of Catawba, and Richard Allen Champion Jr., 22, of Lincolnton, were each charged with 18 counts of felony breaking and entering a watercraft, one count of felony conspiracy to commit larceny and one count of felony larceny.
West Eighth Street in Newton, between Deal and Ashe avenues, will be closed Tuesday for about five hours.
The closure came at the request of the Newton Water Department at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday.
Despite little state and county funding, Catawba County Schools remains on stable financial ground.
One important part of the fiscal year 2009-10 audit is the school system's general fund balance increased $1.7 million from 2009's audit. The new general fund balance is $6.2 million.
The general fund is the school system's primary fund for operating expenses and some minor facility needs.
"We increased our available fund balance," said Sandra Wolfe, CCS finance director. "We looked at what's happening in the state and are conservative in our funding."