March 22nd, 2011
The smell of fresh paint lingers in the air at H.M. Arndt Middle School in Hickory. The floors shine; the walls are clean; and the bathrooms are pristine.
For officials from Catawba County Schools, the new classrooms at Arndt Middle don't just represent a fresh start for teachers and students.
The construction projects are a way to boost the county's economy through job creation.
Bob Etheridge, North Carolina Office of Economic Recovery and Investment director, toured construction projects at three Catawba County Schools on Tuesday to see the school bond funding put to work.
A cyclist was taken to the hospital Tuesday after a car struck him from behind.
The cyclist, whose name wasn't released on the scene, was traveling on Boundary Street in Newton about 3:15 p.m. with two other cyclists.
The cyclists started to cross the intersection at Northwest Boulevard near Kentucky Fried Chicken when the male cyclist was hit from behind by a Toyota Camry. Witnesses to the incident said the man fell off his bike and on the roadway from the impact.
The St. Stephens softball team fought back from a 5-1 deficit late in its game against Lake Norman, but fell just short of a comeback.
The Lady Indians (4-3) scored three runs in the seventh inning, but it wasnâ€™t enough. The Lady Wildcats picked up the 5-4 victory to maintain their 8-0 record.
Trailing 5-1 and heading into the bottom of the seventh inning, Indians coach Jan Davis gave her team an impassioned speech as players came off the field.
Dorothy Jane Armstrong Ballard, 83, of Denver, passed away Sunday, March 20, 2011, at Palliative CareCenter and Hospice of Catawba Valley. Burke Mortuary in Newton is serving the Ballard family.
Paul Eugene Cansler, of Newton, 86, passed away Friday, March 18, at Carolina Rehab Center of Burke. He was born Jan. 15, 1925, in Catawba County. The Cansler family has entrusted the funeral arrangements to Willis-Reynolds Funeral Home & Crematory in Newton.
A loss-prevention employee at the Conover Kmart had to choose Sunday between stopping a theft or facing a knife-wielding man.
The Kmart employee tried to stop a couple from stealing electronics from the store, but he let the couple escape after one of the suspects pulled a box knife from his pocket, said Conover Police Sgt. R.L. Clark.
The suspects remain at large after what police are calling a "shoplifting gone bad."
A dismembered 10-year-old girl. A mutilated man with a log-splitter in his stomach. A drug-fueled home invasion that left three people dead.
These grisly, high-profile crimes produced state and national headlines, but they didn't occur in some unknown, far away town. They all happened in Catawba County.
The Catawba County Sheriff's Office responded to six murders in the first three months of 2011, which is double the number of murders and non-negligent manslaughter cases in 2010.
Charges against Elisa Baker are mounting after a Catawba County Grand Jury added two more indictments Monday against the woman charged in the death of her stepdaughter.
The grand jury indicted Baker on two charges of obtaining property by false pretenses. The two indictments allege Baker illegally pawned two items she didn't own at Hickory Pawn & Gun.
The incidents allegedly occurred on Aug. 18 and Sept. 7, just weeks before Baker's stepdaughter, 10-year-old Zahra, was reported missing.
The temperature heated up Friday and so did the pitching at St. Stephens.
Lady Indiansâ€™ pitcher Katie Baker and Alexander Centralâ€™s pitcher Chelsea Wilkinson combined to allow one hit in six innings in Fridayâ€™s Northwestern Conference battle.Â
The Lady Cougars (5-0, 4-0) got the best of Baker and the Indians (4-2, 0-2) in the sixth inning, as she allowed two crucial hits. The Indians made two critical errors in a heartbreaking 3-0 loss at home.
Macel Christine Willis Beard, 76, of Maiden, passed away Thursday, March 17, 2011, at Catawba Valley Medical Center in Hickory. Burke Mortuary in Maiden is serving the Beard family.
Connie Lucille Canipe Miller, 42, of Conover, passed away Tuesday, March 15, 2011. Burke Mortuary in Newton is serving the Miller family.
Advance Pierre Foods is about halfway to the job-creation requirements outlined in an incentives package provided to the company when it expanded its Claremont operations last year.
The company announced a year ago this month that it will add 500 jobs and bring a $16.8-million investment to the Claremont facility on East Main Street.
The company has until December to fulfill those requirements, which means 264 jobs must be added to the facility in nine months or Pierre Foods will risk losing its incentives.