November 19th, 2010
The average property value in Catawba County went up about 2 percent for the current revaluation, but that doesn't mean the values are final.
The appeals process for property values is under way after the 2010 property values were mailed Nov. 15 to residents.
"We allow taxpayers to make an appointment and sit down with our appraisal staff to discuss the revaluation," said Catawba County Tax Administrator Mark Logan.
Thanks to a $124,000 grant Newton will purchase a fire-simulation trailer that will help train the city's fire department to safely fight structure fires.
"In order for our firefighters to become state-certified, they have to participate in a live, controlled burn setting," Newton Fire Chief Kevin Yoder said, adding that a fire trailer provides just such a live fire situation. "Live fire evolutions are the most important training we provide for our firefighters. You don't realize how well a firefighter is going to perform until they face a live fire."
Fred T. Foard freshman Mary McKenzie Finger always watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV with her cousins.
This year, she won't be watching the 84th annual parade in New York City -- she'll be performing in it.
Finger, 14, is a J.V. cheerleader at Foard, and she was selected to perform in the parade this summer during a Universal Cheerleading Association camp.
It was the accusation Adam Baker heard several times from bystanders Friday as he left the Catawba County Justice Center in Newton.
Baker appeared in District Court on worthless check charges, which are unrelated to the murder of his daughter, Zahra Baker.
But that didn't stop several bystanders from shouting accusations of murder and wrongdoing at Baker and his mother, Karen Baker, who attended the courtroom session with her son.
Adam reported Zahra missing Oct. 9, starting his phone call with the 9-1-1 operator by saying, "Hey, how are you doing?"
Tabitha Nicole Spurlin, 27, of Catawba,, died unexpectedly Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2010, due to injuries sustained in an automobile accident. The Spurlin family has entrusted the funeral arrangements to Willis-Reynolds Funeral Home and Crematory in Newton.
James Edwin “J.E.” Yount Sr., 88, of Hickory, died Thursday, Nov. 18, 2010, at Palliative CareCenter and Hospice of Catawba Valley. The Yount family has entrusted funeral arrangements to Drum Funeral Home & Cremation Services, Hickory.
The tallest starter for the Newton-Conover Red Devils girls basketball team grew into a new role for the upcoming season. Kadesha Gibbs, a 5-foot-11 forward, has shifted from playing like a small forward to more of a power position â€” occupied last season by graduated senior Renee Lewis.
â€śI know I have some tough shoes to fill,â€ť Gibbs said. â€śI just have to work hard and give everything I got.â€ť
Patty Arnold will probably never use the handbag she carried with her Nov. 6.
That was the day she was robbed of more than $1,100 -- money to be used for her husband's double lung transplant.
"I've always been so trusting," Patty, 71, said. "I always thought that it would happen to someone else; it wouldn't happen to me."
But she was wrong. Patty gave a stranger in Hickory a ride in her vehicle Nov. 6, and the stranger jumped out of the car, taking Patty's money with her.
Students at Catawba Elementary School love eating bacon and ham. Until Thursday, however, many of those students didn't know where that meat comes from.
First-graders from Catawba Elementary traveled Thursday to Red Wolf Farm in Maiden, where they learned how food, including pork, corn and goat milk, is made.
The 45-acre Red Wolf Farm on Water Plant Road in Maiden is operated by Josh Grant and his wife, Amanda Cline-Grant. The couple makes it their mission to teach the benefits of the local food movement to the community and beyond.
Highway Patrol continues to investigate the single-car crash Wednesday on Interstate 40 that killed a Catawba woman.
Tabitha Spurlin, 27, died at the 138 mile marker near the Oxford School Road exit in Claremont.
"It appears that she was about to exit and made a sudden lane change and lost control of the vehicle," said Trooper C.D. Cline, of the North Carolina Highway Patrol.
Cline said he spoke with several motorists who witnessed the crash about 5 p.m. Wednesday. The drivers told Cline traffic appeared to be traveling the speed limit, so speed didn't contribute to the crash.
The Christmas season traditionally starts after Thanksgiving, but for the Catawba County Christmas Bureau, the holiday season is here.
The bureau kicked off its annual project to ensure as many families as possible have holidays filled with joy, gifts and laughter.
"It is this time at Christmas that we know means a lot to children, especially low-income children," said Jennie Connor, Christmas Bureau chairwoman. "Children want to know that they're just like every other child."