March 17th, 2011
Private citizens aren't the only people in Catawba County experiencing an economic crunch since gas prices started to increase.
County agencies, that provide essential transportation and response services to residents, are also looking for ways to cut fuel costs during an increasingly difficult budget year.
Catawba County Schools has about 246 buses it uses to transport the county's students to school and other activities. Some of those buses run double and triple routes to accommodate the needs of every student, said CCS transportation director Cecil W. Davis.
Connie Canipe Miller, 42, of Conover, passed away Tuesday, March 15, 2011. Arrangements are incomplete at Burke Mortuary in Newton.
John “Jake” Lawrence James, 88, of Conover, died Wednesday, March 16, 2011, at Abernethy Laurels in Newton. The James family has entrusted funeral arrangements to Drum Funeral Home & Cremation in Conover.
Six of Catawba County's eight municipalities reported positive population growth from the 2010 census.
The city of Conover experienced the largest growth percentage among Catawba County municipalities during a 10-year period. Conover's population increased 24 percent from 2000, when the previous census was conducted.
That increase marks the largest percent change among the county's remaining seven municipalities.
Police released the names Thursday of the four victims in a drug-fueled robbery and home invasion.
Catawba County Sheriff Coy Reid said Wade Sigmon, 49; Susan Kay Blevins, 51; and Connie Canipe Miller, 42; all of Conover, were shot to death early Tuesday morning on Emmanuel Church Road in the Oak Knoll Mobile Home park.
Joseph Burke, 38, was also shot during the robbery, and he was the only victim to survive the incident. Sheriff's deputies aren't releasing Burke's address for safety reasons.
A Hickory woman thought she sent her friend a text message about selling drugs, but she mistakenly sent the message to a police officer.
Conover Police charged 18-year-old Jessica Lucas with possession of drug paraphernalia and a drug violation after she mistakenly offered to sell drugs Wednesday to a sheriff's deputy.
Conover Police Lt. Mark Stump said Lucas was texting who she thought was a high school-aged friend about a marijuana purchase. Lucas apparently typed in the wrong number, and the message went to Lt. T. McManus, with the Caldwell County Sheriff's Office.
Victims' names from a Tuesday morning shooting were released Thursday.
In addition to Wade "Squeaky" Sigmon, 49, of Conover, Catawba County Sheriff Coy Reid identified the other deceased victims as Susan Kay Blevins, 51, of Conover, and Connie Canipe Miller, 42, of Conover.
The only survivor in the incident is Joseph Burke, 38. Reid said Burke's address is being held for safety reasons.
Maiden survived a furious rally from Newton-Conover to win a hard-fought Catawba Valley Athletic Conference softball contest Wednesday.Â
The Blue Devils' win came despite a monster six RBI game from N-C shortstop Breanna Jones. She was 3-for-4 on the day, including a double.
Maiden got off to a great start in the game by scoring six runs in the first two innings. Christian Childers drove in Lauren Sizemore on a single for the first run of the game.
Lindsay Schronce scored on an error on N-C third basemen Sarah Van Horn to make it 2-0 after the first inning.
James Morton Morris, 88, of Maiden, passed away Wednesday, March 9, 2011, at his residence. A graveside service will be held Saturday, March 19, 2011, at 11 a.m. at Maiden City Cemetery in Maiden.
John "Jake" L. James, 88, of Conover, died Wednesday, March 16, 2011, at Abernethy Laurels.
Arrangements are incomplete with Drum Funeral Home and Cremation Services in Conover.
Catawba County Animal Services found more than 100 dead dogs Tuesday at the home of a beagle trainer and breeder in Maiden.
The county's animal services personnel responded to 4160 H.E. Propst Road in Maiden after receiving a call reporting dead dogs on the property. Catawba County Animal Services manager Jay Blatche said they discovered 100 beagle carcasses in different states of decomposition around the residence.
Experts say science and mathematics curricula can help stabilize economic development in Catawba County.
According to educators, business leaders and community officials at Champions of Education's breakfast meeting Wednesday, science, technology, engineering and mathematics in K-12 schools will build a better business industry in the county.
"If investments aren't made in our students, we lose that development," said Lamar Mitchell, executive director for Champions of Education.