Laurels to warm beds, hot meals "in the Inn"

Laurels to a Newton church that is helping to make sure that when winter is at its coldest, there will always be room in the inn.
For the second winter, First Presbyterian Church in Newton has opened its “Room in the Inn” to homeless people who need a warm bed and a hot meal during the coldest nights of the winter season. And there is certainly a need for warm shelter in Newton.
“Room in the Inn” has already opened its doors at least 10 times this winter, and on Wednesday the safe-haven welcomed its largest crowd ever — 12 people seeking shelter. With weeks of winter remaining, there’s little doubt that a warm bed and hot meal will be required again for some of our area’s needy.
Thanks to the help of about 30 volunteers from First Presbyterian, The Corner Table Soup Kitchen and the city of Newton, those without shelter can count on finding room in the inn.
The program can’t continue, however, without support from the community. First Presbyterian is enlisting help from other area churches and volunteers to keep the program alive. If you want to help this worthy cause, there’s an information session for donors and volunteers set for Jan. 22 at 9 a.m. in the church’s fellowship hall.
Homelessness is very real problem in Catawba County, but with support from the community, as First Presbyterian’s Rev. Dr. Mark Watson said, it is one “we can tackle.”

Laurels to the folks who spent long hours during day and night working to clear roads and sidewalks throughout our county following Sunday night’s snow fall. Whether those folks are driving N.C. Department of Transportation snow plows along major thoroughfares, working to clear sidestreets in our county’s municipalities or simply clearing sidewalks around schools, these people braved winter conditions to help other citizens return to our normal working lives.
Often these dedicated workers receive little recognition and little thanks. However, when we remember that, because of their earnest efforts, we are able to return to the workplace, complete essential errands or even make emergency trips, it isn’t too hard to find reason to give thanks. Laurels to those who brave the elements to make our lives more convenient.

In the same vein, we fire darts at the snow. Sure it was pretty — even fun — on day one, but after a week where many of us have been house-bound by frozen driveways, sidewalks and roads, it is a safe bet that all of Catawba County is ready for the thaw.
Unfortunately, the winter weather, like the seasons are well beyond our control. While belly-aching might alleviate some of the stir-crazy that is setting in, the only thing we can really do is bundle up, grin and bear it.

Laurels to the city of Conover which has challenged its employees, its citizens and even its schools, to begin 2011 without “fizz.” Instead of picking up a carbonated soda, the initiative aims to encourage employees, citizens and school children to drink water. Doing so will ensure that everyone in Conover — and those who participate in the challenge elsewhere in Catawba County — can go a long way toward avoiding health risks that come with over-consumption of soda.
What kind of health risks come along with guzzling gallons of carbonated, sugar-laden beverages? According to NoFizzCLT, the organization orchestrating the “fizz out” in North and South Carolina, drinking too many sodas can increase the risk of pancreatic Cancer, Type 2 Diabetes, kidney disease and cardiovascular calcification.
On the other hand, replacing all those sweet sodas with water can do Conover citizens a world of good. In fact, studies reported by NoFizzCLT report that proper hydration improves digestion, increases energy and flushes away toxins.
Plus, consuming water over its sugary counterpart just makes sense, especially when many sodas contain as much sugar as candy.
“You don’t sit around and let your kids eat candy all day, but no one thinks of drinking soda all day like eating a bowl of candy,” said Conover Council member Penny Corpening.
We applaud Conover leaders’ efforts to encourage citizens to be more healthy by taking a step as simple as removing soda from daily diets. Likewise, we encourage citizens countywide to join the challenge.