Custom Search






Click Here For More Local Events • Page 2 Of Local News

December 14, 2017

The Hickory Fire Department Wishes You A Fire Safe Holiday

Hickory - The members of the Hickory Fire Department would like to offer the gift of a fire safe Holiday season. The Christmas season is unfortunately a time of year characterized by fires, many of which are a result of the improper use and placement of seasonal decorations. We hope the following list of fire safety tips will help you enjoy a fire safe holiday.

Keep light strings and other electrical decorations out of reach of children and pets. They are attracted to pretty lights and decorations.

Follow the manufacturer's instructions on how to use tree lights. Any string of lights with worn, frayed or broken cords or loose bulb connections should not be used.

Make sure all the lights you use are UL listed or by a listed by a testing laboratory.

Remember some lights are designed only for indoor or outdoor use. Never use lights that are designed for indoor use outside.

Never use real lighted candles on a tree or near evergreen or draperies.
Follow all manufacturers specifications when replacing burned out fuses on decorative light strings. Never use anything but the properly rated fuse.

If using a live tree, make sure you buy a fresh one and be sure to water it daily. Try to keep live trees as moist as possible by giving them plenty of water. Do not purchase a tree that is dry or dropping needles. Check for fresh, green needles and place your tree in a sturdy tree stand designed not to tip over.

Always place your tree away from any heat source, and out of travel paths. Never block a door or exit with your decorations.

If you use an artificial tree, be sure it is listed as fire resistant.

Always turn off tree lights, window lamps, and other electrical decorations before leaving the house or going to bed.

Safely dispose of the tree when it begins dropping needles. Dried-out trees are highly flammable and should not be left in a house or garage, or placed against the house.

The Hickory Fire Department wishes everyone a safe and Merry Christmas. For additional information, contact the Hickory Fire Department at (828) 323-7521.

Downtown Morganton Christmas Parade Is Today, Dec. 14, 6-8pm

Morganton, NC - The Parade route starts at the corner of E. Meeting Street & S. Green Street and proceeds northwest up S. Green, then turns left on Collett Street, and left onto S. Sterling Street before ending on W. Concord Street.

Full Circle Arts’ Annual Holiday Show & Sale December 14-30

Hickory - Full Circle Arts doors are now open for their Annual Holiday Happenings Show and Sale. The public is invited to stop in and see the fantastic works by local artists. The show runs through December 30, 2017.

There will be a festive Open House, Thursday, December 14, from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, with light refreshments served throughout the day.

Paintings, note cards, jewelry, photographs, pottery and more, are presented by FCA’s associate and exhibiting members, to honor the holiday season. Everything the cooperative offers is produced locally.

According to president, Ellen Schwarzbek, “We may seem hidden in a basement (next door to McGuire’s Pub) but it’s worth the effort to find a gift that is original. You will know the name of the artist who created it.”

FCA is a non-profit artists’ cooperative located in downtown Hickory, 42-B Third Street NW. FCA members are present at the gallery Wednesday through Friday from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm and Saturday from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. More information about Full Circle Arts, membership, or other upcoming events is available at 828-322-7545. You may also write to Full Circle Arts, PO Box 3905, Hickory NC 28603, or email Please visit our website at

Butterfly Intensity by Tom Helfert

Newton Parks & Rec Extends Sign-Up For Youth Soccer To Dec. 29

Newton, NC - Registration for the Newton Parks and Recreation Department’s 2017-18 youth indoor coed soccer has been extended through December 29.

Leagues will be available for boys and girls ages 7-16. Players must have been at least 7 years old before Nov. 17 and cannot have turned 16 before Oct. 15. Registration is limited in each league. Once a league is full, registrants will be placed on a waiting list.

To register, each child must meet the following requirements:
Submit a completed registration card signed by a parent/guardian.
Have a birth certificate on file with the Recreation Department.
Have emergency medical treatment and consent forms on file and notarized.
Have a signed parental code of ethics on file.

Proof of residency is required. If applicable, pay a $30 non-resident fee (non-refundable) and return any loaned equipment from a previous sport.

For more information, call the Newton Parks and Recreation Department at 828-695-4317.

Hickory Community Theatre

Announces Cast Of Comedy Lend Me A Tenor, Coming Jan. 12

Hickory - Guest director Rick Seay has just announced the cast for the Hickory Community Theatre’s upcoming production of Ken Ludwig’s farcical comedy, Lend Me a Tenor, which opens January 12th and continues through the 28th.

Lend Me a Tenor is set in September 1934. Saunders, the general manager of the Cleveland Grand Opera Company, is primed to welcome world famous Tito Morelli, Il Stupendo, the greatest tenor of his generation, to appear for one night only as Otello. The star arrives late and, through a hilarious series of mishaps, is given a double dose of tranquilizers and passes out. His pulse is so low that Saunders and his assistant Max believe he’s dead.

Benjamin Thomas-Reid is Max, Mark Alton Rose is Saunders and Gregg Colson is Tito. Coleson Berlin has the role of young bellhop obsessed with the famous Tito.

Carolyn Oursler plays Max’s girlfriend Maggie, Dorothy Best is Tito’s wife Maria, Hollie Sherrill plays Julia the chairwoman of the opera guild and Christy Rhianna Branch is Diana, an aspiring soprano in the opera company.

Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm (Jan 12, 13, 19, 20, 26 & 27); Thursdays at 7:30pm (Jan 18 & 25); and Sundays at 2:30pm (Jan 21 & 28.)

Standard adult tickets are $18, seniors are $16 and students or youth 18 & under are $10. On Thursday nights all adults are $14 and youth/students are $10. Tickets are now on sale online at or through the Theatre box office, in person or by phone at 828-328-2283. Box office hours are 12-5 Wednesday through Friday.

HCT is a Funded Affiliate of the United Arts Council of Catawba County. The 2017-2018 Season is sponsored by Paramount Automotive and A Cleaner World. Lend Me a Tenor is produced by Commscope.

Photo: The cast of Lend Me a Tenor (from left: Benjamin Thomas-Reid, Mark Alton Rose, Hollie Sherrill, Carolyn Oursler, Coleson Berlin, Dorothy Best, Gregg Colson and Christy Rhianna Branch. The hysterical comedy begins its run on January 12th. Go to or call (828) 328-2283 for more information.
Photo by John Koval.

Register Now For Jan. & Feb. Cub Scout Camp-Ins At CSC

Hickory - Registration is now open for the 2018 Cub Scout camp-ins at Catawba Science Center. Camp-Ins are open to Wolf, Bear, Webelo, and Arrow of Light Cub Scouts. Camp-ins take place throughout January and February, and offer an exciting opportunity for scouts to spend an evening filled with fun for the boys and their accompanying adults. CSC Camp-ins are open to all councils throughout western North Carolina.

The evening consists of three classes that work toward the elective adventures, and an optional educational movie before lights out at midnight. Campers and parents are able to sleep throughout the exhibits at CSC, wake up to enjoy a warm breakfast from Chick-fil-a, an early morning planetarium show, and the chance to explore the Science Center before it opens to the public. Scouts and their accompanying adults have the option to attend “Evening Only” or “Overnight” stays. Participants are encouraged to eat dinner before arrival, as snacks will be provided to scouts and adults throughout the evening.

The camp-in night for Wolf scouts is Friday, January 12th. Bear’s camp-in night is Friday, January 26th, and Webelo’s/Arrow of Light camp-in night is Friday, February 9th. Special Early Bird Pricing Deadline for Wolf camp-in is December 29th. Early Bird Deadline for Bears is January 12th, and January 16th for Webelo/Arrow of Light. Packs can register as a whole, or individual scouts and adults can register by themselves. Registrations forms can be found online at CSC’s website.

Visit or call 828.322.8169 for more information on activities and pricing. Catawba Science Center is located on the SALT Block at 243 3rd Ave NE, Hickory, NC 28601.

Catawba County Public Health Urges You To

Lock Up Your Meds - Lock Boxes Are Offered

Hickory – Catawba County Public Health has partnered with North Carolina’s Lock Your Meds awareness campaign and has begun distributing materials urging residents to lock up medications to prevent people from accessing medications that aren’t prescribed to them.

This campaign is in direct response to the current opioid epidemic. Its objective is to raise awareness about the importance of assessing, disposing and securing prescribed medications properly to reduce access to them in the home. Public Health is asking parents, grandparents and other caregivers to initiate conversations with children and teens about using only medications that are prescribed to them, and are asking residents to be diligent about securing medications in the home.

Catawba County Public Health is working with community groups and organizations, such as the Catawba County library system and the county’s middle and high schools to distribute educational materials, and has a limited number of boxes residents can use to lock up medications. To find out if you can receive a lock box for free, contact Emily Killian at (828) 695-6637 or email Boxes will be given out on a first-come, first-served basis. Preference will be given to families with teens or children in the home, to grandparents, and to people who would like to secure prescription medications, especially opioids. Educational materials are also available for distribution to community organizations.

The Lock Your Meds campaign is brought to Catawba County through the generous support of the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services, with funding from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Opioid STR/Cures (Grant#1H79TI080257) and SPF-RX (Grant # 1U79SP022087).

Catawba County Public Health promotes and protects the health of all Catawba County residents through preventive services, innovative partnerships, and community health improvement initiatives.

For more information, please call (828) 695-5800 or visit

Hickory Police Dept. Is Offering An Additional

Session On Church Safety - Register By Dec. 29

Hickory - The Hickory Police Department is offering a third session of our Church Safety and Security Seminar to all area churches. This is a great opportunity to come and learn more about church safety and security. Seminar topics to be presented include:

•Structural protection of a facility
•Internal prevention strategies
•Establishing Security Teams
•Active Shooter 101

This event will be held on January 4th beginning at 6pm at the Floyd W. Lucas Jr. Police Headquarters building located at 347 2nd Avenue SW, Hickory, NC 28602.

Please R.S.V.P. to Chrystal Dieter at 828-261-2642 or by December 29th. Please limit three attendees per church.

For more information on this seminar, contact Lt. Scott Hildebrand at 828-324-2060.
**Our other seminar on date is now full and we are no longer accepting registrations for that session.**

Catawba County’s Senior Nutrition Services Annual

Fundraising Drive Is Now!

Hickory - Catawba County's Senior Nutrition Services is conducting its annual fundraising drive, which helps pay for Meals on Wheels and related programs in the county.

Senior Nutrition Services, a part of Catawba County Social Services, operates Meals on Wheels, Frozen Meals, Seniors Morning Out, and the Nutritional Supplement programs. Each of these programs is designed to give seniors the option to remain in their homes as long as possible.

"We rely heavily on donations from local individuals, churches, civic groups and businesses to help fund this program," explained Jan Shaffer, supervisor of Senior Nutrition Services. "We hope that our community will give the gift of meals to local seniors during this holiday season."

A gift in any amount is appreciated, she explained. A donation of $22 pays for one week of meals for a senior, $90 pays for one month of meals, and $1,054 pays for an entire year of meals. During Fiscal Year 2016-2017, a total of 1,528 seniors were served and 139,823 meals delivered through these programs.

Meals on Wheels delivers five meals a week to seniors who are unable to shop or prepare their own food, and have no one in their home who can do so. The meals are delivered by volunteers, who can volunteer as little as one day a month. It takes about an hour and a half to deliver meals on a Meals on Wheels route. More volunteers are urgently needed.

Frozen Meals are delivered to recipients who qualify for Meals on Wheels, but who do not live near a Meals on Wheels route. Frozen meals are picked up monthly by a friend, relative or volunteer. The Nutritional Supplement Program provides a case of Boost or Ensure once a month to seniors, who must obtain a note from their doctor.

Seniors Morning Out operates four mornings each week, except for holidays. There are five sites throughout the county where seniors meet to enjoy activities and a hot, balanced lunch. Keeping these seniors connected with their community has been shown to improve their health.

None of these programs is income based. Any Catawba County resident who is 60 or older may participate. Individuals, groups, or businesses may participate by volunteering or making a donation. Groups are encouraged to organize fund-raisers to benefit these programs, or to designate part of the proceeds from an existing fund-raiser. For more information about how to get involved, contact Jan Shaffer, supervisor of Senior Nutrition Services, at 828-695-5617.

To donate by check, make out your check to Catawba County Social Services and write "Senior Nutrition Services" in the memo line. Mail your check to: Senior Nutrition Services, P.O. Box 207, Newton, NC 28657. You may also donate securely online by going to and clicking on the red "Donate Now" button. To receive an acknowledgement letter for tax purposes, be sure to include your name and address.

For the latest updates on Catawba County's Senior Nutrition Programs, like "Meals on Wheels of Catawba County" on Facebook.

Catawba County Senior Nutrition Services is a United Way funded partner. Catawba County United Way’s mission is to increase the organized capacity of people to help others by mobilizing the caring power of our community. For more information, locate us on Facebook, 828-327-6851 or

Final Performance Of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever Is This Sat.,

Dec. 16, At HCT’s Jeffers Theatre

Hickory - The Hickory Community Theatre has one more performance of the family Christmas comedy The Best Christmas Pageant Ever by Barbara Robinson, this Saturday, December 16th at 2:30pm in the Jeffers Theatre.

In this hilarious classic, Grace Bradley, a mother of two, is tapped to direct their church Christmas pageant because the usual director is down with a broken leg. Completely unprepared, Grace has to contend with the Herdman children, an unruly bunch who take over all the pageant’s major roles. While her husband contends with late dinners because of the hours she’s spending at the church, her children try to find their own place in the show.

Tickets are $10 each with reserved seating. The box office is open Wednesday through Saturday from 12-5. Tickets may also be purchased online at

HCT is a Funded Affiliate of the United Arts Council of Catawba County.

Photo: The Bradley family from The Best Christmas Pageant Ever are played by Grayson Taylor (back left,) Amy Edwards (back right,) Caleb Sigmon and Allison Sigmon .The holiday comedy plays this Saturday, Dec 16th at 2:30pm. Go to or call (828) 328-2283 for more information. Photo by John Koval.

Speak Up For Children’s Holiday Tour Of Homes This Fri., Dec. 15

Lincolnton, NC - Speak Up For Children’s Holiday Tour of Homes will be held Friday, December 15, 2017 from 4:00 until 9:00 pm. The tour will offer a rare opportunity to enter some of Lincolnton’s finest private homes and a historic church. Visitors will be able to experience the architecture, furnishings and holiday decorations that make these treasured sites unique.

The proceeds of this event will benefit the foster children of Lincoln County. Join us and enhance your Christmas spirit by helping to provide for the unmet needs of our Lincoln County foster children.

Lincolnton Home Tour is Friday, Dec. 15

Please visit our website below for pictures. The locations are:
Peacock Hill Farm- The Rhyne Carpenter Home
2800 Laboratory Road
The Hoke Rhyne Home
2831 Laboratory Road
Emmanuel Lutheran Church
216 S Aspen Street
Mary Frances White Home- Ebony & White Funeral Home
1139 E Pine Street
The Self Abernethy Home
304 N Laurel Street
Tickets can be purchased online below using Paypal:
Or at the following locations beginning November 15th:
• at The Cultural Center in downtown Lincolnton;
•at 7th Moon Boutique, East Main St, downtown Lincolnton
• at Amy’s Closet, N Hwy 16, Denver; and
• at Home Place Restaurant and Catering, Hwy 27 West, Lincolnton.

Help us get the word out about our event by telling your friends and neighbors and sharing it on social media. Please check out our Facebook page, Speak Up For Children and look under the “Events” section. From there, you can share the event to your timeline and invite your friends. Purchase tickets now:

Elf, The Musical Has Final Three Shows This Thurs.-Sat., At HCT

Hickory - The funny and charming Christmas show, Elf, the Musical, has its final performances this weekend at the Hickory Community Theatre. Tickets are still available for the performances on Thursday at 7:30pm, Friday at 8:00pm and Saturday at 8:00pm. The performance on Sunday is sold out.

“We strongly recommend that everyone get their tickets ahead of time,” John Rambo, the Theatre’s Managing Director said. “It’s the final weekend and demand is high. We don’t want anyone to miss it.”

Thursday night tickets for adults and seniors are $16, students and children are $10. Tickets for Friday and Saturday are $20 for adults, $18 for seniors and $10 for students and youth 18 & under. Tickets are on sale online at or through the Theatre box office, in person or by phone at 828-328-2283. Box office hours are 12-5 Wednesday through Saturday.

The Hickory Community Theatre is a Funded Affiliate of the United Arts Council of Catawba County. The 2017-2018 Season is sponsored by Paramount Automotive and A Cleaner World. Elf, the Musical is produced by Catawba Valley Medical Center, Corning Optical Communications and von Drehle Corporation.

Photo: Juan Holguin as Buddy the Elf dancing with the North Pole elfs (from left: Madison Hamilton, Abigail Guptill, Lucas Packard, Cassidy Pruitt, Noah Jaroszweski, Angelina Prendergast, Allister Clarke, Charlotte Dick and Olivia Jarman) in Elf, the Musical, onstage for through Dec 17th at the Hickory Community Theatre. For tickets and information call 828-328-2283 or go to Photo by Ken Burns.

Comedian James Gregory’s HCT Show Is New Year’s Eve, 8pm

Hickory - Get in some laughs before the year ends with James Gregory, "the Funniest Man in America" when he makes his ninth annual appearance on the Mainstage at the Hickory Community Theatre on Sunday, December 31st at 8pm.

"I like doing the show earlier in the evening so folks can still get to their parties and celebrate with their family or friends," said the comedian. "Besides, I'm too old for that kind of stuff."

Tickets are $45 for premium seating in the first three rows, which include a pre-show “meet & greet” with James. Other tickets are $37 each for standard, reserved seating. Tickets may be purchased online at or at the box office – in person Wed-Fri from 12-5 or by phone at (828) 328-2283. The box office will be closed for the Christmas holiday Dec 25th-28th.

Photo: James Gregory brings his down-home, southern comedy style to the Hickory Community Theatre for a one-night performance on New Year’s Eve at 8:00pm. Tickets and information at (Photo courtesy of the artist.)

Rick Simerly At Jazz On Tap, Sun., Dec. 17, 7pm, The Tap Room

Hickory - On Sunday, December 17, the Olde Hickory Tap Room in Hickory will host world renowned jazz trombone artist Rick Simerly from 7 till 10pm for great Christmas Jazz classics. Rick is considered one of the top jazz trombonists in the world by "Jazz Times" magazine, and has performed with countless greats such as Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, Lou Rawls, The Temptations, Count Basie, The Four Tops, just to name a few.

Simerly comes from Tennessee where he is a professor of jazz trombone and professional recording artist, as well as a Jamie Abaersold clinician. The Tap Room is a wonderful family restaurant with an fun, warm atmosphere, and serves food until late and is located in beautiful downtown Hickory. The evening will be full of wonderful jazz classics by the incredible sound of jazz trombone.

Also appearing is Sunday's "Jazz on Tap" leader/founder, Rick Cline on drums with special guest and Noel Friedline on piano.

"Jazz on Tap" happens every Sunday from 7-10pm at the Olde Hickory Taproom in downtown Hickory and is free. Celebrating it's 17th year, this incredible venue features special guest jazz musicians weekly from all over western North Carolina and has been featured on PBS.

Don't miss this incredible yearly event. Call 322-1695 for more information.

Rick Simerly plays The Tap Room Sunday, Dec. 17

Seagrove Potters’ Holiday Open House This Sat. & Sun., 9am-5pm

Seagrove, NC - There will be a final Holiday Open House in Seagrove, NC, Saturday and Sunday, December 16 & 17, from 9am - 5pm. The events are free and take place at Pottery Shops of Seagrove, NC Pottery Highway 705, Seagrove, NC, 27341.

You’re invited to celebrate the holiday season on a self guided pottery tour. Already have plans on this weekend? Don’t be dismayed, shops are open during the week too! Enjoy decorations and complimentary refreshments as you find something for everyone on your list this year. Experience a hearty does of holiday cheer, feel the warmth of the fireplaces as you venture through the Seagrove community.

Shops are open from 9:00 - 5:00. Seagrove is located in the central piedmont of North Carolina where more than 100 ceramic artists call home. Visitors can shop galleries and studios from the town’s center, extending to a 20-mile radius along the scenic NC Pottery Highway. Tour the individual shops to experience Seagrove’s pottery tradition.

Visit for a list of participating shops and event details. Pickup an Area Map and Guide at your first stop.

A Cabaret Christmas With Jackie Finley & Friends, Mon. Dec. 18

Hickory - Award-winning vocalist Jackie Finley, national recording artist, Noel Freidline; percussionist, Rick Cline; Allen Finley; Johnny White; and Carolyn Ousler will present "A Cabaret Christmas," Monday, Dec. 18 at 8pm, in the Hickory Community Theatre. This marks the 12th year of this popular Christmastime event in downtown Hickory.

The show will feature the world-renowned music of Natalie Cole, Carole King, Linda Ronstadt, Tony Bennett, Ella Fitzgerald, and many other traditional Christmas favorites.

Individual tickets are $22 and are available at Hickory Community Theatre,, 828 328 2283, Finley Advertising 828 324 6700 x1.

Click Here For More Local Events • Page 2 Of Local News




BannerEventAd-01.jpg   fanjoylabrenz.jpg

PO Box 1721 | Hickory, NC 28603 | 828.322.1036 | Office Hours: Mon. - Fri. 9am - 5pm | focusnews@centurylink

Home • Reviews: MoviesAdam Long • Editorials: FocusHave Chainsaw Will TravelSid On SportsBobbi GSara MawyerPeople PicturesPlaces/PeopleExtra Events Listing
Out Of Focus • News: Local NewsNational NewsHoroscopes • Info/Links: Staff/ContributorsList Of AdvertisersOnline AdvertisingOnline ClassifiedsContact UsFocus BLOGStoreLinks

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. © 1978 - 2017 Tucker Productions, Inc.