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March 26, 2015

Focus’ Swimsuit Model Contest For 2015 - Enter Now Through

April 17th At Midnight!

Hickory - The deadline to submit a photo to be a swimsuit model in FOCUS’ 2015 Swimsuit/Summer Guide Issue is Friday, April 17th, at midnight!

The contest is presented by Best of Beers, your local distributer of Anheuser Busch and Craft Beer.

Again this year, women and men of all types, sizes and ages over 18 are encouraged to submit a photograph and try for a chance to be a part of this famous issue of FOCUS — it’s the biggest issue of the year!

Photo: Rose Mary Cheek

Email your photo - it can be just a clear cell phone photo, waist up, with a big smile on your face - to

Include your home, business and or cell phone number as well as your address. Don’t miss this opportunity to have the time of your life as a model in Focus’ Swimsuit & Summer Guide for 2015.

Up to four men & four women will win free swimwear & lots of goodies from our sponsors, Kelly & Company Hair Salon, The Olde Hickory Taproom and The Hickory Community Theatre.

Kelly & Co. Hair Salon is providing a free cut or style to each model.

The Olde Hickory Taproom is sponsoring Hickory Hops beer festival in Downtown Hickory on Saturday, April 25th from 1-7pm. Tickets are available now for the Festival. Go to or call 828.322.1121.

Hickory Community Theatre’s next production is Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing, a comedy centering around a sparring couple of would-be lovers. The play opens on Friday, March 13, in the Jeffers Theatre, on the main stage. For tickets go to or call 828.328.2283.

Photo: Rose Mary Cheek

Hickory area professional photographers & sponsors Spencer Huffman and Rose Mary Cheek will photograph our models for the Swimsuit/Summer Guide, which will be on news stands on Thursday, May 21st.

Photographs may also be mailed to Focus Contest, P.O. Box 1721, Hickory, NC, 28603. All Focus models will be notified via email or telephone by the end of the day Monday, April 20. Call FOCUS at 828-322-1036 for more information.

Models will also be featured at through the summer as part of our Summer Guide online.

FOCUS’ Summer Guide is a handy reference for things to do & see - festivals, historic sites, amusement parks, conventions - within a day’s drive of Western North Carolina. Be sure to pick up this issue on May 21 to plan a great summer!

Again, the email address is

Catawba County Seniors Morning Out Events For April

Hickory - Catawba County's Seniors Morning Out participants will enjoy a wide range of activities in April, including a Marimba Music program by Kay Crouch, a concert by the Omer String Quartet, and information about the new Options Counseling service.

Seniors Morning Out is offered from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday in five convenient locations throughout the county. The program is free of charge to any Catawba County resident who is 60 years old or better. There are no income requirements; everyone is welcome to attend the free programs. Informative and entertaining programs are offered as well as a balanced hot lunch. Bus transportation is provided along limited routes. Those wishing to participate are asked to contact the site supervisor at least 24 hours in advance.

The Marimba Music program, presented by Kay Crouch, is supported by a grant from the United Arts Council of Catawba County through the North Carolina Arts Council, with funding from the State of North Carolina and the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art. Additional support for art and science programming at Seniors Morning Out is provided by community donors.

The Omer String Quartet performance is presented by the Western Piedmont Symphony Orchestra. Participants from all sites are asked to wear black and white for the April 14 concert, which will take place at Huntington Hills Church of God in Hickory at 9:30am. Free lunch will be provided. Interested seniors 60 years of age and older call 695-5610 to register by April 7.

Some of the program highlights are as follows:

West Hickory SMO: April 1, bingo at Patrick Beaver Library, Wii games, and handbell practice; April 7, Program on Diabetes with Sandy Austin of Unifour Nursing; April 27, Craft with Flowers with Claire Howard; April 30, Birthday Party and Entertainment by Damascus Road. To attend, contact Lisa Adams at 828-323-8746.

Claremont SMO: April 1, Dyeing Eggs with Bethlehem United Methodist Child Development Center children; April 9, Marimba Music by Kay Crouch; April 16, Bandys High School Concert Choir with Allison Keisler; April 22, Options Counseling with Chandra Henson of Social Services and Bingo; April 23, Bandys High School Hand Bells with Allison Keisler. To reserve your spot, call Wendy Thomas at 828-320-0434.

Newton SMO: April 13, Wooden Cross Wall Hanging Craft and Uno Game; April 20, Bandys High School Jazz Band; April 22, Senior Nutrition Program with Peggy Messick of Health First; April 27, Options Counseling presentation. To reserve your spot, call Robin Curtis at 828-455-4133.

East Hickory SMO: April 1, Decorate Eggs and Safety; April 2, Easter Celebration and Egg Hunt; April 8, Options Counseling Program by Chandra Henson of Social Services; April 13, Making a Butterfly Snack, Dancercise and Bingo; April 29, Oral Health Quiz, with toothbrushes donated by Dr. William Straka. To reserve your spot, call Rita Pritchard at 828-320-5963.

Maiden SMO: April 2, Easter Party; April 6, Options Counseling Program; April 13, Health Fair with Catawba Valley Medical Center. Free glucose and cholesterol screenings; April 20, How to Deal with Grief with Catawba County Hospice; April 28, Music by Sentimental Journey and Cake Walk Game. To reserve your spot, call Loretta Hefner at 828-320-5966.

For more information, call the Senior Nutrition Services office at 828-695-5610. You may make a donation by making out a check to Catawba County Social Services and writing "Senior Nutrition Services" in the memo line. Mail your donation to Catawba County Senior Nutrition Services, P.O. Box 207, Newton, NC 28658. You may also make a secure donation online by going to and clicking on the red "Donate Now" button. For the latest updates on this program, like us on Facebook at

Catawba Valley Gem & Mineral, Bead, Fossil & Jewelry Show

Is This Friday-Sunday, 27-29th

Hickory - The Catawba Valley Gem and Mineral Club will hold their forty-fifth annual gem, mineral, fossil, and jewelry show on March 27, 28, and 29, 2015 at the Hickory Metro Convention Center, 1960 13th Ave Dr SE, Hickory, NC 28602. Hours are 9:00 a.m. till 6:00 p.m. on Friday, 9:00 a.m. till 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, and 10:00 a.m. till 5:00 p.m. on Sunday. Chaperoned school, boy or girl scouts, 4-H, church youth, day care, retirement home groups, and law enforcement officers in uniform will be admitted free anytime during this 3-day event. The Eastern Federation of Mineralogical and Lapidary Societies Convention will be held in conjunction with the 2015 show. The show will also be held in memory of Terry Ledford, a past vendor and rock hound killed in a mining accident in Hiddenite.

The show theme is “Somewhere in the Rainbow.” The show will provide the opportunity to view many once-in-a-lifetime gems. “Somewhere in the Rainbow” is a privately owned collection from the Phoenix, Arizona area.

The mineral Vanadinite

This collection, valued at over $10,000,000, first started in 2008 with the purchase of several world-class faceted stones. The focus of this collection is to make the collection accessible to the public for educational purposes through exhibits in many venues. A portion of this collection will be available for your viewing at the convention; an exceptional opportunity to see such rare gems. This will be the first showing East of the Mississippi. Many of the items are equal to or exceed the quality of gems and minerals found in the Smithsonian.

An education area will house hands-on displays and demonstrations of the lapidary arts of faceting, cabachon cutting, and tumbling. An area with black lights will allow visitors to see fluorescent minerals. Younger children will enjoy searching for free specimens at a sand table. Participants are invited to bring gem and mineral samples for identification at a booth in the education area staffed by a geologist. Over twenty vendors will be on hand to sell during the show.

Drawings for regular door prizes will be held every hour. The club will be selling grab bags containing minerals and fossils for $1.00 each. Cost of admission is $5.00 which will allow admission for all three days of the show.

The Catawba Valley Gem and Mineral Club also has an education committee that will provide programs related to gems, minerals, and fossils in local schools and for various youth groups. An educational exhibit is also available for display in schools for a period of one to two weeks at no charge. Information concerning these services will be available at the gem and mineral show or the club page at

Small Business Taxes, A-Z At CVCC, 3/31

Hickory - The Catawba Valley Community College Small Business Center will present “Small Business Taxes, A-Z” on Tuesday March 31 from 5:30 PM to 8:30 PM at CVCC’s Alexander Center for Education in Taylorsville. Tax compliance for the small business owner can be a formidable task.

This program provides participants with an overview of taxes and fees applicable to a small business whether the business operates as a sole proprietorship, corporation, partnership, or Limited Liability Company (LLC).

Additional topics include sales tax, federal payroll, personal income for sole props, corporate income tax, franchise tax and local property tax. There is no charge to attend this workshop, but pre-registration is required.

To register or for more information: contact the CVCC Small Business Center at 828-327-7000, ext. 4117 or visit to register on-line.

Pottery & Antiques Festival Is This Saturday,

March 28, At Hickory Metro Convention Center

Hickory - 2015 marks the 18th annual Catawba Valley Pottery and Antiques Festival. The Catawba Valley Pottery and Antiques Festival began in 1998. Its goal was and continues to be, showcasing the history of Catawba Valley alkaline glazed stoneware and the potters who continually produce this traditional utilitarian ware.

Since most potters utilize wood-fired kilns at home sites, information about sales was tenuous, with customers relying on word-of-mouth or post cards. The CVP&AF provided an annual sale where pottery made in Catawba Valley, could be purchased. Over the years, development and growth have allowed the Festival to include potters from across the state and the South, as well as dealers offering historical pottery and antiques, providing a context for understanding the history and use of pottery in the South.

The Festival is a juried event, and will be held on Saturday, March 28, 2015, at the Hickory Metro Convention Center in Hickory, NC. More than 115 potters and vendors will offer their wares and antiques. Items include historical pottery, textiles, baskets, furniture and miniature items; with contemporary potters selling items ranging from coffee mugs to amazing works of art.

Along with the festival, Saturday includes special programming featuring pottery videos, demonstrations and an annual lecture presented by a special guest.

The CVP&AF is a non-profit event benefiting the Catawba County Historical Association in Newton, and the North Carolina Pottery Center in Seagrove.

More than $300,000 has been donated to the institutions over the past 16 years. The primary fund-raiser is the Friday night preview party, which offers guests an early buying opportunity, along with a Southern supper.

The Festival runs from 9:00am to 5:00pm, on Saturday; tickets are purchased at the door and are $6.00 for adults, $2.00 for children ages 3 to 12. (828) 324-7294 Visit:

Photos: Top: Doe Ridge Pottery; bottom: Tammy Lee Brooks, both will be at the Festival.

Romantic Comedy Much Ado About Nothing, Thurs.—Sat.

Hickory - The Hickory Community Theatre presents four final performances of the Shakespearean comedy “Much Ado About Nothing” this Thursday through Sunday March 26-29 on the Jeffers Theatre stage in the Old City Hall Building at 30 3rd St NW in downtown Hickory.

Performances March 26-29 are Thursday at 7:30pm Friday and Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 2:30pm. Thursday night, tickets for all adults and seniors are $14; student and youth tickets are $10. Regular price tickets for Friday through Sunday are $18, seniors are $16, students and youth are $10. For tickets, call (828) 328-2283 or click

The Theatre is a Funded Affiliate of the United Arts Council of Catawba County. “Much Ado About Nothing” is made possible by a Projects Pool grant from the United Arts Council of Catawba County with funding from the NC State Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. This production is part of the 2014-2015 Season brought to you by Paramount Automotive.

PHOTO: Beth Woodard and G. Victor Worth share one of many humorous moments on stage in “Much Ado About Nothing”. The Shakespeare comedy is on stage this weekend, beginning 7:30pm on Thursday at the Hickory Community Theatre. For tickets and information call (828) 328-2283 or click Photo is by Ken Burns.

Symphony Features Pianist Ursula Oppens, Sat., March 28

Hickory - The Western Piedmont Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Maestro John Gordon Ross, and featuring Ursula Oppens, piano, will perform Bolcom's Commedia for (Almost) 18th Century Orchestra; Shubert's Symphony #5 in B-flat Major, D. 485; Kaminsky's Chamber Concerto for Piano and Orchestra; and Mozart's Symphony #41 in C Major, K.551 "Jupiter," at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 28th in P.E. Monroe Auditorium on the campus of Lenoir-Rhyne University in Hickory. Visiting Kaia String Quartet will perform as members of the orchestra, as part of their two-week residency with the symphony.

Oppens has long been recognized as the leading champion of contemporary American piano music and has been nominated four times for a Grammy Award, most recently in the coveted category of "Best Classical Instrumental Solo" for the highly praised album "Winging It: Piano Music of John Corigliano," released on Cedille Records. In addition, her original and perceptive readings of other music, old and new, have earned her a place among the elect of today's performing musicians. Don't miss this incredible artist. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets cost $17, $27 and $37.

Children’s’ Advocacy Group Is Selling Pinwheels Through 3/27

Hickory - Bud Lavery, president of Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina, will speak at noon April 1 at a public event sponsored by the Children's Advocacy and Protection Center of Catawba County. This event is held each April in honor of National Prevent Child Abuse Month at the Zahra Baker All Children's Playground at Kiwanis Park.

The park is located at 805 Sixth St. SE, Hickory. Blue and silver pinwheels, the national symbol of child abuse prevention, will be placed in the park immediately before the event.

The CAPC will be selling the pinwheels through Friday, March 27 for $2 each. Proceeds of the pinwheel sale support the CAPC's child abuse prevention programs. To purchase your pinwheels, go to and pay through PayPal. You are encouraged to pick up your pinwheels immediately after the ceremony April 1 and place them at your home, business, or other locations throughout the community.

"Our goal is to sell 2,500 pinwheels before the April 1 event, making this one of the largest Pinwheels for Prevention displays in the state," said Nancy Hughes, director of the CAPC.

The CAPC advocates for the protection of the children of Catawba County by working to empower individuals through training and education, coordinate a comprehensive team response to abuse and neglect, and reduce victim trauma.

For additional information about how you can learn to prevent and respond to suspected child abuse, go to the Children's Advocacy and Protection Center of Catawba County at or call 828-465-9296.

Free Suzuki Tour Concert At Beaver Library, Sat., March 28

Hickory - Children of all ages are invited to bring their families to a special performance by the Suzuki Tour Group at the Patrick Beaver Memorial Library on Saturday, March 28th at 11:00 am. The group is comprised of 10 musicians ranging in age from 11 - 18.

The students are from Hickory, Claremont, Boone, and Catawba. Nan Freeman, from Hickory and Laura Coston, from Boone will direct the group. Selections will include light classical pieces, a few fiddle tunes and even a hymn.

The Suzuki Tour Group is sponsored by the Suzuki School of the Arts in Hickory and Lincolnton. They take groups of student performers of all ages on tour to play for audiences all over the United States and around the world.

Suzuki School of the Arts is a 501 (c)(3) organization dedicated to teaching music to students from age 3 - 103 using the Suzuki approach to education. It is a positive, family oriented way to learn and the teachers have specialized training to work with students of all ages.

The tour students are excited to share their music with other children and look forward to playing at the library on March 28, at 11:00. The concert is free and open to the public.

Benefit For Sienna (CC) Houck & Open Door Homeless

Ministries, Is Friday, March 27

Hickory - A fantastic Benefit Party hosted by Steve Shuford, Christa Shuford, Premier Screen Printing, The Logic and Main Cellar City Club in Downtown Hickory.

The public is welcome to attend. This event will take place on Friday, March 27th at Main Cellar City Club.

Doors will open at 7:00 pm and there will be delicious finger foods supplied by Market on Main owner John Duke and Tyson Foods.

The Logic, one of Hickory's premier party bands, will take the stage at 9:00pm with some of the hottest dance music in the area.

Door admission is $10 which includes the finger foods.

ALL proceeds will be distributed evenly between two worthy organizations.

First, our friend Michelle has a beautiful young daughter named CC (Sienna) who has battled a rare form of leukemia from the time that she was 2 years old. She is 5 years old now and is still battling this insidious disease quite valiantly. Along with her parents, CC has battled this disease with all of her mind, soul and spirit, and she always has a smile on her face. Of course, several years of emergency bills and hospital bills add up.

Second, the other half of the proceeds will go to Open Door Homeless Ministries. This organization helps the over 14 "Tent Cities" of homeless and displaced people in our community who are living on the periphery of Hickory due to economic issues. Many are mothers and their children who have been displaced for a number of reasons and many are Veterans. These people are neighbors and friends who are living paycheck to paycheck. Open Door Homeless Ministries allows these individuals the dignity that they need while they are working on issues to try to find a permanent place to live.

We would also like to thank our Sponsors: Hyperformance Graphics, Premier Screen Printing and Promotional Products, Piedmont Plastic Surgery and Dermatology, Cowboy Country Western Wear, Mark's Gutter Service, Snack Bar, Neill Grading and Hendrick Honda of Hickory.

Birdhouses To Be Made At WP Woodcrafters’ March 28 Meeting

Hickory - The March 28 meeting of the Western Piedmont Woodcrafters Club will be held at 9:30 a.m. at Klingspor Woodworking Shop in Hickory and is open to anyone with an interest in woodworking.

All club members are invited to make birdhouses from reclaimed/repurposed wood (old pallets, etc.) and to bring them to the meeting. Any design is permissible but the project must be a bird HOUSE. The bird houses will be judged on the following criteria: workmanship, unique design and finish. Monetary prizes will be given to the top three winners. All entries will be donated to the Habitat for Humanity of Catawba Valley for their annual Birdhouse Fundraiser Auction. The auction will be held on Thursday, April 23 at Hollar Mill in Hickory.

The Western Piedmont Woodcrafters Club consists of about 70 hobbyist and professional woodworkers of all skill levels from throughout the Unifour area. The club meets once each month, except for a combined November/December meeting, at the Klingspor Woodworking Shop in Hickory to hear speakers and to see demonstrations of woodworking equipment, projects and techniques. Further information can be obtained by calling 828-495-3029.

Betty Mahoney Named Hickory’s Main Street Champion

Morganton, NC - During the 35th Annual Main Street Conference in Morganton NC, Betty Mahoney was named as Hickory’s Main Street Champion. The Breakfast with Main Street Champions was hosted by the NC Department of Commerce Main Street Center at CoMMA in downtown Morganton. During the award ceremony, Secretary of Commerce John E. Skvarla and Assistant Secretary Dr. Patricia Mitchell presented the recognition to Betty Mahoney, owner of Bisque n Beads in downtown Hickory.

Betty Mahoney served two three-year terms on the Hickory Downtown Development Association Board of Directors. She is an active member of the Promotions Committee guiding successful, award-winning events like the Downtown Hickory Art Crawls. She attends meetings, planning sessions, and develops marketing strategies for downtown. Betty shares ideas from the NC Main Street conferences which she attends annually.

Betty is the owner of Bisque n Beads, a place for people of all ages to be creative. She began as an employee in 2002 and became sole proprietor by 2007. Betty reaches out to the community to promote her specialty business by doing projects in day care centers and schools, which brings families downtown. Her business has set an example for other retailers by hosting in-store events and keeping the doors open after 5pm.

It was with great pleasure that Hickory Downtown Development Association designated Betty Keyes Mahoney as Hickory's Main Street Champion.

Photo: Betty Keyes Mahoney, Hickory Main Street Champion

Two Events In Hickory Mark Poetry Day This Sat., March 28

Hickory - Two major poetry events will occur in Hickory on March 28. First, Poetry Day 2015, sponsored by the NC Poetry Society, will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 at Catawba Valley Community College. Then, the quarterly Art of Poetry at the Hickory Museum of Art will begin at 2:00 at the Hickory Museum of Art.

Highlights of Poetry Day will include presentation of this year's Lena Shull Award to Charlotte poet, Gail Peck, and workshops and readings by Peck and Michael Beadle. The Lena Shull Award is an annual award presented by the NC Poetry Society to the best new manuscript of poetry by a NC poet.

Gail Peck

Peck is the author of 7 collections of poetry. Drop Zone, won the Texas Review Breakthrough Contest. Other collections are Within Two Rooms, Thirst, Counting the Lost, From Terezin, Foreshadow, and New River which won the Harperprints Award. Her poems have been nominated for a Pushcart, and her essay “Child Waiting” was cited as a Notable for Best American Essays, 2013.

Peck's workshop will be called "The Poem's Invitation," and will be based on Stephen Dobyns' book, Best Words, Best Order. Peck says participants will explore how poems keep the reader engaged.

Michael Beadle is a poet, performer, author, and teaching artist living in Raleigh, NC. He is the author of three chapbooks and a poetry CD.

Michael Beadle

In 2012, Michael served as one of three poets-in-residence at the NC Zoo in Asheboro, and in 2011 he was a co-winner in the international Nazim Hikmet Poetry Festival contest. He has also written or co-written four books on the history of Haywood County in western North Carolina. He teaches creative writing workshops for students of all ages throughout the state.

Beadle's workshop will be called "Say What?--The Art of Asking Questions in Poems" and will begin with Rainer Maria Rilke's dictum to "Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves…." Participants will learn how poets such as Pablo Neruda, Mary Oliver and Walt Whitman have used questions to explore and enrich our experience within a poem, then, write some new questions into their poems.

The workshops are limited to 25 participants each and cost $10 each. All other Poetry Day activities are free and open to the public. The workshops will be followed by an Open Mic.

For information, or to register for the workshops, contact Scott Owens at (828) 234-4266 or by email at

Area Bi-Polar Mental Health Support Available Bi-Weekly

Hickory - A Unifour Area bipolar/mental health support group meets bi-weekly at 7:00 pm at the Mitchell House (West Campus) at Corinth Reformed Church.

Meetings are free to attend and are open to family, friends, caretakers, and people dealing with bipolar disorder and/or other mental illnesses. Meeting format is open discussion with the group and occasional guest speakers.

Future meetings: April 14 (no meeting on April 28) & May 12 (no meeting on May 26).


Corinth Reformed Church at the Mitchell House(West Campus) is the brick house located to left of Corinth Reformed Church and school building area. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact John Truesdale at or 803-606-5974.

Caldwell Arts Council’s April Food & Fools pARTy Fundraisers

Lenoir, NC – As much a tradition this time of year as putting away winter clothes and enjoying fresh flowers, springtime means “pARTy” time for the Caldwell Arts Council and its supporters.

The Caldwell Arts Council presents its month-long annual fundraiser again in April 2015. This year’s events include 9 “April Food” parties hosted by individuals throughout Caldwell County, culminating in the “April Fools” event on April 30th when nationally known comedians Julie Scoggins and Will Jacobs perform in downtown Lenoir.

“In addition to the multiple parties from our ‘April Food’ palette throughout the month and across the community, you can support the ongoing work of the Arts Council at an evening of laughs at our comedy event. Each of the parties and the comedy night are a guaranteed good time!” says Lee Carol Giduz, Executive Director of the Caldwell Arts Council

About the pARTies:

Reservations and prepayment are required for each of these dinner pARTies and you can make your reservations using PayPal on our website,, or by calling 828-754-2486.

Friday, April 10, 7pm – “Ahhh, Brazil!” April Food & Fools pARTy for the ARTs! If you missed Carnival in Rio (again) no worries! Come join the county’s only Brazilian themed pARTy. You will taste Feijoada, the Brazilian national dish, have a Caipirinha (mixed drink made with Brazilian rum), and finish the night with an intimate live Brazilian music concert. Hosts Jimmie & Carrie Griffith will host 8 guests at $35/person.

Saturday, April 11, 11am-2pm – “Starving Artist at the “New” Thankful Goat Farm” April Food & Fools pARTy for the ARTs! Bring the family & join Dawn & Steve Mathews’ family for a tour of our new farm and a yummy picnic "bowl 'o beans." Enjoy all the county favorites: pinto beans, cornbread, and slaw. Come hike the trails, meet the goats, and get your family portrait made with cuddly baby animals. 20+ guests at $10/person

Tuesday, April 14, 6pm – “Farm to Table” April Food & Fools pARTy for the ARTs! Chef’s Table style dining. Enjoy "dinner and a show". You will watch and learn as your meal is prepared by the Culinary Art Students. Chef Keith and Chef Bob will be there to answer all your cooking questions. A one-of-a-kind "mystery meal" as everything served will be local and fresh. The menu includes fresh local fish, seasonal veggies, bread and dessert. Hopefully even a fresh berry pie! What could be better? Limit 16 guests at $30/person.

Friday, April 17, 6pm – “Dinner on the Hill” April Food & Fools pARTy for the ARTs! Come to the mountain top! Nestled on the ridge of Ripshin Mountain in beautiful Happy Valley is the gracious home of Emerson and Cheryl Dickey. This art filled home is an experience unto itself and is the perfect setting for a sumptuous multi-course meal centered around a pork rib roast. Enjoy a relaxing evening, drinks, good conversation and a mountain top getaway. The hosts invite you to come early and stay late! Limit 8 guests at $50/person.

Saturday, April 18, 6pm – “Contra Dance Covered Dish Party” April Food & Fools pARTy for the ARTs! Contra Dancing anyone? If you've ever tried it, you are already hooked. If not, be prepared to be addicted. The night will begin with lessons, so don't fret if you are a beginner. If you can walk, you can contra. So swing on over to the American Legion for a night of contra dance, potluck covered dishes and toe-tapping music by Bob Kogut and friends, hosted by Erik and Kourtney Rabinowitz. All are welcome! Wear comfortable shoes. Non-alcoholic drinks provided; BYOB if you choose. This party is sure to be huge hit. Make plans early to sign up! 30+ guests at $10/person if you bring a covered dish; $15 without.

Saturday, April 18, 6pm – “Frogmore Stew and You” April Food & Fools pARTy for the ARTs! The return of a favorite! You'll be dining in the foothills, but you'll swanny you're in South Carolina's low country after one bite of Frogmore Stew. This one-pot wonder is a combination of shrimp, sausage, corn on the cob and potatoes, served with ice cold beer, hosted by Grey, Tina & Ginny Scheer. Limit 20 guests at $35/person.

Saturday, April 25, 6pm – “Scandinavian Chimney Sweep Meal” April Food & Fools pARTy for the ARTs! Journey to Sweden with Dr. Mark & Kim Picton for a traditional Scandinavian Chimney Sweep feast. Outdoor dining under the stars as your hosts grill over an open firepit delicious packets of fresh local trout and prepare traditional fare of potato salad with sausage and "smorgastarta" (a savory sandwich cake). Enjoy beer, wine and a Schnapps toast to wrap up the meal. Limit 12 guests at $50/person.

Saturday, April 25, 6pm – “Turkish Delights” April Food & Fools pARTy for the ARTs! An authentic Turkish meal of Meze (like tapas), served with baskets of grilled bread slices, Biber Dolmasi (stuffed green peppers with ground Ripshin goat, rice and herbs), Suzme yogurt (strained yogurt), fresh fruit, Kasar (Turkish aged yellow cheese, Lokum (Turkish delight), one glass Turkish red or white wine or Raki (spirit), (BYOB any other beverage you desire). "Afiyet olsun!" (Bon appetit!) say your hosts Rachel Plaster, Wanda Prince, and Liza Plaster. Limit 10 guests at $40/person.

Saturday, May 2, 6pm – “Yoga and Vegetarian Garden pARTy” April Food & Fools pARTy for the ARTS! Join your hosts Christie Arney and Torre Hinnant and gather in Triangle Park for a beautiful stress-relieving yoga session and then return to Torre's home for a delicious vegetarian garden party-style meal. Beer and wine will be served. Wear comfortable clothes. If it rains, the whole event will be held at Torre Hinnant’s home. Limit 12 guests at $35/person.

About Lenoir Comedy Club:

Tickle your sides and funny bones with us Thursday, April 30, 7pm – Lenoir Comedy Club Night benefitting the Caldwell Arts Council will feature comedians Julie Scoggins and Will Jacobs. In addition to the load of laughs, beer/wine/soft drinks will be available for purchase. $30 in advance, $35 at the door. Advance tickets available and you can pay by PayPal on our website:

About the Caldwell Arts Council:

The Caldwell Arts Council presents monthly and quarterly exhibits, arts-in-education events and other art programs that foster the cultural arts in Caldwell County. Located at 601 College Avenue SW near the heart of downtown Lenoir, hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday & 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday. There is no admission charge, although donations are gratefully accepted. To be added to the mailing list or e-mail list, please call 828-754-2486 or The Caldwell Arts Council’s programs are supported by the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources and by individual and corporate donors.

Gaston Museum Concert Features Childers, March 27

Dallas, NC - The Gaston County Museum will be hosting a concert series located in the newly renovated Historic Gaston County Courthouse in Dallas, NC. The series will focus on Americana style music being performed by some of the best artist in the region. This will be the last show of the series for this year.

David Childers is a musician, poet, historian, painter, and father. He grew up surrounded by music but did not pick up the guitar until he was in college. By the time he got serious about songwriting, he was a 37 year old practicing lawyer. David is best known for his work in the band David Childers and the Modern Don Juan’s.

David Childers

This group traveled throughout the eastern coast playing in prestigious venues and dive bars alike. Since 2009, David has been a founding member of the Over Mountain Men. The band released their first album through Ramseur Records titled “Glorious Day” and has been steadily performing to their loyal fans throughout the United States. Bob Crawford, the bassist for the Avett Brothers and a fellow member of the Over Mountain Men describes David as “the most prolific North Carolina songwriter alive. Everywhere I go people ask about him. It is great to see people constantly discovering this man and his massive body of work.” On this evening David will be performing in the Old Dallas Courthouse, providing the unique opportunity to see one of the area’s most prolific performers and ardent lawyer sing where jurors and judges once stood. Come join us on March 27 at 7pm to experience a “Childers show” for yourself. You will be glad that you did.

Seating for the concert is first come, first served and the doors will open at 6:30pm, the concert is free. For additional information about this program, please contact Jason Luker, Programs Coordinator, at 704-922-7681 ex 105 or at

Register For Newton’s Citizens Police Academy By April 14

Newton, NC – Your chance to get an insider’s look at the Newton Police Department is here. Residents of Newton are invited to register for the city’s Citizens Police Academy.

The academy will run 6-8 p.m. for seven consecutive Tuesdays beginning April 21 and ending June 2.

“We’re pleased to offer the Citizens Police Academy again this year,” Newton Police Chief Don Brown said. “It’s an opportunity for our citizens to go behind the scenes, get to know their officers better, and learn what’s involved in the day-to-day for their police department.”

The city’s free program offers residents a chance learn about police department services and operations. The academy is limited to 20 participants on a first-come, first-served basis. Attendance at all sessions is encouraged but is not required.
The session dates and topics are:

April 21 – Introduction (Chief Don Brown, Maj. Tim Hayes, Capt. Michael Sullivan and Lt. David Sigmon)

April 28 – Support Services (Maj. Tim Hayes)

May 5 – Patrol Duties (Lt. Dan Harris)

May 12 – Investigations and Narcotics (Sgt. Spencer Cline and Sgt. David Coffman)

» May 19 – Animal Control and Code Enforcement (Officer Jeff Miller and Officer Jon Raines)

May 26 – Firearms (Capt. Michael Sullivan)

June 2 – Graduation

All sessions will be at the police training complex at 2427 North Ashe Ave. Upon completion of the course, students may ride along with an officer for a total of eight hours.

Participants are required to register by April 14. Registration forms are available at For more information or to register, email Capt. Michael Sullivan at

Sarah Jarosz Performs At The Broyhill On Sat., April 4

Lenoir, NC - Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute’s J.E. Broyhill Civic Center will host Sarah Jarosz on Saturday, April 4 at 7:30 p.m.

While still in her early 20’s, Sarah Jarosz, the native of Wimberley, Texas, just outside of Austin, has earned her credibility in the world where contemporary folk, Americana and roots music intersect. Her reputation is built on three fronts - she is a gifted multi-instrumentalist (mandolin, octave mandolin, guitar and banjo), an expressive and distinctive vocalist, and an accomplished songwriter. It’s not just her peers who are taking notice - she’s appeared twice on the vaulted Austin City Limits and also on the BBC’s Transatlantic Sessions as well as A Prairie Home Companion, eTown, Acoustic Café and Mountain Stage.

In 2014, she made her late night television debut on Conan, followed a day later by an appearance on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.

Sarah Jarosz performs in Lenoir on April 4

These two appearances happened while she was in Los Angeles to attend the Grammy awards for her two nominations for Best Folk Album (2013’s Build Me Up From Bones) and Best American Roots Song (for the title track). Her first album, Song Up In Her Head, yielded a Grammy nomination for her instrumental “Mansinneedof.”

Jarosz has also been nominated for Americana Music Association Honors and Awards for New/Emerging Artist of the Year (2010), Instrumentalist of the Year (2011), Song of the Year (2012 for “Come Around” from Follow Me Down) and Album of the Year (2014).

Since graduating with honors from New England Conservatory in May 2013 with a degree in Contemporary Improvisation, Jarosz now makes her home in New York City. She has maintained a busy touring schedule both in the United States and abroad in support of Build Me Up From Bones.

Appearing with Jarosz will be musicians Jedd Hughes and Mark Schatz, each well-known musicians in their own right. Hughes, an Australian native, is a formidable guitar player, singer and songwriter. A sought-after session player, he can be heard on many country and Americana albums. His songs have been recorded by Keith Urban, Tim McGraw and Little Big Town, among others.

Mark Schatz is a bassist, banjoist, clogger and producer who has recorded and toured with artists like Bela Fleck, Nickel Creek, Jerry Douglas, Emmylou Harris and Linda Ronstadt. He holds two International Bluegrass Music Association Bass Player of the Year awards and is a renowned solo artist.

Don’t miss Sarah Jarosz at the J.E. Broyhill Civic Center on Saturday, April 4 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for the show are $21.35 for adults, $8.54 for children and $8 for CCC&TI students with a valid student ID. For more information or for tickets, call the Civic Center Box Office at 828-726-2407 or visit

Hickory Museum Presents Free Talk On WWII Sunday, March 29

Hickory - The Hickory Museum of Art (HMA) is presenting a free program on Sunday, March 29, from 2 – 3 PM in conjunction with the closing day of the exhibition 1944: A War, The People, A New Museum. “WWII Stories in Conversation” will offer the public an opportunity to interact with four gentlemen from the community with connections to the Second World War.

Visitors are invited to move from station to station in the gallery and engage in conversation with the participants as they share their stories and personal experiences

Rhys Samuel was at the Battle of Leyte Gulf, the largest naval battle in history.Carl Zwingli was part of a bombing squad stationed in the Aleutian Islands bombarding the islands of northern Japan. Vladmir Khudyakov was a Russian teen involved in the war effort in Moscow during WWII.Charlie Dixon, son-in-law of Harold “Doc” Edgerton, talks about Edgerton’s reconnaissance work.

Edgerton developed a night-time aerial flash that was utilized the night before D-Day, and showed there was no movement of enemy forces and they would be taken by surprise during the Normandy invasion.1944: A War, The People, A New Museum is a multi-faceted exhibition combining art and history, while providing a 1940s era background for the beginning of the Hickory Museum of Art within the unlikely context of a world at war.

The exhibit includes a timeline outlining regional and world-wide events; an installation of HMA Founder and first director Paul Whitener's studio; artwork collected in the Museum's first year; paintings and prints created by HMA artists connected to WWII; installation about the 1944 polio epidemic in Hickory; and much more. Additional 1940s-era objects loaned from community businesses, individuals, the Catawba County Historical Association and the History Museum of Burke County are placed throughout the Museum.

The Hickory Museum of Art is located in the Arts & Science Center of the Catawba Valley, 243 3rd Avenue NE, Hickory. Admission is free. For more information please visit or call 828-327-8576.

Photos: WWII Veteran Rhys Samuel [left] talks with George Clay in front of the memory wall in the exhibition “1944: A War, The People, A New Museum.”

HMA Executive Director Lisë Swensson poses with WWII Veteran Carl Zwingli in front of the memory wall in the exhibition “1944: A War, The People, A New Museum.”

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