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April 12th NC Railroad Expo Benefits Newton Train Museum

Hickory - The 12th Annual NC Railroad Expo will be held Saturday, April 12th at the Hickory Metro Center adjacent to Exit 125 and Interstate 40. Approximately 250 tables full of railroad lanterns, timetables, books, and models of all scales will be available.

Admission is only $5 for adults, while children under the age of twelve are admitted for free. Show hours are from 9am until 4pm. The show is sponsored by the Alexander Chapter of the National Railway Historical Association and all proceeds from the show will benefit the SE Narrow Gauge & Shortline Museum located at the Newton depot.

Greg Carpenter, master mechanic for the chapter's restored rail cars, notes that “the railroading hobby is one of the most popular pastimes in the world and our club is pleased to be able to bring it back to Western North Carolina on a yearly basis.

We had over 1200 people through the gate last year and all of the comments were very positive. Most importantly, admission prices are very low so that we can introduce families to the hobby in an affordable manner.”

In addition to vendors selling model trains, books, videos, and memorabilia, there will be five operating layouts from across North Carolina, a restored railroad baggage wagon, and a "Railroad Antiques Roadshow" table where the public can bring railway-related items by and have them appraised by experts in the hobby.

The Alexander Chapter-NRHS was formed in 1979 and is the oldest railroad preservation organization in western North Carolina. For more information, call (828) 527-6520, or go online to www.tarheelpress.com/Trainshow

Hickory Museum Of Art Hosts Benefit Show & Sale On April 11

Hickory - The Hickory Museum of Art (HMA) is hosting a benefit party on Friday, April 11 from 7 – 10 PM called “With a Little Help from Our Friends.” Admission is $15 for HMA members and $20 for non-members.

The evening includes music by Tony Eltora 2, hors d’oeuvres, wine, and beer. All proceeds benefit the Museum. Please call HMA for reservations at 828.327.8576.

By Matthew Good

This event is presented in conjunction with a benefit art show and sale of the same name on exhibition at the Museum April 5 through June 1. The show features landscape-inspired work by selected Carolina artists: Scott Boyle, Stephen Brooks, Hal Bryant, Jean Cauthen, Andrew Champman, Fanjoy Labrenz, Gary Freeman, Jack Greenfield, Matthew Good, Moni Hill, John Inman, Cotton Ketchie, John Mac Kah, Richard Oversmith, Philip Philbeck, and Kate Worm. A portion of the proceeds from each artwork purchase benefits 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 www.HickoryArt.org or call 828-327-8576.

HSCC: Tax Break Special On Spay/Neuter Services In April

Hickory - Celebrate your tax refund at Humane Society of Catawba County with a “Tax Break Special” $10 discount on spay and neuter surgery for cats and dogs paid in April. Foothills Spay/ Neuter Clinic offers surgery Monday-Friday at Humane Society of Catawba County.

Barry is ready for adoption

Pets are dropped off at 8 am on their scheduled surgery day and picked up the same evening with post operative instructions. Come by to make an appointment or call (828) 464-8878 during business hours, Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

HSCC and Foothills Spay/Neuter Clinic services are available to any member of the public and are not limited to residents of Catawba County.

Catawba Regional Hospice Seeks Volunteer Hair Stylists

Newton, NC – Feeling good about your appearance can be a strong mood-booster. And while the emotional benefits of a good haircut are satisfying, they’re especially meaningful to people who don’t have the energy or mobility to make them happen on their own.

That’s why Catawba Regional Hospice is seeking generous stylists and barbers who are willing to give of their time and talents to help those in need. We’ve heard from our patients how uplifting it is to have a cosmetic pick-me-up amid what can be difficult times. Our mission is to make it possible for them to obtain an extra measure of self-esteem.

If you’re a trained stylist or barber and would like to share your skills by helping patients with advanced illness, Catawba Regional Hospice would love to work with you. Interested candidates need only complete a free session of volunteer training before they’re able to meet with patients. Schedules can be flexible. If you would like to make a donation of your time or would like more information, please call 828.466.0466 or email volunteer@pchcv.org.

Hickory Parks Offer Summer Outdoor Adventures, June-Aug.

Hickory - The Hickory Parks and Recreation Department is offering three, week-long, Summer Outdoor Adventure Programs (S.O.A.P) this summer. SOAP I will be held the week of June 16-20 for ages 9-12, SOAP II-July 14-18 for ages 12-15 and SOAP III “Back to Basics”, August 4-8 for ages 9-15.

SOAP I includes tubing, rock climbing at Crowder’s Mountain, a day at the US National Whitewater Center, hiking Linville Falls, visiting Grandfather Mountain and hiking and canoeing at Geitner-Rotary Park. The cost is $173.00 for City of Hickory Residents and $193.00 for Non-City of Hickory Residents. SOAP II includes mountain biking on the Virginia Creeper Trail, rock climbing at Crowder’s Mountain, hiking Lake James State Park, visiting the US National Whitewater Center and hiking and canoeing at Geitner-Rotary Park. The cost is $180.00 for City of Hickory Residents and $200.00 for Non-City of Hickory Residents.

There is a “two payment” option available for SOAP I & II. $100.00 per participant is due at the time of registration. The remaining balance for SOAP I is due no later than Friday, May 30 and the balance for SOAP II is due by Friday, June 27.

SOAP III “Back to Basics” includes hiking at South Mountain State Park, hiking and swimming at Hanging Rock State Park, mountain biking on the Virginia Creeper Trail, exploring Stone Mountain State Park, located in Roaring Gap, NC and a day of hiking and canoeing at Geitner-Rotary Park. The cost of this program is $42.00 for City of Hickory Residents and $62.00 for Non-City of Hickory Residents. Full payment is required at the time of registration.

Verification of City of Hickory residency is required for all weeks at the time of registration. Cash and checks accepted. Parents may only register their own children.

Registration begins on Friday, April 11 at 8:30 am at the Parks and Recreation Department Administrative Office located at 1451 8th Street Drive NE.

For more information on this program, please contact Senior Recreation Programmer Angela Smith at 324-6990 or email asmith@hickorync.gov.

The Lion In Winter: Family Drama & Comedy At Its Best, April 3-19

Hickory - The classic comedy of family discord was a big hit with audiences during last week's opening weekend. The royal family's squabbles continue as the Hickory Community Theatre production of The Lion in Winter begins its second weekend in the Firemen’s Kitchen Cabaret Theatre with a Thursday night performance at 7:30PM.

Set during Christmas 1183 at Henry II of England's castle in Chinon, Anjou, Angevin Empire, the play opens with the arrival of Henry's wife Eleanor of Aquitaine, whom he has had imprisoned since 1173.

The story concerns the gamesmanship between Henry, Eleanor, their three surviving sons Richard, Geoffrey, and John, and their Christmas Court guest, the King of France, Philip II Augustus (French: Philippe Auguste), who was the son of Eleanor's ex-husband, Louis VII of France (by his third wife, Adelaide). Also involved is Philip's half-sister Alais, who has been at court since she was betrothed to Richard at age eight, and was brought up by Queen Eleanor, but has since become Henry's mistress and Eleanor's rival. The characters in the play are historically accurate, though the situations are largely from the imagination of playwright James Goldman.

Performance dates for The Lion in Winter are Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00PM, April 4 through April 19, in the Firemen’s Kitchen. Thursday performances are on April 3 and 17 with a 7:30PM curtain time.

Tickets are $14 and are available at the Theatre box office in person or by phone at (828) 328-2283, Tuesday through Saturday from 12-5. The production is rated R for adult situations. Online ticketing is available through the Theatre website at www.hickorytheatre.org.

HCT is a Funded Affiliate of the United Arts Council of Catawba County. The Lion in Winter is produced by Robert Abbey, Inc. and Dr. Delores Hammer, DDS.

Photo: King Philip of France (Donovan Harper, at left) and Richard the Lionheart (Joshua Propst) negotiate their respective futures in Hickory Community Theatre’s classic dramatic comedy The Lion in Winter. Performances resume Thursday night and continue through April 19. Call (828) 328-2283 or visit www.hickorytheatre.org for tickets and information. Photo is by Ken Burns.

Hickory Crawdads Will Host Taste Of Hickory On May 18

Hickory - Are you a self-professed foodie?  Do you enjoy tasting new and local beers and wines? What if you could come to one event and taste all the food, wine and beer from area restaurants, breweries and wineries, and support community outreach programs and children’s charities at the same time? 

Welcome to the Taste of Hickory! Taste. Well Crafted.  The Hickory Elks Lodge is excited to announce their new partnership with the Hickory Crawdads offering the much needed space to accommodate the growth of this year’s Taste of Hickory while presenting the beautifully renovated L.P. Frans Stadium.  The Hickory area is alive with talented chefs, bakers, brew masters, wine makers, and more, and the Hickory Elks in partnership with the Hickory Crawdads are thrilled to host the 3rd Annual Taste of Hickory on Sunday, May 18th. 

The Taste of Hickory is sponsored this year by James Oxygen & Supply Company, Ashley’s Heating & Air, Holbrook Landscaping, Republic Services, Colin Brady, Community One Bank, Prime Benefits Insurance, United Beverage, Hickory Convention & Visitors Bureau, and City of Hickory’s “Life. Well Crafted.” brand.  The event will showcase locally owned restaurants, Carolina breweries and wineries, and other local vendors. Stroll through the stadium tasting and sipping while enjoying familiar tunes by Hickory’s own “America’s Got Talent” star Ulysses Long. 

There will be competition for the “Best of Hickory” in several categories with raffles and door prizes during the event.  Proceeds from the event will go to the many community outreach programs that the Elks sponsor including Veterans Programs, Youth Activities and Scholarships, Catawba Valley Backpack Program, the Helping Hands Program, and the many Children’s Charities supported by the Lady Elks.

The event will be held at the Hickory Crawdads Stadium, Clement Blvd, on Sunday May 18, 2014 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. The event will be indoors and outdoors.  Tickets are limited to 500 and will be available for sale on Friday April 4th.  Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door.  No one under 21 will be admitted and proper ID must be presented. 

For more information, to sponsor the event, to become a vendor, and to purchase tickets visit the Taste of Hickory Facebook page and call The Hickory Elks Lodge at (828) 322-2527.

Spring Soiree To Benefit Robin’s Nest Children’s Center, April 12

Lenoir, NC - The 3rd Annual Spring Soiree to benefit Robin’s Nest Children’s Advocacy Center will be held on Saturday, April 12th, from 7:00 p.m. until midnight at Cedar Rock Country Club, 2065 Cedar Rock Estate Drive, in Lenoir.

The dance and show band Summerdaze will perform. Chef Ray and the JEBCC Catering Group will feature a menu of delectable heavy hors d'oeuvres.

Patrons can help "feather robin's nest" by purchasing mystery eggs.

Tickets for the event are $100 per person and can be purchased by calling (828)754-3213.

A portion of the admission is tax deductible. Robin’s Nest Children’s Advocacy Center, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, coordinates and provides services dedicated to pursuing justice, providing hope, and promoting healing for child victims of sexual and severe physical abuse.

Visit www.robinsnestcac.org and follow Robin’s Nest at www.facebook.com/robinsnestoflenoir.

CCHA Presents Hart Square: Behind The Scenes On April 26

Newton, NC - Tickets have gone on sale for the Catawba County Historical Association’s Hart Square: Behind the Scenes event. Set for 9:00 am to 5:00 pm on April 26th, 2014, tickets are $48 with lunch and taxes included.

Tickets can be bought at the History Museum of Catawba County located in the 1924 Courthouse in Downtown Newton, by calling 828 - 465-0383 or visiting www.Catawbahistory.org.

Each October, Bob and Becky Hart open their collection of 96 buildings and gather hundreds of volunteers to bring the site to life with demonstrations of 19th century rural industries and daily lifestyles. Known as Hart Square, the popularity of that event has brought large sell-out crowds to the site each fall.

Harts Tavern, by Nathan Moehlmann

In response to that the CCHA worked to offer a springtime event to give people a chance to see the site without the crowds and demonstrations. This event opens up Hart Square to the public for a different experience from the event that takes place once a year in October. Tours will focus on the history of the structures and objects in them that represent wonderful examples of Southern decorative arts.

Tickets for the event must be purchased in advance at the History Museum of Catawba County, 30 North College Avenue in downtown Newton or by phone at 828-465-0383 using a Visa or MasterCard. No tickets will be sold at the gate. Tickets are $48.00 per person and include a box lunch. Bob and Becky Hart will join the group at lunch and will share some of the adventures that they have had over the thirty years of creating Hart’s Square and also talk about their plans for its future.

The History Museum of Catawba County is formally the Museum of History, still located in the 1924 Courthouse, 30 N. College Ave. in downtown Newton.

Seniors Morning Out: Music, Easter Activities & More In April

Hickory - Catawba County Seniors Morning Out will offer a variety of activities in April, including Easter crafts, musical performances, and information about better nutrition and health.

Any Catawba County resident who is 60 or better is invited to attend the half-day programs, which are offered in five convenient locations Monday through Thursday. There is no charge to participants, although donations are accepted. A hot balanced lunch is included. To reserve your spot, contact the site supervisor at least 24 hours in advance. A few of the program highlights are listed below.

Performances by Tapestry, a harp and flute duo, are 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. Arts and science programs at Seniors Morning Out are also supported by Affordable Dentures of Conover/ Larissa M. Mastro, DDS.

At the West Hickory site, activities will include: April 15, Harp and Flute Music by Tapestry; April 16, Bring an Easter Basket to Decorate and Hand Bell Practice; April 21, Hearing Screening with Barbara's Hearing; April 28, Don't Travel Without a Map by Julie Packer of Palliative Care; April 30, Life of a King presented by Eugene Brown. In this special program, Brown will describe his life story, which is being made into a movie. His life was transformed by chess, as he went from prison inmate to chess coach and youth mentor. To reserve your spot, call Lisa Adams at 828-323-8746.

Tapestry

Newton site activities include: April 9, Music by Bandys High School Jazz Band and Bible Trivia; April 10, Harp and Flute Music by Tapestry; April 16, Dyeing Easter Eggs (bring a hard-boiled egg); April 29, bowling at Pin Station and shopping at Honey's IGA; April 30, Growing and Cooking with Herbs by Robyn Curtis. To reserve your spot, call Robyn Curtis at 828-455-4133.

Maiden activities include: April 10, Group Walking and Singing; April 17, Group Walking and Harp and Flute Music by Tapestry; April 22, Proper Exercise for Different Types of Arthritis; April 28, Fun Walk and Picnic in Maiden Park with music by Sentimental Journey. To reserve your spot, contact Loretta Hefner at 828-320-5966.

East Hickory Activities include: April 8, Making Veggie and Fruit Smoothies with Hugh Wilkerson; April 10, Computer Tablet Class by St. Stephen's Library; April 23, Container Gardening with Kelly Grove of the Cooperative Extension Service; April 29, the movie "The King and I" and popcorn; April 30, Nature Walk and Bingo. To reserve your spot, contact Rita Pritchard at 828-320-5963.

Claremont activities include: April 10, Music by Bandys High Chorus and Morning Walk; April 14, Dye Easter Eggs with Bethlehem United Methodist Church Child Development Center Children and Make Easter Baskets; April 17, Music by Bandys High School Jazz Band; April 21, Don't Travel Without a Map by Julie Parker of Palliative Care; April 28, Anxiety and Stress Management by Tracey Paul of the Catawba County Health Department. To reserve your spot, contact Wendy Thomas at 828-320-0434.

Seniors Morning Out and other Senior Nutrition Services rely heavily on volunteers and donations. If you would like to share your talents or just help out, call 828-695-5610.

You may make a donation by making out a check to Catawba County Social Services and putting Senior Nutrition Services in the memo line. Mail your donation to Catawba County Senior Nutrition Services, P.O. Box 207, Newton, NC 286758. You may also make a secure donation online by going to http://www.catawbacountync.gov/dss and clicking on the red "Donate Now" button.

For the latest updates on this program, like us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/MealsonWheelsofCatawbaCounty.

Catawba Libraries: Fun-Filled Learning for Children In April

Newton, NC - Catawba County Library System will offer fun-filled learning opportunities in coming weeks. School-aged children are invited to take part in free STEM sessions designed to encourage learning in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

The schedule includes:

Tuesday, April 15- Sidewalk Poetry for teens, 5:30 p.m. at Conover Branch, 466-5108.

Thursday, April 17- Earth Day craft time with recycled materials. 4 p.m. at St. Stephens, 466-6821.

Tuesday, April 22- Community Garden Startup Meeting for teens and adults, 6 p.m. at Main Library, 465-8664.

Friday, April 25- STEM The Sweet Science of Chocolate, Kids will learn all about chocolate and take part in a taste test. 4 p.m. at Sherrills Ford Branch, 466-6827.

Contact the hosting library branch for further details.

Newton Library Hosts Author Of The Dry Grass Of August, Apr. 10

Newton, NC - Anna Jean “A. J.” Mayhew will discuss her novel The Dry Grass of August at Catawba County Library on Thursday, April 10. A winner of the Sir Walter Raleigh Award, the book has been likened to Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird.
Mayhew’s coming-of-age story line has some similarities with Mockingbird in terms of a Southern family’s relationship with their black maid in the segregated South.

Harper Lee wrote her first book in her late twenties. Mayhew’s first didn’t come until she was 71, which shows how writers can emerge at any age. Those without degrees should take heart as well—Mayhew has no formal education beyond high school and a few continuing education courses. But she has challenged herself to read the classics such as Thomas Hardy, Virginia Woolf, Leonid Tolstoy, Flannery O’Connor and others. Reading is essential to good writing, she believes.

Mayhew’s novel is set in her hometown of Charlotte, but she is familiar with the Catawba County area; she attended a one-year business course at Lenoir-Rhyne in Hickory 1959-60, and lived in Conover in the early 1960s.

A. J. Mayhew

“Many of the events in Dry Grass are fictionalized retellings of things that actually happened,” Mayhew said. ”Our car did run out of gas on a ferry crossing the Chattahoochee River in the early 1950s. My older sister and I went by ourselves to the Daddy Grace parade in downtown Charlotte, and we walked to a tent meeting outside Albany, GA, in about 1952. However, the major facts of the book are pure fiction. No woman employed by my family was killed in a racial crime. There was no White Businessmen’s Association in Charlotte, though there was a White Citizens’ Council upon which I based the WBA.”

Mayhew moved away from Charlotte in the mid-1980s and lived in Chapel Hill before settling in Hillsborough. Her book has been well-received in Charlotte. She has enjoyed several “homecoming events” at the local library system and has held readings at book clubs, churches and elsewhere, but she admits that she is not well-received in Claxton, GA, where a violent event takes place in the book.

“I guess that’s understandable, but it still bothers me somewhat,” she says.

What does a typical writing day look like?

“When I’m moved by inspiration, I write for hours. Sometimes I wake in the middle of the night with a character yammering away in my head, and I take notes on a pad I keep on my bedside table. Such scribbling often leads me to develop a scene or a character into something fully fleshed out,” she said.

Mayhew’s next novel, Tomorrow’s Bread, is set in Charlotte in 1961, but it is not a sequel to Dry Grass. “The story is narrated by three characters and the setting is the urban renewal that took place in the early 60s, and resulted in the leveling of an inner city black neighborhood that dated back to Reconstruction,” Mayhew said. “This second novel has required a tremendous amount of research that inspires me. I’ve interviewed several people who lived through those events in Charlotte.”

Mayhew will read at 6:30 p.m. April 10 in Newton. The program, sponsored by Friends of the Library, will include a Q&A and book signing.


ALFA’s Hike For Hope +5K Begins In Hickory On Union Sq., April 12

Hickory - On Saturday, April 12, 2014, ALFA will host it’s annual Hike For Hope and 5K at Union Square in Downtown Hickory. This year’s event is both a 5k race through downtown Hickory and a 1 mile walk down Main Street and around the city. On-Site registration will begin at 11:00 AM and the walk/5K will begin at 1:00 PM. For information or to register online, please visit www.alfahikeforhope.org or call at 828-322-1447, ext. 224.

We are excited to announce that the annual ALFA Hike for Hope event has been moved to Union Square in Hickory, NC, this year! This annual event draws several hundred participants and volunteers and has been held in Burke County for the last several years. We wanted to show off our beautiful downtown area this year and hopefully forge great partnerships with Union Square and downtown businesses to make this the best event ever! Our planning committee has worked diligently to make this years event bigger than ever with exciting music, raffles and giveaways. I hope everyone comes out” said event Chair, Michael Bookout.

ALFA’s fifth annual Hike for Hope +5K benefits ALFA’s HIV/AIDS prevention, detection and medical case management. The fourth annual event, held in April 2013, raised over $24,000 for the agency’s mission. Teams participated from colleges, student groups, medical providers, congregations and social clubs, reflecting a culturally and geographically diverse community.

Goals for the fifth annual Hike for Hope +5k are as follows:

To demonstrate compassion and care for individuals and families living with HIV/AIDS in our service area.

To increase HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention education messages

To raise funding for HIV/AIDS programs.

To increase the visibility of ALFA as an organization and the agency’s mission.

To recruit walkers/runners to participate in Hike for Hope +5k from ALFA’s nine-county service area.

Please come out and Run or Walk for Hope. To form a team, become a sponsor, donate or register, please visit www.alfahikeforhope.org.

ALFA was organized in 1987 as a grassroots effort to provide support services to those affected by HIV/AIDS in Burke County. In 1989, with the help of a United Way Venture Grant, ALFA was established as a not-for-profit AIDS Service Organization (ASO). ALFA serves Alexander, Alleghany, Ashe, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Lincoln, Watauga and Wilkes counties. For more information about ALFA’s services visit www.alfainfo.org.

Shop To Stop Domestic Violence At Amy’s Closet On May 2

Lincolnton, NC - Amy’s Closet is located in WestPointe Shoppes at 751-E North Highway 16 (business). It is a resale shop operated entirely by volunteers and stocked with clean, gently used women’s clothing and accessories donated by the community. The shop also has small household and decorative items. Several local arts and craft vendors have booths and contribute 20% of their proceeds to the cause. Amy’s Closet is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 to 4:30.

Amy’s Closet is the retail outreach for the Lincoln County Coalition Against Domestic Violence, a non-profit organization which operates Amy’s House. All proceeds directly support Amy’s House in its on-going mission of providing a safe place and assistance for women and children displaced by domestic violence and assault. Services include medical care, counseling, court advocacy, assistance with job searches and transitional housing. In a recent year, Amy’s House 24 X 7 hotline answered over 2000 crisis calls, and provided direct assistance to over 600 women and children.

Your purchases at Amy’s Closet help make all that possible!

Many area churches, civic groups and several incredible local businesses across the Lincoln County community have been generous over the decades Amy’s House has provided services and shelter. Amy’s Closet is one more pathway through which you can personally help your neighbors in need – while shopping.

Please join us on Friday, May 2nd, to celebrate a successful year supporting a worthy cause. There will be free barbeque, desserts and drinks (while they last) and an additional 10% discount on already-economical prices.

CCC&TI Hosts 5K Run/Walk And 1 Mile Run Fundraiser; By Apr. 10

Lenoir, NC - Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute's Student Government Association will host a 5K Run/Walk and 1-Mile Fun Run at 8:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 19 on the campus in Hudson.

The course will start in the CCC&TI parking lot in front of F Building, through the Barton Estoy Hayes Trail, around Redwood Park walking trail and finishing with a loop of campus. Pre-registration continues through April 10 with the cost being $10 for CCC&TI students, faculty and staff, $15 for adults, $10 for children 12 and under, and $5 for the 1-mile Fun Run. Day-of registration is $15 for CCC&TI students, faculty and staff, $20 for adults, $15 for children 12 and under, and $5 for the 1-mile Fun Run. All proceeds go to the Foundation to fund scholarships. For a registration form, visit www.cccti.edu/foundation5K or call 828-726-2301.

Free Computer Classes Offered At Catawba Libraries In April

Newton, NC - Local adults can upgrade their computer skills at no cost, thanks to free 90-minute sessions at Catawba County Library.

Pre-registration is required. Sessions on the roster include:

Internet Job Searching— Learn the tricks of the trade when it comes to finding employment through on-line channels. This workshop begins at 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 2 at Conover and again at 2 p.m. Thursday, April 3 at Claremont.

Scrapbooking with Publisher--Learn how graphics functions can help you create eye-catching pages. Class begins at 10 a.m. Friday, April 4 at Southwest.

Resume Building (all day, by appointment)—Free individual instruction on how to best sell yourself on paper. Call ahead for your time slot on Wednesday, April 9 in Conover or 1-4 p.m. only Thursday, April 10 at Claremont.

Intro to Word--See how easy it is to create, store and retrieve documents using this basic program. Offered at 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 9 at St. Stephens.

Intro to Computers— A how-to class for the PC novice who wants to learn the basics. Session starts at 10 a.m. Thursday, April 10 at Newton.

Intro to eBooks— A beginner’s session for navigating through the world of electronic reading. Held 10 a.m. Friday, April 11 at Southwest.

NCLIVE Job Skills—Check out the options available on this gigantic data base that’s free to NC residents. The learning begins at 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 16 in Conover and again at 2 p.m. Thursday, April 17 at Claremont.

Browsing NC LIVE—Get oriented to this awesome on-line data base to view videos and artwork, do family research, locate articles and much more. This sessions will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 23 at Newton.

Intro to Windows 8 Tablets—The Windows 8 platform has been optimized for tablet devices. See how it can best be used in the class beginning at 10 a.m. Thursday, April 24 at Newton.

Appy Hours: Apps for Recipes—Become acquainted with shortcuts to great recipes on the web. Be ready to learn at 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 23 at Conover and 2 p.m. Thursday, April 24 at Claremont.

Learning Express NC LIVE-- Tap into this data base offering practice tests for the GED, SAT and more computer skill building. Session scheduled at 10 a.m. Wednesday, April 30 at St. Stephens.

iPad for Beginners-- See how to use your Apple tablet to access email, the web and more. Scheduled at 10 a.m. Wednesday April 30 at Conover.

To sign up, contact the appropriate location: Conover, 466-5108; Newton, 465-7938; Southwest, 466-6818; St. Stephens, 466-6821.

Run Of The Mill 5K Charity Cross Country Run/Walk On April 12

Hickory - Catawba Valley Community College’s CRU Service Club will hold its annual "Run of the Mill" 5K Run/Walk on Sat., April 12, at historic Murray's Mill in the town of Catawba.

Proceeds from this year’s race will go to Housing Visions Continuum of Care in Catawba County.

Check in begins at 8 a.m. The event begins at 9 a.m. rain or shine. Both runners and walkers are welcome.

Registration through April 4 is $25 for adults; $10 for runners age 14 and under. After April 4, registration is $30 for adults; and $15 for runners age 14 and under.

For registration and details on awards for various age groups, visit www.runsignup.com. For more information, send an email to raceinfo@cvcc.edu.

Newton Offers Citizens Police Academy; Register By April 14

Newton, NC – Residents of Newton are invited and encouraged to register for the City of Newton’s Citizens Police Academy.

The program will run from 6 to 8 p.m. for seven consecutive Thursdays beginning April 29 and ending June 10.

“We’re pleased to offer this citizens police academy once again,” Police Chief Don Brown said. “It’s an opportunity for our citizens to go ‘behind the scenes’ and learn what’s involved in the day-to-day for police officers.”

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

The session dates and topics are:

• April 29 – Introduction (Chief Don Brown, Major Tim Hayes, Capt. Michael Sullivan and Lt. David Sigmon)

• May 6 – Support Services (Major Tim Hayes)

• May 13 – Patrol Duties (Sgt. Dan Harris)

• May 20 – Investigations and Narcotics (Sgt. Spencer Cline and Sgt. Curt Smithey)

• May 27 – Animal Control and Code Enforcement (Officer Jeff Miller and Officer Jon Raines)

• June 3 – Firearms (Capt. Michael Sullivan)

• June 10 – Graduation

All sessions will take place at the police training complex at 2427 North Ashe Avenue. Upon completion of the course, students may ride along with an officer for a total of eight hours. Registration is required by April 14 to participate.

For more information or to register, contact Capt. Michael Sullivan at 828-695-4292 or 828-465-7430.

Lincolnton Lions Sponsor Four Scholarships; Apply By April 25

Lincolnton, NC - Calling all 2014 graduating seniors  @ East  Lincoln, North Lincoln, Lincolnton, West Lincoln High School. Are you a legal resident of Lincoln County and the United States of America? Are you planning to further your education  an accredited  college or university?   If you answered yes to these questions, you are encouraged to  school guidance counselor regarding scholarship opportunities.  

As the only Lions Club serving the residents of Lincoln County, the Lincolnton Lions Club has developed one  $500  college scholarships to be awarded at each of our county’s public high school scholarship/awards banquet. Scholarships will be awarded based on applicants  academic achievement, scholastic aptitude, financial need, volunteer service. Applicants are required to submit a completed application, high school transcript, two reference letters, and write an original theme on Volunteerism.

Applications for a 2014 Lincolnton Lions Club College Scholarship maybe secured from any of the 4 Lincoln County Public High School’s Guidance Counselor. Deadline for submitting application is April 25, 2014. 

Former Miss America Speaks On Abuse Recovery; By April 10

Conover, NC - Marilyn Van DerBur, a former Miss America, will talk about her recovery from childhood incest at an event sponsored by the Children's Advocacy & Protection Center of Catawba County.

The CAPC event will be held at 6-8 p.m. April 28 at the Hickory Crowne Plaza. Tickets are $50 each and may be purchased from the CAPC. April 10 is the deadline for purchasing tickets.

After being crowned Miss America, Marilyn returned to the University of Colorado and graduated Phi Beta Kappa. After graduation, she moved to New York City, where she was the television spokeswoman for AT&T. She also hosted several television shows.

She became a motivational speaker in her early 20s. By her mid-30s, she had been chosen "The Outstanding Woman Speaker in America" by the National Speakers Association.

When Marilyn was 39 years old, she began to experience episodes of physical paralysis. After doctors could find nothing physically wrong, she came to realize that her problem was being triggered by the memories of how her father had sexually abused her from age 5 to 18. Marilyn's daughter, Jennifer, had just turned 5, apparently triggering the repressed feelings. Marilyn continued to struggle with these episodes for 12 years, from age 39 to 51.

Marilyn Van DerBur

At age 51, Marilyn resolved to help others through the recovery process. However, she felt so much shame that she believed her life would be over if people knew she was an incest survivor. She and her family funded an adult survivor program, but only on condition that her identity would never be disclosed. But The Denver Post found out about her story and published a front-page article. Within weeks, more than 3,000 men and women in the greater Denver area came forward for help and support.

Marilyn began to speak out about the problem, appearing on the cover of People magazine and testifying at Congressional hearings. She has since spoken to a variety of audiences about this problem. Her book, "Miss America by Day," tells her story. It won the Writer's Digest national book competition in the Most Inspirational Book category.
Marilyn is also featured in a video used in the Darkness to Light: Stewards of Children training program that the CAPC is offering in this area.

Tickets to the April 28 CAPC event are $50 each and include dinner. A table of eight can be sponsored and reserved for $750. Table sponsors will receive recognition. To reserve your tickets, mail a check payable to CAPC to 1007 First Avenue South, Conover, NC 28613. Checks must be received by April 10 to confirm your reservation. You may also call 828-465-7664 for more information.

Also at this event, the local winner of the Hancock-Settlemyre Award will be announced. This award has been presented since 1980 to recognize an individual, community group or business that has worked to enhance the quality of family life, reduce family stress, and reduce the likelihood of child abuse and neglect. The award is named in honor of Dr. Millie Hancock Schumpert, former Hickory physician, and Jean Settlemyre Tashman, former administrator of Frye Regional Medical Center. Hancock and Settlemyre, along with other community volunteers, initiated the original Task Force for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect in 1976.

The CAPC also offers the free Darkness to Light training to help adults in the community learn to prevent and respond appropriately to child sexual abuse. To sign a group up for this crucial training or to register as an individual interested in participating in the next open class, please contact Kate Landry via email at klandry@catawbacountync.gov.

Donations and volunteers are needed to help the CAPC continue its mission. For more information, go to www.catawbacountycapc.org or call 828-465-9296.

Newton Library Hosts NC Author On April 10

Newton, NC - North Carolina novelist Anna Jean Mayhew will appear on April 10 to discuss her first novel, The Dry Grass of August that won the Sir Walter Raleigh Award in 2011. Mayhew, a Charlotte native, has received accolades from Book Page, Bookwatch, Publishers Weekly and elsewhere. Her work appeals to both adults and young adults.

The author will read at 6:30 p.m. that Thursday in the auditorium at the Main Library in Newton, 115 W. C St. The public is cordially invited.

Mayhew’s book depicts Southern life in the 1950s, at the height of segregation and what the situation means for a young white girl, Jubie Watts of Charlotte, and for the woman who means the world to her—the family’s black maid, Mary Luther. When the family takes Mary with them on a trip further south, a shocking turn of events leads to tragedy. Jubie must confront her parents’ failings and limitations and decide for herself where her convictions lie.

The coming-of-age story has been compared to the classic To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. It’s written as well in the vein of Kathryn Stockett’s The Help and Minrose Gwin’s touching novel, The Queen of Palmyra. All of these books and more are available for checkout from the Catawba County Library.

Catawba Valley Walk to Cure Diabetes On April 12

Hickory – HSM and its employees are joining area companies and residents in the annual JDRF Catawba Valley Walk to Cure Diabetes on April 12 in Hickory, N.C. As a presenting sponsor of the event, the Hickory-based manufacturer is doing its part to help the JDRF Greater Western Carolinas Chapter raise $140,000 for type 1 diabetes research. The annual event gets underway with registration at 8:30 a.m. in front of the Rhyne Building on the campus of Lenoir-Rhyne University. Light snacks will be available as well as music provided by radio station KICKS 103.3 WKVS and radio personality Davy Crockett. The 5K walk begins at 9:30, winds through the college campus and concludes with Subway sandwiches, drinks, music and other festivities.

“The event itself is free,” explained Dwayne Welch, walk chair and HSM executive vice president and chief marketing and innovation officer. “But we’re encouraging our employees as well as other businesses and community members to participate in the walk and help raise both awareness and money for JDRF research.”

To learn more about the walk and how you can participate, contact Sarah Cunningham at 704-561-0828 or Dwayne Welch at 828-328-2201. To join an HSM team or make a donation, visit http://www2.jdrf.org/site/TR?team_id=142717&fr_id=3298&pg=team.

Newton Police Offering Free Pet Spay/Neuter Vouchers

Newton, NC – The Newton Police Department is now offering free pet spaying or neutering vouchers to financially qualified city residents living within the corporate city limits.

The voucher is good for a spaying or neutering of a cat or dog at Startown Veterinary Hospital and for a rabies vaccination if the pet is not up-to-date with the vaccination.

City residents may request a voucher in person at the police department or may request one by phone. An animal control officer will verify in person the resident’s qualifications and assess the condition of the pet prior to distributing the voucher. Anyone who requests a voucher will need to provide an ID to validate his or her address.

A limited number of vouchers are available on a first come, first served basis.

For more information, contact Animal Control Officer Jeff Miller at 465-7430 or jmiller@newtonnc.gov between the hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

CRC: Apply For Human Relations Awards By April 30

Hickory – The City of Hickory Community Relations Council (CRC) is currently accepting applications for the 2014 Human Relations Awards.

The annual Human Relations Awards are designed to recognize any individual, youth, or organization/business that has gone “above and beyond” in promoting good human relations in the City of Hickory.

“The CRC’s main goal is to promote positive relationships within our community through dialogue, education, programs, and resources, and to promote diversity and tolerance of others throughout the Hickory community,” said Neal Orgain, Chair of the CRC. “These annual awards showcase individuals and organizations within the community who exemplify this goal.”

The community is encouraged to nominate individuals or businesses who meet and excel in the mission of the CRC of promoting positive human relation in the City of Hickory and beyond.

Nominees need to be currently involved in promoting human relations within the City of Hickory.

Nominee applications are available under Boards and Commissions on HickoryNC.gov.

Completed applications are due to the Hickory CRC by Tuesday, April 30. Completed nomination forms should be sent to: ATTN: Captain Thurman Whisnant, 347 2nd Avenue, SW, Hickory, NC 28602 or email to twhisnant@hickorync.gov

CVCC Hosts Free Business And Enterprise Activities In April

Hickory - Catawba Valley Community College’s Business Programs will host its second annual Business & Enterprise Month in April. Numerous seminars, tours of CVCC business programs and the Shark Tank competition will take place throughout the month.

Activities include:

• Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour featuring E.J. Carrion, Wed., April 2, 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., CVCC Student Center.
• A screening of the film “The Entrepreneur” on Thursday, April 24, at 7 pm., at the Carolina Theater in partnership with The Footcandle Film Society. Visit sbc.cvcc.edu for more details.

• Shark Tank finalist presentations Tues., April 29, 5th floor of the Dunbar Bldg.

• Eight seminars conducted by the CVCC Small Business Center at no charge to help guide those who want to start or grow a business.

Visit sbc.cvcc.edu for detailed descriptions of programs offered.

These events are open to the public and no fees are charged. Contact Jeff Neuville, CVCC Small Business Center Director, ext. 4102 or Gary Muller, head of CVCCs Business Programs, 828-327-7000, ext. 4672.

Newton Library: Midsummer Night Events April 12

Newton, NC - A Midsummer Night’s Dream is this spring’s regional read, for Catawba County and Hickory Public library systems. We’ve partnered with other area library systems for Whole Lotta Shakespeare Goin’ On, focusing on the works of William Shakespeare.

Believed to have been written between 1590 and 1596, the beloved comedy portrays the events surrounding the marriage of the Duke of Athens, Theseus and Hippolyta. These include the adventures of four young Athenian lovers and a group of six amateur actors, who are controlled and manipulated by the fairies inhabiting the forest in which most of the play is set. The play is one of Shakespeare's most popular works for the stage and is widely performed across the world.

Noted speaker Elliott Engel will discuss “William before He Was Shakespeare,” at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 1, at Main Library in Newton. Green Bean Players, a local theatrical group, will perform selected scenes on at 1 p.m. Saturday, April 12 at Southside Park in Newton and again at 4 p.m. that Saturday at Patrick Beaver Memorial Library in Hickory.

All Shakespeare events are free and open to the public.

Over time, the play has inspired literary knockoffs as well as musicals, ballets, movies and TV productions.

Today’s readers, as in the past, will embrace the time-tested themes of love and loss of individual identity. Others may be amazed at some others that appear a bit modern for the 16th century: feminism and ambiguous sexuality.

Whole Lotta Shakespeare Goin’ On celebrates the joy of reading and William Shakespeare’s impact on perception of the human condition. The project strives to promote the power of books and the importance of literature, supporting the library’s mission to foster lifelong learning and cultural appreciation.

Other library systems participating in the project are Caldwell, Cleveland, Gaston, Hickory, Kings Mountain, Lincoln and Polk. Each will focus on a selected work of Shakespeare.

Free pass-along copies of the play area available at the library while supplies last. For more information about the project, contact your local library visit on-line: www.catawbacountync.gov/library

Caldwell Arts Council Hosts Month Of Parties In April

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.

Building on the success of last year’s debut of the April Food and Fools event, the Caldwell Arts Council continues the month-long annual fundraiser again in 2014.

This year’s events include 10 “April Food” parties hosted by individuals throughout Caldwell County, culminating in the “April Fools” event on May 1 when nationally known comedians will perform in downtown Lenoir.

“Last year’s April Food and Fools events were so well received that we focused our efforts this year on growing and improving it,” said Lee Carol Giduz, Executive Director of the Caldwell Arts Council.

“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 with an evening of laughs at our comedy event. Each of the parties and the comedy night are a guaranteed good time.”

About the pARTies:

Thursday April 10, 5:30-8pm – “Arty Party-One Stroke Painting & Southern Comforts” – Learn some of the techniques of “One Stroke Painting” with certified instructor Cathy McCoy, and create your own original artwork at the Caldwell Arts Council; a tasty dinner from Southern Comforts is included, $45/person, limit 8.

Saturday April 12, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. – “Arty Party-Make HeARTsy Gifts” – Join book artist Sigrid Hice in creating a heart-shaped accordion book and a ‘secret room’ book, collage their pages with beautiful decorated papers and fill with your own photos, poetry and creativity. Snacks & beverages included; $25/person, limit 8.

Thursday April 24, 5:30 p.m.-8 p.m. – “Arty Party-Mystic Papers” Join national workshop instructor Cathy Taylor at the Caldwell Arts Council for an evening of creative fun with marbled, swirled papers, stencils and ink. Leave with a frame-able work of art. Wine and yummy appetizers included; $45/person, limit 10.

Thursday April 24, 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. – “A Rooftop Kentucky Sunset” – Dive into an appreciation of Kentucky straight bourbon with this special tasting and socialization at the “Penthouse of Lenoir” (on the rooftop of 1841 Café in downtown Lenoir). With a combination of top shelf bourbons, bourbon-inspired hors d’oeuvres, and a view of the Lenoir skyline, you’ll relax in the glow of a spring sunset and the glow of a bourbon warmth. $40/person, limit 15.

Saturday April 26, 4 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. – “Make Your Cheese and Eat It Too!” – Learn to make fresh delicious mozzarella, and make your own pizza in Dawn & Steve Mathews’ new cob oven. Baby goats will make an appearance, so wear your farm clothes! $25/person, limit 12 (20 if weather permits an outdoor setting).

Saturday April 26, 7 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. – “A Hollywood Oscar Martini Party” – Enjoy an evening of glitz and glamour, at the Irish Rose Bed & Breakfast. Heavy hors d’oeuvres and adult beverages; $45/person, limit 30.

All parties require a reservation and prepayment before the event.

All proceeds benefit the Caldwell Arts Council. To RSVP for one or more parties, or purchase tickets for the comedy night event, please call 828-754-2486.

Hickory Hops Features More Than 55 Micro-Breweries, Apr. 26

Hickory - Hickory Hops celebrates craft beer during NC Beer Month. More than 55 micro-breweries from the coast to the mountains gather on Saturday, April 26, 2014, 1-7pm, at the historic train station in Downtown Hickory.

Brewers competing in the Carolinas Championship of Beers serve their award-winning brews during the 12th annual Hops festival hosted by the Olde Hickory Brewery and Hickory Downtown Development Association.

Visit www.hickoryhops.com for ticket information for tasters and designated drivers. Live music all day. Visit www.hickorymetro.com for hotel accommodations. Enjoy responsibly by asking the reservation representative about hotel shuttle service to Hickory Hops. Make your destination Downtown Hickory on April 26 for Hickory Hops.

CSC Opens Body Carnival: The Science & Fun of Being You

Hickory - Open now, visitors to Catawba Science Center will be immersed in the wonders of the human body. This exhibition will inform and educate children and their families about the human body. Body Carnival: The Science and Fun of Being You will be segmented into six areas with important lessons for children and their parents on issues dealing with dental hygiene, physical abilities, vision and equilibrium, circulatory systems and heart disease and many more areas.

The six areas will focus on body exploration, body invasion, reproduction, dental hygiene, physical challenge, and the “doctor’s office.”

Body Exploration invites children to climb through a blood vessel and hear the sound of a human heart. Transparent human figures will allow children and their families to see human organs and their placement within the body.

The Doctor’s office challenges children to use their senses to feel music, understand how to blend light to make different colors, combine vision and the inner ear to walk a straight line, and walk a balance beam. Other hands-on activities simulate experiences of individuals who do not have full use of the human senses.

Body Invasion introduces the visitor to human allergies, their causes, and what can be done to support a person who is faced with these challenges.

Visitors will have the option of entering a special section on Human Reproduction. This exhibit includes models of the miracle of the development of a human baby in its mother’s womb. The exhibit opens the door for parents to talk to their children about the “birds and bees” on a level they feel is appropriate.

The Dental Hygiene area takes us into a younger child’s arena where he can walk inside a set of teeth, practice cleaning the teeth with an oversize toothbrush and slide down a tongue sliding board.

The Physical Challenge engages children in activities like Think Fast, Hang time and Walk the Plank.

CSC plans numerous hands-on science activities in conjunction with Body Carnival: The Science and Fun of Being You. Activities include new Body Carnival science demonstrations, weekly dissection classes, NC Science Festival Science Expo at Catawba Science Center and a blood drive.

HANDS-ON SCIENCE ACTIVITIES

Every Tuesday at 4 PM through May 27
Inside Investigations: Dissection Classes at Catawba Science Center
Participants will have an opportunity to dissect sheep brains, kidneys, frogs and much more!
Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM – April 4, 2014:
Catawba Valley Astronomy Club Daytime Star Party – Free Admission
Learn the proper techniques to for solar observation and take part in numerous activities.
Saturday from 2 to 6 PM - April 4, 2014:
NC Science Festival Expo at Catawba Science Center – Free Admission
Meet local science professionals take part in 10 inquiry based learning stations.
Saturday from 11 AM to 1 PM – May 3, 2014
Community Blood Center of the Carolinas Blood Drive
Visitors who donate blood will receive two free admission passes to CSC.

Thanks the generous support of Carolina Ear, Nose, Throat, Head and Neck Surgery Center, Catawba Valley Medical Center, Frye Regional Medical Center, GREER® Laboratories, Inc. and an independent educational grant from Mylan Specialty, Body Carnival: The Science and Fun of Being You is included in CSC’s General Admission rates and admission is always free for CSC Members. For more information about Catawba Science Center’s latest exhibits, events, programs and membership visit www.CatawbaScience.org or call 828/322-8169.

Catawba Science Center is a nonprofit science and technology museum serving NC’s western Piedmont region. Special attractions including temporary exhibits, a digital planetarium theater and a marine touch pool with live sharks and stingrays. A community asset and regional destination, Catawba Science Center is dedicated to changing lives and inspiring learning through science and wonder. Learn more at www.CatawbaScience.org.

CSC is funded in part by the United Arts Fund of Catawba County and the NC Grassroots Science Museums Collaborative. CSC is located in the Arts and Science Center of Catawba Valley, on the SALT Block, 243 3rd Avenue NE, Hickory.

Tickets On Sale For Three Shows At The Green Room

Newton, NC - The Green Room Community Theatre is pleased to announce three upcoming shows for the young and the young at heart. The musical Miss Nelson Is Missing plays March 7 – 16. Next up is a weekend of One Acts called Children for Dinner playing March 27 – 30. The classic fairy tale The Frog Prince finishes out the trio April 4 – 13. Box Office for all three shows opens to the public Friday, February 28, 1014.

Miss Nelson Is Missing is based on the popular children’s book by Harry Allard and James Marshall. With music and lyrics by Joan Cushing, this is a delightful retelling of the book. Students who just won’t listen push the gentle, long-suffering Miss Nelson over the edge. The students are in for a surprise when Miss Nelson turns up missing and is replaced by Viola Swamp, a scary substitute teacher who assigns terrible homework and wields her ruler like a sword. Can the children find Miss Nelson and bring her back?

Miss Nelson Is Missing is directed by Robby Fulton-Hofelich. Performance dates are March 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, & 16, 2014. Friday and Saturday shows are at 7:00 pm and Sunday shows are at 3:00 pm. Ticket prices are $16 for Adults, $14 for Seniors and Students, and $8 for children age 12 and under. This show is rated G.

Children for Dinner is a collaboration between The Green Room’s own Green Bean Players and three area high schools: Bandys, Bunker Hill, and Fred T. Foard. This multicultural festival will bring four One Act plays, each from a different country, to life on stage depicting clever children who must use their brains to get out of some pretty sticky situations and avoid being the main course. (Think Hansel and Gretel.) Show dates are March 27, 28, & 29, at 7:00 pm and March 30 at 3:00 pm. This show is rated G.

Children for Dinner is supported by 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. Tickets for this production are only $6 at the door. No reservations are required, and seating is general admission.

The Frog Prince is the story of a selfish princess who loses her golden ball. She strikes a deal with a frog but gets a lot more than she bargained for! It is a timeless tale of inner beauty, being true to your word, and unexpected friendships. Based on the fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm, this production is directed by Sara Lane and adapted to the stage by Dalton Isaac and Sara Lane.

The Frog Prince is produced by The Light Place and Once Upon A Time Books and plays April 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, & 13, 2014. Friday and Saturday shows are at 7:00 pm and Sunday shows are at 3:00 pm. Ticket prices are $16 for Adults, $14 for Seniors and Students, and $8 for children age 12 and under. This show is rated G.

Tickets for these shows go on sale to the public on Friday, February 28, and can be purchased by calling (828) 464-6128 starting on that date. The box office will then be opened Wednesdays through Fridays from 10:00 am – 5:30 pm. All ticket prices include North Carolina sales tax.

If you have any questions, please call The Green Room Community Theatre main office at (828) 464-6583 or visit our website: www.the-green-room.org.

The Green Room Community Theatre is a funded affiliate of the United Arts Council of Catawba County.

Photo: Cast of Miss Nelson Is Missing. Photo by The Green Room.

Get Free Tax Help At The Library On Tuesdays Through April 15

Newton, NC - If you’d like some free help to prepare your tax return, you’ll need to make an appointment.

AARP tax volunteers will be on hand Tuesday mornings at Main Library in Newton. Hours are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., but residents must first make an appointment by calling 828-333-4240 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays.

Due to the volume of requests, walk-ins are not accepted.The AARP tax service will continue on Tuesdays through April 15.

Federal tax forms 1040, 1040A and 1040EZ forms are available at Main Library in Newton as well as branches in Conover, Claremont, Maiden, Sherrills Ford, St. Stephens and Southwest (Mountain View).

Specialized tax forms from the IRS website may be copied at the library for 10 cents per sheet.

Art Class Offered For Ages 6-14, Feb. 5 Through May 14

Valdese, NC - Art Class offered for ages 6-14. Sponsored by the Rock School Arts Foundation. February 5 through May 14. The class is open to Ages 6-14 and will be held at Studio 101 - Old Rock School, 3:30pm-5pm on Wednesdays.

The class is taught by Heidi Thompson. Tuition is $20 per month, regardless of Holidays or partial months. All materials are included. To enroll please call 828-879-2129 or email Rock School Arts Director Elizabeth Furr at efurr@charter.net

 Rock School Art Galleries I & II will be closed January 8-February 28 for renovations. Visit the Galleries on March 9 - April 17 to view the work of Jackie Deaton, Lucy Folger, Joann Wilfong, and Barry Huffman. www.visitvaldese.com, www.townofvaldese.com

Volunteers Needed To Deliver Meals On Wheels

Claremont, NC - There is an urgent need for volunteers to deliver meals to homebound senior citizens in the Claremont-Catawba area of Catawba County.

Volunteers pick up the meals at Bethlehem United Methodist Church-Claremont between 10:50 and 11:15 am Monday through Thursday. You can volunteer as little as one hour a month and make a difference in the life of a senior citizen.

Volunteers are also needed to deliver meals in the East Hickory, West Hickory, Maiden and Newton areas. For details about how you can help, contact Vickie Redden, volunteer coordinator of Catawba County Meals on Wheels, at 695-5610.

For more information about these programs, and how you can help, go to www.catawbacountync.gov/dss/adult/nutrition.asp or find the Meals on Wheels of Catawba County program on Facebook at www.facebook.com/#!/MealsOnWheelsOfCatawbaCounty.

How To Get Your Event In Focus

Email a press release for your non-profit event, fundraiser, festival or other community event to focusnews@centurylink.net. Please include your contact information along with the name of your event, who it benefits, what it features, when the event will take place, and the cost of attending. Please send a text document, not a pdf or jpeg of text information.

Also, please put the name of the event in the subject line of your email. We look forward to hearing from you.

Catawba County Library Offers Free eBooks For Kids

Hickory - Tumblebooks make a great way to keep kids engaged with books over the holidays or anytime.Tumblebooks are on-line eBooks for kids, and are accessible free through the Catawba County Library website. Kids in grades K-6 enjoy animated talking picture books, chapter books, graphic novels, math stories, videos, nonfiction titles, playlists, books in other languages and more. More than 1,000 titles are available.

Find Tumblebooks at http://www.catawbacountylibrary.gov/library and click on the “E-resources” tab.

Tumblebooks can be viewed simply by clicking the blue logo on the left side of the kids’ web page. For more information about this and other services for kids and youth, contact Youth Services at 465-8668.

Lions Club Recycles For Sight; Donate Glasses & Hearing Aids

Lincolnton, NC - Do you have unwanted recyclable eyeglasses and hearing aids in your dresser drawers, closet, attic, or basement? But don’t know what to do with them.

Throughout the year, the Lincolnton Lions Club collects used prescription eyeglasses and prescription and non-prescription sunglasses and unwanted workable hearing aids as part of a unique recycling program. The collected glasses will be cleaned and prepared for distribution in developing countries where eye care is often unaffordable and inaccessible. Prescription and non-prescription children and adult sunglasses are desperately needed in countries located close to the Equator.

“We need everyone to donate their used eyeglasses. We have noticed a recent shortage in used children eyeglasses lately, ” said Fay Poovey, Denver resident and President of the Lincolnton Lions Club. “ Unfortunately, due to state and federal public health laws, used eyeglasses can not be reused in the USA. Instead, all eyeglasses collected will be cleaned and prepared for distribution in developing countries where eye care is often unaffordable and inaccessible” emphasized Poovey.

The donated glasses will be shipped to a regional Lions Eyeglass Recycling Center where they will be cleaned, categorized by prescription and prepared for distribution by Lions and other groups. To donate used glasses (including sunglasses and reading glasses), place them in the specially marked Lions Recycle For Sight collection boxes located at in Lincolnton, and Denver.

Optometrist, Ophthalmologist, and Vision Care Offices
Advance Family Eye Care- 7547 Water Loop Road ( Denver)
Carolina Eye Care- 231 North General’s Blvd. ( Lincolnton) or 324 North Highway 16 (Denver)
Lincoln Eye Center- 110 Doctor’s Park ( Lincolnton)
Graystone Ophthalmologist- 2311 East Main Street ( Lincolnton)
Super Wal-Mart Vision Center- ( Lincolnton location)
Funeral Homes
EF Drum Funeral Home- 210 North Academy Street ( Lincolnton)
Warlick Funeral Home- 125 Dave Warlick Drive ( Lincolnton)
Government & Non-Profit Agencies
Lincolnton Lions Club Eyeglasses Recycling News Release
Lincoln County Senior Center- 2nd Floor- Gaston College- Lincoln Campus- 511 South Aspen Street ( Lincolnton)
Good Neighbor’s Shop- 118 South Academy Street ( Lincolnton)

Lions Clubs International is the world’s largest coeducational service club organization with more than 1.3 million members in approximately 45,000 clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas around the world.

Since 1917, Lions clubs have aided the blind and visually impaired and made a strong commitment to community service and serving youth throughout the world.

Lions clubs are a group of men and women who identify needs within the community and work together to fulfill those needs. For more information about Lions Club International visit our website at www.lionsclubs.org. If you are interesting in learning more about the Lincolnton Lions Club, please call Lion Robert Tomlinson @ 704-735-8514.

Newton Senior Citizens Club Open To New Members

Newton, NC - Are you a senior citizen and looking for more to do in the area? Join the Newton Senior Citizens Club, and you’ll always have a full schedule. The club meets on the second Thursday of each month at the Newton Recreation Center, 23 S. Brady Ave., for good fellowship, an entertaining or educational program and a covered dish luncheon.

There are special events throughout the year such as Seniors Nigh Out, a picnic in the park, ice cream socials and trips. For further information, call Club President J. T. Sheets at (828) 465-5915.

Agency Helps 500 Homeowners Avoid Foreclosure

Hickory - In October 2010 the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency (NCHFA) launched a new mortgage assistance program funded through the U.S. Department of Treasury’s Hardest Hit Fund. NCHFA received $482.8 million with hopes of assisting 21,000 NC homeowners during a three-to-five-year period. The primary program offered through NCHFA’s North Carolina Foreclosure Prevention Fund is called the Mortgage Payment Program (MPP).

Through the Mortgage Payment Program homeowners can receive mortgage assistance if they have lost their job due to no fault of their own or have experienced one of the program-eligible hardships – death, divorce/separation, or illness.

Those homeowners who meet the program criteria can receive assistance for mortgage-related expenses – mortgage payments, taxes, homeowner’s insurance and homeowner association fees – through a zero-interest, deferred loan. Depending on whether the homeowner is searching for work or attending school for retraining the assistance varies from 18 to 36 months with a maximum of $36,000 available for qualified recipients.

If the homeowner continues to live in the home for 10 years after receiving assistance, the loan will be considered satisfied and no repayment will be due.

Western Piedmont Council of Governments (WPCOG) was one of the three pilot agencies for the Mortgage Payment Program. As of July 2013, the agency has assisted 500 clients, primarily in its four-county region – Alexander, Burke, Caldwell and Catawba.

The program is expected to continue offering funding through December 2014.

On July 23, 2013, WPCOG hosted a celebration marking this milestone. The event was held at the WPCOG Administrative Offices. Speakers included A. Robert Kucab, executive director of the N.C. Housing Finance Agency, Sherry Long, WPCOG Community Development Director, and a few homeowners who have been assisted by the program.

For more information about the Mortgage Payment Program, please contact WPCOG at 828.485.4268.

Cribbage Club Invites New Players To Tuesday Night Games

Hickory - The Hickory Cribbage club “The CRIBBADIERS” is inviting new players to join our weekly tournaments of friendly competition.

The club plays at 6:30 p.m. each Tuesday at Pinecrest Senior Living Community located at 915 29th Ave NE Hickory, NC 28601.

The CRIBBADIERS are a Grass Roots charter of a nationwide network of local cribbage clubs under the overall direction of the American Cribbage Congress. The format is a nine game round robin against nine different players.

Cribbage is a two-handed card game invented in 1609 by Sir John Suckling, an English knight, poet, and playwright.

Members are willing to teach the game to newcomers or to help former players get back into the swing.

For more information call Carole or Dennis at 828-396-2165 Reising@embarqmail.com.

HSCC Is Looking For In-Home Heroes To Foster Animals

Hickory - Humane Society of Catawba County is looking for people interested in fostering homeless animals.

Fostering is often necessary when animals need a little more time and TLC prior to adoption; for example, mothers with nursing litters, orphaned litters, and shy animals that need extra socializing.

HSCC will provide everything you need; the foster family will only need to bring the animal to the shelter occasionally for medical check-ups.

The time commitment and selected animal(s) are entirely based on what is convenient for the foster family

If you are interested in opening up your home and heart by becoming an in-home hero contact HSCC for more information, 828-464-8878, Monday through Saturday, noon-6:00pm or email cheryl@catawbahumane.org.

Health-Care Pro Discusses The Many Warning

Signs And How To Spot A Victim Of Domestic Violence

In the United States, women are assaulted or beaten once every nine seconds; worldwide, one in three women have been battered, raped or otherwise abused in her lifetime, according to women’s advocacy organizations.

“That means most of us – while grocery shopping, at work or at home – come across several women a day who have either been abused, or are currently enduring abuse,” says Linda O’Dochartaigh, a health professional and author of Peregrine (www.lavanderkatbooks.com). “It’s a terrible fact of life for too many women, but if there is something we can do about it and we care about fellow human beings, then we must try.”

There are several abuse resources available to women who are being abused, or friends of women who need advice, including:

www.TheHotline.org, National Domestic Violence Hotline, open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, 1-800-799-SAFE (7223)

www.HelpGuide.org, provides unbiased, advertising-free mental health information to give people the self-help options to help people understand, prevent, and resolve life’s challenges

www.VineLink.com, allows women to search for an offender in custody by name or identification number, then register to be alerted if the offender is released, transferred, or escapes

www.DAHMW.org, 1-888-7HELPLINE, offers crisis intervention and support services for victims of intimate partner violence and their families

Perhaps the best thing friends and family can do for a woman enduring domestic abuse is to be there for her – not only as a sympathetic ear, but also as a source of common sense that encourages her to take protective measures, O’Dochartaigh says. Before that, however, loved ones need to recognize that help is needed.

Linda O’Dochartaigh reviews some of the warning signs:

• Clothing – Take notice of a change in clothing style or unusual fashion choices that would allow marks or bruises to be easily hidden. For instance, someone who wears long sleeves even in the dog days of summer may be trying to hide signs of abuse.

• Constant phone calls – Many abusers are very controlling and suspicious, so they will call their victims multiple times each day to “check in.” This is a subtle way of manipulating their victims, to make them fearful of uttering a stray word that might alert someone that something is wrong. Many abusers are also jealous, and suspect their partner is cheating on them, and the constant calls are a way of making sure they aren’t with anyone they aren’t supposed to be around.

• Unaccountable injuries – Sometimes, obvious injuries such as arm bruises or black eyes are a way to show outward domination over the victim. Other times, abusers harm areas of the body that won’t be seen by family, friends and coworkers.

• Frequent absences – Often missing work or school and other last-minute plan changes may be a woman hiding abuse, especially if she is otherwise reliable.

• Excessive guilt & culpability – Taking the blame for things that go wrong, even though she was clearly not the person responsible – or she is overly-emotional for her involvement – is a red flag.

• Fear of conflict – Being brow-beaten or physically beaten takes a heavy psychological toll, and anxiety bleeds into other relationships.

• Chronic uncertainty – Abusers often dominate every phase of a victim’s life, including what she thinks she likes, so making basic decisions can prove challenging.

Linda O’Dochartaigh has worked in health care is an advocate for victims of child abuse and domestic violence. She wants survivors to know that an enriched, stable and happy life is available to them. O’Dochartaigh is the mother of three grown children and is raising four adopted grandchildren.

Family Finders Helps Foster Kids Connect With Extended Family

Hickory - “Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in,” wrote poet Robert Frost.

But many foster children and youths have lost that type of family support system. Sid Daniels, who works with the Family Finding Program in Catawba County, will tell you that foster children are often very lonely because they have lost contact with their extended family. The longer they are in foster care, the more likely this is to happen. It’s his job to change that reality.

“We don’t want a kid feeling lonely — where the only people in their life are the ones that get paid to be there,” he said. Staff members go home at the end of their shift. Family members can form a lifelong bond. The Family Finding Program in Catawba County is a partnership between the Children's Home Society of North Carolina and Catawba County Social Services. Family Finders is a national program, developed by Kevin Campbell, that has shown strong results in many states.

Daniels' job as a Family Finder is part detective, part negotiator and part counselor. He first has to identify and contact family members who have lost their connection to the foster child. These could include grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins, as well as parents and step-parents.

After he identifies these relatives, he tries to gauge their interest in reconnecting with the child in foster care. If they express an interest, he invites them to a couple of meetings. At the first one, he shows them a “video journal” of the young person talking about themselves and what they want in life. They discuss how the relatives may play a role in the child’s future.

Sid Daniels

In some cases, the relatives want to resume the relationship they had before, such as talking with the child on the phone, writing them letters, or visiting with them. In other cases, they might be willing to adopt the child if they cannot be reunited with their parents.
Then the process moves to planning how the relationship might be resumed. If a relative wishes to adopt or become the guardian of the child, he or she must undergo an evaluation process.

It is important to wrap the child in a network of family supporters who are willing to assist them, Daniels said. The goal is to find as many relatives as possible who are willing to participate in the process. Catawba County was one of the first counties in North Carolina to pilot Family Finding, beginning in 2008. Now it has fully embraced the model.

Daniels joined the team last fall. The process can be time consuming, but it is usually completed in three to five months, he said. “The ownership is on the family,” he said. “What do they want to do?”

Catawba County Social Services hopes that reuniting foster children with their relatives can produce a brighter future. Foster children usually age out of care at 18, although they can remain voluntarily until they are 21.

National statistics show that former foster care youths face some daunting prospects if they don’t have a support system in place. Some 49 percent are homeless within three years. Forty-three percent are high school drop outs. Fifty-six percent become unemployed within two years. Forty-two percent, of whom 60 percent are women, become parents within 2.5 years of exiting foster care.

Former foster youth are found to suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder at two times the level of U.S. war veterans. Fifty percent have used illegal drugs. One in four will be incarcerated within 2.5 years of leaving foster care.

Daniels believes his work can help change those statistics for local youths. That’s why he keeps on calling, emailing, sending Facebook messages, knocking on doors and meeting with family members of children and youths in foster care. He sees his job as finding “who’s going to love this kid no matter what.”

For more information, call 828-695-5600 or visit our website at www.catawbacountync.gov/dss/f&csvs/familyfinders.asp
Or contact Sean Jarman at 828-695-2134 or sjarman@catawbacountync.gov

Loving Our Enemies

By Rev. Susan Smith

Matthew 5:43-45 (NIV) “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”

A week ago, my son woke me up to tell me Osama Bin Laden was dead. I got up and listened to president Obama tell the nation that our terrorist enemy had been killed by a special forces Navy Seals team. I felt sad. Sad for the pain and misery he has caused all over the world. Sad for the victims of 9/11. Sad that a shy, deeply devoted Muslim boy could grow into a mass murderer of innocent people in the name of holy jihad. I went back to bed, not realizing that people were dancing in the streets to celebrate that Bin Laden was dead.

I have heard many say since that justice was done. Really? The definition of justice in this sense is “the assignment of merited rewards or punishments.” As a person of faith against the death penalty, I do not see this as “justice”. Killing people who kill people to prove that killing people is wrong is not justice. It might help us feel that we have gotten the revenge we want for his horrific acts, but the Bible tells us that vengeance belongs to God.

If we dance in the streets to celebrate the fact that we shot an unarmed man in the head in front of his wife – are we any better than all those who burn the American flag, hang effigies of our president, and chant “Death to America”? God is the only one who can see all the pain caused by war in humanity as a whole. The causes and effects of global, generational hatred and bitterness stemming from the murder of civilians in the crossfire of war has poisoned international relations to the point where it is almost impossible for any country to claim innocence. We have all been murderers.

No, I would not call killing Bin Laden justice, but I would say that it was necessary to prevent the murder of more innocent people. We hope that his death will decrease worldwide terrorism, but only time will tell. Instead of dancing in the streets, we should have been praying that God would help us love our enemies. We should have been praying for his soul, his family, his people, and all those in the Muslim world who looked to him as a hero. They are truly our enemies because they have declared a holy war against us. His death will not end that. Loving our enemies is the hardest thing Jesus commanded us to do, and 2000 years later we have still not learned how to do it. Consider the words of the sermon “Finding Forgiveness” delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church on Christmas of 1957:

“Why should we love our enemies? The first reason is fairly obvious. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction.

"So when Jesus says 'Love your enemies,' he is setting forth a profound and ultimately inescapable admonition. Have we not come to such an impasse in the modern world that we must love our enemies - or else? The chain reaction of evil-hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.”

For the complete text of this incredibly Christ-like message, go to: www.findingforgiveness.blogspot.com/2009/01/martin-luther-king-on-forgiveness.html.

 



 

 

 

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