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Winter Storms

Winter weather is bringing extremely cold weather including ice, snow, and high winds to many areas of our state.  To help deal with these conditions, the members of the Hickory Fire Department offer the following advice:

• If your power goes out, use a flashlight instead of candles.  More people have died after winter storms from residential fires caused by candles than from the direct effects of the storm itself.

• Use portable space heating equipment very carefully.  Heaters should be placed at least three feet away from any combustible material, including drapes, carpeting, and furniture.  Do not drape gloves, socks, or other clothing over a space heater to dry.

• Remember to always turn off space heaters before leaving home or going to bed and for their safety, children and pets should be kept away from heating equipment. 

• Fuel-filled equipment such as kerosene heaters should be filled outdoors and only when they are completely cool.

• Do not use gas grills, generators, or other open flames inside your home.  These items create carbon monoxide, which can cause death.  Also make sure you install a carbon monoxide detector in your home. 

• Have essential supplies, including flashlights, a radio, first aid kit, protective clothing and winter wear, canned foods, and at least three gallons of water (preferably more).  Also listen to Weather Radio, The Weather Channel, and local television broadcasts for the latest information about storm conditions.

• Plan to stay at home during bad weather, but if you must drive and become stuck, stay with your car.  Do not try to walk to safety.

For additional information on preparing for winter storms and other disasters, contact the Hickory Fire Department at (828) 323-7420.

Humane Society Seeks Foster Parents For Special Animals

Hickory/Newton, NC - 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 also has a growing need for short-term foster care, sometimes just a couple of weeks, for healthy dogs awaiting transport to another rescue.

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

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

Pulitzer Winner Paul Muldoon Speaks At L-RU On Feb. 26

Hickory – As part of the 2014-15 Visiting Writers Series, Lenoir-Rhyne University will present Pulitzer Prize winning author Paul Muldoon on Thursday, February 26 at 7:00 p.m. in Belk Centrum. The event is open to the public and free for all guests. No tickets or reservations are required. Doors open at 6:15 p.m.

Paul Muldoon is one of Ireland's leading contemporary poets. He was born in 1951 in County Armagh in Northern Ireland. From 1973 to 1986, he worked in Belfast as a radio and television producer for the British Broadcasting Corporation. Since 1987 he has lived in the United States, where he is a professor at Princeton University and Founding Chair of the Lewis Center for the Arts.

Between 1999 and 2004 he also served as Professor of Poetry at the University of Oxford. Since 2007, he has served as poetry editor of The New Yorker.

Visiting writer Paul Muldoon

Some of Muldoon’s most famous collections of poetry include New Weather, Mules, Quoof, Meeting the British, Madoc: A Mystery, The Annals of Chile, Poems 1968-1998, Maggot, and One Thousand Things Worth Knowing. He has also published innumerable smaller collections, works of criticism, opera libretti, books for children, song lyrics as well as radio and television dramas.

A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Muldoon was elected a member of the American Academy in Arts and Letters in 2008.

In addition to the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, he has won numerous awards including the International Griffin Prize, American Ireland Fund Literary Award, Shakespeare Prize as well as both the Aspen and the European Prize for Poetry.

In its 26th season, the Visiting Writers Series brings world-renowned authors to the LR campus and community. Sponsors of the 2014-2015 Series include: Crowne Plaza--Hickory, WFAE 90.7-FM, Our State: North Carolina, Hickory Public Library, United Arts Council of Catawba County, and Barnes and Noble Booksellers.

Hickory Ministerial Alliance Sets Lent Luncheon Schedule

Hickory - The Greater Hickory Ministerial Alliance and the Hickory Area Ministers will host their annual Lent Series at Lunch weekly at noon on Wednesdays from February 26 - March 25, 2015. Each service is brief, followed by a light lunch sponsored by the host church.

Through March 4, 2015

12:00pm - 1:00pm

Northminister Presbyterian Church, 3730 N. Center St.

Hickory 28601

March 11 - 25, 2015

12:00pm - 1:00pm

Whosoever Will Full Gospel Church at Morning Star First Baptist Church, 126 4th Ave. SW, Hickory 28602

These two services will be hosted by Northminister Presbyterian Church in Hickory. The speakers will be:

March 4 - Rev. George Coates, pastor, Hartzell Memorial United Methodist Church

The last three services will be hosted by Whosoever Will Full Gospel Church at Morning Star First Baptist Church in Hickory.

March 11 - Rev. Bob Thompson, pastor, Corinth Reformed Church

March 18 - Rev. David Keck, N.C. Synod, ELCA

March 25 - Rev. Wil Posey, associate pastor, First United Methodist Church of Hickory

For more information, please contact:

Greater Hickory Ministerial Alliance President Rev. Reggie Longcrier 828-962-8195 or Hickory Area Ministers President Rev. David Roberts 704-649-7025 or

Hospice Seeks Volunteers For Training To Begin On March 2

Newton, NC – Catawba Regional Hospice is seeking caring, compassionate volunteers to serve as valued members of the Hospice team and to offer welcome support for patients and families.

CRH has been invited to serve patients in a 10-county region, and the need for patient support extends throughout the area, offering residents an excellent opportunity to help their neighbors. If you are willing to bring comfort and assistance to families dealing with advanced illness, your participation would be greatly appreciated.

The next volunteer training session will consist of four evening classes at Catawba Regional Hospice's main campus (3975 Robinson Road, Newton, NC 28658) on March 2, 5, 16, and 19, 2015. All sessions are on Monday or Thursday evenings from 5:30pm till 8:30pm, and all four are required. There is no fee for the training, and light meals will be served.

The sessions are designed to educate volunteers on communicating effectively with patients and families, to showcase what hospice is, and to clarify the role of hospice volunteers. After completing training, volunteers will be able to offer companionship to patients, provide respite for caregivers, and help in other meaningful ways.

To register for the March sessions or for more information, please contact the Volunteer Services Department at 828.466.0466.

About the Organization:

Catawba Regional Hospice, celebrating 35 years of service, is a community-based organization providing hospice medical care, patient and family support, and spiritual comfort throughout the multi-county Catawba region. For more information about our programs of service, call 828-466-0466 or visit

Catawba Valley Pottery And Antique Festival Is March 28

Hickory - The Catawba Valley Pottery and Antiques Festival has been bringing potters and antiques to the Catawba Valley area for over 15 years. This year the event is held on Saturday, March 28 at the Hickory Metro Convention Center in Hickory, from 9a.m. to 5p.m.

Each year more than 115 potters and vendors offer their wares and antiques for purchase to the public. Items include historical pottery, textiles, baskets, furniture and miniature items; with contemporary potters selling items ranging from coffee mugs to amazing works of art.

Cater Pots

Tickets to the Festival are $6.00 per person, ages 12 and under $2.00, and can be purchased at the door.

The Festival on Saturday also includes featured programming such as pottery videos, demonstrations and an annual lecture presented by a special guest. This year’s lecture will be given by potter and co-owner of the Jugtown Pottery, Pamela Lorette Owens. Owens talk, “North Carolina’s Traditional Women Potters” will explore the roles of women who made pottery their life’s work, starting in the early 20th century.

She will explore several groups of potters including Native Americans from the Catawba and Cherokee nations, members of the Cole and Owens families in Seagrove, as well as Catawba Valley potters. The lecture is at 11a.m., and is included in the Saturday ticket price. Owens lecture will be accompanied by an exhibit entitled “Hands in Clay: Early Women Potters in North Carolina,” which will feature a full range of pots made by the women discussed.

Maggie Black Pottery

Prior to Saturday’s event, a preview party will be held Friday, March 27, from 7p.m. to 10p.m. This unique fund-raising event not only offers guests an early buying opportunity, but also offers a catered Southern Supper and live music by the Sigmon Stringers. Tickets are $40.00 per person, and must be purchased in advanced by March 21.

The Catawba Valley Pottery and Antiques Festival began in 1998, with a mission to showcase the history of Catawba Valley alkaline glazed stoneware and the potters who continually produce this traditional utilitarian ware. 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.

Walker-Mourglea Pottery

The Festival 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.

For more information on the Catawba Valley Pottery and Antiques Festival, please call 828-324-7294, or visit the website at

Church Of Christ Benefit Breakfast Is Sat., February 28

Hickory - Hickory Church of Christ, 1218 Fairgrove Church Rd, Hickory, will host a Haiti Mission Trip Benefit Pancake Breakfast in their Fellowship Hall, Saturday, February 28th, 8am-11am.

The Breakfast will help fund the mission trip planned for early April to Port au Prince, Haiti.

The meal includes pancakes and a beverage for $5. For advance ticket sales or to support to this effort in other ways, please call 828-464-4983 or 910-512-4754 or email

Jessica Campbell In Concert On Friday, Feb. 20, At OPOP


Newton, NC - The Old Post Office Playhouse is pleased to present roots-pop singer/songwriter Jessica Campbell in concert on Friday, February 20 at 7:30 pm in the McCreary Theatre. Jessica grew up in Catawba, NC, sang the national anthem at Bandys High School football games, and now has a publishing deal in Nashville.

Jessica’s songs are rooted in pop hooks and Americana influences with folk guitars and just the slightest hint of Southern twang. She’s a storyteller, too, armed with autobiographical tunes about life and love in the Bible Belt. She recently released her third album and has lots of music to share. For more information, visit her website:

Jessica Campbell at OPOP, Feb. 20

Ticket prices for Jessica Campbell are only $12. Tickets are available by calling our Box Office (828) 464-6128 on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 10:00 am – 5:30 pm. Ticket prices include North Carolina sales tax. The Old Post Office Playhouse is the home of The Green Room Community Theatre and is located at 10 South Main Avenue in Newton, NC.

Please visit our website:

Love & Logic Program For Parents Begins Feb. 26

Conover, NC - Are you a parent who is struggling with arguing or talk back from your children and interested in knowing some practical ways to be able to enjoy a healthy and happier relationship with them? You can find help with these parenting issues at the Catawba County Parenting Network’s Love and Logic program beginning Thursday, February 26th.

The six-session class series, sponsored by Balls Creek and Catawba Elementary School, will be held at Balls Creek Elementary on Thursdays, February 26th – April 2nd from 6:00 – 8:00 p.m. and will address the essentials for helping your child become more responsible and respectful. Parents will also learn tips to have more fun in the parenting role and establish healthy control without resorting to anger, threats, nagging, or engaging in power struggles. Parents will leave empowered, more relaxed and hopeful in their role as a parent. Advance registration is required for all participants.

Created in 1999, the Catawba County Parenting Network is a 501c3 non-profit organization strengthening families in the Unifour area with high quality parenting enrichment and support programs as well as timely referral to other family resources.

To learn more about the programs of the CCPN or to register for Love and Logic, please contact the Parenting Network at 465-8151 or register online at

L-RU Playmakers Perform The Crucible, Feb. 26-28

Hickory – As part of its 2014-2015 season, the Lenoir-Rhyne Playmakers will present a production of Arthur Miller’s classic drama, The Crucible. The award-winning play will be performed Thursday through Saturday, February 26 – 28 at 7:30 p.m. and on Sunday, March 1 at 2:30 p.m. in P.E. Monroe Auditorium.

The Crucible is a chilling dramatization of the 1692 Salem witch trials in which 20 people were executed after being accused of practicing witchcraft. Miller wrote the play in response to Senator Joseph McCarthy’s anti-communist “witch hunts” of the 1950s. Miller himself was questioned by the U.S. House of Representatives' Committee on Un-American Activities in 1956 and convicted of "contempt of Congress" for refusing to identify others present at meetings he had attended. The play debuted at the Martin Beck Theater in January 1953 and won the Tony Award for Best Play that same year.

The Playmakers’ production of The Crucible, directed by Assistant Professor of Theatre Josh Yoder, features a cast of Lenoir-Rhyne students and alumni as well as actors from the greater Hickory community. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for senior citizens and non-LR students. Admission is free for Lenoir-Rhyne students with valid student identification. Tickets for university faculty and staff are buy one, get one free. For more information, call (828) 328-PLAY or visit

About Lenoir-Rhyne University:

Lenoir-Rhyne University was founded in 1891 and is a private, coeducational university with its primary campus in Hickory, N.C.

No Time For Sergeants, March 16 In Hudson

Hudson, NC - The cast has been selected and rehearsals are underway for the Town of Hudson’s 19th Dinner Theatre Production, the delightful comedy, “No Time for Sergeants.”

“No Time for Sergeants” tells the hilarious story of Private Will Stockdale and his antics as he sojourns through the United States Air Force. “No Times for Sergeants” was a popular Broadway play and movie starring Andy Griffith.

The play will be presented at the Hudson Uptown Building (HUB) at 145 Cedar Valley Road in Hudson on Thursday, Friday and Saturday March 19th, 20th, 21st, 26th, 27th and 28th.

Tickets are now on sale and may be purchased at the HUB Box Office by going by the HUB or by calling 726-8871.

Box Office hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 – 12:30 and 1:30 – 5:00. Dinner is served at 6:30 PM with the show to follow at 7:30 PM. Tickets are $30 for dinner and the show, $15 for the show only.

The meal is catered by Dan’l Boone Inn and will consist of fried chicken, country ham, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, stewed apples, biscuits and strawberry short cake.

Spark, TEDxHickory 2015, Is Set For March 21 At SALT Block

HIckory – The fourth edition of TEDxHickory is coming to the SALT Block Auditorium on Saturday, March 21, 2015. A group of local volunteers have banded together to bring this year’s TEDx event to Hickory, which will be a combination of exciting live speakers and TED Talk videos. The independently organized event is licensed by TED and designed to create deep discussion and connection in a small group.

The theme of TEDxHickory 2015 is “Spark!”, where speakers will talk about innovative ideas and possibilities based on their own personal experience, research or thoughts. The event will be held from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, with presenters speaking for no more than 18 minutes each. There will be breaks between sessions for discussions on the topics presented.

Tickets for TEDxHickory can be purchased for $25.00 from the event’s web site ( This price covers attendance for the full day, lunch and snacks. Event tee-shirts will be available for purchase. Space is limited, so those interested are encouraged to buy their ticket soon. There will also be a reception immediately after the event for all attendees and speakers in the adjoining Hickory Museum of Art.

The speakers for this year’s event have been selected by members of the event planning team. Speakers will be primarily from Catawba County, while some will be traveling from nearby cities and colleges/universities. There will also be entertainment breaks throughout the day, including artistic performances and demonstrations.

The TED Conference provides general guidance for the independent TEDx program, but individual TEDx events, including the one being held in Hickory, are self-organized. TEDxHickory has been organized by local members of the Media & Tech Guild of Catawba Valley.

For more information about TEDxHickory or to purchase a ticket for the event, visit the web site at

About TEDx, x = independently organized event

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)

About TED: TED is a nonprofit organization devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. Started as a four-day conference in California 26 years ago, TED has grown to support those world-changing ideas with multiple initiatives. At TED, the world's leading thinkers and doers are asked to give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. Talks are then made available, free, at TED speakers have included Bill Gates, Jane Goodall, Elizabeth Gilbert, Sir Richard Branson, Benoit Mandelbrot, Philippe Starck, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Isabel Allende and former UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Two major TED events are held each year: The TED Conference takes place every spring in Long Beach, California (along with a parallel conference, TEDActive, in Palm Springs), and TEDGlobal is held each summer in Edinburgh, Scotland.

TED’s media initiatives include, where new TEDTalks are posted daily; the new TED Conversations, enabling broad conversations among TED fans; and the Open Translation Project, which provides subtitles and interactive transcripts as well as the ability for any TEDTalk to be translated by volunteers worldwide.

TED has established the annual TED Prize, where exceptional individuals with a wish to change the world are given the opportunity to put their wishes into action; TEDx, which offers individuals or groups a way to host local, self-organized events around the world; and the TED Fellows program, helping world-changing innovators from around the globe to become part of the TED community and, with its help, amplify the impact of their remarkable projects and activities.

Follow TED on Twitter at or on Facebook at

Get Fit! Newton Parks & Rec Has Great Discounts In February

Newton, NC – Do your heart (and wallet) a favor this month by becoming a member of the Newton Parks and Recreation Department’s fitness room.

In celebration of American Heart Month, Newton is offering customers who purchase a one-month fitness room membership a second month’s membership at no charge. The free month of membership is available to customers who purchase a one-month fitness room membership in February.

A personal trainer certified by the National Exercise and Sports Trainers Association is available to offer fitness prescriptions to all fitness room members.

The fitness room is open to people 18 years old and older. Children 13-17 years old are welcome if accompanied by a parent who has a membership.

Membership rates are
as follows:
Trial Rates:
(One-time only)55 years old and older, $2.
55 years old and older, $4. 13-54 years old, $3 13-54 years old, $5

Weekly Rates: Residents/Non-Residents
55 years old and older, $5 55 years old and older, $7
13-54 years old, $8 13-54 year old, $10

Monthly Rates:
55 years old and older, $15 55 years old and older, $20
13-54 years old, $20 13 to 54 years old, $25

6-Month Rates:
55 years old and older, $60 55 years old and older, $75
13-54 years old, $75 13-54 years old, $100
Yearly Rates:
55 years old and older, $100 55 years old and older, $125
13-54 years old, $125
13-54 years old, $150

The fitness room is open 8am-9pm, Mondays through Thursdays and 8am-5pm on Fridays. The fitness room is at the Newton Recreation Department, 23 South Brady Ave.

For more information, call the Newton Recreation Department at 828-695-4317 or visit

CVCC Shark Tank Competition Applications Due March 18

Hickory - The Catawba Valley Community College Business Department and Small Business Center will sponsor its fifth annual Shark Tank Competition, providing participants at CVCC and in the community with an opportunity to practice their business pitch and win cash prizes.

The competition has three separate divisions, CVCC students, Small Business Center clients, and high school students. To enter participants must complete an application which can be downloaded at CVCC’s Small Business Center website, Applications are due by March 18.

Student and Small Business Center participants will make a practice presentation in early April, with finalists chosen by CVCC’s Business Department. Finalists will make a presentation to a panel of judges on Monday April 27th to determine this year’s winners. The top three pitches in each division will receive a cash award.

CVCC will work with individual high schools on establishing their own Shark Tank competitions, with winners from each school participating in a finals competition held on the CVCC campus in early May.

There are no fees to participate in the Shark Tank Competition. For more information visit the Small Business Center website at or contact Jeff Neuville at 828-327-7000, ext. 4102 or Gary Muller at 828-327-7000, ext. 4672.

Newton-Conover Auditorium Movie Screenings Of United & Frozen

Set For February 27 & 28

Newton, NC - We are very excited to bring you movies at Newton-Conover Auditorium! By partnering with local organizations and businesses to bring you interactive experiences, you can enjoy films on our big screen in new and exciting ways - here at your community auditorium.


February 27th at 7pm

A movie about the fastest-growing sport in America!

Wear your favorite soccer team's jersey for this special movie night in recognition of our local 2-A state champions, the Newton-Conover High School Men's Varsity Soccer Team!

"United" takes place in the late 1950's in northeast England and is based on the true story of Manchester United's legendary "Busby Babes" and the tragedy that struck the team with the 1958 Munich Air Crash. Focusing primarily on the relationship between a young player and this assistant coach, this critically acclaimed movie captures the inspirational story about a highly successful team and their community overcoming tragedy.

Frozen Sing-Along

February 28th, 2 pm & 6pm

Come dressed as your favorite Frozen character and experience Disney's Frozen as a fun, interactive sing-along for the whole family! Rated PG.

Using your Frozen FunPack (which will be filled with goodies!), follow along with interactive activities during the sing-along version of this very popular movie. You can certainly watch the movie without the FunPack but we highly recommend purchasing the FunPack to get the best, most entertaining experience possible.

Meet and greet with characters from the movie will take place in our "Winter Wonderland" gallery where there will also be refreshments, raffle tickets and princess gear available for purchase!

Tickets for the movie are $5/person and interactive Frozen FunPacks are $5 each.

FUNPACKS MUST BE PURCHASED AT THE DOOR. (Cash or check preferred.)(Movie tickets also available at the door for $6/person.) This event is sponsored by The Light Place at the Hickory Furniture Mart.

Arts Council Announces 32nd Annual

Robinson-Lineberger Literary Competition

Lincolnton, NC - The Arts Council of Lincoln County is holding its annual Robinson-Lineberger Literary Competition. The trustees of Mrs. Flo Robinson's estate established this competition to memorialize her lifelong interest in poetry and prose and to encourage writers to pursue excellence in their craft. The Robert Lineberger estate has added its support to ensure that this tradition continues to give a voice to so many members of the Lincoln County community.

Poetry Entries: one per person, on any subject, in any style, free verse, blank verse, or rhymed should be limited to 32 lines or less.

Prose Entries: one per person, an essay or short story on any subject, limited to approximately 750 words.

Entries in prose and poetry must be titled, original, unpublished, and must never have won a cash award before.

The competition is open to students in public schools, private schools, and to adults. All entrants must be present or past residents of Lincoln County. Each school is asked to screen its entries and must submit only the best works. Student entries must come through the school and not be delivered individually to the Lincoln County Schools Central Office or the Arts Council of Lincoln County.

Entry Rules: Submit two typewritten, double spaced copies of your entry. One copy must include the following information in the upper right-hand corner: full name, age (if a student), address, telephone number, category (prose or poetry), age group (grades 3-5, 6-8, 9-12; or adult), email address, and school (if applicable). The second copy should include only the poem, essay, or story, with no identification.

Student entries must be submitted through a participating school.

All entries must be postmarked by March 31, 2015.

Late entries will not be accepted. All entries should be mailed to: the Arts Council of Lincoln County Literary Competition, P.O. Box 45, Lincolnton, North Carolina 28092.

Awards: Prize money will be divided between prose and poetry in the following categories:

Elementary Schools
grades 3 – 5
1st prize: $40
2nd prize: $25
3rd prize: $15
1st prize: $40
2nd prize: $25
3rd prize: $15
1st prize: $40
2nd prize: $25
3rd prize: $15
1st prize: $60
2nd prize: $40
3rd prize: $25
Middle Schools
grades 6 – 8
High Schools
grades 9 – 12
18 and over

An awards ceremony and reading for students will be held on April 21, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. at the Lincoln Cultural Center, 403 E. Main Street, Lincolnton.

An awards ceremony and reading for adults will be held on April 24, 2015 at 7:00 p.m. at Gallery 27, 808 West Highway 27, Lincolnton. This project received support from the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources, with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts. For more information contact the Arts Council at (704)732-9044.

Free Child Protection Training Offered Feb. 24, Carolina Theater

Hickory - CANCELLED - Event will be Monday, March 2, 6 PM Registration, Training at 6:30. Leadership Catawba and the Children's Advocacy & Protection Center of Catawba County will offer a free training program Feb. 24 at the Carolina Theatre in downtown Hickory.

This program, Stewards of Children: Darkness to Light, is designed to train adults in how to prevent, recognize and respond appropriately to child sexual abuse. Registration will begin at 6 p.m. and the training will begin at 6:30 p.m. No registration is necessary; any adult is invited to attend on a first come, first served basis.

A free kids' movie will be shown during the training for children 5 or older who are accompanying their parent or other adult. The children's entertainment will be shown in the upstairs theatre with child care provided. Children will also receive a free drink and popcorn.

This event is made possible through support from the following: the United Way, Crawford Sprinkler Company, Lenoir-Rhyne University Schools of Education and Counseling, On The Level Home Services, and Renaissance Financial Partners of North Carolina, LLC.

The Children's Advocacy & Protection Center is seeking to train 6,000 adults in Catawba County in Darkness to Light. Research has shown that this number is a tipping point that will result in a change in community awareness and response to the sexual abuse of children.

For more information about this event or Darkness to Light training, contact Kate Landry at or call the CAPC at 828-465-9296.

CCC&TI Hosts Film Series Feb. 12 & March 31

Lenoir, NC - Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute’s Global Diversity Committee and Student Government Association will host a film series this spring with several events open to the public.

On Thursday, Feb. 12, the film “A Better Life” will be shown at the J.E. Broyhill Civic Center in Lenoir at 7 p.m. The film chronicles the story of a gardener in East Los Angeles as he struggles to keep his son away from gangs and immigration agents while also trying to give his son the opportunities he never had. The film is rated PG-13. The screening is free and open to the public.

On Tuesday, March 31, the film “Who is Dayani Cristal?” will be shown at the J.E. Brohill Civic Center in Lenoir at 7p.m. The film tells the story of a migrant who found himself in the deadly stretch of desert known as “the corridor of death” and shows how one life is impacted by immigration policy. As the real-life drama unfolds viewers see this John Doe, denied an identity at his point of death, become a living and breathing human begin with an important life story.

This screening is free and open to the public.

For more information on CCC&TI’s Film Series, call 828-726-2200.

Cooperative Extension’s Plant Sale Is In Full Bloom

Lincolnton, NC - Don’t be one of those poor souls feeling left out and discouraged when the Cooperative Extension fruit plant sale delivery happens this year!  Act now to get your order placed, and be one of the lucky ones, and the envy of all those around you (pretty much). 

You will soon be growing your own blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and figs in your garden for less than $8 a plant.   And if you are really adventurous, you can try growing the new “Pink Lemonade Blueberries” (pinkberries??), just to show-off your fearless, cutting-edge spirit. You can choose from 11 different varieties of plants, each with its own unique characteristics.  

You have until Feb. 28th to place your order. Plants must be paid for at the time the order is placed.  Call the Extension Office at 704-736-8452 for information and an order form with descriptions of each variety.  The plants should arrive in early March, and you will be notified when to pick them up.  

If this is your first time growing your own berries and figs, we provide detailed handouts to help you be successful.  You can also call the Extension office anytime for help with your new plants or any other lawn and garden issues.

Get your order form now, and start looking for a nice sunny spot for your plants!

Caldwell Arts’ Exhibit Natural Connections Is February 6-28

Lenoir, NC - During the month of February, visitors to the Caldwell Arts Council will experience an exhibit of original artwork, created by five artists from Western North Carolina. High definition photography by Wink Gaines (Connelly Springs, NC), fiber art by Sandy Adair (Boone, NC), paintings by Eddie Kent Tallent (Lenoir, NC) and Kim Abernethy (Boone, NC) and pastel artwork by Carl Peverall (Burnsville, NC)

“Natural Connections” will be on exhibit in the Caldwell Arts Council Gallery (601 College Ave SW, Lenoir) February 6-28, 2015. All Caldwell Arts Council Gallery exhibits are admission free and open to the public during the Arts Council’s operating hours, which are Tuesday - Friday 9am-5pm and Saturday 10am-2pm.

An opening “meet-the-artists” reception is scheduled for Friday February 6, 5pm-7pm hosted by Caldwell County Schools Association of Educational Office Professionals. Light refreshments will be served, free & open to the public.

Wink Gaines specializes in bird and wildlife photography. Her photographic specialty allows her to combine her passion for the outdoors with the creative pursuit of digitally capturing wildlife in natural habitats.

Carl Peverall spent six months in New Zealand, exclusively painting the landscape and capturing the splendid beauty of New Zealand in pastel realism after thirty years of pursuing modernist works in ceramics in painting.

Eddie Kent Tallent, an introvert by nature, has always had a deep affinity for locations and objects which embody a sense of mystery, solitude, or isolation. His recent series of landscape-based artworks explore hidden and private locales to which one might escape for quiet contemplation and spiritual renewal.

Kim Abernethy is an oil painter whose impressionistic style evokes feelings of serenity and calm. Her work draws upon a sense of familiarity and connects the viewer to a moment in time captured on canvas.

Sandy Adair says that the Blue Ridge Mountains, which surround her home with their ever-changing moods, have been a continuing source of inspiration to her as a tapestry weaver. Tapestry weaving is much like painting – with yarn as the palette, and needles as the brushes. Her intention is to create peaceful places, microcosms one may enter for replenishment.

The Caldwell Arts Council presents monthly and quarterly exhibits, education and collection programs that foster cultural arts in Caldwell County. These programs are supported by the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources and by individual and corporate donors.

To learn more about Caldwell Arts Council events and programs, please visit, email , or call 828-754-2486.

Photo Caption: “Thundering” in texture photo by Wink Gaines

Community Council Announces Project Funding For 2015

Hickory – The City of Hickory Community Relations Council (CRC) is currently seeking projects to fund for the 2014 - 2015 fiscal year and is inviting qualified groups or individuals to consider submitting grant requests.

“Every spring and fall, the CRC offers the ability for groups, businesses, organizations and individuals to apply for the CRC grants,” said Neal Orgain, Chair of the CRC. “It is an important goal of the CRC to award these grants to organizations or individuals that support the community through areas of human understanding, conflict resolution, appreciation of diversity, good community relations, wellness and respect, and interaction among persons of various cultures and nationalities, to name a few.”

The grant application should be completed in full, approved by the director of the agency, and submitted to the CRC, care of the address on the application. Applications are reviewed twice a year. The deadline for submitting for the spring 2014 grant cycle is Monday, March 2, at noon. Applicants may include any 501(c)(3) or otherwise tax exempt organizations.

Priority will generally be given to projects that are designed to deliver the greatest impact on positive human relations, that are most effective in bringing different sub-communities of Hickory together, and that provide services and resources to the people who can most benefit. Agencies are encouraged to partner with each other to avoid duplication of services and to maximize efficiency in delivering needed services. Detailed grant guidelines will be mailed with the application form.

Funds from the CRC are provided by the City of Hickory and may not be used to pay salaries or to construct buildings, and will not be used to promote a particular political or religious point of view. Funds may be used for contracts for services and/or specific honoraria.

A report on the use of the funds is required from recipient groups. The CRC reserves the right to request an audit of funds allocated to ensure proper use. Projects may be funded partially or in full; however, priority will be given to projects for which matching funds are available.

Agencies receiving grant funding are asked to acknowledge the grant from the City of Hickory CRC in their publicity materials. A City of Hickory logo and a CRC logo will be provided for inclusion on all promotional materials.

Anyone submitting an application is asked to submit 17 copies of the grant request.

Applications can be found online at, Your Government, Boards and Commissions, Community Relations Council. (

For more information, please call staff liaison Captain Thurman Whisnant at the City of Hickory Police Department, at (828) 261-2605 or email

Catawba County Social Services Can Guide Adults In Life

Transition To Available Options

Hickory - Catawba County Social Services is now offering Information and Options Counseling to adults in the county who are experiencing a major life transition and need assistance discovering and navigating the services that may be available to them. Information can be provided about services ranging from in-home assistance and adult day care services to assisted living or nursing home placement.

This service is designed to help the person identify options, weigh the pros and cons of each, and make an action plan to help meet their goals. The counselor will work with the person to discuss their preferences, values, service needs and circumstances. The counselor will provide information about various options so the person can make informed choices about long-term services and supports. Information and Options Counseling provides valuable information to individuals who may not be aware of what services are available.

While Social Services has always provided information and referral services to persons who need to make decisions such as these, the new Information and Options Counseling service is a more in-depth and personalized approach. The goal is to help the individual make decisions about their own care. To make use of this service, the person in need of care must be able to make their own decisions. However, caregivers or family members are invited to participate in the process if they wish.

To schedule an appointment with a certified Information and Options counselor, call Catawba County Social Services at 828-695-5609.

Vendor Applications For 40th Waldensian Festival Available

Valdese, NC - The Town of Valdese will hold their 40th Annual Waldensian Festival on August 7th and 8th, 2015 in Valdese, North Carolina with live music performances, yummy food (that you can only get at a festival), craft vendors, footrace, boccie tournaments and so much more!

“We have over 170 booth spaces to fill and you can never start too early looking for just the right vendor,” states Barbara Hefner, Community Affairs Director for the Town of Valdese. “Our staff works extremely hard to find vendors that will appeal to our attendees. Highest priority is placed on hand-made crafters and we strive every year to increase the number of independent artists and crafters to our festival.” Booth fees range from $65.00 to $130.00 with the lowest price given to handmade crafters. The festival is held every year on the second Saturday in August and the main street is closed to accommodate the vendors. Vendors interested in participating in the 2015 Waldensian Festival can go to or call 828-879-2126. The 2015 Waldensian Festival is sponsored by the Town of Valdese, Carolinas Healthcare System Blueridge, SAFT, Viewmont Surgery Center and Valdese Weavers.

Hickory Police Department’s Annual Polar Plunge Is Feb. 28

Hickory – The Hickory Police Department will be hosting in the 10th Annual Polar Plunge to benefit Special Olympics North Carolina.

This annual, long-standing charity event will be held on Saturday, February 28. It's a fun way to support a wonderful organization that the Hickory Police Department has partnered with for many years. The event takes place at the Whittenburg Wildlife Access on Lake Hickory.

“This event is one that the Police Department enjoys being a part of every year,” said Sgt. Randy Isenhour. “Even though the water may be cold, it is worth jumping in when we know that the money raised supports such a great cause. We all have a good time doing it. Whether people jump in themselves, or they just contribute to someone else doing the plunge, every dollar raised makes a difference.”

Registration starts at 11:00 a.m., and the plunge will begin at 1:00 p.m. Anyone is welcome to take the plunge with a $50 minimum donation. To create a web page for donations, go to:

For questions about the event, contact Sgt. Randy Isenhour at or 828-261-2674.

The 2014 Polar Plunge

AARP Offers Senior Tax Help On Tuesdays, At Main Library

Newton, NC - Seniors, if you need free help to prepare your tax return, AARP volunteers will again be available at the Main Library in Newton through Tuesday, April 14.

Appointment hours are 9 a.m. to noon each Tuesday. Residents must first make an appointment by calling 828-676-6723 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. weekdays. Due to the volume of requests, walk-ins will not be accepted.

Federal tax forms 1040, 1040A and 1040EZ 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.

February Seniors Morning Out Offers Science & Music Topics

Hickory - Marimba music, Science Magic, Black History Month celebrations, and valentine's parties will be some of the highlights of Seniors Morning Out in February.

Kay Crouch will present a program on the history and music of the marimba. This keyboard percussion instrument is heard in a variety of styles but is seldom recognized. Its roots are in Africa and it is a prominent instrument in the folk music of Latin America. Crouch holds the bachelor of music education degree from East Carolina University and the master of music in percussion performance from Appalachian State University. She recently retired from Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute, where she was the director of the music program since 1985. She is a member of the acoustic trio Strictly Clean and Decent.

Bruce Beerbower, naturalist and science educator at the Catawba Science Center, will present a program called "Science Magic." Participants will learn the mysteries behind sticking a needle through a balloon without popping it, how colors can change, why hair stands on end, and the magic ball and ring. Other demonstrations will include hands-on experiments with hot and cold mystery powders and liquids.

Kay Crouch

The science and marimba programs 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. Additional support for art and science programming at Seniors Morning Out is provided by community donors.

Seniors Morning Out is a half-day program held Monday through Thursday at five convenient locations throughout Catawba County. Activities and a hot, balanced lunch are provided. Seniors Morning Out is free and open to any person 60 or better living in Catawba County. Bus transportation to and from the programs is available along limited routes. Advance reservations are requested. To attend, please contact the site supervisor at least 24 hours in advance between the hours of 8:30 and 11:30 a.m.

Program highlights are as follows. At the Maiden SMO site: Feb. 9, Music and History of the Marimba by Kay Crouch; Feb. 12: Valentine's Pizza Party; Feb. 16: Stuffed Strawberries Cooking Class; Feb. 24: Performance by Sentimental Journey. Contact Loretta Hefner at 828-320-5966 to attend.

At the West Hickory SMO: Feb. 3, Marimba Music by Kay Crouch; Feb. 4, Music by Sentimental Journey; Feb. 11: Family Feud with Randy VanderWeit; Feb. 12: Valentine's Ice Cream Social; Feb. 24: Reach Your Goals Step by Step with Carolyn Thompson, R.N., of Catawba Valley Medical Center; Feb. 26, Music by Damascus Road. To reserve your spot, call Lisa Adams at 828-323-8746.

At the Claremont SMO: Feb. 4, Black History Program at Sherrills Ford Library; Feb. 9, Scams on the Elderly by Sgt. Kelly Eckard, Sheriff's Department; Feb. 12, Valentine's Crafts and Snacks and Crowning of the King and Queen of Hearts; Feb. 18, Science Magic by Bruce Beerbower; Feb. 24, Marimba Music with Kay Crouch. To attend, contact Wendy Thomas at 828-320-0434.

Bruce Beerbower, at right

At the Newton SMO: Feb. 2: Marimba Music with Kay Crouch; Feb. 11, Black History Month with the Rev. David Roberts and Choir from Morning Star Baptist Church; Feb. 12, Valentine's Day Celebration and Entertainment by The Clontz Family; Feb. 23, African Artifacts Shared by the Rev. Dale Snead of Shelby. To reserve your spot, call Robyn Curtis at 828-455-4133.

At the East Hickory SMO: Feb. 4, Science Magic with Bruce Beerbower; Feb. 10, Marimba Program; Feb. 11, Black History Month with Pastor Katie Jennings of The Rock Church; Feb. 12, Valentine's Party and Music by Sentimental Journey. To attend, contact Rita Pritchard at 828-320-5963.

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

Photos: Kay Crouch will present a program on the History and Music of the Marimba at Seniors Morning Out in February.

Bruce Beerbower of the Catawba Science Center presents a science program at the Newton Seniors Morning Out location. In February, he will present a program called “Science Magic.”

CCC & TI Announces Menu & Schedule Of Cuisine For Spring

Lenoir, NC - Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute’s Culinary Arts program has announced the dates and menus for its spring semester installment of Caldwell Cuisine. Each of the meals will be served at 6 p.m. at the J.E. Broyhill Civic Center in Lenoir and are priced at $21 plus tax per person. The events are open to the public, but diners are required to purchase tickets prior to the event.

In addition to providing an opportunity for the community to enjoy the gourmet Caldwell Cuisine menus at a reasonable price, the events also provide CCC&TI’s Culinary Arts students a chance to apply their classroom knowledge.

Following are the dates and menus for the events:

Thursday, Feb. 12 – Traditional European

Warm Brussel Sprout Salad - roasted brussel sprout, duck confit, thyme, walnuts, duck vinaigrette
Red Beet Soup- roasted beet, crème fraiche, beet foam, pecan
Rabbit Ragu - braised rabbit, tomato, mushroom, pappardelle, parsley
Beef Burgundy - stewed beef, pearl onion, mushroom, demi, red wine, rice pilaf
Sugar Cake - brown sugar yeast cake, espresso crème anglaise

Thursday, March 5 – Asian

Flor de Liz Salad- pineapple, peach, cherry, mandarin orange, cream cheese, shredded coconut, toasted almond
Soft Spring Rolls (Miang Yuan) - poached chicken, poached shrimp, soman noodle, Thai basil, mint, sweet hot garlic sauce (nahm jeem gratiem)
Filipino Chicken Adobo - braised chicken, garlic, sweet onion, rice vinegar, soy sauce, steamed rice
Massaman Curry (Thai Muslim Curry) - stewed beef, massaman curry, potato, pearl onion, lemongrass, lime leaf, steamed rice
Kaffir Lime & Ginger Crème Brulee - ginger and kaffir lime infused custard, turbinado sugar, cardamom cream

Thursday, April 16 – The Americas

Caesar Salad - crisp romaine, parmesan, house crouton, Cleopatra dressing
Sopa de Lima - chicken, tomatillo, cilantro, crispy tortilla
Fresh Red Snapper - grilled red snapper, pumpkin seed mole (pipian), pimento-coriander rice
Matambre - flank steak roulade w/ egg-carrot-radish-spinach, chimichurri, llapingachos
Suspiro de Limena - Peruvian parfait of manjar blanco (dulce de leche), whipped meringue, cinnamon

Space is limited at each event. For tickets visit or call the Civic Center Box Office at 828-726-2407.

For more information about CCC&TI’s Culinary Arts Program, contact Director Chef Keith Andreasen at or 726-2478.

Photos: Top
A student in Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute’s Culinary Arts program prepares fish during a recent class activity. Students will prepare and serve meals for the Spring Caldwell Cuisine events.

A student in Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute’s Culinary Arts program prepares a salad in the prep kitchens during a recent class activity. Students will prepare multi-course gourmet meals for Caldwell Cuisine this spring, the first of which is scheduled for Feb. 12. Tickets are available through the Civic Center Box Office.

Lenoir Blackberry Festival 2015 Accepting Vendor Applications

Lenoir, NC – The Caldwell Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce the 14th annual NC Blackberry Festival, scheduled for Saturday, July 11, 2015 from 10:00am to 4:00pm in Historic Lenoir. The NC Blackberry Festival will again fill historic Lenoir with outstanding festivities including the Colossal Cobbler Brigade Parade with the largest patchwork of delicious Blackberry Cobbler to be enjoyed by the festival goers, as well as the Blackberry Princess Pageant, Blackberry Eating Contests, Live Entertainment, Children’s Activities and hundreds of artisan and food vendors.

This year marks the 3rd year of the “Pre-Heat Party” on the Friday evening before in Historic Lenoir which includes the BlackBEERy Beer Garden, the Blackberry Recipe Contest and the Front Porch Pickin’ competition. Registration is open for the recipe and picking contest and applications are available at Cash prizes will be given to contest winners.

Vendor applications are now open and can be downloaded at Vendors are encouraged to provide quality artisan arts and crafts and other types of products and services. Applications will be approved based on uniqueness of items and overall value and contribution to enhance the festival experience for festival goers.

For more information about the exceptional NC Blackberry Festival, please contact event coordinator, Libby Killian at the Caldwell Chamber of Commerce by calling 828-726-0616 or visiting

Author’s Visit On April 1 Prompts Immigration Events At CVCC

Hickory - Catawba Valley Community College’s Humanities Department will host a series of faculty presentations in preparation for a campus visit by Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Sonia Nazario, author of “Enrique’s Journey: The True Story of a Boy Determined to Reunite With His Mother.”

The author’s presentation and faculty presentations are funded by a grant received through the CVCC Foundation, Inc., from the 3M Corporation, and is also supported by the CVCC Office of Multicultural Affairs.

All the faculty presentations will be held at noon on Wednesdays, in the East Wing Auditorium on the Main Campus in Hickory Jan. 28, Feb. 18, and March 25.

English faculty member Susannah Blanchard will present “Prudencia’s Journey: A Parallel Perspective,” Jan. 28, giving consideration to another immigrant's journey as a means to examine the history of US legislation and actions in Central America which led to destabilized governments. The presentation will provide insight into how this created the widespread, violent circumstances from which people flee to find a better life in the US.?

On Feb. 28, a panel discussion featuring students, faculty, staff and community leaders will be held. The speakers will share their personal experience with immigration.

On March 25, CVCC drama faculty member Kim Stinson will direct her Play Production class in an informal presentation depicting the many paths taken by immigrants when moving to a new country.

Nazario’s presentation on the CVCC campus is April 1 at 11 a.m. in the Tarlton Complex and 6 p.m. in the East Wing Auditorium.

All events held in conjunction with “Enrique’s Journey” are free and open to the community.

For more information, contact Donna Ross, 828-327-7000 x 4111, or

Lincolnton Art Crawl Issues Open Call For March 13 Exhibition

Lincolnton, NC - The Art Crawl Downtown Lincolnton Committee extends an open call for local artists who would like to participate in our annual spring art crawl. Join us as Downtown Lincolnton hosts our next art crawl on March 13, 2015.

Restaurants and businesses will open their doors for a special evening of art, food, music and dance.

These merchants will host Lincoln County's artists and craftspeople who will showcase a wide variety of fine art and craft mediums including paintings, drawings, photography, pottery, fiber arts, jewelry, metal smith, wood turning, and more.

This is a free event for artist and the public. Deadline for artist registration is March 6, 2015.

For more information or to register as an artist, please email the Arts Council of Lincoln County at or 704 732-9044

Museum Offers Four WWII Talks

Hickory, NC – The Hickory Museum of Art (HMA) is presenting four Sunday afternoon gallery talks this winter in conjunction with the current exhibition 1944: A War, The People, A New Museum. The programs are free and open to the public.The series begins on Sunday, January 18 at 2:30 PM with Dr. Gary Freeze presenting “The Dodge of the Artful Catawban: A County Tableaux, 1944, and After.” Learn what life was like in Catawba County during WWII.

Dr. Freeze’s ability to resurrect the past makes his presentations lively and informative. Dr. Freeze, Professor of History at Catawba College in Salisbury, is also author of the historical trilogy about Catawba County. The final volume “The Catawbans: Boomers and Bypasses” will be published later this year.

Additional talks include: Sunday, February 1, 2:30 PM. Melinda Herzog, Executive Director of the Catawba County Historical Association, presents “The Miracle of Hickory,” a talk on Hickory’s polio epidemic of 1944.

Sunday, March 15, 2:30 PM. Laura Holland, Director of Marketing Services at Hickory Chair, presents “How HickoryBecame the Capital of the Furniture World.”

Historian Gary Freeze

Sunday, March 29, 2 PM. “World War II Stories in Conversations.” Four local WWII veterans and survivors will discuss their personal experiences. Participants include Charlie Dixon, Rhys Samuel, Carl Zwingli, and Vladmir Khudyakov.

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.

Laid Off From Heritage Home? Mortgage Help Is Available

Raleigh, NC - The recent layoff of 255 employees of Heritage Home Group in Hickory doesn’t have to translate into mortgage payment problems or home foreclosures. A state-designed program that already has helped more than 895 residents in Burke, Caldwell and Catawba counties hold on to their homes still has funds available.

The North Carolina Foreclosure Prevention Fund has helped 18,300 homeowners statewide keep up with mortgage payments while they seek or train for jobs. The program, which is funded by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, has available funds to assist approximately 3,000 more homeowners.

Through November, more than 30,000 North Carolina homeowners have received foreclosure notices in 2014, including 976 in Burke, Caldwell and Catawba counties.

The N.C. Foreclosure Prevention Fund makes mortgage payments for qualified unemployed homeowners – including returning veterans and people recovering from temporary hardships such as divorce – while they look for jobs or complete job training. Homeowners do not need to be behind on their mortgage payments to apply.

Assistance is offered in two forms:

•A zero-interest, deferred loan of up to $36,000 to help pay mortgage and related costs for up to 36 months while the homeowner seeks or retrains for a job. No repayment is due as long as the owner lives in the home, and the loan is forgiven after the owner lives there 10 years.

•A zero-interest loan to pay off a second mortgage. This can reduce the homeowner’s total monthly payment to an affordable level, and can help a homeowner who finds a new job but at a reduced income.

Eligible homeowners can apply through more than 40 participating HUD-approved counseling agencies, or online at

For more information, call 1-888-623-8631, or go online to

The N.C. Housing Finance Agency, a self-supporting public agency, has financed more than 221,000 affordable homes and apartments statewide since its creation in 1973.

Help The Lincolnton Lions Club Help Others-Buy A Broom!

Lincolnton, NC - Mahatma Gandhi, Indian Leader, said “Confession of errors is like a broom which sweeps away the dirt and leaves the surface brighter and clearer. I feel stronger about confession.” According to an old German proverb, “ a new broom sweeps clean.”

With the beginning of a New Year, it’s time to make new resolutions, to break old habits, to renewed with new promises, to make new starts, and to strive toward a lifetime of happiness and success! In keeping with the aforementioned quotations and sentiments, it’s time to throw out your worn out old broom and replace them with a Lions Club broom.

Have you been wondering where to purchase a Lions Club broom in Lincoln County? But didn’t know where to purchase it. In cooperation with the following Denver, Lincolnton and Vale businesses, barber/beauty shops, drug stores, ophthalmologist, and restaurants you may purchase a Lions Club broom throughout the year at the following locations:

People’s Bank- 142 Highway 16, South
People’s Bank- 6125 Highway 16, South

City Lunch- 113 Court Square, Southeast
Cutting House Salon- 1704 Gastonia Highway
The Drug Store- 626 Center Drive
Graystone Ophthalmology- 2311 East Main Street
Mosteller Barber Shop- 810 West Highway 27
People’s Bank- 760 West Highway 27
People’s Bank- 1910 East Main Street
Trim Barber Shop- 119 South Academy Street

The Drug Store-9576 West N.C. Highway 10
Cost per Lions Club broom and children mop is as follows:
·$5.00 child’s /hearth/camping broom
·$5.00 child’s mop
·$8.00 synthetic soft sweep broom
·$9.00 household straw broom
·$12.00 industrial/patio straw broom

By purchasing a Lincolnton Lions Club broom, you’re not only making a smart purchase but you’re assisting the Lions to promote sight conservation, provide services to the blind/visually impaired, purchase eyeglasses and eye examination for the needy of Lincoln County, sponsor blind/visually impaired adults to Camp Dogwood, support NC Lions Visually Impaired Fishing Tournament @ Nags Head, Annual Lions Club Christmas Party/Luncheon For The Blind, sponsor vision screenings at the elementary schools, sponsor four Lions Club College Scholarships, support Lions Cottage @ Boys & Girls Home of NC, Inc., and other Lions Club charities.

Lions Clubs were organized in 1917 and became international in 1920. As the world’s largest coeducational service organizations, Lions Club International has over 1.36 million members in over 46,000 clubs in 208 countries and geographical areas. For more information about Lions Club, please check our websites: Lions Club International ( ); North Carolina Lions, Inc.

( ), and Lincolnton Lions Club ( )

Girls Volleyball Registration Is Now Open For Ages 9-15

Hickory - Registration for Girls Volleyball is now underway at the Hickory Parks and Recreation Department Administrative Offices located at 1451 8th St Dr NE, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. The Girls Volleyball Program is open to girls 9 – 15 years old, must be 9 before April 1, 2015 and cannot be 16 before April 1, 2015. Parents of children who have previously registered their child through the master registration system may register by calling the Parks and Recreation Department at 322-7046. All 15 year olds must attend a skills assessment even if they participated in the 2014 season.

A birth certificate must be presented when registering for volleyball if one is not on file at the Parks and Recreation Department. A $40.00 non-resident fee for persons living outside the city limits of Hickory must accompany the birth certificate at the time of registration. Those who register by phone and live outside the city limits will need to mail in the fees before practice begins. All children participating in volleyball this spring are encouraged to purchase accident insurance coverage. The $6.00 insurance fee covers the participant for a one-year period from March 1, 2015 until February 28, 2016 in all activities sponsored and supervised by the Parks and Recreation Department. The $250,000 coverage is primary coverage that pays regardless of other insurance, directly to the participant, doctor or hospital. The $6.00 insurance fee must be paid at the time of registration.

PEE WEE GIRLS – (9 – 11 year olds, can’t be 12 before April 1, 2015). Skills assessments will be held at Highland Recreation Center, located at 1451 8th Street Drive NE, on Monday, February 9 or Wednesday, February 11 at 5:30 p.m.

MIDGET GIRLS – (12 – 15 year olds can’t be 16 before April 1, 2015). Skills assessments will be held at Highland Recreation Center, located at 1451 8th Street Drive NE, on Monday, February 9 or Wednesday, February 11 at 7:00 p.m.

For more information, please contact Lou Thomas at 261-2254.

Art-In-Healing Gallery Features Dawn Matthews’ Work

Lenoir, NC – The Caldwell Arts Council’s Art-in-Healing Gallery at Caldwell Memorial Hospital will feature artwork by Granite Falls artist & owner of The Thankful Goat, Dawn Mathews, during the first quarter of 2015. The Art-in Healing Gallery is located just inside the Mulberry Street Entrance to Caldwell Memorial Hospital, and is open 7am-8pm daily

About the artist:

In 2009, Dawn Mathews bought her first goat…

“I had visions of goat cheese dancing in my head. Fresh, farm cheese, feta, brie, gouda; but the goat had other plans! After she ate a whole laurel bush in our yard (which is poisonous to goats), we had to give her an anti-toxin shot. We couldn’t use the milk for cheese so a friend suggested we make soap.

Dawn Matthews - Chickens

The Thankful Goat was born! We are a local micro-farm making goat milk soap and bath products. Our herd has expanded, and we love what we do. Being an artist, I have captured snippets of our farm life along the way. That’s where this show comes in. It consists of my memories of our crazy farm brought to life in art. I hope you enjoy it as much as we have enjoyed living it! It truly is the go-o-o-od life!”

Dawn’s book, The Thankful Goat: An Unlikely Partnership Between a Woman and a Goat, is available at the Caldwell Arts Council gift shop or online at

About the Caldwell Arts Council

The Caldwell Arts Council, located at 601 College Avenue SW, Lenoir NC, presents monthly and quarterly exhibits, education and collection programs that foster cultural arts in Caldwell County. 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.

Family Guidance Center Offers Support, Insight On Verbal Abuse

Hickory - The mission of Family Guidance Center’s First Step Domestic Violence Program is to provide needed services to victims of domestic violence and to increase the community’s awareness of the problem.

Verbal abuse is a type of abuse that can leave deep wounds. There are no bruises or marks on your body, but verbal abuse pierces you to the core—it is the Hidden Hurt of domestic violence. Some forms of verbal abuse are obvious, such as name calling or sneering, but many more forms are less obvious and not as easy to recognize. Ask yourself the following questions to determine if you are being verbally abused:

Does your partner speak to you differently in private and in public?

Do you often leave a discussion with your partner feeling completely confused?

Does your partner deny being angry or upset when he/she very obviously is?

Does your partner act as though you were attacking them when you try to explain your feelings?

Does your partner discount your opinions or experiences?

You feel as though no matter how hard you try, you just don’t seem to be able to communicate your thoughts and feelings to your partner as he/she always seems to misunderstand you and/or it always seems to cause an argument no matter how you try to approach the subject?

Do you feel nervous or avoid discussing issues which disturb you with your partner because you ‘know’ that trying to discuss them will just leave you feeling even more upset?

Do you feel as though your self-esteem and your self-confidence have decreased?

Do you find yourself spending a lot of time working out either how not to upset your partner or wondering what you did or said which did upset your partner?

Facts which generally apply to verbal abuse:

Verbal abuse tends to be secretive.

Verbal abuse tends to increase over time.

Verbal abuse discounts your perception of reality and denies itself.

Verbal abuse is usually a part of a pattern which is difficult to recognize and it leaves us with a feeling of confusion and upset without really understanding why.

Verbal abuse uses words (or silence) to gain and maintain control.

From time to time, we may all be guilty of saying something which is nasty or abusive to our partner. But when we realize that what we said was hurtful, we regret it and apologize to our partner. Verbal abusers; however, are not likely to apologize. They are not sorry for what they said because hurting you was their intent!

Contact The Family Guidance Center at 828-322-1400. Located at #17 Hwy. 70 SE, Hickory, NC, 28602.

Charlotte’s Discovery Place Has New, Low Cost Admissions

Charlotte, NC – Discovery Place, Inc. announced today the launch of Welcome, a new program that provides low-cost access to families with EBT or WIC cards.

Welcome will reduce the cost of admission to $1 per person for families who present EBT (electronic benefit transfer) or WIC (Women, Infants and Children) cards at Discovery Place, Charlotte Nature Museum or Discovery Place KIDS in Huntersville or Rockingham, for up to six family members. While this initiative provides families with accessibility, more importantly, Welcome is intended to celebrate the diversity of perspectives and ideas in the community and stimulate positive and progressive change in educational outcomes for Charlotte’s children.

"We inspire curiosity and creativity every day in the thousands of children and families that visit our Museums. Sadly, there are parts of our community who need our services most, and many have never had the chance to enter our doors," said Discovery Place, Inc. president and CEO, Catherine Wilson Horne. “Welcome will serve the whole community, creating the opportunity for learning experiences for all families because science and exploration should be for everyone, not just those who can afford it.”

Thanks to generous donors, Discovery Place, Inc. has always been able to provide scholarship assistance and reduced prices for school groups. Welcome will further those efforts by offering a new type of access where the whole family can experience Discovery Place, creating the opportunity for learning and positive experiences for all parts of the community. This creates a new return on investment for those donors who have supported the Discovery Place, Inc. mission over the years.

“If we are going to continue to grow economic mobility and educational fulfillment in our community, we need to engage the entire family with those educational opportunities.

This engagement is needed more than ever as we face a significant shortage in the science-literate workforce, and Discovery Place seeks to be part of the solution in changing this future,” said Horne.

To help launch the community access program, Discovery Place is working with organizations serving low-resource, high-risk populations, including Mecklenburg County Department of Social Services, Loaves & Fishes, Charlotte Bilingual Preschool and others.

“Our children investigate S.T.EA.M. themes in our Discovery Room—a special classroom we named after Discovery Place. Now Welcome will enable our children and their parents to explore science and nature as a family in a playful setting,” said Claire Tate, Board Chair, Charlotte Bilingual Preschool.”

To redeem Welcome pricing, guests will only need to present their EBT or WIC card at Admissions at Discovery Place, Charlotte Nature Museum, Discovery Place KIDS-Huntersville or Discovery Place KIDS-Rockingham. Through Welcome, Discovery Place, Inc. is participating in Museums for All, a national initiative of the Institute of Museum and Library Sciences.
About Discovery Place

One of the top hands-on science museums in the nation, Discovery Place provides ever-changing, entertaining facilities that engage people in the active exploration of science and nature. The Museum brings relevant, contemporary science to life through groundbreaking exhibitions, interactive educational programming and hands-on activities.

Discovery Place is located in uptown Charlotte at 301 N. Tryon Street. Convenient parking is available in the Museum’s parking deck – the Carol Grotnes Belk Complex – at the corner of Sixth and Church Streets. For more information about Discovery Place, call 704.372.6261, visit or connect with Discovery Place on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Discovery Place, Inc. owns and operates Discovery Place, Charlotte Nature Museum, Discovery Place KIDS-Huntersville and Discovery Place KIDS-Rockingham and is supported, in part, with funding from the Arts & Science Council.

March 28, 2015, Is New Date Of Shakespeare Competition

Lenoir, NC - High school students from traditional, home and Christian schools in Caldwell and contiguous counties are invited to participate in the 3rd annual High School Shakespeare Monologue Competition sponsored by the Caldwell Arts Council and Caldwell County Schools.

This competition is an exciting way for students to increase their appreciation for language and to demonstrate their mastery of public speaking.

This year’s competitors are expected to memorize and recite a Shakespeare monologue of 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 minutes in length. Over $1,000 in cash awards will be presented. Details for participation are on the website:

Caldwell County students should contact their school’s office ASAP to determine the Shakespeare Monologue Competition coordinator in each school. Home school students and students from outside Caldwell County should contact the Caldwell Arts Council at 828-754-2486 or

Applications will be accepted now through March 6, 2015 – first come, first served on monologue selection.

The final competition will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, March 28, 2015 at the JE Broyhill Civic Center.

For further information, please contact the Caldwell Arts Council at 828-754-2486 or

ReasonCon 2015 Tickets On Sale Now For April Event

Hickory – “It was beyond anything I would have imagined for such a small town. To see what these groups pulled together-created for themselves-was an inspiration. In fact, every time I turned around, I felt inspired this weekend. The people, the event, the attitudes and dedication-were all inspiring,” Tracie Harris, speaker at ReasonCon One in 2014.

ReasonCon is an event to showcase the existence of a secular community in the southeastern United States. It is a gathering of atheists, agnostics, secular humanists, believers, and everything in between to join the conversation about what it means to be secular, and the benefits for all in the continued and vigilant separation of church and state.

This is also an opportunity for people in the Hickory area to learn more about what it means to be an atheist, agnostic, secular humanist, etc. This year, ReasonCon 2015 is being hosted by the Hickory Humanist Alliance, a local chapter of the American Humanist Association with 2 affiliate groups of their own, which gather in the Hickory area once a month.

Over 400 people attended ReasonCon One, as it was called, in May of 2014. The event took place in the Crowne Plaza Hotel and featured a day full of speakers talking about everything from using analogies in explaining secularism to the question of the authenticity or existence of an historical Jesus.

ReasonCon 2015 will take place on April 24th and 25th, with a VIP dinner on Friday night at which attendees can meet, chat, and dine with the event’s guest speakers, and then a full lineup of speakers and other events throughout the day on Saturday.

Guest speakers will include: Tracie Harris and Beth Presswood of the Austin Atheists, both of whom frequently appear on The Atheist Experience television show; Ryan Bell, the pastor who decided to try a “year without God”; Heina Dadabhoy, a feminist secular humanist author and blogger; Phil Ferguson, founder of Champaign Urbana Freethinkers and investment advisor; and David Fitzgerald, author, activist, and co-founder & director of the world’s first Atheist Film Festival.

Tickets for ReasonCon 2015 are on sale at Those who purchase tickets after December 20, 2014 will pay full price. Official ReasonCon T-shirts will be available for separate purchase at a later date. In the meantime, follow @HickoryHumanist on Twitter, or Hickory Humanist Alliance on Facebook to get further updates, watch for #ReasonCon2015, see the ReasonCon 2015 trailer, and see sneak previews of the events.

Genealogy Workshop Thursdays Returns To Library

Hickory – Why is genealogy one of the most popular hobbies today? Everyone has a different reason to get involved in the pursuit of family history. Some people are curious about their ancestors—who they were, what were they like and what experiences they lived through. Love of history prompts others. Another part of our passion for genealogy is unwrapping all the puzzling clues to solve the mystery of who we are. If the only barrier to your working on your family history is that you don’t know how to begin, join us to learn how to unravel your past.

Genealogy Workshop Thursdays is returning to the Carolina Room at Patrick Beaver Library. Twice each month beginning on October 2, 2014 and ending on May 22, 2015, Peggy Mainess, genealogy assistant, will lead sessions on genealogy research. Each session is a stand-alone class. Participants can choose which classes they want to attend whether it is one or all sixteen. The “Beginning Family Research” session on October 2, 2014 is a 90 minutes class. All other sessions will last 60 minutes. Registration will begin two weeks prior to each class date.

Please consult the following schedule for class dates.
3/05/2015: Immigration Records
3/19/2015: Surname and Date Variations
4/10/2015: Using Maps and Geography in Genealogical Research
4/24/2015: Tracing Female Ancestry
5/08/2015: Special Circumstances
5/22/2015: Using On-Line Resources

The workshops begin at 7:00 p.m. and are free, but registration is required. Registration will open two weeks prior to each session. For more information or to register call 304-0500 extension 7235. Patrick Beaver is located at 375 Third Street NE.

Western Piedmont Symphony Announces 50th Season

Hickory/Lenoir, NC - Under the direction of Maestro John Gordon Ross, the Western Piedmont Symphony will be celebrating their 50th year of beautiful music. World renowned banjo master, Béla Fleck, will open this very special season. Fleck has received 15 Grammy awards for his banjo performances.

March 28, 2014 PE Monroe, LRU, Classical Coffee House with Pianist Ursula Oppens

April 25, 2015 PE Monroe, LRU—Resurrection featuring the Hickory Choral Society

Concerts begin at 7:30 pm. Tickets are available through, or email at, or call Symphony box office at 828.324.8603 from 10am-4pm M-F. Additional information can be found at

The Western Piedmont Symphony is a grant recipient of the North Carolina Arts Council and a funded affiliate of the United Arts Council of Catawba County. Business offices are located on the SALT Block at 243 Third Avenue NE, Hickory. Business hours are 9:00 am until 4:00 pm Monday-Friday.

Women’s Resource Center Needs Daily Volunteers

Hickory-Women’s Resource Center is seeking women volunteers who have a passion for giving back to their community and supporting women who are undergoing life-changing transitions.

We need support during our regular daily business hours. WRC Business Hours are 9:00am—4:00pm,Monday through Thursday.

Women’s Resource Center empowers women through Workforce Development, Advocacy, Enrichment Programs, and Community Partnerships.

If interested, please contact Cindy Rose, Executive Director at 828-322-6333 or email

Newton Animal Shelter Is In Urgent Need Of Supplies

Newton, NC - Opening the new animal shelter in Newton provides the opportunity to rescue so many more animals, but it also requires many more supplies. Between the Newton and Hickory shelters, Humane Society of Catawba County now cares for approximately 275 animals.

HSCC has several urgent needs for donations from the community. Laundry detergent (any variety, liquid or powder) and bleach, HSCC does many loads of laundry each day for the shelter animals and spay/neuter clinic. Donations of Dry Purina One Kitten, Dry Purina One Cat food, Dry Purina One Puppy or Purina Puppy Chow, and canned dog food will help feed the many shelter animals each day. Cat litter, inexpensive and non-clumping, is needed to accommodate the 115 cats and kittens staying at both shelters. Various cleaning products and supplies are needed for general cleaning and maintenance: window cleaner and OxiClean powder.

With the continued increase in adoptions and spay/neuter surgeries, there is a need for more computers. If anyone has upgraded their computer recently, HSCC needs working computers. HSCC is a 501(c) 3 non profit, no-kill animal organization serving Catawba County and the surrounding areas. All donations are tax deductable. HSCC does not receive any assistance from local or national humane agencies.

Drop off donations at the Newton shelter: 201 Government Services Drive, during regular business hours, Monday – Friday 11am-6pm, Saturday 10am – 3pm, 828-466-7171 or the Hickory shelter: 3224 20th Ave SE, Hickory, 28602 (GPS: Newton) during regular business hours, Monday through Saturday from 11 am to 6 pm, 828-464-8878.

Social Workers Partner With Lions Clubs To Help The Blind

According to The World Health Organization, 153 million people have uncorrected refractive errors (near-sightedness, far-sightedness or astigmatism). Most of these vision impairments are quickly diagnosed and easy to treat with corrective lenses. For children, clear vision means a better education, healthier development and a better quality of life. For adults, it means greater employment opportunity and economic strength. For seniors it means less dependence on others.

Unfortunately, due to the current economic situation, many people are forgoing scheduling annual eye examinations and purchasing new eyeglasses. That's why County Social Worker's with NC Division of Services For The Blind have established a partnerships with their Lions Clubs in the county to refer children and adults who need financial assistance in securing an eye examination and purchasing eyeglasses who meet their local Lions Club eligibility guidelines.

If Alexander, Burke, Caldwell,Catawba, Cleveland, Gaston, Iredell, Lincoln, McDowell, Polk and Rutherford County residents needing assistance with eyeglasses and eye examinations should contact these County Social Workers For The Blind with NC Division of Services For The Blind listed below , then they will forward their names and contact information to a Lions Club in their county:

Alexander & Caldwell County Social Worker For The Blind
1. Gary Smith
604 7th Street, SW
2345 Morganton Boulevard, Suite A, Taylorsville, NC 28681 Lenoir, North Carolina 28645
Telephone: (828) 632-1080 Telephone: 828-426-8316

Burke & McDowell County Social Worker For The Blind
2. Sandy Freeman
700 E. Parker Road
207 East Court Street
Morganton, NC 28680 Marion, NC 29752
Telephone: (828) 764-9704 Telephone: 828-659-0844

Catawba Social Worker
for the Blind
3. Greg Morgan
PO Box 669
Newton, NC 28658

Cleveland County Social
Worker For The Blind
4. Lucy Plyer
130 South Post Road
Shelby, North Carolina 28150
Telephone: 704-487-0661 ext. 317;

Gaston Social Worker
for the Blind
5. Charity Patterson
330 N. Marietta Street
Gastonia, NC 28052
Telephone: (704) 862-7622

Iredell & Lincoln County
Social Worker for the Blind
6. Tammy Loukos
549 Eastside Drive
1136 East Main Street
Statesville, NC 28687
Lincolnton, N.C. 28092
Telephone: (704) 924-4111 Telephone: 704-732-9024

Polk & Rutherford County
Social Worker For The Blind
7. Marian Corn
231 Wolverine Trail
389 Fairground Road
Mill Spring, NC 28756 Spindale, NC 28160
Telephone: (828) 894-2100 Telephone: 828-287-1241

To secure names, and contact information of other NC County Social Worker’s For The Blind not listed, please check out the NC Division of Services For The Blind website @

Catawba Science Center’s Free Fridays Will Continue

Hickory - Catawba Science Center is pleased to announce the continuation of the Free Friday admission program thanks to a $7,500 gift from the Unifour Foundation, a foundation associated with the NC Community Foundation.

The Free Friday program provides free admission to all individuals on the third Friday of each month, thus eliminating barriers caused by admission fees. This program was created with the intent of providing access to science experiences for financially challenged families and children.

Alan Barnhardt, Executive Director of Catawba Science Center stated, “We are fortunate that individuals and organizations in our region understand the importance of engaging children in science.

We see many instances where this has influenced their future choice of careers. The experience these children encounter at Catawba Science Center promotes problem-solving skills and promotes inquiry-based thinking.“

Last year over 130,000 individuals took part in programs at Catawba Science Center. This includes over 53,000 students and teachers from 24 counties in the Foothills and western part of our state.

The NCCF is a statewide community foundation serving NC and has made nearly $68 million in grants since it inception in 1988. For more information on Free Fridays or science programs visit

Child Wellbeing Project Offers Post Adoption Support

Hickory - The Child Wellbeing Project is expanding to assist adoptive families in an eight-county region of North Carolina.

The program uses the Success Coach model of post-adoption services. Thanks to a grant from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Resources, this service is now being made available to any family who has adopted and is currently living in one of the following counties: Ashe, Alleghany, Alexander, Burke, Caldwell, Catawba, Watauga and Wilkes.

Children who have been adopted often struggle with their identity and may have trouble fitting into their new family or adjusting to a new school. Post Adoption Success Coach Services assign a Success Coach to these families, allowing them to receive additional help and support. This assistance is free for the adoptive family.

"We realize that many children who have been adopted continue to have struggles long after the adoption is finalized," said Chrissy Triplett, post adoption care supervisor.

"Success Coaches can work with adoptive families to provide helpful information and coaching in how to deal with these issues."

The Success Coach model has been used successfully with a limited number of families in Catawba County. It is now being offered to any family who has adopted in the eight-county region. International adoptions and adoptions through private agencies are included, as well as adoptions arranged by county Departments of Social Services.

The Child Wellbeing Project will work with several private therapy providers to offer Success Coach services. For more information about Success Coach Post Adoption Services, go to or call 828-695-4428. The Child Wellbeing Project and Success Coach Post-Adoption Services are a service of Catawba County Social Services.

Hickory’s Angel of Hope House Requests Help

Hickory - Angel of Hope House Inc. is a faith based not-for-profit organization that houses women ages 18 and over; who are motivated to recover from alcohol and/or drug abuse. It is a safe stable environment that practices a program of recovery to work and teach women to be independent and successful members of society. Angel of Hope is a spiritually based facility with diverse group of women; however, we all have the same goal: a happy and sober life.

Angel of Hope has partnered with Vision Outreach Ministries in Conover to help with their Homeless Program. Angel of hope helps with the feeding and clothing. Through this we are teaching the ladies humbleness and to give back what was so freely given to them.

Items Needed:

- contributions for utilities
- refrigerator
- deep freezer
- more dependable vehicle
- toiletries
- household cleaning supplies
- office supplies
- pantry items: coffee, sugar, creamer, beans, rice, peanut butter, jelly
- feminine products
- toilet paper, paper towels, trash bags
- sanitizing items: Lysol spray, Bleach, Clorox Wipes
- gas cards
- notebooks, pens, pencils, for step study work
- paper, pens, envelopes, stamps for writing letters to family and children

To make contributions. donations, or any further information please contact: Joyce Crouse (Asst. Director): (828)- 315- 0352 or Kelly Cook (Resident Manager): (828) 322-6211.

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 or find the Meals on Wheels of Catawba County program on Facebook at!/MealsOnWheelsOfCatawbaCounty.

How To Get Your Event In Focus

Email a press release for your non-profit event, fundraiser, festival or other community event to 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 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.

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

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 ( “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:, National Domestic Violence Hotline, open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, 1-800-799-SAFE (7223), provides unbiased, advertising-free mental health information to give people the self-help options to help people understand, prevent, and resolve life’s challenges, 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, 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
Or contact Sean Jarman at 828-695-2134 or

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:

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