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Newton Says, Paint It Red, White & Blue For Reunion!

Newton, NC – In honor of the 126th Soldiers Reunion, the Newton Appearance Commission is sponsoring the Paint the Town Red, White and Blue contest.

The Paint the Town Red, White and Blue contest gives Newton’s residents and businesses the chance to show their patriotic spirit during Reunion Week. Residents and businesses are invited to decorate their homes, yards and businesses with a patriotic theme for a chance to win a $100 Lowe’s gift card.

Judging will take place Friday, Aug. 14, through Tuesday, Aug. 18. Winners will be announced on the Appearance Commission’s Facebook page and the city of Newton website, as well as at the Appearance Commission’s booth on Reunion Day.

One winning business and one winning home will receive a $100 Lowe’s gift card.

Decorating Contest Instructions:

Registration is required. Registration forms are available at the Main Library in Newton, Newton City Hall, the Newton Recreation Center, and at

Entries must be received by 5 p.m. Thursday, August 13.

Registration forms may be submitted to a drop box at Newton City Hall or sent to

Decorations must be a patriotic theme and be visible from the street.

Please contact Appearance Commission Chair Collette Touchette at with any questions.

Fallen Heroes Fundraiser Is Set For Saturday, August 29

Morganton, NC - The Table Rock Fraternal Order of Leatherheads Society (F.O.O.L.S.) is a brotherhood dedicated to furthering training and brotherhood among firefighters. Each year they have a benefit to provide a fund to assist their Brothers and Sisters in Fire-EMS-Rescue and Law Enforcement community when tragedy strikes or needs arise due to injury, illness or death.

The 3rd Annual Fallen Heroes Fundraiser is Saturday, August 29, from 10am to 10pm at Catawba Meadows Park, 701 Sanford Drive, in Morganton, NC.

There will be barbeque dinners for sale, Emergency vehicles (Fire Trucks, Rescue, EMS, local Police and Sheriff's Dept),
bouncy houses for the kids and a Car Show and Cruise-In. Tickets will be sold for prize drawings and Pink Heals will be present with their pink Fire Truck and personnel.

Prizes include a $500 VISA Gift Card, a Glock Model 19, Gen 4, a Ruger 10/22 Takedown and fourth prize is $250 cash. Tickets are $5 each or five for $20. The drawing will be held the day of the event at Catawba Meadows Park.

A free concert, with music beginning at noon, runs until 10 pm. On stage will be the Americana-grass band Wiregrass, Malco Conclusion, Midlife Crisis of Hickory, and the duo of Darren and Justin.

The headliner is Kaleb Hensley from Lenoir and his band. Kaleb lives in Nashville, and his been burning the roads up, touring from Detroit to Orlando to Austin. He returns to the Lenoir/Hickory area as often as he can, and will taking the stage from 8 to 10 pm.

Admission is free and the public is welcome to attend!

For more information, go to or Table Rock F.O.O.L.S on Facebook.

Caregiver Support Program Offers Local Families A Break

Hickory - Caring for an older member of the family, who is ill, can be very rewarding and challenging. Karen Harshman willingly cared for her father John Godfrey during his illness and more so after he had to have surgery. During the time Karen cared for her father, she continued to work and raise her young daughter. Karen was glad to care for her father but found that she needed extra help. She was able to receive help from Health and Home Services of Catawba County through the Family Caregiver Support Program respite grant. Karen states, “The respite program benefited me by allowing me to maintain my employment and not have to take a leave of absence from work. It provided high-quality care for my father in his home, as opposed to putting him in a skilled nursing facility.”

Family members are the major provider of long-term care in the United States, with over 65 million individuals providing care to an older adult. Many caregivers have to remain in their jobs while being caregivers for family members. The responsibilities of caring for a loved one can often leave a caregiver inattentive to their personal health or leave little time for a break from their daily responsibilities. Taking a break from caregiving and focusing on their personal needs often renews the caregiver, allowing them to cope better and continue providing care for their loved one and their responsibilities.

While caregiving can be very rewarding, it can also have an emotional, physical and financial toll on the caregiver. When the stress of caregiving begins to have an impact on the caregiver's health and mental well-being, it is time to seek help and support. The Family Caregiver Support Program is a Federal and state program from the federal Older Americans Act that provides supportive services for those considered caregivers. Program services are available to adult family members who are caregivers for a person age 60 or older and priority given to caregivers providing care and support to persons with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia and/or to individuals with disabilities.

Melody Beaty, RN, BSN, Agency Director for Health & Home Services administers a respite program in our area which provides much-needed breaks for caregivers who are caring for a family member. As Melody explains, “Every day hundreds of people are providing care to a loved one in our community. For most they do not even recognize themselves as caregivers. This labor of love can be stressful and overwhelming at times.”

The Family Caregiver Support Program serves Alexander, Burke, Caldwell and Catawba County caregivers and services are available to assist caregivers on their journey. It is important for caregivers to take a break or take some time for themselves during the time they are dedicating to caring for a loved one. If you are caring for someone and feel you need assistance or if you know someone who is a caregiver and could use a much-needed break, contact the following organization in your county:

·Alexander County – HomeCare Management Corporation, 315 Wilkesboro Blvd. NE, Lenoir NC 28645. Phone – (828) 754-3665

·Burke County – Handi-Care, Inc., 304 South Main Street, Drexel, NC 28619. Phone: (828) 437-8429

·Caldwell County – HomeCare Management Corporation, 315 Wilkesboro Blvd. NE, Lenoir, NC 28645. Phone – (828) 754-3665

·Catawba County - Health and Home Services, Inc., 910 Hwy 321 NW, Suite 150, Hickory, NC 28601 or by phone at (828) 322-2710.

Photo: Left to right: Jennifer Godfrey, John Godfrey and Karen Harshman

Trolley For Hire For Special Events In Burke County!

Morganton, NC – Burke County tourists have a new transportation option thanks to the Burke County Tourism Development Authority.

The TDA recently purchased a diesel-powered trolley that can be used for charters and special events throughout the region. The idea to add the trolley came from TDA director Ed Phillips, who saw a need for that type of transportation in a county with a growing tourism industry.

“In other areas that have used trolleys, it really adds a lot to the community,” Phillips said. “It’s a nostalgic, fun type of transportation that is mostly found in coastal New England towns or historic southern towns, and we have enough interest here in Burke County for one.”

The trolley was purchased from a tour company in Kannapolis and has been branded as Ridgeline Trolley and Tours.

Trolley Driver Joe Johnson of Morganton

In addition to being available for charters for family reunions, weddings, birthdays, and other gatherings, Phillips and his organization will soon put together tour packages. Phillips said the plan is to utilize the trolley to create special events such as wine hops, historical tours and themed excursions.

“It allows us to create packages showcasing our wineries, history and outdoors without having to go out of the county to get transportation,” Phillips said.

The Ridgeline Trolley rolled into service on July 10. It is air-conditioned, heated, and accommodates up to 22 passengers. Groups can charter the trolley for $150 per hour.

“We had three charters in the first week and hadn’t even promoted it yet,” said Phillips. ““The trolley’s unique atmosphere adds to the special event it is being used for. It even has a politician’s platform on the back which makes it great for photos.”

For more info on the Ridgeline Trolley and upcoming tours, call the visitors center at 888-462-2921, or go online to:

Valdese Weavers Celebrates A Century At Waldensian Fest

Valdese, NC - Valdese Weavers is celebrating a landmark in 2015 as they commemorate their 100th anniversary. As part of that celebration, the company is sharing a historic exhibit with the town during the annual Waldensian Festival on August 8.

The Valdese Weavers historic exhibit will be on display in the Waldensian Room at the Old Rock School on Main Street, August 8, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Among the many items on display will be antique textiles from the early 1700s to 1800s paired with current day fabrics inspired by the documents, plus vintage weaving tools, other artifacts and textiles from the 1920s and1930s.

Two craftsmen will be present illustrating the art and technique involved in creating fabrics.

One artisan will demonstrate hand weaving on an antique, eight-harness hand loom while another will be painting and creating original art, which is often used as inspiration for the company’s textiles.

Valdese Weavers has also dug into the archives of each brand to recreate 100 of its most popular fabrics, which will be on display. The centennial fabrics represent the company’s best sellers across all residential applications from upholstery to bedding to luggage.

Visitors can also explore Valdese Weaver’s company timeline, which notes significant business accomplishments from 1915 to today, and preview excerpts from their 100th anniversary book, designed to celebrate the accomplishments of a century of outstanding employees.

To learn more visit, or connect through Twitter and Facebook.

Catawba County’s Seniors Morning Out Has New Locations

Hickory - Catawba County's Senior Nutrition Services has two new locations for its Seniors Morning Out Program.

These are at Center United Methodist Church, 2945 Sherrills Ford Road, Catawba; and at Huntington Hills Church of God, 2123 Fifth Street, NE, Hickory.

Pastor John Love and the leadership of Center United Methodist, said in a statement: "We are blessed to have the opportunity to house the Catawba Seniors Morning Out Program. We have been looking for a mission opportunity to serve the community, and this opportunity dropped in our lap. What a privilege it is to be able to be involved in this program."

Pastor Harv Turner of Huntington Hills Church of God, said: "It is our privilege to partner with Catawba Senior Nutrition Service and Jan Shaffer (supervisor of the program) as a means of outreach to impact our community and the great people of Hickory and beyond."

There are a total of five locations where the Seniors Morning Out program is held. The others are at West Hickory Senior Center, 400 17th Street, SW, Hickory; at Maiden Community Center, 207 East Klutz Street, Maiden; and at First Presbyterian Church, 701 North Main St., Newton.

Seniors Morning Out is free and open to any resident of Catawba County who is 60 or better. The program includes a variety of fun and informative activities as well as monthly outings. A hot, balanced lunch is also provided. The program operates from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, except for holidays. Bus transportation is available to county residents who cannot drive. This program is not limited by income. Any county resident who is at least 60 may attend.

For more information about this program, call 828-695-5610, or go to

Senior Nutrition Services also has a Facebook page at

Food Lion Feeds Food Drive For Local Food Pantry On Aug. 8

Valdese, NC - As part of its sponsorship of the 2015 Waldensian Festival, Food Lion Feeds will host a canned food drive during the festival to raise meals for the local food pantry, Burke United Christian Ministries.

Attendees are encouraged to bring canned items with them to the festival and Food Lion associates will be on hand to collect the items at booths located near the main stage. Food Lion Feeds will match all canned food collected up to 2,500 pounds.

The canned food drive is part of Food Lion's mission, through Food Lion Feeds, to help end hunger in the grocer's local communities. Through Food Lion Feeds, Food Lion has committed to donated 500 million meals in the local communities it serves by the end of 2020.

Saturday, August 8, 9am to 9pm in Downtown Historic Valdese, N.C. Booth 75 and 77.

About the Waldensian Festival

Since 1976, on the second Saturday in August, Valdese hosts an annual festival to celebrate the “Glorious Return” of the Waldenses from exile in Switzerland to their native valleys in the Cottian Alps of Italy in 1689. This celebration is mirrored around the world by other Waldensian communities. Now in its 40th season, the Waldensian Festival is an exciting event with over 170 food and craft vendors, live entertainment, historic attractions and much more!

About Food Lion

Food Lion, based in Salisbury, N.C., since 1957, has more than 1,100 stores in 10 Southeastern and Mid-Atlantic states and employs more than 63,000 associates. Through Food Lion Feeds, the company has committed to provide 500 million meals to individuals and families in need by the end of 2020. Food Lion is a company of Delhaize America, the U.S. division of Brussels-based Delhaize Group. For more information, visit

Local Artist Norma Rader Deal’s Show Is At Callahan’s, July 31

Newton, NC - Local artist Norma Deal is returning to North Carolina – she and her paintings will be featured in a one woman show, Coming Home, Frome The Mountains to the Sea and Back Again, at Callahan’s Cafe in Newton on Friday, July 31.

Born and raised in Conover, North Carolina, Norma left the area to pursue a higher education, marriage and career, finally retiring to the lowcountry of South Carolina where she has made a name for herself as a top notch fine artist. Norma has had an interest in painting throughout her life eventually making it a full time business venture.

Her work is a wide range from folk art to contemporary abstract, mainly working with oil and mixed media, often experimenting with new techniques and materials. Her paintings are often mystical, with floating figures and a soft ethereal feeling about them.

Dock of the Bay, Aruba by Norma Deal

She is inspired by the natural world around her wherever she is; she loves to paint the beautiful North Carolina mountains and lakes, as well as the coastal areas of her current home in the Hilton Head Island and Bluffton South Carolina area. After moving to the lowcountry Norma developed an interest in the unique Gullah traditions of the south and has painted many images featuring the Gullah people. Whatever her subject she paints with a rare talent and an enviable imagination.

Norma is very involved in the art scene in her community and has works at numerous galleries and shops there, but it will be a treat for her to share her work in her old stomping ground of NC.

Please visit Callahan's Cafe, on the square in Newton on Friday, July 31st from 5 to 8 pm. Light refreshments will be served at the event which is free and open to the public and is catered by Debbie Leatherman.

Hudson Dinner Theatre Auditions For Guys And Dolls, Aug. 24 & 25

Hudson, NC - Auditions for the Hudson Dinner Theatre Production of “Guys and Dolls” will be held in the Hudson Uptown Building Auditorium on Monday and Tuesday, August 24th and 25th at 7:00 PM. The reading will be from the script and an accompanist will be provided, if auditioners bring a song. Wear comfortable clothing for movement.

“Guys and Dolls” is a delightful, colorful, larger than life musical comedy set in the New York Underworld of the 1940s. Based on material by the author, Damon Runyon, “Guys and Dolls” follows two camps: the underworld of gamblers, gangsters and night clubs on the one side and the Salvation Army on the other. There are two love stories, some quality music and exciting dance, wrapped in comedy and a unique style of speaking from the period and personnel.

There are roles from ages 16-70: gangsters, gamblers, dancers, singers, Salvation Army personnel and one burr under your saddle cop! All roles with the exception of the cop are singing roles. The cop is Lieutenant Brannigan and is the one pre-cast role – (Stephen Starnes). Overall, the director is looking for about 40 actors, singers, dancers. For more information, call the director Keith Smith, at Hudson Town Hall, 728-8272.

Soldiers Reunion Cruisin’ Car Show Is Sunday, August 16

Newton, NC – The 126th Soldiers Reunion kicks off Sunday, Aug. 16, with classic cars, music, fellowship, and fun at the Soldiers Reunion Cruisin’ Car Show.

The Cruisin’ Car Show, now in its 24th year, has become one of the most popular activities during Reunion Week, according to Wayne Dellinger, chairman for the Soldiers Reunion. Thousands of area residents attend the show each year to view hundreds of vintage vehicles. Dellinger said the classic car event is part of the Reunion’s weeklong tribute to U.S. military personnel, both past and present.

The cars and trucks—all 1972 or older—will be on display beginning at 2:30 p.m. The event will encompass the 1924 Courthouse Square and downtown business district, with spectators invited to view a myriad of original and restored classic automobiles. About 6:30 p.m., Newton’s one-way streets will transform into two-way streets, with cruising to bring back muscle car memories for local residents.

During the event, musical entertainment will be provided around the 1924 Courthouse Square. Bring your lawn chairs and dancing shoes for an entertaining afternoon and evening of classic cars and classic music.

If you would like to participate in this year’s Cruisin’ Car Show, you must own a car or truck manufactured before 1973, pay a $2 registration fee, and obtain an official Cruisin’ placard. Placards are available at Pin Station Bowling Center.

For more information, or to register, contact Wayne Dellinger at 828-464-3906.

2014 Cruisin’ Car Show at Soldiers Reunion, Newton, NC

WP Youth Symphony Is Setting Auditions Now For Aug. & Sept.

Hickory - Western Piedmont Youth Symphony will hold auditions for its 2015-2016 season by appointment only, 2-6 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 25th - Friday, Sept. 4th (with the exception of weekends) in the Performing Arts Wing of the Arts & Science Center on the SALT Block, 243 Third Avenue N.E. in Hickory. All new and returning members MUST audition.

WPYS Candidates should prepare the following for audition: 2 Major Scales in 2 or more octaves, 1 minor scale (any of the three forms is acceptable) in 2 or more octaves and one prepared solo piece or etude.

Each musician will also be given a short passage of sight-reading.

Those selected to the WPYS have the opportunity to rehearse September-April under the direction of Maestro John Gordon Ross and perform in two concerts:

The WPYS Fall concert will be 7 p.m. Monday, November 23, 2015 at the SALT Block Auditorium in Hickory.

The WPYS Spring concert will be a side-by-side, performed with the professional WPS orchestra, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 16, 2016 at P.E. Monroe Auditorium on the campus of Lenoir-Rhyne University, also in Hickory.

Tuition for the 2015-2016 will be $100 per year, with payment plans and tuition assistance available to qualified members. That fee includes weekly Monday night rehearsals, two concert performances, a concert T-shirt and two pre-concert pizza dinners for the well as the opportunity to work with our professional resident string quartet during sectionals and challenges! The first rehearsal will be held at 5 p.m. Monday, Sept. 14th in the Keiser Community Room in the West Wing at the SALT Block.

To reserve your Youth Symphony audition time, call the WP Symphony office at 828.324.8603 or email WPS at

Human Society Sets Rabies Vaccine Clinic In Catawba, Aug. 1

Catawba, NC- Humane Society of Catawba County, in collaboration with Catawba County Animal Services, will be offering off-site rabies clinics in August and September. There will be 1 year rabies vaccines available for $7.00.

The next clinic is Saturday, August 1st, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. at the Catawba Fire Department, 108 N Main Street, Catawba.

All dogs must be on a leash and under control of the dog owner at all times, and all cats must be in a carrier for the safety and security of the cat.

No appointment is necessary. Rabies clinics are available to any member of the public and are not limited to residents of Catawba County.

Victoria, pictured, is available for adoption. Go to for photos of available cats and dogs in need of ‘fur-ever’ homes.

HSCC -Hickory, 3224 20th Ave SE, Hickory, NC 28602, Tel: 828.464.8878. HSCC -Newton, 201 Government Services Dr., Newton, NC 28658, Tel: 828.466.7171.

The Wig Bank Of Caldwell Co.’s Summer Bash Is Sat., August 15!

Lenoir, NC – The Wig Bank of Caldwell County, with the support of Madison & Ali Bumgarner and SunTrust Bank of Lenoir, announces that their 2nd annual Summer Bash will be held on Saturday, August 15, 2015 from 5pm until 11pm in Lenoir, NC. This year’s Summer Bash will fill the evening with this never before together colossal trio of music with The Extraordinaires, DJ Johnny B and The Entertainers. These three regionally renowned champions of beach music are sure to satisfy your desire to boogie all night long. Tickets are $20 each, $25 each at the door. Early purchase is recommended, anticipating an early sell out due to this amazing line up that will draw hundreds if not thousands of fans from all over the region.

The Extraordinaires, a 9 member band from Hickory, NC have been performing weekly all over the Carolinas since 2003. With their electrifying style they will keep you hustling until you’re exhausted. DJ Johnny B is an award winning DJ and since 1981 has performed all over the southeast and has co-hosted many events with legends such as Clarence Carter, Percy Sledge, The Platters and many more. The Entertainers, an 8 member recording and performing band from the Charlotte, NC area, has been performing their beach music all over the southeast together since 1980. Their original songs and extensive song list are sure to delight all shag dancers.

The Wig Bank of Caldwell County is a non-profit organization that serves cancer patients and their families at no cost. They provide a comfortable place for respite and care, support groups, wigs, hats and scarves, make-up, gas & food gift cards and much more.

For tickets or more information about this unrivalled Summer Bash event, sponsorship opportunities or The Wig Bank of Caldwell County please call 828-758-9111 or visit

Hickory Bond Projects Moving Forward, Drawings Presented

Hickory – The Hickory Bond Implementation Commission held a joint meeting, hosted by the Hickory Parks and Recreation Commission, at Winkler Park Activity Center on Tuesday, July 14, before the Crawdads Home Game.

In mid-May and early June, the three Bond Projects’ Subcommittees, Citywalk, Riverwalk, Streetscapes and Gateways, scheduled meetings with Freese and Nichols (FNI), the professional bond program management service that was hired by the City. The Bond Commission has been advising on the first three projects, while City staff oversees the Park 1764 project.

At the July meeting, Freese and Nichols presented the conceptual drawings for the Riverwalk project. “We have looked at the constraints and opportunities at the parks, along the lake,” said Charles Archer, FNI account manager.

“The river is a destination area and important linkage for the City,” said Matt Milano, FNI landscape architect.

The Riverwalk is a comprehensive water front trail system.

Projected look of Riverwalk

“We wanted to develop an artful system that is expressive and inspiring, increase connectivity to existing points of interest, and make the southern portion of the Riverwalk a destination space,” added Milano.

Some of the concepts include a combination concrete path and deck section over the water, low level pedestrian lights, including architectural character into the railing and decking, and overlooks that will have backless benches for best full visual ability that will be steel to match the rails.

In addition to the Riverwalk project, the Streetscapes/Gateways and Citywalk Subcommittees each gave a brief update on their projects.

Assistant City Manager Andrea Surratt presented the details of the TIGER (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery) Discretionary Grant program that the City has applied for and is being reviewed by the Department of Transportation (DOT). If awarded to the City, this grant will assist with completion of the City Walk project, comprised of 1.2 miles of pedestrian, bicycle, roadway, streetscape, safety, signage, signalization, intersection, crosswalk, and public meeting space improvements. The total cost of Citywalk is projected to be $27.5 million. Hickory is requesting $22 million in Tiger funds and will commit $5.5 million in local funds.

Mayor Rudy Wright, Councilmen Hank Guess, David Zagaroli, City Manager Mick Berry and Assistant Manager Andrea Surratt spent Thursday in Washington DC, meeting with elected officials and US Transportation staff, drumming up support for the Tiger Grant application. “We have total support from our NC delegation,” said Berry. “And, we had a very productive meeting with US DOT Deputy Secretary Kevin Monroe. We’ve got a strong grant application, and we’ve learned some things we can do to make it even stronger.”

August 24 through the 26 will be the next Subcommittee meetings and the full Bond Implementation Commission will meet in late October. The majority of the October meeting will be about the Streetscapes/Gateways and Citywalk projects. The City should know more about their application for the TIGER Grant at that time.

All Bond Implementation Commission and Subcommittee meetings will be posted on’s Home page, under City Meetings.

Writers Of Daredevil To Present New Novel At Waldensian Fest

Valdese, NC - Valdese, NC native Ruth Fletcher Gage and her husband, Christos, a three-time New York Times bestselling writer of graphic novels and comics, will release THE LION OF RORA on August 5th. Drawn by Jackie Lewis, it’s a historical epic along the lines of Braveheart or 300.

It's about a little known group of people called the Waldensians, who – led by Joshua Janavel – battled to save their people from tyranny and persecution, the first case in European history in which subjects of a ruler rebelled to defend their religious freedom. The principles they fought for later became the crux of the Protestant Reformation and the American Revolution.

Waldensians settled the Western NC town of Valdese, where there is a museum, a festival and an outdoor drama commemorating their history. Author Ruth Fletcher Gage is descended from them, and has spent twenty years meticulously researching their history.

Ruth and Chris are veteran film and television writers, with credits on such shows as Daredevil, Law & Order: SVU, and Numbers. Christos Gage is a well-known comic book writer, having penned such titles as Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Amazing Spider-Man and Avengers Academy.

Recent reviews of the book have been universally positive. The Library Journal said “The Lion Of Rora” presents moments of history depicted with captivating art” and compared it to the award-winning Boxers And Saints.

Books will be available for purchase during the Waldensian Festival held on August 8th. “We are thrilled that Ruth and Chris will sell their book during the festival!” states Barbara Hefner, Community Affairs Director. “It is a perfect fit to our celebration and will provide more insight to visitors that may have questions regarding the Waldensians.” The book tent will be located in front of the Waldensian Presbyterian Church from 11:00am until 2:00pm.

The Waldensian Festival is sponsored by the Town of Valdese, Carolina Health Care System Blue Ridge, Food Lion, Paramount Ford Hyundai Valdese, SAFT America, Shenandoah, Viewmont Surgery Center, Valdese Weavers, Bimbo Bakeries USA, Republic Services, McDonalds, Carolina Orthopaedic Specialists, Burke Hospice & Palliative Care and Hampton Inn.

For further information regarding the Waldensian Festival or other events in Valdese, go to or call 828-879-2129.

Cathy Taylor’s Pigments Of Your Imagination, Through September

Lenoir, NC – The Caldwell Arts Council’s Art-in-Healing Gallery at Caldwell Memorial Hospital will feature artwork by Lenoir artist & national art instructor Cathy Taylor during the third 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: Cathy Taylor Ncs (National Collage Society), ISEA (International Society for Experimental Artists) – Mixed Media Artist And Workshop Instructor

Cathy began her artistic adventure with watercolors, and says, “I loved the beautiful, flowing colors. I studied all the techniques and compositional rules and became a decent painter. I tackled acrylics next, then collage and mixed media; finding the process as intriguing as the product!

“I have authored a book on the subject, ‘Pigments of Your Imagination, Creating with Alcohol Inks’, and I continue to discover new ways of working with this amazing medium.”

Cathy Taylor is an award winning mixed media artist and popular workshop instructor. Her water media artwork is a celebration of the patterns, textures, and color found in the natural environment. Cathy is known for her ability to interpret a subject in a variety of styles. From her colorful detailed alphabetical designs including the Florida "Shell-A-Bet", to her whimsical collages and multi-dimensional abstracts, Cathy's work is represented in museums, nature centers and private collections throughout the U.S. and abroad.

Some of Cathy's work is licensed for use on clothing, textiles, and gift items. Her work was represented by a licensing agent in New York City who secured rights for a fine art print of a collage which was distributed nationwide.

Cathy's collages were juried into the National Collage Society's annual exhibition in 2005, 2007, 2011 and 2012. Her articles, "Anthologies", "The Nature of Art", "Rethink Alcohol Ink", and "Creative Spirits" were featured in Cloth, Paper, Scissors art magazine.

Cathy is a featured artist on and has created two DVD's; Watercolor Collage and Mixed Media Collage.

She is a member of The High Country Water Media Society (Past President), SIGNATURE member of the International Society of Experimental Artists (award winner), and a SIGNATURE member of the National Collage Society (award winner).

The Caldwell Arts Council, located at 601 College Avenue SW, Lenoir NC. To be added to the mailing list or e-mail list, please call 828-754-2486 or

Hickory FD Golf Tourney Sept. 9 To Benefit Bikes For Tykes

Hickory - Hickory Fire Department will host its 5th Annual Charity Golf Tournament on Wednesday, September 9, at Rock Barn Golf & Spa. All proceeds from the event will benefit the Bikes for Tykes program.

The tournament will kick-off on Wednesday, September 9, at Rock Barn Golf & Spa with lunch at noon and a shotgun start at 1:30 p.m. Following the tournament, an awards and recognition ceremony will be held.

“All kids, including the less fortunate deserve a gift for Christmas and this tournament is a great way for firefighters and friends to raise money for a wonderful charity that helps to make that happen,” said David Mills, Hickory Firefighter and Golf Tournament Director. “All of the proceeds from this event will go to the Bike for Tykes program.”

Anyone wishing to volunteer, play or sponsor a hole, should contact David Mills at (828) 404-2474 or The early registration date is August 15. About Bikes for Tykes

The "Bikes for Tykes" program is an effort to benefit needy children served by the Catawba County Christmas Bureau. Bikes and toys are distributed through the Catawba County Christmas Bureau in December.

Low-Cost Pet Vaccine Clinics On Friday, July 31

Hickory/Newton, NC - Foothills Wellness Clinic at HSCC offers low cost vaccines, heartworm tests, and pest solutions for pets. In order to better accommodate busy summer schedules, clinics will be held every Friday, and every other clinic this summer will be open from 1pm- 7pm.

The upcoming clinic date is Friday, July 31st, 1-7pm.

Visit for the August schedule. Heartworm, flea, and tick prevention are available for purchase during normal business hours. To make an appointment for vaccines or a heartworm test, call (828) 464-8878, Monday through Saturday from 11 am to 6 pm. HSCC and Foothills Spay/Neuter Clinic services are available to any member of the public and are not limited to residents of Catawba County.

Photo: Desi is available for adoption.

Family Guidance Center’s Help A Hero Drive Continues

Hickory - The Family Guidance Center is asking the community to join their efforts in giving back to the men and women serving in our military.

The agency has launched the “HELP A HERO Campaign, which is a Drive to collect chewing gum (any flavor, sugar or sugarless, must be unopened), travel size toiletries, and chapstick (any brand/flavor).

“We think this is the least we can do for the men and women who put everything on the line everyday to protect our freedom. We can provide for some of their needs and show them that Catawba County appreciates them,” said Ann Peele, Executive Director. “Our agency is dedicated to supporting and strengthening families so this is just another way to do that”, she added.

There are two drop off locations: The Family Guidance Center, next door to McDonald’s on Highway 70 S.E. and across from KIA, and The Purple Ribbon Thrift Store at 360 Highway 70 S.W., Hickory, NC. The Drive will continue through the end of July.

Should you need more information about the HELP A HERO, please call 828-322-1400.

15th Blues & Burritos Benefit In Mooresville Is Friday, Sept. 18

Mooresville, NC - The Fifteenth Annual Blues & Burritos will be held on Friday, September 18, 2015. The event is hosted by Homesley & Wingo Law Group PLLC and takes place on the front lawn of the firm’s office in the historic Isaac Harris House at 330 South Main Street, Mooresville. The firm is pleased to have Pat “Mother Blues” Cohen, Max Drake and Shelia Carlisle as special guest performers joining the Part Time Blues Band.

All costs for the music and beverages are underwritten by the law firm. There is no admission fee but donations are encouraged. Burritos will not be complimentary this year but a variety of food will be available for purchase from food trucks and other vendors.

All donations this year will be given to Lake Norman Wildlife Conservationists and SCAN of Iredell. The firm has raised tens of thousands of dollars for charity by hosting Blues & Burritos over the years. Some other organizations benefitting from the event in the past are the American Red Cross, HealthReach Community Clinic, Friends of the Library, the Dove House, the Mooresville Soup Kitchen, Serenity House and the Depot Arts Center.

The featured band, Part-Time Blues Band, with guitarist Rusty Barkley, is second to none in the Blues and Blues/Rock field ( ). Mother Blues Cohen will join the band for a special performance. Cohen performed for years on Bourbon Street in New Orleans, moving to North Carolina after Hurricane Katrina.

The law firm provides complimentary beverages from New Belgium Brewing Company, the brewer of Fat Tire and other world renowned beer brands ( ). The event is from 6 until 10 p.m. More information is available from the law firm’s website at and the firm’s Facebook page.

Registration Is Now Open For Komen Race For The Cure®

Hickory – Even though the Susan G. Komen NC Foothills Race for the Cure® isn’t until October, preparations began after the 2014 Race and the online registration for the 2015 Race opened July 1.

The Sixteenth Annual Komen NC Foothills Race for the Cure® will be on Saturday, October 24, at 8:30 a.m. for the Timed Competitive 5K Race/Walk and 9:15 a.m. for the Untimed 5K and One-Mile Fun Run/Walk at Lenoir Rhyne University.

Beginning July 1, participants and teams can register online at In honor of the 16th Annual Race, Race registration will be only $16 on-line for adults for the first 16 days of July. After July 16, the online registration fee is $20 for untimed participants and $25 for timed participants.

Online registration closes October 20. Paper registration and team packets can be downloaded from the website. Paper registration fee is $25/$30 until October 17. The website will also list in-person registration dates and sites, including Race Day and entry fees for children. Register and/or start a team now and save money, while saving lives in this community.

With 1,786 participants in 2014, the Komen NC Foothills Race for the Cure® raised $117,451. Up to 75% of the funds raised remain in Burke, Caldwell, and Catawba counties for breast cancer education, screening, and treatment. 25% goes to Susan G. Komen® Research and Training Grants Program that supports global research. Research is the only means of ever creating a world without breast cancer. For more information, visit affiliate website or contact us at 828-328-CURE (2873) or

The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure® Series, the largest series of 5K runs/fitness walks in the world, raises significant funds and awareness for the fight against breast cancer, celebrates breast cancer survivorship and honors those who have lost their battle with the disease. Since its inception in 1983, the Komen Race for the Cure series has grown from one local Race with 800 participants to a global series of more than 150 Races with more than 1 million people participating.

The Komen Race for the Cure is a unique event, designed and implemented to promote positive awareness, education and early detection of breast cancer. It has proved to be an enormously effective way to reach many women and men with the message that breast cancer is not necessarily fatal if mammography and breast self-exam become routine. As well as being a road race for runners, the Komen Race for the Cure is an emotionally charged event that attracts many first timers and recreational runners. The Komen Race for the Cure is an opportunity for thousands of women, men and their families, running or walking, to spread the breast cancer message within their communities.


Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister, Suzy, she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer. Today, Susan G. Komen® works to end breast cancer in the U.S. and throughout the world by investing more than $847 million in breast cancer research and $1.8 billion in community outreach programs over the past 30 years; providing funding to help low-income and uninsured women get screened and get treatment; advocating for cancer research and outreach programs; and working globally in more than 30 countries.

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Catawba County Library’s Friends Book Sale Is Aug. 13-15

Newton, NC - Catawba County Library's Friends group is gearing up for its biggest and most popular fundraiser of the year; the annual Friends of the Library Book Sale. In anticipation of this long-time event, the Friends are accepting donations of materials for the sale now.

The Friends of Catawba County’s Library System are seeking donations of gently used books for their upcoming book sale at the Main Library in Newton. This year's book sale dates are August 13 from 4 pm – 7 pm, August 14 from 10 am – 4 pm and August 15 from 10 am – 2 pm. As in years past, anyone who belongs to the Friends will be able to get first pick of the books for sale, prior to the public opening, on August 13. The membership fee to join the group is $10 and membership forms can be obtained at the library's front desk or at the book sale’s front door.

"The Friends’ book sale is a great opportunity for booklovers to pick up some good deals," said Library Director Suzanne White. "We’re so fortunate to have the Friends’ support and advocacy, and community donations and the book sale’s proceeds allow the Friends to support expanded programs and services for the community."

The Friends appreciate all book donations but are most in need of children’s fiction and nonfiction books for children ages kindergarten through high school. Audio books, video games, DVDs and CDs are also accepted. There are a number of items the library does not accept for the book sale because there is not currently a market for them with the buying public. These items include: encyclopedias, magazines, records, textbooks, computer manuals, cassettes, VHS tapes and Bibles.

Donations can be dropped off, during normal business hours, at any branch in the Catawba County Library System. Donors can check with library staff for best drop off locations.

For questions, or to become a Friend of the Library, email or call the Main Library, in Newton, at (828) 465-8292. The Catawba County Friends of the Library thanks the community for its continued support.

Lincolnton Idol Singing Contest To Award $1500+ In Prizes!

Lincolnton, NC - The ACLC is now accepting applications for our first annual Lincoln Idol Singing Competition. Come perform your heart out with the chance of being named our very first home grown Idol! Our competition will feature celebrity judges and special guest DJs. More than $1500 in cash prizes will be awarded to the winner. Applicants must be at least 14 years old to enter our contest.

Applicants will perform as individuals. Contestant fee is $35 per application. Contestant applications are available at Auditions will be scheduled September 21- 24, 2015. Semi-finals will be September 25, 2015, 7-9pm. Finials will be September 26, 2015, 7-9pm.

Auditions, semi finals and finals will be held at the Lincoln Cultural Center at 403 East Main Street. Admission will be charged at Semi finals and Finals, $10 general admission seating, $5 for ages 4 and under. For more information please contact ACLC at 704 732-9044 or email

Appalachian Summer Festival Features World-Class Performers

Boone, NC - An Appalachian Summer Festival at Appalachian State University continues with an exciting lineup of the best in music, dance, theatre, visual arts and film this July for its 31st season in the mountains of North Carolina. This year’s Schaefer Popular Series is comprised of big-name musical talents: The Beach Boys, David Grisman Sextet, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Lisa Fischer and Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox.

Schaefer Popular Series:

Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox – July 31
Scott Bradlee is an American musician, pianist, arranger and YouTube sensation noted for recording pop hits of the present performed à la pop hits of the past. Miley Cyrus’ “We Can’t Stop” assayed as a doo-wop number; Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ “Thrift Shop” modified in flapper jazz; Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me” rendered as a 1940s big-band standard. Bradlee manifests postmodernist ideas in his approach to production and business as well as music. The show will take place on July 31 at 8 p.m. in the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts. For more information, visit

For videos, images and detailed information about each performance, visit

Tickets: With ticket prices ranging from $5-$50, as well as several free events, the festival offers unique opportunities for residents and visitors to create arts experiences suited to their individual artistic tastes and budgets. To purchase tickets, call or visit the Schaefer Center box office at 800-841-2787 or 828-262-4046. Tickets can also be purchased online at

About An Appalachian Summer Festival: An Appalachian Summer Festival is presented annually in July by the university’s Office of Arts and Cultural Programs.

Newton To Offer Water Aerobics In July & August

Newton, NC – The Newton Parks and Recreation Department will soon offer water aerobics classes on Monday and Wednesday evenings.

The classes will be 6:30-7:30 p.m. every Monday and Wednesday from July 13-Aug. 12 at the swimming pool at the Newton Recreation Center, 23 South Brady Ave. The classes are open to participants 16 and older. Cost to participants $3 per class.

Each class will offer non-weight-bearing exercises to improve muscular endurance, core strength, endurance, flexibility, and cardiovascular conditioning. The classes, which are great exercise for pregnant women, will help participants burn calories while keeping the body cool in a fun environment.

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

Lions Club’s Broom Sales Benefit A Variety Of Worthy People

Lincoln County - Have you ever wondered why Lions Clubs sell brooms? Maybe you’ve been looking to buy one, but didn’t know where to purchase them. Lions Club broom sales has been a tradition for the world’s largest coeducational service organization with 1.4 million members in over 46,000 clubs in 755 districts and 210 countries and geographic areas.

Fortunately, purchasing a Lions Club brooms became easier in Lincoln County due to local businesses providing space year round at their businesses in Denver, Lincolnton, and Vale as follows:

Denver Locations
People’s Bank- 142 Highway 16 South
People’s Bank- 6125 Highway 16 South

Lincolnton Locations
City Lunch- 113 Court Square, S.E.
The Drug Store- 626 Center Drive
Mosteller’s Barber Shop- 810 West Highway 27
People’s Bank- 760 West Highway 27
People’s Bank- 1910 East Main Street
Trim’s Barber Shop- 1999 South Academy Street
Vale Location
The Drug Store- 9576 West N.C. Highway 10

Individual Lions Club
Broom Prices
$5.00 Child’s Broom
$5.00 Child’s Mop
$8.00 Synthetic Soft Sweep Broom
$10.00 Household Straw Broom
$13.00 Industrial/Patio Straw Broom
Proceeds From Lincolnton Lions Club Broom Sales Supports: Promotes Sight Conservation, Provides Services To Blind/Visually Impaired of Lincoln County, Purchases Eyeglasses and Eye Examinations For Lincoln County’s Needy. Sponsors blind/visually impaired adults to Camp Dogwood.Sponsors NC Lions Mobile Vision Screening Unit.
Sponsors Annual Christmas Party/Luncheon For Lincoln County’s Blind/Visually Impaired Citizens.
Supports NC Lions Visually Impaired Fishing Tournament @ Nags Head.
Supports Lions Cottage @ Boys & Girls Home of NC @ Lake Waccamaw.
Supports Christian Ministry of Lincoln County.
Supports Marjorie McCune Memorial Center in Black Mountain & Supports Other Lions Club Charities.

HSCC Cautions Owners On Hot Weather Danger To Their Pets

Hickory/Newton, NC - Humane Society of Catawba County wants to remind everyone to remember their outdoor family during these especially hot days of summer. Please be sure to provide plenty of fresh, clean water and make sure your pets have a shaded space in the cool grass, or keep them indoors when it's extremely hot. A puppy pool is great to have for cooling too. Hot concrete and pavement can easily burn paw pads, test the temperature with your own palms before deciding it's safe to go for a walk, and limit walking times to earlier in the morning and later in the evening. Never leave pets, even for a quick minute with the windows down, in a car or truck. Leaving the windows slightly open does not significantly decrease the heating rate.

Here is how quickly a car can heat up in 80-degree weather: • 99 degrees in 10 minutes; • 109 degrees in 20 minutes; • 114 degrees in 30 minutes; • 118 degrees in 40 minutes; • 120 degrees in 50 minutes; • 123 degrees in 60 minutes.(Source: National Weather Service)

And always be certain to have proper identification on your pets, as unexpected storms and 4th of July fireworks can lead to frightened, lost pets.

Humane Society of Catawba County is offering $15 microchips for pets every Monday all summer long. Jane Bowers, Executive Director of HSCC stated “Microchipping is the best source of pet identification. Particularly during drastic weather, we would love to see more pets with microchips in place.”

When lost or stray pets are scanned by an animal organization or business, such as animal shelters or veterinary clinics, these identification chips are able to provide the owner’s contact information and are then able to reunite beloved pets with their owners.

Visit HSCC - Hickory or HSCC - Newton, through July 3rd or on Mondays between 12-4pm for $15 microchips. No appointment is necessary. For more information call 828-464-8878 during regular business hours, Monday- Saturday 11am-6pm or visit

Not Your Mama’s Bingo Returns On Friday, September 18

Hickory - September 18, 2015 has been set as the next extremely popular Not Your Mama’s Bingo event, produced by ALFA and HG Fitness. The aptly named Bingo Bunch met recently at the home of David Zealy and Derrick Wright, to begin the process in staging the second Bingo event this year.

The September Bingo theme will be Not Your Mama’s Bingo presents The Circus: Under A Big Top.

”One of the most important parts of the process is possibly selecting the theme for each Bingo,” said ALFA Board member and Bingo Liaison Thom Hutchens. “Staging these events is a cooperative effort between the Not Your Mama’s Bingo BVD’s (Bingo Verifying Divas), HG Fitness group, and ALFA.” Each one of the BVD’s selects a circus character to portray, always a most unusual and creative way.

“The BVD’s select their character, pick the music to accompany their act, and then are cut loose to present their character as creatively as possible,” comments David Zealy, the BVD leader and NYMB coordinator.

While following guidelines for North Carolina sanctioned bingo games, the NYMB goes one better in always presenting a full musical show.

“A new and easier ticket purchase process will be implemented very soon,” said Megg Lail, ALFA Director of Programs and Events. “We sold out the last Bingo, and hope to do the same for September. We will be publishing the process within the next two weeks,” said Lail.

According to Courtney Gates, Director of HG Fitness, and responsible for staging the event, “We will ensure every audience member is entertained the entire evening.” Courtney and the HG Fitness members are also responsible for the prizes presented to each winner of the nine game event.

Each of the games also has a sponsor, coming from ALFA’s nine county service area, and that business or organization also has the honor of joining Queenie Gabor on stage as an official “Ball Puller” for their game.

The Bingo Bunch will be meeting over the next two months to put together the production and will be rehearsing each Saturday at La Rumba De Cache, located at 534 Hwy 70 SE in Hickory, also the location of NYMB, The Circus: Under A Big Top on Friday, September 18, 2015.

Photo: Planning the September Bingo are members of HG Fitness, Not Your Mama’s Bingo and ALFA.

Newton’s 126th Soldiers Reunion Begins Sunday, August 16

Newton, NC – Mark your calendar and set aside a week for cruisin’, musical entertainment, beauty pageants, a parade and athletic events when the 126th Soldiers Reunion returns to Downtown Newton.

Reunion Week kicks off Sunday, August 16. Events continue through Reunion Day on Thursday, August 20. The showcase Soldiers Reunion Parade will take place on Thursday. About 10,000 people visit Downtown Newton throughout the week to take part in the festivities. American Legion Post 16 and the Newton Merchants Association sponsor and organize the week-long celebration.

The Soldiers Reunion celebration in Newton is believed to be the longest-running patriotic celebration in the United States not based on a holiday. The tradition began in Newton on July 4, 1889, when Civil War veterans answered a statewide call for recognition of their wartime efforts and to receive their pensions. The gathering in Newton led to annual reunions, starting the popular patriotic Soldiers Reunion. Today, the celebration offers a variety of family-friendly activities and events for veterans and the community to enjoy, many of which are centered around the iconic 1924 Courthouse Square.

The week kicks off with the Cruisin’ Car Show on Sunday, August 16. Vintage cars and trucks from across the decades up to 1972 will be on display beginning at 2:30 p.m. The classic vehicles will cruise the city’s streets starting at 6:30 p.m.

Participants from past a Soldiers’ reunion

Concerts entertain the crowds on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday beginning at 7:30 p.m. on the Courthouse Square. Gospel music fills the air August 17, beach music gets everybody moving on August 18, and plans are in motion for a country music concert on August 19.

The annual Baby Parade takes place Wednesday, August 19, on the east side of the Courthouse Square. Children are judged based on their patriotic outfits. Winners are selected in various age categories.

The week peaks on Thursday, known as Reunion Day. The day begins around 9 a.m. as artists, craftsmen, local businesses and food vendors set up around the Courthouse Square. A jazz concert runs from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The American Legion hosts a mid-day fish fry at its headquarters for veterans. At 4 p.m., the Reunion Service begins on the west side of the Courthouse Square. The beauty pageant winners are introduced, and a guest speaker delivers a keynote address.

The Soldiers Reunion Parade immediately follows the Reunion Service, and the keynote speaker typically serves as the grand marshal, leading the parade on a one-mile route through Downtown Newton. The parade attracts 8,000-10,000 visitors due to the numerous entries and floats, all of which must have a patriotic theme.

Businesses and groups are charged $380 to enter a float in the parade. Local businesses that decorate a vehicle to advertise their company will be charged $50. Any church, school or other nonprofit organization may participate in the parade at no cost. For information on entering a float in the parade or for information on becoming a vendor during Reunion Week, contact Wayne Dellinger or Eric Dellinger at 828-464-3906 or 828-464-1500.

Helene & Stephen Weicholz Film Series At App Summer Fest

Boone, NC - An Appalachian Summer Festival will showcase an exciting lineup of the best in music, dance, theatre, visual arts and film this July for its 31st season in the mountains of North Carolina. This summer the festival is hosting seven films as part of the Weicholz Global Film Series.

Global Film Series

The Weicholz Global Film Series strives to select foreign and independent films that have won awards or received critical audience acclaim at major international film festivals. This year's lineup includes films from the United Kingdom, Israel, Denmark, the United States, Kashmir, Brazil, and Australia. Prior to each screening at 7 p.m., film advisor Dr. John Pfeifer will host a discussion and share behind-the-scenes information about the film. All films are held in the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts and will begin at approximately 7:30 p.m. For more information and to view the trailers to these films, visit

•“Reaching for the Moon” – August 19
Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Bruno Barreto returns with a sophisticated tale of an unlikely romance between two extraordinary artists set against the backdrop of political upheaval and a clash of cultures. Grappling with writer’s block, legendary American poet Elizabeth Bishop travels from New York City to Rio de Janeiro in the 1950s to visit her college friend, Mary. Hoping to find inspiration on Mary’s sprawling estate, Elizabeth winds up with much more — a tempestuous relationship with Mary’s bohemian partner, architect Lota de Macedo Soares, that rocks the writer to her foundation. Alcoholism, geographical distance and a military coup come between the lovers, but their intimate connection spans decades and forever impacts the life and work of these two extraordinary artists.
Brazil; Not rated; Directed by Bruno Barreto (2013); 118 minutes.

•“Oranges and Sunshine” – August 26
Director Jim Loach and screenwriter Rona Munro collaborate to adapt Nottingham social worker Margaret Humphreys' autobiographical account of her noble effort to expose the systematic deportation of British children to Australia and to reunite them with their devastated families.

United Kingdom/Australia; Rated R; Directed by Jim Loach (2010); 105 minutes.

For videos, images and detailed information about each performance, visit Tickets:

With ticket prices ranging from $5-$50, as well as several free events, the festival offers unique opportunities for residents and visitors to create arts experiences suited to their individual artistic tastes and budgets. To purchase tickets, call or visit the Schaefer Center box office at 800-841-2787 or 828-262-4046. Tickets can also be purchased online at

About An Appalachian Summer Festival

An Appalachian Summer Festival is presented annually in July by the university’s Office of Arts and Cultural Programs. Beginning as a small chamber music series, the festival has emerged as one of the nation’s most highly regarded, multi-disciplinary art festivals, designated one of the “Top 20 Events in the Southeast” by the Southeast Tourism Society. True to a university-based arts festival, educational experiences such as lectures and opportunities to meet artists, artistic directors, competition jurors and other experts, have always been an important component of festival programming.

Volunteer For Appalachian Trail Crew For Summer

Asheville, NC – The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) seeks volunteers, 18 and over, to help maintain the Appalachian Trail (A.T.) in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park as part of the Smokies Wilderness Elite Appalachian Trail (S.W.E.A.T) Crew for the 2015 season. A position on the S.W.E.A.T. Crew is physically demanding and is designed for experienced hikers who love to work hard, live in the backcountry, and create lasting friendships.

S.W.E.A.T. Crew is a mobile group that focuses on trail maintenance in the heart of the Smokies on sections more than five miles from the nearest road. Crew members carry tools, water, food, and camping supplies to support their work. Each session lasts six days in the field where the crew focuses on clearing the A.T. and repairing it with materials they find. Food, lodging, training, equipment and transportation to and from the work site is provided.

"The Appalachian Trail Conservancy encourages all hikers and Appalachian Trail supporters to get involved with a Trail Crew," said Chris Binder, the ATC's trail specialist.

2013 S.W.E.A.T. Crew

"These all-volunteer crews are instrumental in completing large-scale projects along the Trail."

Members of the S.W.E.A.T. Crew arrive at the ATC’s base camp the day before their crew session begins to meet the professional crew leaders, prepare for the work trip and check out any gear they need. The next day the crew enjoys a family-style breakfast and loads up in an ATC vehicle and drives to a nearby trailhead in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. After a challenging hike in, often up to 10 miles long while carrying a 50- to 60-pound backpack, the crew establishes the campsite they will work out of for the next five days. The crew repairs, reconstructs, and maintains some of the most isolated and stunning sections of the A.T., often working at elevations of more than 6,000 feet for the entire work week.

2015 S.W.E.A.T.
Crew Calendar:


Session 7, August 7 to 12, 2015
Session 8, August 18 to 22, 2015

For more information about the ATC’s S.W.E.A.T Crew program, or to volunteer, visit

About the Appalachian Trail Conservancy:

The ATC was founded in 1925 by volunteers and federal officials working to build a continuous footpath along the Appalachian Mountains. A unit of the National Park System, the A.T. ranges from Maine to Georgia and is approximately 2,185 miles in length. It is the longest hiking-only footpath in the world. The mission of the ATC is to preserve and manage the Appalachian Trail – ensuring that its vast natural beauty and priceless cultural heritage can be shared and enjoyed today, tomorrow, and for centuries to come. For more information, please visit

Lincolnton Lions Make Recycling Smart Phones Easier

Lincolnton- Did you, a family member, friends, or coworker receive a new cell phone, smart phone, blackberry, or i-pad as an anniversary, birthday, or graduation gift? Or maybe some of these electronic devices stashed somewhere with plans to dispose of them someday. Unfortunately, what people don’t realize the recycling of these electronic equipment or “e-waste” is just as important as recycling glass, plastic, and paper products to our environment.

According to the wireless industry, Americans upgrade their cell phones, smart phones, i-phones, and i-pads every 12 to 18 months. Many homes have multiple wireless devices left over from their previous service provider. Cellular usage in the USA and globally is approaching 300 million and over 2 billion, respectively. Studies conducted by the US Environmental Protections Agency (EPA) estimates recycling one million cell phones is equivalent of removing 33 cars off the road for one year in terms of reducing the emission of greenhouse gases. If all of the discarded cell phones in America were recycled rather than throw away this year, it would save enough energy to power 25,000 US households with electricity for one year.

Recycling cell phones, smart phones, i-phones, and i- pads has become easier in Lincoln County due to the Lincolnton Lions Club strategically placing one of their eyeglasses and cell phone recycling boxes at the following locations throughout Lincoln County:

Lincolnton Locations:

1)City Lunch-113 S.E. Court Square; 2)First Citizen Bank- 425 East Main Street; 3)Lincolnton/Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce- 101 East Main Street.

Drug Stores And
Health Care Providers

1)The Drug Store- 626 Center Drive; 2)Keever Pharmacy- 102 Doctor’s Park; 3)Carolina Eye Care- 231 North General’s Boulevard; 4)Graystone Ophthalmologist- 2311 East Main Street; 5)Lincoln Eye Center- 110 Doctor’s Park.

Denver Locations
Health Care Providers

1)Advance Family Eye Care- 7547 Waterside Loop Road; 2)Carolina Eye Care-324 North Highway 16
Vale Locations
1)The Drug Store- 9576 NC Highway 10

Lincoln County Government

1)Lincoln County Senior Center- (2nd Floor) -514 South Academy Street; 2)Jerry Cochrane Computer & Cosmetology Building- Lincoln Campus of Gaston College; 3)Lincoln County Veterans Services- 206 Gamble Drive, Lincolnton. (Please give your recyclable cell phones and eyeglasses to their Office Assistant in their 1st floor office in the former CMC- Lincoln medical office building); 4)Lincoln County Landfill -5291 Crouse Road or any of their convenience sites: a)Airport Road Convenience Site,112 Jack Dellinger Road, Iron Station; b)Car Farm Convenience Site- 815 Car Farm Road; c)North Brook Convenience Site- 616 Highway 274, Vale; d)Optimist Road Convenience Site- 7914 Optimist Road, Denver; e)Owls Den Convenience Site- 701 Owls Den Road, Vale; f)Tin Mine Convenience Site-1879 Tin Mine Road, Lincolnton; g)Webb Convenience Site-7889 Webb Road, Denver.

Before donating, depositing, and recycling your cell phones, smart phones, i-phones, and i-pads in any Lincolnton Lions Club recycling boxes, please erase all personal information. Cell phones will be refurbished and programmed for 911 and donated to needy. Also, i-pads will be refurbished and donated to charity.

LIONS CLUB INTERNATIONAL, the world’s largest coeducational service organization with 1.4 million members in 47,000 clubs and 755 districts in 210 countries and geographic areas will be celebrating 100 years of service in a couple of years. To learn more about LIONS CLUB INTERNATIONAL, N.C LIONS, INC. or the LINCOLNTON LIONS CLUB, please check out their websites as follows: LIONS CLUB INTERNATIONAL -; NC LIONS,INC.-; LINCOLNTON LIONS CLUB-

Lincolnton Arts Council Offers Students Summer Seminars

Lincolnton, NC - The Arts Council of Lincoln Council will offer three summer art seminars instructed by local artist Kathryn Berkowitz for student’s 9-15 years of age.

Mystical Mandalas- Monday & Tuesday, August 17 & 18, 10-12pm

Each workshop will feature four hours of instruction and be held at the Lincoln Cultural Center, 403 East Main Street Lincolnton.

Cost per participate is $45 per seminar. For registration or more information contact the ACLC at (704) 732-9044 or by email,

Meals On Wheels Volunteers Honored - More Are Needed!

Hickory - Catawba County's Senior Nutrition Services recently recognized the volunteers who deliver Meals on Wheels with an appreciation breakfast held at J&S Cafeteria. The western-themed event was attended by 182 volunteers.

County Commissioner Sherry Butler addressed the volunteers. Jan Shaffer, Adult Services supervisor, told the volunteers they are our heroes, feeding the hungry and helping their fellow man. They were described as rays of hope to homebound seniors. One hundred local businesses participated by donating door prizes.

More volunteers are needed to deliver Meals on Wheels throughout the county. It only takes an hour and a half a month to deliver Meals on Wheels. The volunteers pick up the meals at one of several pick-up stations throughout the county and deliver them to the seniors on their route.

In March, there were 768 Meals on Wheels volunteers in Catawba County. Between July of 2014 and March 2015, 415 seniors were served. There are currently 51 persons on the waiting list. Additional volunteers would allow more of these seniors to receive meals.

To be eligible to receive Meals on Wheels, a person must be at least 60 years old and be unable to shop or prepare their own food. There are no income requirements for this program. Anyone who meets the requirements may receive the meals, which are free to participants.

"Because the typical volunteer only delivers Meals on Wheels once a month, we need to have a large number of volunteers to meet the need," said Vickie Redden, volunteer coordinator. "Our volunteers tell us that they are blessed to deliver the meals. They are often the only person the recipient sees all day and provide a vital link to the community. Because of Meals on Wheels, many seniors are able to remain in their own homes."

If you are interested in becoming a Meals on Wheels volunteer, call 828-695-5610 Monday through Friday during business hours. Senior Nutrition Services is also looking for local businesses who are willing to organize a team of employees to deliver meals. In addition, local donations are needed to support this service.

For additional information, call 828-695-5610, go to, or like the Facebook page at

Photo: Helen Brigham, Dale and Debra Zimmerman are some of the volunteers recognized at the annual Meals on Wheels Appreciation Breakfast. More volunteers are urgently needed. To find out more, call 828-695-5610 or go to

Bethlehem Day Festival Set For Saturday, Sept. 19

Bethlehem, NC - The Bethlehem Community Development Association announces the 6th Annual Bethlehem Day Festival and Classic Car Cruise In is set for Saturday, September 19th, 2015 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Bethlehem Day will be located in same NEW location as last year at the crossroads of Shiloh Church and Rink Dam Road in Bethlehem (Alexander County).

The annual fall event features live music, entertainment and activities for children, arts & crafts, food & drinks. Craft and food vendor applications are $25.

All applications are available at or can be requested at

Applications with fees made out to BCDA should be mailed to BCDA, PO Box 6370, Hickory, NC 28603.

For more information contact Bud & Judy Caywood at 828-495-1057, or

Footcandle Film Society Sets Its First Film Fest For September

Hickory - The Footcandle Film Society has been screening and facilitating discussions on films in Western North Carolina since its inception in 2008. Through monthly film screenings, discussions, partnerships with various international and educational organizations, and an annual “Oscar Party,” the film society has built a community of over 500 members that support film efforts in our region.

With the growth of the film society over the past six years, and the desire to bring more film-related efforts to the local area, the Footcandle Film Society is announcing its very own film festival: the Footcandle Film Festival! This event will take place between September 25th and 27th, 2015, with plans to become an annual event.

The event will be held at the SALT Block Auditorium in Hickory, North Carolina, and is being coordinated through a partnership with the Hickory Museum of Art.

It will be a weekend-long event where between 10-20 films, selected from an open submission process, will be screened for both film society members and the general public. The weekend will also consist of an opening night reception, question-and-answer sessions with the filmmakers following select screenings, a roundtable discussion on the future of independent film, and a special closing reception where festival winners will be announced.

Filmmakers from around the world are encouraged to submit their films to be considered for this historic event. For the festival’s first year, there are no limited categories or themes for submissions; all film lengths, types and content matter are welcomed and will be considered for this inaugural year. There will be a “Best of the Festival” award given as selected by our jury, as well as an “Audience Favorite” selected by festival attendees, both with prize money to be awarded.

Filmmakers who want to submit their film should visit the festival’s web site, Submission fees are $10.00, with a deadline of June 1st, 2015. All films will be reviewed by a panel of film society members, with a voting system to determine the best films to show during the festival. Those films selected to be screened at the festival will be notified by early July. Tickets for the festival screenings will go on sale to the general public shortly afterwards.

For any questions about the festival or the submission process, please contact the Film Society at or visit the festival’s web site at

CSC’s Infinity Express Journeys Through Space & Time

Hickory - How big is the universe? Where does it end? Are we alone?

Explore these questions and more as the Catawba Science Center presents “Infinity Express.” This full-dome planetarium show takes you on an exciting journey through space and time.

The universe is slowly giving up its secrets. To present these secrets, “Infinity Express” uses a remarkable blend of science, art and entertainment.

Powerfully narrated by actor Laurence Fishburne of "The Matrix" fame, “Infinity Express” will take you on an exciting journey of discovery. From the exploration of our solar system to the mapping of the universe, “Infinity Express” will funnel you towards humanity's mission to explore what lies beyond Planet Earth.

“Infinity Express” is presented Tuesday through Sunday as part of the Superstar Triple Feature that also includes “Terminal Star,” a collaborative spectacular musical and visual experience of Catawba Science Center and the Western Piedmont Symphony, and “Seasonal Stargazing”. “Seasonal Stargazing” is a look at the current night sky above the Catawba Valley. With this presentation, the positions of the stars directly overhead become shown.

The triple feature, shown in the Millholland Planetarium, is appropriate for children of all ages, but is perhaps best suited for children in elementary and middle school. The triple feature showing “Infinity Express” plays Tuesday through Thursday at 2:30pm and Friday at 2:30 and 3:30pm. On the weekends, “Infinity Express” plays at 1:00 and 3:00pm on Saturday and at 3:00pm on Sunday.

Admission for “Infinity Express” and the triple feature is included in Science Center admission on a seat available basis. Catawba Science Center’s planetarium shows are currently sponsored by John and Eileen Leach. For more information please visit or call Catawba Science Center at (828) 322-8169.

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.

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.

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

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 @

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.

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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