Custom Search






Click Here To Go Back To Page 1 Of Local News

John Coffey & Laurice Lanier In Concert, Sat., April 22

Newton, NC - The Green Room Community Theatre and the Old Post Office Playhouse are pleased to present Laurice Lanier and John Coffey in concert Saturday, April 22, 2017 at 7:30 PM. This event is part of the Friends of John Coffey Tour 2016-2017.

John Coffey is well-known in the Catawba County area having worked as a director/musical director for over 45 years.

John Coffey

With a Master’s degree in Piano Performance from The Juilliard School, John performed as a concert pianist with various orchestras, and his skills have given him the opportunity to play for a number of legendary artists including Aaron Copeland and Leonard Bernstein. John later ventured into musical theatre and created four musicals of his own including We Are the People Too. John also toured with 42nd Street (Moscow, Russia), Evita (2009), and 3 Mo’ Divas (2006-2010).

Mr. Coffey is a former Artistic Coordinator for The Green Room and has directed and/or musically directed many shows there, most recently, West Side Story. He currently serves as organist for First United Methodist Church of Newton and is on staff at Hickory Arts where he is an instructor in piano, theory, and vocal coaching.

Laurice Lanier is also a graduate of The Juilliard School where she majored in Vocal Performance and Foreign Language. She is a professional vocalist and entertainer, vocal coach, worship leader, and tap dancer. Ms. Lanier, named by Maryland Public Television as “One of the Most Versatile Voices on the Planet,” is originally from Jackson, TN.

Laurice Lanier

Ms. Lanier has performed various roles in opera houses, theatres, concert halls, private functions, and churches throughout the United States and abroad and has received many awards and honors including a Leontyne Price Showcase Winner and the “Official Private Vocal Instructor” for the United States Air Force Heritage of America Band’s vocalists. She also received a nomination for a 2010 Image Award for Best Duo, Group or Collaboration for her 3 Mo’ Divas album. “Ms. Lanier epitomizes the spirit and commitment that is characteristic of an authentic artist; her pursuit of excellence in all her endeavors is clearly deserving of respect and admiration.”

Ticket prices for this Friends of John Coffey concert are only $12. Tickets are available online at or by calling The Green Room Box Office (828-464-6128) Wednesdays – Fridays from 10:00AM – 5:30PM.

To learn more about The Green Room Community Theatre, please visit our website:

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

Register Now For Students With Attainable Goals,

Which Begins April 25 At Ridgeview Rec Center

Hickory - The Hickory Parks and Recreation Department is taking registrations for its Students with Attainable Goals, or SWAG program, which is designed to promote entrepreneurship and to help middle school and high school students build their personal brand. The program is a partnership between the City of Hickory, Catawba Valley Community College (CVCC) Small Business Center and Business Department, and local business K-9 Security.

The program begins on Tuesday April 25th and meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays through May 25th at Ridgeview Recreation Center from 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM. Meetings are interactive sessions covering how to start a business, with activities and food provided at each session. Local business people will serve as guest speakers, and students will visit local businesses during the program.

The program will conclude with participants having the opportunity to present their business ideas and win prizes in the program’s SWAG Tank, a take-off on the popular Shark Tank TV show.

There is no fee to attend the program, but pre-registration is required. Interested students can register at Brown Penn Recreation Center or Ridgeview Recreation Center through April 14th. For more information, contact Sade Roseboro, Recreation Programmer at Brown Penn Recreation Center (828) 328-4890 or

CVCC Arts And Craft Show Is Sat., April 29, Hickory

Hickory - Catawba Valley Community College will hold a “Skills For Skills Arts & Crafts” show to support its SkillsUSA chapter on Sat., April 29, in the college’s Tarlton Complex on the main campus on Hwy. 70 in Hickory.

Proceeds will help fund the chapter’s competition expenses. The chapter has earned numerous top ten placements at both the state and national level during the past 10 years.

SkillsUSA is a partnership of students, teachers and industry working together to ensure America has a skilled workforce.

For $50, vendors can reserve a 10’ x 10’ booth space, including one 6’ table and two chairs. Only original handmade items, photography or artwork can be sold. No mass produced, direct sales or food items permitted. All activities take place indoors. Payment by cash, check or money order is due by April 17. Applications to vend are available at

Admission to the event is a snack item or $1 donation to the Hawks Nest Cupboard for hungry students.For more information, contact Becky Rees, 828-327-7000, ext. 4296 or

The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe Opens This

Friday, March 17, At HCT In The Jeffers Theatre

Hickory - The Hickory Community Theatre’s stage adaptation of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, opens on the Jeffers Theatre mainstage this Friday, March 17 at 8:00pm.

This theatrical version of the C.S. Lewis' classic authentically captures the adventures of four children who inadvertently wander from an old wardrobe into the exciting, never-to-be-forgotten Narnia. Everyone’s favorite characters are here, including Mr. Tumnus, the Beavers and of course the powerful Aslan and the evil White Witch who has enchanted the land of Naria into a never-ending winter.

Performances of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe are 8:00 pm Fridays & Saturdays, March 17, 18, 24, 25, 31 and April 1; 7:30 pm Thursdays, March 23 and 30; and 2:30 Sundays, March 26 and April 2. Tickets are $18. There is a senior discount of $2 and tickets for students and youth 18 and under are just $10. Tickets for Thursday performances are $14 for adults and $10 for students and youth. Tickets may be purchased online at or at the theatre box office. The box office is open 12-5 Wed through Sat in person or by calling 828-328-2283.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is produced by The Guild at HCT, in partnership with North by Northwest Consulting. This show is the eighth production of the Theatre’s 68th season, sponsored by Paramount Automotive and A Cleaner World. The Hickory Community Theatre is a Funded Affiliate of the United Arts Council of Catawba County.

Photo: Diane Albers and Ryan Sanford are Mr. and Mrs. Beaver in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, opening Friday at the Hickory Community Theatre. For tickets and information call (828) 328-2283 or go to Photo by Ken Burns.

Newton Elks Lodge #2042 Hosting 14th Annual

Charity Golf Tourney On Fri., May 12, Lincolnton

Newton, NC … Newton Elks Lodge #2042 announced that they will host their 14th Annual Charity Golf Tournament on Friday, May 12th at the Lincoln Country Club in Lincolnton, North Carolina.

The format for the 14th annual charity tournament is captain’s choice with four player teams. A shotgun start is scheduled for 1 PM with registration and lunch beginning at 12 noon. The low team score will win first place, with the highest team round receiving a special gift. There will be closest to the pin prizes on holes #8 and #17, plus a long drive award on hole #11.

Cost to play in the tournament is $80 per player or $320 per four player team. Entry fee includes 18 holes of golf, cart, lunch, golfers gifts, one mulligan, one skirt shot, and discount beverages on the course. Additional mulligans and skirt shots can be bought for $10 each.

Additional involvement opportunities for the charity golf tournament include Driving Range Sponsor, Beverage/Snack Cart Sponsor, Business/Corporate Sponsor, and Individual Sponsor. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to various local Elks Lodge charities.

Prizes, sponsor recognitions, a silent auction and raffle, and a cash bar reception will be held at the Newton Elks Lodge following your round of golf.

Team registration forms and corporate/individual sponsorship opportunities are available at the Newton Elks Lodge #2042, West J Street, Newton. For information, please contact Adam Hodge (828) 310-7928, Janelle Callahan (704) 902-9859, or the Newton Elks Lodge (828) 464-1360.

L-RU Second Annual 5K Is Sat., April 1 - Register Now

Hickory – Lenoir-Rhyne University is proud to present the 2nd Annual LRU 5K on its main campus in Hickory, on Saturday, April 1 at 8:30 a.m. This exciting event is intended for family members of all ages, and celebrates the bond between LRU and the City of Hickory.

The 5K features prizes for top-finishers, post-race refreshments provided by PDQ and Smoothie King, live music by singer-songwriter Casey Clark, giveaways, and other offerings from local business vendors. There will be a Kid’s Zone area sponsored by LRU’s professional nursing society, Sigma Theta Tau Alpha Chapter, which will provide a space for children to participate in carnival style activities.

Participants are welcome to run or walk the course at their own pace. The 5K route will start and finish in the heart of LRU’s campus on 7th Street NE, leading participants through the streets adjacent to the University. Early registration is open now through noon on Tuesday, March 21, and includes a Dri-Fit T-shirt with the event’s vintage LR logo. Register before March 21 to ensure you receive a free T-shirt. While LRU will strive to provide all 5K participants with a T-shirt, those who do not sign up before the March 21 deadline will not be guaranteed a shirt. Additional T-shirts will also be for sale at the 5K. Event day registration will be held between 7:15 and 8:15 a.m. Please visit to register.

LRU would like to thank the following sponsors who have currently provided their support of the 5K. University City Commission, Mumy Financial, Food Matters Market, Smoothie King, Mark and Marcellena Teague, Carolina Pedal Works, PDQ, Lowes Foods, Our State Magazine, Hickory Daily Record, Chic-fil-A – Viewmont, Carolina Moon Hospitality, Backstreets Bar and Grill, Hickory Crawdads, Southside Power and Fitness.

For more information on the 5k or to sponsor the event, contact Allie Bentley at or 828.328.7979.

State & Federal Grant Writing Class Is April 25, In Hickory

Hickory - Funding For Good, Inc. is pleased to offer a one-day State & Federal Grant Writing Class in Hickory, NC on April 25, 2017, from 9 am – 5 pm. This event is sponsored by The United Arts Council of Catawba County.

To succeed with state and federal grants, you need to plan ahead, way ahead. You also need to step up your writing, program development and ability to follow instructions and be concise. Join us for the one day workshop to learn how to interpret federal grant application guidelines, establish standards for proposals that will be deemed highly competitive, dive deeper into compelling needs statements and the research that helps create them, while exploring best practices, budgets and other nuts and bolts of every federal grant application. This workshop is sure to get your wheels turning and help you determine if you are ready to step into the world of federal grants. Register at . Early bird rates available now, $147.00.

Annual Hudson Butterfly Festival Is Saturday, May 6, 9am-6pm

Hudson, NC - The Town of Hudson is pleased to announce that they will once again be hosting the Annual Hudson Butterfly Festival on Saturday, May 6th from 9 am 'til 6 pm. There will also be a "Cruise In" for all types of automobiles in downtown Hudson on Friday, May 5th from 5pm 'til 8pm which is the "Kickoff" event.

This year's festival looks to be one of the largest on record. Last year's event brought in estimated crowds of between 12,000-14,000 people. The festival features great food, antiques, crafts, art & pottery of all types plus much, much more. There will be day long entertainment with the culmination in the Hickman Windmill Park and a concert from 6pm 'til 8pm... band to be announced later.

The town is looking for crafts, arts, businesses, civic groups, churches, political groups & more who would like to have a booth at the festival. Booth spaces are approximately 10 x 10 feet in size and cost $75 for a non-powered booth and $100 for a powered booth (limited availability). For more information or applications, please visit the website at: or call 828-726-1009. In case of inclement weather, a rain date has been set for Saturday, May 13th.

The Hudson Butterfly Festival is Caldwell County's oldest town festival with a 50 year history and is one of the largest festivals in Caldwell County.

Sat., March 25, Newton Depot Hosts WP Chamber Orchestra

Newton, NC - The Southeastern Narrow Gauge & Shortline Museum will host “Night Train, Rolling Down the Tracks: A Celebration of Railroads” performed by the Western Piedmont Chamber Orchestra under the direction of John Gordon Ross, outside the Newton Depot at 3 p.m. March 25.

This family-friendly event will be perfect for all ages and will feature many songs from America’s vast history of railroad folklore, as well as songs from around the world.

Newton Depot

The event is the result of a collaborative effort between the Newton Depot Authority and the Western Piedmont Symphony, and is supported by a grant from the United Arts Council of Catawba County. This will be a great opportunity for neighbors and visitors to enjoy the Newton Depot as it kicks off its “All Aboard!” Capital Campaign to expand the campus and the Newton Depot district.

There will be activities throughout the day at the Newton Depot campus. The museum, the Alexander Railroad Pavilion, and the Model Railroad Center will be open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Food and beverages will be available for purchase from noon to 5 p.m.

In the event of inclement weather, the performance will be held in the Newton-Conover Auditorium at 60 West 6th St. in Newton.

“For years, I thought it would be good fun to program a concert of music related to railroading and rail history,” said John Gordon Ross, conductor of the Western Piedmont Symphony.

John Gordon Ross, WPS Conductor

“Many composers have tackled the subject, some as fans and some, like Johann Strauss, from a genuine sense of fear of flying—on the rails, that is. It also seemed natural since more than one of the communities where we perform have venues right by the railroad tracks and trains can come through during the concerts obliterating the sound of the orchestra. Besides, people love trains! Everyone waves and better yet, the engineer almost always waves back. Musically, it’s a great connection with the audience.”

“We certainly invite all the friends of the historic Newton Depot and area residents to this grand event, perhaps the most exciting cultural event in North Newton,” said Thomas W. Warlick, vice chairman of the Newton Depot Authority. “In addition to great music, all who attend will see the renaissance occurring in this section of Newton as well as the progress of the Southeastern Narrow Gauge & Shortline Museum.”

The Southeastern Narrow Gauge & Shortline Museum is the result of the collaboration of two groups: the Newton Depot Authority and the Alexander Chapter of the NRHS. The museum is located in the historic Newton Depot at 1123 N. Main Ave. in Newton and is open every Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with private tours available by request. Monthly Alexander Chapter NRHS meetings are held at the museum on the first Thursday of each month at 7:30 p.m. and the public is invited and welcome.

Contct: James Glenn, Museum Coordinator, 980.858.4266.Email: Website:

Boger City UMC Community Lunch Sun., Mar. 26

Lincolnton, NC - Boger City United Methodist Church, 2320 East Main Street in Lincolnton, will host their community luncheon on Sunday, March 26th from 11:30 1:30 P.M. Menu includes pork loin, chicken dumplings, sweet potato fluff, tea, and home made desserts. An $8.00 donation per person is requested. Proceeds from community luncheon benefits church mission projects.

Everyone is welcome to come early for Sunday School at 9:30 A.M. and Worship at 10:30 A.M.

Overflow parking available across the street at the former Harris-Teeter.

Folk Art Festival Seeks Guest Artists For October 7 Event

Newton, NC — The Foothills Folk Art Festival is now accepting artist applications for the juried festival, which will be held in Downtown Newton on Saturday, Oct. 7.

The festival is a partnership between the Downtown Newton Development Association (DNDA) and the Hickory Museum of Art (HMA). The presenting sponsor is Catawba Valley Medical Center. Festival hours will be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The Foothills Folk Art Festival is a juried, folk-art themed show. All applicants will be submitted to the jurying process this year, regardless of whether they have participated in previous years. The Foothills Folk Art Festival Artist Committee is looking for artwork that is intensely influenced by and displaying the spirit of folk, visionary, and outsider art.

To be considered, artists must submit an application form, which may be downloaded from the festival website at The application must be accompanied by three to five images of individual pieces of the artist’s work. These images should represent the type of art that the artist plans to sell at the festival and should be submitted as high-resolution digital images if possible. Artists are also encouraged to submit a photo of their booth if possible. These images will be used to select the artists for the festival and to promote the festival, so high-quality images are encouraged. If hard-copy images are submitted, artists should use photo paper, or images printed by a commercial photo lab.

A registration fee must accompany the application, but the fee will be returned if the artist is not accepted. The early registration fee will be $50 and will apply to any applications postmarked by June 1, 2017. The regular registration fee will be $75 and will apply to applications that are postmarked by Sept. 1, 2017. Applications should be mailed to Hickory Museum of Art, Attn: Clarissa Starnes, 243 Third Ave. NE, Hickory, NC 28601. Applications may also be emailed to No applications will be accepted via the festival Facebook page.

Artists may obtain more information about the festival, and an application form, from the Hickory Museum of Art by contacting Clarissa Starnes at or by calling 828-327-8576, ext. 210.

The Foothills Folk Art Festival’s roots date back to 2005, when HMA first acquired 153 folk art objects from Barry and Allen Huffman of Hickory. Since acquiring the Huffman collection, HMA has showcased contemporary Southern folk art through a variety of exhibits, public programs and special events. The museum also has an ongoing and changing exhibition of folk art, Discover Folk Art: Unique Visions by Southern Self-Taught Artists, located on the third floor. The museum, located at 243 3rd Ave. NE, Hickory, is open Tuesday through Sunday, and admission is free. Shoppers can also purchase unique folk art in the museum’s gift shop.

Admission to the Foothills Folk Art Festival is free. Visitors will have the opportunity to purchase a wide variety of folk art directly from the artists. In addition, there will be artist demonstrations, live music, food vendors, beer gardens, and other special activities.

Festival volunteer committees are now being formed to organize everything from parking and signs to children’s art and food. To volunteer, contact Shannon Johnson, Newton Main Street Program manager, at 828-695-4360 or

For the latest news about the festival, like its Facebook page at or go to the festival website at

The public is also encouraged to follow the festival on Twitter @folkartfest.

CAPC Is Selling Pinwheels For April 5 Event At Zahra’s Park

Hickory - The Children's Advocacy and Protection Center of Catawba County is now selling pinwheels in recognition of National Child Abuse Prevention Month, which is observed in April.

Pinwheels are $2 each and may be purchased online at These pinwheels will be placed in a community pinwheel garden immediately before the Pinwheels for Prevention ceremony at Zahra Baker All Children's Playground in Hickory. Those who purchase 25 or more pinwheels will have their name or the name of their business listed as an event sponsor.

The pinwheels will be available for pickup by the sponsors following this event or at the CAPC. Those purchasing the pinwheels are encouraged to replant them at their home or place of business to show their support for Child Abuse Prevention Month.

The Pinwheels for Prevention event will take place at Zahra Baker All Children's Playground at Kiwanis Park, located at 805 6th Street SE, Hickory, from noon to 1 p.m. on Wednesday, April 5. Members of the public are invited to attend. The short ceremony will emphasize the importance of preventing child abuse. Kim Lyke Holden with Catawba County Partnership for Children will be the speaker.

The CAPC is a non-profit organization that works to prevent and respond to child sexual abuse and serious physical abuse. It coordinates the efforts of Catawba County Social Services, law enforcement, and the District Attorney's Office.

More information about the CAPC is available on its website at You may call the center at 828-465-9296. For more information about the pinwheels,

Downtown Hickory Art Crawl Seeks Artists For Events This Year

Hickory - The Hickory Downtown Development Association is planning the upcoming 2017 Downtown Hickory Art Crawls. We are looking for artists to participate in the event. With so many exceptional artists in the area, we are sure this will be an exciting event! Artists will display their works and demonstrations are encouraged. There is no charge to the artist for participation and no commissions are charged on items sold, but artists are required to personally pay all applicable NC taxes.

Artists selected to show will be placed in Downtown Businesses that are participating in the Art Crawl or on and around Union Square. Artists will need to bring all necessary display items, tables and chairs. Failure by the participating artist to appear at the event will be considered during the application process for other downtown events.

The 2017 dates are Thursday, May 18, and Thursday, September 21.

The Art Crawl begins with a Kick-Off Party at 5:00 pm. The actual Crawl begins at 5:30 pm and ends at 8:00 pm. Artists must be set up by 4:30 pm and may not remove displays before 8:00 pm.

For an application, please contact Barbara at or Connie at or call 828-322-1121. Please follow the application process closely as incomplete applications will not be considered.

Applications are due by April 15 for the May 18 Art Crawl and by August 15 for the September 21, 2017 Art Crawl.

Hickory Downtown Development Association, Boyd & Hassell Industrial Commercial Real Estate, and the United Arts Council of Catawba County sponsor the semi-annual Downtown Hickory Art Crawls.

For more information on The HDDA, membership, businesses, other events and downtown Hickory, please call 828 322 1121 or email Please visit the website,

African Children’s Choir At St. Luke’s Church On Wed., April 19

Hickory - The African Children's Choir melts the hearts of audiences with their charming smiles, beautiful voices and lively African songs and dances.

They will perform Wed., April 19, at St Luke’s United Methodist Church at 7:00 pm.

The program features well-loved children's songs, traditional Spirituals and Gospel favorites. Concerts are free and open to all. A free-will offering is taken at the performance to support African Children's Choir programs, such as education, care and relief and development programs.

Music for Life (The parent organization for The African Children's Choir) works in seven African countries such as, Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa. MFL has educated over 52,000 children and impacted the lives of over 100,000 people through its relief and development programs during its history. MFL purpose is to help create new leadership for tomorrow's Africa, by focusing oneducation.

The African Children's Choir has had the privilege to perform before presidents, heads of state and most recently the Queen of England, Queen Elizabeth II, for her diamond jubilee. The Choir has also had the honor of singing alongside artists such as Paul McCartney, Annie Lennox, Keith Urban, Mariah Carey, Michael W. Smith, and other inspirational performers!

Promotional support of this community concert is greatly appreciated.

The African Children's Choir is a nonprofit humanitarian and relief organization dedicated to helping Africa's most vulnerable children today so they can help Africa tomorrow.

No tickets, donations welcome.??????

Address: 52 16th Ave NW. Venue phone: (828) 327-9837 ?

Hudson Dinner Theatre’s Farce Of Nature Opens

March 23 And Plays Through Saturday, April 1

Hudson, NC - The Town of Hudson presents its 23rd dinner theatre production, "Farce of Nature," on Thursday, Friday and Saturday, March 23, 24, 25, 30, 31 and April 1. Dinner is served at 6:30PM followed by the play at 7:30PM. Tickets are $30 for dinner and the show, $15 for the show only. The play will be presented at the Hudson Uptown Building (HUB) at 145 Cedar Valley Road. Reservations can be made at the HUB Box Office, or by calling 726-8871.

Policewoman Maxie Suggs (Carolyn Icard) challenges Gangster Sonny Barbosa (Doug McCowan) and his wife Lola (Emma Lee Kurts) at the "Reel 'em Inn" in "Farce of Nature."Photographer: Briana Adhikusuma

CVCC Turf Alumnus’ Hollar Golf Tourney Benefit Is Wed., April 26

Hickory - College classmates of the late Rock Barn Golf Course Director of Grounds Guy Hollar have scheduled the annual Guy Hollar Memorial Golf Tournament Wed., April 26, at Rock Barn Country Club in Conover, N.C. Two flights are scheduled to tee off at 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. in a captain’s choice format.

Hollar was the longtime golf course director of grounds at Rock Barn Golf and Spa in Conover, N.C. He was a member of the first graduating class of Catawba Valley Community College’s Turfgrass Technology program in 1972.

Hollar developed an interest in becoming a golf course superintendent when land his family farmed was developed into what is now known as Rock Barn Country Club.

The tournament is sponsored by CVCC’s Alumni Association and organized by classmates of Guy Hollar. Proceeds from the tournament will help fund scholarships for currently enrolled CVCC Turfgrass Technology students.

Registration for sponsors and teams is open through April 14. Visit for more information and to register.

“CVCC is grateful to have such a loyal alumni group,” said Gary Muller, dean of the School of Business, Industry & Technology. “Their support made it possible for three Turfgrass Management students to complete their education this year. We are excited to see the tournament expand this year.”

Team entries before April 14 cost $360; individual players can enter for $90. Player registration includes 18 holes of golf on Rock Barn’s Jackson Course and lunch.

Sponsorships are available from $100 for a hole to $1,000 at the platinum level which includes a four-person team entry.

For more information or to become a sponsor, reach Gerry Millholen (CVCC Turfgrass Class of ’74) at 828-455-2284 or at, or Mary Reynolds, CVCC Alumni Director, 828-327-7000 ext. 4387,

Hickory Museum Of Art Guild’s Welcome, Spring!

Fashion Show & Luncheon Is Monday, April 3

Hickory – Hickory Museum of Art Guild Angels of the Arts (AOA) presents its “Welcome Spring! Fashion Show” on Monday, April 3, 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. in Coe Gallery at Hickory Museum of Art, 243 Third Ave. N.E., Hickory. The fundraising event will benefit HMA education programs and exhibitions.

The fundraiser features a luncheon and a Spring-themed fashion show with designs available locally. Fashion show participants include Cabi, LulaRoe, Southern Sass, Bisanar Co Jewelers and Oz’s Jewelers. Raffle items include jewelry, original artwork and more.

Reservations are $35 per person and can be made online at before the March 24 deadline. Call 828-327-8576 to reserve a table as a group.

About HMA Guild

The HMA Guild was founded in 1970 as the hospitality arm of Hickory Museum of Art. Today’s Guild focuses on planning fundraising events, assisting with receptions, serving as docents and volunteering in the Museum office and HMA Shop. The Guild is a major fundraiser for the Museum. Annual AOA fundraisers help the Museum continue its programs and exhibits.

The Guild meets monthly for event planning, art-related programs and fellowship. Members are encouraged to attend meetings and volunteer in three Guild or Museum events. For more information about joining HMA’s Guild, call 828-327-8576.

Hickory Museum of Art is located on the SALT Block, 243 3rd Avenue NE, Hickory. Admission is free. For more information about Museum exhibitions, art classes, field trips, and events, visit or call 828-327-8576.

Child Safety Seat Inspection Is The 1st Tuesday Of Every Month

Hickory - Nine out of 10 car seats are improperly installed. Could yours be one of them? Come talk with a certified technician to learn more about safely installing your seat every time.

Ask about our citation diversion program if you have received a ticket related to a child seat violation.

The Inspection Station will be set up each first Tuesday of the month in the parking lot of Catawba County Health Department, 3070 11th Ave Dr SE, Hickory from 1:30 PM - 3:30 PM. Call the Health First Center at 828-485-2300 ext 6204.

Catawba Valley Pottery & Antique Festival March 24-25

Hickory - Planning for the Catawba Valley Pottery & Antiques Festival’s 20th anniversary event is well under way. The date is March 24-25, 2017, at the Hickory Metro Convention Center, Hickory, NC, offering a buying opportunity and educational programs about North Carolina’s traditional handmade pottery.

The Festival began 20 years ago to showcase Catawba Valley alkaline-glazed stoneware that was continuing to be made by local potters.  Catawba Valley is one of three pottery producing areas in our state. Because our potters were firing predominately in wood-fired kilns, pottery was available for sale in large quantities at odd times.  Marketing was by word-of-mouth - not the best approach.  The original goal was to provide a place, one day a year, when Catawba Valley pottery could be purchased.

Twenty years ago folk art collectors were seeking Southern pottery face jugs and food preservation vessels. Catawba Valley potters were in the forefront of making face jugs because of the history of their being made by Harvey Reinhardt and the Hilton family, and by Burlon Craig who was still an active potter.

Over the years the CVP&AF grew to include pottery from across the state and into the South: Georgia, South Carolina, and other locations.  The Festival became the primary destination for people interested in potters making traditional ware; pots that were used daily in food preparation. Traditional potters had skills passed down in families and communities near areas with workable clay.  Today potters, including some from Penland, who have academic training have joined the vendors at the show.  All vendors are juried.

Education has always been an important focus of the Festival. Because the two non-profits we support, the Historical Association of Catawba County and the North Carolina Pottery Center, are engaged in teaching history, each Festival has an exhibit on a designated topic and a lecture on an associated topic. This year the exhibit is titled "Twenty Classic Catawba Valley Pots" organized by Dr. Charles Zug.  The lecturer is local potter Kim Ellington speaking about his introduction to the local pottery and what it means to be a working potter.  The Saturday exhibit and lecture are part of the admission fee of $6 for adults and $2 for children 12 and under. The lecture is scheduled for 11:00 AM on Saturday. Opening 9AM – 5PM, demonstrations and videos are also available.

Friday night’s Preview Party, 7-10PM, offers an early buying opportunity, music by the Sigmon Stringers and a full Southern supper. A primary fund raiser for the two non-profit institutions, tickets are on sale for $45.00 each, advance reservations required by March 18th.

Over 110 vendors include working potters and antique dealers bring old pottery, some furniture, textiles, folk art and decorative accessories to give context to the hand-made pottery.  Pottery has been made in the Catawba Valley since 1820 and from the Seagrove area since 1750. North Carolina is the only state where the tradition has continued uninterrupted to the present.  Pottery production is a very important cottage industry and North Carolina is recognized on a national level as having an outstanding craft community.

The CVP&AF is considered the primary destination for people interested in Southern traditional pottery. If you buy a coffee mug or a work of art, you will have a fun experience. Friday night Preview Party tickets can be used for free Saturday entry. All profits are dispersed to our two non-profit institutions. 828-324-7294

Hickory Day School Announces 2017 Summer Camp Sessions

Hickory - Hickory Day School is excited to announce their 2017 Summer Camp offerings. Unless otherwise noted, camp sessions are for rising 1st grade through rising 8th grade, and run from 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. Aftercare is available at an additional cost. For a registration form or more information, go to, or call the school office at 828-256-9492. Registrations with payment are due May 15.

Sessions are as follows:

June 19-23: Kids’ Creation Station

Let loose your creative spirit! Campers will be exposed to a variety of materials and techniques – from drawing to ceramics – to create original works of art.

June 26-30: Messy Madness

Hands-on experiments and demonstrations let you make a mess in the name of Science! Cost includes a field trip to the Catawba Science Center.

July 10-14: Math & Engineering with Legos

Future architects and engineers spend the week designing and building simple machines. By using their creativity and imagination, the design possibilities are endless!

July 17-21: Dr. Seuss (Rising TK- rising 2nd grade only; 8:00 – 11:30 a.m.)

The rhymes and silliness of Dr. Seuss are incorporated into reader’s theater, crafts, team activities and outdoor play.

July 17-21: The Great Outdoors (rising 3rd – rising 8th grade only)

Games and activities indoors and out will focus on physical and brain fitness! Nature hikes in the woods around campus are a big part of this week, so athletic shoes are required. (NO flip-flops, Crocs, open-toed shoes, sandals, etc.)

July 24-28: The Wizarding World of HDS

Campers are sorted into “houses” to compete throughout the week. Some activities include concocting “potions”, writing “spells”, and playing the HDS version of Quidditch!

Founded in 1993, Hickory Day School is a non-sectarian, non-profit, co-education, independent school for students in Transitional Kindergarten through 8th Grade, and is authorized by the International Baccalaureate Organization World School. Hickory Day School’s mission is to instill in its students a love of learning in a unique environment that emphasizes academic excellence, critical-thinking skills, and global perspectives.

Contact: Shelley Holtsclaw,, Hickory Day School, 2535 21st Avenue NE, Hickory NC 28601,828-256-9492

LRU’s Summer Youth Music Band Camp Is Set For July 10 - 14

Hickory - Registration is now open for Lenoir-Rhyne University’s fifth annual Summer Youth Music Band Camp. The camp provides middle school and high school students an opportunity to enhance their musical talents through instruction by professional clinicians. This year’s camp is scheduled from Monday, July 10 through Friday, July 14 in the Mauney Music Building, located on the campus of LRU. Instruction is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with supervised early drop-off in the morning, beginning at 8 a.m., and afternoon recreational time until 5:30 p.m.

“The band camp at Lenoir-Rhyne continues to grow in popularity every year,” said Dr. Christopher Nigrelli, Professor of Music at LRU and camp director. “The purpose of the camp is to help students continue to develop their skills as young musicians in a fun, interactive learning environment.” Dr. Nigrelli added that families interested are encouraged to register early due to limited space in the program.

Tuition for the camp is $180 for the week, which includes lunch each day and a music camp T-shirt. To register, visit or contact Dr. Nigrelli at for more information.

About Lenoir-Rhyne University:

Lenoir-Rhyne University was founded in 1891 and is a private, Lutheran, coeducational university with its primary campus in Hickory, NC. Academic programs include more than 50 undergraduate majors and 26 graduate programs. Other campus locations include the Center for Graduate Studies of Asheville, NC, the Center for Graduate Studies of Columbia, SC, and the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary also in Columbia. Today, more than 2,500 undergraduate and graduate students are enrolled across all campuses. Lenoir-Rhyne is affiliated with the NC Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and welcomes students from all religious backgrounds. The website is

Photo: Participants from LRU’s Summer Youth Music Band Camp 2016

Bethlehem’s Friends Of The Library Book Sale is March 23-25

Bethlehem, NC - Book lovers of all ages: mark your calendar for the seventh annual Friends of the Library used book sale on March 23-25. Sponsors are the Bethlehem Friends of the Library. Location is the Bethlehem Fire Department, 7373 NC Highway 127, in Bethlehem.

Donations are currently being sought for gently used books. Such items can be taken to the Bethlehem Branch Library, 45 Rink Dam Road or call the library office at 828-495-8753. Items that cannot be accepted are encyclopedias, magazines, Reader’s Digest condensed books, or books that are badly worn and water damaged.

Special hours on Thursday, March 23 are arranged for those who are members of the Bethlehem or Taylorsville Friends of the Library. Those hours are 9-12 noon. Individuals who purchase a Friends membership at the time of sale can take advantage of those special hours. Book dealers can also come for a $25 donation to the Friends.

Regular book sale hours are Thursday, March 23, noon to 6:00 p.m., Friday, March 24, 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Saturday, March 25, 9:00 to 2:00 p.m. Hardcover books and trade paperbacks will be selling for $1.00 each. Regular paperbacks and children’s books will sell for $.50 each. Some special bargains will be available on Saturday.

Bethlehem Friends members encourage the public to use this sale as an opportunity to keep books out of the landfill by donating books for the sale and then purchasing low cost, current books.

Proceeds from the sale will be used to support literacy by enhancing services for children and adults at the Bethlehem Branch Library.

Special thanks to the Bethlehem Fire Department for use of their facilities.

Current Friends officers include Barb Beck, President; Rita Miller, Vice President; Perry Fry, Treasurer and Margo Mosley, Secretary. Friends’ one year memberships can be purchased at the library prior to the sale or at the sale. Membership is $10 for individuals, $15 for family and $8 for seniors.

Photo from recent “Let’s Talk About It” book discussion:

The Alexander County Library, Bethlehem Branch is currently hosting “Let’s Talk About It” (LTAI), the book discussion series sponsored by the Bethlehem Friends of the Library (FOL). The session on January 24 was led by Dr. Rick Sipes, LTAI scholar from Iredell County. Participants discussed the book, Brothers and Keepers by John Edgar Wideman. The series concludes on March 7. Those pictured, left to right: Sandy Moore, past FOL president; Dr. Rick Sipes, LTAI scholar; and Ellen Self, LTAI participant.

Public Invited To RockyFest On Sat., April 22, Rocky Face Park

Alexander County, NC - Mark your calendars for RockyFest 2017, set for Saturday, April 22 at Rocky Face Mountain Recreational Area in Hiddenite. This family-friendly daylong event features trail races, live music, free rock climbing and rappelling sessions, children's activities, food, arts/crafts vendors, and much more.

The event begins with the RockyFest Trail Race 5k/10k/20k at 8:00 a.m. The fee for either race is only $25 if postmarked by April 10, with an additional $10 fee if submitted after April 10, including race day. T-shirts are not included in the registration fee, so please include $10 more if you want a race t-shirt. Online registration is available at, or you can download an application, course map, and complete details at

Following the trail races, free rock climbing and rappelling sessions begin at 9:00 a.m. Sessions will be available (as space allows) at 9:00 a.m., 10:45 a.m., 1:00 p.m., 2:45 p.m., and 3:30 p.m. Advance registration is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Visit and search for "RockyFest FREE Rock Climbing Sessions," and choose the time and number of tickets you need.

The rest of the festivities begin at 10:00 a.m. and last until 6:00 p.m., including three inflatables for the children, face painting, arts and crafts vendors, a wide variety of food, live music, and much more.

The entertainment lineup is sure to please at RockyFest 2017. Headlining this year's event will be the multi-award winning, old-time string band, The Slate Mountain Ramblers. Returning to RockyFest by popular demand will be Strictly Strings and ShadowGrass, as both of these groups were a crowd favorite in 2016. In addition, attendees will enjoy Alexander County's own Carolina Express Bluegrass, and award-winning guitarist Danny Wicker. Newcomer and multi-talented vocalist/fiddle player Madison Elmore will also perform. One of bluegrass music's newest up-and-coming young groups, The Trailblazers, will also grace the RockyFest stage. Adding to the entertainment throughout the event will be flatfoot dancer Rodney Sutton, an early member of the Green Grass Cloggers who has traveled across the United States, Canada and throughout the British Isles performing, teaching, and calling dances. There will also be a picking tent, so bring your instrument and join in the fun.

Alexander County Government and Rocky Face Park would like to express their appreciation to this year's fine sponsors of RockyFest 2017: Platinum Sponsor - Duke Energy; Gold Sponsors - Craftmaster Furniture, Alexander Railroad Company; Silver Sponsors - EnergyUnited Electric, Huntington House, Schneider Mills, Paragon Films, West Consultants; and Bronze Sponsors - Taylor King Furniture, McGill Associates.

For more information about the RockyFest 2017 event, contact Alisha Stamey at or (828) 632-1093, or visit

Catawba Co. Social Services Offers Adult Counseling

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

Some examples of individuals seeking this service include: aging individuals wanting to discuss options to sustain health, wellness, and independence; individuals returning home from a rehab center following a surgery; or an individual having increased difficulty managing household tasks such as cooking, cleaning, shopping, but who wants to remain at home.

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

While Social Services has always provided information and referral services to persons who need to make decisions such as these, the Information and Options Counseling service is a more in-depth and personalized approach.

The goal is to offer decision support to individuals making decisions about their own care. To make use of this service, the person in need of care must be able to make their own decisions. However, caregivers or family members are invited to participate in the process if they wish.

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

Free Technology Help At Hickory Public Libraries, Call Today!

Hickory - Hickory Public Library is offering one-on-one assistance for those interested in learning how to use technology at both Patrick Beaver Memorial Library and Ridgeview Branch Library. Call either location to request an appointment for a one hour personal session to learn basic computer skills, Internet, email, Microsoft office, e-books and more.

For more information or to sign up for an appointment, call 828-304-0500 ext. 7235 for appointments at Patrick Beaver Memorial Library or 828-345-6037 for appointments at Ridgeview Branch Library.

Patrick Beaver Memorial Library is located at 375 3rd Street NE on the SALT Block. Ridgeview Branch Library is located at 706 1st Street SW, at the corner of 7th Avenue SW and 1st Street SW.

Catawba Co. Public Health Offers Women Free Or

Low Cost Breast & Cervical Cancer Screenings

Hickory - Even though Breast Cancer Awareness Month is over, women should not forget about getting checked for the deadly form of cancer that the state estimates will kill more than 1,400 women statewide this year.

In North Carolina, 9,320 women were diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013 – that’s more than 25 women a day! In 2014, 1,308 women in North Carolina died of breast cancer, and the state projects 10,052 women will be diagnosed in 2016 while 1,416 will die from it this year alone.

Any woman can get breast cancer, but as women age their chances increase. The good news is that the earlier cancer is found and treated, the better the chance for living for many more years. Although fewer people were diagnosed with breast cancer in Catawba County, 15 out of every 100 cases diagnosed in 2014 were in stage III or IV. Diagnosis at a later stage can make successful treatment more difficult. From 2009-2013, one in five breast cancer patients died of the disease.

Since 2011, Catawba County has seen an increase in the number of breast cancer deaths, which is one reason why early detection and treatment is critical. For some women, though, getting access to preventive care can be a challenge. That’s why Catawba County Public Health offers free or low-cost screenings, education and referral services to eligible women through the North Carolina Breast and Cervical Cancer Control program (BCCCP).

This program highlights the importance of early detection as the best protection against breast and cervical cancers. Established in 1991, the North Carolina Breast and Cervical Cancer Program offers the following services: clinical breast exams, screening mammograms, pap tests and HPV tests, diagnostic procedures (mammograms, ultrasounds, colposcopies, breast and cervical biopsies) if screening results are abnormal, medical consultations, and referrals to treatment if cancer is found. Women who are enrolled in BCCCP and who are found to have cancer during their screening are eligible to receive free or reduced cost treatment with special Breast and Cervical Cancer Medicaid funds.

Through a partnership with Catawba Valley Medical Center, women in the BCCCP program are able to obtain screening and diagnostic mammograms and ultrasounds at the best rates possible. The hospital even brings their mammogram bus to the Public Health parking lot to provide services at a location that is comfortable and convenient to clients.

Each year, more than 12,000 women in North Carolina receive breast and cervical screenings through the BCCCP program. In Catawba County, more than 175 women received BCCCP screenings, with the majority of them falling between the ages of 35 and 54. More than a third of the women accessing services primarily speak Spanish.

In order to be eligible for the services offered in Catawba County, women must be:

· Uninsured or underinsured

· Without Medicare Part B or Medicaid

·Between the ages of 40-75 for breast screening services

·Between the ages of 21-64 for cervical screening services

·Have a household income below 250% of the federal poverty level

·Must reside in Catawba County

To learn more about the North Carolina Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Program at Catawba County Public Health or to make a screening appointment, call (828) 695-5800.

Catawba County Public Health promotes and protects the health of all Catawba County residents through preventive services, innovative partnerships, and community health improvement initiatives. For more information, please call (828) 695-5800 or visit

Can You Help? Women’s Resource Center

Needs Items For Emergency Pantry

Hickory - We are very grateful for your past support in donating items for our Emergency Pantry. These items are provided to women and families who are undergoing financial hardship and unable to afford them. Our pantry is getting low in the following products and we hope you can help us.

Laundry Detergent, Bathroom Cleaner, Liquid Hand Soap, Window Cleaner, Fabric Softener, Disinfectant, Dryer Sheets, Mouthwash, Bleach, Body Wash,

Dish Detergent, Hair Spray/Gel/Mousse, All Purpose Cleaner (409,etc), Hair Conditioner, Paper Towels, Q-Tips, New Makeup & Skin Care Products.

Donations can be dropped off at Women's Resource Center between 9AM and 4PM, Monday thru Thursday. For more information on our Emergency Pantry, visit

Every donation is appreciated and will help the women and families we serve.

The Women’s Resource Center is located at 125 3rd St. NE, Hickory, NC 28601.

New Alert System To Help Hickory Area Families Find

Missing Seniors With Alzheimer’s

Hickory – One of the worst scenarios for families caring for someone living with Alzheimer’s disease is a loved one wandering or getting lost. It causes immediate panic and concern, and unfortunately happens all too often. In fact, nearly 50 percent of some of these family members have experienced a loved one with Alzheimer’s wandering or getting lost[i], according to a new survey conducted by Home Instead, Inc., franchisor of the Home Instead Senior Care® network. Of those, nearly one in five called the police for assistance. To help families keep their loved ones safe, the Home Instead Senior Care network has launched a free tool, the Missing Senior NetworkSM, now available in the Unifour Area.

Found at, the platform enables family caregivers to alert a network of friends, family and businesses to be on the lookout for a missing senior. The service provides a way to alert the network of a missing senior via text or email. Families can also choose to post an alert to the Home Instead Remember for Alzheimer’s Facebook page, connected to 270,000 followers.

“These frightening occurrences lead families to call our office and ask for help,” said Susan Saylor of the Home Instead Senior Care office serving Hickory, Lenoir and Morganton. “This resource was created to help Unifour area families understand the risk of wandering and have a tool that empowers them to quickly take action if a loved one living with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia wanders.”

The Missing Senior Network is part of Home Instead Senior Care network’s new Prevent WanderingSM program, which includes resources such as insight into what may trigger wandering events, steps families can take to help keep their loved ones safe, and tips on what to do if a wandering event occurs.

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, anyone living with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia is at risk of wandering.

“Wandering can happen at any time, and not just on foot someone in a car or even a wheelchair could wander,” said Monica Moreno, director of Early Stage Initiatives for the Alzheimer’s Association. “A person may want to go back to a former job he or she had, even though that job may no longer exist. Or, someone may have a personal need that must be met. There’s always a purpose and intent. It’s just a matter of identifying the triggers.”

Family caregivers should be aware of the following common triggers that may cause someone with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia to wander:

1. Delusions or hallucinations. Those living with Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia may misinterpret sights or sounds, causing them to feel fearful and wander to escape their environment.

2. Overstimulation. Individuals living with dementia can become easily upset in noisy or crowded environments, triggering them to look for an escape from the chaos.

3. Fatigue, especially during late afternoons and evenings. Individuals living with dementia may become tired, causing restless pacing and, eventually, wandering.

4. Disorientation to place and time. Individuals may not recognize they are home and seek to return to a familiar place, such as a former workplace.

5. Change in routine. Individuals living with dementia may become confused following a change of routine, wandering in an effort to return to a familiar place.

“We understand the topic of wandering is something many families coping with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia may avoid discussing,” said Saylor. “It’s important for families to understand the potential triggers for wandering and have a plan in place to help keep their loved ones safe.”

For additional tips and program resources, visit, or contact your local Home Instead Senior Care office serving Hickory, Lenoir and Morganton to learn how family caregivers can help prevent and respond to wandering. You may reach them at or call 828-256-0184.

To access the Missing Senior Network, visit

Those living with dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, could be at risk of wandering, which is why it’s important to watch for these common signs.

1. The disease itself. Anyone with dementia is at risk of wandering. This behavior can affect individuals in all stages as long as that person is mobile.

2. Trouble navigating familiar places. A desire to get to a certain place could prompt individuals with Alzheimer’s to go in search of where they feel they need or want to be.

3. Talk about fulfilling nonexistent obligations. If Dad keeps discussing going back to work, or Mom is talking about taking the baby – who is now an adult – to the doctor, a loved one could be at risk of wandering.

4. Agitation during the late afternoon or early evening. Sometimes referred to as “Sundowning,” individuals with Alzheimer’s or other dementias often become agitated and restless, even pacing, as fatigue sets in and are at greater risk of wandering.

5. Wanting to go home when they’re already there. Individuals with Alzheimer’s disease often go looking for home when they are already there.

6. Unmet needs. If a loved one wants to go to the bathroom, but can’t find where it is, that individual is at greater risk of wandering.

Yoga For Seniors Each Thursday, 10am, At Newton Rec Center

Newton, NC - The Newton Parks and Recreation Department and the Catawba County Council on Aging offer Yoga for Seniors every Thursday at the Newton Recreation Center.

The classes are held on Thursdays from 10-11 a.m. The cost is $4 per person per class. Each class is specially designed for those 50 years old and older. The Newton Recreation Center is at 23 South Brady Ave.

Participants are introduced to basic postures and techniques used in yoga to relax the body and calm the mind.

Instructor Marjorie Blubaugh is certified to teach yoga and has more than 20 years of experience practicing and teaching yoga. She provides individual attention to physical limitations presented by each class member and offers alternative movements to prevent discomfort. For more information, call the Newton Parks and Recreation Department at 828-695-4317 or visit

Statesville’s Spring Art Crawl Issues Call For Artists Until April 7

Statesville, NC - The Spring Art Crawl in Downtown Statesville is right around the corner! The 2017 Art Crawl is set for April 28 from 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm and will highlight more than 75 artists in over 30 different galleries, shops, and businesses scattered throughout the heart of Downtown Statesville.

Artists who are interested in participating in the Spring Art Crawl should submit their application and artist fee no later than April 7, 2017.

The application is available on our website Complete the PDF application electronically and email to You may also print the application and return to our office directly at Downtown Statesville Development Corporation (located at 112 S. Center Street), or mail it to PO Box 205, Statesville, NC 28687. Please be sure to include the $20 artist fee with a check payable to Downtown Statesville Development Corporation, or pay online at

All artists must submit three images of your work for consideration. Submissions may be by e-mail ( or mail to P.O. Box 205, Statesville, NC 28687. If you want your material returned, please include a self-addressed stamped envelope to fit your juried material. All work displayed at the Art Crawl must be original fine art created by the applicant.

We look forward to seeing the talent in and around our community!

LRU Welcomes Animal Expert Jack Hannah On March 27

Hickory – Lenoir-Rhyne University will welcome Jack Hanna to its Hickory campus on Monday, March 27 at 7 p.m. in Shuford Memorial Gymnasium. The famous animal expert and conservationist will share the stage with a variety of his favorite animal ambassadors. The doors for the event will open at 6 p.m. and Hanna will be available for autographs beginning at 6:15 p.m. This is Hanna’s second visit to LRU; over 1,300 guests enjoyed his first appearance in October of 2011.

Tickets for the event are $15 per person and can be purchased at the University Box Office beginning Monday, February 6.

Jack Hannah with a baby tiger

“We are very excited to welcome Jack Hanna back to LRU,” said Assistant Provost and Dean of Student Life, Katie Fisher. “He has dedicated his life to the awareness and conservation of the animal kingdom. We consider it a privilege to be able to hear, firsthand, about his experiences and learn about the array of animals he will bring to LR.”

“Since Jack’s visit in 2011, we have had countless requests to bring him back to campus,” Fisher said. “His love of animals and passion for wildlife conservation is contagious, and his presentations are energizing, enlightening, as well as entertaining. We hope our campus and community members will fill the gymnasium to welcome Jack and take advantage of this unique opportunity.” Fisher added that school and youth groups and other organizations are encouraged to attend.

Jungle Jack Hanna explores the corners of the globe as one of the most respected animal ambassadors. His enthusiasm and “hands-on” approach to wildlife conservation has won him widespread acclaim as a conservationist, television personality, author and Director Emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and the Wilds.

Recognized as America’s favorite zookeeper, Hanna has made countless television appearances on shows such as Good Morning America, The Late Show with David Letterman, Fox News programs, and CNN News programs. Hanna took his infectious energy to the airwaves by creating three nationally televised programs.

Hannah with a young snow leopard

Jack Hanna’s Animal Adventures ran for 10 years and is still currently in syndication. Most recently, the Columbus Zoo and Nationwide Insurance have partnered to sponsor the Emmy Award winning Jack Hanna’s Into the Wild and a show on ABC, Jack Hanna’s Wild Countdown.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit The LR Box Office is located at the entrance of P.E. Monroe Auditorium and is open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets can be purchased with credit card or cash at the LR Box Office in person or by telephone at 828.328.7206. Discounts and group rates will not apply for this event. Requests for hearing impaired services should be made two weeks in advance of the event by calling 828.328.3296. The Shuford Gymnasium is handicapped accessible.

Lincolnton Lions Are Recycling Eyeglasses

For Those In Need - Read Below, Donate Today

Lincolnton- While you were making preparation to decorate your home for the Christmas and Hanukkah season, did you find in your dresser drawer, attic, or garage a pair (s) of unwanted eyeglasses? But don’t know what to do with them? Why not donate, deposit, and recycle them in one of the LIONS RECYCLE FOR SIGHT boxes strategically at various businesses throughout Cherryville, Denver, and Lincolnton by the Lincolnton Lions Club?

• Did you realize your unwanted pair(s) of eyeglasses can make a drastic change in another person’s life? Imagine if you could help a child read. An adult succeed in his job. A senior citizen maintain their independence. Every day, your recyclable eyeglasses can do all of this and more. Unfortunately, state and federal public health laws prevent recyclable eyeglasses to be used in the USA. That’s why they are distributed to people in developing countries throughout the world

• What type of eye wear does the Lions Club accept? New, used, prescription children and adult eyeglasses, safety glasses and prescription and non-prescription sunglasses. Broken or incomplete glasses are not accepted. Concerns about possible eye infections prevents contact lens can not be recycled.

• What happens after your have donated, deposited, and recycled eyeglasses in a LIONS RECYCLE FOR SIGHT BOX? Upon receipt of your unwanted eyeglasses , Lions count, sort by type/style, and transports them to NC Lions, headquarters at Camp Dogwood in Sherrills Ford. Your glasses will be shipped to one of 18 Lions Eyeglasses Recycling Centers to cleaned, sort by prescription strengthen, and packaged for overseas distribution. Remember there is great demand for prescription and non-prescription sunglasses by developing countries close to the Equator.

• What Cherryville, Denver and Lincolnton businesses either have LIONS RECYCLE FOR SIGHT boxes strategically placed for people to donate, deposit or agreed to collect recyclable eyeglasses for the Lincolnton Lions Club?

Optometrist, Ophthalmologist, and Vision Care Centers: 1) Advanced Family Eye Care- 7547 Waterside Loop Road, Suite A ( Denver); 2) Carolina Eye Care - 231 North General’s Blvd. (Lincolnton) and 623 North Highway 16 (Denver); 3) Cherryville Eye Care 201 West Church Street (Cherryville); 4) Lincoln Eye Center - 110 Doctor’s Park ( Lincolnton); 5) Graystone Ophthalmology Associates- 2311 East Main Street (Lincolnton); and 6) Wal-Mart Vision Center- 306 North General’s Blvd. (Lincolnton).

Drug Stores & Pharmacies: 1) The Drug Store- 625 Center Drive (Lincolnton) and 2) Keever Pharmacy- 102 Doctor’s Park (Lincolnton).

Funeral Homes 1) Carpenter-Porter Funeral Home & Cremation Services- 1100 East Main Street (Cherryville); 2) EF Drum Funeral Home- 210 North Academy Street (Lincolnton); 3) Good Samaritan Funeral Home- 3362 North Highway 16 (Denver); and 4) Warlick Funeral Home- 125 Dave Warlick Drive (Lincolnton).

Where There’s A NEED. There’s a LION. When it comes to meeting challenges,

Lions Club International response is simple “WE SERVE.” Found in 1917 by Melvin Jones, an insurance executive in Chicago, Illinois, LIONS CLUB INTERNATIONAL, the world’s largest co-educational service organization, has over 1.4 million members in over 46,000 clubs in 210 counties and geographic areas around the globe.

Lions are friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers who share a core belief –community is what we make it. Lions believe that the world gets better and problems get smaller when people unite to serve their local, and global community. Lions help where help is needed-in their own communities and around the world- with unmatched integrity and energy. Lions have opportunities to serve neighbors and people on the other side of the world whom they may never meet. Some ways LIONS CLUB INTERNATIONAL serves and conducts their service projects/programs through sight conservation, health screening, volunteering with youth, hunger programs, community/ environmental and disaster relief.

The Lincolnton Lions Club meets the 1st and 3rd Tuesday nights at 7:00 p.m. on the campus of Carolinas Health Care System- Lincoln in their Medical Plaza I’s Elm Classroom. Although the local Lions Club are continuously looking for dedicated community mind men and ladies to join their ranks, and assist with their various service projects and fund raisers, membership is by invitation. For more information regarding Lions Club International, NC Lions, Inc. please check out their websites:


Newton-Conover Bach’s Lunch ‘N’ Listen Tickets On Sale Now!

Newton, NC - ?The Newton-Conover Auditorium is offering 2016-2017 season tickets for the popular lunchtime concert series, Bach's Lunch 'N' Listen. As a season ticket holder, you will have the privilege of reserving tickets for any Bach’s Lunch ‘N’ Listen concert before ticket sales open up to the public.

With the ten punches on your season ticket, you have the flexibility to reserve one punch for each concert or use multiple punches for one concert. At a cost of $120, it is the equivalent of getting two FREE tickets. Below are the concert dates for the 2016-2017 season. Performers will be announced July 1st.

March 17th, 2017; April 21st, 2017;;May 19th. 2017. To purchase a season ticket, call the Newton-Conover Auditorium at 828-464-8100.

Newton Elks Lodge #2042 Bingo Games Each Wed., 6 & 7pm

Newton, NC - Newton Elks Lodge #2042 will host a weekly BINGO program every Wednesday. The Lodge, located at 402 East J Street in Newton, will open its doors at 5:30 PM and begin Early Bird Games at 6 PM.

The “Regular Bingo Program” will begin at 7 PM. The total prizes for the regular program will exceed $2,000 each night, with additional prizes for the Early Bird games and other special games within the regular program. The bingo program is presented completely by the members of Newton Elks Lodge #2042, house rules will be posted at the door.

No smoking is allowed in the Lodge, and all children must be supervised at all times.

For additional information or questions, please call the Newton Elks Lodge #2042 at 828-464-1360 after 4 PM.

The Newton Elks Lodge invites you and your friends to join us every Wednesday for a fun night of bingo.

SAFE Connect Offers Resource Website To Assist Homeless

Hickory - While there are many groups working on the issue of homelessness in Catawba County, it has often been difficult to locate the help needed in specific cases.

A new website hopes to correct that problem, providing a virtual portal for citizens, law enforcement, or nonprofits to quickly refer persons experiencing homelessness to resources and information. It can be accessed at A multi-disciplinary team worked on the SAFE Connect project throughout 2015. The word "SAFE" in the name refers to the services that are often needed: shelter, assistance, food, and emergency care.

Now anyone with a computer or smart phone can access the site and immediately learn about available services and where they are located. The service can also use GPS to identify the closest service.

A person using the site selects the types of services they need and a series of links pop up listing the choices available in that area and how to contact them. Users of the service may also click on a button for immediate assistance, and a message is sent to a local person who can provide personalized information and assistance.

"We hope that governmental and non-profit groups in our area will use this site to refer persons experiencing homelessness to the most appropriate services," said John Eller, director of Catawba County Social Services. "Concerned citizens and persons who are experiencing homeless can also use the service if they have access to a computer or smart phone. The service is also a valuable resource when a person is at-risk for becoming homeless. This will be a great complement to United Way's 211 system and we will even have the 211 link visible so those interested can see their robust database should they want to obtain information other than homeless services."

The long term intent is for this service to eliminate the problem of persons contacting multiple agencies trying to find different kinds of assistance.

Hickory Cribbage Club Invites New Players, Tuesdays, 6:15 PM

Hickory - Hickory Cribbage Club “The CRIBBADIERS” is inviting new players to join our weekly tournaments of friendly competition. The club plays at 6:15 p.m. each Tuesday at Unitarian Universalist Church located at 833 5th St. SE Hickory, NC 2860. Members are willing to teach the game to newcomers or to help former players get back into the swing. Contact: Zig (828) 324-8613 or

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

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.

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:

Click Here To Go Back To Page 1 Of Local News





fanjoylabrenz.jpg   fanjoylabrenz.jpg

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

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

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