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Ridgeview Cultural Review Is Set For Saturday, August 2

Hickory - Bringing the Talent to You!! Visual and performing artists from the Hickory area will be performing in the Ridgeview Cultural Revue on August 2, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. in the S.A.L.T. Block Auditorium located at 243 3rd Avenue NE, Hickory, North Carolina.

The participants are artists who grew up in the Hickory community and made their mark in the professional community in the United States, abroad and in the Hickory area. Local artists will also perform. This year’s artists include: Flutist, Lewis Collins of Baltimore, MD; keyboardist Richard Shade of New York; Classical and Opera singer Linda Childs of New York-all products of Hickory, NC. Comedian and master of ceremonies, Henry Henry of Maiden and other dancers and singers from the Hickory area will perform.

The admission for this affair is $10 for advance tickets and $15 at the door.

Tickets can be acquired from members of the Ridgeview Cultural Committee, H & H Barbershop, and at the Ridgeview Public Library.

The Ridgeview Cultural Committee in partnership with Ridgeview Branch Library are presenting this program.

For more information please contact Al Henry at 828-238-9676.

Lincoln County Arts Hosts Two Cooking Classes In August

Lincolnton, NC - The Arts Council of Lincoln County will be hosting two cooking classes: Kids R Cooking, a children’s cooking class and We R Cooking, an adult cooking class.

Both classes will focus on helping adults and children develop fun and healthy eating habits by spurring interest in creating homemade food choices using fresh ingredients from local farmers. Our class will be lead by local German chef Sven Frischen-Nocher.

A traditional Bavarian lunch will be prepared by participants and later enjoyed by sharing a meal together at the conclusion of class. Participants will also discuss: balanced daily diet, the importance of using the right ingredients and concerns regarding processed food.

Kids R Cooking!

Age: 8 to 12 years. Cooking Style: Bavarian Tradition lunch including a pasta (All Souls Pastry), vegetable, drink and dessert. Aug.1, 2014, 9:30 to 12:30pm at St Luke’s Episcopal Church Parrish Hall, 315 N. Cedar St in Lincolnton. Cost is $15 per participate.

We R Cooking!

Age: teen to adults. Cooking Style: Bavarian Tradition lunch including drink and dessert. Aug.2, 2014, 9:30 to 12:30pm at St Luke’s Episcopal Church Parrish Hall, 315 N. Cedar St in Lincolnton.

Cost is $25 per participate. To register: contact ACLC at 704 732-9044 or email

Foreclosure Prevention Effort Extends To Vets On GI Bill

Raleigh, NC – This year marks the 70th anniversary of the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944 – more commonly known as the “GI Bill.”

The North Carolina Housing Finance Agency is marking the anniversary by offering financial mortgage prevention help to veterans attending school under the GI Bill. It is a second step in less than a year to make the Agency’s successful N.C. Foreclosure Prevention Fund more user-friendly for the state’s important military population. Earlier, it ensured that returning veterans enrolled in vocational training or rehabilitation programs would be eligible.

Designed to help North Carolina homeowners recover from job loss and other temporary hardships, the Fund has made mortgage payments for more than 16,000 homeowners while they look for employment or retrain. Funds are available to assist an additional 4,000.

Making the foreclosure assistance available for veterans is particularly important in North Carolina, which is home to 10 percent of all active-duty military personnel in the U.S. (115,000, the most per-capita of any state) and more than 771,000 veterans.

“The transition from military to civilian life can be a challenge,” said A. Robert Kucab, executive director of the N.C. Housing Finance Agency. “It’s especially important that veterans be able to participate fully in these foreclosure prevention benefits. Our agency is working closely with the VA and veterans groups across the state to make sure military families know that help is available for those who need it.”

Funded by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the N.C. Foreclosure Prevention Fund makes mortgage payments for up to 36 months ($36,000) while the homeowner looks for work or completes a job search or training program. It was created in North Carolina in 2010 because of high unemployment, which continues to exceed the national average in three-quarters of North Carolina counties.

The assistance is offered as a zero-interest, deferred loan, with no payments due as long as the homeowner lives in the home. Veterans who study on the GI Bill or participate in a VA-approved vocational training program are eligible for the maximum 36 months of assistance, as long as their mortgage payments exceed 25 percent of their household income.

To qualify for assistance through the Fund, a veteran must be separated from service on or after Jan. 1, 2008, provide a DD214, have a VA-issued Certificate of Eligibility for the GI Bill and provide proof of enrollment in school or a vocational retraining program. Homeowners do not have to be delinquent on mortgage payments to qualify.

Veterans and civilians can apply for assistance from the Fund through more than 40 HUD-approved counseling agencies statewide, or by going online at Information is available on the website or by calling 1-888-623-8631.

The N.C. Housing Finance Agency is a self-supporting public agency. It has financed nearly 215,000 affordable homes and apartments statewide since its creation in 1973.

Newton Animal Shelter Is In Urgent Need Of Supplies

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

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

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

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

39th Annual Waldensian Fest Set For August 8 & 9 In Valdese

Valdese, NC – The 39th Annual Waldensian Festival will be held on August 8th and 9th, 2014 in Valdese, North Carolina. On the second Saturday of each August, Valdese holds its annual Waldensian Festival to commemorate the return of the Waldenses from exile in Switzerland to their native valleys in the Cottian Alps of Italy in 1689. This event, known as the Glorious Return, is celebrated all around the world by other Waldensian communities. Now, as with the first Valdese celebration held in 1976, we invite you to enjoy the rich heritage and magic of the 39th Annual Historic Valdese Waldensian Festival.

The main street will close at approximately 5:00pm and Jacumin Plaza will host a Festival of Faith organized by writer and musician, Timothy Tron. As in past years, Myra’s will be hosting a cruise in with over 150 beautiful refurbished antique and classic cars. The Main Stage area will be located on the main street and Too Much Sylvia will provide an evening of fun and a wide variety of musical entertainment. For the kids…amusement area just off the main street with plenty of rides for them to enjoy.

Saturday morning events begin at 9:00am with over 170 craft and food vendors. Walk up and down the main street and find that perfect gift you have been looking for or try some of the yummy festival food. The Main Stage will feature The Little Miss and Master Pageant, local musicians such as Mama’s Remedy, Pan Jive Steel Drum Band, Michelle Leigh and this year we will host a Songwriters’ Showcase The showcase provides an opportunity for local song writers to perform their original music.

For those that are sports minded…check out the Waldensian Footrace or the Bocce Tournaments.

Other activities throughout the day will include a Church Service (11:00am) and traditional Waldensian Meal at the Waldensian Presbyterian Church, an Open Art Competition held at the Rock School and the Piedmont and Western Railroad Museum located in lower level of Rock school will host their Open House.

Street concert at sunset

All attractions will be open during the day and a shuttle bus will be available to transport visitors to the different sites. The shuttle bus will be located at the Waldensian Museum on Rodoret St South. The outdoor drama “From This Day Forward” will present their final performance for the season. The evening will conclude with Jim Quick and Coastline providing the ultimate in dance music.

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

Hickory Arts’ Broadway Night Is Thursday, July 31, Downtown

Hickory - Hickory Arts presents Broadway Night on Thursday, July 31 in this year's Taste, Tunes & Tomatoes series of Hickory Arts concerts under the sails for Downtown Hickory Farmers Market featuring Lucy Weaver, Charlotte Dick, Savannah Spencer, Clowee Younce, Julie Huffman, Caleb Warren, Sarah Lane, David Townsend, Jeff & Carol Anne Hartman and more—accompanied by John Coffey. Performances begin at 6 pm.

John Coffey returned to Hickory in 2011 from New York City and touring abroad and is available for Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced Piano lessons as well as theory, acting and vocal coaching at Hickory Arts.

Musician & teacher John Coffey

Hickory Arts is a teaching and production studio dedicated to cultivating up-and-coming artists of all types and ages through a network of working and teaching artists.

The studio has and will be providing entertainment for Taste, Tunes & Tomatoes under the sails every Thursday evening from 6 pm, June 5 through August 28.

Discover more about Downtown Hickory Farmers Market and Hickory Arts by visiting and

Harry Potter Parties Coming Up At County Libraries July 30, 31

Newton, NC - Attention Harry Potter fans! Mark your calendars now for birthday celebrations at Catawba County Library and a special drawing of a collector’s edition.

Conover and Claremont branches will host celebrations of the world’s most famous orphan on July 30 and 31.

Children age seven and older will make their own wands, duel in a fantastical spelling bee, hunt for magical creatures and snack on wizardly treats. New or gently used “birthday presents” will be collected for children at Barium Springs Home for Children.

Join the fun at 2 p.m. Wednesday, July 30 at Conover Branch or 2 p.m. Thursday, July 31 at Claremont. Preregistration is not required.

Friends of the Catawba Count Library are offering a Harry Potter raffle next month. J. K. Rowling’s The Tales of Beedle the Bard Collector’s Edition will be given away to a lucky winner at 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 16. The volume is valued at more than $200. Tickets are $1 each and may be purchased at the sale or at various library branches from now through the Friends book sale scheduled in Newton Aug. 14-16.

Ticket holders must present their portion of the ticket as proof of winning. All proceeds from the raffle and book sale will benefit Friends of the Library the supports and advocates the entire county library system. Locations in addition to Newton are Claremont, Conover, Maiden, St. Stephens, Sherrills Ford and Southwest (Mountain View).

For more information about the book raffle please contact April Green in Youth Services, 465-8668. Information about items needed at Barium Springs Home should be referred to Brytani Fraser at 466-5108.

Junior Appalachian Musicians Camp Registration Discount

Lenoir, NC - Hey Kids! Pick up an instrument or put on your dancing shoes this summer and come JAM (Junior Appalachian Musicians) with us! Regardless of experience, Caldwell Summer JAM Camp is offering you a chance to have fun and learn a tune or two in old-time and traditional music. Cost is $30 if registered before August 1; after August 1 the fee rises to $40. Instrument rentals (guitar, fiddle or mandolin) are available for $15. Scholarships are available – please inquire.

Caldwell Summer JAM (Junior Appalachian Musicians) Camp will be held August 11-14 in downtown Lenoir and on August 30 at the Happy Valley Old-Time Fiddlers Convention. Students will perform what they learn on stage at the Happy Valley Old-Time Fiddlers Convention.

Camp will be open to any child aged 7-17. Classes will be taught in fiddle, guitar, mandolin and dance (based on interest).

For more information, please contact Adrienne Roellgen at the Caldwell Arts Council, 828-754-2486 or visit For more information about the JAM program, visit For more information about Happy Valley Fiddlers Convention, visit

This Caldwell Arts Council program is supported by the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources, with funding from the National Endowment of the Arts and a grant from the Unifour Foundation.

St. Luke’s UMC Children’s Music & Drama Camp, Aug. 4-8

Hickory - St. Luke’s UMC in Hickory, NC will be holding a Children’s Summer Music and Drama Camp during the week of August 4 thru 8. This is an all day camp (9:00 am - 5:00 pm) for children who are rising 2nd-6th graders. In less than a week, participants will learn, stage, produce and present the musical MALICE IN THE PALACE by Tom Long and Allen Pote.

The musical has a great script and music, and will have professional staff directing. The cost is very reasonable only $50 per child with scholarships available. For more information, please call 828-327-9837. To register online,

St. Luke’s UMC is located at 52 16th Avenue NW, Hickory, NC 28601.

Local Artists’ Work Exhibited At Taste full Beans, Thru Aug. 23

Hickory - Local artists Bud Caywood, Leslie Hamlin, Charles Kimso, Amanda Dobbins, Megan McKinney, Regina Carpenter, and Christine Brown will be featured in an exhibit at Taste Full Beans Coffeehouse in downtown Hickory from July 19 to August 23.

Artist, poet, and furniture designer, Bud Caywood has been creating art and word in North Carolina for more than forty years and has received numerous awards in all three areas, including the Daphne Award of Merit by The Hardwoods Association and the Pinnacle Design Award by the American Society of Furniture.

By Leslie Hamlin

His career as a furniture designer has allowed him to work with creative people in many parts of the world, including Mexico, Uruguay, Argentina, Canada, Brazil, China, and Italy. His own creativity has been nourished and influenced by the cultures of these unique places. His art has won awards judged by Juan Logan, Toni Carlton, Jim Kellough, and others and was recently featured at the Hickory Museum of Art. His poems have been published in many journals and anthologies, including Wild Goose Poetry Review, Referential Magazine, and Pinesong. He will also be the featured poet at the August 12 Poetry Hickory at Taste Full Beans.

Leslie Hamlin creates unique jewelry, decorative art, books and yard art from a tasteful blend of new, reclaimed, and repurposed materials. She is best known for her original painted designs on reclaimed windows. Her jewelry has been featured in Stampington & Company's publication "Belle Amoire's Jewelry." She has art in galleries and private collections throughout the US and abroad.

Amanda Dobbins is Taste Full Beans' "Resident Potter" and well-known for her hand-crafted and painted mugs, vases, pitchers, flasks and bowls. A lover of pop-art and art deco, these two styles are reflected in much of her work.

By Amanda Dobbins

Charles Kimso is a widely-known Hickory artist who creates furniture, watercolors, oils, abstracts, landscapes, and jewelry and teaches art at various locations in the area. He was recently named Taste Full Bean's "Resident Jeweler," meaning his jewelry will be available at the shop for the remainder of 2014.

Megan McKinney uses watercolors and acrylics to create a sense of serenity through incorporating natural elements and calming scenes in her paintings. She sees painting as a way of escaping and enjoying a quiet moment away from the demands of everyday life. She hopes to extend that opportunity to the viewer through the body of her work.

Regina Carpenter expresses herself using both graphite and acrylic mediums. Her favorite projects feature bold colors and texture. She has exhibited at Full Circle Arts, Hickory Art Crawl, and the Hickory Furniture Mart.

A civil engineer by profession, Christine Brown enjoys a variety of media and subjects, including oils and acrylics, portraits and architectural figures.

By Bud Caywood

A reception will be held for the artists on July 31 from 6:00 to 8:30 PM. Refreshments will be served, and admission is free.

For more information, contact Taste Full Beans Coffeehouse at 828-325-0108.

87th Mountain Dance & Folk Festival Is July 31 - August 2

Asheville, NC – The Mountain Dance and Folk Festival, the country’s longest running folk festival, now in its 87th year of highlighting mountain culture, returns to the Diana Wortham Theatre this summer. The Festival runs for three full evenings, Thursday, July 31 through Saturday, August 2 at the Diana Wortham Theatre in downtown Asheville. Tickets are on sale now.

With introductions beginning at 6:50 p.m. and the show beginning at 7:00 p.m. nightly, the festival formally showcases an amazing repertoire of mountain performers – old-timers as well as the newest generation of bluegrass and mountain string bands, ballad singers, big circle mountain dancers and cloggers – who share music and dance that echo centuries of Scottish, English, Irish, Cherokee and African heritage. The festival begins Thursday, July 31 with Hometown Appreciation Night. In keeping with the grassroots flavor of the festival, local families and individuals are encouraged to attend to help kick off the first night of the festival.

Young cloggers at last year’s festival

Audiences at each of the three performances will see an extensive line-up of the best musicians, ballad singers and dancers; each evening features at least four dance teams from the very young to the young at heart. The popular and long-standing house band, the Stoney Creek Boys, returns to perform each evening. And each night of the festival features both well-known musicians and new talent alike, representative of the Southern Appalachian Mountains and its continuing traditions.

2014 Mountain Dance and Folk Festival Performance* Schedule (a/o 7/11/14):

(*Note: Performers and schedule are subject to change at any time.)

Thursday, July 31: Carol Rifkin and Jerry Sutton, Masters of Ceremonies; Ed Herron; Grey Eagle (Stoney Creek Boys with buck dancers); Dance Team: Fines Creek Flatfooters; Betty Smith; The Peg Twisters; Maggie Lauterer, Zack Allen & Jon Lauterer; The Griggs; Dance Team: J Creek Cloggers; Dance Team: Folk Heritage Smooth Dancers; Sheila Kay Adams, Jeanette Queen & Carol Rifkin; Crooked Pine Band; Dance Team: Green Valley Cloggers; Bobby and Blue Ridge Tradition; The Trantham Family; Dance Team: Southern Mountain Smoke; Whitewater Bluegrass Company.

Friday, August 1: Laura Boosinger and Kevin Hamlin, Masters of Ceremonies; Ed Herron; Grey Eagle (Stoney Creek Boys with buck dancers); Dance Team: Cole Mountain Cloggers; Appalachian Consort; Phil & Gaye Johnson; The Waymasters; Joe Penland; Dance Team: Appalachian Mountaineers; Dance Team: Avery Smooth Dancers; The New Broad River Band; Bryce Parham & Kathryn Brickey; Dance Team: Dixie Darlins; The Arrowood Sisters Band; Laura Boosinger; Bearwallow; Dance Team: Southern Appalachian Cloggers.

Saturday, August 2: Glenn Bannerman and Richard Hurley, Masters of Ceremonies; Ed Herron; Grey Eagle (Stoney Creek Boys with buck dancers); Dance Team: Mountain Tradition Cloggers; Paul Crouch & Friends; The Ross Brothers & Terry Woody; Brooke & George Buckner; The Cockman Family; Don Pedi; Dance Team: Bannerman Family & Friends; Dance Team: Bailey Mountain Smooth Dancers; Clearwater Connection; Roger Howell; Dance Team: Southern Mountain Fire; Southern Highlanders; Richard Hurley; Dance Team: Bailey Mountain Cloggers; Buncombe Turnpike.

Parking: Festival patrons can park off-street, at the parking garage on Biltmore Avenue - which also provides wheelchair access to the Festival - or at the various parking garages located throughout downtown Asheville.

The Tipton Hill Boys (Both photos: Tony Martin

The Mountain Dance and Folk Festival is presented by Asheville’s Folk Heritage Committee which also produces its sister event, the 48th Annual Shindig on the Green, a free gathering held each year at Pack Square Park on the Bascom Lamar Lunsford stage, with a stage show and informal jam sessions on Saturday evenings –July 19; August 9, 16, 23 and 30. Both events rely on the generosity and shared talent of the region’s finest old-time musicians and mountain dancers.

Raffle: The much-sought-after annual raffle items for the 2014 Shindig season are: a D-16 Adirondack acoustic guitar by C.F. Martin & Co.; and a 75” x 75” handmade quilt from a 19th century quilt pattern, created by local quilting collaborative Mountain Jam Circle. Raffle tickets are available at each Mountain Dance and Folk Festival evening and the winning tickets are pulled at the end of the summer Shindig season.

Ticket Information: Tickets (Regular $20; Children 12 and under $10; 3-night package $45 for adults and $24 for children) for the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival are available from the Diana Wortham Theatre box office: (828) 257-4530 or online at

For more information on the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival or Shindig on the Green, visit or call the Folk Heritage Info Line: (828) 258-6101 x345.

Perseid Meteor Shower Will Be Visible In NC In Mid-August

Rosman, NC – Astronomers at the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI) remind the public of the upcoming annual Perseid Meteor Shower.

Meteors result from particles of dust causing the atmosphere to glow as the particles enter the upper atmosphere of the Earth. The Perseid Meteors, or “Perseids,” are associated with Comet 109P/Swift-Tuttle. In 1866 Giovanni V. Schiaparelli, an Italian astronomer more widely known for discovering the “canals” on Mars, determined that the path of the particles resulting in the Perseids was identical with the orbit of Comet Swift-Tuttle which had been observed in 1862.

A time-lapse photo of the perseid shower

This discovery was confirmation of a then innovative theory that meteor showers result from the debris of comets, a theory now widely accepted in astronomical circles. Since the Earth encounters this debris at the same point in space each time it makes its annual revolution around the Sun, we observe the Perseids close to the same date each year, around August 12.

In 2014 the Perseids are predicted to reach a peak of about 100 meteors per hour right around sunset, specifically about 8 p.m. EDT, on the evening of August 12. The Perseids are best observed between about 11 p.m. and dawn from a clear, dark location with a good horizon. Look to the northeast to find the meteors appearing to radiate out of the constellation of Perseus the hero (just below the “W” of Cassiopeia). Binoculars or telescopes are not needed to observe meteor showers.

Observers in the Carolinas will catch the peak of the shower as the sky darkens. (Civil twilight in Brevard ends shortly before 9 p.m.) However, the Perseid Meteor Shower is one of the more reliable showers and lasts for several days on either side of its peak. Thus, the mornings of August 12 and 13 should be best for observing Perseids this year but a few Perseids can be spotted before or after these dates. There will be a waning gibbous moon rising at shortly before 10 p.m. on August 12. Since the best times for observing the Perseids is after 11 p.m. when the radiant is above the horizon, the Moon will interfere somewhat with observations of the fainter meteors.

About PARI

PARI is a public not-for-profit public foundation established in 1998.  Located in the Pisgah National Forest southwest of Asheville, NC, PARI offers educational programs at all levels, from K-12 through post-graduate research.  For more information about PARI and its programs, visit  

Follow PARI on Twitter at   “Like” PARI on Facebook at

Caldwell Arts Sculpture Celebration - Artists Welcome!

Lenoir, NC – Caldwell Arts Council in Lenoir, N.C., in partnership with Tri State Sculptors Association, announces the 29th Annual Sculpture Celebration to be held 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 6, 2014 at the T.H. Broyhill Walking Park, 945 Lakewood Circle in Lenoir NC.

The Celebration will feature sculptural artwork by artists from across the eastern United States who will compete for cash prizes totaling $11,000.00. Realistic and abstract, traditional and contemporary, movable and stationary, indoor and outdoor – sculptures of all types will be on display. The juror for this year’s event is Asheville artist Randy Shull.

Lenoir’s Annual Sculpture Celebration is recognized as the longest-running sculpture competition in the Southeast and a driving force in the area's sculptor-friendly environment. The event started small but now attracts artists and visitors from across the United States. "This is a great show for both experienced artists and for a first-time art experience," says Lee Carol Giduz, Caldwell Arts Council Executive Director.

First Place 2013: Standing Still, By Mary-Ann Prack

Food vendors, children’s art activities, and live music from the Sylvio Martinat Swing Band and Strictly Clean and Decent will be featured throughout the day

Blue Jeans Preview Party Friday, September 5

Many sculptors arrive early to install larger sculptures and to pick the best spot for their artwork. A buffet dinner will be held to welcome them and to introduce the judge and sponsors of the event on Friday, September 5 beginning at 7pm. This event is free for registered sculptors, $20 in advance for guests.

Artists May Register Now

Registration for Sculpture Celebration is open to any 3-D artist up to the day of the event, and each sculptor may present up to three sculptures.

Second Place 2013: Limestone Bench, Todd Frahm

Cost to register the day of the Sculpture Celebration is $80; significant discounts are available for early registration. Details of participation are available on the website

Lenoir, North Carolina is located in Caldwell County in the beautiful foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, off Hwy 321 between Hickory and the Blowing Rock / Boone area.

For further information about the Sculpture Celebration contact the Caldwell Arts Council, 828-754-2486,, or visit The Caldwell Arts Council is located at 601 College Ave SW, Lenoir, NC, 28645.

NC State Bluegrass Festival Is for August 14, 15 & 16, In Marion

Marion, NC - Adams Bluegrass, LLC, has announced that the 40th Annual North Carolina State Bluegrass Festival will again be held on August 14, 15 & 16 at Tom Johnson Rally Park and Camping Center at 1885 U.S. Highway 70 West in Marion, NC.

The three-day event begins Thursday, August 14th at 12:00 noon and goes until 10:00 p.m. daily. Open Stage daily from 11:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon.

Daily & Vincent

Thursday’s lineup features Joe Mullins & The Radio Ramblers, The Marksmen, Dry Branch Fire Squad, Russell Moore (IBMA Male Vocalist 2010-2012) & IIIrd Tyme Out.

Other featured artists include, Rhonda Vincent (Queen of Bluegrass and IBMA Female Vocalist seven straight years) and The Rage. Also featured will be country music legend Gene Watson and The Farewell Party Band performing one 90-minute show at 8:30 p.m. with special guest, Rhonda Vincent.

Friday’s lineup of talent begins at 12:00 noon and goes until 10:00 p.m. featuring Appalachian Express, The Primitive Quartet, Goldwing Express, The Gibson Brothers (IBMA Entertainers of the Year 2013), The Seldom Scene and Nothin’ Fancy.

Saturday’s lineup begins at 12:00 noon and goes until 10:00 p.m. featuring Cody Shuler & Pine Mountain Railroad, Tony Holt & The Wildwood Valley Boys, The Little Roy & Lizzy Show, Comedians, The Moron Brothers and Dailey & Vincent (IBMA Entertainers of the Year 2008-2010) will perform one 90 minute show beginning at 7:30 pm. Jimmy Fortune will perform at 7:00 pm (formerly with The Statler Brothers and Gospel Music Hall of Fame and Country Music Hall of Fame winner) and again with Dailey & Vincent at 9:00 pm.

Rhonda Vincent, Queen of Bluegrass

The Tom Johnson Camping Center and Rally Park has 532 hookups, including water, electric, most with sewer, bathhouses, as well as RV sales and service. Also a restaurant serving breakfast and lunch with other hot food concessions are on site. Bring lawn chairs (no high back chairs). This is a family show and no alcoholic beverages are allowed in the concert area. Security will be on duty.

The show goes on rain or shine under a covered pavilion, with tickets available at the gate. Daily ticket prices are $30.00 for adults in advance until August 4th, then $35.00 at the gate. A 3-day adult ticket is $75.00 in advance and $85.00 at the gate. Children ages 6-13--$15.00 per day or 3 days for $40.00 in advance, $45.00 at the gate. Children under 6 are free when accompanied by parents. Tickets may be ordered online at Sound by Blue Ridge Sound, Sherry Boyd, M.C. For more information:, Phone: (706) 864-7203 or Tom Johnson Rally Park (1-800) 225-7802.

Full Circle Arts Features New Works Thru August 2

Hickory - Full Circle Arts will be featuring works from their six newest exhibiting members Thursday, July 17th through August 2nd. According to quilling artist Beth Oczkowski, “We are eager to show off our best pieces for this exhibit.”

The six talented local artists include: Susan Armstrong (pottery/jewelry), Noralie Cox (fiber art/jewelry), Sheila Isenhour (acrylic painting), Beth Oczkowski (quilling), Johnnita St. Clair (pottery), Rozzy Smith (acrylic painting).

Meet the artists at the Opening Reception on Thursday, July 17, from 6:30 to 8:00 pm. Light refreshments will be served. The exhibit includes a mixture of decorative and functional art available for purchase.

FCA is a non-profit artists’ cooperative located in downtown Hickory, 42-B Third Street NW (down the spiral staircase). FCA members are present at the gallery Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm and Saturday from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm. More information about Full Circle Arts, classes, membership, or other upcoming events is available at 828-322-7545. You may also write to Full Circle Arts, PO Box 3905, Hickory NC 28603, or email Please visit our website at

Lincoln County Arts Accepting Sub-grant Applications

Lincolnton, NC - The ACLC is now accepting applications for North Carolina Arts Council Grassroots Arts Program sub-grants through August 15, 2014. Since 1977, the North Carolina Arts Council’s Grassroots Arts Program has provided North Carolina citizens access to quality arts experiences. Using a per capita based formula, the program provides funding for the arts in all 100 counties of the state through partnerships with local arts councils. The Arts Council of Lincoln County serves as the North Carolina Arts Council’s partner in awarding sub-grants to local organizations for arts programs in Lincoln County.

Applications are available for non-profit organizations whose purpose is to promote and develop diverse cultural arts programming in Lincoln County. Funding priority is given to qualified arts organizations, arts in education programs conducted by qualified artists, and other community organizations that provide arts programs in the county. Projects must occur between July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2015.

Application forms and grant guidelines are available at For questions or more information, contact the ACLC at 704-732-9044 or email

Furry Faces Photo Contest At HSCC

Hickory - Humane Society of Catawba County invites you to enter the 4th Annual Furry Faces Photo Contest. HSCC is looking for “your fabulous, your funny, or your favorite” photos of your furry friends. The top 13 entries will be featured in the 2015 HSCC calendar. In addition, these winning entries will be permanently displayed on a color photo tile in the lobby of the HSCC shelter. All proceeds go directly to HSCC, which operates through the generosity and support of individuals in the community. HSCC does not receive any tax dollars, United Way funding, or receive portions of donations made to any national humane organizations. All donations to HSCC are tax-deductible.

For details on how to enter visit; contest ends on July 31st at midnight.

Caldwell Arts Accepting Grant Applications Till August 15

Lenoir, NC - The Caldwell Arts Council announces that Grassroots Arts Program Grant Applications are now available.

Applications must be submitted to the Caldwell Arts Council by 5:00 p.m. on Friday, August 15, 2014. Allocations will be announced in mid-September.

These grants are funded by the North Carolina Arts Council and are available to non-profit organizations for cultural arts programming in Caldwell County. Funding priority is given to qualified arts organizations, arts in education programs conducted by qualified artists, and other community organizations that provide arts programs in the county.

The application is available on the website For questions or assistance with the application, contact the Caldwell Arts Council by calling 828-754-2486 or email at

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

Tiny Art Show Entries Will Be Accepted July 31 - August 2

Hickory - Full Circle Arts is calling artists to enter its second annual “Tiny Art Show.” Art in any medium will be accepted, as long as it is no larger than 12 inches in any direction, including frames or bases. The dates to deliver entries are Thursday, July 31, Friday, August 1, 11:00-5:00 pm or Saturday, August 2, 11:00-2:00 pm. There is no fee for participating.

The art will be on display August 7 to 23 at Full Circle Arts in its new location next door to McGuire’s Pub.

Ribbons will be awarded by Ginny Zellmer of the Hickory Museum of Art and there will also be a People’s Choice ribbon.

An entry from the 2013 show

According to FCA President, Ellen Schwarzbek, “We had such fun last year putting on this show; we had no choice but to do it again”.

FCA is a non-profit artists’ cooperative located in downtown Hickory, 42-B Third Street NW. FCA members are present at the gallery Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm and Saturday from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm.

More information about Full Circle Arts, classes, membership, or other upcoming events is available at 828-322-7545. You may also write to Full Circle Arts, PO Box 3905, Hickory NC 28603, or email

Please visit our website at

CVCC Offers Wide Array Of Pottery Classes In August

Hickory - The Catawba Valley Community College's Potters' Workshop is pleased to announce a variety of classes beginning in August. Whether you have never touched a ball of clay, or have knowledge turning a pot, the Potters' Workshop has a class for every skill and interest level.

Intermediate Pottery I- Wheel Throwing with Po-Wen Liu
August 18 – October 13, 2014 Mondays, 6 to 9 pm
This class is designed for the intermediate level potter. This course focuses on refining wheel throwing skills and exploring possibilities on potter's wheel. Students will learn to turn various functional forms. Glazes and surface design techniques, such as slip carving, inlay, and slip trailing will also be covered in this class. Upon completion, students should be able to produce a variety of functional forms, trim, apply glazes, and be familiar with loading and firing a kiln. No class on 9/1/14.

Handbuilt Pottery I with Evelyn Arnold
August 19 – October 14, 2014 Tuesdays, 9 am to noon
This class is designed to provide the basics for a strong foundation in hand built pottery forms. Build and enhance your skills through demonstrations and individual instruction. Hand building will focus on pinch, slab and coil construction to create one of a kind unique pottery forms without the use of a potters' wheel. All levels are welcome.

Pottery on the Wheel I with Evelyn Arnold
August 19 – October 14, 2014 Tuesdays 1 to 4 pm
This class is designed for the beginner through intermediate level potter. In this course, students will become familiar with turning methods and materials used in creating basic forms with the potters' wheel. Topics include clay preparation, turning techniques, and basic glaze application. Upon completion, students should be able to center, turn basic forms such as bowls and mugs, apply basic glazes, and be familiar with loading and firing an electric kiln.

Catawba Valley Pottery I with Kim Ellington
August 20 – October 15, 2014 Wednesdays 9 am to noon
Designed for those who have prior experience working on the potters' wheel, this class will focus on the methods, materials and history of the local Catawba Valley pottery tradition. Topics include clay preparation, turning techniques, glaze application, and the firing process. Upon completion, students will be able to make basic forms on the potters' wheel and have an understanding of glazing and firing pottery.

Handbuilding Pottery I with Po-Wen Liu
August 20 – October 15, 2014 Wednesdays 6 to 9 pm
This hands-on class inspires experiments with forms and methods of construction. Geared toward creative expansion, we use handbuilding techniques, such as coil, pinch and soft slab construction to generate a variety of forms without the use of a potter's wheel. Development of the surface through texture, inlay, and slip trailing will also be covered in this class.

Decorative Pottery: Surface & Form with Raine Middleton
August 21 – October 16, 2014 Thursdays 1 to 4 pm
Students will explore various decorating techniques and the relevancy to the pottery form. Techniques will include sprigging, stamping, carving, slip trailing and sgraffito. Students should bring throwing tools, brushes and carving tools, and be prepared to share ideas, processes, glazes, pictures, and demos. Basic wheel throwing & handbuilding skills are needed.

Pottery – Beginning & Intermediate with Evelyn Arnold
August 21 – October 16, 2014 Thursdays 6 to 9 pm
This class is designed to provide the basics for a strong foundation in wheel thrown and hand built pottery forms. Build and enhance your skills through demonstrations and individual instruction. Wheel throwing will focus on centering, shaping and creating basic vessel forms such as cylinders, vases, bowls & mugs. Hand building will focus on pinch, slab and coil work to create one of a kind unique pottery forms. All levels are welcome to attend.

For more information about the Potters' Workshop, contact at 828-327-7000, ext. 4032 . To view the entire schedule or register online, visit To register by telephone, contact Cheri Toney at 828-327-7037 or email at

15th Annual Komen NC Foothills Race For The Cure Is Oct. 18

Hickory - The Fifteenth Annual Susan G. Komen NC Foothills Race for the Cure® will be on Saturday, October 18 at 9:00 a.m. for the 5K Race/Walk and 8:10 a.m. for the One Mile Fun Run/Walk at Lenoir Rhyne University. Participants and teams can now register on-line at

In honor of our 15th Annual Race, Race registration will be only $15 on-line for adults for the first 15 days of July. After July 15, the on-line registration fee is $20. Registration will close on October 14. Paper registration and team packets can be downloaded from the website. The paper registration fee is $25 until October 13. The website will also list in-person registration dates and sites, including Race Day and the entry fee for children.

With 2,195 participants, the Komen NC Foothills Race for the Cure® raised $129,585. Up to 75% of the funds raised remain in Burke, Caldwell, and Catawba counties for breast cancer education, screening, and treatment. In April 2014, $100,000 was granted to seven local agencies. A minimum of 25% of the money goes to the Susan G. Komen Grants Program for research. Research is the only way to create a world without breast cancer.

Register and/or start your team now and save money while saving lives in our community.

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 @

Bethlehem Day & Classic Car Show Set For September 27

Bethlehem, NC - The Bethlehem Community Development Association announces the 5th Annual Bethlehem Day & Classic Car Show is set for Saturday, September 27th, 2014 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. at a NEW LOCATION.

Bethlehem Day will be located at the crossroads of Shiloh Church and Rink Dam Road in Bethlehem (Alexander County).

The fall event features live music, entertainment and activities for children, arts & crafts, food & drinks and a classic car & truck show. Pre-registration for the Classic Car & Truck Show is $15 until September 16th. Day of event is $15. Craft and food vendor applications are $20. All applications are available at or can be requested at

Applications with fees made out to BCDA/Classic Car Show should be mailed to BCDA, PO Box 6370, Hickory, NC 28603. For more information contact Bud & Judy Caywood at 828-495-1057.

Weather Tips & Microchips: News From The Humane Society

Newton, NC - Humane Society of Catawba County wants to remind everyone to remember their outdoor family during these especially hot days of summer. Please provide plenty of fresh, clean water and make sure your pets have a shady place to get out of the sun or keep them indoors when it's extremely hot. Never leave pets, even for a quick minute with the windows down, in a car or truck. Leaving the windows slightly open does not significantly decrease the heating rate.

Here is how quickly a car can heat up in 80-degree weather:

• 99 degrees in 10 minutes
• 109 degrees in 20 minutes
• 114 degrees in 30 minutes
• 118 degrees in 40 minutes
• 120 degrees in 50 minutes
• 123 degrees in 60 minutes

(Source: National Weather Service)

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

Humane Society of Catawba County is offering $15 microchips for pets every Monday all summer long. Jane Bowers, Executive Director of Humane Society of Catawba County stated “Microchipping is the best source of pet identification. Particularly during drastic weather, we would love to see more pets with microchips in place. It’s also very important that pet owners keep their microchip contact information updated in order to properly reunite the lost dog or cat to their owner”.

Unlike identification tags on collars, which can sometimes be lost or removed, microchipping is a permanent source of pet identification. When lost or stray pets are scanned by an animal organization or business, such as animal shelters or veterinary clinics, these identification chips are able to provide the owner’s contact information and are then able to reunite beloved pets with their owners.

Visit HSCC - Hickory, or the new location, HSCC - Newton, on Mondays between 12-4pm for $15 microchips. Microchips will also be $15 at the July Wellness Clinics. For more information call 828-464-8878 during regular business hours, Monday- Saturday 11am-6pm or visit Photo: Kane is available for adoption

Catawba Science Center’s Free Fridays Will Continue

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

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

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

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

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

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

2014 Oktoberfest: Teen Talent Sought & New Times Set

Hickory - Oktoberfest, held October 10, 11, and 12, 2014 is looking for The Best of the Best local Teen Talent. Pull the band out of the garage, house or practice studio and get on stage! The selected artists/bands will play on the Hickory Music Factory Stage at this years Oktoberfest in downtown Hickory.

Interested artists/bands should be between the ages 12 and 25. To apply, send your info (bio, picture, music) to:

Tony Eltora

Please include name, address, email address and phone number of the person to contact if the band is chosen for more information. Parental consent must be obtained for musicians under the age of 18 years old.

The annual Oktoberfest is held on the second weekend in October. It features four stages of non-stop live entertainment in all genres, two beer gardens, amusement rides and carnival games. The event hosts more than 100 vendors; including, a Juried Arts and Crafts Show, food from around the world, commercial vendors and non profit organizations.

In 2014, there are new times for each day of the event: Friday October 10 (5:00 pm to 10:00 pm), Saturday October 11 (10:00 am to 10:00 pm) and Sunday October 12 (12:00 pm to 5:00 pm.

To learn more, contact Hickory Downtown Development Association at 828 322-1121 or P.O. Box 9086, Hickory, NC 28603. Email: Website:

Free Lunches For Area Kids Through August 18

NC: Through the week of August 18, Cove Church of Mooresville will be sponsoring free lunches, five days a week, Monday through Friday, throughout this area for kids who might not otherwise have enough to eat.

The lunches are distributed at each site, except for Rowan County, from 11:30-12:30. In Rowan County, the sites’ time is 10:30-12:30.

To volunteer for this project or get more information, email or call Cove Church at 704-655-3000.

The neighborhood lunch sites are:

Catawba Valley:
Lyle Haven
Lylehaven Dr, NW Conover, NC 28613

Magla Park
93 Spencer St, Mooresville, NC 28115

Liberty Park
225 East Iredell Ave, Mooresville, NC 28115

Selma Burke
781 Agape Dr, Mooresville, NC 28115

North Mecklenburg:
Smithville Park
19710 S Ferry St, Cornelius, NC 28031

Rowan County:
1010 Airport Road, Salisbury, NC 28147

Oak Mountain
Oak Mountain Rd Salisbury, NC 28147 [Map]

Abernathey Park
1325 Alexander St, Statesville, NC 28677
East Broad Crossing Apartments, 2150 Deer View Circle, Statesville, NC 28625.

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.

Caldwell Arts Offers A Range Of Painting Classes In July & August

Lenoir, NC - Tuesdays July 1-August 5, 2014 – 5-7pm – Mark Potter will instruct a Beginners Art Series for six consecutive Tuesdays at the Caldwell Arts Council, focusing on understanding basic composition of portraits, still life, and landscapes in various media. Classes are $30 each or $160 for all prepaid, materials list to be provided. Call 828-754-2486 or Registration and payment in advance required.

Fridays July 11, 18, 25 – 9am-5pm with break for lunch – Lance Turner will teach Contemporary Painting and provide instruction on building canvas & stretchers at the Caldwell Arts Council. Soon-to-be college professor will instruct how to build a canvas & stretchers, how to mix paints, paint a contemporary composition, and 3 mini-lectures included. $240. Call 828-754-2486 or Registration and payment in advance required.

Saturdays July 12, 19, 26 & August 2, 9am-12noon – Susan Van Wyk will instruct students in Charcoal Drawing at the Caldwell Arts Council. Drawing subjects such as animals, faces, landscapes, still life & flowers showing lights, shadow and volume with charcoal as the medium. $120, materials list to be provided. Call 828-754-2486 or Registration and payment in advance required.

Caldwell Arts Council

Thursday July 24, 5-7:30pm – Learn the basic strokes of the “One Stroke” Painting technique with instructor Cathy McCoy at the Caldwell Arts Council. $30, all materials provided. Call 828-754-2486 or Registration and payment in advance required.

Friday August 8 (5-8pm) and Saturday August 9 (9am-12noon) – Methods & Materials 2-part art class with instructor Andrew Atkin at the Caldwell Arts Council. Learn to utilize non-traditional materials along with acrylic paints to create a unique piece of artwork on canvas. $50, materials list provided upon registration. Call 828-754-2486 or Registration and payment in advance required.

About the Caldwell Arts Council

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

Contest To “Paint The Town Red, White & Blue” In Newton

Newton, NC – Residents and businesses in the City of Newton are invited to decorate their homes, yards and businesses with a patriotic theme for Reunion Day on August 21. To celebrate the 125th Annual Soldiers Reunion, the Newton Appearance Commission is sponsoring the Paint the Town Red, White and Blue contest to encourage the community to show off its patriotic spirit.

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

There is no fee to enter. Judging will take place from August 18 to 20, and a business and a home each will be selected to receive a $100 Lowe’s gift card.

The winners will be announced on the Appearance Commission’s Facebook page, the City of Newton website and at the Appearance Commission’s booth on Reunion Day.

Registration is required to participate. Forms are available at the Newton Rec Center, City Hall, the Newton location of the Catawba County Library and at The deadline to enter is 5 p.m. August 15, and forms may be submitted to a drop box at City Hall or emailed to

For more information, contact Collette Touchette at

Shindig On The Green In Asheville

Asheville, NC – The celebrated mountain tradition Shindig on the Green, which showcases the region’s rich heritage through its traditional musicians and dancers. This year’s Shindig on the Green will be held on August 9, 16, 23, and 30. Shindig on the Green is free.

Locals and visitors alike come together downtown “along about sundown,” or at 7:00pm for those who wear a watch, to enjoy the stage show and informal jam sessions throughout the park. The stage shows take place on the Bascom Lamar Lunsford stage, named for the founder of the annual Mountain Dance and Folk Festival in Asheville. Highlights include performances by The Stoney Creek Boys, the long-standing house band for Shindig on the Green; newly formed and long-standing bands from throughout the mountains; and an extensive line-up of dance teams.

The Folk Heritage Committee produces Shindig on the Green and its sister event, the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival, to support the preservation and continuation of the traditional music, dance and storytelling heritage of the Southern Appalachian Mountains.

Shindig 2013 Photo: Paul Howey

Between 3,000 and 5,000 people attend Shindig on the Green evenings for free throughout the summer. In addition to throngs of locals, visitors routinely travel from out of state, across the country, and even around the world to make their way to downtown Asheville for Shindig on the Green.

Shindig on the Green is made possible thanks to the talent and generosity of its volunteer musicians and dancers who span several generations much to the delight of those in attendance. From young children perfecting their square dance steps to great-grandmothers singing ballads passed down through the years, the region’s wealth of traditional talent takes center stage. Since the outdoor event’s inception in 1967, hundreds of thousands of individuals from across the region and throughout the world have shared and enjoyed the rich traditional music and dance heritage of the Southern Appalachian Mountains in this outdoor setting.

Raffle: The much-sought-after annual raffle items for the 2014 Shindig season are: a D-16 Adirondack acoustic guitar by C.F. Martin & Co.; and a 75” x 75” handmade quilt from a 19th century quilt pattern, created by local quilting collaborative Mountain Jam Circle. Raffle tickets are available at each Shindig evening and the winning tickets are pulled at the end of the summer Shindig season.

Food: Concessions are offered by Okie Dokies Smokehouse and The Hop Ice Cream Café.

Rules: By city ordinance, dogs, alcohol, and smoking are all prohibited in Pack Square Park. Parking: The College Street Parking Deck is conveniently located next to Shindig, directly across College Street from Pack Square Park and the Buncombe County Courthouse, and is $1.00 per hour. Parking is also available in marked and metered spaces throughout downtown Asheville (free after 6pm) and the city’s municipal decks (evening rates vary).

Public Transit: There is a major transfer point on College Street for public transit. Check for maps and schedules, or call 828-253-5691.

Mountain Dance and Folk Festival: Shindig on the Green takes a break from its regular Saturday schedule just twice during July and August: once on July 26th; and again on August 2nd when the musicians and dancers head to Shindig’s sister event, the Mountain Dance and Folk Festival. The 87th Annual Mountain Dance and Folk Festival, a ticketed event at Diana Wortham Theatre, takes place nightly at 7:00pm Thursday through Saturday, July 31, August 1 & 2. Tickets are available now through the Diana Wortham Theatre Box Office at 828-257-4530 or online at

Ongoing support of Shindig on the Green is provided by the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce, the City of Asheville, and Buncombe County. For more info about Shindig on the Green, visit or call the Folk Heritage Info Line: 828-258-6101 x345.

Dance Team Line-Up* For 2014 Shindig On The Green

• August 9th: Mountain Tradition Cloggers; Appalachian Mountaineers

• August 16th: Dixie Darlin’s; Avery Smooth Dancers; Green Grass Cloggers

• August 23rd: Stoney Creek Cloggers; Bailey Mountain Cloggers

• August 30th: Little River Cloggers; Mountaineer Cloggers; Cole Mountain Cloggers

*2014 Shindig Dance Team line-up is subject to change at any time.

Carolina Broadway Theatre Announces Grease, July 25-31

Hickory - This summer Carolina Broadway Theatre Company based in Hickory, N.C. will present “Grease” July 25 through 31, 2014.

Directed and choreographed by original movie cast member Carol Culver, “Grease” will be performed at the SALT Block Auditorium in downtown Hickory. The production will showcase professional actors from across the country working side-by-side with talented local high school and college students.

Carolina Broadway Theatre Company, a 501(c)(3), (CBT) is parent company for Clater-Kaye Productions (CKP). CKP has been integral in transitioning local, young talent into professional entertainers and has seen tremendous success from artists immediately following graduation. In only seven years, CKP alumni have worked professionally in New York, Los Angeles, St. Louis, Pigeon Forge, New Orleans, Charlotte and Mars Hill. Work includes six leads in feature films, 21 professional theatre contracts, three national tours, two roles in student films, and two national commercials. Scholarships are provided for qualified applicants and master classes with industry notables, such as Stephen Schwartz, Megan Larche and Paul Kreppel, offer a unique opportunity usually only found in New York or Los Angeles.

Catawba Valley Community College is collaborating on this unique production to provide opportunities for drama, cosmetology and automotive systems technology students to participate in a high caliber performing arts production. 

Carolina Broadway Theatre Company presents “Grease” as the inaugural annual professional summer season along the lines of The MUNY in St. Louis or Music Theatre of Wichita. Creation of this professional summer series will bring business to the greater Hickory area and establish the region as a destination for entertainment.

Performance dates: July 25, 26, 27, 29, 30, 31, 2014

Sign language interpreted performance for the hearing impaired: July 30, 2014

Showtimes: Tues. – Sat., 7:30 p.m.; Sun. 3 p.m.

Location: Salt Block Auditorium, 243 Third Ave NE, Hickory, NC 28601

Tickets: $38.50 Adults & $28.50 students/seniors; $28.50 ea. groups of 15+

For additional information, call 828-295-2282 or 828-294-2582,

or email or visit

This project is supported by the United Arts Council of Catawba County through the NC Arts Council, ZF Chassis Components, LLC, and the Hickory Museum of Art.

Friends Of Catawba Co. Library Book Sale Is August 14-16

Newton, NC - Heads up, book lovers! The next big Friends of Catawba County Library book sale is Aug. 14-16 at in Newton. The event, in its 16th year, aids the community in a variety of ways.

“The sale helps residents save money and keeps materials out of the landfill,” said Libbie Lynn, Friends vice president. Proceeds will help us support literacy by purchasing new library materials and funding programs, including author visits, workshops and Summer Reading for young people.

As in years past, the three-day event will include a members-only sales opportunity on Thursday, Aug. 14 from 4-7 p.m., with sales to the public on both Friday and Saturday. Hours will be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 15 and 10 to 2 on Saturday, Aug. 16.
Special bargain pricing will be available on Saturday, Aug. 16.

Annual Friends memberships are priced at $10 per individual, $15 per family and $25 for businesses, including booksellers. Memberships will be sold at the door.

The annual sale will consist primarily of materials donated by the public, but deleted library materials will also be sold. Customers may choose from paperback and hardback books, audio books and DVDs.

New or gently used materials may be donated at any library branch. However, the group does not accept video tapes (VHS), magazines, encyclopedias, Reader’s Digest collections or textbooks. Badly worn, mildewed or outdated materials should not be donated. The Catawba County Friends group continues its ongoing book sale in the Main Library lobby and the Conover Branch. Specially marked sale racks contain hardbound books priced from 25 cents to $1.50. Audio/video materials are $2 each.

Friends group serves as a community liaison and support organization for the entire county library system. The group welcomes interested members of the community.

Tucker’s Barn Singer/Songwriter Series Is Taking Applications

Lenoir, NC – The Singer Songwriter’s Series at Tucker’s Barn is now accepting registrations for artists to be a part of the inaugural series. Without songwriters, there would be no songs. Therefore, in an effort to celebrate the art of writing and the explosion of the North Carolina music movement, The James C. Harper School of Performing Arts has created the monthly music series as a way to inspire new generations to music as well as build a stronger awareness for the school. Each monthly event will be comprised of approximately four North Carolina artists performing their own unique artistic compilations.

The artists will be performing a wide range of the musical spectrum in approximately thirty minute sets on the stage at the 1841 Café in Historic Lenoir, renamed Tucker’s Barn for the purpose of this music series, on the fourth Thursday evening of each month, June through October. The Singer Songwriter Series at Tucker’s Barn finale will be on The Square in Historic Lenoir on Saturday, November 8th. All artists are invited to perform at the finale. The series will continue to inspire generations just as many of the legendary artists have inspired today’s musicians. Admission for each event is $5 and will help support student scholarships at The Harper School of Performing Arts. For more information about the series, visit

For more information about the school, visit The singer songwriter series is named “Tucker’s Barn” in consideration of the historic Tucker’s Barn which was the original settlement back in 1765 and the local gathering place and voting precinct for the area. For more information on Tucker’s Barn, visit

Butts & Beans BBQ Challenge Is Sept. 26 & 27, Fairgrounds

Newton, NC – The 4th Annual Butts and Beans BBQ Challenge will bring world-class barbeque into town from September 26 and 27 as championship barbeque teams from multiple states descend on The Hickory American Legion Fairgrounds for prizes, cash and fame.

“We want to encourage folks to come out to Butts and Beans BBQ Challenge and bring a friend,” said Noel Kay. “It is one of our community’s greatest events, providing delicious food and lots of other entertainment for the entire family.” Kids Zone with inflatables and games for all ages. Live music thru out the day and Live Auction with incredible items from area businesses.

Butts and Beans BBQ Challenge is sanctioned by Kansas City Barbeque Society. KCBS is the world's largest organization of barbeque and grilling enthusiasts with over 10,000 members worldwide. KCBS sanctions almost 300 barbeque contests coast-to-coast throughout America, where competitions for barbequed chicken, ribs, pork and brisket are served up and judged by Certified Barbeque Judges. To learn more about KCBS, visit

Along with this great event area craft and food vendors will be on hand to add to this family fun day. Local vendors may sign up for this event by contacting

For more information about the Butts and Beans BBQ Challenge call 828 455-8914 or visit

Lincolnton Art Crawl Committee Seeks Artists For August Crawl

Lincolnton, NC - The Lincolnton Art Crawl Committee extends an open call for local artists who would like to participate in our fall art crawl.

Join us as Downtown Lincolnton hosts our next art crawl on August 8, 2014.

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

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

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

Newton’s 125th Soldiers’ Reunion To Feature New Events

Newton, NC – Mark your calendar and set aside a week for cruisin’, musical entertainment, beauty pageants, a parade and athletic events when the 125th Soldiers Reunion returns to downtown Newton. Join us for this milestone year as we celebrate with more patriotic events and new activities.

Reunion Week kicks off Sunday, August 17 and related events continue through Reunion Day on Thursday, August 21. The showcase Soldiers Reunion Parade take place on Thursday. About 10,000 people visit downtown Newton throughout the week to engage in the festivities. American Legion Post 16 and the Newton Merchants Association sponsor and organize the week-long celebration.

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

The week kicks off with the Cruisin’ Car Show on August 17. Vintage cars and trucks from across the decades up to 1972 will be on display beginning at 2:30 p.m. and starting at 6:30 p.m. will cruise the city’s streets.

Soldiers Reunion Parade in 2013

Concerts entertain the crowds on Monday and Tuesday beginning at 7:30 p.m. on the Courthouse Square. Gospel music fills the air August 18, and beach music gets everybody moving on August 19. New this year, plans are in motion for a Country music concert on Wednesday, August 20.

The annual Baby Parade also takes place Wednesday on the east side of the Courthouse Square. Children are judged based on their patriotic outfits and winners are selected in age categories. As the City marks the 125th Annual Soldiers Reunion, past Baby Parade winners are encouraged to contact City of Newton Public Information Officer Julie Chang at or (828) 695-4266.

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

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

Businesses and groups will be charged $380 to enter a float in the parade. Local businesses that decorate a vehicle to advertise their company will be charged $50. Beauty queens (other than the Miss Reunion court and area high school queens) will be charged $20 each. Any church, school, or other non-profit organization may participate in the parade at no cost. For more information on entering a float in the parade, contact Wayne Dellinger or Eric Dellinger at (828) 464-3906 or (828) 464-1500.

Beauty Pageants

In addition to the service men and women of yesterday and today, one of the highlights of the Soldiers Reunion Parade are the beauty queens. The Soldiers Reunion Beauty Pageants take place two weeks before Reunion Week. The pageants begin at 6:30 p.m. each night at the Newton-Conover Auditorium, 60 West Sixth Street. The dates and divisions are:

• Tuesday, August 5
o Baby Miss Reunion (0-2 years old)
o Tiny Miss Reunion (3-5 years old)
• Wednesday, August 6
o Little Miss Reunion (6-9 years old)
o Junior Miss Reunion (10-13 years old)
• Thursday, August 7
o Teen Miss Reunion (14-17 years old)
o Miss Reunion (18-22 years old)
o Ms. Reunion (23 and older)

The deadline for all entries is July 30. The entry fee is $45, and an optional $20 fee to enter the Most Photogenic contest. For more information on contestant rules or to register, contact Betty Isenhour at (828) 315-0636 or Debbie Huss at (828) 464-2112 or (828) 244-1510. To celebrate the 125th Annual Soldiers Reunion, all past beauty pageant winners are urged to contact Debbie Huss (at the numbers noted above) to participate in special appearances.

Calling All Songwriters

Valdese, NC - Valdese will be hosting its first ever Regional Songwriter’s Showcase during the Historic Waldensian Festival on August 9th. Now in its 39th year, the festival staff is always looking for new ideas to add to the event. “I was talking to my son about our festival and discussing new ideas and he suggested a Songwriter’s Showcase”, states Barbara Hefner, Community Affairs Director for the Town of Valdese. “I loved the concept and immediately knew that it would be the perfect addition to our festival.”

The purpose of the showcase is to spotlight as many of the regions original songwriters as possible. The Town of Valdese is looking for songwriters with original material to perform during the Waldensian Festival at the Main Stage area beginning at 2:30pm. Songwriters who are chosen to perform during the showcase will be allotted a 15 minute time slot for their performance. Each performer will be paid for their time.

Those interested will be required to submit a demonstration CD. For further information call 828-879-2129 or go to for upcoming events in Valdese.

Those Great Lions Club Brooms Available At These Locations!

Lincolnton, NC - Have you wanted to purchase a Lions Club Broom but weren’t sure where to purchase one? Throughout the year, several Lincoln County businesses have allowed the Lincolnton Lions Club to display and sell their brooms at the following locations:

Lincolnton, Denver & Vale

·City Lunch- 113 South East Court Square ( Lincolnton)
·The Cutting House Salon- 1704 Gastonia Highway ( Lincolnton)
·The Drug Store- 626 Center Drive ( Lincolnton)
·The Drug Store- 2667 East Main Street ( Boger City)
·The Drug Store- 9576 West NC Highway 10 ( Vale)
·Graystone Ophthalmology – 2311 East Main Street ( Lincolnton)
·Mosteller’s Barber Shop- Highway 27 West ( nexy door to Saine’s ACE Hardware Store) ( Lincolnton)
·People’s Bank- 760 Highway 27 West ( Lincolnton)
·People’s Bank- 1910 East Main Street ( Boger City)
·People’s Bank- 3754 Highway 16 South ( Denver)
·People’s Bank- 6125 Highway 16 North ( Denver)
·Trim Barber Shop- 119 South Academy Street(Lincolnton)

The Lincolnton Lions Club sells 4 different styles of brooms and 1 style of children’s mop with individual prices as follows:

$5.00 Child’s Broom; $5.00 Child’s Mop; $8.00 Synthetic Soft Sweep Broom;$9.00 Household Straw Broom; $12.00 Industrial/Patio Straw Broom.

Proceeds from Lincolnton Lions Club’s Brooms benefit the following:·Purchases eyeglasses and eye examinations for Lincoln County needy; Sponsors blind/visually impaired adults to Camp Dogwood; Sponsors Annual Lions Club Christmas Party/Luncheon For Lincoln County’s Blind/Visually Impaired; Sponsors NC Lions 21st Century Mobile Vision Unit @ Lincoln County Elementary Schools; Supports Summer Braille Program For Blind Children; Supports NC Lions Visually Impaired Fishing Tournament @ Nags Head; Supports Other Lions Club Charities

Jaycees Announce First Fridays Free Concert Series For 2014

Hickory - The Hickory Jaycees are pleased to announce the 24th season of Hickory Alive! Hickory Alive is an annual, free concert series located in the City Hall Parking Lot in downtown Hickory. In 2014, Hickory Alive is adopting a new FIRST FRIDAYS schedule with events on the first Fridays in June, July, August, and September. Hickory Alive FIRST FRIDAYS will kick off on Friday, June 6th from 6pm – 10pm and will include the following dates:

• Friday, August 1st

• Friday, September 5th

In addition to the free concert, food, beverage, and craft vendors will be on hand at the event. For those over the age of 21, United Beverage will provide adult beverage sales during the event. Live entertainment will run from 6pm to 10pm. Be sure to come out and enjoy the fun this summer!

The Hickory Jaycees is a non-profit organization composed of enthusiastic volunteers aged 21-40. The primary purpose of the Hickory Jaycees is to foster the development of young leaders. Monies raised from Hickory Jaycees business projects, including Hickory Alive FIRST FRIDAYS, fund membership and individual development projects, and also community projects including the Greater Hickory Corporate Challenge, Hickory Children’s Easter Egg Hunt (now in its 27th year), Hickory Holiday Parade, Christmas for Teens, Adopt-a-Street, Pay It Forward, GrandPals - Meals on Wheels, and more.

Want to learn more about the Hickory Jaycees? Visitors are welcome at General Membership Meetings, which take place the first and third Thursday of each month at 6:30pm at the Jaycee Development Center located at 470 U.S. Highway 70 SW, Hickory, NC 28602.

For more information about Hickory Alive FIRST FRIDAYS or the Hickory Jaycees, contact the Jaycees at (828) 322-2080,, or visit

Hickory’s Angel of Hope House Requests Help

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

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

Items Needed:

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

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

Volunteers Needed To Deliver Meals On Wheels

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

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

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

For more information about these programs, and how you can help, go to or find the Meals on Wheels of Catawba County program on Facebook at!/MealsOnWheelsOfCatawbaCounty.

How To Get Your Event In Focus

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

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

Catawba County Library Offers Free eBooks For Kids

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

Find Tumblebooks at and click on the “E-resources” tab.

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

HSCC Is Looking For In-Home Heroes To Foster Animals

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

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

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

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

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

Health-Care Pro Discusses The Many Warning

Signs And How To Spot A Victim Of Domestic Violence

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

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

There are several abuse resources available to women who are being abused, or friends of women who need advice, including:, National Domestic Violence Hotline, open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, 1-800-799-SAFE (7223), provides unbiased, advertising-free mental health information to give people the self-help options to help people understand, prevent, and resolve life’s challenges, allows women to search for an offender in custody by name or identification number, then register to be alerted if the offender is released, transferred, or escapes, 1-888-7HELPLINE, offers crisis intervention and support services for victims of intimate partner violence and their families

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

Linda O’Dochartaigh reviews some of the warning signs:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Family Finders Helps Foster Kids Connect With Extended Family

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

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

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

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

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

Sid Daniels

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more information, call 828-695-5600 or visit our website at
Or contact Sean Jarman at 828-695-2134 or

Loving Our Enemies

By Rev. Susan Smith

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For the complete text of this incredibly Christ-like message, go to:





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