Custom Search






Five Fun Rocky Horror Facts! Two Shows, Fri., Oct. 31, At HCT

Hickory - In anticipation of its two screenings of the cult classic “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” the Hickory Community Theatre has released some fun facts about the popular film.

1. “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” holds the record for the longest theatrical release in film history. Though it didn’t initially do well in theaters, the film gained popularity after a midnight showing at New York’s Waverly Theater. Shortly thereafter, people began the tradition of dressing up, creating their own interactive experience.

2. The film was shot at Oakley Court in Windsor, England. Dr. Frank-N-Furter’s castle is now a luxury hotel.

3. The film’s Costume Designer, Sue Blane is credited as having created the punk style. Her designs have been used in stage productions for over 25 years.

4. Peter Hinwood (Rocky Horror) was a model and never acted before. His vocals were dubbed by singer Trevor White.

5. During the famous dinner scene, none of the actors knew what was under the dining room table - their horror and reactions were real.

This year, in response to public demand, there are two showings, one at 9pm and one at Midnight, on Friday, October 31. Tickets are $15, reserved seating and available online at or by phone at (828) 328-2283. Admission price includes a bag of props for audience participation.

A cash bar will be available with soft drinks, candy, beer and wine. Costumes are encouraged.

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

hoopla! Library Cardholders Can Now Access Tons Of Movies!

Hickory - Hickory Public Library is excited to announce the launch this past Monday, October 20th, of hoopla digital, a service that offers thousands of movies, television shows, music albums and audiobooks, all available for mobile and online access through a new partnership with hoopla digital (

Hickory Public Library cardholders can download the free hoopla digital mobile app on their Android through Google Play or their iOS device at the App Store. They can then visit to begin enjoying thousands of titles – from major Hollywood studios, record companies and publishers – available to borrow for instant streaming or temporary downloading to their smartphones, tablets and computers. hoopla digital is offered at no cost to patrons via browser, Android and iOS and requires only a valid Hickory Public Library card to access. To get registered, or find out more information, visit or Users may borrow up to 10 items per month!
hoopla digital has a simple sign-up and attractive, easy-to-use interface, so it’s easy to get to your listening and viewing experience. There’s also no waiting to borrow popular movies, TV shows, albums or audiobooks. And hoopla digital’s automatic return feature eliminates late fees.

See what all the hoopla is about by visiting Patrick Beaver Memorial Library at 375 3rd Street NE or Ridgeview Branch Library at 701 1st Street SW, both in Hickory, or the library’s website at You may also check it out on Hickory Public Library’s Facebook page at or Twitter

Satie’s Holiday Show & Sale Is Seeking Handmade Crafts

Lenoir, NC - The Caldwell Arts Council is seeking artists & crafters to participate in our annual Satie's Holiday Show & Sale, December 5 - 24, when the entire Arts Council is converted to a gift shop full of locally handcrafted items for holiday sales.

Items for the holiday sale will be juried by our Satie's Holiday Committee. All items must be handmade of quality materials and construction, and the most successful items each year are those priced less than $50. We are always looking for a variety of exciting new gift items. We especially need items for children and men, and we also like having new food items (cookies, cakes, candies, mixes) for this sale.

Please bring samples of items you wish to sell to the Caldwell Arts Council prior to November 5 to be juried in. Visit our website for submission guidelines:

Thanks for considering joining us for this wonderful holiday show and sale. For more information call the Caldwell Arts Council at 828-754-2486 or visit the website The Caldwell Arts Council is located at 601 College Avenue (corner of Norwood Street) in downtown Lenoir.

National Health Survey Taking Place In Catawba County

The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), the most comprehensive survey of the health and nutritional status of the U.S. population is taking place in Catawba County, NC as of October 17, 2014.

Each year, 5,000 lucky residents across the nation have the chance to participate in the latest National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“NHANES serves as the nation’s ‘health check-up,’ going into communities to collect health information throughout the country,” said CDC Director Thomas Frieden. “The survey is a unique resource for health information, and without it we would lack important knowledge about major health conditions.”

“We encourage residents who are contacted by NHANES to keep in mind the value of this survey,” said Doug Urland, director, Catawba County Public Health. “Being part of NHANES not only helps our community contribute to an understanding of our nation’s health status, but also provides participants with valuable information about their own health.”

For the past 50 years, NHANES has had a prominent role in improving the health of all people living in the U.S. Public health officials, legislators, and physicians use the information gathered in NHANES to develop sound health policies, direct and design health programs and services, and expand the health knowledge for the nation. NHANES findings provide critical health-related information on a number of issues such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. In addition, NHANES data are used to produce national references and are used to create standardized growth charts for pediatricians across the country. Everyone in the U.S., from babies yet to be born to the elderly, has benefited from the information gathered by NHANES. The comprehensive data collected by NHANES has a far reaching and significant impact on everything from the quality of the air we breathe, to the vaccinations you get from your doctor, to the emergence of low-fat and “light” foods on the shelves of your grocery store. Now, an NHANES team of health professionals, nutritionists and health technicians is heading toward Catawba county and wants everyone who is lucky enough to be selected for the survey to agree to participate.

Residents will have an invitation-only opportunity to participate in NHANES. Individuals have been selected at random (in a process similar to taking names out of a hat) for NHANES, and include all ages, races, and ethnicities in order to represent the U.S. population as a whole. Respondents first participate in a health interview conducted in the respondent’s home followed by a health examination that takes place in one of three mobile examination centers.

While no medical care is provided directly in the mobile examination center, a report on physical findings is given to each participant along with an explanation from survey medical staff. All information collected in the survey is kept strictly confidential and privacy is protected by law.

Jaycees’ Monster Bash Is Sat., November 1, At The Venue

Hickory - The Hickory Jaycees are pleased to announce the return of one of the area’s favorite Halloween events, the 17th Annual Halloween Jaycees Monster Bash. Formerly known as the Halloween Masquerade Ball, the event will take place on Saturday, November 1st from 8pm to 1am.

This year, the party will be held at a new location, the Venue at Eastside Park in Conover, NC.

Tickets for this year’s event are $35 in advance and $40 at the door. The ticket price includes: beer, wine, soft drinks, limited set-ups for “brown baggers”, a costume contest, and DJ dance party. The Holiday Inn Express in Conover will offer a special room rate for the event. The LaQuinta Inn & Suites in Hickory will also offer a special room rate for the event.

Tickets can be purchased online at or at Tutti Frutti of Hickory.

Group rates of 15 or more attendees are available for advanced purchase by texting the Jaycees at (828) 238-5857. Must be 21 years of age and older to attend. The Halloween Jaycees Monster Bash is sponsored by United Beverage of Hickory, Coors Light, and Tutti Frutti.

Humane Society Seeks Grant: Tell Your Pet Adoption Story

Hickory - The Humane Society of Catawba County is competing for Petco Foundation Holiday Wishes Grant and calling for successful pet adoption stories for a chance to receive $100,000 in grants to save more animal lives.

The Petco Foundation in partnership with Halo, Purely for Pets, announced its second annual Holiday Wishes grant campaign, designed to help the most dedicated animal welfare groups succeed in their mission to save pets’ lives – at the holidays, and year round.

This year, Humane Society of Catawba County is participating in the Holiday Wishes campaign by sharing its best pet adoption success stories for the opportunity to receive the winning grant award of $100,000 or a series of finalist awards ranging from $5,000 to $50,000.

HSCC is calling for your pet adoption stories – whether it’s a dog or cat, they would like to hear how a caring family opened its home to save an animal in need.

If you’ve adopted a pet through HSCC in the past two years (after July 1, 2012), please send your pet’s story (limit 500 words) along with photos of your pet (past and present). Be sure to include the condition of your pet when adopted, any known information about why your pet was in a situation of need, and updates about your pet’s new home and family.

The deadline for HSCC to submit their application is Oct. 31. Winning organizations and their featured pets will be announced in December.

Please submit your pet adoption photos and stories via email to

For more information about Humane Society of Catawba County or the Petco Foundation Holiday Wishes Grant Campaign, visit or Join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or by using the campaign hashtag, #HolidayWishes2014.
Booker needs a home

Spooky Old Pesticides Be Gone! Special Event On Oct. 30

Lincolnton, NC - Once in a while, it’s nice to be able to pull up the corner of the carpet and sweep your troubles away to never be seen again. October 30, 2014 is one of those times that you can figuratively do just that. Go down to the basement, or the garage, or the old barn, and pull out that old can or bottle of pesticide that’s been haunting you since grandpa quit farming in the forties, and finally get rid of it once and for all.

Even if it’s been there for 50 years and the label was eaten by mutant rodents in ’69, you can still eliminate if from your nightmares forever (if you call in advance).

Come on the day before Halloween (Oct. 30)between 10:00am to 2:00pm, and unload those unwanted pesticide leftovers from farms and homes at the Lincolnton Farmer’s Market parking lot (225 W. Water St.) in downtown Lincolnton.

The North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service/North Carolina Department of Agriculture partnership for pesticide collection will neatly “sweep them under the carpet” for you, getting rid of them properly, legally and safely.

(If you don’t have a label for the pesticide, there is more than 5 gallons, or it is in a cylinder or “mini bulk” then you MUST call for further instructions at (704)-736-8452).

Don’t miss this chance to get those spooky pesticide bottles, bags, and cans out of the house before Halloween.

Comedy Duck Hunter Shoots Angel Continues At HCT

Hickory - With their luckless guns blazing, the hunters in “Duck Hunter Shoots Angel” blast into their second comic weekend on Thursday, October 23, at 7:30 at the Hickory Community Theatre.

On their trail is a jaded journalist and his sidekick photographer. Working for a New York supermarket tabloid, they are tracking the hapless hunters in the swamps of Alabama.

Within all of the laughter, one finds redemption and a lost love.
Performances of “Duck Hunter Shoots Angel” by Mitch Albom are in the Jeffers Theatre. Show times are Thursdays (Oct 23 and 30) at 7:30pm, Fridays & Saturdays (Oct 24, 25 and Nov 1) at 8pm and Sundays (Oct 26 & Nov 2) at 2:30pm. There is no performance on Friday, Oct 31. Tickets are $18 for adults ($2 off for seniors) and $10 for youth 18 and under. On Thursday nights all adult seats are just $14. Purchase tickets online at or call (828) 328-2283.

“Duck Hunter Shoots Angel” is produced by TRUMPF Inc. The Hickory Community Theatre is a Funded Affiliate of the United Arts Council of Catawba County. The 2014-2015 Season is brought to you by Paramount Automotive, the official automotive sponsor of the Hickory Community Theatre.

Top photo: (from left) James Hildebrand, Bob Smith and Marquinn Brannon in “Duck Hunter Shoots Angel” at the Hickory Community Theatre, on stage Oct 23-Nov 1. Call (828) 328-2283 or visit for tickets and information.

Bottom photo: Peyton Powell and James Hildebrand in “Duck Hunter Shoots Angel” at the Hickory Community Theatre, on stage Oct 23-Nov 1. Call (828) 328-2283 or click for tickets and information. Photo is by Ken Burns

Bests Named Grand Marshalls Of Christmas Parade, Nov. 21

Hickory – James and Dorothy Best named Grand Marshals of the Hickory Christmas Parade set for Friday, November 21 at 6 p.m. in Downtown Hickory.

James and Dorothy Best, who moved to the Hickory area a few years ago, recently starred in Hickory Community Theatre’s “On Golden Pond.” James Best is known as Sherriff Rosco B. Coltrane on the Dukes of Hazzard, Jim Lindsey, the guitar player on the Andy Griffith Show, and he starred in many other westerns and movies over his career. Dorothy is in HCT’s upcoming “Shrek” and will be the wicked witch and a dancing rat.

After the parade, Santa and Mrs. Claus will light the Christmas Tree in Downtown Hickory. Music and visits with Mr. and Mrs. Claus will continue until 8:30 p.m. under the Sails on the Square.

All parade entries must have a “Well Crafted” theme. A committee made up of the Parks and Recreation Commission will present awards based on creativity, appearance and holiday spirit.

Parade entries cannot be more than 30 feet long or 12 feet high, which is traffic signal clearance.

The parade route is about one mile. The route is listed below:
The parade begins at the intersection of North Center Street and Main Avenue. 

Turn right on North Center Street (in front of City Hall)
Turn left on 1st Avenue, NW (up the hill toward the banks, going toward downtown)
Turn left on 3rd Street, NW (by McGuire’s Pub and Hickory Community Theatre)
Turn left into Union Square West Parking Lot
Continue through Union Square, cross over 2nd Street, NW (Hong Kong Café)
Parade ends where it begins at the intersection of North Center Street and Main Avenue

Parade applications and information can be found on, Julian G. Whitener Municipal Building (City Hall), Highland Recreation Center, Ridgeview Recreation Center, Westmont Senior Center, and the Neill Clark Recreation Center.  The entry fee is $25 for non-profit/walking group and $50 for businesses. Entry fees are to be made payable to the Bill McDonald Scholarship Fund.  Parade applications and entry fees will be due no later than 5 p.m. on November 7. 
Dorothy and James Best

Photographer Ray Smith Opens His Exhibit On Sunday, Oct. 26

Hickory – In Time We Shall Know Ourselves: Photographs by Raymond Smith, an exhibition of 52 large-format black-and-white photographs made in 1974, will be on display at the Hickory Museum of Art through January 4, 2015. An opening reception and gallery talk is scheduled for Sunday, October 26. Refreshments will be served at 2:30 PM, and the artist will discuss his work at 3 PM.

The title of Raymond Smith’s talk is “Bus Stops and Barbershops: Reflections on (and in) Windows.” The event is free and open to the public.

In the summer of 1974, a young Ray Smith drove an aging Volkswagen from New England through the South and into the Midwest, camping and photographing people and places he encountered.

Now, on the fortieth anniversary of Smith’s sojourn, he shares 52 of his photographs, most of which are vintage prints. The artist has sequenced the images so that the ensemble is more than the sum of the parts, and he has independently produced a book (published by Rediscovered Masters) that illustrates the photographs with insightful commentary by two historians of art and culture. The book is available for purchase in the Museum’s store.

In Time We Shall Know Ourselves is a remarkable achievement. It was instigated by Smith’s love of photography, nurtured by his formal education in American Studies, and focused by his keen appreciation of Robert Frank’s The Americans (1958)—perhaps the most influential book of photographs published in the twentieth century—and his profound respect for photographs by Walker Evans, his mentor at Yale University whose American Photographs (1938) and Let Us Now Praise Famous Men (with James Agee, 1941) rival The Americans.

Evans and Frank have informed Smith’s work, but In Time We Shall Know Ourselves stands as an independent statement about America and about photography in Smith’s times and places. Smith has written that his photography is “more closely related to literature, especially fiction…than it is to the other visual arts,” and that the “portrait is primary, and the photograph is a short story exploding beyond its frame.”  

Here and now, these vivid short stories explode into an epic travel narrative, a great American novel set in the 1970s but with its culmination in its publication and exhibition today.

The photographs, book, and exhibition serve not only as windows through which we see an earlier age, but also as mirrors in which, in time, we may learn something of ourselves.

The exhibition and reception are sponsored by Graystone Eye. The Hickory Museum of Art is located in the Arts & Science Center of the Catawba Valley, 243 3rd Avenue NE, Hickory. Admission is free.

For more information please visit or call 828-327-8576.
Fotomat Girl, Louisville, Kentucky, 1974, gelatin silver print, collection of the artist.

Help Hickory Folks In Need, Give To Salvation Army Online

Hickory - Help the Salvation Army change a life in need this Thanksgiving by donating to the Online Red Kettle at

Together, we can use this season of giving to change lives for the better.

Contact Susan Schneider 828.409.5344 or the Salvation Army of Hickory, 828.322 .8061 Capt. Mike Harris.

Civitan Club Yard Sale, Sat., Nov. 1

Conover, NC - The Catawba Civitan Club will host a Community Yard Sale on Saturday, November 1, from 7am to 12 Noon. Set up will be from 6am to 7am. The location is the Conover School Playground.

Vendor spots are $10 for each 10 x 10 foot spot. Bring your own tables. To reserve a spot, call Charlene Thomas at Conover School at 825.464.9532 or 828.461.6250 or Denise Jackson at 828.962.0969.

The Catawba Civitan Club was chartered in August of 2013. It is a non-profit community service club that is part of an International Civitan organization. Its goals for the next year include sponsoring Special Olympics athletic programs through funding and volunteering. Also, to raise money to purchase adapted swings for local parks that provide accessibility for all children across Catawba County. Meeting and recruiting new members is also a goal of the Club.

Pasta Drive On Saturday, Nov. 15

Newton, NC - A Pasta Drive benefiting ECCCM and The Corner Table will be held on Saturday, November 15, 10 am-2 pm.

Bring pasta to the parking lot beside Zander’s Coffee House, 207 N. Main Ave., Newton, NC. Any dry pasta is welcome! Sponsored by Journey Christian Fellowship, a community Bible study. Questions? Visit

Ragtime Piano, Sherrills Ford-Terrell Branch Library

Newton, NC - Bob Milne, renowned ragtime/boogie woogie pianist, will present a free concert at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 5 at Sherrills Ford-Terrell Branch Library. The event is free and open to the public.

As an expert of this uniquely American musical genre, Milne performs some 250 concerts per year including the Scott Joplin Ragtime Festival in Missouri, the Montreal Jazz Festival, the Eau Claire Ragtime Festival, and the Sacramento Ragtime Festival.

Milne is the founder and director of the Frankenmuth Ragtime Festival in Michigan and was interviewed and filmed at the Library of Congress in 2004. He has also performed around the world as a U.S. Department of State Musical Ambassador.

This program is sponsored by the Friends of the Sherrills Ford-Terrell Library. A reception will follow. For more information, log on to :


Full Circle Arts’ Fall Competition On Display Thru Nov. 15

Hickory - The exhibition, “Fall Competition” will have an opening reception at Full Circle Arts Thursday, October 16, 6:30 to 8:30. The public is invited. The show will be on display October 16 to November 15. The competition gives our community an opportunity to see some of the excellent art being produced in and around Hickory. Most of the works are for sale, with prices ranging from the tens to the thousands. FCA is a non-profit artists’ cooperative located in downtown Hickory, 42-B Third Street NW. New hours for the gallery are Tuesday, through Friday from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm and Saturday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. More information about Full Circle Arts, classes, membership, or other upcoming events is available at 828-322-7545. Write to Full Circle Arts, PO Box 3905, Hickory NC 28603, or email Website:

Catawba County Libraries’ Early Voting Starts October 23

Newton, NC - Three Catawba County Library locations will serve as polling places for early voting this coming month. Main Library in Newton along with Southwest Branch in Mountain View and municipal space adjoining Conover Branch Library will be open for early voting as of Thursday, Oct. 23. The General Election is Tuesday, Nov. 4.

Catawba County registered voters may cast ballots for the General Election at any of these library locations during early voting regardless of home precinct. Hours will be 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. at each location on Oct. 23 and 24. Abbreviated hours--8 a.m. to 5 p.m.--will be offered on Saturday, Oct. 25 and Sunday, Oct. 26 from noon to 5 p.m.

All-day voting (8 to 7) resumes on Monday, Oct. 27 through Friday, Oct. 31 at all three locations.

The final opportunity for early voting will be Saturday, Nov. 1 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. only at Main Library in Newton.

Due to the increased traffic, library customers are asked to use extra caution when entering or exiting library property during early voting.

For information about voter eligibility, visit the Board of Elections at the Government Center in Newton or call 464-2424.

Oxford Fish Fry November 1

Claremont, NC - The Oxford (Catfish) Volunteer Fire Department is sponsoring its biannual Fish Fry on Saturday, November 1, 2014, 11:00AM – Until! Eat In / Carry Out. Adult Plates: $10.00, Child Plates: $6. All Carry Outs $10. Location: Oxford Fire Department, Station #1 (5688 Oxford School Rd.) Directions: Hwy 16 North from Conover, Right on Oxford School Road, Approx. 1.5 miles on the left.

Humane Society Offers $35 Feral Cat Packages This Month

Hickory - HSCC and the community work to reduce our feral cat population

In honor of National Feral Cat Day on October 16th, Humane Society of Catawba County is offering $35 Feral Cat Packages paid for in October. HSCC will also continue to offer the “Frequent Feral Program.”

When you purchase 5 Feral Cat Packages, you get the 6th free. “HSCC wants to help the feral population in Catawba County and surrounding areas, and our foremost concern is spaying and neutering”, stated HSCC Executive Director Jane Bowers. “Numerous individuals in our community are also dedicated to helping the feral cat population, and for that we are grateful.

So far this year HSCC has sold 315 Feral Cat Packages, this means hundreds of thousands of kittens won't be struggling on the streets or in the woods without a loving family to care for them. National figures estimate the number of feral cats in the US run into the tens of millions” said Bowers.

Gray tabby feral cat

Feral cats are not to be confused with stray or abandoned cats. A feral cat has either never had any contact with humans, or their contact with humans has greatly diminished over time. A feral cat is not socialized, and most individuals must use humane traps in order to catch them and care for them.

“The old school of thought was to trap and euthanize feral colonies, but statistics have shown that colonies will eventually re-establish themselves. The most humane approach is TNR, or Trap, Neuter, Return. Feral colonies have been a great concern to those of us in the animal welfare field,” added Bowers. At HSCC and Foothills Spay/Neuter Clinic, feral cat surgeries are performed on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Feral cats must arrive for surgery in a humane trap. The $35 fee includes surgery, one Rabies vaccination and an ear tipping. A tipped (clipped) ear is the universal symbol of a sterilized and vaccinated feral cat. Any requested blood work is an additional fee.

For more information, or to purchase a Feral Cat Package, please call HSCC at (828) 464-8878, Monday through Saturday, 11am-6pm. HSCC and Foothills Spay/Neuter Clinic services are available to any member of the public and are not limited to residents of Catawba County.

Photo: feral cat, aka community cat

Hickory Music Factory Offers Jazz Programs For Students

Hickory - The Hickory Music Factory will be offering two community jazz programs for middle and high school students starting in November.

Rehearsals will take place on Wednesday afternoon/evening at the Hickory Music Factory and the programs will go through the end of January. Each program will end with a community performance.

The HMF Big Band is an auditioned ensemble of advanced high school musicians led by Dr.Chris Nigrelli, professor of music at LR University. It builds on what students have learned in their public school jazz bands and helps them learn musical leadership skills to share with their respective band programs. Band members will develop ensemble and improvisation skills, and refine jazz styles. There will be an emphasis on the masterworks, performers, and composers of jazz tradition.

The HMF Jazz Combo is an auditioned class for middle and high school musicians led by John Alexander, professional saxophonist from Charlotte, NC. Students will learn to perform in a small jazz ensemble. Band members will play songs from lead sheets, develop basic jazz improvisation skills, and learn the role that your instrument plays in this context.

Cost for each program is $150 for HMF student members and $175 for non members. Limited scholarship and work study programs are available. For more information on the programs or to set up an audition, please contact: (828)-308-5659

Genealogy Workshop Thursdays Returns To Library

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

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

Please consult the following schedule for class dates.

11/06/2014:Reviewing Vital Records
11/13/2014:Decoding Census Information
12/04/2014:Taxation Records
12/11/2014:Court Records
1/08/2015: Land Records
1/22/2015: Military Records
2/05/2015: Religious Records
2/19/2015: Funeral Records
3/05/2015: Immigration Records
3/19/2015: Surname and Date Variations
4/10/2015: Using Maps and Geography in Genealogical Research
4/24/2015: Tracing Female Ancestry
5/08/2015: Special Circumstances
5/22/2015: Using On-Line Resources

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

Elks’ Backpack Drive For Local Kids; Benefit Dinner Is Nov. 8

Hickory – Hickory Elks Lodge #1654 announces the start of their annual food and funds drive for the Catawba County Backpack Program. This very important community program serves our children from elementary school to high school by providing a backpack full of healthy food for the weekend throughout the school year. During the 2013 – 2014 school year 275,314 meals were provided to 1,227 children in Catawba County. The Backpack Program relies on donations from local individuals, churches, businesses and service organizations. Their sole mission is to remove hunger as a barrier to good education and reduce the impact of poverty on children and families.

This is the Hickory Elks 3rd Annual Backpack Program Drive. The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the United States of America serve the people and communities through benevolent programs, demonstrating that “Elks Care and Elks Share.”

“The Backpack Program touched our hearts a couple years ago as we hope that it does yours. Sometimes we forget how much need there is in our own community. 100% of your donation goes directly toward feeding the children,” said Carole Anderson, Committee Chair for the Elks Lodge Backpack Program.

Last year the Elks exceeded their $10,000 goal by donating over $13,000 in food and funds to the program. Food donations are accepted through September and October at the Elks Lodge along with monetary donations. You can drop off donations Mon – Thur any time after 3PM and Fri – Sun after 1PM. A $100 donation will sponsor a child for an entire school year.

The culmination of the Elks collection efforts ends with a dinner and dance evening. This year’s event will feature a “Delizioso Great Italian Dinner Night” prepared by Signor Jack Tickle with Entertainment by The Rhythm Masters. The event will be held November 8th at 6PM at the Hickory Elks Lodge at 356 Main Ave NW. Tickets are $10 each and can be purchased from any Elk member or directly from the Elks Lodge.

The community is welcome to join the event and get in on the Silent Auction, Door Prizes, Best Dressed Italian Mustache Costume Prize, and more.

To find out more information about the event being held at The Hickory Elks Lodge and to donate to The Catawba County Backpack Program with the Elks please contact Committee Chair, Carole Anderson at or call the Elks Lodge at 828-322-2527.

WRC Taking Applications For Women2Work

Hickory - Women’s Resource Center is now taking applications for the Women2Work Workforce Development Program.  This is a unique one-year program designed to assist unemployed or underemployed women in their job search.

It provides long-term support, resources, educational workshops and counseling.

Eligibility requirements include the ability to look for full-time work, having a driver's license and reliable transportation, and the willingness to commit to a one-year program. In addition you must live in Catawba, Caldwell, Burke or Alexander County and not have a criminal record.

For more information call Twila Hartford, Workforce Development Coordinator at 828-322-6333. Ext. 202.

Call For Artists: Hues & Brews Tour & Festival In November

Lenoir, NC – The Caldwell Arts Council is now accepting applications from Caldwell County & surrounding counties’ artists and crafters who want to participate in the new Hues and Brews Studio Tour, Saturday, Nov. 8 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Participants can set up in their Caldwell County homes or studios or set up in a local business to display, demonstrate and sell their work. Registration is $30.

Following the countywide Studio Tour, the event will culminate with the Hues and Brews Festival, Saturday, Nov. 8 from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. outside Howard Brewing in downtown Lenoir. The outdoor event will feature visual art displays, craft beer tastings, food vendors, live music and children’s art activities. Artists, crafters and food vendors may apply for space at the Hues and Brews Festival; 20 separate artist spaces and 3 separate food vendor spaces are available at this location. Artist/crafter registration is $30.

The registration deadline has been extended to September 5th at 5pm; all applications are available on the Caldwell Arts Council website:


The Caldwell Arts Council has announced a new twist on its annual Art Around Caldwell Studio Tour, expanding it to a daylong festival and adding another popular art form to the popular event.

In recent years, the Art Around Caldwell Studio Tour has featured Caldwell County artists and crafters who open their homes and studios for a celebration of local artwork of all kinds. This year, the Caldwell Arts Council is expanding the event and inviting brewers from Caldwell, Catawba and Burke counties to join with visual artists in a central location for a fun, new event with proceeds going toward 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.

Western Piedmont Symphony Announces 50th Season

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

February 14, 2015 PE Monroe, LRU—Love & Death, WPS orchestra performing Romeo & Juliet.
Special Event for Valentine’s Day

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

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

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

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

Women’s Resource Center Needs Daily Volunteers

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

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

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

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

CCCTI’s Culinary Arts Sets Menu, Dates For Caldwell Cuisine

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

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

Following are the dates and menus for the events:

Thursday, October 30 – Oktoberfest

Apple-Celery Root Slaw with Granny Smith apples, celery root, carrots, endive, creamy vinaigrette and chives; Kartoffelsuppe, a potato soup with leeks, onions, celery, parsley and crispy bacon; Choice of Entrée: Scheweinebraten – Braised pork roast, caraway-cabbage and apples, kartoffelpuffer (potato cakes) with apple sauce and chive crème fraiche OR Schupfnudeln – Potato dumplings, seared teres major, root vegetables, mixed mushroom, white wine reduction, rich thyme demi; Apple Dumplings with salted caramel ice cream.

Thursday, November 13 – Spanish Tapas Night

Ensalada: Local greens, confit of artichoke, white asparagus, marcona almonds, goat cheese and lemon vinaigrette. Setas Al Ajillo: Crimini, oyster and shitake mushroom, shallots, thyme and 30-year sherry. Ceviche: Scallop, shrimp, lime, mint, cilantro and sweet corn. Patatas Bravas: Crispy potatoes, tomato brava sauce, saffron aioli and cilantro. Pincho Moruno: Skewered lamb, Moorish spices and house pickles. Postres: Chocolate flan, berries and cardamom cream.

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

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

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.

Social Workers Partner With Lions Clubs To Help The Blind

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Catawba Science Center’s Free Fridays Will Continue

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

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

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

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

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

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

Child Wellbeing Project Offers Post Adoption Support

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

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

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

"We realize that many children who have been adopted continue to have struggles long after the adoption is finalized," said Chrissy Triplett, post adoption care supervisor. "Success Coaches can work with adoptive families to provide helpful information and coaching in how to deal with these issues."

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

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

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

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:





RenFest2014.jpg   Banner-Sample-1.jpg

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

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

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
© 1978 - 2014 Tucker Productions, Inc.