Custom Search




banner2

banner3

banner3

banner2

 



Click Here To Go Back To Page 1 Of Local News

Newton Hosting Jr. NBA All-Star Weekend Youth

Basketball Skills Challenge On Sat., Feb.17

Newton, NC - In conjunction with Jr. NBA, the Newton Parks and Recreation Department is excited to sponsor the NBA All-Star Weekend Youth Basketball Skills Challenge on Saturday, Feb. 17, from 10 a.m.-noon.

The program will be held at the Newton Recreation Center, located at 23 South Brady Ave. Registration will run from 9-9:45 a.m. the day of the program.

The Jr. NBA Skills Challenge is presented by Verizon and provides boys and girls ages 13 and younger the opportunity to showcase their fitness through a basketball dribbling, shooting, and rebounding skills competition. The program is free for all participants and organizations.

Boys and girls compete separately in two different age groups: 11U and 13U. Age groups are based on participant age as of Aug. 31. All participants must have a parent or guardian fill out a registration/liability form obtained from the Newton Parks and Recreation Department, a Jr. NBA member organization, or online at www.jrnba.com/skillschallenge. Participants must provide a copy of valid birth certificate or other proof of identification for age verification (if proof of identification for age verification is already on file with the Newton Parks and Recreation Department, additional verification will not be required). Each player may participate in one local competition; competing in more than one local competition will result in disqualification.

For more information visit www.jrnba.com or call the Newton Parks and Recreation Department at 828-695-4317.

Shelby Area Post-Polio Support Group Will Meet Mon., Feb. 19

Shelby, NC - At this month's meeting, Mr. Todd Putnam will give a program about the flu, and the history of the flu virus. As this year so far the flu is in epidemic proportions across North Carolina and the rest of USA.

The date is Monday, February 19th, at 6pm. Everyone attending should bring their meal. Coffee, and water will be provided. The meeting will be at the Life Enrichment Center, Hwy 18 north, about two miles outside city limits of Shelby.

If you are a polio survivor and would like to attend, we would love to see you there! Feel free to bring a caregiver with you.

For more information you may call Wanda-Greg Horne at 704-482-8807 or Dianne Garner 704-434-4928.


City Of Hickory Sets Many Events For Black History Month

Hickory – February is Black History Month, which is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and is a time for recognizing the central role of African Americans in U.S. history. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month.

In celebration of this month, there are numerous events organized by the City for all people of all ages to enjoy and pay tribute to the African American heritage and culture.

Hickory Parks and Recreation Department

Join Ridgeview Recreation Center in celebration of Black History Month at the 5th Annual Creative Xpressions Showcase! This event will be held on Saturday, February 17, starting at 3:00 p.m. Enjoy poetry and spoken word, singing, dance, comedy, and more. There will be free giveaways and prizes. This event is free and is open to the public. Ridgeview Recreation Center is located at 115 7th Ave SW. For more information, please contact Andrea Nixon, Senior Recreation Programmer, at (828) 324-8007.
Hickory Public Library

Music has always been an integral part of our nation’s past, from the work songs of slavery to the blues of Beale Street and the anthems of the Civil Rights Movement. Join Bright Star Theatre at the Ridgeview Branch Library on Monday, February 12, at 5 p.m. for Freedom Songs, an entertaining musical revue of Black History. This production tells the stories behind these famous and forgotten hymns, work songs, and musical styles, while sampling songs that spread across continents, genres, and centuries.

Enjoy a good trivia game and want to test your black history knowledge? The Ridgeview Branch Library will host Black History Month Jeopardy for Teens on Saturday, February 17, at 2 p.m. Students in grades 5 - 12 will compete in a Jeopardy-style team challenge. In celebration of Black History Month, February’s categories will focus on African American historical figures, events, and accomplishments.

Ridgeview Branch Library is located at 706 1st Street SW, at the corner of 1st Street and 7th Avenue SW, beside the Ridgeview Recreation Center. All library programs are free and open to the public. For more information, please contact Nicole Morse at the Ridgeview Branch Library at (828) 345-6037.

From the present day to 1870, African American researchers use the same methods other genealogists use to find their ancestors. The year 1870 marked the first year that formerly enslaved people were listed by name. Prior to that time, enslaved individuals were not listed individually. However, this barrier can be overcome by using records in creative ways. Join genealogist Peggy Mainess on Thursday, February 8, at 7:00 p.m. at the Patrick Beaver Memorial Library for a workshop focusing on what records are available and how to use them in researching African-American ancestors. This special session of Genealogy Thursdays is free, but space is limited and registration is required. For more information, or to register, please call (828) 304-0500, extension 7235.

The Patrick Beaver Memorial Library will also host Whelks, Glass and Garden Lights: African-American Cemeteries and Archaeology on Thursday, February 22, at 6:30 p.m. Melissa Timo, staff archaeologist of the Exploring Joara Foundation, will discuss the early history of African and African American graveyards in the American Southeast. She will also present a case study of one archaeologist's journey to help one descendant group reclaim their history through a family burial ground.

Patrick Beaver Memorial Library is located at 375 3rd Street NE on the SALT Block. For more information, please call (828) 304-0500 or visit the library’s website at www.hickorync.gov/library. While you are there, be sure to check out the Black History Month display in the rotunda.

For additional details on these and other upcoming events in the City of Hickory, please visit www.hickorync.gov.

Seussical Opens At The Green Room Fri., Feb. 9, Through 2/25

Hickory - Seussical, the perfect musical for families and theatre goers of all ages, comes to The Green Room Community Theatre February 9-25, 2018. Seussical will be presented in the McCreary Theatre at the The Old Post Office Playhouse in historic downtown Newton.

The incredible Cat in the Hat (Nick Nowell) narrates a magical story featuring the very best of Dr. Seuss characters and stories. There is Horton the Elephant (John David Welch), Jojo (Gabriel Beech), Mayzie (Elizabeth Edwards), and Gertrude (Cheyenne Veach). This show has great characters that jump off the page and come to life on the stage. It presents a kind, humorous, and sincere message, and is filled with wonderful music and fabulous choreography. And of course it’s Dr. Seuss, so there’s plenty of rhyme!

Seussical is directed by Allison Andrews with musical direction by Cathy Banner and choreography by Melissa Statema. It is produced by Catawba Valley Medical Center & Corning Optical Communications. Based on the works of Dr. Seuss, the music & lyrics are by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens. It made its Broadway debut in 2000 and has since had two National Tours. Performances are February 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25, 2018. Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30pm / Sundays at 3:00pm. You can purchase tickets online at www.apps.thegreenroomtheatre.org or at the Box Office (Wed.-Fri. 10am-5:30pm). Ticket prices are $16 for adults, $14 for Seniors & Students, & $8 for children 12 and under. For more information about the show, check out our website: www.TheGreenRoomTheatre.org or call 828-464-6128.

The Green Room Community Theatre is a Funded Affiliate of The United Arts Council of Catawba County.

AD Livingstone Sets Cast For HCT’s The Hobbit, Mar. 9-25

Hickory - Artistic Director Pamela Livingstone has announced her cast for the Hickory Community Theatre’s production of The Hobbit. Performances will begin on Friday, March 9th and continue through Sunday, March 25th.

The play is based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy classic about how a Hobbit named Bilbo Baggins is recruited by Gandalf the wizard to assist a company of dwarves in reclaiming their homeland from a fierce dragon.

In the central roles, Cody Stuckenschneider is Bilbo, Jordan Randall is Gandalf, Jill Roberts is Thorin and Matt Finch has triple roles as Gollum, the Great Goblin and the Elven King.

The members of Thorin’s company accompanying him on his quest are Alice Barrett as Oin, Bill Boyd as Bofur, Cinthya Calderon as Fili, Josh Gibson as Ori, James Grose and Bifur, Cecilio Henry as Kili, Adam Lowery as Balin, Cameron Owens as Dwalin, Chris “Clam” Sepulveda as Bombur, Jordan Smith as Nori, Thomas Townsend as Dori and Will Vogler as Gloin.

Teresa Greene, Mollie Johns, Megan Miller, Emma Snyder, Kathryn Whalen and Christin White make up the ensemble company of elves and goblins.

Performances of The Hobbit are Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm (Mar 9, 10, 16, 17, 23 & 24); Thursdays at 7:30pm (Mar 15 & 22); and Sundays at 2:30pm (Mar 18 & 25.)

All seats are $18, seniors age 60+ are $16 and tickets for students and youth 18 and under are $10. On Thursday nights all adults and seniors are $14. Tickets are now on sale online at www.hickorytheatre.org or through the Theatre box office, in person or by phone at 828-328-2283. Box office hours are 12-5 Wednesday through Friday.

HCT is a Funded Affiliate of the United Arts Council of Catawba County. The 2017-2018 Season is sponsored by Paramount Automotive and A Cleaner World. The Hobbit is produced by Robert Abbey, Inc. and Sunbelt Furniture Xpress.

Photo: (Ladder, top to bottom, L-R) Corey Stuckenschneider, Jill Roberts, Josh Gibson, Cinthya Calderon, Thomas L. Townsend, Matt Finch, Jordan Smith, (Standing, L-R) Alice Barrett, Chris “Clam” Sepulveda, Cecilio Henry, Megan Miller, Jordan A. Randall, Teresa Greene, James Grose, Adam Lowrey, (Kneeling, L-R) Will Vogler, Emma Snyder, Mollie Johns, Kathryn Whalen, Christin White and Cameron Owens are the cast of The Hobbit at the Hickory Community Theatre. Performances begin on March 9th in the Jeffers Theatre. Go to www.hickorytheatre.org or call (828) 328-2283 for tickets and information.
Photo by Lauren Albers
.

Call For Artists For Statesville’s Spring Art Crawl, April 27

Statesville, NC - The Spring Art Crawl is set for Friday, April 27, from 5:30 pm – 8:30 pm and we are looking for artists to exhibit their work! The Spring Art Crawl will highlight more than 40 artists in over 30 different galleries, shops, and businesses scattered throughout the heart of Downtown Statesville. The concept is simple – come downtown and walk from location to location, enjoy music, meet the artists and enjoy their work (maybe make a purchase), browse through the shops hosting the artists, and stay late for live music, food, and drinks at one of our many restaurants and bars.

Artists who are interested in participating in the Spring Art Crawl should submit their application and artist fee no later than April 6, 2018. For your convenience, we offer three ways to submit your application:

· Visit our website to complete the application and pay the artist’s fee electronically. www.downtownstatesvillenc.org/art-crawls/

· Download the PDF application from our website (www.downtownstatesvillenc.org/art-crawls/), complete electronically and email to info@downtownstatesvillenc.org.

· Download and print the PDF Application from our website (www.downtownstatesvillenc.org/art-crawls/) and return to our office directly at Downtown Statesville Development Corporation (located at 112 S. Center Street), or mail it to PO Box 205, Statesville, NC 28687. Please be sure to include the $20 artist fee with a check payable to Downtown Statesville Development Corporation, or pay online at www.downtownstatesvillenc.org/tickets/.

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

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

CVCC Sets February Classes, From Spanish To Creative Writing

Hickory - Adobe Illustrator-Introduction. This class will teach the students to create illustrations, charts, graphs, logos, diagrams, and more! Students will learn how simple it is to create complex vector shapes using the powerful tools available within Illustrator. Students will try their hand at creating logos, characters, graphics and their own unique artwork. This is a required class in order to take the Adobe Certification exam. This class meets on Thursdays, Feb. 15 through March 8, from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m., on CVCC’s Main Campus in the Robert E. Paap Educational Building in Room REP 137. The cost of the class is $50. Students must be 18 or older to enroll. The instructor for the class is Aaron Tallman.

Basic Pistol Defense for Women. This hands-on class is designed for women who are not comfortable going directly into a concealed-carry handgun class. This basic class will boost your confidence as well as teach the basics of pistol shooting. This is not a NRA or concealed-carry handgun class. Students with little or no handgun experience are encouraged to take this class. There are no prerequisites for this class. This class meets on Thursday, Feb. 15 from 6:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m., on CVCC’s East Campus, in Room EC 1001. The cost of the class is $35. Students must be 21 or older to enroll. The instructor for the class is Tom McNeely.

Conversational Spanish. Students will receive an introduction to expressions and vocabulary for basic conversation with special focus on travel to a Spanish-speaking country or working with the public. Students should purchase the textbook: Spanish in 10 Minutes a Day-6th Edition, available at the CVCC Campus Store. This class meets on Thursdays, Feb. 1 through March 22, from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m., on CVCC’s East Campus, in Room EC 1124. The cost of the class is $70. Students must be 18 or older to enroll. The instructor for the class is Erin Ward.

Creative Writing. In this class, participants will be introduced to the conventions of fiction, poetry, and nonfiction narrative writing as a means of expression. Our instructor will incorporate discussions highlighting different approaches to both reading and writing short fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction while encouraging students to develop their own style and artistic sensibility. Participants will complete writing exercises designed to inspire ideas and refine writing skills. The class-both participants and instructor-will work to encourage each other to complete meaningful writing projects. This class meets on Tuesdays, Feb. 13 through March 20, from 7:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m., on CVCC’s East Campus in Room EC 1001. The cost of the class is $75. Students must be 18 or older to enroll. The instructor for the class is Mark Vanek.

Genealogy-Learn Your Past; Write Your History. This class introduces students to the history of Catawba County and their family’s contribution to it. History Professor Richard Eller provides an extended overview of the county’s past, then delves into family history. Writing Professor Robert Canipe helps students research and write a narrative highlighting his or her unique journey with Catawba County. Completing this class creates a document for future Catawba County citizens to experience the complex story of the individual composite history of Catawba County. This is also a teacher renewal credit class. This class meets on Tuesdays, Feb. 27 through March 27, from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m., at the Catawba County Museum of History, located at 30 N College Ave, Newton, NC 28658. The cost of the class is $50. Students must be 18 or older to enroll. The instructors for the class are Richard Eller and Robert Canipe.

Guitar: Country Music for Beginners. This is a FUN, non-technical guitar class fashioned for the beginning guitarist in mind. After learning a couple of basic chords, you should be able to play along to a lot of your favorite country music CD’s without the boredom and frustration of memorizing tons of musical notes. A practice CD with various favorite country music songs is supplied, but please bring a guitar, a guitar strap, and picks. This class meets on Wednesdays, Feb. 21 through March 28, from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m., at CVCC’s Robert E. Paap Education Building on the Main Campus. The cost of the class is $70. Students must be 18 or older to enroll. The instructor for the class is Tom McNeely.

Line Dancing. Have you ever watched people line dance and wished you could do it too? Come learn some popular line dances and Zumba dances while getting a great cardio workout. Line dancing can be done to a wide variety of music from oldies to jazz to country. No partners needed. This class meets on Thursdays, Feb. 15 through Mar. 22, from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m., at the Newton Recreation Center, located at 23 South Brady Avenue, Newton, NC. The cost of the class is $55. Students must be 18 or older to enroll. The instructor for the class is Kristi Marlow.

Pistol Defense for Women-Level II. In this class, women will learn the safety rules, the procedure of buying pistols, shooting stances/ready positions, sight picture, clearing gun malfunctions, cleaning pistols, home storage and the five fundamentals of shooting. This is not a NRA or concealed-carry handgun class; however, students with a concealed-carry permit may attend. The prerequisite for this class is the Basic Pistol Defense for Women class. This class meets on Thursday, Feb. 22 from 6:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m., on CVCC’s East Campus, in Room EC 1001. The cost of the class is $35. Students must be 21 or older to enroll. The instructor for the class is Tom McNeely.

Pottery I. This class is designed for the beginner through intermediate level potters. 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. This class meets on Tuesdays, Feb. 20 through April 24, from 6:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m., on CVCC’s Main Campus in the Robert E. Paap Education Building in Room REP 143. The cost of the class is $166.25. Students must be 18 or older to enroll. The instructor for the class is Preston Tolbert.

For more information, contact Cheri Toney at 828-327-7000, ext. 4740 or ctoney@cvcc.edu.

Tickets For Seussical, The Musical On Sale At The Green Room

Newton, NC - Tickets go on sale Friday, January 26th for The Green Room Community Theatre’s 3rd musical of this season- Seussical, The Musical. This production will be performed in the McCreary Theatre at The Old Post Office Playhouse in historic downtown Newton!

“Oh, the Thinks you can Think” when Dr. Seuss’ zany characters come together in this delightful musical caper! Horton the Elephant, Gertrude McFuzz, Lazy Mayzie and all the Whos of Whoville come together in this wildly imaginative show. Hosted by everyone’s favorite Cat (in the Hat, that is!), and one of the most performed shows in America, this must-see musical for the whole family will have you singing its tunes all the way home! With it’s heartwarming message, beautiful harmonies, and energetic choreography, this show is a treat for ages 2 to 102+!!

Seussical, The Musical is directed by Allison Andrews with musical direction by Cathy Banner and choreography by Melissa Statema. It is produced by Catawba Valley Medical Center & Corning Optical Communications. Based on the works of Dr. Seuss, the music & lyrics are by Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens. It made its Broadway debut in 2000 and has since had 2 National Tours.

There will be performances on February 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25, 2018. Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30pm / Sundays at 3:00pm. You can purchase tickets online at www.apps.thegreenroomtheatre.org or at the Box Office (Wed-Fri 10am-5:30pm). Ticket prices are $16 for adults, $14 for Seniors & Students, & $8 for kids 12 and under. For more information about the show, check out our website: www.TheGreenRoomTheatre.org or call 828-464-6128.

The Green Room Community Theatre is a Funded Affiliate of The United Arts Council of Catawba County.

Poster- designed by John David Brown, III.

Hickory PD Offers Business Safety Seminar On Feb. 22 & 23

Hickory - The Hickory Police Department is offering our Business Safety and Security Seminar to City of Hickory businesses. This is a great opportunity to come and learn more about business safety and security. Seminar topics to be presented include:

• Structural protection of a facility

• Active Shooter 101

This event will be held on February 22 beginning at 6:00 p.m. and February 23 beginning at 1:00 p.m. at the Floyd W. Lucas Jr. Police Headquarters building located at 347 2nd Avenue SW, Hickory, NC 28602. Please R.S.V.P. to Chrystal Dieter at 828-261-2642 or cdieter@hickorync.gov by February 17th. Please limit four attendees per business.

For more information on this seminar, contact Lt. Scott Hildebrand at 828-324-2060.

Freed Prisoner Hinton To Speak On March 20 As

Part Of Library’s Just Mercy Read & Discussion

Newton, NC – The Catawba County Library, in collaboration with Catawba Valley Community College, is initiating a community read and discussion series of Bryan Stevenson’s Just Mercy, an unforgettable true story about the redeeming potential of mercy, and winner of the Carnegie Medal for Excellence in nonfiction.

Just Mercy is a memorable account of an idealistic young lawyer’s coming of age, an emotional window into the lives of those he has defended, and an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of true justice.

Bryan Stevenson founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those who are most desperate and in need. One of his first cases was that of Walter McMillian, a young man who was sentenced to die for a notorious murder he didn’t commit. The case drew Bryan into a tangle of conspiracy, politics, and legal maneuvering that transformed his understanding of mercy and justice forever, and led to this widely acclaimed book.

“This community read challenges us to consider ourselves as part of a larger community and society,” said Library Director Suzanne White, “bringing us together to share a book, engage civically, discuss important issues of justice, equality, and poverty—and how we can work together to make a difference.”

Programming, which began at CVCC earlier this year, continues through March at all Catawba County Library locations, and includes TED Talks, Book Talks, film screenings, dramatic readings, and more, centered around the concept of mercy in the criminal justice system. There will be limited book giveaways at each event.

On March 20, keynote speaker Anthony Ray Hinton, recently exonerated by Bryan Stevenson’s Equal Justice Initiative after more than three decades on death row, will share his powerful story. He will speak at 11am at CVCC’s Tarleton Center, and again at 6 pm at the 1924 Courthouse in Newton, with a reception to follow at the History Museum of Catawba County.

For the latest in library news, visit www.librarynews.catawbacountync.gov, or stop by your local branch.

Photos: Author Bryan Stevenson with the cover of Just Mercy.
Bottom photo: Keynote speaker Anthony Ray Hinton (left) with Bryan Stevenson after Hinton’s exoneration.

Our Savior Lutheran’s Chicken Pie Dinner Is Sat., February 17

Hickory - Our Savior Lutheran Church’s Lutheran Women’s Missionary League (LWML) announces their annual chicken pie dinner on Saturday, February 17, beginning at 5 pm until 7pm. The dinner will include chicken pie with flaky home made crust, rice/gravy, green beans, slaw, drinks, and a variety of homemade desserts. Prices are $10 for adults and $5 for children 10 and under. Takeout plates are available.

The church is located at 2160 35th Avenue Dr NE in Hickory off Kool Park Road and opposite Clyde Campbell Elementary School. Mark your calendars and bring your friends and family to Our Savior for a wonderful meal and fellowship. Proceeds from the dinner will benefit the church’s building fund and LWML mission programs.

Contact Information:Our Savior Lutheran Church. www.oursaviorlutheranchurchhickory.org. Church Office: 828.256.5469

CVIC Offers Four-Part Study Of Abrahamic Faiths, 2/11 - 3/4

Hickory – Who was the Biblical Abraham, and how he is perceived by Jews, Christians, and Muslims today? Can he serve as a unifying figure for his feuding descendants? These are the questions Bruce Feiler addresses in his post-9/11 book, “Abraham: A Journey to the Heart of Three Faiths," according to Joseph Weisberg in a review for the Jewish Book Council. "Part biography, part travelogue, and part biblical exegesis," Weisberg calls the book an "irresistible page-turner."

The book will be the focus of a four-part study of Abrahamic faiths in Hickory during February and March. The study sessions will be led by local Jewish, Christian, and Islamic leaders in the area and is hosted by the Catawba Valley Interfaith Council.

On February 11, the first session will be held at Temple Beth Shalom in Hickory, with Rabbi Dennis Jones as the presenter.

On February 18, Rev. Dr. Robert Thompson will present a session at Corinth Reformed, UCC in Hickory, and on February 25 Northminster Presbyterian Church in Hickory will host a session presented by Imam T. A. Mutakabbir.

The final session on March 4 will be hosted at the Belk Centrum at Lenoir-Rhyne University presented by Dr. Mindy Makant. Each of the sessions is on a Sunday, will begin at 2:30 pm and conclude by 4pm, including time for questions and discussion.

Published by Bruce Feiler in 2005, the book tells the powerful story of one man's search for the shared ancestor of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Traveling through war zones, braving violence at religious sites, and seeking out faith leaders, Feiler uncovers the defining yet divisive role that Abraham plays for half the world's believers. While it is not necessary to read the book to participate, CVIC recommends that participants read the book in advance of the sessions to get the most out of the discussion.

CVIC is a local not-for-profit organization of faith-based and secular communities in the Catawba Valley serving as a catalyst for hope and cooperating for the purpose of dialogue, information sharing, and celebration.

Representatives of the group will be available at each event to accept membership applications from individuals or civic groups who are interested in participating in interfaith dialogue and cooperation in the Catawba Valley.

RiverRun Screens 3:10 To Yuma On Feb. 19, With Peter Ford

Winston-Salem, NC - RiverRun International Film Festival welcomes Peter Ford, son of film stars Glenn Ford and Eleanor Powell, for a book signing at Scuppernong Books in Greensboro on February 19, as well as an on-stage discussion, film screening, reception and book signing at the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) in Winston-Salem on February 20.

The SECCA evening on February 20 begins at 7:00 p.m. and includes an on-stage discussion with Peter Ford and RiverRun Executive Director Rob Davis followed by a screening of “3:10 to Yuma,” the iconic Western starring Glenn Ford. The evening will also include a reception and book signing with books available for purchase from Bookmarks. Peter Ford’s book, Glenn Ford: A Life, was a critical and commercial success and remains one of the all-time bestsellers of the University of Wisconsin Press, a noted publisher of film books.

Upon its release in 1957, “3:10 to Yuma” was described by Bosley Crowther in The New York Times as “a good Western film, loaded with suspenseful situations and dusty atmosphere.” Leonard Maltin characterized the film as “gripping every step of the way.” The 92-minute story revolves around a rancher trying to bring an outlaw to the train that will deliver him to prison, a seemingly simple mission which turns into a psychologically complex game that will test each man. Van Heflin plays the rancher and Glenn Ford, in a magnificent performance against type, plays the outlaw.

Glenn Ford, r, in 3:10 To Yuma

Peter Ford was born in Los Angeles and grew up in Beverly Hills where his parents regularly entertained the likes of Clark Gable, Bette Davis, Barbara Stanwyck, Judy Garland, Al Jolson and many other entertainers of Hollywood’s “Golden Era.” He was taught to swim by Johnny Weissmuller, MGM’s Tarzan, neighbor James Mason was his babysitter on occasion and next-door neighbor Charlie Chaplin was considered a “villain” by Peter after he accidentally killed Peter’s beloved dog, Bill. During his dad’s filming of “Blackboard Jungle,” Peter’s record collection was used by director Richard Brooks and producer Pandro Berman to assemble the film’s soundtrack, including “Rock Around the Clock.” “Blackboard Jungle” is acknowledged as the first film to use a rock and roll soundtrack and widely credited with ushering in the rock and roll revolution. Peter’s interest in music led to a contract with Capitol Records and his group, The Creations, appeared at such venues as the legendary Whiskey A Go-Go and the El Cortez Club in Las Vegas. Peter’s show business career also included film and television appearances before an interest in home design prompted him to become a licensed contractor. His company, Blackoak/Ford became one of the most highly respected residential construction firms, and its work was featured in a number of architectural magazines across the globe. Peter had a longstanding interest in family history and genealogy and had published several articles before writing what most consider the definitive book about father’s life and career.

Tickets for the event are available at the door and online at www.SECCA.org for $15. Student tickets will be available at the door for $10 with a valid student ID.

SPONSORS: RiverRun Retro is sponsored by Nelson Mullins and supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. Hospitality sponsors include the Fairfield Inn and Suites Downtown Winston-Salem, McRitchie Winery and Ciderworks, Hoots Beer and Mooney’s Mediterranean Café.

ABOUT RIVERRUN: RiverRun International Film Festival will celebrate its 20th year in 2018 and will run April 19 - 29 in Winston-Salem with additional screenings in Greensboro. The RiverRun International Film Festival is a non-profit cultural organization dedicated to the role of cinema as a conduit of powerful ideas and diverse viewpoints.

 

February Seniors Morning Out Has Valentine’s Parties,

Heart Health & Black History Month

Hickory - Seniors Morning Out participants will enjoy a variety of activities in February including Valentine’s Day Parties, Heart Health Classes, and celebrations of Black History Month.

Any resident of Catawba County who is 60 or better is invited to join Seniors Morning Out, which is held between 8:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday at five convenient locations. A hot, balanced lunch is served each day. Programs are free to participants, who may pick and choose which days to attend. Bus transportation to and from the sites is available in some locations.

Other program highlights are as follows.

At the Newton site, located at First Presbyterian Church, 701 N. Main Ave., Newton: Feb 1, Rev. Daniel Brank to sing; Feb 5, Craft Class-How to Fake Stained Glass-Valentine Picture; Feb 6, Shopping at Walmart and Lunch at Kick Back Jack’s; Feb 8, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder with Jeff Dula, Vaya Health; Feb 15, 5 Plants In Your Bedroom That Will Cure Insomnia; Feb 19, Celebrate Black History Month-Documentary: ”What Happened, Miss Simone?” and a catered Soul Food lunch ($6); Feb 21, Cooking Class and Nutrition-Baked Cabbage Steaks; Feb 22, Facts About Onions You Will Not Believe; Feb 26, 2018 Insurance Changes with Renee Smith from Insurance Services; Feb 27, Bowling and lunch at Pin Station then shopping at Dollar General. If you would like to participate in any of these activities, call Robyn Curtis at 828-455-4133 at least two days in advance.

At the West Hickory site, located at the West Hickory Senior Center, 400 17th St. SW, Hickory: Feb 1, Black History Trivia and Presentation from Sam Hunt, President of Hickory Branch of NAACP; Feb 5, Celebrating Black History Month with African Dress Fashion Show; Feb 7, Craft Class-Love Shacks; Feb 8, Family Feud and Music by Sentimental Journey; Feb 14, Valentine’s Day Party and presenting of King and Queen; Feb 15, Shopping at Walmart; Feb 19, Power of Attorney and Living Wills with Rev. Sandi Hood, Director-Community Outreach Catawba Regional Hospice; Feb 20, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder with Jeff Dula, Vaya Health; Feb 28, Cooking Class-Lemon Bars and When the Power Goes Out-When and What to Through Out. If you would like to participate in any of these activities, contact Lisa Adams at 828-323-8746 at least two days in advance.

At the East Hickory site, located at Huntington Hills Church of God, 2123 Fifth St. NE, Hickory: Feb 1, Pastor Katie Jennings from the Rock Church speaking on Black History Month; Feb 6, Breakfast at Four Peas in a Pod and Shopping at Walmart; Feb 8, American Heart Health: Heart Healthy Foods; Feb 12, St. Paul’s Choir to Perform; Feb 14, Valentine’s Lunch at NY Hibachi Grill and Shopping at Dollar Tree; Feb 19, Proper Hand Washing and Bingo; Feb 20, Shopping at Walmart; Feb 27, Cooking Class-Heart Healthy Whole Grain Toast and Peanut Butter. If you would like to participate in any of these activities, contact Rita Pritchard at least two days in advance by calling 828-320-5963.

At the Catawba site, located at Hopewell United Methodist Church, 2211 Hopewell Church Road, Sherrills Ford: Feb 6, Bowling at Pin Station and Shopping at Walmart; Feb 7, Basketball and Kickball; Feb 8, E.coli Prevention, Symptoms, and Treatment; Feb 14, Valentine Party and Presenting King and Queen; Feb 15, Music by “Seniors on the Move”; Feb 20, Poem of the Day and Music by Fred Wilson.; Feb 21, Celebrate National Breakfast Month with breakfast biscuits and Black History Month with an African Dance by Betty Primus; Feb 22, Crafts with Tonya Jarnac; Feb 26, Shopping at Dollar Tree and Lunch at Golden Corral; Feb 28, Top 10 Alkaline Foods for Vibrant Health. If you would like to participate in any of these activities, call Wendy Thomas at 828-320-0434 at least two days in advance.

At the Maiden site, located at the Maiden Community Center, East Second Street and Klutz Street, Maiden: Feb 1, Diabetic Management and Empowering with Doreen King (repeats every Thursday); Feb 5, Cooking Class-Valentine Heart Sandwiches; Feb 12, Recognition of Senior Nutrition; Feb 13 Obsessive Compulsive Disorder with Terry Spencer, Vaya Health; Feb 14, Valentine’s Day Party and Bingo; Feb 19, Dealing with the Loss of a Family Member with Annette Walker, Catawba Regional Hospice; Feb 20, Blood Pressure Checks with Lupe Avalos, CVMC and Chair Exercises with Ivan, ECU Student; Feb 26, Nutrition Fact or Fiction; Feb 27, Sentimental Journey to perform. If you would like to attend any of these programs, please call Loretta Hefner at 828-320-5966 at least two days in advance.

Seniors Morning Out is operated by Senior Nutrition Services of Catawba County Social Services and is in need of volunteers to assist with the program between 8:30am and noon, Monday – Thursday. Please call 695-5617 if interested. In addition to SMO, Senior Nutrition Services operates Meals on Wheels and related programs in the county. Additional volunteers are urgently needed to deliver Meals on Wheels. You can volunteer as little as one and a half hours a month. The program is also conducting its annual fund-raising drive at this time. To find out more, contact Senior Nutrition at 828-695-5610 during regular business hours, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, except for holidays. For the latest updates, like their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/MealsonWheelsofCatawbaCounty, or visit their website at www.MealsonWheelsofCatawbaCounty.org.

Catawba County Senior Nutrition Services is a United Way funded partner. Catawba County United Way’s mission is to increase the organized capacity of people to help others by mobilizing the caring power of our community. For more information, locate us on Facebook, 828-327-6851 or www.ccunitedway.com

Full Circle Arts Calls For Artists

For My North Carolina, Feb. 22-24

Hickory - Full Circle Arts of Hickory is looking for artists in the greater Hickory area to enter work for a new themed exhibition entitled "My North Carolina: Personal Views of Life in our State". For our spring competition we decided to ask artists to explore their creativity try to depict what they feel about the place in which they live and how life here effects them, the people around them and the environment we all share as residents of North Carolina. The show will run from March 8 until April 14, 2018. We believe that this theme will be a draw to bring in the public to satisfy their innate curiosity about how artists interpret their home state, and maybe to get a glimpse of some aspect of their close surroundings which they would not otherwise view as a part of their everyday experience worthy of considering as subject for an artist's creative concentration.

We are pleased to announce the judge for this year will be Toni Carlton. Toni is a mixed media painter and the owner/director of Carlton Gallery for over 35 years in Grandfather Mtn. Community between Boone and Banner Elk, NC. The gallery features over 200 local, regional, and national artists working in all mediums and presents special exhibitions and many workshops for artists.

The show will be judged and juried for acceptance. We will be giving cash awards of $300, $200 and $100 for First, Second and Third place winners. Honorable Mentions will be awarded with ribbons. Artists are allowed to enter up to 3 works of art for a fee of $35 for non-members, $25 for patron and associate members and $10 for Exhibiting members. No work may be larger than 48" in any direction. All 2-D work must be framed or wrapped and properly wired for hanging. 3-D artwork must be on a base or pedestal. Artwork should be hand delivered to our gallery, 42-B Third Street NW, Hickory, Thurs. and Friday Feb.22 and 23, 11am-5pm and Sat., Feb. 24, 10am - 2pm.

We will have an opening reception for the show on Thursday, March 8, 2018 from 6:00 to 8:00 pm, where refreshments will be provided and awards presented.

Full Circle Arts will retain a 35% commission on any work sold for non-members, 30% for Associate Members and 20% for Exhibiting Members.

FCA is a non-profit artists’ cooperative located in downtown Hickory, 42-B Third Street NW. 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 info@fullcirclearts.org. Please visit our website at www.fullcirclearts.org.

Hickory PD’s Polar Plunge Is Set For Sat., Feb. 24 On Lake Hickory

Hickory - Want to get a warm fuzzy from something extremely cold? Come join us at the 13th Annual Polar Plunge!

The Hickory Police Department will be hosting the 13th Annual Polar Plunge on Saturday, February 24, 2018 to benefit the Special Olympics of North Carolina. The event will be held at the Wittenburg Wildlife Access on Lake Hickory. Registration will begin at 11:00am with the actual plunge being at 1:00pm. A minimum donations required to participate: $50.00 regular; $25,00 student; $150 family maximum (immediate family only). All plungers will receive a free Polar Plunge t-shirt. (Spectators can purchase t-shirts the day of the event.) To pre-register, contact Chrystal Dieter at cdieter@hickorync.gov/828-261-2642.

Register or donate at this link: https://give.classy.org/HickoryPolarPlunge

Warm campers will be available for changing clothes and coffee, hot chocolate, doughnuts will be offered as well for plungers. DJ Ryan Carswell will provide entertainment for the day.

Special thanks to our local businesses and organizations for their assistance in making this event a success: Krispy Kreme, Lake Hickory Scuba Center, Sunrise Camping Center, Sunbelt Rentals, DJ Ryan Carswell, Valley Rentals, Hickory Crawdads, Texas Roadhouse, Push America (Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity of Lenoir Rhyne University) Elk’s Lodge, Sheetz, Lamar Advertising and Cosmo Motors.

Follow our event on the Hickory Police Department Facebook page for more details as they become available. www.facebook.com/HickoryPoliceDepartment/

Guy Hollar Memorial Golf Tourney Is April 24 At Rock Barn

Hickory - College classmates of the late Rock Barn Golf Course Director of Grounds Guy Hollar announced the date of the annual Guy Hollar Memorial Golf Tournament for Tues., April 24, at Rock Barn Country Club in Conover, N.C. Two flights are scheduled to tee off: 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. in a captain’s choice format.

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

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

Registration for sponsors and teams is open through April 14. Visit www.cvcc.edu/GuyHollar for more information and to register.

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

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

For more information or to become a sponsor, reach Gerry Millholen (CVCC Turfgrass Class of ’74) at 828-455-2284 or at boats531@gmail.com, or Mary Reynolds, CVCC Alumni Director, 828-327-7000 ext. 4387, mreynolds@cvcc.edu.

Photo: Organizers of Catawba Valley Community College's annual Guy Hollar Memorial Golf Tournament announced the date of the 2018 Guy Hollar Memorial Golf Tournament. Pictured (from left) are Gerry Millholen, Class of '74; Jim Merritt, Class of '77; retired CVCC Turfgrass Program Director Harry DuBose; and Keith Rose, Class of '74.

Free History of Exodus Movement Classes Are Jan. 29-Feb. 26

Hickory - History of the Exodus Movement will be held Monday nights at 6:30pm, January 29 through February 26. The instructor will be Rev. Susan Walker.

Come and learn how Rev. Reggie Longcrier turned from a life of crime and drugs to be the man of God he is today. In this five part series, you will learn how the prison ministry was founded, how he became the Chaplain of Catawba Correctional Center, how we founded Exodus Missionary Outreach Church, how Exodus Homes was founded, how all three work together in what we call the Exodus Movement, and what the future holds for us.

Those who complete the five part series will receive a complimentary copy of Rev. Longcrier's autobiography "From Disgrace to Dignity." Light refreshments will be provided. The class is free. Please let us know if you plan to come: phone (828) 324-4870, www.exodushomes.org or on Facebook.

Exodus Homes, 122 8th Ave SW, Hickory, 28602.

 

HS Shakespeare Monologue Competition Deadline Is March 16

Lenoir, NC - High school students from traditional, home and private schools in Caldwell and contiguous counties (Burke, Catawba, Watauga, Avery, Alexander and Wilkes counties) are invited to participate in the 6th Annual High School Shakespeare Monologue Competition sponsored by the Caldwell Arts Council and Caldwell County Schools.

Over $1,000 in cash awards will be presented. Details for participation are on the website: www.caldwellarts.com/227-shakespeare-monologue-competition/. Caldwell County students should contact their school’s office ASAP to find the Shakespeare Monologue Competition coordinator in each school.

Private school, home school and other students from outside Caldwell County should register directly with the Caldwell Arts Council at 828-754-2486 or info@caldwellarts.com. Applications will be accepted now through March 16, 2018 – first come, first served on monologue selection. Monologues awarded will be posted immediately on that web page. The final competition will be held April 7, 2018, 1:30p.m. at the JE Broyhill Civic Center. For further information, please contact the Caldwell Arts Council at 828-754-2486 or visit www.caldwellarts.com

Community Relations Council Has Mar. 2 Deadline For Grants

Hickory - The City of Hickory Community Relations Council (CRC) is currently seeking projects to fund for the 2018-2019 fiscal year and is inviting qualified groups or individuals to consider submitting grant requests.

“The CRC continues to bring awareness about diversity and tolerance in the community through dialogue, education, programs, and resources,” said Clise Plant, Chair of the CRC. “Non-profit agencies, churches, institutions, schools, and individuals are invited to submit their programs, during our grant application process.”

The grant application should be completed in full, approved by the director of the agency, and submitted to the CRC, care of the address on the application. Applications are reviewed twice a year. The deadline for submitting for the spring 2018 grant cycle is Friday, March 2 at noon. Applicants may include any 501(c)(3) or otherwise tax exempt organizations.

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

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

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

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

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

Applications can be accessed online at www.hickorync.gov/content/community-relations-council.

For more information, please call staff liaison Chief Thurman Whisnant at the City of Hickory Police Department at (828) 261-2600 or email twhisnant@hickorync.gov.

Nominations Are Being Accepted Until March 1

For Children’s Protection Award For 2018

Conover, NC - Now is the time to submit nominations for the 2018 Children’s Protection Award. Previously known as the Hancock-Settlemyre Award, this award is presented yearly by the Children’s Advocacy & Protection Center.

The award honors the person, community group or business whose efforts have reduced family stress and improved the quality of family life, thereby reducing the risk of child abuse and neglect in Catawba County.

The nominee’s service to children must have been provided in Catawba County. The nominee must be recognized as directly responsible for improving the quality of life in the community.

Nomination forms can be downloaded at the CAPC’s website, which is catawbacountycapc.org. Applications must indicate whether the nomination is made for a community volunteer, or for a professional whose job includes working with or for children. One letter of recommendation from a person who is familiar with the nominee’s service must also be included. The letter must explain how and why the service rendered by the nominee is extraordinary. The nomination must also include a list of results related to the service provided by the nominee.

All nomination materials for the Children’s Protection Award must reach the Children’s Advocacy and Protection Center by March 1 at 5:00 pm.

If emailing, please send nomination forms to Connie Engart at cengart@catawbacountync.gov or mail to CAPC, 4360 County Home Road, Conover, NC 38613, Attn: Connie Engart. Nominations may also be faxed to the CAPC at 828-256-7711.

The CAPC advocates for the protection of the children of Catawba County by working to empower individuals through training and education, coordinate a comprehensive team response to abuse and neglect, and reduce victim trauma. For additional information about how you can learn to prevent and respond to suspected child abuse, go to the Children's Advocacy and Protection Center of Catawba County at www.catawbacountycapc.org or call 828-465-9296.

Women’s Resource Center Offers Free

Support Group At Two Times, Every Wednesday

Hickory - Area women needing a confidential and safe space to share their challenges and stories are invited to attend the ongoing Support Group at Women’s Resource Center that meets each Wednesday from 11:30am to 12:30pm or 1:30pm to 2:30pm.

Women attending the free support group facilitated by Millie Kaufman, RN, PhD, APRN, say that participating helps to foster a feeling of community among members and reduce isolation and shame. The goal is to increase confidence, resilience and coping skills.

“New members are welcome to attend any Wednesday,” said Kaufman. “The group’s intent is to create an enjoyable, supportive and compassionate environment wherein members can share their concerns and participate in discussions of shared life lessons and challenges. Through this method, members help each other to identify problems and discover solutions, learning along the way new coping skills and different perspectives.”

Women who suffer from anxiety, depression, “winter blues,” or over-whelming workload, will find a welcome at this group. Individuals do not need a clinical diagnosis to attend. “This is a regular place to share, grow, and learn among a sisterhood with shared experiences,” added Kaufman.

Call (828) 308-2232 for more information or attend any Wednesday. Women’s Resource Center is located at 125 Third St. NE, Hickory.

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

Close To Home Art Exhibit At Caldwell Arts, Feb. 2 - March 29

Lenoir, NC - The Caldwell Arts Council is pleased to announce the art exhibit “Close to Home” featuring work by the following artists:

Photography on display by Ron Schwartz (Lenoir NC; http://ronschwartzphoto.com),

Paintings by Chad Cole (North Augusta SC; http://www.chad-cole.com) and

Ron Schwartz - Price Lake

Portraits on recycled trash by Dion Hitchings (Milford NJ; http://www.dionhitchings.com).

The exhibit will be open to the public February 2-March 29, 2018. A meet-the-artists reception will be held February 2, 2018, 5-7pm, hosted by CCSAEOP (Caldwell County Schools Association of Educational Office Professionals. The exhibit and the reception are free and open to the public!

About The Artists

Ron Schwartz – “Landscapes Within Minutes of Lenoir”

Ron says, “I have always had a strong connection to the outdoors and natural places. In these days where people are growing up spending much less time outdoors than each previous generation, it is important for me to extol the benefits and beauty of our natural surroundings in the hope that they will be preserved. In my photography I look for strong compositions which consist of triangles, curves, and diagonal lines that will bring out the beauty of common scenes. I attended the Maryland School of Art and Design for two years in the late 70’s.”

Chad Cole

Chad Cole - Idols

Chad Cole is a contemporary painter whose work is inspired by the landscape, stories, and architecture of the Southern United States. His recent series of oil paintings explores the transformation of the landscape throughout Georgia, Tennessee, and the Carolinas, specifically how modern changes to agrarian life are physically manifested through the abandonment, destruction, and subsequent loss of agricultural and industrial architecture. The artist is constantly searching the backroads of the South for unique examples of Americana to use as subject matter in his paintings. Barns, textile mills, and vintage signs are a few of subjects that Chad often uses in his art work.

Dion Hitchings – “Portraits on Recycled Trash”

I purposely choose to use untraditional media. I create my works with various children’s art supplies including, crayons, magic markers, highlighters and colored pens. Using consumer boxes, discarded furniture and “trash” instead of traditional drawing surfaces has enabled me to break down pre-existing print, images, and textures while allowing the type and pictures from the recycled object to become organically part of the portrait.

About the Caldwell Arts Council:

The Caldwell Arts Council’s mission is to establish and maintain an awareness and appreciation of cultural arts in Caldwell County, to encourage participation in art events, and to offer various educational opportunities and administrative services in support of artists, arts agencies, and audiences. Located at 601 College Ave SW in Lenoir, operating hours are Tuesday-Friday 9am-5pm and Saturday 10am-2pm – free to the public. For more information, call 828-754-2486 or visit www.caldwellarts.com

Dion Hitchings - Goodbye Mrs. Bear

Town Of Hudson Announces Its 2018

Dinner Theatre Schedule And Auditions

Hudson, NC - The Town of Hudson has announced its 2018 Dinner Theatre Schedule.

The Southern Comedy, “The Savannah Sipping Society,” will be presented on Thursday through Saturday, April 12, 13, 14 and 19, 20 and 21, 2018 at the Hudson Uptown Building, (HUB), 145 Cedar Valley Road, Hudson, NC 28638.

This delightful Jones/Hope/Wooten comedy tells of four Southern women who meet and form a deep friendship as they develop their social skills in a laugh-a-minute script.

There is also poignancy as they care for each other through life’s traumas and challenges.

The cast is: Leanna Bodnar as Randa Covington, Cathy Stallings as Marlafaye Mosley, Carolyn Icard as Dot Haigler and Christy Rhianna Branch as Jinx Jenkins.

The fall production will be the Stephen Schwartz musical, “Children of Eden.” Schwartz is the composer of such popular, successful musicals as “Godspell,” “Pippin” and “Wicked.” “Children of Eden” tells the stories of Adam and Noah from the Book of Genesis in the Old Testament. It deals with such timeless, monumental issues as perfection, innocence, curiosity, free will, creativity, disobedience of children, sacrifice and redemption.

This show is ideal for church groups and is sure to provoke interesting philosophical discussions. At its face value, it is wonderful entertainment with great music. Auditions will be held within the next few months.

Performance dates for “Children of Eden” will be Thursday through Sunday, October 18, 19, 20 and 25, 26, 27, 2018.

For more information, please call the Town of Hudson offices at (828) 728-8272.

Caldwell Arts Council Seeks

Artists For 2019 Exhibitions

Lenoir, NC – The Caldwell Arts Council will accept portfolios from local and regional artists for possible exhibitions in 2019 at either our Caldwell Arts Council gallery (four exhibit opportunities ranging from 5 to 8 weeks) or at the Art-in-Healing Gallery (three 3-month long exhibit opportunities at Caldwell Memorial Hospital. Other exhibition sites may be available in 2019 as well.

All details for submitting your portfolio are available on our website at www.caldwellarts.com/157-guidelines/ and portfolios will be accepted through January 31, 2018.

About the Caldwell Arts Council

The Caldwell Arts Council is a regional arts center that presents art exhibits, educational opportunities and collection programs that foster the cultural arts in Caldwell County.

Our center is housed in an historic 100+ year old home. There are four gallery spaces that have been renovated as professional exhibit spaces. Exhibits range from contemporary to traditional and include 2-D and 3-D exhibitions.

The Art-in-Healing Gallery at Caldwell Memorial Hospital can hang up to 20 works of 2-D or 3-D wall artworks.

The Caldwell Arts Council exhibits artists from across the country and has a reputation for quality exhibits. For information on the gallery space or to see a list of upcoming exhibits please visit our website at www.caldwellarts.com.

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 and sponsorships.

Catawba County Public Health Urges You To

Lock Up Your Meds - Lock Boxes Are Offered

Hickory – Catawba County Public Health has partnered with North Carolina’s Lock Your Meds awareness campaign and has begun distributing materials urging residents to lock up medications to prevent people from accessing medications that aren’t prescribed to them.

This campaign is in direct response to the current opioid epidemic. Its objective is to raise awareness about the importance of assessing, disposing and securing prescribed medications properly to reduce access to them in the home. Public Health is asking parents, grandparents and other caregivers to initiate conversations with children and teens about using only medications that are prescribed to them, and are asking residents to be diligent about securing medications in the home.

Catawba County Public Health is working with community groups and organizations, such as the Catawba County library system and the county’s middle and high schools to distribute educational materials, and has a limited number of boxes residents can use to lock up medications. To find out if you can receive a lock box for free, contact Emily Killian at (828) 695-6637 or email ekillian@catawbacounty.gov. Boxes will be given out on a first-come, first-served basis. Preference will be given to families with teens or children in the home, to grandparents, and to people who would like to secure prescription medications, especially opioids. Educational materials are also available for distribution to community organizations.

The Lock Your Meds campaign is brought to Catawba County through the generous support of the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Mental Health, Developmental Disabilities and Substance Abuse Services, with funding from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Opioid STR/Cures (Grant#1H79TI080257) and SPF-RX (Grant # 1U79SP022087).

Catawba County Public Health promotes and protects the health of all Catawba County residents through preventive services, innovative partnerships, and community health improvement initiatives.

For more information, please call (828) 695-5800 or visit www.catawbacountync.gov/phealth.

Catawba County’s Senior Nutrition Services Annual

Fundraising Drive Is Now!

Hickory - Catawba County's Senior Nutrition Services is conducting its annual fundraising drive, which helps pay for Meals on Wheels and related programs in the county.

Senior Nutrition Services, a part of Catawba County Social Services, operates Meals on Wheels, Frozen Meals, Seniors Morning Out, and the Nutritional Supplement programs. Each of these programs is designed to give seniors the option to remain in their homes as long as possible.

"We rely heavily on donations from local individuals, churches, civic groups and businesses to help fund this program," explained Jan Shaffer, supervisor of Senior Nutrition Services. "We hope that our community will give the gift of meals to local seniors during this holiday season."

A gift in any amount is appreciated, she explained. A donation of $22 pays for one week of meals for a senior, $90 pays for one month of meals, and $1,054 pays for an entire year of meals. During Fiscal Year 2016-2017, a total of 1,528 seniors were served and 139,823 meals delivered through these programs.

Meals on Wheels delivers five meals a week to seniors who are unable to shop or prepare their own food, and have no one in their home who can do so. The meals are delivered by volunteers, who can volunteer as little as one day a month. It takes about an hour and a half to deliver meals on a Meals on Wheels route. More volunteers are urgently needed.

Frozen Meals are delivered to recipients who qualify for Meals on Wheels, but who do not live near a Meals on Wheels route. Frozen meals are picked up monthly by a friend, relative or volunteer. The Nutritional Supplement Program provides a case of Boost or Ensure once a month to seniors, who must obtain a note from their doctor.

Seniors Morning Out operates four mornings each week, except for holidays. There are five sites throughout the county where seniors meet to enjoy activities and a hot, balanced lunch. Keeping these seniors connected with their community has been shown to improve their health.

None of these programs is income based. Any Catawba County resident who is 60 or older may participate. Individuals, groups, or businesses may participate by volunteering or making a donation. Groups are encouraged to organize fund-raisers to benefit these programs, or to designate part of the proceeds from an existing fund-raiser. For more information about how to get involved, contact Jan Shaffer, supervisor of Senior Nutrition Services, at 828-695-5617.

To donate by check, make out your check to Catawba County Social Services and write "Senior Nutrition Services" in the memo line. Mail your check to: Senior Nutrition Services, P.O. Box 207, Newton, NC 28657. You may also donate securely online by going to mealsonwheelsofcatawbacounty.org and clicking on the red "Donate Now" button. To receive an acknowledgement letter for tax purposes, be sure to include your name and address.

For the latest updates on Catawba County's Senior Nutrition Programs, like "Meals on Wheels of Catawba County" on Facebook.

Catawba County Senior Nutrition Services is a United Way funded partner. Catawba County United Way’s mission is to increase the organized capacity of people to help others by mobilizing the caring power of our community. For more information, locate us on Facebook, 828-327-6851 or www.ccunitedway.com

 

Catawba Valley Community College Is Offering

A Variety Of Pottery Classes In 2018

Hickory - Catawba Valley Community College has set dates and pricing for 2018’s Continuing Education Pottery Classes.

 

Introduction to Pottery $166.25 (includes supplies)
03/21/2018-5/23/2018 W 6p-9p CVCC, REP 143
Evelyn Arnold - This is an introductory course designed to give students a hands-on educational and artistic experience using clay. Students will learn a variety of techniques, including handbuilding and wheel throwing with the potters’ wheel. Students will also gain experience with surface design and glazing, as well as loading and firing an electric kiln. All levels are welcome. No class on 4/4/2018 due to Easter holiday.

Pottery: Independent Study $166.25 (includes supplies)
03/22/2108-05/24/2018 TH 6p-9p CVCC, REP 143
Evelyn Arnold - This class is open to anyone with previous hand building or wheel experience. Students have the opportunity to work on individual clay projects of their choice and at their own pace to develop their skill level and personal style while receiving guidance from an instructor. Students will have full use of workshop facilities including glazes and kiln. No class 4/5/18 due to Easter holiday.

Supply fee covers kiln firings, glaze materials and 1 bag of clay. In addition, students must purchase a tool kit available at the CVCC Bookstore or local craft store. Students should bring a towel, apron, large sponge and a 5-gallon bucket to class. Dress in comfortable clothes that you do not mind getting dirty.

For questions about the courses contact Evelyn Arnold at earnold@cvcc.edu; to register email Cheri Toney at ctoney@cvcc.edu or contact the Continuing Education Department at 828.327.7037

Support Group For Women At WRC Each Wed., 11:30-12:30

Hickory - Area women needing a confidential and safe space to share their challenges and stories are invited to attend the ongoing Support Group at Women’s Resource Center that meets each Wednesday from 11:30am to 12:30pm.

Women attending the free support group facilitated by Millie Kaufman, RN, PhD, APRN, say that participating helps to foster a feeling of community among members and reduce isolation and shame. The goal is to increase confidence, resilience and coping skills.

“New members are welcome to attend any Wednesday,” said Kaufman. “The group’s intent is to create an enjoyable, supportive and compassionate environment wherein members can share their concerns and participate in discussions of shared life lessons and challenges. Through this method, members help each other to identify problems and discover solutions, learning along the way new coping skills and different perspectives.”

Women who suffer from anxiety, depression, “winter blues,” or over-whelming workload, will find a welcome at this group. Individuals do not need a clinical diagnosis to attend. “This is a regular place to share, grow, and learn among a sisterhood with shared experiences,” added Kaufman.

Call (828) 308-2232 for more information or attend any Wednesday. Women’s Resource Center is located at 125 Third St. NE, Hickory.

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

Hickory Choral Society’s 40th Anniversary Membership Drive

By Donald W. Mott
Hickory - The Hickory Choral Society is sponsoring its annual membership drive and hopes to have a record-breaking membership year to help celebrate its 40th anniversary. Memberships in the Hickory Choral Society represent approximately 65% of the organization’s budget, and support the Christmas, Spring, and Fall concerts, as well as special concerts, such as downtown Hickory's Singing Under the Sails, a children’s Cookies and Carols Christmas concert and occasional concerts such as those performed in Carnegie Hall or with the Western Piedmont Symphony. Memberships also support a Summer Camp for rising 4th through 6th graders, and a music lending library for the community. Admission to Hickory Choral Society concerts is free, but members receive vouchers for reserved seating at concerts, as well as admission to the annual membership reception, held after the Fall concert each year. Besides these tangible benefits, being a Hickory Choral Society member means supporting excellent choral music in our area, making the community a better place to live and a better place to do business.

Led throughout its entire 40-year history by Conductor J. Don Coleman, the Hickory Choral Society has earned a reputation for excellence, frequently attracting well-known guest conductors, such as Sir David Willcocks, Anton Armstrong, Dave Brubeck, Mack Wilberg, Elena Sharkova, and Dan Forrest. The Hickory Choral Society had a concert recorded and broadcast on UNC-TV; and thanks to a generous gift from the Millholland Foundation, commissioned the composition of a major work by Dan Forrest, Requiem for the Living, premiered by the Hickory Choral Society in 2013. The piece has become one of the most frequently performed choral works in the world, with hundreds of performances world-wide, including multiple performances at Carnegie Hall. Since its founding 40 years ago, the Hickory Choral Society has performed several hundred concerts in local venues such as Corinth Reformed Church and First Baptist Church in Hickory, as well as in Europe, in the Washington National Cathedral, and in Carnegie Hall in New York.

This year’s membership drive is unique because it is part of a set of events celebrating the Hickory Choral Society’s 40 years of bringing choral music to life in the Catawba Valley area. Other planned events include recording a commemorative CD, supported by a grant from the United Arts Council of Catawba County; hosting a reunion event for current and former singers; and dedicating a new rehearsal hall in the SALT Block, the Arts and Science Center of Catawba Valley.

The rehearsal hall was built as the result of a capital campaign supported by hundreds of community members, foundations and businesses. Reflecting on the Hickory Choral Society’s 40-year history, Coleman said, “It is the dedication and talent of the singers combined with the tremendous support of the community that has made Hickory Choral Society successful, and will continue to make us successful for the next 40 years.”

The Hickory Choral Society’s president, Thomas Griffis, said, “Singing in the Hickory Choral Society is a privilege and a joyous experience.” The word “joy” is frequently used by singers and audience members when describing the Hickory Choral Society. In fact, it is the thirst for joy, and the desire to bring joy to others, that ties all members of the Hickory Choral Society together.

Hickory Choral Society memberships start at $50 per year ($45 for seniors), make great gifts, and are available by calling the Hickory Choral Society office at (828) 322-2210, or by visiting the website at www.hickorychoralsociety.org.

(Donald W. Mott is Vice President of the Hickory Choral Society)
The Hickory Choral Society in concert

LRU Bear Essentials Food Pantry Will Help Ease Student Hunger

Hickory – Lenoir-Rhyne University recently opened the Bear Essentials Food Pantry to help serve an unknown population in need – its students.

Food insecurity, the lack of access to affordable, nutritious food, is an issue people from communities around the country face. According to a Hunger on Campus report in October 2016, it shows that the college campus hunger problem goes far beyond a few sad stories. It surveyed more than 3,000 students at a mix of 34 community and four-year colleges, finding that 48 percent experienced food insecurity. The report is authored by a collection of campus-based groups, including the College and University Food Bank Alliance, the National Student Campaign Against Hunger and Homelessness, the Student Government Resource Center, and the Student Public Interest Research Groups.

Locally, some LRU students face that same food insecurity.

“We are thankful for the opportunity to serve our college students,” said Jenny Smith, Associate Dean of Students and Director of the Cornerstone Student Support and Wellness Center. “Obviously, we wish our students didn’t have to live with food insecurity but we recognize that some do, and we are fortunate to be able to provide the pantry as a resource.”

The University food pantry is free for currently enrolled LRU students and operates solely on donations. Most needed food items include canned meats, peanut butter, jelly, boxed meals, and canned fruits and vegetables. The pantry also accepts donations for college-age student clothing, toiletries, feminine hygiene products, and laundry detergent.

“Students who use the Bear Essentials Food Pantry do not need to verify financial need, and we trust that students will use the food pantry only when they have a need for this resource,” Smith said. “We understand that some students who use the pantry will have a chronic need for food, while other students may only have a temporary need.”

The Bear Essentials Food Pantry is located in the Cornerstone Student Support & Wellness Center located at 735 8th Ave. NE. Donations are accepted on weekdays from 8am to 5pm with the exception of noon to 1pm.

For additional information on the Bear Essentials Food Pantry, call 828.328.7959.

Catawba Science Center’s American Adventure

Shows Life In US’ Early Years; Closes March, 2018

Hickory – Catawba Science Center is excited to announce its new featured exhibition, American Adventure. The exhibit, which opened September 22 and continues through March 4, 2018, brings to life early America in an exciting new way.

American Adventure puts visitors into the shoes of the original Jamestown colonists. This exhibition is located in CSC’s Carpenter Hall in the North Lobby and is sponsored by von Drehle Corporation. Reminiscent of one of the most popular video games of all time, Oregon Trail, this realistic role-play adventure presents one great challenge: To survive for one year. Sound easy? Think again…

Of the original 104 settlers who arrived in the spring of 1607, fewer than 40 survived the first twelve months. Visitors wind their way through interactive galleries in this challenging 2500 square foot maze, while struggling to overcome demands on their knowledge and decision-making skills. A telltale Life Chart hanging around each visitor’s neck reveals their health is starting to suffer. Earning or losing points at each turn of the maze, the goal is to make it past more than two dozen tests spread out over 4 seasons. Also featured in Carpenter Hall, are timeline pieces from the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences about the early settlers in America.

In addition to American Adventure in Carpenter Hall, there is a complementary Early America exhibit adjacent to the Naturalist Center including various artifacts, tools, and animal mounts from the time period. There is also a live eastern box turtle touch tank for visitors to enjoy.

Created by Seattle-based Minotaur Mazes and the Virginia Living Museum, American Adventure blends history, science, nature and fortune in a challenging interactive experience.

The cost to visit American Adventure is free to CSC Members and $1 in addition to general admission for non-members. There are several special programs and events in the works to accompany this featured exhibition, so be sure to check CSC’s website and facebook for updates.

American Adventure provides an illuminating window into the tough, bewildering natural landscape that bedeviled so many of America’s first English settlers. With a little luck, and most likely a few attempts, visitors may just make it out alive!

Catawba Science Center is located on the SALT Block at 243 3rd Ave NE, Hickory, NC. Visit www.CatawbaScience.org or call 828.322.8169 for hours, admission prices, and much more!

AARP Meets The First Tuesday, Monthly, At First Baptist Church

Hickory - The Hickory-Catawba Chapter of the AARP has its regular monthly meeting on the first Tuesday of each month in room 163 at the First Baptist Church, Hickory, NC.

Please use the entrance on First Avenue NW, entering through the double doors.

Our programs begin at 2pm with a social time and the meeting following at 2:30. People are invited to enjoy old-fashioned group singing and a time to meet and greet old friends and make some new friends. Each meeting consists of a program with differing types of presenters from library information, musical talent, tax information, Bingo; all of interest to the population of 50 in Catawba County and older.

For more information, call Kathy Miner at 828-256-0147.

Arthur Frymyer, Jr., Stocks Food Pantry And

Invites Those In Need To Help Themselves, 24/7

Hickory - There's a new food pantry in town. This one is the result of a NPR feature story Arthur Frymyer, Jr. heard on the radio. “The broadcast talked about needy folks feeling shame and judgment when asking for help at many traditional food banks,” says Frymyer. “Charity shouldn’t hurt.”

Taking his cue from a food bank idea mentioned in the article, Frymyer came up with a similar plan. The food pantry is housed in a shallow shed-like structure outside of his church, A Place to Talk (1546 Brookford Church Road, Hickory) under the left portico as you face the church. It is self-serve, open to everyone, and available 24/7.

“If someone needs food they just come get it. If people wish to donate food they can come by any time and leave food (canned or dried goods) on the shelves.” The process involves no applications, no rejection and no shame.

Presently Frymyer is working to get the word out to both those who might want to benefit from the food the pantry houses and those who might be willing to contribute food. One additional need is for signage so people can find the food pantry easily. If anyone is willing to help with that expense they can get in touch with him.

Frymyer is excited about the potential to help others in need and for the opportunity it presents for people to give back.

“Just neighbors helping neighbors.” Isn’t that the way it should be?

Toastmasters Club Meets At Transportation Insight, Thursdays

Hickory - Catawba Valley Toastmasters Club meets every Thursday, 6-7pm, at the new Transportation Insight Corporate Campus (two story brick building with large glass windows) at the corner of 127 North & 1st Ave, SE, in Hickory, the actual address is 310 SE Main AVE Way Hickory, NC 28602.

They meet at the back entrance on the north and east side of the building - the “3rd Street SE” end of the building. The entrance door will be to the far left, (facing the building), the NE corner. Look for the collection of cars parked and the Toastmasters sign in the door.

Meetings help to effectively formulate, organize and express your ideas to others. Do you want to be more confident in public speaking or giving presentations? Become the speaker and leader you want to be. Open to public.

http://catawba.toastmastersclubs.org/

Email for more info: vppr-649666@toastmastersclubs.org

First United Methodist Church Offers Free & Low-Cost Classes

Hickory - First United Methodist Church of Hickory has the following FREE Health and Wellness programs available to the community.

"Inflammation and Your Diet" Educational program given by Holley Dagenhardt, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist. Learn dietary strategies that may help decrease inflammation in your body. Thursday, May 25, 6:30pm in Scout Room.

Zumba every Tuesday evening at 5:45pm. This class is a low-moderate intensity level.

Females in Action is an outdoor, peer-led workout with varying levels of intensity and modified to meet your needs. These workouts are offered Wednesday and Friday mornings at 5:30am-6:15am meeting in the parking lot of First UMC of Hickory. Friday mornings at 9:30am at Glenn Hilton park. Saturday mornings at 8:00am in the parking lot of First UMC.

Hopeful Heart Yoga on Monday evenings from 6:30pm-7:30pm. A time for gentle stretch and flow yoga. Increase flexibility and gain balance. Suggested donation of $1-$2.

For more information contact First UMC of Hickory at 828-322-6058, located at 311 3rd Ave. NE, Hickory, 28601.

In Hickory, First Step Domestic Violence Services Helps Victims

Hickory – If you were the victim of domestic violence, would you know where to find help? Would you even realize that you were being abused?

Surprisingly, some victims do not realize that domestic partners who insult, humiliate, push, kick, slap or threaten them are being abusive, according to Ann Peele, executive director of the Family Guidance Center. This may be because the victim has had her self-confidence destroyed and feels she is causing the problem. The victim may have been raised in an abusive household and may consider such behavior normal. The victim may also be afraid to take action because she fears the abuser or because of financial concerns. For these reasons, domestic violence victims often feel trapped.

The good news is that there is a way out. First Step Domestic Violence Services offers information, counseling and also a shelter that provides a safe place to live while the woman is rebuilding her life and preparing for the future. First Step is a service of the Family Guidance Center, one of the oldest non-profit agencies in the county. It was founded in 1958 to provide the first counseling and mental health services in the county. Over the years, the Family Guidance Center has grown to offer numerous other services, including First Step Domestic Violence Services.

Peele, who has been the Director at the Family Guidance Center since 1985, has seen an increase in the amount of domestic violence as well as an increase in its severity. In the past 13 months, there have been six homicides resulting from domestic violence in Hickory. Another death in the county may have been the result of domestic violence. Domestic violence hurts the entire family, she said. For example, the six homicides in the past 13 months have left eight children without a parent to care for them. Even if they are not themselves abused, children who witness domestic violence in their homes often experience long-term negative consequences.

First Step offers three major services. It provides a shelter for abused women and their children. The shelter can accommodate up to 20 people, but the number depends on the family groups’ composition, since mothers are housed together with their children. Court accompaniment/advocacy is provided to any victim using legal remedies.

First Step also provides a class for women called Life Skills that includes information about domestic violence and what to do about it. Sometimes, when Child Protective Services social workers investigate a report of child abuse, they discover that the woman in the home is also being abused. However, the woman may have become so accustomed to the situation that she may not recognize that she is a victim too. First Step also has a yearlong treatment program for male abusers.

Last year, First Step served over 1,500 persons through its three programs. About 150 of them were served by the domestic violence shelter. Some domestic violence victims served by First Step counseling do not have to leave home due to a court order removing the abuser from the home. In other cases, the victim is able to move in with a friend or relative.
Women who spend time at the shelter are coached in independent living skills and receive counseling to help them deal with the abuse. The goal is to help them heal and prepare them for life on their own, Peele said. Services are also available to male victims of domestic violence, although they report it far less often.

According to First Step, victims of domestic abuse are often:
Emotionally or financially controlled.
Called humiliating names or cursed.
Threatened, pushed or shoved.
Slapped, hit, kicked, beaten or stalked.
Persons who feel they need help with domestic violence may call 828-322-1400. After hours and on weekends, call 828-228-1787.

The Family Guidance Center is a non-profit organization that serves Catawba County with individual and family counseling, consumer credit counseling and domestic violence services. Counseling services are offered on a sliding fee scale. The First Step shelter for abused women never charges a fee for its services. The Family Guidance Center is a partner agency with the United Way of Catawba County. It also relies heavily on donations to continue its important work. For more information about services offered, or how you can help support the Family Guidance Center, go to www.fgcservices.com, or call 828-322-1400. For the latest updates, like the center on Facebook at www.facebook.com/thefamilyguidancecenter.

You may also help support First Step Domestic Violence Services by shopping at or donating items to the Purple Ribbon Thrift Store, located at 360 Highway 70 SW Hickory. The phone number there is 828-322-3423. All proceeds from sales at the store benefit First Step’s shelter for battered women.

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

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

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

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

Catawba Co. Public Health Offers Women Free Or

Low Cost Breast & Cervical Cancer Screenings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

· Uninsured or underinsured

· Without Medicare Part B or Medicaid

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

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

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

·Must reside in Catawba County

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

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

Can You Help? Women’s Resource Center

Needs Items For Emergency Pantry

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

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

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

Donations can be dropped off at Women's Resource Center between 9AM and 4PM, Monday thru Thursday. For more information on our Emergency Pantry, visit http://www.wrchickory.org/product-pantry/

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SAFE Connect Offers Resource Website To Assist Homeless

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Caregiver Support Program Offers Local Families A Break

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Humane Society Seeks Foster Parents For Special Animals

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

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

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

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

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

Family Guidance Center Offers Support, Insight On Verbal Abuse

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

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

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

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

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

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

Does your partner discount your opinions or experiences?

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

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

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

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

Facts which generally apply to verbal abuse:

Verbal abuse tends to be secretive.

Verbal abuse tends to increase over time.

Verbal abuse discounts your perception of reality and denies itself.

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

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

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

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

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
director@wrchickory.org.

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 gsmith@caldwellcountync.org

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
sandy.freeman@dhhs.nc.gov

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

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

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

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
tammy.loukos@dhhs.nc.gov

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 marian.corn@dhhs.nc.gov
marian.corn@rutherfordcounty.nc.gov

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 @
http://www.ncdhhs.gov/dsb/contacts/swcontactbycounty

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 www.postadoptionsuccesscoach.org or call 828-695-4428. The Child Wellbeing Project and Success Coach Post-Adoption Services are a service of Catawba County Social Services.

Hickory’s Angel of Hope House Requests Help

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

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

Items Needed:

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

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

Volunteers Needed To Deliver Meals On Wheels

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

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

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

For more information about these programs, and how you can help, go to www.catawbacountync.gov/dss/adult/nutrition.asp or find the Meals on Wheels of Catawba County program on Facebook at www.facebook.com/#!/MealsOnWheelsOfCatawbaCounty.

How To Get Your Event In Focus

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

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

Health-Care Pro Discusses The Many Warning

Signs And How To Spot A Victim Of Domestic Violence

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

“That means most of us – while grocery shopping, at work or at home – come across several women a day who have either been abused, or are currently enduring abuse,” says Linda O’Dochartaigh, a health professional and author of Peregrine (www.lavanderkatbooks.com). “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:

www.TheHotline.org, National Domestic Violence Hotline, open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, 1-800-799-SAFE (7223)

www.HelpGuide.org, provides unbiased, advertising-free mental health information to give people the self-help options to help people understand, prevent, and resolve life’s challenges

www.VineLink.com, 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

www.DAHMW.org, 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 www.catawbacountync.gov/dss/f&csvs/familyfinders.asp
Or contact Sean Jarman at 828-695-2134 or sjarman@catawbacountync.gov

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: www.findingforgiveness.blogspot.com/2009/01/martin-luther-king-on-forgiveness.html.

Click Here To Go Back To Page 1 Of Local News

 



 

 

 

BannerEventAd-01.jpg   BannerEventAd-01.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 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. © 1978 - 2018 Tucker Productions, Inc.