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Claremont Parks & Recreation’s Annual Scaremont Is Sat., Oct. 29

Claremont, NC - The Claremont Parks & Recreation Committee is having its 5th annual Scaremont Haunted Park & Hay Rides on Saturday, October 29th. The first part of the event begins at 5pm, and everything takes place at 7pm at 3384 East Main Street, Claremont, in the City Park. The event is FREE admission for everyone and features free inflatables for the kids from 5pm - 8pm, along with free hay rides. Then from 7pm - 11pm (free admission) Scaremont Haunted Park opens and the hay rides continue!

Also the event features free hotdogs & drinks from 5pm - 11pm (while supplies last).

For more information contact Roger Shook at 828-459-0571. Find us on Facebook at

Mel’s Jingle Run 5K December 3 Benefits Hickory Soup Kitchen

Hickory – The 2nd Annual Mel’s Jingle Run will be held in Downtown Hickory on Saturday, December 3. The race is a festive 5K that helps feed the hungry in our local community and supports Gold Star families across the nation. Mellow Mushroom Hickory and owner Leslie Knapp are teaming up with local partners to organize this 5K, scheduled for Saturday, December 3 at 9 a.m. in Downtown Hickory. Proceeds will go to Operation 300 and to the Hickory Soup Kitchen.

Operation 300 is a non-profit organization that hosts adventure camps for children who have lost their fathers as a result of military service and seeks to honor the families of the Fallen. This cause is personal to race co-organizer, Sarah Prencipe. Having lost her brother-in-law in a Coast Guard helicopter crash, she has witnessed the hardship of her sister and two young nephews dealing with the death of a husband and father. Operation 300 has provided them much needed encouragement and inspiration. Not only do the kids have fun at camp, but they also bond with other kids who have experienced the same tragedy. For these Gold Star children to realize that they are not alone is a huge source of comfort.

Mellow Mushroom nationally sponsors the No Kid Hungry campaign. Locally, Leslie Knapp supports efforts to fight hunger in our community, through organizations like the Hickory Soup Kitchen. The Soup Kitchen is a staple in Catawba County and is a beacon for the homeless and underemployed. In one year alone, they served 46,336 people and 70,818 plates of food. They open their doors to the neediest in the community and Mel’s Jingle Run is striving to reflect that generosity.

Last year’s race was a great success, raising over $13,000, thanks to generous sponsors and participants. Once again, we are seeking the community’s support to make Mel’s Jingle Run a fun community event, while also helping our impoverished neighbors and honoring Gold Star families across the nation.

For additional information about sponsorship levels, please contact Sarah Prencipe at (828) 446-4248 or email To register as a race participant, sign up at

Vitality Surgical Clinic’s Red Carpet Grand

Opening Benefits Mending Kids, November 12

Hickory - Vitality Anti-Aging Center announces the opening of Vitality Surgical Clinic with a day of Hollywood glamour all day on Saturday, November 12! Enjoy champagne cocktails and hors d’oeuvres while bidding on amazing silent auction items to benefit Mending Kids charity.

Meet our surgeons Dr. McCoy Moretz and Dr. Robert Rey, the real Dr. 90210! We will also have star representatives from VaserLipo High Def, Coolsculpting Advantage, Allergan, ZO Skin Health, Skin Medica, and Jane Iredale and offering award winning discounts and Hollywood Swag Bags.

Mending Kids gives sick kids life-saving surgical care while advancing education and training towards medical self-sufficiency in their communities around the world. Most of the surgeries provided correct congenital heart defects, orthopedic abnormalities, severe scoliosis, urological defects, and facial deformities.

Vitality Surgical Clinic is located at 74 8th Street SE, Suite 101, Hickory, NC 28602. This event is free to attend, but registration is required.

Please call 828-322-1498 to register by November 1st.

History Channel’s American Pickers Headed To NC This Fall

Mike Wolfe, Frank Fritz, and their team are excited to return to North Carolina! They plan to film episodes of the hit series AMERICAN PICKERS throughout the region this fall.

AMERICAN PICKERS is a documentary series that explores the fascinating world of antique ‘picking’ on History.

Frank & Mike, American Pickers

The hit show follows Mike and Frank, two of the most skilled pickers in the business, as they hunt for America’s most valuable antiques.

They are always excited to find sizeable, unique collections and learn the interesting stories behind them.

As they hit the back roads from coast to coast, Mike and Frank are on a mission to recycle and rescue forgotten relics. Along the way, the Pickers want to meet characters with remarkable and exceptional items. The pair hopes to give historically significant objects a new lease on life, while learning a thing or two about America’s past along the way.

Mike and Frank have seen a lot of rusty gold over the years and are always looking to discover something they’ve never seen before. They are ready to find extraordinary items and hear fascinating tales about them. AMERICAN PICKERS is looking for leads and would love to explore your hidden treasure. If you or someone you know has a large, private collection or accumulation of antiques that the Pickers can spend the better part of the day looking through, send us your name, phone number, location and description of the collection with photos to: or call 855-old-rust.

AMERICAN PICKERS is produced by Cineflix Productions for History. New episodes air Wednesdays at 9pm EST on History.

Newton Elks Lodge #2042 Hosting Leagon/Britt Golf Tourney Nov. 4

Newton, NC - Newton Elks Lodge #2042 announced that they will host the 3rd Annual John Leagon & Fred Britt Memorial Golf Tournament on Friday, November 4th at the Lincoln Country Club in Lincolnton, North Carolina.

The tournament honors Leagon and Britt, loyal and popular members of the Newton Elks Lodge #2042 for many years. The format for the tournament is captain’s choice with four players per team. A shotgun start is scheduled at 12 noon with registration and lunch beginning at 11 A.M..

Cost to play in the tournament is $80 per player or $320 per team. Entry fee includes 18 holes of golf, cart, lunch, golfers gifts, one mulligan, one skirt shot, and discount beers on the course. Additional mulligans and skirt shots will be sold the day of the event for $10 each. Prizes, sponsor recognitions, and a cash bar reception will be held at the Newton Elks Lodge #2042 after the tournament.

A donation will be made in the memory of John Leagon and Fred Britt to the Catawba Regional Hospice and the American Heart Association.

Team registration forms and corporate/individual sponsorship opportunities are available at the Newton Elks Lodge #2042, West J Street, in Newton. For information, please call Newton Elks Lodge at 828-464-1360, Adam Hodge (828) 310-7928 or Bryan Williams (828) 310-2961.

CRC’s Family Movie Night On Thurs., Oct. 20,

Supports Hunger Relief Through PORCH

Hickory – The Community Relations Council (CRC) is hosting the annual Family Movie Night, which supports PORCH (People Offering Relief from Community Hunger).

The mission of the CRC is to promote positive relationships within the community through dialogue, education, programs and resources. The Family Movie Night annual event does just that by bringing the community together for this event, but, in addition, the event allows the community and the members of the commission to support a great organization and those in need by bringing can goods as an entrance fee.

“The CRC annual Family Movie Night not only supports a great cause and need in the community, but it is also a great time for families to come together and enjoy a night at the movies,” said Chief Thurman Whisnant, CRC staff liaison. “The CRC is delighted to partner with PORCH for this event.”

This year, the Family Movie Night is on Thursday, October 20, at the Carolina Theatre in Downtown Hickory. The doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the movies start at 7 p.m. Everyone is encouraged to arrive early, as the first 425 will be seated and the first 300 people will receive a free popcorn voucher. The movies being shown include It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown and Alvin and the Chipmunks Halloween Collection. The admission price is a donation of two cans of food, which will be donated to PORCH to be distributed to those in need in the Hickory area.

While the admission price is two cans of food, the CRC will gladly accept additional canned goods, as well as cereal, rice, macaroni, peanut butter, jelly, spaghetti, and spaghetti sauce.

For more information, please call staff liaison, Chief Thurman Whisnant, at the City of Hickory Police Department, at (828) 261-2696 or email

Oxford Firemen’s Fish Fry Is Sat., Nov. 5, 11am-7pm

Claremont, NC - The Oxford Firemen’s Fish Fry will be at the Oxford Fire Department Station 1, 5688 Oxford School Road on Saturday, November 5, from 11 am – 7 pm.

The take-out line will close at 5pm. Take-outs will be available through eat-in line after 5pm. Price is Adults, $10; children 12 & under, $6 and all take-outs are $10.

Come and support your fire department.

Catawba FD’s Ribeye Steak Dinner Benefit Is Sat., Oct. 22

Catawba, NC - The Catawba Fire Department’s Ribeye Steak Dinner benefit is Saturday, October 22, 4pm – until. The prices are $13 for adult and take out orders; $6 for child under 10 (no take outs).

Ribeye Steak grilled to order comes with choice of baked potato or french fries, salad, roll, dessert, tea/coffee. Please come support our fundraiser

The Dinner will be at the Catawba Fire Department, call 828.241.4955 to place take-out orders.

Morganton Actor Propst Returns To HCT Nov. 4 In The Flick

Hickory - Accomplished actor Joshua Propst makes his return to the Hickory stage as Sam in “The Flick,” a dramatic comedy centered around three “millennials” who work at a run-down movie theatre in Massachusetts.

Propst, who studied Theatre at Lenoir-Rhyne University, his last stage role in Hickory was Richard in “The Lion in Winter,” but he hasn’t been idle in the meantime. Just last month he played Lord Illingworth in Oscar Wilde’s “A Woman of No Importance” with Foothills Performing Arts. During the daylight hours he is the grocery manager at the Food Matters Market in Morganton.

Performances of “The Flick” are November 4th through 20th in the Firemen’s Kitchen at Hickory Community Theatre. Tickets are $16 and go on sale October 10th. Call 828-327-3855 or click

The Hickory Community Theatre is a Funded Affiliate of the United Arts Council of Catawba County. The Flick is the first Firemen’s Kitchen show in the Theatre’s 68th season, sponsored by Paramount Automotive and A Cleaner World, and is produced by Robert Abbey, Inc.

Josh Propst

Photo: Joshua Propst plays one of three harried movie theatre employees in “The Flick,” opening November 4th in the Firemen’s Kitchen at Hickory Community Theatre. Call 828-327-3855 or click Photo is by John Koval, shot on location at the Carolina Theater in Downtown Hickory.

Downtown Haunted Statesville Tours Oct. 21/22 & 28/29

Statesvile, NC - Haunted Statesville is a walking ghost tour full of old stories and legends from Statesville’s past. Step beyond the beauty of Statesville’s historic downtown and discover its true haunted history--where tales of spirits, scary creatures, mysterious deaths and creepy alleys become real. Tours run October 21-22 & October 28-29, 2016 every half hour between 6:30 – 8:30 pm. Tickets are $10 per person. Reservations are required for a specific time. Purchase your tickets online at For additional information, contact DSDC at 704-878-3436 or email:

What You Need To Know

This is a guided walking tour covering a number of blocks throughout the downtown area

Guests are encouraged to wear comfortable shoes and clothing appropriate for outdoor weather

Parking is available in the City Hall parking lot, Vance Hotel parking lot and on the streets

Each tour takes from 75 – 90 minutes and departs promptly on the hour and half hour.

Guests should arrive 10-15 minutes before their scheduled tour time.

Tours begin at the City Hall (227 S. Center Street) on the corner of East Front and South Center Streets

Tickets are $10 each and must be paid for in advance

Tickets may be purchased online at or in person at Downtown Statesville Development Corporation (112 S. Center Street)

No coolers or alcoholic beverages will be permitted

Guides will have lanterns; guests may bring small flashlights

In case of inclement weather, tour dates will be rescheduled

No refunds will be allowed for unused tickets

This event is sponsored by Downtown Statesville Development Corporation (DSDC) and the City of Statesville. For additional information, contact DSDC at 704-878-3436 or email

Stanley Creek Massacre 5 & 10K Is Sat., October 22, In Stanley

Stanley, NC - Gaston County Parks and Recreation will be holding the Eighth Annual Stanley Creek Massacre 5K and 10K race on October 22, 2016 in downtown Stanley. The race will begin at 8 am at Kiser Elementary 311 E College St. Stanley, NC. Register before October 14, 2016 for the early bird special, $10 for youth and $20 for adults, registrations received after that will be $15 for youth and $25 for adults and race day registration is available. You can find the registration form online at the Gaston Parks and Recreation website at or on-line registration is available at For more information call 704.922.2164.

Gospel Singing In The Park On Sunday, Oct. 30, 2:30pm

Newton, NC – The Newton Parks and Recreation Department will sponsor Gospel Singing in the Park on Sunday, Oct. 30, at the Southside Park Amphitheater from 2:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. The celebration aims to create awareness of all religions. The program will include many types of gospel music from different groups.

If you would like to perform in Gospel Singing in the Park, gather your church groups, praise dancers, bands or anyone with talent to share. Food and craft vendors are also welcome. The deadline for performers and vendors is 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28. Attendees are invited to bring their families and friends and set up lawn chairs for an evening of fellowship and song. For more information or to participate contact Charles James, Program Coordinator, at 828-695-4317 or 828-217-4446.

Foothills Painters’ Exhibit At HMA Is October 15 Through Feb. 12

Hickory - The members of Foothills Painters, a long standing group of artists who come together on a monthly basis for discussion about art and to critique each other's work, would like to announce their upcoming exhibition Different Strokes by Different Folks at the Hickory Museum of Art. The show will be on exhibit in the Regal and Gifford Galleries of the museum from October 15, 2016 - February 12, 2017.

This opportunity for the group to display their work at HMA has been long awaited and the public can expect to see some extremely fine and varied work. The members of the Foothills Painters come from Catawba County and the surrounding counties of Burke, Caldwell and Alexander. Our work spans several different media, but as our name implies, we are all painters. The public is invited to come and meet the artists at the opening reception Friday, October 21 from 6:00 - 7:30 PM. Refreshments are provided by the group. Visit us online at

Humane Society Offers $35 Feral Cat Packages In October

Hickory - In honor of National Feral Cat Day on October 16th, Humane Society of Catawba County is offering $35 Feral Cat Packages paid for in October. HSCC will also continue to offer the “Frequent Feral Program”. When you purchase 5 Feral Cat Packages, you get the 6th free. “HSCC wants to help the feral population in Catawba County and surrounding areas, and our foremost concern is spaying and neutering”, stated Jane Bowers, executive director at HSCC. “Numerous individuals in our community are also dedicated to helping the feral cat population, and for that we are grateful. Hundreds of thousands of kittens won't be struggling on the streets or in the woods without a loving family to care for them. National figures estimate the number of feral cats in the US run into the tens of millions” said Bowers.

Feral cats are not to be confused with stray or abandoned cats.

Feral cat in humane trap

A feral cat has either never had any contact with humans, or their contact with humans has greatly diminished over time.

A feral cat is not socialized, and most individuals must use humane traps in order to catch them and care for them.

“The old school of thought was to trap and euthanize feral colonies, but statistics have shown that colonies will eventually re-establish themselves. The most humane approach is TNR, or Trap, Neuter, Return. Feral colonies have been a great concern to those of us in the animal welfare field,” added Bowers. At HSCC and Foothills Spay/Neuter Clinic, feral cat surgeries are performed Monday-Thursday. Feral cats must arrive for surgery in a humane trap. The $35 fee includes surgery, a Rabies vaccination, a Distemper vaccination and an ear tipping. A tipped ear is the universal symbol of a sterilized and vaccinated feral cat. Any requested blood work is an additional fee. For more information, or to purchase a Feral Cat Package, please call HSCC at (828) 464-8878, Monday through Saturday, 11am-6pm. HSCC and Foothills Spay/Neuter Clinic services are available to any member of the public and are not limited to residents of Catawba County.

October Seniors Morning Out Has Sigmon

Stringers Concert & Mountain Wit And Grit Show

Hickory – Participants in Seniors Morning Out will enjoy a concert by the Sigmon Stringers bluegrass band and a presentation on “Mountain Wit and Grit” by Mike Reno Harrell in the month of October.

The programs by the Sigmon Stringers and Mike Reno Harrell are supported by a grant from the United Arts Council of Catawba County through the North Carolina Arts Council, with funding from the State of North Carolina and the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art.

The Sigmon Stringers is a three-generation bluegrass band from Newton. The original band members -- Clinton Sigmon and his two sons Randy and Mark, and lifelong friend Ray Barger -- have been performing since the early 70s. They performed with bluegrass pioneers such as Bill Monroe, Lester Flatt, Jimmy Martin and Ralph Stanley. The children of Randy and Mark Sigmon have also joined the group, adding a banjo, mandolin, guitar and vocals.

Michael Reno Harrell is an award-winning songwriter and veteran storyteller and entertainer. His knack for storytelling, in print, song and spoken word has earned him praise from not only in the music community, but also from the literary and storytelling worlds. Seniors Morning Out is a half day of activities Monday through Thursday.

Sigmon Stringers

It is free and also includes a balanced hot lunch. The program is offered at five convenient locations throughout the county. It is open to any Catawba County resident who is 60 or better. However, registration is required at least 48 hours in advance. If you wish to attend any of these programs, please contact the site supervisor to reserve your place. Bus transportation is available in some locations for seniors who do not drive. A few of the program highlights are as follows.

At West Hickory SMO, located at the West Hickory Senior Center, 400 17th St. SW, Hickory: Oct. 10, “Elvis Returns!” program with Ed Smith, Elvis tribute artist; Oct. 12, Mountain Wit and Grit with Mike Reno Harrell, Storyteller and Song Writer; Oct. 20, Shopping at Walmart followed by “Yippee for Safety” with Terri Byers, fire education coordinator; Oct. 27, Travel to East Hickory site to enjoy a concert by bluegrass band the Sigmon Stringers. If you wish to attend, please call Lisa Adams at 828-323-8746.

At East Hickory SMO, located at Huntington Hills Church of God, 2123 Fifth St. NE, Hickory: Oct. 4, The Path to Independence by Randy Vanderbilt portraying Patrick Henry; Oct. 6, Ed Smith as Elvis Presley; Oct. 12, Joining West Hickory SMO for “Mountain Wit and Grit: with Mike Reno Harrell; Oct. 19, Nutrition of Pumpkins and Making Pumpkin Dip; Oct. 27, Performance by the Sigmon Stringers bluegrass band. To reserve your spot, call Rita Pritchard at 828-320-5963.

At the Newton SMO, located at First Presbyterian Church, 701 N. Main St., Newton: Oct. 11, walk and stretch followed by hangman game or crafting glow-in-the-dark pumpkins; Oct. 18, Music by Sentimental Journey; Oct. 25, Breast Cancer Awareness by Kim Atkinson of Catawba Valley Medical Center; Oct. 27, Travel to Huntington Hills Church of God to hear the Sigmon Stringers. To reserve your place, call Robyn Curtis at 828-455-4133.

Mike Reno Harrell

At the Maiden SMO, located at the Maiden Community Center at the corner of East Second Street and Klutz Street in Maiden: Oct. 5, Are You Diabetic? And How to Control Diabetes, with Robin Tallent of Catawba Valley Medical Center; Oct. 13, Corn hole and group walking; Oct. 18, Blood pressure checks with Ruby Radford of Interim Health Care and “On this day in history”; Oct. 25: Music by Sentimental Journey; Oct. 27, travel to Huntington Hills Church of God in Hickory to hear the Sigmon Stringers bluegrass band. To reserve your place, contact Loretta Hefner at 828-320-5966.

At the Catawba SMO, located at Center United Methodist Church at 4945 Sherrills Ford Road, Catawba: Oct. 5, Music by Sentimental Journey; Oct. 13, Making Fall Pumpkin Dip; Oct. 19, Shopping at the Dollar Tree in Hickory and Lunch at the Snack Bar; Oct. 26, Blood pressure checks by Jackie Saunders of Bayada Home Health; Oct. 27, Travel to the Huntington Hills Church of God to hear the Sigmon Stringers. To reserve your place, call Wendy Thomas at 828-320-0434.

Seniors Morning Out is operated by Senior Nutrition Services of Catawba County Social Services. 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. 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.

For the latest updates, like their Facebook page at, or visit their website at

Newton Parks & Rec Fall Yard Sale Is Saturday, October 22

Newton, NC – If you’d like to get rid of some clutter while making some extra cash, sign up today for the Newton Parks and Recreation Department’s Fall Yard Sale.

The sale will be 6:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 22, at Southside Park, which is located at 1775 Southwest Blvd., behind the National Guard Armory.

Booth spaces are available for $10 per person. Booth sizes are 12 feet by 12 feet. Space is limited, so sign up now to guarantee your booth space. The registration deadline for interested participants is 5 p.m. Friday, Oct. 14.

No home-baked goods may be sold, but prepackaged food will be allowed.

For more information and to register, please call Charles James, Program Coordinator, at 828-695-4350 or 828-217-4446.

Hickory Elks Lodge #1654’s Backpack Program

Asks For Donations To Feed Kids In Catawba Co.

Hickory – Hickory Elks Lodge #1654 annual food and funds drive for the Catawba County Backpack Program is well underway! This very important community program serves our children from elementary school to high school by providing a backpack full of healthy food for the weekend throughout the school year. The Backpack Program relies on donations from local individuals, churches, businesses and service organizations. Their sole mission is to remove hunger as a barrier to good education and reduce the impact of poverty on children and families.

This is the Hickory Elks 5th Annual Backpack Program Drive. The Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks of the United States of America serve the people and communities through benevolent programs, demonstrating that “Elks Care and Elks Share.” “The Backpack Program touched our hearts a couple years ago as we hope that it does yours. Sometimes we forget how much need there is in our own community. 100% of your donation goes directly toward feeding the children,” said Carole Anderson, Committee Chair for the Elks Lodge Backpack Program. Last year the Elks exceeded their $17,000 goal by donating over $23,000 in food and funds to the program. Food donations are accepted through September and October at the Elks Lodge along with monetary donations. You can drop off donations Mon – Thur any time after 3PM and Fri – Sun after 1PM. A $120 donation will sponsor a child for an entire school year.

The culmination of the Elks collection efforts ends with a dinner and dance evening. This year’s event will feature a “BBQ Chicken Dinner Night” with Entertainment by The Rhythm Masters. The event will be held November 5th at 6PM at the Hickory Elks Lodge at 356 Main Ave NW. Tickets are $10 each and can be purchased from any Elk member or directly from the Elks Lodge. Take out dinners will be available. The community is welcome to join the event and get in on the Silent Auction and Door Prizes.

To find out more information about the event being held at The Hickory Elks Lodge and to donate to The Catawba County Backpack Program with the Elks please contact Committee Chair, Carole Anderson at or call the Elks Lodge at 828-312-7476.

Rescue Ranch Fall Fun Days Every Saturday In October

Statesville, NC – Rescue Ranch’s Fall Fun Days presented by WIX® Filters is the perfect opportunity to visit Rescue Ranch, enjoy the outdoors and celebrate the fall season throughout the month of October.

Each Saturday in October from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Statesville, North Carolina-based nonprofit, families can enjoy hay rides, animal presentations, arts and crafts, straw maze, hay art, sponsor and vendor booths, games and more. In addition, guests can enjoy a new fall activity for Rescue Ranch with its nine-acre, barnyard-themed, Corn Maze, presented by Randy Marion Chevrolet of Statesville. Admission is only $10 for guests aged 13 and older and $7.50 for children aged two to 12, children under two are free.

Rescue Ranch also encourages individuals, businesses and students to get in the fall spirit by submitting a creative scarecrow design in its scarecrow contest. Designs are due Friday, Sept. 23 and will remain on display throughout October activities. A winner will be selected from the individual, group/business and classroom categories on Saturday, Oct. 31 and receive behind the scenes tour with hands-on interactions with Rescue Ranch critters. For rules, contact

“We are grateful to WIX Filters and our other sponsors for giving families a chance to experience what Rescue Ranch has to offer,” said Krissie Newman, co-founder and president of the nonprofit organization. “Fall Fun Days is a family-friendly event where guests can enjoy fall activities while learning about Rescue Ranch and our mission of humane education.”

All proceeds from Fall Fun Days benefit the nonprofit animal welfare organization, which promotes respect for all animals through education; is committed to agricultural, environmental and wildlife conservation; and facilitates rehabilitation, rescue and responsible pet ownership in order to enhance the human-animal bond. During Fall Fun Days presented by WIX Filters, guests also will have the opportunity to see Rescue Ranch’s outdoor animals.

Key sponsors for Fall Fun Days include: Carolina Cat – The Cat Rental Store, GetFit Iredell, Pet Pilgrimage, Remember When Photography, and United Federal Credit Union.

For more information on Fall Fun Days, please visit

For more information on Rescue Ranch please visit, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

The King And I Opens Thurs., Oct. 20, At Hudson Uptown

Hudson, NC - “The King and I” will be presented at the Hudson Uptown Building (HUB) 145 Cedar Valley Road Hudson, on October 20th, 21st, 22nd, 27th, 28th, 29th at 7:30 PM. Dinner will precede the show at 6:30. Tickets for dinner and the show are $35.00, tickets for the show only are $17.50. Reservations may be made by going by the HUB or by calling 726-8871.

Anna gets to know her pupils in the Hudson Dinner Theatre Production of “The King and I.” Standing from left to right: Jenni Hassler, Jim Engelman, Crystal Kirby, Tammy Haigler, Isabella Bryant, Cynthia Hauss; sitting middle row from left to right: Karli West, Alex Gibson, Emma Thomas, Jana Maney, Briana Adhikusuma; sitting front row from left to right: Hannah Smith, Ivy Throneburg, Addy Connor.

Hart Square Festival Tickets On Sale

Vale, NC - Since 1986, as the first touches of autumn fleck Hog Hill on the fourth Saturday in October, Hart Square bustles with over three hundred knowledgeable artisans and docents demonstrating and sharing the craftsmanship and subsistence of Carolina’s pioneers. To enter the village on festival day is to enter the early 1800s. Here, visitors will witness everything from flax making, cotton baling, and tinsmithing to apple butter making and the sweet sounds of old time music. We boast the most talented and authentic demonstrators in the country, and know you will agree with us when you come visit.

The 2016 festival is October 22 (always the fourth Saturday in October), and it runs from 10:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m. Rain or shine! *No pets please*

Pumpkin Carver at Hart Square

Tickets ($40.00 each; free for age 5 and under) go on sale at the Catawba County Museum of History the first working day in October: Monday, October 3, 9:00 am. Tickets can be purchased in person at the Catawba County Museum of History or over the phone at the museum’s number 828.465.0383. Tickets purchased through the museum are limited to 12 per order.

A limited number of tickets for large groups (20 or more, but less than 75) are reserved, and group leaders may call between September 15 and September 29: 828.322.2990.

Harts & Sigmons playing at Hart Square

Please keep in mind that walking shoes are needed and unpaved roads can make for difficult travel. Most of the structures are not accessible by wheelchair.

We will open the gates for parking at 8:00 a.m. to preclude the mile-long line of traffic in years’ past. Festival goers are welcome to drive in and park on the runway, where coffee and breakfast items are available through Plateau Methodist Church. At 10:00 a.m., the ropes drop and the village opens.

There are three available places to purchase food the day of the festival. However, festival goers are welcome to pack a picnic and enjoy it on the grounds. Soda, coffee, and water are available in the Robert’s Barn near the Arbor.

Yarn-dyeing at festival Hart-Square (c) Margaret Day Allen

Hart Square is located at 5029 Hope Road, Vale, NC 28168.

Please direct all questions to Hart Square Foundation Executive Director, Rebecca Anne Hart, at or by phone at 828.320.9461.

Raffle Fundraiser For Andy Adams, Get Tickets By Oct. 29

Hickory - Andy Adams has Stiff Person Syndrome, a rare autoimmune disease. This disease is characterized by rigidity and/or spasticity of the skeletal muscles, tremors, and anxiety. The result of constant spasms is unrelenting pain and commonly, eventual disability. Friends have put together this fundraiser to cover medical expenses and increase awareness of this disease.

The raffle is for a Ruger American .308 and a Marlin Heavy Barrel .17HMR. The raffle tickets are only $5 for two chances to win! Raffle tickets are available in Taylorsville at Details Plus, Napa Auto Parts, Double A Gunsmithing, Lyndon’s Riverview Sports and in Hickory at Springs Road Gun Club.

The drawing will be held on Saturday, October 29, at Double A Gunsmithing. You do not have to be present to win.

For more information call Double A Gunsmithing at 828-632-2324. Thanks for your support of Andy.

Sunrise Rotary Club Halloween Dance Set For Sat., October 29

Hickory - The Hickory Sunrise Rotary Club has announced that it is hosting a Halloween dance on Saturday, October 29, 2016, from 7:00 to 11:00 pm at Moretz Mills, located at 74 8th Street SE, in Hickory, NC. The event is sponsored by Tarheel Wealth Management.

The doors for the dance open at 7:00 pm, with DJ Eric Bowman playing from 7:00 to 8:00 pm, followed by The Band of Oz from 8:00 to 11:00 pm. Costumes are welcome and there will be a contest for the best and most uniquely dressed. A full meal, dancing, a cash bar, and shag lessons will be included with the price of admission, which is $30 per person. The Hickory Sunrise Rotary will use the funds raised to benefit local children who need a helping hand to attend CVCC.

A member of Rotary International District 7670, the Hickory Sunrise Rotary Club was chartered on November 7, 2000, and has grown to become the most diverse Rotary club in western North Carolina.

A small, friendly club with about 24 members, the Hickory Sunrise Rotary focuses on educational initiatives and the needs of the homeless and veterans in our community. The club also embraces the Rotary motto, "Service Above Self," and specializes in having fun while serving others. The mission of Rotary International is to provide service to others, promote integrity, and advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through its fellowship of business, professional, and community leaders.

The Hickory Sunrise Rotary Club meets Wednesdays at 7:00 am in the Fireside Room at Lenoir-Rhyne University. For more details, please call 828-303-0057 or visit

Unifour Christian Singles & Seniors Offer Upcoming Events

Granite Falls, NC - Unifour Christian Seniors and Unifour Christian Singles (over age 45) have announced upcoming events.

Flat Rock Theatre trip to see “A Christmas Carol" on Saturday, November 19, 2016 at 9am to Hendersonville, NC. Unifour Christian Seniors invite other seniors in the area to join us.

Group will leave from Walmart in Granite Falls at 9am; pick up at Roses in Hickory at 9:15 am, and also at CVS in Rutherford College at 9:30 am. One meal is included in price of trip. The cost for this trip is $50 each and is due by September 28th.

Senior Salt Sing and lunch on Wednesday, December 14, at 9am at Billy Graham’s The Cove, in Asheville, NC. Unifour Christian Seniors invite other seniors in the area to join us. Group to leave from Walmart in Granite Falls at 9am.

There will also be a pick up at 9:15 at Roses in Hickory and 9:30am at CVS in Rutherford College, NC. The cost for this trip is $45 each and is due by September 28th.

Movie Night, “Miracles from Heaven” and "Heaven is Real" on Saturday, October 8, from 5pm to 9pm. Annette’s house in Granite Falls, NC. Unifour Christian Singles (45 yrs and up) invite other singles in the area to join us. Everyone please bring food and let Annette know ahead of time what foods you will bring.

For more information on any event listed please contact Annette Strassner at 828-310-2977.

HMA’s Nov. 19 Holiday Open House Seeks Area Artists

Hickory – Shop HMA, Hickory Museum of Art’s (HMA) newly renovated museum store, seeks area artists to display and sell their works as part of its Second Annual Holiday Open House and Festival on Saturday, Nov. 19 from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. The annual open house is the official kick-off to Shop HMA’s holiday season.

“Last year’s event was a huge success, thanks to support from our community and involvement by so many local artists,” said Clarissa Starnes, Shop HMA Manager, who added this year’s turnout is expected to be even larger.

“We look forward to kicking off the holiday season with the Second Annual Holiday Open House and Festival,” Starnes said. “Not only will visitors get to shop locally created artwork and interact with the artists themselves, but they can also visit the newly renovated Shop HMA museum store and find unique gifts.”

Cost to reserve booth space during the open house and holiday festival is $50, with artists retaining 100 percent of self-managed sales. HMA will provide one round table for displaying sale items. Additional display items must be provided by artists. Artists already featured in Shop HMA are encouraged to bring additional items for self-sell that day, since they will be asked to leave merchandise in the Museum shop for register sales.

Deadline to reserve space is Oct. 16. Space is limited and booth locations will be assigned at time of registration. For more information or to reserve booth space, contact Clarissa Starnes, Shop HMA Manager at 828-327-8576, ext. 210.

Hickory Museum of Art is located on the SALT Block, 243 3rd Avenue NE, Hickory. Hours are 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, and 1-4 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free. For more information, visit or call 828-327-8576.

Photo: Area artist Dan Greaser interacts with shoppers during last year’s Holiday Open House and Festival in the galleries at Hickory Museum of Art.

Satie's Holiday Sale, Dec. 2-24, Seeks Local Items For Event

Lenoir, NC - The Caldwell Arts Council is seeking artists & crafters to participate in our annual Satie's Holiday Sale, December 2-24, when the entire Arts Council is converted to a gift shop full of locally handcrafted items for holiday sales.

Items for the holiday sale will be juried by our Satie's Holiday Committee and will be placed here on consignment. All items must be handmade of quality materials and construction, and the most successful items each year are those priced less than $50. We are always looking for a variety of exciting new gift items and food items.

Please bring samples of your product to the Caldwell Arts Council by 5pm on one of the following dates: September 13, October 4 or November 1 for jurying. Visit our website for submission guidelines:

For more information call the Caldwell Arts Council at 828-754-2486 or visit the website

The Caldwell Arts Council is located at 601 College Avenue (corner of Norwood Street) in downtown Lenoir.

Evening For The Arts Benefit Is Sat., Nov. 12, Lake Hickory CC

Hickory – AOA presents an “Evening for the Arts” to benefit Hickory Museum of Art (HMA) on Saturday, Nov. 12, 6-9 p.m. at Lake Hickory Country Club, Hickory. Now in its 42nd year, Angels of the Arts (AOA) is an annual fundraising event coordinated by HMA’s Guild to benefit the nonprofit museum’s educational programs and exhibitions. The event’s presenting sponsor is Shurtape.

This year’s fundraiser is new and improved, and although it will not be a brunch like previous AOA events, it will feature a live and silent auction. The silent auction consists of quality, one-of-a-kind gifts, primarily donated from local small and family businesses. Guests will have the opportunity to browse through and bid on silent auction items while enjoying cocktails and heavy hors d’oeuvres.

The fundraising event concludes with a live auction of higher-end items presented by a surprise auctioneer. Items for the live auction consist of everything from home goods, to social events and exquisite art pieces. The fundraising event will also offer a number of raffles. Big ticket raffle items include four, one-day Disney World Park Hopper Tickets.

Reservations to attend AOA’s Evening for the Arts can be made securely online at starting Oct. 1. For more information about this fundraising event, contact HMA at 828-327-8576.

About HMA Guild

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

The Guild meets monthly for event planning, art-related programs and fellowship. Members are encouraged to attend meetings and volunteer in three Guild or Museum events. Occasional outings are arranged in order to visit other cultural venues.

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

Hickory Has Funds For Home Repairs For Low-Income Families

Hickory – The City of Hickory currently has funding available to assist qualified, low-income families with urgently needed repairs to their home through the Housing Rehabilitation Assistance Urgent Repair Program.

Assistance up to $7,200 can be made available to qualified homeowners to alleviate housing conditions posing an imminent threat to the life or safety of the home owner, or to provide accessibility modifications and other repairs necessary to prevent displacement of low-income homeowners with special needs.

In order to qualify, total family income must not exceed the following limits, based on family size:

1 person - $12,100 3 person - $15,550 5 person - $18,650 7 person - $21,450
2 person - $13,800 4 person - $17,300 6 person - $20,050 8 person - $22,800

Qualified applicants must also either be age 62 or older; handicapped or disabled; be a single parent with at least one dependent child in residence; be a family of five or more; or have a child age six or younger with an elevated blood lead level. The house must be located within the City limits of Hickory.

Please contact the City of Hickory Community Development Department, at (828) 323-7414 for more information. This program is sponsored by the City of Hickory, with funds provided by the North Carolina Housing Trust Fund.

LRU Announces 28th Season Of Visiting Writers Series

Hickory - Returning for its 28th season, Lenoir-Rhyne University’s Visiting Writers Series will begin the 2016-17 season on Thursday, September 8. For nearly three decades, the series has brought world-renowned authors to members of the LRU campus and the citizens of Hickory, NC.

The North Carolina Arts Council will kick off the series with three award winning writers presenting Sept. 8 at 7 p.m. in Belk Centrum.

Alina “Tita” M. Ramirez, Anna Lena Phillips Bell, and Julie Funderburk are all recipients of the NC Arts Council Artist Fellowship Award in the literary category. The award recognizes individual artists for excellence and achievement within their art forms or traditions. The three writers were among 18 artists to receive the award out of more than 260 submissions from across the state.

The complete season listing is as follows: All events begin at 7 p.m.

October 27, 2016
Sarah Vowell
PE Monroe Auditorium

American author, journalist, essayist, social commentator, and actress, Sarah Vowell, is often referred to as a “social observer.” Vowell has written seven nonfiction books on American history and culture. She was a contributing editor for the radio program, This American Life on Public Radio International from 1996 to 2008. She was also the voice of Violet in the animated film The Incredibles.

November 17, 2016
Marie Howe
Belk Centrum

Marie Howe was the Poet Laureate of New York State from 2012 to 2014. She published her best-known book of poems, What the Living Do in 1998. The title poem in the collection is a haunting lament for her brother with the plain-spoken last line: "I am living, I remember you."

January 19, 2017
Leslie Rindoks
Belk Centrum

Leslie Rindoks, who writes under the nom de plume of Avery Caswell, has had numerous essays published in Baltimore Fishbowl, Baltimore Style and the literary journal Welter. Her manuscript Fall placed in the top 20 percent of new American fiction in 2012 and was a runner-up for Hub City fiction award.

February 9, 2017
Denise Kiernan
Belk Centrum

Denise Kiernan is an American journalist, producer and author who lives in Asheville, North Carolina. She has authored several history titles, including Signing Their Lives Away, Signing Their Rights Away, and The Girls of Atomic City. She started out in journalism and has covered everything from women’s issues, sports, and history to food, travel, and education in places like The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Village Voice, Saveur, Discover, Ms., Reader’s Digest, and others. Kiernan has also worked as a head writer for ABC's "Who Wants to be Millionaire" during its Emmy award-winning first season, and has produced for ESPN, MSNBC, and a variety of independent productions.

February 23, 2017
Reginald Dwayne Betts
Belk Centrum

Poet and criminal justice reform advocate, Reginald Dwayne Betts says one book completely changed his life: The Black Poets. At 16 he was arrested for carjacking and sentenced to nine years in prison. While he was in in solitary confinement, the anthology was slid under his cell door. The book opened up a world of possibilities for Betts, and he has since written two volumes: Masters of the Reagan Era, which received a PEN New England Award for poetry, and Shahid Reads His Own Palm. His memoir, A Question of Freedom: A Memoir of Learning, Survival, and Coming of Age in Prison, tells the story of his confinement in some of Virginia’s worst prisons; The Baltimore Times called the book a “must-read”. He has also been featured in The Washington Post, The New York Times, and The New Yorker. This event is co-sponsored by Exodus Homes, Hickory.

March 9, 2017
Erik Larson
PE Monroe Auditorium

Erik Larson is author of five New York Times bestsellers, his most recent being, Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania. His book The Devil in the White City stayed on the Times’ hardcover and paperback lists for a combined total of over five years. It won an Edgar Award for nonfiction crime writing and was a finalist for a National Book Award. The option to make a movie of the book was acquired in November 2010 by Leonardo DiCaprio, and in August 2015, he formed a new alliance to make the film, in which Martin Scorsese will direct, and Billy Ray will write the screenplay. Paramount will be the backing studio. This event is co-sponsored by the Hickory Public Library.

April 1, 2017 – The Little Read: Dan Santat
PE Monroe Auditorium
*Please note this event will take place at 12 noon*
Dan Santat is an American author and illustrator known for his children's book The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend, which won the 2015 Caldecott Medal for distinguished illustration. He also wrote The Guild of Geniuses and created the Disney Channel animated series The Replacements.

Sponsors of the 2016-17 Series include:

Sponsors of this year’s Visiting Writers Series include Barnes and Noble Booksellers, Crowne Plaza--Hickory, Hickory Public Library, National Endowment for the Arts, North Carolina Arts Council, Our State: North Carolina, The Beaver Family Foundation, Inc., and WFAE 90.3 FM. The series is also sponsored and supported by the United Arts Council of Catawba County through the North Carolina Arts Council, with funding from the State of North Carolina and the National Endowment for the Arts, which believes that a great nation deserves great art.

All events are open to the public, and free for all guests. No tickets or reservations are required.

NC Foreclosure Prevention Fund For Returning Veterans

Raleigh, NC — With Independence Day just past, many homeowners are thinking about their vacation plans. However, for many military veterans in North Carolina who may be facing foreclosure after discharge from service, celebrating may be hard. But help exists.

The N.C. Foreclosure Prevention Fund, administered by the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency using funds from the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Hardest Hit Fund, can help cover mortgage and related expenses for military veterans while they look for work or retrain for a new civilian career.

“Not only has this program allowed me to get back on my feet and start caring about my future again, it has allowed me time to do so without the stress of making mortgage payments while I am in school,” said Nick Grady, who was discharged from the military in 2014 and went on to retrain for and pursue a civilian career while participating in the program.

“For the first time since I got out of the military I feel alive again and I can see a future. Not everyone tells the story of their struggle and most like me will not ask for help. My family and I will be forever grateful.”

The assistance offered by the N.C. Foreclosure Prevention Fund is available in the form of a zero-interest, deferred loan of up to $36,000 to cover the mortgage and related expenses for up to 36 months. The Fund will provide monthly mortgage payments while veterans look for work or train for a job while enrolled in vocational rehab or other eligible VA program such as the GI Bill. To be eligible, veterans must provide:

A Certificate of Release of Discharge from Active Duty (DD214) with a separation date on or after Jan. 1, 2008

A VA-issued, non-expired certificate of eligibility

Proof of enrollment at an eligible VA-sponsored program or benefit

This program has already helped many North Carolina veterans like Grady keep their homes while they make the transition from military to civilian life.

“Our military veterans have sacrificed for their country, and they deserve to feel a sense of security on this most patriotic of holidays,” said A. Robert Kucab, executive director of the North Carolina Housing Finance Agency.

“The N.C. Foreclosure Prevention Fund can keep our veterans from going into foreclosure while they make the transition to civilian life. They protected us, now we want to help them protect their homes.”

To learn more about the N.C. Foreclosure Prevention Fund and how it can help North Carolina veterans keep their homes, visit or call 1-888-623-8631.

The North Carolina Housing Finance Agency, a self-supporting public agency, has financed 242,000 homes and apartments since its creation in 1973. The North Carolina Foreclosure Prevention Fund has helped nearly 22,000 homeowners avoid foreclosure since it began in December 2010.

Lions Offer Chance To Donate Old Eyeglasses, Hearing Aids

Lincolnton, NC - Sight is a precious gift. Do you have unwanted eyeglasses and hearing aids laying around at your house, office, etc. Don't know what to do with them? Why not donate, deposit, and recycle them in a Lincolnton Lions Club boxes strategically located in the following businesses, optometrist, ophthalmologist offices, and funeral homes in Cherryville, Denver, and Lincolnton?

Businesses: Noblot Jewelers, 107 East Main Street (Downtown Lincolnton).

Audiologist, Ear Nose & Throat Physicians, and Hearing Aides Offices:

1) Alps Mtn. Affordable Hearing Aide- 1417 East Main Street, Lincolnton; Best Value Hearing Care Center-819 East Sycamore Street, Lincolnton; Carolina Ear, Nose, & Throat- 751 South Laurel, Lincolnton; Graystone Ear, Nose, & Throat- 1470 East Gaston Street, Lincolnton;

Lincoln Eye Center- 110 Doctor’s Park, Lincolnton.

Chiropractic Offices: Dr. Robin Owings & Dr. Rob Schick- Pro Wellness Family Chiropractic- 1814 North Aspen Street, Lincolnton.

Funeral Homes: Carpenter Funeral Home- 1110 East Main Street, Cherryville; EF Drum Funeral Home- 201 South Academy Street, Lincolnton; Good Samaritan Funeral Home- 3362 North Highway 16, Denver; Stamey-Cherryville Funeral Home- Cherryville; Warlick’s Funeral Home-125 Dave Warlick Drive, Lincolnton.

Optometrist, Ophthalmologist, Vision Care Centers: Advanced Family Eye Care- 7547 Waterside Loop Road, Suite A, Denver; Carolina Eye Center- 623 North Highway 16, Denver; Carolina Eye Center-231 North General’s Boulevard, Lincolnton; Cherryville Eye Care-201 West Church Street, Cherryville;

Graystone Ophthalmology PA- 2311 East Main Street, Lincolnton; Lincoln Eye Center- 110 Doctor’s Park, Lincolnton; Wal-Mart Vision Center-306 North General’s Boulevard.

Pharmacies: The Drug Store- 626 Center Drive, Lincolnton and Keever Pharmacy- 102 Doctor’s Park, Lincolnton.

Due state and federal public health laws, unwanted eyeglasses are shipped overseas. Contact lens are neither accepted nor recyclable for health reasons. Prescription sunglasses are especially needed in nations located near the Equator. There is always a shortage of recyclable children eyeglasses and sunglasses.

Imagine your personal satisfaction if your recycled eyeglasses help a child to read. An adult succeed in his job. A senior maintain her independence. Provide a community with more opportunities to grow and thrive. The Lions thank you for your support!

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

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

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

October 21st, 2016; November 18th, 2016; December 16th, 2016; January 20th, 2017; February 17th, 2017; March 17th, 2017; April 21st, 2017;;May 19th. 2017. To purchase a season ticket, call the Newton-Conover Auditorium at 828-464-8100.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hickory Brain Injury Support Group Meets Monthly

Hickory - Connect with survivors, families, and professionals at meetings that offer help, hope, and education, so you can live a happy and successful life after brain injury.

2016 Meetings: 10/25/16 Spooky Bingo; 11/22/16 Speaker; and 12/13/16 Christmas Dinner.

Meetings are the fourth Tuesday of most months, 6:00 - 7:30 pm, at First United Methodist Church, 311 3rd Ave NE, Hickory, NC, 28601.

Times and locations sometimes vary, especially for social events. For more information, contact Travis Glass at (828) 781-0778 or

Also check them out on

SAFE Connect Offers Resource Website To Assist Homeless

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bethlehem Library Accepting 2017 Artist Applications

Bethlehem NC - The Bethlehem Branch Library in Alexander County is now accepting applications for the Exhibiting Artists Series for the 2017 and 2018 schedules. All visual wall art mediums and photography may be submitted. Sculpture and wood carving is also now accepted for exhibition. Art is exhibited for two mnths with an Opening Reception and Gallery Talk on the first Thursday of the first month. The Bethlehem Branch Library has been one of the most successful and popular art exhibition venues in the region since its inception in 2010. The exhibition series is sponsored by the Bethlehem Friends of the Library and Bethlehem Community Development Association. Its purpose is to showcase local and regional artists work. For more information and submission guidelines contact Bud Caywood at Visit the Library Gallery at 45 Rink Dam Road, Hickory, NC 28601.

Women’s Resource Center Seeks Items For Pantry

Hickory — The Women’s Resource Center’s personal products pantry, which provides personal and cleaning projects to women and families in the area who are struggling to meet basic needs is in critical need of supplies to replenish the pantry.

“We are asking for help in re-stocking our shelves,” said Executive Director Cindy Rose. Families receiving food assistance from the government cannot use their allotment for these products. We rely on the generosity of community members to keep the shelves stocked so that we can make the items available to women who meet the eligibility requirements.”

Products needed include laundry detergent, hand soap, fabric softener, dryer sheets, bathroom cleaner, window cleaner, disinfectant, mouthwash, body wash, bleach, dish detergent, and all purpose cleaner (409, etc.)

Donations can be dropped off at the Center at 125 3rd Street NE, Hickory, between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday. No donation is too small.

For additional information, visit the website at

The Women’s Resource Center (WRC) offers assistance to women in Alexander, Burke, Caldwell and Catawba counties through workforce development, advocacy, enrichment programs and community partnerships.

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

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

Caregiver Support Program Offers Local Families A Break

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Humane Society Seeks Foster Parents For Special Animals

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

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

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

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

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

Family Guidance Center Offers Support, Insight On Verbal Abuse

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

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

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

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

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

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

Does your partner discount your opinions or experiences?

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

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

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

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

Facts which generally apply to verbal abuse:

Verbal abuse tends to be secretive.

Verbal abuse tends to increase over time.

Verbal abuse discounts your perception of reality and denies itself.

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

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

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

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

Women’s Resource Center Needs Daily Volunteers

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

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

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

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

Social Workers Partner With Lions Clubs To Help The Blind

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Child Wellbeing Project Offers Post Adoption Support

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

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

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

"We realize that many children who have been adopted continue to have struggles long after the adoption is finalized," said Chrissy Triplett, post adoption care supervisor.

"Success Coaches can work with adoptive families to provide helpful information and coaching in how to deal with these issues."

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

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

Hickory’s Angel of Hope House Requests Help

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

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

Items Needed:

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

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

Volunteers Needed To Deliver Meals On Wheels

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

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

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

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

How To Get Your Event In Focus

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

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

Health-Care Pro Discusses The Many Warning

Signs And How To Spot A Victim Of Domestic Violence

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

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

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

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

Linda O’Dochartaigh reviews some of the warning signs:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Family Finders Helps Foster Kids Connect With Extended Family

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

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

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

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

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

Sid Daniels

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Loving Our Enemies

By Rev. Susan Smith

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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