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Growing A Green Future At Salt Block April 21 &

The First STEM Trek! Science Festival, Too!

Hickory – The “Green” at the SALT Block will simultaneously host two events, the ninth annual “Growing a Green Future” event and the inaugural STEM Trek! Science Festival, on Saturday, April 21, between 10am and 2pm.

Growing a Green Future Event

Celebrate Earth Day and Arbor Day with family-friendly activities and learn about what it means to “be green” in Catawba County during the annual Growing a Green Future Earth Day/Arbor Day Celebration. The rain date for this event is Sunday, April 22, from 1pm to 4pm.

“For the past nine years, we’ve been coming out in full force for the Growing a Green Future event, bringing the community together to learn more about caring for planet Earth. Since we cannot recycle our planet, it is so important for citizens to practice ‘green living’ on a daily basis,” said Maria Goldstein with GoGreen Hickory. “More than ever before, in the history of the planet, we must be responsible stewards of the environment – living and practicing making every day earth day.”

More than 20 civic, conservation, art and science organizations will be represented at “Growing a Green Future.” These groups will be providing educational information, and demonstrations, focusing on preserving the earth, supporting nature, or any environmental product, practice, or service, offered in the area. Some of those groups include the City of Hickory’s Community Appearance Commission (CAC), GoGreen Hickory, Hickory Museum of Art, Republic Services, Riverkeepers/Covekeepers, and Shaklee.

Many organizations come together to bring this event to the community, including the City of Hickory, Catawba County, Catawba Science Center, Greenway Public Transportation, Keep Catawba County Beautiful, Hickory Museum of Art, Republic Services, and the Western Piedmont Council of Governments.

The City’s CAC and Landscape Services, a division of Public Services, will be handing out tree seedlings again this year. The community is encouraged to stop by the City of Hickory’s booth to pick up a free tree seedling to plant.

Air quality improvement and the reduction of carbon in the atmosphere is a benefit of trees. Also, a healthy mature tree will increase property value and the larger the tree the higher the value. This is especially important for resale and will increase yearly as the tree grows. All of these reasons should be an incentive to plant trees. By keeping mature trees healthy by proper pruning, and not topping trees, not only will it increase the value of a property and save money on energy costs, but, it, also, helps provide a benefit of cleaner air and reductions in storm water problems.

STEM Trek! Science Festival

In conjunction with the Growing a Green Future event, the inaugural STEM Trek! Science Festival will be held on the “Green” at the SALT Block on Saturday, April 21, from 10am to 2pm. STEM Trek! is an official event of the North Carolina Science Festival, a statewide celebration of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), and its impact on North Carolina.

“The North Carolina Science Festival is the largest science festival in the nation, and the first to encompass an entire state. We are proud for the inaugural STEM Trek! event to be a part of the Festival and share the wonders of science with the Hickory community,” said Carol Moore of STEM West.

STEM Trek! will feature vendor sites to educate the community about STEM careers, especially in the region. Over 25 community organizations and businesses will be in attendance to share STEM activities, skills, and careers with families. Food trucks will also be on site. “Come out and explore Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics at this free event for the community,” added Moore. In the event of rain, STEM Trek! will be held in the Keiser Community Room at the SALT Block.

“Catawba Science Center looks forward to partnering with both of these events this year! With STEM Trek! and the “Growing a Green Future” event being held at the same day and time, we hope to see the “Green” at the SALT Block filled with children, and adults, eager to learn all about science and how to be environmentally-friendly,” said Alan Barnhardt, Executive Director of Catawba Science Center.

For more information on the City’s Community Appearance Commission, go to For additional details about STEM West programs, visit the Western Piedmont Council of Governments site at


The Hickory Youth Council’s Decade-Themed

Dance To Benefit The Rudy Project Is On April 20

Hickory – The Hickory Youth Council will host a decade-themed dance fundraiser for The Rudy Project on Friday, April 20, from 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., at the YMCA’s C.O. Miller Teen Center, located at 701 1st Street NW in Hickory.

All teens in the community are invited to attend this event. The admission price of $10 will include food. There will be music, other entertainment, and a costume contest at the event. The best 70s, 80s, or 90s era themed costume will win a prize.

Funds raised from the event will benefit The Rudy Project, a special partnership between the Wright Family and Habitat for Humanity of Catawba Valley to honor the memory of Mayor Rudy Wright. The goal of The Rudy Project is to raise $80,000 to build a Habitat home and $30,000 for a community area in the Northstone Subdivision in Hickory, NC.

The Hickory Youth Council, a vibrant group of young people who serve as an advisory council to the Hickory City Council, is also currently recruiting new members. These high school students participate in community service projects and hold events that build leadership skills for themselves and their peers.

The Youth Council meets on the second Monday of the month at 6:30 p.m. or 7 p.m. at various City facilities between August and May. Applications are due by June 1.

For more information about the Hickory Youth Council, please contact Dave Leonetti at (828) 261-2227 or via email at

For more information about The Rudy Project, please visit

Award Winning Poets For NC’s Poetry Day,

On Sat., April 21, At Lenoir-Rhyne • Register Today

Hickory - North Carolina's annual Poetry Day will be hosted by Lenoir Rhyne University in Hickory on April 21 from 11:30 to 3:30.

Poetry Day is sponsored by the North Carolina Poetry Society and Lenoir Rhyne University and will feature readings and workshops by NC poets, Steve Cushman and Catherine Carter.

Cushman is this year's winner of the Lena Shull Award for best new poetry manuscript by a NC poet. His debut poetry collection, "How Birds Fly," was selected for publication by St. Andrews University Press. Cushman, a resident of Greensboro, NC, is also the author of four novels, including, "Portisville," winner of the 2004 Novello Literary Award, and two poetry chapbooks. He earned his MFA in Creative Writing from UNC Greensboro.

Carter directs the English Education Program at Western Carolina University, where she has served as the Gilbert Chappell Distinguished Poet for many years. She is the author of three published collections of poetry, the most recent being "Marks of the Witch," from Jacar Press, and expects another, "Larvae of the Nearest," to be released next year from Louisiana State University Press.

Cushman will lead a workshop entitled "Narrative Poetry: What's the Story," and Carter will teach "Swamp Monsters and Snotflowers: Poetry of the Nonhuman." Both workshops will use sample poems and exercises to help students generate their own ideas and begin writing new works. The workshops are limited to 25 participants each and the cost is $10 per workshop. Pre-registration for the workshops is strongly encouraged, and can be done by contacting LRU professor, Scott Owens, at 828-234-4266 or

Scott Owens

Exodus Homes Partners With United Way To Help Addicts

Hickory - When people think of Exodus Homes, many times they think about homeless people coming back to the community from jails and prison. The faith-based supportive housing agency wants the community to know that they also serve homeless people returning home from substance abuse treatment centers, and the important role United Way plays in stabilizing new residents who are recovering from opioid addiction to pills and heroin. Most detox centers will treat addiction for 4-7 days before discharge and this is not long enough for most people who have have been using opiates heavily. "When they arrive at Exodus Homes, they are sick and shaky. They are still craving opiates, and not able to fully participate in the recovery program for up to 30 days" says the Rev. Reggie Longcrier, Exodus Homes executive director.

Thanks to a $35,000 grant from the United Way, they have the ability to support these sick residents until they are strong enough to participate in the program fully, especially in the vocational training program Exodus Works. During the first 30 days at Exodus Homes, United Way funds help support a period of stabilization so they can receive medical care and social services while they rest and get their strength back. "We are very grateful for the United Way. The funds we receive from them enables us to support residents in that critical first 30 days when they are coming back to life" said the Rev. Susan Walker, assistant executive of the agency.

Exodus Homes has been a United Way agency since 2001 and their funding has been a key to success for the organization which is celebrating it's 20th anniversary this year. For more information about how to apply for the program, call Catie Brown at 828-324-4870 or go to their website The application is under the "Program" tab and it needs to be faxed to 828-324-7983.
Rev. Reggie Longcrier

Lake Hickory Riversweep Is Sat., April 28 - Volunteer Today!

Hickory, NC - Join the Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation (CRF) for our annual Lake Hickory Riversweep on the fourth Saturday in April. This event will be a fun and fulfilling opportunity to help keep the lake beautiful and clean! CRF will meet volunteers at Wittenberg Boating Access on Saturday, April 28 at 9am. We will spend three hours removing trash from the water and shorelines of Lake Hickory.

We will need Boat Captains (owners) to help ferry volunteers, bags, and found items around the lake; shoreline volunteers to walk the shoreline filling bags with all the trash you can find; and if you have a kayak or canoe, we would love for you to paddle with us, and help get the hard-to-reach places. All cleanup supplies will be provided; children are welcome with adult supervision.

You can register for the Lake Hickory Riversweep at, or by contacting Hillary Zorman at As a community we can come together to make a huge difference!

Local businesses who would like to donate to the Riversweep can contact Hillary Zorman at

Eddie Ide To Speak On Berlin Airlift On April 7, 14 & 28

Newton, NC – The Catawba County Library is hosting local resident and historian Edwin “Eddie” Ide to speak at three library branches about the storied Berlin Airlift and the role it played in shaping alliances and politics post-World War II.

In 1948, the Soviet Union blockaded the newly formed city of West Berlin, hoping to bring it – along with all of Germany – under Communist control. In response, the US, England, and France created a massive airlift to provide essentials to the city of 2.4 million people for more than a year. The joint campaign has been called the most significant non-combat military operation of the 20th century.

The efforts by the Allied forces were one of the earliest Cold War confrontations with the Soviets and accomplished a great deal in preventing the USSR from advancing communism into western Europe. Although the airlifts took place in trying weather and endured both crashes and fatalities, they offered West Berlin residents the hope and support they needed in the face of 300,000 Soviet troops who waited outside the city for an opportunity to claim it for themselves.

Newton resident Eddie Ide was formerly the sales manager and publicist for the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Airport’s airshow in Pennsylvania, where he first encountered an aircraft involved in the Berlin mission. Intrigued, he researched the airlift and met with folks involved in it, both in America and Germany. He continues to dig in to this important chapter in 20th-century history and share it with civic organizations, aviation groups, universities, and more.

Three presentations are available: Saturday, April 7 at 11 am at the Southwest Branch, Saturday, April 14 at 3 pm at the Main Library in Newton, and Saturday April 28 at 11 am at the Maiden Branch.

For more information about library activities, please contact the Catawba County Library at 828.465.8664, at, or via Facebook. For the latest in library news, visit, or stop by your local branch.

Photo at left:
A block of C-54s lined up for takeoff at Rhein-Main Air Base.

Caregivers Of Children With Behavioral Health

Concerns Can Attend A Free Workshop May 9 & 10

Morganton, NC - Struggling to get help for a child with behavioral health concerns? Feeling like you just aren’t being heard? Help is out there, and here’s how to find it…

Come join us for a System of Care Training, delivered by Alvin Grindstaff, Jr., MATL, QP from A Caring Alternative and Mary Lloyd, CPSS from VAYA Health as the Family Partner Co-lead, at A Caring Alternative. They are located at 301 E. Meeting Street, Morganton, NC and the training will be provided on May 9 and May 10, 2018 from 9am-4pm. This is a two-day presentation.

System of Care training is designed to support all individuals who work with children in behavioral health and social support services by learning how to lead or participate in Child and Family Team meetings. These meetings are where earnest discussions occur for meaningful input on how to support children and their families while dealing with behavioral health issues. Participants in this two day training will be exposed to several mock meetings where, as participants, they will experience firsthand what it means to work in tandem with others to support the needs of a child with mental illness, trauma, or one who is struggling to maintain focus and control in light of stressors in their life.

This training is FREE to anyone with a child, or who acts as a primary caregiver to a child with mental illness or intellectual/ developmental disabilities. If you are a mental health professional, or a licensed professional seeking CEUs for re-licensure, contact us on how you can earn credit. To register please contact Alvin Grindstaff, Jr at 828-437-3000, ext 221; or email your interest to


Lakeview Baptist’s Spring Craft & Bake Sale Is Sat., April 21

Hickory - Lakeview Baptist Church invites you to a Spring Craft and Bake Sale on Saturday, April 21st. From 8am-Noon. Breakfast is provided also for a small cost. Lakeview Baptist Church is located at 4080 N Center Street, Hickory NC.

For more information call 828-324-8085.


Humane Society Offers A Variety Of Deals In April,

Neuters, Spays, Vaccines & Fostering Classes!

Hickory & Newton, NC - We are now accepting appointments for 25 female cat spays and 25 male cat neuters to take place on HSCC’s 50 Cat Day. Special pricing for this one day event: Spays $45 (normally $75) and neuters $20 (normally $30).

Call or stop by either shelter today to schedule your cats appointment. Hickory: (828) 464-8878, Newton (828) 466-7171.

With the start of kitten season upon us, it is more important than ever to have your pets sterilized to prevent unwanted litters, contributing to the population of homeless animals in our community.

Wanna Love A Pittie?

Peace, love and pitties! Woofstock 2018 is here, and HSCC is offering 1/2 price adoption fees all month for Pit Bulls and Pit mixes 6+ months in age.

When you stop by the shelter be on the lookout for tie-dye tags on the kennels to know who is included. Can you dig it!?


April 19: Volunteer Orientation at Hickory

All prospective HSCC Volunteers must attend this orientation session. The Volunteer Manager will give details and information about all HSCC programs and services as well as the many volunteer opportunities. A facility tour is also included. Space is limited, please email: to register for this session.

Friday, April 20: Vaccine Clinic at HSCC Hickory

HSCC offers low cost vaccines and testing to public animals showing no signs of illness. Rabies Vaccine, Distemper/Parvo, Feline Distemper, Kennel Cough, Felv Vaccine, Heartworm testing, Felv/FIV testing, & microchipping. Call either Hickory (828) 464-8878 or Newton (828) 466-7171, or stop by either shelter to schedule your pets appointment.

Saturday, April 28: Fostering 101 at Newton, 12-1:30pm

Join us at HSCC Newton to learn more about becoming a foster family for animals in need. We provide the food & medical care. You provide the love. We are currently looking for foster families for short and long term cases. Find out what it takes to get started fostering puppies, dogs, cats, or kittens. We will answer all your questions, and get you setup for foster success!

RSVP by calling (828) 466-6812 or email

Claremont Rescue Squad’s 18th Annual Pig

Picking & Poker Run Is Saturday, April 21

Claremont, NC - Claremont Rescue Squad will be holding their 18th Annual Pig Picking and Poker Run on April 21st, 2018. It will be held at their Base in Claremont. There will be a silent auction held at the squad, items in the auction include furniture, tickets to Merlefest, Golf packages, handmade quilts, local event tickets and other items to be added. Times for the silent auction are 11am – 7pm.

The Poker Run will be starting at Hooters in Hickory, registration will be from 11am-1pm. The cost of the Poker Run ride is $20 single/$25 double rider. That will also get you an event t-shirt and food at the end of the ride. A delicious BBQ dinner will be provided after the ride. Door prizes will be given away throughout the event.

Food will be served from 3 till 8pm. Food will include BBQ Chicken and Pork, homemade baked beans and slaw, dessert and a drink. Plates are $10 each. The Big Fandamily Band will be playing from 4:30-7pm.

At 6pm we will be having our first drawing in our 20 Guns in November raffle. We will also be doing a 50/50 raffle throughout the day.

This will be an awesome day to come spend time with family and friends and to help raise money for a great organization. If you have any questions, please call the squad at 828-459-7968.

Later this year on July 15th we are going to be having our 60th Anniversary Open House. We will have County and State officials to help us celebrate our 60 years as a Rescue Squad.

We would like you to mark your calendars now and come help us celebrate this event. We will have pictures, old gear and equipment to show how we have grown over the years. We will also have the SSFD Smoke House, displays from Catawba County EMS and extrication demonstrations.

We have had many members over the years and hope to see as many as possible come out and celebrate with us.

Seniors Morning Out In April: Health & Wellness & Music!

Hickory - Seniors Morning Out participants will enjoy a variety of activities in April including a senior health and wellness fair and musical performances.

Any resident of Catawba County who is 60 or better is invited to join Seniors Morning Out, which is held between 8:30am and 12:30pm, Monday through Thursday at five convenient locations. A hot, balanced lunch is served each day. Programs are free to participants, who may select 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: April 3, Craft Class-Bunnies on the Go-Edible Craft; April 5, Shopping at Dollar Tree and Lunch at NY Hibachi; April 9, 5 Plants For Your Bedroom That Will Cure Insomnia with Drawing for Plants; April 12, Depression and Suicide in Older Adults with Vaya Health; April 16, Cooking Class- Stuffed Mushrooms; April 17, Music from Yonder Years with Sentimental Journey; April 19, Bingo with Great Hope Baptist Church; April 24, Exercise for Health with Annette Nichols; April 26, Movie Day” Dancer and The Dame”; April 30, Bowling at Pin Station and Shopping at Family Dollar the Lunch at Dixie’s Fish and Chicken. 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: April 3, Legal and Financial Part 2 with Julie Cook-Walker with Alzheimer’s Association; April 5, Spring Fling Senior Health and Wellness Fair; April 9, Telephone on Paper and Fire Safety with Terri Byers from Hickory Fire Department; April 11, Breakfast at Hardee’s in Newton and Eat More Vegetables and Fruits with Ann Simmons from Catawba County Extension at the Newton Library; April16, Craft Class- Stencil Placemats with Shanda Nichols; April 17, Depression and Suicide in Older Adults with Jeff Dula, Vaya Health; April 19, Breakfast at Parkway House and Shopping at Walmart; April 23, Cooking Class-Spiced Pecans; April 25, Rethink Your Sheets with Ann Simmons at the Newton Library and then Lunch at Dixie’s Fish and Chicken. 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: April 3, Benefits on Lemon with Ruthie Hill, April 4, Breakfast at Parkway House and Shopping at Walmart; April 5, Going to West Hickory SMO site for Senior Health and Wellness Fair; April 11, Shopping at Big Lots and Lunch at Harbor Inn, April 17, Sing Along with John 3:16; April 18, Shopping at Walmart; April 19, Cooking Class- Ants on a Log; April 24, Foot Health with Annie Williams; April 26, Birthday Party. 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: April 3, Bowling at Pin Station and Shopping at Walmart; April 10, Medical Conditions of the Ear with Bill Beck from Mountain Ear Hearing; April 11, Music by Charles Ballard; April 17 Cooking Class- No Bake Peanut Butter Cookies and UNO Challenge; April 18, Bowling at Pin Station and Shopping at Walmart; April 24, Poem of the Day and Music by Lonesome Road; April 25, Senior Trivia and Noodle Ball Game; April 26, Craft Class with Tonya Jarnac. 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: April 2, Should We Mix Herbs With Medications?; April 4, Signs and Symptoms of Rheumatoid Arthritis; April 10, Depression and Suicide in Older Adults with Terry Spencer, Vaya Health; April 11, Bob Hollar to perform; April 12, Shopping at Mighty Dollar and lunch at Court Street Grille; April 17, Bible Trivia with Prizes; April 18, Cooking Class- Bunnies in a Basket; April 23, Healthy Nutrition Fact or Fiction: April24, Music by Sentimental Journey; April 30, Bingo and Proper Care of Your Back. 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.

These programs rely on donations by local individuals and businesses. If you would like to make a donation, you may go to and click on the red “Donate Now” button. Be sure to choose Meals on Wheels or Seniors Morning Out from the drop-down menu. You may also write a check to Catawba County Social Services and write “Senior Nutrition Services” in the memo line. Mail your donation to Senior Nutrition Services, P.O. Box 207, Newton, NC 28658. If you or your group would like to sponsor a fund-raising event for Catawba County’s Senior Nutrition Services, contact Heather Ball at 828-695-5617. For the latest updates, like their Facebook page at, or visit their website at 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

Don’t Miss RockyFest Saturday, April 21, At Rocky Face Park

Alexander County, NC - Alexander County’s big event of the year is coming soon! Mark your calendars for RockyFest 2018, set for Saturday, April 21 at Rocky Face Mountain Recreational Area in Hiddenite. This 6th annual family-friendly event features trail races, live music, free rock climbing and rappelling sessions, children’s activities, food, arts/crafts vendors, and much more.

The event begins with the RockyFest Trail Races at 8:00 a.m. with distances of 4.5, 9, or 13.5 miles. The races will begin at the new Rocky Face Visitor Center. Registration for either race is $25, if you sign up by April 8. T-shirts are not included in the registration fee, so please include $10 more if you want a race t-shirt (no guarantee after April 8). Online registration is available, or you can download an application, course map, and complete details at

Following the trail races, free rock climbing and rappelling sessions will be offered from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. with 75 openings available. Registration will be completed online at on a first-come, first-served basis.

The rest of the festivities begin at 10:00 a.m. and last until 4:00 p.m. Activities will include live music, inflatables for the children, arts and crafts vendors, a wide variety of food, and much more.

Six regional bands are scheduled to perform a variety of bluegrass and old-time music, with the Alexander Junior Appalachian Musicians (JAM) playing at 9:20. The music schedule is: Gap Civil at 10:00, Spencer Branch at 11:00, Cane Mill Road at 12:00, Crooked Road Ramblers at 1:00, New Ballards Branch Bogtrotters at 2:00, and Five Mile Mountain Road at 3:00. There will also be a picking tent, so bring your instrument and join in the fun.

Applications are currently being accepted for food, arts/crafts, commercial, and non-profit organizations. Visit, click on “Vendor Application,” and complete the online form. Food vendors are $80, commercial $40, arts/crafts $30, and non-profits are free (limit of 10 non-profit vendors on a first-come, first-served basis). Electricity is an additional $10 fee

If your business would like to be a sponsor of RockyFest 2018, sponsorship opportunities are available. Current sponsors include: Duke Energy, Alexander Railroad Company, Huntington House Furniture, EnergyUnited, Schneider Mills, Craftmaster Furniture, McGill Associates, and West Consultants.

For more information about the RockyFest 2018 event, contact Alisha Stamey at or (828) 632-1308, or visit

Free Skin Cancer Screening On Friday, 4/20, Reed Dermatology

Hickory -A Free Skin Cancer Screening will be offered as part of a community partnership between First United Methodist Church of Hickory, Hickory Dermatology and Reed Dermatology on Friday, April 20th at the Reed Dermatology location on Hwy 127.

Exams are available by appointment only. To schedule an appointment please email or call 828-726-7261.


Safe Harbor Commits To $1.9M Expansion Project

To Serve Critical Needs Of Women & Children

Hickory - Safe Harbor, a Christian-centered 501(c)(3) organization that services at risk women in Hickory, NC, announces plans to build the Chloe Waldrop Taylor Renewal Center. This $1.9 million project will enhance and provide an extension of critical services for the women and children of Catawba County. While $1.2 million has already been committed, the “Building a Solid Foundation” Capital Campaign has been launched in hopes of raising community support for the balance needed to fund construction of this 10,000 square-foot facility. This new addition to Safe Harbor’s mission umbrella will increase capacity for a broader range of women.

“This community is a very generous community. I stand amazed at what has happened since one loyal donor stepped up and said that he felt led by God to help Safe Harbor build a new building. Very soon the money was donated to buy the land around our current Safe Harbor property, and folks are demonstrating their belief in the vision with their donations. While generous financial pledges have been received much more is needed to reach our goal!” Vicki Murray, Safe Harbor Executive Director.

In addition to the New Day Program offering services to women and children during the day, the new Chloe Waldrop Taylor Renewal Center will be used in the evening as a Coed Recovery Community Center offering peer groups, parent education nights, sober living activities, and an onsite recovery services. A support navigator will be hired to enable the center to easily offer accessible assistance and connections to local and regional recovery treatment and support options. 

“A large net of women is currently being canvassed through a community organization survey. We’re reaching out through DSS, the Housing authority, Pregnancy Care Center, senior centers, WPCOG, churches, and even Facebook to learn the needs of women and children from all walks of life as we plan an array of services. We are anxious to have the space to collaborate with other agencies that serve at-risk individuals, and we want to form a stronger safety net with fewer ‘cracks’ through which our most vulnerable friends often fall.” Debbie Haynes, Safe Harbor Founder/Program Director.

This three-year capital campaign is structured so that the community can contribute to one or more specific target areas of their choice through naming and recognition opportunities. Safe Harbor relies on the kindness of individual donors, businesses, churches and foundations to meet budget responsibilities.

Austin Pierce, Executive Director of Hickory Soup Kitchens, also commented, “Safe Harbor has the best model for success helping women gain self-sufficiency, through long-term personal investment into the individuals. HSK is grateful to partner with them and their pursuit to change people’s lives.”

For more information about this project or if you wish to donate, pleases visit

About Safe Harbor: A Christian-centered 501(c)(3) organization, Safe Harbor has been offering services to help women in the Hickory, NC, area rebuild their lives since 2006. Services offered help women restore their confidence and renew their sense of purpose through immediate and long-term programs of faith-based support, skills education and personal empowerment.

A non-profit, non-denominational human service organization, Safe Harbor offers a safety net to women and children who are hurting, homeless or at-risk of becoming homeless as well as those struggling with substance use disorder or emotional brokenness.

Hickory PD’s Career Open House Is On Tuesday, April 24

Hickory-Honesty, integrity, dedication, selflessness, Professionalism, Accountability, Compassion, and Teamwork. If these words describe you, we are waiting for you at Hickory Police Department. Whether you are looking to start a career, change careers or wanting to explore a new department, we invite you to attend our Career Open House on April 24, 2018 from 7:00 pm to 9:00pm at the Floyd W. Lucas Jr., Police Headquarters.

Any interested certified or non-certified police officer applicants wanting to learn more about joining the ranks of our department will want to be here for this opportunity. During the Open House, Command Staff, Recruitment Staff, and other key Department Staff will offer a facilities tour, overview of departmental operations, Community Policing discussion, recruitment video, equipment demonstrations, and a questions and answer opportunity at the conclusion of the evening.

Why Hickory Police Department?

Hickory Police Department is committed to providing the highest quality of police service to our customers; the citizens of and visitors to our city. Dedicated to improving the quality of life in our city, our department will work in partnership with our community to provide a high degree of effective and efficient public safety while maintaining respect for cultural diversity and individual rights and dignity. The Hickory Police Department is a full service municipal police agency comprised of 152 full-time coworkers.

We strive to serve citizens with the highest level of professional law enforcement service possible. Hickory Police Officers must have the ability to make sound decisions, to have good judgment, and to practice solid verbal and written communication skills. Each Police Officer is required to operate with an independent work ethic under minimum direct supervision.

Qualification Requirements are:
•Must be 20 years of age or older
•Good health and physical condition
•Minimum of a high school diploma or equivalent (Graduate of a 4-year college or university preferred)
•Be a United States citizen
•Have or be able to obtain a North Carolina Driver’s License
•Have an Honorable Military Discharge, General Discharges are evaluated on a case by case basis
•Pass an entry level physical ability test (POPAT)
•Pass an extensive background investigation including psychological examination, polygraph examination, etc.
•Pass a pre-employment Medical Examination and Drug Screening Test
•Must not have a criminal record or a record of serious motor vehicle offenses
•Live within 30-mile radius of Police Headquarters (347 Second Avenue SW, Hickory, NC)
Along with the benefit and responsibility of serving as a Community Police Officer with one of the finest municipal agencies in the country each officer is provided:
•All required equipment and uniforms
•Entry level pay Non-Certified $32,034.37
•Entry level pay Certified $35,593.74
•"One officer-one car" and "take home car" programs
•State and Local Government and Law Enforcement Officer's retirement plan
•Paid medical insurance for employee
•Paid holidays, vacation, and sick leave
•Physical fitness facilities
•Tuition reimbursement
•Work schedule that provides seven days off every 14-day cycle, including every other weekend

To obtain more information about joining the ranks of the best law enforcement has to offer, please contact Sgt. Justin Levey at the Hickory Police Department, 828-261-2618.
Recruitment Mission Statement

The Hickory Police Department Recruitment Division is committed to recruiting, assessing, and hiring the best-suited and qualified applicants to meet the needs of the City of Hickory and the HPD. The HPD is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We believe our employees should be reflective of the community they serve.


Got Lotsa Old Stuff? American Pickers Is Filming In NC Soon!

North Carolina - 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 in Spring 2018!

American Pickers is a documentary series that explores the fascinating world of antique “picking” on History. 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. facebook: @GotAPick

Foothills Folk Art Festival Invites Artists’ Applications Until June 1

Newton, NC - The Foothills Folk Art Festival is now accepting artist applications for the juried festival, which will be held in Downtown Newton on Saturday, October 6.

The festival is a partnership between Downtown Newton Development Association (DNDA) and Hickory Museum of Art (HMA). Festival hours will be 10am to 4pm.

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

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

A registration fee must accompany the application, but the fee will be returned if the artist is not accepted. The early registration fee will be $50 and will apply to any applications postmarked by June 1, 2018. The regular registration fee will be $75 and will apply to applications that are postmarked by Sept. 1, 2018. Applications should be mailed to Hickory Museum of Art, Attn: Clarissa Starnes, 243 Third Ave. NE, Hickory, NC 28601. Applications may also be emailed to Please make checks payable to Foothills Folk Art Festival. No applications will be accepted via the festival Facebook page.

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

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

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

Festival volunteer committees are now being formed to organize everything from parking and signs to children’s art and food. To volunteer, contact Shannon Johnson, Newton Main Street Program manager, at 828-695-4360 or For the latest news about the festival, like its Facebook page at or go to the festival website at The public is also encouraged to follow the festival on Twitter @folkartfest.

Summer Shakespeare Institute At The Green Room Is July 16-21

Newton, NC - The Green Room Community Theatre is pleased to announce the dates for its 21st annual Summer Shakespeare Theatre Institute. This unique experience is a week-long theatre day camp in which students 1st grade through 12th grade explore the exciting world of William Shakespeare and his times. At the end of the week, they will participate in a production of one of his plays! Using Shakespeare as a guide, participants learn more about acting, auditioning skills, costumes, scenery, how to memorize, mask making, lights, make-up, becoming a character on the stage, and working as an ensemble. These are key elements to becoming a better performer (and it can help with English classes, too).

This year, you are invited to experience one of Shakespeare’s most well-known tragedies… Romeo and Juliet. For added interest, we will set this show under the sea!

The dates for this year’s camp are July 16 – 21, 2018. The camp will run Monday – Saturday from 10:00 am until 3:00 pm each day. On Saturday, July 21st at 1:30 pm, the students will present Romeo and Juliet in a performance for family and friends.

Camp will be held at The Green Room’s home, the Old Post Office Playhouse located at 10 South Main Avenue in Newton. To encourage pre-registration, we have an Early Registration Discount. If paid in full before June 15, 2015, the cost is $165 per student with a $25 discount available for additional siblings. After June 15, the cost will be $180 per student with a sibling discount also available. Price of tuition?includes one camp T-shirt. (Please note: should a student withdraw after June 15, $50 of the fee is nonrefundable.) Check out our website for the registration form:

Hickory’s Oktoberfest Juried Arts & Crafts Entries Are Being Taken

Hickory - Hickory’s Oktoberfest 2018 is now accepting applications for Arts and Crafts vendors. Celebrating its 33rd year, this annual festival will be held October 12, 13, and 14, 2018 in Downtown Hickory NC. Estimated attendance is 100,000 for the three day event.

Hickory's Oktoberfest is an outdoor festival held annually on the second weekend in October. It features four stages of non-stop live entertainment ranging from traditional polka to rock & roll, two beer gardens, amusement rides and carnival games, a juried arts and crafts show, and hundreds of food and commercial vendors.

Oktoberfest’s Juried Arts and Crafts show is a juried event, with prizes given for the top three artisans. The Arts & Crafts area includes paintings, sculpture, pottery, handmade swings, candles, jewelry, photography and more. Booth spaces are 10 x 10 and limited to one craftsperson per booth. Registration will be accepted until August 1, 2018. Booth fees are $200.00 for all three days with electricity available for an additional $25.00. Applications and guidelines are available on line at

Other vendors include commercial businesses, and nonprofit organizations. Applications for Commercial and Non-Profit vendors are available online at Food vendors are welcomed into the festival by invitation only. No food vendor applications are provided online.

For more information on Oktoberfest 2018, applications and guidelines or sponsorship information please visit the website and click on vendor applications or email

Life Line Health Screening Mon., April 30, Newton Rec. Center

Newton, NC – Life Line Screening, a leading provider of community-based preventive health screenings, is pleased to offer a preventive health event at the Newton Recreation Center on Monday, April 30.

Five screenings will be offered that scan for the following potential health problems:
Blocked arteries, which are a leading cause of stroke
Abdominal aortic aneurysms, which can lead to a ruptured aorta
Hardening of the arteries in the legs, which is a strong predictor of heart disease
Atrial fibrillation or irregular heartbeat, which are closely tied to stroke risk
Bone density screening, which is used to assess the risk of osteoporosis in men and women

Two screening packages are available. Package 1 includes plaque, vascular disease, and heart rhythm screenings (four tests) for $139. Package 2 includes plaque, vascular disease, heart rhythm, and osteoporosis screenings (five tests) for $149.

All screenings take 60-90 minutes to complete. Screenings will be at the Newton Recreation Center, 23 South Brady Ave.

To register for your appointment and to receive a $10 discount, call 888-653-6443 or visit

For more information, please call the Newton Recreation Department at 828-695-4317.

Hickory Police Special Olympics Benefit Golf Tourney Is May 14

Hickory – Hickory Police Department is continuing its efforts to support Special Olympics North Carolina through fundraising and by bringing awareness to the organization’s goals of providing year-round sports training and athletic opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities through social inclusion.

HPD will host its 21st Annual Golf Tournament to benefit Special Olympics on May 14, 2018 at the Lake Hickory Country Club – Catawba Springs Course. This event helps to raise the much needed funding for the many programs offered by Special Olympics North Carolina here in Catawba County such as basketball, bowling, equestrian, flag football, softball, soccer, swimming and tennis.

If interested in becoming a sponsor or entering a team, please contact Chrystal Dieter at 828-261-2642 or .


Free Karma Yoga Classes At Library Each Wednesday At 6pm

Hickory - Join Yoga Instructor Ms. Pradnya (aka Swati) at Patrick Beaver Memorial Library for free Karma Yoga classes every Wednesday at 6:00 pm. Prior yoga experience is not necessary and classes can be joined at any time. Simple, safe and practical yoga stretches and movements are taught to help the Karma yogis relax as well as strengthen the mind-body-spirit. Pradnya offers modifications to people with little to no mobility. The pay it forward class put emphasis on mindfulness and universal meditation based on the concept of good 'Karma' (deeds). This class is NOT a substitute for any medical or mental health issues. Participants are asked to wear comfortable clothing and bring a yoga mat.

Pradnya began offering free Karma Yoga classes to the community at Patrick Beaver Memorial Library on Wednesdays 8 years ago as part of her pay it forward service. She has been practicing yoga since the age of 5 and has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy. She holds E-RYT, RCYT & YACEP Yoga Alliance credentials and has over 20 years of teaching experience. Pradnya has been helping people to enhance their overall wellness with practical yoga solutions through her therapy practice at Yoga Reflection. Pradnya also offers yoga workshops and classes for children and adults at the City of Hickory's Neill Clark Recreation Center. For more details, visit

Karma Yoga is offered at Patrick Beaver Memorial Library on Wednesday evenings at 6:00 pm. The class is free and open to adults and teens and to children 10 to 16 with an accompanying adult. For more information, please call 828-304-0500 ext. 7235.

Town Of Hudson’s NC Butterfly Festival Is Fri. & Sat., May 4 & 5

Hudson, NC - The oldest festival in Caldwell County, the North Carolina Butterfly Festival, will kick off at Redwood Park in Hudson with a 5K Butterfly Run and Caterpillar Crawl at 8 AM. The Arts and Crafts Festival will run from 9 AM until 4 PM on Central Street in Downtown Hudson.

There will be one quarter mile of vendors, with booths for food, arts and crafts. There will be a beer and wine garden and there will be entertainment and games for kids. There will be a butterfly release at Noon.

Following the festival, from 5 – 7 PM, the Extraordinaires will provide a free concert in Hickman Windmill Park, behind Hudson Town Hall. The Extraordinaires perform soul, beach and pop music. Please bring blankets or lawn chairs.

On Friday, May 4th, there will be a Cruise-In from 5 – 8 PM in front of the Local Bean on Central Street.

For more information, you may call Hudson Town Hall at 728-8272. Vendor applications are currently being accepted by going on line at, by calling 828.726-1009 or by going by Gold Mine Jewelers on Main Street of Hudson.

Call For Artists For Hickory Art Crawl; Deadline Is April 15

Hickory, NC: The Hickory Downtown Development Association is seeking artists interested in participating in the upcoming 2018 Downtown Hickory Art Crawls. Art in most disciplines will be accepted, although art must be in good taste and able to be shown to persons of all ages. Artists will display their works in and around local downtown Hickory businesses and demonstrations are encouraged. There is no charge to the artist for participation and no commissions are charged on items sold, but artists are required to personally pay all applicable NC taxes.

Artists selected to show will need to bring all necessary display items, tables and chairs. Failure by the participating artist to appear at the event will be considered during the application process for other downtown events.

The 2018 dates are Thursday, May 17, and Thursday, September 20.

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

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

Applications are due by April 15 for the May 18, 2018 Art Crawl and by August 15 for the September 21, 2018 Art Crawl. You will be notified at least two weeks before the Crawl of your acceptance.

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

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

Joy Prom Is Set For Saturday, April 28, Discovery Church

Newton, NC - The Second-Annual Joy Prom event for the Catawba Valley and Unifour area is now open for registration. Joy Prom is a full-scale prom event for the special needs individuals throughout the community for ages 16 and older with developmental and/or physical impairments. Joy Prom will be held on Saturday, April 28 from 5:30pm until 9:00pm at Discovery Church on Startown Road in Newton. Registration for Joy Prom is now open on a first-come, first-served basis by visiting and is open to the first 100 registrants.

Joy Prom is dedicated to making every prom attendee feel like a prince or princess before, during and after the event. On their night to shine, guests will be paired up with a volunteer as their escort for the evening and will be honored with the on-site Glam Shop for hair and makeup touch-ups, shoe shines, and even help with straightening the tie. And as the Joy Prom celebration begins, everyone will enjoy a short limo ride around the campus with a walk down the red carpet followed by dinner, music, dancing, and paparazzi-style photography throughout the night.

To help commemorate the event, each prom-goer will receive a specialized swag bag with lots of goodies to keep Joy Prom 2018 in their memories for years to come! Parents and caregivers are also included in the fun of Joy Prom while they relax and enjoy refreshments as well as a live video-feed of the festivities at an on-site Hospitality House.

To help get into the spirit of the evening, Discovery Church will be host to a special Prom Store prior to the event that will be open by appointment to assist prom-goers with formal wear selections and accessories as well as any alterations that may be needed.

Joy Prom began last year and has been a vision and event sponsored and hosted by Discovery Church, believing that every person is made in the image of God and that each life should be valued and celebrated!

There is no cost to attend Joy Prom and the event being hosted by countless volunteers and sponsors throughout the community. To help make Joy Prom 2018 a continued success, individuals and organizations are always encouraged to donate their services, products and formal attire.

For more information on registering or donations, please visit or call Discovery Church at 828.855.2200.
Joy Prom 2017 Red Carpet

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 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, or Mary Reynolds, CVCC Alumni Director, 828-327-7000 ext. 4387,

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.

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.

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 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

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.

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.

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.

Email for more info:

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, or call 828-322-1400. For the latest updates, like the center on Facebook at

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

Can You Help? Women’s Resource Center

Needs Items For Emergency Pantry

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

SAFE Connect Offers Resource Website To Assist Homeless

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Caregiver Support Program Offers Local Families A Break

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Humane Society Seeks Foster Parents For Special Animals

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

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

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

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

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

Family Guidance Center Offers Support, Insight On Verbal Abuse

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

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

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

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

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

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

Does your partner discount your opinions or experiences?

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

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

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

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

Facts which generally apply to verbal abuse:

Verbal abuse tends to be secretive.

Verbal abuse tends to increase over time.

Verbal abuse discounts your perception of reality and denies itself.

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

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

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

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

Women’s Resource Center Needs Daily Volunteers

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

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

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

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

Social Workers Partner With Lions Clubs To Help The Blind

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Child Wellbeing Project Offers Post Adoption Support

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hickory’s Angel of Hope House Requests Help

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

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

Items Needed:

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

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

Volunteers Needed To Deliver Meals On Wheels

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

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

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

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

How To Get Your Event In Focus

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

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

Health-Care Pro Discusses The Many Warning

Signs And How To Spot A Victim Of Domestic Violence

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

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

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

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

Linda O’Dochartaigh reviews some of the warning signs:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Family Finders Helps Foster Kids Connect With Extended Family

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

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

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

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

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

Sid Daniels

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Loving Our Enemies

By Rev. Susan Smith

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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