Ashley Lee never really had an interest in computers and engineering while he was a student at Hibriten High School and Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute, focusing more on sports and martial arts.
Today, Lee is an engineer at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Ala., where he is leading work on ARTEMIS, a simulator designed to test flight control systems for the on-board computer flight programming for the largest, most powerful rocket ever built – NASA’s Space Launch System.
Jessie Bowman sat on a couch surrounded by photographs of smiling family members and laminated newspaper clippings about his life and various awards. Recently, he has been in the news for receiving the National Order of the Legion of Honour medal, the highest decoration that recognizes service to France, in February and receiving a second key to the city of Granite Falls in March.
Members of the Lenoir Woman’s Club say they were drawn to the group because of its community service projects, but once there they found amazing fellowship.
Mark Bumgarner started playing music as a high school student, “beating and thrashing around,” as he describes it, the beginning of a long musical journey.
On Saturday, he’ll come back to his hometown to play a show at 7 p.m. Saturday at 1841 Café with Jaret Carter, Patrick Crouch and Ron Shuffler. The show is also a warm-up for the four musicians before they head off to Merlefest in Wilkesboro, one of the largest music festivals in the country, where they’ll play at the Plaza Stage on April 26 at noon and 6 p.m.
Dr. Lyndon Craig Kirby thinks about his teachers from Hibriten High School every now and again. Whenever he uses a skill that he learned in class, he wishes he could phone them and tell them he still remembered that from high school.
Bishop Leonard Homer Bolick did not originally want to be a pastor. Even though he went to seminary and studied ministry, he continued to tell God it was not going to work out.
“I never wanted to work in a church,” Bolick said. “It was something that I really struggled against. That was the last thing I wanted to do. But when I was getting ready to graduate from Appalachian [State University], there was just a sense of a call to serve in the church. I didn’t want to do it, but I thought I’ll go to seminary because I felt this overwhelming call to go into ministry. I couldn’t ignore that.”
John Christian Bernhardt’s love of learning was surpassed only by his love for people, said his son.
“No one worked for him. They worked with him,” Alex Bernhardt Sr. said. “He loved the people. He loved the customers. He treated everybody as equals.”
James Miller Whisnant walked into his first class at North Carolina State University nervous and concerned. He wondered how he would stack up against students from cities like Charlotte, Greensboro and Raleigh. Born and raised in a rural, country setting between Whitnel and Baton, Whisnant thought that maybe his education at Hudson High School wouldn’t stack up at N.C. State. He couldn’t have been more wrong.
Alisha Little says she has always been running. It's one of the things she does for herself. Her job, and one of the things she does for others, is working with children who have been victims of physical or sexual abuse. On April 24, she will blend the two and take on the Boston Marathon while wearing colors in support of Robin’s Nest Children’s Advocacy Center in Lenoir.
Though film versions of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" focus much attention on the Queen of Hearts, the mythical monster the Jabberwock takes center stage in the adaptation that opens tonight at the J.E. Broyhill Civic Center.
Getting expelled from school helped Magruder Hill Tuttle Jr. realize his love of learning. When Tuttle was in ninth grade in the mid-1920s, he and his friends took a cherry bomb firecracker and set it off outside a classroom at Lenoir High School. They laughed with glee as it exploded with a shocking boom, rattling the schoolhouse windows. Tuttle was expelled, but he eventually realized that school was where he needed to be.
Today is Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute's birthday. Sort of. The college's charter was signed on this day in 1964. But in 1964, there was no campus.
At Hibriten High School, Charlie Davis, Hunter Justice and William Kent gathered with pride and beaming smiles around the mostly finished car they are building. The fire-engine-red body shimmered in the light from the recently applied spray paint. The car still had no steering wheel, and two of the wheels will be replaced with more road-friendly tires.
The Rev. David Smith looked out at the rows of pews on a sunny, brisk Wednesday, four days before he was to deliver his last sermon from the tall, white pulpit of First Baptist Church in Lenoir.
As the sunlight burned through the stained-glass windows of the sanctuary, he remembered the faces and lives that have filed in and out of the rows of burgundy cushions in front of him.
Lisa Ward’s ears perked up when her metal detector sounded a “hit” on an object beneath the dirt last weekend in the woods on on Vaiden Street near the Caldwell Heritage Museum in downtown Lenoir. The land once was the homestead of Dr. Alfred A. Kent, a wealthy medical doctor and state legislator.
After digging down nearly a foot, they found a leathery flap, turquoise on one side. Digging farther, they uncovered more flaps and eventually realized the ragged pile once had been a wallet.
After a month of being in a Charlotte hospital, recovering from being hit by a car, Grayson Walker came home Wednesday.
To the sight of “Welcome Home” balloons bouncing in the wind outside his family's house in Hudson, Walker, 15, walked in wearing a blue helmet over the spot where he is still missing a section of skull, and a bright smile on his face.
Volcanoes erupted. Small black scorpions turned blue. Mouse ribcages were plucked from owl pellets, and all the while, Buff the stuffed owl watched over the “Scorpions, Owls and Bears, Oh My!” science festival.
A bright red crawdad, towering over 6 feet tall, ambled through the hallways of Sawmills Elementary School. Dressed in a Hickory Crawdads baseball T-shirt and Hawaiian-print shorts, the crustacean mascot was on his way to deliver news to fourth-grader Nathan Connor.
It’s Saturday, and the halls of South Caldwell High School are quiet.
That is, until a shout of “No running in the halls!” echoes around the corners of shining lockers and squeaky floors as a blur of neon-clad runners whiz by.
The halls nearby reeked of formaldehyde. In the classrooms, groups of four gathered around a tray full of juices and dead pig on its back, its legs splayed out to expose its belly. Volunteers from Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute, including Mark Bodnar and Kelsey Toliver, coached the students through the assignment.
Tuttle Educational State Forest, located in southwest Caldwell County, is home to many hands-on learning activities and programs, including several amphitheatres, the Forestry Center and more talking exhibits. Every pathway in the 300-acre forest strives to educate on soil, water, wildlife and forestry.
Amos Rutherford has held many different titles in his lifetime – farmer, soldier, mechanic – but on Saturday, he earned a new one: centenarian.
March 15 was Rutherford’s 100th birthday, a warm day made warmer by the presence of friends and family gathered at the Martin Luther King Jr. Center in Lenoir to celebrate the life of the man they call Pops. And from his days with the Army to his days working at Don Campbell’s Exxon in Lenoir, Amos has had no shortage of friends.
In her room at Gateway Nursing Center in Lenoir, Ethel Crump is passing the last days of her 99th year, full of memories still.
Crump, who will turn 100 on Saturday, spent much of her life in Caldwell County. As a child, she lived in Mortimer. As far as her family knows, she may be the last person surviving who remembers living in Mortimer before it was effectively wiped out by flooding in 1940. As an adult she lived in Lower Creek and the Globe, and until her move to the nursing home she lived on Staircase Mountain with her late husband, Carl.
At nearly 100, it’s harder for Crump to tell her stories. Her family remembers them coming constantly in earlier years, a rain of stories, trickling down through their shared histories. She built her life on them.
The Junior Appalachian Musicians program offers students a low-cost opportunity to study old-time fiddle, old-time guitar, blues guitar, songwriting and old-time mandolin. The program began in the fall of 2011 through a Traditional Arts Program for Students grant from the North Carolina Arts Council for after-school programs that bring local traditional arts to students, Program Director Adrienne Roellgen said.