Features

Jan. 31, 2014 @ 08:06 AM

New Jersey native finds solace in giant jigsaw puzzles

The thought of fitting together 24,000 jigsaw puzzle pieces into one giant mosaic would be daunting to most. But not for 63-year-old Wayne Douglas, who spent nearly 500 hours and six months hunkered over a large table at the Satie and J.E. Broyhill Caldwell Senior Center.

The completed puzzle, called "LIFE - The Great Challenge," measures 5 feet by 14 feet and now hangs on a wall in the center's activity room.


Jan. 24, 2014 @ 01:07 PM

94th chamber dinner celebrates champions

A champion is a person who takes on a cause with passion, and fights for that cause.

Thursday night, at the Caldwell Chamber of Commerce’s 94th Annual Dinner, “A Celebration of Champions,” members of the Caldwell County community who have done that were honored. Members of Caldwell County governments, businesses, schools, hospitals and more gathered for the dinner and to hear the legacies of three individuals who have given themselves and their works to Caldwell.


Jan. 21, 2014 @ 10:24 AM

Missionaries travel Caldwell County's streets

When you see a pair of Mormon missionaries riding their bikes, wearing their black nametags and pressed white shirts, raising their hands to knock on doors, it’s easy to think of them as anonymous. Transient. Simply part of one massive group.

But, of course, they aren’t actually anonymous. The five Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints missionaries currently assigned to Caldwell County are 21-year-old Cody Troseth, 19-year-old Quinn Miles, 19-year-old Will Richardson, 20-year-old Jessica Campos and 20-year-old Emily Ashcraft. (They don’t call each other by those names -- LDS missionaries are referred to as “Elder or “Sister, based on gender.)


Jan. 20, 2014 @ 01:17 PM

Students' field trip has them building robots

In a classroom-style building tucked into the corner of one of the old Shuford Mills buildings, all chipping paint on brick walls, 10 sixth-graders from Granite Falls Middle School wearing safety glasses put parts and pieces together, making robots.  

The students spent their half-day on Friday making what they called eggbots — basically, robots capable of drawing on spherical surfaces the size of eggs — at Foothills Community Workshop. In this case, the spherical surface used was ping-pong ball.


Jan. 20, 2014 @ 11:28 AM

Building a mountain biking trail and a community

On a cold, clear Saturday morning, Jeff Welch, Sean Moore and a group of dedicated volunteers trudged through the frost and woods, lugging shovels, rakes and picks – finally breaking ground on a project that has been years in the making.


Jan. 15, 2014 @ 09:15 AM

Lenoir man makes mark on 'Millionaire'

Eric Stafford got an email about 9 a.m. Monday, telling him he’d be on that night’s episode of “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.”


Jan. 12, 2014 @ 08:15 AM

Ingenuity, quality the foundations of Construction Attachments

Charles Corriher was on a business trip to England in the early 1980s for a tractor dealership when he noticed a product that he thought would sell well in the U.S.

He went to visit the owner and became a partner in the company, bringing the manufacture of swing-over forks, or forklift arms that fit onto a bulldozer bucket, to Lenoir in 1983


Jan. 07, 2014 @ 09:18 AM

Lenoir man plants house deep to save energy

From the front, the Lenoir house David Ehlers shares with his wife and 13-year-old daughter looks like any other.  

Circle around to the back, however, and the home appears to have sunk into the ground. From the steep hill overlooking the Ehlers’ property, you can see little more than a shingled roof.

This is the Ehlers’ basement house. It grew from the seed of an idea David Ehlers had as he worked in the basement of his old home, a more traditional brick ranch within a stone’s throw of this house.


Jan. 05, 2014 @ 08:35 AM

Hooked on wood

Each weekend, as drivers round a corner on U.S. 321 between Lenoir and Blowing Rock, they see a few men on the side of the road next to a small brown shed, with large, flat slabs of wood leaned on a trailer next to tables of wood bowls and rows of furniture made from willow.


Jan. 01, 2014 @ 07:45 AM

Search for father's voice yields surprising results

The News-Topic carried a story last January about Leigh Ann Young's quest to find a recording of her father, Verlon “Rube” Walker, a baseball player from Lenoir best known as the pitching coach of the Cubs from 1961 to just before the 1971 season. He died at age 42, eight days before Young turned 3. Young, 45, has no memory of him.

Though she has not found the tape, 2013 was a year of discovery.


Dec. 31, 2013 @ 08:57 AM

One year in, Mobile Clinic moving forward at full speed

Last January a brightly painted, 22-ton, 45-foot long bus pulled up outside a school in Caldwell County for the first time, with no intention of picking up or dropping off any students.

The bus is not equipped with rows of seats, but with examination tables, a centrifuge and other medical equipment.


Dec. 30, 2013 @ 05:01 PM

‘Spirit of the USO’ brings back Big Band era for a night

As 2013 winds down toward 2014, one spot in downtown Lenoir will travel back in time to usher in the New Year the way Americans did it in the 1940s and ‘50s.

The “Spirit of the USO” New Year’s Eve Party fundraiser, hosted by Pop Ferguson Blues Inc., will take New Year’s back to the days when the country swung to Big Band music, and to a time when Lenoir bluesman Pop Ferguson was overseas playing guitar in officers’ clubs during World War II.


Dec. 26, 2013 @ 08:56 AM

Christmas spirit comes in a box

Santa was still taking off his boots at home by the time the first volunteers arrived at First Baptist Church of Hudson to begin cooking Wednesday.

About 4 a.m. they started work in the kitchen of the church’s Christian Life Center to cook food that included 36 turkey hams, six chicken breasts, 60 gallons of yams, 54 gallons of green beans, 54 gallons of corn and 130 cans of cranberry sauce. They prepared 1,500 deviled eggs and sliced 90 cakes prepared by the ladies of the church.


Dec. 25, 2013 @ 08:42 AM

'Year-round hobby' animates Lenoir's Christmas lights

On the square in downtown Lenoir, after darkness falls, Christmas lights streak, jump and dance in time to music.  

The light show, which synchronizes moving lights with holiday tunes, runs from 6 to 10 p.m. each night until Jan. 5. It’s the brainchild of twin brothers Dean and Gene Norman.


Dec. 22, 2013 @ 08:20 AM

Quality, expertise live at Autumn House

Autumn House opened for business in 1978 on a small exit off Interstate 40 in Icard, making mostly skateboards.

Founders Howard Pruitt and Ernie Rosenquist established the company to fill a need they saw in the market for curved plywood, especially among the well-established nearby residential furniture companies.


Dec. 21, 2013 @ 06:22 AM

Chapel of Rest presents Christmas Eve service

The Chapel of Rest’s annual Christmas Eve Service will begin at 4 p.m., and the doors open at 3:30 p.m.

Patsy Riddle will play a “Christmas Meditation” on keyboard beginning at 3:45 p.m., to include a cello solo by J.S. Bach performed by Nick Paolino.

Bassoonist Paige West-Smith and percussionist Charles Smith will begin the Prelude at 4 p.m. with “What Child is This” arranged by Charles Smith.


Dec. 20, 2013 @ 08:30 AM

Lenoir indoor market keeps it local for the holidays

The growing season is over for most farmers, but the Lenoir’s Indoor Farmer’s Market remains open.

Jeff Crane, president and co-manager of the year-round indoor market, said the market draws customers not only for such things as produce and local eggs but crafts -- some customers are looking for a Christmas gift with a local touch.


Dec. 19, 2013 @ 01:18 PM

Miniature horses used to help children

Pre-schoolers sat piled in the back of a tiny carriage at First United Methodist Church in Lenoir on Monday, pulled along by a miniature horse with bows in its mane and tail.

You could see the excitement jetting through the kids, ages 3 to 5, all students at Robbins Preschool, but you couldn’t see the story behind it — the story of an unusual gift.


Dec. 15, 2013 @ 07:08 AM

Behind the bells

Promptly at 9, it started: From the store’s entrance, the clanging of bells, a sure sign that the holidays have started and the Salvation Army has set up camp for its annual Red Kettle Campaign.

On this particular day, Keith Stallings and Neal Haas manned the kettle at the left entrance of the store, greeting early risers outside the doors and, of course, shaking bells back and forth, pausing when a conversation sprang up.


Dec. 13, 2013 @ 03:49 PM

Granite Falls boy's Christmas wish sparks canned-food drive

The Friday before Thanksgiving, Becky Curtis asked her 9-year-old son what he wanted for Christmas.

Quinten was quiet for a moment, then responded with one word: “Soup.”

For Christmas, he wanted to feed people who didn’t have enough food.


Dec. 04, 2013 @ 02:31 PM

Price leaves legacy of diversity, respect

Last night, as the first city council meeting in nearly 15 years started without him sitting on the council, Lewis Price’s tenure with the city of Lenoir came full circle.


Dec. 01, 2013 @ 09:41 AM

City can't keep up with repairs

A pipe that Lenoir officials didn’t even know existed caused a sinkhole and related problems that could cost $1 million to fix, an expense no one anticipated.

And that essentially sums up a major issue confronting the city.


Dec. 01, 2013 @ 09:37 AM

Creativity, craftsmanship on tap at Howard Brewing

Jason Howard is a brewer. He handcrafted his own recipes, continuously honing them in his home for more than a decade before making it a career – and making those beers the backbone of a thriving Lenoir brewery.


Nov. 24, 2013 @ 09:15 AM

Lubrimetal brings global success to Caldwell

Giorgio Corso’s grandfather founded a small, metal-drawing lubricants company called Lubrimetal in Italy in 1959. Today, the company is truly global, with locations in Brazil, India and Caldwell County.

As executive vice president, Corso flies back and forth every few weeks to Italy and Granite Falls, where Lubrimetal’s American manufacturing facility is located.


Dec. 03, 2013 @ 09:30 AM

Meleah Mikeal half marathon continues legacy of perseverance, dedication

In Meleah Mikeal’s bedroom, framed photos of her crossing finish lines with a paper number pinned to her shirt, exausted from miles of continuous running, share wall space with the numerous medals she won.

On Saturday, she crossed the finish line of a half-marathon named in her honor, but this time she crossed the line in her wheelchair.