Jul. 23, 2014 @ 09:22 AM

Eola Beer Company set to open next week

The old Lenoir bus station on Harper Avenue has sprung back to life in recent weeks, with interior walls coming down and new equipment going up, transforming the building into what its owner hopes will be a first-rate gastropub.

Jul. 20, 2014 @ 08:54 AM

Japanese weed a growing problem at Wilson Creek

In the 1920s, Bill Crump ordered a packet of seeds from a Sears Roebuck catalog to help him stave erosion after a flood washed through his woodworking mill in Cary’s Flat, near the headwaters of Wilson Creek.

In the 70 years since then, the plant that grew from those seeds, Japanese knotweed, has multiplied exponentially, migrated down the creek and taken up residence along uninhabited stream banks.

Jul. 20, 2014 @ 06:41 AM

Column: Remembering the man and the mission

In 1961, President John Kennedy made his famous address to Congress announcing his aspiration to put men on the moon and return them to Earth by the end of the decade.

Jul. 20, 2014 @ 06:34 AM

Sawmills is fired up for kickball

The heat of the July sun baked the field and players at Sawmills Veterans Park. A small crowd cheered encouragement from the sidelines, including the mayor of Sawmills, Bob Gibbs, sitting in a fold-out chair with a floppy sunhat on his bald head.

Jul. 19, 2014 @ 09:43 AM

Column: Putting 'community' into gardening

Regardless of your motivation, there are many opportunities for you to enjoy gardening while enjoying the benefits of a community activity.

Jul. 16, 2014 @ 06:52 AM

Children bubbling with excitement to make soda

Eleven-year-old Kaylee Fitzgerald carefully measured out fruit punch, seltzer water and cola syrup with a small eyedropper. She allowed the liquid to drip carefully into a paper Dixie cup decorated with pink and green owls. Her brother, Riley Miller, 7, mimicked her every move.

Jul. 16, 2014 @ 06:47 AM

Kids wade into learning about creek

The squeals and shouts of children’s voices echoed through the thick trees at the Tuttle Educational State Forest.

“Come here! Give me a bowl!”

“He’s trying to pinch the stick!”

Jul. 12, 2014 @ 04:37 AM

4-H goes crazy making cobbler

Celia Chimento, 8, chopped a stick of butter into uneven slices in a baking sheet, which was put in the oven for the butter to melt. In a separate bowl, she carefully stirred together flour, sugar and milk alongside her 4-H Club friends on Friday. Chimento tried whisking the mixture and abruptly leaned back as the liquid sloshed against the sides of the bowl.

She and 10 other children were busy Friday making blackberry cobbler to be part of the cobbler patchwork at the North Carolina Blackberry Festival.

Jul. 11, 2014 @ 08:45 AM

A closet for more than clothes

The first day that a child spends with a new foster parent can be hectic, lots to do and little time for the two to get acqainted, but at Caldwell County Department of Social Services, there's a second-floor room that can take away some of that pressure and even provide the first foundations of a new relationship.

Jul. 11, 2014 @ 06:05 AM

4-H Club does it themselves

Dana Snyder, parent volunteer for Caldwell County’s 4-H Club, held up an open spiral notebook covered in writing in front of 16 young club members.

“This is my DIY Bible right here,” Snyder said. “And if anybody touches it, I kind of go nuts!”

Jul. 12, 2014 @ 07:17 AM

First county mountain biking trail nears completion

On weekends for about the past six months, volunteers have been making their way to Zacks Fork Road in Lenoir, hauling shovels and picks and rakes in the woods, working to create a first for Caldwell County — a trail built specifically for mountain-biking.

Jul. 10, 2014 @ 06:47 AM

Ice cream, gloop, slime --- oh my!

Eight-year-old Kaitlyn Rader plunged her small hands into what looked like a bowl of yellow, gooey rubber. The yellow “gloop” and flecks of yellow powder stuck to her skin, making her hands look like the yellow, scaly paws of a mini monster.

Jul. 09, 2014 @ 09:18 AM

Column: Why they signed

Fifty-six gentlemen signed the Declaration of Independence, which we commemorate each July 4.

Jul. 09, 2014 @ 08:13 AM

Blackberry Festival brings more to the table

Each July, downtown Lenoir gets taken over by the product of a thorny, thicket-growing plant, colonizing the streets and sidewalks and creating a ruckus throughout the city.

This weekend, it will happen again, at the 13th annual North Carolina Blackberry Festival, bringing 150 vendors and nearly 15,000 visitors to celebrate that thorny plant.

Jul. 08, 2014 @ 12:01 PM

South Caldwell High student wins trip to Washington D.C.

When you hear the phrase “grassroots advocacy,” you probably wouldn’t think of softball. But Molly Sims did, and it won her a six-day trip to Washington D.C.

Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corp. held a speech competition on what “grassroots advocacy” means and how it relates to Blue Ridge Electric. Sims, a rising senior at South Caldwell High School, took inspiration from her favorite sport to pull her speech together.

Jul. 08, 2014 @ 11:58 AM

Welcome to ‘The Phelps Compound’

On the Caldwell County side of Rhodhiss, a small house surrounded by a towering black fence sits off the side of Spruce Street. Aside from the fence, it’s a happy looking home with a large back deck and saplings sprouting in the yard.

Inside, sunlight glimmers in the sun room. An impressive collection of glass toothpick holders, creating the colors of the rainbow, look out on the small dining room.

Jul. 08, 2014 @ 10:08 AM

South Caldwell's Molly Sims wins trip to D.C.

When you hear the phrase “grassroots advocacy,” you probably wouldn’t think of softball. But Molly Sims did, and it won her a six-day trip to Washington D.C.

Jul. 08, 2014 @ 10:07 AM

Welcome to 'The Phelps Compound"

On the Caldwell County side of Rhodhiss, a small house surrounded by a towering black fence sits off the side of Spruce Street. Aside from the fence, it’s a happy looking home with a large back deck and saplings sprouting in the yard.

Jul. 07, 2014 @ 09:41 AM

From unwanted puppy to minor celebrity

Peggy Hatley entered the Tractor Supply Co. of Lenoir late last month with no intention of buying anything, merely tagging along while her roommate, Sharon Bates, picked up dog food. While Bates shopped, Hatley was drawn to the puppies up for adoption through Pet Partners Network.

For four months, Hatley had been searching for a therapy dog to take with her to work at Carolina Rehab Center of Burke. The center used to have a therapy dog, a Labrador retriever, but it left when its owner took another job.

Jul. 07, 2014 @ 09:38 AM

A Fourth of July to remember

When Caldwell County citizens think of Fourth of July, they think about vacation, the history of our country and our independence.

Dottie Lloyd said, “It means celebrating the men who served our country. My husband was one of them. We’ve been married 62 years.”

Jul. 03, 2014 @ 06:31 AM

Hurricane will bring relief from heat

You weren't suffering from blurred vision Wednesday, and there wasn't a forest fire anywhere filling Caldwell County's air with smoke.

That was just a thick haze of ground-layer ozone, said meteorologist Neil Dixon from the National Weather Services in Greenville, S.C.

Jul. 02, 2014 @ 11:16 AM

Embracing the mad scientist within

Liquid oozed. Soda exploded. Balloons floated around the room. On Tuesday afternoon, the Lenoir branch of the Caldwell County Public Library became a laboratory for young mad scientists.

As part of the Fizz, Boom, Read Children’s Summer Reading program, the library’s youth services staff set up several tables with different activities that allowed kids to experiment and tap into their inner scientist.

Jul. 01, 2014 @ 08:13 AM

Lenoir puts spotlight on musical heritage

By late summer, local residents should see tangible evidence of Lenoir's efforts to capitalize on its musical heritage: a historical marker to tell visitors what happened here.

Doc Watson, Etta Baker and Pop Ferguson, all greats in traditional music, have one thing in common – a deep connection with Lenoir.

Jun. 30, 2014 @ 09:25 AM

Amateur Radio Club competes in 2014 Field Day

Hudson’s Redwood Park was much more than a gathering space Saturday, and will be into this afternoon, alive with the sounds of radio static, the quick, intermittent beeping of Morse code, and precise radio call signs sounding from the pavilion and reaching around the globe.

Jun. 29, 2014 @ 06:26 AM

Beekeepers know the buzz

There's a reason beekeeper suits are white, as a photographer in a black shirt learned when he approached Gary Jones’s beehives last week to snap a photo.

As the photographer inched closer, one of the bees got caught in the fine white wisps of hair on his head. The photographer quickly brushed him off, and the bee charged -- right at the photographer’s nose.