Aug. 28, 2014 @ 08:57 AM

Fiddlers' convention to mark decade of celebrating heritage

This weekend, campsites will dot the Yadkin River with firelight, and old-time and bluegrass music will echo across Happy Valley.

The 10th annual Historic Happy Valley Old-Time Fiddlers’ Convention starts Friday evening and runs through Sunday, expected to bring thousands to the field of the convention site to celebrate the heritage and culture of old-time and bluegrass music.

Aug. 27, 2014 @ 09:35 AM

Autistic artist speaks out against bullying

D.J. Svoboda will not look you in the eye. He will not reach out to shake your hand when you meet him. He speaks in an upbeat tone similar to that of a young child. However, Svoboda is 31 years old.

Aug. 25, 2014 @ 09:41 AM

Expiration of tax credits could slow local development

Historic properties in Lenoir like the Center Theater and the old Blue Bell factory on College Avenue may be facing tougher paths to rehabilitation, as special tax credits that help property owners are set to expire at the end of the year.

If the state’s Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credits are allowed to expire at the end of this year as planned, it could put a damper on the development of historic buildings all over North Carolina, including Lenoir and Caldwell County.

Aug. 18, 2014 @ 01:47 PM

Race cars soar at Speed Camp

Boys ran alongside a blue toy racetrack set up in the back of a classroom at Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute, cheering and whooping boisterously as their homemade wooden cars barreled down the track.

Aug. 15, 2014 @ 09:06 AM

Campers perform 'just right'

Chloe Triplett, 8, skipped across the theater stage to a table set with three white bowls. Following Christopher Marsh’s narration, Chloe pantomimed eating porridge out of the bowls. Then, she tried to sit in each of three chairs before trying out three beds and declaring the smallest one “just right.”

Aug. 14, 2014 @ 09:20 AM

Survivors, family share stories of 1940 flood

On Aug. 13, 1940, it was raining in Caldwell County, and had been for about a week.

About 5 p.m., the Johns and Yadkin rivers jumped their banks -- by a wide margin -- and widespread flooding nearly washed away entire communities, sending houses floating downriver and washing out 90 percent of the county’s bridges.

Aug. 13, 2014 @ 11:36 AM

Science, math can lead to hot dogs, digital frogs

Ethan Shuford, James Coffey, Bryan Annas, Samantha Byrd and Ken Dixon made a solar-powered oven out of a Little Caesar’s pizza box and a sour-cream-and-onion Pringles can, then used it to heat s’mores and hot dogs.

Aug. 13, 2014 @ 10:12 AM

Retirement brings man back to area that shaped him

When searching for a new home, a new place in which to retire, Ken Carpenter decided it was time to come back to a place where he spent part of his childhood.

“I was searching in three areas to retire in,” Carpenter said. “For me, I was interested in coming back to the Appalachian Mountains.”

Aug. 11, 2014 @ 01:30 PM

Flying pizza at CCC&TI

Anslie Norris, 9, slid a knife across the measuring cup of flour to make sure her measurements were perfect. Her fellow baker, McKenna Lowe, 10, poured water into cup. From the water and the different jars of ingredients before them, by the end of the day they hoped to have a pizza to devour.

Aug. 10, 2014 @ 06:05 AM

Creative kids dabble with art at college

Ten-year-old Michael Hawkins pummeled a piece of gray clay until it bended to his will. The clay molded into a curve under his fingers. On the rainy Friday, the activity was the perfect way for Michael to release his creative energy.

Michael joined several kids of elementary-school age at Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute for Art Expo camp from Monday to Friday last week.

Aug. 08, 2014 @ 08:48 AM

South, West cadets face their fears at camp

West Caldwell High School student Hunter Lambert balanced on a thin rope nearly 25 feet in the air. He had a harness strapped around his waist connected to another rope as he wobbled along. Reaching a platform, Hunter still had another rope to tip-toe across. Down below, other students shouted encouragement.

All of them were Junior ROTC students -- a total of 20 from West Caldwell and South Caldwell high schools were among about 100 from the region who spent the past week at Camp Bud Schiele in Rutherfordton as part of Basic Leadership Training.

Aug. 08, 2014 @ 06:43 AM

Williams brought life to funerals

In the final two years of his life, Norman Williams could be seen zooming down sidewalks and main highways on his way to work at Mackie Funeral Home on Duke Street in Granite Falls in his motorized wheelchair, decked out in stickers, reflectors and flags.

Funeral director Cordell Austin said, “We all thought he would be killed in the wheelchair (by it) turning over and find him in the road somewhere.” He shook his head, laughing.

Aug. 07, 2014 @ 01:19 PM

4-H splishes, splashes at water ecology camp

Ten children strapped on life jackets and pulled on water shoes Wednesday morning before jumping into green canoes for a ride down the Yadkin River. Under the cloudy sky, the weather was chilly, but the excitement was warming.

Aug. 06, 2014 @ 05:56 AM

Market educates kids on earthworms

Slimy, chilly, squishy earthworms writhed in a blue bowl at the Sawmills Farmers Market Kids Corner on Tuesday. Mazes, coloring pages, a book on worms, worm fact pages and a diagram of the worm’s body parts also sat on the table as part of Caldwell County Health Department’s “Earthworm Education” activity.

Aug. 05, 2014 @ 06:32 AM

All smiles at Widows Breakfast

The sun was already baking Caldwell County and the fields of tall, green stalks of corn Monday morning before the start of the monthly Widows Breakfast at Johnny Wilson Farm, and the sun glimmered off the lake. Inside the small building on the lakefront, a group of women gathered for a hearty breakfast.

Aug. 03, 2014 @ 08:59 AM

Harambee kickoff unfettered by cloudy skies

Cloudy skies couldn’t dampen the spirit of Harambee Saturday, as the 42nd annual festival kicked off with Family Fun Day at the Martin Luther King Jr. Center in Lenoir.

Aug. 03, 2014 @ 06:54 AM

Therapy puppy graduates first class

This is the second in an occasional series on a puppy’s path from adoption to becoming a therapy dog.

Peggy Hatley nervously fidgeted on her stool in the dog training ring. After six weeks of hard work, it was time for Raz to show off his skills for his final obedience test. If he passed, he would graduate to the intermediate course and be one step closer to becoming a full-fledged therapy dog.

Jul. 31, 2014 @ 12:02 PM

Warm welcome to new Cobras

People who plan to be students this fall at Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute signed in Wednesday and quietly filed into the theater on campus. Each had a story. Each wants one thing – to graduate.

Jul. 31, 2014 @ 05:53 AM

A 'farmed' childhood in Sawmills

Growing up on a farm is an experience set apart from growing up in a home with a few cats and dogs as pets. According to siblings Clay Wilson and Olivia Wilson Ford, growing up on a bona-fide farm involves learning at an earlier age than most about the circle of life, how to drive, the value of agriculture and the importance of hard work.

Jul. 30, 2014 @ 11:46 AM

‘Float and Fly’ activity draws a crowd

Building materials of all types covered the tables in the meeting room at the Caldwell County Public Library in Lenoir. Push pins, Styrofoam bowls, colored foam squares, deflated balloons and pipe cleaners were everywhere for kids to grab and turn into boats. Across the room, all sorts of paper and instruction books sat for kids to make paper airplanse.

Jul. 30, 2014 @ 11:44 AM

Kids discover space at Patterson Science Center

Comets don’t fly by very often, but a group of children at Patterson Science Center this week got to see one being built and could touch it too.

Addie Jo Schonewolf, a science education specialist visiting from the Morehead Planetarium and Science Center in Chapel Hill, started by filling a trash bag-lined bowl with water, then allowed her eager volunteers to add dirt, Worcestershire sauce and glass cleaner.

Jul. 29, 2014 @ 08:37 AM

Students learn about work, history, leadership

Over the last two weeks, a group of rising ninth-graders have visited various places, from a plastics plant in Lenoir to the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, to learn about jobs in the region, North Carolina history and most importantly how to be a leader in their future careers.

Jul. 29, 2014 @ 08:22 AM

42nd Harambee starts with a bang Saturday

In 1972, a group of community leaders in Lenoir started a small festival to showcase local talent – The Black Arts Festival, presenting paintings, drawings, sculptures, dancing and more.

Over the years it grew and gained traction, growing into a weeklong celebration of community in Caldwell County, changing its name to Harambee, a Swahili word meaning “all pull together.”

This Saturday, the 42nd Annual Harambee Arts Festival kicks off, and for nearly a week will feature events and activities that folks in Caldwell County have come to look forward to each summer.

Jul. 29, 2014 @ 06:27 AM

4-H 'horses around' in the rain

Even in the pouring rain, a handful of 4-H club members were ready to learn about horse care and first aid at the Horsing Around Camp last week.

At Morning Glory Farms, rain pummeled down the arena and barn in Baton at the start of camp, but once the horses Magic, Kia and Shariff were tacked up and ready to ride, the clouds stopped their downpour.

Jul. 27, 2014 @ 07:00 AM

Fiddle maker builds in search of perfect tone

In the basement of his home, Robert “Bob” Kogut of Lenoir sat at a large work table under a dim, reddish light working on his 166th fiddle. The table was covered in carving tools and thick layers of wood dust and shavings. In his large hands, Kogut twisted a tuning knob into the neck of his new fiddle. He had just begun the process of making a fiddle, which typically lasts two or three months, and already he was in love with the new instrument.