Jun. 13, 2014 @ 12:57 PM

Pop Ferguson Festival features area's top blues acts

The brainchild of band leader, guitar player and songwriter Terry VunCannon, the band Lawyers Guns and Money has accomplished more in its three years than many bands ever do.

“This weekend, we’re going to hit hard with a tight show,” VunCannon said. “We like to go from one song to another, keeping the action rolling.”

Jun. 12, 2014 @ 12:04 PM

Gamewell student wins trip to Florida

Jerry Henline was speechless when Gamewell Elementary School's principal announced he had won a trip to Orlando. He went to the stage to pose with the giant ticket-shaped banner announcing his prize, and he was still stunned and too shy to say much after the awards ceremony Wednesday morning.

Jun. 11, 2014 @ 10:08 AM

'All about the Nose'

Dayden Miller, 11, helped his 3-year-old cousin, Keilee White, cover bingo squares with clear pebbles. After sniffing a paper bag, he whispered in White’s ear what the scent was and place a pebble on a square with the name of what he smelled. It wasn’t long before he told White to shout out “Bingo!” when five squares of different scents were filled. White excitedly received a pack of stickers.

Jun. 10, 2014 @ 05:26 PM

Sixth Pop Ferguson blues festival 'branches' out

This year, the annual Pop Ferguson blues Heritage Festival is shaking things up a bit, adding variety and expanding its scope of music.

This year’s theme of “Roots, Branches and Stems” pays homage to the foundations and the distant horizons of the Piedmont Blues -- from the foundations of Pop Ferguson, Phil Wiggins and John Dee Holman, expanding to influence bluegrass and rock and roll, and even further out to hip hop and popm said Clyde Ferguson Jr., organizer of the festival named for his 86-year-old father.

Jun. 09, 2014 @ 02:24 PM

Public library becomes laboratory of reading

“Fizz Boom Read” is this year’s theme for the Summer Reading Program for kids at the Caldwell County Public Library.

On Saturday, kids and their parents came out for the Children’s Summer Reading Program Kick-off at the Lenoir branch for games, prizes, crafts and to pick up their reading log sheet.

Jun. 06, 2014 @ 10:16 AM

Newspaperman Wally Avett turns novelist

Wally Avett is used to seeing his name in print. As a columnist for a weekly paper in Murphy, Avett’s name has been published for years.

But, that did not stop him from bubbling with excitement and pride at seeing his name attached to his first published novel, “Murder in Caney Fork,” which was released on March 15.

Jun. 05, 2014 @ 08:21 AM

Boat that inspired 'Jaws' will help veterans

When Joe DiBella was 8 years old, he spent his summers prying shark teeth from the deck of the Cricket II, a charter fishing boat that would later be the inspiration for the movie "Jaws."

DiBella, whose wife, Lorraine, is from Hudson, now is working to restore the storied boat, but he's changing its mission. Instead of charging hundreds of dollars to take people fishing, he wants to take wounded veterans to fish the coastal waters of North Carolina for free.

Jun. 05, 2014 @ 07:17 AM

Lenoir artist creates 'men' of material worth

The basement in the Kardol household is split into two studios for two very different artists. One side has a simple work table with brushes, paints and an easel. The other side has an array of tools, two large tables, a saw, and tubs of bottle caps organized by color. A world map hangs on the wall overlooking the two studios. Red, green and clear thumbtacks mark trips to more than 50 countries and nearly all 50 U.S. states that Cor Kardol has taken with his wife, Marti.

Jun. 04, 2014 @ 07:27 AM

Farmers market's new manager off to bustling start

Before the start of the Sawmills Farmers Market on Tuesday, Misty Auton raced across the grassy field, putting up signs, talking to vendors, marking vendor spots, putting up tables and struggling with setting up a large tent. She even stopped at one vendor to purchase a jar of homemade pear jelly.

Jun. 02, 2014 @ 01:26 PM

The taste of helping Caldwell’s students

Wearing a long white apron over her T-shirt and jeans, Hibriten High School freshman Destiny Brooks served sliders at the Granite Falls Brewery Table. As a student in the Caldwell County Communities in Schools program, she found it fitting to volunteer at its annual Taste of Caldwell fundraiser at Cedar Rock Country Club.

May. 30, 2014 @ 02:28 PM

Roll it! Library event shows films usually left on the shelves

Michael Holsclaw is a movie buff, but his favorite part of the monthly movie showing he hosts at the Caldwell County Public Library is the discussion with the audience after the film.

“I encourage dissent,” Holsclaw said. “I like for everyone to feel that they are as justified in their point of view as I am in mine. Some of the best discussions fly off in directions I never could have anticipated.”

May. 28, 2014 @ 11:20 AM

Ability Showcase hands the mic to exceptional children

Looking down at the floor and clenching his fists, 18-year-old Jerry Hickman Jr. from Hibriten High School stood before the microphone, still as stone before the small crowd at a talent show Tuesday. But when the music came on, Hickman broke into song in a low voice full of Southern twang as he sang “The Trouble with Women” by Scotty McCreery.

May. 27, 2014 @ 11:46 AM

Students demonstrate inventions

Imagine a binder that is thin and light when you first purchase it but expands as your school semester continues and you add more paper. Picture a small, bullet-shaped object that protects anyone from misusing your gun. These inventions exist thanks to four West Caldwell High School students who completed the Project Lead the Way Pathways to Engineering Program this year.

May. 23, 2014 @ 10:03 AM

Yard of the Month encourages beautification, competition

“Birdhouses! Birdhouses!” Frances Benfield cried out as the car ambled down the road. Outside the window, a tall house sat in the middle of a green, perfectly trimmed yard with a few birdhouses on tall poles near the garden.

Dare Duncan and Maecile Ramsey laughed. Ever since Benfield joined them on the Sawmills Yard of the Month Committee, they’ve known she has a soft spot for birdhouses. They even tried to distract her when a yard with birdhouses appeared on their drive through the town.

May. 23, 2014 @ 09:56 AM

Don’t look down!

David Brayboy scrambled up a utility pole, the thin spikes on his shoes clicking into the wood as he pulled himself forward with a strap. He reached the top in less than 30 seconds, wrapped the strap around himself and leaned back so he could begin working on the pole.

May. 23, 2014 @ 09:54 AM

Dog brings out kids’ love of reading

Mark Pennell struggled to sound out the words on the page in “Gus Loses a Tooth.” Reading is still difficult for him, and his voice could barely be heard over the sound of music and people talking on the front lawn of Lower Creek Elementary School on Thursday evening. But immediately around Pennell, it was quiet and calm, because Clementyne, the therapy dog, was there to comfort Pennell through his big reading debut.

May. 22, 2014 @ 02:23 PM

Band to recreate '30s, '40s music

The Big Band sound of swing is heard regularly in Lenoir, but tonight Granite Falls residents can hear it in a free concert downtown by The Silvio Martinat Swing Band.

John Craig, the band's conductor, said he felt it was important to perform somewhere other than Lenoir this time.

May. 20, 2014 @ 08:40 AM

History, family and love at Betsey's Ole Country Store

In 1924, when Mortimer was a booming logging town, a small store was built at the corner of what are now N.C. 90 and Brown Mountain Beach Road, serving as a general store and post office.

Betsey's Ole Country Store is perched deep in the woods of the Wilson Creek area, a short distance from Mortimer campground and the previous Civilian Conservation Corps headquarters there.

May. 19, 2014 @ 01:15 PM

Kids learn the fun of fishing

A cry of joy rang out over the waters of a small pond at Tuttle Educational State Forest as 8-year-old Jonathan Bugg caught his first fish.

Holding up the fish as it tossed and flopped on his fishing hook, Bugg called over his grandfather to take a picture for Facebook.

May. 19, 2014 @ 01:07 PM

Volunteers clean up Wilson Creek

Phil Phellan walked Saturday down the gravelly road overlooking Wilson Creek, far below in the ravine.

Over his shoulders, a backpack bounced on his spine as he bent over again and again. Each time, he picked up a different piece of trash, such as a squashed soda can or a plastic Solo cup.

May. 18, 2014 @ 09:02 AM

Bridge bicycle race is over

For 25 years, a bicycle race known as "the Bridge" led thousands of cyclists from downtown Lenoir to the top of Grandfather Mountain, winding along more than 100 miles of around Caldwell County's roads.

But this year's Bridge Incredible Challenge, which had been planned for June, isn't happening, and it looks like the race may never be ridden again.

May. 18, 2014 @ 09:00 AM

Collettsville principal a man of his word

As students arrived at Collettsville School Friday morning, their principal, Craig Styron, greeted them just like he has every other day, except for the bright blonde wig, tiara, black dress, high heels, bracelets, rings, necklace, makeup and lipstick. He even had his nails painted.

May. 16, 2014 @ 10:12 AM

Gibbons wins Broyhill Lifetime Achievement

Becky Gibbons received the Satie Broyhill Lifetime Achievement Award on Thursday for her volunteer work and love of Caldwell County.

Gibbons, wife of Mayor Joseph Gibbons of the City of Lenoir, was born and grew up in Caldwell County. She was an elementary school teacher for 35 years. Now, she volunteers with and serves on boards for numerous organizations such as the Caldwell County Schools system, the Wig Bank of Caldwell County, Robin’s Nest and Communities in Schools.

May. 16, 2014 @ 08:31 AM

Brewing wine and faith at Six Waterpots

A house that looks like it would fit nicely on a postcard sent home from the English countryside sits just as comfortably on the rolling hills of Hudson, surrounded by rows of vines, standing tall and distinct with its timber and plaster, Tudor-style construction.

May. 15, 2014 @ 01:49 PM

Science and sunshine

David Brotherton’s students gathered in the parking lot of Caldwell Career Center Middle College under the sweltering sun. Their foreheads glistened with sweat, but they had smiles on their faces. The hot sun is exactly what they want.