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.

Jul. 27, 2014 @ 05:27 AM

Column: Webworm nests unsightly but won't hurt trees

Fall webworms are noticeable in trees around Caldwell County. As their name implies, fall webworms create a web. The web provides the worms protection from predators and allows the worms to feed freely inside their web.

Jul. 25, 2014 @ 01:51 PM

Summer camp teaches robotics, engineering

In a classroom at the Patterson Science Center this week, everywhere you looked there were robotics in the making — Lego robotic puppies, copper spiders and moving paper hands.

Jul. 24, 2014 @ 06:42 AM

Straight from the farm to the Bistro

Tina Nordan's goal is for her restaurant to get as much of its food and ingredients from local sources as possible.

She has found that can sometimes be a challenge.

Jul. 24, 2014 @ 05:45 AM

Kids pop with excitement for pop-ups

“This is about you guys being as creative as you want,” Erica Lein, youth services librarian, told the children gathered around the tables of paper, markers and scissors at the Lenoir branch of the Caldwell County Public Library.

However, creativity was not the problem at Wednesday’s make your own pop-up craft. It was actually understanding the instructions.

Jul. 24, 2014 @ 05:41 AM

Study of local agriculture extends to fish bellies

Underneath the murky brown water, prehistoric-looking creatures swam with gaping mouths and aimlessly staring eyes. Their bodies were long and bony with flat fins and long noses. They moved about in huge cement pools, swarming underneath the mouths of automatic feeders, at a warehouse in Happy Valley.

Jul. 23, 2014 @ 01:58 PM

Farmers market provides food and play

Jarae Garcia, 6, and Harold Garcia, 4, ran in the grass at the Sawmills Farmers Market under a sky of thick, rolling clouds. They were celebrating Physical Activity Day at Kids’s Corner, a special tent for children at the farmers market, hosted by the Caldwell County Health Department.

Jul. 23, 2014 @ 09:24 AM

Building a new home for the homeless

Elizabeth Norris pointed through walls made only of two-by-fours, telling a group of visitors that this space, now only concrete and bare walls, will be a kitchen, a dining room, a sleeping area — a home for Lenoir’s homeless.

Norris led a tour Tuesday evening of the new LEOS Place, or Lenoir Emergency Outreach Shelter, the only homeless shelter in the area.

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.