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.

May. 15, 2014 @ 09:43 AM

School resource officer called ultimate role model

School Resource Officer Jon Hawn tussled the furry mane of a stuffed lion on his desk.

“That is the name he comes with,” Hawn said. “Darren the lion. Darren is kind of like me. He’s getting thin on top.”

Joking, Hawn grinned before tugging a baseball cap back over Darren’s yellow ears and wild brown hair. He gave the lion a squeeze.

May. 11, 2014 @ 08:11 AM

Family and Caldwell history for sale

Like most folks, Cecil and Agnes Scroggs accumulated a lot of things by the time they died, some of them boxed up and squirreled away so long that they didn’t even remember them.

Some of those things, at least a couple dating from before the Civil War, are about to go up for sale.

May. 09, 2014 @ 12:25 PM

Event celebrates students’ innovations

Robots, Eggbots, tie-dye T-shirts, a display on taste preferences in rats and various other projects decorated the American Legion Post 93 in downtown Lenoir on Thursday for the 2014 Showcase of Student Success Luncheon.

May. 09, 2014 @ 09:08 AM

'Crazy idea' results in eye-popping automobiles

To see the sun hit the rich cedar and pine, blazing with each tone of creamy yellow and rich red, it takes a while to register what you're really looking at, and after walking up to it, closely examining the seams and curves, it takes a step back and a chin-scratch before you ask, "So this is all real wood?"

May. 09, 2014 @ 06:48 AM

Event celebrates students' innovations

Robots, Eggbots, tie-dye T-shirts, a display on taste preferences in rats and various other projects decorated the American Legion Post 93 in downtown Lenoir on Thursday for the 2014 Showcase of Student Success Luncheon.

May. 08, 2014 @ 02:57 PM

Swallowed up in ‘Little Shop of Horrors’

The talking plant known as Audrey II has taken up residence in Hibriten High School’s theatre, currently known as “Skid Row.” The gigantic flora with razor sharp teeth and a wide mouth is gobbling up Skid Row residents left and right, and all because Seymour, played by Isaac Tuttle, wanted to impress a girl.

May. 08, 2014 @ 09:32 AM

A 40-year dream comes true

On Saturday, Lem Patterson will walk on stage at North Carolina A&T University, shake a hand or two and grab the diploma for his bachelor’s degree in liberal studies.

It has been 40 years since he first began his journey to complete a college education, one that has twisted and turned, stalled and sputtered, but will ultimately finish in success.

May. 05, 2014 @ 11:43 AM

Students let it fly

Purple, gold, white, green and blue discs flew through the air at Veterans Park in Sawmills on Friday, soaring up, down and sideways, flung by about three dozen ninth-graders.

Some students were naturals. Their tosses at the goals of the park’s disc golf course flew straight and true, even if they just missed. Other students had a bit more difficulty, sending discs left or right or just a few feet in front of their shoes.

May. 01, 2014 @ 02:57 PM

French invade Caldwell County — 12 of them

Since Sunday, Melchior Belin has seen students wearing flip-flops during school, tasted the spicy sauces at Buffalo Wild Wings and walked for the first time around the massive superstore that is Walmart. It is all part of a nearly two-week-long adventure for the high school student, visiting here from France.

Apr. 30, 2014 @ 07:13 AM

Youth chorus makes debut Saturday

The group is the Youth Ensemble Singers, recently created by director Keith Smith for girls from upper elementary to high school to sing a traditional style of music. Their debut will be in a free concert Saturday night alongside the Caldwell Men's Chorus, also directed by Smith.

Apr. 25, 2014 @ 09:19 AM

Book club wakes up with Coffee Talk

Every third Thursday of the month at Highland Coffee House, the Coffee Talk Book Club gathers to discuss the month’s book selection.

Emily Gibbons, reference desk librarian at the Caldwell County Library Lenoir branch, started the Coffee Talk Book Club three years ago.