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.

Jun. 25, 2014 @ 07:39 AM

WrapAround kids learn the importance of farming

“I’ve got cucumbers!” shrieked a young boy who is part of the Caldwell WrapAround program, holding his plastic bag of cucumbers high in the air as he streaked across the grass. He wasn't the only one among about 200 students visiting the Sawmills Farmers Market who were excited as they bustled from vendor to vendor to buy produce and crafts just like adults. They perused carrots, cumcumbers, squash, peaches and more, picking out the perfect ones to bring home for dinner.

Jun. 25, 2014 @ 06:48 AM

Cloudy 'Fun in the Sun' still a success

Young school children raced between the craft booths along the sidewalk at the Granite Falls branch of the Caldwell County Public Library under dark, foreboding clouds at Tuesday's "Fun in the Sun" event.

Jun. 24, 2014 @ 07:30 AM

Former bank building gets 'facelift'

A large building that formerly was a Bank of Granite between the post office and Granite Falls Middle School off of Main Street used to be a big, plain rectangle of brownish-tan brick. The parking lot was full of fading yellow lines. The building's interior was as ragged as the outside, with torn-up flooring.

Jun. 22, 2014 @ 11:03 AM

Column: A well grown garden is meant to be shared

July, the pinnacle of summer. Whether you are a gardener, farmers market shopper or grateful neighbor, this is the time to enjoy all that the summer garden has to offer: tomatoes, green beans, corn, squash, and cucumbers. Its also time to keep your eye out for berries and other fruits like melons, peaches and plums. Best enjoyed at their peak, these wonderful fruits and vegetables are ready for us to consume and preserve.

Jun. 22, 2014 @ 10:59 AM

Column: How do you get lost for hours on a 10-minute hike?

As is our family custom, we went on a hike and picnic in the mountains for Father’s Day. I am a planner, so it falls to me to pick the spot, scope out the hike to be sure it is not too strenuous for three generations of participants, and prepare the food. It is a well-worn and rewarding ritual.

Jun. 22, 2014 @ 10:49 AM

Column: A novel birthday anything but quiet

One of the big themes in “All Quiet on the Western Front” is the loss of innocence experienced by the men who went to war in the supposed "war to end all war" between 1914 and 1918. In a few months, we will be remembering the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of hostilities.

Jun. 22, 2014 @ 07:19 AM

Hospice officials say an hour of your time makes difference

Imagine being unable to leave your bed or your home. It’s not your fault. You can’t help growing older or becoming sick. Every day is the same. Except when your hospice volunteer comes to visit. He or she makes you lunch, reads your favorite book and tells you about everything that is going on in the community. The hours he or she gives help you feel better, energetic and loved.

Jun. 22, 2014 @ 06:12 AM

Ethan Crump to kick Lenoir athletics into high gear

Ethan Crump likes to get people active. He likes to encourage kids and their parents alike to get out on the basketball court, baseball field or soccer pitch, helping them fight obesity, stay active and keep healthy.

Crump, 25, is the new athletic programs supervisor with Lenoir Parks and Recreation, a newly created position that oversees all the department's sports programming.

Jun. 20, 2014 @ 09:15 AM

Love of speech becomes passion to teach

Matthew Malloy wanted to be a teacher since he was in first grade. In fact, he didn’t understand then why he could not successfully teach kindergarten since he had already learned all there was for kindergartners to know.

Jun. 20, 2014 @ 06:46 AM

Blasting off to scientific learning

Pop! Plunk! Plink!

Empty pill bottles rained down on the hot sidewalk. Gleefully, kids raced to pick up the bottles and begged for more water and Alka-Selzter so they could make the bottles pop again.

Jun. 20, 2014 @ 09:32 AM

Man runs shop for 'the love of skateboarding'

As a young skateboarder in Lenoir nearly two decades ago, Drew Lindley had to make the trip to Hickory any time he needed to visit a skate shop.

Today, Lindley just has to go to work.

Jun. 19, 2014 @ 06:17 AM

New manager says Rhodhiss going strong

Arthur “Art” Delaney drives an hour and 15 minutes to work as the new town manager of Rhodhiss because he believes the town has a bright future, despite significant budgetary challenges. He said he would not have taken the job if there was no hope.

Jun. 18, 2014 @ 06:32 AM

Caldwell schools lose millennium of experience

Lorrie Spencer, a teacher from Collettsville Elementary School, put it best when summing up how she shall spend her free time now that she is retiring after nearly 26 years in the classroom.

“In retirement, I plan to continue tending gardens, only gardens of a different type,” Spencer said. “I will no longer be a gardener of third-graders, who need love and nurturing in order to grow and blossom, but rather roses and vegetables shall be in my garden.”