Awards: Dec. 3, Catawba Science Center Executive Director Alan Barnhardt presented a framed recognition to CommScope President and Chief Executive Officer Eddie Edwards for the corporation’s sponsorship of the “Great Balls of Fire!” exhibition. The gift to CommScope contained a specimen from the Nantan meteorite.
Barnhardt also honored CommScope board member Jearld Leonhardt and his wife, Carolyn, for their contributions to the Science Center’s Science Discovery Endowment Fund. The Science Center recently inducted the Leonhardt’s into their Legacy Society in honor of their commitment to connecting science students with science professionals.
The “Great Balls of Fire!” exhibition presents facts about comets, asteroids and meteors and includes real meteorites on loan from the Catawba Valley Gem and Mineral Club. The exhibit runs through Dec. 30 at the Catawba Science Center, 243 Third Ave. N.E., Hickory. For details, contact Alan Barnhardt at 828-322-8169 ext. 304.
Tax office schedule: The Catawba County Tax Office and other Catawba County offices will be closed Jan. 1 for New Year’s Day. A drop box for after-hours payments is next to the main entrance at the Catawba County Government Center, 100-A Southwest Blvd., Newton. Online payment is available through the “Online Tax Payment” link at www.catawbacountync.gov. Payments on tax bills must be received by 5 p.m. Jan. 7 to avoid additional interest. Payments sent by mail must be postmarked no later than Jan. 7.
Residents should receive Personal Property Listing Abstracts for 2013 during the first week of January. Property owners who do not receive a listing abstract by Jan. 4 should call 828-465-8402 to have one mailed or fill out the form at www.catawbacountync.gov. Owners of land and buildings will automatically receive a tax bill and are not required to list.
Those who already receive the homestead exemption for the elderly, or the exemption for being totally and permanently disabled, are not required to reapply for this exemption for 2013. The exemption will be granted automatically. To apply for those exemptions for the first time, call 828-465-8426.
Holiday closings: Newton offices will be closed for New Year’s Day Jan. 1. Sanitation schedules will not change due to the holiday. For after-hours utility emergencies, call the Public Works and Utilities Department at 828-695-4311 or the Police Department at 828-465-7430.
Diabetes care recognition: The National Committee for Quality Assurance and the American Diabetes Association recently recognized Dr. Luredean Gale Hamilton-Brandon of Claremont through the Diabetes Recognition Program for providing quality care to her patients.
The Diabetes Recognition Program was designed to improve the quality of care that patients with diabetes receive by recognizing clinicians who deliver quality care, and by motivating other clinicians to document and improve their delivery of diabetes care. Recognition is valid for three years. For details, visit www.ncqa.org/dprp or email email@example.com. To apply for recognition, call 888-275-7585 or visit www.ncqa.org/drppubs.
ElectriCities grant: Newton recently received a $4,000 ElectriCities Smart Communities grant for the continued development of a wayfinding signage plan. The grant, along with $10,000 designated by the Newton City Council for the project, will allow for most of the design work to be completed by mid-2013.
The wayfinding signage project will be designed to guide travelers to visit the business, civic and cultural areas of Newton. Smart Communities is an economic development grant program available through ElectriCities. Municipalities participating in one of the N.C. Public Power agencies are eligible for the program, which provides a maximum annual grant of $4,000 per community. Newton is a member of N.C. Municipal Power Agency 1, which consists of 19 cities and towns in the western and piedmont regions of the state.
New hire: Jared Reynolds recently joined Davidson, Holland, Whitesell and Co., Certified Public Accountants and Consultants, in Hickory as a staff accountant.
Reynolds graduated from Appalachian State University with a master’s of science degree in Accounting. He is a member of the North Carolina Association of Certified Public Accountants. Reynolds lives in Hickory.
Retirement: Library assistant Wanda Starnes recently retired after 25 years with the Catawba County Public Library System. Starnes worked at the St. Stephens Branch Library. She had previously held customer service jobs in the furniture and textile industries. Starnes lives with her husband near Taylorsville.
Compiled by Gina Smith