Seniors Morning Out: Newton Mayor Anne Stedman will give a presentation on March 14 at the West Hickory Seniors Morning Out on the “History of Bed and Breakfasts.” Stedman is the innkeeper of Trott House Inn Bed and Breakfast in Newton. Other March Seniors Morning Out programs include entertainment by the group Sentimental Journey, an Easter egg hunt and a basic computer class by Marcia Hardy, software trainer and Web master for Catawba County.
Seniors Morning Out is open to ages 60 and older. Programs are held 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Monday-Friday at five locations throughout the county. No programs will be held on March 29. Activities vary by location. A free lunch is served each day. Participation is free, but donations are accepted. Volunteers are needed.
To attend a program, contact the site coordinator at least 24 hours in advance to make a reservation. For details go to www.catawbacountync.gov/dss/adult/nutrition.asp, look for “Senior Nutrition Programs” on the “Meals on Wheels of Catawba County” Facebook page or call 828-695-5610.
For details on scheduled programs and to make reservations, contact the nearest Seniors Morning Out site:
West Hickory: Annie Williams, 828-323-8746
Maiden: Loretta Hefner, 828-320-5966
Claremont: Wendy Thomas, 828-320-0434
Newton: Robyn Curtis, 828-455-4133
East Hickory: Rita Pritchard, 828-320-5963
Democrats meet: The Catawba County Democratic Party is holding organizational meetings for Catawba County precincts. Food will be served at all meetings. For details or to arrange transportation contact Catawba County Democratic Party Headquarters at 828-322-5100. For details about upcoming events, visit www.catawbacountydemocrats.org.
Upcoming meetings are scheduled as follows:
Lake Norman, Sherrills Ford and Monogram precincts: 6 p.m. March 4, Sherrills Ford Fire and Rescue, 4011 Slanting Bridge Road, Sherrills Ford.
St Stephens 1, St. Stephens 2, Springs, Conover East, Conover West, Claremont, Oxford and Sweetwater precincts: 6 p.m. March 4, Shuford YMCA Community Center, 1104 Conover Blvd. E., Conover.
College Park, Kenworth, Oakland Heights, Ridgeview, Highland, Falling Creek, Oakwood, Sandy Ridge, Northwest, Viewmont 1 and Viewmont 2 precincts: 6 p.m. March 7, Highland Recreation Center, 1451 Eighth St. Drive N.E., Hickory.
Banoak, Blackburn, Mountain View 1, Mountain View 2, Brookford, Longview North, Longview South and Greenmont precincts: 11 a.m. March 9, Southwest Branch Library, 2944 N.C. 127, Hickory.
Balls Creek, Catawba, East Maiden, East Newton, Maiden, Mount Olive, North Newton, South Newton, West Newton and Startown precincts: 6 p.m. March 14, Catawba County Democratic Party Headquarters, 225A S. Brady Ave., Newton.
History essay winners: Local students William Tracy, Zane McPherson, Brock Pate and Tia Sparks are the winners of this year’s John Hoyle Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution History Essay Contest. The students read their winning essays during the group’s February luncheon meeting at the Lake Hickory Country Club. Each winner was awarded a bronze medal and a certificate.
William, the high school winner, wrote his essay on the topic, “How did the faith and courage of Christopher Columbus give to mankind a new world?” Zane, Brock and Tia wrote their essays on the subject, “Forgotten Patriots Who Supported the American Struggle for Independence.”
William is a five-time winner of the contest. He is a 10th-grade homeschooler and the son of Chuck and Elizabeth Tracy of Hickory. Zane is a fifth-grader at Oakwood Elementary School and is the son of Joy and Lex McPherson of Hickory. Brock is a seventh-grader at Hickory Day School and is the son of Raymond and Stephanie Pate of Conover. Tia Sparks is a two-time contest winner. She is an eighth-grader at Hickory Day School and is the daughter of Carol and Kevin Sparks of Hickory.
Homeless project: Seven members of 2012-13 Leadership Catawba Program, sponsored annually by the Catawba County Chamber of Commerce, recently conducted a campaign to collect personal care items and money for the Open Door Homeless Relief Program as their Leadership Catawba team project.
On Feb. 15, the team toured the program’s storage facility in Conover then distributed the items they had collected to homeless individuals in downtown Hickory. Leadership Catawba team members who worked on the project are Tracie Dagenhart of Martin Starnes and Associates; Louise Humphrey of Hickory Public Library; April Keller of Davidson, Holland, Whitesell and Company; Amy McCauley of Catawba County Public Health; Rebecca Rhodes of La Quinta Inn and Suites; Chad Wesson of Duke Energy and Tonya Wilson of AccuForce Staffing Services.
For details about the Open Door Homeless Relief Program, call Dorothy Edwards at 828-256-9217.
Read Across America: The Catawba County Library System invites all ages to participate in the Read Across America event through March 31. Each library location is displaying a United States map where participants can log their reading time at one mile per reading minute. A kickoff celebration for all ages will be held at 6:30 p.m. March 5 at the Conover Branch Library, 403 Conover Station S.E., Hickory.
Reading logs can be picked up at any Catawba County Public Library location. The logs should be turned in at the end of the month. Read Across America is an initiative of the National Education Association geared toward building a more literate nation. For details contact Siobhan Loendorf at 828-466-5108.
Pottery and Antiques Festival: The 16th annual Catawba Valley Pottery and Antiques Festival will be held 9 a.m.-5 p.m. March 23 at the Hickory Metro Convention Center, 1960 13th Ave. Drive S.E., Hickory. A preview party will be held 7-10 p.m. March 22.
The preview party allows an early buying opportunity and includes a catered Southern supper and live music by the Sigmon Stringers. Tickets are $40 each and must be bought by March 16.
The Festival will feature more than 110 potters and vendors and will include pottery videos, demonstrations and a lecture by potter Matt Jones, “Exploring Traditional Pottery: Dialogues with Garth Clark” about his conversations with ceramics expert and critic Garth Clark. The lecture is at 11 a.m., and is included in the ticket price. An exhibition of painted pottery will also be on display. Tickets are $6 for adults and $2 for ages 12 and younger. For details call 828-324-7294 or visit www.catawbavalleypotteryfestival.org.
Spring musical: Green Room Community Theatre will present its spring musical, “Quilters,” at 8 p.m. March 8, 9, 15, 16, 22 and 23 and at 3 p.m. March 10, 17 and 24 at the Old Post Office Playhouse, 10 S. Main Ave., Newton.
“Quilters” depicts the lives of American pioneer women through vignettes and music. Tickets are available 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Wednesdays-Fridays at the box office. Tickets are $14 for adults, $12 for seniors and students and $8 for children ages 12 and younger. For details call 828-464-6583 or visit www.the-green-room.org.
“Legally Blonde: The Musical:” Clater Kaye Productions will present “Legally Blonde: The Musical” at 7 p.m. April 6, 12 and 13 and at 3 p.m. April 7in the Old Rock Auditorium, 400 Main St. W., Valdese. The play, based on the movie “Legally Blonde,” is rated PG-13. For tickets call 828-294-2582 or visit www.claterkayeproductions.org.
Nature activities: Two nature activities are planned this month (March) at Rocky Face Mountain Recreational Area, 3451 Rocky Face Church Road, Hiddenite. Participants should wear sturdy, comfortable shoes and bring water. For details, visit www.rockyfacepark.com or call 828-632-1093.
Activities are as follows:
• Star gazing with the Piedmont Amateur Astronomers Club: 7-10 p.m. March 23. Club members will bring telescopes. The event will be held in the rear of the parking lot and is weather dependent. Rangers will be on duty. All trails will be closed. Participants should approach the parking area with parking lights only and park in the spaces before the park office.
• Nature Scavenger Hunt: 8 a.m.-7 p.m. March 31. Scavenger hunt lists will be available in the park office.
Art reception: The Hiddenite Center will hold an awards ceremony and reception to honor participants of the Annual Local Artists Competition and Exhibit with an awards ceremony and reception 3-4:30 p.m. March 3 in the Center’s Lucas Mansion, 316 Hiddenite Church Road, Hiddenite.
The awards ceremony begins at 3:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be provided and the artists will be available to discuss their work. For details visit www.hiddenitecenter.com , search “Friends of The Hiddenite Center” on Facebook or call 828-632-6966..
Planning workshop: The Newton City Council recently held is annual three-day planning workshop at the Newton Depot. The workshop included a mid-year financial report and review of the capital improvement plan for Fiscal Year 2013, a presentation by the Catawba County Economic Development Corporation on economic realities and emerging trends, an update from the Newton Business Advisory Committee on the wayfinding signage program and commercial development and a brainstorming and visioning exercise.
The Council discussed themes including public safety, economic development, infrastructure, finances, appearance, downtown, quality of life and core values. Of the 22 initiatives within those themes, the City Council identified building a new fire department, continued fiscal responsibility, water line expansion and increasing the tax base as the top priorities and actions. City staff will examine the themes and priorities and provide recommendations to the Council in the coming year.
National award: Adrienne Opdyke, child advocate with the Children’s Advocacy and Protection Center of Catawba County, has been named one of three Stewards of Children Stars in the U.S. for the month of January.
The award recognizes her for training 158 adults in the Darkness to Light program in January. Opdyke has trained a total of 1,681 local adults. Darkness to Light is a method of preventing and responding to child sexual abuse. The two-and-a-half-hour training is free to Catawba County residents. To register for a Darkness to Light training or to schedule a training for a club, church or civic organization, go to www.catawbacountycapc.org or call 828-465-9296.
New tax collector: Lori Mathes was appointed by the Catawba County Board of Commissioners as the County’s new tax collector at the Board’s meeting on Feb. 18. Mathes previously served as chief financial officer for Mental Health Partners of Hickory for eight years. She is now serving as provider network specialist with Partners Behavioral Health Management,.
Mathes begins her new job on March 5. She will succeed Ona Scruggs, who is retiring effective April 1 after serving as tax collector since March 2008. Scruggs will work with Mathes for one month before her retirement becomes effective. Mathes will supervise a staff of 11 under the direction of the County’s tax administrator, Mark Logan.
Men’s softball tournament: The City of Newton Parks and Recreation Department will hold the Men’s Spring Fling Softball Tournament on April 6 at Jacob Fork Park located off N.C. 10 West in Newton.
The entry fee for the double-elimination tournament is $125 per team. The deadline to register is 9 p.m. March 28. American Softball Association rules will be used. Teams will be furnished with balls. The tournament is limited to the first 12 teams on a first come, first served basis. For details contact Charles James at 828-695-4350 or 828-217-4446.
Basketball tournament: The Newton Parks and Recreation Department will hold the Central March Madness Basketball Tournament March 18-21 at Central Recreation Center, 301 S. Ervin Ave., Newton.
The entry fee is $125 per team. Teams are limited to 10 players. Participants must be age 18 or older. The double-elimination tournament is limited to the first eight teams on a first come, first served basis.
The deadline to register is 9 p.m. March 14. First and second place teams will receive trophies and prizes. For details contact Charles James at 828-695-4317 or Linda McCorkle at 828-465-7477 or visit www.newtonnc.gov.
Youth sports sign-ups: Registration for baseball and spring soccer through the Newton Parks and Recreation Department continues through March 15 for late city residents and nonresidents. All new participants must have a birth certificate on file or may visit the Newton Recreation Center for a registration packet. There is a $30 nonrefundable fee for players who are not Newton residents. Registration is limited in each league.
Youth baseball players must be at least four years old before the last day of registration and cannot turn age 15 before May 1. The baseball program will have six divisions: Tee-Ball for boys and girls ages 4-6; Bantam League for boys ages 7-8; Midget League for boys ages 9-10; Little League for boys ages 11–12 and Junior League for boys ages 13-14.
Youth soccer players must be at least four years old before the last day of registration and cannot turn age 16 before Aug. 31. Youth soccer leagues include: Mighty Mites Co-ed Soccer for ages 4-6; Bantam Boys Soccer for ages 7-8; Bantam Girls Soccer for ages 7-9; Midget Boys Soccer for ages 9-10; Midget Girls Soccer for ages 10-12; Little Boys Soccer ages 11-12; Junior Boys Soccer for ages 13-15 and Junior Girls Soccer for ages 13-15. For details, contact the Newton Parks and Recreation Department at 828-695-4317.
Compiled by Gina Smith