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Katie Danis of Gastonia made the Scripps National Spelling Bee quarterfinals for the second of three years in a row in 2013, when she surprised judges by asking if she could sing her responses.

Arts at the Abbey: Belmont Abbey College recently announced the 2014-2015 season lineup for Arts at the Abbey. The season includes local, regional and international artists from Europe and South America performing at the Abbey Basilica on campus.

Forestview student art: Vandal Novacek, a recent graduate of Forestview High School, recently received the region’s Congressional Art Award.

Free concert: The Hiddenite Center, in partnership with the town of Taylorsville and Alexander County Government, will present the Danny Wicker Trio with special guest Mel Jones during the next Summer on the Square free concert, at 7:30 p.m. July 27 on the lawn of the Alexander County Courthouse, 29 W. Main Ave., Taylorsville.

Two local products helped the Lander Bearcats to a conference title, a regional championship and an appearance in the Division II World Series.

The festival commemorates the return of the Waldenses from exile in Switzerland to their native valleys in the Cottian Alps of Italy in 1689.

The Board of Trustees of Catawba Valley Community College in Hickory recently approved $1 million in budget cuts which will eliminate five degree programs, reduce funding for the athletic program by 20 percent and suspend a scholarship program and some other student benefits.

On Aug. 1, Statesville will host the Statesville Criterium Bike Race, one in a series of five races in different cities over six days. Professionals and amateurs alike will race in the criterium, which will cover 0.6 miles in downtown Statesville in several races lasting 30-60 minutes, depending on the rider’s ability.

The Rev. Richard Boyce, a former mayor of Belmont, embraces opening the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) seminary in Charlotte to the community and other denominations to battle membership decline.

Visually-impaired kids practiced Braille and life skills at a two-week long camp in Lincolnton sponsored by the National Federation of the Blind.

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