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Musical premiere: Hickory Arts and Hickory Community Theatre present “Junk: An Original Musical” in the newly renovated Fireman’s Kitchen. Performances are 7:30 p.m. Thursdays and 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, now through Jan. 31 at Hickory Theatre, 30 W. 3rd St. N.W., Hickory.

The United Way of Gaston County urges residents, organizations and business owners to experience sleeping in the same conditions as a homeless person to raise awareness of homelessness.

STEAM learning programs: The Catawba County Library System has planned free STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) learning sessions this month for children kindergarten through fourth grade.

There is hope that the scrapped Greater Hickory Kia Classic at Rock Barn could return in the future.

Carolina Pro Musica: Period ensemble Carolina Pro Musica will present “So Longs the Soul” at 8 p.m. Feb. 9 the Abbey Basilica at Belmont Abbey College. The program will feature verses from “The Lamentations of the Prophet Jeremiah,” arias by J.S. Bach and instrumental works by Marcello and Veracini.

For a while now, people have been noticing a curious sight on Conover streets and sidewalks.

Panthers visit pep rally: More than 600 cheering Belmont Central Elementary students, teachers and special guests enjoyed a Dec. 16 pep rally attended by Carolina Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly, Top Cats cheerleaders and team mascot Sir Purr at the school gymnasium.

Gaston County commissioners could reconsider applying for federal funding later this month to help pay for recreational projects to promote cycling and walking after turning down a recommendation to do so last month.

Hiddenite happenings: Hiddenite Elementary School will host several events in the coming weeks.

Competing for a national championship wasn’t in Carson Ferguson’s 2014 plans when the season began, but a blown engine in his dirt late model changed things.

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