Gaston & Catawba

TED Talk videos to be shown in Hickory March 21

From left, Maggie Chang, Jillian Adair and Emma Caroline Neal were recently recognized for their winning history essays by the John Hoyle Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR).
From left, Maggie Chang, Jillian Adair and Emma Caroline Neal were recently recognized for their winning history essays by the John Hoyle Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR). COURTESY OF CAMI HEPLER

Compiled by Mary Katherine Creel

TEDxHickory: Hear live speakers and view TED Talk videos during TEDxHickory 2015 9 a.m.-4 p.m. March 21 in the SALT Block Auditorium, 243 Third Ave. N.E., Hickory. This year’s theme is “Spark!” inviting speakers to talk about innovative ideas and possibilities based on personal experiences, research or thoughts.

Speakers, primarily from Catawba County, have been selected by the event planning team. Each speaker will present for no more than 18 minutes. The event includes entertainment breaks, including artistic performances and demonstrations.

Tickets are $25 and can be purchased from Ticket price covers attendance for the full day, lunch and snacks. T-shirts will be available for purchase and a reception will follow the event at Hickory Museum of Art, also on the SALT Block.

Newton planning director: The city of Newton recently hired Randy Williams as its new planning director. Williams comes to Newton from Lincoln County, where he has been principal planner since 2007.

Williams brings three decades of experience as a professional planner in public and private sectors. He was the director of planning and economic development for Conover from 1991-2004, and worked as a senior planner for Woolpert LLP in Charlotte from 2004-2007.

Artists sought: Hickory Downtown Development Association (HDDA) seeks artists to participate in the Downtown Hickory Art Crawls 5-8 p.m. May 21 and Sept. 17. Selected artists will be paired with a downtown business.

The Downtown Hickory Art Crawl is a juried show with artists selected by a committee. There is no fee for participation and no commission charges on items sold.

Applications are due by April 1 for the May 21 Art Crawl and by Aug. 1 for the Sept. 17 Art Crawl. To receive an application, email Barbara Sinclair at or call HDDA at 828-322-1121.

Girl Scout Gold Award: Erin Hanigofsky of Troop 10847 in Hickory has earned her Girl Scout Gold Award, the highest award in Girl Scouting. Her project, Pet Food Pantry, focused on helping less fortunate families feed their pets.

Hanigofsky worked in partnership with Greater Hickory Cooperative Christian Ministry to start a pet food pantry, where families could get food for their pets. The pantry is also being used to feed stray animals in Catawba County.

“Earning the Girl Scout Gold Award designation is truly a remarkable achievement, and this young woman exemplifies leadership in all its forms,” said Lane Cook, chief executive officer of Girl Scouts Carolinas Peaks to Piedmont. “She saw a need in her community and took action. Her extraordinary dedication, perseverance and leadership is making the world a better place.”

For information on how to join, volunteer, reconnect or donate to Girls Scouts Carolinas Peaks to Piedmont, call 800-672-2148 or visit

New nurse practitioner: Catawba Valley Medical Group (CVMG) has announced that Christi Lucas, NP-C, has joined its team of providers at Catawba Valley Family Medicine – Mt. View, 2712 S. N.C. 127 Highway, Hickory. Lucas is now scheduling patients on a full-time basis.

Lucas is a certified family nurse practitioner, who earned a master of science in nursing from Frontier Nursing University in Hyden, Ky. She holds a bachelor’s of science in registered nursing from the Medical Careers Institute in Virginia Beach, Va.

“We are happy to offer patients in the Mountain View area greater access to our growing network of primary care providers,” said Brian McGinnis, CVMG executive director. “Christi brings extensive experience in addressing women’s and well-baby health concerns and an impressive ability to communicate with patients and other providers to advocate the best health outcomes.”

To schedule an appointment at Catawba Valley Family Medicine – Mt. View, call 828-330-0511.

Blueberry growing workshop: Learn how to grow blueberries during a workshop hosted by the North Carolina Cooperative Extension 9 a.m.-noon Feb. 25 at Catawba County Cooperative Extension Center, 1175 S. Brady Ave., Newton. The workshop is suited for backyard growers or farmers looking for an alternative crop for market.

Bill Cline, NCSU Cooperative Extension specialist, will cover blueberry variety selection, soil preparation, pest and disease management, plant growth and pruning. The indoor presentation will be followed by a hands-on pruning demonstration at a nearby blueberry farm, weather permitting, and blueberry plants will be available for order through Catawba County 4-H Plant Sale.

Cost for the workshop is $5 and registration deadline is Feb. 23. Details and to register, call 828-465-8240 or visit

CPA Service Day: Davidson, Holland, Whitesell & Co. PLLC recently participated in the North Carolina Association of Certified Public Accountants’ (NCACPA) Day of Service. Staff completed multiple projects at Hickory Soup Kitchen.

The NCACPA also hosted a photo contest in conjunction with its Day of Service and asked firms to submit a group photos taken during their service project. Davidson, Holland, Whitesell & Co. was selected as the photo contest winner and their group photo was featured on the cover of the February issue of Interim Report, the NCACPA’s magazine.

Darkness to Light: Leadership Catawba and Children’s Advocacy and Protection Center of Catawba County will offer a free Darkness to Light training 6:30 p.m. Feb. 24 at Carolina Theater, 222 First Ave. N.W., Hickory. The program, Stewards of Children: Darkness to Light, is designed to train adults on how to prevent, recognize and respond appropriately to child sexual abuse.

Registration begins at 6 p.m. A free movie will be shown in the upstairs theater for children age 5 and older, accompanying their parent or other adult. Child care will be provided, as well as a free drink and popcorn.

To learn more about the Darkness to Light training, contact Kate Landry at or call the CAPC at 828-465-9296.

NC Theater Award: The Green Room Community Theatre in Newton recently received the 2014 North Carolina Theatre Conference (NCTC) Community Theatre Award. A reception was recently held at the Old Post Office Playhouse where Justin Dionne, NCTC Board of Directors member, presented the award to Kim Wallace-Repaire, The Green Room Community Theatre Board of Directors president.

NCTC is a statewide service, leadership and advocacy organization for the theater industry. NCTC awards the Community Theatre of the Year award to one of its active members each year. The Green Room Community Theatre was honored for its artistic quality and excellence in delivering quality educational programs, as well as ongoing leadership and community involvement.

To learn about The Green Room Community Theatre, visit

Winning essays: Hickory area students Maggie Chang, Jillian Adair and Emma Caroline Neal were recently recognized for their winning history essays by the John Hoyle Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. Each student presented her essay during the chapter’s February luncheon meeting at Lake Hickory Country Club, and received bronze medals and certificates.

The DAR American History Committee aims to promote American history in schools, encouraging students to learn and write about significant historical figures, places, dates and events. Public, private and home-school students in fifth to eighth grades are eligible to compete in the history essay competition each year. Find details at

Board certification: Dr. Siddharth Sura, a physician with Gastroenterology Associates, P.A., has received board certification in gastroenterology from the American Board of Internal Medicine. Sura is also board certified in internal medicine.

Sura specializes in the advanced evaluation and treatment of diseases of the esophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon, pancreas, gall bladder, bile ducts and liver. He is a member of the American College of Gastroenterology, the American Gastroenterological Association and the American Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy.