Gaston & Catawba

Which firefighters are best? Find out Oct. 4

The firefighters in Caldwell County will kick off National Fire Prevention Week (Oct. 5-11) with an event in downtown Lenoir on Oct. 4.

At least a dozen of the county firefighter units will participate in the second annual Fire Safety Saturday hosted by the Lenoir Fire Department. Sponsored by Caldwell County Firefighters Association, the event runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Many local businesses are providing funding.

Come early to see the fire departments compete in the Top Dawg competition. There will be a timed obstacle course, a hose carry, a dummy drag (150 pounds), and the Keiser sled, which provides simulated ax chopping.

There will be prizes, but probably more compelling to the departments' members is winning bragging rights for the year.

After the competition at 9a.m., the exhibits and activities provided by the fire departments in Caldwell County continue on into the afternoon. There will be a children's inflatable playground as well.

Grace Chapel department is bringing their mobile fire safety house so residents may practice evacuating a fire.

Co-coordinators for Safe Saturday are Lt. Sam Smith of the Lenoir Fire Department, who serves as public information officer and fire educator, and Bob Gibbs of Sawmills, who represents the county Firefighters' Association.

Details: Contact Smith at or 828-757-2192.

Winning sculptures

The 23rd annual Sculpture Celebration in Lenoir resulted in the following winners:

Adam Adcock of Banner Elk won Best in Show for his entry, “Tectonic Shift.” With the honor came the top prize of $2,500.

Jeff Hackney of Hillsborough won first place ($2,000) for “Need A Bigger Hammer.” Second place ($1,500) went to Tucker Bailey of Belews Creek for “Kalei.” Doug Makemson of Commerce, Ga., won third place and $1,000 for “Ain't Gonna Work on Maggie's Farm No More.”

Dean Curfman of Morganton received the Michaux Sturgis Award. Blaine Johnston of Waynesville received the Norma Suddreth Award. Harry McDaniel of Asheville won the Liza Plaster Award. All three also won $500.

Three Judge's Merit Awards of $500 each were awarded to Mary-Ann Prack of Jefferson, Keith Willis of Lenoir and Lynn Duryea of Boone.

Photos of entries and winners: