Gaston & Catawba

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Chamber CEO honored

Elyse Cochran, president and CEO of the Gaston Regional Chamber of Commerce, has been named Executive of the Year from North Carolina by the Carolinas Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives.

At an awards dinner, she was recognized for demonstrating strong leadership with businesses and the community.

Her accomplishments include leading the chamber to a debt-free status in 2007, launching a building renovation and opening a Department of Workforce Development to implement Diploma Plus, which certifies Gaston County workers to support economic development. Joe DePriest

Big Sweep/Litter Sweep

Big Sweep/Litter Sweep, sponsored by Keep Belmont Beautiful and the City of Belmont, begins Saturday at 9 a.m. at Stowe Park. Volunteers will meet at the downtown park to receive bags, gloves and pickup areas. Details: Keep Belmont Beautiful at 704-825-8587. Joe DePriest

Candidates forum

The Gaston Regional Chamber will host a School Board candidates forum 6 p.m. Monday at the Citizens Resource Center in Dallas. Questions will follow. The public is invited to submit questions. Tim Gause of Duke Energy will moderate. Details: Patty Crawford at 704-806-4212. Joe DePriest

Red Cross needs help

The Caldwell County office of the American Red Cross needs your help. The agency has spent more than $10,000 recently aiding agencies during recent countywide crises and searches, including for the killer of a Caldwell sheriff's deputy, which has “depleted resources tremendously,” said Bob Gibbs, Red Cross board member.Donations may be made by check to the Catawba Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross. Indicate in the memo line, “In memory of Officer Klutz,” for funds to remain in Caldwell County. Mail checks to P.O. Box 774, Lenoir, NC 28645. Details: 828-754-4161 or 612-8790. Hannah Mitchell

October Oyster Outing

In Morganton on Saturday, you can shuck for a good cause at the sixth-annual October Oyster Outing, a fundraiser for the Burke Arts Council. Along with steamed fresh oysters, there'll be barbecue, shrimp, Brunswick stew and live local music, all on the courthouse square. Details: www.burkearts.org

How to reach us

Let us know of news, events, story ideas or just comment on this section – e-mail hickory @charlotteobserver.com. Reach editor Dan Duffey at dduffey @charlotteobserver.com or 704-987-3670, ext. 18, or Neighbors of Gaston/Catawba, 407 E. Long Ave., Gastonia, N.C. 28054

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