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Saturday, April 25

A Burke County Public Schools' fifth grader won The Daughters of the American Revolution national essay contest for her grade level. Sara Ann Brittain, in Jessica Revilla's class at Glen Alpine Elementary School, won the Quaker Meadow's DAR Chapter essay contest before advancing through the district, state and national levels.

This year's contest prompted students to write about Ellis Island using the title "A Child's Journey Through Ellis Island." Revilla said she incorporated the history of Ellis Island into lesson plans before the students wrote their essays.

For her essay, Sara chose to write a letter to "Cousin Peter." In the letter, she tells Peter about a month-long journey from Italy to the United States. The essay details passage for those considered third-class travelers, the process of entering Ellis Island and the hopefulness passengers had for a better life in America.

Burke County Public Schools Superintendent Larry Putnam said, "We are so very proud to have Glen Alpine student Sara Brittain representing Burke County Public Schools as the national winner in the DAR essay contest. I saw Sara at school last week, and we enjoyed looking at pictures of Ellis Island I had taken on my cell phone. I would like to thank the DAR for providing this opportunity to students. Sara's compelling essay demonstrates how the DAR essay assignment provides a great avenue for our students to learn about history and tap into their creativity. Way to go Sara!"

Sara and her family will attend the National DAR convention in Washington, DC in late June. She will receive a certificate, pin and monetary award. The contest was open to all students in grades 5-8. Judges looked for historical accuracy, originality and grammar when considering the essays.

Sara says she would like to be a writer when she grows up. "I would love to write novels," she said. As for the attention she and her winning essay are receiving, she said, "I think it feels great, but I get a little nervous having all of the attention on me. It is not normal for me to have all of this attention, I am a bit shy."


 

Western Piedmont Community College (WPCC) recently honored Jim W. Burnett, who retired as College president in July 2014, by renaming the "Health Science Building" to "Jim W. Burnett Hall" in recognition of his quality leadership and 41 years of service to the College. A recent ceremony to unveil the building's new name was attended by Dr. Burnett along with faculty, staff, students and community members.

"Dr. Burnett created in us a greater passion and appreciation for higher education and the Community College System," said Ronald F. Martin, WPCC Trustee chair, at the ceremony. "He has made a significant, lasting and immeasurable impact on the College during his four decades of service."

Dr. Burnett served as the College president from 2006 through July 2014. During his tenure, Dr. Burnett led efforts to increase enrollment, start Burke Middle College and expand Western Piedmont Foundation holdings by 215%.

Since his 2014 retirement, former president Dr. Burnett was presented the Emeritus President status in recognition of his years of service to WPCC including his last eight years of employment as the College's president. Emeritus Status is an honorary designation for retired persons who have rendered exemplary service to the College as a member of the faculty or staff. Emeritus Status is conferred by the Trustees on the recommendation of the President of the College. In the 51 years in the life of the College, only 17 individuals have been presented the esteemed Emeritus award.

In addition, Dr. Burnett was honored in October 2014 with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, among the most sought after and valued awards conferred by the Governor of North Carolina. It is presented to outstanding North Carolinians who have a proven record of service to the State.

At the time of his retirement, Dr. Burnett endowed the Jim W. Burnett Professional Development Fund to provide full-time WPCC employees professional development opportunities that cannot otherwise be funded through county, state and federal funds. All full-time faculty and staff employed by the College are eligible to apply for funding for projects designed to help the College meet its mission to provide accessible, high quality education that improves lives and promotes growth. To donate to this new scholarship, contact Jessica Epley at (828) 448-3122 or jepley@wpcc.edu or make a gift online by visiting www.wpcc.edu/foundation.

 

New vaccination requirements will be effective July 1st for children entering kindergarten and rising seventh graders.

According to the Burke County Health Department children entering kindergarten on or after July 1st are required to have two shots of varicella, the chicken pox vaccine, unless they previously had chickenpox and the parents have documentation. Also required for kindergarteners is a fourth shot of polio vaccine that should be given after 4 years of age and before entering school.

Rising seventh graders who are 12-years-of-age or older will be required to have one shot of the Tdap vaccine for Tetanus, Diphtheria, and Pertusis and one shot of the meningococcal vaccine for spinal meningitis if shots have not been administered before.

For more information, parents can contact the Burke County Health Department at 764-9176 or visit the health department website at www.burkenc.org

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On Wednesday the North Carolina Senate passed a bill that would increase punishment for drivers who pass stopped school buses.

Supported by Senators John Alexander and Tom McInnis, Senate Bill 298 will allow counties to adopt an ordinance with a $500 civil penalty, in addition to the current criminal offense, for passing a stopped school bus.

In addition, the bill requires the state Department of Motor Vehicles to refuse registration of a vehicle belonging to a perpetrator if fine goes unpaid.

Western Carolina University is developing a new, for-profit limited liability company to increase economic development in western North Carolina.

 

The new for-profit LLC will substitute Western Carolina University's Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, which was created in 2007 in the College of Business. It is designed to provide entrepreneurial business, scientific and technical services to help stimulate economic development activity in Western North Carolina.

When the for-profit is established completely, university officials will recognize a manager to run its operations with Ed Wright, Director of the CEI, as the entity's faculty contact. 

 

Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge has been named a Best Hospital in North Carolina by Business North Carolina. This recognition stems from its model performance in multiple measures.

This distinction places Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge among the top 50 of all North Carolina adult, acute-care hospitals containing 50 beds or more.

The designation derives from data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, U.S. News & World Report and The Leapfrog Group, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that advocates for hospital transparency.

 

At the Lenoir City Council Meeting on Tuesday, City Council members held a public hearing in order to discuss a proposed conditional use permit for Workforce Homestead Inc. Unanimously, Lenoir's City Council voted to approve the permit, which outlines new building regulations and community standards for a proposed 48 unit multi-family housing project. City Council members also approved a Preliminary Plat submittal for a redevelopment subdivision proposed for a property located on the corner of Fairview Drive and Harper Avenue in Lenoir. Also at the meeting Lenoir City Council members agreed to recognize the month of May as Motorcycle Safety and Awareness month throughout the city of Lenoir, and called upon citizens to observe May 11th through the 15th as Peace Officers' Memorial Week.

 

HICKORY CITY COUNCIL MET IN A REGULAR SESSION TUESDAY NIGHT

ONE PRESENTATION INCLUDED THE HICKORY HIGH SCHOOL LADY RED

TORNADOES IN RECEIVING A PROCLAMATION FOR BEING UNDEFEATED

ALL YEAR - SEVERAL LADY RED TORNADOES ATTENDING TUESDAY

NIGHT ALONG WITH THEIR COACH TO RECEIVE THE RECOGNITION

NEXT - HICKORY RESIDENT CLIFF MOONE SPOKE ABOUT THE CATAWBA

COUNTY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND FINDING WAYS TO KEEP YOUNG

PEOPLE IN THE HICKORY AREA - ONE PUBLIC HEARING DETAILED THE

CLOSING OF A PORTION OF MAIN AVENUE PLACE SE ON BEHALF OF A

PROPERTY OWNER FOLLOWED BY A DEPARTMENTAL REPORT ASKING

THE CITY TO ALLOW A VACANT BUILDING REVITALIZATION GRANT IN

THE AMOUNT OF $6,000 DOLLARS - AN APPLICANT PLANS TO

RENOVATE THE FORMER THOMASVILLE FURNITURE PLANT LOCATED

AT 890 F AVENUE SE AND PLANS CALL FOR AN APPROXIMATE $40,000

DOLLAR REHABILITATION TO THE BUILDING - THIS REQUEST PASSED

7-0 AND NEXT HICKORY POLICE CHIEF TOM ADKINS SPOKE ABOUT

COMMUNITY POLICING IN HICKORY AND HOW IT HAS CHANGED AND

IMPROVED OVER THE LAST TWENTY YEARS INCLUDING THE ADDITION

OF BODY CAMERAS FOR ALL PATROL OFFICERS AND OTHER DETAILS

ABOUT HPD - THIS PRESENTATION WAS FOLLOWED BY A CLOSED

SESSION OF CITY COUNCIL TO DISCUSS POTENTIAL LITIGATION AND

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ALONG WITH THE APPROVAL OF CLOSED

SESSION MINUTES FROM MARCH 17TH, 2015. NO DETAILS FROM THIS

CLOSED SESSION WERE AVAILABLE TUESDAY NIGHT

 

 

Michael Lee Shuping and Timothy Hal Edwards were arrested on Sunday April 19th for the murder of Leslie Renee Hensley.

Both Shuping and Edwards were in custody for Probation Violation at the time of their arrest on Sunday afternoon. Hensley's body was found in Rutherford County off the side of a rural dirt road at approximately 6:30 a.m. on Friday the 17th.

The investigation has shown Hensley was killed on Rainhill Church Rd. around midnight Sunday, April 12.

Information learned during the investigation will be turned over to the District Attorney's Office for Grand Jury Indictments in the following weeks. The autopsy for Hensley was conducted Monday at Baptist Hospital in Winston Salem.

Additional information is to be released when appropriate.

 

Morganton City Council approved the building of a new courtyard at the Morganton Community House in a special meeting on Monday after a $150,000 donation was made by two private donors.

The Johnson (Phifer) and Bridges family donated $75,000 each to fund the renovation for a new courtyard that will spruce up the main entrance to the Community House and create a new outdoor venue for events that could seat up to 100 people.

In the meeting Monday, City Council voted unanimously to award the construction contract to Wilkie Construction for $132,910; to contract with Patti Glazer, Inc. for architectural services for $5,000; and to make budget amendments to use capital reserve funds for the project in the amount of $150,000.

Construction on the new courtyard is estimated to take 10 weeks to complete if no unforeseen issues occur.