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Christian Ministry hands out food, toys

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JENNA-LEY HARRISON Staff Writer Hundreds of families and volunteers flocked to Christian Ministry Thursday as the organization unloaded wheelbarrows full of food items and trash bags packed with new toys. The annual Christmas fundraiser, which fell more than $20,000 short of last year’s total, nonprofit officials said, is just as…

New leader takes reins at Crisis Pregnancy Center

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JENNA-LEY HARRISON Staff Writer “Anybody can pass out diapers,” Paula McSwain said, “but because I can share the Gospel, that’s why I leave my kids and come here.” McSwain took over as executive director at Lincoln County’s Crisis Pregnancy Center in October. After realizing she still volunteered with the facility…

Commissioners vote down solar farm

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ELIZABETH HEFFNER Staff Writer Lincoln County’s Board of Commissioners voted 3-1 against the construction of a solar farm in Denver during their meeting Monday night. The Times-News reported last week that the Planning Board voted 4-4 against the approval of Strata Solar’s solar farm due to its proximity to SailView,…

Women accused of stealing mail

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JENNA-LEY HARRISON Staff Writer Two Lincolnton women are accused of driving up to 50 different mailboxes on the county’s eastern end and stealing cash and gift cards to pay for their children’s Christmas presents, the Sheriff’s Office said. Deputies located the suspects’ vehicle on the wrong side of the road…

Man’s handmade crosses bring smiles

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JENNA-LEY HARRISON Staff Writer Formerly a Hickory toy maker, Lincolnton resident Al Franklin now spends his days making wooden crosses for military men, children, nursing home patients and any person in the community who touches his heart. “This time of year people need to think about people (like that),” he…

McHenry votes for latest federal budget

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ELIZABETH HEFFNER Staff Writer The Senate is expected to vote today on a bipartisan federal budget plan that would remove the threat of a government shutdown for two years. The Associated Press reported Tuesday that the Senate advanced the measure over a filibuster threshold on a 67-33 vote, ensuring the…

Former county manager praised for work with local library system

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ELIZABETH HEFFNER Staff Writer Former county manager George Wood received recognition for his work with the Lincoln County library system at the North Carolina Public Library Director’s Association annual Award Banquet earlier this month. The association presented Wood with the 2013 Library Champion Award in Chapel Hill on Dec. 5…

Northern Irish poet finds love, art in region

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JENNA-LEY HARRISON Staff Writer Northern Ireland native Adrian Rice had no idea his five-week visit to the United States in 1999 would be the starting point of a future life here. Lenoir-Rhyne University, in connection with the Catawba County Arts Council, had invited Adrian through their U.S. Exchange Residency program…

Solar farm on agenda for commissioners

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ELIZABETH HEFFNER Staff Writer Lincoln County Commissioners will meet tonight to determine the fate of a contentious 36-acre solar farm proposed for Webbs Road in Denver that has drawn the ire of residents of the neighboring SailView residential community. Last Monday, the Planning Board voted 4-4 not to recommend county…

Gay-Straight Alliance club raises eyebrows at WLHS

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ELIZABETH HEFFNER Staff Writer Controversy spread through the halls of West Lincoln High School last week due to the recent formation of a new school club. West Lincoln high school students and parents expressed their concern over a Gay-Straight Alliance club starting at the school in conversations with administration and…