Community Owned. Local News. Burke County, NC.
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Valdese's water projects: Progress and plans for a sustainable future

The proposed interconnecting water line would go under Lake Rhodhiss to connect Valdese and Lenoir water production facilities.
The proposed multi-million dollar Valdese-Lenoir water project remains two years out, but progress is being made.  This interconnection will link the City of Lenoir and the Town of Valdese as …
The county’s board of adjustment last week approved Duke’s request to establish and operate the storage facility on a leased, 2.25-acre tract near Fish Hatchery Road.
Residents near Lake James can rest easy as Duke Energy's new lithium-ion battery storage facility, approved by the county’s board of adjustment, will enhance grid reliability without environmental …
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Burns
For more than a year, the Burke County Board of Commissioners has bandied about the idea of implementing a quarter-cent sales tax that several surrounding counties already employ. Now, the board is …
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Landscaper Sean Alexander waters the plant display by a downtown Morganton corner.
A drive or walk through downtown Morganton reveals bursts of beautiful color made possible by a small team of city employees. You might not know their names but you know their work. The eye-catching …
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Burke now classified in Moderate Drought

A 60-acre wildfire threatened several structures, including the popular Hidden Hill Venue on Burkemont Mountain last weekend.  Burke is now officially in a drought.

Burke County is officially in a drought. The U.S. Drought Monitor has Burke classified in the Moderate Drought (D1) category currently. More than 75% of the state is in either moderate or severe …

City of Morganton

Community-Driven Progress: How IMAGINE Morganton 2040 is Redefining City Planning

Development & Design Director Wendy Smith introduces the IMAGINE Morganton 2040 plan to the City officials and Planning & Zoning Commission members.
The City of Morganton’s strategic future land use plan, IMAGINE Morganton 2040, is a step closer to completion now that the City Council and Planning & Zoning Commission held a joint meeting on …
More Local News

Burke residents learn to save lives with Naloxone training

Joe Winebarger of Burke Recovery leads a Narcan, Nexoloprone safety and administration course at the Learning Center in Burke County on July 11,2024.
Opioid usage isn’t slowing down in Burke, but deaths caused by opioid overdose have. Burke Recovery paired with the Burke County Chamber of Commerce on Thursday to host three training sessions for …

The Paper adds to its awards collection in latest NCPA contest

In only its second year publication, The Paper recently won 17 awards in the 2023-24 North Carolina Press Association (NCPA) contest for its coverage of Burke County’s communities and local news. …
Morganton Public Safety first responders demonstrate rescue measures on a vehicle entrapment.

Morganton's 12-Week Citizens Public Safety Academy offers immersive classes

A lucky group of 15 Morganton residents will soon get an insider look into Public Safety’s operations.  Through the Citizens Public Safety Academy, attendees learn about an array of topics …

90% and counting

Broadband coverage for 100% of Burke County homes and businesses is now within sight. The county is one of 19 in North Carolina to receive funding from the state’s Completing Access to Broadband …
Police & Fire
Following a May 28 accident that left a gaping hole in a home, Glen Alpine Police Capt. William Max Boliek has tendered his resignation. “I expect him to come in any time with the formal letter,” …
The Burke County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division is seeking the public’s assistance in locating a missing person that was reported on July 3, 2024. Kimberly Margaret Woodard of …
A Drexel man has been charged with two felonies related to a possible sexual assault on a child. Information received by the Burke County Sheriff’s Office on July 6 compelled an investigation that …
Obituaries
Dr. Robert McAdams
Dr. Robert McAdams
Dr. Robert Cecil McAdams, Ph.D., age 75, was born Jan. 17, 1949, and died on May 31, 2024, from neuroendocrine cancer at Grace Ridge Skilled Care under the loving care of the nursing staff and Amorem …
Joe Alan Cooke
Joe Alan Cooke
Joe Alan Cooke, 53, of Morganton, passed away on Friday, July 5, 2024, at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, Winston-Salem, after fighting a long battle. Joe Cooke was born August 13, 1970, in Burke …
Dr. Stephen Edwin Rostan
Dr. Stephen Edwin Rostan, a well loved Moore County physician, died at his home on July 10, 2024  He was 79. Dr. Rostan joined Dr. John Haserick at Pinehurst Dermatology in 1976.  He was …
Edward Enoch Yoder
Edward Enoch Yoder
Mr. Edward Enoch Yoder, 85, of Hickory, passed away on Wednesday, July 3, 2024, at Carolina Caring Hospice after a period of declining health. Mr. Yoder was born April 28, 1939, in Catawba County, a …
Hazel Conner Shell
Hazel Conner Shell
Mrs.   Hazel Conner Shell, 85, of Valdese, NC, transitioned to her heavenly home on Tuesday, July 2, 2024. Born in   Rutherford County, NC on October 16, 1938, she was the daughter of the …
Sports

SHARP-SHOOTER: Filmmaker from Morganton spotlights NBA hopefuls in docuseries 'The Break'

Morganton-born filmmaker Taylor Sharp (right) smiles for the camera alongside production partner Holland Randolph Gallagher (left) and NBA legend Shaquille O'Neal (center) while shooting an episode of the NBA G League docuseries
In his younger days, Morganton native Taylor Sharp enjoyed attending sporting events at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a camera in his hands, hoping to capture exciting plays …
Burke County Post 21 second baseman Luke Miller (top) steps on the bag before firing on to first base as he looks to turn a double play in this file photo from June 10 as Post 21 hosted Queen City. Post 21 ended its season by suffering a second-round playoff sweep at the hands of top-seeded Shelby Post 82.
The Burke County Post 21 American Legion baseball team was the surprise of N.C. Area IV in round one of the playoffs, topping rival Caldwell County Post 29 and serving up the only upset out of the …
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Thomas
Alek Thomas is back in Major League Baseball after an extended stay on the shelf and in the minors after suffering a hamstring injury during the opening week of the regular season. Thomas — who …
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<center>Josh McKinney</center>
My wife and I try to go on at least one trip each summer, usually around our anniversary – we went on our first date on July 11, 2010, and got married on the same day in 2015 – and this year our …
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For the first time in three years, the Burke County Open golf tournament returns to its 54-hole format featuring rounds at both Mimosa Hills and Silver Creek golf clubs. The annual event – which …
The Burke County 8U All-Star baseball team finished runner-up to host Shelby in the Tarheel League District 1 Tournament this week, and in doing so, received a bid to the state tournament in Hickory …
The Morganton Swim Club Marlins youth team hosted its third Western Carolina Swimming Association meet of the summer on Wednesday evening at the Collett Street Recreation Center outdoor pool. The MSC …
Black team's Dax Bostian drives as Silver team's Anderson Keller defends during Monday night's action. Bostian is a former Patton High School standout who is entering his first season as Panthers head coach, and Keller is the son of former PHS head coach Chad Keller. Both players went on to play collegiately.
Opinion
Editorials
Elected leaders, first responders, directors, and managers: These are the county, city, and town officials who typically get the spotlight in media coverage because of their high-visibility roles in …
Columns

Eight hours of shuteye? In my dreams

Which superpower would you choose? The ability to fly, be invisible, teleport, or see the future? Me, I just want to be able to sleep. The notion of getting eight hours of sleep and waking up …
<center>Allen VanNoppen</center>

Championship claims, painful defeats and other adventures in barefoot tennis

There’s trouble around the corner. I can feel it.  I’m about to get into another ego-driven predicament leading to embarrassing exhaustion caused by trash-talk-laden challenges. I am taking …
<center>Bill Poteat</center>

Sorry tomatoes, corn and cantaloupe make the perfect summer meal

In case you haven’t noticed, full summer has arrived in Burke County. The height of the sun, the length of the days, and the temp on the thermometer all strongly proclaim that we are smack dab in …
<center>Bill Poteat</center>

Burke is home to more turkeys, deer, coyotes than decades past

One of the truly marvelous joys of being semi-retired is the peaceful rapture of sitting in a rocking chair on my front porch at sunrise and relishing that second cup of hot, black Folgers coffee. …
General Columnists
<center>Christopher Pedro</center>
Elevating Latino communities must be a priority
In the past decades, the United States has seen record amounts of migration from Latin America and worldwide. Many left their homes never to return due to conflict, economic uncertainty, war, etc. I …
<center>Fred Schuszler</center>
Marsha and Tom Lineberger: A match made in heaven
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him and God will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3: 5&6 RSV Marsha and Tom …
<center>Ken Corn</center>
Goat snuggles? Maybe a Capybara is best for Geezer Therapy
In a previous column, I referenced the Men’s Book Club. To be clear this is not a legitimate book club. It is a small group of retired or almost-retired gentlemen who meet periodically at one of …
<center>Henry Beall</center>
The world will have to watch Europe go through a populist phase
Europe has moved to the right over the past couple of years, and in nearly every major country, (apart from England’s most recent election) further right parties have seen their powers grow. More …
Benjamin Cleveland
Benjamin Cleveland joined with the Overmountain Men to battle Ferguson
Benjamin Cleveland, a rough-and-tumble guy, was born near Manassas, Va., on May 28, 1738. As a young man, Cleveland was a ruffian known for fighting, drinking to excess, gambling, and other indulgences.

Churn up sweet memories: Discover the joy of homemade ice cream

Peach ice cream is cool and creamy on a hot summer day.
Nothing tastes better on a sultry Southern summer day than a big bowl of homemade ice cream. And nothing adds to a family gathering like joining forces to create a batch of the frozen confection …

Home canning revival: Burke Cooperative Extension offers hands-on workshops

Those taking part in a recent home canning workshop learned to prepare vegetables for preservation.

The sound of what my mama called the “jiggler” interrupted quiet conversations in a meeting room at Burke County’s Agricultural Extension Service building on a recent Thursday morning. “There it goes, finally!” …

Limited Lunch Options in Morganton & Valdese

Uncle Eee's, located at 160 S. Sterling St. in Morganton, is a popular place for lunch seven days a week.  The eatery is known for fresh, old fashioned cheeseburgers, cooked to order.

The Paper’s office sits in a prime downtown location. One of the perks of our space is the convenience of local restaurants within walking distance of our office. But what if you want to eat lunch in town on Monday? That can be more of a challenge...

 

Restaurant Reviews
Stoney Place Cafe is situated in a  small courtyard at 107 Stoney Place.
Stoney Place Cafe delivers delightful al fresco lunch
There are lots of advantages to working with my husband here in Morganton. We save gas by carpooling most days from our home in Marion. In Marty, I have my own personal editor, who offers brilliant suggestions for improving stories I’ve written....
The Rigatoni Ala Vodka comes with chicken, shrimp, or (in this case) both.
A diner's delight in Rutherford College: Jessica’s Mediterranean & American Eatery
In September 2023, The Paper asked readers for their favorite pizza place in Burke County.  One of the write-in responses was a vote for Jessica’s Mediterranean & American Eatery in Rutherford College …
The Reuben was delivered with onion rings instead of the soup that was ordered. The corned beef is made in-house and has been tender on past visits. Not the case on this day.
100 Main: A favorite dining spot falls short of expectations on mid-week visit
The evening was getting late when we decided to make our way to 100 Main Restaurant & Bar in Valdese. Outside 100 Main, three tables were filled with people enjoying the last of their meals. Inside was equally busy...
Cheese Stix were served with warm marinara topped with melted cheese.
Down-home grill serves up diner and seafood staples
I drive by Carbon City Grill at least twice every weekday. The restaurant is on my way to and from work. After driving by it nearly 600 times, I decided it was time to check it out.  When I …
Burke Business

Kathryn Bailey moves custom framing passion to International Moulding

Shown in the retail framing section of the Morganton location of International Moolding are, from left, Kathryn Bailey, Carissa Shehan, Connie Poteet, and Jason Whisnant.
Kathryn Bailey and Jason Whisnant have a lot in common. They worked together at Morganton’s old Masterpiece Art and Frame decades ago before it closed in 1988. They both thrive on working with …
One day before the official opening, Perry’s Berry’s Vineyard and Winery offered a sneak peek (taste) of the sandwiches, salads, desserts, and — the piece de resistance — savory and sweet …
Morganton’s only dedicated Pilates studio is now also the only authorized lululemon retailer between Asheville and Charlotte. Heather Maggio, owner of the Pilates Barre, closed the business during …
The Burke County Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon cutting for Waterbean Coffee on Friday, June 28, at 815 S. Sterling St. in Morganton. Co-owner Robert Sullivan cut the ribbon alongside teammates, family, friends, and other supporters...

Discover tranquility: Exploring Burke County's community garden

Some plots in the community garden are home to both vegetable plants and flowers.

Just behind the Burke County Agricultural Building, there’s a peaceful fenced area that’s a gardener’s dream. The wooden gate is latched, but not locked. Anyone is welcome to enter the small …

Your Horoscope for Week of July 13, 2024

Aries (March 21 - April 19) Feeling the heatwave? Cool off at Silver Fork Winery. This week brings new opportunities. Keep hydrated and remember, a little wine can make challenges easier to bear. …

Dive into a good book

Whether you’re headed for a week’s stay in a tropical paradise, a teacher with a little spare time on your hands during break, or simply a bookworm looking for your next good read, summer is a …

Two friends revisit days of youth on Lake James

Lazy days on Lake James often involve canoes, and easy chairs. The dock behind Tammy Willcox's house offers both.
Tammy Willcox eases the throttle forward, and the small pontoon boat moves slowly away from the dock and into the channel of the cove on Lake James she has called home since 1971. She settles into …
SUMMER CONCERT SERIES

SATURDAY, JULY 13

The Town of Connelly Springs will welcome the Shelby Rae Moore Band to their Summer Concert Series. The show will begin at 6 p.m. and will end at 9:30. Connelly Springs Pavilion, behind Town Hall, 1030 US Hwy 70, Connelly Springs. Concessions will be available. Call 828-879-2321 for more information.
SUMMER CONCERT SERIES SATURDAY, JULY 13 The Town of Connelly Springs will welcome the Shelby Rae Moore Band to their Summer Concert Series. The show will begin at 6 p.m. and will end at 9:30. …
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A journey of music, memories, and southern summers

Those black water rivers down below Columbia, South Carolina where the catfish thrive is mostly farming country. And the summers tend to be sweltering. Back in the days before air conditioning became …

Rock School Arts Foundation announces summer competitions

The Rock School Arts Foundation is gearing up for a busy summer and artists will have an opportunity to show their works in two competitions. Open Art Competition The Foundation’s Open Art …
Focus on Education
It's all about the data. North Carolina School of Science and Math-Morganton gathered teachers from across the country this week for a workshop aimed at incorporating data science into …
Summer Lunch Menu July 15 Chicken Sandwich Peaches Corn July 16 Cheese Stuffed Breadsticks Apple Tater Tots July 17 Hot Dog Diced Pears Green Beans July 18 Square Pizza Banana Mixed Veggies Note: …
Need help with tuition at Western Piedmont Community College? Learn more about the Next NC Scholarship financial aid program on Saturday, July 13, from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. in Hildebrand Hall at 1001 …
On Facebook
Pets
Daisy: The sweetest senior girl on the planet! She is around 8 years old and spayed. She does great with cats and dogs and is wanting a place to be lazy on a couch.

Daisy: The sweetest senior girl on the planet!

She is around 8 years old and spayed. She does great with cats and dogs and is wanting a place to be lazy on a couch.

Sweet Maggie needs a home.

Her original owner passed away and Maggie was her treasure, loved her so much, and was her companion. We know Maggie misses her human.
Special sections & reports
Potential megasite (orange outline) located along I-40 in western Burke County
Great meadows megasite
What you need to know more about the proposed industrial-development site near Lake James.
The face of the Confederate soldier who has stood watch over downtown Morganton on the Historic Courthouse Square for more than a century.
Series: Morganton Confederate Monument debate
The Paper covers all aspects of the controversial issue.
This small amount represents a lethal dose of fentanyl.
Lethal doses
Fentanyl deaths skyrocket as use of powerful synthetic opioid increases...
Revered Paul Carlson of Calvary Lutheran Church picks up trash at an abandoned campsite used by unsheltered folks. Community volunteers helped clean up portions of the site, located behind the Morganton Heights Shopping Center, in April. The problem of homelessness was The Paper's top story of 2023.
Burke County's unsheltered
Evicted. Foreclosed. Kicked out. There are many reasons why there are homeless people and families in Burke County without permanent homes.
The giant sinkhole next to the Morganton Post Office remains a threat to both nearby roads and to the Catawba River.
Sinkhole Watch
The enormous sinkhole in the parking lot of the Morganton Post Office was a ticking time bomb with the potential to spark an ecological and transportation disaster.
Beautiful Burke County
Castle Bridge Marina owner Larry Davis with the waters of Lake Rhodhiss stretching out behind him.
Castle Bridge Marina poised to grow as population increases
As such things are measured, Lake Rhodhiss is a small lake, stretching roughly 10 miles from the Huffman Bridge just north of Drexel to the dam at Rhodhiss from which the lake takes its name. But …
<center>Bill Poteat</center>
There's a literal Burke County connection to Hickory's Riverwalk
Here at The Paper we cling steadfastly to a couple of cardinal rules. Rule Number One is never to write anything bad about cardinals. They are, after all, the North Carolina state bird, they …
The fishing pier and kayak launch at Valdese Lakeside Park look out over a backdrop of Lake Rhodhiss and the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Valdese Lakeside Park, a gem where only flora and scenery are hunted
Back in the late summer of 2008, Draughn High School was opened on a beautiful tract of land to the north of Lovelady Road in Valdese. The wooded acres between the campus and the Catawba River were …
The view of the South Mountains from the bench at the end of the Rock Creek Trail.
Wolf Pit Road closure is not a done deal
For generations, Wolf Pit Road has provided the easiest access to one of the most popular hiking trails in Burke County — the footpath to the summit of the iconic peak Shortoff. Recently, however, …
The Fonta Flora Trail along Lake James is one of many amenities that draws visitors to Burke County.
Visitors to Burke County are an integral link in our economic chain
Parents of the incoming juniors at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics-Morganton will arrive this weekend to learn more about the school and town where their children will spend the …
Learn about The Paper
Frequently asked questions

Welcome to The Paper!

We are delighted to introduce The Paper, a full-fledged community newspaper that is dedicated to only local news. Published on Saturdays, The Paper is owned locally, managed locally, written locally, and wholly dedicated to Burke County’s people, places, schools, businesses, sports, activities, entertainment, governments, and celebrations. READ MORE  
Profiles of our team

Meet our experienced team at The Paper

The Paper published its first edition on Feb. 4, 2023. Shown above is the current staff, from left: Marty Queen, Sandra Wilkerson Queen, Allen VanNoppen, Pam Walker, Lisa Price, Paul Schenkel, Saydie Bean, Bill Poteat, Lilly Brown, Angela Copeland, Janina Linens, Josh McKinney, and Devan Berry.
With the goal of providing Burke County with comprehensive, fresh, thorough, and responsible local news, The Paper has staffed its reporting and advertising teams with a fantastic blend of …