News (718)

An estimated one-million, 353-thousand North Carolinians are expected to travel 50 miles or more from home during the Thanksgiving holiday, a point-six-percent increase over last year. According to Triple-A Carolinas, nearly 90% of those travelers, about one-million, 221-thousand will drive to their destinations a point-seven-percent increase over 2014. Those travelers taking a road trip are expected to experience the lowest gas prices since 2008.

Gas prices in North Carolina have declined steadily over the past few months. The statewide average had dropped to $2.07 at the beginning of this week, that's down 70 cents from last year’s Thanksgiving holiday, when the average was $2.77.

The Thanksgiving holiday period is defined as today through Sunday. The highest number of travelers on the road were likely to depart for their destinations today and most will return on Sunday.

Thanksgiving is one of the most dangerous holidays for motorists due to its five-day length and the heavy traffic caused by the high number of travelers on the road. Last year, the number of deaths on North Carolina highways during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend nearly tripled the previous year with 32 fatalities compared to 12 in 2013.

Those driving through North Carolina will encounter the highest average price per gallon of unleaded gas in Asheville at $2.15; the least expensive average price is in the Greensboro-Winston Salem-High Point area at $2.03.

North Carolina motorists can expect to see lower gas prices in the bordering states of South Carolina ($1.88), Virginia ($1.94), Tennessee ($1.93), and Georgia ($2.05).

About 46,000 North Carolinians will travel by air, up 0.1% from last year. Those flying will experience cheaper airfares than last Thanksgiving. Airfares are projected to decrease 10%, landing at an average of $169 roundtrip across the top domestic flight routes.

An estimated 39,700 travelers will use other modes of transportation such as train, bus or boat, a 1.4% decrease from last year.

Hotel rates are expected to remain flat, with travelers spending an average of $155 per night for AAA Three Diamond Rated lodgings. Daily car rental rates are 8% higher than last Thanksgiving and will average $60.

For the latest on construction delays, go to the North Carolina Department of Transportation website, www.ncdot.gov. Click on Travel & Maps and then on the Traveler Information Management System for up-to-date traffic information related to closed travel lanes, accidents or expected congestion due to special events.

As families travel over the river and through the woods for Thanksgiving celebrations, the North Carolina Department of Transportation will suspend most road construction activities on major routes across the state to help make holiday trips a little smoother. By avoiding traffic delays, motorists can reach their destinations safely and efficiently, while cutting down on fuel consumption and costs.

NCDOT will put on hold most construction projects along interstate, North Carolina, and U.S. routes from now until midnight, Sunday. There are exceptions to this across the state, several of those projects are in eastern North Carolina. In western North Carolina, eastbound U.S. 74 in Cleveland County has a one-lane pattern just east of Sandy Run Creek bridges and a one-lane detour route along new ramps for Peachtree Road and back to U.S. 74. In Haywood County, the outside lane of westbound I-40 at Exit 15 is closed due to damaged girders under the bridge; and U.S. 23/74 in Jackson County has lane closures in place for bridgework.

DOT has additional tips for navigating the highways safely during the holiday travel season. Leave early to get a head start on your drive. Travel at non-peak hours when possible.   Stay alert. Even if work is suspended, you may encounter narrowed lanes and traffic shifts in work zones. Be patient and obey the posted speed limit. Use alternate routes, when possible, to avoid traffic congestion. Stay informed. Real-time travel information is available online and over the phone by dialing 511. Don’t drive drowsy. Travel at times when you are normally awake, and take frequent breaks. Avoid distracted driving. When drivers stop focusing on the road ahead, they react more slowly to traffic conditions and are more likely to be involved in an accident.

For real-time travel information at any time, visit the Travel section of the NCDOT website or follow NCDOT on Twitter.

In addition, the Thanksgiving “Click It or Ticket” campaign is now underway and will run through November 29. Law enforcement officers are stepping up patrols statewide, watching for people who aren’t buckled up.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015 05:58

Lenoir Man Charged With Weapon Offense

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50-year-old Ralph Garland Prestwood of Zacks Fork Road in Lenoir was arrested Tuesday (November 24) by Lenoir Police Officers. He’s charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Following the arrest, Prestwood was incarcerated in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $25,000 secured bond. His next appearance in District Court is scheduled for December 17.

25-year-old Dillion Ray Byrd of Sandy Acres Lane in Lenoir was arrested Tuesday (November 24) by Caldwell County Sheriff’s Officers. He’s charged with felony violation of house arrest. Byrd was locked up in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $150,000 secured bond. His next appearance in District Court is scheduled for January 26.

The City of Hickory will close its offices on Thursday and Friday, November 26 and 27, for the Thanksgiving holiday. Garbage and recycling pick-up, as well as leaf collection, will continue. The City of Hickory offices will re-open on Monday, November 30 at 8:30 a.m.

The Hickory Public Library branches, the Patrick Beaver Memorial main facility and the Ridgeview Branch, will be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday and Friday. The library will reopen at its regular hours on Saturday, November 28.

The administrative offices, all recreation centers, and the skate park in Hickory will be closed on Thursday and Friday, November 26 and 27.

Recreation centers that typically operate on a Saturday schedule will be reopened on Saturday, November 28 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Parks are open 365 days a year.

Catawba County offices will be closed on Thursday and Friday. Bakers Mountain, Riverbend and St. Stephens Parks will be open on Friday.

All Caldwell County offices will be closed Thursday and Friday in observance of the Thanksgiving Holiday. County offices will re-open for regular business on Monday.

Burke County offices will be closed Thursday and Friday November 26th and 27th in observance of the Thanksgiving Holiday.

Morganton City Hall will be closed Thursday and Friday. All City recreation facilities also will be closed Thanksgiving Day, but the recreation facilities will be open Friday. Garbage will not be picked up Thursday in Morganton. Thursday’s garbage route was to be collected a day early on Wednesday.

Alexander County Offices will be closed Thursday and Friday. The landfill will also be closed Thursday. Landfill and Convenience Sites will be on a regular schedule November 27.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015 05:09

Conover Man Charged With Meth Trafficking

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30-year-old Alelxis Joel Adorno-Diaz of Crater Lane in Conover was arrested Tuesday (November 24) by Catawba County Sheriff’s Officers. He’s charged with trafficking in methamphetamine, maintaining a vehicle, dwelling, or place to keep controlled substance, possession with intent to manufacture, sell, and deliver methamphetamine, and possession of drug paraphernalia. Adorno-Diaz was incarcerated in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $201,000 bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for next Monday (November 30).

Wednesday, 25 November 2015 04:57

Drug And Weapon Charges Filed Against Conover Man

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23-year-old Ty’shon Lamonte Chisholm of Cranford Drive in Conover was arrested Tuesday (November 24) by the North Carolina State Highway Patrol. He’s charged with possession of schedule II controlled substance, possession of a stolen firearm, resisting a public officer, and three counts of failure to appear. Chisholm was incarcerated in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $15,300 total bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for next Monday (November 30).

Hickory Police are asking for the public’s assistance in their investigation into the death of William “Pierre” Mayfield. Mr. Mayfield went missing on September 21 2014. On June 30 of this year, his skeletal remains were found in a wooded area behind a residence on 15th Avenue S.E. in Hickory.

The H.P.D. investigation is active and ongoing. An undisclosed cash reward is being offered for information leading to an arrest. Anyone with information should call Hickory Police at 828-328-5551.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015 13:05

Hickory Man Held on Felony Fugitive Warrant

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38-year-old Dennis Paul Kramber of U.S. Highway 70 S.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police shortly before ten o’clock last night (November 23) on a felony warrant as a fugitive awaiting extradition to another state.

Kramber was taken into custody without incident at his residence. He was jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility where he is being held without bond. A first appearance in District Court was set for tomorrow.

No further details are available.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015 10:39

Reward Offered In Members Credit Union Robbery

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A reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest of the suspect in the late October robbery at a Hickory financial institution.

On Wednesday, October 28 at approximately 3:55 p.m., officers responded to an armed robbery at the Members Credit Union at 2142 12th Avenue NE. During the incident, a male subject entered the bank and proceeded directly to the counter where he displayed a handgun and demanded money. After receiving an undisclosed amount of money, he exited the business and fled on foot.

The subject is described as being 5’7” to 6’, weighing 200 pounds and was wearing a black hoodie with white zipper, black pants, and black shoes with white soles, black gloves and black facemask. He was also carrying a black and gray backpack.

Hickory Police are continuing the investigation at this time. Anyone with information reference this case is asked to contact Inv. J. Pruett at the Hickory Police Department at (828) 328-5551 or at (828) 261-2617 or jpruett@hickorync.gov.

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