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News (766)

Tuesday, 28 July 2015 12:01

SWATTING Incident Reported in Newton

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At 10:30 Saturday night (July 25), Newton Police dispatchers forwarded a call to Catawba County Communications. The caller identified himself as Sean Prince of Whitegate Lane in Newton. The caller said he had shot and killed his girlfriend with a shotgun and said he had his parents tied up in the bathroom. He said he was thinking about shooting his parents. He said he needed to speak with a hostage negotiator if authorities didn’t want him to kill his parents. The caller said he would be waiting to meet the negotiator at the front door.

Catawba County Deputies, the Sheriff’s STAR (Special Tactics & Response) Team and negotiators responded to the scene. Negotiators made contact with the family and quickly suspected that something was wrong with the call. Negotiators had the family come outside, where they were detained. The residence was searched to verify that no homicide had occurred. The call was proven to be a hoax.

Sean Prince told Officers that he is a gamer and had been live-streaming on Twitch (an online community for gamers) before the incident occurred. He told authorities that hoax SWAT calls are referred to as SWATTING. SWATTING occurs when someone gains access to a victim’s name and address and calls in a hoax incident to the victim’s local jurisdiction, eliciting a SWAT response to the victim’s home.

SWATTING has occurred in other jurisdictions around the United States.

30-year-old Justin Scott Harvell of Lynn Mountain Road in Vale was arrested by Hickory Police shortly before 4 p.m. yesterday (July 27) on one felony count of possession of cocaine and one misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia. He is accused of possessing cocaine.

He was taken into custody without incident at the Total Convenience Market on Highway 70 S.W. in Hickory. Following his arrest, Harvell was jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $3,000 secured bond. He has since been released. A first appearance in District Court was scheduled for tomorrow in Newton.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015 10:55

Hickory Man Arrested on Felony Meth Charge

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22-year-old Daniel Scott McCallum of 31st Avenue Court N.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at about 12:30 yesterday afternoon (July 27) on one felony count of possession of a schedule II controlled substance and one misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia. He is accused of possessing methamphetamine.

He was taken into custody at a location on Highway 70 S.W. in the Long View area. Following his arrest, McCallum was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $3,000 secured bond. A first appearance in District Court was set for tomorrow in Newton.

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Tuesday, 28 July 2015 10:49

Suspect in Salsarita's Robberies Arrested

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26-year-old Graham Wilson Kiziah of 21st Avenue N.W. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at 6:37 last night (July 27) on one count of common law robbery and two counts of robbery with firearms or other dangerous weapons. All the charges are felonies. Kiziah is the suspect in two robberies earlier this month at Salsarita’s Fresh Cantina on 2nd Street N.E. in Hickory’s Viewmont area, plus another robbery at the same location yesterday.

The first two incidents occurred on July 11 & 12. In each case, a white male entered the restaurant, approached the register and presented a note, which he then took back. The note contained threatening language and implied that the suspect was armed. He also made verbal threats. The man never displayed a weapon. In those incidents, the suspect left the restaurant with an undisclosed amount of money.

Just after 6:30 yesterday, the same suspect entered the restaurant and demanded money. He did not present a note. As the suspect was given an undisclosed sum of cash, a Salsarita’s employee ran to the door and locked it. As the suspect attempted to leave the building, a restaurant patron grabbed the suspect from behind and took him to the ground.

An off-duty Hickory Police Officer, David Freeman, had just eaten at the restaurant and was in the parking lot when he saw the scuffle, which by then involved a Salsarita’s employee, the restaurant patron and the suspect. Officer Freeman entered and joined briefly in the struggle, which ended when the suspect was taken into custody. No significant injuries were reported.

According to Police, customers in the restaurant gave a round of applause as the suspect was subdued.

The investigation is ongoing. Police are currently working with Salsarita’s owners in reviewing surveillance footage.

Following his arrest, Kiziah was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $175,000 secured bond. He will make a first appearance in District Court tomorrow in Newton.

42-year-old William Edward Young of 2773 Hudson Poultry Road in Iron Station was arrested by Lincoln County Sheriff’s Officers. He’s charged with two felony counts each of Trafficking Opium by Possession, Trafficking Opium by Sell, and Trafficking Opium by Delivery and one felony count of Maintaining a Dwelling for a Controlled substance. He was also charged with one misdemeanor count of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

The arrest followed a three-week investigation where undercover narcotics detectives bought opiate-based prescription medication from Young. Young was taken before a Lincoln County magistrate where his bond was set at $56,000 secured. He made a first appearance in Lincoln County District Court today (Tuesday, July 28).

19-year-old Trevor James Kelsey of Draco Road in Lenoir was arrested Monday (July 27) by Lenoir Police Officers. He’s charged with two counts of assault on a government official, along with single counts of simple assault and second degree trespassing. Following the arrest, Kelsey was detained at the Caldwell County Detention Center under $15,000 secured bond. A District Court date is set for August 25.

48-year-old Raymond Jerome Alford of 37th Street SW in Hickory was arrested Monday (July 27) by Catawba Police Officers. He’s charged with three counts apiece of possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana, sell and deliver marijuana, and maintaining a vehicle, dwelling, or place to keep controlled substance. All of the charges are felonies. Following the arrest, Alford was incarcerated at the Catawba County Detention Facility under $50,000 bond. He’s scheduled to appear in District Court Wednesday (July 29).

24-year-old Orlando Lavern Jones of Lenoir-Rhyne Boulevard in Hickory was arrested by Catawba County Sheriff’s Officers. He’s charged with possession with intent to sell and deliver cocaine, possession of drug paraphernalia, and resisting a public officer. Jones was detained this morning (Tuesday, July 28) in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $20,000 bond. A Superior Court appearance is scheduled for Wednesday (July 29).

Catawba County has achieved the top ranking among all North Carolina counties in the amount of materials recycled, per person, according to information released recently by the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NCDENR). This is the third year out of the last four in which Catawba County has ranked number one. Catawba County ranked first in North Carolina for Fiscal Year 2013-2014, with 507.55 pounds recycled, per person. Pitt County ranked second with 470.90 pounds recycled, per person.

Amanda Kain, Catawba County’s Waste Reduction Coordinator and Educator said in a news release a broad set of recycling-based initiatives in Catawba County led to the top ranking. In addition to the county-wide collection of recyclable material, the County operates an EcoComplex, designed to bring together businesses, located in a close area, that re-use each other’s waste streams. Republic Services operates a Materials Recovery Facility or MRF that separates recycled items from the general waste stream. The County also began a Commercial Recycling and Waste Reduction Partnership in Fiscal Year 2008-2009.

Another contributing factor in the top ranking is the year-round collection of electronics and asphalt roofing shingles at the Blackburn Landfill, whenever the Landfill is open, begun in 2013. The EcoComplex is an interactive network of companies and operations that matches waste streams with the need for materials in the manufacturing of new products and energy sources. The on-site use of discarded materials in turn helps Catawba County achieve higher rates of recycling.

For more information on Catawba County’s recycling programs, you may contact the County’s Waste Reduction and Education office at 828-465-8127 or amandak@catawbacountync.gov.

Ryan McCreary has been selected as the new principal for Hickory High School. His promotion was announced during Monday's meeting of the Board of Education of Hickory Public Schools. McCreary replaces Dr. Ann Stalnaker, who recently accepted a position with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.

Currently the principal of Oakwood Elementary School, McCreary is a familiar face at Hickory High School, after graduating from Lenoir-Rhyne University, McCreary taught mathematics at Hickory from 2004-2008. He later became a full-time principal intern at Oakwood Elementary School from 2010 to 2011. Soon thereafter, he was selected to serve as the assistant principal at North Wilkes Middle School in North Wilkesboro before his selection as principal of Central Wilkes Middle School in Moravian Falls from 2011-2013. In October, 2013, McCreary returned to Hickory Public Schools when he was selected as the new principal for Oakwood Elementary.

In addition to earning a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and Spanish from Lenoir-Rhyne University in which McCreary graduated Summa Cum Laude, he also earned his master’s in school administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. McCreary was a North Carolina Principal Fellow. He is currently enrolled in the Doctorate in Educational Leadership program at Gardner-Webb University.

Ryan McCreary is married to Jennifer Downs McCreary and they are the parents of two children. McCreary enjoys family time and running—when not actively leading education programs and events with Hickory Public Schools.

In addition Monday night, The Hickory Public Schools Board of Education announced Jennifer S. Griffin, a national board certified teacher, has been selected as the new principal at Oakwood Elementary School. Griffin replaces Ryan McCreary. Griffin has served the school district as curriculum specialist/instructional coach for the past eight years. In this capacity, she has worked very closely with all HPS principals, particularly in the elementary and middle school levels.

An Interim Superintendent was also announced for the school district at Monday’s Board of Education meeting. Dr. Timothy Sims, who currently serves as the HPS Director of Federal Programs, will assume the leadership role as Interim Superintendent until the new HPS Superintendent is selected. The Board of Education is currently interviewing prospective candidates for the position.

During the past four years, Dr. Walter Hart has served as the HPS superintendent. Hart is retiring from NC Public Schools and this Thursday, July 30th, will be his last day with the Hickory Public Schools.

Since 2006, through his role as Director of Federal Programs, Dr. Sims has supervised the oversight and implementation of multiple federal programs including Title I, English as a Second Language, Career and Technical Education, and Race to the Top.

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