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WHKY owner and general manager Tom Long Sr. passed away Friday. Mr. Long has been with both WHKY Radio and TV since they went on the air, in 1940 and 1968 respectively. The entire staff of WHKY is saddened by his passing. This is the obituary for Mr. Long.


Thomas Edmund Shuford Long, Sr., 90, passed away unexpectedly February 24, 2017 surrounded by his family at Catawba Valley Medical Center.

Born October 18, 1926 in Catawba Co., he was the son of the late Edmund Showalter Long and Roberta Shuford Long.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife of over 50 years, Lois Guthrie Long.

A lifelong member of Corinth Reformed Church, he was owner and general manager of WHKY Radio and WHKY-TV where he was still actively employed at age 90.

Tom served in the US Navy during WWII and was one of the first radar technicians as radar was in its infancy. He later attended NC State University.

He was a member of the Hickory Masonic Lodge, a former member of the Hickory Rotary Club, and a member of American Legion Post 48.

Work was his hobby but he also enjoyed collecting vintage records, antique radios, and classic cars.

Tom enjoyed life and was beloved by his family, many friends and employees, many of whom he considered family.

Survivors include his sons, Tom Long, Jr. of Hickory, Jeff Long and wife Joyce of Hickory; daughter, Carol Wolfe and husband Karl of Hickory; sister, Susie Long of Hickory; grandsons Chris Long and wife Amanda of Summerville, SC, Charlie Long and wife Heather of Charlotte; granddaughters, Ally Mashburn of Raleigh, Jennifer Wolfe and Kathryn Wolfe of Hickory; 7 great-grandchildren, Vivian, Cheyenne, Bianca, Sierra, Penelope, Kindra, and Robert Long.

A memorial service will be held at 11:00 AM on Monday, February 27, 2017 at Bass-Smith Funeral Home officiated by the Rev. Dr. Bob Thompson and the Rev. Bill Howell followed by Military Honors. The family will receive friends from 10:00-11:00 AM prior to the service.

Employees of WHKY Radio and TV will serve as honorary pallbearers.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Corinth Legacy, c/o Corinth Reformed Church, 150 16th Ave. NW Hickory, NC 28601.

Bass-Smith Funeral Home is serving the family of Thomas Edmund Shuford Long Sr.

On-line condolences may be sent to www.bass-smithfuneralhome.com.

32-year-old Zachary Allen Blankenship of Sherrills Ford will spend a minimum of 50 years in prison after he was found guilty of multiple sexual offenses with a child by a Catawba County jury today (Friday, February 24).

The Honorable Nathaniel J. Poovey, Superior Court Judge from Catawba County, sentenced Blankenship to serve 50 to 70 years of active time in custody of the North Carolina Division of Adult Corrections after the 12-member jury found him guilty of rape of a child by an adult offender, three counts of sexual offense with a child by an adult offender and four counts of indecent liberties with a child.

Blankenship also will have to register as a sex offender and will be subject to satellite-based monitoring for the remainder of his life.

Following closing arguments by Prosecutor Michael Van Buren and Defense Attorney Scott Matthews on Thursday afternoon, the jury deliberated for approximately two hours Friday morning before rendering its verdict to bring the week-long trial to a close.

Blankenship raped and sexually assaulted a two-year-old female victim in November 2013. The acts occurred on multiple occasions.

Marcella McCombs of the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office and Jennifer Owen of the Catawba County Department of Social Services investigated the case, which was prosecuted by Van Buren for the District Attorney’s Office. The child also received services from the Catawba County Child Advocacy Center.

On Wednesday and Thursday (February 22 & 23), Lincoln County Narcotics Officers arrested eight of nine people charged with drug-related offenses.  The arrests stem from multiple investigations into methamphetamine and prescription pill sales in various parts of Lincoln County.

Detectives say the investigations, which took place over several months, included undercover and surveillance operations in which street-level amounts of methamphetamine were sold.  The investigations targeted individuals selling and conspiring with dealers to sell the drugs.  Several of the individuals arrested came from the same residence or neighborhood.

Additional arrests are expected.

Those arrested thus far are:

46-year-old Teresa Louise Dellinger of Cedar Grove Church Road in Vale.  She was charged with one felony count each of possession of a schedule II controlled substance, the sale & delivery of a schedule II controlled substance, possession with intent to sell & deliver a schedule II controlled substance and maintaining a dwelling for a controlled substance.  She received a $25,000 secured bond.

35-year-old Megan Elizabeth Campos of Cedar Grove Church Road in Vale was charged with two felony counts each of sale & delivery of a schedule II controlled substance and possession with intent to sell & deliver a schedule II controlled substance.  Her bond was set at $20,000, secured.

40-year-old Jerry Norman Vancise, Jr. of Cedar Grove Church Road in Vale was charged with one felony count each of sale & delivery of a schedule IV controlled substance and possession with intent to sell & deliver a schedule IV controlled substance.  Bond for Vancise was set at $20,000, secured.

46-year-old William Elton Patterson of Clarence Beam Road in Cherryville (in Lincoln County) was charged with three felony counts each for the sale & delivery of methamphetamine, possession with intent to sell & deliver a schedule II controlled substance and maintaining a dwelling for a controlled substance.  Patterson remains in jail without bond.

33-year-old Charlie Mack Jolly III of Broadcast Street in Gastonia was charged with two felony counts each for the sale & delivery of methamphetamine and possession with Intent to sell & deliver a schedule II controlled substance.  He was also charged with one felony count of conspiracy to sell methamphetamine.  Jolly received a $25,000 secured bond after he was arrested in Gaston County.

37-year-old Ellis Shane Shuler of Willow Street in Gastonia was charged with one felony count each for the sale & delivery of methamphetamine, conspiracy to sell & deliver methamphetamine, possession with intent to sell & deliver a schedule II controlled substance and possession with intent to sell & deliver a counterfeit controlled substance.  He received a $40,000 secured bond after he was arrested in Gaston County.

30-year-old Michele Lee Vance of Holly Hawk Court in Cherryville (in Lincoln County) was charged with one felony count of possession of a schedule II controlled substance and one misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia.  She was given a $7,000 secured bond.

And…

26-year-old Joshua Thomas Carpenter of Cedar Grove Church Road in Vale was charged with one felony count of possession of methamphetamine.  He received a $5,000 secured bond.

Still at-large is 31-year-old Courtney Marie Helms, formerly of Highway 27 East in Lincolnton.  Helms has been charged with one felony count each of conspiracy to sell methamphetamine and conspiracy to deliver methamphetamine.  She has not been arrested.  Her name has been entered into the National Crime Information Center’s database.
 
Citizens are urged to report any suspicious drug activity to the Drug Tip Line at 704-736-8606 or Lincolnton/Lincoln County Crime Stoppers at 704-736-8909.  Caller may remain anonymous and all tips are investigated.  A Crime Stoppers tip leading to an arrest could result in a reward of up to $1,000.

22-year-old Daniel Dayila See of County Home Road in Conover and 23-year-old Johnny See of Blue Sky Court N.E. in Newton were both arrested by Hickory Police early this morning (February 24). Daniel See was charged with felony possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver a schedule VI controlled substance and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. Johnny See faces one felony count each of possession of a stolen firearm and possession with intent to sell marijuana, plus one misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

117 grams (just over four ounces) of marijuana were seized at the time of their arrests.

The two were taken into custody without incident at a business on Highway 70 S.W., near Long View. Both men were placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond for Daniel See set at $5,000, secured, while Johnny See was given a $7,500 secured bond. They will each make a first appearance in District Court Monday (February 27) in Newton.

26-year-old Jeremy Neal McDougal of Mooresville was arrested in Catawba County in connection to the theft of a television in Lincoln County. He's charged with breaking and entering, larceny, and possession of stolen property. The television was stolen from a home on Sun Valley Trail in Lincolnton, a residence visited by the suspect.

Detective Justin Link began his investigation into the case on Tuesday (February 21) after the resident of that home reported that a television had been stolen. Pamela Reedy told officers she and the suspect, Jeremy Neal McDougal, went to a local car wash where they got into an argument over a cell phone charger.

McDougal left her there and drove away. When she returned home she discovered a television missing from the residence. The detectives discovered that McDougal had been booked into the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office jail only hours after the reported theft. He had been arrested by a Catawba County deputy and turned over to Iredell County on a probation violation.  The Catawba County officer remembered finding a television in the trunk of the car. It was verified that it was the television stolen from the Lincoln County home.

A news release from the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office says that McDougal confessed to taking the television. The warrants were served by Iredell County Sheriff’s deputies and McDougal was given an additional $10,000 secured bond. He was scheduled to appear in District Court on the Lincoln County charge today (Friday, February 24).

Just after nine o’clock last night (February 23), Hickory Firefighters were dispatched to a reported fire at 3512 4th Avenue Lane N.E. Firefighters responded with two engines, one ladder, one rescue truck and two command units.

Upon arrival, Firefighters reported heavy fire on the front side of the double-wide mobile home. After ensuring there were no occupants inside the home, Firefighters quickly extinguished the fire, which was under control by 9:20. No injuries were reported and fire damages were considered moderate.

The St. Stephens Fire Department, Catawba County E.M.S., Hickory Rescue and the Hickory Police Department also responded to the scene.

Fire Investigators are working to determine the cause of the fire, which is under investigation.

Friday, 24 February 2017 10:34

Eastern Burke County Motel Padlocked (Updated)

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The Burke County Sheriff's Office began the process to shut down a motel this morning (Friday, February 24). Acting on a civil complaint filed by the District Attorney’s Office, deputies  served a temporary restraining order on Lowman’s Motor Court at 109 U.S. Highway 70 East.

The order, signed by a judge, closes the business until a Burke County Superior Court hearing regarding a preliminary injunction takes place on March 6. If that injunction is granted, the business will remain closed until a full hearing regarding the future of the motel takes place.

The DA’s Office is seeking to have the business declared a public nuisance because of a “breach of peace,” a repeated and continued disturbance of the public. Law enforcement, fire and rescue agencies in Burke County have responded to more than 700 calls at the business in the last 11 years for various reasons, including but not limited to controlled substances sales, assaults and shots fired.

Friday, 24 February 2017 10:23

Hickory Man Arrested on Habitual Larceny Charge

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34-year-old Jonathon Erik Allen, Jr. of 27th Street N.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police for felony habitual larceny.

Allen was arrested in connection to a February 17 incident at the Publix store on 29th Avenue N.E. in Hickory.  Police responded to a report of shoplifting at the store.  A male subject concealed items, including razors and Prilosec, and left the store without paying.  The man was later identified as Jonathon Allen, Jr.

He was taken into custody without incident at about 1:25 this morning (February 24) at his residence.  Allen was jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under an $11,000 secured bond.  An first appearance in District Court was set for Monday (February 27) in Newton.

Friday, 24 February 2017 10:12

Hickory Woman Arrested on Felony Cocaine Charge

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39-year-old Jhilliaun Gay Osborne of 9th Street Drive N.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at about 7:20 last night (February 23) on one felony count of possession of heroin and one misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

Osborne was taken into custody without incident at her residence.  She was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $10,000 secured bond.  An appearance in District Court was set for today in Newton.

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Friday, 24 February 2017 06:00

Hickory Man Indicted On Multiple Drug Charges

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34-year-old Phalen Devon Izard of 5th Avenue NW in Hickory was arrested Thursday (February 23) by Long View Police Officers. He's charged on Grand Jury Indictments with possession with intent to sell and deliver cocaine, the sale of cocaine, and felony probation violation. He's also charged on orders for arrest with assault on a female, misdemeanor probation violation, possession of a firearm by a felon, felony probation violation, and sell and deliver schedule II controlled substance.

Izard was jailed in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $105,000 bond. Superior Court appearances were scheduled for today (Friday, February 24) and April 20. A District Court date is set for Monday (February 27).

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