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Tuesday, 02 September 2014 14:14

Human Rights Rally Scheduled for September 7

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A Human Rights rally will be held at 3 p.m. on September 7 at the Mt. Zion Baptist Church, 416 2nd Avenue S.E. in Hickory. Organizers say the event is intended to bring attention to the lack of jobs, job training, education and economic development in the city.

The rally will be led by the Rev. Lamont Reeves.

For more information, call 828-308-4669 or 828-238-9676.

Tuesday, 02 September 2014 14:08

Lincolnton PD Makes Arrest for Embezzlement & Forgery

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33-year-old Jeffery Dean Etchison, Jr. of West College Street in Stanley was arrested today (September 2) by Lincolnton Police on

charges of embezzlement, identity theft, forgery of an instrument, uttering of a forged instrument and obtaining property by false pretense.

Etchison was an employee at the Fifth Third Bank on East Main Street in Lincolnton. On August 15, he allegedly forged a savings account withdrawal slip and withdrew money from an elderly victim’s account without the victim’s permission. Etchison is accused of keeping the money.

Last Monday (August 25), the elderly victim was notified of the unauthorized withdrawal. He contacted Fifth Third Bank and filed a police report. During the investigation, Etchison told Police a white male subject who made a transaction immediately following Etchison’s illegal transaction was the suspect. Bank Investigators and Lincolnton Police then developed information on the possible offender, who was later identified and interviewed. Investigators determined that he was a witness and was not the offender.

Etchison was interviewed a second time. According to Police, he confessed to the illegal withdrawal and to intentionally leading investigators to the wrong person.

After his arrest, Etchison was placed in the Lincoln County Jail under a $25,000 secured bond. No court date is currently listed.

Fifth Third Bank has cooperated fully with the investigation, which is ongoing.

The Valdese Family Friday Night Summer Concert Series will continue with a performance by The Extraordinaires at seven o’clock Friday evening (September 5) in the Wells Fargo/Town Parking lot in downtown Valdese.

Formed in the spring of 2003, The Extraordinaires feature a variety of classics and R&B. They are made up of lead vocalist Amy Owen; bass and trumpet player Rusty Bunton; trumpet player Mark Gaber; trombone player Chuck Moss; Chase Bunton on horns and additional vocals; Steven Foster on sax and vocals; keyboards by Justin Bumgardner; guitarist Pat Tyler; and drummer Eric Taylor.

Myra’s will continue their Friday “Cruise In” with over a hundred classic & antique cars. Several downtown merchants will remain open to provide shopping opportunities.

The Family Friday Night Series is sponsored by the Town of Valdese, the Valdese Merchants Association and the Morganton News Herald.

For additional information, visit townofvaldese.com or call 828-879-2129.

Tuesday, 02 September 2014 11:57

Lenoir Man Charged with Fleeing to Elude; Hit & Run

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23-year-old Nathaniel Jawon Norwood of Holloway Place in Lenoir was arrested by Lenoir Police Friday (August 29) on one felony count of fleeing to elude arrest with a motor vehicle. He was also charged with two counts of failure to stop for a red light and one count each of speeding (60 in a 25 MPH zone), aggressive driving, carless & reckless driving, driving left of center, hit & run with property damage, D.W.I. and no operators license.

At about 9:20 Friday morning, Police saw a red Nissan passenger car traveling at a high rate of speed run as it ran a red light at the intersection of Harper Avenue and Virginia Street. The Nissan did not stop after Police activated their blue lights and siren. The vehicle traveled west on Harper Avenue and made a series of turns. It ended up on Fairview Drive, where the vehicle left the roadway and struck utility pole guide wires, causing the vehicle to overturn.

The driver, Nathaniel Jawon Norwood, was transported to Caldwell Memorial Hospital and was released with non-life threatening injuries. The front passenger, Martha Craig, was the vehicle’s registered owner and was charged with allowing an unlicensed driver to drive.

An investigation determined that the vehicle was involved in a hit & run accident on Poplar Street in Lenoir shortly before the chase.

Norwood was placed in the Caldwell County Detention Center under a $30,000 secured bond. He was scheduled to make a first appearance in District Court today (September 2) in Lenoir.

(no photo available)

25-year-old David Lee Gross of Mourglea Avenue in Connelly Springs was arrested Friday (August 29) by Lenoir Police on one felony count of fleeing to elude arrest with a motor vehicle, as well as one misdemeanor count each for unsafe movement, driving while license revoked, reckless driving, driving the wrong way on a street with double yellow lines, aggressive driving, fictitious registration, no insurance, unsafe passing, speeding in a work zone, following too closely and possession of drug paraphernalia.

His arrest stems from an incident on July 24 when Lenoir Police took a stolen vehicle report. A white 1987 Toyota Supra was stolen from the parking lot of Mountaineer Motors on Morganton Boulevard in Lenoir. Just before 11 a.m. Friday, an Officer saw a black 1987 Toyota Supra at the intersection of Civic Court and Fairview Drive. The Officer noticed the vehicle had been spray painted black.

The Officer confirmed that the vehicle stolen in July was still missing and he ran the tag, which came back as revoked. The Officer attempted to conduct a traffic stop, but the suspect vehicle fled. The ensuing pursuit wound through the city, left the city limits and continued onto Connelly Springs Road. Lenoir Police turned the pursuit over to the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office as the North Carolina Highway Patrol deployed stop sticks near Castle Bridge.

The suspect vehicle went another quarter of a mile before coming to a stop. The suspect then fled on foot. Caldwell County Deputies were able to arrest the suspect after a short foot pursuit. The suspect was identified as David Lee Gross.

Gross was placed in the Caldwell Co. Detention Center under a $100,000 secured bond. A first appearance in District Court was set for today (September 2) in Lenoir.

Gross will also be indicted for felony auto larceny and felony possession of stolen goods.

Lenoir Police Chief Scott Brown cited information sharing and proactive police work in bringing about Gross’ capture. The Chief expressed his appreciation to the Sheriff’s Office and the Highway Patrol.

Tuesday, 02 September 2014 06:55

Waterline Repair Set to Begin Tomorrow in Morganton

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The City of Morganton's water distribution crew will make a waterline repair in the area of East Union Street to Vine Arden Road. The repair is scheduled to begin tomorrow morning (September 3) at eight o’clock, weather permitting. If inclement weather delays construction Wednesday, work will start the next available day.

It is anticipated that the repair could take up to 24 hours to complete. Some customers may be without water service as repairs are completed. Customers may experience discolored water caused by the opening & closing of water valves. Crews will flush mains to minimize any discolored water; however, customers may need to flush their own service lines until the water becomes clear.

No problems with the safety of drinking water are expected.

Tuesday, 02 September 2014 06:50

Hickory High Student Killed in Sunday Accident

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17-year-old Jay Brian “Jake” Robertson, a student at Hickory High School, was killed Sunday evening (August 31) in an automobile accident on 6th Street N.W. in Hickory.

Robertson was a passenger in a silver Subaru Forester driven by 17-year-old David Arthur Engelmann.  According to Police, Engelmann lost control and flipped after running off the left side of the road in the curves between 12th Avenue N.W. and Ninth Avenue N.W.  The accident was reported just after 7:40 p.m. Sunday.  Robertson was pronounced dead at Frye Regional Medical Center.
 
Hickory Police say speed and alcohol were factors in the crash.  Neither teen was wearing a seat belt.

Engelmann was charged with felony death by motor vehicle and D.W.I., as well as an open container violation and driving after consuming alcohol under the age of 21.  He has been released on a $10,000 secured bond.  Engelmann will make a first appearance in court tomorrow (September 3).

18 grief counselors will be on-hand at Hickory High today as students return from the long Labor Day weekend.

38-year-old Susan Starlene Waldenville of Charleston Trail in Cherryville has been arrested by Lincoln Co. Sheriff’s Detective Matt Burgess on one felony count each of second-degree arson, and larceny after breaking & entering. She is also charged with two felony counts of breaking & entering and conspiracy and one misdemeanor count each of simple assault and first-degree trespassing.

Her arrest follows a two-month-long investigation in connection to a house fire on Perry Jonas Road. On June 15 of this year, Deputies responded to a suspicious fire call. Firefighters reported finding a gas can in the front bedroom and televisions missing from the residence. Also stolen were jewelry and golf clubs.

Detectives continued the investigation and developed Waldenville and Joshua Lee Blackwell as suspects in the case. Blackwell has also been charged but has not been arrested. He is in custody in York County, South Carolina on separate charges. Waldenville is also accused of breaking into a neighbor’s home and assaulting the female occupant and her juvenile children.

Waldenville was placed in the Harven A Crouse Detention Center where she is being held without bond. She was scheduled to make a first appearance in District Court today (August 29).

The investigation is continuing and further charges could follow. The Lincoln County Fire Marshall’s Office was involved in the early part of the investigation.

22-year-old Codey James Matheson of Taylorsville was arrested by Alexander Co. Sheriff’s Officers late last night (August 28) on two felony counts of assault with a deadly weapon on a law enforcement officer and one count each of felony larceny of a motor vehicle and D.W.I.

Events leading to Matheson’s arrest began at 11:04 p.m. when Officers responded to a call regarding a suspicious vehicle in a field on the 300 block of Barkley Lane, located off of Highway 16 South in the Wittenburg community. Deputy John Mitchell was the first to arrive. He saw a white Dodge 4x4 truck parked in a field with a white male standing beside the vehicle. When the man saw the Deputy, he quickly got in truck, started it and accelerated rapidly toward the patrol vehicle, hitting it in the front bumper area. He then backed up and rammed the patrol vehicle again.

Taylorsville Police Sgt. Brandon Hamby arrived on the scene to assist and attempted to stop the driver by deploying his TASER, which was unsuccessful. Deputy Mitchell used his patrol car to try and pin the truck in to protect Sgt. Hamby and other arriving Officers from potentially being struck. As he did so, the driver of the truck collided with his patrol vehicle again.

Sgt. Timothy Simms then arrived on scene and extracted the driver of the truck from his vehicle. Codey Matheson was taken into custody without further harm to any other vehicles or Officers.

Matheson is being held in the Alexander County Detention Center under a $140,500 secured bond with an initial court appearance set for September 8.

52-year-old Carol Diane Britto of Taylorsville was arrested by Alexander County Sheriff’s Investigators yesterday (August 28) on charges of first-degree statutory sex offense and indecent liberties with a child.

The alleged offense occurred in the summer of 2012. The victim at the time of the incident was four years old. The allegations stem from information obtained by the Alexander County Department of Social Services. The incidents allegedly occurred as Britto was watching children at a local church during the church’s services.

Britto was first made aware of the allegations in August of 2013. After months of investigation and after conferring with the District Attorneys’ Office, warrants for Britto’s arrest were obtained.

She was taken into custody at her residence without incident and is currently being held in the Alexander County Detention Center under a $750,000 secured bond. Britto is scheduled for her first appearance on September 8 in District Court in Taylorsville.

The investigation is continuing and may involve other victims.

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