News (711)

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.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015 10:19

Hickory Man Faces Felony Heroin Charges

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32-year-old Patrick Michael Robbins of 21st Avenue N.W. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at 4:25 yesterday afternoon (November 23) on one felony count each of trafficking opium or heroin and manufacturing, selling, delivering or possessing a controlled substance on or near a playground. Robbins is accused of possessing 6.6 grams of heroin and 1.8 grams of marijuana.

He was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $150,000, secured. He has since been released.  A first appearance in District Court was scheduled for today in Newton.


A Caldwell County man is charged in connection with the death of a man whose body was found in Wilkes County. 41-year-old Donnie Ellis Ward of Swan Drive in Lenoir is charged with first-degree murder.

According to a news release from the Wilkes County Sheriff's Office, Ward is charged in connection with the death of 38-year-old Eleuterio Vasquez Petrez of Abernathy Street in Lenoir.

According to the news release, Petrez was shot once with a medium caliber handgun while inside a vehicle that had pulled off of Stony Fork Road. Ward reportedly told authorities Petrez was driving his vehicle, with Ward as a passenger, when they pulled over along Stony Fork Road, arguing over a domestic matter. That is when Ward reportedly shot Petrez.

Authorities say Ward then removed Petrez from the vehicle, dragged him to the edge of a steep embankment and rolled him down the slope. After that Ward drove home and contacted police. Lenoir police then went to Ward’s home and detained him. They initially contacted the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office. When it was determined that the crime did not occur in Watauga County, Wilkes deputies interviewed Ward at the Lenoir Police Department. The news release says that Ward then led officers to the victim's body.

The Lenoir Police Department turned Ward over to the Wilkes County Sheriff’s Office late Sunday afternoon. Ward was officially arrested and charged early Monday morning (November 23).

The Wilkes Rescue Squad was called to help recover the body from down the steep embankment. Ward and Petrez were acquaintances and at one time were co-workers. No details were given regarding the dispute. Ward is being held in the Wilkes County Jail under no bond. He is scheduled to appear in Wilkes County District Court Wednesday (November 25).

With the holidays right around the corner, the City of Newton is getting ready for the annual “Light Up the Town” celebration.

Light Up the Town begins at 5 p.m. this upcoming Sunday (November 29) on the 1924 Courthouse Square in Downtown Newton.

The celebration officially kicks off the Christmas season in Newton with the lighting of thousands of lights in the downtown area, followed by a wide variety of activities for everyone.

Santa and his elves will pose for free photos with children in the 1924 Courthouse. Several community groups will fill the air with seasonal music, while other groups will offer concessions ranging from pizza and hot dogs to baked goods.

In an effort to assist financially challenged families, ECCCM will be collecting diapers, feminine products, and toiletries at the event. Food is always welcome.

For more information about Light Up the Town, email Shannon Johnson at sjohnson@newtonnc.gov.

Tuesday, 24 November 2015 08:31

Residence Destroyed In Catawba County Fire

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A mobile home was destroyed in a fire in Catawba County over the weekend. According to Shawn Greene, the Chief of the St. Stephens Fire Department, the fire occurred late Sunday afternoon at Dogwood Hills Mobile Home Park on Highland Avenue NE. According to Chief Greene, firefighters arrived to find a mobile home completely involved in flames. Firefighters worked to prevent flames from spreading to an adjacent residence. There were no injuries to residents or firefighters. The home is considered a total loss. St. Stephens was assisted by the Hickory Fire Department. The Conover and Hickory Police Departments and Catawba County Sheriff’s Office all responded to assist with traffic control. The cause is unknown at this time, the fire is currently under investigation by the Catawba County Fire Marshal’s Office.

36-year-old Charles Jack Fleming of Highland Avenue NE in Hickory was arrested Monday (November 23) by Newton Police Officers. He’s charged with contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile and resisting a public officer. Following the arrest, Fleming was locked up in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $20,000 bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for Monday.

According to a news release from the North Carolina Department of Justice, Consumers who have gotten new credit and debit cards with EMV chip technology still need to be on the lookout for frauds and scams. This is according to Attorney General Roy Cooper, who is quoted in the news release.

Banks, credit card companies, and retailers are transitioning from cards with the traditional magnetic strip to new cards and payment systems that use EMV chips. Older cards generate the same transaction information with each use, making it easier for information to be stolen from cards that are swiped through rigged payment terminals. Cards with the EMV chip—named for its owners Europay, Mastercard and Visa—protect personal information by creating a unique security code for each transaction.

EMV chip cards make it more difficult for thieves to steal consumer payment information from in-store payment terminals, but they will not protect consumers from problems with lost or stolen cards. Scammers can still use stolen card numbers to make illegal purchases online or by telephone, because EMV chip cards will continue to use the traditional process for those transactions.

Many stores are still transitioning to EMV payment terminals, and gas pumps don’t have to switch to the new technology until 2017, so consumers may notice that their new chip cards still include a magnetic strip. If consumers are asked to swipe their card to make a payment rather than using a new chip card reader, they won’t get the additional security benefits that EMV chips offer.

Regardless of which type of payment system is used, paying by credit card is generally safer than cash or check because you can dispute the charge if you don’t get what you pay for and can stop damage quickly if theft or fraud happens, Cooper said.

Tips for consumers using EMV chip credit or debit cards:

Keep your card safe. Store your credit and debit cards in a secure location when you’re not using them. Know where your card is at all times.

Destroy unused cards. If your bank or credit card company sends you a new EMV chip credit card, shred your old one and dispose of the pieces.

Guard your PIN. If your card gives you the option of using it with a Personal Identification Number, make sure you memorize your PIN and keep it secret. Don’t use familiar numbers like phone, address, birthday or Social Security numbers as your PIN.

Be cautious when shopping online. The process of paying online is the same regardless of whether or not your card contains an EMV chip. Continue to follow our tips for safe online shopping.

Check your credit report regularly. Monitor your credit to spot irregular activity. Under federal law, every consumer is entitled to one free credit report per year from each of the three major credit bureaus.

Report suspicious activity immediately. If you notice an unfamiliar charge or payment on your credit or debit card accounts, report it to the bank that issued the card right away. If you spot an unfamiliar loan or line of credit on your credit report, you could be a victim of identity theft and need to act quickly to close the affected account, file a police report, and report it to the credit bureaus.

Consumers should also be prepared for scams that follow the release of new EMV chip cards, Cooper said. Last month, the Federal Trade Commission issued a warning about phony emails from scammers who pose as representatives from a major credit card issuer. The emails ask consumers to confirm their order for a new EMV chip card by clicking on bad links or replying with personal information that could be used to commit identity theft.

If you believe you have been a victim of scam, report it to the Consumer Protection Division by phone toll-free within North Carolina at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM or file a complaint online. For more information on using credit and debit cards safely, visit our website at ncdoj.gov.

33-year-old Lisa Marie Harmon of Jolee Drive in Vilas was arrested Sunday (November 22) by Lenoir Police Officers. She’s charged with felony possession of a stolen motor vehicle. Following the arrest, Harmon was confined in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $30,000 secured bond. She made her first appearance in District Court Monday (November 23).

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