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News (764)

25-year-old Jeremias Santos Ruiz of Elizabeth Street in Burlington was arrested by North Carolina State Highway Patrol Officers. He’s charged with felony hit and run with serious injury or death, failure to reduce speed, false information, and no operators license. Following the arrest, Ruiz was detained this morning (Friday, August 28) in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $15,500 bond. A District Court date is set for Monday (August 31).

27-year-old Brendan Michael Welch who is listed as a homeless man from Hickory was arrested Thursday (August 27) by Hickory Police Officers. He’s charged with felony assault with a deadly weapon on a government official and misdemeanor second-degree trespassing by Hickory Police. Welch also faces a felony count of assault with a deadly weapon on a government official filed by the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office. Following the arrest, Welch was detained in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $15,000 bond. A District Court date was scheduled for today (Friday, August 28).

21-year-old Ashley Nicole Phillips of Old NC 18 in Morganton was arrested Wednesday (August 26) by Morganton Public Safety Officers. She's charged with felony counts of larceny of a motor vehicle and possession of a stolen motor vehicle.

According to Morganton Department of Public Safety records, Officer R.E. Jenkins made the arrest Wednesday. Following the arrest, Phillips was detained in the Burke-Catawba District Confinement Facility under $10,000 secured bond. She's scheduled to appear in District Court September 16.

Friday, 28 August 2015 04:54

Man Arrested On Child Porn Charges

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A Lincoln County man was arrested Thursday (August 27) on multiple child pornography charges.

Lincoln County Sheriff’s detectives say information from the North Carolina Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the FBI Child Exploitation Task Force led to the residence of 37-year-old Daniel Lee Rathbone at 1483 Rhodes Rhyne Road in Lincolnton where they served a search warrant.

Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit Lt. Tim Johnson said that Officers seized numerous hard drives and computers and other devices belonging to Mr. Rathbone. Several hundred child porn items had been downloaded on one computer and he added further forensic examinations are being completed. The devices contained images and video of suspected child pornography.

Rathbone is charged with five felony counts of Second Degree Sexual Exploitation of a Minor. Following the arrest, he was detained in the Lincoln County Detention Center under a $250,000 secured bond. He was scheduled to have a first appearance in Lincoln County District Court today (Friday, August 28).

The investigation remains active and Rathbone could face more charges as evidence is uncovered. Lt. Johnson and Detective Dan Renn are continuing the investigation.

33-year-old Jason Lee Self, 32-year-old Amber Danielle Scism, and 36-year-old Danny Eugene Dean, all of the same Bill Lynch Road, Lincolnton, address were all arrested Wednesday (August 26) and charged in connection with a drug investigation conducted by the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office Narcotics Unit.

Self was charged with one felony count each of Trafficking Opium or Heroin and Possession with Intent to Manufacture, Sell and Deliver Methamphetamine. He was also charged with one misdemeanor count each of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia and Simple Possession of Marijuana. Scism was charged with one felony count of Possession of Methamphetamine. Dean was also charged with one felony count of Possession of Methamphetamine.

The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Unit arrested the three suspects Wednesday night after an investigation into drug activity led detectives to methamphetamine, prescription pills, and marijuana.

Working on information that drugs were being used and possibly sold at a residence in the 2000 block of Bill Lynch Road, detectives arrived to find a man there who attempted to conceal methamphetamine by hiding the drug under a couch in the living room. During a search of the residence investigators located more methamphetamine, small plastic baggies and digital scales containing meth residue.

While officers were at the residence two other individuals arrived in a vehicle and were approached by narcotics detectives. Narcotics Lt. Jon Propst said the subjects said they lived at the residence and gave officers consent to search them and their vehicle. Propst said during the second search, detectives found a trafficking amount of opiate-based prescription pills, more methamphetamine, a small amount of marijuana, plastic baggies consistent to those found inside the residence, and cash.

All three suspects were detained in the Lincoln County Detention Center. Self's bond was set at $30,000 secured. Scism's bond was set at $5,000 secured. Dean's bond was set at $20,000 secured. No court dates are listed.

Thursday, 27 August 2015 11:25

Morganton Names New Assistant City Manager

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The City of Morganton announced today (Thursday, August 27) that Sonja Marston has been chosen as the city’s new Assistant City Manager. She was chosen, after a detailed process, from a pool of more than 50 applicants from around the country.

As Assistant City Manager, Sonja’s duties will include creative participation in the leadership team, advising and assisting the City Manager and the department heads in planning and administration, interaction with State and Federal governments, and cooperative engagement with other local governments and private sector partners. Sonja will be particularly focused on all aspects of economic development including an active role in the efforts to reuse and redevelop the state properties to be vacated by Broughton Hospital.

Since 2011, Sonja has served as the Dean of Workforce Innovations and Economic Development for Southwestern Community College in Sylva, and she previously served for eight years as Director of Advancement for SCC. Sonja has spent the last several years working with multiple Economic Development organizations, state and local agencies and the private business community to grow the local economy and further educational opportunities for the local workforce.

Marston earned her bachelor’s degree in computer information systems and a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from Western Carolina University. She started her career as a banking executive in the Sylva area.

Sonja grew up in Burke County, but has lived in the Sylva area since she was a teenager. Sonja is married to Brian Marston of Morganton, and has three grown children.

Sonja will begin work September 28.

The City of Hickory starts it’s fall sales of mulch and leaf compost tomorrow (Friday, August 28). Mulch and leaf compost will be available starting tomorrow and Saturday (August 29).

The City of Hickory’s Yard Waste facility hours are 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays starting tomorrow. The facility is located on Cloninger Mill Road, which is off N.C. 127, near the bridge that crosses Lake Hickory and links to Alexander County. The hours will remain the same until all the mulch and compost are gone.

The material used for the mulch and compost comes from what city crews pick up during the year, including tree branches, Christmas trees and leaves. Leaf compost is $20 per scoop (pickup truck load) and double-ground mulch will be $20 per scoop. For more information, call the Hickory Public Services Department at (828) 323-7500.

60-year-old Patricia Ann Banks of Palm Tree Drive in Vale was arrested and charged with one felony count each of possession with the intent to manufacture, sell & deliver cocaine and maintaining a vehicle or dwelling for a controlled substance. She was also charged with one misdemeanor count each of simple possession of a schedule II controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Working off tips from citizens, Lincoln County Narcotics Detectives conducted an investigation over the span of several months that led to the issuance of a search warrant for a residence on Palm Tree Drive in the Palm Tree Heights Development in Vale. During a search conducted last night (August 26), Detectives located crack cocaine packaged for sale and 13 roxicodone pain pills.

Banks was arrested and placed in the Lincoln County Detention Center under a $17,500 secured bond. No court date is currently listed.

Thursday, 27 August 2015 11:00

Lawndale Man Busted for Crack Cocaine

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46-year-old Warren Darnell Tipps of New Hope Road in Lawndale was arrested by Hickory Police shortly before midnight last night (August 26) on one felony count of possession of a schedule II controlled substance and one misdemeanor count of second-degree trespass.

He was arrested after Officers on foot patrol at the Blue Ridge Heights apartment complex on the 900 block of 1st Street S.W. in Hickory spotted Tipps and knew that he had previously been banned from Hickory Housing Authority property. A search of Tipps’ person yielded 0.5 grams of crack cocaine. He was taken into custody without incident.

Tipps was jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $5,000 secured bond. He will appear in District Court tomorrow in Newton.

Thursday, 27 August 2015 10:32

Hickory Woman Arrested On String Of Drug Charges

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26-year-old Emma Leigh Harrington of 14th Street SE in Hickory was arrested Wednesday (August 26) by Catawba County Sheriff’s Officers. She’s charged with two felony counts apiece of possession of methamphetamine, possession with intent to sell and deliver methamphetamine, and maintaining a place to keep controlled substance. In addition, Harrington is charged with single counts of possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana, felony possession of marijuana, simple possession of schedule II controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, and carrying a concealed weapon. Harrington was detained in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $110,000 bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for Friday (August 28).

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