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29-year-old Erica Monta Kincaid was arrested today (Monday, April 18) by authorities in Burke County. She's charged with felony possession with intent to manufacture, sell, and deliver schedule II controlled substance. Following the arrest, Kincaid was placed in jail in Morganton under $10,000 secured bond. A Superior Court appearance was scheduled for today (Monday, April 18).

39-year-old Antonio Morquett Phillips of 2nd Street Court SW in Hickory was arrested today (Monday, April 18) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with two counts of statutory rape in which the defendant is six or more years older than the victim. Following the arrest, Phillips was locked up in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $560,000 bond. A Superior Court appearance is scheduled for Tuesday (April 19).

36-year-old James Randall Barnwell of Quailridge Court in Lenoir was arrested Sunday (April 17) by Lenoir Police Officers. He's charged with felony fail to register as a sex offender. Barnwell was incarcerated in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $25,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for Tuesday (April 19).

The Caldwell County Board of Commissioners meets in regular session tonight (Monday, April 18). The board will hold a public hearing to receive comments on a local jobs incentive for the initiative entitled "Project LG". In addition, the board will receive information from Emergency Management Coordinator Kenneth Teague regarding a FEMA grant to acquire property damaged during a microburst event in 2013.

The consent agenda to be presented at this evening's meeting includes several budget amendments. In addition, there is a request included in the consent agenda to schedule a special meeting for discussion regarding the Fiscal Year 2016-2017 County Budget. In addition, a request to reschedule the June 6 Board of Commissioners meeting to June 13 is among the consent items.

Caldwell County Commissioners will also recognize retirees Cheryl Whittington and Audrey Harmon at tonight's meeting.

The meeting gets underway at 6 p.m. in the City/County Meeting Room at the Alden E. Starnes Administration Building at 905 West Avenue NW in Lenoir.

The Catawba County Board of Commissioners meeting normally held on the third Monday of the month has been cancelled. The next Catawba County Commissioners meeting will be held at 9:30 a.m., Monday, May 2 at the 1924 Courthouse at 30 North College Avenue in Newton.

Monday, 18 April 2016 04:39

Wanted Suspect Arrested In Caldwell County

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The Caldwell County Sheriff's Office reports the arrest of a suspect who was wanted in connection with multiple crimes.

21-year-old Austin Lee Barnette of Walnut Hill Place in Lenoir was arrested Saturday (April 16) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony counts of first degree burglary and breaking and entering to a vehicle.

The Caldwell County Sheriff's Office posted a news release on their Facebook page last Wednesday (April 13) stating that they were seeking Austin Lee Barnette in in connection with a burglary and multiple vehicle breaking and enterings that occurred in the Hudson Area. The crimes occurred in the early morning hours last Monday, April 11.  WHKY reported this in newscasts last Thursday (April 14).

Following Barnette's arrest, he was placed in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $80,000 secured bond. He's scheduled to appear in Superior and District Court Tuesday (April 19).

If you have any information on any crimes that have occurred in Caldwell County you can contact the Sheriff's Office at 828-758-2324 or the Lenoir-Caldwell Crimestoppers line at 828-758-8300. 

50-year-old Garrett Preston Free of South Forney Avenue in Newton was arrested Friday (April 15) by Newton Police Officers. He's charged with felony possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana and misdemeanor possession of marijuana paraphernalia. Free was placed in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $5,500 bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Monday, April 18).

The Burke County Board of Commissioners will vote on measures related to the new jail during their meeting tomorrow night (Tuesday, April 19).

Among the items for decision on Tuesday's agenda is the approval of schematic jail plans. The item was tabled March 15 and April 5. Commissioners are scheduled to vote on the site master plan, grading plan, floor plans, and location, among other components of the item. A downtown Morganton jail would cost $20,120,757 and would contain 252 beds. If the jail were located on Government Drive, the project would cost $18,873,031 and would contain 256 beds.

There are two public hearings scheduled for tomorrow's Burke County Board of Commissioners during which Building Reuse Grants will be discussed for companies bringing new jobs to the county. One is for local brewery Fonta Flora who is looking to expand operations. The expansion will result in 10-12 new jobs. The other Building Reuse Grant is for Project R-SX, a local textile company. The grant would be used for building improvements. The company will bring 50 new jobs to the county.

Tuesday's Burke County Board of Commissioners meeting gets underway at 6 p.m. in the Commissioners Meeting Room at the Burke County Services Building, Entrance E, 110 North Green Street in Morganton.

Hickory City Council meets Tuesday evening in regular session. Among items on the agenda under reaffirmation and ratification of second readings, council will consider two rezoning petitions. One is for approximately 2.44 acres of property on 21st Street Drive SE and 23rd Street Court SE.  The other rezoning petition for approximately .48 acres of property located at 225 South NC Highway 127. The petition is to rezone the property from High Density Residential to Office and Institutional.

Under new business, Hickory City Council will vote on authorizing staff to apply for TIGER Grant Funding from the US Department of Transportation. TIGER Discretionary Grants provide funding of up to 80 percent of project costs in urban areas for surface transportation infrastructure projects that have a significant impact on the nation, a region, or a metropolitan area.  Hickory's TIGER request for the total project cost will be 25.4 million dollars. The grant would be used to revitalize infrastructure and connect the central business district with surrounding neighborhoods, commerce, recreational, and education facilities.

City Council will also discuss the issue surrounding the Public Housing Authority. Councilwoman Jill Patton shared concerns at the April 5 meeting and it was placed on Tuesday's agenda for discussion.

Hickory City Council meets beginning at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Council Chambers at the Julian G. Whitener Municipal Building at 76 North Center Street.

54-year-old Kenneth Ransom Thompson was convicted by a jury of Second Degree Kidnapping, Assault on a Female, and Domestic Criminal Trespass last Thursday (April 14) in Watauga County Superior Court.

In April of 2015, Thompson waited overnight in the woods for his former wife to come home from work and ambushed her in her front yard. He was armed with a pellet gun, a shotgun, and pepper spray. Thompson wrestled her to the ground and held her captive in the carport at her home for several hours before leaving, still armed with the shotgun.

Special Superior Court Judge Richard L. Doughton sentenced Thompson to a minimum of 25 months and a maximum of 42 months in prison for the Second Degree Kidnapping.  Additionally Thompson was sentenced to another 60 days for Assault on a Female and Domestic Criminal Trespass, to be served following the kidnapping sentence.

54-year-old Gregory Scott Reynolds and 42-year-old Amy Michelle Dove,  both of the same North Highway 16 Business address were arrested by Lincoln County Sheriff’s Officers. They’re each charged with one felony count of Malicious Use of an Explosive In An Attempt To Damage Property, Manufacturing And Possession of a Weapon  of Mass Destruction, and Possession of a Controlled Substance. Reynolds was also served an outstanding Second Degree Trespassing warrant and Dove was served a warrant for Failure to Appear. 

They’re charged in connection with an explosion that occurred in the Andrew Point Drive area in Denver Wednesday night (April 13). Deputies were dispatched to the area after residents on Andrews Point Drive reported to the Lincoln County Communications Center about a loud explosion that shook their homes. Deputies searched the area but could not find a suspect or the location of the explosion.

On Thursday (April 14), Detective Greg Hager and Charlie District deputies went back to the area and discovered a 12 inch deep, 19 inch wide hole in the ground beside the road and processed the scene. Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office Captain Tim Johnson contacted the ATF agency and they sent an investigator to provide assistance.

The officers developed a person of interest during the investigation and went to the suspect’s residence in the 1200 block of N. Highway 16 Business and collected evidence related to the explosion. Both people living at the residence also had outstanding warrants. The incident occurred on land owned by Reynolds’ sister. No damage occurred to any structure from the homemade explosive.

Reynolds was detained in the Harven A. Crouse Detention Center under a $155,000 secured bond. Bond for Dove was set at $150,000 secured.  Both suspects were scheduled to make a first appearance in Lincoln County District Court today (Monday, April 18).

Friday, 15 April 2016 14:55

Catawba County Schools Superintendent Resigns

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The Catawba County Board of Education has accepted the resignation of Superintendent Dr. Dan Brigman, effective April 30. The Board has also accepted Dr. Brigman’s request to take annual leave until April 30. Daniel K. Moore, current Assistant Superintendent for Operations, has been appointed by the Board to fulfill the duties of the superintendent until further notice.

A search for a new permanent superintendent will begin immediately.

The Catawba County school system has a student enrollment of 16,326 in 28 schools. It is the largest employer in Catawba County and has a workforce of 2,010 employees.