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News (826)

Monday, 24 August 2015 04:43

Tourism Spending Increases In Alexander County

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Visit North Carolina announced that domestic visitors to and within Alexander County spent $18.72 million in 2014, an increase of 3.32 percent from 2013.

According to a news release issued by Visit North Carolina, tourism impact highlights for 2014 in Alexander County include:

The travel and tourism industry directly employees more than 100 employees in Alexander County.

Total payroll generated by the tourism industry in Alexander County was $2.72 million.

State tax revenue generated in Alexander County totaled $1.01 million through state sales and excise taxes, and taxes on personal and corporate income. Approximately $760,000 in local taxes were generated from sales and property tax revenue from travel-generated and travel-supported businesses.

Governor Pat McCrory announced in May that visitors to North Carolina spent a record $21.3 billion in 2014, an increase of 5.5 percent from 2013.

These statistics are from the “2014 Economic Impact of Travel on North Carolina Counties.” The study was prepared for Visit North Carolina by the U.S. Travel Association.

To learn more about Alexander County attractions, restaurants, and more, log on to www.VisitAlexanderNC.com.

We have more information on the arrests of three Lincoln County residents in Catawba County. We first reported these arrests on Friday and have since learned that they're in connection with a reported home invasion last week.

29-year-old Alica Marie Ann Dillingham and 28-year-old Donald Eugene Taylor, both of the same Davis Street, Lincolnton address, and 40-year-old Debra Ann Matney, of a different Davis Street address, were all arrested last Thursday (August 20) by Catawba County Sheriff’s Officers. They’re each charged with first-degree burglary, second degree kidnapping, and robbery with a dangerous weapon.

Last Wednesday night (August 19) at about 11:10 p.m., Deputies were called to the home of Kimberly Smith on Robinwood Road. Smith reported that she was the victim of a home invasion, kidnapping and robbery. Smith reported that she answered a knock on the door at about 9:30 p.m. She told police two men dressed in dark clothes and wearing black bandanas across their face forced their way into her residence, when she opened the door. The men checked the residence put a shirt over her head and let two other people into the back door of the residence.

Smith told investigators the suspects searched her home and placed her into the rear of an SUV. They took her to the ATM, used her ATM card, and withdrew cash. The suspects took her home and placed her against the wall. As the suspects were leaving, Smith was able to see that the SUV was also dark colored. Smith was able to provide a possible suspect based on the voice of one of the suspects. Investigators were able to follow-up on the lead and issue charges against Dillingham, Taylor, and Matney.

Following their arrests, all three suspects were detained in the Catawba County Detention Facility. Matney was jailed under $200,000 bond. Taylor’s bond was set at $45,000. And Dillingham’s bond is $25,000. All three suspects were scheduled to make first appearances in District Court last Friday (August 21).

36-year-old James Ralph Boyd Jr., of Morganton, was sentenced to serve five to eleven years in prison following his guilty plea in Burke County Superior Court last Wednesday, August 19.

The Honorable Jesse B. Caldwell III, Superior Court Judge from Gaston County, sentenced Boyd to serve his sentence in custody of the North Carolina Department of Adult Corrections after he entered a plea on two counts of possession of a firearm by felon, possession of stolen goods, possession with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver methamphetamine and Ecstasy.

A search warrant carried out at Boyd’s home by deputies with the Burke County Sheriff’s Office on July 31, 2014, led to the recovery of stolen tools and 25 grams of methamphetamine.

A search of Boyd’s car on Sept. 6, 2014, by officers with the Morganton Department of Public Safety turned up a 9-millimeter handgun. He previously was convicted on a felony charge of possession with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver methamphetamine in June 2009.

Execution of a search warrant by the Burke County Narcotics Task Force at Boyd’s home on April 23, 2015, turned up another firearm and Ecstasy pills.

Tyler Gantt (Burk County Sheriff’s Office), Tom Hester (Burke County Narcotics Task Force) and Felicia Ennis (Morganton Department of Public Safety) led the investigation of the case, which was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Frank Webster.

67-year-old Charles Kenneth Linebarger of 16th Street NE in Hickory was arrested Thursday (August 20) by Hickory Police Officers. He’s charged with felony possession with intent to sell schedule two controlled substance.

Thursday night at 9:42 officers conducted a traffic stop on Lenoir-Rhyne Boulevard SE at F Avenue SE. A search resulted in the discovery of 1.9 grams of crack cocaine and $372 in U.S. currency. This resulted in Linebarger’s arrest.

The suspect posted $2,500 secured bond at HPD headquarters and was released. He was scheduled to appear in District Court in Newton today.

34-year-old Bobby Lewis Cloer of 31st Avenue Drive NE in Hickory was arrested Thursday (August 20) by Hickory Police Officers. He’s charged with felony common law robbery.

The charge is in connection with an incident on August 8 at Quick Cash Pawn on Springs Road in Hickory. Cloer allegedly stole a purse from the victim. The victim and suspect are known to each other according to police.

Following the arrest, Cloer was incarcerated in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $25,000 secured bond. A Superior Court appearance was scheduled for today.

36-year-old Jessica Dawn Provance and 42-year-old Dustin Clay Armstrong of the same Annas Drive, Granite Falls address, and 31-year-old Joshua Scott Webster of Jaci Place in Lenoir were all arrested Thursday (August 20) by Caldwell County Sheriff’s Officers. All three suspects are charged with felony possession of methamphetamine. Provance and Armstrong are also charged with maintaining a vehicle, dwelling, or place to keep controlled substance. Following their arrests, the three suspects were locked up in the Caldwell County Detention Center. Provance and Armstrong were detained under $150,000 secured bond, Webster’s bond was set at $75,000 secured. All three suspects made first court appearances Thursday.

28-year-old Dustin Clark Lawhon was arrested Thursday (August 20) by authorities in Burke County. He’s charged with felony counts of possession with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver methamphetamine, and felony possession of a stolen motor vehicle. Following the arrest Lawhon was placed in jail in Morganton under $35,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for Monday (August 24).

29-year-old Alica Marie Ann Dillingham and 28-year-old Donald Eugene Taylor, both of the same Davis Street, Lincolnton address, and 40-year-old Debra Ann Matney, of a different Davis Street address, were all arrested Thursday (August 20) by Catawba County Sheriff’s Officers. They’re each charged with first-degree burglary, second degree kidnapping, and robbery with a dangerous weapon. Following their arrests, all three suspects were detained in the Catawba County Detention Facility. Matney was jailed under $200,000 bond. Tayor’s bond was set at $45,000. And Dillingham’s bond is $25,000. All three suspects were scheduled to appear in District Court today (Friday, August 21).

We have more information on an arrest we first reported earlier this week on WHKY. A Burke County man has been charged with a sex offense for reportedly having possession of child pornography. 49-year-old Frankie Lane Hollar of Johnson Bridge Road in Connelly Springs was arrested by Burke County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor.

According to a news release issued Thursday by the Burke County Sheriff's Office, on April 7, 2015, The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children intercepted numerous images from a private source maintained and operated by a resident of Burke County. The images were forwarded from The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children to the Burke County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division (CID). These images were deemed inappropriate and labeled as child pornography.

An investigation by the Burke County CID resulted in Hollar being developed as a suspect in this case. On Tuesday (August 18) Burke County CID made contact with Frankie Hollar. the news release says Hollar admitted the images were his. The internet capable devices in Hollar’s possession were seized. Hollar was taken to the Burke County Sheriff’s Office and subsequently charged with the sexual exploitation offense. Hollar was placed in jail in Morganton under $150,000 secured bond. His next District Court appearance is scheduled for September 9.

The case remains under investigation with additional arrests and/or charges pending.

Friday, 21 August 2015 04:19

City of Hickory Reports Discharge Of Wastewater

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The City of Hickory had a discharge of untreated wastewater on Wednesday (August 19) of an estimated 1,000 gallons in the 1300 block of 20th Street NE. The untreated wastewater was discharged into Snow Creek of the Catawba River basin.

A news release from the city says the water remains safe following the overflow. The Division of Water Resources was notified of the event on August 20 and is reviewing the matter. For more information contact the City of Hickory Public Utilities Department at (828) 323-7427.