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The N.C. Department of Transportation invites citizens and business owners to a public meeting in Lenoir next Thursday, October 12 regarding the proposed widening of U.S. 321 between U.S. 70 in Hickory and Southwest Boulevard in Lenoir.

New recommended alternatives for the corridor based on comments received at two previous public hearings and public comment periods, as well as an updated traffic forecast and other input will be available for review with transportation officials and representatives from the consulting design firm.

The recommended alternative is the same as presented at the July 2017 public meeting with the following alterations:

At Grace Chapel Road, a flyover bridge to allow drivers traveling from Grace Chapel Road to access U.S. 321 southbound towards Hickory directly, with a superstreet intersection serving the other movements is the proposed preferred alternative.

At Alex Lee Boulevard, a tight diamond interchange— two closely spaced intersections at the crossing of the ramp and side street —with on and off ramps to U.S. 321 in the northbound and southbound directions is proposed.

The open-house style meeting will be held from 4-7 p.m. in room 215 of the J.E. Broyhill Civic Center at 1913 Hickory Blvd. SE in Lenoir. Since no formal presentation will be made, interested residents can stop by anytime during the meeting.

NCDOT will provide auxiliary aids and services under the Americans with Disabilities Act for disabled persons who wish to participate in this workshop. Anyone requiring special services should contact Diane Wilson, NCDOT Senior Public Involvement Officer at 1598 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC  27699-1598, (919) 707-6073 or at pdwilson1@ncdot.gov as early as possible.

As WHKY previously reported, the Caldwell County Commissioners have scheduled a meeting on Oct. 16 with a presentation starting at 6 p.m., followed by a comment, questions and answer period.

Thursday, 05 October 2017 05:04

Kidnapping Charge Filed Against Hickory Man

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52-year-old Robin Shane Geouge of 22nd Street SW in Hickory was arrested Wednesday (October 4) by Long View Police Officers. He's charged with felony first degree kidnapping. Following the arrest, Geouge was detained in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $100,000 bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (October 5).

20-year-old Dallas Jay Worley of Carpenters Grove Church Road in Lawndale was arrested today (October 4) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with possession of methamphetamine. Worley was placed in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $6,000 bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for Thursday (October 5).

23-year-old Dustin Allen Shook of Anderson Mountain Road in Maiden was arrested Tuesday (October 3) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony accessory after the fact to murder. Shook's address is the same as that of Jeffrey Douglas Brittain, who was arrested Sunday in connection to the fatal shooting of 19-year-old Justin Tyler Smith. Smith was found deceased in a home south of Newton last Thursday night (September 28). Brittain remains in jail under no bond.

According to Shook's arrest warrant, he's charged with being an accessory to the murder of Smith. The warrant states, that Shook, knowing that Brittain had committed the crime, did knowingly assist him in attempting to escape by providing Brittain transportation from the scene of the shooting.

Following the arrest, Shook was jailed in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $500,000 bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (October 4).

Wednesday, 04 October 2017 11:01

Hickory Man Arrested on Stolen Vehicle Charge

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36-year-old Johnny Dwayne White, who is listed as a homeless person from Hickory, was arrested by Hickory Police at about 10:20 last night (October 3) on one felony count of possession of a stolen motor vehicle.  White was taken into custody without incident at the Ridgeview Library.  He was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $750, secured.  He has since been released.  An appearance in District Court was scheduled today in Newton.

Wednesday, 04 October 2017 10:59

Lawndale Woman Jailed on Felony Cocaine Charge

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39-year-old Amy Veronica Craig of Pea Ridge Road in Lawndale was arrested by Hickory Police early this morning (October 4) on one felony count of possession of cocaine and one misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

She was taken into custody without incident at about 2:30 a.m. today at a fast-food restaurant on Highway 70 S.E. in Hickory. Craig was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $1,000 secured bond. A first appearance in District Court was set for tomorrow in Newton.

29-year-old Alexa Jo Carnes and 40-year-old Ryan Patrick Deming, both of the same Miller Drive, Newton, address, were arrested Tuesday (October 3) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. They're each charged with possession of a stolen motor vehicle. Deming is also charged with resisting a public officer. Both suspects were incarcerated in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $20,000 bond apiece. They were each scheduled to make District Court appearances today (October 4).

Wednesday, 04 October 2017 05:34

Drug Charges Lodged Against Newton Man

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28-year-old Daniel James Owensby of South Ashe Avenue in Newton was arrested Tuesday (October 3) by Newton Police Officers. He's charged with possession with intent to manufacture, sell, and deliver schedule I controlled substance and maintaining a vehicle, dwelling, or place to keep controlled substance. Owensby was detained in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $100,000 bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (October 4).

Hickory City Council met in regular session last night (October 3). Minutes, second readings, and consent agenda approved unanimously.

Planning Director Brian Frazier made a presentation regarding a "no wake zone" at the Lake Hickory Marina on Limbaugh Lane NW. No one appeared to speak for or against the proposal. City Council passed the "no wake zone" 6 to 1, with Councilperson Tarlton voted nay.

Assistant City Manager Andrea Surratt presented information about the TIGER Grant and asked Council to authorize staff to apply for the grant. The item was approved unanimously, staff will apply for the TIGER Discretionary Grant in the amount of $20,200,000 with a cash match of $6.06 million.

Western Piedmont Council of Governments' Executive Director Anthony Starr presented their Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy. The full Comprehensive Development Strategy can be viewed  at the city's website, www.hickorync.gov.

In addition at last night's meeting, during the public comment period, a citizen explains to why she would like to see an ordinance passed to allow golf carts on some streets. Also, Mayor Jeff Cline presented a proclamation for Fire Prevention Week. And as WHKY has reported, City Manager Warren Wood announced that Assistant City Manager Andrea Surratt has accepted the City Manager position in Bozeman, Montana.

The Bozeman, Montana City Commission announced Monday night (October 2) that Hickory Assistant City Manager Andrea Surratt has been chosen as the finalist for the Bozeman, Montana City Manager position and that she will enter into negotiations with the Interim City Manager regarding the contract.  

Surratt said in a news release from the city “Based upon the conversations I have had with the hiring consultant in the last 12 hours, I fully expect for this to be final in the coming days, and I felt it was important for City Manager Wood to have as much notice as possible.” Surratt has served as Hickory’s Assistant City Manager since November 2007.  

Surratt managed all City operations while serving as Interim City Manager from June 2016 to April 2017. Throughout her ten years with Hickory, she managed 268 of the 643 full-time employees and their portion of an annual budget of over $100 million. Additionally, Surratt assisted with the Operation No Vacancy: Vacant Building Reuse and Demolition Program, initiated FBO services for private air craft at the Hickory Regional Airport, helped streamline the permitting process, provided staff leadership for the Inspiring Spaces Plan and the $40 million bond program, worked closely with the Hickory Downtown Development Association, and was instrumental in the Hickory. Life. Well Crafted branding initiative.

Prior to becoming the Hickory Assistant City Manager, Andrea worked in Moore County, and the towns of Wrightsville Beach and Wilmington in both planning and management roles. Surratt is a native of Wingate, NC and a graduate of Guilford College in Greensboro, NC with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science in 1989 and a Masters of City and Regional Planning from Clemson University in 1991.

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