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42-year-old Bruce Leroy Donald of East Herman Street in Newton has been arrested by U.S. Marshals on nine counts of third-degree sexual exploitation of a minor, three counts of second-degree forcible sexual offense and one count of statutory sexual offense. He was also charged with five counts of breaking & entering, four counts of larceny after breaking & entering, two counts of felony larceny and two counts of possession of stolen goods or property. The sexual offense charges date back to 2010. The charges for property crimes are from 2009 and 2010.

Donald was jailed on July 2 in the Catawba County Detention Facility where he remains. No court dates are currently listed.

Thursday, 03 July 2014 15:04

Holiday Closings in Hickory and Caldwell County

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The City of Hickory will close its offices on Thursday, July 4, in observance of the 4th of July holiday, but garbage and recycling pick-up will continue on Friday.

The City of Hickory offices will re-open on Monday, July 7 at 8:30 a.m.

The Hickory Public Library (the Patrick Beaver Memorial main facility and the Ridgeview Branch) will also be closed for the 4th of July holiday. The libraries will reopen at their regular hours on Saturday, July 5.

Parks & Recreation Department’s administrative offices, the Highland Recreation Center, the Ridgeview Recreation Center, the Westmont Senior Center and the Neill Clark Recreation Center’s Main Building will be closed Friday.

In addition, the Neill W. Clark Gymnasium, the Brown Penn Recreation Center and the Westmont Recreation Center Gymnasium will be closed Friday in observance of the holiday.

City parks are open 365 days a year.

The City of Hickory’s Yard Waste facility will be closed on Friday and Saturday, July 4 and 5. The facility is located off Cloninger Mill Road, which is off N.C. 127 (near the bridge that crosses Lake Hickory and links to Alexander County).

All Caldwell County offices will be closed in observance of the Independence Day holiday. County offices will re-open for regular business on Monday, July 7.

The Caldwell County Board of Commissioners will hold only one regularly scheduled meeting in July due to the holiday. The Commissioners will meet Monday, July 14, at 6 p.m. in the city/county chambers at the Alden E. Starnes Administration Building, in Lenoir.

For more information, contact Caldwell County Public Information Officer LouAnne Kincaid at lkincaid@caldwellcountync.org or 828-759-7879.

All Catawba Valley Community College campuses and offices were closed today (July 3), in observance of the holiday. All CVCC campuses and offices are closed on Fridays during the summer semester.

Offices and classes will re-open on Monday, July 7.

City of Morganton and Burke County representatives and community leaders gathered on the lawn at the Historic Burke County Courthouse yesterday (July 2) to celebrate and dedicate Burke County's own Charters of Freedom monument. The Charters of Freedom are a gift from Burke County resident Vance Patterson.

During the dedication Wednesday, Patterson thanked everyone in the city and county who had helped make his idea a reality. Patterson said that he hoped the Charters would be used as a teaching tool to remind students and residents of the ideals and freedoms spelled out in America's Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights.

Patterson said the Charters are a way to serve the community and directly impact the educational system and the future of the country.

Morganton Mayor Mel Cohen thanked Patterson for the gift. He said local residents can take a trip to the old courthouse to view the nation's founding document.

A time capsule will be placed in the monument later this summer, to be opened on September 17, 2087, the 300th anniversary of the signing of the United States Constitution.

Thursday, 03 July 2014 12:44

Three Face Felony Meth Charges in Hickory

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29-year-old Bobby Ray Abshire of Poovey Drive in Granite Falls was arrested by Hickory Police early yesterday morning (July 2) on one felony count of possession of methamphetamine and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. He was also arrested on multiple felony warrants out of Caldwell County for obtaining property by false pretense, breaking & entering, larceny after breaking & entering and possession of stolen goods or property, as well as one misdemeanor count of larceny. Also arrested were 30-year-old Stephanie McQueen Jonas of 21st Street N.E. and 34-year-old Christopher David Buchanan of the Greedy Highway in Hickory. They were both charged with felony of possession of methamphetamine and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. Jonas was also charged with misdemeanor failure to appear and a felony probation violation. Buchanan faces an additional misdemeanor drug charge.

The three were taken into custody without incident at the Red Roof Inn, just off of Lenoir-Rhyne Boulevard in Hickory. All three were placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond for Abshire set at $47,000, secured. Jonas was given a $16,500 secured bond, while bond for Buchanan was set at $5,500, secured. Abshire and Jonas remain in custody. Buchanan has been released. All three were scheduled to appear in District Court on July 7 in Newton on the meth charges. Abshire was due in court today (July 3) in Lenoir with additional Caldwell County court dates on July 10 & 31.

Thursday, 03 July 2014 12:06

Suspect Arrested in Statesville Belk Break-In

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19-year-old Daniel Eduardo Lozoya of Statesville has been arrested by Statesville Police on a charge of felony breaking & entering.

Lozoya is the suspect in a break-in that occurred during the early morning hours on June 25 at the Belk store on East Broad Street in Statesville, previously reported by WHKY on June 30.

After a suspect photo taken from surveillance footage was released to area media outlets, several tips regarding suspect’s identity were called in to Statesville Police. Investigator Sharon Watts followed up on the information and charged Lozoya with the crime.

Lozoya turned himself in at the Statesville Police Department on July 1. He was taken to the Iredell County Jail under a $5,000 secured bond. An appearance in District Court was set for July 23.

Statesville Police expressed their gratitude to community members who were willing to get involved and contact Police with crucial information, making it possible for Officers to successfully and quickly resolve the case.

Thursday, 03 July 2014 11:45

Fire Hydrant Testing Scheduled in N.E. Newton

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The City of Newton Fire Department will conduct annual fire hydrant maintenance and testing beginning Monday, July 14. The Fire Department will concentrate on the hydrants in the northeast quadrant (south of “A” Street and west of Main Avenue) for the next several weeks.

Citizens in the area may experience water discoloration as minerals inside the underground water lines are disturbed. If discoloration occurs, allow water to run from any faucet for several minutes.

Fire hydrant testing is crucial to locate fire hydrants that are inoperable or in need of repair. The North Carolina Department of Insurance requires annual hydrant testing for the purposes of grading municipal water systems, which determines municipal insurance ratings.

Any questions or concerns should be directed to the Newton Fire Department at 828-695-4314.

56-year-old Frank Marion Pounds Jr. of Denton's Chapel Road in Morganton and 27-year-old Robin Della Baker with no listed address have both been arrested by Burke Co. Sheriff’s Officers on felony charges of robbery with a dangerous weapon and assault inflicting serious bodily injury.

Their arrests stem from an incident on June 17 when Deputies were dispatched to Carolinas Medical Center of Morganton where an elderly male victim reported that he had been robbed at gunpoint and assaulted with the gun. The victim said he was struck in the head multiple times with a pistol by an unknown male subject who was wearing a wig. He said there was a female involved in the incident, as well.

A Burke County Detective spoke to the victim at the hospital where he was given a description of the suspect's vehicle. Frank Pounds was developed as the suspect and warrants were issued for his arrest. Pounds was taken into custody on June 19. Probable cause was also found to charge Robin Baker, leading to her arrest on the same date.

Pounds was placed in the Burke-Catawba District Confinement Facility under a $100,000 secured bond. Baker’s bond was set at $10,000, secured. Pounds will appear in District Court on July 9, while Baker is due in court on July 14, both in Morganton.

Thursday, 03 July 2014 10:48

Greensboro Man Jailed on Felony Forgery Charges

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28-year-old Matthew Ryan Karbley of Village Lane in Greensboro was arrested by Hickory Police at about 5 p.m. Tuesday (July 1) on one felony count each for forgery of bank notes, uttering a forged instrument and obtaining property by false pretense.

He was taken into custody without incident at the Probation & Parole Office on 26th Street N.E. in Hickory. Karbley was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $5,000, secured. He was scheduled to make a first appearance in District Court yesterday (July 2) in Newton with his next court date coming up on July 23.

43-year-old David Michael Pitz has been arrested by Burke Co. Sheriff’s Officers on 74 felony sex offense warrants out of Berks County, Pennsylvania.

At about 4 p.m. last Friday (June 27), the Sheriff's Office received information concerning a sex offender, David Pitz, possibly living in Burke County. About 30 minutes later, Sheriff’s Detectives and Officers with the Morganton Department of Public Safety located the suspect at the Marathon Gas Station off of Exit 105 in Morganton. Officers approached the suspect's van as he parked and took him into custody.

After his arrest, Pitz was confined in the Burke Catawba District Confinement Facility. He has a July 30 court date in Morganton on a felony warrant as a fugitive awaiting extradition to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

He faces charges for one count each of rape by forcible compulsion, statutory sexual assault, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse by forcible compulsion, sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault by forcible compulsion, indecent assault by forcible compulsion and two counts each of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a person less than 13 years of age and indecent exposure. Pitz is also charged with three counts of aggravated indecent assault of a person less than 16 years of age and four counts each of aggravated indecent assault of a person less 13 years of age and endangering the welfare of children. He is charged with five counts each of aggravated indecent assault of a child and indecent assault of a person less than 16 years of age, as well as six counts of indecent assault of a person less than 13 years of age and seven counts of endangering the welfare of children when a parent, guardian or other caregiver commits the offense. Finally, Pitz faces 11 counts each for corruption of a minor, indecent assault without consent and indecent assault without consent of others.

Thursday, 03 July 2014 07:00

Hurricane Arthur Disrupts Holiday Travel Plans

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Tropical Storm Arthur has now been upgraded to a category one hurricane. With the arrival of the Fourth of July weekend, the National Hurricane Center has issued a Hurricane Warning for Carteret, Onslow, Dare and Hyde counties in North Carolina, affecting travel and vacation plans for many tourists. Those counties include Surf City north to Duck, as well as the Pamlico and Eastern Albemarle sounds.

Coastal areas will likely see periods of heavy rains and gusty winds today and tomorrow (July 3 & 4). Coastal flooding, dangerous rip currents, heavy surf and moderate beach erosion are also expected. Portions of the Outer Banks and the coast may experience periods of hurricane force winds as the storm passes. An isolated tornado cannot be ruled out.

Dare County emergency management ordered an evacuation of Hatteras Isand, which is vulnerable to storms, beginning at 5 a.m. this morning.

A State of Emergency has been issued for all of Dare County with the only restriction being the mandatory evacuation of Hatteras Island. Visitors should evacuate with all personal belongings and follow instructions offered by their property management company.