Unemployment rates (not seasonally adjusted) decreased in 81 of North Carolina’s counties in June, increased in 10, and remained unchanged in nine. 13 of the state’s metropolitan statistical regions experienced rate decreases, while one remained unchanged.
The June not seasonally adjusted statewide rate was 6.5%. When compared to the same month last year, not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates decreased in all 100 counties. All 14 metro areas experienced rate decreases over the year.
The number of workers employed statewide (not seasonally adjusted) decreased in June by 26,751 to 4,388,173, while those unemployed decreased by 10,225 to 303,122. Since June 2013, the number of workers employed statewide increased by 57,060, while those unemployed decreased by 105,228.
In the Unifour, Catawba County was down two-tenths in June, finishing at 7.1%. Alexander County was unchanged at 6.1%. Burke and Caldwell each decreased by two-tenths at 6.8% and 7.3%, respectively.
Elsewhere in the region, Ashe County was down a tenth at 7.4%. Avery decreased by six-tenths, coming in at 6.7%. Buncombe saw a decrease of two-tenths at 4.8%. Cleveland County finished at 6.8%, down one-tenth. Gaston County’s numbers were up one-tenth at 6.7%. Iredell and Lincoln were both down two-tenths at 6.1% and 6.2%, respectively. McDowell finished June at 6.8%, dropping three-tenths. Watauga was down four-tenths at 5.8% and Wilkes decreased by two-tenths at 7.2%.
The Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton metro region is now tied for the 11th highest number in the state, even with the Greenville region at 6.9%. Only Fayetteville at 7.5% and Rocky Mount at 9.6% are higher.
The next unemployment update is scheduled for Monday, August 18 when the state unemployment rate for July 2014 will be released.
North Carolina will not have a sales tax holiday this year for the first time since 2002. Legislation passed by the N.C. General Assembly and signed by Gov. Pat McCrory last summer did away with the holiday. Lawmakers say North Carolina lost more than $13 million in tax revenue in 2012 as a result of the holiday.
South Carolina and Tennessee will continue to have an annual sales tax holiday starting tomorrow (Friday, August 1) at 12:01 a.m. and ending Sunday, August 3, at 11:59 p.m.
Tax-exempt items include $100 or less of clothing; $100 or less on school supplies and $1,500 or less on computers.
26-year-old Stephen Matthew Isenhour of County Home Dairy Road in Conover was served felony indictments by Hickory Police at about 5:40 yesterday afternoon (July 31) on charges of felony breaking & entering and felony larceny.
The charges date back to an April 22, 2007 break-in at the Water Oaks Apartments on 14th Street Lane N.E. in Hickory. Isenhour was caught coming out the back door. The indictments were issued on April 7 of this year.
Isenhour was processed at H.P.D. and then released under a $2,500 unsecured bond. He will appear in Superior Court tomorrow in Newton.
Congressman Patrick McHenry (NC-10) will hold six Town Hall meetings for constituents across the 10th Congressional District from Monday, August 4, through Wednesday, August 6.
Those meetings include an appearance in Catawba County on Wednesday, August 6, at 6 p.m. Congressman McHenry will be at Maiden High School, 600 West Main Street in Maiden. For more information, call 828-428-8197.
At each Town Hall meeting, Congressman McHenry will give an update on recent legislative activity in Congress and what can be expected in the coming months. Town Hall meetings are an opportunity for constituents to share their thoughts on the issues and ask Congressman McHenry questions on pending legislation and other issues before the House of Representatives.
Additionally, the Congressman’s staff will be available to meet privately with constituents who have issues with federal agencies including Social Security, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Internal Revenue Service.
Additional Town Hall meetings are as follows:
Monday, August 4 at 2 p.m.
Land of the Sky Shrine Club
39 Spring Cove Road
Rutherford and Polk County
Monday, August 4 at 6 p.m.
Lake Lure Fire Department
622 Memorial Highway
Tuesday, August 5 at 2 p.m.
Lincoln Charter School
133 Eagle Nest Road
Tuesday, August 5 at 6 p.m.
Kimbrell Campus and Textile Technology Center
7220 Wilkinson Boulevard
Wednesday, August 6 at 2 p.m.
Pinnacle Classical Academy
900 South Post Road
The North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles (NCDMV) will close its Statesville license plate agency on Wednesday, August 6, and Thursday, August 7, to conduct customer service training.
The NCDMV is currently holding statewide customer service training courses for all office locations. The Statesville agency will reopen on Friday, August 8, at 9 a.m.
Agencies located in the immediate area will remain open to provide vehicle registration services. The following locations will be open during the training:
- Hickory – 901 Highway 321 North West, Suite 100, 828-328-3783
- Mocksville – 124 South Salisbury Street, Suite 101, 336-751-3303
- Mooresville – 125-3 North Main Street, 704-663-5472
- Newton – 803 West Conover Boulevard, 828-464-6878
- Salisbury – 130 East Kerr Street, 704-633-5312
- Taylorsville – 85 East Main Avenue, 828-632-4463
License plate agencies offer vehicle registration services and title transactions, as well as vehicle license plate renewals, replacement tags and duplicate registrations. Currently, about 120 license plate agencies operate across North Carolina.
The Catawba Co. Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Division has been conducting an ongoing investigation, known as “Operation Seven/Eleven,” for the past several months focusing on the manufacture and distribution of methamphetamine in the county.
Investigators targeted several suspects who specifically manufacture meth using the “one pot” method, which has become an epidemic locally and nationally. The suspects typically buy or steal precursor items needed to manufacture meth from local businesses in and around the county.
In 2012, Catawba County ranked third in the state for meth labs located and dismantled. The county ranked fourth in the state in 2013. The arrest and successful prosecution of the suspects rounded up during Operation Seven/Eleven is intended to decrease the number of meth labs in 2014 by serving as an example of law enforcement’s zero-tolerance policy toward meth cooks.
Narcotics Officers identified 11 suspects who were involved in making meth or who assisted the cooks by providing precursor items. Investigators presented their cases to the Grand Jury on July 21, leading to 59 separate charges.
Last Wednesday (July 23), Deputies and Narcotics Investigators successfully located nine of the 11 suspects. Two suspects may have left the state to avoid prosecution, but are actively being sought. All other suspects are in custody.
Still at large are Joseph Edward Morin and his mother, Georgia Lynn Starks, both from Newton. They were charged with five counts each of manufacturing meth, conspiracy to manufacture meth and possession of meth precursors. Both suspects have been entered into the National Crime Information Center database as wanted persons. Anyone with information regarding their whereabouts should call the Catawba Co. Communications Center at 828-464-3112.
24-year-old Ashley Nicole Reynolds from Claremont faces 13 separate charges including manufacturing meth, conspiracy to manufacture meth, trafficking meth by manufacture & possession and possession of meth precursors. Reynolds was given a $50,000 secured bond.
25-year-old Julia Marie Flowers from Catawba was arrested on seven separate charges including manufacturing meth, conspiracy to manufacture meth, trafficking meth by manufacture & possession and possession of meth precursors. Flowers remains in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $121,000 secured bond.
18-year-old Jacob Rayce Carr from Newton faces six separate charges including manufacturing meth, conspiracy to manufacture meth, trafficking in meth by manufacture & possession and possession of meth precursors. Carr has been confined in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $325,000, secured.
35-year-old Wesley Michael Sain from Hickory was charged with manufacturing meth, trafficking meth by manufacture & possession and possession of meth precursors. Sain remains in custody under a $75,000 secured bond.
28-year-old Cody Lee Weiss from Newton has been arrested on 13 separate charges including manufacturing meth, conspiracy to manufacture meth, trafficking in meth by manufacture & possession and possession of meth precursors. Weiss was jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $575,000 secured bond.
26-year-old Kevin Matthew Cook of Catawba was charged with conspiracy to manufacture meth and trafficking in meth by possession & manufacture. Cook was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $150,000, secured.
48-year-old William Jonathan McNeil of Newton has been arrested on one count of conspiracy to manufacture meth. He also faces charges for manufacturing meth, possession or distribution of meth precursors and misdemeanor larceny. McNeil has been confined in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility. He was given a $160,000 secured bond.
29-year-old Brandon Kyle Hensley from Maiden has been arrested on one count of manufacturing meth. Hensley is currently in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $10,000 secured bond.
And, 26-year-old Samantha Lynn Metz from Maiden has been arrested on one count of manufacturing meth. Metz remains in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $10,000, secured.
Most of the suspects arrested are scheduled to appear in Superior Court on October 6 in Newton. In addition to their October 6 appearances, Sain has a District Court date on August 20 and McNeill is due in District Court on December 15. Cook’s Superior Court date was set for September 2. The only listed court dates for Hensley and Metz were appearances today (July 30) in District Court.
42-year-old Troy Dean Bush of N.W. Main Street in Lenoir was arrested by Lenoir Police yesterday (July 29) on charges of assault on a female, communicating threats and assault with a deadly weapon. Bush was taken to the Caldwell Co. Detention Center with bond set at $2,500, secured. He will appear in District Court on August 19 in Lenoir.
16-year-old Nicholas Anthony Santellan of Highland Avenue N.E. in Hickory has been arrested by Conover Police on charges of felony possession of marijuana, maintaining a place for a controlled substance and possession with intent to sell or deliver a controlled substance. He was jailed early this morning (July 30) in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $5,000 secured bond. A first appearance in District Court was set for today in Newton.
34-year-old Emily Kacey Robbins of West Davidson Avenue in Gastonia has been arrested by Lincoln Co. Sheriff’s Officers and charged with one felony count of possession of cocaine and one misdemeanor count of possession of marijuana.
Narcotics Investigators operating on a tip conducted a surveillance operation near a High Shoals business Monday night that led to Robbins’ arrest. Officers saw two vehicles involved in what appeared to be a drug transaction. When the vehicles left the scene, Investigators stopped both cars a short distance away. Robbins was taken into custody on drug charges.
She was released from jail after posting a $5,000 secured bond. Her next appearance in District Court was scheduled for August 14.
North Carolina’s ncDataCampus, a 70-acre business park in Catawba County, will soon have completed access from I-40, providing enterprise data center users a fully served, ready for development option in North Carolina’s Data Center Corridor. Completion of the access is scheduled by mid-August.
The Data Center Corridor is home to data centers for Apple, Google, Facebook, AT&T, WiPro, Disney, Bed Bath & Beyond and others. The corridor continues to be an option for enterprise users seeking redundancy, cost savings and reliability in a Mid-Atlantic facility.
Users have a choice of up to three protected data center sites surrounded by a 20MW solar facility. Duke Energy powers the site via an on-site substation.
The ncDataCampus is owned by the Catawba County Property Development Corporation, a 501(c)3 economic development arm, and is being developed specifically for data center users. Special incentives and rapid permitting options exist to facilitate quick development.