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The Hickory Police Department is asking for the public’s help in identifying a woman who attempted to pass fraudulent currency at the Goodwill retail store, 1877 North Center Street in Hickory. The incident occurred on June 22. The woman used money labeled “for motion picture use only” while making a purchase at the store.

The suspect may have been seen in a gold, four-door Chevrolet Impala or Malibu.

The investigating Officer is David Leeper. Anyone with information regarding the case should call Hickory Police at 828-328-5551.

Monday, 29 June 2015 09:24

Lenoir Man Charged With Weapon Offenses

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51-year-old Roger Clay Hicks of Walt Arney Road in Lenoir was arrested Sunday (June 28) by Hudson Police Officers. He’s charged with felony possession of a weapon of mass destruction and misdemeanor discharging a firearm in the city limits. Hicks was detained in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $25,000 secured bond. A District Court date is listed for August 3.

48-year-old Carl David Everhart of Everhart Court in Lenoir and 26-year-old Allison Leann Wear of Spears Road in Lenoir were both arrested Sunday (June 28) by Caldwell County Sheriff’s Officers. Everhart is charged with felony possession of methamphetamine, misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia, and felony possession of stolen goods or property. Wear is charged with felony possession of methamphetamine and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. Following their arrests, both suspects were confined in the Caldwell County Detention Center. Everhart’s bond was set at $45,000 secured, Wear’s bond is $30,000 secured.

37-year-old Jason Lee Pittman of Bass Lane in Hickory and 37-year-old Jason Duane Parkhurst of Perch Road in Granite Falls were both arrested Saturday (June 27) by Caldwell County Sheriff’s Officers. They’re each charged with felony possession of cocaine, felony possession of methamphetamine, and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. Following their arrests, both suspects were incarcerated in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $20,000 secured bond apiece. They were both scheduled to appear in District Court today (Monday, June 29).

28-year-old Amanda Jean Tillman of NW Vance Street in Lenoir was arrested Saturday (June 27) by Lenoir Police Officers. She’s charged with felony counts of breaking and entering, larceny after breaking and entering, and possession of stolen goods or property. Following the arrest, Tillman was detained at the Caldwell County Detention Center under $10,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Monday, June 29).

Tenth District Congressman Patrick McHenry will be in Catawba County today (Monday, June 29) for two visits across the county. Congressman McHenry will begin the day visiting the Newton Fire Department at 8:30 a.m. Following that stop he will tour Frye Regional Medical Center in Hickory beginning at 10 a.m.

Congressman McHenry's first stop will be at the Newton Fire Department's new building. While there, Congressman McHenry will tour the new facility and meet with members of the department. Leading the tour will be Newton Fire Chief Kevin Yoder. Also joining for the tour will be Newton Mayor Anne Stedman and City Manager Todd Clark. The Newton Fire Department is located at 119 South Brady Avenue in Newton.

Congressman McHenry's second stop of the day will be at Frye Regional Medical Center. Congressman McHenry will begin his visit by touring the emergency room. Following his tour, Congressman McHenry will meet with the hospital's physicians and staff. Frye Regional Medical Center is located at 420 North Center Street in Hickory.

Neither appearance is open to the general public.

A 26-year-old Lenoir woman who was the subject of a Silver Alert issued on Friday (June 26) was found safe. This was confirmed by Lenoir Police Saturday (June 27). Brandy Boling Skelton had been missing since June 18. The news release issued Friday said it was believed that Skelton was suffering from dementia or some other cognitive impairment. The Silver Alert was cancelled late Friday night. No other details were available.

A Catawba County man was jailed under a large bond amount after he was apprehended by authorities over the weekend, reportedly in possession of thousands of dollars in meth. 29-year-old Rodolfo Gutierrez of Herman Sipe Road in Conover was arrested Saturday (June 27) by the Catawba Valley Drug Task Force. He's charged with two counts of trafficking in methamphetamine, maintaining a place to keep controlled substance, misdemeanor child abuse, and driving while license revoked.

According to reports from law enforcement, a bag stuffed with approximately three ounces of crystal-clear methamphetamine, which is reported to be the type typically produced in Mexican superlabs, was seized during the Saturday afternoon bust. Reports say the three ounces of meth was worth up to $4,500 in bulk or up to $12,000 if it’s separated into individual units and sold on the streets. During the arrest, officers also seized $3,900 in cash, said Lt. Jason Reid of the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office.

According to reports, the investigation began when local law enforcement began receiving numerous complaints about large amounts of methamphetamine being sold in and around the Dogwood Hills Mobile Home Park. The Catawba Valley Drug Task Force conducted the operation.

Saturday afternoon officers spotted Gutierrez behind the wheel of a Lincoln Navigator. They were aware that he did not have a valid North Carolina drivers license and pursued. Officers watched Gutierrez go through the Wendy’s drive-thru on Fairgrove Church Road and make a purchase. Reports say he then went around the building and meet another person in a second vehicle. When officers saw the cash, meth and drug paraphernalia they moved in and made the arrest.

Gutierrez was detained in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $225,000 secured bond. His first court appearance was scheduled for today (Monday, June 29). The Catawba Valley Drug Task Force is a combined unit composed of officers from the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office, Maiden Police Department and U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Monday, 29 June 2015 04:07

Teenager Drowns In Burke County

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A Burke County teenager drowned late last week while swimming in a reservoir. According to the Burke County Sheriff's Office the victim is 17-year-old Rayden Lynn Biddix of Morris Loop in Morganton.

Last Thursday (June 25) at approximately 4:30 p.m. the Burke County 911 Emergency Communications Center received a 911 call reporting a possible drowning at the reservoir on Branstrom Orchard Road in Burke County. Investigators from the Burke County Sheriff’s Office requested the use of North Catawba Fire and Rescue Department’s search and rescue boat that is equipped with sonar to aid in the search.

Rescue crews and law enforcement from several agencies responded and searched the reservoir. Emergency personnel searched where the victim was last seen swimming late into the night Thursday. Search crews resumed the operation Friday morning and at approximately 11 a.m. they found the victim.

An investigation into the events that led up to the drowning of Mr. Biddix revealed that the victim and a friend were at the reservoir swimming Thursday afternoon and Mr. Biddix swam out some distance from the shore and over exerted himself, panicked and was unable to make it back to the shore. The other individual attempted to aid Mr. Biddix but was unable to help.

Hickory City Council met twice during the past week to discuss two projects, the proposed Deidra Lackey Memorial Park legal agreements and Blue Bloodhound Economic Development Incentives.

On Monday (June 22) City Council held a special called meeting to discuss the legal agreements of the proposed Deidra Lackey Memorial Park, including construction easements, burial sites, and other projects, like the canopy walk that is planned for the park.

The Grant and Construction Easement agreement governs the development and construction of a waterfront memorial park to memorialize the late Deidra Lackey. The Burial Site Agreement governs the construction and maintenance of burial sites located within the Conservatory and certain adjacent Gardens. The burial sites are for designated for the sole use of the Lackey family. The last agreement discussed was the Conservancy Agreement, which outlines the City’s and Conservancy’s rights and responsibilities in developing and managing the waterfront memorial park. The Conservancy is the group that will be responsible for the Conservatory at the park.

Council did not approve the agreements at this meeting, as these agreements will be presented at a regular City Council meeting in the future for Council’s approval.

On Thursday (June 25) City Council held a second special called meeting to consider approval of the economic development agreement between the City and Blue Bloodhound, LP the related resolution, and for the Mayor to execute these, along with other needed documents.

Blue Bloodhound, LP announced on Tuesday (June 23) that they will create 191 office and e-commerce jobs in Hickory at the recently renovated Moretz Mills. The company plans to create the jobs over three years and will pay above the average wage for Catawba County.

The resolution, stating the desire to enter into agreement, and the agreement itself, were both voted on, and passed, unanimously, on a first and second reading by the Hickory City Council at Thursday's special called meeting. Councilman Hank Guess and Councilwoman Jill Patton were not present. City Council did vote to provide $800 per job, based upon the criteria that is in the agreement.