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Monday, 16 February 2015 05:50

Maiden Business Destroyed By Fire

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A Maiden business was destroyed by fire. According to a published report, Johnny On The Spot, a heating and air conditioning business, was destroyed in a Friday fire. The business is located on Cemetery Street. There were no injuries in the blaze, the owner left the business just before 1 p.m. Maiden firefighters responded just before 2 p.m. and had the fire contained by approximately 2:30. The report says it’s likely the fire started near the building’s heating unit.

An explosion at a Caldwell County home over the weekend was reportedly caused by a propane heater. According to published reports, at around 10 p.m. Saturday there was an explosion at a mobile home on Antique Lane in Caldwell County. In the report, Collettesville Fire chief Larry Price says the man was using a propane heater, designed for outside use, to keep warm after the home lost power because of the wind.

The chief said the man hooked up a heater with an additional second tank nearby, causing it to overheat and explode. The small explosion contained enough strength to blow out walls and windows of the home. The man used a fire extinguisher to put out the flames before firefighters arrived. He told responders he got out of the house by shooting out a window and crawling out. The report says the man was conscious and talking when they got on scene, but he suffered second and third degree burns and was taken to the hospital.

22-year-old Corey Daniel Hamrick of Pleasant Hill Road in Lenoir was arrested Saturday (February 14) by Morganton Public Safety Officers. A 911 call for help led to the arrest. According to a news release from Public Safety, a distraught female reported that Corey Hamrick was attempting to run her (and a coworker) off the road. Public Safety officers were able to locate Hamrick following the victim on West Fleming Drive. A traffic stop and interview with Hamrick resulted in the discovery that he was following his former girlfriend in an attempt to see who she was meeting.

After interviewing the victim and Hamrick it is believed that Hamrick has been illegally stalking the victim for some time. On Saturday, Feb 14th, the victim reported that Hamrick followed her and a coworker inside Walmart. When the victim and her coworker left Walmart, Hamrick aggressively pursued them in his vehicle. According to the victim, speeds reached 70 miles per hour on West Fleming and East Fleming Drive as they attempted to flee from Hamrick. The victim reported that Hamrick attempted to ram her car while traveling on East Fleming Drive. In an attempt to avoid being rammed, the victim’s car spun around in the road facing the opposite direction. Hamrick continued to pursue the victim until he was stopped by MDPS officers.

Hamrick was charged with Stalking and two felony counts of Assault with a Deadly Weapon with Intent to Kill. Since Hamrick and the victim were in a prior relationship, the case is being treated as domestic violence. Hamrick was incarcerated under a 48 hour hold and a $10,000 secured bond. Hamrick has an initial appearance in Burke County District Court Monday February 16th.

Monday, 16 February 2015 05:28

Area Prepares For Winter Weather

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The area is preparing for a blast of winter weather. It is expected that the area will see some frozen precipitation today, possibly starting by the mid-to-late afternoon hours. A winter storm warning is in effect from noon today until 7 a.m. Tuesday. The forecast says snow likely today, mainly after 5 p.m. with daytime accumulations of 1-3 inches possible. Tonight the forecast is for snow, freezing rain, and sleet before 3 a.m. with the chance for another 1 to 3 inches of snow and sleet plus the chance for ice accumulation overnight. Catawba County Schools and Hickory Public Schools are dismissing two hours early today due to the wintry forecast.

56-year-old Alfred James Wright of South Center Street in Hickory and 26-year-old Edward Ryan Williams, who is listed as a homeless person from Hickory, were both arrested by Hickory Police early this morning on drug charges. Wright was charged with two felony counts of trafficking in heroin or opium and one felony count of maintaining a vehicle, dwelling or place for a controlled substance and Williams faces one misdemeanor count of possession of marijuana up to half an ounce.

They were arrested at about 2:45 a.m. when Police spotted a suspicious 2012 GMC Terrain on the 300 block of Main Avenue N.E. A vehicle stop was conducted on 1st Street N.E. where Officers found five grams of black tar heroin in the vehicle’s center console. 4.3 grams of marijuana were found on Williams’ person.

Both subjects confined in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond for Wright set at $35,000, secured, while Williams was given a $2,000 secured bond. Wright was scheduled to make a first appearance in District Court today in Newton. Williams has a Hickory court date on March 26.

36-year-old Debra Suzanne Moore of Boyles Road in Lawndale has been arrested by Lincoln Co. Sheriff’s Officers on five felony counts of safecracking, larceny, breaking & entering a building, financial card transaction fraud theft and conspiracy to break & enter a building.

Detectives have also charged 36-year-old Terry Lee Taylor of Miller’s Park Lane in Vale with one felony count each of breaking & entering a building, possession of a stolen motor vehicle, larceny of a motor vehicle and two felony counts of safecracking. He is also charged with felony conspiracy to break & enter a building and financial card theft. In addition, Taylor is wanted in Cleveland County on a number of similar charges.

The pair is accused in connection to a January 5 break-in and theft at PTI, Inc. and Geymont Construction, along with several nearby outbuildings in western Lincoln County. The incident was initially reported by WHKY on January 7.

Following her arrest, Moore was jailed in the Lincoln County Detention Center under a $250,000 secured bond. She was scheduled to make an appearance in District Court today (February 13).

Taylor is believed in be in Lincoln or surrounding counties. Anyone with information regarding his whereabouts should call the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office at 704-732-9050, the Lincoln County Communications Center at 704-735-8202 or Crime Stoppers at 704-736-8909. Crime Stoppers caller may remain anonymous and tips leading to an arrest could result in a reward of up to $1,000.

Leviton donated $10,000 to the Morganton Community House renovation project today, (Friday February 13) adding to the list of private donors in the community who are supporting the project. Tim Lockard, Senior Director Operations of Leviton, presented the check to Morganton Mayor Mel Cohen this morning in front of the Morganton Community House. Leviton also plans to donate electrical components for the project. Lockhard said Leviton made the donation to show thanks to Morganton and Burke County. He also challenged other industry leaders in Burke County to do what they can to help the City.

In January, the Morganton City Council approved making more than $450,000 worth of upgrades to the Community House infrastructure and kitchen, taking the first steps in a public/private renovation project to overhaul the facility to meet the needs and expectations of today's guests. The Council approved funding for new kitchen equipment and infrastructure improvements to the plumbing, electrical service, HVAC, as well as improvements to the basement entry, air conditioning to the kitchen, and noise reduction around the kitchen.

Private contributors have already donated and pledged $175,000 to be used for the improvements, thanks to a fundraising campaign led by the Morganton Pilot Club, and the City also received a $75,000 grant to help upgrade the kitchen. The combined gifts and grants total more than $250,000 and that money will help offset the cost of the project.

The N.C. Department of Transportation will install a lane closure on U.S. 21 Southbound from Pump Station Road to Carolina Avenue in Statesville beginning Sunday, February 15. The right lane of U.S. 21 Southbound will be closed from 9 pm. to 6 a.m. each day through Friday, February 20, for utility pole removal. For real-time travel information at any time, call 511, visit the Traveler Services section of the NCDOT website or follow NCDOT on Twitter. You can also access NCDOT Mobile, a version of the NCDOT website especially for mobile devices. Visit m.ncdot.gov from your mobile browser.

Friday, 13 February 2015 11:27

Additional Felony Charge for Vehicle B&E Suspect

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27-year-old Alex Jeffrey William Eikenberg of 12th Street N.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police shortly before one o’clock yesterday afternoon (February 12) on one felony count of possession of stolen goods. The charge comes in connection to a series of vehicle break-ins in Hickory that began on January 29. Eikenburg was previously charged on February 6 with three felony counts of breaking & entering a motor vehicle.

29-year-old Jimmy Ryan Hartley of the same address was also charged on February 6 with one felony count each of obtaining property by false pretense and identity theft. The initial arrests were first reported by WHKY on February 9.

Following his latest arrest, Eikenberg was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $6,000 secured bond. He has since been released. A District Court appearance in Newton was scheduled for today.

On Tuesday, February 17, Facebook’s Small Business Boost will be in Lincolnton to teach small business owners in the area how to optimize their presence on the world’s largest social network. The workshop will be co-hosted by the Lincoln Entrepreneur Growth Group. Congressman Patrick McHenry will kick off the event.

The event will take place at The Laboratory Mill, 848 Southfork Road in Lincolnton. Check-in and the networking expo will begin at 9 a.m. with the program set to run from 9:30 a.m. until 11:00 a.m.

The Small Business Boost workshop will feature a presentation from a Facebook small business expert, as well as a panel of several local small businesspeople who, having found success on Facebook, will share their own tips, tricks and suggestions. The small business panel will feature Sweet Blossom Gifts, Splinters & Rags and Michael A. Anderson Photography.

To register or for more information, visit fblincolnton.eventbrite.com.