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As work continues on upgrades to the I-40/77 interchange in Statesville, crews will close a portion of U.S. 21 starting tonight (Friday, January 29) while girders are placed for the new I-40 overpass bridge.

U.S. 21 will be closed under I-40 tonight from 8:00 until 9 a.m. Saturday (January 30), and then again Saturday night starting at 8:00 until 9 a.m. Sunday (January 31). U.S. 21 will also be closed at this location Sunday starting at 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. on Monday (February 1). The closure is needed to allow crews to set bridge girders, which are support beams.

Detours will be in place for motorists using U.S. 21. Traffic on the north side of I-40 will be detoured to I-40 West, N.C. 115 to I-40 East, and then back to U.S. 21.Traffic on the south side of I-40 will be detoured to I-40 East, I-77 North, then around the loop ramp to I-40 West and back to U.S. 21.

For real-time travel information, call 511, visit the Traveler Services section of NCDOT.gov or follow NCDOT on Twitter.

The water service advisory issued for City of Newton water customers on Wednesday (January 27) after a water main break has ended. Newton’s water customers no longer need to boil water before human consumption.

Water customers who experience air in their water lines or discoloration of water are asked to allow taps to run for several minutes to flush out any air or discoloration.

For more information, contact Newton Public Information Officer Alex Frick at 828-695-4266 or africk@newtonnc.gov.

28-year-old William Thomas Ray Miller of 6th Avenue Drive N.W. in Hickory was arrested shortly after two o’clock yesterday afternoon (January 27) on one felony count each of possession of a schedule II controlled substance and failure to appear. He was also charged with misdemeanor counts of assault on a female, simple possession of a schedule IV controlled substance and resisting, delaying or obstructing a public officer. The assault charge was based on a warrant from August of last year. Also arrested was 44-year-old Randolph Christopher Brown of Liberty Church Road in Rhodhiss. Brown was charged with D.W.I., an open container violation, driving while license revoked and displaying a fictitious or altered registration card or tag.

Events leading to their arrests unfolded just before midnight Tuesday (January 26) when Police spotted a vehicle parked in a handicapped space without a proper permit at the Sun House store on 2nd Avenue N.W. in Hickory. Officers ran the license tag and learned that it came back to a different vehicle.

After the vehicle pulled out of the parking lot, a traffic stop was conducted on 17th Street N.W. Brown was the driver. Miller, a passenger in the vehicle, got out and attempted to flee on foot, but was quickly detained. Brown was arrested on the scene, just after midnight.

A search turned up 0.7 grams of methamphetamine and 16 Alprazolam pills. In addition, Miller swallowed two other prescription medications, a total of nine pills, and was taken to Frye Regional Medical Center in Hickory. He was placed under arrest when he was released from the hospital.

Both men were placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond for Miller set at $32,500, secured, while Brown was given a $1,500 secured bond. Brown has since been released. Miller was scheduled to appear in District Court today with another District Court date on the assault charge coming up on March 2. He also has a Superior Court date on February 15. Brown will appear in District Court on February 9.

Thursday, 28 January 2016 14:08

Water Service Restored in Newton

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The city of Newton completed repairs on a broken water main Wednesday afternoon (January 27), restoring water service to the city’s 6,500 water customers. Even though water service is restored, the city and the N.C. Division of Water Resources advises Newton’s water customers to use bottled water or boil all water used for human consumption (including drinking, making ice, brushing teeth, washing dishes and food preparation).

The 12-inch primary trunk water main broke early Wednesday morning. In order to repair the break, crews had to turn off water service to the entire system. Repairs were completed around 1 p.m. yesterday and water pressure was slowly raised throughout the system.

Anytime a water system experiences a period of low or no pressure, the potential increases for back siphonage and introduction of bacteria into the water supply. Vigorous boiling for one minute should kill any disease-causing organisms that may be present in the water. Testing was expected to be complete by late this afternoon (January 28).

For more information, contact Public Information Officer Alex Frick at 828-695-4266 or africk@newtonnc.gov.

A portion of Highway 321 near the Caldwell County/Watauga County line was closed today (January 28) due to a rockslide in the area. The rockslide occurred just north of Cedar Rock, about a half mile south of the Green Park Inn. According to the N.C. Department of Transportation, the highway re-opened for traffic in both directions around 2:30 this afternoon.

Highway 321 North was closed at Cheeks Crossroads, at the intersection of Highway 321 and State Highway 268. Highway 321 South was closed at The Rock Road, near the turnoff to The Blowing Rock and the Green Park Inn.

The rockslide was reportedly a result of work being done on the expansion of 321 in that area. The debris has been cleared from the roadway and a geologist on-site has determined that the roadway is stable.

Thursday, 28 January 2016 11:13

Couple Arrested Following Domestic Dispute

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22-year-old Mitchell Gray Preston of Williams Ridge Road and 21-year-old Arianna Maria Zertuche of Blowing Rock Road, both from Boone, were arrested Tuesday (January 26) by Boone Police Officers. Preston is charged with misdemeanor assault on a female and Zertuche is charged with misdemeanor assault with a deadly weapon.

On Tuesday, shortly before 11 p.m., Boone Police responded to a reported stabbing at 523 Blowing Rock Road. When officers arrived, they located Mitchell Gray Preston suffering from a stab wound. Preston was transported to Watauga Medical Center for treatment.

As a result of a follow-up investigation, it was determined that a domestic dispute had taken place resulting in Preston being stabbed. Arianna Maria Zertuche was charged with that stabbing.  
Both suspects were taken before a Watauga County Magistrate where they were both remanded to the Watauga County Detention Facility pending a March 3 appearance in Watauga District Court.

Neither party received a bond due to the domestic nature of the incident.  Both individuals indicated they are Appalachian State University students.           

46-year-old Gregory Blaine Edwards and 28-year-old Kesshia Reayne Reid, both of the same Grace Chapel Road, Granite Falls, address were arrested Wednesday (January 27) by Caldwell County Sheriff’s Officers. They’re each charged with trafficking in methamphetamine, maintaining a vehicle, dwelling, or place to keep controlled substance, two counts of misdemeanor child abuse, and fail to store a weapon to protect a child. The two suspects were locked up in the Caldwell County Detention Center. Bond for both Edwards and Reid was set at $200,000 secured. Edwards was scheduled to appear in District Court today (Thursday, January 28), no court date was listed for Reid. 

Thursday, 28 January 2016 05:48

Morganton Jewelry Store Robbed, Suspect Sought

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Wednesday (January 27) at 9:59 a.m., The Morganton Department of Public Safety responded to Gregory Jewelers after a man entered the business and stole several high value rings.

Nancy Gregory told police a white male entered the business and began looking at various rings on display. The suspect is described as being in his mid-20s, between 6 feet and 6 feet 4 inches tall wearing a camouflage toboggan, a dark blue windbreaker pullover, and blue jeans.

Employees were assisting the male suspect with looking at several rings. After handling some rings on top of the counter, the male grabbed them and ran out the door. The suspect was last seen getting into a red, four door, passenger vehicle that turned onto Queen Street.

Investigators were informed that the suspect had been in the business a week prior looking at rings.  A photo of the suspect is included with this story.

Anyone with information should contact Morganton Public Safety at 828-437-1211 or Burke County Crime Stoppers at 828-437-3333.

52-year-old Jesse Earl Conley of 3rd Street S.W. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police yesterday (January 27) on a charge of felony assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill.

He was arrested in connection to a reported assault at a gathering at an apartment on 9th Avenue Place S.W. in Hickory. Officers arrived to find the victim – a 47-year-old Long View man – outside the apartment, suffering from injuries sustained as the result of an incident involving himself and Jesse Conley.

The victim was stabbed with a knife and was wounded in the cheek, just below his eye. He was taken to Frye Regional Medical Center and later transported to Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem where he was last listed in stable condidtion.

A warrant for Conley’s arrest was issued on the 26th. He turned himself in at H.P.D. headquarters at about 3:30 yesterday afternoon. Conley was placed in the Catawba County Detention Facility under a $5,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today.

Thursday, 28 January 2016 05:32

Man Charged With Multiple Offenses By Two Agencies

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36-year-old Chad Brian Abernathy of Newton was arrested Wednesday (January 27) by Newton Police Officers and Catawba County Sheriff’s Officers. He’s charged by Newton Police with felony maintaining a vehicle, dwelling, or place to keep controlled substance, and failure to appear on a count of felony conspire to traffic opiates by sale. Abernathy is charged by Catawba County Sheriff’s Officers with two counts of failure to appear for non-support of a child. He was locked up in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $22,000 bond. Court dates are scheduled for next Thursday (February 4), and April 18.