News (2064)

20-year-old Katherine Taylor Kelly of Homosassa, Florida has been arrested by Lincoln Co. Sheriff’s Officers on one felony count of child abuse and two misdemeanor counts of child abuse. The charges come in connection to incidents that occurred while Kelly was visiting in Lincoln County in late February and early March of this year.

On March 15, Lincoln Co. Detective Kelsey Harrington received information from Detectives in Citrus County, Florida regarding child abuse that took place between February 25 and March 7.

On March 9, Kelly was interviewed by Detectives in Citrus County. At that time, she admitted to multiple assaults on her 21-month-old son while in Lincoln County. When Kelly returned to Florida, the victim was taken to the hospital where doctors found that he had a fractured forearm and a fractured collarbone. The victim also had bruises on many parts of his body, which were in different stages of healing.

On Friday (April 6), Detective Harrington arrested Kelly, who posted a $22,000 secured bond shortly after her arrest. Kelly is due in Lincoln Co. District Court today (April 9).

At 7:25 p.m. Saturday (April 7), the Watauga County 9-1-1 Communications Center took a call regarding an alleged stabbing just off of U.S. Highway 421 South near the intersection of 421 and Holly Hills Road on the 6600 block of Highway 421.

Following an altercation, the victim escaped to a relative’s house where a resident called 9-1-1 for the victim. During the 9-1-1 call, the victim used a four wheeler and drove to Highway 421 South, attempting to flag down a passing motorist or law enforcement.

In the home where the injuries occurred, Officers found two female juveniles with nearby family members. Both were safe and unharmed.

A “Be On the Lookout” call was issued for a silver Nissan Xxterra. Deputies also responded another location on Archie Carroll road to speak with a witness. Additional interviews were conducted.

The Watauga Co. Sheriff’s Office has identified a suspect, who is now in custody. The suspect’s identity has not been released. Deputies are continuing to investigate at multiple crime scenes.

One person has been killed and three others injured in a shooting early Sunday morning (April 8) near The Vault Bar & Lounge on 1st Avenue N.E. in downtown Hickory.

At about 1:55 a.m. Sunday, Hickory Police responded to a report of shots fired at The Vault. Upon arrival, Officers found numerous spent shell casings on 1st Avenue N.E., near the bar. Within minutes, 20-year-old Antonio Knoshjun Watts arrived at Frye Regional Medical Center, suffering from a gunshot wound. Mr. Watts was later pronounced deceased.

At about 2:32 a.m., 25-year-old Garan Colby Wilburn arrived at Catawba Valley Medical Center, also suffering from gunshot wounds. Wilburn was later transported to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem where he is being treated for his injuries.

At approximately 2:45 a.m., 23-year-old Keeuntae Kaleel Kee of Gastonia arrived at Catawba Valley Medical Center. He was suffering from a single gunshot wound. Kee was treated and later released.

The fourth subject, Joe Clifford Tipps of Morganton, arrived at Carolinas Healthcare Blue Ridge Hospital in Valdese at approximately 3:43 a.m., also suffering from gunshot wounds. Tipps was treated and later released.

Watts, Wilburn, Kee and Tipps had all been patrons at The Vault Bar & Lounge just prior to the shooting incident outside.

Management at The Vault Bar & Lounge has voluntarily surrendered their ABC permits to the North Carolina Alcohol Beverage Control Commission.

Hickory Police are conducting an ongoing investigation. Anyone with information should contact Investigator Carlos De Los Santos at 828-261-2621 or

30-year-old Misty Michelle Hughes of York Road in Granite Falls was arrested by Hickory Police at about 1:25 yesterday afternoon (April 5) on one felony count of possession of a schedule II controlled substance with intent to manufacture and one misdemeanor count of possession of a schedule VI controlled substance.

Hughes was arrested after Hickory Police responded to reports of a suspicious vehicle at an auto dealership on U.S. Highway 70 S.E. During the incident, Officers found 0.4 grams of methamphetamine and 0.9 grams of marijuana in the vehicle.

Hughes was taken into custody without incident and placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $1,000 secured bond. She was scheduled to appear in District Court in Newton today.

Tomorrow (April 7) at 3 p.m., the Catawba Co. Library System will host a screening of historian Richard Eller's documentary film, “Miracle”. The film highlights Catawba County’s response to the 1944 polio outbreak. It illustrates how polio was treated at the time through interviews with polio survivors and nurses from the Hickory Polio Hospital. The screening will be held at the main library in Newton. Mr. Eller will personally introduce the film and answer questions.

The screening is being held in connection to the community read of “Blue”, the popular young adult novel set in Hickory during the polio outbreak. The book was written by local author Joyce Hostetter.

At 4 p.m. on Tuesday, April 10, the Newton library will host a book talk about “Blue”. Attendees are invited to create their own Tear bottle, just like Ann Fay's tear bottle from the novel. A similar event will be held at the Sherrills Ford-Terrell branch library on Wednesday, April 11, at 4 p.m.

36-year-old Robert Alan Couch of Cloninger Street in Conover was served with a felony warrant as a fugitive awaiting extradition to another state. Catawba Co. Sheriff’s Officers served the warrant yesterday (April 5) at the Catawba Co. Detention Facility where the suspect has been a prisoner since October of last year. He was jailed there for failure to appear on charges of second-degree trespass, attempting to obtain property by false pretense and uttering a forged instrument. He has also been charged twice as an habitual felon. In addition, Couch was surrendered on a surety by a bail bondsman on charges of unlawfully obtaining a credit card and obtaining property by false pretense.

The fugitive warrant is from the Sheriff’s Office in Scioto County, Ohio for a probation violation. Couch has a history in Ohio of possession of a firearm by a felon, assault by pointing a gun, assault with a deadly weapon, resisting a public officer and aggravated possession of drugs.

Couch is currently being held without bond. He was scheduled to appear in District Court on the fugitive warrant today in Newton.

Friday, 06 April 2018 10:34

Sherrill's Ford Man Faces Felony Drug Charge

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33-year-old Brandon Lee Pennell of Cove Creek Drive in Sherrills Ford has been arrested by Catawba Co. Sheriff’s Officers on charges of felony possession of a schedule II controlled substance and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. Pennell was confined yesterday (April 5) in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $15,000 secured bond. He will appear in District Court on April 9 in Newton.

26-year-old Jordan Lee Kennedy of 23rd Street N.W. in Hickory has been arrested by Hickory Police on two counts each of assault on a government official or employee and communicating threats, plus single counts of injury to personal property and resisting a public officer. Probation & Parole Officers also charged Kennedy with a parole violation. Kennedy was jailed yesterday (April 5) in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $11,000, secured. He’ll appear in District Court on May 2 in Newton.

Friday, 06 April 2018 09:29

Newton Teen Arrested for B&E and Larceny

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17-year-old Mark Anthony Verdugo of St. Pauls Church Road in Newton has been arrested by Newton Police on charges of breaking & entering, larceny after breaking & entering and injury to personal property. Verdugo was locked up yesterday (April 5) in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $40,000, secured. He was scheduled to appear in District Court today in Newton.

37-year-old Michael Dale McLean of Mountain View Boulevard in Morganton has been arrested by Long View Police on one felony count of possession of a stolen motor vehicle and misdemeanor counts of posslession of drug paraphernalia and driving while license revoked. McLean was jailed yesterday (April 5) in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $10,000, secured. A fist appearance in District Court was scheduled today in Newton.

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