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The driver who died following an accident at a Hickory apartment complex yesterday (March 11) has been identified as 46-year-old James Wesley Andes of Hickory.

The accident occurred at approximately 12:30 p.m. when a GMC Sierra truck ran off the roadway and hit two trailers before running up a hill and coming to a stop. The incident occurred at the Hickory Trace Village apartments on 5th Street N.E. in Hickory.

A Hickory Police spokesperson said emergency personnel responded to a possible cardiac event in connection to the accident. Mr. Andes received C.P.R. at the scene and was transported to Frye Regional Medical Center where he passed away a short time later. Mr. Andes died as the result of the medical event that caused the accident and not as the result of the accident itself.

Hickory Police, the Hickory Fire Department and E.M.S. personnel all responded to the scene.

The McDowell 911 communications center will lead the county in a moment of silence at 2:38 p.m. today in remembrance of fallen U.S. Forest Service Officer Jason Crisp and K-9 Maros.

Crisp and Maros died in the line of duty a year ago today during a manhunt for a double murder suspect in Burke County. Crisp was a former McDowell County sheriff's deputy and was still a reserve for the office when he was killed. He and Maros aided law enforcement and emergency workers in McDowell on numerous cases over the years.

McDowell County Sheriff Dudley Greene said in a news release from the Sheriff’s Office "We encourage law enforcement and emergency services personnel, as well as the public, to observe a moment of silence or prayer for Jason during this time."

31-year-old Ryan William Martin of Wood Hollow Road in Taylorsville was arrested by Long View Police Officers. He’s charged with common law robbery, possession of stolen goods, and felony conspiracy. Following the arrest, Martin was detained in the Catawba County Detention Facility this morning (Thursday, March 12) under $45,000 bond. A court appearance is scheduled for Friday (March 13).

Governor Pat McCrory announced appointments to boards and commissions Wednesday (March 11). Among yesterday’s appointments, Denise Michaud, the Caldwell County Health Director, was named to the North Carolina State Health Coordinating Council. The council’s role is to develop a draft state medical facilities plan that is recommended annually to the Governor. The council holds hearings on the draft plan and responds to public comments received. The term length is three years at the pleasure of the Governor.

A Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office narcotics surveillance operation leads to the arrests of three people in two separate incidents. Investigations were setup near a business north of High Shoals Tuesday night (March 10) when they observed a suspicious green Ford Explorer displaying conduct consistent with drug related activity. When officers attempted a traffic stop with lights and sirens on their unmarked vehicle, they observed something thrown from the suspect vehicle. The pursuit continued until the vehicle was stopped near the intersection of Salem Church Road and Philadelphia Church Road.

A passenger in the vehicle jumped and ran from the scene but was apprehended following a brief foot chase. Investigators recovered the item thrown from the car which turned out to be approximately 30 grams of crack cocaine. Narcotics investigators arrested 35-year-old James Frank McKinstry of Doffin Lane in Gastonia. He’s charged with one count of felony Trafficking Cocaine and one misdemeanor charge of Resist, Delay and Obstruct a Public Officer. He was jailed under a $60,000 secured bond.

The driver of the vehicle, 34-year-old Crystal Hunter Knight of North Weldon Street in Gastonia, was charged with one felony count each of Trafficking Cocaine and Maintaining a Vehicle for a Controlled Substance. She was also charged with Failure to Stop for a Siren and a Safe Movement Violation. Knight was jailed under a $50,000 secured bond.

While continuing drug interdiction on several roadways south of Lincolnton shortly after midnight on Wednesday narcotics investigators observed a red Ford Mustang displaying indicators of drug activity. Officers observed the vehicle violate several traffic laws and attempted to stop the car. A brief vehicle chase ensued and the car was stopped near the High Shoals City Hall. During the chase drugs were thrown out of the vehicle and a following narcotics officer located 84 grams of crack cocaine that had been thrown from the vehicle.

27-year-old Justin Dontavias Coleman of Linville Court in Bessemer City was charged with one felony count each of Trafficking Cocaine, Maintaining a Vehicle for a Controlled Substance, and Speeding to Elude Arrests. He was also charged with one misdemeanor count each of Left of Center, Speeding, Failure to Stop for a Siren and Careless and Reckless Driving. He was processed into the Lincoln County Detention Center then released on a $100,000 secured bond.

The street value of the crack cocaine seized, depending on how it is packaged, was placed at between $4,000 and $10,000. Narcotics Lt. Jason Reid said, “We are unsure whether charges will be pursued on the state or federal level but either way we are confident our District Attorney’s Office will move forward with maximum punishment. Our narcotics investigators continue to be relentless in pursuit of drug traffickers.” Reid went on to say, “We encourage the community to continue to call the Tip Line at 704-736-8422”. 75 percent of our drug arrests are initiated from information received on the tip line.”

A break-in and safecracking at a Salvation Army store is under investigation. According to a news release from the Granite Falls Police Department, on Wednesday (March 11) at approximately 9:00 a.m., a breaking, entering, larceny, and safe cracking was reported at The Salvation Army Granite Falls Family Store located at 4370 Hickory Blvd. in Granite Falls. An employee opening the business for daily operation noticed the business to be ransacked, items stolen, and the security safe forced opened. At this point employees of the business called the Granite Falls Police Department. Officers located forced entry to a side entrance door of the business. An undisclosed amount of cash was stolen from the security safe. Approximately two hundred dollars of additional property was stolen and approximately three hundred dollars of damage occurred during this incident.

Granite Falls Police detectives processed the scene and collected items of evidence. G.F.P.D. detectives have been working throughout the day collecting video surveillance and possible witness statements in the area. Please contact Detective Joey Morrison at (828) 396-3358 or Caldwell County CrimeStoppers (828) 758-8300 with any information related to this investigation. Individuals may remain anonymous.  

35-year-old Timothy Scott Eller was charged Wednesday (March 11) by Granite Falls Police Officers with filing a false report to law enforcement. The charge is in connection with an alleged armed robbery. Eller initially filed a report of an armed robbery at the Wal-Mart in Granite Falls last Thursday (March 05). In the initial reported information, Eller alleged that he had been robbed at knifepoint inside his vehicle as he traveled through the parking lot of the Wal-Mart in Granite Falls. Within minutes of officers arriving at Wal-Mart, false statements and rumors begin to post to social media sites about the alleged robbery.

After interviewing witnesses and reviewing video surveillance systems, investigators could not corroborate the statements given by Eller in regards to the alleged robbery. During subsequent interviews between Granite Falls Police detectives and Eller, Eller admitted to making false statements about being robbed. As a result of the investigation by G.F.P.D. detectives, it has been determined that no ongoing threat to the community exist in relation to this incident and no armed robbery occurred as originally reported. Eller is scheduled to appear in District Court May 5.

The Lenoir Police Department is seeking information on a robbery last week at a convenience store. Last Saturday (March 7) at 1:43 a.m., a suspect entered the Holiday to Go #2 convenience store, which is located at 718 SW Morganton Blvd. in Lenoir. The suspect, who was described as young black male wearing a dark blue hooded sweatshirt, went behind the counter and told the clerk “give me all your money.” When the clerk refused to give the suspect any money, he left the store on foot. The suspect did not produce, nor did the clerk see, any type of weapon during the incident.

The suspect is pictured in the photo that accompanies this story. The Lenoir Police Department is asking anyone with information relating to this, or any other crime, to contact Crime Stoppers at 828/758-8300 or the Lenoir Police Department at 828/757-2100.

Governor Pat McCrory, U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade Stefan M. Selig and Walmart Vice President of U.S. Manufacturing Cindy Marsiglio joined Michael D. Penner, President of PEDS Legwear, for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the opening of PEDS’ new $16 million facility today (Wednesday, March 11) in Hildebran. PEDS is the maker of brands such as Peds, Medi-Peds, and Growing Socks.


Governor McCrory and former North Carolina Commerce Secretary Sharon Decker announced in June that PEDS (formerly Richelieu Legwear International Inc.), was expanding its presence in Burke County through an investment of $16 million in a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility.


PEDS invested $7 million to rescue International Legwear Group (ILG), a failing sock company based in Burke County, N.C.—an area particularly hard hit by the recession and offshoring. Within 10 days of ILG’s announcing its liquidation, PEDS re-hired workers who had been laid off and saved the company’s ongoing accounts. A news release from the Governor’s office says the company expects to hire a total of 205 workers by 2018.

Wednesday, 11 March 2015 14:42

Motorist Hits Conover Bojangles

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A motorist ran into the Bojangles restaurant on Conover Boulevard in Conover yesterday (March 10) at about 6 p.m. The driver, Denice Cannon of Valdese, was unhurt, and no one in the restaurant was injured.

Cannon was traveling east on Conover Boulevard when she attempted to apply the brakes. She told Police the brakes failed and said she swerved into the restaurant parking lot to avoid a collision with another vehicle. The left front area of her 1995 Plymouth hit the side of the restaurant.

Conover Police Officer Steve Brewer said Cannon was charged with failure to reduce speed to avoid a collision.