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Friday, 22 January 2016 06:35

Multiple Felony Probation Violation Charges Filed

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34-year-old Angel Deann Moretz of 33rd Avenue NE in Hickory was arrested Thursday (January 21) by Catawba County Sheriff’s Officers. She’s charged with felony probation violation and felony probation violation out of county. Moretz was locked up in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $25,000 bond. A Superior Court date is set for March 23.

The first winter storm of the season has arrived and snow is falling in the Greater Hickory Metro. The snow is expected to continue throughout the day. School systems across the area are closed, along with the colleges and universities in the region and Catawba County Government and parks are not operating today. For the latest list of weather-related announcements go to our website, whky.com.

The forecast is calling for the possibility of a foot of snow in parts of the region. The precipitation is expected to fall as snow until the early afternoon, then switch to a wintry mix, and then change back to snow during the evening hours. Most weather services are calling for in the neighborhood of 8-12 inches of snow today, with the possibility of 1-3 more inches tonight.

Governor Pat McCrory declared a state of emergency in North Carolina Thursday. The State Highway Patrol is urging drivers to stay off the roads if at all possible, they are already treacherous. Highway Patrol also says if you get stuck and you have to abandon your vehicle, and it has to be towed, you can locate it online. Go to www.ncdps.gov then navigate to the "about" tab, it'll bring up Highway Patrol, click that, then you'll see the stored or towed vehicle tab. You can get travel advisories at the Department of Transportation’s Website, www.ncdot.gov.

Weather related closings for Friday, January 22

Catawba County Government Offices and Parks closed today
City of Newton Offices closed
Caldwell County Offices closed

School Systems Closed

Catawba County
Hickory City
Alexander County
Burke County
Caldwell County
(Newton-Conover City Schools had an annual leave day scheduled)
Hickory Christian Academy
Lenoir Christian Academy
Morganton Day School
Heritage Christian School in Hudson

Colleges

Catawba Valley Community College, classes cancelled and officers closed, decision for Saturday to be made mid-day today
Lenoir-Rhyne University, classes cancelled and University closed for non-essential personnel
Caldwell Community College, Hudson and Watauga campuses closed
Appalachian State University

Businesses

Kellex Seating in Valdese is closed, they’ll re-open Monday at the normal time
HK Research in Hickory closed
Hickory Chair closed

Churches

Christ Alive Church in Newton, all Friday night and Saturday events postponed

Friday, 22 January 2016 05:05

Occupant Seriously Injured In House Fire

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A house fire Thursday (January 21) in Hickory resulted in serious injuries to an occupant.

Shortly before 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Hickory firefighters were dispatched to a reported fire located in the 1400 block of 2nd Street Drive SW. Firefighters responded with two engines, one ladder, one rescue truck, and two command units.  

Upon arrival, firefighters found heavy amount of smoke and fire coming from the house and reports that someone was still inside the burning residence. While one crew worked to locate the victim, additional firefighters worked to control the fire. Firefighters were able to pull the victim from the burning building and then started CPR. The person was transported by EMS to a local hospital with life threatening injuries.  

The fire was under control before 6 p.m. but crews remained on the scene to investigate. Hickory Rescue Squad, Catawba County EMS, and Catawba County Sherriff’s Office also responded to assist with the incident.

The cause of the fire is being investigated by Catawba County Fire Marshal’s Office.

Thursday, 21 January 2016 14:50

Local School Systems Announce Friday Closings

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Due to winter weather, Catawba County Schools, Hickory Public Schools, Alexander County Schools, Burke County Schools and Caldwell County Schools will be closed tomorrow (Friday, January 22) for all students and staff.  Appalachian State University has also announced that Friday classes are canceled.

Additional closings will be posted here (whky.com) as they are announced.

48-year-old Richard Eugene Graham of Pecan Grove Circle in Gastonia was arrested by Lincoln Co. Sheriff’s Officers Sunday (January 17) and charged with two felony counts each for the sale or delivery of a schedule II controlled substance and possession with intent to manufacture, sell & deliver a schedule II controlled substance. He was also served with two outstanding failure to appear warrants.

Warrants for his arrest were issued after the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Narcotics Unit conducted a three-month-long investigation in 2015. Detectives say Richard Graham sold various amounts of methamphetamine to Undercover Officers.

Detectives looked for Graham for several weeks, but were unable to find him at various locations in Gaston and Lincoln Counties. Graham’s name was entered into the National Crime Information Center’s database as a wanted person. He was arrested after he was involved in a motor vehicle accident in Lincolnton. During the accident investigation, Lincolnton Police ran Graham’s license and found the outstanding warrants for his arrest.

Graham was held without bond on the failure to appear charges and bond was set at $25,000, secured, on the drug charges. His next appearance in Lincoln County District Court was set for January 25.

31-year-old Joshua Adam Church of Calvary Church Road in Lincolnton was arrested Wednesday (January 20) by Lincoln County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony Statutory First Degree Rape in connection with incidents that date back to the year 2000.

Deputies received a report from the victim of sexual assaults that occurred during the years of 2000-2005. The suspect, who is a family acquaintance, confessed to the incidents. The victim is a female who is now 23 years of age.

Church was taken before a Lincoln County magistrate then placed in the Harven A. Crouse Detention Center under a $15,000 secured bond. Church had a first appearance in Lincoln County District Court today (Thursday, January 21).

A Lenoir man will serve four to six years in prison after pleading guilty to a sex offender premise violation and his habitual felon status during Caldwell County Superior Court last week.

43-year-old Richard Alexander Hood III was given his active sentence by the Honorable Michael D. Duncan, Superior Court Judge from Wilkes County, following his guilty plea on Wednesday, January 13.

Satellite tracking of Hood, who registered as a sex offender following his August 1998 conviction for indecent liberties with a child, revealed that he had been on the property of Gamewell Middle School on several occasions and West Caldwell High School.

Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office Det. Lt. Aaron Barlowe met Probation Officer Wesley Crowe at Gamewell Middle School on Aug. 20, 2015, and conducted a traffic stop of a vehicle driven by Hood. When confronted, he admitted that he was on the property to drop off his girlfriend’s son for football practice. When asked if he had been given permission to be on school property from the principal, Hood said he had not and admitted he had not spoken with anyone about dropping off the juvenile.

Neither the football coach at Gamewell Middle School nor the principal had given Hood permission to be on school property, and they were not familiar with him. Hood also had a conviction for a similar offense in Catawba County in July 2013, along with additional felony convictions in August 2004, January 2000 and August 1995 in Caldwell.

The defendant’s sex offender registration and offender acknowledgement form indicates that he is not to be on school property or within 300 feet of school property. He also was advised of the procedures to drop a child off at school following his premise violation in Catawba County. It indicates that the offender must have supervision while on the property with permission to be there granted by the principal.

Barlowe led the investigation for the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office. Nancy Lee prosecuted the case for the District Attorney’s Office.

Governor Pat McCrory is urging North Carolinians to prepare for winter weather and monitor local forecasts as the state’s first significant winter storm of the season moves in later today. McCrory will activate the State Emergency Response Team today and has declared a State of Emergency to prepare for expected snow and ice accumulations over the next 36 to 48 hours.

Governor McCrory held a news conference this morning, he said “Given the snow and ice accumulations that are predicted, combined with gusty winds and already saturated grounds, this storm has serious potential. Ice accumulations of one quarter inch or more can weaken tree limbs and lead to downed power lines. Needless to say, we’re watching this storm very carefully.”

Wednesday’s cold front brought two to four inches of snow to the mountains, while portions of central North Carolina saw a trace of snow. The storm system moving into the state later today is expected to bring another eight to 18 inches of snow across much of the mountains; four to eight inches of snow plus one quarter inch of ice across the Triad; one to four inches of snow plus one quarter to one half inch of ice across the Triangle; and two to four inches of snow with an additional one quarter to four-tenths inch of ice in the Charlotte region. Eastern and coastal counties are expected to get mostly rain with perhaps a mix of freezing rain.

The wintry conditions caused two weather-related fatalities late Wednesday. A Forsyth County woman died after she lost control of her car on a sleet and snow-covered road and struck another vehicle head on. In Stokes County, a woman died after she lost control of her car on a snow-covered road and ended up in a creek.  

“As we’ve already seen, these conditions can be treacherous,” said Department of Public Safety Secretary Frank L. Perry. “If you can stay off the roads when the frozen precipitation begins, please do. If you must be out, we can’t overemphasize the importance of following safe driving tips.”

Governor McCrory said state agencies began preparing for the storm Tuesday. North Carolina Emergency Management has been working with counties to assess and mobilize resources and state transportation crews have been treating roadways. Already, NCDOT crews have spread more than 1.1 million gallons of brine, a salt and water solution which prevents ice from bonding to the roadways.

Other state preparations include:

All state highway patrol troopers activated or on standby

15 teams of National Guard soldiers in Humvees are positioned across western and central North Carolina to assist stranded motorists

Chain saw crews are on standby to quickly clear blocked roadways

NCDOT has staged extra equipment and personnel near typical travel trouble spots along I-77 in Surry County; I-40 in McDowell County and I-26 in Polk and Henderson counties.

Late Wednesday, the governor signed a State of Emergency declaration and issued executive orders waiving certain vehicle weight and service hour requirements. Executed under the Emergency Management Act, the State of Emergency declaration enables the governor to mobilize the necessary resources to respond to a storm. It also is the first step in seeking federal funds to help defray the cost of providing emergency services, clearing debris and repairing any damaged public infrastructure. The executive order waives restrictions on weight and the hours of service for fuel, utility and other truck drivers that may be working to deliver supplies, restore services or clear debris in response to the winter storm. Both orders are in effect for 30 days but could be canceled earlier if conditions warrant.

“Our state agencies are ready for this winter storm,” said North Carolina Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry. “We need North Carolinians to partner with us in storm preparation by getting their emergency supply kits together, fueling their vehicles and gathering needed heating supplies.”

More information about storm response and recovery efforts can be found on ReadyNC.org (link is external) or by following NC Emergency on Facebook (link is external) and Twitter (link is external). Real-time information about weather and road conditions and other emergency preparedness actions can be found via the free ReadyNC mobile app.

Thursday, 21 January 2016 10:09

Claremont Man Faces Felony Drug Charges in Hickory

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36-year-old Adam Marshall Stone of Summer Paradise Lane in Claremont was arrested by Hickory Police just before 9:30 Saturday morning (January 16) on one felony count of possession of heroin and one misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

He was arrested in connection to an incident in August of last year when Officers on patrol in the area of 3rd Avenue S.E. and 1st Street S.E. saw a group of people on the sidewalk. They spoke to one man who appeared to be behaving nervously. They searched the man, Adam Stone, and found a case containing a used syringe, along with two pieces of tin foil. In one piece of foil was a heroin rock weighing 0.3 grams.

Stone was taken into custody without incident Saturday at his residence. He was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a total bond of $35,000, secured. Stone was scheduled to appear in Superior Court Tuesday (January 19) in Newton. Another Superior Court date is coming up on March 3 for a felony probation violation and felony possession of cocaine.