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The Catawba County Chamber of Commerce announced today (Sunday, May 22) that Chamber President Danny Hearn will be retiring after a 43 year career in Chamber work which includes 12 years at the Catawba County Chamber. He will leave his position effective Friday, September 30th.


Darrell Johnson, CommunityOne Bank and Chair-Elect of the Chamber will head the Search Committee composed of the current Executive Committee and Sheree Watson, Graystone Eye and Past Chair of the Chamber. Chuck Ewart with The Ewart Group in Spartanburg, SC has been hired to conduct the search. Chuck was also President of the Catawba County Chamber from 1985 - 1995.

In making the announcement, Johnson said that "plans are to have the new Chamber President in place by the first of 2017. Lindsay Keisler, Sr. VP of the Chamber will act as Interim President for the fourth quarter of 2016."

Danny Hearn started his Chamber career as a senior at Lenoir Rhyne University in February of 1973 as a paid intern doing research at the Hickory Chamber. After graduation he was named Manager of Research and Community Development. Hearn's near 44 year Chamber career had stops in Hickory, NC; Norfolk, VA; Rockingham. NC; Statesville, NC and back to Catawba County in 2004.

The man who was pulled out of a burning home on Main Avenue Drive Northwest in Long View early last evening (Thursday, May 19) has passed away. According to published reports, 45-year-old Kevin Christenbury passed away this afternoon (Friday, May 20) at the hospital. According to reports, firefighters had to force open the front door to get to Christenbury. He was unconscious when firefighters found him. Rescue workers resuscitated Christenbury before transporting him to  the hospital for treatment. The fire is under investigation by fire officials in Long View and the Burke County Fire Marshal's Office.

60-year-old Michael Kevin Julian of Taylorsville has been arrested by Alexander County Sheriff’s Officers and charged with three counts of indecent liberties with a child under the age of 13. Detectives arrested Julian yesterday (May 19).

Julian was jailed under a $150,000 bond. He’ll make a first appearance in District Court on Monday (May 23).

Due to the sensitive nature of the case, no further information will be released.

28-year-old Brandon Keith Maynor of Betterbrook Lane, 20-year-old Jessica Brittany Lane of Rosehill Drive, 62-year-old Robert Deal Shuford of North Grove Street, 40-year-old Jon Christopher Shuford of Pruitt Houser Street and 30-year-old Leslie Katherine Shuford of North Grove Street, all from Lincolnton, have been arrested by Lincolnton Police on drug charges.

Maynor was charged with possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was also arrested less than a week later by Lincoln County Sheriff’s Officers for trafficking meth and maintaining a dwelling for controlled substance. Lane was charged with possession of meth. Robert Shuford, the owner of the residence on North Grove Street, was charged with maintaining a dwelling for a controlled substance. Jon Shuford faces charges for possession of schedule II & schedule III controlled substances, while Leslie Shuford was charged with possession of a schedule IV controlled substance.  

According to a press release issued yesterday, on Saturday, April 30, Lincolnton Police and Lincoln County Sheriff’s Officers executed a search warrant at the North Grove Street residence. The search was the result of a joint investigation conducted by narcotics units from both agencies into drug-related traffic at the residence. The two agencies combined resources in an effort to curb drug trafficking activity at the residence and in elsewhere in western Lincoln County. The joint investigation was the result of numerous citizens’ complaints.

The residence has been the location of previous drug arrests. Detectives believe it to be hub for drug trafficking and distribution in the area.

When the search warrant was executed, Officers found nine people at the residence. They also found various amounts of meth and several different types of prescription medication, as well as paraphernalia used in the packaging & distribution of controlled substances. All the items were seized as evidence.

The operation was coordinated by Lincoln County Sheriff’s Lt. Jon Propst and Lincolnton Police Lt. Jason Munday.

Maynor was scheduled to appear in court today (May 20) on an unrelated misdemeanor weapons charge, with an appearance on the drug charges set for July 12. Lane has no Lincoln County court dates listed; however, she does have an October 3 appearance scheduled in Gaston County on a felony meth charge. Robert Shuford will appear in Lincoln County District Court on June 7. Jon Shuford has a court date on June 17 and Leslie Shuford was due to appear in a Lincoln County courtroom today.

Friday, 20 May 2016 10:47

Drexel Man Faces Felony Marijuana Charge

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30-year-old John Christopher Watts of Reece Road in Drexel was arrested by Hickory Police at about 5:40 yesterday (May 19) on one felony count of possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver a schedule VI controlled substance and one misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

He was arrested after Police were called to reports of a suspicious person looking into vehicles in the parking lot at the Hardee’s restaurant on Highway 321 N.W. in Hickory. Officers arrived and found the man, who was identified as John Watts. Police say Watts behaved nervously. As they conducted a safety check for weapons, Officers found a total of 48.4 grams of marijuana and a digital scale on Watts’ person.

He was taken into custody without incident and placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $15,000 secured bond. An appearance in District Court was set for today in Newton.

37-year-old Forrest Morgan Street was arrested Thursday (May 19) by authorities in Burke County. He's charged with felony possession of schedule II controlled substance. Street was jailed in Morganton under $25,000 secured bond. A court appearance is scheduled for June 27.

21-year-old Kassy Logan Hollar of Shamrock Circle in Hudson was arrested Thursday (May 19) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. She's charged with felony larceny. Hollar was confined in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $15,000 secured bond. No court date was listed.

30-year-old Melissa Faye Dillingham of Johnson Bridge Road in Connelly Springs was arrested Thursday (May 19) by Granite Falls Police Officers. She's charged with possession of methamphetamine. Dillingham was locked up in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $10,000 secured bond. No court date was listed.

45-year-old Michael Wilson Lesswing of Shady Bark Trail in Catawba, South Carolina, was arrested Wednesday (May 18) by Lincolnton Police Officers. He's charged with solicit a child by computer for sexual activity.

On Wednesday, detectives with the Lincolnton Police Department traveled to York County Jail in York, South Carolina to pick up Lesswing. He had been arrested by York County Sheriff’s Office on a fugitive warrant from a charge taken out by Lincolnton Police Department. After being arrested on the fugitive warrant Lesswing waived an extradition hearing. The warrant taken out by Lincolnton Police Department was for Soliciting a Child by a Computer for Sexual Activity. The warrant was the result of an undercover detective acting as a child exchanging messages via social media with Lesswing.  The messages included arrangements for Lesswing to meet the child for sexual activity.  

At the time of his arrest, Lesswing was out on bond from similar charges in a case investigated earlier this year by Lincolnton Police. Lesswing was arrested on those charges stemming from an investigation conducted in February and March, 2016, in which Lesswing communicated with an undercover detective acting as a child on social media. In this case as well, Lesswing made arrangements to meet the child on March 1 for sexual activity. In this case, Lesswing actually showed up and was arrested. He was charged with Soliciting a Child by a Computer for Sexual Activity and Appearing. Lesswing spent 19 days in Lincoln County Jail on that charge before making bond on March 20. This initial charge is still pending in Lincoln County Superior Court.
 
Detectives, after making contact a second time with Lesswing via social media, counseled the case with the Lincoln County District Attorney’s office. At this time, a warrant was issued and detectives entered Lesswing into the N.C.I.C. national database as wanted.  Detectives then contacted York County Sheriff’s Office and informed them of the charge.  York County Sheriff’s Office then arrested Lesswing.  

Lesswing was placed in the Lincoln County Jail under $275,000 secured bond. He appeared in District Court Thursday (May 19).

Friday, 20 May 2016 05:55

Granite Falls Man Arrested On Meth Charge

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53-year-old Darrell Lee Compton of Forest Hill Court in Granite Falls was arrested Thursday (May 19) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with possession of methamphetamine. Compton was jailed in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $25,000 secured bond. No court date is listed.