News (1029)

24-year-old Heather Traywick Kelley was arrested Tuesday (August 23) by Burke County Sheriff's Officers. She's charged with felony counts of obtaining property by false pretense and felony forced breaking and entering. Kelley was jailed in Morganton under $13,000 secured bond. District Court dates are set for Thursday (August 25) and next Monday (August 29).

29-year-old Shari Christina Heavner was arrested Tuesday (August 23) by authorities in Burke County. She's charged with felony possession of schedule II controlled substance. Heavner was placed in jail in Morganton under $5,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Wednesday, August 24).

44-year-old Jerry Wayne Grant of Skyline Drive in Sherrills Ford was arrested Tuesday (August 23) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with trafficking in methamphetamine. Grant was placed in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $250,000 bond. He was scheduled to appear in court Tuesday.

Catawba County’s second and third confirmed cases of rabies in 2016 have been recorded after an altercation between dogs and a skunk at a residence southeast of Catawba and a dog and a raccoon at a residence northwest of Catawba.

Last Friday (August 19), Catawba County Animal Services received a call from a citizen saying a skunk was found in their dog enclosure in their back yard and began attacking the dogs inside of the enclosure. Someone at the residence shot and killed the skunk. The remains of the skunk were sent to the North Carolina Public Health Laboratory in Raleigh. Catawba County Animal Services was notified Tuesday (August 23) that the skunk tested positive for rabies.

The dogs were not current on their rabies vaccinations and were brought to the Catawba County Animal Shelter and placed in quarantine. Animal Services officials have advised the owners about the options available in such cases.

Last Saturday (August 20), Catawba County Animal Services received a call from a citizen saying a raccoon was found outside a residence acting strangely. The family dog escaped the residence and was attacked by the raccoon. Someone at the residence killed the raccoon. The remains of the raccoon were sent to the North Carolina Public Health Laboratory in Raleigh. Catawba County Animal Services was notified yesterday that the raccoon tested positive for rabies.

The dog was current on its rabies vaccination and was required to receive a rabies booster vaccine but remained at home.

Animal Services reminds pet owners that rabies is still present in the local wild animal population and is a threat to pets and humans, year-round. The best way to protect your pets from rabies is to have them properly vaccinated for rabies.

The Humane Society of Catawba County’s Newton Office provides one year rabies vaccinations to pet owners year round, Monday through Friday between 11:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., at the shelter at 201 Government Services Drive, Newton, NC 28658, off Radio Station Road for a fee of $7 per vaccination. For more information on rabies or rabies vaccinations, you may call Catawba County Animal Services at 828-464-7686.

38-year-old William Lee Spencer, Jr. of Bumgarner Road in Granite Falls was arrested by Probation & Parole Officers and Agents with the Caldwell County Sheriff’s I.C.E. Unit Monday (August 22) on felony counts of trafficking in opium, possession of cocaine and maintaining a vehicle, dwelling or place for a controlled substance.

Agents searched Spencer’s residence Monday and found 25 dosage units of Hydrocodone and 53 dosage units of Oxycodone pain pills. The pills are opium derivatives with a combined weight of more than 14 grams. Any amount over four grams constitutes trafficking. Agents also found and seized 10 grams of high-quality marijuana, a small amount of powder cocaine and $655 cash. The drugs seized have a value of over $1,100, according to North Carolina State Drug Guidelines.

Spencer was incarcerated in the Caldwell County Detention Center under a $250,000 secured bond. He was scheduled to make a first appearance in District Court Tuesday (August 23) in Lenoir.

Spencer is currently on probation for previous drug convictions based on investigations conducted by the I.C.E. Unit. More charges are expected.

37-year-old Michael Duane Stoddard of Doster Avenue and 50-year-old James Lawrence Manley of East Mills Avenue, both from Mooresville, were both arrested Monday (August 22) by Iredell County Sheriff's Officers. Stoddard is charged with felony counts of trafficking marijuana, conspiring to traffic marijuana and possession with intent to sell and deliver marijuana. Manley is charged one felony count of conspiring to traffic marijuana. The arrests were the result of a month-and-a-half long investigation into the distribution and sale of marijuana in Mooresville and southern Iredell County. The investigation was completed on Monday when members of the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Investigation Unit executed a search warrant at 339 East Mills Avenue in Mooresville.

The investigation started when narcotic investigators received information about large amounts of marijuana being delivered to a residence on East Mills Avenue. A surveillance operation was established and soon investigators were able to identify the residence. Several times a month packages were delivered to the residence. Based on this activity and other information, the investigators were able to interdict two packages destined for the home. After receiving a search warrant for the packages, investigators located approximately ten pounds of marijuana in the boxes and seized it.

A search warrant was issued for 339 East Mills Avenue. When packages were delivered to it on Monday by undercover investigators, a white male exited the home and accepted two packages, then took them into the residence. A short time later the warrant was executed and an additional six pounds of marijuana and numerous items of drug paraphernalia were located in the residence.

While searching the home, narcotics investigators noticed several high pressure acetylene tanks, propane tanks and machines used to make oxygen in and under the residence as well as unsafe wiring run under and through the home. The Mooresville Fire Department was called to the scene and the residence was deemed unsafe for habitation and the power meter was pulled to stop the threat of explosion. Access to the home was denied to any further person until the unsafe conditions could be fixed and meet safety codes again.

As a result of this investigation, 16.6 pounds of high grade marijuana with a street value of approximately $60,000, over $2,000 in cash and a 12 gauge shotgun were seized. Stoddard was taken to the Iredell County Detention Center and placed under $50,000 secured bond. Manley was placed under $25,000 secured bond. Both suspects were scheduled to appear in District Court today (Tuesday, August 23).

Planning workshops for the City of Hickory's Southside Brownfields Area-Wide Plan Project start today (Tuesday, August 23) and run through Thursday (August 25).

In 2015, the City of Hickory was awarded a $200,000 Brownfields Area-wide Planning Grant from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Only 20 communities throughout the United States were awarded this funding and Hickory was the only city in North Carolina to receive the award. Brownfields are vacant and under-utilized commercial and industrial properties whose re-use is hindered by real or perceived environmental contamination. The grant is being used for a planning study that will focus on the South Center/Highway 127 South and Highway 70 SW corridor areas.

The city's consultant team, AMEC Foster Wheeler, and Planning staff have begun to conduct a market and redevelopment study, which will focus on several properties including the former Joan Fabrics site, Midland Plaza, the former PET dairy plant, various vacant gas stations, and other idle commercial and industrial sites in the project area. The public is being invited to give feedback about preferred uses that will be shared with private developers interested to remediate and redevelop these properties for the greater good of the surrounding neighborhoods.

The City invites citizens to provide comments, suggestions, or concerns regarding the Green Park, Ridgeview, and West Hickory neighborhoods during workshop sessions held at the Ridgeview Recreation Center at 115 7th Avenue SW today through Thursday. The kick-off and input session was scheduled for 6 p.m. today. You can drop in at any time to share ideas between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. Wednesday. There will be a presentation on Thursday at 6 p.m. to review redevelopment alternatives. Please see the linked flyer for further details or contact Hickory’s Planning Department at (828) 323-7422.

29-year-old Justin Isaiah Raby of Springlake Mobile Home Park in Granite Falls was arrested Monday (August 22) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony larceny and failure to appear on a count of misdemeanor probation violation. Raby was jailed in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $20,000 secured bond. No court date is listed.

26-year-old Joshua Trent Seay was arrested Monday (August 22) by Burke County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony first-degree forced burglary. Seay was placed in jail in Morganton under $75,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for Wednesday (August 24).

This year’s iCare Tour will feature a look at non-profit organizations in Catawba County that serve the needs of citizens in the areas of education, food, housing, mental health, family enrichment and health.

This event will last from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, October 4. It is open to any county resident who is interested in learning more about these organizations and how they can get involved in helping others in the community. Breakfast and lunch will be provided. A suggested $5 donation will be accepted at the door of the event, but an advance reservation is required to reserve your seat.

Stops on this year’s iCare Tour will include Adult Life Programs, Hospice, Greater Hickory CCM, Sipe’s Orchard Home, Hickory Soup Kitchen, ReSource Warehouse & Gallery, and Camp Dogwood. At each stop, there will be speakers from other agencies, including Council on Adolescents, Hickory Museum of Art, Classroom Connections, Connections Clubhouse, and the Humane Society. Tour attendees will also leave with a guidebook that includes information on dozens of other non-profits in the community.

The tour will begin at Camp Dogwood in Sherrills Ford at 8:30 a.m. Buses will depart no later than 9 a.m. and return by 4 p.m.
To reserve your place on the iCare Tour, email tour coordinator Amanda Freeland at The iCare Tour is organized by Congregations and Community, Catawba County Social Services, and Housing Visions: A Continuum of Care.

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