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News (735)

23-year-old Lauren Anne Vassil of East Herman Street in Newton was arrested by Hickory Police early yesterday morning (September 9) on one felony count each of possession of a schedule IV controlled substance and speeding to elude arrest with aggravating factors. She was also charged with misdemeanor counts of possession of a schedule VI controlled substance, D.W.I. and driving while license revoked.

Events leading to her arrest began at about 12:30 a.m. yesterday as Officers were performing a property check at the Day’s Inn on Fairgrove Church Road. Police saw a 2002 Honda Accord entering the hotel parking lot through an exit and then exiting again, gaining speed as it traveled from Fairgrove Church Road to Highway 70 S.E.

Police activated their blue lights and siren, but the vehicle didn’t stop. A chase continued into Conover city limits, where Conover Police joined in the pursuit. The driver, Lauren Vassil, lost control and left the roadway on Heart Drive, just off of Conover Boulevard. A female passenger, who was not charged, got out of the vehicle. Vassil tried unsuccessfully to move the vehicle before she exited and was taken into custody.

One Percocet pill and two unknown pills were found on her person and 1.4 grams of marijuana, three Percocet pills and one unknown pill were found in the vehicle. A search warrant was executed, allowing Vassil’s blood to be tested.

She was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $11,000, secured. A first appearance in District Court was set for September 12 in Hickory.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014 11:19

Hickory Man Held without Bond on Assault Charge

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27-year-old Daniel Lee Offenbacker of 11th Avenue Circle N.W. in Hickory was arrested at about 6:15 p.m. yesterday (September 9) on charges of felony assault inflicting serious injury including strangulation, simple possession of a schedule III controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

He was arrested when Police responded to an assault on the 500 block of 11th Avenue Circle N.W. The victim said she had been assaulted by her boyfriend, who also took her van. The victim told Police her assailant, Daniel Offenbacker, texted her that he was taking the van to Quick Cash Pawn on Highway 70 S.W. and told her to come and get it. The victim was taken to Frye Regional Medical Center for treatment of her injuries, which were not said to be life-threatening.

Police went to Quick Cash Pawn where they saw Offenbacker approaching in the van. They stopped the vehicle at Highway 70 S.W. and 31st Street S.W. A search of Offenbacker’s person turned up a 1-mg. dose of clonazepam and a broken Bic pen with residue on it.

Offenbacker was taken into custody without incident and placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility where he is being held without bond. A first appearance in District Court was set for today in Hickory.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014 11:11

Georgia Man Indicted on Meth Charges in Catawba County

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46-year-old Dennis Lamar Doughty, Jr. of Canton, Georgia was arrested by Hickory Police at 12:25 yesterday afternoon (September 9) on true bills of indictment for two felony counts of trafficking in methamphetamine and one felony count of conspiring to traffick in meth.

His arrest comes in connection to a 2008 case with warrants for his arrest issued in June of this year. Doughty had been incarcerated in the Montgomery State Prison in Georgia. He was picked up at the prison by Hickory Police and brought back to Catawba County.

Doughty has been jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $150,000 secured bond. He will appear in Superior Court on September 12 in Newton.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014 07:11

Lenoir Man Gets Up to 44 Months for Fatal DWI Crash

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58-year-old Jack Byron White of Lenoir was convicted yesterday (September 9) in Caldwell County Criminal Superior Court of felony death by motor vehicle and driving while impaired. White was sentenced to no less than 26 months and no more than 44 months in the North Carolina Division of Adult Correction.

The crime occurred in November 2012 in Lenoir. White was driving a vehicle on Highway 321 North in Caldwell County when he lost control of his vehicle, crossed the median and struck a vehicle traveling south on Highway 321. 92-year-old Howard Lee Roper of Lenoir, who was a passenger in the vehicle that was hit, was taken to Caldwell Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead as the result of injuries sustained in the crash. A retrograde extrapolation of the blood obtained from the defendant was conducted by the North Carolina Department of Health & Human Services. At the time of the crash, White’s blood alcohol level was .08.

Lenoir Police Officer Chris Bumgarner conducted the investigation and Assistant District Attorney David Swanson prosecuted the case. The Honorable Robert T. Sumner presided over the conviction.

White will be transported to the Division of Adult Correction for processing.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014 07:05

Missing Alexander County Woman Found Safe

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At the request of the Alexander Co. Sheriff’s Office, the N.C. Center for Missing Persons has cancelled the Silver Alert for 44-year-old Teresa Ann Smith. According to the Sheriff’s Office, Ms. Smith is safe. No further details are available at this time.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014 07:00

Hickory to Dedicate New Sculpture Today

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The latest addition to the City of Hickory’s public art collection will be dedicated today (Wednesday, September 10) at 5:30 p.m.

It will be Hickory’s 20th piece of public art (not including the public art benches). The sculpture, called “Lodola,” comes from artist & sculptor Joel Urruty, who lives in Hickory. Urruty won a merit award in 2013 from the Caldwell Arts Council for “Lodola.”

The community is invited and encouraged to attend the dedication. The event will be held at the Sally M. Fox Park (the old Carolina Park) on Highway 127, across from Fire Station #1.

Public Art Commission members are appointed by the Hickory City Council. The commission provides a forum for integrating public art into the public space, to help create a visual sense of the community and to provide leadership in implementing a public art program for the city.

Tuesday, 09 September 2014 15:32

Lenoir Woman Faces Felony Meth Charge

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45-year-old Lisa Dawn Wentworth of Old Trenton Place in Lenoir was arrested by Caldwell Co. Sheriff’s Officers yesterday (September 8) on a charge of felony possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver methamphetamine. She was taken to the Caldwell Co. Detention Center with bond set at $100,000, secured. Wentworth was scheduled to make a first appearance in District Court today in Lenoir.

Tuesday, 09 September 2014 15:27

Vale Woman Charged with Felony Habitual Shoplifting

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40-year-old Marya Hudson Kirby of Rhoney Farm Road in Vale was arrested by Hickory Police just before 4:30 yesterday afternoon (September 8) on one felony count of habitual shoplifting.

She was arrested after Police were called to the Wal-Mart store on Highway 70 S.E. in Hickory. Loss Prevention Officers there allegedly saw Kirby leave the store with merchandise she had not paid for. She was taken back inside until Police arrived.

Officers learned that Kirby had previously been banned from the store. She was previously convicted of shoplifting in April 2003, June 2005, September 2009 and May 2011. The items taken yesterday include a knit top, Axe body spray, sunglasses, a USB cable, lens cleaner, a birthday decoration, a mirror, hair clips, two sunglasses cases and a Bic lighter case, all with a total value of $121.

Kirby was taken into custody without incident and placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $4,000 secured bond. She will appear in District Court tomorrow in Newton.

Tuesday, 09 September 2014 14:40

Three Arrested on Felony Trafficking Charges

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26-year-old Ashley Nicole Hunt, 25-year-old Armod Rashad Hunt and 47-year-old Barbara Jean Teague have all been arrested by Lincolnton Police on drug charges. They face multiple felony charges that include trafficking in opiates by possession, conspiring to traffick in opiates by possession, possession with intent to sell or deliver hydrocodone, obtaining a controlled substance by fraud or forgery and conspiring to obtain a controlled substance by fraud or forgery.

Events leading to their arrests began on Friday, August 8, when a report was filed with the Lincolnton Police Department in reference to several suspects making, forging and passing fraudulent prescriptions for themselves and then having them filled. The case was assigned to Lincolnton Police Det. Dennis Harris for investigation. The Hunts and Teague were all identified as suspects.

Det. Harris obtained several felony warrants for the three suspects. They were picked up last week in Maggie Valley and placed temporarily in the Haywood County Detention Center before being transported to Lincoln County.

Ashley Hunt was given a $250,000 secured bond, while Armod Hunt’s bond was set at $100,000, secured. Teague was held under a $30,000 secured bond. The three were scheduled to appear in a Lincoln County courtroom on September 25.

Area doctors’ offices and pharmacies have assisted and cooperated in the investigation, which involved locations in Lincoln, Gaston and Catawba counties. The United States Drug Enforcement Administration has also assisted in the investigation.  

The investigation is ongoing with additional arrests expected.

The Catawba County Board of Commissioners yesterday (September 8) unanimously approved the Highway 150 Corridor Plan following a presentation by County Planning Director Jacky Eubanks and a brief public hearing. The plan is designed to give the county an opportunity to identify growth areas along the corridor and improve job opportunities in southeastern Catawba County.

The Commissioners also approved the Work First County Plan, the Proposed Schedule of Values presented by Tax Administrator Mark Logan and a Report & Settlement of 2013 Taxes presented by Tax Collector Lori Mathes.

In addition, the Board unanimously approved a three-item consent agenda.