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25-year-old Ashley Nichole Whitener was arrested Wednesday (March 25) by Burke County Sheriff’s Officers. She’s charged with felony counts of breaking and entering to an automobile and larceny from an automobile. Following the arrest, Whitener was placed in jail under $10,000 secured bond. A court appearance is scheduled for Friday (March 27).

Thursday, 26 March 2015 07:17

Cultural Resources Secretary Visits Morganton

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N.C. Department of Cultural Resources Secretary Susan Kluttz visited Morganton Wednesday continuing her and Governor Pat McCrory’s push to restore the state’s historic preservation tax credits program. Kluttz is asking North Carolinians to sign a petition supporting the program and to call their state senators and representatives as well and voice their support.

Kluttz discussed the renovation of the old Premier Hosiery Mill into the Morganton Trading Company, which was completed in 2007; the restoration of 100-108 N. Sterling St. that originally housed Spake’s Drug Store and is now Benjamin’s, completed in 2011; and the current redevelopment of the old Drexel Plant #7, a.k.a. Alpine Mill.

Morganton Mayor Mel Cohen said that historic tax credits program has provided needed incentives for several projects in Morganton, and he said local leaders need to work to get the program restored.

Kluttz, Cohen, and other local leaders toured the Morganton Trading Company and the Alpine Mill before heading to the Broughton Hospital campus. The Alpine Mill project is the last in Morganton to take advantage of the historic tax credits, and without the tax credits, the old plant would most likely still be sitting dormant, succumbing to the elements.

Before the program expired at the end of December, the state’s Historic Preservation Tax Credits program provided an incentive to developers in the form of a 20% state income tax credit for the qualifying rehabilitation of income-producing historic properties. The credit could save developers a lot of money on their taxes and add extra motivation to restore and reuse historic properties that may be a blight in the community. When combined with a similar federal credit, developers could receive a 40% credit against eligible project costs.

Ten projects have been completed in Morganton using the tax credits for a total of $17.8 million dollars of private investment in the community. But, the historic tax credits program is about more than money, Kulttz said, it’s about the history of North Carolina.

Kluttz said that it is important to remember that this program is not a grant program and it doesn’t require any money to be put up front by the state or local governments. Investors have to complete qualified projects according to the program rules and after they file taxes they can receive the credits.

Historic Preservation Tax Credits are only earned after a project is completed. There is no upfront payment to a developer; 100% of the risk is born by the developer.

During his recent State of the State Address, Governor McCrory expressed his support for restoring the state’s historic tax credits program.

Historic tax credits have been used in 90 out of North Carolina’s 100 counties, both in rural and urban areas. To sign the petition supporting the renewal of the historic tax credits program, visit www.historictaxcredits.org.

Thursday, 26 March 2015 06:49

Lenoir Man Charged With Multiple Drug Offenses

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27-year-old Travis Xavier Thomas of NW Conley Place in Lenoir was arrested by Lenoir Police Officers. He’s charged with felony possession of cocaine, misdemeanor simple possession of schedule IV controlled substance, resist, delay, and obstruction of an officer, reckless driving to endanger, and felony speeding to elude arrest. Following the arrest, Thomas was detained in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $75,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for today (Thursday, March 26).

46-year-old Revonda Perkins Richie of Countryside Drive and 24-year-old Joshua David Cowick of Abington Road, both from Lenoir, were arrested last Friday (March 20) by Lenoir Police Officers. Richie is charged with felony counts of possession with intent to manufacture, sell, or deliver marijuana, maintaining a dwelling for a controlled substance, and a misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia. Cowick is charged with two misdemeanor counts of failure to appear in court.

Due to complaints from the community, Officers from the Lenoir Police Department’s Narcotics Unit conducted a search of a residence located at 208 Countryside Drive Lenoir. During the search $1340 in US currency, 156.4 grams of high-grade Marijuana, and numerous items of drug paraphernalia were found and seized. The marijuana, as set forth by North Carolina guidelines, had a value of $1251.20.

Richie is the owner of the residence. Cowick was also found inside the residence. Richie was charged with the drug offenses, Cowick had two outstanding warrants for Misdemeanor Failure to Appear. The first Failure to Appear was for Non Support, the second Failure to Appear was for Fictitious Tag, No Registration, Expired Registration, No Insurance, and Driving While License Revoked.

Richie was released on a written promise. She’s scheduled to appear in District Court April 14. Cowick’s bond was set at $900 secured and he has District Court dates scheduled for May 4 and 25.

Anyone with information relating to this or any other crime is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 758-8300 or the Lenoir Police Department at 757-2100.

A company that has been in Lincoln County for more than half-a-century will be closing later this year. According to a published report, Mohican Mills, once one of the largest manufacturers of knitted fabrics in the country, will be closing in two months. Company leaders made the announcement Wednesday.

Mohican Mills has been in Lincolnton for more than 60 years. It was named “Industry of the Year in Lincoln County” by the Lincoln Economic Development Association in 2012. At that time the company employed 300 people, before steadily declining to the approximate 130 workers who are there now.

According to the report, the operations of Mohican Mills will be wound down in an orderly fashion as the company completes customer orders and prepares its facilities for sale. Employees and relevant government agencies have been sent a Workers Adjustment and Retraining Notification that informs them of a company’s plan to close and gives them a minimum 60-day notice as required by law. The plant is expected to close between May 25 and June 8.

22-year-old Michael James Kay of Dogwood Drive in Mount Holly, 23-year-old Christopher Aaron Cline of Hawksnest Lane in Stanley, and 24-year-old Dustin Thomas Mann of Pacemaker Lane in Huntersville were all arrested by Lincoln County Sheriff’s Officers. Kay is charged with one felony count of Possession of a Controlled Substance Schedule I. Cline is charged with one felony count each of Possession with Intent to Manufacture, Sell and Deliver a Controlled Substance Schedule I, Sell and Deliver a Controlled Substance Schedule I, Possession of a Controlled Substance Schedule I and Possession of a Controlled Substance Schedule II. He was also charged with misdemeanor Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Mann is charged with one felony count of Possession with Intent to Manufacture, Sell and Deliver Controlled Substance Schedule VI and one misdemeanor count of Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office narcotics investigators arrested the three after receiving calls to a Drug Tip Line. Investigators had received several complaints about suspicious activity being conducted at a residence on Hawksnest Lane in Stanley and were conducting surveillance of the residence when they observed a hand to hand drug transactions take place in the driveway.

Officers stopped a vehicle that left the scene and secured a search warrant for the residence. Investigators seized one gram of heroin and one gram of methamphetamine along with drug paraphernalia from the residence. Marijuana packaged to sell was also found in a backpack that contained Mann's identification.

Kay was detained in the Lincoln County Detention Center under $5,000 secured bond. Cline was detained under $35,000 secured bond. Mann’s bond was set at $12,500 secured. All three have District Court appearances scheduled for next Thursday (April 2).

The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office detectives are asking for the public’s help in finding the suspect in an armed robbery of an individual southeast of Lincolnton last Friday morning (March 20).

26-year-old Tieler York Dodge of Mary’s Grove Church Road, Cherryville, told Detective Kelly Paris that he was traveling Hill Road toward Salem Church Road around 9:20 a.m. when he was waived down by a white male standing beside a vehicle on the side of the road.

Dodge stopped to see if the man was having a problem and the man asked him if he could use his cellphone. Dodge pulled over on the side of the road in front of the vehicle and the man approached the driver’s side window. Dodge rolled down the window and that is when the man pulled a small black handgun and said, “Give me all you got.” The victim gave the man $500 in cash. The suspect got into his car and left the scene.

The victim called 9-1-1 and reported the incident. The officers were told that the white male was wearing a dark blue sweatshirt, dingy white ball cap, and blue jeans. The suspect had dark hair and was driving a silver two-door Saturn.

The incident occurred in the 800 block of Hill Road between 9:00 a.m. and 9:20 a.m. last Friday. Anyone who may have seen any suspicious activity in the area or who may have information about the incident is asked to contact Detective Kelly Paris at 704-736-4820, the Lincoln County Communications Center at 704-735-8202 or Crime Stoppers at 704-736-8909.

Wednesday, 25 March 2015 14:48

More Details in Tuesday A.M. Arrest at Budget Inn

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More details have been released in the arrest of 42-year-old Michael Lee Swaim of Millers Creek in Wilkes County. He was He was arrested by Hickory Police early Tuesday morning (March 24) on charges of larceny of a motor vehicle, possession of a stolen vehicle, two counts of driving while license revoked, two counts of expired registration card or tag and resisting a public officer. Also arrested was 40-year-old Tammy Lynn Wagoner of Brook Hollow Road in Boone. She was charged with one misdemeanor and one felony probation violation.

They were arrested when Officers performing a property check at the Budget Inn on Highway 70 S.W. in Hickory saw a vehicle in the parking lot that had been stolen in Boone. They confirmed the theft with the reporting agency and found that there were outstanding warrants for the subject who had been driving the vehicle. That person was Michael Swaim.

They confirmed the room Swaim was staying in and took him and Wagoner into custody without incicent. The warrants for Swaim’s arrest originated in Watauga, Forsyth, Caldwell and Catawba counties, while the warrants for Wagoner were issued in Wilkes County.

Swaim remains in the Catawba County Detention Facility under a $40,000 secured bond. He has court dates on April 14, 15 & 28; May 15 and August 25. Wagoner was jailed under a $75,000 secured bond. She has since been released. A court date for Wagoner was set for April 6 in Wilkesboro.

34-year-old Jeremiah Lane Hightower of Gant Street, 26-year-old Corey Alan Hamby of Watermill Road and 26-year-old Wesley Clayton Rhom, Jr. of Bollinger Loop, all from Morganton, have all been arrested by Burke Co. Sheriff’s Officers in connection to a series of robberies at the Country Crossroads convenience store on U.S. Highway 64 in Morganton. Warrants have also been served for 36-year-old James Ralph Boyd of Ridge Court in Morganton, but he has not yet been arrested. All four suspects were charged with felony counts of breaking & entering, larceny after breaking & entering and possession of stolen property, as well as one count of injury to real property.

Events leading to their arrests began on November 22, 2014 when Country Crossroads was broken into and several cartons of cigarettes were stolen. Video footage obtained from that break-in showed the suspects gaining entry by throwing a large rock through the front glass door. The case was assigned to the Burke County Criminal Investigations Division.

The convenience store was robbed a second time on November 24 and again on December 4. Video footage showed similarities, leading Investigators to believe all three incidents were related and possibly committed by the same suspects. Throughout the course of the investigations, probable cause was established and arrest warrants were issued for all four suspects, who are each awaiting indictments.

Bond amounts vary for each suspect. Hightower has a District Court date set for April 14. The only court dates currently listed for Hamby are for vehicular offenses and Rhom is currently scheduled to appear on a misdemeanor shoplifting violation.

28-year-old Lance Jerome Pugh of 12th Avenue SE in Hickory was arrested today (Wednesday, March 25) by Hickory Police Officers. He’s charged with assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury. Following the arrest, Pugh was incarcerated at the Catawba County Detention Facility under $40,000 bond. A court appearance is scheduled for Friday (March 27).