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News (767)

Monday, 15 September 2014 08:37

Body of Missing App State Student Found

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Boone Police Investigators and the North Carolina SBI Investigators confirmed that the body found near Poplar Grove Road in Boone is 18 year old Anna Marie Smith. 

Smith was a freshman at Appalachian State University, and she was reported missing on September 03, 2014. 

A North Carolina Driver's License and an Appalachian State University Identification card belonging to Smith were found at the scene.  Ms. Smith's body was transported to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center for an autopsy. 

A time frame for the completion of the autopsy to determine the cause of death is currently unavailable. 

Monday, 15 September 2014 08:29

Weekend Arrests

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36- year old Bernard Arnel Patterson of East Orange Street in Fayetteville NC was arrested this morning by the Hickory Police Dept. Patterson is charged with misdemeanor child abuse and discharging a firearm in city. He is under a $4000 bond and has a court date for October 15th.

27- year old Justin Edward Maltba of 5th street in Hickory was arrested yesterday by the Hickory Police. Maltba is charged with common law robbery and assault with a deadly weapon. Maltba has two scheduled court dates, and he was supposed to make his appearance today. Bond is set at $53,000.

31- year old David Alexander Beatty of Sherwood Lane in Newton was arrested yesterday by the Newton Police Dept. Beatty is charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon, and bond is set at $75,000. Beatty had his first court appearance today.

31- year old Roger Dale Killian of Deal Road in Claremont was arrested yesterday by Catawba County Sheriffs Officers. Killian is charged with felony failure to register as a sex offender. He has a court appearance scheduled for September 19th, and his bond is set at $50,000 .

21- year old Tomas Juan Miguel of Mull Street in Morganton was arrested yesterday by Hickory Police. He is charged with driving while impaired, and two counts of felony serious injury by a vehicle. Miguel had his first appearance in court today, and his next court date is October 15th. Miguel is being held under a $171,000 bond.

30- year old Henry Pham of 23rd Street in Hickory was arrested yesterday by the NC Highway Patrol. Pham is charged with driving while impaired, driving while license revoked, and a stop sign violation. Pham is scheduled to appear in court on October 9th, and bond is set at $10,000.

19- year old Harold Chance-Paul Turner of Knob Oak Lane in Charlotte was arrested on Friday by Catawba County Sheriff Officers. Turner is charged with First-degree burglary, obtaining property under false pretense, and felony larceny. He has two scheduled court dates coming up with the first date set for Wednesday September 17th. Bond is set at $17,500.

39- year old Jerry Gerard Parson was arrested yesterday on 6th street NW in Hickory by the Hickory Police. Parson is charged with felony assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill.

32-year old Mark Allen Willard, was arrested yesterday by the Hickory Police at 1st Avenue NE in Hickory. Willard is charged with misdemeanor assault on a female.  

Friday, 12 September 2014 11:42


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Catawba County's Backpack Program, which provides extra food for local school children facing food insecurity, has moved to a new warehouse facility, which is operated by the Hickory Soup Kitchen.

“We are appreciative of the Hickory Soup Kitchen allowing us to use their warehouse, and for their partnership and support,” said John Eller, director of Catawba County Social Services. The Backpack Program is led by volunteers and coordinated by Catawba County Social Services. It relies primarily on donations from local groups and individuals. In the 2013-2014 school year, the program provided over 273,000 meals to more than 1,200 children. More than 400 volunteers donated over 6,000 hours to make it happen, and more than 900 donors contributed $99,000.

The Backpack Program works with the three public school systems in Catawba County. School social workers identify children who are in need of the program. Food is purchased at wholesale prices, or is collected by local churches, businesses and civic groups.

Community volunteers pack the food, which is sent home with the children each weekend during the school year. The most recent (2012) American Community Survey of the U.S. Census estimates that 33.5 percent of all Catawba County children age 18 or younger are living in poverty. Other food assistance programs -- such as local food pantries and Social Services' Food and Nutrition Services (Food Stamps) -- do not provide for all of a family's food needs. Research has shown that children who receive adequate nutrition are able to learn better in school.

Additional volunteers and donations are needed for the 2014-2015 school year. If you would like to volunteer with the Backpack Program, contact Amanda Freeland of Catawba County Social Services at 828-695-5648 or at afreeland@catawbacountync.gov. You may donate securely online at https://www.velocitypayment.com/client/catawba/socialservices/index.htm. To donate by check, make out your check to Catawba County Social Services and write "Backpack Program" in the memo line. Mail your donation to: Catawba County Social Services, P.O. Box 669, Newton, NC 28658.

If you or your organization would like to donate food items to the program, please contact Amanda Freeland for a list of items or go to http://www.catawbacountync.gov/backpack for details.


Friday, 12 September 2014 11:40

Are you interested in volunteering for RCC

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RCC of Catawba County is holding a volunteer training on Saturday, September 27, 2014 from 9am to 5pm. Lunch is provided and space is limited. The 8 hour training will cover the following:

Overview of Sexual Assault
History of RCC
Medical & Legal Advocacy
Crisis Intervention & Response
Diversity & Sexual Assault
Offender Types
Judicial System & Law Enforcement Involvement
Victim Empathy

If you have a passion for ending sexual violence and would like to learn more about how you can be involved, we invite you to register for the volunteer training. Please complete a volunteer application and someone will contact you with further details.

You can also call RCC at 828-322-6011828-322-6011 and we will be happy to answer any questions you may have about volunteering and community awareness.

We greatly appreciate all of the hard work that our volunteers put forth and we thank you for your commitment to assisting victims of sexual violence.

Many Thanks,
RCC of Catawba County

The N.C. Department of Transportation has awarded a contract that will improve nearly 30 miles of primary and secondary roads in Catawba County.

The $5.3 million contract was awarded to Maymead, Inc. of Mountain City, Tenn. Work can begin in late-September, with final completion scheduled for mid-June 2015.

Roads included in the contract are:

U.S. 321 from Startown Road to the U.S. 321 bridges on the north- and southbound lanes over the Henry Fork River;
Claremont Road from N.C. 16 to Bethany Church Road;
Anderson Mountain Road from N.C. 16 to the Lincoln County line;
East Maiden Road from Olivers Cross Road to N.C. 150;
West Maiden Road from U.S. 321 Business to Startown Road;
County Home Road from N.C. 16 Business to Springs Road;
29th Avenue Northeast from N.C. 127 to 16th Street Northwest;
Elmore Road from Murrays Mill Road to Shiloh Road;
Rockbarn Road from U.S. 70 to north of North Oxford Street;
Rosenwald School road from N.C. 10 to Eighth Street Southeast;
Sigmon Dairy Road from N.C. 10 to Rome Jones Road; and
Cochran Street from Robinwood Road to the end of state maintenance.
This is one of the 12 road and bridge contracts worth $160.9 million recently awarded by NCDOT for projects across North Carolina. The contracts were awarded to the lowest bidders, as required by state law. The low bids received on the projects were three percent, or about $5 million below NCDOT estimates.

Thursday, 11 September 2014 13:54

Operation Medicine Drop Coming to Lenoir

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Operation Medicine Drop is coming to Lenoir. On September 27 from10 a.m. until 2 p.m. Caldwell Safekids and the Lenoir Police Department will give the public an opportunity to prevent accidental poisonings, abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs. The public is invited to bring medications for disposal to the Foothills Pharmacy at 202 Harper Avenue in Lenoir. The service is free and anonymous with no questions asked.

Since 2010, over 1600 sites have collected over 53 million dosage units of medication during take-back events statewide. Operation Medicine Drop is an effort coordinated by the North Carolina Department of Insurance, Safe Kids North Carolina, the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and Riverkeepers of North Carolina.

More information has been released in the arrest of 54-year-old Samuel Henry Vinci, Jr. of Dudley Shoals Road in Granite Falls, first reported yesterday (September 10) on WHKY. Vinci was charged with solicitation by computer of a minor to commit an unlawful sex act & appearing at a meeting location, failure to register or inform of an online identifier, providing false information during address verification and violation of the social networking ban by a sex offender.

The arrest was made as part of an investigation into several violations of the North Carolina Sex Offender Registry. Vinci was taken into custody Tuesday (September 9) at a location where he intended to meet with a minor child for the purpose of sexual activity. Prior to his arrest, Vinci conversed with the minor child through a social networking site to establish a meeting location.

The investigation was conducted, in part, to monitor the registered sex offenders in Caldwell County and to combat the growing trend of abuse towards minors through social media. The Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office is part of the Internet Crimes against Children Task-force (ICAC) that includes numerous local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies.  

Vinci was placed on the North Carolina Sex Offender Registry in February 2009 after being released from prison following two second-degree rape convictions in December 1998 in Rutherford County.

Vinci has been confined in the Caldwell County Detention Center under a $250,000 secured bond. He was scheduled to appear in District Court today in Lenoir.

Thursday, 11 September 2014 12:33

Conover Man Sentenced after Habitual B&E Conviction

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33-year-old James Justin Thornton III of Conover was convicted last week in Catawba County Criminal Superior Court on felony counts of breaking & entering and larceny. He was also convicted of habitual breaking & entering. Thornton was sentenced to no less than 30 months and no more than 48 months in the North Carolina Division of Adult Correction.

The crimes occurred in December 2013 in Conover and involved a commercial breaking & entering and theft of copper wiring and copper piping.

Robert Houston of the Conover Police Department handled the investigation and Assistant District Attorney Brenda Brewer prosecuted the case. The Honorable C. Preston Cornelius presided over the convictions.

Thornton will be transported to the Department of Adult Correction for processing.

One person has been killed and another seriously injured in an accident in Lincolnton early this morning.

The call came in at 12:03 a.m. today regarding a motor vehicle crash where North Cedar Street comes to an end at the intersection with East Hoke Street. Lincolnton Police responded and found a single-vehicle accident that ended on property located at 315 East Hoke Street.

One of the vehicle’s occupants was deceased and the other occupant was seriously injured. The injured victim was airlifted to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte for treatment. No update is available as of noon today. The victims’ identities have not been released.

Lincolnton Police Det. Robert “Trey” Hayes, one of the department’s accident re-constructionists, responded to the scene and handled the investigation into the accident. The Lincolnton Fire Department and Lincoln County E.M.S. also responded.

The investigation is ongoing. More information will be released when the investigation is complete.

24-year-old Joshua Daniel Stilwell of Connelly Springs was convicted last week in Catawba County Criminal Superior Court on felony counts of attempted trafficking in opium or heroin, possession of a weapon of mass destruction and possession of a gun on educational property. Stilwell was sentenced to no less than 24 months and no more than 36 months in the North Carolina Division of Adult Correction.

The crimes occurred in August 2012 in Hickory. An off-duty Catawba County Sheriff’s Deputy noticed a vehicle in the parking lot at CVCC and saw weapons in the vehicle. After contacting the Hickory Police Department, an investigation determined that the vehicle was stolen and that the defendant had illegal controlled substances in his possession.

Officer Kyle Stephens with the Hickory Police Department handled the investigation, with assistance from the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant District Attorney Kyle Smith prosecuted the case with the Honorable C. Preston Cornelius presiding over the conviction.

Stilwell has been transported to the Division of Adult Correction in Raleigh for processing.