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Wednesday, 01 July 2015 04:40

Drug Charges Filed Against Hickory Man

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38-year-old Samuel Dichon Whitener of 21st Street SE in Hickory was arrested Tuesday (June 30) by Catawba County Sheriff’s Officers. He’s charged with felony possession of cocaine and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. Whitener was incarcerated at the Catawba County Detention Facility under $8,000 bond. A Superior Court appearance is scheduled for July 10.

Wednesday, 01 July 2015 04:34

Human Remains Found In Hickory (Updated)

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The Hickory Police Department reports the discovery of skeletal remains. The remains were found Tuesday (June 30) in a wooded area off of U.S. 70 SE in Hickory. The department was notified about the discovery at 2:30 p.m. According to a news release from Hickory Police, investigators with the department responded to the scene with Catawba County Sheriff’s Office deputies.

The remains were being collected and sent to the North Carolina State Medical Examiner's Office for an autopsy and positive identification in the case. The investigation is continuing.

Officials from Western Piedmont Community College in Morganton are requesting opinions and input from the community through an online survey. The goal of the survey is to assist the college in developing a five-year strategic plan. The college's website says the survey will be anonymous, college officials would like the community to complete the survey by July 13.

According to a published report, the survey is the third step in the college’s data collection stage of its strategic planning process. Employees and students at the college were surveyed in the fall and spring semesters of the last academic year. The final step in the process involves data analysis and development of the final plan for review and approval by the college’s Board of Trustees this fall.

According to the report, the survey asks a series of questions concerning the respondents with WPCC, what programs they believe are benefiting the community the most, what areas the college could make improvements in and what factors may be preventing the college from serving the community.

Michael S. Helmick, President of WPCC is quoted in the published report saying, “Our mission is community focused and includes not only our employees and students, but also our donors, local industry partners and their employees, Burke County Public School System and its partners, employees and parents, high school students, WPCC graduates and any citizen of Burke County. We are here to serve Burke County and we look forward to feedback from the entire community.”

To participate in the survey, visit www.wpcc.edu/feedback before July 13.

Tuesday, 30 June 2015 17:47

Murder-Suicide Reported in Morganton

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Two people are dead in Morganton in what is believed to be a murder-suicide. Preliminary reports suggest that James “Jim” Young was shot to death Monday night (June 29) by his wife, Laura, who then turned the gun on herself.

Mr. Young’s stepson was home when the shooting occurred, but he was not injured.

Mr. Young was a former oboist with the Western Piedmont Symphony and owned a piano tuning business on Starmount Circle in Morganton.

The Morganton Dept. of Public Safety is investigating.

21-year-old Matthew Allen Hartley of Henderson Street in Denver has been arrested by Lincoln Co. Sheriff’s Officers on one felony count each of larceny of a handgun, possession of a firearm by a felon and possession of a stolen firearm. He was also charged with one misdemeanor count each of possession of a schedule V controlled substance and larceny.

On June 28, Deputies were dispatched to a suspicious person call near the Denver Fire Department on Highway 16 Business. Upon arrival, Officers found Matthew Hartley, who appeared to be under the influence. Hartley’s father had called 9-1-1 earlier regarding the theft of his medications and a nine-millimeter handgun. Matthew Hartley took Deputies to a location off of Wexford Lane where they found a bag containing the medication and the firearm, hidden under some leaves.

Hartley was arrested and placed in the Lincoln Co. Detention Center under a $40,000 secured bond.

The next day, Detective Matt Lykins charged Hartley with breaking into a truck in the 3300 block of Loop Road in Lincolnton. Hartley allegedly took electronics equipment and a GPS unit with a total value of more than $600. The break-in occurred on June 23 and the stolen items were returned to the victim by a third party the next day.

Hartley confessed to the vehicle break-in and was charged with one felony count of breaking & entering a motor vehicle and one misdemeanor count of larceny.

He was taken before a Lincoln County magistrate where his bond was raised to $120,000, secured. An appearance in District Court was set for today (June 30) with another court date coming up on July 16.

55-year-old Sharon Carver Davis of Cruz Lane in Hickory was served a felony indictment by Hickory Police at about 11 a.m. Friday on one count of obtaining property by false pretense.

The indictment comes in connection to a November 2014 incident at CommunityOne bank. Davis and Heidi Danielle Hall allegedly opened an account. They deposited $600 from a closed account and then attempted to withdraw $500. Davis and Hall were initially arrested in November and charged with obtaining property by false pretense.

Davis was taken into custody by Alexander Co. Sheriff’s Officers at the Taylorsville Probation Office and then turned over to Hickory Police. She was processed at H.P.D. and placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $1,000 secured bond. She has since been released. No court date is currently listed.

22-year-old Kimberly Jeanette Sutherland, who is listed as a homeless person from Dante, Virginia, was arrested by Hickory Police at about 10:30 Friday morning (June 26) on a felony warrant as a fugitive awaiting extradition to another state.

Sutherland was wanted in Russell County, Virginia, for a probation violation. She was on probation for forced entry or burglary of a residence. She will be returned to Lebanon, Virginia.

Sutherland was taken into custody without incident and placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $10,000 secured bond. A first appearance in District Court was set for tomorrow (July 1) in Newton.

It was believed that the woods fire burning on Bakers Mountain in Catawba County could be contained by this afternoon. The fire started burning Monday afternoon. The fire is not inside Bakers Mountain Park. It started by accident due to a spark from a chainsaw used by a member of a logging crew.

Catawba County Emergency Management Coordinator Karyn Yaussy released the following statement this morning. “The woodland fire that broke out on Bakers Mountain in Catawba County yesterday afternoon at 3:45 pm has burned approximately 40 acres as of this morning. Incident leadership hopes to have total containment by late this afternoon however the weather may be a factor in that plan.

Since the fire began approximately 150 fire fighters have been involved in attacking the fire across rugged terrain. Mountain View Fire Department and the North Carolina Forest Services are the lead agencies managing the fire with support from Catawba County Emergency Services, six area fire departments including Propst Crossroads, Newton, Cooksville, Sherrills Ford, and Triple Community, Catawba County EMS and Hickory Rescue Squad. NC Forest Service aerial resources are in use with a helicopter making water drops and a spotter plan.

No residential structures are at risk but due to heavy smoke residents in the area with respiratory conditions such as asthma, chronic bronchitis or COPD are cautioned to remain indoors with the windows and doors closed and their air conditioning running” Yaussy said.

WHKY TV’s transmitter site is on the mountain, the fire did not reach the station’s building. A Forest Service helicopter made water drops through the late afternoon and evening hours Monday. Bulldozers and utility ATVs were deployed on the ground to help the firefighters traverse the heavily wooded area.

A fire at a home on Bost Nursery Road in Maiden has reportedly resulted in a 69-year-old man sustaining extensive burns. According to published reports, the fire broke out this morning (Tuesday, June 30) when a child set bedding on fire. Emergency crews responded to the home at approximately 8 a.m. Edward Owenby sustained second and third degree burns in the fire. He was airlifted to Carolinas Medical Center for treatment. Reports say firefighters had to break out a window to get to Owenby. His wife and grandchildren were at the home but were not injured.

Lincoln County Sheriff’s deputies are investigating a rash of break-ins to unlocked vehicles northeast of Lincolnton. Residents began reporting the break-ins over the weekend to vehicles parked at homes on Dove Tree Lane, Shady Brook Lane, and Springs East Road. Items stolen in the break-ins include GPS units, tools , billfolds, identification, cash and other items.

All of the break-ins were to unlocked vehicles, occurred overnight and most were discovered when residents got in their vehicles to leave home. The break-ins were in the same general area where others occurred two weeks ago on Buffalo Shoals Road, Ivey Church Road, Kinks Lane, Forest Road and Shuford Road.

Detective Lt. Tim Johnson said in a news release issued by the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office, “As in previous cases deputies investigating found the vehicles have been unlocked.” He went on to say that, “So far the thieves have not shown a tendency to break into locked vehicles because they want to get in and out of the area as quick as possible.”

The Sheriff's Office is offering these tips to prevent a break-in to your vehicle. Lock your vehicle every time you leave, even for a short time. Don’t leave valuable items in plain view. If you place items in the trunk, do it discreetly or before your arrive at your destination. If your car is parked in a carport or near your home, leave your exterior lights on at night. If you park on a street, choose a well-lit, open and visible space. Residents should also document and record all serial numbers on any items left in a vehicle.

If you see somebody acting suspicious or looking into vehicles, call 9-1-1, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office at 704-732-9050, the Lincoln County Communications Center at 704-735-8202 or Crime Stoppers at 704-736-8909. All tips will be investigated.