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An arrest has been made in connection to a fatal hit and run in Caldwell County. 55-year-old Charles Steward Bean of Creedmoor, NC was arrested by the North Carolina State Highway Patrol at his residence in Granville County. He's charged with felony hit and run resulting in serious injury or death.

Bean is charged in connection to a highway collision on U.S. 221 in Caldwell County. The incident occurred last Thursday (October 10) near Grandfather Mountain. 61-year-old Ignacio Giraldo was struck by a minivan while he was cycling with a group including his daughter. Giraldo passed away over the weekend.

The North Carolina State Highway Patrol obtained images of the suspect and vehicle after receiving a tip that the minivan was spotted at a gas station in Boone. Bean was identified on Wednesday morning after receiving tips from the public over the past several days.

Bean was initially jailed at the Granville County Detention Center under a $35,000 bond. Authorities in Granville and Caldwell County confirmed that Bean has since been transported to Caldwell County, where his bond remained $35,000. He has a District Court date next Monday (October 21). A 2008 Toyota Sienna minivan has been found and secured by Highway Patrol. Additional charges are pending further investigation and consultation with the District Attorney’s Office.

Wednesday, 16 October 2019 14:05

Sawmills Names First Ever Town Manager

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The Town of Sawmills announced today (October 16) that Chase Winebarger will serve as it's first Town Manager. The Council recently changed its form of government to the Council-Manager form of government to reflect their current practices. Over the last several years, the town administrator has essentially served as the town manager.

The Sawmills Town Council voted to appoint Winebarger as the Town Manager at their meeting Tuesday (October 15), and he is slated to begin in the position in early December. Winebarger was selected from a pool of twenty-five applicants from across the region, state and country. Applicants from as far as Florida and Massachusetts applied for the position, but in the end, the Council chose Winebarger due to a combination of his education, experience and personal characteristics.

Winebarger currently serves as the Town Manager for the Town of Catawba in Catawba County, where he oversees an $800,000 budget, 15 employees, and all operations of the town. He obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice Administration from Western Carolina University and his Master of Public Administration from Appalachian State University. Winebarger is also a graduate of Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute and South Caldwell High School.

The Western Piedmont Council of Governments (WPCOG) assisted the town with the search process. The WPCOG is a regional planning, service, and economic development agency that is owned by and serves the 28 local governments in Alexander, Burke, Caldwell and Catawba Counties.

26-year-old Kathilina Emiliana Garcia of South Ashe Avenue in Newton was arrested Sunday (October 13) by Catawba Co. Sheriff's Officers on a felony warrant as a fugitive awaiting extradition to another state. Garcia faces charges in Stearns County, Minnesota for aggravated assault and second-degree assault. The offenses allegedly occurred in May of 2018. She was also charged in Catawba County with two counts of simple assault.

Following her arrest, Garcia was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $3,000, secured. She is no longer listed as an inmate in Catawba County. An appearance in District Court was scheduled for October 21 in Newton.

39-year-old Stephen Wayne London, Jr. of 20th Street Drive N.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at about 12:30 yesterday afternoon (October 15) on one felony count of larceny by servant or other employee.

London was arrested after Hickory Police responded to a reported larceny by employee at the Lowe's Home Improvement store on 2nd Street N.E. in Hickory. Management at the store told Police that one of the managers, Stephen Wayne London, Jr., was making fraudulent returns and obtaining cash from store registers.

London was taken into custody without incident at the store. He was processed at the Hickory Police Department and then released under a $1,000 unsecured bond. A first appearance in District Court was scheduled today in Newton.

47-year-old Stephanie Renee Russell of East First Street in Newton was arrested by Hickory Police at about 7:15 last night (October 15) on one felony count of failure to appear. She reportedly failed to appear in court on a felony probation violation. Russell is on probation as she serves a 30-month suspended sentence following a May 2017 conviction in Lincoln County on felony counts for the sale or delivery of a schedule VI controlled substance and possession with intent to sell a schedule VI controlled substance. The warrant for her arrest was issued on October 3.

Russell was taken into custody at a residence on 14th Avenue N.W. in Hickory. She was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $30,000 secured bond. An appearance in Superior Court was set for October 21 in Lincolnton.

44-year-old Debra Joy Hildebrand of 17th Street N.W. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at about 2:35 yesterday afternoon (October 15) on two felony counts of embezzlement. She was arrested on a warrant from the Guilford County Clerk of Court in Greensboro. The warrant was issued on October 7.

Hildebrand turned herself in at the Hickory Police Department. She was released under an unspecified, unsecured bond. A Superior Court date was scheduled today in Greensboro.

41-year-old Marvin Kevin Early was arrested Tuesday (October 15) by authorities in Burke County. He's charged with felony possession of schedule II controlled substance and misdemeanor failure to appear. Early was arrested shortly after 11 a.m. Tuesday and placed in jail in Morganton under $6,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for October 28.

Hickory City Council met in regular session Tuesday (October 15). Minutes and second readings were approved. The consent agenda was approved, with the removal of an item for further discussion. That item was later approved.

Public hearings were held at last night's meeting. Following one of those hearings, council approved a resolution confirming assessment roll number 19-01 for sidewalk constructed along 1705 30th Avenue Drive NE. After another hearing, City Council approved a voluntary contiguous annexation of property owned by Graystone Enterprises LLC at 2424 Century Place SE. A third public hearing was followed by councils approval of a voluntary contiguous annexation of approximately 167 acres of property, located between Startown Road and Robinwood Road, that is owned by Trivium Corporate Center, Inc.

Following a presentation by Planning Manager Cal Overby, City Council approved amendments to the Hickory by Choice 2030 Comprehensive Plan. Assistant City Manager/CFO Rodney Miller and Deputy City Attorney Arnita Dula presented information about the Deidra Lackey Memorial Park project. Council approved the Deidra Lackey Memorial Park project concept and authorized the upset bid process.

Retired police chief Floyd Lucas, representing the Catawba Valley Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America, presented information to Council about enhanced veterans recognition. Cliff Moone of the Miracle of Hickory Commemoration Committee appeared to speak, noting the upcoming Miracle of Hickory Park dedication and inviting all to attend the mural dedication on October 25 at noon.

25-year-old Justin Dennis Lynch of Highway 16 North in Conover was arrested by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony larceny, failure to appear on two counts apiece of felony larceny and possession of stolen goods, and non-support of a child. In addition, Lynch is charged on bills of indictment with two counts of possession of stolen goods and one count of larceny of a motor vehicle.

Lynch was placed in the Catawba County Detention Facility this morning (October 16) under a total bond amount of $73,150. Superior Court appearances were scheduled today and November 18. District Court dates are set for October 21 and November 20. A court appearance on the non-support charge is scheduled for October 24.

19-year-old Noah Keith Watts of 25th Street Place NE in Hickory was arrested Tuesday (October 15) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony counts of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, common law robbery, and larceny of a motor vehicle. Watts was incarcerated in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $25,000 bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for October 21.

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