A ribbon cutting was held Friday evening (April 17) in the Events Center at the Moretz Mills facility, 74 8th Street S.E. Hosted by John and Marilyn Moretz, the event featured Lifestyle Designer and former super-model Kathy Ireland.
The historic Moretz Mill is being renovated into 82,000 square feet of mixed-use professional space. Built around 1929 as the Whisnant Hosiery Mill, Moretz Mills acquired the property in 1992.
Spaces available range from individual offices to custom build-outs. Current tenants include a fitness center, a retirement planning group, a medical spa, an event space and a marketing company. A florist is coming to the new space soon.
67-year-old James Franklin Barnette and 44-year-old Robert Wayne McDaniel have both been arrested by Iredell Co. Sheriff’s Narcotics Investigators on drug charges. Barnette was charged with five counts of trafficking in opiates or heroin; one count of sale & delivery of a schedule II controlled substance and one count of felony maintaining a vehicle or dwelling for the sale of a controlled substance. McDaniel was charged with one count of trafficking in opiates or heroin.
Their arrests were the result of a surveillance and undercover operation into the sale and distribution of prescription medications in the Troutman area. The investigation began when authorities received information that Barnette was selling pills from his business in Troutman. Surveillance was started and numerous vehicles were observed stopping at the store and leaving shortly thereafter. Information was gathered and several purchases were made by undercover Deputies directly from the suspect over a two-month time frame.
A search warrant was executed last Thursday (April 16) at Barnette’s business. While searching the store, another person who was at the store, Robert Wayne McDaniel, was found to be in possession of numerous pills and over $600 in cash.
Barnette is currently on probation for two counts of attempted trafficking in opium or heroin in 2013. He was also charged in 1998 with possession with intent to sell marijuana and selling marijuana. He also has numerous charges and convictions for additional crimes in Iredell County.
Following their arrests, Barnette was jailed under a $350,000 secured bond, while McDaniel was given a $50,000 secured bond. Barnette will next appear in District Court on May 5. McDaniel’s next court date is set for May 8.
24-year-old Dusty Robert Boston of Jamestown Road in Morganton and 39-year-old Christy Lee Eanes of Atwood Drive in Lenoir have both been charged in connection to the shooting death of 15-year-old Kent Austin Taylor. The incident occurred on April 10. Today (April 17), Boston was charged with felony involuntary manslaughter and Eanes was charged with one count of felony child abuse and four misdemeanor counts of contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile.
At 11:19 p.m. on April 10, Lenoir Police Officers responded to a 9-1-1 call reporting that there was a shooting victim inside an apartment on Atwood Drive. The Lenoir Fire Department and Caldwell County E.M.S. pronounced the victim dead at the scene.
An investigation was conducted by the Lenoir Police Department Criminal Investigations Division and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigations.
Following their arrests, Boston was given a $50,000 secured bond, while bond for Eanes was set at $100,000, secured. Both suspects will appear in District Court Monday (April 20) in Lenoir.
26-year-old Daniel Brandon Houser of Polo Trail in Lincolnton has been arrested by Lincoln Co. Sheriff’s Officers on one count of larceny, four counts of larceny of a firearm and five counts of possession of stolen goods. All the charges are felonies. Houser and his co-defendant, 25-year-old Jeremy Neal McDougal of Lincolnton, are accused of stealing multiple firearms and a large amount of collectible coins from a residence on the 200 block of Old Barn Road in November of 2014. McDougal was charged with felony counts of larceny of a firearm and possession of stolen goods or property.
Houser had been hired to do repair work at the residence. The victim didn’t report the theft until February 4 of this year when she noticed someone had stolen a small Sentry fire safe containing cash and collectible coins. She also reported that six of 12 long guns in a gun safe were also stolen.
Houser is in the Lincoln County Detention Center under a $25,000 secured bond. McDougal was arrested on April 13 and remains in jail under a $10,000 secured bond. No court date is currently listed for Houser. McDougal will next appear in a Lincoln County courtroom on April 27.
35-year-old Alan Clark Dorsey of Starlight Drive in Lincolnton was arrested by Lincoln Co. Sheriff’s Officers yesterday (April 16) on one felony count each of possession with intent to manufacture, sell & deliver a schedule VI controlled substance and sale & delivery of a schedule VI controlled substance.
He was arrested after Investigators received information that a drug transaction would take place in a business parking lot on Center Drive in Lincolnton. Investigators observed the drug-related activity and placed Dorsey under arrest. Officers seized $1,800 in cash and two pounds of marijuana valued at $1,800 to $2,800, depending on how it’s packaged for sale.
Dorsey was jailed under a $12,000 secured bond. He was scheduled to make a first appearance in District Court today.
27-year-old William David Pope of Camp Meeting Road in Connelly Springs, 45-year-old Jackie Neil Workman of Rhoney Road in Connelly Springs and 44-year-old Allen Lee Henson of Lauren Creek Street in Morganton have all been arrested by Lincoln Co. Sheriff’s Officers. All three were charged with felony counts of trafficking methamphetamine and conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine. Pope and Henson were also charged with possession with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver a schedule II controlled substance. In addition, Pope faces misdemeanor charges for possession with intent to manufacture a schedule IV controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. Workman was also charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana.
Operating on tips from the public, Narcotics Investigators made the arrests yesterday (April 16) after setting up surveillance on the parking lot at the Halfway Supply store on Highway 18 in Vale. They saw three vehicles pull into the parking lot. An individual from one of the vehicles carried a package to another vehicle. Officers moved in and seized more than three ounces of methamphetamine and some cash.
All three suspects were taken into custody and jailed with bond for each set at $50,000, secured. No court dates are currently listed.
More details were released regarding the arrest of 21-year-old Vantrail Jamon Swain of 7th Avenue N.W. in Hickory. He was charged early yesterday morning (April 16) with felony possession of a stolen firearm and misdemeanor assault by pointing a gun.
According to a Hickory Police spokesperson, Officers responded to domestic dispute at the residence where Swain had allegedly pointed a gun. No shots were fired. A Ruger handgun that had been reported stolen was found on the premises. The victim was not injured.
Swain was taken into custody without incident at 5:05 a.m. He has been confined in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $10,000 secured bond. A first appearance in District Court was set for today in Newton.
Authorities have located the body of 39-year-old Leslie Renee Hensley, who was from the Clark Loop area in Burke County.
At about 4:45 p.m. yesterday (April 16), the Burke Co. Sheriff’s Office was asked to check on Ms. Hensley’s well-being. After working through the night, in conjunction with the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation and the Rutherford Co. Sheriff’s Office, Ms. Hensley’s body was found at about 6:30 this morning in a neighboring county.
The Burke Co. Sheriff’s Office and the S.B.I. are continuing to interview witnesses and persons of interest. The investigation is ongoing. No additional information is available.
The Sheriff’s Office plans to release an updated statement on the case Monday afternoon.
A westbound Norfolk Southern train hit a parked vehicle near the courthouse in downtown Hickory at about 9:20 this morning (April 17). A white Ford Focus was parked too close to the train tracks in the gravel area on the north side of the tracks. The train pushed the Ford into a white Toyota Camry. Neither vehicle was occupied at the time of the collision and no one was injured.
Hickory Police say the driver of the Ford was likely inside the Hickory courthouse, across the street. WHKY spoke to the driver of the Toyota, who said she had dropped a friend off at the courthouse that morning. Neither vehicle was in drivable condition following the accident.
According to Police, the gravel area on either side of the track is a right-of-way for the railroad and should not be used for parking; however, quite a few vehicles routinely park in those areas when marked spaces are filled.
The scene was cleared and the train was underway between 10:30 and 11 this morning.
20-year-old Harold Chance Turner was arrested Thursday (April 16) by authorities in Burke County. He’s charged with felony first-degree forced burglary. The charge is from a 2014 warrant. Following the arrest, Turner was placed in jail under $15,000 secured bond. A Superior Court appearance is scheduled for Monday (April 20) in Morganton.