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The N.C. Department of Transportation will close the U.S. 321 ramps at Exit 24 (N.C. 27/N.C. 150) in Lincolnton starting today (Monday, April 27) for resurfacing work. The work should last two days, weather permitting.

The work is part of a $3 million roadway improvement contract awarded to Blythe Construction. Work started on the project last fall, and weather permitting, the work should be completed in late May.

For real-time travel information at any time, call 511, visit the Traveler Services section of the NCDOT website or follow NCDOT on Twitter. You can also access NCDOT Mobile, a version of the NCDOT website especially for mobile devices. Visit m.ncdot.gov from your mobile browser.

27-year-old Larry Wayne Nance of Cape Hickory Road in Hickory was arrested Friday (April 24) by Burke County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with one count of felony flee to elude arrest, three counts of felony probation violation, and one count of misdemeanor careless and reckless driving.

Last Friday (April 24) at approximately 4:30 PM a Detective with the Burke County Sheriff’s Office was conducting an investigation near the intersection of Ramsey and Rhoney Road. The Detective was seeking information regarding recent break-ins in the area and also information about a motorcycle that had recently been stolen from the area.

During this investigation, the detective observed a blue Honda motorcycle, with two riders, pass by him with no registration plate. A white Dodge Durango was closely following the motorcycle to the point that it appeared the vehicle was attempting to block from view the fact the motorcycle was traveling without a registration plate. A traffic stop was initiated on the motorcycle at the intersection of George Hildebrand School Road and 18. The Durango moved over which allowed the detective to follow in behind the motorcycle.

The driver of the motorcycle, later identified as Larry Wayne Nance, indicated by a hand motion that he was pulling over onto George Hildebrand School Road. Once on George Hildebrand School Road, Nance began to flee at speeds in excess of 90 MPH. The chase led to Old Shelby Road and Nance eventually wrecked into the detective’s patrol car. Once the motorcycle came to rest, Nance began running on foot. The Detective gave chase and caught Nance within a short distance.

Nance was transported by Catawba County EMS and was released within hours with minor injuries. The female passenger sustained no injuries and was released at the scene. Nance had three outstanding Felony warrants for Probation Violations that have been served. The ignition switch of the Motorcycle had been punched and could be started without a key. At the time of this press release, the motorcycle has not been reported stolen.

Nance was jailed in Burke County under $55,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for May 13 in Morganton.

35-year-old Matthew Robert Outlaw of Spring Meadow Drive in Hickory was arrested last Wednesday (April 22) by Burke County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony breaking and entering and larceny.

According to a news release issued by the Burke County Sheriff’s Office over the weekend, detectives with the Burke County Sheriff’s Office were investigating several breaking and entering cases that had taken place in the Hildebran area. After speaking with several neighbors, it was learned the suspect was using a U-Haul truck to commit the larcenies.  

Detectives gathered information from local U-Haul facilities and located the vehicle that was used in committing the crime as well as the name of the individual that had recently rented the U-Haul. Detectives located the stolen property at a nearby pawnshop as well as additional property stolen during a B&E that occurred in the Hickory area.

Following his arrest, Outlaw was placed in jail in Morganton under $20,000 secured bond. He has a District Court appearance scheduled for May 13.

On Wednesday (April 22), officials with Lincolnton Middle School contacted Lincolnton High School Resource Officer Jennifer Green of the Lincolnton Police Department in reference to a bomb threat at the middle school campus at 2361 Startown Road. Officer Green and additional Lincolnton Police Officers responded to the school campus.

The school was evacuated and a systematic search of the campus was conducted. No bomb or device being located. No one was injured and no one required medical treatment.

Lincolnton Police Department conducted an investigation, led by Det. Robert Hayes. A suspect was identified. The case has been referred to the Lincoln County Juvenile Court Counselor for review.

Lincoln County E.M.S. and the Lincoln County School System assisted with the investigation.

35-year-old Domingo Cristobal Colon of Huffman Road in Lenoir was arrested Thursday (April 23) by Lenoir Police Officers. He's charged with felonious trafficking in cocaine, and felonious maintaining a dwelling to keep or store a controlled substance.

According to a news release from the Lenoir Police Department, Colon has been the focus of a drug investigation by the Ice Unit for several weeks. Based on numerous complaints of suspicious activity at Colon’s residence, Ice Agents conducted their investigation and managed to secure enough probable cause for a search warrant. Agent served the search warrant on Colon at his residence without incident.

As a result of the search, Agent located and seized over 31 grams of cocaine, $15,158.00 in cash, five pistols, and other items of drug paraphernalia. Agents located the cocaine hidden in “hide a safe” Pepsi drink bottles. The cocaine has a drug value of $6,200 according to North Carolina Drug Guidelines. Additional drug and firearm charges are expected to be filed later.

Colon was incarcerated in the Caldwell County Detention Center under a $100,000 secured bond. He has a first appearance in District Court in Lenoir on Monday (April 27).

The Hickory Parks and Recreation Department seasonally changes the hours of operation for all City owned parks. Effective May 1, the new park hours will be from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. This coincides with all parks closing a half hour after sundown.

About 15 minutes before the parks close, staff will make announcements of the closing. At the closing time, the park gates will be closed and locked. If someone’s vehicle remains in the park after closing, the only way to leave the park is to contact the Hickory Police Department at (828) 328-5551 to come and unlock the gate. The Parks and Recreation Department’s goal is to have everyone leaving the parks at the designated times that are seasonally set and posted at the parks and on the City’s website (www.HickoryNC.gov). Please plan your outings accordingly.

This applies to the following parks: Civitan Park, Cliff Teague Park, Glenn C. Hilton, Jr. Memorial Park Henry Fork River Regional Recreation Park, Hickory Optimist Park, Jaycee Park,

Geitner – Rotary Park, Kiwanis Park, Southside Heights Park, Stanford Park, Taft Broome Park, West Hickory Park, and Winkler Park.

Friday, 24 April 2015 11:14

Saturday Earth Day Event Moved To Sunday

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There has been a date change for an Earth Day event in Hickory. Celebrate Earth Day and Arbor Day with family-friendly activities at the SALT Block during the “Growing a Green Future” event. Learn about what it means to “be green” in Catawba County during the seventh year of “Growing a Green Future” event. Due to the rain prediction for Saturday, April 25, this event will be held on Sunday, April 26, between 1 and 4 p.m., on the “Green” between the Arts and Science Center and the Patrick Beaver Memorial Library, 375 3rd Street, NE, Hickory.

“Each year in the month of April our community comes together to become aware of how we can be part of “making every day earth day,” said Maria Goldstein with GoGreen Hickory. “Everyone must be actively practicing responsible stewardship each day and every day. More than ever before, in the history of the planet, being stewards of the environment is key.”

As in previous years, more than 20 groups will be represented at “Growing a Green Future” and they will be providing educational information, and demonstrations, focusing on preserving the earth, supporting nature, or any environmental product, practice or service offered in the area. Some of those groups are Republic Services, Riverkeepers/Covekeepers, Hickory Museum of Art, Community Appearance Commission, GoGreenHickory with the theme “Buy Locally, Support Sustainable Living,” and Shaklee "Creating a Healthy Planet."

Many organizations come together to bring this event to the community, including The City of Hickory, Catawba County, the Catawba Science Center, Catawba County Cooperative Extension, Greenway Public Transportation, Keep Catawba County Beautiful, Hickory Museum of Art, and Republic Services.

“Earth Day is an opportunity to promote some of the processes and tools available to us to be wise stewards of what we have been given,” said Andrew Ballentine, City of Hickory Solid Waste Manager. “Recycling is a key component in that process because we have an easy opportunity to make a positive difference. Our community is doing a great job, but there is room to improve, as you will see, as we transition into a new and improved recycling program here in Hickory.”

The City of Hickory’s Community Appearance Commission (CAC) and Landscape Services will be handing out tree seedlings again this year. The trees are Crab Apple and Crape Myrtle. The community is encouraged to stop by the City of Hickory’s booth to pick up a tree seedling to plant.

Air quality improvement and the reduction of carbon in the atmosphere is a benefit of trees. Also, a healthy mature tree will increase property value and the larger the tree the higher the value. This is especially important for resale and will increase yearly as the tree grows. All of these reasons should be an incentive to plant trees. By keeping mature trees healthy by proper pruning, and not topping trees, not only will it increase the value of a property and save money on energy costs, but, it, also, helps provide a benefit of cleaner air and reductions in storm water problems.

For more information on the City’s Community Appearance Commission, go to www.HickoryNC.gov.

A clerk reportedly shot a man in the head Thursday after he tried to steal a chainsaw from an Alexander County store.

The incident happened Thursday afternoon at Beasley's Power Equipment on Highway 16 in Taylorsville. According to Taylorsville Police, a man ran out of the store with an expensive chainsaw and reportedly got into a vehicle and started driving away.

Police reports say the clerk ran out of the store after the man and fired two shots at the vehicle. One of those shots hit the driver of the car in the head. Police say the car then pulled over a few hundred yards away and the passenger and driver switched seats before heading down Highway 16, where they were stopped by police.

The man who was shot was taken to Carolinas Medical Center, where he was last reported to be in critical condition. Two other men in the car, 34-year-old Jonathan Andrew Akers and 50-year-old Bobby Dean Pearson were arrested and charged with felony larceny.

WHKY’s Fentress Chestnut has learned that one of the suspects has admitted to stealing chainsaws in Lenoir and Morganton and was planning a theft in Hickory. Taylorsville Police will talk to the District Attorney on Monday to determine if charges will be filed against the shooter.

36-year-old James Ralph Boyd was arrested Thursday (April 23) by Burke County Sheriff’s Officers. He’s charged with felony counts of possession with intent to manufacture, sell, and deliver schedule I controlled substance, and larceny after breaking and entering. Following the arrest, Boyd was jailed under $150,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Friday, April 24).

We have an more details on a story first reported by WHKY on Thursday (April 23) regarding the arrest of six on drug trafficking charges. 33-year-old Kristen Lichele Isbell of NE Lower Creek Drive in Lenoir, 55-year-old Bessie Leona Hicks of NW Maple Place in Lenoir, 38-year-old Edward Lee Allison of Crowell Street in Concord, 20-year-old Larry Darnell Gavin Jr. of 2nd Street Place SE in Hickory, 26-year-old Carlos Renard Cornwell Jr. of Mount Pleasant Road in Sherrills Ford, and 28-year-old Thomas Allan Jones Jr. of 2nd Street Place in Hickory were all arrested Wednesday (April 22) by Lenoir Police Officers.

A joint federal investigation between the United States Department of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Lenoir Police Department, Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office, Hickory Police Department, Boone Police Department, Iredell County Sheriff’s Office Mooresville Police Department, North Carolina State Highway Patrol, Concord Police Department, Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department and the Alexander County Sheriff’s Office resulted in the execution of two search warrants. One search warrant was served at 216 Maple Place in Lenoir and the other at 424 SW Main Street in Lenoir.

Beginning in January, 2015 agents and investigators for the above listed agencies initiated an investigation into a U.S./ Mexico based money laundering and drug trafficking organization. During this time Edward Lee Allison Jr. was identified as being a major source supplying cocaine into Caldwell and Catawba counties. During the search of 216 Maple Place and 424 SW Main Street investigators located, and seized, a large quantity of United States currency totaling more than $250,000 and approximately three (3) kilograms of powder cocaine, which according to North Carolina state guidelines has a street value of more than $300,000. Also seven (7) firearms were seized. Two of which had been reported stolen.

Allison and his five co-conspirators were incarcerated in the Caldwell County Jail. All six suspects had initial court appearances scheduled in Caldwell County District Court for Thursday. The investigation is into this organization is ongoing and more arrest are expected in the future as a result of information gathered during the search.