News (841)

20-year-old Carlos Zavata Renteria, Jr. of Taylorsville was arrested by Alexander Co. Sheriff’s Officers yesterday (July 28) on one count of first-degree burglary and one count of first-degree rape.

On Sunday (July 26), Sheriff’s Investigators were called to a residence off of Old Wilkesboro Road in Taylorsville. The homeowner told Officers that two Hispanic males had illegally entered her residence during the early morning hours. She said one of the men assaulted her in her bed.

The victim went to Iredell Memorial Hospital where she was examined, treated and released. She was able to identify her assailant.

Following his arrest, Renteria was placed in the Alexander County Detention Center under a $150,000 secured bond. A District Court date was set for Monday, August 3.

The other Hispanic male is currently being sought by authorities. Investigators believe his first name is Jose.

Wednesday, 29 July 2015 10:15

Lincolnton Man Wins $100K Prize in NCEL

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William Alvey of Lincolnton has won a $100,000 prize in the N.C. Education Lottery’s Mega Bucks game. Alvey, who owns and runs Bill’s Scooters, has observed a tradition of purchasing a lottery ticket every time he stops for gas. He bought the winning $5 ticket at the Kingsway store on North Aspen Street in Lincolnton.

After state and federal taxes were withheld, Alvey received a check for $69,251.54. Alvey plans to use the money to help others and will give 10% to his church. He said he and his wife might take some small trips around North Carolina and they’ll buy a new recliner. Alvey also intends to add some new chrome to his 1983 Honda Goldwing motorcycle.

Alvey says he intends to keep playing the lottery.

As of Tuesday afternoon, three more $100,000 top prizes remain to be claimed in the Mega Bucks game.

27-year-old William David Pope was arrested Tuesday (July 29) by authorities in Burke County. He’s charged with felony possession with intent to manufacture, sell, and deliver schedule II controlled substance. Following the arrest, Pope was placed in jail in Morganton where he was being held under an unspecified bond amount. A Superior Court appearance is scheduled for August 31.

56-year-old Michael Gene Yates of Boggs Road in Claremont was arrested Tuesday (July 28) by Catawba County Sheriff’s Officers. He’s charged with felony possession of a firearm by a felon and felony probation violation. Yates was detained in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $30,000 bond. He’s got Superior Court dates scheduled for today (Wednesday, July 29), Friday (July 31), and next Monday (August 3).

Google is considering plans to construct what would end up being the tallest building in Caldwell County. According to a published report, the nearly 129-foot-tall building would be constructed next to Google's first building in Lenoir off of Lynnhaven Drive, near the main entrance to its campus. 129 feet is considered to be roughly the size of a ten-story office building, according to the report.

The proposed new building would be roughly twice the height of any of Google's current buildings, but the contractor is quoted in the published report saying because it would be lower on the hill than the newest buildings, the top of the proposed building would be roughly 80 feet lower than the tops of the buildings higher on the hill.

Despite the building’s height, due to the fact that the floors in Google's data centers have very high ceilings it would be only four floors. The report says the current zoning for Google's nearly 268 acres limits buildings to a maximum height of 65 feet. Lenoir City Council will be asked on August 18 to approve new conditional zoning that would allow building heights up to 150 feet throughout Google's property.

The report says Google does not have a firm construction plan in place for this proposed building. Making a request for zoning allowing taller buildings is part of the company's planning process so that as more capacity is needed, Google can evaluate all of its data center sites and what is allowed at each so officials can decide where it makes sense to build.

Lenoir Fire Chief Ken Briscoe said Tuesday that the fire department would be able to handle a building as high as Google is considering. The department's tallest aerial truck reaches 100 feet in the air, and other equipment would allow the hoses to shoot as high as needed.

The Catawba County Elections Office has announced that the filing period for candidates seeking a seat on the Hickory Public Schools or Newton-Conover City Schools Board of Education will begin at 12 Noon on Friday, August 14, and end at 12 Noon on Friday, September 4 for the Newton-Conover City Schools Board of Education and at 5 p.m. on Friday, September 4, for the Hickory Public Schools Board of Education. The General Election will be held on Tuesday, November 3.

Amanda Duncan, Catawba County Board of Elections Director, said in a news release “Interested candidates should file in Newton at the Catawba County Board of Elections Office in the Government Center at 100-A Southwest Boulevard. Everyone with business at the Board of Elections Office should enter via the Radio Station Road entrance due to ongoing construction for the expansion of the Justice Center. Candidates must be 21 years old and a registered voter in the school district or ward for which they are filing. Elections Office staff will be available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday to assist with the candidate filing form and the required campaign committee forms.”

Seats on the two Boards of Education that will be open are as follows: In the Hickory Public Schools, four seats total: One seat in Ward 3 for a two-year unexpired term. One seat in Ward 4 for a four-year term. One seat in Ward 6 for a four-year term. And one Member At-Large seat for a four-year term. In the Newton-Conover City Schools, three seats total: One seat in the Newton School District for a four-year term. And two seats in the Conover School District for four-year terms.

The filing fee for all open seats on both Boards of Education is five dollars. For more information on filing for the municipal elections, you may call the Catawba County Board of Elections office at 828-464-2424 or visit www.catawbacountync.gov/elections/

We have more details on an arrest we first reported earlier this week. A Caldwell County man has been accused of sexually assaulting a young boy.

51-year-old George William Sheffield of Elizabeth Street NW in Lenoir was arrested last Friday on a charge of first-degree sexual assault. According to a published report, police reports say only that the child was under 13 years of age.

The Lenoir Police Department declined to reveal how old the boy is, what Sheffield is specifically accused of doing or the time period covered by the allegation. The published report does say the crime reportedly occurred at Sheffield’s house. The boy’s mother reported the incident to police.

Sheffield reportedly does not have any prior criminal convictions in North Carolina. The report says Sheffield was charged in Florida in 1982 with sexual assault, but the charge was dismissed. In 1995 Sheffield was convicted of misdemeanor resisting an officer in Orange County, Florida.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015 12:01

SWATTING Incident Reported in Newton

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At 10:30 Saturday night (July 25), Newton Police dispatchers forwarded a call to Catawba County Communications. The caller identified himself as Sean Prince of Whitegate Lane in Newton. The caller said he had shot and killed his girlfriend with a shotgun and said he had his parents tied up in the bathroom. He said he was thinking about shooting his parents. He said he needed to speak with a hostage negotiator if authorities didn’t want him to kill his parents. The caller said he would be waiting to meet the negotiator at the front door.

Catawba County Deputies, the Sheriff’s STAR (Special Tactics & Response) Team and negotiators responded to the scene. Negotiators made contact with the family and quickly suspected that something was wrong with the call. Negotiators had the family come outside, where they were detained. The residence was searched to verify that no homicide had occurred. The call was proven to be a hoax.

Sean Prince told Officers that he is a gamer and had been live-streaming on Twitch (an online community for gamers) before the incident occurred. He told authorities that hoax SWAT calls are referred to as SWATTING. SWATTING occurs when someone gains access to a victim’s name and address and calls in a hoax incident to the victim’s local jurisdiction, eliciting a SWAT response to the victim’s home.

SWATTING has occurred in other jurisdictions around the United States.

30-year-old Justin Scott Harvell of Lynn Mountain Road in Vale was arrested by Hickory Police shortly before 4 p.m. yesterday (July 27) on one felony count of possession of a schedule II controlled substance and one misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia. He is accused of possessing cocaine.

He was taken into custody without incident at the Total Convenience Market on Highway 70 S.W. in Hickory. Following his arrest, Harvell was jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $3,000 secured bond. He has since been released. A first appearance in District Court was scheduled for tomorrow in Newton.

Tuesday, 28 July 2015 10:55

Hickory Man Arrested on Felony Meth Charge

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22-year-old Daniel Scott McCallum of 31st Avenue Court N.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at about 12:30 yesterday afternoon (July 27) on one felony count of possession of a schedule II controlled substance and one misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia. He is accused of possessing methamphetamine.

He was taken into custody at a location on Highway 70 S.W. in the Long View area. Following his arrest, McCallum was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $3,000 secured bond. A first appearance in District Court was set for tomorrow in Newton.

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