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29-year-old Jesse Dean Burse, a sex offender who was wanted by authorities in McDowell County, was captured at a residence on State Street in Marion at 12:39 Tuesday afternoon (July 29). He was taken into custody by McDowell Co. Sheriff’s Deputies and Marion Police Officers as the result of a tip from the public.

Burse was wanted on two counts of failure by a sex offender to register a change of address and one count each of failure to appear in court and failure to pay child support.

Burse was convicted of one count of sexual battery in Rutherford County on September 26, 2007. He was sentenced to two months and 15 days in prison and was released from the N.C. Department of Corrections on December 10, 2007.

After his release, he registered as a sex offender in Rutherford County. He moved to McDowell County in August of 2013. In October of last year, he allegedly changed his address without notifying the Sheriff’s Office, which he is required to do by law. He was charged with a registry violation. That case is still pending and was scheduled to be heard last week. When Burse failed to show, the Judge issued a warrant for failure to appear.

Burse had been living at 6 Eagle Drive in Nebo until mid-June of this year, when, once again, it is alleged that he left that residence without notifying the Sheriff’s Office. On July 10, Capt. Ricky Crisp issued another warrant for a registry violation.

Burse had been on the run from law enforcement since mid-June. A Superior Court appearance was scheduled for September 29.

Thursday, 31 July 2014 14:17

Felony Marijuana Arrest in Lincoln County

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44-year-old Richard Mason Aderhold was arrested yesterday (July 30) by Lincoln Co. Sheriff’s Officers on charges of possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver marijuana, sale or delivery of marijuana and maintaining a vehicle or dwelling for a controlled substance. He was placed in the Harven A. Crouse Detention Center under a $100,000 secured bond. Aderhold was scheduled to appear in a Lincoln County courtroom today.

Thursday, 31 July 2014 13:48

Silver Alert Issued for Lincoln County Man

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The N.C. Center for Missing Persons has issued a Silver Alert for a missing endangered man, 73-year-old Troy Marshall Scronce. Mr. Scronce is believed to be suffering from dementia or some other cognitive impairment.

Mr. Scronce was last seen at his residence on George Brown Road in Crouse. He was believed to be traveling southbound on Highway 221 toward Shelby. He was driving a red 1996 Dodge dually pick-up truck with N.C. license BJ9074.

Mr. Scronce is a white male. He is 6' 0" and weighs 275 pounds with short brown hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a white polo shirt, brown shorts and white tennis shoes.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Troy Marshall Scronce should call Officer Prater at the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, 704-735-8202.

Thursday, 31 July 2014 13:41

Newton Man Indicted on Felony Robbery Charge

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26-year-old Cameron Dwayne Rhinehardt of Mount Olive Church Road in Newton has been served felony indictments by Catawba Co. Sheriff’s Officers on charges dating back to last year for robbery with a dangerous weapon and assault by pointing a gun. He was jailed yesterday (July 30) in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $75,000 secured bond. Rhinehardt will appear in Superior Court tomorrow in Newton.

Thursday, 31 July 2014 12:01

Unemployment Numbers Down Across the State

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Unemployment rates (not seasonally adjusted) decreased in 81 of North Carolina’s counties in June, increased in 10, and remained unchanged in nine. 13 of the state’s metropolitan statistical regions experienced rate decreases, while one remained unchanged.

The June not seasonally adjusted statewide rate was 6.5%. When compared to the same month last year, not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates decreased in all 100 counties. All 14 metro areas experienced rate decreases over the year.

The number of workers employed statewide (not seasonally adjusted) decreased in June by 26,751 to 4,388,173, while those unemployed decreased by 10,225 to 303,122. Since June 2013, the number of workers employed statewide increased by 57,060, while those unemployed decreased by 105,228.

In the Unifour, Catawba County was down two-tenths in June, finishing at 7.1%. Alexander County was unchanged at 6.1%. Burke and Caldwell each decreased by two-tenths at 6.8% and 7.3%, respectively.

Elsewhere in the region, Ashe County was down a tenth at 7.4%. Avery decreased by six-tenths, coming in at 6.7%. Buncombe saw a decrease of two-tenths at 4.8%. Cleveland County finished at 6.8%, down one-tenth. Gaston County’s numbers were up one-tenth at 6.7%. Iredell and Lincoln were both down two-tenths at 6.1% and 6.2%, respectively. McDowell finished June at 6.8%, dropping three-tenths. Watauga was down four-tenths at 5.8% and Wilkes decreased by two-tenths at 7.2%.

The Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton metro region is now tied for the 11th highest number in the state, even with the Greenville region at 6.9%. Only Fayetteville at 7.5% and Rocky Mount at 9.6% are higher.

The next unemployment update is scheduled for Monday, August 18 when the state unemployment rate for July 2014 will be released.

Thursday, 31 July 2014 12:00

No Sales Tax Holiday in North Carolina

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North Carolina will not have a sales tax holiday this year for the first time since 2002. Legislation passed by the N.C. General Assembly and signed by Gov. Pat McCrory last summer did away with the holiday. Lawmakers say North Carolina lost more than $13 million in tax revenue in 2012 as a result of the holiday.

South Carolina and Tennessee will continue to have an annual sales tax holiday starting tomorrow (Friday, August 1) at 12:01 a.m. and ending Sunday, August 3, at 11:59 p.m.

Tax-exempt items include $100 or less of clothing; $100 or less on school supplies and $1,500 or less on computers.

26-year-old Stephen Matthew Isenhour of County Home Dairy Road in Conover was served felony indictments by Hickory Police at about 5:40 yesterday afternoon (July 31) on charges of felony breaking & entering and felony larceny.

The charges date back to an April 22, 2007 break-in at the Water Oaks Apartments on 14th Street Lane N.E. in Hickory. Isenhour was caught coming out the back door. The indictments were issued on April 7 of this year.

Isenhour was processed at H.P.D. and then released under a $2,500 unsecured bond. He will appear in Superior Court tomorrow in Newton.

Congressman Patrick McHenry (NC-10) will hold six Town Hall meetings for constituents across the 10th Congressional District from Monday, August 4, through Wednesday, August 6.

Those meetings include an appearance in Catawba County on Wednesday, August 6, at 6 p.m. Congressman McHenry will be at Maiden High School, 600 West Main Street in Maiden. For more information, call 828-428-8197.

At each Town Hall meeting, Congressman McHenry will give an update on recent legislative activity in Congress and what can be expected in the coming months. Town Hall meetings are an opportunity for constituents to share their thoughts on the issues and ask Congressman McHenry questions on pending legislation and other issues before the House of Representatives.

Additionally, the Congressman’s staff will be available to meet privately with constituents who have issues with federal agencies including Social Security, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Internal Revenue Service.

Additional Town Hall meetings are as follows:

Buncombe County​
Monday, August 4 at 2 p.m.
Land of the Sky Shrine Club
39 Spring Cove Road
Swannanoa
828-299-1766

Rutherford and Polk County​
Monday, August 4 at 6 p.m.
Lake Lure Fire Department
622 Memorial Highway
Lake Lure
828-625-9333

Lincoln County​
Tuesday, August 5 at 2 p.m.
Lincoln Charter School
Lincolnton Campus
133 Eagle Nest Road
Lincolnton
704-736-9888

Gaston County
Tuesday, August 5 at 6 p.m.
Gaston College
Kimbrell Campus and Textile Technology Center
7220 Wilkinson Boulevard
Belmont
704-825-3737

Cleveland County​
Wednesday, August 6 at 2 p.m.
Pinnacle Classical Academy
900 South Post Road
Shelby
704-740-4040

The North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles (NCDMV) will close its Statesville license plate agency on Wednesday, August 6, and Thursday, August 7, to conduct customer service training.

The NCDMV is currently holding statewide customer service training courses for all office locations. The Statesville agency will reopen on Friday, August 8, at 9 a.m.

Agencies located in the immediate area will remain open to provide vehicle registration services. The following locations will be open during the training:

  • Hickory – 901 Highway 321 North West, Suite 100, 828-328-3783
  • Mocksville – 124 South Salisbury Street, Suite 101, 336-751-3303
  • Mooresville – 125-3 North Main Street, 704-663-5472
  • Newton – 803 West Conover Boulevard, 828-464-6878
  • Salisbury – 130 East Kerr Street, 704-633-5312
  • Taylorsville – 85 East Main Avenue, 828-632-4463

License plate agencies offer vehicle registration services and title transactions, as well as vehicle license plate renewals, replacement tags and duplicate registrations. Currently, about 120 license plate agencies operate across North Carolina.

The Catawba Co. Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Division has been conducting an ongoing investigation, known as “Operation Seven/Eleven,” for the past several months focusing on the manufacture and distribution of methamphetamine in the county.

Investigators targeted several suspects who specifically manufacture meth using the “one pot” method, which has become an epidemic locally and nationally. The suspects typically buy or steal precursor items needed to manufacture meth from local businesses in and around the county.

In 2012, Catawba County ranked third in the state for meth labs located and dismantled. The county ranked fourth in the state in 2013. The arrest and successful prosecution of the suspects rounded up during Operation Seven/Eleven is intended to decrease the number of meth labs in 2014 by serving as an example of law enforcement’s zero-tolerance policy toward meth cooks.

Narcotics Officers identified 11 suspects who were involved in making meth or who assisted the cooks by providing precursor items. Investigators presented their cases to the Grand Jury on July 21, leading to 59 separate charges.

Last Wednesday (July 23), Deputies and Narcotics Investigators successfully located nine of the 11 suspects. Two suspects may have left the state to avoid prosecution, but are actively being sought. All other suspects are in custody.

Still at large are Joseph Edward Morin and his mother, Georgia Lynn Starks, both from Newton. They were charged with five counts each of manufacturing meth, conspiracy to manufacture meth and possession of meth precursors. Both suspects have been entered into the National Crime Information Center database as wanted persons. Anyone with information regarding their whereabouts should call the Catawba Co. Communications Center at 828-464-3112.

24-year-old Ashley Nicole Reynolds from Claremont faces 13 separate charges including manufacturing meth, conspiracy to manufacture meth, trafficking meth by manufacture & possession and possession of meth precursors. Reynolds was given a $50,000 secured bond.

25-year-old Julia Marie Flowers from Catawba was arrested on seven separate charges including manufacturing meth, conspiracy to manufacture meth, trafficking meth by manufacture & possession and possession of meth precursors. Flowers remains in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $121,000 secured bond.

18-year-old Jacob Rayce Carr from Newton faces six separate charges including manufacturing meth, conspiracy to manufacture meth, trafficking in meth by manufacture & possession and possession of meth precursors. Carr has been confined in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $325,000, secured.

35-year-old Wesley Michael Sain from Hickory was charged with manufacturing meth, trafficking meth by manufacture & possession and possession of meth precursors. Sain remains in custody under a $75,000 secured bond.

28-year-old Cody Lee Weiss from Newton has been arrested on 13 separate charges including manufacturing meth, conspiracy to manufacture meth, trafficking in meth by manufacture & possession and possession of meth precursors. Weiss was jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $575,000 secured bond.

26-year-old Kevin Matthew Cook of Catawba was charged with conspiracy to manufacture meth and trafficking in meth by possession & manufacture. Cook was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $150,000, secured.

48-year-old William Jonathan McNeil of Newton has been arrested on one count of conspiracy to manufacture meth. He also faces charges for manufacturing meth, possession or distribution of meth precursors and misdemeanor larceny. McNeil has been confined in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility. He was given a $160,000 secured bond.

29-year-old Brandon Kyle Hensley from Maiden has been arrested on one count of manufacturing meth. Hensley is currently in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $10,000 secured bond.

And, 26-year-old Samantha Lynn Metz from Maiden has been arrested on one count of manufacturing meth. Metz remains in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $10,000, secured.

Most of the suspects arrested are scheduled to appear in Superior Court on October 6 in Newton. In addition to their October 6 appearances, Sain has a District Court date on August 20 and McNeill is due in District Court on December 15. Cook’s Superior Court date was set for September 2. The only listed court dates for Hensley and Metz were appearances today (July 30) in District Court.