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News (835)

Wednesday, 02 July 2014 07:14

Update on Maggie Daniels Homicide Case

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Newton Police have issued a release stating that the investigation into the death of Maggie Daniels is continuing. Investigators are canvassing the area near the Windsor Apartments on West 17th Street in Newton and continuing to interview Ms. Daniels’ friends and acquaintances.

Ms. Daniels’ body was found in her apartment Saturday morning (June 28). After autopsy results were received Monday (June 30), the investigation into her death became a homicide investigation. Police have not released a cause of death.

According to published reports, the District Attorney met with Investigators for more than two hours Tuesday at Newton Police headquarters. Police have seized surveillance video from a used car lot near the entrance to the apartment complex. The business reportedly has nine cameras, including one with a view of the only street into the complex.

Anyone with information regarding the death of Maggie Daniels should contact the Newton Police Department at 828-465-7430.

Statesville Police say they have identified a person of interest in connection to an indecent exposure case at the Wal-Mart store in Statesville. The incident occurred on June 15. Yesterday (July 1), Police released images from surveillance footage of the suspect and his vehicle.

Police have spoken with the man shown in those images and will release additional information as the case progresses.

Authorities say they were flooded with responses after the images were released and expressed their appreciation to area media and to the public.

Tuesday, 01 July 2014 13:35

Lincoln County Woman Still Missing

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Lincoln County Sheriff’s Detectives are still looking for 27-year-old Toasha Nicole Rice from western Lincoln County. Officers say they have followed up on all the leads they’ve received, thus far.

Ms. Rice was last seen at 3691 Eaker Road in Cherryville getting into a dark colored, four-door car with an unidentified white female on May 26 of this year. Detectives say that in the past, Ms. Rice had always contacted a family member on a daily basis, but she has not been heard from since the day she left.

Family members and Sheriff’s Officers have attempted to contact Ms. Rice on her cell phone, but it appears to be turned off. Detectives went house to house on Palm Tree Drive last Thursday in an area the woman was known to frequent in an effort to gather additional leads, but nothing new was developed.

Ms. Rice is known to frequent areas known for drug use in Gastonia, Lincoln County and McDowell County. She also goes by the name of Nikki Green on Facebook. Ms. Rice is a white female with blue eyes and brown hair. She is 5’6” tall and weighs approximately 140 pounds.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Toasha Nicole Rice, a.k.a. Nikki Green, should contact the Lincoln Co. Sheriff’s Office at 704-732-9050, the Lincoln Co. Communications Center at 704-735-8202 or Lincolnton/Lincoln Co. Crime Stoppers at 704-736-8909. A Crime Stoppers tip could result in a reward of up to $1,000 if the information leads to Ms. Rice’s location.

Tuesday, 01 July 2014 12:01

Petition to Recall Morganton Mayor Falls Short

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The open petition for the recall of Morganton Mayor Mel Cohen fell short of the required 2,228 signatures needed to force the recall election. Signatures for 25% of all qualified registered voters were needed. The deadline passed last Friday (June 27) at 5 p.m. The matter is now closed.

Local citizen Dr. Aziz Omer spearheaded the effort after disputing City Council’s decision to change its method of charging for utility deposits.

Mayor Cohen said he was happy the city would be spared the $16,000 expense to conduct a recall election.

22-year-old Steven Wayne Patton of Celia Creek Road in Lenoir was arrested by Caldwell Co. Sheriff’s Officers yesterday (June 30) for possession of a firearm by a felon, possession with intent to manufacture, sell or distribute methamphetamine; maintaining a vehicle or dwelling for a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Patton was placed in the Caldwell Co. Detention Center under a $75,000 secured bond. He was scheduled to make a first appearance in District Court today in Lenoir.

Tuesday, 01 July 2014 11:24

New Hotel Slated to Open Today in Hickory

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Hickory’s newest hotel, the Holiday Inn Express at the Mart, was scheduled to open today (July 1). The $9 million hotel features the latest in brand design and technology.

The hotel is a key piece of a planned new development called Fairbrook Ridge. Developers say that when complete, the project will add over $30 million to the tax base and create at least 350 jobs.

Amenities at the new hotel include a fitness room. Each piece of equipment will have a miniature TV built into it and will also be Bluetooth compatible for all MP3s and cell phones. Guests will enjoy complimentary access to the YMCA facility, which is located on the hotel’s complex.

Additional amenities and services include a business center for all corporate needs and a complimentary hot breakfast available for guests each morning. Special rates are available for corporate accounts and blocks of ten or more rooms per night. Preferred Furniture Shopper rates are offered for out-of-state guests visiting the Hickory Furniture Mart.

The Crosslink Church in Rutherford College is organizing and sponsoring a “Run. Praise. Partake” 5K race on Saturday, August 30. The event will be held at Catawba Meadows Park on Sanford Drive in Morganton. A concert is planned at 6 p.m. and the race will begin at 8 p.m.

The nighttime run will feature neon lights and music. It will be run on a mostly level course on the greenway with no highway traffic.

All proceeds will fund construction of an orphanage for 64 boys and girls in Mintore, Haiti.

Early registration by August 12 is $25 and guarantees an event t-shirt. Organizers hope to register at least 500 runners. Online registration is available at www.racingtoes.com/run-praise-partake-5k-online-registration.

Tuesday, 01 July 2014 10:57

Boone Woman Indicted on Felony Meth Charge

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31-year-old Elaynia Victoria Huffman of Bairds Creek Road in Boone was served a felony indictment yesterday (June 30) on one felony count of possession of a schedule II controlled substance.

She was initially arrested at the Red Roof Inn just off of Lenoir-Rhyne Boulevard in Hickory on July 2 of last year for possession of methamphetamine and a small amount of marijuana.

Huffman taken into custody without incident at about 5:45 p.m. yesterday. She was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $14,000 secured bond. An appearance in Superior Court was set for July 11 in Newton.

Tuesday, 01 July 2014 08:04

Fugitive From Newton Arrested in Virginia

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34-year-old James Brandon Smith of Newton, an escaped fugitive from North Carolina, was apprehended last night (June 30) in Damascus, Virginia after crashing a stolen vehicle. He was taken into custody at about 9 p.m., near the intersection of state Route 91 and Orchard Hill Road.

Smith was initially arrested last Monday (June 23) in Boone and was charged in connection with a car chase and standoff with Officers in Catawba County. That incident resulted in a fire being set in a wheat field.

According to Police reports, Smith was being transferred Monday from Alexander County to Watauga County when he allegedly assaulted an Alexander County Sheriff’s Deputy and fled.  He stole a Toyota SUV and led Officers on a chase during which speeds reached 100 miles per hour before wrecking.

Smith faces numerous charges in North Carolina in Catawba, Watauga, Alexander and Caldwell counties. Those include multiple counts of felony larceny, misdemeanor larceny, assault with a deadly weapon on a government official, possession of stolen goods or property, larceny of a motor vehicle, larceny of a firearm, hit & run, breaking & entering, breaking & entering a motor vehicle, attempted breaking & entering, fleeing to elude arrest with a motor vehicle, possession of a stolen motor vehicle, possession of a stolen firearm, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, injury to personal property, resisting a public officer, D.W.I., driving while license revoked and several other traffic infractions.

Smith has court dates in various counties starting with an appearance in Boone today (July 1) and in Newton tomorrow. Additional appearances are coming up on July 21 & 24 and on August 1, 4 & 12.

45-year-old Barney Sherlock of North Augusta, South Carolina has been arrested by Lincoln Co. Sheriff’s Officers on one felony count each of breaking & entering, larceny after breaking & entering and possession of stolen goods. He was also charged with one misdemeanor count each of simple assault on a handicapped person, assault on a female by a male over 18 years old and an open container violation.

He was arrested after a traffic stop on Old Plank Road near Mariposa Road yesterday (June 30). Sherlock is accused of pushing his way into a 90-year-old Lincoln County woman’s home while posing as a utility worker earlier this month. He allegedly took a jewelry box filled with costume jewelry. The man told the woman that he had been working on the power lines nearby and needed to check to see if she had power.

Sherlock, who is believed to be a member of the Irish Travelers, was jailed under a $50,500 secured bond. He was scheduled to make a first appearance in Lincoln County District Court today (July 1).

Sheriff David Carpenter is warning residents to be aware of the Irish Travelers as they make their annual visit to the area. The group uses high-pressure sales tactics, especially among the elderly, for driveway blacktopping or sealing, roof work or painting. Most Irish Travelers drive utility trucks with South Carolina, North Carolina or Georgia license plates.