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27-year-old Amber Sue Lawson of Bexley Lane in Lincolnton was arrested by Hickory Police shortly before 11 o’clock last night (April 30) on one felony count of defeating an anti-shoplifting device and one misdemeanor count of larceny.

She was arrested after a Loss Prevention Officer at the Kohl’s store on Catawba Valley Boulevard contacted H.P.D. regarding two suspicious women in the store. Loss Prevention watched the two on camera as one of the women concealed items in her purse.

Both women went into a dressing room and remained there for some time before emerging and leaving the store. They were stopped by an H.P.D. Officer on the sidewalk in front of the store.

Items including jewelry, cosmetics and scarves were taken. Loss Prevention found tags from the stolen items in a pair of shorts in the dressing room and also found the electronic anti-theft devices there. It’s not clear if all the stolen merchandise was recovered.

Lawson was taken into custody without incident. The other woman, whose identity was not released, was issued a misdemeanor citation for misdemeanor larceny.

Lawson was taken to the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $500 secured bond. She has since been released. A District Court date in Newton was set for tomorrow.

Nearly a dozen buildings in downtown Morganton could soon be abandoned by the state. Those building sit on the campus of Broughton Hospital where construction is underway for a new facility. Work is underway for the new $154 million state-of-the-art psychiatric facility.

City leaders said there isn't a plan or money for the 12 buildings that will be vacated when the new hospital opens. At least one of the buildings to be abandoned is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The move into the new facility will begin late next year with the bulk of the move happening in 2016.

The Catawba County Board of Commissioners will meet at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, May 5 in the 1924 Courthouse at 30 North College Avenue in Newton.

The Board will hold a public hearing on the proposed relocation of boundary lines between the Bandys Rural Fire Protection Service District and the Maiden Rural Fire Protection Service District. A total of 66 parcels would be impacted by the change. The relocation of the boundaries would either improve the fire protection ratings for the affected parcels or the ratings will remain the same.

The Board will also consider a proposed lease with Blue Ridge Biofuels of Asheville for operation of the Biodiesel Research Facility at the Catawba County EcoComplex. The lease agreement would create ten jobs and a new $1 million investment as Blue Ridge Biofuels would move its operation to the county and privatize the operation.

The Board will consider approving an annual plan for the Catawba County Juvenile Crime Prevention Council (JCPC), as recommended by the Council, and the appropriation of additional state funds available in the current fiscal year to four JCPC programs.

The Board will issue a proclamation declaring May 18-24 as Emergency Medical Services Week and the they’ll recognize the county’s Finance Department for winning the State Treasurer’s Governmental Award for Excellence in Accounting & Financial Management. The award is presented annually to units of local government that have excelled in implementing fiscally responsible procedures.

Thursday, 01 May 2014 09:54

Hickory Man Convicted of Habitual B&E

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52-year-old Russell Lamont Epps of Hickory was convicted in Catawba Co. Criminal Superior Court yesterday on charges of felony breaking & entering and felony larceny. He was also convicted of habitual breaking & entering. Epps was sentenced to no less than 30 months and no more than 48 months in the North Carolina Division of Adult Correction.

The crimes occurred in May 2013 in Hickory and involved a commercial breaking & entering and the theft of vodka and a Nintendo video game valued at $220. Epps was identified using onsite video surveillance footage.

David Leeper of the Hickory Police Department handled the investigation and Assistant District Attorney Brenda Brewer prosecuted the case. The Honorable Eric Levinson presided over the conviction.

Epps will be transported to the Department of Adult Correction for processing.

33-year-old Jason Richard Dickerson of Maiden was convicted yesterday in Catawba County Criminal Superior Court on a long list of felony charges.

Dickerson pleaded guilty to three counts each of possession with intent to sell & deliver marijuana, possession with intent to sell & deliver cocaine and the sale of cocaine. He was also convicted of two counts for the sale of marijuana and one count each for possession of cocaine, conspiracy to sell marijuana and maintaining a place for controlled substances. In addition, Dickerson was sentenced as an habitual felon. He was sentenced to no less than 80 months and no more than 108 months in the North Carolina Division of Adult Correction.

The crimes occurred between November 2011 and February 2012 in Catawba County. The Catawba County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Unit, with assistance from the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, conducted an undercover investigation that utilized a confidential informant who repeatedly purchased cocaine and marijuana from Dickerson and others working with him.

Assistant District Attorney Kyle Smith prosecuted the case and the Honorable Eric Levinson presided over the convictions.

Dickerson will be transported to the Division of Adult Correction for processing.

As of yesterday (April 30), a new, permanent traffic pattern is in place at the intersection of Radio Road and Museum/Gaither Road in Statesville.

The intersection has now been changed to a four-way stop. Stop signs and flashing lights are already in place to alert motorists of the change. Previously, motorists were directed to stop at Museum/Gaither Road while traffic on Radio Road did not stop.

The change is the result of recent improvements to the Radio Road overpass on Interstate 40. The overpass improvements created some sight-distance concerns as vehicles approached from the overpass. The intersection was analyzed for a signal, but did not meet the criteria. The change in the traffic pattern at the intersection will help alleviate those issues.

The improvements along the Radio Road overpass and the intersection are part of the $89.1 million I-40/77 interchange improvement project.

Wednesday, 30 April 2014 15:46

Lenoir Mayor to Hold Prayer Breakfast Thursday

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Lenoir Mayor Joe Gibbons’ Prayer Breakfast will be held tomorrow (May 1) at 7:30 a.m. at the First Presbyterian Church in Lenoir.  Rep. Edgar Starnes will be the keynote speaker.  

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased Thursday at the City of Lenoir offices or in the morning at the church.  The church is located at 1002 Kirkwood Avenue N.W.

Wednesday, 30 April 2014 15:37

Hickory Man Faces Felony Meth Charge in Caldwell

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28-year-old Brandon Tyler Ingle of 24th Street in Hickory was arrested by Granite Falls Police yesterday (April 30) for felony possession of methamphetamine. After his arrest, Ingle was taken to the Caldwell Co. Detention Center with bond set at $10,000, secured. He will appear in Superior Court on July 14 in Lenoir.

Wednesday, 30 April 2014 15:31

Boomer Man Faces Accused of Trafficking Meth

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36-year-old Michael Wayne Jenkins of Sunnyside Drive in Boomer was arrested by the N.C. State Highway Patrol in Caldwell County yesterday (April 29) on felony counts of trafficking in methamphetamine by possession and trafficking in methamphetamine by transportation.

Jenkins’ arrest marked the end of a six-month long investigation into a major supplier of meth to the Lenoir and Caldwell County areas. The investigation was a joint operation involving Homeland Security Investigations, the Lenoir Police Department, the Caldwell Co. Sheriff’s Office I.C.E. Unit, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation and the Highway Patrol.

The investigation yielded four ounces of crystal meth that was hidden in a lamp and a loaded .380 caliber pistol. Jenkins was arrested after Troopers stopped his 2001 GMC Sierra truck. Additional arrests are anticipated.  

Jenkins was incarcerated in the Caldwell Co. Detention Center under a $100,000 secured bond. He was scheduled to make a first appearance in District Court in Lenoir tomorrow (May 1).

Wednesday, 30 April 2014 14:40

Lenoir Woman Faces Multiple Felony Drug Charges

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34-year-old Regina Rae Bolick of Old North Road in Lenoir was arrested by Lenoir Police yesterday (April 29) on charges of felony possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver a schedule II controlled substance, felony possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver a schedule IV controlled substance, felony possession of methamphetamine, felony possession of a controlled substance on prison or jail premises, simple possession of a schedule IV controlled substance, misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia, misdemeanor larceny and second-degree trespass.

Bolick was confined in the Caldwell Co. Detention Center with bond set at $102,000, secured. She will make a first appearance in District Court tomorrow in Lenoir.