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According to published reports, authorities have ruled that the Jefferson County, Tennessee bus crash that killed eight people on October 2, 2013 was an accident with no one at fault. Six of those who died were from a church in Statesville. The three-vehicle crash occurred at about 2 p.m. on Interstate 40 westbound, near mile marker 423.

Investigators say the 1997 Metrotrans Europa Motorcoach sustained a front left tire failure that caused the driver to lose control. The bus ran onto the median, went through a cable barrier on the eastbound side of the interstate and hit a 2002 Chevy and a 2014 Volvo tractor-trailer before coming to a rest on its right side.

The bus was owned by Front Street Baptist Church of Statesville.

Six of the 18 people on the bus were killed. One person in the Chevrolet and the driver of the tractor-trailer also died in the crash. 14 people were injured.

Investigators found no evidence of impairment among any of the drivers; no evidence that the drivers were distracted and no evidence that the bus was not well maintained.

18-year-old Tyler John Brown of Island Ford Road in Maiden was arrested by Maiden Police Saturday (April 26) on charges of felony breaking & entering, felony larceny after breaking & entering and felony possession of stolen goods.

Brown is charged in connection to an April 24 break-in and larceny at a neighbor’s residence. During the investigation, Maiden Police Officers were able to recover five firearms, ammunition, a safe and other items that were stolen during the break in.

Brown was transported to the Catawba Co. Detention Facility where he was held under an $8,000 secured bond. Brown was scheduled to make a first appearance in District Court today (April 28) in Newton.

As a result of Tuesday’s (April 29) weather forecast, work on the Amherst Road water line in Morganton has been delayed until Thursday, weather permitting. Contractors had planned to shut off water service to the area tomorrow (April 29), but the shut off will be delayed until later this week. The National Weather Service is forecasting an 80% chance of rain Tuesday and a chance of severe thunderstorms.

The City of Morganton will shut off water service temporarily Thursday to customers living in the Amherst Road area in Morganton and Drexel. Contractors need to move a water line located at the Amherst Road Bridge just east of the Morganton city limits.

The water service shut off will now start at 8 a.m. on Thursday May 1 and will continue until contractors relocate the water line.

For more information, call the City of Morganton Water Resources Department at 828-438-5276 or the Town of Drexel Public Works Department at 828-437-7421.

A benefit yard sale will be held at 2024 3rd Avenue N.W. in Hickory on Friday & Saturday (May 2 & 3) from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday and 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday.

All donations will go toward medical care and expenses for Cathy Gibson, who was diagnosed in February of this year with a rare form of cancer called Inflammatory Breast Cancer. Money is being raised to send her to the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, the top-rated facility in the treatment of Inflammatory Breast Cancer.

Other fundraising activities, including lunch, are planned at Burkes Outlet, 175 Riverbend Drive in Granite Falls on Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon.

Jewelry, furniture, massages, gift cards and more will be available.

Monday, 28 April 2014 11:07

Sex Offender Arrested at Hickory Park

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24-year-old Greg Lee Daniels, Jr. of Porter Street in Charlotte was arrested by Hickory Police just after ten o’clock Friday night (April 25) as a sex offender unlawfully on premises where children are present. The charge is a felony.

He was arrested after an Officer on routine patrol saw a suspicious vehicle at Kiwanis Park on 6th Street S.E. in Hickory. Inside were Greg Daniels and a female. Daniels said he met the woman at a nightclub in Charlotte and had come to visit her. The woman was not charged.

He is on the sex offender registry as the result of a February 2013 conviction in Mecklenburg County for sexual battery. The offense occurred in September of 2012 and involved a 14-year-old victim.

Daniels was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $35,000 secured bond. He was scheduled to appear in District Court today (April 28) in Newton.

Monday, 28 April 2014 11:07

Plane Hits Man as He Mows Runway

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According to published reports, a pilot descending on a grass airstrip at the Taylorsville Airport landed on a man who was mowing the runway. The airport is located on Airport Road, just off of N.C. Highway 90.

74-year-old John Rufty of Taylorsville was taken by ambulance from the crash site at one end of the landing field to a helicopter at the other end where he was airlifted to Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem. One of Rufty’s hands was severed and was taken to the hospital with him. Reports suggest that Rufty’s injuries are not life threatening.

Rufty reportedly keeps a hangar at the airport and helps maintain the landing field.

The plane flipped over, but the pilot was not hurt. The pilot was reportedly blameless in connection to the crash.

Monday, 28 April 2014 07:34

Boone Crime Stoppers Seeks Public's Help

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High Country Crime Stoppers and Boone Police are asking for the public’s assistance.

Sometime between the hours of 5:30 p.m. on April 1 and 5:30 p.m. on April 2, a wallet was reportedly stolen from a vehicle parked on Tulip Tree Lane in Boone. A fraudulent transaction was then attempted in Greensboro using the victim’s credit card.

Photos of the suspect and his vehicle are shown here.

Anyone with information regarding the crime should call Crime Stoppers at 828-268-6959 / 828-737-0125 or the Boone Police Department at 828-268-6900. All information will be kept confidential.

Monday, 28 April 2014 07:01

Hours Adjusted at All Hickory City Parks

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The Hickory Parks & Recreation Department seasonally changes the hours of operation for all city-owned parks. Effective May 1, the new park hours will be from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. The change allows all parks to close approximately a half hour after sundown.

The change applies to the following parks:

  • Civitan Park - 460 17th Avenue, N.E.
  • Cliff Teague Park - 1125 2nd Street, S.E.
  • Glenn C. Hilton, Jr. Memorial Park - 2000 6th Street, N.W.
  • Henry Fork River Regional Recreation Park - 5655 Sweet Bay Lane.
  • Hickory Optimist Park - 751 2nd Street Drive, N.W.
  • Jaycee Park - 1515 12th Street Drive, N.W.
  • Geitner/Rotary Park - 2035 12th Street Drive, N.W.
  • Kiwanis Park - 805 6th Street, S.E.
  • Southside Heights Park - 1400 2nd Street, S.W.
  • Stanford Park - 1451 8th Street Drive, N.E.
  • Taft Broome Park - 735 3rd Street, S.W.
  • West Hickory Park - 830 16th Street, S.W.
  • Winkler Park - 2500 Clement Blvd, N.W.
Monday, 28 April 2014 06:53

HPS eLeaders Present to School Board

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Two eLeaders from Oakwood Elementary School presented to the Board of Education during a recent work session at the Hickory Public Schools administrative offices.

Gina Sain, a second-grade teacher and Beth Shoffner, a media coordinator, highlighted the use of technology in today’s classroom. Sain focused on research methods through the use of iPads. Through the Oakwood media center, Shoffner uses various technology tools to teach lessons about the history and geography of the United States.

Ryan McCreary, Oakwood principal, joined Sain and Shoffner for their presentation, along with Terri Hall, an HPS technology specialist who coordinates the eLeader Academy for Hickory Public Schools.

The HPS eLeader Academy, now in its second year, offers a training opportunity for teacher leaders to learn more about effective technology integration.

Monday, 28 April 2014 06:51

Burke County Standoff Ends Peacefully

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According to published reports, Burke Co. Sheriff’s Officers were involved in a standoff with a man Sunday morning (April 27) after they went to serve an involuntary commitment.

The subject was in a residence with two other people. They refused to come out and Deputies were told that the subject was armed. A Burke County Sheriff’s Office negotiator arrived on the scene shortly before noon.

At approximately 2:15 p.m., one of the occupants brought out two guns, which were seized by Officers. Negotiations continued. A SWAT Team was deployed after the subject did not honor multiple promises to come out of the residence peacefully.

The SWAT team entered the residence at 4:40 p.m. and took all three occupants into custody without further incident. The involuntary commitment was served.

An investigation is being conducted to determine if criminal charges will be filed. No names have been released.