The Rev. Susan Smith Walker of the Exodus Missionary Outreach Church and its associated ministries will travel to Germany to facilitate a leadership retreat where she hopes to help participants develop greater empathy and compassion. Rev. Walker has developed an interactive program that highlights how the Exodus church, the prison ministry and Exodus Homes work together to make the community a better place to live for all people. She will also share other ways to make a difference at home and in the world, such as the Shelter Box program (www.shelterbox.org) and Compassion International (www.compassion.com).
Three years ago, a friend of Rev. Walker's who lives in Germany came to tour the Exodus ministries while in the United States after reading about it on Facebook. When she returned to her church in Germany, she convinced The American Protestant Church (APC) in Bonn to begin sending annual financial support to Exodus Homes. The APC is a diverse English-speaking congregation with 40% of its members from Africa, 30% from Germany and the rest from countries all over the world who are in Bonn to attend university or to work.
The retreat will be held 80km from Bonn at the The Familienferiendorf Hübingen in the mountains of the Nassau Natural Park in Westerwald. Rev. Walker leaves for Germany on September 30 and will return on October 6.
According to published reports, 43-year-old Herbert Spencer Kidwell of North Main Street in Drexel has been sentenced to at least 50 years in prison and will most likely spend the rest of his life in confinement. Kidwell pleaded guilty to statutory rape, two counts of statutory sex offense and three counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.
Kidwell’s victim was a 14-year-old middle school student from Burke County. Prosecutors said Kidwell used a popular messaging app in an effort to establish relationships with underage girls. He presented himself online as an 18-year-old from Texas. Following several months of online communication with his victim, Kidwell had sex with the girl on multiple occasions after convincing her to leave her home.
Prior to his arrest in November of 2013, Kidwell was employed as a Loss Prevention Officer at a local K-Mart store.
At their meeting yesterday (September 22), the Caldwell County Board of Commissioners approved a request from the county's Department of Social Services for an allotment of four new full-time temporary positions. The new positions will assist Social Services in processing its recently-increased workload.
The Board also heard a report from Caldwell County Schools superintendent Dr. Steve Stone and Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute President Dr. Ken Boham who both shared budget updates with the Board.
Additionally, the North Carolina Association of County Commissioners formally recognized and awarded Kathy Greene, Clerk to the Board of Commissioners, with the Howard Holly Outstanding Clerk of the year award. Ms. Greene has been involved with the Caldwell County government since 1994 and is a member of the American Business Woman's Association, Yokefellow Ministries and the Lenoir Service League.
The City of Morganton recently repainted a three-million-gallon drinking water storage tank (a.k.a. clearwell) at the city’s Water Treatment Plant. The project is designed to extend the useful life of the tank.
Water Resources Director Brad Boris said that maintaining the city's water and sewer assets is crucial to managing a sound water system. After 18 years of service, the clearwell was showing definite signs of aging and weathering, although the structure is still in good physical shape.
In order to maintain and extend the life of the tank, Boris proposed that the tank be refurbished and repainted with a coating that would not only protect the tank, but would also improve its appearance. The City Council agreed, and in August, the Council contracted with the Carolina Management Team (CMT) to do the work at a cost of $51,263.
CMT started on the project in late August and finished the job on September 3. They patched cracks and defects on the exterior of the tank, coated the tank with concrete paint and then applied an acrylic paint.
The clearwell was built in 1996 and is the largest of 13 existing water storage tanks in the city’s water system. It's made of reinforced and pre-stressed concrete. Concrete tanks can deliver 30 to 50 years of use, depending on several factors such as environmental conditions, etc.
44-year-old Frances Rene Blancher of Lantern Ridge Drive in Lincolnton has been arrested by Lincolnton Police on charges of attempting to obtain a controlled substance by fraud or forgery and attempting to traffick opiates by possession.
At about 11:15 on September 14, Lincolnton Police Officer Brent Heavner went to Walgreens Pharmacy on East Main Street in Lincolnton in response to a report of a subject attempting to pass a forged prescription. The suspect, Frances Rene Blancher, allegedly attempted to pass a forged prescription for Hydrocodone.
Officer Heavner obtained warrants for Blancher’s arrest. Walgreens personnel assisted in the investigation.
On Friday (September 19), Blancher was arrested by Catawba Co. Sheriff’s Officers. She was jailed in Catawba County under a $100,000 secured bond. Blancher was then transferred to Lincoln County where a first appearance in District Court was set for today (September 23).
Blancher has prior convictions for the delivery of cocaine, obtaining property by false pretense, forgery of an instrument, uttering a forged instrument, possession of cocaine, public consumption of alcohol, littering, solicitation of prostitution, trespassing, intoxicated & disruptive, assault on a government official, criminal contempt of court, loitering for prostitution, injury to personal property, resisting a public officer, defrauding an innkeeper, disorderly conduct, misuse of the 9-1-1 system, larceny, possession of drug paraphernalia, providing fictitious information to an officer, DWI, assault with a deadly weapon, carrying a concealed weapon, solicitation for crimes against nature and several traffic charges.
The Catawba County Board of Education met for a work session at 2 p.m. yesterday (September 22) and conducted its regular monthly meeting at 5:30 p.m.
The Board saw an Early Head Start presentation as Early Childhood Education Director Gail Henson trained the Board in the program’s directives. There are more than 700 regulations by which Early Head Start must abide. When it is time to renew the Early Head Start grant, it will span five years.
Taylor Dellinger, a data analyst for the Western Piedmont Council of Government (WPCOG), presented information regarding the WPCOG’s growth projections and patterns. The WPCOG uses GIS technology that measures and estimates population growth, which is essential as the Board develops long-range building and renovation plans. Catawba County grew by 8.9% in population from 2000 to 2010, but since then, growth has slowed to 1.1%.
The Board also heard reports on facility use at Maiden High and District Science Coordinator Dr. Carol Moore led Board members through science stations that emphasized the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM). Both students and teachers were on hand to explain the various project-based learning activities.
In addition, Chief Finance Officer Karla Miller updated the status of the budgeting process for 2014-2015 and Assistant Superintendent Dan Moore briefed the Board on the Affordable Health Care Act implications for the district.
The Iredell County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s help in solving a case of financial card fraud. The incident occurred in the southern end of the county and was reported on August 16.
According to the incident report, the victim’s debit card was still in her possession, but Detectives believe the card was cloned and used at a Food Lion store in the Mooresville area.
Detective Sgt. Derek Getz with the Sheriff’s Economic Crime Unit is investigating.
Anyone with information regarding the case should contact Iredell/Statesville Crime Stoppers at 704-662-1340 or contact Detective Sgt. Getz at 704-878-3180.
29-year-old Joshua Garris Hamby of Gristmill Lane in Granite Falls was arrested by Lenoir Police yesterday (September 21) on charges of possession of methamphetamine, possession of drug paraphernalia, fleeing to elude arrest in a motor vehicle and failure to stop at a stop sign or red light.
Hamby was placed in the Caldwell Co. Detention Center under a $20,000 secured bond. No court date is currently listed on the latest charges, though Hamby was already scheduled to appear in District Court in October, November and December on several misdemeanor charges, including assault, possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and a number of vehicular offenses.
46-year-old Eugene Edwin Goodson, Sr. of Loviee Road in Lincolnton has been arrested and charged with one felony count of assault with a deadly weapon on a law enforcement officer and one misdemeanor count each of assault by pointing a gun and resisting, delaying or obstructing a public officer.
His arrest came about when Lincoln Co. Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to a domestic dispute on the 2900 block of Loviee Road Friday night (September 19). When Deputies arrived, they heard screaming inside the residence and saw two people running to the back of the mobile home.
A Deputy entered the residence and saw the barrel of a rifle swing in his direction with a female between him and a male subject. The woman was attempting to wrestle the weapon away from the man. Two other Deputies also entered the mobile home.
The man, Eugene Goodson, refused to drop the weapon after being told numerous times to do so. The female continued to hold her hands over Goodson’s hands, keeping the gun pointed away from everyone. The female then removed her hands from the weapon, allowing Officers to take Goodson to the floor where they disarmed him.
Goodson was transported to Caromont Health in Gastonia where he was treated and released back into the custody of Deputies. He remains in the Harven A. Crouse Detention Center under a $20,000 secured bond. A first appearance in District Court was set for today (September 22).
22-year-old Sarah Elizabeth Ray of River Hills Court in Taylorsville has been arrested by Lincolnton Police on a charge of statutory rape when the defendant is at least six years older than the victim.
The incident was reported to Lincolnton Police on Wednesday, September 10. The victim was a male juvenile under the age of 16 who reported that he and the offender, Sarah Elizabeth Ray, had sexual intercourse. The incident reportedly occurred within the Lincolnton city limits. The suspect is not related to the victim.
The case was investigated by Sgt. Jason Munday with assistance from the Lincoln County Child’s Advocacy Center and the Lincoln County Department of Social Services.
A warrant for Ray’s arrest was issued on September 17 and she was taken into custody the next day. Ray was then placed in the Alexander County Jail under a $20,000 secured bond. She has since posted bond. Ray will appear in Lincoln County District Court on Monday, September 29.
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