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News (819)

A “Meet the Artists” reception will be held from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Taste Full Beans coffee house on Thursday, July 31.

The event will feature artists Bud Caywood, Leslie Hamlin, Regina Carpenter, Megan McKinney, Christine Brown, Charles Kimso, and resident potter Amanda Dobbins. Refreshments will be served and the artists will have a chance to speak about their work.

Taste Full Beans is located at 29 2nd Street N.W. in downtown Hickory. For more information, call 828-325-0108 or email contact@tastefullbeans.com.

23-year-old Dominick Joseph Desimone of Moss Drive in Newton was arrested by Hickory Police early this morning on one felony count each of possession with intent to sell or deliver marijuana, possession of methamphetamine and maintaining a vehicle, dwelling or place for a controlled substance, as well as one misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

He was taken into custody without incident at about 3:20 a.m. at the Quality Suites hotel on 13th Avenue Drive S.E. in Hickory. Desimone was reportedly found with more than two pounds of marijuana in his possession.

Desimone has been confined in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $12,800 secured bond. He will appear in Catawba Co. District Court on July 25.

The Greater Hickory Tennis Association (GHTA) will host the N.C. Tri-Level League State Championships, September 19-21. The event will take place at all local country clubs, including Rock Barn, Lake Hickory and Catawba Country Club, in addition to Jaycee Park and the YMCA of Hickory.

Local support is needed to help fund the event. Available sponsorships range from $50 to $5,000. Those interested in sponsorships should contact GHTA Vice President & USTA Tri-Level State Tournament Chair Micheal Stiles at 704-437-6597 or email at stiles@onepixelworld.com.

The GHTA is the local extension of the United States Tennis Association (USTA). Over 700 players, tournament officials and guests are expected to come to the area for the event, with an estimated economic impact of $500,000 for the weekend.

The GHTA is a 501(c)(3) organization, so your donation is tax deductible. For more information, visit www.ghtatennis.com.

36-year-old Eleazar Romero Gonzalez was arrested last Friday (July 18) on six counts of trafficking in cocaine in Iredell County and one additional count in Winston Salem. His arrest was part of a three-month long joint investigation involving the Iredell Co. Sheriff’s Office, the N.C. State Bureau of Investigations, the Davie Co. Sheriff’s Office, the Triad A.B.C. Police, the Winston Salem Police Department and U.S. Homeland Security Investigations.

The investigation began when the Iredell Co. Sheriff’s Office began to receive information regarding an unknown person who was selling large quantities of cocaine around the Davie County/Iredell County line.

Eventually, Undercover Officers with the Iredell Co. Sheriff’s Office and U.S. Homeland Security Investigations were able to make several undercover drug transactions from Gonzalez. Officers purchased in excess of 263 grams of cocaine with a street value of over $65,000.

Investigators determined that Gonzalez lived in the Winston Salem area. The Winston Salem Police Department and Triad A.B.C. Police began conducting surveillance on Gonzalez. On Friday, Police executed a search warrant at Gonzalez’s residence. 174 grams of cocaine was located along with $4,000 in cash. The cocaine seized had an estimated value in excess of $43,000.

Gonzalez was arrested and later transported to the Iredell County Jail where he was held under a $200,000 secured bond. He’ll appear in an Iredell County courtroom on August 6.

The investigation is ongoing with additional arrests expected.

The Catawba County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s help in finding two men responsible for the robbery of the Whistle Stop Run-In store at 2469 Emmanuel Church Road near Conover.

The robbery occurred as two men entered store and one suspect distracted the owner while the other slipped into the office and went through the safe.

According to published reports, the man who took the money from the safe handed off some of the money to his accomplice, who then went back to the counter to buy lottery tickets and drinks with the stolen cash.

Officers believe the men may have left the store in a dark-colored Honda.

The storeowner, Mack Patel, didn’t know he had been robbed until several hours later.

Anyone with information regarding the robbery should call 828-466-7229.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014 07:00

Lenoir-Rhyne Makes Colleges of Distinction List

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The 15th annual Colleges of Distinction list was released recently and Lenoir-Rhyne University has been selected as a 2014-15 College of Distinction.

Selection was based on LRU’s ability to provide an innovative, teacher-centered undergraduate education, while maintaining a strong record of preparing its graduates for real-world success.

Employers and grad schools highly value the preparation offered by schools listed as a College of Distinction, all of which have a long track record of successful graduates.

Recognition was given to schools that exemplified the College of Distinction’s core values: engaged students, great teaching, vibrant community, and successful outcomes.

Burke County’s new Emergency Communications Center is scheduled to start operations today (July 23). The new center is located at 650 Kirksey Drive in Morganton.

Emergency and non-emergency calls will be answered out of the new location. Emergency Operations Center numbers are 828-437-1911 and 828-437-1170. The Burke County Sheriff’s Office can be reached at 828-438-5500.

Citizens calling the Morganton Dept. of Public Safety and Valdese Police after hours will be directed to the new communications center.

As always, if any resident has an emergency, they should call 9-1-1.

The Boone Police Department has received a number of reports recently in which victims were defrauded over the phone by subjects demanding pre-paid money cards. The callers have claimed to be from a utility company, government agency or fundraising organization. The callers have been very aggressive and demanded the immediate payment of money via a pre-paid card so the caller or a relative will avoid dire consequences.

In most cases, the caller has demanded that the victim purchase a Green Dot MoneyPak card and then give them the card number. A variation of the scam involves people wishing to buy items on Craigslist. The seller has asked the victim to purchase a Green Dot MoneyPak card and provide them with the card number so they can hold the item.

Here are some tips to help citizens avoid being scammed:

  • Be suspicious of callers who demand immediate payment for any reason.
  • Remember that anyone who has the number on a Green Dot MoneyPak card has access to the funds on the card.
  • Never give out personal or financial information to anyone who emails or calls, unsolicited.
  • Never wire money, provide debit or credit card numbers or Green Dot MoneyPak card numbers to any unknown person.
  • Utility companies and government agencies will not demand immediate payment by a Green Dot MoneyPak card.

When in doubt regarding the legitimacy of a caller, request a callback telephone number and then contact the Boone Police Department or a local law enforcement agency for assistance.

40-year-old Phillip Hugh Norman of Jacob Fork River Road in Connelly Springs was arrested by Hickory Police at about 2:40 yesterday afternoon (July 21) for misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. He was also arrested on warrants out Buncombe County dating back to June 11 of this year for felony larceny by employee and misdemeanor possession of a schedule II controlled substance.

He was arrested after the manager at the Roses store on Highway 70 S.W. in Hickory called Police to report a suspicious person in the parking lot. The man, later identified as Phillip Norman, was reportedly crawling on his hands and knees in the parking lot, talking to the bushes there. When Police arrived, Norman was asleep in his vehicle.

When Officers conducted a consent search of Norman’s person, they found nothing; however, hypodermic needles and spoons were found in his vehicle, resulting in the drug paraphernalia charge. A routine records check turned up the warrants from Buncombe County.

Norman was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $27,000 secured bond. He will appear in District Court in Asheville on August 4 and in Hickory on August 19.

The Rotary Club of Lake Hickory’s President-Elect Ernie Sills and his wife Cindy traveled to Sydney, Australia for this year's Rotary International Convention. While there, they participated in the Sydney Harbor Bridge Climb where they climbed up 1,332 steps to reach the top of the famous bridge.

They used the event to help raise money for PolioPlus by asking all Rotary club members to donate money "per step" that would then be matched by the Bill and Malinda Gates Foundation.

The Sills raised $2,433, which will be doubled to $4,866 by the Gates Foundation. A check was presented to the Rotary Club of Lake Hickory on June 24 and then delivered to Rotary's PolioPlus campaign.

As part of the PolioPlus initiative, Rotarians around the world have helped immunize more than 2.5 billion children against polio in 122 countries. At this time, there are only three countries where Polio still exists thanks, in part, to the efforts of Rotarians.