News (724)

Today, Congressman Patrick McHenry (R-NC-10) announced $179,048 in a U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) grant to a local fire department in the Tenth Congressional District.

The grant will go to the Mountain View Volunteer Fire Department in Catawba County, and comes in the sixteenth round of the 2014 fiscal year Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program (AFG), which aims to help firefighters and first responders throughout the country. Local departments applied for the grants, and the program is administered by the Grant Programs Directorate of the Federal Emergency Management Agency in cooperation with the U.S. Fire Administration.

Fire Chief Tony Holsclaw says the grant funds will replace 22 of the department’s old air packs as well as an air compressor used for refilling firefighters air packs.

A panel of fire experts at DHS awards AFG grants through a competitive review process. Congressman McHenry hosts workshops for Tenth District EMS and fire departments to help guide personnel through the process and give them an inside view of what the committee looks for. The workshops are taught by Cherryville Fire Chief Jeff Cash, a nationally recognized expert in his field and former member of DHS’s AFG review committee. Since Congressman McHenry and Chief Cash began the program, Tenth District EMS and fire departments have consistently won more grants than departments in most of North Carolina’s other Congressional Districts.

A sex offender will serve active time after entering a guilty plea in Caldwell County.

35-year-old Barry Clifton Buie of Lenoir pleaded guilty to indecent liberties with a child and was sentenced to serve an active prison term during Caldwell County Superior Court last week.

Buie will serve 20-24 months in the custody of the North Carolina Department of Adult Corrections to fulfill the sentence handed down by the Honorable Daniel A. Kuehnert, Superior Court Judge from Burke County, on September 2.

Because of a prior sex conviction in Onslow County two years ago, Kuehnert also declared Buie to be a recidivist, a person who relapses or returns to criminal behavior.

Detectives with the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office received a report in May 2011 that Buie had sexually assaulted his girlfriend’s then ten-year-old daughter. During interviews the child described how the defendant touched her outer genital area and threatened to kill her if she told anyone.

Det. Shelly Hartley handled the investigation for the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office, and Nancy Lee prosecuted the case for the District Attorney’s Office.

On Monday (September 7), at around 4:00 a.m., three unidentified individuals broke into Precision Sports, located at 4994 Hickory Blvd. in Hickory, by ramming the rear of a vehicle into the front of the business. The individuals stole multiple handguns and long guns.

The vehicle the suspects used to ram into the business appears to be a silver or gold in color late 1990’s model four door Honda Accord (pictured).

Three subjects are wanted in relation to this incident. Their descriptions are as follows: A black male with dark skin, a large muscular build, and long to medium length dreadlocks. He was wearing a white tank top and dark shorts. A black male with dark skin and a heavy set build wearing a dark colored t-shirt and jeans. A black male with light skin and a very heavy set build wearing a dark colored shirt and light colored shorts.

On Tuesday (September 8), The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), and the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) – the trade association for the firearms industry - announced a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the theft of firearms from Precision Sports.

ATF is offering a reward in the amount of $5,000, which will be matched by the NSSF for a total reward of $10,000. This break-in and theft is being investigated by ATF and the Hickory Police Department.

Anyone with information about this crime should contact ATF at 1-800-ATF-GUNS (800-283-4867) or the Hickory Police Department at 828-328-5551. Investigator J. Pruett and Investigator J. Patterson with the Hickory Police Department's Criminal Investigations Division can also be contacted directly.

Thursday, 10 September 2015 06:58

Men Charged In Connection With Reported Rape On Boat

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Robert Michael Weidinger of Mooresville and John Richard Drigalla of Blue Bell, Pennsylvania were arrested by Iredell County Sheriff's Officers. Both men were charged with first degree kidnapping, first degree attempted rape, and assault on a female. Drigalla was also charged with interfering with emergency communications.

Deputies responded to a report of a woman screaming in the area of Yacht Cove Lane in Mooresville. The initial reports came in early Friday Morning (September 4) and were that a woman on a boat on Lake Norman was screaming and sounded in distress. Deputies responded to the area and located a sail boat just off shore near Cocktail Cove.

Deputies signaled to the boat to come toward shore and ended up at a private dock. Deputies found that there were only two men on board who were identified as the suspects, Weidinger and Drigalla.  

Weidinger and Drigalla both stated that they had met a female at a local bar and she had come accompanied them to the lake. They stated that she had been taken to the dock at Trump National Golf Course and let her off the boat. The criminal Investigations division responded to the scene to assist. Initially the two men could not provide a name or contact information for the woman that had been on the boat.

Deputies went to the location where the men say they met the woman. After speaking with several people they were able to identify the woman and with additional investigation started tracing her steps. Soon after the female was located at Carolinas Medical Center being treated for injuries she later told Detectives occurred on the boat while in the company of the suspects.

The 22-year-old victim said she met the two men and agreed to go out on the lake with them. She stated that once she was on the boat the suspects attempted to sexually assault her and refused to take her to shore. During the altercation one of the men took her phone away not allowing her to call for help.

Additional interviews were conducted with witnesses and the suspects. Through evidence collected at the scene and statements gathered from witnesses and the victim, both men were charged.

Both suspects were arrested at the scene and transported to the Iredell County Detention Center. Drigalla received a $200,000 secured bond, Weidinger received a $150,000 secured bond. Both men made first appearances in District Court Tuesday (September 8).

A Hudson man will spend the next five years in prison following his guilty plea for manufacturing methamphetamine in Caldwell County.

36-year-old James Wallace Jernigan III, was sentenced to serve five to seven years in custody of the North Carolina Department of Adult Corrections by the Honorable Daniel A. Kuehnert, Superior Court Judge from Burke County, after he entered his guilty plea in Caldwell County Superior Court on September 3.

The Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office ICE Unit received a tip from an informant in July 2013 that Jernigan and two co-defendants were planning to cook methamphetamine at their Horseshoe Bend residence. ICE agents checked the National Precursor Log Exchange for pseudoephedrine purchases by the suspects and discovered that Jernigan had made 31 purchases and been blocked from making four other purchases since January 2012, while another co-defendant had been blocked nine times and made 29 purchases in the same time period.

After a search warrant for the residence was issued, agents recovered items consistent with the manufacture of methamphetamine, including a white powdery substance packaged in plastic bags, leading to the arrest of Jernigan and the co-defendants.

The co-defendants are slated to appear in Caldwell County Superior Court on November 2.

J.A. Blazer led the investigation for the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office with assistance from the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation. Andrew Jennings prosecuted the case for the District Attorney’s Office.

A man is in custody in connection with a double-shooting in Conover Wednesday night (September 9). One person was killed and another was injured in the incident.

Wednesday at 9:10 p.m. officers with the Conover Police Department were dispatched to 609 3rd Street Place SW Conover in reference to a Domestic situation involving a gun. Upon arrival on the scene, officers found two victims with gunshot wounds.

25-year-old Daniel Robert Williamson of 3rd Street Place SW in Conover is charged with murder and assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury in connection with the reported shooting.

According to police reports, Williamson allegedly shot 27-year-old Michael Anthony Beltran of Vale and 28-year-old Lisa Vanhoogen of Hickory during a domestic dispute on 3rd Street Place SW in Conover. Beltran died as a result of injuries sustained in the shooting. Conover Police say the victims and the suspect knew each other and this incident is not a random act of violence. The State Bureau of Investigation is assisting the Conover Police Department in the investigation.

Williamson is being held without bond at the Catawba County Detention Facility. He has a District Court appearance scheduled for Friday (September 11).

Wednesday, 09 September 2015 17:23

Teenage Runaway Sought in Granite Falls

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16-year-old Myra Paszek is being sought by authorities in Granite Falls. At 8:08 p.m. Tuesday, Myra Paszek’s grandmother, Deborah Paszek-Stevens, reported to Granite Falls Police that the girl had run away from her home at 22 Mallard Court in Granite Falls.

According to Police Chief Ritch Bolick, the girl left the residence on foot and is believed to be in the company of another person who was waiting for her nearby in a vehicle.

Myra Paszek is described as a white female, 5’6” tall, weighing 114 pounds. She has a slim build, blue eyes, brown hair and a fair complexion. She was last seen wearing purple pajama pants and a purple hoodie.

Chief Bolick says any person who knowingly or willingly causes, encourages or aids the teenager runs the risk of being charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor, which is a class one misdemeanor.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Myra Paszek should call Granite Falls Police at 828-396-3358 or call Caldwell/Lenoir Crime Stoppers at 828-758-8300.

Wednesday, 09 September 2015 13:19

Hickory Man Indicted on 2014 Drug Charges

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28-year-old Ryan Michael Few of Valley Run Street in Hickory was served a felony indictment by Hickory Police just before 9 a.m. yesterday (September 8) on one count of possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver cocaine. He also faces one misdemeanor count each for simple possession of schedule II & III controlled substances, D.W.I. and driving while license revoked, plus two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia.

The indictment stems from an incident in October of last year when Police spotted a vehicle with an expired registration in the parking lot at the Dollar General store on Highway 70 S.W. in Hickory. Officers smelled marijuana as they approached the vehicle.

A search turned up 11.9 grams of cocaine, one dosage unit of Hydrocodone, one dosage unit of Oxycodone and drug paraphernalia.

Few was taken into custody without incident yesterday at a restaurant on Catawba Valley Boulevard. He was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $19,500, secured. An appearance in Superior Court was scheduled for September 11 in Newton. He’ll appear in District Court on September 22.

70-year-old Henry Ive Small Sr. and 20-year-old Henry Josh Small of Princeton, West Virginia were arrested September 3 by Alexander County Sheriff's Officers. According to a news release issued today (Wednesday, September 9) They're each charged with felony counts of exploitation of the elderly and obtaining property by false pretenses.

The two men were arrested in connection with a reported paving scam in Alexander County. Investigators from the Alexander County Sheriff’s Office concluded a two month investigation into the scam. On Monday, August 31, Mercer County Sheriff Don Meadows and one of his Deputies, went to the suspects residence in Princeton where they were both arrested and taken into custody without incident.

The two men appeared in front of a judge that day who placed them in jail under a $5,000 Secured Bond, with the condition that they turn themselves in to the Alexander County Sheriff’s Office within 72 hours. The two men were arrested in Alexander County last Thursday. Bond for both men remained at $5,000 Secured and they have court appearances scheduled for next Monday (September 14).

Wednesday, 09 September 2015 11:38

Illegal Parking Leads to Three Arrests

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19-year-old Tahmez Lerell Davidson of 10th Avenue S.E., 19-year-old Michael Emmanuel Tucker of 1st Street S.E. and 18-year-old DeMarcus Marquise Beatty of 1st Street S.W., all from Hickory, were arrested at 10:15 Monday night (September 7) on a variety of charges. Davidson was charged with felony possession of a schedule I controlled substance and misdemeanor counts of possession of marijuana up to half an ounce and possession of a schedule IV controlled substance. Tucker was charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana up to half an ounce and Beatty was charged with misdemeanor carrying a concealed weapon. All three were charged with misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.

Events leading to their arrests began at about 9:45 p.m. Monday when Officers saw a 2000 Ford Expedition parked illegally in a handicapped space at the Sunhouse convenience store on 2nd Avenue N.W. Police followed the vehicle, driven by Davidson, as it pulled out of the parking lot and then conducted a vehicle stop at the McDonald’s restaurant on Highway 321 N.W.

Officers smelled marijuana. A search of the vehicle turned up three baggies containing marijuana with a total weight of 15.7 grams. Also found were one psilocybin mushroom, one dosage unit of Alprazolam and drug paraphernalia.

Davidson and Tucker were jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention with bond set at $2,000 and $4,000, respectively. Tucker has since been released. Beatty was released after posting a $500 unsecured bond. Davidson was scheduled to appear in District Court today (September 9). Tucker has a court date on December 9. Beatty is due in court on December 10.