On Sunday, October 5, fire departments across the county will celebrate Fire Prevention Week. To kickoff the national event, Catawba County Firefighters will hold a special display at Home Depot on Highway 70 in Hickory beginning at 1 p.m. and continuing until 3 p.m.
Children can participate in the Junior Firefighter Academy sponsored by the Catawba Fire Department. During the event, children can go through a miniature obstacle-training course where they will pull fire hose, climb small ladders and pretend to be firefighters.
The Newton Fire Department will have their Hot Box on display for families to learn more about sprinkler systems. The Hot Box is a mobile fire extinguisher and sprinkler trailer.
Firefighters and fire trucks from the Catawba, Cooksville, Conover, Hickory, Newton, Mountain View, Maiden and St. Stephen’s fire departments will participate in the event, and the Catawba Co. Emergency Services Fire & Rescue Division will have a vehicle on display. Firefighters will be available to answer questions and to pass out free literature, and they’ll have treats for the children.
42-year-old Joseph Brian Swann of Mile Drive in Nebo has been reported missing in McDowell County.
Mr. Swann went ginseng hunting with a friend around 10:30 a.m. yesterday (September 25). His wife reported him missing early this morning when he never returned home. Swann’s friend last had radio contact with him at 4:30 p.m. yesterday.
Mr. Swann is a white male. He is 5’10” inches tall and has brown hair and brown eyes.
Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Joseph Brian Swann should call the McDowell Co. Sheriff’s Office at 828-652-2235 or the 9-1-1 communications center at 828-652-4000.
55-year-old Franklin Leroy Shook of 10th Street S.W. in Hickory was served a felony indictment by Hickory Police early this morning (September 26) on one felony count each of possession of a schedule IV controlled substance with intent to manufacture and maintaining a vehicle, dwelling or place for a controlled substance. He was also charged with misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.
The indictment stems from an incident on May 19 of this year. Police were in the process of serving a criminal summons when they smelled marijuana. A subsequent search turned up 58.7 grams of marijuana and 64 oxycodone pills.
Shook was taken into custody without incident at his residence at about 2:40 a.m. and placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under an $18,000 secured bond. He was scheduled to make an appearance in Superior Court today in Newton.
26-year-old Jeremy Howard Huffman of Benfield Drive in Nebo has been arrested on two misdemeanor counts of assault by pointing a gun, one misdemeanor count of assault on a female and one felony count each of attempted first-degree rape and first-degree kidnapping.
A 26-year-old female acquaintance said she was riding in a car with Huffman on July 3 when he slammed her head into a seat belt bolt, drove her to his residence and dragged her inside the house where he continued to assault her for two hours and tried to force her to have sex.
The victim was able to call her boyfriend and tell him who she was with. The victim’s family members arrived at Huffman’s residence to get her. The suspect allegedly met them at the door with a gun, pointed it at them and demanded that they leave. The victim was then able to escape and was taken to the hospital for treatment of her injuries.
Huffman has been serving time in the Buncombe County jail and was just recently served with the charges from McDowell County. He will appear in a McDowell County courtroom on October 13.
A man escaped injury when his house on Mays Street in Conover caught fire yesterday afternoon (September 25). Emergency Services was alerted by a fire alarm at about noon. The man, who was sleeping inside the house, was able to get to safety. His two cats died in the fire.
The St. Stephens Fire Department responded and found heavy smoke coming from the top and bottom of the one-story brick house. St. Stephens was assisted by Catawba County E.M.S., Catawba County Fire & Rescue, Hickory Rescue, the Conover Fire Department and the Oxford Fire Department.
The Burke Substance Abuse Network (BSAN) has received support for building the capacity to reduce and prevent substance abuse with funding and leadership from the North Carolina Coalition Initiative (NCCI). The NCCI Coordinating Center of Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center has seven local coalitions across the state that will each receive community grants of up to $27,700 and participate in a yearlong training program.
The announcement comes at the end of Recovery Month, a national effort designed to carry a message of prevention and awareness. In September, several groups recognized National Recovery Month by hosting presentations and distributing important resources. Those include Burke County, the City of Morganton, the Town of Valdese, the Burke Council on Alcoholism & Chemical Dependency (BCACD), the Burke Substance Abuse Network (BSAN), local media and human service groups, churches and clubs across Burke County
The public is invited to attend BSAN meetings, which are held at the Morganton Community House the last Friday of each month at 7:30 a.m.
For more information, visit www.BCACD.org, call 828-433-1221, visit www.BurkeSubstanceAbuseNetwork.wordpress.com or email Jim VanHecke, BCACD Executive Director, at email@example.com.
32-year-old William Pierre Mayfield has been reported as a missing person. He was reported missing by his family yesterday (September 24).
Mayfield was last seen at about 11 p.m. on Saturday, September 20 as he was leaving his residence on the 200 block of 1st Street S.E. in Hickory. He was with an unknown black male who was driving a silver late model passenger vehicle.
William Pierre Mayfield goes by Pierre Mayfield. He is a black male with a light complexion and a completely bald head. Mayfield is 5’8” tall, weighing approximately 135 pounds.
He was last seen wearing a red & black ball cap, a long red t-shirt, dark colored jeans and red shoes.
Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of William Pierre Mayfield should contact the Hickory Police Department at 828-328-5551.
26-year-old Jesse James Lefevers of Hollomans Place in Lenoir was arrested yesterday (September 24) by Caldwell Co. Sheriff’s Officers on one felony count of larceny. He was taken to the Caldwell Co. Detention Center under a $40,000 secured bond. No court date is currently listed.
The N.C. State Bureau of Investigation is co-sponsoring a national effort to safely dispose of unused prescription medicines in locations across the state from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, September 27. The State Highway Patrol is offering drop-off sites at its eight troop offices, including the Highway Patrol office at 1033 Smyre Farm Road in Newton.
In addition, during the same timeframe on the same date, Caldwell Safe Kids and the Lenoir Police Department will give the public an opportunity to prevent accidental poisonings, abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous, expired, unused or unwanted prescription drugs. The public is invited to bring medications for disposal to the Foothills Pharmacy at 202 Harper Avenue in Lenoir.
Medications are the leading cause of child poisoning, according to Safe Kids, a non-profit organization that helps parents and caregivers prevent childhood injuries. Environmental experts say that flushing medicines down the toilet contaminates water supplies and hurts aquatic life.
State and local law enforcement officials oversee the collection of the drugs. The State Highway Patrol provides vehicles and personnel to transport the medication and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (D.E.A.) pays to have the medications destroyed at an Environmental Protection Agency-approved incinerator.
Operation Medicine Drop is an effort coordinated by the North Carolina Department of Insurance, Safe Kids North Carolina, the S.B.I., the D.E.A. and Riverkeepers of North Carolina.
North Carolinians have safely disposed of approximately 61 million total doses at pill take-back events since 2009.
34-year-old Melissa Rashelle Sipe of North Davis Avenue in Newton and 30-year-old Jason Matthew Owens of Kool Park Road in Hickory have both been arrested by Lincoln Co. Sheriff’s Officers on one felony count each of trafficking in opium or heroin and conspiracy. Sipe was also charged with one felony count of possession of a schedule II controlled substance and misdemeanor counts of possession of schedule IV & schedule II controlled substances and possession of drug paraphernalia.
The couple was arrested following a three-month long surveillance operation. They were taken into custody on northbound Highway 16 in eastern Lincoln County as they traveled back to Catawba County after buying heroin from an unknown source in Charlotte. Investigators say the couple planned to distribute the illegal drugs in Catawba and Lincoln counties.
Narcotics Investigators had received information for over a year that Sipe had been traveling to Charlotte to pick up distribution quantities of drugs. Yesterday (September 24), they received information that she would be returning from Charlotte with drugs. Wednesday afternoon investigators conducted a traffic stop and discovered the drugs.
Investigators seized almost nine grams of black tar heroin, prescription drugs, methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia. The heroin was valued at $2,500, depending on how it would have been divided up and sold. Also seized was $700 in cash.
Sipe was jailed under a $35,000 secured bond. Owens’ bond was set at $25,000, secured. Both suspects remain in the Harven A. Crouse Detention Center. First appearances in District Court were set for today. A conviction for trafficking more than four grams of heroin would come with a mandatory prison sentence.