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19-year-old Bradley Allen Mckinney of North Olivers Crossroad in Newton was arrested Sunday (April 19) by Maiden Police Officers. He’s charged with breaking and or entering, felony larceny, and possession of stolen goods or property. Following the arrest, Mckinney was detained in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $18,000 bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for yesterday (Monday, April 20). His next court date is May 11.

A 65-year-old woman was killed in an apartment fire in Lincolnton Monday night. According to published reports, the fire broke out Monday evening at an apartment building on the 900 block of Bailey Springs Drive, which officials say is a retirement community.

The Lincoln County Sheriff's Office confirmed that a 65-year-old woman was pronounced deceased at the scene, they had not released her name. According to the reports, the woman was found by firefighters in the living room/kitchen-area of the home, where they say she had a bed and oxygen tanks.

Officials said the exact cause of the fire is still under investigation, however, preliminary evidence indicates that the victim was smoking in bed. Firefighters said only one apartment was affected by the fire.

A pre-dawn narcotic warrant service operation was conducted on Monday (April 20) by members of the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office Narcotic Investigations, Criminal Investigations, Aggressive Criminal Enforcement Team (ACE), Interstate Criminal Enforcement Team (ICE) and Warrant Squad.

Thirty two individuals with warrants for the sale of narcotics were selected for this operation. The warrants stemmed from investigations where the suspects sold narcotics ranging from heroin, crack, powder cocaine, methamphetamine, prescription medications, ecstasy and marijuana to undercover investigators.

According to a news release from the Iredell County Sheriff's Office, in addition to the current charges these individuals are charged with, most of them have lengthy criminal histories. More arrests are expected from this operation in the coming days.

The Morganton City Council gave the go ahead Monday to build a new courtyard at the Morganton Community House. The $150,000 project is being funded by two private donors. The Johnson (Phifer) family and the Bridges family have donated $75,000 each to fund the renovation. The new courtyard will spruce up the main entrance to the Community House and create a new outdoor venue for events.

Morganton Mayor Mel Cohen said he appreciates the commitment within the community to upgrade and maintain one of the most important community buildings in Morganton.

“On behalf of the City Council and the City of Morganton, I want to thank the donors for such a generous gift to the City and to the community,” Cohen said. “We have a long way to go, but we are on our way to bringing the Community House into the 21st century.”

Plans to renovate the Morganton Community House started back in 2013 when members of the Morganton Pilot Club approached City staff about making some upgrades. During several meetings over several months, a group of City staff and local citizens developed a renovation plan estimated to cost $1.5 million. The group also identified citizens to serve on a fundraising committee to assist in raising private funds for this project.

In January this year, the City Council took the first step in the renovation process by approving improvements to the infrastructure and kitchen. That project was also funded partly by private donations and grant money.

Construction on the new courtyard will take eight to 10 weeks to complete, barring any unforeseen issues. The courtyard will be surfaced with pavers and will be at grade with the Community House porch. The space will be able to seat around 100 people. A retaining wall around the area will contain ornamental shrubs and trees. The handicap accessible entrance will be moved to the left of the courtyard.

During the meeting Monday, the City Council voted unanimously to award the construction contract to Wilkie Construction for $132,910; to contract with Patti Glazer, Inc. for architectural services for $5,000; and to make budget amendments to use capital reserve funds for the project in the amount of $150,000.

The $150,000 in donations will be given to the City over three years, and will be put back into the capital reserve fund each year. It was also announced on Monday that Case Farms has donated $20,000 to the Morganton Community House renovation.

Monday, 20 April 2015 14:09

Statesville Man Busted for Pot in Hickory

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23-year-old Stephon Lorenzo Willis of Kings Street in Statesville was arrested by Hickory Police at about 6:45 Saturday evening (April 18) on one felony count of possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver a schedule VI controlled substance and one misdemeanor count of possession of marijuana greater than half an ounce but less than an ounce and a half.

He was arrested when Officers on foot patrol on the 1100 block of 2nd Street Place S.E. in Hickory saw a suspicious vehicle in a parking lot. Officers approached and asked for I.D. When the Officers asked if there was any contraband in the vehicle, Willis said there was a bag containing marijuana in the center armrest. No marijuana was found there, but Police did find 26.5 grams of pot in the dashboard area.

Willis took responsibility for the marijuana. A second person in the vehicle was not charged.

Willis was taken into custody and later released on an $8,500 secured bond. He will appear in District Court on May 21 in Hickory. Willis also has Iredell County court dates on marijuana charges coming up on April 22 and May 6.

22-year-old Alexander Kenneth Bernard Renaud, with no listed address, was arrested Friday (April 17) by Caldwell Co. Sheriff’s Officers on multiple felony counts of larceny of a firearm. He was taken to the Caldwell Co. Detention Center with bond set at $20,000, secured. A first appearance in District Court was scheduled for today in Lenoir.

24-year-old Rebecca Alice Burson of Staunton, Virginia was arrested by Lenoir Police Friday (April 17) on a felony warrant as a fugitive awaiting extradition to another state. She was placed in the Caldwell Co. Detention Center under a $100,000 secured bond. Burson was scheduled to make a first appearance in District Court today (April 20) in Lenoir.

Monday, 20 April 2015 11:31

Newton Woman Jailed on Multiple Drug Charges

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23-year-old Samantha Danielle Kirkland of Lucky Lane in Newton was arrested at about eight o’clock last night (April 19) on two felony counts of possession of a schedule II controlled substance, one felony count of possession of a schedule I controlled substance and one felony count of possession of a schedule IV controlled substance.

Kirkland was arrested after Hickory Police responded to the Wal-Mart store on Highway 70 S.E. where a female was suspected of attempting to return stolen merchandise for a refund. Officers encountered Kirkland, who appeared to be under the influence of narcotics.

A subsequent search led to the discovery of 0.6 grams of Ecstasy, 0.2 grams of methamphetamine, one dosage unit of Hydrocodone and one dosage unit of Clonazepam.

Kirkland was taken into custody without incident and placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility where she is being held without bond. A first appearance in District Court was set for today in Newton.

37-year-old Beecher Belve Robinson III of 17th Street N.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police late Friday night (April 17) on one felony count of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill and one misdemeanor count of driving while license revoked.

Robinson was arrested after Officers responded to reports of a hit & run with one person injured on the 1000 block of 15th Street N.E. in Hickory. The suspect, Beecher Robinson, allegedly hit a vehicle occupied by three people and also hit one person who had just exited the vehicle. That person was taken to Frye Regional Medical Center with obvious leg injuries.

According to a Police spokesperson, a dispute over $5 led to the assault.

Robinson was taken into custody without incident and placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $23,000 secured bond. A first appearance in District Court was set for today (April 20) in Newton.

37-year-old Timothy Hal Edwards of Rainhill Church Road and 26-year-old Michael Lee “Mikey” Shuping of Wrighton Street, both from Morganton, were each charged yesterday (April 19) in connection to the death of 39-year-old Leslie Renee Hensley, who was from the Clark Loop area in Burke County.

Events leading to the charges against Edwards and Shuping unfolded at about 4:45 last Thursday afternoon (April 16) when Officers were called to perform a welfare check on Ms. Hensley. In conjunction with the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation and the Rutherford Co. Sheriff’s Office, Burke Co. Sheriff’s Officers worked on the case through the night. Ms. Hensley’s body was found at about 6:30 a.m. Friday in Rutherford County, off the side of a rural dirt road.

The investigation has shown that Ms. Hensley was killed on Rainhill Church Road around midnight on Sunday, April 12. An autopsy was scheduled for today (April 20) at Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem.

Edwards and Shuping were both charged with murder. The two men were already in custody for probation violations. The Burke Co. Sheriff’s Office and the S.B.I. have been working closely with the District Attorney’s Office. Information gathered during the investigation will be turned over to the D.A.’s office in the following weeks for grand jury indictments.

Both suspects are being held without bond. They were scheduled to appear in District Court today in Morganton.