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News (828)

The Caldwell Co. Sheriff’s Office has released more details regarding the intentional shooting of livestock in the Petra Mill and Granite Falls areas. The Sheriff’s Office says cattle appear to be the targeted animals.

In late May of this year, a report was filed regarding one cow that had been shot. The investigation was unable to determine if the cow was wounded intentionally or accidentally.

In July, a report was filed in the Grace Chapel Road area after a cow was found dead. The owner said the animal might have been shot, but the cow had decomposed to the point where a cause of death could not be determined.

Also in July, a report was filed listing multiple cattle that were shot in the Petra Mill Road area. A Detective responded and saw five cows with wounds. Two of the animals had injuries through the leg above the hoof area and at least two or three cows had wounds in the hip area. One cow is missing and presumed dead.

The cows with hip wounds are not recovering and will have to be put down. Those include a calf born this year.

The cattle appear to have been shot with a small caliber rifle.

Anyone with information regarding the person or persons responsible for the shootings should contact Caldwell County Investigations at 828-758-2324 or Caldwell County Crime Stoppers at 828-758-8300. Crime Stoppers callers may remain anonymous.

Early voting for the July 15 run-off election ends tomorrow (July 12). On the ballot are the races for district attorney in the 25th prosecutorial district between incumbent James “Jay” Gaither, Jr. and David Learner and clerk of court in Catawba County between Kim Richards Sigmon and Tammy Huffman West.

In Catawba County early voting sites are at the Newton Main Library, the Highland Recreation Center in Hickory, the Hickory Southwest Library in Mountain View and at Sherrills Ford Fire & Rescue on Slanting Bridge Road. Voting hours vary in Catawba County with all four locations open today and only the Newton Library location open tomorrow.

The Burke County Board of Elections has sites open today and tomorrow at the Senior Center in Morganton, Rutherford College Town Hall and the Board of Elections Office on South Sterling Street in Morganton. Sites will be open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and 7:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. Saturday.

Early voting takes place in Caldwell County from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday in the City/County Chambers at the Alden E. Starnes Administration Building, 905 West Avenue in downtown Lenoir.

Registered Republicans and unaffiliated voters are eligible to cast ballots.

22-year-old Carl Dean Shook of Carl Dean Drive in Newton was arrested by Caldwell Co. Sheriff’s Officers yesterday (July 10) on a charge of disseminating obscenity to a minor under the age of 13. Shook was placed in the Caldwell Co. Detention Center under a $75,000 secured bond. He will appear in District Court Monday (July 14) in Lenoir.

31-year-old Gary Neal Wilfong, Jr. of 3rd Avenue S.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police after he turned himself in at H.P.D. headquarters at about eight o’clock last night. He was charged with one felony count of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury.

He was arrested in connection to an incident on July 5 at about 11:30 p.m. when Police were called to a civil disturbance on the 400 block of 8th Avenue S.E. in Hickory. Officers arrived to find two men fighting on 3rd Avenue S.E. Both men ran when they saw the Officers. When commanded to stop, one man complied while the other man continued to flee.

The man who stayed on the scene, a 34-year-old from Hickory, then attempted to attack the female who had called Police, but he was restrained by Officers. Police then noticed severe lacerations on the man’s neck and side. He was taken to Frye Regional Medical Center for treatment of his injuries. No update on his condition is available.

The other suspect was identified as Gary Wilfong. He remained at large until last night.

After his arrest, Wilfong was taken to the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $15,000 secured bond. He was also charged by the Sheriff’s Office with failure to appear for non-support of a child for which he was given an additional $1,200 secured bond. Wilfong was scheduled to appear in District Court on the assault charge today in Newton.

After nine years as pastor at the Clinton Tabernacle A.M.E. Zion Church in Hickory, Dr. T. Anthony Spearman has been appointed to St. Philip A.M.E. Zion Church in Greensboro. He and his wife Janice will leave Hickory in a few weeks.

The community is invited to a send-off celebration honoring Dr. Spearman and Janice Spearman on July 22 at 5:30 p.m. at the Exodus Missionary Outreach Church at 1763 Highland Avenue N.E. in Hickory. A light dinner will be served.

Dr. Spearman is well known throughout the state for his work in the civil rights movement and as the third Vice President of the North Carolina NAACP. His new location will put him closer to Raleigh and other civil rights leaders he works with regularly. Janice Spearman will continue to work at the Alexander Correctional Center as a case manager and commute daily from Greensboro.

Dr. Spearman has served on the Hickory Public Schools Board of Eductation for three years and has also served as a liaison for the Gang of One Program. In addition, he operates Clinton's Corner of Catawba, a non-profit agency he founded to support and advocate for families and youth. He plans to continue the program in the Greensboro area.

Those planning to attend the send-off celebration should RSVP to the Rev. Susan Smith Walker at revsusanwalker@gmail.com or call 828-962-8196.

The Office of Governor Pat McCrory announced 22 appointments to the North Carolina Textbook Commission today (July 11). They include several from the Unifour and surrounding counties.

They are: Lesa Widener of Catawba County, Julie Felix of Cabarrus County, Maria Bishop of Burke County, Charles Gaffigan of McDowell County, Jessica Luby of Catawba County, Alison Mintz of Cleveland County and Kathleen Linker of Rowan County.

The commission evaluates all textbooks offered for adoption. Each textbook will be read by at least one expert certified in the discipline for which the book would be used. The term length is four years.

According to published reports, the Town of Rhodhiss is cutting hours at its Post Office. The Rhodhiss Post Office will remain open, but hours for the front counter will be cut from 44 to 26 hours a week.

There is no door-to-door mail delivery in Rhodhiss, which has no mailboxes at homes in the town. Citizens have post office boxes in the town’s Post Office.

Had the Post Office been closed, citizens would have picked up their mail in a neighboring town. Rhodhiss straddles southern Caldwell County and eastern Burke County.

Reduced hours will make it more difficult for citizens to pick up and mail packages and buy stamps, but the cutback is seen as a better alternative to closing the Post Office.

The Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s assistance in connection to an animal cruelty investigation.  Authorities are investigating the intentional shooting of livestock in the Granite Falls and Grace Chapel areas.

No further details have been released.

Anyone with information regarding the person or persons responsible for the shootings should contact Detective M. Coleman at 828-759-1521 or Caldwell County Crime Stoppers at 828-758-8300.  Crime Stoppers callers may remain anonymous.

25-year-old Meredith Leigh Michaux of La Foret Drive in Morganton has been arrested on charges of hit & run with property damage, felony trafficking in cocaine and felony robbery with a dangerous weapon.

She was arrested yesterday (July 10) as Caldwell County Sheriff’s Officers and Lenoir Police assisted the United States Marshals Service in the service of a warrant for armed robbery. The warrant was issued in connection to an incident in Burke County several weeks ago.

Information gathered led Officers to an address on Forest Hill Drive in Lenoir. Officers entered the residence and found the suspect, Meredith Michaux, who was taken into custody without incident. A search of the area turned up a large amount of crack cocaine and a firearm.

Michaux was incarcerated in the Caldwell County Detention Center under a $201,000 secured bond. She was scheduled to appear in a Burke County courtroom today on the robbery charges and in Lenoir on July 14 on the trafficking charge. Additional Caldwell County court dates were set for August 12 & 26.

26-year-old Ashley Renee Propst of Graybirch Drive in Maiden has been arrested by Probation & Parole Officers in Catawba County for a felony probation violation. She is on probation following an October 2013 conviction in Lincoln County for possession or distribution of methamphetamine precursor chemicals.

She was jailed yesterday (July 9) in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $20,000 secured bond. Propst will appear in Superior Court on July 14.