41-year-old Billy Joe Mann of Haigler Road S.E. in Lenoir was arrested by Lenoir Police yesterday (November 24) on charges of felony breaking & entering, felony larceny after breaking & entering, misdemeanor contributing to the delinquency of a minor and misdemeanor second-degree trespass. Mann was taken to the Caldwell Co. Detention Center with bond set at $50,000, secured. He’ll appear in District Court Monday (November 28) in Lenoir.
24-year-old India Mariel Green of Business Highway 74 in Ellenboro, N.C. was arrested by Caldwell Co. Sheriff’s Officers Wednesday (November 23) for two felony probation violations. Green was taken to the Caldwell Co. Detention Center with bond set at $60,000, secured. She’ll appear in Superior Court on December 5 and in District Court on December 6, both in Lenoir. The probation violations come in connection to charges for the sale & delivery of a schedule II controlled substance.
36-year-old George Andrew Singer of Claremont Road in Newton has been arrested by Catawba Co. Sheriff’s Officers for failure to appear on charges of possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver a schedule II controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was also charged with a probation violation by Probation & Parole Officers in Catawba County.
Singer was jailed Wednesday (November 23) in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility. Bond was set at $31,000, secured. He’ll appear in Superior Court on Monday (November 28) in Newton.
Hickory City Council has voted to pass a resolution that grants authorization to exceed the original shared cost with the North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT) for the repair of the sinkhole at the intersection of U.S. 70 and 7th Street S.E. The vote was taken at a special called meeting on November 22 at the request of the NCDOT.
The terms of the original agreement were based off of an estimated total cost of $3.2 million and included the NCDOT contributing $1 million toward construction, design of the project repair and oversight of construction, with the city making four installation payments to the NCDOT in the amount of $550,000, totaling $2.2 million.
After bids for construction were received by the NCDOT, the city was informed that the lowest bid came in at $4.2 million. The NCDOT and the City of Hickory have agreed to split the additional cost by contributing $500,000 each, following an agreement established in August 2016 stating that each party will equally divide additionally incurred expenses.
The NCDOT anticipates the project being completed in early summer of 2017.
Although City Council has accepted the agreement with the NCDOT and will pay the amount agreed upon, they are still looking for additional funding to offset the final cost to taxpayers. The North Carolina General Assembly has already designated $250,000 for the project, which will assist with the city’s cost.
The Chestnut Knob fire in South Mountain State Park, about 10 miles south of Morganton, is currently estimated at 6,435 acres. 229 personnel are currently battling the fire, which began on November 6.
As of seven o’clock last night (November 24), the wildfire was listed at 75% contained. Authorities estimate that the fire will be completely contained by midnight tomorrow.
At this time, minimal fire behavior with smoldering is reported. Firefighters plan to continue to hold the line and make improvements in all divisions and continue with mop-up operations. They will continue with structure protection and triage.
15 wildfires are still active in North Carolina, including the Tellico fire, which currently covers nearly 14,000 acres in the Nantahala National Forest.
As the result of smoke from the fires, a Code Orange air quality alert has been issued for the Unifour area today.
33-year-old Jason Todd Hayes was arrested Tuesday (November 22) by authorities in Burke County. He's charged with felony forced breaking and entering and possession of stolen goods. Hayes was placed in jail in Morganton under $30,000 secured bond. A court appearance was scheduled for today (Wednesday, November 23).
60-year-old Michael William Murphy of McBride Street and 35-year-old Latonya Denise Brown of Abney Court, both from Charlotte, were both arrested Tuesday (November 23) by Lincoln County Sheriff's Officers. Murphy is charged with one felony count each of possession of stolen goods, presenting fictitious identification while committing a felony, obtaining property by false pretenses, identity theft, trafficking in stolen identities, and two counts of conspiracy. Brown is charged with one felony count each of possession of stolen goods, obtaining property by false pretenses, and two counts of conspiracy.
They were arrested for allegedly using fake identification to buy more than $21,000 worth of zero turn mowers and a box blade from a Lincoln County merchant. The suspects reportedly went to Al Lane Motorsports on Highway 27 East on Saturday (November 19) where they purchased two Kubota zero turn mowers and a Land Pride box. They also ordered a third zero turn mower.
Detectives were notified by CMPD that the suspect vehicle, a silver Nissan truck with a Florida license plate, had been seen in Charlotte around 8:00 a.m. Tuesday. Detectives, patrol deputies and a DMV officer set up a sting operation around the location of Al Lane Motorsports Tuesday where the suspects were supposed to pick up a third mower they had ordered. The stolen mowers had been advertised on Craig’s List and detectives worked with CMPD to contact the suspects.
Sheriff’s Captain Tim Johnson and Detective Kelly Paris were enroute to Charlotte Tuesday to check out the lead in the case when they noticed the truck used in the Saturday incident traveling the opposite direction on Highway 16. The officers turned around and followed the vehicle north on Highway 16 then west on Highway 73. A traffic stop was made near the intersection of Highways 27 east and Asbury Church Road. The two suspects were taken into custody without incident.
Investigators located the stolen merchandise in a storage building in Charlotte. The stolen goods were returned to Lincoln County. Investigators say one of the stolen identities used in the illegal purchase belonged to a retired 30 year veteran law enforcement officer in Texas.
Murphy was jailed in the Haven A. Crouse Detention Center under a $50,000 secured bond, Brown's bond was set at $30,000 secured.
Both suspects were scheduled to appear in court today (Wednesday, November 23). The two people are also being investigated in connection with similar incidents in Greensboro, Cleveland County, and several other locations.
35-year-old Justin Daniel Price of Matheson Avenue in Charlotte has been arrested by Catawba Co. Sheriff’s Officers on a felony warrant as a fugitive awaiting extradition to another state. He was wanted in Austin, Texas on a charge of assault by strangulation.
Price was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $15,000 secured bond. He has since been released. An appearance in District Court was scheduled this past Monday (November 21) in Newton. His next Catawba County court date on the fugitive warrant was set for January 23, 2017 with another appearance on D.W.I. and other traffic charges set for January 12. In addition, Price will appear on a fugitive warrant in a Mecklenburg County courtroom on November 29.
30-year-old Daniel Lashawn Wright of Redmond Drive in Hudson was arrested Tuesday (November 22) by Granite Falls Police Officers. He's charged with two counts apiece of assault with a deadly weapon, false imprisonment, assault on a female, and communicating threats. Wright was jailed in the Caldwell County Detention Center under no bond. No court date was listed.
45-year-old Bryan Keith Kelley of Hilferty Road in Hickory was arrested Tuesday (November 22) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with single counts of larceny, breaking and entering, and larceny after breaking and entering, and two counts of possession of stolen goods. All of the charges are felonies. Kelley was confined in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $10,000 bond. He's scheduled to appear in Superior Court next Monday (November 28).
32-year-old Keith Lee Clontz of Highway 16 South in Newton and 31-year-old Hayley Danielle Hoyle of Little Street in Lincolnton were both arrested last Friday (November 18) by Lincolnton Police Officers. Clontz was charged with two felony counts of intentional child abuse resulting in physical injury. Hoyle was charged with two misdemeanor counts of allowing child abuse resulting in physical injury.
According to a news release issued yesterday (Tuesday, November 22), on Wednesday, November 9, a report was taken by the Lincolnton Police Department in reference to a referral case by Lincoln County Department of Social Services concerning physical child abuse of toddlers. The victims in the case were two nine-month-old twin boys who both sustained serious physical injuries that resulted in their hospitalization.
The case was investigated by the Lincolnton Police Department with assistance from the Lincoln County D.S.S. and the Lincoln County Child Advocacy Center. As a result of the investigation, Clontz and Hoyle were charged.
Hoyle is the mother of the two children. Clontz was her boyfriend at the time of the abuse. His bond was set at $150,000 secured. He made his first court appearance Monday (November 21), his next District Court date is December 5. Hoyle's bond was set at $30,000 secured. She did post that bond and is currently out of jail. Hoyle is scheduled to appear in District Court December 5.
Shortly after 12 p.m. Tuesday (November 22), multiple fire departments responded to a reported structure fire at the Economy Inn on 1503 Bethel Road in Morganton.
Multiple fire departments responded including Chesterfield, Drexel, Icard Lovelady, Oak Hill and Salem out of Burke County assisted as a county wide all-call was performed for all available manpower to respond to the Economy Inn.
The Conover Fire Department responded with an engine and a truck to assist with aid. The hotel was evacuated. There have been no reports of any injuries related to the fire. The cause of the fire was unknown, it is currently under investigation.
The Burke County Sheriff’s Office, Burke County Narcotics Task Force and Morganton Public Safety held a one day warrant roundup last week. The operation resulted in more than 20 arrests.
Among those arrested was 26-year-old Nathaniel David Meise of Tallent Road in Morganton. He's charged with felony counts of trafficking in methamphetamine and larceny, along with a misdemeanor count of larceny. Bond for Meise was set at $111,000 secured. He has court appearances scheduled for December 6 and December 12.
24-year-old Chelsea Nicholle Martin of Valdese Avenue in Valdese was also arrested during last week's roundup. She's charged with felony possession of methamphetamine and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. Martin's bond was set at $3,000 secured. She's scheduled to appear in court December 12.
47-year-old Michael Brenton Leonard, of the same Valdese Avenue, Valdese, address as Martin, is also charged with felony possession of meth and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. His bond was also set at $3,000 secured. He's got a December 12 court appearance scheduled as well.
A total of 27 warrants were served on 21 individuals.
A fire that started Monday evening (November 21) six miles east of Blowing Rock in Watauga County, has forced some residents to evacuate. As of the most recent update, late Tuesday (November 22), the Horton Fire had burned 700 to 800 acres. According to the website wildfiretoday.com, the fire is burning in steep, heavily wooded country, and has threatened more than 50 homes.
The Chestnut Knob fire at South Mountains State Park in Burke County is now reported to be 65% contained. The wildfire now covers 6,435 acres, a very slight increase from the previous report. There are now 257 personnel fighting the fire, down from 352 on Monday.
The Florida Green Team, which is leading the operation at South Mountains State Park, is monitoring weather conditions. Moderate winds and continued low humidity has the potential to cause reburn and increase fire activity.