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32-year-old Phalen Devon Izard of 15th Street N.E. in Hickory was served a felony indictment by Hickory Police at about 10 a.m. yesterday (March 10) for possession of a stolen firearm.

The indictment comes in connection to a September 2014 incident in which Police responded to a civil dispute involving one suspect who was possibly armed with a gun. When Officers arrived, Phalen Izard went around to the rear of the apartment building. There, Police found a semi-automatic handgun and two grams of crack cocaine.

Izard was initially arrested on September 20. He was taken into custody at his residence yesterday and placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility. An appearance in Superior Court was set for March 13.

Izard also faces two additional counts of possession of a stolen firearm and one count of possession of a schedule II controlled substance. Another Superior Court date was scheduled for May 15. Total bond was set at $51,500 on all charges.

Starting July 1st, several changes to North Carolina immunization requirements will become effective. These changes, which are in addition to existing requirements, affect infants, rising kindergarteners, and rising seventh graders.

The following changes are outlined in a news release from Catawba County Government. Children born on or after July 1, 2015 will now be required to receive a four vaccine series of Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV). Children entering kindergarten in the school year 2015-16 or later will now be required to receive a second dose of Varicella (chickenpox) vaccine before starting school. They will also be required to receive their fourth dose of Polio vaccine after their fourth birthday. Students entering seventh grade in the school year 2015-16 or later will now be required to have one dose of Tdap vaccine (tetanus, diphtheria, Pertussis) and one dose of Meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV) prior to the start of seventh grade.

Immunizations are required by law for entry into North Carolina schools. Parents have 30 days from the first day of school to provide an up-to-date immunization record or their child may be excluded from school until the required proof is provided. Parents are advised to make appointments for back-to-school vaccines in the spring and early summer, because vaccination appointments can sometimes be difficult to schedule closer to the start of school.

To learn more about required and recommended vaccines, parents are encouraged to talk with their child’s healthcare provider. The full schedule of recommended childhood vaccines, along with information about the new requirements, adult vaccines, and foreign travel vaccines, can be found on Catawba County Public Health’s website at www.catawbacountync.gov/phealth. For more information or to schedule an appointment with Public Health’s Immunization Clinic, please call Catawba County Public Health at (828) 695-5800. They're located off Fairgrove Church Road behind Catawba Valley Medical Center in Hickory.

A man who may be headed to Newton has been reported missing. The N.C. Center for Missing Persons has issued a Silver Alert for a missing endangered man. Citizens are asked to be on the lookout for Gary Marvin Brady, who is believed to be suffering from dementia or some other cognitive impairment.

Brady is described as a white male, 69-years-old, five-nine weighing 250 pounds. His hair is described as gray, shoulder length and bald on the top with blue eyes. He wears glasses and has a long gray stringy beard. When last seen Brady was wearing a navy blue trench coat, light blue button down shirt, dark blue dress pants and black wing tip shoes. Brady was last seen at North Carolina Central University in Durham and was believed to be traveling west on Interstate 40 in a white 2012 Toyota Camry, with a NC license tag reading CBN-3132. His possible destination is 804 South Cline Avenue in Newton.

Anyone with information about Gary Marvin Brady should call Officer B.J. Cloninger at the Newton Police Department at 828-465-7430.

Governor Pat McCrory spoke with teachers from throughout the state today (March 10) for a meeting of his Teacher Advisory Committee, a committee re-established in September 2013 to address the needs of North Carolina K-12 teachers and students.

At the meeting, Governor McCrory took a moment to honor the committee’s 2013-14 members, as well as the newly appointed members. The governor announced that James Ford, a history teacher from Garinger High School and the 2014 Teacher of the Year, will chair the committee.

New members include G. Neil Bolick of Catawba County. Bolick is a Spanish teacher at Mill Creek Middle School in Newton. He has been teaching for 25 years.

The role of the committee is to advise the governor on best practices to improve student outcomes; to improve teaching and learning in North Carolina public schools; to identify, recognize and celebrate innovative schools and school systems in North Carolina; and to recommend strategies for recruiting and retaining quality educators.

The term length is one year.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015 14:22

Two Face Child Abuse Charges in Iredell County

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25-year-old Melissa Kay Lynn Poole and 39-year-old Jeremy Daniel Dishner, both of West Winds Loop in Statesville have been arrested by Iredell Co. Sheriff’s Officers. They were each charged with five misdemeanor counts of child abuse.

Last Friday evening (March 6), Detectives responded to the residence where a man was reported to be deceased. When Deputies arrived, they found a 62-year-male had passed away in the home.

While investigating the death, Deputies observed that the residence was in extremely unsanitary condition with large amounts of trash, dirty clothing and food scattered on the floors throughout the home. There were also plumbing leaks and raw sewage in the bathrooms.

Officers learned that five young children lived in the home with the parents and the deceased grandfather. The Iredell County Department of Social Services responded to the scene, and the five young children, who ranged from nine months to 13 years old, were placed in the temporary custody of D.S.S.

Poole and Dishner were arrested and charged accordingly. Dishner was also served an outstanding warrant out of Alexander County for driving while license revoked. Both subjects are scheduled to appear in District Court on April 23.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015 12:24

Conover Sex Offender Sentenced to 9-22 Years

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30-year-old David Michael Pinkham of Conover pleaded guilty to indecent liberties with a child, first-degree sexual exploitation of a minor and second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor. He entered the guilty plea yesterday (March 9) in Catawba County Superior Court and was sentenced to nine to 22 years in the North Carolina Department of Adult Corrections.

When he is released from prison, Pinkham will be placed on supervised probation for 60 months. He’ll have to register as a sex offender and be required to enroll in satellite-based monitoring for 10 years.

Early in 2014, investigators from the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office were alerted to an online exchange of pornographic material from Pinkham’s residence. An investigation revealed that Pinkham had downloaded thousands of images of children, many of girls at a very young age. The investigation also led to evidence that he had touched a five-year-old female victim inappropriately. The defendant also was involved in producing his own pornographic material involving children.

Michael Van Buren prosecuted the case for the District Attorney’s Office. Brian Kelly was the lead investigator for the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office and Special Agent Nathan Anderson of the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation assisted. Those agencies partnered with the Catawba County Child Advocacy & Protection Center during the investigation.

The Honorable Hugh B. Lewis, Superior Court Judge from Mecklenburg County, presided over the conviction.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015 11:48

Three Arrested on Multiple Charges in Lenoir

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52-year-old John Michael Wall of 19th Avenue N.W. in Hickory, 27-year-old Angelica Leann Crane of Shade Tree Lane in Lenoir and 28-year-old Amanda Nicole Wall of 10th Avenue Drive N.E. in Hickory were all arrested yesterday by Lenoir Police. John Wall was charged with felony aiding & abetting attempted obtaining property by false pretense and misdemeanor larceny, while Crane faces charges for felony attempted obtaining property by false pretense. Amanda Wall was charged with misdemeanor larceny. All three suspects were charged with misdemeanor possession of stolen goods or property.

All three were taken to the Caldwell Co. Detention Center with bond for John Wall was set at $5,000, secured. Crane was given a $7,500 secured bond, while Amanda Wall’s bond was set at $1,500, secured. John Wall and Crane were both scheduled to appear in District Court today in Lenoir. Amanda Wall has a court date set for April 16.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015 10:52

Silver Alert Issued for Missing Asheville Woman

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The N.C. Center for Missing Persons issued a Silver Alert late yesterday afternoon (March 9) for a missing, endangered Asheville woman, Renee LaManna, who is believed to be suffering from dementia or some other cognitive impairment.

Ms. LaManna is a 56-year-old white female. She is 5' 2" tall and weighs 125 pounds with long brown hair and brown eyes. Ms. LaManna was last seen wearing a blue wrap, a long dress and big glasses.

She went missing from Denny Tunnel Avenue in Asheville and was last seen at the T.A. Travel Stop in Haywood County. She is believed to be hitchhiking along Interstate 40.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Renee LaManna should call Sgt. Lunsford at the Asheville Police Department at 828-252-1110.

27-year-old Jabaris Rashawn Francis was arrested Monday (March 9) by Burke County Sheriff’s Officers. He’s charged with felony kidnapping. Bond for Francis on the kidnapping charge was set at $200,000 secured. He’s being held in jail on the kidnapping count and other charges under a total bond of $234,000 secured. His next court appearance is scheduled for April 7.

35-year-old Garrett Donald Brown was arrested Monday (March 9) by Burke County Sheriff’s Officers. He’s charged with felony possession of methamphetamine, felony possession of heroin, and misdemeanor simple possession of schedule IV controlled substance. Following the arrest, Brown was placed in jail under $56,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Tuesday, March 10).