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The Catawba County Democratic Party will hold its next meeting tomorrow (Tuesday, April 22) at the party's headquarters, 1612 Tate Boulevard in Hickory. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. The meeting is open to the public.

For more information, call 828-322-5100 or visit catawbacountydemocrats.com.

18-year-old Zachary Taylor Hartness of Sharon School Road and 17-year-old Ryan Lee McCrary of Shady Rest Road, both from Statesville, were arrested last Wednesday (April 16) on charges of felony possession with intent to sell or deliver marijuana, possession of a marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

They were arrested at about 11:40 a.m. when the School Resource Officer at West Iredell High School made a routine check of a bathroom. He saw two males, Hartness and McCrary, standing in one stall with the door open.

Hartness left when he saw the Deputy. McCrary immediately turned away, concealing something in his hand. The Deputy suspected that McCrary had contraband and that he might flush it, so he ordered McCrary to hand the substance over to him.

McCrary handed the Deputy a clear plastic baggie containing what appeared to be marijuana in three smaller bags, individually packaged for sale.

Both students were taken to the guidance office and were suspended from school. The case was turned over to the District Attorney's office for further process.

Hartness has an appearance in District Court set for May 1 while McCrary was due in an Iredell County courtroom today (April 21).

79-year-old Curtis Milford King of 1st Street S.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police Friday afternoon (April 18) on one felony count of possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver marijuana and one misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

He was arrested when Police went to King’s residence shortly before noon Friday to serve a warrant on a female subject they were looking for. A man later identified as Curtis King opened the door and said the woman hadn’t been there in two days.

The Officer saw marijuana in plain view. Officers secured the property while a search warrant was obtained. When the warrant was executed, two bags containing a total of 23.5 grams of marijuana were found in a bedroom, along with a pipe.

King was taken into custody without incident and later released under a $2,000 unsecured bond. He was scheduled to appear in District Court today (April 21) in Newton.

Beginning this evening (Monday, April 21), NCDOT crews will replace pavement markings along Interstate 85 in Gaston and Cleveland counties. The month-long project will take place from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. each night.

The pavement marking replacement, part of an ongoing resurfacing project for a roughly seven-mile stretch of road, will take place along I-85 in both directions at mile marker 7.3 in Cleveland County and will continue to mile marker 13.9 in Gaston County.

Some ramp work will be needed as part of the project. As a result, one lane of traffic will be closed to allow crews to work on the ramps, as needed. Motorists traveling through the area can expect some minimal delays.

The pavement marking replacement is part of a $3,042,859 contract awarded to Sloan Construction Company, Inc. of Duncan, S.C.

Once the pavement markings are replaced, work on the project should be completed.

Iredell Co. Sheriff’s Detectives are asking for the public’s assistance in identifying a breaking & entering suspect.

The Twin Oaks Golf Course in Statesville was broken into on three separate occasions on April 8, 12 and 17. The suspect entered through a window, causing several hundred dollars’ worth of damage. Various items including golf balls, gift bags and change were stolen.

The same suspect is seen on surveillance video from all three incidents. He is a white male, between 30 to 40 years old, balding on top with some facial hair. He appears to be wearing the same cargo-type shorts. The suspect may be involved in similar golf course break-ins.

Anyone with information is urged to call the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office at 704-878-3180 or Iredell/Statesville Crime Stoppers at 704-662-1340.

Monday, 21 April 2014 06:47

Conover Restaurant & Hotel Damaged by Fire

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The Harbor Inn Seafood Restaurant and the LaQuinta Inn in which it is housed were damaged by fire Sunday morning (April 20). The Conover Fire Department responded to the restaurant and hotel on Fairgrove Church Road at about 1 a.m. yesterday.

Firefighters arrived to find flames shooting through the roof of the building. The first floor of the hotel was filled with smoke with heavy smoke on four other floors and in stairwells.

Hotel guests were safely evacuated and were able to return to their rooms at approximately 3:30 a.m.

The restaurant’s roof was damaged by fire. Smoke and water damage were also reported. No damage estimate is available at this time.

Investigators believe the fire began in the kitchen. An investigation is ongoing.

In addition to Conover, the Hickory, Newton, Claremont, St. Stephens and Oxford fire departments all responded to the scene.

37-year-old Damion Lee Gonzales of Rolands Chapel Road in Nebo and 30-year-old Gwendolyn Elaine Thompson of Stockton Road in Marion have both been arrested by McDowell Co. Sheriff’s Officers. Gonzales faces multiple counts of felony breaking & entering, felony larceny and misdemeanor damage to property. Thompson was charged with at least one felony count each for B&E and larceny and multiple felony counts for possession of stolen goods.

Sheriff’s Deputies had been searching for Gonzales for more than a week prior to his arrest in the Mitchell County town of Bakersville Monday night (April 14) where he and Thompson, who is his girlfriend, were taken into custody.

The two are charged in connection to multiple incidents in Marion and one in Nebo that took place from January 15 to April 9. Among the items taken were computers, TVs, video game accessories, laptop computers, an iPad, a microwave, a taxidermist-stuffed bobcat, jewelry, two 1998 Honda four-wheelers and a compound bow. Some of the items, including the stuffed bobcat, were recovered.

Detectives say the crimes were random. The victims and the suspects were not acquainted. Gonzales has also been charged with similar crimes in Yancey and Rutherford counties and in Glen Alpine.

Bond for Gonzales was set at $35,000, secured, while Thompson was given a $30,000 secured bond. Both suspects have District Court dates in McDowell County on May 5. Gonzales will also appear in a McDowell County courtroom on April 30 and in Rutherford County on April 23.

McDowell Co. Sheriff’s Capt. Shanon Smith expressed his appreciation to the Mitchell County Sheriff’s Office and other law enforcement agencies for their assistance in the investigation.

48-year-old Sherry Lynn Phillips Nichols of Powell Road in Lenoir has been arrested by Lenoir Police on one count of felony larceny by employee in excess of $100,000.

Events leading to her arrest unfolded at 11 a.m. on March 28 when Lenoir Police took a call regarding a City of Lenoir employee allegedly stealing money from the city. Nichols worked as a customer service rep at the Blue Ridge Cemetery on Wilkesboro Boulevard in Lenoir.

An investigation indicated that Nichols was stealing city funds generated from sales made at the cemetery. All purchases of lots at the cemetery have been accounted for and no cemetery customers have lost money that was paid to the Blue Ridge Cemetery.

Nichols’ arrest is not related to the larceny of bronze vases that was reported on March 3 of this year.

Nichols was placed in the Caldwell Co. Detention Center under a $50,000 secured bond. She will appear in District Court on April 21 in Lenoir.

The investigation is ongoing.

The Catawba County Board of Commissioners will meet at 7 p.m. on Monday, April 21 in the 1924 Courthouse at 30 North College Avenue in Newton.

The Board will hold a public hearing on proposed amendments to the County’s Official Zoning Overlay Map to eliminate the WS-III Watershed Protected Area and WS-III Critical Area classification from four properties located along Highway 10 West, west of the South Fork River.

The Board will also consider a proposed Economic Development Agreement with GKN Driveline, which has announced plans to expand its Maiden facility. The expansion would create at least 228 new jobs by the end of 2018 and would invest more than $122 million at the facility.

The Commissioners will also consider a proposed Economic Development Agreement with OHM Holdings LLC, which plans to purchase seven parcels and rehabilitate two existing structures in Hickory’s Urban Redevelopment Zone. The project would create 50 new jobs and result in a $7 million investment. OHM represents Transportation Insight, which plans to create a corporate campus centered around the old Lyerly Full Fashioned Mill at the intersection of Highway 127 and 1st Avenue.

The Board will consider awarding a bid for engineering services for the Balls Creek Area Water Service water project and they’ll consider awarding a bid for the construction of a pump station and storage tank for the Southeastern Catawba County Water Supply Loop.

The Board will consider appropriating $66,464.16 in Disaster Recovery Funds awarded by FEMA to offset the cost to repair major damage at the Blackburn Landfill that resulted from the July 27 floods.

Also on the agenda are a tax refund request and the cancellation of the Board’s May 19 meeting.

Finally, the Commissioners will issue a statement conveying their support for the nation’s Guard and Reserve and they will issue a proclamation designating Catawba County as a Purple Heart County.

20-year-old Luis Alfrado-Guiza Corona of Shannonbrook Drive in Newton was arrested by Hickory Police at about ten o’clock last night (April 16) on one felony count of aiding & abetting.

Corona was involved in an incident on April 12 in which 17-year-old Andrade Mario Orozco of Hickory was charged with one felony count of assault with a deadly weapon on a law enforcement officer, previously reported April 14 on WHKY. Orozco allegedly struck an H.P.D. Officer with his vehicle as he fled from a fight at the Spring Carnival at Hickory’s Valley Hills Mall. Orozco was stopped a short time later and taken into custody.

Corona, who was in the vehicle, was initially charged with resisting and disorderly conduct. The felony warrant for aiding & abetting was issued yesterday. He was taken into custody without incident at a Citgo station on Highway 70 S.E.

Corona was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $10,000 secured bond. He will appear in District Court on April 21 in Newton.