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Lincoln County Sheriff’s Detectives are investigating break-ins at the Tobacco & Beer Outlet at 3598 North N.C. Highway 16 and at Denver Smokes at 120 South N.C. Highway 16, both in Denver. The incidents occurred this morning (August 19) less than 30 minutes apart.

At 12:30 a.m., Deputies responded to an alarm call at the Tobacco & Beer Outlet. Officers found the front glass door had been broken when a cinder block was thrown through it. The owner arrived and pulled up the store’s surveillance video, which showed two people entering the store and placing items into boxes. Both were wearing masks and blue jeans. One person was wearing a short-sleeved shirt and the other was wearing a long-sleeved shirt. The suspects exited through the front door and fled the scene in a vehicle of unknown description.

Shortly before 1 a.m. Deputies were checking businesses in the area of Highway 16 & 73 when they found the break-in at Denver Smokes. The store’s surveillance system showed that a rock was thrown through the door at 12:19 a.m. after a dark-colored S.U.V. pulled up to the front of the store. Two suspects got out of the vehicle and entered the store with boxes, gathered items and left within three minutes.

In both break-ins, it appears the thieves targeted only cigarettes.

18-year-old Zachary LaForce of Moorseville has been arrested by Iredell Co. Sheriff’s Officers on charges of felony financial transaction card theft and felony financial transaction card fraud.

Events leading to his arrest began on June 20 when the Sheriff’s Office took a call from a victim who said her son, Zachary LaForce, had stolen her credit card and used it fraudulently. An investigation revealed that LaForce used the credit card to make purchases in Iredell County, totaling $558.82, and at a merchant in Mecklenburg County, totaling $11.12.

LaForce was arrested on August 12 and placed in the Iredell County Jail under a $2,500 secured bond. He’ll appear in District Court on August 27.

The case remains under investigation by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police.

48-year-old Deborah Scoggins Mann of 42nd Avenue Circle N.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police shortly after 5 p.m. yesterday (August 18) on one felony count of larceny by employee.

Mann was charged in connection to an incident on August 5 at Great Clips on North Center Street. An employee opened the store that morning and couldn’t find the cash drawer. The drawer had been accounted for the previous day. As she drove up, the employee noticed Mann, also a Great Clips employee, coming out of the business and leaving on foot.

That employee’s eyewitness account led Police to arrest Mann at her residence without incident yesterday. Less than $300 was stolen from the business. It was not recovered.

Mann was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $4,000, secured. She will appear in District Court on August 20 in Newton.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014 12:15

Hickory Man Faces Felony Meth Charge

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24-year-old Dallas Lloyd Gragg of Sulphur Springs Road in Hickory was arrested early this morning (August 19) by Hickory Police on one felony count of possession of a schedule II controlled substance.

He was arrested when Police responded to the Kangaroo Express store on North Center Street just before 2 a.m. today. A woman there said Gragg had taken money from her. Gragg gave consent to search. The money wasn’t found, but Officers did find a plastic bag containing 0.2 grams of methamphetamine.

Gragg was taken into custody without incident and placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $14,000, secured. A first appearance in District Court was scheduled for tomorrow in Hickory.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014 12:05

H.C.T. Hands Out its Annual Kay Awards

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The Hickory Community Theatre presented its annual Kay Awards Saturday night on the stage of the Jeffers Theater. Three cast members from “Les Miserables” – Nathan Crabtree, William Morgan and Edyth Pruitt – served as the evening’s hosts. The awards are named for HCT’s founding director, Kay Johnson. 15 awards and honors were presented with the acting awards based on voting by audience members during the season.

The Outstanding Supporting Actress was Carol Anne Hartman for her role as Fantine in “Les Miserables.”   The Outstanding Supporting Actor was Bob Smith for his role as Passepartout in “Around the World in 80 Days.”

The Outstanding Character Actress award went to Edyth Pruitt for her role as Madame Thenardier in “Les Miserables.” The Outstanding Character Actor was Steve Austin for his role as Patsy in “Monty Python’s Spamalot.”

The Outstanding Newcomers were Karla Woggon for her role as Mrs. Beauregarde in “Willy Wonka Jr.” and Jeff Manus for his role as the Bishop of Digne and as an ensemble member in “Les Miserables.”

Norma Frank won the award for Outstanding Lead Actress for her performance as Ethel Thayer in “On Golden Pond.”   There was a tie for Outstanding Lead Actor with the awards going to James Best for his role as Norman Thayer in “On Golden Pond” and to Charles Jeffers for his role as Francis Biddle in “Trying.”

“Les Miserables” was recognized as the Outstanding Ensemble.

HCT’s Technical Director Tony Chambers recognized Christine Levy as the Outstanding Technical Volunteer and John Rambo, HCT’s Managing Director, named Taryn Stinson as Volunteer of the Year.

John Brinkley, HCT Past President, gave the President’s Award to Allen Finley in recognition of his work on behalf of the theater’s capital campaign. Brinkley himself was presented with special recognition by Thom Hutchens, the President of the HCT Guild.

The Kay Awards were sponsored by CBSA Architects and The Compounding Pharmacy. The Hickory Community Theatre is a Funded Affiliate of the United Arts Council of Catawba County.

The Alexander County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) Board of Directors have announced plans to help improve the exterior appearance of retail businesses in the county through a Building Improvement Grant. Annually, the EDC will offer a maximum of five grants of $1,000 each to qualified building owners or tenants. The grant is a 50/50 reimbursement of expenses with a maximum grant of $1,000 per grant application.

The purpose of the Building Improvement Grant program is to provide an economic incentive to properly renovate or restore building exteriors of retail businesses in Alexander County.

For additional information, contact the EDC’s Gary Herman at 828-632-1378 or glherman@alexandercountync.gov.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014 11:17

Hickory Woman Faces Felony Meth Charge

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38-year-old Tracie Dianah Bass of Brannock Road in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police last night on one felony count of possession of a schedule II controlled substance and one misdemeanor count for possession of drug paraphernalia.

She was arrested when Police were called to the Probation Office on Main Avenue N.E. at about 1:40 yesterday afternoon (August 18) in reference to a drug violation. A Probation Officer there saw Bass in the parking lot next door. As the Officer approached Bass, she saw Bass going through a pocketbook. The Officer handcuffed Bass and conducted a warrantless search, which resulted in the discovery of a plastic bag containing 0.2 grams of methamphetamine, a syringe and a lighter.

Bass was taken into custody without incident and placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $40,000 secured bond. A first appearance in District Court was set for August 20 in Hickory.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014 07:05

Victim Identified in Yesterday's Fatal Hit & Run

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The victim in yesterday’s fatal hit & run accident on Highway 321 has been identified as 35-year-old John Morrison of Mountain View. A truck driver spotted Morrison’s body at 6:47 a.m. yesterday.

Investigators with the N.C. State Highway Patrol found parts of a Honda Civic near the body, but have since determined that the tire impressions left by the Honda were about a week old. They are no longer sure of suspect vehicle’s make and model. Investigators say the vehicle will have damage to the hood and possibly the windshield.

Morrison was hit after he was dropped off at River Road with plans to walk to his girlfriend's house. He was last seen alive at about 1:40 a.m. An autopsy was scheduled for today or tomorrow (August 19-20).

The Highway Patrol is asking anyone with information to call 828-466-5500 or *HP (*47). The N.C. State Bureau of Investigation is assisting in the investigation.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014 07:02

Fire Destroys Connelly Springs Home

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Fire destroyed a home at 6591 Maple Grove Avenue in Connelly Springs late yesterday afternoon (August 18). Several area fire departments responded to the blaze.

An adult and a child were in the home when the fire occurred. They escaped without injury. No Firefighters were injured.

The house is believed to be a total loss. The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Tuesday, 19 August 2014 06:59

Suspect Charged in B&E at Morganton Tire Store

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61-year-old Roger Dale Brown, Jr. of Morganton has been charged with breaking & entering into a business with the intent to commit larceny, breaking & entering a motor vehicle and larceny.

He was arrested yesterday (August 18) after Officers with the Morganton Department of Public Safety responded to a report of a break-in at the Tire Specialists II store, 380 East Fleming Drive in Morganton. The vehicle break-in also occurred at the business. Investigators gathered evidence that led to Brown’s arrest.

Some of the stolen property and currency was recovered. Additional charges are possible.

After his arrest, Brown was incarcerated in the Burke-Catawba District Confinement Facility under a $10,000 secured bond. A first appearance in District Court was set for today in Morganton.