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The Statesville Police Department is continuing to investigate a fatal motor vehicle crash that occurred Wednesday (April 13) at approximately 6 a.m. The crash occurred near the intersection of Garner Bagnal Boulevard and Wall Street in Statesville. Officers investigating the crash said that two trucks collided head on in the roadway near the intersection of Garner Bagnal Boulevard and Wall Street and one of the drivers suffered fatal injuries.

65-year-old Montie Stephen Lippard of Statesville was killed as a result of the collision. The second vehicle was being driven by 38-year-old Scott Jeffrey Stephens of Mooresville. Stephens was transported to Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem with serious injuries but he was listed in stable condition. A third vehicle was involved and had minor damage. The driver of that vehicle was not injured. The investigation is still ongoing as to the cause of the crash and no charges have been filed at this time.

Thanks to a call into a local crime tip line, a man being sought by authorities in Caldwell County was apprehended earlier this week.

44-year-old Johnny Jay Watson Jr. of Ladybug Lane in Lenoir was wanted by the Caldwell County Sheriff's Office. Tuesday morning (April 12) a news release was posted on the Lenoir Caldwell Crimestoppers Facebook page requesting assistance in locating Watson. He was arrested later that day by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. They were led to Watson courtesy of a tip called in to the Crimestoppers line.

Watson is charged with felony counts of breaking and entering and larceny after breaking and entering. He's also charged with five misdemeanor counts of assault on a female, four misdemeanor counts of domestic violence protective order violation, and single misdemeanor counts of interfering with emergency communication, breaking and entering, injury to real property, communicating threats, and failure to appear on a count of nonsupport.

Watson was placed in the Caldwell County Detention Center under no bond on the domestic violence charges, and $29,184 bond on the other charges. He is scheduled to make District Court appearances April 19, May 3, May 24, and June 7. If you have information on any criminal activity that has occurred in Caldwell County you can call Lenoir Caldwell Crimestoppers at 828-758-8300. You may remain anonymous and you could receive a cash reward if information leads to the arrest of a suspect.

The Caldwell County Sheriff's Office is seeking the public's assistance in locating a suspect wanted in connection with multiple crimes.

According to a news release issued by the Sheriff's Office, they're requesting assistance in finding 21-year-old Austin Lee Barnette. He is wanted in connection with a burglary and multiple vehicle breaking and enterings that occurred in the Hudson Area in the early morning hours this past Monday, April 11.  

Barnette, who is a white male, is not known to be operating a vehicle. His last known address was on Kistler Lane in Granite Falls, however, he was known to have recently stayed at a residence off the Legion Road in Hudson.

If you know the location of Barnette or have recently been in contact with him, you are asked to contact the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office at 828-758-2324. If you wish to remain anonymous you can contact the Lenoir Caldwell Crimestoppers at 828-758-8300.

36-year-old Wilbur Junior White of 14th Avenue SW in Hickory was arrested today (Wednesday, April 13) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with manufacture, sell, deliver, or possess controlled substance within 1,000 feet of a park, three counts of conspire to sell or deliver schedule II controlled substance, possession with intent to manufacture, sell, or deliver schedule II controlled substance, sale and delivery of schedule II controlled substance, and maintaining a vehicle dwelling, or place to keep controlled substance. Following the arrest, White was locked up in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $500,000 bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for Thursday (April 14). 

48-year-old Antonio Demond Wade of 12th Avenue SW in Hickory was arrested today (Wednesday, April 13) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with conspire to sell or deliver cocaine. Following the arrest, Wade was locked up in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $12,000 bond. A District Court date is set for Thursday (April 14).

27-year-old Adrian Durrand Johnson, Jr. of 5th Avenue S.W. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at 6:15 p.m. yesterday (April 12) on one felony count of possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver cocaine and misdemeanor counts of possession of marijuana up to half an ounce and simple possession of a schedule II controlled substance.

He was arrested when an Officer traveling south on the 500 block of 3rd Street S.W. saw a northbound 2004 Ford Explorer driven by Johnson. The Officer knew Johnson’s license was suspended, so he initiated a traffic stop at the Ridgeview Plaza parking lot. The driver pulled over on 3rd Avenue S.E., just east of South Center Street.

A search was conducted, leading to the discovery of 3.8 grams of crack cocaine, 3.9 grams of marijuana and one Oxycodone pill.  The vehicle was impounded.

Johnson was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $10,000 secured bond. He has since been released. An appearance in District Court was scheduled today in Newton.

36-year-old Yvette Denise Saxton of 4th Avenue S.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police yesterday (April 12) on a long list of felony drug charges. Those include six counts of possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver a schedule II controlled substance, four counts for the sale or delivery of a schedule II controlled substance, three counts for the sale or delivery of cocaine, one count for the delivery of cocaine and one count of possession with intent to sell or deliver cocaine. The warrants for her arrest were issued in September 2015, January 2016 and February 2016.

Saxton was taken into custody without incident at about 1:30 p.m. Tuesday at a convenience store on South Center Street. She was confined in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $50,000, secured. An appearance in District Court was scheduled today in Newton.

46-year-old Deven Kirby Deal of North Center Street in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police just before noon yesterday (April 12) on one felony count of possession of methamphetamine and one misdemeanor count of possession of a schedule VI controlled substance. Deal was taken into custody without incident at her residence. She was jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $120,000 secured bond. A first appearance in District Court was set for today in Newton.

Catawba County is planning three special roadside cleanup events for Spring Litter Sweep Weeks, which runs from April 16-30. Two Litter Sweep events have been set for Saturday, April 16 and one will be held on Saturday, April 23.

The City of Newton is organizing an event this upcoming Saturday, April 16 from 8:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. Those interested in being involved in that cleanup should go to Westside Jaycee Park between 8:30 and 9:00 a.m. to pick up supplies. They will move out into the city to pick up litter in teams until 12:30 p.m. For more information or to register a team for the Newton event, call Angie Harris-Ramseur at 828-695-4288.

A cleanup of the Riverbend Park area, off Highway 16 at the Catawba-Alexander County line, will be held on Saturday, April 16 from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Anyone interested in that cleanup should meet in the Riverbend Park parking lot at 10 a.m. and be sure to bring gloves. For more information, contact Lori Owenby at 828-256-9157.

On Saturday, April 23, the City of Conover will hold a cleanup from 9 a.m. to 12 Noon. Anyone interested in the Conover cleanup effort should pick up supplies at the Conover Station Community Patio Room between 8:00 and 9:00 a.m. Lunch will be served after clean up the Conover Station Community Patio Room. For more information or to register teams for the Conover event, call Joy Heller at 828-464-1191.

Groups or individuals who wish to organize their own cleanup efforts at any time during the year should contact North Carolina Department of Transportation office at 828-466-5519.
For more information on the upcoming Catawba County’s Litter Sweep Weeks activities, April 16-30, you may call the Department of Utilities and Engineering at 465-8217 or email amandak@catawbacountync.gov.

The City of Morganton Finance Department was recently awarded the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada (GFOA) for the City’s comprehensive annual financial report (CAFR). The City’s CAFR report contains a complete and audited set of financial statements for the last fiscal year.

“The Certificate of Achievement is the highest form of recognition in the area of governmental accounting and financial reporting, and its attainment represents a significant accomplishment by a government and its management,” the GFOA release said.

“I am very pleased that the City of Morganton has again received this award,” said Finance Director Karen Duncan. “The Certificate of Achievement from the GFOA is a welcome recognition of the hard work and dedication of our Finance staff. I’m very thankful for the leadership and strong commitment to responsible fiscal management demonstrated by our City Manager Sally Sandy and the City Council.”

The City of Morganton’s latest CAFR has been judged by an impartial panel to meet the high standards of the program including demonstrating a constructive "spirit of full disclosure" to clearly communicate its financial story and motivate potential users and user groups to read the CAFR.

The GFOA is a nonprofit professional association serving approximately 17,500 government finance professionals with offices in Chicago, IL, and Washington, D.C.