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At their meeting last night (June 16), the Catawba County Board of Commissioners approved proposed amendments to the Catawba County Code of Ordinances. The amendments dealt mostly with how to deal with dangerous or potentially dangerous dogs. County Emergency Services Director Bryan Blanton made the presentation.

In addition, a resident of Highway 16 spoke to the Board and expressed concerns with a development contract for the company formerly known as Crescent Resources. The citizen asked the board to table any decisions regarding the "Village Center" project.

The Commissioners also heard a presentation on Eat, Drink and Be Local week, which took place in late May.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014 15:11

Caldwell Commissioners Approve Budget

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The Caldwell County Board of Commissioners approved the 2014-2015 budget at its meeting last night (June 16). The Commissioners approved County Manager Stan Kiser’s proposed $74 million dollar budget by a four-to-one vote.

The property tax rate will remain unchanged at 60 cents per $100 of property valuation. The budget is intended to focus on increasing and improving public safety services to the citizens of Caldwell County.

The budget does include a two percent increase in water fees for county water customers due to continuing increase of water costs from the cities of Lenoir and Hickory and the town of Granite Falls. The increase will be the first for Caldwell County water customers since 2007-08.

An extension of operating days and hours at the county’s nine convenience & recycling sites is also included under the new budget.

29-year-old Shea Andrew Tucker of 12th Avenue Court N.E. in Hickory was arrested by Caldwell Co. Sheriff’s Officers yesterday (June 16) for felony solicitation of a child by a computer and misdemeanor display of harmful material to a minor. He was taken to the Caldwell Co. Detention Center under a $50,000 secured bond. Tucker was scheduled to make a first appearance in District Court today in Lenoir.

39-year-old Roland Edward Gullett of Calvary Place in Lenoir and 28-year-old Garry Dean Sanders, Jr. of Playmore Beach Road in Morganton were both arrested by Lenoir Police yesterday (June 16) on charges of possession with intent to manufacture, sell or distribute methamphetamine; manufacturing methamphetamine; maintaining a vehicle or dwelling for a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Both men were taken to the Caldwell Co. Detention Center with bond for Gullett set at $50,500, secured, while Sanders was given a $50,000 secured bond. First appearances in District Court were scheduled for July 7 in Lenoir.

Tuesday, 17 June 2014 13:58

Farrant Again Accused of Scamming Victims

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52-year-old Richard P. Farrant of Mooresville was arrested by Iredell Co. Sheriff’s Officers Friday (June 13) on a Caldwell County warrant for obtaining property by false pretense.

Farrant had victimized multiple citizens throughout western and central North Carolina by posing as an Energy Audit Specialist with My Home LLC and Home Energy Services LLC.

Farrant typically sold windows, insulation and other products without delivering or installing the product. According to his victims, Farrant requested partial payment up front, but did not follow through.

He had previously been arrested on May 29 in Burke County on a warrant out of Buncombe County in connection to similar fraudulent activity, as reported May 30 on WHKY.

After his arrest Friday, Farrant was given a $15,000 secured bond. He was scheduled to make a first District Court appearance in Caldwell County yesterday (June 16).

Anyone with information or anyone who may have been victimized by My Home LLC, Home Energy Services LLC or Richard Peter Farrant should contact the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office at their Statesville Office, 704-878-3180 or their Mooresville Office, 704-664-7500. Callers may also contact the Caldwell Co. Sheriff’s Office at 828-758-2324 or contact local law enforcement.

Starting on Sunday morning (June 22), some City of Morganton electric customers will temporarily lose power while the city Electric Department replaces equipment at an electrical substation.

The Electric Department needs to replace damaged components at a substation on Rand Street, behind Case Farms. Due to the nature of the work and the electrical hazards involved, it is not feasible to provide customers with power from other substations. Some customers will temporarily lose power while the equipment is replaced.

Starting at 1 a.m. Sunday morning, city work crews, working in conjunction with Duke Energy, will disable the substation and cut off power service. Weather permitting, the work should be completed within several hours and power service restored.

For more information, contact the Morganton Electric Department at 828-438-5277 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

58-year-old Abrham Shaki of Cranberry Springs Road in Fleetwood has been arrested by Watauga Co. Sheriff’s Officers on charges of trafficking in marijuana by manufacture, trafficking in marijuana by possession, manufacturing marijuana, possession with intent to manufacture, sell or distribute marijuana, maintaining a dwelling for a controlled substance and possession drug paraphernalia.

On June 10, Watauga Co. Narcotics Detectives executed a search warrant on a suspected marijuana growing operation after Detectives learned that large amounts of marijuana were being cultivated in Deep Gap. The search was conducted at a large factory building on Joe Greer Road. Officers found that half of the factory was used as a business and the other half was used to cultivate marijuana.

Detectives seized a total of 93 marijuana plants from the indoor grow operation. 32 plants were fully mature and ready for harvest. 61 plants were at different stages of growth, ranging from three inches to four feet. The marijuana was cultivated through a sophisticated system using grow lamps, ballasts to regulate the power, timers to control the amount of heat the plants were using, fans to circulate the air and air filters to mask the smell of the plants.

The seized marijuana plants had a total weight of 31 pounds. A fully mature marijuana plant can produce anywhere from half a pound to one pound of marijuana bud. The operation could potentially have yielded approximately 46 to 93 pounds of marijuana with an estimated value of $207,000 to $418,500.

Shaki was taken to the Watauga County Detention Facility under a $10,000 secured bond. He was scheduled to appear in District Court on July 30 in Boone.

44-year-old David Alan Jennings, who is listed as a homeless person from Hickory, was arrested by Hickory Police at about ten o’clock last night (June 16) on one felony count of manufacturing methamphetamine. He was also charged with misdemeanor failure to appear.

Events leading to his arrest began at about 7 p.m. as Officers were called to the 300 block of Lenoir-Rhyne Boulevard in response to reports of drug violations in a wooded area. Investigating Officers found Jennings, who appeared to be making meth in a 20-ounce bottle.

Hickory Police secured the scene until the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation could arrive for proper disposal of the potentially hazardous materials.

Jennings was taken into custody without incident and placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility where he is being held without bond. An appearance in District Court was set for June 23 in Newton.

A trailer carrying cattle overturned yesterday on the eastbound ramp to Interstate 40 (exit 126) from the McDonald Parkway. Six animals were quickly corralled near the trailer, but one bull led authorities on a chase that lasted approximately two-and-a-half hours.

The incident occurred as the trailer was headed to a beef market. The driver reportedly said it overturned when the brakes failed.

Hickory Police, the N.C. State Highway Patrol, the Maiden Rescue Squad and several volunteers were among those responding. Two H.P.D. Officers were treated for heat exhaustion, but were later reported to be O.K.

The bull, estimated at 800 pounds, was brought under control after it was lassoed by Earl Rogers, one of three volunteers on horseback from Southfork Quarter Horses. The exhausted animal was led back onto a trailer where it was to have been returned to its owner.