News (821)

A chase during which speeds reportedly exceeded 100 miles per hour resulted in the arrest of a Caldwell County man in Burke County.

The Morganton Department of Public Safety arrested 36-year-old Steven Daniel Sparks of Lenoir following a chase in Morganton Sunday evening which a news release says included speeds over 110 mph. Public Safety Officers noticed a vehicle matching the description of a vehicle involved in a larceny from Walmart in Morganton. Public Safety Officer Holland turned on the vehicle to stop it and the vehicle, a 1997 Cadillac, sped away on West Fleming Drive toward the Roses Plaza. Officer Holland saw the Cadillac pick up speed as it ran through the red light at the plaza and travel East on East Fleming Drive at an extremely high speed.

Sgt. R. E. Triplett was on East Fleming Drive as Officer Holland called in the chase and he joined in the pursuit. The Cadillac continued to pick up speed, at one point reaching over 110 mph on East Fleming Drive and turning East on US 70 in the direction of Drexel. Morganton officers lost the vehicle for a short time and called off the chase due to the danger.

A few minutes later, the suspect's Cadillac was spotted coming back into Morganton on US 70 East heading in the direction of Kirksey Drive where it was eventually stopped by several Public Safety Officers. The driver of the Cadillac, Sparks, was arrested and charged with Felony Flee to Elude Arrest, Reckless Driving, Driving During Revocation, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Fictitious or Altered License Plate and Failure to stop for a steady red light. Sparks was booked into the Burke Catawba Detention Center under $13,000 bond. District Court appearances are scheduled for July 23, July 29, and August 3.

A passenger in the Cadillac, 35-year-old Virginia Suzanne Bishop, of Lenoir was also arrested and charged with larceny from the Walmart store. She’s scheduled to appear in District Court August 25.

32-year-old Charles Adam Friend of 12th Avenue S.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police this morning (Tuesday, July 14) on one felony count of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury.

Events leading to his arrest began early this morning, shortly after midnight. Police responded to an assault call at the Ridgecrest apartment complex on 12th Avenue S.E. A 22-year-old male victim suffering from multiple stab wounds had already been taken to Catawba Valley Medical Center by his girlfriend.

The residence was occupied by the victim’s sister, who was the reporting party. The victim and the caller’s neighbor, Charles Friend, reportedly were involved in an altercation over $10 that Friend owed the victim. The argument escalated until Friend allegedly stabbed the victim.

Officers located Friend and the knife and took the suspect into custody without incident at about 2 a.m. The victim’s injuries were not thought to be life-threatening.

Friend was confined in the Catawba County Detention Facility under a $20,000 secured bond. A District Court date was set for tomorrow (July 15) in Newton.

A company in Burke County is reportedly planning to expand and that expansion would likely result in new jobs.

According to a published report, SpartaCraft Custom WoodWorks, working with Burke Development Inc. and Western Piedmont Council of Governments, has applied for a building reuse grant for $200,000 through the N.C. Department of Commerce. The grant would require a five percent, or $10,000, local match, which the report says would likely come from the county. SpartaCraft is located in Connelly Springs.

The Burke County Board of Commissioners is expected to hold a public hearing on the local incentive funding and a resolution at its regular monthly meeting next Tuesday, July 21. The company plans to add approximately 20 full-time jobs because of the expansion.

The report says the grant money would be used to renovate part of SpartaCraft’s 75,000-square-foot building. In addition to the new jobs that would result from the grant, it's expected to increase the county’s tax base.

According to information from the company's website, SpartaCraft is a custom wood works company that makes cabinets and furniture among other products.

Tuesday, 14 July 2015 04:44

Meth Charge Filed Against Newton Woman

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39-year-old April Dawn Hembree of Plateau Road in Newton was arrested Monday (July 13) by Catawba County Sheriff’s Officers. She’s charged with felony possession of methamphetamine. Hembree was incarcerated in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $13,000 bond. A Superior Court appearance is scheduled for Friday (July 17).

The City of Morganton had a discharge of untreated wastewater on Monday (July 13) of an estimated 2,250 gallons near the intersection of Bouchelle Street and Sanford Drive. The untreated wastewater was discharged in an unnamed tributary in the Catawba River Basin.

Water Resources Director Brad Boris said that an old, dead pine tree fell on top of the City sewer line crossing the creek. The tree broke the line and caused the spill.

“We didn’t notice any adverse impacts to the creek, and we don’t expect any long term problems,” Boris said.

The NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources Division of Water Resources was notified Monday and is reviewing the matter. For more information, contact the City of Morganton Water Resources Department at 828-438-5276.

The eastbound lane on the N.C. 150 bridge over Lake Norman between Catawba and Iredell counties will remain closed today (Monday, July 13). Crews encountered multiple delays during weekend work on the bridge's deck, necessitating the daytime closure until the work can resume tonight.

Crews have been working overnight and during weekends to complete the rehabilitation project, which will extend the life of the bridge. During this weekend's work, however, crews encountered several issues that delayed their progress and prevented them from completing the work before the lane closure could be removed.

Daytime heat prevents the bridge work from being done during the day, so the eastbound lane closure must remain in place today.

Motorists are advised to seek alternate routes, if possible, and expect delays.

26-year-old Justin Alexander Rudisill was arrested Saturday (July 11) by authorities in Burke County. He’s charged with felony breaking and entering to a coin machine. Following the arrest, Rudisill was incarcerated under $10,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Monday, July 13) in Morganton.

Monday, 13 July 2015 13:24

Man Charged In Burke As Habitual Felon

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37-year-old Shannon Richard Aughenbaugh was arrested Friday (July 10) by Burke County Sheriff’s Officers. He’s charged as an habitual felon. In addition, Aughenbaugh is facing three counts of failure to appear in court. Following the arrest, Aughenbaugh was jailed in Morganton under $81,000 secured bond. His next court appearance is scheduled for next Monday (July 20).

The Iredell County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s help in identifying three people that were involved in a breaking & entering and two counts of first-degree trespassing. Surveillance photos were provided by the Sheriff's Office. The pictures are from a pool located on Castle Pine Lane in Statesville.

One suspect appears to be a white male with numerous tattoos. The second suspect looks to be either a Hispanic or black male with short hair and facial hair. The third suspect is a white female who appears to be short and heavyset.  

The suspects in the first incident broke into the pump room and bathrooms, causing damage to the doors. In the second incident, all three suspects crossed over the fence. A short time later, they saw the camera system and left without stealing or damaging anything.

Anyone with information should call Iredell County Crime Stoppers at 704-662-1340 or Detective Sergeant Cameron Jones at 704-878-3180.

21-year-old Taylor James Nichols of 4th Street Drive N.W. was arrested by Hickory Police early Saturday morning on one felony count of speeding to elude arrest.

His arrest came about when Police responded to reports of a possible armed robbery in the parking lot at the Taco Bell restaurant on Highway 70 S.E. in Hickory. As Officers arrived, they saw three motorcycles leaving the parking lot.

A high-speed chase ensued on Highway 70, the McDonald Parkway and I-40. Police abandoned the chase when they determined it to be a safety risk for themselves, the suspects and the public.

A short time later, Catawba Co. Sheriff’s Officers spotted the motorcycles on Springs Road. Officers pursued the bikes until one driver, Taylor Nichols, crashed. He was not injured.

Hickory Police say the subject who reported the armed robbery was intoxicated. Police learned that the victim was, in fact, not robbed, but was assaulted. He was taken to a local hospital to be sure that sutures from a previous injury had not ruptured during the altercation. The victim did not sustain any serious injuries.

Nichols was taken into custody at about 4:20 a.m. Saturday and placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility. He was released about an hour later under a $5,000 secured bond. A first appearance in District Court was set for today in Hickory.