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28-year-old Eric Dale Jones of Hickory Boulevard in Lenoir was served an indictment yesterday (July 8) by Lenoir Police on charges of felony trafficking in opium or heroin and misdemeanor possession of marijuana up to half an ounce. He also faces charges for D.W.I., allowing a vehicle to be driven with no registration, possession of drug paraphernalia and driving while license revoked.

Jones was taken to the Caldwell Co. Detention Center under a $3,000 secured bond. Appearances in Superior Court and District Court were set for September 8.

Exodus Homes, a Catawba County United Way agency, will host a special "Everything Free" Community Outreach event on July 26 from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Brown Penn Recreation Center, 735 3rd Street S.W. in Hickory. The event will feature music and testimony. Exodus Homes has hosted similar events for 16 years.

The "Everything Free" giveaway will include furniture, clothing, Bibles, haircuts, manicures and face painting for kids, with hot dogs and hamburgers for all who attend. ALFA will provide free and confidential HIV testing with immediate test results during the event and the League of Women Voters will offer voter registration.

The Umoja Project and Exodus Church clergy will be available to talk one on one with people who need spiritual support and guidance.    

For more information, contact the Rev. Susan Smith Walker at revsusanwalker@gmail.com or 828-962-8196.

Newton Police report that their investigation into the death of Maggie Daniels continued yesterday (July 9) as Investigators followed up on tips and leads. As a result of their expanded neighborhood canvas, Investigators continued to conduct interviews and sort through information gathered.

According to one published report, Ms. Daniels had expressed concern about her safety approximately a year ago. A friend wrote to her via Twitter, encouraging her to be careful of a neighbor and suggesting that she take a self-defense class. Newton Police did not comment. Police say Ms. Daniels had not contacted them with any concerns.

Ms. Daniels’ body was found in her apartment on June 28. Newton Police announced two days later that the investigation into her death is a homicide investigation.

Investigators will continue to follow up on all tips and leads as they are reported. Anyone with information regarding the case should contact the Newton Police Department at 828-465-7430.

32-year-old Nadiaya Rosalyn Johnson of 9th Avenue Place S.W. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police just before ten o’clock last night (July 8) on one felony count of speeding to elude arrest.

She was arrested in connection to a vehicle stop on the morning of July 3 as Police attempted to serve a warrant. After a vehicle chase, Johnson and 34-year-old Melvin Franklin Mull of 3rd Street S.E. in Hickory both jumped and ran from the vehicle. Mull was apprehended and charged with assault on a female and resisting arrest, but Johnson eluded authorities until yesterday.

She was taken into custody without incident at her apartment and processed at H.P.D. Johnson was released under a $2,000 secured bond. She was scheduled to appear in District Court today in Newton.

Wednesday, 09 July 2014 15:14

Hickory Woman Faces Felony Crack Cocaine Charge

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45-year-old Patricia Ann Ellis (a.k.a. Head Nurse) of 2nd Street Place S.W. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police shortly before midnight yesterday (July 8) on one felony count of possession of cocaine and one misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

She was arrested after an Officer on foot patrol at the Horseshoe Apartment complex went to Ellis’ apartment to follow up on a tip regarding narcotics violations there. Ellis gave Officers permission to search the apartment, leading to the discovery of 0.6 grams of crack cocaine and three crack pipes.

Ellis was arrested without incident and placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $2,000 secured bond. She was scheduled to make a first appearance in District Court today in Newton.

44-year-old Robert Christopher Noe of 1st Avenue N.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police just before 9 a.m. yesterday (July 8) on one felony count of obtaining property by false pretense.

He was arrested after Police were called to the Grace House (a day center for the homeless in Hickory) where the victim reported that Noe took his scooter without permission and sold it. The incident occurred on June 16 and was reported the following day.

Noe was taken into custody without incident at the Grace House. The scooter was recovered.

Noe was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under an $8,000 secured bond. He was scheduled to make a first appearance in District Court today in Newton.

42-year-old Amy Hogan Saffos of Wedge View Way in Statesville has been arrested by Officers with the Iredell Co. Sheriff’s Special Victims Unit on three counts of felony sexual activity with a student by school personnel other than a teacher, school administrator, student teacher, coach or school safety officer.

On Friday, June 26, a report was filed with the Sheriff’s Office regarding a student at Lake Norman High School who was allegedly sexually assaulted by a counselor there. Iredell County School Administrators received the original complaint. The student’s family then filed a report with the Sheriff’s Office. The case was turned over to Detective Lieutenant Bill Hamby.

The victim was interviewed at the Dove House Child Advocacy Center. Based on information received during the interview, Lt. Hamby went to an adjoining county to obtain evidence. The Lieutenant also spoke to witnesses who provided corroborating statements verifying the victim’s testimony.

Arrest warrants were issued in connection to the incidents in Iredell County. Authorities in the neighboring jurisdiction were also made aware of the allegations and are currently conducting their own investigation.

Saffos was arrested today (July 9) at her residence without incident. She was taken to the Iredell County Detention Center and placed under a $175,000 secured bond. A first appearance in District Court was set for tomorrow in Mooresville.

The investigation is ongoing.

52 North Carolina State Highway Patrol employees have been promoted and will be recognized at a ceremony in Raleigh on Monday afternoon, July 14.

The promotions include 12 civilian and 40 sworn members from various sections within the organization, including several from the Unifour and surrounding counties.

Lieutenant A. E. Eastwood, Jr., currently stationed at Troop F Headquarters in Newton has been promoted to Captain and will be assigned to Troop G Headquarters in Asheville.
 
First Sergeant D. B. Amos of Morganton has been promoted to Lieutenant and will be assigned to Troop F Headquarters.
 
First Sergeant S. L. Mclaughlin of Conover has been promoted to Lieutenant and will work in Field Operations in Raleigh.

Sergeant B. T. Owenby of Taylorsville has been promoted to First Sergeant and will work with the Technical Services Unit in Raleigh.
 
Sergeant K.B. Joines of Lincolnton has been promoted to First Sergeant and will be stationed in Morganton.

The Catawba County Tax Office is scheduled to mail more than 97,000 property tax notices by the end of the week of July 18.

The notices will be mailed with a return envelope for taxpayers to use to return payments to the Catawba County Tax Collector. Taxes will be due on September 1 and delinquent after Monday, January 5, 2015. Payment arrangements may be made prior to September 1. Delinquent taxes will be subject to a 2% interest penalty for the month of January 2015 and three quarters of 1% penalty for each following month.

Taxpayers with an internet connection will find the amount of tax due online at www.catawbacountync.gov/tax. A taxpayer should look for and click on a link on the left side of the page labeled “Tax Bill Search.” Search by “Owner Name” and enter a last and first name. Click on “GO” and then “Bill #” to see tax bill details.

Property owners may pay their taxes online, if they wish. They will need to use an abstract number, shown on the actual tax bill or the bill number on the Tax Bill Search page online, to make payments through the Pay Taxes Online link on the left hand side of the page at www.catawbacountync.gov/tax. A non-refundable convenience fee will be charged on all electronic transactions.

The value of the property is shown on the middle part of the property tax notice. Just below the value of the property, the tax rate for Catawba County (which remains at 53 cents per $100 of property valuation for fiscal year 2014-2015) and for a municipality, if the property lies in a town or city, is shown. Fire district tax rates, if they apply, are also noted. The amount due to both the County and a municipality is specified, and the total amount due clearly indicated. Notices provide taxpayers with a complete record of payment.

For more information, contact the Catawba County Tax Office at 828-465-8414 or visit the county’s web site at www.catawbacountync.gov/tax.

Wednesday, 09 July 2014 11:36

Congressman McHenry Names New District Director

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Today, Congressman Patrick McHenry, who represents North Carolina’s 10th Congressional District, announced a change to his district staff as former Regional Director J. Brett Keeter has been named District Director. The change will take effect immediately.

Keeter will manage McHenry’s three district offices located in Hickory, Gastonia and Black Mountain. He will oversee the seven-person district staff responsible for assisting 10th District constituents with issues with federal agencies. Additionally, he will serve as McHenry's main contact to local governments throughout the seven counties that make up the 10th District.

Keeter is the longest-tenured member of McHenry's staff having worked in the Congressman's district office since he was first sworn in as a Member of Congress in January of 2005. Prior to McHenry's election to the U.S. House of Representatives, Keeter served as a Legislative Director during McHenry's time in the N.C. House of Representatives.

Keeter is a Gaston County native. He was raised in Mount Holly and graduated from East Gaston High School in 1994. He graduated from UNC Charlotte in 1999 with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and later served as the President of the UNC Charlotte Alumni Association from 2012-2013. Keeter currently lives in Gastonia with his wife Madeline.    

Keeter replaces Mark Fleming who served as McHenry's District Director from January of 2008 to March of 2014. Fleming left to become the President and CEO of Conservatives for Clean Energy.