News (738)

65-year-old Michael Thomas Chambers of the Turnersburg Highway in Statesville has been arrested by Iredell Co. Sheriff’s Officers on 69 counts of first-degree sexual offense.

On June 16, the Sheriff’s Office responded to report regarding a child under the age of 12 who was allegedly sexually assaulted by a family member over a period of six years. The incidents reportedly took place from 2009 to 2015. The abuse occurred when the victim visited the suspect at the suspect’s residence.

Detective Sgt. Jason Lowrance was assigned to the investigation. The victim was interviewed at the Dove House Children’s Advocacy Center. Additional witnesses were interviewed and evidence was collected.

As a result of the investigation, Chambers was arrested on August 26. He was placed in the Iredell County Detention Center under a $1 million bond. Chambers will next appear in District Court on September 16.

Wednesday, 02 September 2015 11:21

Man Charged With A Dozen Sex Offense Counts

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50-year-old Michael Adrian Bennett of Treebark Road in Statesville was arrested by Iredell County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with eight counts of statutory rape/sex offense with a child, and four counts of indecent liberties with a child.

A report was filed with the Sheriff’s Office in reference to a teenager less than 16-years-old being sexually abused by a family friend. The case was then sent to the Special Victims Unit and it was assigned to Detective Sgt. C.M. Benfield. The child was taken to the Dove House Children’s Advocacy Center for a Forensic Interview.

Additional witnesses were identified and interviewed and additional evidence was collected. As a result of the investigation Michael Bennett was arrested and charged with the twelve sex offense counts. Bennett placed in the Iredell County Detention Center under a $250,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for September 16.

Wednesday, 02 September 2015 11:05

Multiple Vehicle Break-Ins Reported in Hickory

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Hickory Police are investigating a series of vehicle break-ins that occurred Monday night or Tuesday morning (August 31 & September 1).

Six break-ins were reported on 36th Avenue N.W. or on 36th Avenue Circle N.W. Another was reported on 35th Avenue N.W., with one more on North Center Street. In addition, two break-ins took place on Sunday night or Monday morning. Those occurred on 11th Street N.W. and 13th Avenue N.W. A 1997 Nissan Altima was also stolen from 20th Avenue N.E.

One victim on 35th Avenue N.W. is a retired Police Officer. Items stolen from his Chevy Silverado truck include a handgun & holster, a blue strobe light and an item identified as a police knife.

Items taken in the other break-ins include a knife, a handgun, shoes, coins & cash, headphones, an iPod, a wallet, a driver’s license and assorted credit & debit cards.

Hickory Police continue to investigate. Officers are stepping up patrols in the areas where break-ins have occurred. Police encourage citizens not to leave items of value in their vehicles or leave their vehicles unlocked.

Anyone with information regarding the break-ins should call H.P.D. at 828-328-5551.

27-year-old Robert Jason Jenkins of 2nd Street SW in Hickory was arrested just after midnight (Wednesday, September 2) by Hickory Police Officers. He’s charged with felony counts of possession of controlled substance, and possession with intent to manufacture, sell, and deliver controlled substance, along with misdemeanor counts of possession of controlled substance and resist, delay, and obstruction of an officer.

Officers were conducting a license check early this morning at the intersection of 1st Avenue SE and 5th Street SE. Officers observed a vehicle turning on to 5th Street Court SE. They approached the vehicle and noticed the strong smell of marijuana. The driver, Robert Jason Jenkins, attempted to run but was apprehended quickly.

A search resulted in the discovery of a baggie containing 4.7 grams of marijuana, 2.3 grams of crack cocaine, and 103 dosage units of alprazolam. Following the arrest, bond for Jenkins was set at $9,500 secured. An appearance in District Court in Newton is scheduled for Friday (September 4).

Wednesday, 02 September 2015 05:39

Hickory City Council Meets, Animal Ordinance Passes

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Following a public hearing at last night's City Council Meeting, the City of Hickory Animal Ordinance passed unanimously. There was no further discussion and no one spoke for or against the measure. Chief Adkins presented the recap of this.

In addition, at last night's Hickory City Council meeting, Debbie Miller was recognized as official City Clerk from UNC School of Government

A presentation was made regarding programs at the Hickory Public Libraries. It was announced that 1,192,400 minutes of reading was done by the kids in 8 weeks in the Summer Reading Program.

Wednesday, 02 September 2015 05:21

Three Arrested On Felony Assault Charges In Burke County

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49-year-old Christopher Allen Coffey, 38-year-old Alice Marie Coffey, and 23-year-old Allen Davis Coffey were all arrested Tuesday (September 1) by Burke County Sheriff’s Officers. Christopher Coffey is charged with felony assault by strangulation. Alice and Allen Coffey are each charged with felony assault inflicting serious injury. Following their arrests, all three suspects were placed in jail in Morganton under $50,000 secured bond apiece. All three have District Court appearances scheduled for today (Wednesday, September 2).

Despite the much needed and beneficial rainfall the past month, the Catawba-Wateree River Basin remains in Stage 1 of the Low Inflow Protocol (LIP) according to the Catawba-Wateree Drought Management Advisory Group (CW-DMAG). The City of Morganton issued a news release Tuesday that says, based on the drought status, water suppliers will continue promoting voluntary water conservation measures. Residents are encouraged to continue the specific recommendations suggested by their local water provider

Summer temperatures and below-average rainfall for the season kept two of the three LIP drought indicators (triggers) in Stage 1, including water storage in the 11-reservoir Catawba-Wateree Hydroelectric Project and streamflows feeding the reservoirs. In addition, the U.S. Drought Monitor trigger indicates drought conditions in the Basin.

Stage 1 is the second of five drought stages outlined in the LIP and recommends voluntary water conservation by water users across the Basin, in addition to operational adjustments by Duke Energy. The LIP is the drought management plan major water users in the region employ to share responsibility and set priorities to conserve the limited water supply during drought conditions.

At the beginning of July, the Basin entered Stage 0 of the LIP. After observing declining trends in the triggers, the group proactively declared Stage 1 conditions on July 20. The CW-DMAG will continue monitoring conditions and work collectively to protect the water supply and other uses of the Catawba-Wateree River.

The Catawba-Wateree Drought Management Advisory Group (CW-DMAG) was established in 2006 to monitor drought status and to recommend coordinated actions for the CW-DMAG members. CW-DMAG members include the area’s public water suppliers and several large industries withdrawing water from the Catawba-Wateree River and lake system, North Carolina, South Carolina and federal resource agencies and Duke Energy.

27-year-old Joshua Michael Abernathy of Snowhill Church Road in Morganton was arrested Tuesday, (September 1) by Burke County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony solicitation of a child by computer or electronic device to commit unlawful sex act.

Investigators with the Burke County Sheriff’s Office conducted an undercover, online social media investigation and were contacted by Joshua Michael Abernathy. A news release from the Sheriff's Office says Abernathy engaged in online chat with a fake moniker and solicited the 15 year old, who had a fake female moniker to leave school and meet with him at a convenience store in Glen Alpine.

After several hours of chatting and calls made to an undercover, female investigator, Abernathy walked to the convenience store and was confronted by Investigators as he was inside the store purchasing a malt beverage. The suspect was transported to the Burke County Sheriff’s Office where he was questioned and the news release says he confessed.

Abernathy was placed in jail under $25,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today.    

A Burke County man will be spending at least the next eight years in prison after pleading guilty to multiple drug charges in Burke County Superior Court on Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2015.

50-year-old Randy Scott Benton of Morganton, was sentenced to serve eight to eleven years in custody of the North Carolina Department of Adult Corrections by the Honorable Robert C. Ervin, Superior Court Judge from Burke County.

Benton pleaded guilty to attempted trafficking opiates, possession with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver a Schedule II Controlled Substance and Schedule IV Controlled Substance, as well as possession of methamphetamine and maintaining a dwelling for a controlled substance.

His prison sentence was enhanced by his status as a habitual felon. His most recent felony conviction came in October 2013 for possession of a firearm by a felon.

Members of the Burke County Narcotics Task Force executed a search warrant for Benton’s residence on Nov. 20, 2013, and found Morphine, Xanax, Oxycodone, methamphetamine and nearly $27,000 in cash.

Donny Dellinger, a member of the Task Force, investigated the case. Frank Webster handled prosecution for the District Attorney’s Office.

A Hickory family practice doctor defrauded Medicaid and Medicare out of at least $210,000. That's according to a published report that says that court documents containing that information were filed Tuesday.

According to the published report, Prosecutors charged Wayne Vincent Wilson of Wayne Wilson MD Family Practice with submitting claims to Medicaid and Medicare for services he didn't provide. The report says Investigators claim Wilson "added and padded" his reimbursement with false claims because he believed that Medicaid did not pay him enough for his services.

Prosecutors said in some instances Wilson "fabricated entire office visits," according to documents. In other cases he is accused of claiming he performed services on actual patients that never actually happened. Federal court records show a plea agreement has been reached between Wilson and prosecutors.

The published report says Prosecutors will seek a stiffer sentence because Wilson "abused a position of trust," according to documents. The report also says Wilson faced discipline in 2009 after alleged issues involving methadone treatments, according to North Carolina Medical Board records.

Wilson's license remains active. In cases when doctors are charged with fraud, a separate investigation will be conducted to determine the punishment. The punishment could range from suspension to a revoked license depending on the circumstances of the case and the licensee's disciplinary history.

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