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Tuesday, 10 March 2015 11:48

Three Arrested on Multiple Charges in Lenoir

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52-year-old John Michael Wall of 19th Avenue N.W. in Hickory, 27-year-old Angelica Leann Crane of Shade Tree Lane in Lenoir and 28-year-old Amanda Nicole Wall of 10th Avenue Drive N.E. in Hickory were all arrested yesterday by Lenoir Police. John Wall was charged with felony aiding & abetting attempted obtaining property by false pretense and misdemeanor larceny, while Crane faces charges for felony attempted obtaining property by false pretense. Amanda Wall was charged with misdemeanor larceny. All three suspects were charged with misdemeanor possession of stolen goods or property.

All three were taken to the Caldwell Co. Detention Center with bond for John Wall was set at $5,000, secured. Crane was given a $7,500 secured bond, while Amanda Wall’s bond was set at $1,500, secured. John Wall and Crane were both scheduled to appear in District Court today in Lenoir. Amanda Wall has a court date set for April 16.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015 10:52

Silver Alert Issued for Missing Asheville Woman

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The N.C. Center for Missing Persons issued a Silver Alert late yesterday afternoon (March 9) for a missing, endangered Asheville woman, Renee LaManna, who is believed to be suffering from dementia or some other cognitive impairment.

Ms. LaManna is a 56-year-old white female. She is 5' 2" tall and weighs 125 pounds with long brown hair and brown eyes. Ms. LaManna was last seen wearing a blue wrap, a long dress and big glasses.

She went missing from Denny Tunnel Avenue in Asheville and was last seen at the T.A. Travel Stop in Haywood County. She is believed to be hitchhiking along Interstate 40.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Renee LaManna should call Sgt. Lunsford at the Asheville Police Department at 828-252-1110.

27-year-old Jabaris Rashawn Francis was arrested Monday (March 9) by Burke County Sheriff’s Officers. He’s charged with felony kidnapping. Bond for Francis on the kidnapping charge was set at $200,000 secured. He’s being held in jail on the kidnapping count and other charges under a total bond of $234,000 secured. His next court appearance is scheduled for April 7.

35-year-old Garrett Donald Brown was arrested Monday (March 9) by Burke County Sheriff’s Officers. He’s charged with felony possession of methamphetamine, felony possession of heroin, and misdemeanor simple possession of schedule IV controlled substance. Following the arrest, Brown was placed in jail under $56,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Tuesday, March 10).

29-year-old Andy James Smith of U.S. Highway 70 S.W. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at about 10:40 last night on one felony count of possession of a schedule II controlled substance and two misdemeanor counts of possession of a schedule IV controlled substance, as well as one misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia. His wife, Angela Smith, was cited for possession of drug paraphernalia.

Police were on foot patrol at the Budget Inn (which is listed as Andy Smith’s residence). In a room at the hotel, Officers saw the Smiths, one of whom was holding a pipe. Officers entered and searched both subjects, leading to the discovery of a pipe on Angela Smith’s person. A search of the room turned up 1.4 grams of methamphetamine, 20 dosage units of Xanax, six dosage units of Hydrocodone and some plastic straws.

Andy Smith was taken into custody without incident and placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $50,000 secured bond. He’ll appear in District Court on March 11 in Newton.

39-year-old Rickey Joe Drum of Clarks Creek Circle in Newton was arrested Monday (March 9) by Maiden Police Officers. He’s charged with felony larceny of a motor vehicle. Following the arrest, Drum was detained in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $19,000 bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for Wednesday (March 11).

24-year-old Matthew Stephen Whitener and 23-year-old Ashley Ellen Cuthbert, both of Constance Drive in Newton, were arrested Saturday (March 7) by Hickory Police Officers. They’re each charged with felony breaking and entering to a vehicle and misdemeanor larceny. Whitener is also charged with misdemeanor resist, delay, and obstructing a public officer.

The suspects were arrested during a traffic stop over the weekend. The vehicle break-in and larceny charges are in connection with multiple breaking and enterings to vehicles. The Hickory Police Department says the incidents started occurring in January of this year.

Whitener was placed in the Catawba County Detention Center under $11,000 secured bond, he made a first court appearance Monday (March 9) in District Court in Newton. Cuthbert was released on $1,500 secured bond. She had a Superior Court appearance Monday in Newton.

Interstate 40 was tied up in Burke County late Monday afternoon as a result of an accident involving multiple tractor-trailer cabs. According to the North Carolina State Highway Patrol, the accident happened at approximately 5:30 p.m. near the Cold Water Bridge at mile marker 115.

According to Highway Patrol reports, a 2015 Freightliner tractor-trailer cab was traveling west on I-40 hauling three of the same vehicles when the driver lost control and the vehicle overturned in the curve near the Cold Water Bridge. The driver of the truck was not injured and no other vehicles were involved in the accident.

Traffic was halted on I-40 until approximately 8 p.m. Burke County REACT responded and assisted Highway Patrol in detouring traffic to to Exit 116. The driver was later charged with failure to maintain lane control. According to reports, the trucks sustained close to $100,000 in damages.

At a press conference in Huntington, West Virginia, Monday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a $200,000 Brownfields Area-Wide Planning (AWP) grant to the City of Hickory, for reuse planning that includes residential and commercial projects to connect an industrial area and the neighborhoods to the north. Hickory is among the 20 communities in 16 states receiving approximately $4 million in Brownfields AWP grants for cleanup and reuse of Brownfields sites to revitalize communities and strengthen local economies.

Modeled after New York State’s Brownfields Opportunity Area (BOA) Program and part of the Partnership for Sustainable Communities—a interagency partnership between the U.S. Department of Transportation, Department of Housing and Urban Development and EPA-- these grants recognize that successful, sustained community revitalization, particularly in economically distressed communities, occurs when neighborhood stakeholders, local governments and the private sector are provided tools to develop a shared plan for redevelopment and community-wide improvement.

As a Brownfields AWP grant recipient, the City of Hickory will work with the community and other stakeholders to develop an area-wide plan and implementation strategy for the Southside Area, which includes the Ridgeview, Kenworth, and Green Park neighborhoods. In the early 1960s, the City boasted 46 furniture plants, 89 hosiery mills, and 27 other manufacturers. Between 2001 and 2011, the Hickory metropolitan area lost 37,900 jobs due to the closing of mills and factories, resulting in an increase in the poverty rate from 11.3 to 20 percent (within the project area, the poverty rate is 35.7 percent). The City has identified three, high-priority idle sites in this area, including the former Joan Fabrics site, the former Midland Dry Cleaners site, and an unoccupied former Contract Seating, Inc., site. Redevelopment of these sites is expected to seed the project area with pockets of economic stimulus and vitality, create temporary and permanent job opportunities, remove eyesore properties, and prevent further exodus of businesses from these areas. Key project partners include Catawba County, the Catawba County Chamber of Commerce, Catawba Valley Community College Small Business Center, Catawba Valley Habitat for Humanity, Green Park Neighborhood Association, City of Hickory Housing Authority, and Western Piedmont Council of Governments.

The City of Hickory has been in the process of renovating old properties for reuse for the past several years. Those properties include Hollar Mill, Lyerly Full Fashioned Mill and the old Piedmont Wagon Building.

EPA is awarding up to $200,000 per recipient to work with communities on Brownfields planning activities and reuse in conjunction with community assets such as housing, recreation and open space, employment, education and health facilities, social services, transportation options, infrastructure and commerce needs. The area-wide planning approach recognizes that revitalization of the area surrounding Brownfield sites is also critical to the successful reuse of the property.

Considered reuses of Brownfield sites include advanced manufacturing businesses, recreation hubs, mixed-income housing, community centers that serve youth and unskilled workers, leveraging existing infrastructure to support a walkable, transit-oriented community and capitalizing on Tax Increment Finance (TIF) districts.

This is the third round of grants awarded under the Brownfields AWP program. The 2010 pilot program, where approximately $4 million was awarded to fund AWP plan development in 23 communities, has leveraged approximately $418 million in infrastructure and project development investments.

A prisoner in detention in Watauga County has died.

At approximately 1:30 Friday (March 6), 53-year-old Elbert Lee McClain of 25 South “F” Avenue in Maiden attempted to harm himself by strangulation while in the Watauga Co. Sheriff’s single-cell confinement unit.

Detention Officers quickly responded and removed the inmate-improvised strangulation device from Mr. McClain. Detention staff quickly checked Mr. McClain’s vitals and found that he had no pulse.

An automatic defibrillator was used and a pulse was detected. E.M.S. responded and took the victim to Watauga Medical Center. Watauga Medics continued to detect a pulse during transport. At the hospital, the Emergency Department medical staff worked on Mr. McCain for several hours. They believed that the victim had sustained oxygen deprivation. Mr. McClain later passed away while in the Intensive Care Unit.

Prior to the medical event, Mr. McClain had been checked on earlier and staff noted that Mr. McLain was previously seen in his cell, eating his noontime meal. According to a statement released by the Sheriff’s Office, the single cell area has only one camera that looks into a cell. The remaining single cells have cameras pointing up and down the hallway.

Mr. McClain was arrested last Wednesday (March 4) on multiple drug trafficking charges. He also faced charges for sexual battery stemming from a February 2014 incident in Catawba County.