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The City of Morganton plans to cut off water service temporarily Friday morning (July 11) in the Interstate 40/Exit 105 area. About 50 customers will be affected.

Contractors working for the N.C. Department of Transportation (NCDOT) will connect a new section of the city’s water line to the city's existing water system. The work is a part of the NCDOT bridge replacement project at Exit 105 and South Sterling Street. Water service will be shut off after midnight on Friday and restored once the work is complete. Plans called for service to be restored by early Friday morning.

The customers affected include those on South Sterling Street from Bush Drive to Drexel Road, Steakhouse Road, Believers Way and Randall Road.

Anyone with questions or concerns can call the City of Morganton Water Resources Department at 828-438-5276.

Newton Police say the investigation into the death of Maggie Daniels is continuing. Investigators continued to work the case over the long holiday weekend.

Investigators are making contact with residents and neighbors in the area and conducting interviews. Police are following up on all tips and leads that have been reported.

Police are requesting that any businesses or private residents in the area of Ms. Daniels’ apartment or from 15th Street to 20th Street on North Main Avenue with exterior surveillance cameras that were in operation on June 27 & 28 should contact the Newton Police Department.

Anyone with any information regarding the death of Maggie Daniels should call Newton Police at 828-465-7430.

According to published reports, the City of Claremont has approved a development agreement with Apple to annex land for a new solar farm. The property is located at 3123 Kelly Boulevard in Claremont and has a listed market value of more than $1.4 million.

The planned facility will be a 100-acre, 17.5-megawatt solar farm with an initial investment of $55 million. The project will create 75 jobs during construction.

Claremont City Council approved the agreement with Apple during its meeting Monday night.

The new solar farm should be completed within five years of the start of construction, slated for the end of this year.

The facility will be Apple’s third solar farm in Catawba County, joining an existing facility in Maiden and another planned on Lai Ber Road in Conover.

37-year-old Channing Lamar Smith and 57-year-old Phyllis Elaine Mutlu have both been arrested by Statesville Police. Smith was charged with filing a false police report and Mutlu was charged with aiding & abetting to filing a false police report.

On Thursday afternoon (July 3), Statesville Police responded to a strong-arm robbery call at the Wells Fargo bank on East Broad Street in Statesville. Smith and Mutlu said a black male that they didn’t know walked up to them and grabbed the keys to their red Chrysler PT Cruiser from Smith's hand. They said the suspect told them to get money from the bank or he would kill them both. Smith said the man then walked away and stole their Chrysler.

The Officer broadcast a “be on the lookout” call, along with a description of the suspect and the vehicle. Within ten minutes, another Officer located the vehicle at Garner Bagnal Boulevard and Shelton Avenue. The alleged suspect said he knew the victims and was given the vehicle as collateral for money that Smith owed him. Smith and Mutlu both eventually admitted to Officers that they lied about the incident.

Smith was arrested and given a $2,500 secured bond, while bond for Mutlu was set at $1000, secured. Both were then turned over to the Iredell County Jail with appearances in District Court set for August 27.

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The North Carolina State Highway Patrol has released a preliminary report stating that seven motorists died on North Carolina highways during the July 4th holiday period. In 2013, 14 people died. This year’s number resulted in a 50% reduction when compared to last year.

During the July 4th holiday period, Troopers investigated seven fatal collisions resulting in seven deaths. Only one of those occurred in the vicinity of the Unifour. That was on Taylor Springs Road, 16.5 miles north of Statesville.

The numbers are based on collisions reported to the Highway Patrol as of midnight, July 6.

24-year-old Darrick Wayne Fowler of Duke Street in Newton was arrested by Lincoln Co. Sheriff’s Officers for felony statutory rape or sex offense of a 13, 14 or 15 year old by a defendant at least six years older than the victim and felony crime against nature.

He was arrested Saturday (July 5) around 4:30 a.m. after Deputies responded to a suspicious vehicle call behind the CVS Pharmacy on Webb’s Road in Denver.

Officers found a partially clothed male and female inside the vehicle. The male, Darrick Fowler, told Deputies that he and the female were just sitting in the vehicle talking. The female initially said she was 19 years old, but then admitted that she was only 14. Both individuals admitted to having a sexual encounter while in the vehicle.

The female’s mother was contacted and the juvenile was turned over to her.

Fowler was placed in the Harven A. Crouse Detention Center under a $125,000 secured bond. He was scheduled to make a first appearance in District Court today (July 7).

24-year-old Jared Michael Ward has been arrested by Statesville Police for felony indecent exposure.  

Ward is the suspect in a June 15 incident that occurred at the Wal-Mart store on Crossroads Drive in Statesville.  Ward allegedly stood behind some display shelves in the children’s clothing department and performed a lewd act while watching some female children.

After the photos of the suspect and his vehicle were released to area media outlets (including WHKY), the Statesville Police Department received numerous calls identifying the suspect.

Investigator Al Pettit followed up on those calls.  As a result of his investigation and after consulting with the Iredell County District Attorney’s Office, Investigator Pettit obtained a warrant for Ward’s arrest.

He was taken into custody last Thursday afternoon (July 3).  Bond was set at $10,000, secured.  Ward was scheduled to make a first appearance in District Court this morning (July 7).

Hickory Career & Arts Magnet High School (HCAM) participated in the recent 50th Annual SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference held in Kansas City.

The conference, a showcase of career and technical education students, represented more than 15, 000 students, teachers and business partners. More than 6,000 outstanding career and technical education students, all state contest winners, competed in 99 different trade, technical, and leadership fields.

HCAM’s Forensics Academy, instructed by Seth Bailey, placed seventh in the national competition. The HCAM student team included Carson Freeman, Noah James and Brandi Jones.

Emily Wright, representing the HCAM Cosmetology Academy, instructed by Kim Ray, was a N.C. state winner and she also competed on the national level at Kansas City.

Students worked against the clock and each other, proving their expertise in occupations including electronics, computer-aided drafting, precision machining, medical assisting, culinary arts, crime scene investigation and cosmetology.

Contests are run with the help of industry, trade associations and labor organizations. The test competencies are set by each industry.

28-year-old Tamara Charisama Kennedy of Dixie Park Avenue in Newton was arrested at about 8 p.m. Saturday (July 5) on one felony count of assault on a government official and one felony count of malicious conduct by a prisoner. She was also charged with misdemeanor counts of disorderly conduct and resisting, delaying or obstructing a public officer. Also arrested on misdemeanor charges were Rushie Lee Kennedy III of 9th Street S.W. in Hickory, who was charged with disorderly conduct, and 29-year-old Jonathan Wayne Flood of 2nd Street Place S.W. in Hickory, who was charged with resisting, delaying or obstructing a public officer.

They were arrested after Hickory Police were called to a civil disturbance on the 400 block of 2nd Street Place S.E. Officers arrived to find multiple subjects in the roadway surrounding a physical altercation. At the center of the group, Officers found Rushie Kennedy with a bloody mouth, a scraped chin and a swollen eye. He was not forthcoming with information regarding the conflict.

As Police separated the parties involved, Rushie and Tamara Kennedy continued to scream at each other. As Police arrested Flood for resisting, Tamara Kennedy jumped on the Officers. She continued to resist, biting and spitting at one Officer. She was taken to the hospital for testing as a result of the bite she inflicted on the Officer.

No additional injuries were reported.

Tamara Kennedy reportedly refused to cooperate with Police as she was fingerprinted during the booking process. She was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $51,250 secured bond. Rushie Kennedy was given a $350 secured bond and bond for Flood was set at $900, secured. Flood has since been released. Tamara Kennedy was scheduled to make a first appearance in District Court today (July 7). Rushie Kennedy has a September 4 court date and Flood is due in a Hickory courtroom on August 7.

Newton-Conover City Schools will hold a memorial service for Margaret Elizabeth “Maggie” Daniels this Wednesday (July 9). The memorial is set for 4 p.m. at Newton-Conover High School, 338 West 15th Street in Newton.

Newton-Conover City Schools staff, students, family and close friends are invited to attend. Ms. Daniels’ family is expected to be in attendance.

Ms. Daniels was a teacher, coach and counselor with Newton-Conover City Schools, most recently serving as a counselor at Discovery High School.

Her 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, which is ongoing.