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29-year-old Mason Howard Sanders of Apple Blossom Lane in Lenoir was arrested last Friday (April 4) by Lenoir Police on two counts of failure to appear; one for non-support and the other for possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. He was also charged with larceny and resisting a public officer.

Sanders was jailed in the Caldwell Co. Detention Center under a $28,000 secured bond, plus a $340 cash bond on the non-support charge. No court dates are currently listed.

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28-year-old Melissa Ann Abernathy of Pony Court in Hudson was arrested by Granite Falls Police Monday as a fugitive awaiting extradition to another state. She was also charged with two counts of failure to appear. Abernathy was placed in the Caldwell Co. Detention Center with bond set at $151,300, secured. She has two court appearances coming up in Caldwell County, both for driving while license revoked. The first is a District Court date on June 3, followed by a Superior Court appearance on June 9.

Wednesday, 09 April 2014 14:34

Assault Under Investigation in Watauga County

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Watauga County Sheriff’s Officers and Boone Police are investigating an assault that occurred yesterday (April 8).

Officers responded to Old Highway 421 near the Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation in reference to a fight in progress.

According to a statement released by the Sheriff’s Office, a 17-year-old male was walking near Vannoy Lane when a truck occupied by a black male and two Hispanic males drove up behind him. One of the truck’s occupants allegedly grabbed his backpack. The juvenile jumped in the back of the truck to try to retrieve the backpack.

The three suspects got out of the truck and allegedly began to assault the victim. The suspects then got back into the truck, but the victim again jumped into the back of the truck as it traveled toward Hollar & Greene Produce.

The vehicle stopped again and another fight ensued. The suspects again got back into the truck. The victim reportedly grabbed and held onto the black male in the passenger seat. As the truck pulled away, the victim was dragged alongside the vehicle until he lost his grip. The truck then allegedly ran over the victim.

The victim was transported to Watauga Medical Center.

The suspects are unknown at this time.

Anyone with information should contact the Watauga Co. Sheriff's Office at 828-264-3761.

Wednesday, 09 April 2014 14:25

Lenoir Man Charged with B&E to Motor Vehicle

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27-year-old Jody Martin Sharpe of Sharpe Place in Lenoir was arrested yesterday (April 8) by Caldwell Co. Sheriff’s Officers on two felony counts of breaking & entering a motor vehicle. Sharpe was taken to the Caldwell Co. Detention Center under a $25,000 secured bond. He will appear in District Court tomorrow in Lenoir.

The City of Morganton will close a section of Collett Street temporarily Friday morning (April 11) to install a sewer line tap for a home on the street. Starting at 8 a.m. Friday, city workers will close Collett Street between two sections of North Anderson Street. The road should be opened by one o'clock Friday afternoon, weather permitting.

Residents who live on the southern section of North Anderson Street and the western section of Collett Street can access their streets via West Union Street or Riverside Drive to Davis Drive. Residents who live on the northern section of North Anderson Street can access their street via College Street and Collett Street.

Wednesday, 09 April 2014 11:46

Hiddenite Center Names New Executive Director

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James W. “Pete” Woods has been named Executive Director of The Hiddenite Center. He was chosen after an extensive search led by members of the non-profit arts & cultural heritage organization’s Board of Directors.

Woods is a nationally recognized advertising and marketing professional with over three decades of experience. In addition to extensive business experience, Woods is a sculptor who holds a BFA in studio art from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Woods and his wife Tricia live in Mooresville and have three children, Alex, Katie and Sarah.

Woods encourages the community to visit The Hiddenite Center’s Lucas Mansion, located at 316 Hiddenite Church Road in Alexander County, to experience monthly art exhibits, tour the Center’s museum and learn more about travel in the region through services provided in the Alexander County Visitor Center.

To contact Pete Woods, email pete@hiddenitecenter.com. To learn more about the Hiddenite Center’s events and programs, call 828-632-6966, visit www.hiddenitecenter.com or email info@hiddenitecenter.com.

Wednesday, 09 April 2014 11:18

Morphine Stolen from Local Senior Living Facility

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Hickory Police are investigating the theft of liquid morphine sulfate from the Springs of Catawba, a senior living facility on 29th Avenue Drive N.E. in Hickory.

The theft was reported early yesterday morning (April 8) after a med tech supervisor came on her shift, took control of the medical cart and noticed a discrepancy. Police reports indicate that a suspect removed liquid morphine from the syringes on the cart. The drugs were valued at $1,150.

Two or three persons of interest were quickly identified, as a limited number of persons had access to both keys required to get to the medication. One key is required to open the cart and another to open the compartment containing the narcotics.

One employee has been sent for drug testing, but no charges have been filed at this time.

The incident remains under investigation.

20-year-old Justin Scott Benge of 17th Street N.W. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police just after midnight this morning (April 9) on one felony count of possession with intent to manufacture marijuana and one misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

He was arrested after an Officer at Highway 70 S.W. and 14th Avenue S.W. saw a white 2000 Plymouth Neon with no license tag light. The Officer initiated a traffic stop.

Justin Benge was the driver and the vehicle’s only occupant. As the Officer asked for license and registration, he noticed the smell of marijuana. Benge said there was nothing illegal in the vehicle, but a search turned up three bags containing a total of 14.8 grams of marijuana, as well as a pipe, scales and a grinder.

Benge was taken into custody without incident and placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $3,500 secured bond. He has since been released. A first appearance in District Court was scheduled for today in Hickory.

Wednesday, 09 April 2014 10:28

Robotic Competition this Saturday at Lenoir-Rhyne

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This Saturday (April 12), 40 robotics teams from Hickory Public Schools, Newton-Conover City Schools, Burke, Lincoln, Cleveland, Gaston, McDowell, Rutherford and Union county schools, as well as Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools, will participate in the Western North Carolina Robotic Championship in the Shuford Gym at Lenoir-Rhyne University.

The teams of fourth through eighth grade students have worked the past seven months to design, build and program custom robots for the tournament.

The students will have 2.5 minutes to score as many points as possible. In addition to the robot runs, the students will also be competing in the areas of research project presentation and teamwork challenges.

The robotics team with the best overall score will be awarded the 2014 Western North Carolina Robotic Champions Trophy.

The robot runs will start at 9 a.m. Admission is free and open to the public.

The competition is sponsored by sponsored by CyberKids Robotics, a non-profit education company that works to promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee and Georgia.

37-year-old Damien Lee Gonzalez of Rolands Chapel Road in Nebo and Stockton Road in Marion is wanted by the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office in connection to multiple break-ins and thefts in the Pleasant Gardens, Woodlawn and North Cove areas, as well as in surrounding counties.

Gonzalez is a white male who stands 6’2” inches tall and weighs 230 pounds. He has brown hair and brown eyes. Gonzalez drives a white Ford pickup truck with license plate DW-7809.

Anyone with information concerning Gonzalez’s whereabouts should call McDowell County Sheriff’s Detective Billie Brown at 828-652-2237 or McDowell County Crime Stoppers at 65-CRIME (828-652-7463). Crime Stoppers callers may remain anonymous and could receive a cash reward.