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An agreement with a company bringing jobs to Catawba County has been amended, which increases the amount of positions that will be created. In 2016, the Prysmian Group announced an expansion in Claremont with an investment of $20 million along with the addition of 50 new jobs.

In October of 2017, Prysmian officially announced an expansion with the investment of another $53.48 million and another 50 new jobs. Given the scope of the project, the county felt it warranted additional consideration for incentives by the City of Conover and Catawba County.

Since the company had yet to receive any incentives stemming from that first 2016 project, officials felt it would be much easier administratively to manage these expansions if they fell under just one contract. Monday night (March 19) Commissioners approved amending the original agreement with the following changes:

Increasing the company’s minimum investment to $73.48 million for incentive consideration, increasing the company’s job creation to 100, 50 from the first project and 50 from the second project, giving the company one additional year to meet these minimums, maintaining the same 50% grant on only the new investments, increasing the grant from a maximum of five years to now a maximum of six years, and raising the maximum ceiling for incentive consideration to $93.48 million – in case the local facility has the ability to go after additional growth opportunities.

Wednesday, 21 March 2018 06:34

Bridge Closed In Caldwell County

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N.C. Department of Transportation officials closed a two-lane bridge on Abington Road in Lenoir as a safety precaution. According to the Caldwell County Economic Development Commission, the bridge is near West Lenoir Baptist Church.

NCDOT crews established a marked detour around the closure utilizing Fairview Drive Northwest, Harper Avenue North West, U.S. 64 and Beecher Anderson Road.

An inspection on Tuesday (March 20) revealed irregular flexing in the beams, which weakened the overall integrity of the bridge. All 18,000 NCDOT bridges are inspected at least every other year. This bridge had been on a list to be replaced in the next two years.

The bridge was built in 1972. It has wood supporting steel beams, a steel floor and an asphalt top. An average of 4,600 cars traveled that road as of the last count in 2015. Caldwell EDC says in their news release that the bridge will be closed indefinitely but the hope is that it will be re-opened to car traffic within two weeks.

Wednesday, 21 March 2018 06:33

Vehicle Theft Charges Lodged Against Hudson Man

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43-year-old Marvin William Glenn of Trojan Lane in Hudson was arrested Tuesday (March 20) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony counts of larceny of a motor vehicle and possession of a stolen motor vehicle along with misdemeanor counts of breaking and entering and failure to appear. Glenn was incarcerated in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $21,000 secured bond. A District Court date is set for Thursday (March 22).

Wednesday, 21 March 2018 06:15

Claremont Man Charged With Fleeing From Officers

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26-year-old Jordan Adam Shook of Herman Road in Claremont was arrested Tuesday (March 20) on charges filed by the Catawba County Sheriff's Office and Conover Police Department. The Sheriff's Office charged Shook with felony flee to elude arrest with a motor vehicle and driving while license revoked. Conover Police charged him with reckless driving to endanger and hit and run fail to stop with property damage. Shook was jailed in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $10,000 bond. A District Court date was scheduled today (March 21).

Unemployment rates were mostly unchanged in the Hickory Metro area, according to the latest report from the North Carolina Department of Commerce Labor and Economic Analysis Division. The report was issued late last week. The statistics reflect January unemployment rates.

Alexander County's unemployment rate is 3.7 percent, the same as in the December report. Burke County's jobless rate increased slightly, to 4.3 percent from 4.2. Caldwell County's unemployment rate remained steady at 4.5 percent. Catawba County's jobless percentage also remained the same as in the December report, it's 4.1 percent.

The unemployment rate for the Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton Metropolitan Statistical Area or MSA is 4.2 percent, the same as in the December report. Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton has the fourth lowest unemployment rate among 15 MSAs in the state.

The statewide unemployment rate is 4.7 percent, up from 4.4 percent in the December report. Unemployment rates increased in 93 of North Carolina's counties, decreased in one, and remained unchanged in six. Hyde County has the state's highest jobless rate at 14.6 percent, while Buncombe County has North Carolina's lowest unemployment rate at 3.6 percent.

39-year-old April Estep Weatherford of North Davis Avenue in Newton was arrested Tuesday (March 20) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. She's charged with two felony counts apiece of the sale of schedule I controlled substance and delivery of schedule I controlled substance. She's also charged with single felony counts of the sale of schedule II controlled substance and delivery of schedule II controlled substance. Weatherford was placed in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $30,000 bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled today (March 21).

42-year-old Charles Quintin Mclean of Union Baptist Road in Lenoir was arrested Tuesday (March 20) by Lenoir Police Officers. He's charged with felony counts of possession with intent to manufacture, sell, and deliver schedule II controlled substance, maintaining a vehicle, dwelling, or place to keep controlled substance, and manufacturing schedule II controlled substance. Mclean was detained in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $50,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled Tuesday.

19-year-old Gabriel Alexandra Husarenko of 15th Avenue Circle Southeast in Hickory was arrested Tuesday (March 20) in Hickory on charges filed by the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office. She's charged with felony disclosure of private images by an adult. According to the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office, the charge is commonly known as “Revenge Porn.”

On March 16, 24-year-old Alex Steven Santana of Highland Bluff Court in Lincolnton, filed a report with the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office that a former girlfriend had posted nude pictures of him on Facebook and made comments about him online. Lead Detective Dan Renn contacted Husarenko Tuesday and took her into custody at her residence without incident. Her bond was set at $5,000 secured. Husarenko was scheduled to appear in District Court today (March 21).

On March 15, Husarenko filed a report with the Catawba County Sheriff’s Office claiming that Santana struck her in the chest. A criminal summons was issued charging Santana with assault on a female by a male at least 18 years old. He has a court date in Catawba County on April 17 on that charge.

Wednesday, 21 March 2018 05:05

New Ward 2 Hickory City Councilmember Sworn In

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At Tuesday evening’s (March 20) Hickory City Council meeting, Charlotte Williams officially took her oath of office and was sworn in as the new Ward 2 Alderwoman. A reception to honor Williams was held in the City Hall Atrium prior to the Council meeting.

Williams fills the Ward 2 seat that became vacant with the passing of Councilman Vernon Tarlton in January 2018. The term of the position expires December 2019. Given the length of time remaining on the term, Hickory City Council chose to utilize an open application process to make the appointment.

Williams was among eight qualified candidates who applied for the Ward 2 vacancy. After voting for the appointment on March 6 resulted in a tie between Williams and fellow candidate S. Ryan Edwards, City Council held a special meeting on March 14 to interview Williams and Edwards again. The two candidates were asked six questions and scored using point system developed by City Staff and approved by City Council. Williams’ cumulative score of 317 edged out Edwards’ score of 304, earning her the appointment by City Council.

Originally from the Chicago area, Williams graduated with a Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Illinois-Champaign/Urbana and earned a Master of Arts in Social Work from the University of Chicago. Williams and her family moved to Hickory in the mid-1990’s. She began teaching at Lenoir-Rhyne University shortly thereafter, where she now serves as the inaugural Associate Dean of Engaged and Global Learning and as the Program Coordinator for the Human and Community Service major.

Tuesday, 20 March 2018 21:21

School Systems Announce Delays

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Due to the possibility of winter weather, the following school systems are delayed Wednesday (March 21)

Alexander County Schools: two hour delay

Catawba County Schools: two hour delay

Hickory Public Schools: two hour delay 

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