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News (795)

A Catawba County man received a minimum six-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to manufacturing methamphetamine in Catawba County Superior Court on Monday.

55-year-old Raymond Russell Richardson of Midnight Drive, Claremont, was initially charged with three counts of possession of methamphetamine precursor with the intent to distribute, two counts of trafficking in methamphetamine, one count of manufacturing methamphetamine, and one count of conspiring to manufacture methamphetamine.

All of the charges were dismissed except for the one count of manufacturing methamphetamine. After Richardson pleaded guilty to that charge, he was sentenced to 72 to 99 months in prison, or between six years and eight years and three months. Richardson was also ordered to pay approximately $2,400 in restitution to the state.

Richardson was arrested on the previously mentioned charges for reportedly manufacturing methamphetamine between January and May of 2013. Events leading to the arrest began when Officers received a tip regarding a possible meth lab at Richardson’s home. Sheriff’s Investigators, along with Agents with the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation, applied for and executed a search warrant at the residence. More than 12 pounds of a liquid that tested positive for methamphetamine and more than 300 pounds of chemicals were found and removed from the scene.

17-year-old Dakota Morgane Skiff of Rustic Trail in Lincolnton was arrested by Lincolnton Police Officers. She’s charged with Felony Burning of Personal Property.

According to a news release from the Lincolnton Police Department, on Monday (July 20), at approximately 9:30 a.m., firefighters with the Lincolnton Fire Department responded to a fire inside the Wal-Mart store, located at 306 N. General’s Blvd., Lincolnton. The fire damaged a display case containing several packages of socks. The value of the burned merchandise was approximately $1,100. Upon arrival, firefighters found the fire to have been extinguished by Don Schrum, an off duty firefighter with the South Fork Volunteer Fire Department and personnel and staff of Wal-Mart.

Upon examining the scene, firefighters determined the fire to have been intentionally set. At this time, members of the Lincolnton Police Department’s patrol division, criminal investigations division, and narcotics division, as well as the Lincolnton Fire Department Fire Marshal responded to the scene for investigation.

The quick actions of Schrum, staff of Wal-Mart, and the Lincolnton Fire Department kept the damage to a minimum. No injuries were sustained from the fire.

Upon investigation, it was determined that Dakota Morgane Skiff and her juvenile brother were responsible for starting the fire. Also, evidence was obtained from the scene to include a lighter, charred or burned property, and video footage.

Skiff was placed in jail under a $1,000.00 secured bond. She was scheduled to make first court appearance on Tuesday (July 21) in Lincoln County District Court.

The investigation is still on-going by both the Lincolnton Police Department along with Fire Department investigators.

U.S. 321 northbound was closed this morning in Caldwell County near Hudson because of an overturned tractor-trailer. Officers with the Hudson Police Department were dispatched to a single vehicle crash involving a MDI tractor and trailer located near Hall Industrial Park on Hickory Boulevard.

According to a news release from the Hudson Police Department, at 2:16 a.m., a 2012 Freightliner being driven by 60-year-old Michael Lee Hildebran of Connelly Springs was traveling North on Hickory Boulevard near Hall Industrial Park Drive. The vehicle traveled off the right hand shoulder of the roadway and struck a guardrail. The vehicle continued traveling North along the shoulder of the roadway until finally overturning and coming to rest on its side. The driver reported only minor injuries as a result of the crash.

The Northbound lanes of Hickory Boulevard were shut down while workers unloaded the trailer. The tractor and trailer was then uprighted and towed away. The Northbound lanes were reopened to traffic at approximately 9:30 a.m. During the time the road was closed, traffic was detoured along Mission Road and Highway 321A.

19-year-old Jessica Brittany Lane, 62-year-old Robert Deal Shuford and 38-year-old Jason Anthony Johnson have all been arrested by authorities in Lincoln County on a variety of charges. All three were charged with obtaining property by false pretense. In addition, Lane was charged with one count each of forgery of an instrument and uttering a forged instrument. Shuford also faces charges for uttering a forged instrument, while Johnson was charged with attempting to obtain property by false pretense and two counts of possession of counterfeit currency.

On Thursday, July 16, Officer Tiffany Cline of the Lincolnton Police Department and Lincoln County Sheriff’s Detectives Matthew Burgess and David Brooks conducted a joint investigation into multiple breaking & entering and fraud cases. As a result of the investigation, Officer Cline arrested Jessica Lane.

The next day, as part of the same investigation, Officers executed a search warrant at a residence on North Grove Street in Lincolnton. Officers found evidence connected to the B&E and fraud cases. Several people were at the residence, including the homeowner, Robert Shuford, who was taken into custody. Also present was Jason Johnson, who was arrested for his involvement in the passage and attempted passage of counterfeit currency at local businesses in Lincolnton.

All three suspects were placed in the Lincoln County Jail. Bond for Lane was set at $5,000, secured. Shuford was given a $6,000 secured bond and Johnson’s bond was set at $12,500, secured. Lane had her first District Court date on July 17. Shuford and Johnson were both due in court yesterday (July 20).

Lane has a prior conviction for simple possession of a schedule IV controlled substance. Shuford has previous convictions for failure to pay income tax, driving while impaired and several other traffic related offenses. Johnson has prior convictions for obtaining property by false pretense, forgery of an instrument, uttering a forged instrument, discharging a weapon into occupied property, breaking & entering, larceny from a person, felony larceny, possession of stolen goods, threatening phone calls, assault on a female, assault inflicting serious injury, providing fictitious information to an officer, worthless check, injury to personal property, littering, second-degree trespass, misuse of the 9-1-1 system and several traffic related offenses.

Three other subjects are wanted in connection to the investigation. Warrants have been issued for 23-year-old Joshua Lee Deaton of Howards Creek School Road and 25-year-old Michael Andrew Reinhardt of North Grove Street, both from Lincolnton. They are wanted for felony breaking & entering and felony larceny after B&E. Deaton is currently out on bond for attempting to obtain property by false pretense. 43-year-old Crystal Deaton Setzer of Howards Creek School Road in Vale also has outstanding warrants for safecracking, forgery of an instrument, uttering a forged instrument and obtaining property by false pretense. All three have multiple prior convictions on a variety of charges.

Deaton, Reinhardt and Setzer are also wanted in connection to the investigation involving a strong-arm robbery and possession of methamphetamine case in which Jon Willett and Alex Moore were arrested last week.

Anyone with information regarding the suspects should contact Officer Cline at 704-736-8900.


City of Morganton Water Resources workers plan to do some repairs on Linville and Oak streets tomorrow. (Wednesday, July 22).

Work will start at 8 a.m. and about 60 homes in the area will be without water service while crews replace a water hydrant and valve on Linville Street and a main line valve on Oak Street. The work will take around eight hours to complete, barring any unforeseen problems.

Traffic will likely be affected, and Linville Street may be closed from Oak to Pine streets. For questions about the work, call 828-438-5276.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015 10:55

Conover Man Arrested on Felony Meth Charge

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30-year-old Roallenger Steven Jarrett of Panama Drive in Conover was arrested by Hickory Police at about 2:50 yesterday afternoon (July 20) on one felony count of possession of methamphetamine and one misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia. The warrants for his arrest were issued on June 8.

Jarrett was taken into custody without incident and processed at Hickory Police headquarters. He was released about an hour later under a $1,800 unsecured bond. An appearance in Superior Court was scheduled for July 24 in Newton.

Tuesday, 21 July 2015 10:53

Hickory Convenience Store Robbed

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Hickory Police are investigating a robbery at the Top Express convenience store on 16th Street S.E. in Hickory.

The incident occurred at 5:53 p.m. yesterday (July 20). A white male armed with a handgun entered the store and demanded money from the clerk. He fled, on foot, with an undisclosed amount of cash.

No one was injured during the robbery. No additional description of the suspect has been released.

Anyone with information regarding the robbery should call Hickory Police at 828-328-5551.

Dr. Ann Stalnaker has submitted her resignation as principal of Hickory High School. She has accepted a position with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools as Executive Director of a Learning Community.

“While I hate to see Dr. Stalnaker leave Hickory High,” said Dr. Walter Hart, HPS superintendent, “I wish her nothing but the best in all future endeavors. Dr. Stalnaker is a terrific educator and a quality instructional leader. She will make a positive difference in the lives of children wherever she serves.”

The HPS Board of Education will review personnel matters during their closed session at the next BOE meeting scheduled for next Monday (July 27) 7:00 PM at Hickory City Hall.

U.S. 321 northbound was closed this morning in Caldwell County near Hudson because of an overturned tractor-trailer. The accident happened at approximately 3 a.m. The road was open at approximately 9:30 a.m.

The lanes were closed between Mission Road and Pine Mountain Road. Lower Cedar Valley Road and Mission Road were used as detours. Nobody was hurt in the mishap.

Reports say the truck was carrying bottled water and food items. No details were released regarding what caused the tractor-trailer to overturn.

50-year-old Ralph Garland Prestwood of Zacks Fork Road in Lenoir was arrested Monday (July 20) by Caldwell County Sheriff’s Officers. He’s charged with felony possession of stolen property. Prestwood was confined in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $2,500 secured bond. A District Court date is set for Thursday (July 23).