The Alexander County Sheriff’s Office responded to a bank robbery call at the Bethlehem Branch of Taylorsville Savings Bank this morning (Friday, February 20). The 911 Communications Center received the hold-up alarm call around 10 a.m. and officers responded to what was quickly confirmed by bank employees to be a robbery. The suspect is described as a white male, approximately five feet, ten inches tall, slim build, possibly in their late 30’s, and was wearing blue jeans, grey hooded sweatshirt and a dark colored ski mask.
The suspect presented a dark-colored gun and demanded an undisclosed amount of currency which he told the clerk to place in a pastel purple-colored fanny pack. Witnesses described the getaway car as a light grey or silver compact sedan; possibly a Volkswagen Jetta, early 2000 model with daytime running lights and a NC registration plate.
The suspect vehicle left the bank parking lot travelling south on NC Highway 127 toward Catawba County. The investigation is ongoing and more details will be released as they become available. Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call Alexander County Crime Stoppers at 828-632-8555 to provide anonymous information about the suspect. Tips can also be submitted online at www.alexandersheriff.org.
The North Carolina Bankers Association is offering a reward through their Robbery Reward Program for information leading to the arrest and indictment of any individuals who are involved. Anyone with information should contact the FBI, confidentially and toll-free, at 800-209-2293.
25-year-old Trey Alexander Monro Ingram was arrested Thursday (February 19) by authorities in Burke County. He’s charged with probation violation and failure to appear. Following the arrest, Ingram was placed in jail under $22,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for March 10.
56-year-old John David Dula of Alfred Hartley Road in Lenoir was arrested Thursday (February 19) by Hudson Police Officers. He’s charged with possession of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana paraphernalia, and driving while license revoked. Following the arrest, Dula was detained at the Caldwell County Detention Center under $1,500 secured bond.
27-year-old Salisha Michelle Cox of Shang Lane in Conover was arrested Thursday (February 19) by Newton Police Officers. She’s charged with possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia. Following the arrest, Cox was incarcerated in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $25,000 bond. A first appearance in court was scheduled for today.
28-year-old Matthew Allen Dellinger of East Manufacture Street in Maiden was arrested Thursday (February 19) by Maiden Police Officers. He’s charged with two counts of possession of heroin and one count of possession of drug paraphernalia. Following the arrest, Dellinger was detained in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $11,000 bond, a court appearance is scheduled for today (Friday, February 20).
The North Carolina Department of Commerce announced Thursday that the N.C. Rural Infrastructure Authority (RIA) approved 18 grants or loans totaling more than $6 million with the commitment of 627 new jobs. Some of those grants are for projects in this region.
The RIA was established as part of the Rural Economic Development Division at the N.C. Department of Commerce to assist with the review and approval of grants for rural areas in the state. The grants-making programs of the division include assistance for building reuse and well as infrastructure including water and sewer.
Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) loans approved include one for the City of Conover. Conover will receive $600,000 to construct an industrial access road and sewer/water lines to allow Project Pegasus (a confidential project not yet announced) to expand their existing plant in Conover by 30,000 square feet. Project Pegasus will invest $29 million in new construction and equipment at the Conover facility, and the City of Conover will provide $150,000 in matching funds. Project Pegasus has committed to create 50 new, full-time jobs.
CDBG is a U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) program that provides an annual allocation of funds to the state for rural economic development and residential infrastructure projects. The CDBG economic development program provides grants to local governments for creating and retaining jobs. Funding for projects is based on the number of jobs to be created and the level of distress in the community applying for the funds.
The Industrial Development Fund Utility Account grants approved include a grant for Alexander County in the amount of $200,000 to install approximately one mile of natural gas pipeline. The line will serve a new office addition for Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams as well as allowing the company to convert the entire 330,000 sq. ft. facility to natural gas. Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams has committed to create 20 new, full-time jobs over the next two years.
The Utility Account of the Industrial Development Fund provides grants to units of local government of the 80 most distressed counties in the state to assist in job creation. The funds may be used for publicly-owned infrastructure and should be used for projects that are reasonably expected to result in the creation of jobs.
Building Reuse Program grants/loans approved includes a grant for Alexander County in the amount of $500,000 to support the reuse of a 150,000 sq. ft. building located in Taylorsville. The building was constructed in 1985 and has been vacant for two years. Huntington House Furniture will locate in the building to expand operations. The company is a family-owned custom upholstery business that produces a wide variety of fabric and leather furniture. Huntington House Furniture has committed to create 40 new, full-time jobs.
In addition a grant has been approved for the Town of Hudson in the amount of $125,000 to support the reuse of a 102,600 sq. ft. space in Hudson. There are multiple buildings constructed in 1974 that have been vacant for five years. Associated Hardwoods, Inc. will relocate their operations from Granite Falls to the town of Hudson. The proposed facility will offer the company the ability to expand production and capacity. Associated Hardwoods, Inc. has committed to create 10 new, full-time jobs.
The City of Claremont is being granted $240,000 to support the expansion of a 1.2M square foot building in Claremont that was constructed in 1982. Prysmian Cables and Systems USA, LLC, is a manufacturer of fiber optical telecommunications products with facilities in Catawba and Rocky Mount. The company plans to restore the Fiber Optical Preform (PCVD) operation that was idled in 2003. Prysmian Cables has committed to create 24 new, full-time jobs.
The Building Reuse Program provides grants/loans to local governments to support the reuse of vacant buildings and/or expand rural healthcare facilities that will lead to the creation of new, full-time jobs.
City of Morganton Water Resources Department workers will shut off water to customers on Erwin Road by 5:30 p.m. today (February 19) to repair a break on a six-inch water main between York Street and Newland Street. About 30 homes will be affected by the water outage. Crews expect the repairs to be completed in about four to six hours.
Ervin Road will be closed from York to Newland. Drivers can detour using the Morehead Street Extension and Wesley Drive or Tate Street to Newland Street.
Extreme cold temperatures and icy roads continue to continue to force local school systems to adjust their schedules.
On Friday, February 20…
Catawba County Schools and Hickory Public Schools will be on a three-hour delay for students and staff.
Alexander County Schools will be closed Friday with an optional teacher workday beginning at 10 a.m.
Burke County Schools will operate on a two-hour delay for students and staff.
Caldwell County Schools will operate on a three-hour delay with limited bus routes. The WrapAround program in Caldwell County will begin at 9 a.m.
Newton-Conover City Schools are on a three-hour delay for students and 10 & 11-month employees. 12-month employees should report at 8:30 a.m. Kids Connection will begin at 9 a.m.
The Ash Center for Democratic Governance & Innovation at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government has chosen the Conover Station Redevelopment Project as part of the 2015 Bright Ideas program. The project is one of 124 nationwide from all levels of government that have been recognized for innovative government action.
The City of Conover purchased a vacant, downtown former factory site in 2005. Since that time, the city has transformed the once derelict site into an example of community-based revitalization for the future. By obtaining over $6.4 million dollars in grant funding, the city has completed a LEED certified rehabilitation of the 1924 mill building into a new public library and community space while constructing a new 6.8-acre environmentally educational public park.
Conover also partnered with the Manufacturing Solutions Center (MSC) to build a new facility to promote job creation. The MSC has worked for over two decades to assist industries through materials testing, streamlining design and manufacturing innovations.
Most recently, a new $4.4 million dollar commercial building and fitness center is under construction at the Conover Station site that will be the largest new building constructed in downtown Conover in decades.
For more information, call Daniel Harsha, the Ash Center’s Associate Director for Communications, at 617-495-4347 or City of Conover Planning Director Lance Hight at 828-464-1191. Additional information is available at ash.harvard.edu.
At about 8 p.m. on Friday, February 13, Lincolnton Police responded to reports of a stolen vehicle on the 900 block of Gaston Street in Lincolnton. Officers spoke to the victim, who said his blue 2002 Hyundai Accent was stolen from a residential driveway. The Hyundai had N.C. license tag number WPD-2630 and an ARMY plate on the front of the car. It may have a rear taillight or brake light out. The keys were left in the ignition when it was taken.
The following Wednesday, Lincolnton Police spoke to a victim whose vehicle had been taken from a commercial parking lot on the 300 block of East Sycamore Street in Lincolnton. The stolen vehicle taken was a silver 2000 Pontiac Sunfire with N.C. tag ABM-2069. The keys were left in the ignition.
Police say there are no suspects at this time.
Anyone with information regarding the vehicle thefts should call the Lincolnton Police Department at 704-736-8900 or call Lincolnton-Lincoln County Crime Stoppers at 704-736-8909. Crime Stoppers callers may remain anonymous. Information leading to an arrest could result in a cash reward of up to a $1,000.