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News (1045)

Friday, 23 January 2015 05:03

CVCC President Named President Of The Year

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Dr. Garrett D. Hinshaw, president of Catawba Valley Community College in Hickory, was recently named President of the Year by the State Board of Community Colleges. Hinshaw became the college’s third president in 2006. According to a news release from the college, during his tenure, Hinshaw has strengthened the college’s role in economic development efforts, making it a valuable tool in industry recruitment efforts. Under his leadership, partnerships between CVCC and Local Education Agencies (LEAs) have thrived, particularly through “Education Matters in the Catawba Valley,” a program created by Hinshaw in which career education is provided to public school students to increase graduation and postsecondary enrollment rates.

The news release also says, with the support of the faculty, staff, trustees, CVCC Foundation and community, Hinshaw has led a transformation of the college that has helped redefine the region's economy. “This is a tremendous recognition for Dr. Hinshaw and the college,” said CVCC trustee chair Charles Preston. “We are appreciative of all the work he has done as president.”

Hinshaw helped transform the college’s former hosiery technology center into a research and development service called the Manufacturing Solutions Center in Conover. The MSC helps businesses and start-ups from across the United States design, research or develop products and processes that help them compete in a global market. Hinshaw guided the opening of the CVCC ValleySim Hospital in 2011. The first of its kind on any North Carolina college or university campus, the ValleySim Hospital utilizes high-fidelity patient manikins to simulate real-life illnesses and diseases for safe student learning.

The news release also says, working with faculty and industry leaders, Hinshaw made career enhancement opportunities available to students through participation in SkillsUSA. CVCC students increased their employability by competing in—and winning—numerous state and national technical career skills competitions. Dr. Hinshaw’s leadership was instrumental in the college being selected in 2013 as one of three community college partners with Lorain County Community College (Ohio) and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation to spearhead the pilot phase of Innovation Fund America (IFA). Prior to coming to CVCC, Hinshaw was the Executive Vice President at Caldwell Community College and Technical Institute.

The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the Caldwell County Department of Social Services is asking for the public’s help in locating a missing teenage girl, 16-year-old Makayla Worley.

Worley, who sometimes goes by Kayla, was last seen on August 31 when she left a Youth Shelter in Gastonia. She is 5’8” inches tall and weighs approximately 200 pounds with long brown hair and brown eyes.

Worley is believed to be in the Gaston or Mecklenburg county areas.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Makayla Worley should contact the Caldwell County Department of Social Services at 828-426-8280, the Gastonia Police Department at 704-866-6702 or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children at 800-843-5678.

18-year-old Tyreke Dreshawn Alexander of Buffalo Shoals Road in Lincolnton was arrested yesterday (January 21) by Lincoln Co. Sheriff’s Officers on one felony count of robbery with a dangerous weapon and misdemeanor counts of assault inflicting serious injury and simple assault. His arrest comes in connection to an incident that resulted in the arrest last Saturday (January 17) of 16-year-old Jontavius Javez Littlejohn, which was reported Tuesday (January 20) on WHKY. Warrants have also been issued for 18-year-old Damarcus Deshaun Dixon, who lists addresses in Lincolnton and Charlotte. Dixon is charged with one felony count each of conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon and aiding & abetting armed robbery. He is also charged with misdemeanor assault & battery.

The January 17 incident involved a man who was assaulted and his was vehicle stolen when he drove some of the suspects to an area on Westdale Lane in Lincolnton to buy marijuana. The victim was beaten and stabbed in the arm before running away from the scene. His 2002 Jeep Liberty was stolen, but recovered several hours later on Lee Avenue in Lincolnton.

Detective Matt Burgess will also submit information to Juvenile Services regarding a 15-year-old male who was also involved in the incident. Originally, it was believed that three suspects were involved in the incident, but during the course of the investigation, it was determined that four people were involved.

Following his arrest, Alexander was placed in the Lincoln County Detention Center under a $15,000 secured bond. Littlejohn also remains in jail under a $15,000 secured bond. No court date is currently listed for Alexander. Littlejohn’s next appearance in a Lincoln County courtroom was set for February 5.

Anyone with information about the incident or the whereabouts of Damarcus Deshaun Dixon should contact the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office at 704-732-9050, the Lincoln County Communications Center at 704-735-8202 or Crime Stoppers at 704-736-8909.

The City of Hickory will begin sales of mulch and leaf compost every Friday. Mulch and leaf compost will be available starting Friday, February 6. The City of Hickory’s Yard Waste facility hours are 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Fridays, beginning Friday, February 6. The facility is located on Cloninger Mill Road, which is off N.C. 127, near the bridge that crosses Lake Hickory. The material used for the mulch and compost comes from what city crews pick up during the year, including tree branches, Christmas trees and leaves. Leaf compost is $20 per scoop (pickup truck load) and ground mulch will be $20 per scoop. For more information, please call the Hickory Public Services Department at (828) 323-7500.

49-year-old Rodney Maurice Lutz was arrested Wednesday (January 21) by authorities in Burke County. He’s charged with two counts of being a habitual felon. Following the arrest, Lutz was jailed under $60,000 secured bond. A court appearance is scheduled for February 16.

Thursday, 22 January 2015 10:48

Woman Arrested In Burke On Multiple Charges

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36-year-old Debra Suzanne Moore was arrested Wednesday (January 21) by authorities in Burke County. She’s charged with financial identity fraud, possession of schedule II controlled substance, and possession of a stolen motor vehicle. Following the arrest, Moore was jailed under $210,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for next Monday (January 26).

Thursday, 22 January 2015 10:29

Statesville Man Charged with Felony Sex Offenses

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73-year-old Grady Samuel Hicks of Damascus Church Road in Statesville has been arrested on 16 counts of felony first-degree sex offense with a child and two counts of sexual offense with a child by an adult offender.

On December 30, 2014, the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office took a report from the victim’s father stating that his child had recently disclosed that he had been sexually abused by a family friend in the past.

The case was assigned to Detective Sergeant Mike Benfield of the Special Victims Unit. The victim, now 17 years of age, was taken to the Dove House for a forensic interview. During the interview, the victim said that while staying with Grady Hicks, a family friend, Hicks performed sexual acts on the victim.

The incidents allegedly began when the child was five years old and continued until he was 11. Hicks and additional witnesses were interviewed and Hicks was arrested.

Hicks was arrested and placed in the Iredell County Detention Center under a $750,000 secured bond. He will appear in District Court on February 6.

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with additional information should contact the Iredell Co. Sheriff’s Office at 704-878-3180.

27-year-old Joshua Alan Fenstermacher of Shelton Avenue in Statesville has been charged as a sex offender unlawfully on school premises.

On January 13, the Iredell County Sheriff’s Special Victims Unit was notified by Probation & Parole that Fenstermacher had been seen in the parking lot at Statesville High School.

Fenstermacher is currently a registered sex offender in Iredell County. He registered in July 2014 after moving to Iredell County from New York. N.C. state law states that certain sex offenders are not allowed to be on the premises of a place primarily for the use of children, such as a school or day care.

Deputies from the Special Victims Unit investigated the incident and obtained a felony warrant for Fenstermacher’s arrest. He was taken into custody on January 14 and placed in the Iredell County Detention Center under a $15,000 secured bond. An appearance in District Court on January 26.

Thursday, 22 January 2015 09:41

New Business Opens in Newton

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The City of Newton welcomed a new business to the city with a ribbon cutting ceremony last Friday (January 16). Liberty Tax Service is located at The Market Place shopping center, 2725 Northwest Boulevard, Suite H1, between Bi-Lo and Big Lots. Newton Mayor Anne P. Stedman, as well as representatives from Newton City Council, the Newton Business Advisory Committee, the Catawba County Chamber of Commerce and First Citizens Bank, were all on-hand for the ceremony.

The business employs about 10 people and offers preparation and filing of tax returns, Affordable Care Act enrollment assistance and accounting services focusing on small businesses.

Husband-and-wife team Drew and Jacki Collins chose Newton as the location for their venture late last year. His work will focus on the accounting end of the business, while she will serve as Liberty Tax Service’s Affordable Care Act specialist. The Collinses, who have a 4-year-old son and a 2-year-old daughter, plan to finish the 2015 tax season before relocating their family to a home near Newton.

For more information, call Liberty Tax Service at 828-348-0986.

Morganton City Council approved making upgrades to the Morganton Community House infrastructure and kitchen Tuesday afternoon (January 20), taking the first steps in a public/private renovation project to overhaul the facility to meet the needs and expectations of today's guests. The Council approved spending $313,820 for infrastructure improvements and $152,568 for new kitchen equipment and installation for a total of $466,388 for these upgrades. The Council budgeted $160,000 for the 2014-2015 fiscal year toward the project; $300,000 will come from the recent sale of City property; and the remaining $6,388 will be appropriated from City fund balance.

Private residents have donated $165,000 to be used for these improvements to the Community House, thanks to a fundraising campaign led by the Morganton Pilot Club, and the City also received a $75,000 grant to upgrade the kitchen. The combined gifts and grants total $240,000 and that money will offset the cost of the project.

The plan to renovate the Morganton Community House started back in 2013, when members of the Morganton Pilot Club approached City staff about making some upgrades. City staff and a group of local citizens then met with Patti Glazer, an architect from Asheville with experience in renovating older buildings, to discuss what changes and upgrades were necessary and also what improvements are desirable in a meeting/banquet facility today. During several meetings over several months, the group developed a renovation plan estimated to cost $1.5 million, and identified citizens to serve on a fundraising committee to assist in raising private funds for this project. To date, $246,222 has been pledged toward the project, $165,000 of which will be used for this first phase.

The infrastructure upgrades includes improvements to plumbing, electrical service, HVAC, basement entry and access, air conditioning to the kitchen, and noise reduction around the kitchen. The upgrades will bring the facility up to code and reduce kitchen noise in the club rooms to allow to for more meetings and to allow kitchen staff to continue working during meetings. Currently, kitchen staff have to stop working during meetings simply because it is too loud. The kitchen equipment includes new work tables, refrigerators, equipment stands, prep tables, hand sinks, hot food serving counter, refrigerated work top, bakery prep table, a 6-burner gas range with char broiler, new exhaust hood, convection steamer, walk-in freezer, and more.

City Manager Sally Sandy said that the Morganton Community House has been a prominent local institution since it was first opened in the 1930s and she imagines that the Council and local residents want the Community House to succeed and continue to serve the Morganton community. Sandy said that all the of the infrastructure improvements and about half of the cost of the kitchen equipment is needed to bring the facility up to code and to address comments and concerns made during recent safety and health inspections.

City Councilman John Cantrell said he supports the improvements and looks forward to seeing the Community House progress in the coming years. Cantrell said that he remembers delivering groceries to the Community House when he was a boy and braving the steep steps into the basement. He said he remembers going to birthday parties, taking dance lessons, and attending Christmas parties all at the Community House.

Council unanimously approved the following motions: A         motion to approve FY 2014/2015 budget amendment in the amount of $306,388 to appropriate funds for the Community House Renovation and equipment purchase. A motion to award contract to Wilkie Construction Company, Inc. for not to exceed $313,820 for Community House Renovation Project Phase 1A. And a motion to award contract to TriMark-Strategic Equipment for $148,068 for kitchen equipment for Community House.