Wildfires continue to burn throughout North Carolina, there's a new fire that started last night (Monday, November 21) in the Watauga County town of Blowing Rock, which borders Caldwell County. Evacuations were necessary due to the fire.
Various published reports say the fire broke out around 7:30 p.m. near Sampson Road and Watson Drive. As the fire began to approach homes, officials continued to issue evacuation orders.
The brush fire reportedly moved into the woods, as of earlier today it had spread to several hundred acres and was growing. Fire crews were going door-to-door to warn residents in the area. WHKY-TV's Fentress Chestnut will have a report on this fire and the latest on the Chestnut Knob fire in Burke County on tonight's WHKY-TV News at 5:30 and 10:00.
Morganton Public Safety Officers arrested 29- year old Cody Garrett Chadwell yesterday (November 21).
He’s charged with four counts of failure to appear and driving with an expired registration.
Chadwell is currently serving time on a long list of charges dating back to May 2008. Some of those charges include, felony forced breaking and entering, probation violation, possession of a weapon by a felon and stealing a vehicle.
Chadwell’s next court date is December 14, 2016 in Burke County. The total bond amount for the current charges is $4,500.
Morganton Public Safety Officers arrested 38- year-old Melania Ramsey yesterday (November 21, 2016).
Ramsey is charged with possession of a schedule ii substance.
She was given a $4,000 bond; her court date was scheduled for today (November 22, 2016).
Morganton Public Safety officers arrested 39- year- old Jason Shea Ali today (November 22, 2016).
He’s charged with larceny, forgery of a credit card, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, credit card fraud, possession of a schedule ii substance, and driving while license revoked.
He was placed under a $35,000 bond, he had a court date listed for today, Ali was previously arrested on September 6, 2016.
20- year- old Jonathan Andrew Wyatt of Hickory was arrested yesterday (November 21, 2016) by Catawba County Sheriff’s Officers.
He was served two bills of indictments for resisting a public officer and assaulting his probation officer.
He was placed in jail under a $5000 bond, Wyatt was scheduled to appear in court today.
40- year- old Zachary Hayes Mitchell of Newton was arrested today (November 22, 2016) by Catawba County Sheriff’s officers.
He’s charged with selling heroin, two counts of possession with the intent to manufacture, sell, and deliver heroin.
He’s also charged with possession, manufacturing, selling, and delivering a controlled substance within 1000 ft of a school.
Mitchell was placed under a $30,000 bond. No court date is currently listed.
The N.C. Department of Transportation will help make Thanksgiving trips a little smoother by suspending most road construction activities on major routes across the state.
Most construction work that would require a lane or road closure along all interstates and N.C. and U.S. routes will be suspended from 6 a.m. tomorrow (Wednesday, November 23), until midnight, Sunday (November 27). Most road or lane closures that are remaining in place for the holiday weekend are in central and eastern North Carolina, with the exception of lane closures on N.C. 294 in Cherokee County and U.S. 74 in Jackson County.
Travelers also need to be aware that more than 200 local roads in the eastern part of the state are closed or have lane closures due to damage from Hurricane Matthew. Remember here in western North Carolina, several forest fires could affect travel as smoky conditions may reduce visibility. Shifting fires and smoke could cause a road to be closed on short notice for safety reasons.
Drivers can get the latest update on travel conditions at ncdot.gov.
AAA Carolinas projects that 2 million Carolinians will journey 50 miles or more from home this Thanksgiving, with just under 1.4 million North Carolinians and 670,000 South Carolinians traveling. This represents a 1.9 percent increase over 2015. The Thanksgiving holiday travel period is defined as tomorrow (Wednesday November 23) to Sunday (November 27).
This year's increase in Thanksgiving travel is spurred by improvements in the economy during the second half of the year, including rising wages, increased consumer spending and overall strength in consumer confidence. North Carolina's average price of gas is currently at $2.13 a gallon and South Carolina's sits at $1.99 a gallon, both under the national average of $2.14. Last year, North Carolina's average was $2.10 and South Carolina's was $1.91.
Driving remains most popular mode of travel for Thanksgiving. The vast majority of holiday travelers will drive this Thanksgiving. The 1.2 million North Carolinians and over 600,000 South Carolinians planning a Thanksgiving road trip represents an increase of 1.9 percent over last year. Air travel is expected to increase 1.6 percent, with 46,000 North Carolinians and 46,000 South Carolinians flying to their holiday destinations. Travel by other modes of transportation, including cruises, trains and buses, will increase only slightly this Thanksgiving, to 40,000 North Carolinians and 20,000 South Carolinians.
Thanksgiving is one of the most dangerous holidays for motorists due to its five-day length and the heavy traffic caused by the high number of travelers on the road. Last year, the number of deaths on North Carolina highways during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend reached 22 people, while South Carolina highways saw nine traffic fatalities.
A fugitive wanted on a charge from Georgia was arrested in Catawba County. 19-year-old Jonathan Anthony Gordon, who is listed as a homeless person from Newton, was arrested Monday (November 21) by Newton Police Officers. He's charged on a warrant from Gwinnett County, Georgia, with probation violation. Gordon was on probation for burglary.
Following Monday's arrest, Gordon was locked up in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $50,000 bond. He was scheduled to appear in District Court in Newton today (Tuesday, November 22).
44-year-old Parrish DeWayne Burton of Burris Road in Conover was arrested Monday (November 21) by Hickory Police Officers. He's charged with two felony counts of obtaining property by false pretense. Burton was jailed in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $75,000 bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Tuesday, November 22).
29-year-old Brian Allen Sipe of Bumgarner Lane in Taylorsville was arrested Friday (November 18) by Burke County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with solicitation of a child by computer or electronic device to commit an unlawful sex act and indecent liberties with a child.
On Friday, the Burke County Sheriff`s Office Criminal Investigation Division engaged in an undercover operation using social media. During the investigation, the identity of a suspect was discovered to be Brian Allen Sipe. Sipe traveled to a predetermined location for what he thought was to meet with a minor to perform sex acts. However, when he arrived he was taken into custody without incident by the online undercover investigator.
Sipe's bond was set at $25,000 secured, he did post bond following his arrest and is not currently being held in jail. A first court appearance for Sipe was scheduled for Monday (November 21).
The wildfire burning at South Mountains State Park in Burke County is now reported to be 50% contained. According to the latest update, despite continued low humidity, the Chestnut Knob fire did not expand much at all on Monday (November 21). It is estimated at 6,433 acres, only a slight increase from the previous day.
The Florida Green Team, which is in charge of fighting the fire at South Mountains State Park, was given approval by their agency to extend their assignment from 14 to 21 days. Crews are beginning to assess potential damage to trail areas and stream crossings. There are 352 personnel fighting the Chestnut Knob wildfire, 33 engines and seven dozers are being used.
29-year-old Michael Kayleeon McBryde and 34-year-old Sherry Devon McGill, both of the same address on 1st Street S.W. in Hickory, were arrested by Hickory Police just before 10 p.m. Saturday (November 19). They were each charged with one felony count of possession of cocaine.
They were arrested in connection to an incident on July 29 of this year as Officers on foot patrol at Blue Ridge Heights on the 900 block of 1st Street S.W. observed foot traffic coming and going from a residence in the apartment complex. As Officers approached the residence, they smelled marijuana.
McGill was listed as the tenant and McBryde was an additional resident at the time. A search warrant was executed, leading to the discovery of 0.3 grams of cocaine, 0.1 grams of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.
A prosecution summary was submitted, leading to the arrests Saturday. McBryde was jailed under a $7,500 secured bond. McGill was processed and released under a $5,000 unsecured bond. Both suspects were scheduled to appear in Superior Court today (November 21) in Newton.
A Special Meeting of Hickory City Council will be held Tuesday (November 22) at 5 p.m. at the Julian G. Whitener Municipal Building, in City Council Chambers at 76 North Center Street in Hickory.
The purpose of the Special Meeting is to discuss the North Carolina Department of Transportation Construction Agreement for the Repairs of the Sinkhole located at the Intersection of Highway US 70 and 7th Street SE.