The North Carolina State Highway Patrol Trooper who was caught on video driving the wrong way on U.S. 321 in Catawba County has resigned. According to a news release issued by the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, Trooper T.J. Williamson submitted his resignation effective Tuesday (July 18).
The video, which has gone viral and was shown on last night's edition of WHKY-TV News, shows a state trooper speeding down Highway 321 Sunday (July 16), heading the wrong way into oncoming traffic.
The trooper was reportedly heading to a street-racing bust, previously reported on WHKY. Williamson exited the highway at the River Road exit, crossed the bridge, and then started heading south in the northbound lanes. You can see the full report filed by Fentress Chestnut Fountain on last night's WHKY-TV News at our website, whky.com, and on our YouTube channel.
32-year-old Christina Marie Phillips of Silvermere Drive in Statesville was arrested Monday (July 17) by Iredell County Sheriff's Officers. She's charged with with possession of schedule II controlled substance (hydrocodone), two counts of possession of schedule III controlled substance (subutex and suboxone), possession of schedule IV controlled substance (diazepam), possession of drug paraphernalia, resisting a public officer, and driving while license revoked.
On Monday, Sgt. C.W. Bentley of the Aggressive Criminal Enforcement Team conducted a traffic stop on a 1998 Pontiac on Salisbury Road due to a traffic violation. While speaking with the driver, Christina Phillips, Sgt. Bentley discovered that she was in possession of a syringe. Further investigation resulted in the discovery of a metal pill container and a syringe, which was inside the Phillips’s purse. The pill container contained multiple pills including hydrocodone, subutex, suboxone, and diazepam.
During the time that Deputies were attempting to take Phillips into custody, she reportedly became combative. Sgt. Bentley transported Phillips to the Iredell County Jail where bond was set at $5,000 secured. A news release from the Iredell County Sheriff's Office states that Phillips has a history of criminal charges including multiple narcotics related offenses.
She had a District Court appearance scheduled for Tuesday (July 18), her next appearance on these charges is scheduled for July 26, also in District Court.
32-year-old Ricky Lee Watson of Warrior Road in Lenoir was arrested Tuesday (July 18) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony counts of possession with intent to manufacture, sell, and deliver schedule II controlled substance and maintaining a vehicle or dwelling for controlled substance. Watson was detained in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $50,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for Thursday (July 20).
Hickory City Council met in regular session Tuesday night (July 18).
Minutes, second readings, and the consent agenda with the exception of one item, were approved unanimously. Clarification was requested for one item on the consent agenda. That item was the purchase of a new fire truck. After clarification, the purchase was also approved unanimously.
Planning Director Brian Frazier presented the proposed plan for the "Southside Project Area." The area covers the north and south of U.S. 70 between South Center Street and U.S. 321. The plan was created using a $200,000 Brownfields Area-wide Planning Grant. Several public meetings were held to receive feedback to help in the creation of the plan. City Council approved the plan unanimously. The plan can be viewed at the city's website, www.hickorync.gov/sites/default/
Also during last night's session the Community Development Block Grant 2017 Annual Action Plan was presented. A public hearing was held to receive comments on the plan, there were no speakers in opposition, a representative of Safe Harbor and two citizens spoke in favor of the proposal. City Council approved the plan unanimously.
In addition, an agreement with the North Carolina Department of Transportation was presented. The agreement allocates $11,280,000 in federal funds to the City Walk project. The city will have a required 20% match, which is #2,820,000. Council passed the agreement unanimously.
Communications and Marketing Manager Dana Kaminske presented a new quality of life video, highlighting Hickory's location. The video will be posted online, it was expected that would be done sometime today (July 19).
30-year-old Mineka Tanyell Gibson was arrested Sunday (July 16) by authorities in Lincoln County. She's charged with felony assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury and two counts of second degree trespassing. Gibson was arrested at an address on Wandering Trail in Lincolnton just before 8 p.m. Sunday. She was placed in jail under $22,000 secured bond. A court appearance is scheduled for August 10.
31-year-old Timothy Allen Bolick of Virginia Drive in Hickory was arrested today (July 18) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony larceny, second degree trespassing, and obtaining property by false pretense. Bolick was jailed in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $3,000 bond. A District Court appearance is scheduled for Wednesday (July 19).
33-year-old Ashley Deshea Lee of 25th Street in Hickory was arrested Monday (July 17) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. She's charged with felony obtaining property by false pretense. Lee was confined in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $10,000 secured bond. A District Court date was set for today (July 18).
20-year-old Joshua Emmett Westbrooks of Costner Road in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at about 7:30 last night (July 17) on one felony count of first-degree statutory rape. The warrant for his arrest was issued in Burke County on February 13 of this year.
Westbrooks was taken into custody without incident at a grocery store on Springs Road N.E. He was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $50,000 secured bond. He has since been released. An appearance in Superior Court was set for August 18 in Morganton.
46-year-old Robbie Dale Sigmon of Shelia Lane in Statesville is wanted by Iredell Co. Sheriff’s Officers in connection to an attempted larceny at a Statesville lawn equipment business. He faces charges of first-degree trespassing and attempted larceny.
On Saturday (July 8), Sheriff’s Officers responded to Sharpe’s Lawn Equipment & Service at 609 Mocksville Highway in Statesville. Deputies spoke with a witness who saw a white male driving a white SUV. The witness said the man climbed over a secured chain-link fence. The man then climbed onto a zero-turn mower and began riding it around inside the lot.
Detectives reviewed the security footage at the business and learned that the suspect was Robbie Sigmon. The business owner had known the suspect for several years and was familiar with the vehicle the suspect was driving. Investigators say it appeared the suspect was attempting to steal the mower, but was unable to however locate an exit.
Warrants for Sigmon’s arrest were issued. He remains at large. Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Robbie Dale Sigmon should call the Sheriff’s Office at 704-878-3180.
23-year-old Carlton Brandon Coutu of Hartland Road in Lenoir was arrested Monday (July 17) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with 45 counts of injury to personal property along with single counts of possession of schedule VI controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. Coutu was detained in the Caldwell County Sheriff's Office under $71,000 secured bond. District Court dates are scheduled for August 24 and October 17.
Authorities in Iredell County are attempting to locate a suspect in a break-in and theft case.
According to a news release issued Monday (July 17) by the Iredell County Sheriff's Office, on Monday, July 10, a report was filed with the Sheriff’s Office in reference to the breaking and entering to a storage building and the larceny of several tools and other personal items belonging to the home owner at 805 Crestridge Road in Statesville.
An investigation was initiated and it was discovered that some of the tools that were stolen had already been recovered and returned to the owner. Detectives discovered that there were tools, jewelry and other personal items stolen from the residence with a dollar value of approximately $7,200. Detectives also learned that the suspect, 35-year-old Robert Floyd Hogge III of Travis Loop in Statesville, was a relative of the victim in this case.
It was discovered that Hogge had also sold a men’s Harley Davidson jacket to City Pawn & Gun for cash, knowing that it was stolen from the same victim. The jacket was recovered by Detectives and returned to the owner.
Detectives also discovered during the investigation that Hogge had sold battery powered tools to Statesville Jewelry & Loan that were stolen from the same address.
Tools were recovered by Detectives and returned to the owner. Approximately $350 in property has been recovered by the Sheriff’s Office in this case. Detectives obtained warrants for the arrest of Robert Floyd Hogge charging him with breaking and entering to a storage building, larceny after breaking and entering, felony larceny, and two counts of obtaining property by false pretense.
Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Hogge is asked to call the Iredell Count Sheriff’s Office at 704-878-3180.
38-year-old David Lee Brendle of 22nd Avenue in Hickory was arrested Monday (July 17) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with felony possession of a stolen vehicle. Following the arrest, Brendle was incarcerated in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $40,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (July 18).
32-year-old Melissa Ann Williams of Carl Drive in Granite Falls was arrested Monday (July 17) by Newton Police Officers. She's charged with possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia. Williams was detained in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $7,500 bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (July 18).
The North Carolina Department of Justice is warning home buyers that there is a scam being conducted that's already cost state residents tens of thousands of dollars. According to a news release issued by the NCDOJ Monday (July 17), the scammers are targeting real estate agents and companies with a scam aimed at potential home buyers.
The scammers hack into real estate agents’ email accounts and harvest information about deals that are in the making. When they see that a closing date has been set for a sale they contact the prospective buyers by email, pretending to be the real estate agent. In the email, they explain that a last minute change has been made and the buyer’s closing costs need to be wired to a different account than the one stated previously.
In some cases the hackers learn of the upcoming transaction by accessing the buyer’s email account or other means, but the result is the same: huge financial losses for the would-be buyer, and a fat payday for the crook. The Federal Trade Commission has also issued a warning about this scam.
If you are working with a realtor on a purchase, remember the following:
Never send account information by email – it isn’t secure.
Use a secure connection when entering financial information online. The URL (online address) should begin with “https.” That “s” means you are using a secure connection.
Before moving ahead with a transaction, verify information about the closing in person, or on the phone. Don’t rely on faxed or emailed information.
If you’ve been victimized by this or any other type of scam, report it to North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein’s Consumer Protection Division at 877-5-NO-SCAM or file a complaint online.