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19-year-old Jahiz T’Sean Linebarger of 8th Street Drive S.W. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at 9 a.m. yesterday (April 8) on one felony count of robbery with a dangerous weapon and one misdemeanor count of assault by pointing a gun.

The victim, a 20-year-old Hickory man, had agreed to meet Linebarger at the Wells Fargo bank on 2nd Street N.E. After the victim came out of the bank, Linebarger allegedly brandished a silver handgun and took $250 from the victim while they were in a vehicle in the bank’s parking lot. The incident occurred at about 1:45 Tuesday afternoon.

Linebarger was taken into custody without incident the following morning at his residence. He was taken to the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $15,000 secured bond. He has since been released. An appearance in District Court was set for tomorrow in Hickory.

CommunityOne Bank will hold a ribbon cutting and open house for its new offices at 1039 2nd Street N.E. in Hickory’s Viewmont area. The event is set for Thursday, April 16. The ribbon cutting will take place at 4 p.m. and the open house will run from 3 p.m. until 6 p.m.

Catawba County Chamber members and the public are invited to attend. Representatives from the Chamber and elected officials will be at the event to offer congratulatory remarks. The open house will feature tours and refreshments.

The City of Morganton Water Resources Department has postponed a temporary water shut off on Bouchelle Street. Water was scheduled to have been shut off this morning (Thursday, April 9), weather permitting. Water Resources workers need to replace a fire hydrant and a waterline valve. Due to unforeseen circumstances, the water shut off has been postponed until next week. About 35 to 40 homes on Bouchelle from Patterson Street to Roper Street will be affected by the shut off. For more information, call the City of Morganton Water Resources department at 828-438-5276.

Autopsy results were released Wednesday (April 8) in a case from last year involving a shooting in which one friend allegedly killed another in Alexander County. Donald Joseph Kuhns is accused of killing Johnny Dockery in October after shooting him in the head. At the time, investigators believed alcohol played a role in the shooting. According to a published report, the autopsy results show that Dockery had a blood alcohol content of 0.17 when he was killed.

Thursday, 09 April 2015 04:52

Five Injured In Single Vehicle Accident

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An SUV overturned Wednesday afternoon (April 8) south of Newton, five people were injured in the accident. The five hurt in the wreck included three young children, they were rushed to the hospital. Reports say the children were ages 6, 4 and 1.

According to a published report, the crash happened just before 4 p.m. at the intersection of St. James Church Road and Ashley Street. One of the two adults injured and one of the children were airlifted to the hospital in Charlotte, the other three people were taken to Catawba Valley Medical Center for treatment.

The accident involved one vehicle, a white Ford Explorer. The Newton Fire Department, Catawba County Emergency Medical Services (EMS), Catawba County Emergency Management, Maiden Rescue and North Carolina State Highway Patrol all responded to the scene.

Lincoln County Sheriff’s Deputies and Investigators, along with Catawba County Sheriff’s Deputies, spent part of the day Wednesday processing suspects arrested as part of Operation 50-50, a roundup of alleged street-level drug dealers in Lincoln and surrounding counties. The operation got underway at 6 a.m. Wednesday (April 8) after Officers were briefed on the operation.

Between November 2014 and this month both offices have taken part in the investigation. In Lincoln County, there are more than 220 felony drug-related charges on 50 defendants. 20 of the 50 offenders are facing multiple trafficking charges and face mandatory prison time if found guilty. The offenders range in age from 18 to 71 years old and over half of the suspects are repeat offenders.

At least 50 of the suspects had been arrested between the two counties by the end of the day Wednesday. The suspects arrested were from at least five counties, Lincoln, Catawba, Mecklenburg, Gaston and Iredell. Any updates on this operation that we receive will be posted on WHKY.com later today, and Ralph Mangum will have an update on tonight’s edition of the crime report on WHKY TV News at 5:30 and 10:00.

A Hickory man will be spending 8-11 years in prison after pleading guilty as charged to habitual impaired driving and numerous misdemeanor charges during Catawba County Superior Court Tuesday (April 7).

52-year-old Gary Wayne Clendenin entered that guilty plea, which was enhanced by his habitual felon status, and was sentenced to serve his time in custody of the North Carolina Department of Adult Corrections by the Honorable Hugh B. Lewis, Superior Court Judge from Mecklenburg County.

Lewis also sentenced Clendenin for driving while license revoked, having no insurance and for having no registration on his motorcycle. Those sentences will run concurrently.

Clendenin was driving in Maiden on April 11, 2014, when he was observed weaving in his lane by Officer Matt Farra of Maiden Police Department. Farra engaged his blue lights to pull over Clendenin, but instead of pulling off on the side of the road, Clendenin came to a stop on the sidewalk.

Farra determined through field sobriety tests that Clendenin was impaired. A test later revealed his blood alcohol content to be .13, and he was charged with driving while impaired.

Clendenin also had prior DWI convictions in Davie County in 2005 and 2007 and Wilkes County in 2010. He also had felony convictions for obtaining property by false pretense, breaking and entering and larceny, all in Wilkes County.

Kyle Smith and Michelle Lippert handled the prosecution for the District Attorney’s Office.

60-year-old Randy Joe Bryson of Highway 70 East in Valdese was arrested Wednesday (April 8) by Burke County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged on a true bill of indictment with murder.

On Saturday February 21, 2015, at approximately 2:15 p.m., Officers with the Burke County Sheriff’s Office responded to 110 US Highway 70 East in Valdese. They were responding to a report of a person suffering from a gunshot wound. 24-year-old Dawayne Ray Fry II of Hickory was transported to Valdese Hospital and then flown to Carolina’s Medical Center in Charlotte, NC. Dawayne Ray Fry II was pronounced dead at Carolina’s Medical Center as a result of the gunshot wound.

Investigators with the Burke County Sheriff’s Office have since been in contact with the District Attorney’s Office regarding the case. On Monday (April 6), a Burke County Grand Jury issued a True Bill of Indictment for Randy Joe Bryson; the Indictment is for “unspecified murder”. Detectives arrested Bryson Wednesday at his residence without incident. Bryson is being held in the Burke-Catawba District Confinement Facility without bond. A Superior Court appearance is scheduled for May 18 in Morganton.

A 27-year-old Lenoir man was shot during an assault between 8:10 and 8:30 last night (April 7) at the Horseshoe apartment complex on the 400 block of 2nd Street Place S.W. in Hickory.

Hickory Police responded to a “shots fired” report at the complex where they found the victim, suffering from a gunshot wound to the hip. The assault reportedly occurred outside the apartment building.

The victim was transported to Frye Regional Medical Center for treatment of a non-life-threatening injury. He was later released.

Police have obtained information regarding a suspect. Their investigation is ongoing.

Wednesday, 08 April 2015 10:21

Hickory Man Faces Felony Drug Charges

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43-year-old Michael Dean Campbell of 10th Avenue Drive N.E. in Hickory was arrested early this morning (April 8) for felony possession of a schedule II controlled substance.

He was arrested after Hickory Police conducted a traffic stop for failure to signal. When Police activated their blue lights, an occupant of the vehicle threw two plastic bags from the passenger window. Michael Campbell was the passenger and a white male from Hickory was the driver.

Officers recovered the baggies, which contained 0.3 grams of amphetamine and 0.2 grams of crack cocaine. Campbell was taken into custody without incident at about 17 minutes past midnight. The driver was not charged.

Campbell was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $20,000 secured bond. A first appearance in District Court was set for today in Newton.