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News (901)

Thursday, 19 March 2015 05:19

Search Continues For Remains In Burke County

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No additional bones were found during a search in Burke County Wednesday, however tissue was found. The search resumed yesterday (Wednesday, March 18) at 10:30 a.m. after a skull and bones were found earlier in the week near Lake James. Wednesday's search was conducted by the Burke County Sheriff's Office with the assistance of Linville-Central Rescue Squad's K9 Team out of Avery County. Three cadaver dogs were used and eight missions were completed Wednesday. No additional bones were found but some tissue that appears to be skin was located in the pond where the finger was found Tuesday. The skin will be microscopically examined to determine if it is human.

The Burke County Sheriff's Office issued a news release with a recap of the search efforts. A skull was found on Monday (March 16) nine bones and one finger on Tuesday (March 17), and the tissue Wednesday.

Dr. Cheryl A. Johnson, a forensic anthropologist from Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, led a team of four who provided forensic expertise Wednesday. The Sheriff's Office is continuing the investigation into a missing person in Burke County. They hope to receive a preliminary forensic investigation to determine if the remains they have located match the person who is missing. The name of the missing person is being withheld until an identification is made.

Thursday, 19 March 2015 05:14

Rabies Case Confirmed In Hickory

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Catawba County recorded a case of rabies from a raccoon collected in NE Hickory on Monday (March 16). 

Hickory Animal Control officers were dispatched to a residence in the 1800 Block of 9th Ave NE, Hickory after receiving a call in reference to a sick raccoon on the property. Animal Control collected the raccoon as standard procedure, and, its remains were sent to the North Carolina Public Health Laboratory for rabies testing.

On March 18, The North Carolina Public Health Laboratory notified Catawba County that the raccoon tested positive for rabies. 

Hickory Police Department Animal Control reminds pet owners that rabies is still present in the local wild animal population and is a threat to pets and humans.   Some symptoms of rabies to look for in your domestic animals are: uncoordinated or unsteady walking, stumbling, paralysis, difficulty eating or inability to swallow, disorientation, difficulty breathing, slobbering, difficulty hearing, sensitivity to noise or visual stimulation, fear of water, or behavioral changes. If you notice any of these symptoms in your pet, please have them checked out by your local veterinarian.

The best way to protect domestic pets from rabies is to have them properly vaccinated for rabies. The Hickory Police Department sponsors reduced-cost rabies vaccination clinics at various times throughout the year. This is an opportunity to keep domestic pets up-to-date on their rabies vaccinations. The Catawba County animal shelter also offers year round vaccinations at a reduced cost. The Catawba County Humane Society is having a rabies clinic at the Catawba County Fairgrounds on Saturday Apr 25 from 12-3 pm with a cost of $7.00.

The next public input meeting for the Newton Streetscape Plan and North Newton Master Plan is at 7 p.m. Monday (March 23) at the Old Post Office Playhouse, 10 South Main Ave. Attendees will get a look at possible alternative layouts for streets near the 1924 Courthouse Square and explore sidewalk materials, lighting, outdoor furniture, colors, possible special features, open spaces and much more.


The plans currently being formed will introduce specific strategies for redevelopment of Newton’s city center and the area that surrounds the Historic Newton Depot in North Newton. Developers prefer to invest in a city where a range of urban design projects has already been vetted. Input from Newton residents is essential to crafting a plan the entire Newton community will embrace. 


If you’re unable to attend the meeting, you may provide input at re-newton.mindmixer.com, the website dedicated to the project. There, you can view documents, access interactive maps, and provide your opinions and ideas for planners to consider. Setting up your account only takes a minute or two, and then you’re ready to become a part of the design process. 


Allison Platt, of landscape design and urban architectural firm Allison Platt & Associates, will lead the meeting. Platt has worked on projects around the world, including a tourism development plan for Liverpool, England, and a center city study for Belfast, Northern Ireland. Most ofPlatt’s work focuses on small- to medium-sized cities. She has worked with cities in North Carolina including Belhaven, Goldsboro, New Bern and Shallotte.

The Newton Streetscape Plan and North Newton Master Plan are expected to be unveiled this summer.

10-year-old James ‘Jimmy’ DePorre III of Conover has been named a finalist in the American Protégé International Concerto Competition 2015. The event was held in New York City and included participants from Russia, China, Italy, Azerbaijan, Mongolia and Israel, among others. DePorre will perform in the winners’ recital at the Weil Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall in November of this year.

DePorre has been studying piano for less than three years. He studies with Chad Leatherman of Newton and has also worked with piano professors at Presbyterian College and Furman University in South Carolina.  

He has performed in various competitions and festivals and earned a superior rating in his first festival performance in 2013 after studying piano for less than a year. In May of 2014, he won first prize in the Asheville Piano Competition.

DePorre is a home-schooled fourth grade student. When not practicing the piano, he enjoys swimming, football, basketball and baseball. He is the son of Mr. and Mrs. James DePorre, Jr.

29-year-old Albert Lee Donelson and 26-year-old Natasha Kay Fox, both of Pennsylvania, were arrested Tuesday (March 17) by Iredell County Sheriff’s Officers. They’re each charged with manufacturing of methamphetamine, level two trafficking of methamphetamine by possession, and level two trafficking of methamphetamine by transport.

The Iredell County Sheriff’s Office received a call from a business on Turnersburg Highway in Statesville at 12:46 pm on Tuesday (March 17). The call was in reference to suspicious activity and the purchase of chemicals which could be used in the production of methamphetamine. Patrol Deputy Brad Stroud arrived to the call and was able to locate the suspects. After talking with the suspects and asking for permission to search their vehicle, Deputy Stroud located items, he believed based on his training, were used to manufacture methamphetamine.

Detectives with the Narcotics Investigations Unit responded to the scene. A search of the vehicle was conducted and suspects interviewed. There were strong indications there was methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia in the car. Based on this evidence, the Ebenezer Volunteer Fire Department and Iredell County EMS were called to stand by while the car and the suspects were decontaminated.

Iredell County Narcotics Detectives who are specially trained and certified to handle clandestine labs along with North Carolina SBI Agents processed the vehicle. The investigation and clean up of the vehicle recovered 190 milliliters of methamphetamine and liquid precursor. The estimated street value of 190 milliliters of methamphetamine is 47,500.00 dollars.

Both suspects were placed in the Iredell County Detention Center, after being decontaminated, under $ 325,000 dollars secured bond each. Authorities in Bedford Pennsylvania, contacted the Iredell County Narcotics Investigations Unit today (Wednesday, March 18) and advised Natasha Kay Fox is wanted in Pennsylvania for Manufacturing Methamphetamine and indicated Albert Lee Donelson may be with her and he is wanted also for the same charge. Bedford is sending extradition paperwork to the Iredell County Detention Center for further processing.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015 10:42

Hickory Man Faces Felony Assault Charge; More

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37-year-old David Jason Boughman of 5th Street S.W. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at about 7:15 Tuesday morning (March 17) on one felony count of assault on a government official and misdemeanor counts of assault on a female, communicating threats and common law false imprisonment. He was also served a grand jury indictment for malicious conduct by a prisoner. In addition, the Catawba Co. Sheriff’s Office charged Boughman with non-support of a child.

He was charged in connection to an incident on November 12, 2014 when Police responded to a reported domestic dispute at Boughman’s residence. Boughman allegedly displayed a knife during the incident, and he jumped through a window, requiring medical attention. He was taken to Frye Regional Medical Center where he allegedly kicked an Officer.

Boughman has been confined in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $25,000 secured bond. He will appear in Superior Court on March 20 in Newton.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015 06:30

HIC Grant Recipients Announced

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The Hickory International Council (HIC) announced its two $500 grant recipients. The HIC offers grants to community organizations that provide programs supportive of the goals, purposes, and projects of the HIC. Grant proposals should indicate how the project or program aids in the development of a more global or internationally supportive and tolerant community. The mission of the Hickory International Council is to act, among other things, to promote goodwill, mutual understanding, cooperation, and respect among citizens, internationally. The brochure of the HIC states on its front page: “Sharing the world with our community through events and learning experiences for all ages.”

“The grant programs impacts the community as a whole, and not only a specific entity or culture,” said Hani Nassar, HIC Chair. “The result is a better community understanding and appreciation of the world around us, as well as a desire to learn more about the small world we live in.”

The first $500 grant was given to Revae Bostwick for the project, “Through the Eyes of the World.” This project would include taking groups of Newton-Conover students from the elementary, middle, and high school level to the Hickory Museum of Art in September where photographic artwork depicting persons from various cultures will be on display.

All fourth and fifth grade students in the Newton-Conover elementary schools, middle school, and high school students, taking art classes, will be able to visit the exhibit in September and participate in the contest. This project is designed to allow students to observe, interpret, and create art, while gaining cultural awareness.

The second $500 HIC grant recipient is Brian Smith. His project will result in a published book called Does it Rain in Guatemala? It will be a book for children and will cover the beginning of the charity, Ella’s Umbrellas. Ella Caroline Smith was adopted from Guatemala and came to live in the Catawba Valley when she was five and a half months old. She has always known she’s adopted and when she was seven, she asked the question, “Does it rain in Guatemala?” From there, she found a way to collect and send umbrellas to be passed out on the streets of Guatemala to families who need them. She has collected and sent almost 500 umbrellas to Guatemala in just over two years.

For more information or questions on the HIC grants, contact Hani Nassar, HIC Chair, at hmnassar@gmail.com, or (828) 326-0256.

29-year-old Aaron James Hathcock and 33-year-old Paul William Kennell were both arrested Tuesday (March 17) by authorities in Burke County. They’re each charged with felony breaking and entering to a motor vehicle. Following their arrests, both suspects were placed in jail in Morganton under $10,000 secured bond apiece. They’re both scheduled to appear in District Court on April 7.

39-year-old Shanna Lynn Bullin of Starnes Street in Connelly Springs was arrested Tuesday (March 17) by Long View Police Officers. She’s charged with possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia. Following the arrest, Bullin was detained in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $10,000 bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Wednesday, March 18).

Wednesday, 18 March 2015 05:43

Fire Causes Extensive Damage To Home In Newton

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A fire that caused extensive damage to a home in Newton is currently under investigation by the Catawba County Fire Marshal’s Office. The Tuesday afternoon (March 17) fire burned a home at 1870 Aprils Way. A published report says more than 60 percent of the home’s roof was destroyed in the fire.

The Newton Fire Department received multiple calls about the fire at approximately 1 p.m. Tuesday. Reports say one resident was home at the time, but that person was able to escape unharmed. No firefighters sustained injuries while fighting the blaze.

According to the published report, the resident ran out of the left side of the home to a neighbor’s home. The left side of the house was consumed in flames by the time the woman arrived at the neighbor’s residence.

The cause of the fire is unknown. The Fire Marshal’s Office is currently investigating in an attempt to determine a cause. It is known that Tuesday’s windy conditions contributed to the severity of Tuesday’s fire.