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The Governor’s Office announced Friday (August 12) a $145,000 grant to help fund a key pedestrian bridge on the Middle Fork Greenway. The grant was funded by the North Carolina Department of Transportation Contingency Fund.

The 90-foot bridge will span the Middle Fork of the South Fork of the New River. It is part of the 6.5-mile Middle Fork Greenway connecting Boone to Blowing Rock. The bridge will also help provide access to the Blue Ridge Parkway and North Carolina’s cross-state Mountains to Sea Trail.

The new bridge will be made of laminate wood with a stone fascia. It will meet standards set by the National Park Service and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Construction will begin once other funding is finalized for a 1.3-mile stretch of the greenway that includes the bridge.

23-year-old Donovon Tyrell Lortz of 5th Avenue S.W. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at 7:30 Sunday morning (August 14) on a long list of charges. The charges include speeding, driving while license revoked (two counts), driving while impaired, the sale of a schedule II controlled substance (two counts), possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver a schedule II controlled substance (two counts), the manufacture, sale, delivery or possession of a controlled substance within 1000 feet of a school (two counts) and the manufacture, sale, delivery or possession of a controlled substance within 1000 feet of a playground.

Lortz was initially arrested for D.W.I. and driving while license revoked. During the process, Officers found warrants issued in March of this year by the Catawba Co. Sheriff’s Office.

He was jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $52,500 secured bond. A first appearance was scheduled today with additional court dates on September 21 and October 12.

42-year-old Roncella Monique Huss of Sanders Place in Granite Falls was arrested Saturday (August 13) by Granite Falls Police on a felony warrant as a fugitive awaiting extradition to the State of Tennessee. Huss was placed in the Caldwell Co. Detention Facility under a $75,000 secured bond. She was scheduled to make a first appearance in District Court today (August 15) in Lenoir.

27-year-old Ronald Matthew Vinson of Timberwood Drive in Lenoir was arrested by Caldwell Co. Sheriff’s Officers Friday (August 12) on one felony count each of attempted larceny, possession of a stolen motor vehicle and larceny of a motor vehicle. He was taken to the Caldwell Co. Detention Facility under a $40,000 secured bond. A first appearance in District Court was set for today (August 15) in Lenoir.

Monday, 15 August 2016 07:54

Newton Teen Faces B&E and Larceny Charges

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18-year-old Tanu Lefoi Wilson of Wembley Drive in Newton has been arrested by Catawba Co. Sheriff’s Officers on charges of breaking & entering and larceny after breaking & entering. He was jailed yesterday (August 14) in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $5,000, secured. Wilson was scheduled to make a first appearance in District Court today in Newton.

30-year-old Jacque Demar Morrison of Horseshoe Lake Road, 62-year-old Robert Michael Burton of Car Farm Road and 39-year-old Tyron Tremaine Jackson of Babs Court, all from Lincolnton, were arrested Thursday (August 11) by Lincoln Co. Sheriff’s Officers for the sale of crack cocaine. Morrison and Jackson each face felony charges for the sale & delivery of a schedule II controlled substance and possession with intent to sell & deliver a schedule II controlled substance, four counts for Morrison and three counts for Jackson. Burton and Jackson were each charged with felony counts of conspiracy to sell or deliver a schedule II controlled substance, two counts for Burton and one count for Jackson. Burton was also charged with felony possession of cocaine and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.

Lincoln County Narcotics Detectives say the arrests were the result of citizens’ complaints concerning drug activity in the Buffalo Shoals / Car Farm Road area. Several investigations were launched, spanning a three-to-four month period. Surveillance and undercover techniques were used to purchase various amounts of crack cocaine from the individuals arrested. Detectives say the purchases occurred during daytime and nighttime hours at various locations in the area.

Following their arrests, all three suspects were jailed with bond for each set at $15,000, secured. The three men were scheduled to make first appearances in Lincoln County District Court on Friday (August 12).

29-year-old Rodolfo Joel Ulloa-Paz and 22-year-old Alan Israel Chavez-Cruz have been identified as the suspects in last Wednesday’s (August 10) chase that began in Charlotte and ended when the truck they were driving crashed in Catawba County. Ulloa-Paz was shot by Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police at that time.

Ulloa-Paz remains in Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte where he is critical condition. He will likely face several felony charges. Chavez-Cruz was charged with two counts of attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon, one count of discharging a weapon into an occupied vehicle, two counts of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill, one count of robbery with a dangerous weapon, one count of conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon and one count of eluding arrest.

Chavez-Cruz was has been jailed under a $460,000 secured bond. A third suspect, 19-year-old Erik Lopez, was also charged in connection to the case. He faces one felony count of possession of a weapon of mass destruction. He was given a $20,000 secured bond. Chavez-Cruz and Lopez are due in court today (August 15).

No Officers were injured during the incident. Two people were shot in Charlotte during a carjacking as the incident began.

Monday, 15 August 2016 06:52

Water Tests in Morganton are Sales Solicitation

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Some Morganton and Burke County residents on the City of Morganton’s water system may have found a stake in their yard this morning with information about water testing. City staff wants to make sure residents know the test is not from the city. The test is from a local company that sells water filtration systems.

According to a press release issued by the city, the city’s water is safe. The water exceeds all state and federal regulations and recently received North Carolina’s Area-Wide Optimization Award for a seventh straight year. According to Water Treatment Plant Superintendent Jason Green, the “tests” are really the start of a sales solicitation.

The city already offers free water tests year-round, and those tests don’t come with a sales pitch.

Residents can read the city’s latest water quality report online here or call the Water Resources Department at 828-438-5276.

Friday, 12 August 2016 15:02

Hickory Man Faces Felony Cocaine Charge; More

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36-year-old Eric Jay Ramirez of Homestead Drive in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at three o’clock yesterday afternoon (August 11) on one felony count each for the sale of cocaine and possession with intent to manufacture a counterfeit schedule II controlled substance.

He was taken into custody at H.P.D. headquarters and given a $3,000 unsecured bond. A first appearance in District Court was set for today in Newton.

Friday, 12 August 2016 14:07

Hickory Teen Indicted on Felony B&E Charge

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18-year-old Damieon Michael Horton of Highway 321 in Newton was arrested by Hickory Police at about 11:40 a.m. yesterday (August 11) on a bill of indictment for felony breaking & entering and a misdemeanor larceny charge. The warrants for his arrest were issued in June of this year. The complainant listed on the H.P.D. arrest report is the Catawba Co. Clerk of Court.

Horton was jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under an $11,000 secured bond. A Superior Court appearance on the B&E charge was set for today, with another court date on the larceny charge coming up on August 24.

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