News (1125)

Two people were killed in a single-vehicle accident last night (Monday, June 20) after the driver crashed his vehicle into a tree on Hartland Road in Gamewell.

25-year old Zack Vest died instantly as a result of the crash. His son, five-year old Zane Vest, was also in the vehicle. He passed away today after being airlifted to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte last night.

Zack Vest was driving a white Toyota pick-up truck. Vest was a graduate of West Caldwell High School, class of 2009.

No further details are currently available.

30-year-old Joshua Leroy Felder of Staircase Road in Lenoir was arrested Monday (June 20) by Lenoir Police Officers. He's charged with felony counts of possession of a firearm by a felon and possession with intent to manufacture, sell, and deliver cocaine. Following the arrest, Felder was incarcerated in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $9,000 secured bond. A District Court appearance was scheduled for today (Tuesday, June 21).

Tuesday, 21 June 2016 06:07

Heroin Charges Filed Against Maiden Man

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22-year-old Christopher Jay Lynch of North Main Avenue in Maiden was arrested by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with two counts apiece of selling heroin and possession with intent to manufacture, sell, and deliver heroin. Lynch was placed in the Catawba County Detention Facility this morning (Tuesday, June 21) under $25,000 bond. A Superior Court appearance is scheduled for next Monday (June 27).

21-year-old Mary Elizabeth Ervin of Wrighton Street in Morganton was arrested Monday (June 20) by Caldwell County Sheriff's Officers. She's charged with one felony count of identity fraud and three felony counts of obtaining property by false pretense. Following the arrest, Ervin was confined in the Caldwell County Detention Center under $40,000 secured bond. A Superior Court appearance is scheduled for July 25.

31-year-old Joshua Garris Hamby of Gristmill Lane in Granite Falls was arrested Monday (June 20) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with possession with intent to sell and deliver methamphetamine and maintaining a vehicle, dwelling, or place to keep controlled substance. Hamby was detained in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $20,000 bond. No court date was listed.

69-year-old Charles Patrick Hagan, who is listed as a homeless man from Durham, was arrested Monday (June 20) by Catawba County Sheriff's Officers. He's charged with being an habitual felon and failure to report a new address as a sex offender. Hagan was incarcerated in the Catawba County Detention Facility under $60,000 bond. A Superior Court appearance is scheduled for next Monday (June 27).

A company that charged retirees up to 137.5 percent interest on cash advances against their pensions will pay refunds to North Carolina consumers and sharply reduce interest rates.

According to a news release issued by the North Carolina Department of Justice, under a settlement won by the Attorney General's office, Future Income Payments, LLC (FIP) must pay refunds to consumers and penalties to the state and cut the interest rates it charges from as high as 137.5 percent to the legal limit of 16 percent or less. Under North Carolina law, rates on cash loans are capped at 30 percent for licensed lenders and at 16 percent for unlicensed lenders like FIP. The settlement resolves allegations that FIP charged North Carolina consumers illegally high interest rates on cash advances made in exchange for portions of their pensions.

According to an investigation conducted by the Attorney General’s Office, FIP has formerly operated as Pensions, Annuities and Settlements (PAS) and is based in California. FIP repeatedly issued high-interest cash advances to consumers in North Carolina despite not having a valid lending license. The company reportedly targeted retired military veterans, government workers, and corporate employees who were more likely to have pensions.

At least 195 North Carolina consumers took out pension advances from FIP. Consumer affidavits alleged financial hardship caused by the pension advances and their excessive interest rates:

Under the terms of the settlement agreement, FIP and its owners must:

Lower interest rates on all past pension cash advances to 16 percent or less. Charge interest rates of 16 percent or less on any future cash advances, in accordance with North Carolina’s usury statute. Pay refunds to all North Carolina consumers overcharged by FIP. Pay $59,900 in civil penalties to North Carolina public schools and $50,000 to cover the costs of the state’s investigation.

FIP will mail letters to consumers who took out advances from the company to make them aware of the interest rate modifications required under the agreement. The North Carolina Attorney General’s Office will continue to monitor FIP’s compliance with the terms of the settlement.

To file a consumer complaint about a pension advance company or to learn more about the FIP settlement, call 1-877-5-NO-SCAM toll-free within North Carolina or use the complaint form at ncdoj.gov. Tips on pension advance schemes are also available at ncdoj.gov.

Construction Wednesday night (June 22) at the intersection of Lenoir Road and Kirksey Drive will slow traffic. Drivers are encouraged to take an alternate route if possible.

Starting at about 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, a contractor will be working to remove an old, unneeded water line valve in the middle of the intersection. Traffic lights will be switched to flashing red in all directions. All drivers will have to stop at the intersection and wait for flaggers to direct them through.

Drivers who cannot avoid the intersection are asked to please pay attention and watch out for flaggers and workers. The intersection should be operating normally by 7:00 a.m. Thursday (June 23) barring any unforeseen problems.

A section of Alphabet Lane near the Morganton Aquatics Center is currently closed for paving. Visitors can still access the Aquatics Center or the Mountain View Recreation Center via Bouchelle Street and First Avenue.

Contractors are paving a section of Alphabet Lane and the new parking lots at the recreation center. Alphabet Lane should be reopened Wednesday morning, barring any unforeseen problems.

33-year-old Tony Lee of 1st Avenue S.W. in Hickory and 24-year-old Kasey Marie West of Northbrook III School Road in Vale have both been arrested by Hickory Police on drug charges. Both were charged with felony possession of a schedule II controlled substance. Lee was also charged with misdemeanor possession of a schedule II controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.

They were arrested early Sunday (June 19) after Police responded to the Red Roof Inn on Lenoir-Rhyne Boulevard S.E. in Hickory. Officers approached a vehicle in the parking lot and detected the odor of marijuana. Kasey West was the driver and a man named Tou Lee was a passenger. A search was conducted, leading to the discovery of a small bag containing methamphetamine in West’s purse and a marijuana cigarette in Tao Lee’s cigarette box. Tao Lee was cited for simple possession of marijuana, but no further charges against him were filed.

Officers learned that Tony Lee had a room at the hotel. They searched the room and found 4.3 grams of crystal meth and 0.5 grams of marijuana. In another room linked to the arrestees, Police found 1.5 additional grams of meth, one Vicodin pain pill and drug paraphernalia.

Tony Lee and West were taken into custody without incident at about 2:25 a.m. Sunday. The two were taken to the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond for Lee set at $5,000, secured, while West was given a $3,000 secured bond. Both have since been released. First appearances in District Court were scheduled for tomorrow (June 21) in Newton.