24-year-old Zysean James White of East Sharpe Street in Statesville has been arrested by Iredell Co. Sheriff’s Officers for failure by a sex offender to register an address change.

He was arrested after the Sheriff’s Special Victim’s Unit received information from the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office regarding a sex offender living in Statesville. Zysean James White was registered as homeless in Mecklenburg County. The investigation was assigned to Sex Offender Compliance Deputy John Adams.

Deputy Adams interviewed witnesses in the area and monitored the East Sharpe Street address. Based on information provided by witnesses and after spotting White at the residence, a warrant for failure to register was issued.

White was arrested on Monday (February 12) and placed in the Iredell County Detention Center under a $15,000 secured bond. He was scheduled to make an appearance in District Court today.

White was placed on the sex offender registry after he was charged and convicted of indecent liberties with a minor in 2014.

31-year-old Joseph Alan McCracken of Stone Path Lane in Connelly Springs was arrested by Hickory Police at about 11:20 last night (February 12) for a felony probation violation. McCracken is on probation as he serves a 48-month suspended sentence following an August 2017 conviction in Burke County for felony larceny.

He was taken into custody without incident at a hotel on Highway 70 S.W. in Hickory. McCracken was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $25,000, secured. He has since been released. An appearance in District Court was scheduled for March 26 in Morganton.

25-year-old Mallory Leigh Combs of 20th Avenue Drive N.E. in Hickory was served a true bill of indictment by Hickory Police at about 8:15 last night (February 12). She faces felony charges for common law robbery and breaking & entering, plus one misdemeanor count of larceny.

The charges come in connection to an incident that occurred on January 29, 2017 when Hickory Police responded to an assault call at an address on 21st Avenue Place N.E. Warrants were obtained on that date for Combs and Miguel Christopher Sanchez, who was arrested the following day.

Combs was taken into custody without incident last night at her residence. She was processed at the Hickory Police Department and released under a $5,500 secured bond. An appearance in District Court was scheduled today in Newton.

46-year-old Jhay Leonard Roland of Merced, California, 25-year-old Donovan Tyrell Lortz of 4th Street S.W. in Hickory and 22-year-old Craig Anthony Ruff of Cranford Drive in Conover were all arrested by Hickory Police at about 4:20 Friday afternoon (February 9).

All three men were charged with felony possession of a firearm by a felon and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia. Roland and Lortz face felony counts of possession of cocaine and maintaining a vehicle, dwelling or place for a controlled substance. Roland was also charged with possession with intent to sell or deliver marijuana. Lortz faces additional charges for possession of a stolen firearm and possession with intent to manufacture a schedule VI controlled substance. Ruff was charged with misdemeanor possession of marijuana up to half an ounce.

According to H.P.D.’s arrest reports, all three suspects were armed with a handgun at the time of their arrests. They were taken into custody without incident at a residence on 4th Street S.E. in Hickory. The three were jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond for Roland set at $200,000, secured. Lortz was given a $150,000 secured bond, and Ruff’s bond was set at $75,000, secured. They were scheduled to make first appearances in District Court today (February 12) in Newton.

56-year-old Gregory Monroe Austin passed away Saturday, (February 10) at Forsyth Medical Center.

He was an employee of R&L Motors and a longtime fixture at the Hickory Motor Speedway (H.M.S.). Mr. Austin was a winner at the speedway as recently as last year. He competed in the Renegade series and new Smash & Crash events at H.M.S. He was the father of Justin Austin, who has also posted multiple wins at that speedway.

Mr. Austin is survived by his wife (Marche Starnes Austin), his mother, four sons, a daughter, a brother and 11 grandchildren.

The family will receive friends at Mackie Funeral Home in Granite Falls Thursday night (February 15) from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m.

24-year-old Hasan Raliek Hopper of Samanthas Wells in Newton was arrested by Hickory Police early Sunday morning (February 11) on charges of possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver cocaine; possession of drug paraphernalia and a felony probation violation. Hopper was also two counts of failure to appear on charges of felony possession of cocaine and a felony probation violation.

He was arrested after Hickory Police responded to Shooters Lounge on 127 South in Mountain View. Officers had received information that a subject with an outstanding warrant was at the business. The suspect, Hasan Hopper was located and taken into custody at 12:34 a.m. Sunday. During the arrest, Police found 3.5 grams of cocaine and drug paraphernalia on Hopper’s person.

The suspect was jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $80,000, secured. Appearances in District & Superior Court were scheduled today, with another Superior Court date coming up on March 22, all in Newton.

Monday, 12 February 2018 10:37

Scott Reilly to File as Candidate for D.A.

Catawba County resident Scott Reilly announced his intentions to file today (February 12) as a Republican candidate for District Attorney in the 25th Prosecutorial District. The district currently includes all of Catawba, Burke and Caldwell counties. A reception was planned this evening at the Blue Moon Tavern in downtown Newton.

Mr. Reilly is an attorney, small business owner and former prosecutor. He started his legal career in 1989 as an assistant district attorney focused on prosecuting sex offenders. In 1994, Mr. Reilly opened a private law practice in Newton, concentrating on criminal cases. He has personally tried more than 250 jury trials.

Mr. Reilly earned his undergraduate degree from Lenoir-Rhyne University and completed his law degree at Cooley Law School in Lansing, Michigan. He lives in Conover with his wife, Beth, and their children.

For more information, visit ElectScottReilly.com or follow the campaign on Facebook.

Michelle Morgan has announced her candidacy for the Catawba County Board of Commissioners.

Ms. Morgan is a longtime resident of Catawba County and a Development Specialist for Women’s Resource Center. She volunteers her time as a court-appointed child advocate with the Catawba Valley Guardian Ad Litem Association and has served on several area boards, including the Western Piedmont Symphony, Hickory Community Theatre and the Guardian Ad Litem Association.

Ms. Morgan and her husband, Bill Morgan, live in Hickory. She has one daughter, Sydney, who was raised in Catawba County and now lives in New York City.

The City of Lenoir has hired Jared Wright to serve as its next Public Works Director. Mr. Wright has 17 years of experience in the construction industry. He has managed public and private projects, and he previously worked as the Stormwater Administrator for the city.

Mr. Wright will assume his new position on February 19. He will spend two weeks working alongside current Public Works Director Charles Beck. Mr. Beck will retire on March 1.

As Public Works Director, Mr. Wright will manage more than 40 employees and six divisions. Those divisions handle trash collection, leaf & brush pickup, city street maintenance, storm drains, engineering for projects, maintenance of all city vehicles and maintenance at city facilities, cemeteries and downtown grounds.

Mr. Wright is a Caldwell County native. He grew up in Collettsville, graduated from West Caldwell High School and earned an Associates of Arts from CCC&TI. He is currently completing a B.A. from North Carolina State University.

Mr. Wright first came to work for the city in 2011. In 2015, he took a position as Construction Administrator with McGill Associates, P.A.

Mr. Wright and his wife, Courtney, have been married 13 years and have a 10-year-old daughter. Courtney is the current principal at Sawmills Elementary School. They are members of First Baptist Church in Lenoir.

Friday, 09 February 2018 10:00

Hickory Man Arrested on Felony Drug Charges

26-year-old Angel Gutierrez of 9th Street S.W. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at about 9:40 a.m. yesterday on felony counts of possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver marijuana and possession of a schedule II controlled substance.

Gutierrez was taken into custody without incident at his residence. He was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $10,000, secured. He has since been released. A first appearance in District Court was scheduled today in Newton.

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