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The Oasis Shriners Parade will be held in downtown Hickory this Saturday afternoon (November 1) at 2 p.m. The parade will begin at the corner of Main Avenue N.W. & 5th Street N.W. and will travel through Union Square, back to 1st Avenue N.W. and end at the corner of 1st Avenue N.W. & 5th Street N.W.

The Oasis Shriners Parade will feature clowns, bands, unique small cars and trucks and much more.

The Shriners help thousands of children who have severe physical problems and conditions. For more information, visit www.oasisshriners.org.

On The Level Home Services celebrated their opening with a ribbon cutting on October 23. Officials from the Catawba County Chamber of Commerce and the City of Conover were in attendance.

Owned by Daniel and Maggie Ervin, On The Level Home Services is located at 902-B Conover Boulevard in Conover. With over 26 years of experience, the company offers specialized repairs including toxic mold removal, structural repairs and foundation waterproofing.

For more information, call 828-750-5712.

Thursday, 30 October 2014 11:17

Lenoir Man Arrested on Felony Meth Charges

27-year-old Gareth Todd Nichols of N.W. Hazel Street in Lenoir was arrested by Caldwell Co. Sheriff’s Officers yesterday (October 29) on charges of felony manufacturing methamphetamine, felony possession or distribution of meth precursors and misdemeanor maintaining a vehicle, dwelling or place for a controlled substance. Nichols was placed in the Caldwell Co. Detention Center with bond set at $100,000, secured. He was scheduled to appear in District Court today in Lenoir.

The Catawba County Board of Commissioners meet at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, November 3, in the 1924 Courthouse at 30 North College Avenue in Newton.

The Board will hold a public hearing on a proposed application for a Fiscal Year 2015 Section 5310 Elderly Individuals and individuals with Disabilities Program grant. The grant would be used to provide funding for transportation services that meet the special needs of elderly persons and persons with disabilities for whom mass transportation services are unavailable, insufficient or inappropriate.

The Board will also consider setting its meeting schedule for 2015 and the Commissioners will recognize 19 county employees who took part in the county’s Mini Course during lunch hours over ten months to learn about all of the county’s departments.

The Board will also issue a proclamation declaring November 15-23 as National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week to recognize the serious issues facing many individuals and families in Catawba County.

Thursday, 30 October 2014 10:52

Credit Card Fraud Leads to Felony Drug Arrests

24-year-old Thomas Allen Owens of Collettsville Road in Lenoir was arrested by Hickory Police yesterday (October 29) on one felony count of obtaining property by false pretenses and one misdemeanor count of credit card fraud.  At the same time, he was charged with multiple drug offenses, as was 24-year-old Angela Marie Grater of West Union Street in Morganton.  Owens was charged with felony trafficking in opium or heroin and misdemeanor possession of a schedule IV controlled substance.  Grater faces charges for felony possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver heroin.  Both were charged with misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.

Owens allegedly used a company credit card that belonged to his former employer, Pipe Works Plumbing & Drain in Hudson.  He is accused of using the card on October 27 to rent a vehicle at Hertz Rent a Car on Highway 70 S.E.  He was fired by the plumbing company about a week before the incident.

Owens and Grater were both arrested at about 8:30 last night when Owens went back to the rental agency to return the vehicle.  No details are available regarding the drug charges.

The two were taken into custody without incident and placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond for Owens set at $26,500, secured, while Grater was given a $3,000 secured bond.  First appearances in District Court were scheduled for tomorrow in Newton.

Thursday, 30 October 2014 06:56

September Unemployment Rates Down Across N.C.

Unemployment rates (not seasonally adjusted) decreased in 98 of North Carolina’s counties in September, increased in one, and remained unchanged in one. All of the state’s metropolitan statistical regions experienced rate decreases. The September not seasonally adjusted statewide rate was 6.1%.

When compared to the same month last year, not seasonally adjusted unemployment rates decreased in 98 counties, increased in one and remained the same in one. All 14 metro areas experienced rate decreases over the year.

The number of workers employed statewide (not seasonally adjusted) increased in September by 45,670 to 4,373,599, while those unemployed decreased by 41,683 to 282,633. Since September 2013, the number of workers employed statewide increased by 22,939, while those unemployed decreased by 58,540.

In Catawba County, the September numbers came in at 6.4%, a decrease of 1.0%. Alexander County finished at 5.6%, down nine-tenths. Burke was at 6.9%, dropping 1.0% and Caldwell wrapped up September at 6.8%, a decrease of nine-tenths.

The Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton metro region finished in a tie with the tenth-highest numbers in the state at 6.5%, even with Goldsboro and Jacksonville. Only Fayetteville and Rocky Mount were higher.

The next unemployment update is scheduled for Friday, November 21, when the state unemployment rate for October will be released.

Basic computer classes for people with little or no experience in using computers will be offered at the Ridgeview Library on Tuesday November 11 and Thursday November 13 at 10:30 a.m.

The library is located at 706 1st Street S.W. in Hickory. For more information, call 828-345-6037.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014 14:57

Hildebran Man Faces Felony Drug Charge

24-year-old Joseph Nicolas Rivero of Wilson Road in Hildebran was arrested by Hickory Police early this morning (October 29) on one felony count of possession of a schedule II controlled substance and one misdemeanor count of possession of a schedule VI controlled substance.

He was arrested just after midnight when Police stopped a Pontiac Grand Prix in the parking lot at the Crowne Plaza on Lenoir-Rhyne Boulevard S.E. for a burned out taillight. A consent search turned up a baggie containing 0.6 grams of marijuana under the passenger seat and 0.1 grams of crack cocaine in Rivero’s wallet. The driver was given a warning for the burned out light.

Rivero was taken into custody without incident and processed at H.P.D. He was released under a $3,000 unsecured bond with a first appearance in District Court scheduled for today in Newton.

33-year-old Christopher Thomas Smith, whose last known address was the Milstead Mobile Home Park in Taylorsville, is wanted by the Alexander Co. Sheriff’s Office. He is wanted for failure by a registered sex offender to notify authorities of a change of address.

Smith is a black male with a medium complexion, 6’0” tall, weighing 220 pounds. He has black hair and brown eyes.

Smith is on the sex offender registry following a 1998 conviction in Alexander County for indecent liberties with a minor.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Christopher Thomas Smith should call Crime Stoppers at 828-632-8555 or call the Sheriff’s Office at 828-632-1111.

44-year-old Jeffrey Phillip Maier of Pinkney Place in Stanley has been arrested by Lincoln Co. Sheriff’s Officers on a charge of felony obtaining property by false pretense.

On September 16, the victim told Detective Lt. Tim Johnson that he had been in negotiations with Maier to purchase a $67,000 2014 Porsche Cayenne. The victim had been introduced to the suspect by a business acquaintance to buy the automobile through a third party purchaser.

On March 15, the victim met with Maier and the business acquaintance and wired $67,156 to Maier’s company, Hail Strike Restoration. The victim agreed to pay Maier and the acquaintance $5,000. Maier was to take title of the vehicle and transfer it to the victim’s company at a later date. After transferring the money, the victim told Detective Johnson he never heard back from the suspect.

A warrant for Maier’s arrest was issued on October 14 and he was taken into custody yesterday (October 28). Maier was jailed in the Lincoln County Detention Center under a $100,000 secured bond. He was scheduled to make a first appearance in District Court today.

Maier is also under investigation by the Attorney General’s Office in South Dakota, the Greensboro Police Department and the FBI for alleged fraudulent activity.