30-year-old Manuel Villarreal, Jr. was arrested last night (August 20) on charges of murder and possession of a stolen firearm.  He was also charged with failure to appear in connection to charges of assault on a female, assault by pointing a gun and communicating threats.

Villareal is accused of killing 37-year-old Roberto Beltran of Hickory in an incident that occurred early Saturday morning (August 19).  At about 12:37 a.m. Saturday, Hickory Police were called to a reported shooting at 1752 16th Street N.E.  Upon arrival, Officers found Mr. Beltran suffering from apparent gunshot wounds.  The victim died at the scene as a result of his injuries.  Police say the incident does not appear to be a random act of violence.

The Morganton Department of Public Safety, the Burke County Sheriff’s Office and the North Carolina State Highway Patrol all assisted Hickory Police in their search for the suspect.  Villarreal was taken into custody in Morganton.

Villarreal was jailed early this morning in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility.  He is being held without bond on the murder charge.  Bond on the other charges was set at $15,000, secured.  He’ll appear in District Court today on the murder and firearms charges with another court date coming up on September 15.

Friday, 18 August 2017 13:57

Caldwell County Names New Health Director

Joshua Swift of New Hanover, North Carolina will become Public Health Director of the Caldwell County Health Department, starting September 5.

Mr. Swift comes to Caldwell County with over nine years of experience in Public Health leadership.  He previously served as Deputy Public Health Director in New Hanover, a position he held since 2011.  Prior to that, Mr. Swift served as Stokes County’s Health Director from 2008-2011.

Currently, he is the president of North Carolina Public Health Association (NCPHA) and he participated in National Association of County & City Health Officials “Survive & Thrive” program for new health directors.

Mr. Swift earned a Bachelor of Science in Health Promotion from Appalachian State University and a Master in Public Health from the University of South Carolina.

For more information, contact Anna Martin, Caldwell County Health Department Public Information Officer, at 828-426-8506.

Lincoln County Sheriff’s Detectives are asking for the public’s help in locating a missing person.  He is 38-year-old Robert Vincent Redmond, who has no known home address but formerly lived in Charlotte.

Mr. Redmond last contacted family members in late April of this year, about two weeks after he was released from the Harven A. Crouse Detention Center in Lincolnton.  Redmond is also wanted for two misdemeanor probation violations.

Mr. Redmond is described as a white male, six feet tall, weighing 160 pounds.  He has brown hair and blue eyes.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Robert Vincent Redmond should contact the Sheriff’s Office at 704-732-9050 or Lincoln County Communications at 704-735-8202.

58-year-old Frances Calhoun Yancey and 37-year-old James Thomas Harless are both wanted as absconders by High Country Crime Stoppers and Watauga County Probation & Parole.

Yancey is on parole following a September 2015 conviction in Watauga County for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of schedule II and schedule III controlled substances.  Harless is on probation after he was convicted on larceny charges in Watauga County in May 2016 and in Wilkes County in June 2016.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Frances Calhoun Yancey or James Thomas Harless should call Crime Stoppers at 828-268-6959 or 828-737-0125 or the Watauga County Sheriff’s Office at 828-264-3761.

All information will be kept confidential.

High Country Crime Stoppers pays rewards for information that leads to arrests, recovery of stolen property, seizure of drugs or the location of wanted persons.

56-year-old Karl Philip Smith of Morganton was arrested by Newton Police yesterday (August 17) on two counts of misdemeanor assault.  Smith is accused of pepper spraying Confederate re-enactors during the 2017 Soldiers Reunion parade.

At 5:34 p.m. Thursday, Newton Police Officers were notified that a male subject armed with pepper spray was following the re-enactors.  Two complainants said that when the re-enactors stopped to fire their weapons, the man discharged his pepper spray.  

The suspect was described and pointed out to Officers, who immediately took Karl Smith into custody without incident.  Police seized a small canister of pepper spray and a Smith & Wesson .38 caliber revolver.  Smith did have a valid conceal carry permit for the firearm.  

Smith was charged and then released on a written promise to appear in court.  He’ll appear in District Court on October 11 in Newton.  

Personnel with the Newton Fire Department and Catawba County E.M.S. treated and released two victims for pepper spray exposure at the scene.  

No other incidents were reported during the week-long series of Soldiers Reunion events.

Thursday, 17 August 2017 13:29

Two Killed in Single-Vehicle Crash in Lenoir

Two people have been killed in a single-vehicle accident last night (August 16) in Lenoir.  The deceased have been identified as 39-year-old Darrell Dean Proffit and 28-year-old Elizabeth Dawn Collins, both from Lenoir.

At approximately 8:03 p.m. Wednesday, Lenoir Police responded to the accident on Valway Road in Lenoir.  Police say, based on preliminary findings at the scene, Proffit was driving a white Toyota extended cab pickup truck, traveling northwest on Valway Road.  The truck ran off the right side of the road.  The vehicle came back onto the roadway and crossed the centerline before over-correcting and leaving the road a second time.  The truck then hit a large tree off the right side of the roadway.

Mr. Proffit and Ms. Collins (who was a passenger in the truck) were both wearing their seatbelts and had to be removed from the vehicle by rescue personnel.  Both occupants were pronounced dead at the scene by medical personnel.  At last report, Investigators were still working to determine if vehicle speed and weather were factors in the accident.

The investigation is ongoing.

Thursday, 17 August 2017 10:10

Hickory Man Charged with Vehcile Theft

28-year-old David Glen Roberts of 20th Street N.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at about 5:45 p.m. yesterday (August 16) on one felony count of larceny of a motor vehicle and one misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

Roberts was arrested in connection to an incident on August 10 when Police responded to the Gateway Extended Stay on Hotel Drive in Hickory in reference to a stolen motor vehicle.  A warrant for Roberts’ arrest was issued yesterday.

He was taken into custody without incident at a business on Highland Avenue N.E. in Hickory.  Roberts was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $14,000, secured.  A first appearance in District Court was scheduled today in Newton.

Thursday, 17 August 2017 09:59

Two Arrested on Heroin & Child Abuse Charges

22-year-old Melissa Marie Smyle of Autumn Leaf Road in Troutman and 20-year-old Cody Lynn Hairyes of Moonagerie Lane in Stony Point have both been arrested on charges from the Statesville Police Department and the Iredell Co. Sheriff’s Office.  They were each charged with felony possession of heroin and misdemeanor child abuse.  Smyle also faces charges for felony larceny and possession of drug paraphernalia.  In addition, Hairyes was charged with obtaining property by false pretense.

On August 7, the Sheriff’s Office took a report regarding the theft of cash and jewelry from a residence on Wildlife Road in Mooresville.  Among the items stolen were a coin collection, several rings and $210 in cash, all with a total value of $5,550.  The victims told Deputies that Melissa Smyle had been in their home just prior to the theft.

Detective Daniel Stikeleather began an investigation and was able to recover some of the stolen property from Smyle’s home.  Det. Stikeleather located three rings that were sold to a pawnshop in Troutman.  They were sold by Cody Hairyes, who is Smyle’s boyfriend.  The rings, valued at $2,200, were returned to the owner.

Arrest warrants were issued for both suspects.  Statesville Police found Smyle and Hairyes passed out in a vehicle in a parking lot on Shelton Avenue.  A small child was also in the vehicle.  The Department of Social Services was contacted.

Smyle was jailed under a $50,000 secured bond, while Hairyes was given a $19,998 secured bond.  Smyle will appear in District Court on August 22.  Hairyes has a court date on August 28.

The investigation is ongoing.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017 15:15

Vale Woman Arrested for Theft of Jewelry

34-year-old Monica Nicole Thomas of Plateau Road in Vale was arrested by Hickory Police at about 10:20 a.m. today (August 15) on one felony count of obtaining property by false pretense and one misdemeanor count of failure to appear on a D.W.I. charge.

Her arrest comes in connection to an incident on June 23 of this year. Miscellaneous jewelry valued at $1,600 was taken from the victim’s residence. Monica Thomas, who was a visitor in the victim’s home, was identified as the suspect. Thomas pawned the stolen jewelry and a warrant for felony larceny was issued. Thomas was initially arrested on June 24. She was indicted and arrested on that indictment yesterday.

Thomas was taken into custody without incident at a retail establishment on Highway 70 S.W. in Hickory. She was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $4,000, secured. An appearance in District Court was scheduled for tomorrow in Newton. She’ll appear in court on the D.W.I. charge on September 27.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017 11:42

Viewmont Restaurant to Hold Ribbon Cutting

A new restaurant in Hickory’s Viewmont area will hold a ribbon cutting at 11 a.m. on Thursday (August 17).  WOOD, formerly Bistro 127, is described as a casual restaurant.  It is located at 2039 North Center Street in Hickory, next to Bootleggers.  WOOD is owned and operated by Matt Miller.

The restaurant will feature pizza from its wood fired pizza oven, slow-smoked beef brisket, six-hour smoked pastrami, hickory-smoked N.C. pork BBQ, hickory-smoked chicken wings, applewood-smoked bacon in bacon-wrapped dates, salads, burgers, and sandwiches.

WOOD serves lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday starting at 11 a.m. and breakfast Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. until 11 a.m.  For more information, call 828-328-3432.

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