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39-year-old Brian Keith Guzman of Alabama Avenue in Marion is wanted by the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office. He is wanted on charges of attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon and assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury.

Guzman allegedly assaulted and tried to rob a Marion man at the victim’s residence on Jenny Lind Drive late Monday afternoon (August 25).

Guzman is described as a white male, 6’4” tall, weighing 215 pounds. He has short brown hair, green eyes and a tattoo on his right arm.

Anyone with information concerning the whereabouts of Brian Keith Guzman should call the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office at 828-652-2235 or McDowell County Crime Stoppers at 828-65-CRIME (828-652-7463). Crime Stoppers callers may remain anonymous and could receive a cash reward.

42-year-old Erik Paul Collins of Bancroft Lane in Statesville was arrested yesterday (August 27) by Lincoln Co. Sheriff’s Detectives on one felony count each of indecent liberties with a child and disseminating obscenity to a minor less than 13 years of age. Collins was taken into custody at his residence without incident.

Collins, who is a heavy equipment operator for the North Carolina Department of Transportation in Salisbury, is accused of sending inappropriate messages and photos to an 11-year-old female. The suspect is an acquaintance of the victim’s family. The incidents occurred during the month of August.

Collins was jailed in the Harven A. Crouse Detention Center under a $125,000 secured bond. He was scheduled to appear in a Lincoln County courtroom today.

The 101st Hickory American Legion Fair is open. The fair will run through September 1. The fairgrounds are located on American Legion Avenue in Newton, just off of Highway 70 S.E.

For more information, visit the fair’s website at www.hickoryfair.com.

24-year-old Shane Edward Webb of Forsythe Street in Marion, has been charged with murder. He is charged in connection to the shooting death of 39-year-old James Lionel Ferguson of Old Highway 10 East in Marion on Saturday, August 16.

24-year-old Andrew Clifton Johnson of Maces Park Drive in Marion was previously charged with murder in connection to the same crime, as reported August 18 on WHKY.

According to McDowell County Sheriff’s Capt. Shanon Smith, Detectives developed information that led them to believe Johnson and Webb conspired to rob Ferguson. In the course of the robbery, Ferguson was shot and subsequently died. The shooting occurred at approximately 4:30 p.m. on the 16th at a residence on Blunt Way in Nebo.

Webb will appear in a McDowell County courtroom on September 15. Johnson’s next court date is set for September 3.

The Family Care Center of Catawba Valley, Inc. has a new Thrift Store Manager. She is Michelle Barnes, who joined the agency on August 26.

Ms. Barnes replaces Ellen Ball, who was the store’s manager for the last two years. Ms. Barnes is a graduate of CVCC and the mother of two daughters, with several years’ previous experience in retail management.

The Family Care Center’s Thrift Store is located at 860 16th Street N.E., near the intersection of Highland Avenue and Springs Road, across from Shurtape. For more information, call 828-327-4796 or visit thriftstore@familycare-center.org.

The Family Care Center has served the Catawba Valley area for 26 years. In 2013, it provided services to 62 families, including 85 adults and 128 children.

The Family Care Center is located at 2875 Highland Avenue in Hickory. They can be reached at 828-324-9917, fcc@familycare-center.org or www.familycare-center.com.

Thursday, 28 August 2014 07:19

"Caldwell is Hiring" Job Fair Set for Oct 2

The ninth “Caldwell is Hiring” job fair is set for Thursday, October 2 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at the J.E. Broyhill Civic Center in Lenoir.

The semi-annual job fair is sponsored by the Caldwell County Economic Development Commission, in cooperation with Caldwell Community College & Technical Institute and the NCWorks Career Planning & Placement Center.

For up-to-date information regarding “Caldwell is Hiring,” visit the Caldwell EDC website at www.caldwelledc.org. Information also is available on the “Caldwell is Hiring” and the Caldwell County Economic Development Commission pages on Facebook. Call Deborah Murray with the Caldwell County EDC at 828-728-0768 or email dmurray@caldwelledc.org.

The Broyhill Center is located at 1913 Hickory Boulevard S.E.

31-year-old Gary Lee Alverson and 42-year-old Lanesha Annette Johnson, both of 2nd Avenue S.E. in Hickory, were arrested by Hickory Police yesterday (August 26) in connection to a robbery in June of this year. Johnson was taken into custody first, just after 8 p.m., at the Julian G. Whitener Municipal building. She was charged on a warrant issued in July for felony robbery with firearms or other dangerous weapons. Whitener was arrested about two hours later at H.P.D. headquarters on a warrant issued yesterday for misdemeanor communicating threats. A few minutes later, he was also arrested for felony robbery with firearms or other dangerous weapons.

The robbery occurred on June 20 at the Dollar General Store on Lenoir-Rhyne Boulevard. Alverson asked a clerk to speak to a manager. The clerk pointed to the manager. Alverson allegedly displayed a gun and demanded to know where the money was. The clerk was able to get a tag number from the vehicle Alverson left in, but the tag number didn’t match the vehicle. Johnson was the driver.

Both subjects were jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond for Alverson set at $76,000, secured, while Johnson was given a $15,000 secured bond. They were scheduled to make first appearances in District Court today in Newton.

21-year-old Bryan Adrian White, Jr. of Hickory was convicted this week in Caldwell County Criminal Superior Court for felony falsification of verification notice as a convicted sex offender. White was sentenced to no less than 17 months and no more than 30 months in the North Carolina Division of Adult Correction.

The crime occurred between February and August 2013 in Caldwell County when White filed false information on three verification forms submitted to the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office. The forms stated that he did not have any online identifiers. An investigation determined that the defendant did, in fact, use an email address to set up a Facebook account.

White was convicted in August 2009 of felony indecent liberties with a child in Cabarrus County and was required to register with the North Carolina Sex Offender Registry.

Aaron Barlowe from the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office handled the investigation and Assistant District Attorney Nancy Lee prosecuted the case. The Honorable Robert T. Sumner presided over the conviction.

White will be transported to the Division of Adult Correction for processing. He was also previously convicted in March of this year in Caldwell County for felony indecent liberties with a child. On that charge, White was given an active sentence of no less than 19 months and no more than 32 months.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014 11:04

Hickory Woman Found Guilty on Meth Charges

38-year-old Joyce Brown Crouse of Hickory was convicted on drug charges last week in Catawba County Criminal Superior Court. Her 33-year-old co-defendant, Frank Chamberlin, was convicted previously in July of 2013. Both were found guilty for the felonious manufacture of methamphetamine and two felony counts each for possession or distribution of methamphetamine precursors. Chamberlin was also found guilty on felony counts of conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine and attempted trafficking in meth by manufacture & possession.

Crouse was sentenced to no less than 44 months and no more than 65 months, while Chamberlin was sentenced to no less than 50 months and no more than 72 months in the North Carolina Division of Adult Correction.

The crimes occurred in November 2012 in Catawba County. The investigation arose from a concerned citizen’s complaint. Investigators with the Catawba County Sheriff’s Narcotics Unit and the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation executed a clandestine lab search warrant of a residence on Carmel Ridge Road in Newton. They found six HCL gas generators, camping fuel, drain cleaner, pseudoephedrine blister packs and other precursor items used in the manufacture of meth.

Assistant District Attorney Kyle Smith prosecuted Crouse's case and the Honorable Linwood O. Foust presided over the conviction.

Crouse will be transported to the Division of Adult Correction in Raleigh for processing. Chamberlin continues to serve his sentence.

27-year-old Toasha Nicole Rice is still missing after three months. The Lincoln County woman was last seen on May 26 getting into a black four-door sedan with a white female driver at a friend’s home on Eaker Road and driving away. There has been no report of her whereabouts since.

Detectives have interviewed family, friends and a number of people she is known to associate with, but none of the persons interviewed have reported seeing Ms. Rice. Detectives also utilized a K-9 Unit to search a large wooded area off Sorrells Baxter Road and Eaker Road in western Lincoln County. Ms. Rice has not contacted her family, used her financial credit cards or picked up her checks. Detectives have followed up on all leads in the case, without success. They are currently backtracking on the investigation to ensure that nothing has been overlooked.

Rice is known to go by the name of “Nikki Green” on her Facebook page. She is a white female with blue eyes and reddish brown hair. She is 5’6” tall and weighs approximately 140 pounds.

Lincoln County Detectives involved the Cleveland County Sheriff’s Office in following up on a tip that led to a Cleveland County residence, with assistance from the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation. Authorities concluded that the tip was not valid.

Anyone with information regarding Toasha Nicole Rice should contact the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office at 704-732-9050, the Lincoln County Communications Center at 704-735-8202 or Crime Stoppers at 704-736-8909.