Catawba County, Alexander County, Burke County, Caldwell County and Newton-Conover City Schools are all closed for students with an optional teacher or staff work day. Hickory Public Schools are closed for students, faculty and staff.

Catawba County and Alexander County are both asking staff members who choose to work to come in on a delay; three hours for Catawba and two hours for Alexander.

Catawba Valley Community College- All day and evening classes and activities are cancelled for students, faculty and staff. This includes campuses and centers in Catawba and Alexander Counties.

Caldwell Community College's Hudson campus is operating on a regular schedule, the Watauga campus will open at 9 a.m.

Western Piedmont Community College will operate on a two-hour delay for all students, faculty, and staff. Classes that begin before 10 a.m. will not meet.

Lenoir-Rhyne University- Day courses will operate on a two-hour delayed schedule, beginning at 10 a.m.

Catawba County Meals on Wheels closed today

Burke County Nutrition closed today

Catawba County District and Superior Court will begin at 10 a.m. Tuesday. All offices will open at 8 a.m.

44-year-old Kevin Brian Wood of Icard Dairy Farm Road in Connelly Springs was arrested by Hickory Police at about 5:40 Friday afternoon on one felony count of possession of a schedule II controlled substance and misdemeanor counts of resisting, delaying or obstructing a public officer and displaying a fictitious, revoked or suspended registration. He also had a warrant for assault on a female, issued in November of last year.

Wood was arrested after Officers saw a suspicious vehicle at an address on 23rd Avenue N.E. in Hickory. The vehicle, a 2003 Ford Escape, was driven by Wood with two passengers. Officers searched the vehicle and found two bags of methamphetamine with a total weight of one gram. Police also found a fictitious license tag in the vehicle’s trunk area.

Wood was charged with resisting after he gave Police a false name. His true identity was discovered as he was processed at the Hickory Police Department. At that time, Officers found the outstanding assault warrant for Wood’s arrest.

The other two persons in the vehicle were not charged or cited.

Wood was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $17,000 secured bond. He was scheduled to make a first appearance in District Court today in Newton with another court date on the assault charge set for February 13.  Court today was canceled as a result of inclement weather.

Friday, 06 January 2017 14:26

Shots Fired in Valdese; No Injuries

At 4:38 p.m. yesterday (January 5), Burke County Deputies responded to call for assistance on Leger Road in Valdese regarding a suspect threatening to shoot a victim’s car.  When Deputies arrived, the suspect was behind a mobile home loading a shotgun.  The suspect made statements that he was “going out in a blaze of glory” and fired multiple shots, though he did not fire at the Officers.  Officers did not fire any shots.  

Deputies continued to speak with the suspect for about 43 minutes until he was taken into custody.  The suspect was taken to the magistrate’s office where he was involuntarily committed.

The investigation is continuing with possible criminal charges pending.

30-year-old Jason Wayne Upright of Elmwood Road in Statesville was arrested by Iredell Co. Sheriff’s Officers on Wednesday (January 4) on charges of felony possession of cocaine, possession of drug paraphernalia, driving while license revoked and driving left of center.

Events leading to the arrest began at about 4:30 Wednesday afternoon as Upright was stopped for a traffic violation on Elmwood Road, near Roadrunner Lane in Statesville. The Officer learned that Upright’s driver’s license had been revoked. Deputes then learned that illegal narcotics might be in the vehicle and a narcotics K-9 was called to the scene. The K-9 alerted to the presence of narcotics in the vehicle. A search turned up cocaine, a pipe and other drug paraphernalia.

Upright was taken into custody and given a $3,500 secured bond. District Court appearances were set for January 11 & 25.

Friday, 06 January 2017 12:13

Hickory Man Faces Felony Drug Charge

20-year-old Austin Eugene Reel of 26th Street S.W. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police shortly after 10:30 last night (January 5) on one felony count of possession of a schedule II controlled substance.

He was arrested when Officers on patrol in the area of 6th Street S.E. and Highway 70 S.E. conducted a traffic stop in the Midland Plaza parking lot.  Officers smelled marijuana.  The driver, Adam Ramsey, had two needles and a meth pipe in his pocket.  He was cited for possession of drug paraphernalia.

As Austin Reel, a passenger in the right rear seat, exited the vehicle, a small bag containing 1.7 grams of methamphetamine fell from his pants.  He was taken into custody without incident.

A passenger in the left rear seat was not charged.

Reel was processed and released under a $2,500 unsecured bond.  A first appearance in District Court was set for today in Newton.

Friday, 06 January 2017 11:08

Two Arrested in Hickory Hotel Room

23-year-old Jessica Diane Hamel and 23-year-old Joshua Brian Price, both of the same address on Pearl Street in Granite Falls, were arrested by Hickory Police early this morning (January 6).  Hamel was charged with possession of a schedule I controlled substance and misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.  Price was arrested on an outstanding warrant from Caldwell County for shoplifting.

Events leading to their arrests unfolded as Police conducting a property check last night at the Quality Suites on 13th Avenue Drive S.E. in Hickory spoke to two subjects outside a room at the hotel.  One of the subjects said that they had rented the room, which proved to be untrue.

Officers entered the room where they found Hamel and Price and three other subjects.  A search led to the discovery of black tar heroin and methamphetamine hidden in the toilet.  Four pills were found elsewhere in the bathroom.  More heroin was found in Hamel’s bra and assorted paraphernalia was found in the room.

In all, 3.6 grams of meth and 1.5 grams of heroin were found.  Three of the pills were identified as Methylphenidate (a stimulant) and the fourth pill was not identified.

No charges were filed against the other five subjects present.

Hamel was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $5,000 secured bond with a first appearance in District Court scheduled today.  No bond information or court date for Price is currently available.

30-year-old Yvonne Nicole Engle of Frank Propst Valley in Vale was arrested by Hickory Police at about 9:30 p.m. yesterday (January 5) on one felony count of attempting to obtain property by false pretense.

She was arrested in connection to an incident in January of last year at the Kohl’s store on Catawba Valley Boulevard in Hickory.  Engle and 47-year-old Reginald Lee Propst of Vale allegedly entered the store, picked out several jackets and attempted to return them at the customer service desk.

Engle was taken into custody without incident last night at the Budget Inn on Highway 70 S.W. in Hickory.  She was jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $10,000 secured bond.  An appearance in Superior Court was scheduled today in Newton.

Propst will also appear in Superior Court on the same charge on March 20.

Thursday, 05 January 2017 11:23

Four Arrested on Meth Charges in Lincolnton

21-year-old Jessica Brittany Lane, 24-year-old Conway Glenn Storm Cook, 18-year-old Austin Shane McCutcheon and his twin brother, 18-year-old Levi Otis McCutcheon, were all arrested on drug charges by Officers in Lincolnton Tuesday (January 3).  All four suspects were charged with possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver methamphetamine; one count for Lane and Austin McCutcheon, two counts for Cook and four counts Levi McCutcheon.  Cook and Levi McCutcheon also face two counts each for the sale of meth and the delivery of meth, plus one misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia for Cook.  Lane, who was arrested on her birthday, is from Lincolnton.  Cook is homeless and the McCutcheon twins are from Iron Station.

At about 4:30 Tuesday afternoon, Lincolnton Police and Lincoln County Sheriff’s Officers executed a search warrant at Lane’s residence on North Grove Street in Lincolnton.  The search warrant was issued based on probable cause that several subjects were selling meth from the residence.  

An investigation was conducted as the result of citizens’ complaints regarding ongoing drug traffic at the residence.  Lincolnton Police Detectives followed up on those complaints and utilized physical and technical surveillance, undercover operations and various drug interdiction tactics during the investigation.
During Tuesday’s search, Officers found several subjects inside, all of whom were known meth traffickers, manufacturers, dealers and users.  A significant amount of meth was also found and seized as evidence.  In addition, Officers found a handgun, digital scales, plastic baggies, several cell phones, written records and U.S. currency.  The drugs seized have a street value of approximately $1,000.

All four suspects were placed in the Lincoln County jail.  Lane and Austin McCutcheon were each given a $10,000 secured bond.  Cook’s bond was set at $50,000, secured, while Levi McCutcheon was given a $70,000 secured bond.  Lane was due in Superior Court today, while Cook has a District Court date on January 24.  Austin McCutcheon’s next court date is on January 20, while his brother is due in court on January 10.

All four suspects have long and varied criminal histories, including multiple prior convictions for each.  At the time of her arrest, Lane was out on bond with a number of meth and larceny charges pending.  Cook has a felony charge pending for interfering with an electronic monitoring device.  Austin McCutcheon has a pending charge for resisting a public officer, while his brother has pending charges for assault by pointing a gun and possession of marijuana.

Cook and the McCutcheons are also suspected of being leaders in local street gangs known to law enforcement as the “700 gang” and the “Hyper Geek Squad”.   Both gangs are hybrid subsections of larger gangs.
As a result of the investigation, law enforcement seized evidence that links several other suspects to the local leadership of both gangs, as well as other suspects in drug offenses that have taken place at the North Grove Street residence and at other locations in Lincolnton and Lincoln County.

Thursday, 05 January 2017 10:59

Harmony Woman Charged with Statutory Rape

28-year-old Samantha Ann Beck of Tomlin Road in Harmony has been arrested by Iredell Co. Sheriff’s Officers on two counts of statutory rape of a child less than 15 years of age.

She was arrested after Iredell County Social Services filed a report with the Sheriff’s Office regarding sexual abuse by a suspect who was a friend of the victim’s family. The report was sent to the Special Victims Unit and the case was assigned to Det. Sgt. C M Benfield. The victim was taken to the Dove House Children’s Advocacy Center for a forensic interview. The victim said that while in the home with the suspect, they had intercourse on two occasions. Both incidents occurred in May of last year in northern Iredell County.

Det. Sgt. Benfield conducted interviews and took statements from other family members. When the investigation was complete, charges were filed against Beck, who was already in custody in the Cabarrus County Detention Center where she was serving a sentence for a probation violation. She was on probation following a larceny conviction in Davie County.

Beck was given a $50,000 secured bond on the statutory rape charges. She’ll appear in an Iredell County courtroom on January 9.

22-year-old Amber Dawn Goforth of Clarks Chapel Road in Lenoir was arrested by Hickory Police shortly after eleven o’clock last night (January 4) on one felony count of possession of a stolen motor vehicle. The warrant for her arrest was issued on December 8 in Caldwell County.

Goforth was taken into custody on the 1200 block of Highway 70 S.W. in Hickory. She was processed and released under an $8,000 unsecured bond. Goforth was scheduled to appear in District Court today in Lenoir.

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