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Starting February 1, the City of Newton will begin collecting fees prior to providing service to customers who rent dumpsters from the city for temporary use, such as cleaning or construction.

Rates for temporary-use dumpster service will remain unchanged, but customers will be required to pay delivery, rental and dumping fees prior to the delivery of a dumpster. The switch to advance billing for temporary-use dumpster service will have no effect on permanent dumpster service.

Residents and property owners who wish to use a dumpster on a temporary basis should contact the Sanitation Department at 828-695-4294 to check availability and arrange delivery.

The investigation into the murder of 74-year-old John Bailey Clark is continuing. Mr. Clark’s body was found on December 18 buried in the yard at his home on Rose Carswell Road.

According to published reports, after visiting Clark’s home, Burke County Sheriff’s Officers found a trail of blood and drag marks coming out of the residence. Investigators followed the trail to Clark’s bedroom, where they found more blood and what appeared to be a blood spatter on the wall under the bed and a dried pool of blood in the bed under the pillow.

Outside the home, investigators followed what appeared to be blood droplets to an area in the front yard that showed signs of recent digging. The victim’s body was discovered there in a shallow grave.

According to the reports, several items were seized from Mr. Clark’s residence, including a pillow, a blanket, a shell casing, a striped shirt, a plaid jacket, blue boxer shorts, a feather, two cigarette butts, an empty bottle, six one-gallon water jugs, a .22-caliber Remington rifle, two light bulbs, a boot from the bedroom, a seat cushion, latent prints and blood swabs.

The Sheriff’s Office and the N.C. State Bureau of Investigation continue to follow up on leads they’ve gotten through Morganton-Burke Crime Stoppers. Anyone with information should call 828-437-3333. No suspect has been identified at this time.

The CVCC Small Business Center will present “Donor Relations that Build Donor Retention” on Thursday, January 15 from 9 a.m. to 12 noon at CVCC’s Corporate Development Center. The seminar continues a series of no-cost seminars for nonprofit organizations made possible through a grant from The Unifour Foundation Inc. Endowment.

The seminar is designed to help non-profits increase the levels of giving to their causes by focusing on building relationships. The three-hour workshop will stress building donor relations that have a solid foundation, that will keep donors engaged, create interest, cause action on the part of a donor and ultimately result in donor retention.

Amanda Pearce with Funding for Good will lead the seminar. Ms. Pearce has written grants, presented development seminars and helped build the capacity of non-profits for over 15 years. Her experience has secured funds and increased opportunities for numerous non-profit organizations.

There is no cost to attend the seminar, but pre-registration is required. For more information or to register, contact the CVCC Small Business Center at 828-327-7000 ext. 4117.

The Unifour Foundation Inc. Endowment is administered by the North Carolina Community Foundation and is one of 51 endowments that make up the Catawba Valley Community Foundation.

The CVCC Small Business Center is part of the state’s Small Business Center Network that works to help new businesses get started and create jobs by providing confidential business counseling and seminars geared to start-ups and small businesses.

Tuesday, 30 December 2014 10:45

Morganton Cabin Gutted by Monday Fire

According to published reports, a cabin at 3589 Seals Road in Morganton was severely damaged by fire yesterday (December 29). The structure was gutted. Shortly after the fire, damages prevented Investigators from entering the structure.

The fire broke out shortly after noon Monday. The all-wood structure was fully involved in flames by the time Firefighters arrived on the scene.

No one was home at the time of the fire and no injuries were reported. The home was the primary residence of Elizabeth Setzer.

In addition to West End Fire Department, personnel from the Glen Alpine Fire Department, the Lake James Fire Department, Burke County E.M.S. and Burke County REACT responded to the scene.

The Fire Marshal’s Office is investigating.

School-aged children will learn some basic Spanish at the Sherrills Ford-Terrell Branch Library starting January 10.

The one-hour classes are free and will begin at 10 a.m. on Saturdays, January 10, 17 and 31 and will continue on Saturdays into mid-March. Victoria Jones is the instructor.

Pre-registration is not required. For more information, contact the library branch at 828-466-6827. The Sherrills Ford-Terrell Branch Library is part of the Catawba County Library System.

For more information, visit www.catawbacountync.gov/library.

Monday, 29 December 2014 13:16

Low Income Energy Assistance Still Available

Those eligible still have two more days to apply for North Carolina's Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIEAP). The LIEAP is a federally funded program that provides a one-time vendor payment to help eligible families pay their heating bills during cold-weather months.

Eligible households, which include someone 60 years old or older, can apply at the local Department of Social Services through Wednesday, December 31. If funds are available after December 31, any other eligible households, regardless of age, can apply from January through March or until funds are exhausted.

Information about the application process and eligibility requirements can be found at www.ncdhhs.gov.

Morganton/Burke Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in identifying and locating two suspects wanted in connection to a Christmas Eve robbery at Burger King.

Crime Stoppers is paying for information leading to the arrests of suspects wanted for their part in the robbery that was committed at Burger King in Morganton last Wednesday.

Anyone with information should call 828-437-3333 or send a private message through the Morganton/Burke Crime Stoppers Facebook page. Anyone who submits tips will remain anonymous.

Monday, 29 December 2014 12:52

More Details in Hickory Drug Arrest

More details have been released in the arrest of 31-year-old Sharia Dannette Hoover of 2nd Avenue S.E. in Hickory, first reported last week on WHKY. Hoover was arrested last Tuesday (December 23) by Hickory Police on charges of possession of a schedule II controlled substance and possession with intent to manufacture, sell and deliver a schedule VI controlled substance.

She was arrested late last Tuesday night when Officers on foot patrol responded to calls regarding possible drug violations on the 400 block of 2nd Avenue S.E. in Hickory. Police went to a residence where they detected the strong odor of marijuana.

Officers saw contraband in plain view, including two crack rocks weighing 0.3 grams, two marijuana cigarettes, a baggie containing marijuana cigarettes and two additional bags containing marijuana. Some paraphernalia and scales were also found.

Hoover was taken into custody without incident at about 11:35 p.m. She was jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $5,000 secured bond. She has since been released. An appearance in District Court was scheduled for January 5 in Newton.

More details have been released in the arrest of 26-year-old Caleb Gene Rogers of Dragstrip Road in Hudson. He was arrested on Christmas morning by Hickory Police on charges of larceny of a motor vehicle and felony possession of a stolen motor vehicle. Rogers was also charged on felony warrants from Caldwell County issued in November for breaking & entering, larceny of a firearm and larceny after breaking & entering.

At about 8:45 Christmas morning, Police responded to reports of a stolen vehicle on 20th Avenue Drive N.E. in Hickory. The owner of a 2007 Saturn Ion was able to locate the vehicle using the vehicle’s OnStar system as it traveled south on Lenoir-Rhyne Boulevard. Police stopped the vehicle in the parking lot at Toys-R-Us on Highway 70 S.E. where they took Rogers into custody.

The Saturn was recovered and returned to its owner.

Following his arrest, Rogers was placed in the Catawba County Detention Facility under a $40,000 secured bond. A first appearance in District Court was set for January 5.

48-year-old Terry Lee Smith and 24-year-old Jessica Lynn Clark, both of Hauss Road in Lincolnton, were arrested Friday (December 26) by Lincolnton Police. Smith was charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon and Clark was charged with aiding & abetting robbery with a dangerous weapon.

Early Friday morning, Lincolnton Police Department responded to an armed robbery call at the Little Market Basket store on East Main Street in Lincolnton. The suspects were identified as a black male and a white female.

Upon further investigation, Officers found two persons matching the suspect description in the Oak Lawn community. The suspects were identified as Terry Lee Smith and Jessica Lynn Clark. The two were subsequently arrested by Sgt. Brandon Hunsucker and Officer Tiffany Cline.

Both suspects were placed in the Lincoln County Jail where they were each held under a $40,000 secured bond. First appearances in Lincoln County District Court were set for today (December 29).

Smith has previous convictions for felony breaking & entering, assault & battery, resisting a public officer, assault on a female, communicating threats, second-degree trespass, discharging a firearm in the city limits, D.W.I. and other traffic related offenses. Clark has previous convictions for possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver a schedule II controlled substance, sale or delivery of a schedule II controlled substance, possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver a schedule III controlled substance, sale or delivery of a schedule III controlled substance, first-degree trespass, shoplifting and larceny.