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36-year-old June Marie Epperson, 18-year-old Jason Isaiah Rhody and 18-year-old Jarik Dashawn Gist, were all arrested Wednesday (January 28) by Iredell County Sheriff’s officers. Epperson was charged with conspiracy to commit breaking & entering. Rhody and Gist were each charged with breaking & entering, larceny after breaking & entering and larceny of a firearm. Rhody also faces 16 charges in Harnett County.

On January 6, Iredell County Deputies responded to an alarm at the Shell station on Campground Road. When Deputies arrived on the scene, they found a front door unlocked. It appeared that someone had been inside the store. When the store’s owner arrived, he confirmed that several items were taken from behind the counter. Deputies and the storeowner reviewed surveillance footage, which showed two masked subjects entering the store with a key and taking cash, cigarettes, cigars and a pistol that was hidden behind the counter.

Investigating Detectives conducted numerous interviews and asked for the public’s help in identifying one of the suspects, who was shown in the video wearing a trucker’s jacket with “MCA” on the back in large letters. The incident was reported January 14 on WHKY. Acting on a Crime Stoppers tip, Detectives found the jacket at a residence in Mocksville. The jacket was seized and Detectives attempted several times to make contact with the suspect.

Detectives then made contact with three suspects in Winston Salem where the three were staying in a motel room together. One of the suspects, June Marie Epperson, was a former employee at the Shell station and still had a key to the business. Detectives verified that the business owner had not changed the locks and several ex-employees still had keys that were not turned in. Arrest warrants were issued.

Two of the suspects had criminal histories and one of the items stolen in Iredell County was a firearm. In light of those facts, on Wednesday (January 28), Detectives and Deputies requested assistance in serving the warrants from the Winston Salem Police Department’s Special Emergency Response Team (SERT). Officers went to the Motel 6 on North Patterson Avenue where the suspects were taken into custody without incident.

Epperson was jailed under a $25,000 secured bond. Rhody was given a $60,000 secured bond, while bond for Gist was set at $30,000, secured. All three were scheduled to make first court appearances yesterday (January 29) with upcoming court dates on February 9.

Lincolnton Police are asking for the public’s help in locating a missing teen, 15-year-old Breanna Danielle Hoyle. She was reported missing by her guardian on January 22.

Ms. Hoyle is a white female. She is 5’3” tall and weighs 115 pounds. She has blue eyes and brown hair.

For additional information contact Det. B. Heavner at bheavner@lincolntonpolice.com or 704-736-8900.

[NOTE:  Ms. Hoyle went missing on January 22, the same date it was reported to Police.  Information stating that she was last seen in April 2014 was incorrect.]

Thursday, 29 January 2015 11:44

Hickory Woman Indicted on 2013 Meth Charges

27-year-old Samantha Lynn Metz of 2nd Street S.E. in Hickory was served a true bill of indictment by Catawba Co. Sheriff’s Officers on a warrant issued in November of last year. The case dates back to 2013. Metz faces felony charges for manufacturing methamphetamine and conspiracy to manufacture meth.

Following her arrest, Metz was released on a $135,000 unsecured bond. She will appear in Superior Court tomorrow (January 30) in Newton.

Thursday, 29 January 2015 11:06

Hudson Man Indicted on Felony Larceny Charge

18-year-old Jernico Jayquan Linder of Dragstrip Road in Hudson was served a felony indictment by Hickory Police at about 5:15 p.m. yesterday on a charge of larceny by anti-inventory device.

He is accused of removing the anti-theft devices from shoes at the Rugged Wearhouse on Highway 70 S.W. in Hickory. Two other suspects were also implicated in the incident, but have not yet been indicted.

Linder was taken into custody without incident on the 900 block of South Center Street in Hickory. He was later released on a $3,000 secured bond with a Superior Court date coming up on January 30 in Newton.

The Catawba County Board of Commissioners will meet on Monday, February 2, at 9:30 a.m. in the Robert E. Hibbitts Meeting Room in the 1924 Courthouse at 30 North College Avenue in downtown Newton.

Earlier that same morning, the Commissioners will meet members of the local delegation to the North Carolina Legislature to discuss the legislative agenda. That meeting is set for 8 a.m. on Monday in the Second Floor Meeting Room in the Catawba County Government Center at 100-A Southwest Boulevard in Newton.

The regular meeting will feature a State of the Community Departmental Report from the county’s Emergency Services Department, presented by department director Bryan Blanton.

For a complete agenda, click here.

Wednesday, 28 January 2015 13:55

Newton Continues to be a "Tree City U.S.A."

Newton has been designated as a “Tree City U.S.A.” in each of the past four years and is on its way to a fifth year of recognition this year.

Tree City U.S.A. began in 1976 as a bicentennial program through the National Arbor Day Foundation. The nationwide program provides the framework for community forestry management for cities and towns across America.

Communities must meet four core standards of sound urban forestry management to achieve Tree City U.S.A. status:

  • Maintain a tree board or department;
  • Have community tree ordinances;
  • Spend at least $2 per capita on urban forestry; and
  • Celebrate Arbor Day.

More than 135 million people live in the 3,400 communities that participate in Tree City U.S.A.

On Monday (January 26), the N.C. Department of Public Safety (DPS) paid tribute to 28 of the department’s most dedicated and outstanding employees during its first annual DPS Badge of Excellence Awards Ceremony.

The ceremony, held in Apex, N.C., acknowledges DPS employees who have demonstrated outstanding accomplishments. The Badge of Excellence program promotes department-wide recognition that acknowledges and celebrates employees' impactful contributions to the overall goals and mission of the department, North Carolina state government and to North Carolinians. Employees are nominated for the award by other DPS employees including their supervisors, co-workers and subordinates.

Among those receiving recognition for Public Service & Volunteerism was Burke County Correctional Officer Darris Williams. Williams works in the support section at the Marion Correctional Institution. As the intelligence representative for his housing unit, Williams spent many hours outside of his shift working to track and validate the activities of gang-affiliated inmates. Last spring he was named the Marion Facility’s Intelligence Officer.

Williams also excels in volunteer work in the community. A former standout high school football player, he has served as president of the Forest City youth football program and vice president of the Mid-Atlantic Youth Football & Cheer Conference.

45-year-old Crystal Franklin Burgess Wilson of Worthington Place in Lincolnton has been arrested by Lincoln Co. Sheriff’s Officers on a charge of felony embezzlement greater than $100,000.

She’s accused of taking more than $196,000 from a Denver business over a seven-year period. On January 20, an official with S&L Sawmill on N.C. Highway16 in Denver filed a report regarding funds that were stolen from the company. Detectives were provided with copies of 179 checks written on the S&L Sawmill account to the suspect.

The checks written to Wilson, her bank and other accounts, totaled $196, 885.86. The checks were written between 2008 and 2014. She was terminated from employment in November of 2014. Detective Richard Calhoun interviewed Wilson, who admitted to taking the funds.

She was taken before a Lincoln County Magistrate yesterday (January 27) and released on a $25,000 unsecured bond. Wilson was scheduled to make a first appearance in District Court today.

Professional commercial photographer Michael Cunningham will be at the Patrick Beaver Memorial Library on Saturday, February 7 at 1 p.m. Cunningham is best known as the photographer and co-author of the book “Crowns.” The book is the basis of the gospel musical “Crowns” that will be performed at the Hickory Community Theatre (H.C.T.) from February 6-22.

Cunningham attended college and taught in North Carolina before gaining national media attention as a photographer.

The program at the library is free and open to the public. Cunningham will share information about other projects, in addition to “Crowns.” Books will be available for purchase.

The library is located at 375 3rd Street N.E. For more information call 828-304-0500 ext. 7235.

Cunningham will also attend the opening performance of “Crowns” at H.C.T. on February 6. Purchase tickets online at www.hickorytheatre.org or call 828-328-2283.

In addition, he will be present at a "high tea time" at the Hickory Museum of Art on February 7 at 4 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to wear their own meaningful hats. Call 828-327-8576 or visit hickoryart.org for more information about the Hickory Museum of Art program.

Cunningham’s visit to Hickory is courtesy of the Hickory Public Library, the Hickory Public Library Endowment, the Hickory Community Theatre and the Hickory Museum of Art.

18-year-old Dessiaray Nicole Whitaker of Highland Avenue N.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police early this morning (January 27) on a felony warrant out of Avery County for larceny of a firearm. She was taken into custody without incident and placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $4,000, secured. A District Court date in Avery County was scheduled for February 2.