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46-year-old Mickey Gene Mellon of Boyles Road in Lawndale has been convicted in Lincoln County Superior Court on charges of attempted discharging a firearm into occupied property and possession of a firearm by a felon. He was sentenced yesterday (October 8) to 27 to 42 months in the North Carolina prison system.

On September 28 of last year, Deputies were dispatched to a shots fired call on Hull’s Grove Church Road. The caller told Officers someone in a gold-colored minivan was firing shots at a green Jeep Cherokee as they traveled on Hulls Grove Church Road. Deputies later found the Jeep wrecked on Zonnie Schronce Road. No one was in the Jeep.

Detective Jon Propst learned the vehicle had been occupied by two women, one of whom was described as Mellon’s girlfriend. Investigators searched Mellon’s Cleveland County home where they located a handgun used in the incident.

Thursday, 09 October 2014 11:34

WPCOG Presents Scam Jam on Nov. 4

The Western Piedmont Council of Governments’ Area Agency on Aging will present Scam Jam & More 2014, in partnership with the Catawba Coalition on Aging. The event is set for November 4 at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, 52 16th Avenue N.W. in Hickory.

Scam Jam & More is a collection of educational presentations designed to familiarize consumers with the kinds of scams and fraud in today’s society, such as consumer fraud, identity theft and telemarketing fraud. Guest speakers include representatives from the N.C. Attorney General’s Office, the N.C. Secretary of State, the N.C. Senior Medicare Patrol and The Catawba Co. Sheriff’s Office.

Those attending will be able to visit with health & safety vendors in the lobby and obtain information from area Fire, Police and Health departments.

A Shred-It truck will also be on-site. Participants can protect themselves from identity theft by bringing pre-approved credit card offers, old bills and other documents that include personal information to be shredded. It is not necessary to remove staples and paper clips.

A schedule of events is as follows…

8 a.m. to 10 a.m. – flu shot clinic (bring Medicare ID card)

8 a.m. to 10 a.m. – Shred-It truck on site

8:45 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. – registration, refreshments & vendors in the lobby

9:30 a.m. to 12 noon – Scam Jam & More program

Pre-registration is required and can be made by contacting the Scam Jam & More registration office at 828-485-4213 before October 25.

Thursday, 09 October 2014 11:09

Three Busted for Meth in Caldwell County

29-year-old Christopher Dale Church of Paul Drive in Hudson, along with 27-year-old Margo Jane Williams and 27-year-old Justin Patrick Preston, both of the Sleepy Hollow Mobile Home Park in Lenoir, were all arrested on drug charges by Caldwell Co. Sheriff’s Officers yesterday (October 8).

Church was charged with possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver methamphetamine and manufacturing methamphetamine. Williams and Preston were each charged with possession of meth and simple possession of a schedule IV controlled substance. In addition, Preston faces charges for failure to appear and resisting, delaying or obstructing a public officer. All three subjects were charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, four counts for Church and one count each for Williams and Preston.

They were taken to the Caldwell Co. Detention Center with bond for Church set at $100,000, secured, while Williams was given a $25,000 secured bond. A motion was filed to revoke bond for Preston. First appearances in District Court were scheduled for today in Lenoir.

44-year-old James Maurice Wilson of Lee Allen Drive in Taylorsville was arrested by Hickory Police at four o’clock yesterday afternoon (October 8) on one felony count of habitual larceny or shoplifting.

Wilson was most recently arrested for misdemeanor shoplifting at the Rugged Warehouse on Highway 70 S.W. in Hickory on October 6. He was detained with hats, pants and socks on his person. The warrant for habitual shoplifting was issued yesterday.

Wilson has been in custody in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility since his arrest Monday with bond set at $5,000, secured. An appearance in court was scheduled for October 13.

19-year-old Larry Gene Smith of 20th Street N.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at about 5 p.m. yesterday (October 8) on felony charges of breaking & entering a place of worship, larceny after breaking & entering, obtaining property by false pretense and possession of stolen goods.

The charges stem from an investigation into a break-in at the Harvest Community Church on 29th Avenue Drive N.E. Investigators were led to Smith after items reported stolen turned up at two area pawnshops.

An arrest warrant was issued. Smith was found at his residence, where he gave Police consent to search. During the search, additional items believed to have been stolen from the church were recovered, as well as some items taken from Salon Universal on 16th Street N.E. in Hickory. A break-in occurred at the salon on October 7.

Smith was taken into custody without incident and placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $25,000 secured bond. He was scheduled to appear in District Court today in Newton.

Investigators say Smith may be linked to additional cases and may have had an accomplice. Anyone with information about the possible accomplice or any information regarding the B&E and larceny cases should contact Hickory Police at 828-328-5551.

The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday (October 8) stayed a federal appeals court order that would have enjoined parts of North Carolina’s new voting law regarding same-day registration and out-of-precinct voting.  The vote was 7-2, with Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor dissenting.

The hard deadline to register is tomorrow (Friday, October 10).  Election Day voters must cast ballots at their assigned polling location.

Attorneys for the state requested a stay last Friday (October 3) after a split-panel in the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ordered changes to election procedures just weeks before the beginning of early voting.  

Voter registration forms are available online.  Voters who have moved to a new county must submit a new registration.  Those who are uncertain of their registration status may view their voter profile online.  

The State Board of Elections mailed more than four million voter guides to residences across the state before last week’s ruling.  Voters may now rely on legal summaries appearing on page three of the voter guide.

Early voting will begin on October 23.

A copy of the Supreme Court's decision is available online.

According to published reports, a woman crashed the car she was driving into a house near Connelly Springs Wednesday evening. The car was traveling at a high rate of speed on Rhodhiss Road near a Handy Mart store when the accident occurred.

A resident of the home was sitting on the couch in his living room a few feet from where the vehicle went through the wall. He was not injured. The driver was taken to the hospital where she is expected to recover, according to the N.C. State Highway Patrol. Her name has not been released.

The driver will likely face multiple charges. There were outstanding warrants for her arrest and the registration tag did not match the vehicle she was driving. The steering column appeared to have been modified and Troopers say there was an empty cardboard beer container in the back seat.

The incident remains under investigation.

Wednesday, 08 October 2014 15:02

Man Accused of Obtaining 1,000 Pills Illegally

38-year-old Tony Franklin Cline, Jr. of the Furnace Road Extension in Lincolnton was arrested yesterday (Tuesday, October 7) by Lincolnton Police on 17 counts each of trafficking in opiates by possession and obtaining a controlled substance by fraud or forgery.

The arrest was a result of a two-month-long investigation. Cline allegedly passed counterfeit prescriptions at local pharmacies for Roxicodone and Percocet, which are both opiate-based controlled substances. Police say Cline obtained over 1,000 pills with a street value of almost $12,000. All of the local pharmacies assisted in the investigation.

Cline was arrested at the Lincoln County Magistrate’s Office where he turned himself in. He was initially given a $50,000 secured bond. After Cline’s first District Court appearance yesterday, his bond was changed to $100,000, unsecured.

If convicted, Cline faces a punishment of 225 to 279 months in prison.

The investigation is ongoing and further arrests are possible.

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Wednesday, 08 October 2014 14:18

Fire at Century Furniture; Damages Minor

At 10:16 last night (Tuesday, October 7), Hickory Firefighters responded to a fire at Century Furniture, 420 12th Street Drive N.W. Upon arrival three minutes later, Firefighters reported a fire in the boiler room across the street from the main plant.

The fire department responded with two engines, one ladder truck, one rescue truck and two command units. Two additional engines were called to assist with the incident. Personnel from Century Furniture, Catawba County E.M.S., Hickory Rescue and the Hickory Police Department also responded to the scene.

No injuries were reported. Damages were confined to the boiler room and were considered minor. According to a statement released by the fire department, the fire was accidental.

42-year-old Sheronn Zonta Mahatha of 2nd Avenue S.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police early Tuesday morning on felony counts of breaking & entering, preparation to commit burglary, larceny after breaking & entering and possession of stolen goods, as well as one misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

Events leading to Mahatha’s arrest began at 4:41 a.m. when Police responded to an alarm at K&M Collision on Lenoir-Rhyne Boulevard. Officers arrived on the site ten minutes later to find a front window broken out and items from the business in the parking lot.

They also found a man later identified as Sheronn Mahatha in an adjacent grassy lot with his bicycle. When Officers asked Mahatha to raise his hands, a pair of metal shears fell to the ground. A subsequent search of the suspect’s person turned up a glass pipe.

Further investigation revealed that a fence at the rear of the building had been cut and a back door to the business was damaged. Items in the parking lot included two flatscreen TVs and a wall mount, a computer equipment box containing a motherboard, an X-Box 360 and a router, all with an estimated value of $4,000. It’s not clear how the suspect intended to transport the items on his bicycle.

In addition, Police are investigating the possibility that Mahatha may be the suspect in an attempted break-in about four hours earlier at Allegra Print & Imaging on Main Avenue N.E.

Mahatha was jailed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $25,000 secured bond. He was scheduled to make a first appearance in a Hickory courtroom today.