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54-year-old Ronald Earl Curtis of Dry Ponds Road in Hudson, 36-year-old Michael Paul Desaint-Hippolyte of Holly Court in Lenoir, 42-year-old Jerry Eugene Fair of Kaylor Driver in Granite Falls and 30-year-old Megan Leeann Ruppert of Farmer Lane in Lenoir were all arrested by Lenoir Police yesterday (May 14). They were each charged with felony conspiracy to sell or deliver heroin. Desaint-Hippolyte was also charged with a misdemeanor probation violation.

All four suspects were taken to the Caldwell Co. Detention Center with bond for each set at $100,000, secured, plus an additional $400 cash bond for Desaint-Hippolyte. First appearances in District Court were scheduled yesterday in Lenoir.

33-year-old Viviana Barbara Eller of 17th Street S.E. in Hickory was arrested at about 11:20 last night (May 14) on one felony count of possession of heroin.

The charge comes in connection to an incident in December of last year in which Hickory Police responded to a shoplifting call at a local Family Dollar store. Store surveillance led to the issuance of a warrant for Eller’s arrest on a shoplifting charge.

As she was taken into custody, but before she was taken to H.P.D. for processing, Eller insisted on bringing her purse. While at Police headquarters, heroin was found in Eller’s purse. She was initially indicted for that offense on March 20.

Following yesterday’s arrest, Eller was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $10,000, secured. She has since been released. An appearance in District Court was scheduled for today in Newton.

Thursday, 14 May 2015 14:51

Traffic Shift in Statesville Tonight

The N.C. Department of Transportation is planning a traffic shift in Statesville tonight (May 14) to move I-40 westbound traffic onto the new bridge structure east of the I-77 overpass. The work is part of the Interstate 40/77 Interchange improvement project.

Crews will begin working on the shift at 8 p.m., with work completed by six o’clock tomorrow morning. The traffic shift will require crews to close one lane of I-40 westbound, including the ramp to I-77 northbound, for a brief period to remove the existing concrete barrier wall and cushion. The barrier wall will be reset on the new alignment for the bridge and new pavement markings will be placed in the updated pattern.

Motorists traveling through the area are advised to slow down, use caution and be mindful of any crews working along the roadside.

The first phase of the I-40/77 interchange project is about 50 percent finished, with completion scheduled for 2017.

36-year-old James Edward Russell III of Mt. Gilleland Church Road in Connelly Springs was arrested by Caldwell Co. Sheriff’s Officers yesterday (May 13) on charges of felony possession of methamphetamine, misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia, driving while license revoked and fictitious or altered title, registration card or tag.

He was taken to the Caldwell Co. Detention Center with bond set at $75,000, secured. Russell was scheduled to make a first appearance in District Court today in Lenoir.

27-year-old John Dorsey Crisp IV of Shearers Road in Mooresville was arrested Tuesday (May 12) by Iredell Co. Sheriff’s Officers on charges of manufacturing marijuana, felony possession of marijuana, possession with intent to sell or deliver marijuana, maintaining a dwelling for a controlled substance, possession of a schedule I controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and alcohol related offenses.

Events leading to his arrest began on May 5 when members of the Iredell County Aggressive Criminal Enforcement Team received information about a person allegedly selling homemade liquor and marijuana. An investigation was launched, identifying John Crisp as the possible suspect. Deputies went to Crisp’s home to speak with the suspect.

During the interview, Crisp initially denied any wrongdoing. As Deputies prepared to search the property, Crisp admitted that he was growing marijuana. The search turned up 175 marijuana plants growing on the property. 126 quarts of liquor were also found at various locations on the property. In addition, an active still was found concealed in a building, along with several 55-gallon drums of mash, which is used in the production of moonshine.  

An indoor marijuana growing operation was also found, along with 773 grams of marijuana and psylocibin mushrooms. Deputies also found firearms, including a loaded handgun. The marijuana has an estimated street value of $4,000 and the estimated street value of the moonshine was set at $3,100.

Crisp was given a $15,000 secured bond. He faces additional charges in connection to the non-tax paid liquor violations. A District Court appearance was set for May 14.

State A.L.E. officers also assisted with the investigation.

18-year-old Michael Ray Robinson and 17-year-old Sanitra Kay Robinson, both from Lincoln Street, along with 17-year-old Zakari Scott Turner of Pete’s Road and 16-year-old Austin Lee Turner of Oak Grove Church Road, all from Lincolnton, have been arrested by Lincolnton Police on felony charges of breaking & entering, larceny and conspiracy.

On April 15, Officers responded to a residential breaking & entering call at an address on the 1100 block of East Catawba Street in the Oaklawn community. Officers spoke to the victims who said someone forcibly entered their home while they weren’t home and took various items from the residence.

The scene was processed and the case was assigned to Det. Robert Hayes for further investigation. Det. Hayes developed probable cause for arrest warrants for the four suspects.

No court dates are currently listed for Michael Robinson. Sanitra Robinson will appear in District Court on May 21, while Zakari Turner and Austin Turner both have court dates set for June 2.

The investigation is ongoing and further arrests are possible. Anyone with information should call Det. Hayes at 704-736-8900 or Lincolnton-Lincoln County Crime Stoppers at 704-736-8909. Crime Stoppers may remain anonymous. Information resulting in an arrest could result in a reward of up to $1,000.

The Catawba County Board of Commissioners will meet at 7 p.m. on Monday, May 18, in the 1924 Courthouse at 30 North College Avenue in Newton. The Commissioners will receive a presentation on the proposed update to the county’s 2007 Parks Master Plan, accompanied by a Planning Board recommendation to approve the update. The plan provides a guideline for future development, subject to available resources.  

The committee kept public comments in mind as they reviewed existing parks across the county and sites for potential future parks. The committee then updated existing plan. According to County Senior Planner Susan Ballbach, the plan incorporates significant community input. The plan was developed by county staff, in consultation with the county’s Parks Advisory Committee, over an 18-month period.

The Committee’s review included the existing parks: Baker’s Mountain, Riverbend and St. Stephens Park. The updated plan includes specific recommendations for improvements to the existing parks.

The proposed plan also recommends development of a regional park on Mountain Creek, a 589-acre site obtained by the County in 2010. In addition, it recommends smaller “historic parks” near the Catawba County Historical Association’s Bunker Hill Covered Bridge and Murray’s Mill.

The draft plan is currently available for review online at catawbacountync.gov/Parks. Questions may be directed to Ms. Ballbach at 828-465-8381 or sballbach@catawbacountync.gov.

31-year-old Joshua Glenn McRavion of Lincoln Street has been arrested by Lincolnton Police on charges of assault with a deadly weapon with intent to kill inflicting serious injury and possession of a firearm by a felon.

Events leading to his arrest began during the early morning hours on Sunday, May 10, when Officers responded to reports of a shooting on the 1100 block of Lincoln Street in the Oaklawn community. Officers found two victims suffering from gunshot wounds. Both victims were taken to Carolina Healthcare Systems in Lincolnton for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. One of the victims was transferred to Carolina Healthcare Systems in Charlotte for additional treatment. That victim remains in the hospital.

Sgt. Dennis Harris and Officer Tiffany Cline processed the crime scene and took statements from the victims and several witnesses. As the investigation progressed, evidence was found indicating that multiple shooters with multiple firearms were involved in the incident. One of the shooters was identified as Joshua McRavion.

Officer Cline arrested McRavion Tuesday (May 12). He was given a $105,000 secured bond. He was scheduled to make a first appearance in Lincoln County District Court today (May 13).

McRavion has previous convictions for felony habitual assault, robbery with a dangerous weapon, possession of firearm by a felon, possession of a weapon of mass destruction, assault on a government official, simple assault, assault on a female, communicating threats and traffic-related offenses. McRavion was incarcerated for those offenses from March of 2003 until October of last year. He was out on parole at the time of the May 10 shootings.

The Lincolnton Police patrol division, criminal investigations division and narcotics division, along with North Carolina Probation & Parole, all assisted in the investigation.

The investigation is ongoing with additional arrests expected. Anyone with information regarding the shooting should contact Officer Cline at 704-736-8900 or Lincolnton-Lincoln County Crime Stoppers at 704-736-8909. Crime Stoppers callers can remain anonymous. A reward of up to $1,000 is possible if an arrest is made.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015 11:33

More Details in Hickory Heroin Arrest

More details have been released in the arrest of 24-year-old Jeremy Kyle “Big Country” Goodrich of 14th Street Place N.E. in Hickory. He was arrested early yesterday (May 12) on one felony count of possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver a schedule I controlled substance and one misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia. He was also charged on an outstanding warrant for misdemeanor second-degree trespass. In addition, Goodrich faces charges from the Catawba Co. Sheriff’s dating back to 2012 for non-support of a child.

He was arrested just after midnight when Officers saw a silver Dodge Avenger parked in the middle of the parking lot at the Gateway Extended Stay Hotel on Highway 70 S.W. in Hickory. Goodrich was behind the wheel with two passengers in the vehicle.

A routine records check showed the outstanding warrant for Goodrich’s arrest. A subsequent search of the vehicle turned up 0.5 grams of China white heroin.

He was taken into custody and placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under a $31,300 secured bond. The other two occupants of the vehicle were not charged. Goodrich will appear in District Court today in Hickory.

In an unrelated case, Goodrich faces one felony count of robbery with a dangerous weapon with a Superior Court date coming up on June 1 in Newton.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015 10:50

Innovate Catawba Names New Director

Anthony (Tony) Jackson has been named as the new Director of “Innovate Catawba,” with responsibilities for coordinating workgroup efforts and communicating regular updates throughout the community.

Jackson is the founder of The Jackson Group, Incorporated, a healthcare consulting & survey services firm founded in Hickory in 1976. In recent years, he has built a leadership development program and company called “DriveLeadership” that’s designed to help organizations improve leadership skills in their key employees. He acts as a consultant for many companies and organizations; and will be bringing his communication and leadership skill set to the Catawba County area in his new role.

After obtaining a degree in Economics from Lenoir-Rhyne University, Jackson continued his education with a Masters of Business Administration from Wake Forest University’s Babcock School of Management. Jackson also received further graduate education at Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, Appalachian State University and the William S. Hall Psychiatric Institute.

The Innovate Catawba initiative was started in 2013 to help drive economic development efforts in the region. The initiative started with six key workgroups, each focusing on an area for improvement as identified by a research project conducted by the Southern Growth Policies Board. They are: inspiring communities, reinventing spaces, building quality shell buildings & parks, incubating small business & encouraging entrepreneurship, workforce connectivity & development, and community leadership. Each workgroup was initially made up of community volunteers, with action plans developed and projects initiated to meet specific needs.

Under Jackson’s leadership, Innovate Catawba will send out regular communications to county residents, business leaders and organizations to educate everyone on the work done and outcomes achieved. He will also meet with workgroup leaders on a continuous basis to ensure that efforts move forward and achieve the goals of the overall initiative.

For more information, visit www.innovatecatawba.com.