The City of Lenoir has hired Jared Wright to serve as its next Public Works Director. Mr. Wright has 17 years of experience in the construction industry. He has managed public and private projects, and he previously worked as the Stormwater Administrator for the city.

Mr. Wright will assume his new position on February 19. He will spend two weeks working alongside current Public Works Director Charles Beck. Mr. Beck will retire on March 1.

As Public Works Director, Mr. Wright will manage more than 40 employees and six divisions. Those divisions handle trash collection, leaf & brush pickup, city street maintenance, storm drains, engineering for projects, maintenance of all city vehicles and maintenance at city facilities, cemeteries and downtown grounds.

Mr. Wright is a Caldwell County native. He grew up in Collettsville, graduated from West Caldwell High School and earned an Associates of Arts from CCC&TI. He is currently completing a B.A. from North Carolina State University.

Mr. Wright first came to work for the city in 2011. In 2015, he took a position as Construction Administrator with McGill Associates, P.A.

Mr. Wright and his wife, Courtney, have been married 13 years and have a 10-year-old daughter. Courtney is the current principal at Sawmills Elementary School. They are members of First Baptist Church in Lenoir.

Friday, 09 February 2018 10:00

Hickory Man Arrested on Felony Drug Charges

26-year-old Angel Gutierrez of 9th Street S.W. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at about 9:40 a.m. yesterday on felony counts of possession with intent to manufacture, sell or deliver marijuana and possession of a schedule II controlled substance.

Gutierrez was taken into custody without incident at his residence. He was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $10,000, secured. He has since been released. A first appearance in District Court was scheduled today in Newton.

17-year-old Nicholas Carroll Anderson of Baker Street in Statesville was arrested by Iredell Co. Sheriff’s Officers yesterday (February 8) on charges of felony making a false report concerning mass violence on educational property and misdemeanor possession of a weapon on education property.

School officials at West Iredell High School on Warrior Drive in Statesville learned of a student who, earlier in the day, made comments about committing a violent act. The School Resource Officer was notified immediately.

An investigation was initiated by School Resource Officer Sergeant Dallas Hicks, Iredell County Detective Daniel Stikeleather and school staff. Statements were gathered from witnesses and the suspect, Nicholas Carroll Anderson. As part of the investigation, the suspect’s car, which was parked on campus, was searched and a fixed-blade hunting knife with a five-inch blade was found.

Anderson was taken into custody and placed in the Iredell Co. Detention Center under a $50,000 secured bond. No court date is currently listed.

Lincoln Co. Sheriff’s Detectives are asking for the public’s help in locating a missing 26-year-old man.

26-year-old Dillon James Goudy of White Oak Farm Road in Cherryville was reportedly last seen around November 1, 2017. He was reported missing yesterday (February 7, 2018).

Goudy is described as a white male, 5’6” tall. He weighs 120 pounds and has blue eyes and brown hair.

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Dillon James Goudy should contact the Lincoln Co. Sheriff’s Office at 704-732-9050, Lincoln Co. Communications at 704-735-8202 or Lincolnton/Lincoln Co. Crime Stoppers at 704-736-8909.

Thursday, 08 February 2018 15:18

House Fire in N.W. Hickory this Morning

At about 5 a.m. today (February 8), Hickory Firefighters were dispatched to a fire at 605 11th Street Place N.W. Firefighters responded with two engines, one ladder, one rescue truck and a command unit.

Upon arrival, Firefighters reported heavy fire and smoke coming from the house. They worked to extinguish the fire and reported it under control at 5:32 a.m.

No injuries were reported. Fire damages were considered heavy. The Red Cross was called to assist the occupant.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Thursday, 08 February 2018 10:46

Filing for 2018 Elections Begins February 12

In Catawba County, filing for the 2018 election begins at 12 noon on February 12 and ends at 12 noon on February 28. Primary elections will be held on Tuesday, May 8, with the general election on Tuesday, November 6.

Those wishing to file for N.C. Senate 42nd District, N.C. House 89th & 96th Districts, Catawba County Board of Commissioners, Catawba County Sheriff or Catawba County Clerk of Superior Court should do so at the Catawba County Board of Elections in Newton.

Persons wishing to file for U.S. 5th & 10th Congressional Districts, District Attorney, N.C. Supreme Court Judge or N.C. Court of Appeals should do so at the North Carolina State Board of Elections in Raleigh.

Superior & District Court Judges, County School Board, and Soil & Water Conservation District Supervisors will file for offices beginning in June of this year.

For additional information about the filing process and associated fees, contact the Catawba County Board of Elections at 828-464-2424 or visit online at

Yesterday (February 6), Officers with the Catawba County Sheriff’s Narcotics Unit executed several search warrants at various locations in the county. The search warrants were the result of an investigation into large-scale drug trafficking in the area, according to a press release issued by the Sheriff’s Office this morning.

Properties searched were located off of Highway 10 East in Catawba, off of Sunrise Beach Road in Catawba and on North Ashe Avenue in Newton. Investigators seized over $146,000 in cash, over a pound-and-a-half of cocaine, over seven pounds of marijuana and one firearm. At least some of the drugs and the firearm were seized in a residential area less than a quarter-mile away from North Newton Elementary School.

The investigation is ongoing. Several arrests are expected.


Wednesday, 07 February 2018 10:51

Hickory Teen Arrested on Felony Marijuana Charge

18-year-old Malik Rashead Danner of 1st Street S.E. in Hickory was arrested by Hickory Police at eight o’clock last night (February 6) on one felony count of possession of marijuana and one misdemeanor count of possession of drug paraphernalia.

He was taken into custody without incident as Hickory Police assisted Probation Officers. Officers found 131 grams of marijuana (just over 4.5 ounces) in Danner’s residence. Danner is on probation as he serves a 24-month suspended sentence following a June 2017 conviction in Catawba County for felony possession with intent to sell a schedule II controlled substance.

The suspect was taken into custody without incident and placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility with bond set at $5,000, secured. He has since been released. A first appearance in District Court was scheduled today in Newton.

In a letter distributed this morning (February 7), Captain Jason Reid with the Catawba Co. Sheriff’s Office announced that he will resign his position to pursue his campaign for Sheriff. Captain Reid is attempting to fill the position that will be vacated by his father, Sheriff Coy Reid, when the Sheriff retires later this year.

The election will be held on November 6, 2018. Newton Police Chief Don Brown II has also announced his candidacy for Sheriff.

Jason Reid previously worked for the Newton Police Department and the Lincoln Co. Sheriff’s Office. He joined his father at the Catawba Co. Sheriff’s Office in 2015.

49-year-old Melissa Fern Ledford of Lostkey Drive in Connelly Springs was arrested by Catawba Co. Sheriff’s Officers yesterday (February 5) on a felony warrant as a fugitive awaiting extradition to another state.  In addition, she faces six counts of failure to appear on charges of possession of drug paraphernalia, simple possession of a schedule IV controlled substance, possession of a schedule III controlled substance, driving while license revoked, providing fictitious information to an officer and fictitious, concealed, revised or altered registration card or tag.

The felony fugitive warrant was issued by Probation Officers in Blount County in eastern Tennessee.  Ledford was wanted for a probation violation.

Following her arrest, the suspect was placed in the Catawba Co. Detention Facility under an $80,000 secured bond.  A first appearance in District Court was set for today with additional court dates coming up on March 1 & 7, all in Newton.

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